The Second Letter of John is one of seven catholic or universal letters of the New Testament of the Bible, along with the Letters of James, the First and Second Letters of St. Peter, the First and Third Letters of John, and Jude. These letters are so called because they are addressed to the universal Church in general, and not to a specific community such as, for example, the Philippians.
The Second Letter of St. John is similar in style and content to the Gospel of John and First Letter of John, which attests to its authenticity. Third John shows the inner workings of the Church during its difficult beginning.
The term "elect lady" refers to a specific Church community. John, "the ancient," encourages the members of the church community to show their Christianity by adhering to the commandment of mutual love and the historical truth about Jesus, namely, that He is the Word made Flesh.
As First John, he calls those who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh "the deceitful one and the antichrist" (2 John 7).
The following Scripture is from the Douay-Rheims Bible, now in the public domain. The Douay-Rheims Bible was the standard English Bible for Catholics for over 300 years, and still remains in use today. The Douay-Rheims Bible was the first approved English translation of St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate Bible. The Old Testament translation was completed at the English College of Douai, France in 1609, and the New Testament at the English College of Rheims, France in 1582. The Douay-Rheims Bible was revised by Bishop Challoner in England from 1749 to 1752. The Haydock Douay-Rheims Bible of 1814 was the one upon which President John F. Kennedy took the oath of office on January 20, 1961 to become the 35th President of the United States.
1 The ancient to the lady elect, and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth, 2 For the sake of the truth which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. 3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus the Son of the Father; in truth and charity.
4 I was exceeding glad, that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as writing a new commandment to thee, but that which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is charity, that we walk according to his commandments. For this is the commandment, that, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in the same.
7 For many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: this is a seducer and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that you lose not the things which you have wrought: but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. 11 For he that saith unto him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked works.
12 Having more things to write unto you, I would not by paper and ink: for I hope that I shall be with you, and speak face to face: that your joy may be full. 13 The children of thy sister Elect salute thee.