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SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN - Chapter 1 - Verse 12

Verse 12. Having many things to write unto you. That I would wish to say. This language is such as would be used by one who was hurried, or who was in feeble health, or who hoped soon to see the person written to. In such a case only the points would be selected which were of most immediate and pressing importance, and the remainder would be reserved for a more free personal interview.

I would not write with paper. The word paper here conveys an idea which is not strictly correct. Paper, as that term is now understood, was not invented until long after this period. The material designated by the word used by John (carthv) was the Egyptian papyrus, and the particular thing denoted was a leaf made out of that plant. The sheets were made from membranes of the plant closely pressed together. This plant was found also in Syria and Babylon, but it was produced in greater abundance in Egypt, and that was the plant which was commonly used. It was so comparatively cheap, that it in a great measure superseded the earlier materials for writing—plates of lead, or stone, or the skins of animals. It is probable that the books of the New Testament were written on this species of paper. Comp. Hug, Intro. chap. iii., 11.

And ink. The ink which was commonly employed in writing was made of soot and water, with a mixture of some species of gum to give it consistency and durability.—Lucke. The instrument or pen was made of a reed.

But I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face. Marg., as in Greek, mouth to mouth. The phrase is a common one, to denote conversation with any one, especially free and confidential conversation. Comp. Nu 12:8; Jer 32:4.

That our joy may be full. Marg., your. The marginal reading has arisen from a variation in the Greek copies. The word our is best sustained, and accords best with the connexion. John would be likely to express the hope that he would find pleasure from such an interview. See Barnes "1 Jo 1:4".

Compare Ro 1:11,12.

{1} "speak face to face" "mouth to mouth" {2} "our" "your" {c} "joy" 1 Jo 1:4

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