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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

2 Timothy 2

Verse 1

1. As for you, my son. The Circumcision Party in the province of Asia had all rejected Paul as apostle, therefore he will no longer be able to reason with them and oppose their false teaching. This burden must now fall on the shoulders of Timothy (and others like him). Paul is intensely anxious about how Timothy will act in the future. This does not mean that Paul expects him to fail, but he feels about this as a father would who sees his son go off to war.




Verse 2

2. Take the words. Paul sees apostolic succession as a matter of teaching, not of administration. What Paul preached was the Good News of God’s act in Christ and all that formed part of this (2 Timothy 2:8), In other words, it is the entire New Testament. [Timothy died about the time the last Book was written, but he had been taught everything that would be in it.] Timothy is to pick those who can be trusted and pass on this message. The seed is the word of God (Luke 8:11). [Note: men is ANTHROPOIS, not ANDRES.]




Verse 3

3. Take your part. A soldier must suffer as well as fight. Timothy must set an example for others to follow.




Verse 4

4. A soldier in active service. Timothy’s position is unusual, because as Paul’s spiritual son, he would be the target of the opposition. But this principle applies to every servant of God. The ministry of the Word must supersede everything else!!! [But Paul could be a tent-maker without violating this.] Compare 2 Corinthians 6:14.




Verse 5

5. Unless he obeys the rules. An example from the games. After the race, those who had disobeyed the rules were disqualified. Compare 1 Corinthians 9:27and note.




Verse 6

6. First share of the harvest. The farmer receives his share, no matter how poor the crop may be, because he has worked. “The soldier gives up civilian life; the athlete obeys the rules; the farmer works hard and waits for the harvest. You, Timothy, must put the Lord first, suffer when necessary, and work patiently, to receive your reward (Revelation 22:12).”




Verse 7

7. Think. “Grasp the meaning of these examples. Ask the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5).”




Verse 8

8. Remember Jesus Christ. He is both the great example and the source of hope! Who was raised from death. Paul is thinking of the resurrection as a personal experience of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:9). Adescendant of David. He made what the prophets had said come true. In the Good News. The experience of Christ is the basis of the Good News of God’s act in Christ to set men free (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The opposition fought against the idea that Christ had raised from death, and said it was only symbolic, and that our resurrection has already happened (2 Timothy 2:17-18).




Verse 9

9. Because I preach. “I have been put in this prison by the enemies of the Good News!” Is not in chains. Paul is in chains, but not the word of God!!! Even the Devil is not permitted to destroy the message of the Good News! [But see Galatians 1:6-9and notes.] Compare 2 Timothy 4:17; Philippians 1:12-14.




Verse 10

10. And for this reason. “Since the work goes on!” I endure. Compare 1 Corinthians 13:7. For the sake of. MacKnight thinks Paul has in mind the Gentiles, who were his special responsibility. But see also Romans 9:3; Acts 21:13and notes.




Verse 11

11. This is a true saying. This may be part of an ancient hymn. Paul uses it to reinforce what he has just said (in 2 Timothy 2:4-10). If we have died with him. See Romans 6:4-8; Colossians 2:12and notes.




Verse 12

12. If we continue to endure. See Romans 8:17; Matthew 19:27-28and notes. If we deny him. See Matthew 10:32-33and notes.




Verse 13

13. He remain faithful. Even if we turn away from him, he will be faithful to every promise, and every threat!!! See Romans 3:4and note.




Verse 14

14. Remind your people of this. The issues of life and death set out in 2 Timothy 2:11-13. Not tofight over words. See note on 1 Timothy 6:4. Lipscomb says: “They had such a morbid fondness for questionings and disputings over untaught questions and words that it amounted to a disease. These men deal with subtle, useless, and unpractical questions, which have no practical bearing on ordinary life, and only tend to stir up strife and useless discussion, and to make men discontented and rebellious.”




Verse 15

15. Do your best. This is required of every Christian! [In ancient English, study meant to do your best.]To will full approval. “It is God whom we must please, not the Circumcision party or anyone else!” Who correctly teaches. This means: (1) presenting the truth clearly and accurately; (2) giving milk to those who need it (Hebrews 5:11-14; 1 Corinthians 3:1-2).




Verse 16

16. Keep away from. See note on 1 Timothy 6:20. Lipscomb says: “Everything not commanded by God in the Scriptures may safely be placed under this head.” Nothing ought to be bound upon Christians as articles of faith, nor required as terms of communion and fellowship, except what is clearly taught and required in the Word of God. Human reasoning and opinion may be valid, but has no authority!




Verse 17

17. What they teach. The false teachings mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:16will eat into men’s souls like cancer! See notes on 1 Timothy 6:4-5. Hymenaeus and Philetus. See note on 1 Timothy 1:20. Nothing is known of Philetus. They may have denied that Jesus came as a human being, and that both his death and resurrection were not real. See 1 John 4:3and note.




Verse 18

18. By saying. They said the only resurrection was a moral resurrection of the soul. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:12and note. These false teachers combined a believable but false spirituality (sentimentality) with an irresistible materialism.




Verse 19

19. But the solid foundation. “Even though the faith of some is upset, God’s solid foundation cannot be shaken!” The church (messianic community) has an absolute wholeness unaffected by some who go AWOL from it!!! Compare Romans 9:8; Romans 11:26. The Lord know those who are his. This gives every true Christian confidence!!! MacKnight identifies the solid foundation as the apostles themselves (Ephesians 2:20)and thinks these words are quoted from Numbers 16:5 Septuagint (the Hebrew has: “the Lord will show those who are his”). Must turn away from wrongdoing. This shows who are His! Those who belong, to the Lord must turn away from the false teachers. Compare Revelation 18:4and note.




Verse 20

20. In a large house. “Do not think it strange that God permits wicked teachers in his church. The church is an IDEAL, so we can expect some disloyal members to be in it.” Compare 1 Corinthians 12:21-26and notes.




Verse 21

21. He will be used for special purposes. “If a teacher will cleanse himself from false teachings, false loyalties, and sinful action, God will use him for special purposes.” Christians must be holy (1 Peter 1:16).




Verse 22

22. Avoid the passions of youth. Here Paul means, not so much sensual passions, but such things as grandiose ambition, pride, love of power, rashness, stubbornness, etc. Some teachers avoid the sensual passions, but fall into these other things. And strive for, You must purposely seize these things and practice a positive righteousness!!! Compare Matthew 12:43-45and notes.




Verse 23

23. But stay away from. See Titus 3:9-11and notes.




Verse 24

24. Must not quarrel. He must not waste valuable time in these useless discussions. He must be kind. He must be a gentle and patient teacher, demonstrating the kindness which he encourages others to develop.




Verse 25

25. As he corrects. He must not use violent methods with those whom he corrects, even though they are his opponents. That God will give. God gives the opportunity to repent by making people aware of their sins. But the knowledge of God’s goodness must be combined with the sense of sin, to avoid discouragement. See 2 Corinthians 7:10and note.




Verse 26

26. Will return to their senses. They have been spiritually psychotic!!! The servant of God is to attempt to rescue even the false teacher!!! See Judges 1:22-23.




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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 2". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.