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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

2 Timothy

- 2 Timothy

by Gary H. Everett

STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

Using a Theme-based Approach

to Identify Literary Structures

By Gary H. Everett

THE EPISTLE OF 2 TIMOTHY

January 2013 Edition

All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.

All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed., Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c1925, morphology c1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.

All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.

All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong's Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.

The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author’s daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.

© Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.

Foundational Theme Church Order and Individual Calling

Structural Theme The Development of Man’s Heart for Christian Service

in Response to Jesus’ Role of Redeeming Mankind

Imperative Theme The Role of the Evangelist is to Transform Man’s Heart

Thru Faith in Christ Jesus

Click image for full-size version

(Harris Stephen Land 1902-1965)

Preaching at Family Reunion,

Deer Point Lake, Bay County, Florida

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;

reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2 Timothy 4:2  

INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE OF 2 TIMOTHY

Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

The Message of the Book of 2 Timothy - Paul’s second epistle to Timothy is doubtless the last letter that Paul ever wrote. He put these tender and personal words on paper as he faced execution by beheading. He was most likely in prison, sitting in a damp, lower dungeon with a small hole in the ceiling for light. He addresses his beloved convert, a man named Timothy, who had stood with him under every other situation they had faced together. Paul the aged had faithfully executed his own divine calling, and now he was able to exhort Timothy to do the same by using his own life as an example. Thus, within this Epistle Paul gives an earnest plea for Timothy to make haste and be with him one last time before departing from this earth. Paul’s major emphasis is to stand strong against all adversity and fulfill the divine calling that God has placed upon his life.

Introductory Material - The introduction to the epistle of 2 Timothy will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework. [1] These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God’s message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.

[1] Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel’s well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalms: (1) “a common setting in life,” (2) “thoughts and mood,” (3) “literary forms.” In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses “Form/Structure/Setting” preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalms: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol. 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).

(See “Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles” for a discussion on items I through IX.)

X. Literary Structure

The literary structure of the epistle of 2 Timothy must follow the thematic scheme of the book. It is important to note that such a breakdown of this book of the Holy Bible was not necessarily intended by the original author, but it is being used as a means of making the interpretation easier. It is hoped that this summary and outline can identify the underlying themes of the book, as well as the themes of its major divisions, sections, and subsections. Then individual verses can more easily be understood in light of the emphasis of the immediate passages in which they are found.

The structure of 2 Timothy is built around the spiritual journey that every servant of God must embark upon and complete in order to receive a crown of righteousness in eternal glory.

I. Salutation (2 Timothy 1:1-2 ) 2 Timothy 1:1-2 is called the salutation and is found in all thirteen of Paul’s New Testament epistles and is used to open his letters. Paul wrote his salutations as a signature of authenticity (2 Thessalonians 3:17) just like we place our signature today at the end of a document. He may have personally handwritten entire epistles as indicated in Galatians 6:11 and Philemon 1:19. However, there are indications in six of his epistles that Paul used an amanuensis to write most of his letters (see Romans 16:22, 1 Corinthians 16:21, Galatians 6:11, Colossians 4:18, 2 Thessalonians 3:17, Philemon 1:19).

Romans 16:22, “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 16:21, “The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.”

Galatians 6:11, “Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.”

Colossians 4:18, “The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.”

2 Thessalonians 3:17, “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.”

Philemon 1:19, “I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.”

In 2 Timothy 1:1-2 Paul the apostle gives Timothy a warm and tender greeting that briefly reflects upon his own divine calling and future hope for being faithful to this calling.

II. Paul Explains Timothy’s Spiritual Journey to Those in Divine Service (2 Timothy 1:3 to 2 Timothy 4:8 ) - After giving Timothy a warm greeting (2 Timothy 1:1-2) Paul immediately begins to exhort Timothy to fulfill his divine calling while using himself as an example of a faithful minister of Christ Jesus. He does this by basing his exhortation and charges upon the spiritual journey that every minister of God must complete. This spiritual journey begins with the foreknowledge of God the Father, justification through Jesus Christ the Son, and the sanctification of the Holy Spirit that will one day bring us into glory in Heaven. Timothy’s spiritual journey began before his birth with the foreknowledge of God the Father, who called him, saved him and imparted into him spiritual gives that must be stirred up (2 Timothy 1:3-18). Paul then exhorts him to be strong in the Lord in order to deliver sound doctrines to faithful men (2 Timothy 2:1-14). Paul next reflects upon Timothy’s divine calling from the perspective of being a faithful servant of Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:15-26). Paul then reflects upon the part of the journey called perseverance, in which Timothy is exhorted to continue in what he has been taught (2 Timothy 3:1-17). Finally, Paul focuses upon the future glorification that awaits every faithful minister when they enter into Heaven. Based upon this future hope Timothy is exhorted to preach the Word in all seasons (2 Timothy 4:1-8).

