2 John 1:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 John 1:5, NIV: And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.

2 John 1:5, ESV: And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.

2 John 1:5, KJV: 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.

2 John 1:5, NASB: Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.

2 John 1:5, NLT: I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning.

2 John 1:5, CSB: So now I ask you, dear lady--not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning--that we love one another.

What does 2 John 1:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 4 focused on obedience to truth. Verses 5 and 6 emphasize love. John now makes a request, again addressed to the "Dear lady," a reference to the entire local church. What John is about to ask is not a new command, but something which has been part of their faith from the start.

This "beginning" probably refers to Jesus' teaching in John 13:34–35. There, He commanded us to love each other, so that we would be identified by love. Jesus would repeat this commandment in John 15:12 and John 15:17. Paul echoes it in Romans 12:10 and 1 Thessalonians 4:9. Peter mentions it in 1 Peter 1:22. John mentions it repeatedly in his first letter (1 John 3:11; 4:7; 4:11–12). Loving one another is obedience to the commandment of Jesus. It is so important that it's meant to be the primary way the world recognizes us as Christians (John 13:35).