"Godspeed" occurs only in 2John 1:10,11 the King James Version as the translation of chairein, the infin. of chairo, and is rendered in the Revised Version (British and American) "greeting." It means "rejoice," "be of good cheer," "be it well with thee"; chaire, chairete, chairein, were common forms of greeting, expressive of good-will and desire for the person's prosperity, translated in the Gospels, "Hail!" "All Hail!" (Matthew 26:49; 27:29; 28:9, etc.); chairein is the Septuagint for shalom (Isaiah 48:22; 57:21; compare 2 Macc 1:10). "Godspeed" first appears in Tyndale's version; Wycliffe had "heil!" Rheims "God save you."
In the passage cited Christians are forbidden thus to salute false teachers who might come to them. The injunction does not imply any breach of charity, since it would not be right to wish anyone success in advocating what was believed to be false and harmful. We should be sincere in our greetings; formal courtesy must yield to truth, still courteously, however, and in the spirit of love.
W. L. Walker
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