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Superscription and Salutation
2 Timothy 1:1-2
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the 2promise1 of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy my dearly beloved2 Son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
2 Timothy 1:1. By the will of God, διὰ θελήματος. In the First Epistle the phrase is, “by the commandment of God.” The ἐπιταγή is the fruit of the θέλημα, and the choice of this latter word in this place is to be explained perhaps thus: The Apostle, in view of his approaching end, in Christian resignation, felt the need of directing his attention to His will, who, according to His own eternal counsels, had led him along this pathway (comp. Galatians 1:15-16). Psychologically, also, it is worthy of remark, how, in the opening of this last communication, in the very face of death, he places in the foreground the promise of life in Christ Jesus.—According to the promise of life, &c., κατ̓ ἐπαγγελίαν ζωῆς. We believe that in this way we can best render the sense of this enigmatical κατά. It is known how these words hare been variously explained in all periods. Luther has, according to the promise; De Wette, for the promise (or promising) of life, which by itself, without farther comment, is scarcely intelligible; others, still, interpret otherwise. In any event, something in the way of thought must be supplied. Certainly, they who maintain that ἐπαγγελία here cannot mesa proclamation, but promise only, are in the right. Yet κατά expresses necessarily the object of the apostolical function of Paul. Paul can be named, however, an Apostle for the promise of life, only from the consideration that he is called, through the will of God, to the office of proclaiming this promise (comp. Winer, Gramm., p. 358).—Promise of life is that promise the main substance of which is the true, eternal, and blessed life. What kind of life the Apostle here denotes, he states more particularly by the words, τῆς ἐν Χριστ. Ἰησοῦ. Since, indeed, this life is revealed and manifested personally in the Saviour, while in His fellowship it becomes the inheritance of all believers, so likewise is He the grand centre forth from which it streams without ceasing. It was the apostolic calling of Paul to set forth this life constantly; and just herein lies the power of proclaiming the gospel—its main substance being a promise of life, as the sinner needs it, and which he seeks in vain apart from Christ.
2 Timothy 1:2. Dearly beloved son, ἀγαπητῶ τέκνῳ. Certainly it is arbitrary to wish to find in the Apostle’s use of this adjective, instead of γνησίῳ (1 Timothy 1:2), a proof that Timothy no longer deserved that honorable epithet, on account of an open defect in the temper of his faith (Mack). 2 Timothy 1:5 establishes the contrary. The reason why this Word ἀγαπητῷ is here used, in our judgment admits of a very simple explanation. The Apostle, feeling that he must soon be separated, speaks in a more affectionate tone than before, and it is better suited to the wholly more subjective character of this second Epistle; which view is incorrectly questioned by Huther. It was not so much in the mind of the Apostle to bear honorable witness to Timothy, as to express the inwardness of the relation in which both stood to each other.—Grace, mercy, &c. See remarks upon 1 Timothy 1:2.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. By describing the gospel as a promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, the characteristic distinction between it and the law is strikingly brought out, and its high, ali-surpassing worth at the same time is shown.
2. The gospel is no abstract system of doctrine by the side of or even higher than other systems, but it is a revelation of the life which is manifest in Christ, and which through Christ is conveyed to the sinner. In this particular Paul and John agree (comp. 1 John 1:2). The high scope of the manifestation of Christ was not that He might communicate to the spirit of man even a new wealth in religious ideas, but that he might give to the heart of the sinner, lying in spiritual death, the treasure of a new life (Ephesians 2:1). But such a communication of life to the sinner, through Christ, is something inconceivable as long as one hesitates to acknowledge the true Godhead of the Lord (comp. John 1:1-4).
3. The tranquillity with which Paul—as we behold him not only in this opening of, but throughout the entire Epistle—contemplated death, is not only convincing proof of his true greatness, but it has also apologetic value. The tone of the Apostle furnishes proof alike of the glory of the gospel, and the mighty working of the power of God in His feeble servants.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Paul prepared to write the testament of love for his spiritual son and brother.—Paul remains true to his holy calling even unto death (comp. Matthew 24:13; Revelation 2:10).—The unwavering certainty of the Apostle in respect of his call to apostleship: (1) Its foundation; (2) its noble value.—Ministry in the gospel is no function of death, but a proclamation of life in Christ Jesus.—Eternal life for the Christian is in part something actual, and in part something future.—The communion of saints.—The high value of spiritual ties superior to those of flesh and blood.—God the Father communicates His highest gifts of grace to us, not otherwise than in personal fellowship with Christ.
Starke: Bibl. Würt.: All true teachers are spiritual fathers of their Christian and devout hearers (1 Corinthians 4:15).—Cramer: Teachers and scholars should love one another as parents and children (2 Corinthians 12:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:13).
Von Gerlach: “Life in Christ is to the Apostle, standing at the end of his course, even in view of the last, most bitter conflict, of the utmost moment.”
2 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1.—[Cod. Sin. has ἐπαγγελίας.—E. H.]
2 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2.—[The recepta, and all modern critical editions, have a fullpoint after τέκνῳ.—E. H.]
Expression of the thankful remembrance of Paul at the continuous friendly relations with the beloved Timothy
2 Timothy 1:3-5
3I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with [in = ἐν] pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee [how that unceasingly I have remembrance respecting thee] in my prayers night and day;3 4Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; [,] 5When I call4 to remembrance [having remembrance of] the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
2 Timothy 1:3. I thank God, χάριν ἔχω; instead of the more usual εὐχαριστῶ. A genuine Pauline beginning (comp., e.g., the Epistles to the Thessalonians), but doubly striking in these relations. The additional μου in some MSS. (see Tischendorf on this place), is nothing more than an imitation of Romans 1:8.—Whom I serve; a relative expression, and it is entirely superfluous to inquire into the special object of the Apostle in the use of it. In a friendly communication like the one now in hand, expressions are not so carefully weighed and measured. It is enough if, from the subjective tone of the Apostle, they can be satisfactorily explained. For the rest, that in this testimony which Paul gives concerning himself there is anything objectionable when compared with 1 Timothy 1:13, has been maintained even by Chrysostom: “Quandoque etiam dormitat bonus Homerus.” De Wette still farther sees in it only a disjointed compilation. But if, indeed, the Apostle had always been zealous to serve God in the best way, as well before as after his conversion, occasion might prompt him to speak of it; and yet here, just as in 2 Corinthians 1:12, no charge can be brought against him of an idle self-glorification. With some critics it seems to be forbidden, at the peril of life and limb, to give expression to particular religious experiences more than once, and especially when given in statements in any degree modified.—From my forefathers, ἀπὸ προγόνων; not Abraham, or others, who, as a rule, are named πατέρες by Paul (Romans 9:5), but progenitores proximi, so that μου can be supplied. We know no particulars of the ancestors of the Apostle, but there is nothing to interfere with the supposition that they were truly God-fearing people; and in this case it is very conceivable that Paul treasured all the more, this historic continuity of the true service of God in his own family, since he himself died without leaving children behind him.—With pure conscience. A glance, this, at the sphere of the inner life in which the Apostle as well when Jew, as also later when Christian, had exercised this genuine service of God (comp. 1 Timothy 1:6).—That … night and day (Wie ich = how I). This incidental is connected with the previous participial clause; but we must be cautious about having recourse too quickly to the precarious assistance of parentheses.—̔Ως is to be translated how (Huther, Wiesinger), somewhat as in Galatians 6:10, and signifies, indeed indirectly, that the thankfulness to which the Apostle here gives expression has reference to no one but Timothy.—In my prayers night and day; the latter words serve to strengthen the ἀδιάλειπτον, with which they are most intimately connected, and they bring into clearer distinctness the thought that Paul scarcely ceased to think of his friend and pupil when praying, and that he bore him continually on his heart in its supplications. It is hence unnecessary5 to connect νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας with the following ἐπιποθῶν, as Matthies has proposed.
2 Timothy 1:4. Greatly desiring, &c. (comp. Romans 1:11; Philippians 1:8). The utterance of such a desire, which the Apostle expressed also in other passages, is so much the more natural here, as he sees his life approach rapidly its end (comp. 2 Timothy 4:21). In a most artless manner one participle here is subordinated to the other. “The longing after Timothy occasions the continual thought of him in the prayers of the Apostle, and it is nourished by the recollection of Timothy’s tears;” Huther.—Thy tears. Most probably those shed by Timothy on his last departure from Paul, like those of the Ephesian elders in an earlier day (Acts 20:37).—That I may be filled with joy; if, indeed, he shall see Timothy again. We learn here how full of feeling the character of Timothy was, and, indeed, no less that of Paul himself (comp. Acts 20:37). “Lacrymæ flos cordis, out summam hypocrisin aut summam sinceritatem indicant. Ludibrium ex lacrymis indicium est pravitatis sæculi nostri;” Bengel.
2 Timothy 1:5. When I call to remembrance. Luther less accurately: “und erinnere mich.” Yπόμνησιν must here, as usually in the New Testament, be understood sensu activo (comp. 2 Peter 1:13; 2 Peter 3:1). The Apostle also here says, that through some circumstances, not farther indicated to us, his recollection was aroused touching something indeed which he knew already, but which now he had observed anew, viz., the unfeigned faith which dwelt in Timothy. Ammonius: “ἀνάμνησις, ὅται τις, ἔλθῃ εἰς μνήμην τῶν παρελθόντων, ὑπόμνησις δέ, ὅταν ὑφ̓ ἑτέρου εἰς τοῦτο προαχθῆ.—The unfeigned faith, ἀνυπόκριτος; a real trueness of faith, which, proceeding from the most inward, most living conviction, stands opposed to all sham and to all outward appearance.—Which dwelt first, &c. He who loves to name specialities of the kind, “something altogether too singular,” can indeed be a master in grammatical exegesis, but certainly not in psychological. Such details, in a private letter like this now before us, were just as natural upon the part of Paul as they must have been agreeable and edifying to Timothy; while, on the other hand, a forger would, without doubt, have taken pains to avoid special items, which could subserve no tendency (tendenz). There is no need, still further, of the supposition (Origen) that the mother and grandmother of Timothy were also relatives of Paul. It is enough that the Apostle had met both women on his tour of inspection at Lystra and Derbe (Acts 16:0.), and had learned to value them as followers of the Lord.—First, πρῶτον; many years before the conversion of Timothy (“fortasse ante natum Timotheum;” Bengel), had faith dwelt in his grandmother and in his mother. It was not a bare, fleeting, momentary feeling, but an abiding, indwelling principle (comp. Ephesians 3:17); and in like manner also the Apostle is fully persuaded (πέπεισμαι—expression of confident expectation) that the same living faith dwelt also in Timothy himself, “quia fides est tibi quasi hereditaria” (Cornel. a Lapide in this place).—Lois= the better known Ααῒς.—Εὐνίκη=Victoria. Although the μάμμη usually denotes mother, yet it also often is used for grandmother, as is necessarily the case here, owing to the context. Timothy can also in a measure, what Paul wholly could declare, that he served God ἀπὸ προγόνων, which represents still more an affinity and likeness between the two.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. Although piety can by no means be named a natural inheritance, yet it may be said that, in many families, faith and love are transmitted from parents to children, and that Christian fathers and mothers save not only themselves, but also their households (comp. Acts 16:31). God-fearing families and households, in which faith is a perpetual treasure, and which renews itself in a certain degree within them, are in contrast with the ungodly. Many illustrations can be found collected in Lange’s interesting treatise, Blutsverwandte als Geistesverwandte in der Kirchen- und Weltgeschichte, in Gelzer’s Monatsblätter, November, 1859.
2. As Timothy, in respect of his spiritual life, was indebted extremely to his mother and grandmother, so is the kingdom of God rich in proofs of the blessings which pious mothers have secured for their subsequently distinguished sons. As examples, we name the following: Mary, Salome, Anthusa, Monica, Nonna, and others. Compare the beautiful observations of Neander, in the first part of the “Memorials,” and, still farther, Lange’s treatise Ueber den Antheil des weiblichen Geschlechts an der Entwickelung und Geschichte der Christlichen Kirche, in Gelzer’s Monatsblätter, August, 1858.
3. In the character of Paul, it is remarkable that the greatest extremes meet in him without neutralizing each other. The same Apostle, who deserves to be named a model of robust manliness, stands here before our eyes agitated by the most delicate, womanly feeling, and yet far removed from an effeminate sentimentality. By the recollection of the tears of Timothy already is his heart touched, and the joy which he desires most of all, is to behold once more the face of his friend and disciple. The man who in his mission-plans embraced the whole Jewish and Gentile world, has, at the same time, an open eye for individual family relationships, and can comprehend the little world of the hidden life of faith of a few modest provincial people. The teacher who could secure from his youthful disciple the recognition of his apostolic authority, did not think it beneath his dignity to call up before his vision the kindly image of his mother and grandmother. The Apostle, whose gaze lost itself in the far future, abandoned himself with evident satisfaction to the friendly reminiscences of a beautiful past.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Paul a pattern of obedience towards his own prescript: “In eveything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The high value of the recollections of a beautiful youth, especially at the close of the Christian’s course.—As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10).—The longing of love.—The duty of Christian intercession.—The communion of saints: (1) In their rich enjoyments; (2) in their painful limitations.—The infinite sublimity of the Christian fellowship of spirit, raised above the narrow limits of time and space.—The proportionate value of tears in the Christian life.—Thankfulness and prayer are most closely bound together (comp. Colossians 4:2).—Home education the school for the formation of true piety.—Christian faith in its morning (Timothy), at noon (Eunice), and at the evening of life (Lois).—How Christian faith brings back again youth to old age, and imparts, on the other hand, to youth something of the earnestness and dignity of age.—No love without genuine trust, yet genuine trust does not mean credulity.
Starke: Well is it for children to have pious parents, who from their youth will be led to godliness.—Good breeding ends with good bearing.—The parents’ sighs are the children’s defence.
Lisco: The memory of affection.—Bengel.: At the end of the journey there is something specially lovely in the thought of devout ancestors.—The older we become, so much the more do we perceive that our own life, in itself considered—our immediate activity—amounts but to little.—It becomes ever clearer that we count only in fellowship, not in our isolation.—Hence, it is in fact, and according to a wise ordering of God, completely necessary that we shall hold ourselves in humility.—Heubner: The throne of God is the place of union of separated friends.—The desire of one Christian friend to see another, must spring especially from the expectation of receiving with him new strength and joy for life, through the intercourse.—Piety drunk in with the mother’s milk passes over truly into sap and blood.
2 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:3.—[Lachmann connects νυκτὸς κ. ἡμέρας with the words that follow. Tischendorf with the Recepta and the majority, with the preceding.—E. H.]
2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:5.—Instead of λαμβάνων, λαβών is to he read here. The whole weight of authority favors it; A. C. F. G., and others. Tischendorf, Lachmann, Sin.
[It may not be necessary, and yet well.—E. H.]
Exhortation to Timothy to stir up and to apply well the gifts of grace which had been conferred upon him.—The motive hereto; reference to the example of Paul, and others
2 Timothy 1:6-18
6Wherefore I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by [through] the putting on of my hands. 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; [,] but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind6 8[self-restraint]. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions7 of the gospel 9according to the power of God; [,] Who hath [omit “hath”] saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began8 10[before the ages]; But is now made manifest by [through] the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath [both]9 abolished death, and hath brought 11life and immortality [incorruption] to light through the gospel: [,] Where-unto [In respect of which] I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a 12teacher of the Gentiles. For the [omit “the”] which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed10 unto him against [unto] that day. 13Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of [from] me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14That good thing [fair trust] which was committed unto [to] thee, keep by [through] the Holy Ghost which [who] dwelleth in us. 15This thou knowest, that all they which are [all those] in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus11 and Hermogenes. 16The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: [,] 17But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently,12 and found me. 18The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well [better].
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
2 Timothy 1:6. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance. With these words the Apostle introduces an exhortation which is farther elaborated in the whole chapter, and founded in differing motives. Δἰ ἥν αἰτίαν refers back clearly to what immediately precedes. Just because Paul knows that the faith of the mother and the grandmother of Timothy dwelt in him also, he has the candor to address an exhortation to him, which would have been entirely out of place to an unbeliever—I put thee in remembrance, ἀναμιμνήσκω; I remind thee, hortandi notione inclusâ; Wahl.—That thou stir up the gift of God.Ἁναζωπυρεῖν, composed of ἀνά and ζωπυρεῖν; properly, to kindle again into a blaze the half-concealed coals under the ashes—to quicken them anew. Hence the significance of the revivifying of the inner spiritual fire. The LXX. use the same word (Genesis 45:27), for the Hebrew חָיָה. The gift of which Paul here speaks is compared with a fire, precisely as in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, which is capable both of decrease and increase. The Apostle here, as in 1 Timothy 4:14, alludes to the gift of the calling (Lehrberuf) received from God, and addresses Timothy not as a Christian simply, but chiefly as teacher. It is somewhat premature to infer from this exhortation that Timothy was not fervent in spirit (Romans 12:11). Certainly the holy fire was in him, but it should blaze forth in a yet brighter flame.—What teacher might not need continually such an exhortation, without our construing it into an indirect censure upon him? In the main, it contains nothing else and farther than what is written in 1 Timothy 6:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:15.—By the putting on of my hands (comp. 1 Timothy 4:14). The Apostle had, it is likely, taken personal part in the solemnity there mentioned; and it harmonizes fully with the more fatherly and confidential character of his second Epistle, that he emphasizes specially this his personal share in the transaction.
2 Timothy 1:7. For God hath not given us. The exhortation to increase spiritual capital becomes strengthened by reference to that which has been received already. Paul is himself conscious that he has received one and the self-same πνεῦμα with Timothy; and knows, likewise, on the ground of his own experience, how it operates, and what. This he states, first negatively, and then also positively. It is no spirit of fear, δειλίας (comp. Romans 8:15); with this distinction, however, that there, slavish fear before God, while here feeble timidity before men, is referred to as being in direct contradiction with the peculiar character of the Christian spirit. It appears obviously, that Timothy, who was of gentle disposition, borne down by manifold discouraging cares, was in special danger, more than others, of yielding weakly to despondency, without, however, being justly obnoxious to the suspicion of defect in his faith, or of unfaithfulness in his work. “Timothy seems, from the persecutions which the cause of the gospel encountered, and especially from what Paul had suffered, to have become inwardly affected and crippled (?) in his activity. We cannot well reach any other conclusion from the πνεῦμα δειλίας of 2 Timothy 1:7. He did not exercise the duties of the office conferred upon him with the freedom and energy which the relations of the community demanded.”—But of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. The first characteristic stands opposed to faint-heartedness; the two other qualities are added, apparently, by the Apostle, so that it may be distinctly manifest that he recommends no wild, rough exhibitions of force, but only such as were confined within legal limits. The ἀγαπή renders us capable for the offering of the greatest sacrifice for the cause of the Lord; the σωφρονισμός is that Christian self-control which imparts power to a wise bearing in action, and in all things knows how to keep within true bounds.
2 Timothy 1:8. Be not thou therefore ashamed … of his prisoner. From what he had stated generally in 2 Timothy 1:6-7, the Apostle now proceeds (in 2 Timothy 1:8-12) to particulars. He had declared of himself (in Romans 1:16), that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, since it is a power of God unto salvation. Now it is his wish that Timothy shall freely make the same confession, although ridicule and shame attend the preaching of the gospel.—Of the testimony of our Lord, is not the martyrdom of Christ Himself, nor even the testimony of the death of the Lord upon the cross in particular, but, in general, the testimony of the truth which, by and with the preaching of the gospel, was set forth, and of which preaching, the Lord Jesus Christ was chief person and centre. Very naturally, this admonition is connected with what immediately precedes: “Timorem pudor comitatur, victo timore fugit pudor malus;” Bengel.—Nor of me his prisoner. The one thing was inseparably bound up with the other. Were Timothy ashamed freely to preach the Lord, then he would be in the highest degree unwilling to confess that he stood in any intimate relation with the imprisoned Paul. In the mind of the Apostle himself, his bonds were his badge of honor, which he would be willing at no price to forego (comp. Acts 26:29; Galatians 6:17). How thence could it be a matter of indifference to him, if any one, and especially Timothy, should be offended at them?—But be thou partaker, &c. Instead of avoiding, through an ignominious retreat, Suffering in behalf of the good cause, Timothy must rather courageously submit to it. Συγκακοπάθησον τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ; not, suffer with the gospel, bear with it the disgrace attached to it, but, suffer with me, who also am suffering (σύν) for the gospel, which must be preached at any risk, and is thoroughly deserving of the grandest sacrifices. Τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ, a dativus commodi, wholly like Philippians 1:27. And in order to repel every possible objection, as if the fulfilment of this heavy demand might far surpass the powers of Timothy, the Apostle now adds: according to the power of God; which words are not to be understood as in apposition with τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ, but with συγκακοπάθησον. The Divine power which was already (according to 2 Timothy 1:7) in Timothy, would fit him for the offering of the heaviest sacrifice.
