Though this epistle was called in question and gainsaid by some as
authentic, as Eusebius says {a}, yet there is no room to doubt of the
authority of it; it was very early received into the canon of the
Scripture, and is cited as such, and also as the Apostle John's, by
Irenaeus {b}, who was a disciple of Polycarp, and an hearer of Papias,
who were both disciples of the Apostle John; nor need there be any
question as to his being the author of it. Eusebius indeed does say
{c}, it was a doubt whether it was the Apostle John's or another of the
same name; and some have since asserted, that it was written not by
John the Evangelist, but by John the Presbyter of Ephesus, after the
apostle; and this is thought to have some confirmation from the author
of it being called an elder, or presbyter, which is judged not so
agreeable to the Apostle John; though it should be observed, that Peter
an apostle styles himself an elder, as John here does, \\#1Pe 5:1\\,
moreover, the above ancient writer, Irenaeus, expressly ascribes this
epistle to John, the disciple of the Lord; and whoever compares some
passages in this epistle with the former, particularly \\#2Jo 1:5-7,9\\,
with \\#1Jo 2:7,8 3:23 5:3 4:1-3\\, will easily conclude, from the
likeness of style and matter, that it is a genuine epistle of the
Apostle John: the design of which is to exhort and encourage the lady
he writes to, to continue in the truth and faith of the Gospel, and in
love to God and his people, and to avoid false teachers and their

{a} Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 24.
{b} Adv. Haeres. l. 1. c. 13. & l. 3. c. 18.
{c} Adv. Haeres. l. 3. c. 25.


The writer of this epistle describes himself by his office, an "elder",
and inscribes it to a certain matron, whom he styles, on account of her
honour and riches, a "lady"; and by reason of her grace, "elect"; and
to her children, who, as well as herself, were the objects of the
apostle's love, and of all that knew the truth, and that for the sake
of it, which was common to them all, \\#2Jo 1:1,2\\, the salutation
follows, \\#2Jo 1:3\\, and then a congratulation of the lady, that some
of her children walked in the same path of truth with herself,
\\#2Jo 1:4\\, and next an exhortation to brotherly love, which is the
commandment from the beginning; the evidence of which love is walking
according to that, and every other command of God, \\#2Jo 1:5,6\\, and
the rather this should be closely attended to, since many deceivers,
who were no other than antichrist, had got into the world, who did not
own that Christ was come in the flesh; wherefore it became those that
were concerned for his name and glory, as well as their own interest,
to take heed lest what was wrought should be lost, and so a full reward
be not received, \\#2Jo 1:7,8\\, and then a description of these
deceivers and false teachers is given; that they are transgressors of
the rule of God's word, abide not in the doctrine of Christ, and so
have not God, any interest in him; whereas he that abides in the
doctrine of Christ has an interest both in the Father and in the Son,
\\#2Jo 1:9\\, wherefore the apostle gives advice to the lady how to
behave towards such; not to receive them into her house, nor wish them
success, since so to do would be to join with them in their evil deeds,
\\#2Jo 1:10,11\\, and then he excuses the shortness of his letter, though
he had many things to write unto her, yet would not, because he hoped
shortly to visit her, and then would personally relate what he had to
communicate to their mutual joy, \\#2Jo 1:12\\, and closes the epistle
with the salutation of her sister's children to her, \\#2Jo 1:13\\.