Today’s question: “Could the “elect lady” of 2 John be a woman pastor/elder [see this article]?”
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I agree with your conclusion that the “Elect Lady” is Christ’s Bride or the “woman” bearing seed in Genesis 3:15.
Specifically, the Elect Lady refers to Galatians 4:26, and she is the “Jerusalem above” (our Mother) and her children are “children of promise”. The “promise” is the indwelling Holy Spirit, as illustrated in Acts 1:4.
Galatians 4 is where the Hagar/born of the flesh and Sarah/born of the Spirit contrast is used by Paul to illustrate the “false” versus “true” children of Abraham, which was key to Jewish thinking.
So, in summary, the (1) children and (2) Elect Lady are (1) believers born (of Spirit) from (2) The mother above (i.e. New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:10). These believers have the “indwelling Holy Spirit” given from Heaven through their belief in Christ’s atoning death for them, according to the “promise” of the Father.
To supplement this, Note that 2 John:12 says “I hope to come to you and talk face to face so that our joy may be complete.”
“Face to face” refers to 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see darkly through a glass, but then we shall see FACE TO FACE.”
“Our joy may be complete” refers to John 15:11 and 1 John 1:4, where both Jesus and John, respectively in these passages, are assuring believers of their immeasurable joy when the Old Creation (this Age) is destroyed and the New Creation (coming Age) is established, as God’s Word has promised!
Also, Exodus 33:11 says God spoke to Moses “face to face”, so that expression is used to be in the direct presence of God, as is 2 Corinthians 3:18 “with unveiled faces”.
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
I think the “elect sister” in 2 John 1:13 may be a reference to Oholah in Ezekiel 23:4!
Alistair, what do you think?
Sorry, typo (my bad), Alastair
Against the purely figurative reading of “elect lady”, why would those greeting them be called the children of the “elect sister”?
John’s use of the type of e.g the Woman in Revelation is taken a stage further in his Gospel where the types take on a more individualised form, e.g. the figure of the Woman remains a type of believing Israel / Church but is concentrated in Mary (at the foot of the cross) or in Mary Magdalene in the garden so that the individual/type and their narrative/symbolic function become one.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that if in John’s Gospel “transcendent” type and “historical” individual merge, so should we simply expect a similar and deliberate polyvalence in the Epistle? Referring both to an individual female Christian “domina” or head of a household and to the (bride) Church?
Note that the ‘elect sister’ doesn’t send greetings, just her children. It is fairly natural to read this as a ‘sister’ church.