Scripture portrays Jerusalem as the mother of Israel, an image that is reflected in Galatians and Revelation. The evidence strongly indicated she was at least a diakonos, a deacon like Phoebe in Romans 16—one who gave pastoral leadership to a house church, if not an episcopos, an overseer—one who had the oversight of a number of house churches. That responsibility rested most heavily upon the shoulders of one person, the chosen lady to whom this letter was written. John 7:53–8:11 in the New Revised Standard Version: . 2 John. 53 Then each of them went home, 1 while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. For example, would a house church have different sets of spiritual “children” under the same roof (some are Gaius’ children, some are the elect lady’s, etc.)? A third argument for taking the chosen lady as a metaphor for a church is that Israel and the church are frequently portrayed with feminine metaphors. There is no more reason to make the “chosen lady” into a church than there is to make the “beloved comrade” into a church. Respecting the "new commandment" and "from the beginning," see notes on 1 John 2:7. In v. 6 the addressee is mentioned using second … Certainly, there were people still living in Philippi who knew him by name, but Luke does not tell us that name. Prudentiana and Praexedis in Rome honors four women, one of whom is identified as Theodora Episcopa—Episcopa is the feminine form of episkopos, the word translated “bishop” or “overseer.” Although the hands of ancient misogynists tried to scratch out the feminine endings on “Theodora” and “Episcopa,” the old inscription remains a legible witness to one who was both a woman and a bishop. “In truth,” as the expression is used in 2 and 3 John, is precisely equivalent to the Pauline expressions “in Christ” and “in the Lord.” Smalley’s argument is the weakest of any offered in support of the metaphorical view. Have we not all received and written personal letters that were addressed primarily to one member of the household but meant to be shared with the whole family? 2 John. The wording differs little from the address of 3 John “to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.” Smalley notes nothing unusual about John’s description of Gaius as one “Whom I love in the truth,” He views it as a rather conventional greeting in his comments on 3 John 1,5 which is precisely what it is. uncritically assumes that the chosen lady and her chosen sister (2 John 13) should be taken as metaphors for churches. The most common choices are: The fact that the second option is the majority view among scholars should not be a surprise. It could meanthat the person was old. We will probably not know this side of heaven. There is clear evidence within the New Testament and mounting evidence from other sources that women served alongside men in prominent places of leadership in the early church. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding. Aida Besancon Spencer, in her book Beyond the Curse, cites Clement of Alexandria in the second century AD who clearly used the word to denote persons ordained to places of public ministry.1. The word translated “Lady” occurs nowhere in the New Testament outside of 2 John. That being said, I think it is an interesting question to ask just how 1, 2, and 3 John are related. He may well have been alive when Acts was written. The lady is really a church full of people! Israel is portrayed as a woman— the sometimes unfaithful wife of Yahweh. In a non-technical context, it would be translated “shepherd.” (The translation “pastor” is simply the substitution of a Latin word for a Greek word.) This argument is unconvincing. John is the "Elder." Sarah, Perpetua, Rhoda, Thecla, and the “ladies” mentioned in the Septuagint, were high-status women; some were in charge of their own households. In my time as a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Dale Moody often exhorted us to “Remember that the Bible often sheds considerable light on the commentaries!” Yet all too often commentators follow the interpretations of previous commentators, like sheep following the sheep in front of them right over a cliff. Sign up for our newsletter to receive our most up-to-date news, articles, and information. And so the third option for interpretation would threaten some strongly-held beliefs about the roles of women in the church. For example, Romans 16 lists a number of leaders well-known to the early church but unknown to us—including two otherwise-unknown apostles, a man named Andronicus and a woman named Junia. Drifting back and forth between you (singular) and you (plural) is typical of informal personal correspondence. That is all we know about her, but that is enough to uphold her as a worthy model for a church leader and as a biblical example of a Christian woman who engaged in public ministry that included teaching and preaching the word of God. John called those whom he led his children. Then, in Romans 16, Paul sends greeting to Rufus and his mother. She was so full of the Spirit of Christ that anyone who loved him would have to love her. Before the Industrial Revolution, nearly all industry was cottage industry and nearly all women’s work included much more than caring for children and keeping house. Faith is often characterized as a walk. Ted's Response: In most of Chapters 12-14 of Revelation, John makes a restatement of the second half of the 70th Week (just as he did in Chapter 11). Very few scholars take either Greek word to be a proper name. We do not know, but we may be sure that she struggled to balance public ministry with many other responsibilities, just as female and male ministers do today. Simply looking at how the language of lady and children is used in verse 1 (which is used again in verse 4), a metaphor for an entire church seems odd to me. It is also the word used for a master over a slave or servant (for example, Luke 12:42). Perhaps God did not call her to a place of public ministry until later in life. We have other examples to show that early Christians often referred to Rome as “Babylon.” Thus, we can safely conclude mat “Babylon” means Rome in 1 Peter 5:13. I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth—because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. 2 John 1 reads: To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth,”, Back up. Brief Summary: The Book of 2 John is addressed to "the chosen lady and her children." It was a way of expressing the hope that the same God who brought down the oppressive power of Babylon long ago would also bring down the oppressive power of Rome. Clearly, kuria is not a rare or obscure word. It is not unusual for the Scripture to do so (EPHESIANS 5:22f; II CORINTHIANS 11:2; etc.). Everything in 2 John is found in fuller form in 1 John. She was a gracious and loving person. It seems to me that it is far more likely that there was an actual lady in some kind of leadership in this church, and the members looked to her as a spiritual parent… which often signified an authoritative, even pastoral, role (see the Apostle Paul calling Onesimus his child in the letter to Philemon). For example, Luke 12:42 ) metaphorical view philip’s four daughters, who were products of her kept. 16, paul sends greeting to Rufus and less about his mother, even. 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