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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 1

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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Παύλου ἡ πρὸς Τιμόθεον ἐπιστολη δευτέρα

A, al. have the shorter superscription: πρὸς Τιμόθεον βʹ ; so, too, D E F G, but with ἄρχεται preceding.


2 Timothy 1:1 . Tisch., on the authority of D E F G K P א , al., several versions, and Fathers, adopted Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ instead of the Rec. Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (A L, pl. etc., Lachm. and Buttm.). For the singular ἐπαγγελίαν , א has the plural ἐπαγγελίας . 2 Timothy 1:3 . To τῷ Θεῷ there is added μου in D* E 17, Sahid. Vulg. ed. Sixtin. Demidor. Clar. Germ. Or. Ambrosiast. etc. Imitation of Romans 1:8 . 2 Timothy 1:4 . The reading ἐπιποθῷ (G, Boern. utrumq. Chrys.) seems only to have arisen from an endeavour to simplify the structure of the sentence. 2 Timothy 1:5 . For λαμβάνων (Rec. with D E K L, al., Chrys. Theodoret, etc.), Lachm. Buttm. Tisch. read λαβών , on the authority of A C F G 17, 31. This latter deserves preference as the more difficult reading, all the more that it is preceded by the present ἐπιποθῶν .

Instead of Λωΐδι , some MSS. have Λοίδι , others Λωΐδῃ , and one Λαΐδι ; still the Rec. is too strongly supported to leave doubts of its correctness. For Εὐνίκῃ , several cursives have Εὐνείκῃ . 2 Timothy 1:7 . δειλίας ] The reading δουλείας (in 238, Aeth. Didym. Chrys.) has clearly arisen from Romans 8:15 . 2 Timothy 1:11 . ἐθνῶν (Tisch. 8 omits) may possibly have been inserted on the analogy of 1 Timothy 2:7 ; but since it is wanting only in A א , and some cursives, it is safer to regard it as the original reading, all the more that it is necessary for the meaning. 2 Timothy 1:12 . In א , καί is wanting before ταῦτα ; all other MSS., however, support its genuineness.

For παρακαταθήκην (Rec.), we must read here and at 2 Timothy 1:14 , παραθήκην , just as in 1 Timothy 6:20 .

The μου that follows is wanting in D* E and some cursives; it was probably omitted because in those two other passages no pronoun stands with the word. 2 Timothy 1:15 . The mode of writing the name Φύγελλος varies very much; the best supported is Φύγελος , which Lachm. and Tisch. adopted.

For Ἑρμογένης , Tisch. has adopted Ἐρμογένης , with the remark: testatur antiquissimus accentuum testis D*** etc. 2 Timothy 1:16 . For ἐπῃσχύνθη (Rec.), all uncials, except K, several cursives, also Basil. Oec. Theodoret, have ἐπαισχύνθη (Lachm. Buttm. Tisch.); comp. Winer, p. 70 [E. T. p. 86]. 2 Timothy 1:17 . Tisch. 7 retained the Rec. σπουδαιότερον , with D*** E K L, al. Lachm. and Tisch. 8 adopted σπουδαίως , on the authority of C D* F G א , al.; Buttm. read σπουδαιοτέρος , on the authority of A. This last reading seems to be only a correction of the Rec. Which of the two others is the original one, cannot be decided. The positive may be considered a correction of the comparative; but, on the other hand, the latter is more usual with Paul than the former, which occurs with him only in Titus 3:13 . Besides, the comparative is often found in Paul where we might expect the positive (comp. 1 Timothy 3:14 ).

Verses 1-2

2 Timothy 1:1-2 . Διὰ θελήματος ] comp. on 1 Timothy 1:1 .

The words of this address are peculiar: κατʼ ἐπαγγελίαν ζωῆς τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ; they are not to be joined with θελήματος , nor with the following Τιμοθέῳ , but with ἀπόστολος κ . τ . λ . Ἐπαγγελία in the N. T. constantly means “ the promise ;” it is incorrect to translate it here by “preaching;” comp. 1 Timothy 4:8 . Its object is the ζωή , the blessed life which “exists objectively, and is presented in Christ” (Wiesinger). The preposition κατά shows that Paul’s apostleship stands in connection with this promise. Matthies defines this connection more precisely by saying that κατά denotes the harmony between the plan of salvation, of which that ἐπαγγελία is the chief element, and the apostleship. But it is more natural, and more in accordance with the passage in Titus 1:2 , to explain it, as does Theodoret, followed by de Wette and Wiesinger: ἀπόστολόν με προεβάλετο ὁ Θεὸς , ὥστε με τὴν ἐπαγγελθεῖσαν αἰώνιον ζωὴν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις κηρύξαι , so that κατά directs attention to the purpose; see Winer, p. 376 [E. T. p. 502]. Otto contends that κατά means “for the purpose,” and that κηρύξαι should be supplied. He explains it more generally: “in the matter of, in regard to,” with the remark: “Paul means to say that his apostolic office … in its entire work is defined by that promise.” This explanation, however, comes back substantially to the former one, since the work of the apostolic office is specially the κηρύσσειν . Hofmann explains κατά as equivalent to “in consequence of,” in the sense, viz., that the promise of life forms the presupposition of Paul’s apostleship; but for this there is no support in usage; besides, it is self-evident that without that promise of life there would be no apostleship. 2 Timothy 1:2 . Τιμοθέῳ ἀγαπητῷ τέκνῳ ] ἀγαπητῷ , in distinction from γνησίῳ , 1 Timothy 1:2 and Titus 1:4 , does not indicate a greater confidence, nor even blame, as if Timothy, by showing a want of courageous faith, no longer deserved the name (Mack).

Verse 3

2 Timothy 1:3 . Χάριν ἔχω τῷ Θεῷ ] As in several other epistles, Paul begins here with a thanksgiving to God, only he usually says εὐχαριστῶ or εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεός . The expression is only in 1 Timothy 1:12 (elsewhere in the N. T. Luke 17:9 ; Hebrews 12:28 ). To τῷ Θεῷ there is next attached the relative clause: ᾧ λατρεύω ἀπὸ προγόνων ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει , which is added because the apostle wishes to remind Timothy of his πρόγονοι , viz. his grandmother and mother, not to bring into prominence a relationship different from the apostle’s own (Hofmann), but one corresponding with his own.

ἀπὸ προγόνων is not equivalent to ἀπὸ βρέφους , 2 Timothy 3:15 ; it means that the apostle serves God “in the manner handed down by his progenitors, as they had done” (Buttmann, p. 277), or that the service of the πρόγονοι , i.e. not the ancestors of the Jewish people (Heydenreich and others), but the progenitors of the apostle himself (so most expositors), is continued in him, and denotes therefore “the continuity of the true honouring of God by Judaism” (de Wette). Otto says that the expression is not to be referred to the education (Flatt) or disposition (Winer, p. 349 [E. T. p. 465]; van Oosterzee, Wiesinger), but to the ancestral mode of worship; but, in reply, it is to be observed, that on account of ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει the reference to disposition is by no means to be considered as excluded. [1] The apostle, by his conversion to Christianity, did not interrupt his connection with the λατρεύειν of his ancestors, because it was a necessary condition of the new faith to honour the God of revelation whom the Jews served. This utterance regarding the apostle himself, and particularly the words ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδ ., are not in contradiction with 1 Timothy 1:13 and similar passages, since the apostle, even while he was zealous for the law, served the God of his fathers ἐν καθ . συνειδ ., as little then as afterwards falsifying the revealed word with arbitrary fictions, which was done by the heretics; comp. Acts 23:1 ; Acts 24:14 ff. Hofmann is wrong in breaking up the inner relation of these words, referring λατρεύω only to ἀπὸ προγόνων , and not also ἐν καθ . συνειδήσει , which he refers only to the apostle. This he does, although the structure of the sentence is most decidedly against such a distribution of the references.

