Reading Through The Bible - 2 JOHN

Some Books of the bible are very short and some are very long but this one is the 
  • shortest of them all by no. of verses
  • joint shortest of them all by no. of chapters (5 books all have only 1)
  • second shortest of them all by no. of words
you can find these comparisons in  The 10 Shortest Books

In fact it only takes 2 mins to read it according to Crossway and their lovely barchart


24th book of the NT 
63rd book of the Bible

It starts with a greeting that is different from most other epistles.
  in 2 John ch.1 v 1 we read

"The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;"

and quickly takes us to the assurance that this is about truth in the following verse 

"For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever."

What is it?

The Book of 2 JOHN is one of the EPISTLES in the New Testament which means it is a Letter.

How Long is it?

It only has 1 chapter.

When was it Written?

It was written between 95 & 90 AD

Who Wrote it?

John the beloved disciple of Jesus

The name of the letter tells us the writer.
Other letters in the bible are named to show who the recipients of the letters were specifically intended to be but these were letters written by John son of Zebedee and brother of James.
One of the three disciples who Jesus often took with him apart from the others. 

Who was it Written to?

At first glance it would look as if it was a letter written to a specific person "the elect lady" and greeting sent at the end by "the chosen lady" however there are 3 trains of thought about this

  1. the whole church
  2. a specific assembly (church)
  3. a lady

 and I think I go with number 2.

What is it normally well-known for?

Truth & Love are widely quoted and even appear as quickly as the Greeting in verse 3 

continuing to emphasis Love in verse 6

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"A very brief letter about walking in truth, love and obedience."  

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"This short, one-chapter book offers great encouragement to walk in the light and love one another even when it is hard"  


Why was it Written? 

It was written to encourage and remind the believers not to forget the truth in the doctrine of Christ, the love they should have for one another and to keep the commands of Jesus.

Remembering as stated above that Truth and Love are even presented straight away in the greeting.

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"He’d told them about truth, love, and obedience—now he writes to tell them what to do about it.

In Second John, the elder (2 Jn 1) briefly explains the relationship between the three:

  • Love and truth. ........ When two parties know the truth, love comes naturally.
  • Truth and obedience. ..... When you know the truth, obedience comes naturally.
  • Obedience and love. ..... A sure sign of obedience to God is love for His church, and a sure sign of love is obedience to God.

He then warns that ........ They should beware of teachers who do not acknowledge Jesus’ human life and who deviate from the things He taught (2 Jn 8–9). Such people are dangerous: the church shouldn’t side with them, shouldn’t invite them in, and shouldn’t participate in their actions (2 Jn 10–11)."  

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"1 John was written to combat false teaching ..... in 2 John he is addressing the same issue but not in as much detail."  

Which other books of the Bible is this linked to? 

John wrote three epistles of which this is the second which follows 1st John and is followed by 3rd John  

other books would be

  • The Gospel of John (also written by John)
  • Revelation (also written by John)
  • Jude (also only one chapter long)
  • Philemon (also only one chapter long)
  • Obadiah (also only one chapter long)

  • How does it end?

    With the desire to come and visit in person instead of writing another letter in verse 12

    "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."

    and another greeting in verse 13 

    "The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen."

    The Overview Bible  gives us this

    Quick outline of 2 John

    1. Walk in truth (1–4)
    2. Love others and obey God (5–6)
    3. Beware false teachers (7–11)
    4. Look forward to a visit (12–13)