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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 1

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary

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2 Timothy 1:0


SalutationGreetingSalutationIntroductionGreeting and Thanksgiving
2 Timothy 1:1-22 Timothy 1:12 Timothy 1:12 Timothy 1:12 Timothy 1:1-2
2 Timothy 1:2a2 Timothy 1:2a2 Timothy 1:2a
2 Timothy 1:2b2 Timothy 1:2b2 Timothy 1:2b
Loyalty to the GospelTimothy's Faith and HeritageThanksgiving and ExhortationThanksgiving and Encouragement2 Timothy 1:3-5
2 Timothy 1:3-142 Timothy 1:3-72 Timothy 1:3-72 Timothy 1:3-7
The Gifts That Timothy Has Received
2 Timothy 1:6-11
Not Ashamed of the GospelAn Appeal to Show Courage(2 Timothy 1:8-13)
2 Timothy 1:8-122 Timothy 1:8-142 Timothy 1:8-10
Be Loyal to the Faith2 Timothy 1:11-14
2 Timothy 1:13-182 Timothy 1:12
2 Timothy 1:15-182 Timothy 1:15-182 Timothy 1:15-182 Timothy 1:13-14
2 Timothy 1:15-18

READING CYCLE THREE (from "A Guide to Good Bible Reading")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired but it is the key to following the original author's intent which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. Did Paul see Christianity as separate from OT faith or an extension of it?

2. What is the purpose of laying on of hands?

3. List the theologically significant items in 2 Timothy 1:9.

4. How has Jesus put an end to death?

5. How is the word "guard" used differently in 2 Timothy 1:12 and 2 Timothy 1:14?

6. Why did Paul's co-workers desert him? Does this imply that they were no longer believers?

Verses 1-2

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 2 Timothy 1:1-2 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, 2to Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Timothy 1:1 "Paul" Saul of Tarsus is first called Paul in Acts 13:9. It is probable that most Jews of the diaspora had a Hebrew name (Saul) and a Greek name (Paul). If so, then Saul's parents gave him this name, but why, then, does "Paul" suddenly appear in Acts 13:0? Possibly (1) others began to call him by this name or (2) he began to refer to himself by the term "little" or "least." The Greek name Paulos meant "little." Several theories have been advanced about the origin of his Greek name: (1) the second century tradition that Paul was short, fat, bald, bow-legged, bushy eye-browed, and had protruding eyes, deriving from a non-canonical book from Thessalonika called Paul and Thekla, is a possible source of the name; (2) Paul calls himself the "least of the saints" because he persecuted the Church (cf. Acts 9:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 3:8; 1 Timothy 1:15). Some have seen this "leastness" as the origin of the self-chosen title. However, in a book like Galatians, where he emphasizes his independence from and equality with the Jerusalem Twelve, this is somewhat unlikely (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:5; 2 Corinthians 12:11; 15:10).

"an apostle" This came from the Greek word "send" (apostellô). See Special Topic at 1 Timothy 1:1. Jesus chose twelve men to be with Him in a special sense and called them "Apostles" (cf. Luke 6:13). This term was often used of Jesus being sent from the Father (cf. Matthew 10:40; Matthew 15:24; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 4:34; John 5:24, John 5:30, John 5:36, John 5:37, John 5:38; John 6:29, John 6:38, John 6:39, John 6:40, John 6:57; John 7:29; John 8:42; John 10:36; John 11:42; John 17:3, John 17:8, John 17:18, John 17:21, John 17:23, John 17:25; John 20:21). In Jewish sources, an apostle was someone sent as an official representative of another, similar to "ambassador" (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20).

"Christ" This is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term messiah, which meant "an anointed one." It implied "one called and equipped by God for a specific task." In the OT three groups of leaders priests, kings, and prophets were anointed. Jesus fulfilled all three of these anointed offices (cf. Hebrews 1:2-3). He is the promised One who was to inaugurate the new age of righteousness. See SPECIAL TOPIC: MESSIAH at 1 Timothy 1:1.

