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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 3

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New TestamentRobertson's Word Pictures

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Verse 1

Know this (τουτο γινωσκε). See 1 Corinthians 11:3; Philippians 1:12.

In the last days (εν εσχαταις ημεραις). See James 5:3; 1 Timothy 4:1.

Grievous (χαλεπο). Hard. See Ephesians 5:16.

Shall come (ενστησοντα). Future middle of ενιστημ (intransitive use), old verb, to stand on or be at hand, as in 2 Thessalonians 2:2.

Verse 2

Lovers of self (φιλαυτο). Old compound adjective (φιλοσ, αυτος), here only in N.T.

Lovers of money (φιλαργυρο). Old compound adjective, in N.T. only here and Luke 16:14. See 1 Timothy 6:10.

Boastful (αλαζονες). Old word for empty pretender, in N.T. only here and Romans 1:30.

Haughty (υπερηφανο). See also Romans 1:30 for this old word.

Railers (βλασφημο). See 1 Timothy 1:13.

Disobedient to parents (γονευσιν απειθεις). See Romans 1:30.

Unthankful (αχαριστο). Old word, in N.T. only here and Luke 6:35.

Unholy (ανοσιο). See 1 Timothy 1:9.

Without natural affection (αστοργο). See Romans 1:31.

Verse 3

Implacable (ασπονδο). Truce-breakers. Old word, only here in N.T. though in MSS. in Romans 1:31 (from α privative and σπονδη, a libation).

Slanderers (διαβολο). See 1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 2:3.

Without self-control (ακρατεις). Old word (α privative and κρατος), here only in N.T.

Fierce (ανημερο). Old word (α privative and ημερος, tame), only here in N.T.

No lovers of good (αφιλαγαθο). Found only here (α privative and φιλαγαθος, for which see Titus 1:8). See also Philippians 4:8. A papyrus describes Antoninus as φιλαγαθος and has αφιλοκαγαθια.

Verse 4

Traitors (προδοτα). Old word (from προδιδωμ), in N.T. only here, Luke 6:16; Acts 7:52.

Headstrong (προπετεις). Old word (from προ and πιπτω), falling forward, in N.T. only here and Acts 19:36.

Puffed up (τετυφωμενο). Perfect passive participle of τυφοω. See 1 Timothy 3:6.

Lovers of pleasure (φιληδονο). Literary Koine word (φιλοσ, ηδονη), only here in N.T.

Lovers of God (φιλοθεο). Old word (φιλοσ, θεος), only here in N.T.

Verse 5

A form of godliness (μορφωσιν ευσεβειας). For μορφωσιν, see Romans 2:20. The outward shape without the reality.

Having denied (ηρνημενο). Perfect middle participle of αρνεομα (see 2 Timothy 2:12).

Power (δυναμιν). See 1 Corinthians 4:20. See Romans 1:29-31 for similar description.

Turn away (αποτρεπου). Present middle (direct) imperative of αποτρεπω, "turn thyself away from." Old verb, only here in N.T. See IV Macc. 1:33.

Verse 6

That creep (ο ενδυνοντες). Old and common verb (also ενδυω) either to put on (1 Thessalonians 5:8) or to enter (to slip in by insinuation, as here). See same idea in Jude 1:4 (παρεισεδυησαν), 2 Peter 2:1 (παρεισαξουσιν), Galatians 2:4 (παρεισηλθον and παρεισακτους). These stealthy "creepers" are pictured also in Titus 1:11.

Take captive (αιχμαλωτιζοντες). "Taking captive." Present active participle of αιχμαλωτιζω, for which see 2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 7:23.

Silly women (γυναικαρια). Literally, "little women" (diminutive of γυνη), found in Diocles (comedian of 5 century B.C.) and in Epictetus. The word here is neuter (grammatical gender) plural. Used contemptuously here (only N.T. example). Ramsay suggests "society ladies." It is amazing how gullible some women are with religious charlatans who pose as exponents of "new thought."

Laden with sins (σεσωρευμενα αμαρτιαις). Perfect passive participle of σωρευω, old word from Aristotle down (from σωρος, a heap) to heap up. In N.T. only here and Romans 12:20. Associative instrumental case αμαρτιαις.