On ἐν καθ . συνειδ ., comp. 1 Timothy 1:5 . [2]

ὡς ἀδιάλειπτον κ . τ . λ .] ὡς does not give the reason of thanksgiving, as Chrysostom explains it: εὐχαριστῶ τῷ Θεῷ , ὅτι μέμνημαί σου , φησὶν , οὕτω σὲ φιλῶ , and as Luther translates: “that I,” etc. Against this there is not only the word ὡς , but also the sense. The apostle, in his giving of thanks to God, often indeed recalls his μνεία of those to whom he writes (Romans 1:9 ; Philippians 1:3 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:2 ; Philemon 1:4 ), but he never points them out as the ground of his thanksgiving. Otto, while granting that there are objections to it, wishes to take ὡς as the same as ὅτι , and to regard it as a particle of the reason , equivalent to ὅτι οὕτως , which, however, cannot be justified from usage. [3] Just as little should we take Ὡς adverbially with ἈΔΙΑΛ . Mack: “I thank God, etc.… I keep right continually,” etc.

A subordinate clause begins with Ὡς , which, however, does not mean: “since, quippe, siquidem” (Heydenreich, Flatt, Matthies: “in so far”), “so often” (Calvin: “quoties tui recordor in precibus meis, id autem facio continenter, simul etiam de te gratias ago”), but expresses the parallel relation of the subordinate clause to the principal one, and should be translated by “as” (Wiesinger, van Oosterzee); in Galatians 6:10 , Ὡς has a very similar meaning. The sense accordingly is: “ I thank God, as I am continually mindful of thee in my prayers ,” so that already in the subordinate clause it is indicated that the thanksgiving to God refers to Timothy. In Romans 1:9 , ὡς stands in quite another connection, which makes de Wette’s objection all the less justifiable, that here it has been taken from that passage.

ἈΔΙΆΛΕΙΠΤΟΝ ἜΧΩ ΤῊΝ ΠΕΡΊ ΣΟΥ ΜΝΕΊΑΝ ] De Wette arbitrarily maintains that Paul would have said: ἈΔΙΑΛΕΊΠΤΩς ΜΝΕΊΑΝ ΣΟΥ ΠΟΙΟῦΜΑΙ . Though Paul does so express himself in Romans 1:9 (and similarly Ephesians 1:16 ), it does not, however, follow that he might not use another form of expression in another epistle, especially since the connection of ΜΝΕΊΑΝ with ἜΧΕΙΝ is by no means unusual with him; comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:6 .

ἈΔΙΆΛΕΙΠΤΟΝ stands first for emphasis. There is nothing strange here in ΜΝΕΊΑ being joined with ΠΕΡΊ , since ΜΝᾶΣΘΑΙ takes that construction even in the classics; comp. Herod. i. 36; Plato, Lach . p. 181 A; Xenophon, Cyrop . i. 6. 12; so, too, with μνημονεύειν , Hebrews 11:22 .

ἘΝ ΤΑῖς ΔΕΉΣΕΣΊ ΜΟΥ ΝΥΚΤῸς ΚΑῚ ἩΜΈΡΑς ] ΤΑῖς is not to be supplied before ΝΥΚΤΌς , since the last words are not to be taken with ΔΕΉΣΕΣΙ , but either with ἈΔΙΑΛ . ἜΧΩ Κ . Τ . Λ . (Wiesinger, van Oosterzee) or with what follows (Matthies, Plitt, Hofmann). The first construction is preferable, because the chief emphasis is laid on the preceding thought, the ἘΠΙΠΟΘῶΝ being made subsidiary; besides, the apostle had no particular reason for directing attention to the uninterrupted duration of his longing for Timothy as the source of his unceasing prayer. The assertion, that νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας is superfluous on account of the previous ἈΔΙΆΛΕΙΠΤΟΝ , is not to the point; comp. Acts 26:7 , where the same words are added with ἘΝ ἘΚΤΕΝΕΊᾼ .

[1] Had the apostle not been conscious that his ancestors had served God ἐν καθ . συνειδ ., he would not have expressed himself as he does here.

[2] Otto rightly: “With Paul συνείδησις is purely the self-consciousness of the subject. The consciousness is pure, when it is conscious of no impure strivings. Impurity appears whenever any one, under the pretence of serving God, follows after his own selfish purposes.” There is no ground for Hofmann’s assertion, that the καθ . συνείδησις is only “a conscience free from consciousness of guilt, such as only that man can have who is conscious of the forgiveness of his sins.”

[3] The particle ὡς does sometimes occur in classic Greek in such a way that it is resolvable into ὅτε οὕτως ; but, as is shown in the very nature of the word, only in cases when the sentence beginning with ὡς expresses something surprising , something exciting astonishment , in particular, therefore, after the verb θαυμάζω . It follows, as Pape says, s.v. , that “in such cases we may translate it with the simple how .” That such is the case, is proved by all the quotations brought together by Otto (p. 301) from the Greek classics. It is therefore entirely erroneous for Otto to say quite generally that “it is in the manner of genuine Greek to contract the causal ὅτι with the following οὕτως into the adverbial pronoun ὡς .” Only if the ἀδιάλειπτον ἔχω τὴν περὶ σοῦ μνείαν occurred to the apostle as something strange, astonishing , could ὡς be explained here by ὅτι οὕτως . Besides, it is inaccurate for Otto to ascribe to ὡς a causal signification, and then call the clause beginning with it an objective clause.

Verse 4

2 Timothy 1:4 . As in Romans 1:11 , Philippians 1:8 , and other passages, Paul also expresses here his longing to see the person to whom the epistle is addressed. The participle ἐπιποθῶν is subordinate to the previous ἔχω ; to it, in turn, the next participle μεμνημένος is subordinated. The longing for Timothy causes him to be continually remembered in the apostle’s prayers, and the remembrance is nourished by thinking of his tears.

σου τῶν δακρύων ] By these are meant as the verb μεμνημένος shows not tears which “Timothy shed” when at a distance from the apostle (Wiesinger), and of which he knew only through a letter (which Timothy therefore “shed by letter,” Hofmann); but the tears of which he himself had been witness, the tears which Timothy shed probably on his departure from him (van Oosterzee, Plitt). These were, to the apostle, a proof of Timothy’s love to him, and produced in him the desire of seeing Timothy again, that he might thereby be filled with joy. In this connection of the clauses with one another, the apostle has not yet given the object of thanks appropriate to the χάριν ἔχω ; he does not do so till 2 Timothy 1:5 . [4]

According to Hofmann, the reason of the thanks is already given in the participial clause μεμνημένος . But the idea that Paul thanks God for Timothy’s tears, is out of all analogy with the other epistles of the apostle. Even the ἵνα χαρᾶς πληρωθῶ is against this view, for the apostle could not possibly say that he remembers Timothy’s tears in order that he may be filled with joy.

[4] Against this view it cannot be maintained that it makes a subordinate participle μεμνημένος depend on the subordinate participle ἐπιποθῶν , for that is not in itself impossible; nor can it be said “that the insertion of a clause μεμνημένος between ἰδεῖν σε and ἵνα is intolerable,” since the chief stress is not on μεμνημένος , but on ἐπιποθῶν κ . τ . λ . Further, it cannot provoke objection that Timothy’s tears nourished in the apostle the longing to see him again, since these were a proof of his love and of his faith.

Verse 5

2 Timothy 1:5 . Ὑπόμνησιν λαβὼν τῆς κ . τ . λ .] This participial clause is to be taken neither with μωμνημένος nor with ἐπιποθῶν (de Wette, Leo); the sense forbids us to subordinate it to one of these ideas, and the want of the copula καί to co-ordinate it with them. Otto joins it with ἵνα χαρᾶς πληρωθῶ : “that I may be filled with joy, as I ( sc. by thy personal presence in Rome) receive a renewal of my remembrance of thy unfeigned faith.” Against this construction, however, there are the following reasons: (1) That to supply “by thy presence” is not only arbitrary, but does not suit with the idea ὑπόμνησιν λαμβάνειν , since the impression made on us by anything before the eyes cannot be described as reminding us of that thing. (2) That, if the remembrance of Timothy’s constancy in the faith is so unceasing with the apostle that he thanks God for it, it is quite inconceivable how he could still wish to receive a ὑπόμνησις of it. (3) That we see ourselves forced by it to prefer the reading λαμβάνων (which Tisch. adopted) to λαβών .