"Jesus" This Hebrew name meant "YHWH saves," "YHWH is salvation,"or "YHWH brings salvation." It is the same as the OT name "Joshua." "Jesus" is derived from the Hebrew word for salvation, hosea, suffixed to the covenant name for God, "YHWH." It was the name communicated by God through an angel to Mary (cf. Matthew 1:21).


"by the will of God" This same introductory phrase is used in 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; and Colossians 1:1. Paul was convinced that God had chosen him to be an Apostle. This special sense of calling started at his Damascus road conversion (cf. Acts 9:1-22; Acts 23:3-16; Acts 26:9-18). Paul often asserted his God-given authority and calling to affirm his writings as being uniquely from God (i.e., inspired, cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).

NASB, NKJV"according to the promise of life" NRSV"for the sake of the promise of life" TEV"sent to proclaim the promised life" NJB"in accordance with his promise of life"

Paul is asserting that his salvation, calling, and equipping for ministry are all based on God's promises of real life, eternal life through Christ (cf. 2 Timothy 1:1, 2 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:9, 2 Timothy 1:13). Paul alludes to this concept of God's having and giving life several times in the Pastoral Letters (cf. 2 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 6:15-16, 1 Timothy 6:19; Titus 1:2).

2 Timothy 1:2 "to Timothy, my beloved son" This is metaphorical for Paul being Timothy's spiritual father in the gospel (cf. 2 Timothy 2:1; Tim. 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4). This opening paragraph shows their mutual love. See SPECIAL TOPIC: TIMOTHY at 1 Timothy 1:1.

"Grace, mercy and peace" Notice the commonality and differences in Paul's opening greetings

1. "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 1:3)

2. "Grace to you and peace from God our Father" (Colossians 1:2)

3. "Grace to you and peace" (1 Thessalonians 1:1)

4. "Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord" (1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2)

5. "Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior" (Titus 1:4)

Notice that there is variety, but some elements are standard

1. "Grace" begins all greetings. It is a Christianized form of the standard Greek opening. It focuses on the character of God.

2. "Peace" is the result of humans trusting in the trustworthy God, faithing His faithfulness.

3. "Mercy" is another way of describing God's character and is unique to I and 2 Timothy. This term was used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew term hesed (i.e., covenant love and loyalty). God is gracious and trustworthy.

4. The Father and Son are mentioned in each greeting (in 1 Thessalonians they are mentioned in the previous phrase). They are always grammatically linked. This was one way the NT writers asserted the full deity of Jesus of Nazareth. This is also true of the use of the OT titles for YHWH applied to Jesus (i.e., Lord and Savior).

"from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord" The opening phrase which follows "grace, mercy and peace" has one preposition (apo) linking the Father and the Son in an equal grammatical relationship (cf. 1 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4 and 2 Timothy 1:2). This was a technique used by Paul to assert the deity of Jesus.

"Father" is not used in the sense of sexual generation or chronological sequence, but intimate family relationship. God chose family terms to reveal Himself to humanity (cf. Hosea 2-3, where God is shown as passionate, faithful lover, and Hosea 11:0 where He is shown as loving father and mother).

The Deity of revelation is not the Prime Mover or the First Cause of Greek philosophy, but the Father of Christ Jesus. The Bible is not a human-reasoned philosophy but a divine self-disclosure, a revelation which cannot be discovered by human analysis. See SPECIAL TOPIC: FATHER at 1 Timothy 1:2.

"Lord" God revealed His covenant name YHWH to Moses in Exodus 3:14. It was from the Hebrew verb "to be." The Jews were later afraid to pronounce this holy name, when they read the Scriptures, lest they take it in vain and break one of the Ten Commandments (cf. Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11). Therefore, they substituted another word, Adon, which meant, "husband, owner, master, lord." This is the source of the English translation of YHWH as Lord. See SPECIAL TOPIC: NAMES FOR DEITY at 2 Timothy 1:1.

