The elder, to a chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth—and not only I, but also all who have come to know the truth—2 writing you for the sake of the truth that abides in1 us, and that will be with us forever: 3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Walking in Love

4 It has given me great joy to find a number of your children walking in truth, just as the Father commanded us to do.2 5 And now I ask of you, beloved lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the very beginning—that we love one another. 6 (And this is love for the Father: that we walk according to His commandments.) Just as you have heard from the beginning, this is his3 commandment; and he intends that4 you should walk in it.

Beware of Deceivers

7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who do not confess Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh; this is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 So watch over yourselves, that you might not lose the things we have labored for, but rather that you might receive a full reward.

9 Everyone who goes out ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not greet him as a brother; 11 for he who greets him as a brother is participating in his evil deeds.

Farewell Greeting

12 Though I had many other things to write to you, I did not want to communicate them using paper and ink; instead, I hope to come to you and speak with you face to face, so that our5 joy may be full.

13 The children of your chosen sister greet you.


  1. Or among
  2. Lit. just as we received a commandment from the Father
  3. Lit. the
  4. Lit. in order that, so that
  5. Some mss your