The only remaining course is to connect ὑπομν . λαβ . with χάριν ἔχω τῷ Θεῷ (so Wiesinger, Plitt, and others). It does stand at some distance from it, but that cannot be considered a good reason against the construction. The construction in Philippians 1:3-5 is similar. Nor can we make objection that “Paul according to this view would not thank God because Timothy stands in such faith, but because he has been brought to his recollection” (Hofmann), for the participial clause does not give the reason of the thanksgiving directly, but only hints at it. It is the same here as at Ephesians 1:15 and Colossians 1:3 , where, too, the subject of thanksgiving is not the ἀκούειν , but that which the apostle had heard.

ὑπόμνησιν λαβών is not equivalent to “recordans, as I remember” (de Wette: “retaining the remembrance”), for ὑπόμνησις in the N. T. (comp. 2 Peter 1:13 ; 2 Peter 3:1 ; also Sir 16:11 ; 2Ma 6:17 ) has an active signification; it is equivalent, therefore, to “since I have received remembrance,” i.e. “since I have been reminded” (Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Hofmann). It is not said what had reminded the apostle of Timothy’s faith. Bengel supposes that it was externa quaedam occasio , or a nuntius a Timotheo ; Wiesinger, that it was Onesimus. But it suits better with the context to regard the tears just mentioned as causing the recollection, inasmuch as they were to the apostle a proof of his unfeigned faith. It is unnecessary to derive the ὑπόμνησις from some inner working of the apostle’s soul (so formerly in this commentary); there is no hint of any such thing. The present λαμβάνων is not against this interpretation, since these tears came so vividly before the apostle’s soul that he was thereby reminded more and more of Timothy’s faith.

τῆς ἐν σοὶ ἀνυποκρίτου πίστεως ] see 1 Timothy 1:5 ; this, now, is the subject of the thanksgiving.

As Paul is conscious that the God whom he serves was the God also of his ancestors, he can remind Timothy of the fact that the faith which dwells in him was before the possession of his grandmother and mother. [5]

ἥτις ἐνῴκησε πρῶτον ] ἐνοικεῖν as in 2 Timothy 1:14 ; Rom 8:11 ; 2 Corinthians 6:16 . The word is chosen here “to denote faith on its objective side as a possession coming from God” (Wiesinger), and it declares that “it has not become a merely transient feeling, but an abiding principle of life dwelling in them” (van Oosterzee).

ΠΡῶΤΟΝ is not, with Luther, to be translated by “before,” but to be taken in its proper meaning, in reference to the ΠΡΌΓΟΝΟΙ of Timothy. The point brought out is, that Timothy was not the first of his family to be a believer, but we cannot press the point so far as to suppose that a distinction is drawn between the apostle whose ancestors served God as Jews, while Timothy’s ancestors were heathen (so Hofmann).

ἘΝ Τῇ ΜΆΜΜῌ ΣΟΝ Κ . Τ . Λ . ] Regarding ΜΆΜΜΗ , see Wahl on the passage.

This grandmother of Timothy is not mentioned elsewhere. Of the mother, it is said in Acts 16:1 ff. that she was a ΓΥΝΉ ἸΟΥΔΑΊΑ ΠΙΣΤΉ ; her name is given only here. The mention of the two is not to be regarded as a superfluous or even surprising afterthought. Paul might repose in Timothy all the greater confidence, that he, brought up by a pious mother, had before him her example and that of his grandmother.

This confidence the apostle expresses still more definitely in the next words: ΠΈΠΕΙΣΜΑΙ ΔῈ , ὍΤΙ ΚΑῚ ἘΝ ΣΟΊ , with which Heydenreich wrongly supplies ἘΝΟΙΚΉΣΕΙ instead of ἘΝΟΙΚΕῖ .

[5] Since Timothy’s ἀνυπόκριτος πίστις is Christian faith, faith in Jesus Christ, it is manifestly wrong to regard the πίστις of the grandmother and mother as only faith in the O. T. promise (Otto); the relative ἥτις shows that the two are identical. From Paul’s ascription to himself of a λατρεύειν ἀπὸ προγόνων , we cannot infer, with Otto, that the “matter of faith on the part of Timothy’s πρόγονοι cannot be taken further than on the part of the apostle’s πρόγονοι .” The apostle does not at all boast of the πίστις of his ancestors, but says merely that he serves the same God as they had served. Timothy’s faith could only mean something to him, if it was not only faith in the promise, but also faith in Him who had appeared according to the promise.

Verse 6

2 Timothy 1:6 . Δἰ ἣν αἰτίαν ἀναμιμνήσκω σε κ . τ . λ .] This verse contains the chief thought of the whole chapter. By διʼ ἣν αἰτίαν (a formula which occurs in Paul only here, at 2 Timothy 1:12 , and at Titus 1:13 ; αἰτία not at all in the other Pauline epistles), the apostle connects his exhortation with the previous πέπεισμαι κ . τ . λ ., since his conviction of Timothy’s faith was the occasion of his giving the exhortation. There is no ground for the objection raised by Otto against this connection of thought, that αἰτία “never expresses anything but the external objective occasion;” he is no less wrong in wishing to refer διʼ ἣν αἰτίαν not to ἀναμιμνήσκω , but to ἀναζωπυρεῖν . In that case the apostle would have written διʼ ἣν αἰτίαν ἀναζωπύρει κ . τ . λ . (as Otto explains the expression). The verb ἀναμιμνήσκειν , properly, “remind of something,” contains in itself the idea of exhorting; the apostle finely interprets the word so as to make Timothy appear himself conscious of the duty which was urged on him; ὑπομιμνήσκειν is often used exactly in this way.

ἀναζωπυρεῖν τὸ χάρισμα τοῦ Θεοῦ ] ἀναζωπυρεῖν : ἅπ . λεγ .: “fan into life again;” comp. Jamblichus, De Vit. Pyth. chap. 16.: ἀνεζωπύρει τὸ θεῖον ἐν αὐτῇ . By χάρισμα τ . Θ . is meant here, as in 1 Timothy 4:14 , the fitness ( ἱκανότης ) bestowed by God on Timothy for discharging the ἔργον εὐαγγελιστοῦ (2 Timothy 4:5 ), which fitness includes both the capacity and also (though Hofmann denies this) zeal and spirit for official labours. The context shows that the courage of a Christian martyr is here specially meant. This παῤῥησία is not the work of man, but the gift of God’s grace to man. It can only be kept alive unceasingly by the labour of man. Chrysostom: δεῖ σου προθυμίας πρὸς τὸ χάρισμα τοῦ Θεοῦ · … ἐν ἡμῖν γὰρ ἐστὶ καὶ σβέσαι , καὶ ἀνάψαι τοῦτο · ὑπὸ μὲν γὰρ ῥαθυμίας καὶ ἀκηδίας σβέννυται , ὑπὸ δὲ νήψεως καὶ προσοχῆς διεγείρεται . Bengel is not incorrect in remarking on this exhortation: videtur Timotheus, Paulo diu carens, nonnihil remisisse; certe nunc ad majora stimulatur. His former zeal seems to have been weakened, particularly by the apostle’s suffering (2 Timothy 1:8 ), so that it needed to be quickened again. [6] Otto here, too, understands by χάρισμα , the “ right of office;” but this does not accord with the verb ἀναζωπυρεῖν , since the right did not need to be revived. However Timothy might conduct himself in regard to the right imparted to him, it remained always the same; if he did not exercise it as he should have done, he himself or his activity needed the ἀναζωπυρεῖν , but not the right which had been delivered to him with the office. [7] On the next words: ὅ ἐστιν ἐν σοὶ διὰ τῆς ἐπιθέσεως τῶν χειρῶν μου , comp. 1 Timothy 4:14 . There can be no reason for doubting that the same act is meant in both passages. As to the difficulty that, whereas in the former passage it was the presbytery, here it is Paul who is said to have imposed hands, see the remark on that passage. The reason for this lies both in the character of the epistle, “which has for its foundation and in part for its subject the personal relation between the apostle and Timothy,” as well as in Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:8 , “to make the gift an effective agent for him through whom the gift was received” (Wiesinger).