When the NT authors called Jesus "Lord" (kurios), they were asserting the Deity of Jesus. This affirmation became the early church's baptismal formula, "Jesus is Lord" (cf. Romans 10:9-13; Philippians 2:6-11).

Verses 3-14

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 2 Timothy 1:3-14 3I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, 4longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. 5For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. 6And for this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 8Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. 13Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

2 Timothy 1:3 "I thank God" It was typical of ancient Mediterranean letters to include a prayer of thanksgiving at the beginning of the letter. Paul usually followed this pattern (cf. Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Ephesians 1:15-16; Philippians 1:3-4; Colossians 1:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; Philemon 1:4).

"whom I serve. . .the way my forefathers did" Paul was not conscious of Christianity being a separate or new faith from the OT (cf. Acts 24:14; Acts 26:5-6, Acts 26:22; Romans 4:0; 2 Corinthians 11:22; and Philippians 3:5). In Galatians 6:15-16 he uses the OT title "the Israel of God" to describe the church. In Romans 2:28-29 he asserts that the true children of Abraham are by faith, not ethnic descent (cf. Romans 9:6). There is no Jew or Greek (cf. Romans 3:22; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11)!

"clear conscience" See note at 1 Timothy 1:5.

"remember" Paul remembers Timothy's life, family, and call to ministry. He uses the term mneia in four ways in 2 Timothy 1:3-6.

1. in 2 Timothy 1:3 Paul remembers Timothy constantly in his prayers

2. in 2 Timothy 1:4 he uses the participle form to remind Timothy of their tearful separation

3. in 2 Timothy 1:5 he uses a compound form (hupo + mneia) to remind Timothy of his family's sincere faith

4. in 2 Timothy 1:6 he uses a compound verbal form of the term (ana + mneia) to remind Timothy of his calling and equipping for ministry

It is theologically helpful and encouraging to look back over our lives and see God's hand which was involved at every stage (family faith, personal faith, call and equipping for ministry, and godly friends and mentors).

2 Timothy 1:4 Paul and Timothy had a wonderful relationship in Christ's service. Their friendship encouraged and strengthened them for ministry (cf. 2 Timothy 4:9, 2 Timothy 4:21).

2 Timothy 1:5 "sincere faith" Literally this is "unhypocritical." It is used in the sense of "a pure faith" (cf. 1 Timothy 1:5).

"within you" It is uncertain from the context (and 2 Timothy 3:15 as well as Acts 16:1) whether this refers to Judaism (Timothy's grandmother and possibly mother) or Christianity (Timothy's conversion). It obviously refers to faith in YHWH and His redemptive plan (see Special Topic at 1 Timothy 4:10).

NASB"I am sure that it is in you as well" NKJV"I am persuaded is in you also" NRSV"I am sure, lives in you" TEV"I am sure that you have it also" NJB"I am sure dwells also in you"

This is a perfect passive indicative. This phrase in Greek is a strong affirmation of continuing confidence in the Spirit's work in Timothy's life and ministry (cf. Philippians 1:6).

2 Timothy 1:6 "to kindle afresh" This is a present active indicative which implies an ongoing need to fan or rekindle or stir up the flame. There is the volitional aspect of giftedness (see SPECIAL TOPIC: COVENANT at 2 Timothy 2:1)! This is not meant to imply that Timothy had let the flame of God's call and giftedness burn low, but that in difficult situations like his current assignment, he should take strength from God's previous call and equipping.

"the gift of God" The root of the term "gift" (charisma), which is from "grace" (charis). This could refer to the Holy Spirit or, better in this context, to his gifts of ministry. Every believer has a supernatural gift or gifts for ministry (1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:11, 1 Corinthians 12:18). Timothy's gift was recognized by Paul and his home church (cf. 1 Timothy 4:14).

