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English Bible Dictionary

The Second and Third Epistles of John

 

The second epistle is addressed to an individual woman. One who had children, and a sister and nieces, is clearly indicated. According to one interpretation she is "the Lady Electa," to another, "the elect Kyria," to a third, "the elect Lady." The third epistle is addressed to Caius or Gaius. He was probably a convert of St. John, Epist. (3 John 1:4) and a layman of wealth and distinction, Epits. (3 John 1:5) in some city near Ephesus. The object of St. John in writing the second epistle was to warn the lady to whom he wrote against abetting the teaching known as that of Basilides and his followers, by perhaps an undue kindness displayed by her toward the preachers of the false doctrine, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The third epistle was written for the purpose of commending to the kindness and hospitality of Caius some Christians who were strangers in the place where he lived. It is probably that these Christians carried this letter with them to Caius as their introduction.

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