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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 2

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

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Verses 1-13

( d) 2 Timothy 2:1-13 . The Appeal Renewed.— Thus enriched in his ordination, challenged by Paul’ s example, and warned by the Asian defection, Timothy, for all his work, must find continual strength in his Divine equipment. He must ( a) conserve the truth by depositing it with trustworthy teachers ( 2 Timothy 2:2), and ( b) face the hardships involved in his present administration ( 2 Timothy 2:3). In every sphere success demands endurance and self-discipline. This is true in secular affairs: the successful soldier is restricted from pleasures, the successful athlete restricted by rules, the successful farmer restricted in his ease ( 2 Timothy 2:4-6). The principle is equally valid in religious service. Let Timothy consider the supreme example, Jesus Christ: even for Him, the promised Messiah, the gateway into life was death. Let him also consider Paul, Christ’ s apostle: even now he lies bound as a malefactor— a ready sufferer, since the fetters which bind him cannot bind the message. In facing hardship, therefore, Timothy has no unique experience. In every sphere achievement is conditioned by self-sacrifice ( 2 Timothy 2:7-10). Yet, as reliable words declare, the sacrifice will not remain unrecompensed. Death to self in baptism will yield us a share in Christ’ s resurrection-life, and present endurance a place in His heavenly kingdom. Nevertheless, there is need for care. For, should we deny Him, He will deny us, although want of faith, apart from actual denial, can never cancel His own faithfulness ( 2 Timothy 2:11-13).

2 Timothy 2:2 . among: better, “ through.” Paul’ s teaching had reached Timothy both directly and indirectly.

2 Timothy 2:5 . crowned: with the victor’ s garland.

2 Timothy 2:6 . laboureth is the emphatic word.

2 Timothy 2:8 . Cf. Romans 1:3.

2 Timothy 2:9 . bonds: an indignity for a Roman citizen.— malefactor: possibly a mark of early date. By Domitian’ s day the charge against Christians was that of practising an illegal religion (Ramsay).

2 Timothy 2:11 . faithful, etc.: 1 Timothy 1:15 *. The “ saying” ( 2 Timothy 2:11-13 a) may form part of an early Christian hymn ( 1 Timothy 3:16 *). With its four clauses cf. Romans 6:8, Romans 8:17, Matthew 10:33, Romans 3:3 respectively.

Verses 14-26

2 Timothy 2:14-26 . Charge to Timothy concerning Present Error.

The false teaching considered in this epistle is partly present and partly future. Paul’ s first charge relates to the former type. For its general character cf. 1 Timothy 1:3-11 *. Such particular doctrines as that of 2 Timothy 2:18 were possibly confined to individual teachers. The charge expounds:

( a) 2 Timothy 2:14-18 . Timothy’ s Immediate Duty.— Mere debates are diverting and evil. Timothy must so handle the situation as to win God’ s approval. This involves ( a) framing his own positive teaching after the right pattern, and ( b) definite hostility to the errorists’ discussions ( cf. 1 Timothy 6:20). This is essential because the errorists will become increasingly dangerous, as Hymenæ us (now probably excommunicated, 1 Timothy 1:20) and Philetus prove, with their theory (perverting the truth of Romans 6:3 ff.) that the only resurrection is the spiritual rising experienced in baptism.

2 Timothy 2:15 . handling, etc.: the image is that of a man cutting his doctrine to the pattern of the gospel.

2 Timothy 2:17 . Hymenæ us and Philetus: otherwise unknown.

2 Timothy 2:18 . See above. Another early theory was that men rise again only in their children.

( b) 2 Timothy 2:19-21 . The Right Spirit for Timothy’ s Task. Nevertheless the situation does not call for panic. Timothy’ s spirit must be one of quiet confidence in God, since the Church rests on a firm foundation laid by God Himself and sealed ( cf. Revelation 21:14) by His knowledge ( Numbers 16:5) and moral requirements. The most firmly-founded building, however, contains both worthy and unworthy vessels. The latter ( i.e. the errorists) Timothy must remove from the Church, if he himself would remain fit for God’ s employment.

( c) 2 Timothy 2:22-26 . The Influence of Personal Example.— Meanwhile much depends on Timothy’ s own behaviour ( cf. 1 Timothy 4:12). ( a) His personal example must be irreproachable ( 2 Timothy 2:22; “ youthful” lusts, 1 Timothy 4:11-16 *); ( b) he must avoid controversy with the errorists, a Christian teacher’ s aim being not strife but gentle persuasion, based on instruction. Through these means opponents, captured by Satan, may return from his snare to a sober mind, to do the will of God (EV renders 2 Timothy 2:26 unnaturally).

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 2". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/2-timothy-2.html. 1919.
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