Thus, Paul begins this charge to Timothy by having him look back on the faithfulness of his mother and grandmother in training him up in the Holy Scriptures. Paul will conclude by having him look towards eternity as he describes the crown of righteousness for those who are faithful. Thus, Paul draws a broader picture of Timothy’s life in which his temporal earth-life is but a moment.

A. Justification by Faith in Christ Jesus through Divine Foreknowledge (2 Timothy 1:3-18 ) - Paul first reflects upon Timothy’s salvation through faith in Christ Jesus based upon the foreknowledge of God the Father (2 Timothy 1:3-5). He tells him of how his own salvation is a fulfillment of God’s divine plan since the time of their forefathers, the patriarchs of Israel (2 Timothy 1:3) and reminds Timothy of his spiritual heritage in his ancestry (2 Timothy 1:4-5). Just as Paul’s forefathers passed down the knowledge of God’s salvation to him, Timothy’s mother and grandmother passed this same knowledge down to him. Timothy is exhorted to stir up the gift of God within him (2 Timothy 1:6-7). Paul then uses himself as an example of one saved and called according to the Father’s divine purpose and grace before the world began, but made manifest through Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:8-12). He then exhorts Timothy to hold fast to this salvation by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:13-14). Paul then warns Timothy by giving him examples of some who have been unfaithful to God’s offer of salvation as well as examples of loyalty (2 Timothy 1:15-18). Timothy is to respond to this exhortation and example by stirring up the gift of God that is within him (2 Timothy 1:6). Thus, we see the underlying theme of serving God faithfully in a divine calling reflected in this opening passage of Scripture.

1. Paul’s Thanksgiving to God: Paul’s Charge to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:3-5 ) - The theme of 2 Timothy is the Paul’s charge for young Timothy to deliver the uncompromised Word of God to faithful men who will in turn deliver it to others. In 2 Timothy 1:3-5 Paul gives us the basis for such an appeal. He gives Timothy the example in 2 Timothy 1:3 of how faithfully the Jewish forefathers watched over the Word of God for generations in order to hand it down to their generations without alterations. Paul then reminds him of how the same Word of God was handed down to him through the faithfulness of his grandmother and mother. He later reminds Timothy of his godly heritage in 2 Timothy 3:15.

2 Timothy 3:15, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

2. Paul Exhorts Timothy to Stir Up His Gifts (2 Timothy 1:6-7 ) In 2 Timothy 1:6-7 Paul exhorts Timothy to stir up the gifts of the Holy Spirit within him so that he can fulfill his office and ministry.

3. Paul’s Example of Justification through the Father’s Foreknowledge (2 Timothy 1:8-12 ) In 2 Timothy 1:8-12 Paul portrays himself to Timothy in this epistle as a living example of one saved by God the Father’s divine foreknowledge and called as a preacher, apostle, and teacher, as one who is willing to stand strong as a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ during the greatest trial in his life, one that will end in his death. He will refer to suffering and hardship three times in this second Epistle (2 Timothy 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:3; 2 Timothy 4:5).

2 Timothy 2:3, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

2 Timothy 4:5, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

4. Paul Exhorts Timothy to be Faithful to God’s Word (2 Timothy 1:13-14 ) In 2 Timothy 1:13-14 Paul exhorts Timothy to hold fast to this salvation by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

5. Paul Gives Timothy Living Examples of Faithfulness and Loyalty (2 Timothy 1:15-18 ) - In 2 Timothy 1:15-18 Paul warns Timothy by giving him examples of some who have been unfaithful to God’s offer of salvation as well as examples of loyalty. In 2 Timothy 1:15-18 Paul describes a falling away of several in Asia who once followed the faith. This falling away may be a reference to the Neronian persecutions that arose during this later period of Paul’s ministry, which resulted in his martyrdom (approximately A.D. 64). One indication of this first major persecution of the Church is hinted at in 2 Timothy 1:17 when Paul says that Onesiphorus was not ashamed of his bonds in Rome, which implies that those in Asia may now be ashamed, and turning away from their association with Paul in order to save their own lives.