2 Timothy 1:9. Who saved us. That Timothy might be still more emphatically aroused to courageous endurance, Paul reminds him of the infinite wealth of the salvation, to the personal enjoyment of which he had come through the very same gospel. Here also, as usually in the Pastoral Epistles, God is set forth as σωτήρ of the faithful through Christ. Of this σωτηρία, Paul and Timothy, like all believers, are actual partakers. The means through which this σωτηρία becomes theirs, Paul signifies epexegetically when he speaks here of the calling. In this passage, moreover, as generally with the Apostle, we must not think of a mere outward calling which happens without any distinction between believers and unbelievers, but of an outward and an inward calling, to which man, on his part, has responded through the obedience of faith (comp. Romans 8:30). It is in the highest degree arbitrary to think here exclusively of a special calling to the office of a Christian teacher (Heydenreich), since it is evident from the context that nothing else than the general Christian calling is meant. It is called holy not so much because it proceeds forth from the Holy Ghost, but chiefly because it urges and obliges to holiness. But wherein the origin of this wholly incomparable advantage is to be found, the Apostle states in what immediately follows: Not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, &c. A genuine Pauline compendium of his preaching of the gospel (comp. Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:4). The standard (κατά) is not our works (comp. Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9), but solely and alone the free grace of God, the only ground of which is in Himself (αὐτοκίνητος), and is excited, merited, or called forth through nothing in the creature. Consequently, the emphasis here must be placed upon ἴδιος; and the grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, is to be regarded as the actualization of God’s idea of that which He had purposed in Himself (comp. Ephesians 1:10). “What God determines in eternity, is as good as already made actual in Time;” De Wette. Here, as always with Paul, Christ is represented as the centre of Divine grace (χάρις). That this grace is already bestowed before the world began, πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων, is a proof, moreover, that it is entirely independent of the works of men. “Ab ordine temporis, argumentatur, nobis salutem gratis esse datam, quam minime eramus promeriti. Nam si ante mundi creationem elegit nos Deus, non potuit operum habere rationem, quæ nulla erant, quum nondum essemus ipsi. Nam quod sophistæ cavillantur, Deum operibus, quæ prævidebat, fuisse adductum, non longa solutione indiget. Qualia enim futura erant opera, si essemus a Deo præteriti, quum omnium bonorum fons et initium sit ipsa electio?” Calvin. “From the order of time he adduces argument that salvation is given to us freely, we being in no degree deserving of it. For if God chose us before the creation of the world, he could not have the ground (rationem) of works, which were null when we were not yet in existence. For the cavil of the sophists, that God was governed by the works He foresaw, does not need a lengthened discussion. For what were future works, had we been passed by by God, since election itself is the fountain and beginning of all good works?”
2 Timothy 1:10. But is now made manifest, &c. Over against what God had purposed from eternity, the Apostle sets forth now what He had done in the fulness of time to realize His determination. He means a φανέρωσις, not only through the word of the gospel, but through the highest deed of Divine love, visible in the manifestation of Christ. The Apostle states a sort of antithesis to this in Romans 16:25. The manifestation of the Lord, ἐπιφάνεια, is not only His coming into the world per se, but His earthly manifestation in its complete circumference; and the fulness of blessing from it is expressed, negatively and positively, in these words: Who abolished death, and brought life and incorruption to light. The antithesis of life and death is thoroughly Pauline. Both words here must be understood also in their full force. By death, we must not think simply of the moment of separation between body and soul, but of that death which, as the wages of sin, forms a decided opposition to spiritual and eternal life, ςωή. We must think of death as the power which has seized the entire man, body and soul, in consequence of sin, and which makes physical the precursor of moral death (Wiesinger). Life, on the other hand, is that true, spiritual life, which is perfectly identical with the highest happiness, is enjoyed, indeed, this side the grave, is not destroyed by death, and is perfected beyond. The exegetical clause, καὶ , denotes it as eternal, imperishable; so that the idea coincides nearly with the ζωὴ αἰώνιος of John. Christ now has destroyed this death. Καταργεῖν signifies here also, as in 1 Corinthians 15:26; Hebrews 2:14, such a destruction that death is despoiled of his whole power. “In Græcis scriptoribus hoc sensu legere non memini;” Winer. Already now, for believers, death is nothing; the time will come when it shall cease to be. On the other hand, Christ has brought to light life and immortality. Φωτίζειν, an expression which is chosen all the more appropriately here, since also the power of death is a power of darkness. Not only because Christ has imparted this life and immortality to His own (Huther), but chiefly because He has revealed this, and placed it before our eyes, can it be said of Him that He has brought both forth from darkness into light. Never would the world have experienced what eternal life and immortality, in the full meaning of the words, are, had it not beheld them in Christ. We are not accustomed to think here exclusively of the death and resurrection of Christ, although these are in no way excluded. Through His entire manifestation and activity He has bestowed upon us the blessings here mentioned. For the rest, it is obvious that the revelation of life which is given in Christ is likewise, for believers in Him, a communication of life.—Through the gospel; here brought forward as the instrument through which the revelation of life, which was given objectively in Christ, comes subjectively to the knowledge of believing Christians. The gospel is not considered here simply as doctrine, but also as the power of God to save all who believe in it (Romans 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
2 Timothy 1:11. Whereunto … a teacher of the Gentiles (comp. 1 Timothy 2:7). This also is an addition, which does not spring from apologetical considerations, but from the personal heart-necessities of the Apostle. It is as if he felt with twofold force the need of setting forth to himself, in his deep humiliation, his high rank. The accumulation of the words here is in no way a tautology. Κήρυξ is the general signification of the Christian office of teaching, which embraces also evangelists and prophets. Of this genus, ἀπόστολος is a species, while διδάσκαλος ἐθνῶν is the designation of the sphere in which the apostolate of Paul moves. There is no sufficient ground for removing ἐθνῶν13 from the text, as critically suspicious.