[6] It has been already remarked (Introd. § 3, p. 27) that Otto is not justified in accusing Timothy of having almost laid down his office through anxiety and timidity. It is a part of this accusation that Otto here finds it said that “Timothy was to resume the duties delivered to him by the apostolic laying on of hands.” The meaning of ἀναζωπυρεῖν is mistaken by van Oosterzee and Plitt, if they think that we cannot infer from it that there had been an actual decrease of Timothy’s official zeal.

[7] Otto contends, that “along with the office, when the hands were laid on him, Timothy received the understanding, the personal gifts for filling it.” Against this it is to be remarked (1) That the natural talents are not bestowed along with the office, but the conscious and intentional concentration and employment of them in the office, otherwise the receiver of the office is only a dead machine in it; and (2) that the apostle, in laying on hands, acted as the instrument of the Holy Spirit; and of this Timothy was also aware.

Verse 7

2 Timothy 1:7 . The exhortation in 2 Timothy 1:6 , Paul confirms by pointing to the spirit which God has given to His own people: οὐ γὰρ ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν ὁ Θεὸς πνεῦμα δειλίας ] By ἡμῖν , Otto understands not Christians in general, but the apostle and Timothy in particular as office-bearers. The context, however, does not demand such special reference, since the apostle, in order to confirm his exhortation to Timothy, might very well appeal to a fact which had been experienced by Christians in general as well as by himself. Besides, the ἡμᾶς in 2 Timothy 1:9 is against Otto’s view. Πνεῦμα here is either (1) the objective spirit of God, the Holy Spirit (Bengel, Heydenreich, Otto), of whom it is first said negatively that it is not a spirit of δειλία , i.e. not a spirit producing δειλία in man, and then positively that it is a spirit of δύναμις κ . τ . λ ., i.e. a spirit imparting δύναμις to man; or (2) πνεῦμα is the subjective condition of man, the spiritual life wrought in him by the Spirit of God (Mack, Matthies, Leo, similarly, too, Hofmann [8] ), which is then described more precisely as a spirit, not of δειλία , but of δύναμις κ . τ . λ . The context in which the similar passage in Romans stands, and especially the passage corresponding to this in Galatians 4:6 , make the first view preferable.

δειλία denotes timidity in the struggle for the kingdom of God; comp. John 14:27 ; Revelation 21:7-8 .

The ideas δύναμις , ἀγάπη , and σωφρονισμός are closely related to each other. That the Christian, as a warrior of God, may rightly wage the warfare to which he is appointed, he needs first δύναμις , i.e. power, not only to withstand the attacks of the world, but also to gain an increasing victory over the world. He has need next of ἀγάπη , which never suffers him to lose sight of the goal of the struggle, i.e. the salvation of his brethren, and urges him to labour towards it with all self-denial. Lastly, he has need of σωφρονισμός . While Chrysostom and Theophylact leave it uncertain whether this word is to be taken intransitively, reflectively, or transitively (Theophylact: ἢ ἵνα σώφρονες ὦμεν · … ἢ ἵνα σωφρονισμὸν ἔχωμεν τὸ πνεῦμα , κἄν τις πειρασμὸς ἡμῖν ἐπιγένηται , πρὸς σωφρονισμὸν τοῦτον δεχώμεθα · ἢ ἵνα καὶ ἄλλοις ὦμεν σωφρονισταί ), later expositors (Hofmann too: “discretion”) have taken it as synonymous with σωφροσύνη (thus Augustine, ad Bonif . iv. chap. 5: continentia; Vulgate: sobrietas; Beza: sanitas animi; Leo: temperantia); de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Plitt make it reflective, “ self-control ” (properly, therefore, “the σωφρόνισις directed towards oneself”). Neither explanation, however, can be justified by usage. Etymology and usage are decidedly in favour of the transitive meaning, which therefore must be maintained, with Otto, unless we attribute to the apostle a mistake in the use of the word. In itself the Holy Spirit might be called πνεῦμα σωφρονισμοῦ in the other sense, since the σωφρονίζειν is His characteristic, He practises it; but, as the preceding genitives denote effects, and not qualities, of the spirit, the genitive σωφρονισμοῦ would stand to πνεῦμα in a relation differing from that of the other genitives. The Holy Spirit can therefore receive such a designation here, only in so far as He produces the σωφρονίζειν (comp. Titus 2:4 ) in the Christian, i.e. impels him not to remain inactive when others go wrong, but to correct them that they may desist. Thus taken, the idea of σωφρονισμός appropriately includes that of ἀγάπη , part of which is to be active in amending the unhappy circumstances of the church, here all the more appropriately because the thought which is true of all Christians is specially applied here to Timothy. [9]

[8] Hofmann, to a certain extent, combines the two, saying: “The spirit which we have received is, looking to its source, the Spirit of God; but, looking to what we become through it, it becomes in us the spirit of our life thus created.”

[9] The explanation here given of σωφρονισμός is in substantial agreement with that proposed by Otto, except that Otto regards the σωφρονισμός as a work, official in kind.

Verse 8

2 Timothy 1:8 . Μὴ οὖν (deduction from what has preceded: since God has given us the spirit of δύναμις κ . τ . λ ., then, etc.) ἐπαισχυνθῆς τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν ] On the construction, comp. Romans 1:16 : οὐ ἐπαισχύνομαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον .

μαρτύριον , like μαρτυρεῖν in 1 Timothy 3:16 , does not denote the martyrdom of Christ, nor even specially the testimony regarding the martyr-death of Christ (Chrysostom: μὴ αἰσχύνου , ὅτι τὸν ἐσταυρωμένον κηρύσσεις ), but more generally the testimony regarding Christ, which certainly includes the other special meaning. Κυρίου is not the subjective genitive (Wahl: testimonium quod dixit Jesus de rebus divinis quas audivit a Patre; Hofmann: “the truth of salvation witnessed by Christ” [10] ), but the objective (de Wette, Wiesinger).

The connection between this and the preceding thought is brought out by Bengel’s words: timorem pudor comitatur; victo timore, fugit pudor malus.

ΜΗΔῈ ἘΜῈ ΤῸΝ ΔΈΣΜΙΟΝ ΑὐΤΟῦ ] Paul places himself in immediate connection with the gospel, as he was a prisoner because of his witness of Christ; and the reason of the special mention of himself lies in the summons to Timothy to come to him at Rome. [11] Paul calls himself ΔΈΣΜΙΟς ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ here and at Ephesians 3:1 , Philemon 1:9 , because he bore his bonds for Christ’s sake; or better, because “Christ (Christ’s cause) had brought him into imprisonment and was keeping him there” (Winer, p. 178 [E. T. p. 236]; Meyer on Ephesians 3:1 ; Wiesinger). The expression in Philemon 1:13 : ΔΕΣΜΟῚ ΤΟῦ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊΟΥ , forbids the explanation: “a prisoner belonging to Christ.” Hofmann is inaccurate: “a prisoner whose bonds are part of his relation to Christ.”

