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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 3

Vincent's Word StudiesVincent's Studies

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Verse 1

Comp. the beginning of 1 Timothy 4:0.

This know [τουτο γινωσκε] . The phrase N. T. o. Comp. Paul 's ginwskein uJmav boulomai I would have you to know, Philippians 1:12; and qelw de uJmav eiJudenai I would you should know, 1 Corinthians 11:3.

In the last days [επ εσχαταις ημεραις] . The phrase only here in Pastorals, Acts 2:17, James 5:3. Similar expressions are ejn kairw ejscatw in the last season, 1 Peter 1:5 : ejp' ejscatou twn cronwn at the last of the times, 1 Peter 1:20 : ejp' ejscatou cronou at the last time, Jude 1:18 ejp' ejscatwn twn hJmerwn at the last of the days, 2 Peter 3:3 : ejn uJsteroiv kairoiv in the latter seasons, 1 Timothy 4:1. The times immediately preceding Christ 's second appearing are meant. Comp. Hebrews 1:2; James 5:3.

Perilous times [καιροι χαλεποι] . Only here and Matthew 8:28. Lit. hard times : schwere Zeiten. Kairov. denotes a definite, specific season. See on Matthew 12:1; Acts 1:17.

Shall come [ενστησονται] . Or will set in. Mostly in Paul. Only here in Pastorals. See on Galatians 1:4.

Verse 2

Lovers of their own selves [φιλαυτοι] . Better, lovers of self. N. T. o. LXX Aristotle, De Repub. 2 5, says : "It is not loving one's self, but loving it unduly, just as the love of possessions."

Covetous [φιλαργυροι] . Better, lovers of money. Only here and Luke 16:14. For the noun filarguria love of money, see on 1 Timothy 6:10. Love of money and covetousness are not synonymous. Covetous is pleonekthv; see 1 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 5:11; Ephesians 5:6. See on Romans 1:29.

Boasters [αλαζονες] . Or swaggerers. Only here and Romans 1:30. See on ajlazoneiaiv boastings, James 4:16.

Proud [υπερηφανοι] . Or haughty. See on uJperhfania pride, Mark 7:22.

Blasphemers [βλασφημοι] . See on 1 Timothy 1:13. Better, railers. See also on, blasfhmia blasphemy, Mark 7:22.

Unthankful [αχαριστοι] . Only here and Luke 6:35.

Unholy [ανοσιοι] . Only here and 1 Timothy 1:9 (note).

Verse 3

Without natural affection [αστοργοι] . Only here and Romans 1:31. o LXX See on ajgaph love, Galatians 5:22, under stergein to love with a natural affection.

Truce - breakers [ασπονδοι] . N. T. o. o LXX Rend. implacable. From aj not, and spondai a treaty or truce. The meaning is, refusing to enter into treaty, irreconcilable. 140 Incontinent [ακρατεις] . Or intemperate, without self - control. N. T. o. Once in LXX, Proverbs 27:20. Akrasia incontinence, Matthew 23:25; 1 Corinthians 7:5; 1 Corinthians 1:0 Macc. 6 26; Ps. of Song of Solomon 4:3.

Fierce [ανημεροι] . Or savage. N. T. o. o LXX Comp. ajnelehmonev merciless, Romans 1:31.

Despisers of those that are good [αφιλαγαθοι] . Better, haters of good. N. T. o. o LXX, o Class. Comp. the opposite, filagaqon lover of good, Titus 1:8.

Verse 4

Traitors [προδοται] . Or betrayers. Only here, Luke 6:16; Acts 7:52. Heady [προπετεις] . Precipitate, reckless, headstrong in the pursuit of a bad end under the influence of passion. Only here and Acts 19:36. In LXX, slack, loose, hence foolish, Proverbs 10:14, and dividing or parting asunder, as the lips; of one who opens his lips and speaks hastily or thoughtlessly, Proverbs 13:3. Comp. Sir. 9 18.