"through the laying on of my hands" This cannot be a proof text for "apostolic succession." See full note at 1 Timothy 4:14. Laying on of hands was used for several reasons in the Bible. See Special Topic at 1 Timothy 4:14.

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of" The ancient Greek texts of the NT were written in all capital letters (uncials), so capitalization in modern translations is a matter of interpretation. There is no definite article in the Greek text. There are also NT parallels for a small "s" (cf. Romans 8:15; 1 Corinthians 2:12) yet in both contexts the Holy Spirit is specifically mentioned. Most modern translations have "a spirit..." (i.e., KJV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, RSV, NRSV, NEB, REB and NIV). However, others assume the Holy Spirit is being referred to here (cf. TEV, NJB and the William's translation of the NT). In reality it could be purposeful ambiguity (cf. NEB and NJB).

God has given each believer the greatest gift, the Spirit, as well as a spiritual gift(s) for ministry but also a bold and powerful desire to serve, to share, to go, to be Christlike.

Robert Girdlestone, Synonyms of the Old Testament, has an interesting discussion of the uses of the term "spirit" in the NT (pp. 61-63).

1. evil spirits

2. the human spirit

3. the Holy Spirit

4. things that the Spirit produces in and through human spirits

a. "not a spirit of slavery" vs. "a spirit of adoption," Romans 8:15

b. "a spirit of gentleness," 1 Corinthians 4:21

c. "a spirit of faith," 2 Corinthians 4:13

d. "a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him," Ephesians 1:17

e. "not a spirit of timidity" vs. "power, love and discipline," 2 Timothy 1:17

f. "spirit of error" vs. "spirit of truth," 1 John 4:6

NASB, NJB"a spirit of timidity" NKJV"a spirit of fear" NRSV"a spirit of cowardice" TEV"the Spirit. . .does not make us timid"

There are one negative and three positive aspects to the giftedness of God.

NASB"discipline" NKJV"sound mind" NRSV"self-discipline" TEV, NJB"self-control"

See full note at 1 Timothy 3:2.

2 Timothy 1:8-14 This is one sentence in Greek.

2 Timothy 1:8 "ashamed" This is a key phrase in this first chapter (cf. 2 Timothy 1:8, 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:16; also note Mark 8:38; Romans 1:16). Here its grammatical form is an aorist passive (deponent) subjunctive; it does not imply that Timothy was ashamed, but is rather an admonition not to start being ashamed.

Paul may have been alluding to the OT concept of sin bringing problems and righteousness bringing blessings (cf. Deuteronomy 27-28; Job, Psalms 73:0). Paul was not suffering for sin but for Christ.

"of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner" Paul admonished Timothy to continue to preach the sufferings of Christ (cf. Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:0; Acts 3:18; Acts 26:23) and also to identify with Paul as a spiritual prisoner of the gospel and a physical prisoner because of the gospel! Preach the good news regardless of the cost or consequences (cf. Galatians 4:17; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; 2 Corinthians 6:3-10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-29)!

"join with me" Because of Paul's theology about the believers close identification with Christ in death (cf. Romans 6:0; Galatians 2:20) and suffering (cf. Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Philippians 3:10; also in 1 Peter 4:13), Paul often forms new Greek words using the preposition syn which means "joint participation in."

1. suffer with (2 Timothy 1:8 and 2 Timothy 2:3)

2. died with (2 Timothy 2:11)

3. live with (2 Timothy 2:11)

4. reign with (2 Timothy 2:12)

"in suffering for the gospel" This is an aorist active imperative (cf. 2 Timothy 2:3, 2 Timothy 2:9; 2 Timothy 4:5; Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 3:14; 1 Peter 4:12-19). The key to this phrase is "for the gospel," not our own evil (cf. 1 Peter 2:15-16). Modern Christians must recognize that suffering for the gospel is the norm, not the exception (cf. Matthew 5:10-12; John 15:18-21; John 16:1-2; John 17:14; Acts 14:22; Romans 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 2 Corinthians 6:4-10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; Philippians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 3:12; James 1:2-4).