Divers (ποικιλαις). Many coloured. See Titus 3:3. One has only to recall Schweinfurth, the false Messiah of forty odd years ago with his "heavenly harem" in Illinois and the recent infamous "House of David" in Michigan to understand how these Gnostic cults led women into licentiousness under the guise of religion or of liberty. The priestesses of Aphrodite and of Isis were illustrations ready to hand. Αγομενα (present passive participle) means "continually led astray or from time to time."

Verse 7

Never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (μηδεποτε εις επιγνωσιν αληθειας ελθειν δυναμενα). Pathetic picture of these hypnotized women without intellectual power to cut through the fog of words and, though always learning scraps of things, they never come into the full knowledge (επιγνωσιν) of the truth in Christ. And yet they even pride themselves on belonging to the intelligentsia!

Verse 8

Like as (ον τροπον). "In which manner." Adverbial accusative and incorporation of the antecedent τροπον into the relative clause.

Jannes and Jambres (Ιαννης κα Ιαμβρης). Traditional names of the magicians who withstood Moses (Targum of Jonathan on Exodus 7:11).

Withstood (αντεστησαν). Second aorist active (intransitive) of ανθιστημ, to stand against, "they stood against" (with dative Μωυσε). Same word used of Elymas in Acts 13:8 and repeated here ανθισταντα (present middle indicative). Paul here pictures the seducers of the γυναικαρια above.

Corrupted in mind (κατεφθαρμενο τον νουν). Perfect passive participle of καταφθειρω, old compound, in N.T. only here in critical text. See 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 6:5 for διαφθειρω. The accusative νουν is retained in the passive.

Reprobate (αδοκιμο). See 1 Corinthians 9:27; Titus 1:16. They had renounced their trust (πιστιν) in Christ.

Verse 9

They shall proceed no further (ου προκοψουσιν επ πλειον). Future active of προκοπτω. See 2 Timothy 2:16.

Folly (ανοια). Old word (from ανοος, a privative and νους), want of sense, here only in N.T.

Evident (εκδηλος). Old word (εκ, δηλος, outstanding), here only in N.T.

Theirs (εκεινων). Of Jannes and Jambres (Exodus 7:12).

Verse 10

Didst follow (παρηκολουθησας). First aorist active indicative of παρακολουθεω, for which see 1 Timothy 4:6. Some MSS. have perfect active παρηκολουθηκας (thou hast followed). Nine associative-instrumental cases here after the verb ( teaching , διδασκαλια, Romans 12:7;

conduct , αγωγη, old word here only in N.T.;

purpose , προθεσε, Romans 8:28;

faith , πιστε, 1 Thessalonians 3:6;

longsuffering , μακροθυμια, Colossians 1:11;

persecutions , διωγμοις, 2 Thessalonians 1:4;

sufferings , παθημασιν, 2 Corinthians 1:6). The two last items belong to verse 2 Timothy 3:11.

Verse 11

What things befell me (οια μο εγενετο). Qualitative relative (οια) referring to actual experiences of Paul (εγενετο, second aorist middle indicative of γινομα) more fully described in 2 Corinthians 11:30-33. The Acts of the Apostles tell of his experiences in Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:14; Acts 13:45; Acts 13:50), in Iconium (Acts 14:1-5), in Lystra (Acts 14:6-19). See also Galatians 2:11.

What persecutions I endured (οιους διωγμους υπηνεγκα). Qualitative relative again with διωγμους. The verb is first aorist active indicative of υποφερω, old verb, to bear under as in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Delivered me (με ερυσατο). First aorist middle of ρυομα, old verb, with εκ here as in 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Used again of the Lord Jesus in 2 Timothy 4:18.

Verse 12

That would live godly (ο θελοντες ζηιν ευσεβως). "Those who desire (will, determine) to live godly." Paul does not regard his experience as peculiar, but only part of the price of loyal service to Christ.

Shall suffer persecution (διωχθησοντα). Future passive of διωκω, "shall be persecuted" (shall be hunted as wild beasts).

Verse 13

Impostors (γοητες). Old word from wailers (γοαω, to bewail), professional mourners, deceivers, jugglers. Here only in the N.T. Modern impostors know all the tricks of the trade.

Shall wax worse and worse (προκοψουσιν επ το χειρον). "Shall cut forward to the worse stage." See 2 Timothy 2:16 for προκοπτω. Χειρον is comparative of κακος, "to the worse than now."