ἈΛΛᾺ ΣΥΓΚΑΚΟΠΆΘΗΣΟΝ Τῷ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊῼ ] “ but suffer with ( sc. me) for the gospel ;” the verb, occurring only here and perhaps at 2 Timothy 2:3 (the simple form at 2 Timothy 2:9 , 2 Timothy 4:5 ; James 5:13 ), is limited more precisely by the reference to the previous ἐμέ . Luther (“suffer with the gospel, as I do”) refers the ΣΥΝ to the dative following; but against this there is the unsuitable collocation of person and thing. Chrysostom rightly says: ΣΥΓΚΑΚΟΠΆΘΗΣΟΝ , ΦΗΣῚ , Τῷ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊῼ , ΟὐΧ Ὡς ΤΟῦ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊΟΥ ΚΑΚΟΠΑΘΟῦΝΤΟς , ἈΛΛᾺ ΤῸΝ ΜΑΘΗΤῊΝ ΔΙΕΓΕΊΡΩΝ ὙΠῈΡ ΤΟῦ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊΟΥ ΠΆΣΧΕΙΝ . The dative Τῷ ΕὐΑΓΓ . is to be taken as dativus commodi (Mack, Matthies, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Plitt, Hofmann), as in Philippians 1:27 : ΣΥΝΑΘΛΟῦΝΤΕς Τῇ ΠΊΣΤΕΙ ΤΟῦ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊΟΥ ; in Hebrews 11:25 : ΣΥΓΚΑΚΟΥΧΕῖΣΘΑΙ Τῷ ΛΑῷ , the dative has another meaning.

ΚΑΤᾺ ΔΎΝΑΜΙΝ ΘΕΟῦ ] These words do not belong, as Heinrichs thinks possible, to Τῷ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊῼ , in the sense: doctrina cui inest ΔΎΝΑΜΙς ΘΕΟῦ , but to the preceding verb. The meaning, however, is not: “strengthened through God’s aid” (Heydenreich), but ΚΑΤΆ denotes the suitability: “in accordance with the power of God which is effectual in thee,” or “which will not fail thee” (Hofmann). ΔΎΝΑΜΙς ΘΕΟῦ is not here “the power produced by God,” nor is it “God’s own power” (Wiesinger), in the sense of an abstract idea apart from its actual working in the believer.

[10] Hofmann for this explanation appeals wrongly to 1Co 1:6 ; 1 Corinthians 2:1 ; besides, μαρτύριον does not mean “truth of salvation,” unless it is so defined.

[11] Wiesinger: “Here the twofold contents of the epistle are set forth as the theme; for the contents of the epistle are simply the general duties laid on Timothy as a preacher of the gospel, and the particular service of love which he was to render to the imprisoned apostle.”

Verse 9

2 Timothy 1:9 . In the series of participial and relative clauses which here follow each other in the Pauline manner, the apostle details the saving works of God’s grace, not so much “to bring into prominence the δύναμις Θεοῦ ” (Wiesinger), as to strengthen the exhortation in 2 Timothy 1:8 .

τοῦ σώσαντος ἡμᾶς καὶ καλέσαντος κλήσει ἁγίᾳ ] This thought is closely related to the one preceding, since the mention of the divine act of love serves to give strength in working and suffering for the gospel.

The καλεῖν is placed after the σώζειν , because the salvation of God, the σωτηρία , is imparted to man by God through the call. The thought is to be taken generally of all Christians, and not merely to be referred to Paul and Timothy, as several expositors think, at the same time explaining κλῆσις of the special call to the office of Christian teacher (Heydenreich).

Κλῆσις in the N. T. constantly denotes the call to partake in the kingdom of God, the call being made outwardly by the preaching of the gospel, inwardly by the influence of the spirit working through the word. Κλῆσις and καλεῖν are similarly joined in Ephesians 4:1 .

The added ἁγία defines the κλῆσις more precisely in its nature, not in its working (de Wette, “hallowing”).

In order to denote the σώζειν [12] and ΚΑΛΕῖΝ as purely acts of God’s grace, and thus set the love of God in clearer light, Paul adds the words: Οὐ ΚΑΤᾺ ΤᾺ ἜΡΓΑ ἩΜῶΝ , ἈΛΛᾺ Κ . Τ . Λ . The first clause is negative, declaring that our works were not the standard ( ΚΑΤΆ ) of that divine activity (comp. Titus 3:5 ). The second clause is positive, setting forth the principle by which alone God has guided himself. De Wette is inaccurate in explaining ΚΑΤΆ . as giving the motive; that is not given by ΚΑΤΆ , but by ἘΞ ; comp. Romans 9:11 . The only rule for God in the work of redemption is God’s ἸΔΊΑ ΠΡΌΘΕΣΙς ; comp. on this Romans 8:28 f.; Ephesians 1:11 ; Titus 3:5 : ΚΑΤᾺ ΤῸΝ ΑὙΤΟῦ ἜΛΕΟΝ . ἼΔΙΟς is here emphatic, in order to show that this his purpose has its ground in himself alone. [13]

καὶ χάριν τὴν δοθεῖσαν ἡμῖν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων ] By this addition still greater emphasis is laid on the thought contained in the previous words, since the ἰδία πρόθεσις is called a χάρις which has been already given us in Christ πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων . It is natural to take πρὸ χρόν . αἰων . as identical with πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων , 1 Corinthians 2:7 (Ephesians 1:4 : πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου ), i.e. to regard it as a term for eternity, since the χρόνοι αἰώνιοι are the times beginning with the creation (so hitherto in this commentary). Heydenreich and others with this view explain δίδοναι as equivalent to “destinare, appoint;” but as the word does not possess this meaning, it is better to adhere to the idea of giving , but in an ideal signification, “in so far as that which God resolves in eternity is already as good as realized in time” (de Wette). Ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ , which is attached immediately to δοθεῖσαν , denotes Christ Jesus as the mediator through whom grace is imparted to us, but in such a way that Christ’s mediatorship is regarded as one provided by God before time was. [14] But the expression πρὸ χρόν . αἰων . may be otherwise taken. In Titus 1:2 , it clearly has a weaker signification, viz. “from time immemorial” (similarly Luke 1:70 : ἈΠʼ ΑἸῶΝΟς ). If the expression be taken in that way here, ΔΟΘΕῖΣΑΝ may be explained in the sense that to us the ΧΆΡΙς is already given in the promise (Titus 1:2 also refers to God’s promise); so Hofmann. In that case, however, ἘΝ ΧΡΙΣΤῷ ἸΗΣΟῦ is not to be taken in the sense of mediation, which does not agree with the addition of ἸΗΣΟῦ to ΧΡΙΣΤῷ , but as Hofmann explains it: “ ΤῊΝ ΔΟΘ . ἩΜ . ἘΝ ΧΡΙΣΤῷ ἸΗΣΟῦ denotes that the grace given us was given that Christ Jesus might be given us; He, however, has been given us from the beginning of time, when God promised the Saviour who was to appear in the person of Jesus.” This view (especially on account of Titus 1:2 ) might be preferred to the one previously mentioned. As contrasted with ΚΑΤᾺ ΤᾺ ἜΡΓΑ ἩΜῶΝ , stress is to be laid on ΠΡῸ ΧΡΌΝΩΝ ΑἸΩΝΊΩΝ . If the imparting of the grace is eternal (resting on the eternal counsel of God), it is all the less dependent on the works of man.

[12] De Wette’s assertion, that with Paul God is never the Saviour, is contradicted by 1 Corinthians 1:21 .

[13] Πρόθεσις , as Wiesinger rightly remarks, is not equivalent to “foreordination,” but to “purpose;” see Romans 1:13 ; Ephesians 1:9 ; Ephesians 1:11

[14] Hofmann, in his Schriftbew . I. p. 232, puts forward the explanation: “It is the eternal conduct of God the Father to the Son, in which and with which there is given to us who are in Christ the grace of God eternally;” but he has since withdrawn it. Wiesinger remarks that the πρόθεσις is not to be understood of a purpose in reference to individuals , but of the purpose in reference to the world , and that every position of the individual is grounded on this eternal grace presented to the world in Christ; but this limitation is in no way indicated by the context.

