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Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 2

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "Thou therefore, my son" (su oun, teknon mou) "Thou therefore my child," an intimate appeal of Paul’s anxiety that Timothy pursue a walk of loyalty to the call and charge of the ministry.

2) "Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." (endunamou en te chariti en christou iesou) "Be empowered or dynamic by the grace in Christ Jesus," dwelling in you, or be alive, energetic, "get with it," “stay put," 2 Timothy 1:13-14; Ephesians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Joshua 1:5-6; Joshua 1:9; Philippians 4:13.

Verse 2

1) "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses" (kai ha akousas par’ emou dia pollon marturon) "And what things thou hast heard of me along with, through, or in the midst of many witnesses," perhaps at public ordinations before a presbytery and the church, as he confirmed in the faith, Acts 14:22-23; Acts 15:41.

2) "The same commit thou to faithful men" (tauta parathou pistois anthropois) "These things commit to faithful men," men to be trusted, able to teach, to stand for truth, true-to-the-faith men, 2 Corinthians 4:1-2; Colossians 1:23; Revelation 2:10.

3) "Who shall be able to teach others also." (oitines hikanoi esontai kai heterous didaksai) "Who will be competent also to teach others," the term "hikanoi" means one qualified and capable by knowledge and experience, Titus 1:9.

Verse 3

1) "Thou therefore endure hardness" (sugkapatheson) "Suffer ill with, together, or endure painful endurance." Toil and pain are conditions of success in most every achievement. It is the price paid by 1) the soldier, 2) athlete, and 3) field laborer for the victory, crown, or wage, 2 Timothy 4:5.

2) "As a good soldier of Jesus Christ." hos kalos stratiotes) "As a good soldier, or sentry of (christou iesou) Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:25; Philemon 1:2.

Verse 4

1) "No man that warreth" (oudeis strateuomenos) "No one soldiering," serving as a soldier. The soldier, athlete, and farmer are all and each conscious that they must endure pain to find again in their calling or enrollment, in pursuit of one main goal, Philippians 3:13-14.

2) "Entangleth himself with the affairs of this life" (empleketai tais tou biou pragmateiais) "Is involved or tangled in the pragmatic or practical things of life," making a livelihood for himself and his family.

3) "That he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (hina to stratologesanti arese) "In order that he may please the one having enlisted, enrolled, or conscripted (him)," the government or the army leader, etc.; a good soldier must give his undivided attention, obedience, and allegiance to his commander, Acts 20:26-27; 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Verse 5

1) "And if a man also strive for masteries" (,ean de kai athIe tis) "And if anyone also wrestles or struggles (athletically)," to win Me crown, if he endure strain, toil, and pain -- he will fail in vain if it be not according to the Word, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.

2) "Yet is he not crowned" (ou stephanoutai) "He is not crowned," declared a winner, or rewarded. He has no chance of winning, if he doesn’t play according to the rules; In this instance the rules are the Word of God, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 4:1-8.

3) "Except he strive lawfully," (ean me nomimos athlese) "Unless he wrestles or struggles athletically, lawfully, or according to the rules of competition," to exert energy, struggle, wrestle, beat the air "out of bounds" of the rules is to strive unlawfully, in vain, Mark 7:5-9. God will judge every man’s works by Christ Jesus according to the things written in the Word, 2 Timothy 4:1-2; Revelation 20:12.

Verse 6

1) "The husbandman that laboreth" (ton kopionta georgon) "The laboring husbandman." The laborer receives his wages for his toil and pain, no matter how poor the crop may be. It is the laborer’s task to labor on and on and the master’s task to pay him, Matthew 25:21; Matthew 25:23.

2) "Must be first partaker of the fruits." (de proton ton karpon metalambanein) "Must be first to partake of the fruits, of his labor." The laborer has the first claim or first lien on" the fruits of the ground to secure compensation for his labors, 1 Peter 5:4; 1 Corinthians 9:7-14; Galatians 6:6.

Verse 7

1) "Consider what I say" (noei ho lego) "Consider what things I say.” Use the illustration, apply the parable for practical, tedious going on in labors and toil, Galatians 6:9.

