What does 2 John 1:12 mean?
ESV: 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.
NIV: 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.
NASB: 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.
CSB: 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.
NLT: 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.
KJV: 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.
NKJV: Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
Verse Commentary:
Verses 12 and 13 conclude the letter of 2 John. John was a prolific writer (3 John 1:13). He composed the gospel of John, the letters of 1, 2, and 3 John, and the book of Revelation. Altogether, the apostle John authored 50 of the New Testament's 260 chapters. He certainly could have written a longer letter. This, however, is not his purpose in this message.

Despite his writing talent, John prefers personal contact. He uses a Greek phrase almost always translated as "face to face." The phrasing is stoma pro stoma, which literally means "mouth to mouth." The idea is two people directly communicating without any barriers or distance. It means to speak in person, directly. Personal visits have a different importance, and a different feel, to distance communication. This is still true even after development of new technologies. Having the opportunity to meet face-to-face would make John extremely happy.
Verse Context:
Second John 1:12–13 concludes the letter of 2 John. John could have written much more, but this is not the purpose of the letter. His preference is to meet face-to-face, something he hopes will occur. The use of family terminology is common in Christian writing. John also refers, again, to an “elect sister,” suggesting that this is a letter from one Christian church to another.
Chapter Summary:
The entire book of 2 John is only 13 verses long. It is written by ''the elder,'' in this case the disciple John. In it, John commends a group of believers for holding fast to the truth of the gospel. He also warns these people to avoid those who deny aspects of the Christian faith, and who deceive people away from the truth. John uses the term ''elect lady and her children'' as a reference to this entire local church.
Chapter Context:
As a short letter, 2 John doesn’t develop any one topic too deeply. John is pleased to see that some believers are sticking to the truth, but this implies that others are not. He is concerned over the influence of false teachers, using strong terms to reject their teachings. John’s reference to ''the elect lady and her children'' is probably a reference to an entire local church and its members.
Book Summary:
Second John is one of the disciple John’s letters. The others are 1 John and 3 John. He is also the author of the gospel of John and the book of Revelation. Letters such as this help us understand John’s guidance of early churches. As the last surviving disciple, John’s words would have carried great weight in the Christian community.
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