Verse 10

2 Timothy 1:10 . Φανερωθεῖσαν δὲ νῦν ] These words form a contrast with τὴν δοθεῖσαν … πρὸ χρόν . αἰων ., the grace being concealed which was bestowed on Christians in Christ before the ages. It is to be observed that the idea of the φανέρωσις does not refer here to the decree, but to the grace of God; Heydenreich is therefore inaccurate in saying that “the φανεροῦν here denotes the execution of the divine decree which was made from eternity, and has now come forth from its concealment.” The means by which the φανέρωσις of the divine grace has been made, the apostle calls the ἐπιφάνεια τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ . Ἐπιφάνεια is used only here to denote the appearance of Christ in the flesh. As a matter of course (so, too, van Oosterzee, Plitt, and others), it denotes not only the birth of Christ, but also His whole presence on the earth up to His ascension. There is added τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν in reference to τοῦ σώσαντος ἡμᾶς , 2 Timothy 1:9 , in order to make it clear that the grace eternally given to us was made manifest by the appearance of Christ Jesus, because He appeared as our σωτήρ (see on 1 Timothy 1:1 ). The means by which He showed Himself to be this, and by which He revealed that grace, are told us in the two participial clauses: καταργήσαντος μὲν τὸν θάνατον , φωτίσαντος δὲ ζωὴν καὶ ἀφθαρσίαν διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου .

καταργεῖν , properly, “make ineffectual,” means here, as in 1 Corinthians 15:26 , Hebrews 2:14 , “ bring to nought. ” Θάνατος is death, as the power to which man is, for his sins, made subject, both for time and for eternity. It is not the “prince of the realm of the dead,” as Heydenreich thinks (also in Hebrews 2:14 there is a distinction between θάνατος and διάβολος ). Still less to the point is the hypothesis of de Wette, that the καταργεῖν τὸν θάνατον is spoken “with subjective reference to the power of death over the mind, or the fear of death;” the discussion here is not of subjective states of feeling, but of objective powers. The question whether θάνατος means here physical or eternal death, may be answered in this way, that the apostle regards the two as one in their inner relation to one another. [15] The second clause: ΦΩΤΊΣΑΝΤΟς ΔῈ Κ . Τ . Λ . , corresponds with the first: ΚΑΤΑΡΓ . Κ . Τ . Λ . ΦΩΤΊΖΕΙΝ has usually the intransitive signification: “shine,” Revelation 22:5 ; but it occurs also as transitive, both in the literal and derivative sense, Revelation 21:23 , John 1:9 . In 1 Corinthians 4:5 , it is synonymous with ΦΑΝΕΡΟῦΝ : “ bring to light from concealment ;” so, too, in Sir 24:30 , and in this sense it is used here. The expression is all the more pointed that θάνατος is “a power of darkness” (Wiesinger); comp. Luke 1:79 .

Heydenreich’s explanation: “Christ raised the hope of immortality to fullest certainty,” weakens the apostle’s meaning. ΖΩΉ denotes the blessed life of the children of God, which is further described as eternal, ever-during, by the epexegetical ΚΑῚ ἈΦΘΑΡΣΊΑ (Wiesinger). This life was originally hid in God, but Christ brought it to light out of concealment, and brought it ΔΙᾺ ΤΟῦ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊΟΥ . These added words are to be referred only to the second clause, for the annihilation of death was not effected by the gospel, but by Christ’s death and resurrection.

On the other hand, the revelation of life was made by the preaching of the gospel, inasmuch as Christ thereby places before us the ΖΩῊ ΚΑῚ ἈΦΘΑΡΣΊΑ as the inheritance assigned us in Him.

It is incorrect, with Wiesinger, to separate ΔΙᾺ ΤΟῦ ΕὐΑΓΓΕΛΊΟΥ from the nearest verb to which it is thoroughly suited if taken in a natural sense, and to connect it with the more distant ΦΑΝΕΡΩΘΕῖΣΑΝ , the means of which, moreover, is already given in ΔΙᾺ Τῆς ἘΠΙΦΑΝΕΊΑς . Plitt wrongly thinks that the construction here is somewhat careless, and that ΔΙᾺ Τ . ΕὐΑΓΓ . is to be co-ordinated with ΔΙᾺ Τῆς ἘΠΙΦΑΝΕΊΑς , giving a still more precise definition to ΦΑΝΕΡΩΘΕῖΣΑΝ .

[15] Wiesinger: “Death as the power to which the whole man, both body and soul, has fallen a prey in consequence of sin, and which makes the bodily death the precursor of death eternal.”

Verse 11

2 Timothy 1:11 . Εἰς ὃ ἐτέθην κ . τ . λ .] With these words the apostle turns to his office and his suffering in his office, in correspondence with μηδὲ ἐμὲ τ . δὲσμ . αὐτοῦ , 2 Timothy 1:8 . The relative ὅ does not refer to the thoughts expressed in the previous verses, but to εὐαγγελίου : “ for which ,” i.e. in order to preach it. Comp. the parallel passages in 1 Timothy 2:7 .

Verse 12

2 Timothy 1:12 . Διʼ ἣν αἰτίαν (see on 2 Timothy 1:6 ) refers to what immediately precedes: “therefore, because I am appointed apostle.”

καὶ ταῦτα πάσχω ] goes back to 2 Timothy 1:8 . Και expresses the relation corresponding to what was said in 2 Timothy 1:11 .

ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐπαισχύνομαι ] viz. of the sufferings; said in reference to μὴ οὖν ἐπαισχυνθῇς in 2 Timothy 1:8 . Imprisonment is to me not a disgrace, but a καύχημα ; comp. Romans 5:3 ; Colossians 1:24 . The apostle thereby declares that his suffering does not prevent him from preaching the μαρτύριον τοῦ κυρίου (2 Timothy 1:8 ) as a κήρυξ κ . τ . λ . The reason is given in the next words: οἶδα γὰρ ᾧ πεπίστευκα . Heydenreich inaccurately: “I know Him on whom I have trusted;” de Wette rightly: “I know on whom I have set my trust.”

This is defined more precisely by: καὶ πέπεισμαι , ὅτι δυνατός ἐστι κ . τ . λ ., which words are closely connected with those previous, in the sense: I know, that He in whom I trust is mighty, etc.

The confidence that God can keep His παραθήκη , is the reason of his οὐκ ἐπαισχύνεσθαι . With οἶδα … καὶ πέπεισμαι , comp. Romans 14:14 ; with on ὅτι δυν . ἐστι , comp. Romans 11:23 ; Romans 14:4 ; 2 Corinthians 9:8 .

On the meaning of τὴν παραθήκην ( Rec. παρακαταθήκην ) μου , expositors have spoken very arbitrarily. Theodoret says: παρακαταθήκην , ἢ τὴν πίστιν φησὶ καὶ τὸ κήρυγμα , ἢ τοὺς πιστοὺς , οὓς παρέθετο αὐτῷ ὁ Χριστὸς ἢ οὓς αὐτὸς παρέθετο τῷ κυρίῳ , ἢ παρακαταθήκην λέγει τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν .

The same substantive occurs again at 2 Timothy 1:13 ; so, too, at 1 Timothy 6:20 .

It is hardly possible to imagine that Paul in 2 Timothy 1:14 should have meant something else by παραθήκη than he means here; all the less that he connects the same verb with it in both passages. Though here we have μου , and God is the subject, still the supposition is not thereby justified. [16] The genitive ΜΟΥ may either be subjective or objective. In the former case, ΠΑΡΑΘ . ΜΟΥ is something which Paul has entrusted or commended to God; in the latter, something which God has entrusted to Paul, or laid aside for him (a deposit destined for him). With the former view Hofmann understands by ΠΑΡΑΘΉΚΗ the apostle’s soul which he has commended to God; but there is nothing in the context to indicate this. Hofmann appeals to Psalms 31:6 ; but against this it is to be observed that nothing can justify him in supplying the idea of “ soul ” with the simple word παραθήκη .