2) "And the Lord give thee understanding in all things" (dosei gar soi ho kurios sunesin en pasin) "For the Lord will give thee understanding in all things," Proverbs 2:7. The Lord the Great Teacher will give thee understanding or comprehension, Proverbs 1:21-22; James 1:5.

Verse 8

1) "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David.” (mnemoneue iesoun christon ek spermatos David) "Remember that Jesus Christ out of the seed (seed-lineage) of David," for strength in laboring, wrestling, or battle Timothy was to be challenged by the promise-keeping God of ages past, 2 Samuel 7:12-17; Luke 1:27; Acts 2:25-36.

2) "Was raised from the dead according to my gospel" (egegermenon ek nekron kata to evangellion mou) "is having been raised up, according to my gospel," 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 8:11; Acts 26:22-23. After our Lord’s 1) toils as a laborer, 2) battles as a soldier, and 3) struggles as a wrestler (in the flesh), He has come to be "crowned with honor and glory," Hebrews 2:9. The humanity and resurrection of Jesus Christ were no more real than that of every believer, except it be in degree, Romans 8:17-18; Hebrews 2:11.

Verse 9

1) "Wherein I suffer trouble" (en ho kakopatha) "In which I suffer ill." In which sphere of action, for declaring the resurrection gospel, Paul suffered, Acts 24:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:29-30.

2) "As an evil doer, even unto bonds" (mechri desmon hos kakourgos) "Unto bonds, like a doer of evil." For such he was persecuted, hounded on every continent he visited, 2 Corinthians 11:24-32; Ephesians 6:20.

3) "But the word of God is not bound" (alla ho logos tou theou ou dedetai) "But the Word of God has not been bound." Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalms 126:5-6. It is alive, does not return void to God’s glory and the reward of the sower, Ecclesiastes 11:1-6; Philippians 1:12; Philippians 1:14.

Verse 10

1) "Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes" (dia touto panta hupomeno dia tous eklektous) "Therefore I endure or undergo all kind of things on account of the chosen ones." As Israel was God’s chosen or elect in the Old Testament dispensation, Deuteronomy 7:6; so the church is His elect called from among the Gentiles , custodians of truth, Acts 15:3; Ephesians 3:6-10.

2) "That they may also obtain the salvation" (hina kai autoi soterias tuchosin) "In order that they also may obtain salvation;" the salvation of a life of service, useful and fruitful to the Master, Romans 9:3; Philippians 2:12.

3) "Which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." (tes en christou iesou dokses aioniou) "Which exists in Christ Jesus in association with eternal glory;" Eternal salvation from sin and hell is the possession of every believer, but the degrees of eternal glory are based on ones’ service to Christ, Romans 8:17-18; 2 Peter 1:10-11.

Verse 11

1) "It is a faithful saying" (pistos ho logos) "Faithful is the Word or saying." This refers to the challenge of the cross; first, to salvation, and second, to service, Mark 8:34-35; Galatians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 1:18.

2) "For if we be dead with him" (ei gar sunapethanomen) "For if we died with (him):" "if we have accepted his death;" we have His eternal life, John 11:25-26. The "we who are buried with him," not without Him, are the saved -- we who have peace with God, Romans 5:1; Romans 6:4-6. We rise from baptism to walk the newness of life, not get it.

3) "We shall also live with him:" (kai suzesomen) "We shall also live with (him)." This is an assurance, blessed security, John 10:27-29; John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:8; John 14:19.

Verse 12

1) "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (ei hupomenomen) "If we endure or persevere (in service);" (kai subasileusomen) "We shall also reign with him." To reign with Christ, not be reigned over by Him, it appears that one must be a member of His church who has suffered for and served Him here, Romans 8:17-18; Luke 22:28-30; Revelation 20:4.

2) "If we deny him, he also will deny us" (ei arnesometha kakeinos arnesetai hemas) "If we shall deny (perseverance), faint, or fall out, that one will also deny us," a reign with Him; Mark 8:38; Matthew 24:44-51; Matthew 25:14-30. To deny the Lord due services here His children shall at the hour of judgment for rewards "be saved as if by fire," 1 Corinthians 3:13-15.

Verse 13

1) "If we believe not" (ei apistoumen) "if we disbelieve or doubt;" If we are unfaithful, or unreliable, for a time, as David was and as Peter was.

