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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 2

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

2 Timothy 2:1

Lenski gave "Join in suffering what is bad" as the heading of this chapter.

How can one continue and "be strong" in the God’s grace and favor? Through their continual prayers and devotions, and unceasing study and perseverance, and following after righteousness and holiness.

Verse 2

2 Timothy 2:2

Things -- heard = 1) either the total gospel message itself, or 2) the charge to Timothy to preach the gospel.

Witnesses = many had heard Paul’s preaching, and/or many witnessed Timothy’s charge.

Many however understand this to mean what Paul has preached from many witnesses, like Moses and the Prophets, etc. Διὰ through the medium of, OR in the presence of.

Among many witnesses (dia pollōn marturōn). -- dia in this sense ... suggests that it is a legal phrase “supported by many witnesses.” Not mere spectators, but testifiers. See Paul’s use of dia 1 Thessalonians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 2:4; Romans 2:27; Romans 14:20. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 gives many witnesses of the resurrection of Christ. (Robertson’s Word Pictures)

Be able = competent men. Thayer, "sufficient in ability."

Teach others = the plan of propagating the truth, hence, "preacher-training" schools.

Verse 3

2 Timothy 2:3

Hardness = hardships, suffering, afflictions, difficulties troubles.

Three illustrations: (metaphors)

1) a soldier = ready to suffer, avoid entanglements

2) an athlete = contend lawfully

3) a farmer = patience, to receive the harvest

Verse 4

2 Timothy 2:4

Affairs - transactions, business, occupation. (Any thing that would distract him from his soldier duty.

It is not secular employment that is forbidden, Paul made tents, etc.)

Chosen him = enlisted him as a soldier.

Verse 5

2 Timothy 2:5

Strive for masteries = contend competitively in a game.

Lawfully = legitimately (according to the rules): - lawfully. νομίμως nomimōs; from νόμιμος.

Many have the attitude, "I’ll do it my way!"

Verse 6

2 Timothy 2:6

Metaphor of the field-laborer, or farmer. Greek "land worker"

NIV "hardworking farmer" ESV, RSV

Timothy, should be the first to profit from his exhortations and strivings.

Point: The gospel produces hardships, sufferings, and persecutions, and Timothy should expect to receive that also.

Verse 7

2 Timothy 2:7

Consider what I say - Apply my metaphors in a proper manner. To put your mind (nous) on. See Ephesians 3:4

Consider the force of the illustrations I have given from the soldier, the contender in the games, and the husbandmen, as applying to thyself in thy ministry. JFB

Understanding = knowledge, intellect. a putting together, comprehension.

Point: Timothy, consider that hardships, and persecutions that may come your way and that you may have to be the first (or a leader) to partake of them.

Verse 8

2 Timothy 2:8

Risen from the dead = The constant theme of Paul’s preaching.

Seed of David = Is he stressing his humanity, OR his lineage as evidence of Messiahship, or both.

According to my gospel = Comp. Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25, and see 1 Corinthians 15:1; 2 Corinthians 11:7; Galatians 1:11; Galatians 2:2; 1 Timothy 1:11.

Some see this as a reference to the gospel penned by Luke. Just at Mark is said to have presented Peter’s gospel, so Luke is said by early writers (Jerome, etc) to have penned Paul’s gospel .

Verse 9

2 Timothy 2:9

Word of God not bound = Gospel message had already been effectively planted in many places.

Verse 10

2 Timothy 2:10

The elect’s sake = They benefited from the faithful preaching and suffering of Paul.

Note: Paul had no doubts, and no compromising of the truth he preached. The elect’s necessary fidelity would be greatly encouraged and aided by Paul’s faith suffering an martyrdom.

Verse 11

2 Timothy 2:11

This is a faithful saying ... 1) Is this Paul’s introduction to quoting a truth, or a hymn; OR 2) simply his own way of emphatically affirming the truth of what he is saying.

1) Many think it is part of an ancient hymn because of the introduction and the symmetry and meter of the saying. 2) Others (Lenski, Coffman) assert that there’s no need to think so. No evidence of such a hymn before this.

"It is possible that from here to the end of 2 Timothy 2:13 we have the fragment of an early hymn. There are four conditions in these verses (2 Timothy 2:11), all of the first class, assumed to be true." (Robertson’s Word Pictures)

If we died with him.. Baptism - Romans 6:3-5, Aorist "we died", pointing backward to a specific event or action.

We shall live with him -- Cf. Romans 6:4-5 ; Romans 6:8 John 14:19; 2 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:10

cont. in 2 Timothy 2:12

Verse 12

2 Timothy 2:12

If we suffer -- trials, hardships, persecutions, even martyrdom ...

