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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

2 John 1

Verse 1

2 John 1:1 . Ὁ πρεσβύτερος , The Elder ) This Epistle also has three parts:

I. THE INSCRIPTION, 2 John 1:1-2 .

II. THE COMMENDATION of those who practise hospitality: in which

1. He approves of the former benefits of Cains, 2 John 1:2-6 .

2. He draws forth the commendation itself, introducing reasons and examples on both sides [of a good and of the opposite character], 2 John 1:6-10 .

III. THE CONCLUSION, 2 John 1:13 .

Γαΐῳ , to Caius ) Caius of Corinth, who is mentioned Romans 16:23 , either closely resembled this Caius, the friend of John, in his hospitality, or he was the same person: if he were the same person, he either migrated from Achaia into Asia, or John sent this letter to Corinth.

Verse 2

2 John 1:2 . Διὰ , on account of ) Construe with ἀγαπῶ , I love . They who love in truth, also love on account of truth. τὴν μένουσαν , which abides ) which still is. It is followed by the future, shall be . Τὴν μένουσαν καὶ ἔσται , resolve into, WHICH abides, and shall be: 1 Corinthians 7:37 , note.

Verse 2

2 John 1:2 . Διὰ , on account of ) Construe with ἀγαπῶ , I love . They who love in truth, also love on account of truth. τὴν μένουσαν , which abides ) which still is. It is followed by the future, shall be . Τὴν μένουσαν καὶ ἔσται , resolve into, WHICH abides, and shall be: 1 Corinthians 7:37 , note.

Verse 3

2 John 1:3 . Ἔσται , shall be ) יהי . A prayer, together with an affirmation. μεθʼ ὑμῶν , with you) See the App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. [2] The Latin Version has vobiscum, with you: and this is properly consonant with the salutation. Comp. 3 John 1:2 . χάρις , ἔλεος , εἰρήνη , grace, mercy, and peace ) Grace removes guilt; mercy removes misery; peace expresses a continuance in grace and mercy. εἰρήνη , peace ) even under the assaults of temptation. Κυρίου , Lord ) This is the only passage in which the Epistles of St John contain the title of Lord , which is well adapted to a salutation. [3] He usually calls Him the Son of God . ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καὶ ἀγάπῃ , in truth and love ) Respecting the former he speaks in 2 John 1:4 ; respecting the latter, in 2 John 1:5 . St Paul is accustomed to use the appellations, faith and love , for truth and faith are synonymous: and the Hebrew אמת is constantly translated in the Septuagint by either word. Comp. 3 John 1:3 , the truth that is in thee .

[2] B (according to Lachm., not so Tisch.) Vulg. Elzev. Rec. Text, have ἔσται μεθʼ ὑμῶν . But A and later Syr. omit the words. Stephens’ Rec. Text has ἡμῶν . E.

[3] But the margin of both Ed., even in this passage, prefers the omission of the word Κυρίου ; and the Germ. Vers. omits it altogether. E. B.

AB Vulg. Theb. Syr. omit it. Rec. Text supports it, with Memph. and later Syr. alone of the oldest authorities. E.

Verse 4

2 John 1:4 . Εὓρηκα , I have found ) A thing rarely found at the present day, a joy rarely experienced. ἐκ τῶν τέκνων σου , of thy children ) Cyria had at the least four children. Comp. 2Jn 1:1 with 2 John 1:4 . John had found these children in the house of their maternal aunt, 2 John 1:13 . καθὼς , even as ) The rule.

Verse 5

2 John 1:5 . Οὐχ ὡς καινὴν , not as new ) Love performs both pages: [4] truth produces nothing else.

[4] The Old as well as the New Testament love to God, and love to our neighbour E.

Verse 6

2 John 1:6 . Αὐτοῦ , of Him ) the Father, 2 John 1:4 . ἐν αὐτῇ , in it ) in love. This verse contains a very pleasing Epanodos. [5] ΠΕΡΙΠΑΤῆΤΕ , ye walk ) He had just before said, that we walk . Now the second person answers to the verb, ye have heard ; that is, from us the apostles.

[5] Repetition of the same words in inverse order. See Append. E.

