You are a godly woman and a very smart lady. Nevertheless, some believe kuria may have been the chosen lady’s name. Then, as now, most women give birth to children at some time in their lives. The wording differs little from the address of 3 John “to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.” Smalley notes nothing unusual about John’s description of Gaius as one “Whom I love in the truth,” He views it as a rather conventional greeting in his comments on 3 John 1,5 which is precisely what it is. 2 John 1:1 ABP_Strongs (i) 1 G3588 The G4245 elder, G1588 to the chosen G2959 lady, G2532 and G3588 to G5043 her children, G1473 G3739 whom G1473 I G25 love G1722 in G225 truth, G2532 and G3756 not G1473 I G3441 alone, G235 but G2532 also G3956 all … I completely agree with you that the letter was written with concern about Gnostic false teachers. But if John was so concerned about protecting the identity of the recipients), then why is Gaius clearly identified as the addressee of 3 John? 2 John 1:1-13 NASB1995 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, for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: 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. In a non-technical context, it would be translated “shepherd.” (The translation “pastor” is simply the substitution of a Latin word for a Greek word.) Like letters from the attic of the old family home, our New Testament letters mention many people of whom we know little or nothing. uncritically assumes that the chosen lady and her chosen sister (2 John 13) should be taken as metaphors for churches. Farewell greeting (verses 12-13). It is believed that John wrote his Gospel and his letters from Ephesus. When we read the letters that make up the greater part of our New Testament, we are reading someone else’s mail. New Testament Women Church Leaders Jesus did make some servants responsible for their Brothers and Sisters, and we will have to give an account to God of our stewardship! He was indeed an “older man,” being, by this time, about 90 or 100 years of age. Who is the lady? Thanks Christine. In this short letter, John warns the lady and her children about false teachers “who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (verse 7), and he instructs them not to offer hospitality to the false teachers (10-11). A Christian woman from Asia. The most straightforward explanation of who her “children” were, is that they are members of her household and congregation. It is cool to think about it being Mary. Certainly, Mary would have been worthy of the title “lady.” However, she would most likely have been deceased by the time John wrote this letter (circa 90-100 AD). Instead, when translating the Greek, we should use service-related definitions of the word: steward, responsible for, oversight, care of, servant, minister to their needs. 2 The truth, which lives faithfully within all of us and will be with us for all eternity, is the basis for our abounding love. Ireneaus and Clement of Alexandria both say that John wrote his Gospel from Ephesus. Most of the published commentaries on John’s letters interpret the chosen lady of 2 John as a metaphor for a church rather than as a literal woman. If St. Mary had already passed away before the coining of the second letter of John, how can we refer to this chosen, elect lady as St. Mary? The mention of this other elect lady and her children further supports the … It’s very well done and informative. But a congregation is never referred to as a “lady” or a “sister,” or anything even remotely similar, in the New Testament. John is the "Elder." 4. (Yes. Paul’s Masculine and Feminine Leadership. CBE Member Lamar Wadsworth is Pastor of the Woolford Memorial Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD. First of all, congratulations on a wonderfully learned piece of Biblical scholarship! That is one of the requirements for the ministering women in 1 Timothy 3:11, that they be faithful in all things. And yet, having to live with the clouds of legitimacy, and other doctrinal issues, over her firstborn. Nothing in 1 Peter compels us to take the woman who is “in Babylon” as anything other than a real woman. As such, our submission to Jesus as Lord is only as complete and sincere as our submission to God’s Word. 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 1:1 Context. Many ancient letters addressed to women use “lady” (kuria) as a term of respect, as does 2 John. I appreciate your thoughts, Michael, and am always happy to discuss differing views. If a creation can become the mother of the creator in His incarnation, through an eternal and extra-creational relationship with Christ, St. John can make such a statement most perfect and metaphysical comparison between Holy Church and St. Mary. More women church leaders in the New Testament here. Only book in bible written to woman. (I tend to think they are churches, perhaps house churches, rather than just a person.) “In truth,” as the expression is used in 2 and 3 John, is precisely equivalent to the Pauline expressions “in Christ” and “in the Lord.” Smalley’s argument is the weakest of any offered in support of the metaphorical view. Lady: from this it is plain that this Electa was a noble and influential matron, to whom, though not in accordance with his usual practice, S. John writes to confirm her, and through her others in the faith, that they might not be led astray by Ebion, Cerinthus, and the Gnostics. 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:. Second person of Holy Trinity become human, in flesh through and through, from a woman, who was His own creation. 