From the Elder.[a]

To the chosen lady[b] and her children:

I love all of you in the truth,[c] and all those who know the truth love you. We love you because of the truth that lives in us and will be with us forever.

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, will be with us in truth and love.

I was very happy to learn that some of your children are following the way of truth, as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, this is not a new command but is the same command we have had from the beginning. I ask you that we all love each other. And love means living the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: Live a life of love.

Many false teachers are in the world now who do not confess that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human. Anyone who does not confess this is a false teacher and an enemy of Christ. Be careful yourselves that you do not lose everything you[d] have worked for, but that you receive your full reward.

Anyone who goes beyond Christ’s teaching and does not continue to follow only his teaching does not have God. But whoever continues to follow the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If someone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not welcome or accept that person into your house. 11 If you welcome such a person, you share in the evil work.

12 I have many things to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come to you and talk face to face so we can be full of joy. 13 The children of your chosen sister[e] greet you.


  1. 1 Elder “Elder” means an older person. It can also mean a special leader in the church (as in Titus 1:5).
  2. 1 lady This might mean a woman, or in this letter it might mean a church. If it is a church, then “her children” would be the people of the church.
  3. 1 truth The truth or “Good News” about Jesus Christ that joins all believers together.
  4. 8 you Some Greek copies read “we.”
  5. 13 sister Sister of the “lady” in verse 1. This might be another woman or another church.