Deceiving and being deceived (πλανωντες κα πλανωμενο). Present active and present passive participles of πλαναω. The tragedy of it all is that these seducers are able to deceive others as well as themselves.

Verse 14

But abide thou (συ δε μενε). Emphatic contrast (συ δε), "But thou." Present active imperative of μενω, common verb, to remain.

In the things which (εν οις). The antecedent to οις is not expressed ("in which things") and the relative is attracted from α accusative with εμαθες (didst learn, second aorist active indicative of μανθανω) to the case of the unexpressed antecedent (locative with εν).

Hast been assured of (επιστωθης). First aorist passive indicative of πιστοω, old verb (from πιστος, faithful), to make reliable, only here in N.T.

Knowing from whom (ειδως παρα τινων). Second perfect active participle of οιδα. Note τινων (ablative case after παρα in an indirect question). The list included the O.T. prophets, Paul, Eunice, Lois. There ought to be moral authority in such personages.

Verse 15

From a babe (απο βρεφους). Only here in the Pastorals. This teaching from the fifth year, covering the whole of Timothy's recollections. See Mark 9:21 εκ παιδιοθεν, from a child.

Thou has known (οιδας). Present active indicative, progressive perfect reaching from a babe till now. Would that Christian parents took like pains today.

The sacred writings (ιερα γραμματα). "Sacred writings" or "Holy Scriptures." Here alone in N.T., though in Josephus (Proem to Ant. 3; Apion 1, etc.) and in Philo. The adjective ιερος occurs in 1 Corinthians 9:13 of the temple worship, and γραμμα in contrast to πνευμα in 2 Corinthians 3:6; Romans 2:29 and in John 5:47 of Moses' writings, in Acts 28:21 of an epistle, in Galatians 6:11 of letters (characters). In Ephesus there were Εφεσια γραμματα that were βεβηλα (Acts 19:19), not ιερα.

To make thee wise (σε σοφισα). First aorist active infinitive of σοφιζω, old verb (from σοφος), in N.T. only here, and 2 Peter 1:16.

Which is in (της εν). Common idiom with the article, "the in." The use of the Scriptures was not magic, but of value when used "through faith that is in Christ Jesus."

Verse 16

Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable (πασα γραφη θεοπνευστος κα ωφελιμος). There are two matters of doubt in this clause. One is the absence of the article η before γραφη, whether that makes it mean "every scripture" or "all scripture" as of necessity if present. Unfortunately, there are examples both ways with both πας and γραφη. Twice we find γραφη in the singular without the article and yet definite (1 Peter 2:6; 2 Peter 1:20). We have πας Ισραηλ (Romans 11:26) for all Israel (Robertson, Grammar, p. 772). So far as the grammatical usage goes, one can render here either "all scripture" or "every scripture." There is no copula (εστιν) in the Greek and so one has to insert it either before the κα or after it. If before, as is more natural, then the meaning is: "All scripture (or every scripture) is inspired of God and profitable." In this form there is a definite assertion of inspiration. That can be true also of the second way, making "inspired of God" descriptive of "every scripture," and putting εστιν (is) after κα: "All scripture (or every scripture), inspired of God, is also profitable."

Inspired of God (θεοπνευστος). "God-breathed." Late word (Plutarch) here only in N.T. Perhaps in contrast to the commandments of men in Titus 1:14.

Profitable (ωφελιμος). See 1 Timothy 4:8. See Romans 15:4. Four examples of προς (facing, with a view to, for): διδασκαλιαν, teaching; ελεγμον, reproof, in LXX and here only in N.T.; επανορθωσιν, correction, old word, from επανορθοω, to set up straight in addition, here only in N.T., with which compare επιδιορθοω in Titus 1:5; παιδειαν, instruction, with which compare Ephesians 6:4.

Verse 17

The man of God (ο του θεου ανθρωπος). See 1 Timothy 6:11.

May be complete (ινα η αρτιος). Final clause with ινα and present subjunctive of ειμ. Αρτιος is old word (from root αρω, to fit), specially adapted, here only in N.T.

Furnished completely (εξηρτισμενος). Perfect passive participle of εξαρτιζω, rare verb, to furnish (fit) fully (perfective use of εξ), in N.T. only here and Acts 21:5. In Josephus. For καταρτιζω, see Luke 6:40; 2 Corinthians 13:11.

Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/2-timothy-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.
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