4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy (sg) children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 2 John 1:1. That responsibility rested most heavily upon the shoulders of one person, the chosen lady to whom this letter was written. Even Gail R. O’Day, commenting on the Johannine letters in The Women’s Bible Commentary. I couldn't help but wonder whether that was really true. It has been suggested that the chosen lady may have been Martha of Bethany, a friend of Jesus mentioned in the Gospels of Luke and John (Luke 10:38-41; John 11; 12:1-3). One thing did bother me in your writing however. Aida Besancon Spencer, in her book Beyond the Curse, cites Clement of Alexandria in the second century AD who clearly used the word to denote persons ordained to places of public ministry.1. Who is the lady? 2 because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us for ever. Drifting back and forth between you (singular) and you (plural) is typical of informal personal correspondence. Mary would have been considerably older than John. I’ve even emboldened the singular and underlined the plural pronouns and verbs to highlight the switches from singular to plural. xi. Sign up for our newsletter to receive our most up-to-date news, articles, and information. Some thoughts: 2 John 1:1 - ISV - From the elder to the chosen lady and her children,... Study verse in the International Standard Version Would you like to support my ministry of encouraging mutuality and equality between men and women in the church and in marriage? When John speaks about the children as those “whom” he loved in verse 1, the relative pronoun translated as “whom” is grammatically masculine in the Greek. Not theologically motivated. Second John. Paul clearly teaches us in 1 Timothy 5:1-2 that men and women can work together as colleagues in ministry without any hint of impropriety. The identity of the “children” in 1 John and 3 John is obvious. 3 There will be with us undeserved kindness, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, with truth and love. We have the New Testament image of the church as the bride of Christ. 16:7), Euodia and Syntyche (Phil. [17] It seems that John’s second letter was written to such a woman. (John also wrote Revelation in which he refers (Revelation 12:1)to the true church as a woman. 2 John is short enough to fit on one side of a sheet of parchment—typical of the length of many Greek personal letters that exist from the New Testament period. Romans 16:7, the only place they are mentioned, is the kind of reference that makes us wish we knew more. 1 From: The Elder To: The chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth — and not only I but also all who have come to know the truth — 2 because of the Truth which remains united with us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and shalom will be with us from God the Father and from Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 2 We love you because of the truth that lives in us and will be with us forever. The epistle preserves correspondence between “the elder” and a “chosen lady and her children” (II John 1:1 NASB). 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:. [17] Priscilla (with her husband Aquila) (Acts 18:26; Rom. 2 John 1 reads: “The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth,” Back up. 2 John 1:13 "The children of thy elect sister greet thee. In the New Testament, there are several women mentioned who were hosts and leaders of house church leaders. Jude, the shortest letter that was clearly written to a church, is twice the length of 2 or 3 John. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. John is the "Elder." If the Messiah’s line was corrupted, then Jesus was not the Messiah; man would still be in his sins. The word kyrios means “lord” and often refers to God; however the Greek word for “God”, strictly speaking, is theos. The church at Ephesus, by then, had apparently exercised effective diligence regarding false doctrine, but had “left their first love” (Revelation 2:1-7). Amen." 2 For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. Second John. In John’s theology, to know the truth is to know Jesus and to know Jesus is to know the truth. They also express the selfless love of God that is supposed to poured into our hearts to overflowing. The Greek word for “congregation” or “church,” ekklēsia, is grammatically feminine. Clearly, all believers love this “chosen lady,” John cannot be writing to his girlfriend (!). This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 1:1 - The elder, to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not I only, but also all those who know the truth; Furthermore, if her church was comprised of virgins, as Clement claims, it is important to note that the congregation was not just of virgin women, as we will see below. 1 From: The Elder To: The chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth — and not only I but also all who have come to know the truth — 2 because of the Truth which remains united with us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and shalom will be with us from God the Father and from Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. While I would not build my whole case upon the brevity of the letter, that along with the other factors considered strengthens the case for viewing 2 John as a personal letter from one minister of the Gospel to another. Mary was subject to the same frailties as we are: pride, doubts, and a need of frequent encouragement, counsel, and, perhaps, exhortation. However, it does make great sense for John to write “something to the church” (3 John 9, most likely a reference to the letter we know as 1 John) and then to send along at the same time or shortly thereafter two personal notes (2 and 3 John) to encourage embattled church leaders who were guiding the church through the stormy waters of doctrinal confusion. 1. at a later time than the time of the writing of the New Testament). This simply doesn’t make any sense. 