2) "Yet he abideth faithful" (ekeinos pistos menei) "That one (Jesus Christ) remains, abides, endures, or perseveres a faithful one," Deuteronomy 7:9. Man’s unfaithfulness does not negate or make void the promises of God, Romans 3:3; John 6:37.

3) "He cannot deny himself." (arnesasthai gar heauton ou dunatai) "For to deny himself, he is not able, or he cannot," Being truthful in nature, neither God nor Jesus Christ can lie, prove false, or unfaithful, Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:1; Hebrews 6:18.

Verse 14

1) "Of these things put them in remembrance" (tauta hupomimneske) “Remind thou them (the elders and the church) of these things." The "these things" refer to 2 Timothy 2:11-13 striving about words in relation to life and eternal things.

2) Charging them before the Lord" (diamarturomenos enopion tou theou) "Solemnly witnessing (progressively) before God," 2 Peter 1:13; 2 Peter 3:1.

3) "That they strive not about words to no profit" (me logomachein epi ouden chresimon) "Not to fight with words or bicker where nothing is to be gained," or to the hurt of the church, Titus 3:9-11; Proverbs 22:10.

4) "But to the subverting of the hearers." (epi katastrophe ton akouonton) "For the overthrowing or hurt of the hearers," Titus 1:10-12.

Verse 15

1) "Study to shew thyself approved unto God" (spoudoson seauton dokimon parastesai to theo) "Be eager to present (stand up straight) thyself approved toward God," or give diligence to present thyself and thy work to God, approved. What God approves, He will bless.

2) "A workman that needeth not to be ashamed" (ergaten anepaischunton) "A workman unashamed or unblushing," that needs not blush or be ashamed. One is neither to be ashamed of the Word of God or work of God. He is to study that he may be able to teach or preach it without blushing, John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 1 Peter 3:15.

3) “Rightly dividing the word of truth" (orthotomounta ton logon tes aletheias) "Cutting straight (in an orthodox manner), (rightly dividing or dissecting) the Word of truth." Rightly administering the Word and work of God, or rightly handling it, Luke 24:44, according to the Lord’s Commission, Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.

To study and rightly divide the word of truth leads to right conclusions. To study the Word wrongly divided, out of contextual setting, leads to wrong conclusions, errors, perversions, and distortions of the Word of truth.

Verse 16

1) "But shun profane and vain babblings" (tas de bebelous kenophonias peristaso) "But the profane and empty utterances, babblings avoid or shun;" account must be given even to idle words, Matthew 12:36.

2) "For they will increase unto more ungodliness." (epi pleion gar prokopsousin asebeias) "For they will advance or lead on to or toward impiety or ungodliness," to lend an ear to or tolerate babbling faultfinders and pious critics of the Word and doctrines and work of God leads to trouble, 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Peter 2:12; Judges 1:16-19.

Verse 17

1) "And their word will eat as doth a canker" (kai ho logos auton hos gangraina nomen eksei) "And their word will have a gangrene feeding," or will eat like gangrene on the congregation or church life, hurting the usefulness of others.

2) "Of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus" (on estin Hymenaios kai Philetos) "Of whom is (are) Hymenaeus and Philetus," men who were vain babblers, profane talebearers, stink-raisers. Paul named church wreckers, 1 Timothy 1:20; as did John, also, 2 John 1:9-11.

Verse 18

1) "Who concerning the truth have erred" (oitines peri ton aletheian estochesan) "Who concerning the truth missed aim." Hymenaeus and Philetus were the more conspicuous of these false, agnostic teachers who erred regarding the resurrection, 1 Timothy 6:21.

2) "Saying that the resurrection is past already" (legontes anastasin ede gegonenai) "Claiming (that) the resurrection at that moment to have already happened," much like Corinth agnostics, 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.

3) "And overthrow the faith of some." (kai anatrepousin ten tinon pistin) "And overturn or alienate the faith (system of faith) of some," regarding the resurrection. Though the saved are now risen with Christ in the sense of regeneration, a new life, they await the bodily resurrection that is sure, Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.

