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Expressions of Affection and Exhortations to Faithfulness
1, 2. Salutation. According to the promise of life] St. Paul declares himself appointed an Apostle with the view of his spreading the knowledge of the life which had been promised and was now being enjoyed by Christians adopted in Christ.
3-5. The happy assurance of Timothy’s faithfulness which St. Paul’s recollections of past years supply him with.
3. I thank God] The construction is involved. What St. Paul thanks God for is Timothy’s unfeigned faith which he remembers night and day, thinking of their last sad parting and hoping to see him again.
5. Eunice] is simply described in Acts 16:1 as ’a woman that was a Jewess.’ She was Lois’ daughter, Timothy’s father was a Greek.
6-14. Exhortation to firmness in his glorious calling.
6. Stir up] as a fire that is beginning to die down. The gift of God] which he received at his ordination by the laying on of the hands of St. Paul and the presbyters of Ephesus (1 Timothy 4:14).
7. Fear] indicating a certain timidity in Timothy, like the ’Be not ashamed’ of 2 Timothy 1:8. A sound mind] RV ’discipline.’ It means self-discipline, self-control.
8. His prisoner] St. Paul was now undergoing his last imprisonment in Rome. He refers in like manner to his first imprisonment in Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 4:1; Philemon 1:9. Partaker of the afflictions of the gospel] RV ’suffer hardship with the gospel’; better, ’suffer hardship with me for the gospel’
9. Hath saved] RV, more exactly, ’saved,’ God by His free grace and mercy called, and still calls us into a state of salvation, not for our work’s sake (which is a false view of justification), but according to His own purpose and by the grace of adoption given us in Christ in eternity. How can the grace of our adoption be said to have been given us in eternity? Because what God determines is regarded as done. That grace and purpose, resolved on in eternity, was first exhibited to the world at the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, who by His death and resurrection made death as a power of no effect, and threw new light upon life and immortality by His gospel,
10. Abolished death] The resurrection of Christ showed that death was under control, and delivered believers from its fear,
12. I.. suffer these things] this imprisonment, etc. Whom I have believed] i.e. trusted. That which I have committed unto him] himself and all his hopes.
13, 14. As God will keep safe that which is committed to Him, so Timothy is by the help of the Holy Ghost to keep the good thing committed unto thee, and that good thing is the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of (from) me. There is nothing so near the heart of the aged Apostle, who knew that he was himself about to depart from the world, as that the faith which he had himself received and preached should be regarded and treasured as a sacred deposit, left in charge of the Church for the salvation of mankind. The First Epistle ends with an earnest appeal to keep the deposit, and the Second Epistle begins with the same charge. For it is one of the chief duties of bishops and rulers of the Church to recall their clergy, straying into error, to the primitive ’pattern’ (RV) of doctrine which is set before us in the sound words of the gospel.
15-18. Urging Timothy to be faithful to what he had taught him, St. Paul points to two cases, in the first of which his converts had shown unfaithfulness, and in the second courage. The Asiatic Christians, that is, some—in his bitter disappointment St. Paul says all—of those who lived in proconsular Asia, represented by Phygelus (this seems to have been the spelling of the name) and Hermogenes, of whom we know nothing more, had repudiated St. Paul’s authority. On the other hand, Onesiphorus had bravely ministered to him in his imprisonment in Rome, and before that at Ephesus. In memory of his kindness St. Paul prays that God may bless his family and utters an aspiration that mercy may be shown to him at the last day. From the form of the expression, and the fact that both here and in 2 Timothy 4:19 only the household of Onesiphorus is mentioned, it has been inferred with considerable probability that Onesiphorus was dead. On this supposition many Protestant scholars find in the utterance of St. Paul an instance of prayer for a deceased person, but others regard it only as a pious hope or wish.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany