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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT
This Second and Third Epistles of S. John were not at first received as canonical by all Churches. See Euseb. and S. Jerom, in Catalogo, and Tillemont, art. 9, on S. John, p. 349. The style sufficiently shews they were written by S. John the evangelist. The time and place whence they were written is uncertain. The design in both is to exhort those he writes to, to stand firm in the faith of Christ against all seducing heretics, to love one another, &c. Wi. — But though these last two Epistles of the beloved apostle were frequently contested till the fourth or fifth century, from that period they have been regularly received; and even during the first ages, they were frequently cited by many of the holy Fathers as Catholic Scripture. This short Epistle may still be divided into two parts. The first, a congratulation to the lady he styles Elect, in which he felicitates her on account of the faith and virtue he had discovered in some of her children. He exhorts both them and their mother to be more and more confirmed in charity, as the essential and fundamental precept of Christianity, and of which the unequivocal mark is the observance of the other commandments. This part is from the beginning to v. 6, inclusive. The second, which begins with v. 7, and continues to the end, is to put them on their guard against the errors of Simon, of Cerinthus, of the Gnostics, and of Basilides, and prescribes the manner how they are to behave themselves towards these seducers. Though the time and place be uncertain, there is some appearance that it was written from Ephesus, when the apostle governed this Church and all the others of Asia.