2 Timothy 1:12. For which cause, &c. Here also, as in 2 Timothy 1:6, δἰ ἤν αἰτίαν belongs to what immediately precedes. Because, indeed, I am appointed a preacher, &c., καὶ ταῦτα πάσχω. The Apostle thinks of his present imprisonment, with all the calamities connected with it, which for Timothy require no more explicit description.—Ἀλλ̓ οὐκ ἐπαισχύνομαι; namely, of the suffering which I must bear for the Lord’s cause. The Apostle wishes, evidently, to encourage Timothy, through his own example, to carry out his prescript (2 Timothy 1:8). And upon the question whether it be possible for him to reach such a height, he refers to the source of his own joyfulness.—For I know, &c. ̔͂Ω πεπίστευκα; pudorem pellit fiducia futuri; Bengel. Christ might be the implied subject of discourse (comp. 2 Timothy 1:10); but it is more evident that God is (comp. Acts 27:25; Titus 3:8), although it is obvious that not God in Himself, but specially God in Christ, is the object of the believing confidence of the Apostle. That which immediately follows, shows upon what ground this trust can be so firm and unwavering.—And am persuaded that he is able, &c. The certitude here expressed is that of living faith, the object of which is the almightiness of God.—To keep that which I have committed, &c., τὴν παραθήκην μου (comp. 1 Timothy 6:20). As the same word is used in 2 Timothy 1:14 in this chapter, the presumption is, that in all these places the same thing is denoted; which certainly is possible, though by no means necessary. If we understand the word in the sense in which it is used in 1 Timothy 6:20, then we must think necessarily of the apostolic function (De Wette, Otto, and others), and find this thought: I am persuaded that the Lord, according to His might; will ever guard that, the administration of which He has entrusted to me, &c. But how could the Lord guard, in the strict sense of the word, the office of Paul, when Paul himself should no longer be upon the earth, while, in fact, he was expecting to fall asleep before the Parousia? Hence it is more simple, by πὴν παραθήκην μου, to think of something which Paul, on his part, had confided to the Lord, and had given in trust as a costly treasure, so that now he would not be solicitous about it even for a moment. And on the question what this could be, it is altogether the simplest we hold, to think here of the eternal salvation of his soul, and also to understand the word in the sense in which Calvin wrote upon this place: “Observa etiam nomen depositi pro vita æterna; nam inde colligimus, non alitur in manu Dei salutam nostram esse, ac sunt in manu depositarii, quæ ipsius fidei custodienda tradimus. Si penes nos esset salus nostra, quot assidue periculis exposita foret? Nunc vero bene est, quod apud talem custodem reposita omni discrimine est superior.”—(“Observe also the name deposit for life eternal: for we collect thence that our salvation is not otherwise in the hand of God than those things are in the hands of a trustee, which we yield under the guardianship of faith itself. If salvation were in our keeping, how constantly would it be exposed to dangers. Now indeed it is well that it is in the keeping of such a custodian, and above all risk.”) Other views can be found collected and examined by De Wette and Huther on this place. By the indefiniteness of the expression, and the absence of any clearer indication in the context, it is difficult to hit upon a view which leaves no single difficulty remaining.—Against that day; the day of the coming of Christ, when that which is hidden shall be brought to light, and the crown of life shall be given to all who love His appearing (comp. 2 Timothy 4:8).
2 Timothy 1:13. Hold fast the form, &c. “Repetit præceptum de conservanda puritate doctrinæ, quod sæpissime in divinis concionibus recitatur. Et summa comprehensa est in hoc dicto: si quis aliud Evangelium docuerit, anathema sit. Usus est Paulus hic singulari verbo: retineas formam sanorum verborum, i.e., quæ tibi antea declineata est. Vult et res ipsas retineri et modos loquendi perspicuos et usitatos prophetis et apostolis. Quamquam enim non superstitiose postulat ubique eadem verba recitari, tamen vult vitari ambiguitates etλογομαχίας;” Melanchthon. (“He repeats the precept concerning the preservation of the purity of doctrine, which is most frequently uttered in Divine addresses. And the sum is comprised in this saying: If any one shall have taught another gospel, let him be anathema. Paul uses here the verb singular: hold fast the form of sound words—i.e., which has been set forth to thee before. He desires that both things be held fast, and also the clear modes of speaking, and such as were customary with apostles and prophets. For although be does not superstitiously demand that the same words be everywhere recited, he wishes nevertheless that ambiguities and λογομαχίαι be avoided.”) By ὑποτύπωσις is to be understood a brief sketch of Christian doctrine over against an extended treatise. Some commentators (e.g., Herder) have thought here of a written draft, which Paul had left behind as a guide to Timothy. But in this case Paul would not have said, which thou hast heard of me, but, which I have sketched for thee. He has certainly written the form here indicated, but in such a style as is meant, e.g., in 2 Corinthians 3:3. Upon the mind of Timothy the ὑποτύπωσις was impressed in indelible colors, and therefore he could do nothing better than to keep himself up to it as closely as possible. Ἕχειν also here is equivalent to κατέχειν, as well as φυλάσσειν, 2 Timothy 1:14.—In faith, &c. (not, of faith and of love; Luther). No indication, this, of what were the contents of sound words, but an exhibition of the style and way in which Timothy should hold fast the words of the Apostle. Not in an outward, mechanical way, but also that faith and love might be like a vase in which the model referred to would be preserved; so that for that reason likewise also, it was the personal and spiritual characteristic of Timothy. If this last existed, then would he reproduce independently, without the slightest injury to the truth, the sound words of the Apostle, and repeat them, in no degree only as an echo, in a lifeless way. By the addition, love Which is in Christ Jesus, is signified that this love must be kept up and preserved in personal life-fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. This love of the heart sharpens the memory of the understanding in the preservation of the sound words, as this is seen, e.g., in the Evangelist John, who in his advanced age was still in condition to repeat the extended dialogues and discourses of the Lord.
2 Timothy 1:14. That good thing which was committed unto thee, keep, &c. A concluding exhortation, in which all that is said in 2 Timothy 1:6-13 is yet once briefly summed up. (Upon παραθήκη, see on 1 Timothy 6:20). There is no adequate ground for understanding this word here wholly in the same sense as in 2 Timothy 1:12, There the Apostle spoke of a deposit (depositum) with which he had entrusted his God; here, on the other hand, he speaks of a cause which God had confided to Timothy. Many interpreters think exclusively of the sound words spoken of in 2 Timothy 1:13; but in this case there would be a flat tautology. This exhortation is referred more appropriately, perhaps, to 2 Timothy 1:6, and by παραθήκη is understood the χάρισμα τοῦ Θεοῦ which Timothy had received for the work of his ministry. This trust committed to him is named good, in the same sense in which the Apostle earlier (1 Timothy 6:12) had spoken of the good fight of faith. Timothy ought to keep this free from all harm, not through his own, strength, but through the strength of the Holy Ghost who dwells in us, the believing, without distinction, and along with Whom the power to remain true and steadfast is imparted. “Timothy should not apply any human instrument to the keeping of the παραθήκη; the only instrument must be the Holy Ghost; that is, he must permit Him to rule and work without trammels and freely in him, and do only that to which He directs him” (Huther).
