Having many things to write unto you
Either on a civil, or on a religious account, concerning the state of the churches of Asia, and particularly Ephesus, and of private families and persons, and concerning the truths and doctrines of the Gospel; not that he had any new one, or any other than what they had heard from the beginning, to communicate to them, by word of mouth, for this he denies, ( 2 John 1:5 2 John 1:6 ) ; wherefore this makes nothing for the unwritten traditions of the Papists, and as if the Scriptures did not contain the whole of doctrine and of the will of God.
I would not [write] with paper and ink;
any more than what was written:
but I trust to come unto you;
where they were, but where that was is not known; very likely in some parts of Asia, and it may be not far from Ephesus, since any long journey would not have been fit for the apostle to have taken in this his old age:
and speak face to face;
that is, freely and familiarly converse together about things omitted in this epistle:
that our joy may be full;
in seeing one another's faces, and through hearing the things that may be talked of; and since the conversation would doubtless turn on divine and evangelic things, so fulness, or a large measure of spiritual joy, may be here intended. Instead of "our joy", the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin and the Ethiopic versions, read, "your joy".