1 The elder,
to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not me alone but everyone who knows the truth,2 because of the truth that abides in us and will continue to be with us forever.
3 Grace, mercy and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Father in truth and love.
The Commandment of Love
4 I rejoice exceedingly for I have found some of your children walking in truth even as we received a commandment from the Father. 5 Now, dear lady, I ask you (not as if I am writing a new commandment to you but as one that we had since the beginning), that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
Warning Against Deceivers
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who will not acknowledge that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look at yourself so that we may not lose that which we labor for, but that we receive our full reward. 9 Whoever violates and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not allow him into your house or give him a greeting. 11 For whoever gives him a greeting becomes a partaker in his wicked work.
12 I have many things to write to you but am not willing to with paper and ink. But I hope to come to you and speak with you face to face so that our joy may be full. 13 The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.
- and the Lord Jesus Christ (3)—the earliest manuscripts have "and Jesus Christ".
- we (7)—the earliest manuscripts have "you".
- we (8)—the earliest manuscripts have "you".
- teaching of Christ (9)—the earliest manuscripts have "teaching".
- Amen. (12)—the earliest manuscripts do not have "Amen".