Verse 19

1) "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure" (ho mentoi stereos themelios tou theou esteken) “However the firm foundation of God stands," sure, certain; Isaiah 28:16; Acts 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 3:11; 1 Peter 2:5-8. Jesus Christ is that foundation sure, in securing men from hell and a basis for an honorable life.

2) "Having this seal" (echon ten sphragida tauten) "Having, holding, or containing this (kind of) seal." This seal alludes to the identity of the builder whose name or authority was carved over doors in stone and/or in cornerstones, Deuteronomy 6:9; Deuteronomy 11:20; Revelation 21:14.


In the days of the Pharaohs, the royal cartouche was impressed upon each brick that was placed in buildings raised by royal authority. The structure was thus known to have been erected by a certain Pharaoh. Here we have the royal cartouche, of the King of Kings set upon the foundation of the great palace of the Church.

-Charles Spurgeon

3) "The Lord knoweth them that are his" (egno kurios tous ontas autou) "The Lord knew (knoweth) those being of him, his own," sealed by His spirit. His sheep are known and preserved by day and night as well as His church, Numbers 16:5; John 10:14; John 10:27; Ephesians 1:13; Matthew 16:18.

4) "And let everyone that nameth the name of Christ" (kai pas ho onomazon to noma kuriou) "And let everyone naming the name of the Lord (everyone claiming to be a Christian);" let him live a separated life, from worldliness, 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Peter 4:15-16.

5) "Depart from iniquity" (aposteto apo adikias) "Let each stand away, stand off, or be separated from unrighteous conduct or iniquity," Galatians 5:25; 1 Thessalonians 5:22.

Verse 20

1) "But in a great house" (en megale de oikia) "Now in a great house." The church of Jesus Christ is here referred to in comparison with a royal household palace, Mark 13:34-37; 1 Timothy 3:15; .

2) "There are not only vessels of gold and of silver" (ouk estin monon skeue chrusa kai argura) There are not only vessels of golden and silver (in kind)." The good and the true fitted in, built together by the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:5.

3) "But also of wood and of earth" (alla kai ksulina kai ostrakina) "But also wooden and earthen, crock kind;" of shabby or less permanent and trustworthy kind, 1 Corinthians 3:1-2.

4) "And some to honour, and some to dishonour" (kai a men eis timen a de eis atimian) "And some to honor and some toward dishonor;" The conduct of all God’s vessels, if not honorable, must be chided, corrected, or they must be cast out, 2 Timothy 4:2-5; 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:13; Titus 2:15; Hebrews 12:5; Titus 3:10.

Verse 21

1) "If a man therefore purge himself from these" (ean oun tis ekkathare heauton apo touton) "If therefore anyone cleanses himself from these (the latter) vessels of dishonor," type of misconduct, dishonorable behavior, by keeping the body under subjection, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.

2) "He shall be a vessel unto honour" (estai skeuos eis timen) "He will be a vessel to honor (the Lord);" Paul, once an earthen vessel, as a Pharisee, became a golden vessel as a Christian, to honor God; the past he counted as but dross; Read Philippians 3:4-14; Romans 12:1-2.

3) "Sanctified, and meet for the master’s use" (hegiasmenon euchreston to despote) "Having been sanctified by his own volition or choosing, suitable (in conduct) for the master’s service," 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Peter 1:4-11.

4) "And prepared unto every good work" (eis pan ergon agathon hetoimasmenon) "Having been prepared With reference to every (kind of) good work," 2 Timothy 3:17; To be "fitted," prepared for every good work, one must live a life of sanctification from evil to good, James 1:22.

Verse 22

1) "Flee also youthful lusts," (tas de neoterikas epithumias pheuge) "Flee now youthful lusts," sinful desires and lustful passions for illicit sex, material things, one’s own way, things that characterize youth, 1 Peter 2:11; 1 Timothy 4:12.

2) "But follow" (dioke de) "But pursue," seek or cultivate:

a) "Righteousness" (dikaiosunen) the righteous life.

b) "Faith" (pistin) Increase in it, Luke 17:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:10-11.

c) "Charity" (agapin) John 13:34-35; cultivate it, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10; John 15:12; John 15:17.

d) "Peace" (eirene) Matthew 5:9; James 3:17; 1 Peter 3:10-11.

