Who was the elect-lady in 2 John? Why did he write to her? What was her role and connection with the church world?



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My brother the chosen lady in 2 John is the church.

Read the verse: The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth, NASU







I agree with our brother, the Elect-Lady is indeed the Church.

Thanks for you both's input. I'm enjoying the different discussions on topics of the Bibl.e Hopefully, more people will start to reply.

Many have debated whether the "elect" lady was an actual person (female), or a congregation and its members. 1 John seems to speak to the church in general. But 2 John seems to speak to an individual woman or local congregation. God used righteous women to host congregations at their homes and some were deaconesses who cared for the physical needs in God's churches. Paul frequently meantioned these women in his letters. We do know for sure that 3 John was written to Gaius. One thing we might want to look at is "elect" is "Kyria" in Greek which was a proper name in that time. In the last verse of that chapter he addresses her as "sister". So Paul left out many details of the addressee for a reason, maybe because of persecution many theologians say. In verse 12 he says he "trusted" or "hoped" to come to them. When he used that tone in his letters it usually meant he was restrained in some way to come to a particular place or people. I'm new to this network, I hope to share with you again.

Most commentaries are unable to draw a natural definitive conclusion.  

"Unto the elect" - eklektos - picked out, chosen to salvation through Christ.


Popular commentary:

Unto the elect lady. The term is Kyria in the Greek, a term which we know to have been a female proper name. Hence many of the best commentators from the time of Athanasius have held that this is the name of the sister. If not a proper name Kyria would be the feminine form of Kurios (Lord), the term applied to Christ, a worldly title unaccountable in the church, which does not recognize artificial distinctions of rank. To avoid this difficulty some have held that by Kyria the church is meant. It is better to regard the term a proper name.

Whom I love. That is, the mother and her children.


In my above comment I meant to say "John" left out details and the "apostles" were usually under persecution when they said they hope to come to people. sorry about that. Peace.

     21st Century Preach

      Those who are mature (elder) understand that Christ has called all men (elect) and their descendants (children) through Christ Jesus (truth).  I love you in the truth (Jesus) along with all those who have known Jesus.

      2 John 1:5, "And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another."  A lady is called to a higher standard of etiquette and social reform.  Our first commandment is to lover our brothers.  Verse 6 says, "...walk in it..."

Yes an elder according to scripture is a mature or older man or woman. Paul said to treat the older men as fathers and the older women as mothers. And elder according to Acts 20 and other scriptures are pastors/overseers as well. Elder, pastor, bishop is used interchangeably. And I understand who are the elect, as Israel is called God's elect in the OT. Now explain why he addressed her as "sister" in the last verse. Peace.

      I believe the scripture that you are referring to is 1 Timothy 5:1, "Rebuke not an elder, but intreat [him] as a father; [and] the younger men as brethren;"  Here the text is admonishing us that people hate correction.  Most people will catch a spirit when you correct them. 

     You can correct someone who is more mature (older), but intreat (encourage) them as a father.  This scripture, when taken in context is talking about having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.  Remind the male that he is a father.  Remind the male that he has responsibilities to his children and wife.  Many people will take this text out of context and say that you cannot correct an elder.  Usually this person is guilty of sexual immorality.

      2 John 1:8, "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward."  In context with receiving a full reward as the elect lady of Christ.  He that winneth souls is wise.

     Preaching 2 John 1:5, "A mature christian knows that we are to love all men whom God has called throuh Christ Jesus.  Show love towards the convict doing hard time who society wants to keep locked up forever without ministering the love of Christ.  Show some love to those who have a drug addiction whom society has written off as a hopeless case.  Show love towards people who are of a different ethnic persuasion because Christ so loves the world.

     2 John 1:13, "The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen."  Those who are mature in Christ are called to show love to all men called by God through Christ Jesus.  I believe that John is staying true to the writing style and gender of the text.  The elect lady would also be the "bride of Christ."  If not a proper name Kyria would be the feminine form of Kurios (Lord), the term applied to Christ, a worldly title unaccountable in the church, which does not recognize artificial distinctions of rank. 