We shall reign -- Cf. Revelation 6:9-11 (Revelation 5:10)

If we deny -- Matthew 10:33;

Verse 13

2 Timothy 2:13

If we believe not (faithless) -- It does NOT mean that if we become faithless, he will still nevertheless save us (as taught by Calvinists). But it is a contrast, if we prove unfaithful, Christ is always faithful and trustworthy.

He cannot deny himself -- Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2

Verse 14

2 Timothy 2:14

These things -- cause those false teacher to remember.

Strive not -- Needless and useless arguments. Religious scholars have argued over silly things while the people needed exhortations and teachings (How many angels can stand on the head of pin.). (During the Russian Revolution the "clergy" were arguing over the church vestments!)

Verse 15

2 Timothy 2:15

Study -- Give diligence -- "Do your best" The subject matter of "study" here is not the scriptures, but one’s self.

The main emphasis is on "rightly dividing the word of truth." = to cut something straight (correctly), to hold a straight course faithfully, (as plowing a straight furrow). The old expositors understood this as a reference to making the proper division between the law and the gospel, between the OT and the NT.

Verse 16

2 Timothy 2:16

Shun -- a strong word and means literally to make a circuit so as to avoid, (Lenski).

"To turn one’s self about for the purpose of avoiding something," (Thayer)

Profane = ref to what said in ( 2 Timothy 2:14 ) two verse previous "striving about words". Some things are "profane" in spite of a cloak of piety.

Vain babblings =

The end result of such disputes is not righteousness, but ungodliness.

Verse 17

2 Timothy 2:17

Canker (gangrene) -- spread, or grow like gangrene. A medical term (picked up from Dr. Luke?) for the consuming progress of mortifying disease.

Hymenaeus and Philetus -- false teachers, see v. 18

See James 5:19 note on APOSTASY

Verse 18

2 Timothy 2:18

Who concerning the truth have erred - Just two persons are mentioned, and to what extent they had erred is unknown. Paul mentions only one point - that pertaining to the resurrection; but says that this was like a gangrene. (Barnes)

Wandered --

The resurrection -- their doctrine is identified as gangrene, they had spiritualized the resurrection (like Philo did the O.T.)

Augustine supposes, that they taught that there was no resurrection but that which occurs in the soul when it is recovered from the death of sin, and made to live anew.

Destroy the faith = their false doctrine was...

Overthrow-- trying to subvert "the foundation" on which alone faith can rest secure (2 Timothy 2:19; compare Titus 1:11).

Verse 19

2 Timothy 2:19

Foundation -- of a house - the House of God.

Foundation = in this context it seems the foundation of God he speaks of is the church - cf. 1 Timothy 3:15

Y et the foundation of the church which God had laid remained firm; compare Ephesians 2:20,

Stands = Ἕστηκεν standeth, in contrast with overthrow (2 Timothy 2:18).

Seal -- A seal is used for security Matthew 27:66, or as a mark of genuineness; Revelation 9:4. The seal here is one that was affixed to the foundation, and seems to refer to some inscription on the foundation-stone which always remained there, and which denoted the character and design of the edifice. (Barnes)

Comp. Deuteronomy 6:9; Deuteronomy 11:20; Revelation 21:14. There are two inscriptions on the foundation stone, the one guaranteeing the security, the other the purity, of the church.

Verse 20

2 Timothy 2:20

Vessels ... NIV "articles" "things" "dishes" [See The Message ] // Romans 9:21-23 Paul was "a chosen vessel" Acts 9:15

Lesson: In the church all kinds of people, good and bad, truthful and erroneous, vessels for various use.

Verse 21

2Tim 2:21

These = the iniquity of v. 19

Point: Paul urges those to whom he is committing stewardship of the truth to separate themselves from dishonorable men as Hymenaeus and Philetus.

Verse 22

2 Timothy 2:22

Vs. 22 returns to thought of vs. 16.

Flee -- shun, run away,

Lusts -- "desires:

Righteousness -- doing wha is right and good. (justice).

Verse 23

2 Timothy 2:23

RSV -- "stupid, senseless controversies"; silly, ignorant disputes, over law traditions. [ ill. putting false teeth in was regarded as work on the Sabbath; travel from one’s possession on a Sabbath, how many angels on the point of needle, color of baptismal robes, etc.

ESV -- "foolish, ignorant controversies"

Gender strifes.. Never really going to "settle" such question, no standard or authority for a right answer.

Verse 24

2 Timothy 2:24

Servant of the Lord -- Moses’s designation.

How is the "striving" to be harmonized with:

// Philippians 1:27; Romans 15:30; Judges 1:3

Strive here means to be quarrelsome.

Verse 25

2 Timothy 2:25

v.25 Correcting opponents.

Repentance -- a change of mind, and come to know and acknowledge the truth.

Verse 26

2 Timothy 2:26

Captive.. Jesus in Luke 5:10 of catching men (like fish) said to Peter, James and John.

At his will -- to do his (the devil’s ) will.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 2". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/2-timothy-2.html. 2021.
 
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