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2 John chapter 1

New International Version

1 The elder, To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth--and not I only, but also all who know the truth-- 2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:
3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.
4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 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. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.
12 I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
13 The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings.
English Standard Version

1 The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, 2 because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.
4 I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. 5 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. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
12 Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
13 The children of your elect sister greet you.
King James Version

1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. 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. 4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment 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. 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. 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. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 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. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of 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. 13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.
New American Standard Bible

1 The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth, 2 because of the truth which remains in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
4 I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received a commandment to do from the Father. 5 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. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you are to walk in it.
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not remain in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who remains in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
12 Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made complete.
13 The children of your chosen sister greet you.
New Living Translation

1 This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth--as does everyone else who knows the truth-- 2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever.
3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ--the Son of the Father--will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.
4 How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.
5 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. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.
7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. 9 Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don't invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. 11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.
12 I have much more to say to you, but I don't want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.
13 Greetings from the children of your sister, chosen by God.
Christian Standard Bible

1 The elder: To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth--and not only I, but also all who know the truth-- 2 because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever.
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
4 I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, in keeping with a command we have received from the Father. 5 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. 6 This is love: that we walk according to his commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: that you walk in love.
7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves so you don't lose what we have worked for, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who does not remain in Christ's teaching but goes beyond it does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home, and don't greet him; 11 for the one who greets him shares in his evil works.
12 Though I have many things to write to you, I don't want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come to you and talk face to face so that our joy may be complete.
13 The children of your elect sister send you greetings.

What does 2 John chapter 1 mean?

Second John is the shortest book in the Bible and has one chapter. This letter features only 13 verses.

The book begins with a brief introduction in 2 John 1:1–3 to "the elect lady and her children." The meaning of this phrase is debated, though it likely refers to the particular local church receiving the letter. The phrase "her children" would include those believers influenced by this church, referring even to other churches. The introduction includes a strong focus on truth, mentioned four times in these first three verses, followed by a brief greeting (2 John 1:3).

Verse 4 gives a commendation for those walking in the truth. This key verse stands as a theme in the letter. John notes "some of your children walking in the truth," indicating some were not. Christians are not immune to sin, or to spiritual error. It's important for believers to examine themselves, to be sure that what they say and do matches the truth. Part of John's letter warns against false teachers and those who followed them (2 John 1:7–11).

Verses 5 and 6 focus on the commandment to "love one another" (2 John 1:5). Love includes, "that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment…" (2 John 1:6). Love for God is closely connected with obedience to the truth.

Verses 7–11 then focus on false teachers. John mentions "many deceivers" who claim Jesus did not come in the flesh or physically (2 John 1:7). He calls them the "deceiver and antichrist" (2 John 1:7). Believers were to "watch themselves" (2 John 1:8) and have no part in the evil work of such people (2 John 1:10–11). This is not the same as a difference of opinion; this is a matter of essential truth. Those who reject the core message of the gospel are to be avoided.

Verses 12 and 13 conclude the short letter. John has more to write, but wants to meet in person to make his joy complete (2 John 1:12). He concludes with a statement about the children of "your elect sister," a reference to the church where John was located at that time. Though concise, John's letter addresses important issues related to truth, love, false teachers, and the person of Christ.