Verse 7

2 John 1:7 . Ὅτι , because ) The reason why he bids them keep the things which they have heard from the beginning . πολλοὶ , many ) 1Jn 2:18 ; 1 John 4:1 . εἰσῆλθον ) have entered . The world is averse from God and Christ, busily intent upon its own husks: but to oppose God and Christ is of the leaven of Satan. ἐρχόμενον , who came ) Thus ἐρχομένων , 3 John 1:3 . Comp. ἐληλυθότα , who is come , 1 John 4:2 . οὗτός ἐστιν , this is ) A gradation. This very person is the character of a great impostor and antichrist. No other of a more dreadful appearance is to be sought. πλάνος , a seducer ) opposed to God. ἀντίχριστος , antichrist ) opposed to Christ. The warning against antichrist belongs even to women and young men: 1 John 1:4-5 . Antichrist denies the Father and the Son; and does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.

Verse 8

2 John 1:8 . Ἑαυτοὺς , your own selves ) in my absence. ἵνα μὴ ἀπολέσητε , κ . τ . λ .) I think that the apostle wrote: ἵνα μὴ ἀπολέσητεεἰργάσασθε , ἀλλὰ μισθὸν πλήρη ἀπολάβωμεν , that ye lose not the things which ye have wrought, but that we receive a full reward . [6] Whence some have put the whole admonitory sentence in the second person, others again, afterwards, in the first person. ἀλλὰ , but ) There is no half reward of the saints; it is either lost altogether, or received in full. There is a direct opposition. We must however consider the different degrees in glory. πλήρη , full ) In full communion with God: 2 John 1:9 .

[6] The margin of the 2d Ed. and also the Germ. Vers. are in consonance. But in respect to the second member, the Germ. Version is at variance with the opinion here given, for it retains the second person; and in this very particular confirms the observation of the Gnomon, which presently follows, on the word ἀλλά . E. B.

AB Vulg. Iren. Lucif. read ἀπολέσητε and ἀπολάβητε : Rec. Text, with inferior authorities, ἀπολέσωμεν and ἀπολάβωμεν . E.

Verse 9

2 John 1:9 . Ὁ παραβαινων , he who transgresseth ) from perfidy. ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ τοῦ Χριστοῦ , in the doctrine of Christ ) in the doctrine which teaches that Jesus is the Christ , the Son of God. οὗτος ) he , I say.

Verse 10

2 John 1:10 . Ἔρχεται , comes ) as a teacher or brother. ταύτην ) this , of Christ. οὐ φέρει , does not bring ) by a true profession. καὶ ) and moreover. χαίρειν , salutation ) Let him be to you as a heathen, to whom however a salutation is more safely addressed: 1 Corinthians 5:10 . He is speaking of a familiar greeting, and that of brethren and Christians. Salutations appear to have been more unusual of old among strangers and foreigners.

Verse 11

2 John 1:11 . Γὰρ , for ) Severity in love. κοινωνεῖ , he partakes ) For he declares him to be capable of joy and salvation, even in that antichristian state. [The bearings and relations of purer doctrine are of the nicest kind. V. g.] ἔργοις ) his works: opposed to faith and love. τοῖς πονηροῖς , evil ) On the contrary, the partaking in good works brings a blessing.

Verse 12

2 John 1:12 . Πολλὰ ) many things , of a joyful character. This therefore, which the apostle writes, was especially necessary, and admitted of no delay. οὐκ ἠβουλήθην , I did not wish ) The very task of writing is not always pleasing to a heart full of sacred love. διὰ χάρτου καὶ μέλανος , with paper and ink ) Ταπείνωσις , [7] a lowering of the style. Put in antithesis to face to face . For this short Epistle, the apostle made use of paper , and not parchment.

[7] Ταπείνωσις , as water for baptism , Acts 10:47 . T.

Verse 13

2 John 1:13 . Ἀσπάζεταί σε , salute you ) The courteousness of the apostle is seen, who announces the salutation in the words of the children. [Most delightful fellowship between the apostle and his juniors. V. g.] [8]

[8] Bengel, J. A. (1866). Vol. 5 : Gnomon of the New Testament (M. E. Bengel & J. C. F. Steudel, Ed.) (W. Fletcher, Trans.) (155 158). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 John 1". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.