Second Epistle of John (Translated)

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John, the Apostle and author of the Gospel of John, wrote this letter around A.D. 92 (he is identified in the first verse as the "elder" and he would have been in his seventies then, depending on how young he was during the ministry of Jesus[1]). This is the shortest book in the entire Bible, consisting of only one chapter of thirteen verses. Like the other General Epistles, this letter was directed to the church as a whole rather than any specific group.

Chapter 1

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love truly; as do all that have known the truth; The Bishop chosen by Christ, to the woman and her children, whom I love, and not only I, but all who have known the truth. "πρεσβυτερος" can mean elder, or in the context of the early church, an esteemed member of the community, a role later called "bishop."
2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. For the sake of the truth, which lives within us and shall live within us for all time.
3 Grace be with you, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. May God the Father and his son, the Lord Jesus Christ, bring you grace and peace, in truth and love.
4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. I am most pleased to learn that your children walk in truth in accordance with that we have gained from the Father.
5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. I request of you, madame, that we love one another, not as a new commandment, but as what we have known we must do since the beginning.
6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. And those of us who keep His commandments know love, for that is the commandment. As you have heard from the start, you should love and be loved.
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. For there are many who practice deceit, who deny that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. Such people are deceivers and adversaries of Christ. "αντιχριστος" can mean either the single Antichrist from Revelations, or less specifically, anybody who is against Christ. Context makes it clear which use is meant here, and the term "antichrist" in English will be preserved in this translation for the first usage.
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Be aware of yourself, so that you do not backpedal and lose all that we has gained for you, but instead, that we shall gain our reward. "we," ie, the early Church
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. He who sins, and does not believe in Christ, does not have God as an ally. He who follows Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: If anybody comes to you who does not understand this, do not welcome him into your home, or bid him good tidings.
11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. For if you wish him good luck with his ungodly endeavors, you partake in his evil deeds.
12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not [write] with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. I have much to say to you which I cannot write on paper with ink, so I shall come to you, and we will speak face to face, and be rejoice. Why does John so strongly emphasize his desire to speak face-to-face with the elect lady he writes to? Because at the time he penned the brief Epistle, he is unable to, evidently because he is still stranded at the island of Patmos.
13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen. The children of your revered sister send their greetings. Amen.


  1. See Mystery:Was John a Child?