3) "With them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (meta ton epikaloumenon ton kurion ek katharas kardias) "In close association or colleague with the ones calling on the Lord out of a clean heart;" in church fellowship, pursue these bridal virtues, Hebrews 12:14; Titus 1:15-16; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4.

Verse 23

1) "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid" (tas de moras kai apaideutous zeteseis paraitou) "But the foolish (moronic) and uninstructed (childish) questionings refuse, or avoid," as vain, empty, idle babblings, 2 Timothy 2:16; Matthew 12:36; Matthew 12:41-42; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

2) "Knowing that they do gender strifes." (eidos hoti genosin machas) "Perceiving that they beget or spawn fights (bickerings and railings):" Such behavior is unbecoming for a Christian to engage in or listen to; Psalms 1:1-3; for such creates confusion and God is not its author; 1 Corinthians 14:33; Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 22:10; Proverbs 26:17; Proverbs 20-22; Titus 3:9-10.

Verse 24

1) "And the servant of the Lord must not strive" (doulon de kuriou ou dei machesthai) "Moreover it behooves (or becomes) a servant of the Lord not to fight (with words)," be quarrelsome, contentious, or dictatorial with brethren, Genesis 13:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-8.

2) "But be gentle unto all men" (alla epion einai pros pantas) "But to be gentle (in disposition) toward all; Matthew 12:18-21; Isaiah 42:1-4; Christian workers and leaders are to avoid attitudes of despots and dictators; Matthew 20:25-28.

3) "Apt to teach, patient" (didaktikon aneksikakon) "Apt to teach, forbearing or learning to get along with all kinds of people," Ephesians 4:1-3.

Verse 25

1) "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves" (en prauteti paideuorita tous antidiatithemenous) "In meekness training those opposing or disputing;" the "wrong thinkers" are to be dealt with as gently and considerately as "wrong doers," Galatians 6:1; 2 Timothy 4:2; Galatians 5:23. Reproof for wrong must always be in love.

2) "If God peradventure will give them repentance" (mepote doe autois ho theos metanoian) "If perhaps God may give to them repentance;" an opportunity, a deep conviction of remorse to lead them to repentance, 2 Corinthians 7:10; Hebrews 6:1; Acts 8:22; Revelation 3:19.

3) "To the acknowledging of the truth" (eis epignosin aletheias) "With reference to a full knowledge or comprehension of truth;" in doctrine and ethical and moral behavior, Titus 1:15-16; Titus 3:11; David acknowledged the truth, Psalms 51:3-4; Psalms 51:7-15; The prodigal son did, Luke 15:17-19; Luke 15:21; John 21:15-17.

Verse 26

1) "And that they may recover themselves" (kai ananepsosin) "And they may return to soberness; Those in doctrinal and moral error, ; Romans 13:11; 1 Peter 4:3-6.

2) "Out of the snare of the devil" (ek tes tou diabolou pagidos) "Out of the snare (pagoda) of the devil." The devil and his demon spirits seek to entrap, ensnare, trip up the child of God, to destroy his influence, James 4:7-8.


Satan keeps sinners captive by his snares. 1) The first snare of Satan which I shall mention is, his making sin pleasant, and hiding its awful consequences; 2) A second snare of Satan’s is, his insinuating doubts into the mind as to the truth of God’s Word; 3) A third snare of Satan’s is, his presenting God to the soul as one made up of all mercy; 4) A fourth snare of Satan’s is, by persuading the soul that the work of repentance is an easy work: that it need not be thought of till laid on a bed of sickness or a bed of death; 5) Another snare by which Satan takes souls captive at his will is, by making them rest in outward forms instead of true conversion.


3) "Who are taken captive by him at his will" (ezogremenoi hup’ autou eis to ekeinou thelema) "Having been captured by him with reference to his will," 1 Peter 5:8-9; 1 John 3:8; 1 John 3:10. By the power of the spirit of God every child of His should often use our Lord’s "Get thee behind me, Satan," in the context of obedience to the Lord, Matthew 4:10-11; Matthew 16:23; 1 Corinthians 11:13-14; Zechariah 13:1-2. To resist Satan by the Spirit and the Word is the path that every Christian should daily follow.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 2". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-timothy-2.html. 1985.
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