2 Timothy 1:15. This thou knowest, that all, &c. As a warning for Timothy, who ought to see, in the examples, alleged, the consequences of a want of watchfulness, Paul reminds him of what he had suffered at the hands of the unfaithful Asiatics. This thou knowest, οἶδας τοῦτο; the thing itself is known indeed to Timothy, but it is here most appropriately recalled to his memory. “It is indeed very natural, that while he exhorts one to courage, he sets before him examples of cowardice and inconstancy” (Schleiermacher). Perhaps, moreover, the place admits of translation in the form of a question, thus: “Knowest thou indeed this?” Οἶδας τοῦτο =ἀγάπας με (John 21:15). The matter itself to which Paul here alludes is somewhat obscure. By Asia, Asia proconsularis is to be understood here—Mysia, Phrygia, Lydia, and Caria (Asia cis Taurum, or, according to Ptolemy, ἡ ἰδίως καλουμένη Ἀσἱα). There is no occasion, in the meanwhile, to think, by those who are in Asia, (ἐν τῇ ̓Ασιᾳ), exclusively of the teachers of false doctrines, since through their errors they had already become separated from Paul in principle. There were also believers in general, who, after they had first followed the Apostle to a certain point, had, in a way not known to us, turned from him. Ἀποστρέφειν = aversari, to turn the face from any one, to turn the back upon; also, inwardly to renounce any one. A wide field for conjecture has here opened itself to exegetes. The most prevalent view (Chrysostom, Theodoret, et al.) is, that persons from Asia Minor, who, upon some occasion, had come to Rome during this imprisonment of the Apostle, were ashamed of him in his bonds, and had not taken any notice of him. The view also has some probability, that certain persons had come to Rome from Asia Minor with the design, originally, to serve Paul as witnesses upon his trial, but, when they observed that his cause would terminate unfavorably, had prudently withdrawn. The only difficulty, then, were that we should expect to read, ὁι ἐκ Ἀσίας, while ἐν Ἀσίᾳ is written. If we bear in mind, however, that they had their dwelling in Asia, and that, when this Epistle was written, they had returned thither, this difficulty disappears. Others think otherwise. Of Phygellus and Hermogenes, whom Paul mentions here by name, either because their conduct had affected him most unpleasantly, or also because they were specially known to Timothy, we discover no farther trace. Over against these, was the bearing of him of whom honorable mention is made in part in 2 Timothy 1:16-18, doubly praiseworthy.
2 Timothy 1:16. The Lord give mercy … Onesiphorus. The Onesiphorus here mentioned was probably, too, an “Asiatic,” dwelling at Ephesus (see 2 Timothy 4:19). It is not impossible that he was a merchant, and had come to Rome upon business, and felt himself impelled, by this opportunity, to manifest his sympathy in the fate of the Apostle. The express mention of his house, and the pious wish of the Apostle for Onesiphorus himself (2 Timothy 1:18), gave occasion to the supposition that this disciple dwelt no longer among the living when this Epistle was written. Be this as it may, he oft refreshed me, writes the Apostle; through practical proofs of love, and not, indeed, merely through meat and drink (De Wette), but through everything he had done, to give joy to the heart of the Apostle. Ἀνέψυξεν an ἅπαξ λεγόμ., which signifies, in general, to cool off, to refresh. Indeed, this one circumstance, which Paul here expressly mentions, was not with out some influence upon his exhortation (2 Timothy 1:8).—And was not ashamed of my chain; had also contributed richly to his comfort. Onesiphorus had acted, in fact, in a way entirely in contrast with the others who were “of Asia.”
2 Timothy 1:17. But when be was … and found me. In a city so populous, in which there could be no scarcity of prisoners held under the most diversified accusations, it was not easy, indeed, to find the imprisoned Apostle, especially since whosoever put too definite inquiries, thereby perilled his own safety. Onesiphorus, meanwhile, as he himself probably afterwards informed the Apostle, shrank from no inquiries, allowed himself no rest, until he had found his forsaken friend. Here also is a proof that the relations of the second imprisonment were far unpleasanter than those of his first (comp. Acts 28:30-31). According to the evidence of A. C. D.1 F. G., and other MSS., σπουδαίως seems to deserve preference to the usual reading, σπουδαιότερον.
2 Timothy 1:18. The Lord grant unto him … in that day. What the Apostle himself cannot repay, that, he hopes, the Most High Judge will. Were Onesiphorus already asleep, then also it follows from this place that the Apostle thought of the supreme decision as not occurring immediately after death, but first in the day of the παρουσία of the Lord, whose appearing he, in the meanwhile, represented as wholly near at hand, so that the interval between death and that great event, for his way of thinking, was fused into on insignificant moment.—The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord; a form of speech without art, in which we may take the second κύριος for the pronoun reflexivum, παῤ ἐαυτοῦ. But in case it is believed necessary to distinguish the subjects, then by the second κύριος Christ must be certainly understood; by the first, either God the Father, or God in the entire fulness and incommunicability of His essence.—And in how many things he ministered, &c. The Apostle does not speak here exclusively of the services done unto him (so Luther: “How much he has served me,” &c.), but wholly in a general way of the services which Onesiphorus, at Ephesus, had rendered to the cause of God’s kingdom. This, Timothy, as dwelling there, knows very well—better, e.g., than the Apostle could tell him (comp. upon this Comparative, Winer, p. 217).
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. As every true Christian has received his χάρισμα, so the most sacred obligation rests upon him to employ this gift without ceasing. The fire which is not blown upon, goes out; and the spiritual capital which we possess is ours only as long as we care unceasingly for its preservation and increase. Here, also, the word of the Lord applies: “He that hath, to him shall be given,” &c. (Matthew 13:12). The means through which the awakening of this entrusted gift is brought about, are chiefly threefold: Prayer, whose breath makes the glimmering fire burn brighter; reading of the Word, through which the Spirit speaks to us, and is awakened in us; and the fellowship of the saints, through which the individual life is preserved from sickly conditions and death. Rightly says Melanchthon on this place: “Homo renatus non est, ut statua, sed ideo datur Spiritus Sanctus, ut inchoëtur in nobis libertas, et possumus jam inchoare obedientiam, nec Spiritus Sanctus est otium, sed est flamma et agitatio divina, repugnans diabolo et infirmitati carnis et accedens motus tales, qualis ipse Spiritus Sanctus est. Huc pertinet tota parabola de negotiantibus, Luc. xix.” Divine and human agency move here inseparably together.
2. What exercitia pietatis in particular are to be recommended to the minister of the gospel, is a difficult question (comp. Observ. on 1 Timothy 4:7). The Catholic (Roman) Church has surely done too much of a good thing, and laid upon the clergy a daily burden of private exercises (ἀσκησις), whereby the spirit is deadened, and valuable time is passed in a mechanical routine. On the other side, it is certainly to be deplored that so frequently the freedom of the evangelical clergyman, in this respect, is misspent for want of discipline, and that, in the due care for others, his own spiritual well-being is often entierly forgotten. Labor would doubtless be more successful, if the study were also more of a closet for prayer. Without precisely binding himself formally to a strict private rule (privat agende), as this, in the last age, was more than once recommended, it is not to be overlooked that the freest development of the spiritual life needs continuously training and guidance. To the helps which can be recommended freely without qualification, belongs, amongst the rest, the reading of biographies of those of the clergy within whom Christ has gained, above many others, a fulness of stature, as, e.g., Louis Harms, Chalmers, Oberlin, Hofacker, Spleiss, and others.
3. Although Paul had laid his hands upon Timothy with desirable effect, still it in do degree follows that the ordinary communication of the Holy Ghost is bound up sacramentally with the laying on of hands, and that a character indelibilis must be ascribed to ecclesiastical ordination, as this is insisted upon by Rome, while appeal is made, amongst others, to 2 Timothy 1:6. There is here absolutely no mention of ordination in the later, hierarchical sense. The exhortation to stir up the Spirit, presupposes much more, that in spite of the ἐπίθεσις τῶν χειρῶν, He would otherwise become extinct, and in so far proves against rather than for the character indelibilis. Upon the treatment of Ordination in the spirit of Christ and of the evangelical Church, one can find striking words in Nitzsch, Prakt. Theol., Bd. 2, p. 441 et seq.