B. Sanctification by Holy Spirit: Indoctrination (2 Timothy 2:1-14 ) Paul then approaches Timothy’s calling based upon his calling to deliver sound doctrine to others. Paul exhorts him to be strong in the Lord in order to deliver sound doctrines to faithful men. It is through Christ that Timothy has received the grace to become a servant of Christ and hand down sound doctrine to other faithful men (2 Timothy 2:1-2). Paul explains that he must lay aside the cares of this life (2 Timothy 2:3-4), strive for masteries of his profession (2 Timothy 2:5) in order to obtain his eternal reward (2 Timothy 2:6). Paul uses himself as an example of one who is faithfully preaching sound doctrine (2 Timothy 2:8-9). It is in his faithfulness that many others will obtain their salvation in Heaven (2 Timothy 2:10-13). Timothy is to respond to this exhortation and example by being strong in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1).

1. Paul’s Charge to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:1-7 ) In 2 Timothy 2:1-7 Paul charges Timothy to trust in God’s grace as he endeavors to deliver the teaching of justification to faithful men.

2. Paul’s Example of a Preacher of the Gospel (2 Timothy 2:8-14 ) After charging Timothy to be strong in the grace of God as he teaches God’s Word and lays aside the cares of this world, Paul gives himself as an example of a servant who had done the same.

C. Sanctification of the Holy Spirit: Divine Service (Be a Vessel of Honour) (2 Timothy 2:15-26 ) In 2 Timothy 2:15-26 Paul reflects upon Timothy’s divine calling from the perspective of his preparation for service, which requires a daily process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Timothy is to allow to work sanctification in himself as a vessel of God. He is to avoid vain words which corrupt men’s souls (2 Timothy 2:15-18). Paul uses the examples of a placard on the foundation of a building and the articles contained in a house to help Timothy understand that he is to purge himself as a vessel of God (2 Timothy 2:19-22). His is to avoid striving with men as he offers them the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:23-26). Timothy is to respond to this exhortation and example by being a vessel of honor (2 Timothy 2:21).

D. Sanctification of the Holy Spirit: Perseverance: Continue in what He has Learned (2 Timothy 3:1-17 ) - Paul next reflects upon Timothy’s divine calling from the perspective of the need to perseverance, which is a daily process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit. There will be much opposition as evil abounds and some resist the truth of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:1-9). Paul gives himself as one who has also had to persevere against such evil men (2 Timothy 3:10-12). He then exhorts Timothy persevere in ministering the Word of God to others (2 Timothy 3:13-17). Timothy is to respond to this exhortation and example by continuing in what he has learned (2 Timothy 3:14).

1. The Character of Men in the Last Days (2 Timothy 3:1-9 ) - The vices listed in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 are clearly given by Paul as examples of those who have been taken captive by Satan’s will (2 Timothy 2:26). Because they have resisted the truth and embraced a lie, such people will be given over to a reprobate mind as described in Romans 1:16-31 and exhibit these vices. Another way to say it is that they have waxed worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).

2 Timothy 3:13, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

In 2 Timothy 3:8 Paul gives the example of Jannes and Jambres who withstood Moses as he proclaimed the truth. Although such people seek after knowledge, they are never able to find the truth (2 Timothy 3:6-7). Instead, they walk deeper and deeper into darkness and sin. The seeds of righteousness that are sown on the earth will grow and increase until the Kingdom of God covers the earth. The seeds of wickedness have also been sown, and the times will grow more difficult because these seeds of unrighteousness will also bear tremendous fruit, and wickedness will abound more and more, leading the world into the Great Tribulation Period. This seven-year period of judgment will come upon the world because God in Heaven will no longer allow mankind to continue in such depths of sin.

2. Paul’s Example of Perseverance Amidst Hardships (2 Timothy 3:10-12 ) In 2 Timothy 3:10-12 Paul gives himself as an example of a faithful servant of God who has endured hardships.

