The lady as a church

This letter of 2 John addressed “the elect lady and her children” and closed with the words, “The children of your elect sister greet you.”  Who is this lady?  She is commended for her piety, and warned against false teachers.  This lady has often been seen as a metaphor for a church community, the church being the body of believers as a whole and as a local congregation assembly.  The children would be members of that local group.  This writer also included a greeting from another church in the final verse.  The term “the elect” was a fairly common term for those who believed in the gospel and followed Christ.  Thus, this epistle was addressed to the church as a whole rather than to a single person.  This is true of the Catholic phrase, “Holy Mother Church”.  Have you ever heard the church called a lady?

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