4. To be ashamed of the cause of the Lord is possible enough, especially in gentler Melanchthon-natures, such also as Timothy seems to have been—natures which are better fitted for patient suffering than for courageous conflict for the truth. Here also the power of sin is manifest, that men are so often ashamed of the very thing which they should esteem their highest honor; and inversely, they find their highest honor in that which must produce their deepest shame. Fundamentally, sin has destroyed all, but grace restores again, all.
5. The doctrine of the free grace of God in the calling and election of the sinner, is one of the chief foundations in the structure of Pauline soteriology, and likewise one of the greatest treasures of the Church, reformed according to the word of God. He only who exaggerates and presses in an unspiritual way this doctrine, the supreme consolation of believers, can make it resemble a heathen fatalism. (Comp. P. Lange’s treatise on the question, “What authority is due still to the peculiarity of the Reformed Church in the scheme of faith (Glaubenslehre) of our own time?” in the Miscellanies, New Series, ii., pp. 1–52. Bielefeld, 1860.)
6. Paul, is to us (2 Timothy 1:12) a speaking exemplar of the blessed certitude of faith, whereby the claim of many, that such certitude is the fruit of spiritual pride and idle conceit only, is strikingly contradicted. The Roman Catholic Church denies that the Christian, this side the grave, can be assured of his salvation; and upon this point many Protestants are almost cryptocatholic. Nevertheless, it is palpably clear that the believer does not build his certitude upon anything he finds or is competent to within himself, but upon the eternal grace and fidelity of God, which certainly will complete the good work (Philippians 1:6). Perhaps the misunderstanding of many would be removed, if less were said of the perseverantia, and more of the conservatio sanctorum.
[This is weir expressed. I think, however, we should distinguish between the certitudo gratiæ and the certitudo beatitudinis æternæ. Certitude is only one form of the fiducia which is the essence of justifying faith. Of this we may be, ought to be assured; but of the certitude of everlasting salvation we cannot speak as an essential or factor in the consciousness of the believer. It is very desirable that we revise our habits of teaching upon this article. The reader is referred to the following observations by the late Sir W. Hamilton (“Discussion on Philosophy,” &c., London, 1852, on pp. 493, 494) These are important in themselves, and tend to justify in an original style the remark so frequently made, that Protestants and Roman Catholics do not differ as much now as formerly in the article of Justification:
“Assurance, personal assurance (the feeling that God is propitious to me, that my sins are forgiven, fiducia, plerophoria fidei), was long universally held in the Protestant communities to be the criterion and condition of a true or saving faith. Luther declares that he who hath not assurance, spews faith out; and Melanchthon makes assurance the discriminating line of Christianity from heathenism. It was maintained by Calvin—nay, even by Arminius—and is part and parcel of all the Confessions of all the churches of the Reformation down to the Westminster Assembly. In that synod, assurance was in Protestantism, for the first time, declared not to be of the essence of faith; and, accordingly, the Scottish General Assembly has, subsequently, once and again condemned and deposed the holders of this, the doctrine of Luther, of Calvin, and of the older Scottish Church itself. In the English, and more articulately in the Irish Establishment, it still stands a necessary tenet of belief. Assurance is now, however, disavowed when apprehended by churchmen, high and low; but of these, many, like Mr. Hare, are blissfully incognizant of the opinion, its import, its history, and even its name. This dogma, with its fortune past and present, affords, indeed, a series of the most curious contrasts. It is curious that this cardinal point of Luther’s doctrine should, without exception, have been constituted into the fundamental principle of all the churches of the Reformation, and, as their common and uncatholic doctrine, have been explicitly condemned at Trent. It is curious that this common doctrine of the churches of the Reformation should now be abandoned virtually in, or formally by, all these churches themselves. It is curious that Protestants should now generally profess the counter doctrine asserted at Trent in the condemnation of their own principle. It is curious that this, the most important variation in the faith of Protestants, as, in fact, a gravitation of Protestantism back towards Catholicity, should have been overlooked as indeed in his days undeveloped, by the keen-eyed author of “The History of the Variations of the Protestant Churches.” Finally, it is curious that, though now fully developed, this central approximation of Protestantism to Catholicity should not, as far as I know, have been signalized by any theologian, Protestant or Catholic; whilst the Protestant symbol (Fides sola justificat—Faith alone justifies), though now eviscerated of its real import, and now only manifesting a difference of expression, is still supposed to discriminate the two religious denominations. For both agree that the three heavenly virtues must all concur to salvation; and they only differ, whether Faith, as a word, does or does not involve Hope and Charity. This misprision would have been avoided had Luther and Calvin only said, “Fiducia sola justificat,” “Assurance alone justifies;” for, on their doctrine, assurance was convertible with true faith, and true faith implied the other Christian graces. But this primary and peculiar doctrine of the Reformation, is now harmoniously condemned by Roman Catholics and Protestants together.”—E. H.]
7. The evangelical doctrine here alluded to (2 Timothy 1:10), that the Lord has overcome death, is illustrated yet farther, chiefly from apostolical expressions, as 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Hebrews 2:14. Upon the question, how and whereby Christ has achieved this victory, one can refer: 1. To his whole manifestation, by which the true life in its full glory is revealed; 2. to His death, through which sin, the sting of death, is atoned for, and the law, the strength of sin, is fulfilled; 3. to His resurrection on the third day, through which He has burst asunder the bands of death, and triumphed over the power of hell; 4. to His intercession in heaven, whence also He sends down His spirit unceasingly, who imparts the true life, and delivers from the spirit of death; 5. to His final παρουσία, with which He will banish death from the creation (1 Corinthians 15:26; comp. Revelation 21:4).
8. What Paul says of the Holy Ghost as indwelling within the believer, refers us to the highest blessing of the New Covenant, in which the Holy Ghost is the immanent vital principle of all the redeemed. During the Old Covenant, He over-shadowed momentarily individual holy men of God; in the New, He abides perpetually in the heart of each Christian.
9. What the Apostle says in praise and recognition of the proofs of love shown to him by Onesiphorus, is also a practical explanation of the words of Jesus (Matthew 25:34-40).