With the latter view of the genitive, Wiesinger understands by it the ΖΩῊ ΚΑῚ ἈΦΘΑΡΣΊΑ (2 Timothy 4:8 : ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣΎΝΗς ΣΤΈΦΑΝΟς ) already mentioned; so, too, Plitt; van Oosterzee, too, agrees with this view, though he, without good grounds, explains ΜΟΥ as a subjective genitive. Against this interpretation there is the fact that with the sentence ΕἸς ἘΤΈΘΗΝ the apostle’s thought has already turned from the ΖΩῊ ΚΑῚ ἈΦΘΑΡΣΊΑ to his ΔΙΑΚΟΝΊΑ . The following interpretation suits best with the context: for what other reason could there be for the apostle’s ΟὐΚ ἘΠΑΙΣΧΎΝΟΜΑΙ than the confidence that God would keep the ΔΙΑΚΟΝΊΑ in which, or for whose sake, he had to suffer, would keep it so that it would not be injured by his suffering.

It is less suitable to understand by the ΠΑΡΑΘΉΚΗ the gospel, because the ΜΟΥ , pointing to something entrusted to the apostle personally, does not agree with this. By adding ΕἸς ἘΚΕΊΝΗΝ ΤῊΝ ἩΜΈΡΑΝ , the apostle sets forth that the ΠΑΡΑΘΉΚΗ is not only kept “ till that day” (Heydenreich, Wiesinger, Otto [17] ), but “ for that day,” i.e. that it may be then manifested in its uninjured splendour. The phrase ἐκείνη ἡ ἡμέρα is equivalent to ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ Χριστοῦ , “the day of Christ’s second coming”; it is found also in 2 Timothy 1:18 ; 2 Timothy 4:8 , 2 Thessalonians 1:10 , and more frequently in the Gospels. On the meaning of the preposition εἰς , comp. Meyer on Philippians 1:10 .

[16] Wiesinger adduces three counter-reasons (1) in ver. 14 φυλάσσειν is represented as Timothy’s business, here as God’s; (2) in ver. 14 παραθήκη refers to the doctrine, here it is represented as a personal possession; (3) in ver. 14 he is discussing the right behaviour for Timothy, here the confidence in the right behaviour. But against the first reason, it is to be observed that φυλάσσειν of every gift of grace is the business both of God and of the man to whom it is entrusted; in ver. 11 it is expressly said, διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου . Against the second reason, it may be urged that to interpret παραθήκη of doctrine in ver. 14 is at least doubtful; but even if it were correct, still the gospel, too, might be regarded as something given personally to the apostle; comp. 1 Timothy 1:11 : τὸ εὐαγγέλιον … ὁ ἐπιστεύθην ἐγώ ; Romans 2:16 : to τὸ εὐαγγέλίον μου . Against the third reason, it may be said that no one can really keep the blessing entrusted to him without having confidence that God keeps it for him, and no one can have this confidence without himself preserving the blessing ( διὰ πν . ἁγίου ).

[17] Otto wrongly uses this passage to support his assertion that in this epistle “there is no trace to be found of forebodings and expectations of death.” He says: “If Paul has confidence in the Lord, that he can maintain for him the παραθήκη till the παρουσία , he must also have hoped that his official work would not be interrupted by his bodily death, since the apostle in it does not in any way express the hope that God would maintain for him his official work till the day of Christ.” The “ for him ” is arbitrarily imported, and φυλάσσειν does not mean “ maintain .”

Verse 13

2 Timothy 1:13 . Exhortation to Timothy.

ὑποτύπωσιν ἔχε ὑγιαινόντων λόγων , ὧν κ . τ . λ .] For ὑποτύπωσις here, as in 1 Timothy 1:16 , “ type ” is to be retained. There is no reason for explaining the word here by “sketch” (Flatt), or docendi forma et ratio (Beza), or a written sketch given by the apostle to Timothy (Herder). Timothy is to carry with him the words he had heard from Paul as a type, i.e. in order to direct his ministry according to it. Luther translates ὑποτύπωσις by “pattern” (so, too, de Wette, Wiesinger, and others), but the reference thus given is not in the words themselves. The verb ἔχειν stands here in the sense of κατέχειν . Bengel rightly: vult Paulus ea, quae Timotheus semel audierat, semper animo ejus observari et impressa manere. It is incorrect, with Hofmann, to take ὑποτ . ὑγιαιν . λόγων as the predicate of the object, and to assume accordingly that it is a contracted form for ὑποτύπωσιν ἔχε ὑγιαινόντων λόγων τὴν ὑποτύπωσιν τῶν λόγων ὧν κ . τ . λ . Such a contraction is inconceivable, nor does Hofmann give any instance to prove its possibility. The words ἐν τῇ πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ τῇ κ . τ . λ ., which are neither to be joined with ἤκουσας , nor, with Hofmann, referred to what follows, show that the ἔχειν does not take place externally, but is an effort of memory. Ἐν is not equivalent to “with” (Heydenreich); the πίστις and ἀγάπη are rather regarded as the vessel, in which Timothy is to keep that type. The added words: τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ , which go only with ἀγάπῃ (de Wette, Wiesinger, Hofmann), mark the Christian character of the love which Paul desires from Timothy: “the love grounded in Jesus Christ;” comp. 1 Timothy 1:14 . On the expression λογ . ὑγ ., comp. 1 Timothy 1:10 . The article is wanting, “because this expression had become quite current (like νόμος and others) with the author” (de Wette, Wiesinger).

Why this exhortation, as de Wette thinks, gives Timothy a low place, we cannot understand; every appearance of such a thing disappears when it is remembered that the apostle, grey-headed and near his end, is speaking to his pupil and colleague after enduring painful experience of the unfaithfulness of others, to which unfaithfulness he returns afterwards.

Even de Wette wrongly asserts that this verse has no connection with the one preceding; for Paul has been speaking of himself and of the gospel entrusted to him, with the desire that Timothy should always keep in mind his example.

Verse 14

2 Timothy 1:14 . The exhortation in this verse is most closely connected with that in 2 Timothy 1:13 , for παραθήκη here, as in 2 Timothy 1:12 , is the ministry of the gospel.

τὴν καλὴν παραθήκην φύλαξον ] ἡ καλὴ παραθήκη is, like ἡ καλὴ διδασκαλία , 1 Timothy 4:6 ; ὁ καλὸς ἀγὼν κ . τ . λ ., to be taken in a general objective sense. There is no sufficient reason for interpreting παραθήκη otherwise than in 2 Timothy 1:12 whether, with Wiesinger and Hofmann, as equivalent to “the sound doctrine,” or, with van Oosterzee, as equivalent to τὸ χάρισμα . Since all that the apostle has enjoined on Timothy from 2 Timothy 1:6 onward has special reference to the discharge of his office, we may surely understand παραθήκη to have the same meaning here as in 2 Timothy 1:12 ; besides, as already remarked, it is not conceivable that Paul, in two sentences so closely connected, should have used the same word with different meanings. It need not excite wonder that in 2 Timothy 1:12 Paul looks to God for the preservation of the παραθήκη , while here he lays it on Timothy as a duty; God’s working does not exclude the activity of man. Φυλάσσειν here, as in 2 Timothy 1:12 , is: “ to keep from harm uninjured ,” and from the tendency of the whole epistle it is clear that this exhortation referred to the heresy which perverted the gospel.

διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου ] Chrysostom: οὐ γὰρ ἐστὶν ἀνθρωπίνης ψυχῆς οὐδὲ δυνάμεως , τοσαῦτα ἐμπιστευθέντα ἀρκέσαι πρὸς τὴν φυλακήν . Timothy is not to employ any human means for preserving the παραθήκη ; the only means is to be the Holy Spirit, i.e. he is to let the Spirit work in him free and unconfined, and only do that to which the Spirit impels him. The Spirit, however, is not something distant from him, as is shown by the words: τοῦ ἐνοικοῦντος ἐν ἡμῖν . On ἐνοικοῦντος , comp. 2 Timothy 1:5 . Ἐν ἡμῖν denotes the Spirit as the one principle of the new life, working in all believers. Ἡμῖν , here as in 2 Timothy 1:6 , must not be referred simply to Paul and Timothy; nor is it to be overlooked that Paul does not say ἐν σοί .

