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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 4

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

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Verses 1-5

Preach the Word constantly (3:10-4:5)

Paul refers to his own experiences to illustrate the truth that the person who whole-heartedly follows God must expect persecution. Timothy was well aware of this, even before he joined Paul in his work. In his own neighbourhood he had seen Paul suffer because of his devotion to Christ (10-12; cf. Acts 13:50; Acts 14:5-6,Acts 14:19; Acts 16:1-2). This shows in a clearer light the difference between the true teacher and the false. The latter gains a following only by turning away from the truth of God (13).

There is little likelihood that Timothy will be easily led astray by false teaching. From childhood he has been guided by the Scriptures, and his faith in those Scriptures gives him assurance in his salvation (14-15). He must maintain this confidence, knowing that the Scriptures are divinely given and that they are God’s means of instructing people in right belief and right living. Those who are well instructed in the Scriptures will always be ready when an opportunity arises to do good (16-17).
Since God’s servants must give him an account of their service, they should not miss any opportunity to teach the Scriptures, though they must always speak in a manner suited to the circumstances (4:1-2). Things will get worse as people turn away from those who teach the Scriptures, and listen to those who teach their own theories. This is a further reason why Timothy should endure hardship and not turn aside from the work God has given him (3-5).

Verses 6-22


Knowing that he has faithfully carried out the work God entrusted to him, Paul faces execution with confidence. He looks beyond death to the full enjoyment of salvation that will be experienced by all whose love for Jesus is the controlling force in their lives (6-8).
Before he dies, Paul would like Timothy to come and visit him. He is disappointed that Demas has preferred the safety and comfort of ordinary life to the danger and hardship of life with Paul. Others have left Rome because of urgent needs in distant places (9-10). Paul has valuable help and comfort from Luke. He desires also that Mark come to Rome with Timothy, and that on the way they call at Troas to collect the books and warm clothing that Paul had left with Carpus. Tychicus will provide some help in Ephesus while Timothy is absent on his trip to Rome (11-13).
Paul warns Timothy to beware of Alexander, a person who did him much harm, possibly as a prosecution witness (14-15). After his arrest, when the Roman authorities laid charges against him, Paul had stood alone. No one was willing to witness for him in his defence. But God did not fail him, and gave him the opportunity to proclaim the gospel fully to all present. Because God was with him, he was neither attacked nor silenced (16-17). He is therefore confident that God will remain with him through whatever lies ahead and bring him safely into his heavenly kingdom (18).

Among the Christian friends whom Paul greets in Ephesus are Priscilla and Aquila, the Jewish couple who were among the first to take the gospel to Ephesus. They had now returned to Ephesus after their second period of residence in Rome, and were no doubt of help to Timothy in his difficult task (19a; cf. Acts 18:1-4,Acts 18:18-26; Romans 16:3). Another who could help Timothy was Onesiphorus, who was apparently back in Ephesus after his visit to Paul in Rome (19b; cf. 1:16-18). Erastus and Trophimus could not yet help Timothy, as they were temporarily in other parts (20).

Some of the local Christians in Rome, though unable to stay with Paul, visited him occasionally. They join in sending greetings to Timothy. With a final note urging Timothy to come with all speed, Paul signs off for the last time (21-22).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 4". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/2-timothy-4.html. 2005.
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