     The children of the "elect lady" are those whom you have showed the love of Christ.  Sister  in the Greek adelphē, of the elect lady, connected by the tie of the Christian religion.

In the New Testament, adelphe, used

(1) in sense of physical or blood kinship;

(2) of fellow-members in Christ: "Phoebe, our sister";

(3) possibly, of a church, "thy elect sister" (2 John 1:13).


Yes that is exactly the text in which my comment comes from concerning elders. And I'm sure you know Paul addresses elders in another context in Acts 20:28... 28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood... Notice "feed", this means to shepherd/pastor. In 1 Timothy Paul is teaching Timothy about honoring elders, how to treat widows, and how to bring correction in the midst of them with respect and order. He gave Timothy the authority to rebuke those who sin and to keep order in the churches. The problem today is we don't recognize who's in authority to bring correction/rebuke and the order in which to do so. Paul gave him specific instructions on how to do so. To entreat means to request earnestly or beseech. So this tells you that you are to approach elders with respect. I'm not sure where you got the sexual immorality from in this text but you're free to share that with me as I am still learning. And I'm not sure where you were going with the soul winning interpretation in 2 John 8 either. The context of John's three letters is to remind them what they had heard and learned from the "beginning" (you'll find that word to be consistant in 1 and 2 john) because deceivers were among them.

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

 7For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

So love, truth, and the doctrine of Christ is what John was admonishing them to abide in because there is a reward for those who abideth in them. But I do believe he was writting to the literal church but I thought I would bring up the controversial info as well. As I do on Theologica as well. And showing love for a prisoner, drug addict, or person from another ethnic group sounds very pious but lets remember the proper context of the commandment of love that originated in the OT. We are to love our neighbor/brother first. Jesus commanded the disciples in John 13 to love one another. And that you will know who his disciples were because of their love for one another. Sometimes we extend love to everybody but our own brothers and sisters and don't win many of the ones we call ourselves ministering to. Oh, and we're the body of Christ, we won't become the bride of Christ until the Bridegroom unites with us and we have the marriage supper in heaven.  

Revelation 19:7-9
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

     1 Timothy 5:2, "The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity."  The theme of the text is to intreat (encourage) and promote pure living.  The text deals with relationships.

     The bride is a woman just married or about to be married according to Webster. 

     Not to stray to far from the original question, who is the "elect lady" and why is she called "sister?"    The elect lady can be a literal lady, a church or an individual child of God.  I believe the text is suggesting that all three should be mature in Christ and love not only those who are in church on Sunday morning, but show some love to your family who are also called by God through Christ Jesus.

     The children are the product of love.  You are here because of love between your mother and father.  The "sister" (feminine gender) is simply symbolizing that we are the "elect lady" (bride) of Christ.  If you do not prefer bride let's say that Christ is our "head."  He is the head of the church, head of your life and the head of my home.  The reward is the works that we do for Christ which is winning souls for Christ through the love of Jesus.   If we are not showing love to the world than there is no reward.  Love outside of the love of Christ is meaningless. 

     Keep in mind that the text is packed with meaning.  Not to say a slight difference of interpretation is incorrect.  The moral lesson should be the same.     

Lol... Webster doesn't understand what the Revelation says about the bride and the Bridegroom. We will become the bride when we have made ourselves ready and have been granted that clean, fine linen. (Glorification) 

7 Let us be glad and rejoice , and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come , and his wife hath made herself ready . 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

We aren't there yet! I'm married... My wife didn't become a bride until she was adorned on the wedding day and walked down the isle. "Here comes the bride, all dressed in white".

I agree with the "sister" interpretation... But I don't agree totally with your interpretation on 1 Timothy 5. I see Paul commanding him to entreat them with all purity when you look at it grammatically. This chapter was instructing him on how to treat the elders and widows. I don't see where Paul is instructing him to admonish them to live a pure life in verse 2. But this post isn't about that as you stated. Peace.


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