High - minded [τετυφωμενοι] . Better, besotted or clouded with pride. See on 1 Timothy 3:6, and comp. 1 Timothy 6:4.

Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God [φιληδονοι μαλλον ηφιλοθεοι] . Pleasure - lovers rather than God - lovers. Both words N. T. o. o LXX

Verse 5

A form [μορφωσιν] . Only here and Romans 2:20. Morfh Form (for the want of any other rendering) is the expression or embodiment of the essential and permanent being of that which is expressed Morfwsiv, lit. forming or shaping. Yet the meaning differs in different passages. In Romans 2:20, morfwsiv is the truthful embodiment of knowledge and truth as contained in the law of God. Here, the mere outward semblance, as distinguished from the essential reality.

The power [την δυναμιν] . The practical virtue. Comp. 1 Corinthians 4:20. It is impossible to overlook the influence of Romans 1:29-31 in shaping this catalogue.

Turn away [αποτρεπου] . N. T. o. Comp. paraitou avoid, chapter. 2 Timothy 2:23; ejktrepomenov turning away, 1 Timothy 6:20; and ejkklinete turn away, Romans 16:17.

Verse 6

Of this sort [εκ τουτων] . Lit. of these. The formula often in Paul. Which creep [οι ενδυνοντες] . N. T. o. Thrust themselves into. Comp. Jude 1:4, pareiseduhsan crept in privily (see note); 2 Peter 2:1 (note), pareisaxousin shall privily bring in; and Galatians 2:4, pareisaktouv brought in by stealth.

Lead captive [αιχμαλωτιζοντες] . Only here in Pastorals. See on captives, Luke 4:18; and 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Silly women [γυναικαρια] . N. T. o. o LXX Silly is expressed by the contemptuous diminutive. Comp. Vulg. mulierculas.

Laden [σεσωρευμενα] . Only here and Romans 12:20, citation. In LXX, see Judith 14 11, of loading a wagon with the property of Holofernes. It implies heaped up; heavily laden.

Led away [αγομενα] . Away is superfluous. It is only an inference. The meaning is under the direction of. Comp. Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18. Divers [ποικιλαις] . In Pastorals only here and Titus 3:3. Lit. variegated, of different tints. See on manifold wisdom, Ephesians 3:10. Ephesians 3:141

Verse 7

Ever learning. From any one who will teach them. See on 1 Timothy 5:13. It is a graphic picture of a large class, by no means extinct, who are caught and led by the instructions of itinerant religious quacks. Never able [μηδεποτε δυναμενα] . Because they have not the right motive, and because they apply to false teachers. Ellicott thinks that there is in dunamena a hint of an unsuccessful endeavor, in better moments, to attain to the truth.

Verse 8

As [ον τροπον] . The formula occurs in the Synoptic Gospels (see Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34), and in Acts (i. 11; Acts 7:28), but not in Paul. Jannes and Jambres. According to tradition, the names of the chiefs of the magicians who opposed Moses. Exodus 7:11, Exodus 7:22.

Of corrupt minds [κατεφθαρμενοι τον νουν] . Better, corrupted in mind. The verb, N. T. o. Comp. diefqarmenwn ton noun corrupted in mind, 1 Timothy 6:5.

Reprobate [αδοκιμοι] . In Pastorals only here and Titus 1:16. A Pauline word. See on Romans 1:28, and castaway, 1 Corinthians 9:27.

Verse 9

Shall proceed [προκοψουσιν] . See on chapter 2 Timothy 2:16.

Folly [ανοια] . Only here and Luke 6:11 (note). The senselessness of their teaching, with an implication of is immoral character.

Manifest [εκδηλος] . N. T. o. LXX, 3 Macc. 3 19; 6 5.

Verse 10

Hast fully known [παρηκολουθησας] . Better, thou didst follow. See on 1 Timothy 4:6. o P.

Manner of life [αγωγη] . Or conduct. N. T. o. LXX, mostly 2nd and 3rd Macc.. Often in Class., but mostly in a transitive sense, leading, conducting.