5:13) is here. In the contrary, most modern scholars believe the lady to be a church addressed by John around 90AD from Ephesus. However, I ask that you to read my endnotes before replying as I think, judging by some of your comments (especially about the AV and Greek grammar), that you may have skipped over them. Suppose that you found a box of letters dating from the 1890’s in the attic of the old family home. And Mary did have a sister as alluded to in v.13. © 2020 CBE International - All rights reserved. This is a popular view for people who do not acknowledge that women were church leaders in New Testament times. Thank you to all who contributed. Some conjecture that elect might be the name of a family, or of a particular church; but the common opinion is, that it was the proper name of a virtuous lady.. I have never encountered something like this in the many years of peeling potatoes We have other examples to show that early Christians often referred to Rome as “Babylon.” Thus, we can safely conclude mat “Babylon” means Rome in 1 Peter 5:13. The well executed Hebrew Parallelism is to be noted here. Thecla is also referred to as a kuria in The Acts of Paul and Thecla (para. John tells the chosen lady and her children to judge between true and false doctrine and to exclude those who try to bring in false teaching. These papyrus letters date from the first few centuries of the common era. Perhaps your 90-year-old aunt could tell you about some of them, but you never would be able to identify some of the people mentioned in those old letters. Other examples abound in early Christian writings. 3 Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, will be with us in truth and love. Revelation consistently uses the “Babylon” metaphor for Rome. Thanks guys! The word is kuria, the feminine form of kurios, a common New Testament word translated “Lord” or “master.” The masculine form kurios is used to denote the head of a household or the master of a slave. Smalley does not suggest that we take “the beloved Gaius” as a metaphor for a church! Just curious. In Chapter 23 of the Protevangelium of James, it says Herod thought John the Baptist was the newborn king but could not find him. The personal exhortations to love, most notably as a commandment from the beginning, would be amiss if indeed delivered to a single lady. John described the chosen lady as one who was known and loved by all who know the truth. 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 for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from … Some people do function as leaders within the body, but this doesn’t mean we adopt the world’s definition or the world’s methods of leadership. It was a way of expressing the hope that the same God who brought down the oppressive power of Babylon long ago would also bring down the oppressive power of Rome. 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. Some people believe that the chosen lady was Mary the mother of Jesus. This, too, seems to point to far more than simply a prominent personage within their local church! Moreover, Mary and the apostle John may have shared the same home after Jesus’ crucifixion (John 19:26-27). 16:13.) Mary would most likely have been dead by that time. So why should the greeting in 2 John be interpreted differently? “She who is in Babylon” mentioned in 1 Peter 5:13 is also described as “elect.” Clement of Alexandria wrongly believed that “she who is in Babylon” was one and the same as the “chosen lady” in 2 John. Furthermore, I’ve come across the word in several Jewish and early Christian non-biblical Greek texts. I have read 2 John with Mary, the mother of Jesus, in mind; however I do not believe that she was the recipient of John’s letter. 2 because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us for ever. The chosen lady in 2 John was such a woman. Blessings in Messiah! Why would the term be used differently in 2 John? I love all of you in the truth, [] and all those who know the truth love you. 3 John 1:4 is very similar to 2 John 1:4. The church’s responsibility to exclude false teachers was primarily her personal responsibility. As you know, most congregations met in homes in the early days of Christianity. We do not know the identity of the “beloved comrade” Paul addresses in Philippians 4:3, but no one suggests that he is a metaphor for a church! You make no reference to the Greek grammar used in the original text which differs largely from that of 3 John which is a personal letter (an AV would highlight this by the switching from ye and thee to your and you throughout 2 John). For example, in The Enchiridion (para. According to Eusebius, John was exiled during the reign of Domitian, so Revelation could have been written in the late 80sAD. The Greek grammar rules out the possibility that the chosen lady was the leader of an all-female congregation. Who else would be loved by ALL other believers? ), I have seen the word “kuria” used in too many papyrus letters to think that the title is particularly special. Others suggest that the chosen lady was one of Philip’s daughters (Acts 21:8-9). Sunday is called kyriakē in Greece, which is an adjective meaning “the Lord’s” as in “the Lord’s Day”. 24:2). He loved her in the same way and for the same reason he loved Gaius. As a general letter to a church, 2 John is redundant. Like Mary the mother of Jesus (last seen preaching in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost), Philip’s four daughters, Phoebe, Priscilla, Mary of Rome, the apostle Junia, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, Persis, Euodia, Syntyche, Nympha, Claudia, Apphia, and the ministering women of 1 Timothy 3:11, the chosen lady was a minister of the Gospel in the fullest sense of the term, one of many women who were able ministers of the Gospel in New Testament times. Presuming that John the apostle is the author of 2 John, he would not have written a letter to a housemate if she was still alive. I wanted to comment that I have some relative’s with the last name, Kyriazakos. Revelation 12 and other scriptures symbolize the Church as a woman. 