10. In case, even, that Onesiphorus were really dead at the time of the writing of this Epistle, still the Roman Catholic interpreters are in error when they find, in 2 Timothy 1:18, a proof of the lawfulness and obligation for intercessory prayers for the dead. The case here was altogether special, and cannot, without great wilfulness, be applied as the foundation of a general rule for all the dead. On the other side, it is often forgotten that the gospel nowhere lays down a positive prohibition to follow with our wishes and prayers, if our heart impel us thereto, our departed while in the condition of separation; and hence, in any case, it is well to distinguish between the Christian idea which lies at the foundation of such inward needs, and the form of later church rite, and practice.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Fire is a striking image of the Holy Ghost In this, that it must be kept up and fanned without ceasing.—It is not enough to be in Christ; one must be rooted in Him, grow, and bring forth fruit.—Do ye not know of whose Spirit ye are children?—The Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind.—a threefold chord, where no tone can be wanting or transposed without sharp dissonance.—False shame about the gospel of Christ: (1) How general; (2) how unfounded; (3) how destructive it is.—The Christian (1) need not be ashamed of the gospel; (2) dare in no case; and (3) also will not be ashamed of it, if he will in truth be a Christian.—It is not enough to contend for the truth; one must know also how to suffer for it.—There is no better protection against false shame than firm faith in free grace,—The deficiency of merit, and the necessity of good works in the Christian’s life of faith.—“Nisi opera videam extra, non credam fidem, esse intra;” J. Huss.—Jesus the death-conqueror: (1) The enemy which He, as such, overcomes; (2) the peace which He, as such, restores; (3) the crown which He, as such, merits.—In how far is death already conquered for the Christian, and in how far not yet? Comp. “Heidelberg Catechism,” Ans. 42.—The gospel a revelation of life.—“I know in whom I believe,” the sublimest science of faith.—A science has so much more a higher value, the more (1) it moves in loftier spheres; (2) is built upon firmer foundations; and (3) presents a greater wealth in practical results. All this is true of this, as of no other science.—The way, degree, ground, and fruit of the Christian assurance of faith.—There is no firm hold in sound doctrine which could signify anything in Paul’s judgment, as long as it is not coupled with personal faith and love in life; 2 Timothy 1:14. (1) No servant of Christ is without a committed trust; (2) there is no trust which does not require careful watching; (3) no careful watching is conceivable without the power of the Holy Ghost dwelling within us.—Paul, as the Lord, was also forsaken in distress by unfaithful friends.—True Christian brotherly love (2 Timothy 1:16-18) (1) tested; (2) confirmed; (3) requited.—No labor of love which is positive, goes wholly unrewarded (Hebrews 6:9-10).—Think of those in bonds, as bound with them (Hebrews 13:3).
Starke: Bibl. Würt.: As sparks go out in the ashes when one does not rekindle them, so also the gifts of God are lost when they are not made use of for the glory of God, for the Church, for the public, and for the benefit of one’s neighbor, as that for which they are bestowed (Matthew 25:30).—Langii Opus B.: The prisoner of Christ, nevertheless God’s child, redeemed of Christ, and His ransomed possession, and yet His prisoner; this belongs to the mystery of the Cross.—The power of God, which is mighty in them that believe, one never sees more gloriously than in sorrow.—He who allows hands to be laid upon him for the office of preacher, allows them also to be laid upon him for imprisonment, if God so order (2 Timothy 1:6).—Believers are already saved in the kingdom of grace.—Hedinger: Christ has obtained for us twofold blessings, privativa and positiva; He has taken away the noxious, and brought for us the salutary.—Wilt thou doubt thy salvation? As truly as thou believest, and art assured of thy faith, canst thou be assured of thy salvation.—Conflagration, plunder, and war take away all! What is there more?—The best in secured. It is on high, in heaven, well secured.—He who will have the assistance of the Holy Ghost; especially in the office of teaching, must have Him also as an indweller.—Starke: We think often, with Elijah, as if we were alone and forsaken; but God preserves for Himself always a Church amongst much erring, godless, and abandoned men (1 Kings 19:14-18).—Faith is not high-minded; it associates affectionately with the most insignificant and miserable.—Canst thou not requite thy benefactors, then with and pray heartily that God will (2 Samuel 19:32-39).
Heubner: Inspiration must not be fanatical ecstasy.—To desert a friend and benefactor who is fallen into misery and disgrace, is baseness to the last degree.—Where apostolic earnestness is, can ignominy not long stay away.—The deliverance of the human race is the supremest wonder of Divine love; precisely therefore, also, there is no nobler office than the office of reconciliation.—The hope of immortality first through Christianity is firmly established.—If all Christians should possess the Holy Ghost, how much more the teachers.—Where there is no agreement with Jesus and the Apostles, there is no Holy Ghost.—The persecution of the shepherds shows what genuine sheep are.—Next to suffering for the sake of the gospel, the grandest thing is to support the persecuted against the world, to incur danger for them; as Jerome for Huss, Frederic the Wise for Luther.—Jesus recognizes that as done unto Himself (Matthew 10:40-41).
Lisco (2 Timothy 1:8-14): The power of faith.—(2 Timothy 1:1-14): What ought to move Timothy to fidelity in faith and in the preaching of the gospel: (1) The example of his ancestors; (2) the gift of the Holy Ghost; (3) the example of Paul.—(2 Timothy 1:7-14, Whitsun Sermon): The Spirit given to us.—Not fear, but love, is the mark of the Christian.—(2 Timothy 1:15-18): The conduct of the Christian towards true and false friends—that, amid prevailing unfaithfulness, love nevertheless should not grow cold.—To the merciful, the Lord gives grace here and there.
Leipoldt (2 Timothy 1:12), in the collection, “Manifold Gifts and One Spirit,” ii., p. 2Tim 279: The blessed certitude of faith.—Palmer, sketch of a sermon for the close of the year, on the same text, Evangelische Homiletik, 4. Aufl., S. 340.
Van der Palm (2 Timothy 1:3), Reformation-Sermon: (1) Through the Reformation we, are once more in the possession of sound doctrine; (2) This possession must make itself known through faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.—On 2 Timothy 1:8, comp. a sermon by Van Oosterzee on the cognate text, Romans 1:16, in the Langenberg “Collection,” 1852, pp. 225–250.
2 Timothy 1:7; 2 Timothy 1:7.—[σωφρονισμοῦ = self-restraint. It would, amongst other things, restrain “the passion of fear;” Conybeare and Howson.—E. H.]
2 Timothy 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:8.—[συγκακοπάθησον = suffer evil along with, together with ἐμέ. Sin., συγκακ.—E. H.]
2 Timothy 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:9.—[πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων = ante tempora secularia; Vulg. These times began with the creation of the world; Huther.—E. H.]
2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Timothy 1:10.—Instead of Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ. The English version loses sight of the force of μέν and δέ in this sentence. The Vulgate has quidem and autem: perhaps we should say: “Who hath both abolished death, and hath brought,” &c.—E. H.]
2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:12.—[παραθήκην is the reading adopted by the critical editors.—Sin. also; instead of the παρακαταθήκην of the Recepta.—E. H.]
2 Timothy 1:15; 2 Timothy 1:15.—[Lachmann and Tischendorf, so also Sin., spell φύγελλος, and not φύγελλος. Vulg., Phi(y)gelus.—E. H.]
2 Timothy 1:17; 2 Timothy 1:17.—[σπουδαίως, by Lachmann, after C. Δ., Orig.: so also Sin. Tischendorf retains σπουδαιότερον.—E. H.]
[Lachmann’s punctuation of this section is noticeable.—E. H.]
[Omitted in A.—E. H.]
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17