Purpose [προθεσει] . See on Acts 11:23; Romans 9:11. In Paul, only of the divine purpose.

Long - suffering, charity, patience. For long - suffering, see on James 5:7. For charity rend love, and see on Galatians 5:22. For patience, see on 2 Peter 1:6; James 5:7.

Verse 11

Persecutions, afflictions [διωγμοις, παθημασιν] . Diwgmov persecution, only here in Pastorals. Occasionally in Paul. Paqhma, only here in Pastorals. Often in Paul, usually in the sense of sufferings, but twice of sinful passions, Romans 7:5; Galatians 5:24.

Antioch, Iconium, Lystra. See Acts 13:50; Acts 14:2 ff.; Acts 14:19. 'these cities may have been selected as illustrations because Timothy was at home in that region. See Acts 16:1, Acts 16:2. Antioch is mentioned by Paul, Galatians 2:11. Iconium and Lystra nowhere in his letters.

Delivered [ερυσατο] Often in Paul. Originally, to draw to one's self; to draw out from peril. Paul, in Romans 11:26, applies the prophecy of Isa 69:20 to Christ, who is called a oJ rJuomenov the deliverer, LXX

Verse 12

Who will live [οι θελοντες ζην] . Whose will is to live, or who are bent on living.

Godly [ευσεβως] . Only here and Titus 2:12. Comp. kat' eujsebeian according to godliness, 1 Timothy 6:3; Titus 1:1; and ejn pash eujsebeia in all godliness, 1 Timothy 2:2. See also 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 6:11, and on godliness, 1 Timothy 2:2.

Shall suffer persecution [διωχθησονται] . In this sense only here in Pastorals.

Verse 13

Seducers [γοντες] . N. T. o. Better, impostors or deceivers. From goan to howl. Originally, one who chants spells; a wizard, sorcerer. Hence, a cheat.

Shall wax worse and worse [προκοψουσιν επι το χειρον] . Lit. shall proceed to the worse. The formula, Past o. Comp. verse 9 and chapter 2 Timothy 2:16. Deceiving [πλανωντες] . Properly, leading astray. See on planoiv seducing, 1 Timothy 4:1.

Verse 14

Hast been assured of [επιστωθης] . N. T. o. Quito often in LXX So 2 Samuel 7:16, shall be established (of the house of David) : Psalms 87:37, steadfast in his covenant.

Verse 15

From a child [απο βρεφους] . Mostly in Luke. o P. Only here in Pastorals. See on 1 Peter 2:2. Comp. Mark 9:21, ejk paidioqen from a child.

The holy Scriptures [ιερα γραμματα] . Note particularly the absence of the article. Grammata is used in N. T. in several senses. Of characters of the alphabet (2 Corinthians 3:7; Galatians 6:11) : of a document (Luke 16:6, take thy bill) : of epistles (Acts 28:21) : of the writings of an author collectively (James 5:4 James 5:7) : of learning (Acts 26:24, polla grammatra much learning). In LXX, ejpistamenov grammata knowing how to read (Isaiah 29:11, Isaiah 29:12). The Holy Scriptures are nowhere called iJera grammata in N. T. In LXX, grammata is never used of sacred writings of any kind. Both Josephus and Philo use ta iJera grammata for the O. T. Scriptures. 142 The words here should be rendered sacred learning. The books in the writer's mind were no doubt the Old Testament. Scriptures, in which Timothy, like every Jewish boy, had been instructed; but he does not mean to designate those books as iJera grammata. He means the learning acquired from Scripture by the rabbinic methods, according to which the Old Testament books were carefully searched for meanings hidden in each word and letter, and especially for messianic intimations. Specimens of such learning may be seen here and there in the writings of Paul as 1 Corinthians 9:9 f.; 1 Corinthians 10:1 f.; Galatians 3:16f.; Galatians 4:21 f. In Acts 4:13, the council, having heard Peter's speech, in which he interpreted Psalms 118:22 and Isaiah 28:16 of Christ, at once perceived that Peter and John were ajgrammatoi, not versed in the methods of the schools. Before Agrippa, Paul drew thc doctline of the Resurrection from the Old Testament, whereupon Festus exclaimed, "much learning (polla grammata, thy acquaintanee with the exegesis of the schools) hath made thee made (Acts 26:24). To Agrippa, who was" expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews "(Acts 26:3), the address of Paul, a pulpil of Hillel, was not surprising, although he declared that Paul 's reasoning did not appeal to him. In John 7:15, when Jesus taught in the temple, the. Jews wondered and said : the;" How knoweth this man letters? " That a. Jew should know the Scriptures was not strange The wonder lay in the exegetical skill of one who had not been trained by the literary methods of the time.

