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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
2 Timothy 2

 

 

Verses 1-26


Exhortations to Flrmness, Uncontentiousness, and Perseverance

1-26. The duties of God's ministers are, (1) to maintain the faith against assailants and seducers (2 Timothy 2:1-2, 2 Timothy 2:14-21, 2 Timothy 2:26), and, (2) to be brave and patient (2 Timothy 2:3-13, 2 Timothy 2:22-25).

1. Therefore] will then. Be strong] show the strength which is yours as a Christian and as a minister of Christ.

2. The Apostle refers especially to the charge that he had given to Timothy at his ordination in the presence of the presbyters and others who assisted at it. This charge contained a summary of the faith, which in turn Timothy was to hand on to others. Teach others] probably, 'teach them to others.' They have now been stereotyped in the Scriptures of the NT. and in the Creeds.

3-6. Endure hardness] RV 'suffer hardship with me.' A good soldier] The soldier's virtue is to be shown in resisting, (1) the enemies of the faith, (2) all evil; and with this end in view he will not devote himself to other occupations, but observes the rules of his service. God's minister must be like him, and like the labourer who works hard in the field. In which case, St. Paul adds, he has, like the husbandman, a right to a living wage.

7. If Timothy thinks it over, he will see that it is only reasonable that the presbyter should be supported by a stipend, answering to the labourer's wages.

8. Timothy is to be firm and unflinching in maintaining the doctrines of the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ, which his adversaries denied.

9, 10. As an evil doer] St. Paul was now probably imprisoned on the charge of setting fire to Rome with the other Christians. He was willing to endure that or anything else provided that so he might make known the salvation in Christ to those whom God had chosen to know it; if the preacher was in chains, the word he preached was unfettered and had free course. St. Paul says this in part as an encouragement to Timothy to suffer with him (2 Timothy 2:3).

11-13. The Apostle quotes a saying or hymn in use among Christians, which is applicable from its reference to endurance.

11. A faithful saying] 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Timothy 4:9.

13. He abideth faithful] We have been admitted into covenant with Him, and whatever we may do, He will observe the terms of the agreement, whether they bring us good or evil.

14-21. Urgent charge to Timothy to resist the heterodox teaching.

15. Rightly dividing the word of truth] The original word means either cutting a straight path for it, or dealing in a straightforward way with it.

16. They] the heterodox teachers.

17, 18. Hymenaeus] 1 Timothy 1:20. Of Philetus nothing more is known. Their heresy may have been an allegorical explanation of the Resurrection as the new life of the soul which had been imparted to it by faith in Christ. The belief that 'the resurrection is past already' may have been that Christ's Resurrection was the only one that was to be. A belief like this seems to have prevailed at Corinth: cp. 1 Corinthians 15:12, 1 Corinthians 15:16, 1 Corinthians 15:20.

19. The doctrine of the Resurrection is the sure foundation of God, which stands as a fundamental article of the Christian faith. When the time comes, the Lord will show that He knoweth them that are his, who will be those that during their life on earth have, as Christians, departed from iniquity. This seal] the inscription stamped upon the foundation stone of the faith.

20, 21. In the visible Church there would be some hearts of gold incapable of being seduced, but there would also be some of less precious material liable to be led away by the heterodox teachers; if the latter purged themselves from their false teachers by rejecting their doctrine and ministry, they too would become vessels unto honour.

22-25. Personal to Timothy.

22. Flee.. youthful lusts] avoid a young man's desires after novelty in teaching. (There is apparently no reference to the desires of the flesh.) Avoid foolish questions or speculations which gender strife, and pursue a steadfast course of piety with sincere believers, not entering into controversial disputations, but correcting opponents with gentleness and meekness, not for the sake of victory, but for their good. Also] RV 'but.'

26. St. Paul's thought passes from Timothy's behaviour towards the heterodox to what may be the results of it to themselves namely, their recovery.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 2:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/2-timothy-2.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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