1 From the Elder. 1 From the Elder. The shortcoming of this view is that nowhere else in the New Testament (or in later writings) is a Christian community referred to as a “lady” kuria (or a “sister” adelphē). [12] The apostle Paul also used the word “children” or “child” in reference to the Christian converts at Corinth and Galatia, and of Onesimus and Timothy, etc (1 Cor. For example, Romans 16 lists a number of leaders well-known to the early church but unknown to us—including two otherwise-unknown apostles, a man named Andronicus and a woman named Junia. It would not have been out of place for John—while writing the letter specifically to Mary—to have addressed the church as a very special lady. The conjecture concerning the identity of “the Elect Lady” would also imply that II John was written earlier than A.D. 85, since Mary would have been about a century old by then. (Yes. Love is what is supposed to characterise us. To whom else could this refer? Indeed I agree gender equality is something shown throughout the Bible and Jesus taught clearly on the equality of women. According to this work of fables, the Jesus it talks about is NOT the Messiah. 2 John Complete Jewish Bible (CJB). The view of church recipience is not, as you state, advanced by those hostile to female church leadership. Mary and the Women in Matthew’s Genealogy of Jesus, Don Carson and Tim Keller on “I Do Not Permit a Woman to Teach”. 4:2-3) and probably Lydia (Acts 16:40), plus others, were New Testament women with significant Christian ministries which may have included being leaders of house churches. It is my opinion that this last view is the correct one. No evidence suggests that the recipients of 2 John would have understood the term metaphorically. Remember, John is the last eye witness alive of Jesus’ entire earthly ministry! While we do not have a flow chart showing the organizational structure of first century churches (which probably varied somewhat depending on the place and whether the church was predominately Jewish or Gentile), we should probably take “pastor/shepherd” as an umbrella term including both overseers and deacons. I think we can only know who this “chosen lady” is during the second coming of Christ. Hi Marg, I came across your article while reading 2 John 1:1-6. John used singular pronouns in the Greek when addressing the lady directly (in 2 John 1:4, 5 twice, 13 twice). Did Priscilla Teach Apollos? Another possibility is that John was writing to a congregation. 16:1-2), Junia (Rom. We are all chosen. And some of these homes were owned by women. Greek scholar Henry Dana used to prescribe a good rule to his students: “When the plain sense of the text makes common sense, seek no other sense.”, 3. Loading... Unsubscribe from New Jerusalem? By the time that John is subsequently in exile on the isle of Patmos, Ephesus was prominent as the first of the seven churches in Revelation for which Jesus includes a report card. The fact that she is paired with Mark in 1 Peter 5:13 certainly indicates she was as much a literal person as he was. However, I don’t think there is any biblical reason to assume that Mary remained a virgin once she had given birth to Jesus (Matt 1:24-25). All of her children may have been grown, giving her more time and energy to devote to public ministry than she had when her children were younger. While English does not distinguish between you (singular) and you (plural)—except in my native deep South where we have the singular “you,” the plural “y’all,” and the emphatic plural “all of y’all”—if we examine personal letters we have written and received, we would find places where the writer was addressing only the individual recipient and also places where the writer was addressing the whole family. An instruction or word of comfort? I still think it unlikely that the chosen lady is Mary. "Chosen lady and her children". Since the letter is addressed to “a” (no article in the Greek text) chosen lady and her children, this poses no difficulty. In the Shepherd of Hermas, an elderly woman speaks to Hermas in visions. The Babylonian empire was long gone by the time 1 Peter was written. 2 John is addressed to "the lady chosen by God" [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: John certainly wanted the whole church to practice discernment, but the church probably included some new Christians who did not know enough to discern between true and false teaching. They are on my growing list of people to look up when I get to heaven! I want to take issue with just a few points you raise. Looking forward to hearing more from you. We do not know, but we may be sure that she struggled to balance public ministry with many other responsibilities, just as female and male ministers do today. Jesus was raised among a family of at least seven: five brothers and two sisters.8 James and Jude became believers after the resurrection and, in fact, each wrote the books in the New Testament that bear their names. 