To make thee wise [σε σοφισαι] . Only hero and 2 Peter 1:16;. See note there on cunningly devised. To give thee understanding of that which lies behind the letter; to enable thee to detect in the Old Testaments. books various hidden allusions to Christ; to draw from the Old Testaments the mystery of messianic salvation, and to interpret the Old Testaments with Christ as the key. This gives significance to the following words through faith which is in Christ, Jesus. Jesus Christ was the key of Scripture, and through faith in him Shripture became a power unto salvation. The false teachers also had their learning but used it in expounding Jewish fables, genealogies, etc. Hence, their expositions, instead of making wise unto salvation, were vain babblings; profane and old wives ' fables (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:16). Const. through faith, etc., with make wise, not with salvation.

Verse 16

All Scripture [πασα γραφη] . Better, every Scripture, that is, every passage of Scripture. Scripture as a whole is as aiJ grafai or aiJ grafai agiai. Iera is never used with grafh. Grafh is the single passage, usually defined by this, or that, or the, or which saith. 143 Is given by inspiration of God [θεοπνευστος] . N. T. o. o LXX From qeov God and pnein to breathe. God - breathed. The word tells us nothing of the peculiar character or limits of inspiration beyond the fact that it proceeds from God. In construction omit is, and rend. as attributive of grafh every divinely - inspired Scripture.

And is profitable [και ωφελιμος] . According to A. V., kai and is merely the copula between two predicates of grafh. It is divinely inspired and is profitable. According to the interpretation given above, kai has the force of also. Every divinely - inspired Scripture is, besides being so inspired and for that reason, also profitable, etc. Wfelimov profitable, Past o. See on 1 Timothy 4:8.

For doctrine [προς διδασκαλιαν] . Better, teaching. Comp. to make thee wise, ver. 15.

Reproof [ελεγμον] . Better, conviction. N. T. o. o Class. Comparatively frequent in LXX, mostly in the sense of rebuke : sometimes curse, punishment. See Ps. of Solomon. 10 1, but the reading is disputed with ejlegcw. See on the verb ejlegcein, John 3:20.

Correction [επανορθωσιν] . N. T. o. Twice in LXX Restoring to an upright state (ojrqov erect); setting right.

Instruction [παιδειαν] . Better, chastisement or discipline. See on Ephesians 6:4. In LXX mostly correction or discipline, sometimes admonition. Specially of God 's chastisement by means of sorrow and evil

Verse 17

Perfect [αρτιος] . N. T. o. LXX Rev. complete; but the idea is rather that of mutual, symmetrical adjustment of all that goes to make the man : harmonious combination of different qualities and powers. Comp. katartisiv perfecting, 2 Corinthians 13:9 : katartismov perfecting (as accomplished), Ephesians 4:12 : katartisai make perfect or bring into complete adjustment, Hebrews 13:21.

Thoroughly furnished [εξηρτισμενος] . The same root as artiov. It fills out the idea artiov; fitted out. Only here and Acts 11:5 (note). o Class.

Unto all good works [προς παν εργον αγαθον] . More correctly, every good work. Any writing which can produce such profitable results vindicates itself as inspired of God. It is to be noted that the test of the divine inspiration of Scripture is here placed in its practical usefulness.

Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/2-timothy-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.
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