3. Paul Exhorts Timothy to Follow His Example of Perseverance (2 Timothy 3:13-17 ) In 2 Timothy 3:13-17 Paul exhorts Timothy to follow his own example and persevere in his ministry.

E. Glorification: Preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:1-8 ) - Paul next reflects upon Timothy’s divine calling from the perspective of his hope of glorification in Heaven. Paul now bases he charge to fulfill his ministry upon the fact that Timothy will be judged one day at the throne of God for how well he fulfilled his ministry (2 Timothy 4:1-5). Paul again uses himself as an example of a servant who has been faithful and can look forward to receiving a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Timothy is to respond to this exhortation and example by preaching the Word of God, in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:1).

1. Paul Charges Timothy in Light of Eternal Judgment (2 Timothy 4:1-5 ) In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Paul charges Timothy to deliver God’s Word to men in life of eternal judgment.

2. Paul’s Example of Hope in Glorification: Paul Declares the Fulfillment of His Office and Ministry (2 Timothy 4:6-8 ) In 2 Timothy 4:6-8 Paul declares the fulfillment of his office and ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles, and as a teacher and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:7, 2 Timothy 1:11). Paul is giving himself as an example of a minister of the Gospel who has fulfilled his ministry as a word of encouragement to undergird his charge in the previous verses to Timothy to fulfill his ministry (2 Timothy 4:1-5). In 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul summarizes his perseverance, and in 2 Timothy 4:8 he summarizes his impending glorification.

1 Timothy 2:7, “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”

2 Timothy 1:11, “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”

III. Conclusion (2 Timothy 4:9-22 ) We find the conclusion to 2 Timothy in the final passage of this Epistle. In 2 Timothy 4:9-22 Paul gives Timothy some final instructions on making preparations to come to him as quickly as possible. These instructions are mixed with the final greetings that are typical of the Pauline epistles.

XI. Outline of Book

The following outline is a summary of the preceding literary structure; thus, it reflects the theological framework of the epistle of 2Timothy: its purpose, its three-fold thematic scheme, and its literary structure. As a result, this outline offers sermon sections that fit together into a single message that can be used by preachers and teachers to guide a congregation or class through the epistle of 2Timothy. This journey through 2 Timothy will lead believers into one aspect of conformity to the image of Christ Jesus that was intended by the Lord, which in this book of the Holy Scriptures is to prepare Christians as God’s servants to fulfill the office of an evangelist.

I. Salutation 2 Timothy 1:1-2

II. The Spiritual Journey of Those in Divine Service 2 Timothy 1:3 to 2 Timothy 4:8

A. Justification by Faith thru Divine Foreknowledge 2 Timothy 1:3-18

1. Paul’s Thanksgiving to God for Timothy’s Faith 2 Timothy 1:3-5

2. Paul Exhorts Timothy to Stir Up His Gifts 2 Timothy 1:6-7

3. Paul’s Example of Justification 2 Timothy 1:8-12

4. Paul Exhorts Timothy to be Faithful to God’s Word 2 Timothy 1:13-14

5. Paul Gives Timothy Living Examples of Faithfulness 2 Timothy 1:15-18

B. Sanctification by Holy Spirit: Indoctrination 2 Timothy 2:1-14

1. Paul’s Charge to Timothy 2 Timothy 2:1-7

2. Paul’s Example of a Preacher of the Gospel 2 Timothy 2:8-14

C. Sanctification by Holy Spirit: Divine Service 2 Timothy 2:15-26

D. Sanctification by Holy Spirit: Perseverance 2 Timothy 3:1-17

1. The Character of Men in the Last Days 2 Timothy 3:1-9

2. Paul’s Example of Perseverance Amidst Hardships 2 Timothy 3:10-12

3. Paul Exhorts Timothy to Follow His Example 2 Timothy 3:13-17

E. Glorification 2 Timothy 4:1-8

1. Paul Charges Timothy in Light of Eternal Judgment 2 Timothy 4:1-5

2. Paul’s Example of Hope in Glorification 2 Timothy 4:6-8

III. Closing Remarks 2 Timothy 4:9-22

BIBLIOGRAPHY

COMMENTARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Metzger, Bruce M., David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker, eds. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007.

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