2 Timothy 1:9 "who has saved us and called us" These are two aorist active participles joined by "and" (kai). In Romans 8:29-30 the "calling" comes before the "saving," referring to God's sovereignty (election), but here the calling is referring to ministry (called with a calling, cf. 2 Timothy 1:6-8and Special Topic at 2 Timothy 1:9).

This is the NT equivalent to the covenant language of the OT used of Israel. Believers in Jesus are the covenant people of God.


"with a holy calling" This could refer to God as holy, but probably in context it refers to God's will for a holy covenant people. God's will has always been for a people "made in His image" (cf. Genesis 1:26-27) to reflect His image to the world (cf. Genesis 12:3; Exodus 19:5-6)! The work of the Messiah has restored the image of God lost in the rebellion of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:0. The goal of Christianity is Christlikeness (cf. Romans 8:29; Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 1:4).


"not according to our works" This was Paul's main preaching point to the Judaizers of Acts 15:0 and the book of Galatians. The false teachers of the Pastoral Letters also have a Jewish works-righteousness mentality. This rejection of a works-righteousness is a recurrent theme in Paul's writings (cf. Romans 3:20; 27-28; 4:4-5; 8; 9:11; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:11; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5).

"according to His own purpose and grace" God's will and character cannot be separated. He has acted on fallen mankind's behalf based on who He is (cf. Ephesians 1:4-5, Ephesians 1:11). The gospel reflects the heart of the Father, the loving actions of the Son and the power of the Spirit. Salvation was God's idea, God's initiation and God's provision!

"which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity" The gospel was not "plan B." It was always God's plan to redeem fallen mankind, mankind made in His image and made for fellowship with Him. As Genesis 3:0 records mankind's rebellion, it also records God's promise and plan (cf. Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 2:11-13, see Special Topic at 1 Timothy 4:10).

This predetermined plan through Christ is referred to often in the sermons of the Apostles in Acts (cf. Acts 2:23; Acts 3:18; Acts 4:28; Acts 13:29 as well as in Jesus' own words in Mark 10:45; Luke 22:20). It is possibly alluded to in Titus 1:2 (see Special Topic: Eternal at Titus 1:2) and Revelation 13:8.

Israel was only the first stage in God's plan of world redemption (cf. Genesis 12:3; Exodus 19:5-6). The Messiah has always been the only hope for sinful humanity!

2 Timothy 1:10 "the appearing of" The term epiphany here refers to Christ's first coming (cf. 1 Timothy 6:14; Titus 2:11), but in 2 Timothy 4:1 and Titus 2:13 the same word refers to His Second Coming. See Special Topic: NT Terms for Christ's Return at Titus 2:13.

"our Savior Christ Jesus" Savior is an OT title for YHWH (cf. Psalms 106:21; Isaiah 43:3, Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 43:15, Isaiah 43:21; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 60:16; Isaiah 63:8; Hosea 13:4; Luke 1:47). In the NT it is attributed to Jesus as God's Messiah (cf. Luke 2:11; John 4:42; John 13:23; Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20; 1 John 4:14).

Only in the Pastoral Letters are both titles used in close proximity for both God the Father and God the Son.

A. God

1. God our Savior (1 Timothy 1:1)

2. God our savior (1 Timothy 2:3)

3. the savior of all men (1 Timothy 4:10)

4. God our savior (Titus 1:3)

5. God our savior (Titus 2:10)

6. God our savior (Titus 3:4)

B. Christ

1. our savior (2 Timothy 1:10)

2. the Lord Jesus Christ our savior (Titus 1:4)

3. our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:13)

4. Jesus Christ our savior (Titus 3:6)

5. our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:11)

6. the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 2:20)

7. our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18)

The Pastoral Letters, written in the mid to late sixties, were also reacting against the Roman Emperor's claims of being both God and savior (as well as these titles' use in the mystery religions). For Christians these titles were reserved for YHWH and His Messiah.

