Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 1: 2 John 1

2 John 1
The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

Background Information
The book of 2 John is what we call an epistle. An epistle is a letter. The epistles of the New Testament are letters written by Christian leaders to churches and individuals. The thing that makes these letters unique is that God directed the writers so that what they wrote was exactly what He wanted said. In other words, while we think of them as letters from men like Paul and John, they are ultimately letters from God.

The John who is believed to have written 2 John (as well as the Gospel of John, 1 John, 3 John, and Revelation) was one of Jesus’ original twelve disciples or apostles.

The term elder was commonly used of church leaders in the New Testament. While it can refer to an older person who would have been a natural leader, it also refers to those who held the office that we would call pastor today. Unlike many modern churches, the churches of the New Testament period seem to have had multiple pastors. There may have also been a wider use of the term elder, as the Jews of the New Testament era called their religious-political leaders elders too.

Related Scriptures
Matthew 10:2
Acts 14:21-23 (Here the apostles who had started churches appointed elders to lead those churches)
Acts 15:22-31
1 Timothy 5:17-19
1 Peter 5:1-5 (An example of another apostle, Peter, who calls himself an elder, followed by an example of elder also referring to older men.


1. How does John identify himself in this letter?

2. In addition to his role as an “elder” what office did John hold?

3. Which other apostle is also called an elder in the Bible?

4. As an elder, is John someone whose word would be taken as authoritative?

Related Scriptures
Matthew 24:31
Luke 18:7
Romans 8:33
Colossians 3:12-13
1 Peter 1:1-2

Background Information
The lady to whom this letter is addressed is described as “elect”. Elect in the Bible refers to those who are chosen or favorites. While Christians argue over whether God individually chooses some people to be saved or not, we must all recognize that He has chosen to save all who trust Jesus as Savior. We must also realize that salvation gives us a special place in relation to God.

More Related Scriptures
Mark 15:39-41
Acts 1:13-14
Acts 9:1-2
Acts 9:36-42
Acts 12:11-16
Acts 21:8-9
Romans 16:1-4
Philippians 4:3
1 Timothy 5:1-4

Background Information
This letter is addressed to a lady. One of the issues that Christians fail to deal with well is the role that women have in the church. While the Bible in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 clearly shows that men are to be the speakers and leaders in the formal church meeting, we have to recognize that women have been among Jesus’ followers and those who served Him from the very beginning. While we should all strive to obey those teachings about authority and proper conduct in the church service, it is important that we realize that women are as important in the eyes of God as are men. Even though men are to be the pastors and church leaders, there is a place for women in God’s work that is both Scriptural and important. The “Related Scriptures” above are some of the ones that show us this.

Still More Related Scriptures
John 13:34-35 (Jesus is speaking here.)
1 John 3:14


1. To whom does John address this letter?

2. Who is included along with this lady?

3. Who, besides the writer loves this family?

4. What is the major characteristic of Christians?

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