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Who is the elect lady in 2 John?



    
    

Clarify Share Report Asked October 06 2014 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
John begins his second epistle with these words: "The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth" (2 John 1:1, ESV). The apostle identifies himself as "the elder," a title that ...

October 06 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini John Appelt
The ‘elect lady’ John addressed might be an individual who some propose is named Kyria (from the Greek for ‘lady’), but she is more likely a church. There are a number of reasons to consider the lady as a particular church.

One of the primary reasons to consider that the lady is a church is the change at verse 6 from singular pronouns to plural pronouns. In verse 3, John says, “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you…” ‘You’ is singular, but John is certainly writing to them all, verse 1, but for some reason he addresses the lady and does not impart a greeting to the children. In verse 5, John specifically says, “I plead with you, lady…” ‘You’ again is singular as if John ignores the children when he reminds her of the commandment to love one another. If the lady is an individual, this does not make sense. 

But it does makes sense by considering the ‘lady’ as the church entity, thus the singular pronouns. ‘Her children’ are the members of the church, thus the plural pronouns. 

This explains the plural pronouns used in II John 1:6, 8, 10, and 12, “You heard,” “look to yourselves” “you should not lose what things we have worked for,” “you may receive,” “comes to you,” “write to you,” and “come to you.” The letter transitions to a personal message for each individual person in that church to remember to walk according to His commandment. The plural pronouns are appropriate for the people of the church.

The children are the ones who know the truth, verse 4. John rejoiced that her children are walking in the truth. Some versions have ‘some of your children,’ but ‘some’ is added by translators. This makes it clear they are members. 

Then verse 13 speaks of “the children of your elect sister.” This again points to them as the members of the church. It has been pointed out the strangeness and unnaturalness of only the children sending their greetings and not the sister. It raises questions about why the sister does not. The answer is obvious. The sister is the church, and the children are the members. 

The ‘elect lady and her children’ and the ‘elect sister’ might be seen as individuals, but John is using the metaphor in a brilliant way to describe the church and her members. The church is referred to figuratively as a bride, Ephesians 5:25, so it is appropriate for the church to be viewed in the feminine sense. 

Both the lady, verse 1, and the sister, verse 13, are designated as ‘elect.’ ‘Elect’ does not mean ‘chosen’ or ‘elected,’ but considering the Greek word ‘eklektos,’ which is more akin to ‘eclectic’ rather than ‘elect,’ it has the meaning of ‘choice ones,’ ‘valued ones’ or perhaps ‘elite ones.’ They are special and could be churches as possibly II Peter 5:13. The greeting in the letter is likely between two churches, to a ‘lady’ from ‘the children of her sister.’

January 10 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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