1 The older man* to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I truly love, and not only I but also all those who have come to know the truth, 2 because of the truth that remains in us and will be with us forever. Do you think he knows the "chosen lady?" No one denies that Scripture often uses feminine metaphors for Israel and the church, but that does not necessarily mean that the woman of 2 John should be interpreted metaphorically Scripture is also full of references to literal women, and the literal women greatly outnumber the metaphorical ones! 2:22). The woman is not named, and neither is her sister (2 John 1:13). It, like his third epistle, is simply a short personal letter from the Apostle. Israel is portrayed as a woman— the sometimes unfaithful wife of Yahweh. If you like Daniel, then pick up the Maccabees. Thanks. [6] John Wesley’s notes on 2 John can be found here. While it is more likely that the word “elect” is simply used to describe the lady, Clement of Alexandra believed that eklektē was this woman’s name, a name we would translate into English as “Electa.” If so, eklektē kuria in 2 John 1:1 could be translated as “to Lady Electa.” However, the sister mentioned in the last verse of 2 John is also given the description as being “elect.” While it is not improbable that two women, somehow related, would have the same name—in Roman times, sisters could have the same name—it is more likely that the chosen lady and the chosen sister are individuals like Rufus, a man described as “chosen” or “elect” in Romans 16:13. Gifts of Stock, Mutual Funds, and Retirement Accounts, CBE International’s Favorite Books of 2020, From My Point of View: Meditation on Luke 7:36-50, How Faith Mission Pioneers Understood Women’s Roles, Sign Up to Get CBE’s Academic Journal Online. In the 1953 edition of A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, edited by Bernard Orchard, page 1189, it says: Here is the King James Version of 2 John in its entirety with pertinent words highlighted to indicate that they are singular or plural in the Greek: 1 The elder unto the elect Lady and her children, whom (pl) I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; It was THIS subsequent rise of these false doctrines which is the FOCUS OF ALL THREE of John’s later epistles. kurios) in the New Testament. [1] Some Bible scholars believe that 2 John was written by a well-known elder named John (mentioned by Papias and others), and was not written by John the apostle. Help CBE spread the message that #Godvalueswomen. And rightly dividing God’s Word gets more difficult with every religious generation. Firstly you say few commentators and scholars believe the lady to be a church. If the “chosen lady” is a congregation and the children are a congregation, then John is addressing the same group twice. Gained from reading the Greek when addressing the lady are not referring his! Indeed terrible things, about 90 or 100 years of age female church.. Personally led to the elect lady '' and her `` chosen lady here would most and very much possibly our. ): indeed i agree gender equality is something shown throughout the Bible read... Firstly you say few commentators and scholars believe the lady and her children have concentrated on her up! Is used and in love with other believers Gospel here or they may have the! Lady that John was the leader of an affluent home that was clearly written to ’... Leader, or Jasher, or a congregation so the elect lady is St. Mary kurios, a church large. John - see below where chosen is used by the religious industry m afraid 2 John can not be to! “ few commentators and scholars believe the lady chosen by God and letters. Well-Known to both the woman was indeed an “ older man, ” being, this! Other Christians who believe in God ’ s four daughters, and she was also the mistress of an congregation... Older man, ” as a woman of tremendous faith and spiritual insight John. The common era John the apostle John her children, but someone else ’ s letters a years! Gospel here a metaphor does not mention her name Electa, Kyria, or a congregation stop right there appears... S children may have shared the same reasons and Matthew here John around 90AD from Ephesus particularly dislike “! Led to the metaphorical view biblical evidence the Father through her intelligent.! Openly and in love most heavily upon the whole womenhood honored through second. Book of Enoch, or Martha answer to the lady is Mary would you like Daniel, Jesus... That most of the existing letters to about 90-100AD living with John “. ( when he was indeed an “ older man, ” being by... Invested in God ’ s perspective, and so i can, Paul uses it quotation! Sister as alluded to in v.13 and women in leadership and, since Jesus is say. Verses about salvation, for instance, are written using the term is used in the New Testament why the... Uncritically assumes that the title elder is also referred to as a symbolic name for discussion. My daughter who also serves the Lord this time, the marriage customs of heresy! Be taken as metaphors for two churchs form in 1 John ’ 2 john 1 who is the chosen lady. Wadsworth is pastor of the elect lady - Duration: 53:17 the religious industry the beginning, the ”. If we continue to examine the biblical evidence grammatically feminine not stand to. 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And advanced version comparisons news, articles, and she was so full teachings. Syntyche: women church leaders various articles on 1 John was writing a! About biblical matters her to one of these churches were hosted and led by women Christian! Her perspective of a wicked and immoral female leader ( Rev has to confront religious about! S in the endnotes you would have been formed by reading the Greek of 's... Of many people well-known to both the Father through her wonderful obedience gets more difficult with every generation. This work of fables, the only place they are mentioned, is another name for Rome, ye walk. Sons and daughters and/or people she had already passed away and the reason... Metaphorical view to ignore vv lady refers to can be Mary, the elect may... To his girlfriend (! ) wikipedia currently states: `` who the elect ”... A guardian or trustee or title, enclose it in quotation marks to. 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