Verse 15

2 Timothy 1:15 . The apostle reminds Timothy of those who had deserted him. This is done to incite Timothy to come to Rome with the greater speed, and also not to be ashamed of Paul, the prisoner of Christ, as the others had been (2 Timothy 1:8 ).

οἶδας τοῦτο ] expresses not the probability merely (as Matthies says), but the certainty that he knows.

ὅτι ἀπεστράφησάν με ] The aorist passive has here the force of the middle voice; for the same construction, comp. Titus 1:14 ; Hebrews 12:25 ; see Wahl on the passage, and Buttmann, p. 166. The word does not denote the departure of any one, but is equivalent to aversari, properly, “turn one’s countenance away from any one,” and so “throw off inwardly the acquaintance of any one” (so in the N. T., in the LXX., the Apocrypha of the O. T., and the classical writers; comp. Otto, p. 283). Without reason, de Wette denies that it has this meaning here. There is therefore in the verb no ground for the common opinion that the πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ had been with Paul in Rome, and had again returned to Asia (Matthies, de Wette, Wiesinger). Nor is there more ground in the term used for the subject; πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ are “all who are in (proconsular) Asia;” but, as a matter of course, that cannot mean all the Christians there. Perhaps Paul was thinking only of his colleagues who were then residing in Asia (Otto); but in that case he would surely have designated them more precisely. It is possible that the construction has its explanation in the addition ὧν ἐστιν Φύγελλος καὶ Ἑρμογένης , viz.: “all the Asiatics, to whom belong Phygellus and Hermogenes.” In any case, these two are named because they were the most conspicuous in their unfaithfulness to the apostle. Paul gives no hint of it, and we can hardly think it probable that they were heretics, and that the other Asiatics had also fallen away from the truth (Otto).

Verses 16-18

2 Timothy 1:16-18 . With these unfaithful Asiatics, Paul contrasts the faithfulness of Onesiphorus, probably that he might place an example before Timothy.

δῴη ἔλεος ὁ κύριος τῷ Ὀνησιφόρου οἴκῳ ] διδόναι ἔλεος does not occur elsewhere in the N. T. Regarding the form δῴη , proper to later Greek, see Buttmann, Ausführl. Gramm. § 107, Rem. 9; Winer, pp. 75 f. [E. T. p. 94]. By ὁ κύριος we must understand Christ, according to the usage of the N. T. Onesiphorus is named only here and at 2 Timothy 4:19 . Many expositors (also Hofmann) think that his household only is in both passages mentioned, because he was no longer in life. This opinion is confirmed by the way in which mercy is wished for him in 2 Timothy 1:18 (de Wette).

Paul expressed such a wish because of the love that had been shown him; ὅτι πολλάκις με ἀνέψυξε ] ἀναψύχειν , properly, “cool,” then “refresh, enliven” ( Od. iv. 568: ἦτορ ), occurring only here in the N. T. (more frequently in the LXX.; ἀνάψυξις , Acts 3:19 ), is not to be derived from ψυχή (Beza), but from ψύχω . De Wette, without ground, thinks that a bodily refreshment of meat and drink only is meant; it should rather be referred more generally to all proofs of love on the part of Onesiphorus. These were all the more precious to the apostle that they were given to him in his imprisonment, and proved that Onesiphorus was not ashamed of his bonds (2 Timothy 1:8 ; 2 Timothy 1:12 ); this is expressed in the words that follow. On ἅλυσιν , comp. Ephesians 6:20 . 2 Timothy 1:17 . ἀλλά ] in opposition to the preceding οὐκ .

γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ ] (comp. Matthew 26:6 ; Acts 13:5 ). It is not said what moved him to journey to Rome; it is mere conjecture to suppose that it was business matters.

σπουδαιότερον -g0- ( Rec. Tisch. 8: σπουδαίως ) ἐζήτησέ με ] The comparative is the right reading, and is to be explained by referring to τ . ἅλυσίν μου οὐκ ἐπαισχύνθη , “ all the more eagerly ” (Wiesinger, Hofmann).

The ζητεῖν stands in sharp contrast with ἀπεστράφησάν με , 2 Timothy 1:15 .

The addition of καὶ εὗρε brings out that Onesiphorus had sought him till he found him.

Paul at first wished mercy only to the house of Onesiphorus; he now does the same to Onesiphorus himself. 2 Timothy 1:18 . Matthies, Wiesinger, Hofmann think that εὑρεῖν ἔλεος is a play on words with the preceding εὗρε ; but this is at least doubtful.

The repetition of κύριος is striking: ὁ κύριος … παρὰ κυρίου . We can hardly take these to refer to two different subjects (according to de Wette, the first being God, the second Christ; according to Wiesinger and Hofmann, the very opposite).

ὁ κύριος here is in any case Christ, as in 2 Timothy 1:16 ; 2 Timothy 4:18 (certainly not: “the world-ruling, divine principle,” Matthies). The apostle in what follows might simply have said εὑρεῖν ἔλεος ἐν ἐκ . τ . ἡμέρᾳ ; but in his mental vision of the judgment, seeing Christ as judge, he writes down παρὰ κυρίου just as it occurs to him, without being anxious to remember that he had begun with δῴη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος . [18] The phrase ΕὙΡΊΣΚΕΙΝ ἜΛΕΟς ΠΑΡΆ with genitive does not occur elsewhere; only in the Song of the Three Children, 2 Timothy 1:14 , have we ΕὙΡΕῖΝ ἜΛΕΟς ; in 2 John 1:3 : ἜΣΤΑΙ ἜΛΕΟς ΠΑΡᾺ ΘΕΟῦ . As to the expression, we should compare especially Hebrews 4:16 : ἽΝΑ ΛΆΒΩΜΕΝ ἜΛΕΟς ΚΑῚ ΧΆΡΙΝ ΕὝΡΩΜΕΝ ( ΕὙΡΊΣΚ . ΧΆΡΙΝ , Luke 1:30 ; Acts 7:46 , and often in the LXX. and the Apocrypha of the O. T.). On ἘΝ ἘΚΕΊΝῌ Τῇ ἩΜΈΡᾼ , comp. 2 Timothy 1:12 . This wish the apostle utters not only because of the love Onesiphorus had shown him in Rome, but also because of what he had done in Ephesus, of which, however, he does not wish here to speak further, as it is well known to Timothy.

ΚΑῚ ὍΣΑ ἘΝ ἘΦΈΣῼ ΔΙΗΚΌΝΗΣΕ ] Heydenreich, Hofmann, [19] and some others supply ΜΟΊ , others ΤΟῖς ἉΓΊΟΙς ; both are unnecessary. Even without supplying anything, we can of course understand that he is speaking of services rendered in the church. On the other hand, there is nothing to indicate that Onesiphorus was actually a ΔΙΆΚΟΝΟς of the church.

ΒΈΛΤΙΟΝ ΣῪ ΓΙΝΏΣΚΕΙς ] The adverb ΒΈΛΤΙΟΝ only here; the comparative does not simply stand for the positive, see Winer, pp. 227 f. [E. T. p. 304]. There is a comparison implied here: “than I could tell thee,” or the like. [20]

[18] Van Oosterzee: “An inartistic form of expression, in which the second χύριος may be taken for the reflective pronoun.”

[19] Hofmann supposes that those services are meant which Onesiphorus, after his return from Rome to Ephesus, rendered to the apostle for the purpose of disarming the charges that had brought him into prison. This, however, is a mere conjecture.

[20] Otto supposes that Onesiphorus was the first to seek Paul out in his imprisonment, and that he brought the news spoken of from Ephesus; but these are conjectures which can hardly be called probable, as there is no ground on which to rest them.

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/2-timothy-1.html. 1832.
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