Intro to 2 John

Introduction to NIV Study Bible | Go to 2 John


The author is John the apostle. Obvious similarities to 1 John and the Gospel of John suggest that the same person wrote all three books. Compare the following:

2Jn 5 1Jn 2:7 Jn 13:34–35
2Jn 6 1Jn 5:3 Jn 14:23
2Jn 7 1Jn 4:2–3
2Jn 12 1Jn 1:4 Jn 15:11; 16:24

See Introductions to 1 John and the Gospel of John: Author.


The letter was probably written about the same time as 1 John (a.d. 85–95), as the above comparisons suggest (see Introduction to 1 John: Date).

Occasion and Purpose

During the first two centuries the gospel was taken from place to place by traveling evangelists and teachers. Believers customarily took these missionaries into their homes and gave them provisions for their journey when they left. Since Gnostic teachers also relied on this practice (see note on 3Jn 5), 2 John was written to urge discernment in supporting traveling teachers; otherwise, someone might unintentionally contribute to the propagation of heresy rather than truth.


  • Greetings (1–3)
  • Commendation (4)
  • Exhortation and Warning (5–11)
  • Conclusion and Final Greetings (12–13)

© Zondervan. From the Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Used with Permission.

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