The Second Epistle of John

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 243


Author:John the Apostle is traditionally identified as the author of 2 John (see the introduction to the book of 1 John, p. 241).

Audience:This Epistle was written to “the elect lady and her children” (v. 1). It is unknown whether John was addressing specific people or speaking to the Church community in figurative language (see “Background Information” in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, pp. 435–6).

Historical Background:The background of 2 and 3 John is similar to that of John’s first letter (see the introduction to the book of 1 John). It is supposed that these two letters were written about A.D. 85–95 somewhere in the Roman Empire (see “Place and Date of Writing” in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, p. 435).

Theme:The early Saints often housed and supported traveling Church leaders and teachers (see 3 John 1:5, 6). False and apostate teachers advancing their Gnostic message also traveled and took advantage of the hospitality of Church members. John appealed to his readers to use discernment and avoid supporting these people, lest the Saints contribute to the promotion of heresy.