"who abolished death" See Special Topic below.


"brought life and immortality to light" The term "life" is used several times in the Pastoral Letters and can mean

1. eternal life (1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Timothy 6:12; Titus 1:2; Titus 3:7)

2. true life (1 Timothy 6:19)

3. present life and life of the age to come (1 Timothy 4:8)

4. promise of life in Christ (2 Timothy 1:1)

5. life and immortality through Christ (2 Timothy 1:10)

There are two related terms used in the Pastoral Letters to express never ending, new age life:

1. "corrupt" with an alpha privative (2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 2:7; Romans 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:52-54)

2. "death" with an alpha privative (1 Timothy 6:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:53-54)

This is not the Greek concept of every human having an immortal pre-existing "soul." Believers' immortality begins with their personal repentant faith in Christ. God is the only source of immortality (cf. 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:16). He gives it freely through Christ (and Christ alone).

"through the gospel" This Greek term originally meant "a reward for bringing good news." It came to uniquely refer within Christianity to God's wonderful message of forgiveness and acceptance through Jesus' life, teachings, death and resurrection. It later became the term used to describe the books about Jesus' life (i.e., the four Gospels). Jesus is the good news of God's love and provision for sinners.

2 Timothy 1:11 "for which I was appointed" This is aorist passive indicative. In this verse Paul is asserting his God-given gifts and tasks related to the gospel (cf. 1 Timothy 2:7).

"a preacher" This is not so much a gift as it is a task (cf. TEV). Preaching is never listed as a gift, but in a sense is a vital aspect of all the leadership gifts (cf. Ephesians 4:11), which all involve proclamation. This noun is from the verb kçrussô, which meant to publicly announce or proclaim. It came to have a technical sense as a way of referring to Apostolic preaching (kçrygma) especially as it appears in the recorded sermons of Peter and Paul in the book of Acts. See Special Topic: The Kerygma of the Early Church at 2 Timothy 3:15.

"an apostle" "Apostle" comes from one of the Greek words meaning "to send" (apostellô). Jesus chose twelve of His disciples to be with Him in a special sense and called them "Apostles" (cf. Luke 6:13). The verb form is often used of Jesus being sent from the Father (cf. Matthew 10:40; Matthew 15:24; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48; John 4:34; John 5:24, John 5:30, John 5:36, John 5:37, John 5:38; John 6:29, John 6:38, John 6:39, John 6:40, John 6:57; John 7:29; John 8:42; John 10:36; John 11:42; John 17:3, John 17:3, John 17:18, John 17:21, John 17:23, John 17:25; John 20:21). In Jewish sources, the term was used of someone sent as an official representative of another, similar to "ambassador."

This term had a special authoritative meaning. It was used of those who knew Christ during His physical life and ministry (cf. Acts 1:21-26). Paul claimed that he also had seen the Lord in his Damascus vision and call (cf. Acts 9:0). These men were uniquely called and equipped by the Spirit to record and explain the events, teachings, and miracles of Jesus' earthly life.

The term came to be used of an ongoing gift in the church (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11). Their exact function is never specified; it may be church planting in new areas or regional leadership (cf. Acts 14:4, Acts 14:14; Acts 18:5; 1 Corinthians 4:9; Galatians 1:19; Philippians 2:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:6).

"a teacher" This is listed as a spiritual gift in Acts 13:1; Romans 12:6-7; 1 Corinthians 12:28; and James 3:0. It is combined with the gift of pastor in Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Timothy 3:2; 2 Timothy 2:24. When used as a separate gift, it may refer to the training of new converts, but when linked to pastor it may refer to the training of believers in doctrine (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The KJV and the NKJV have the added term "to the Gentiles." This does not occur in the Greek uncial manuscript א* and A, but it does occur in MSS אcf8 i2, C, D, F, G, and other ancient texts. It does occur in 1 Timothy 2:7 and is probably an addition by early scribes. The UBS4 gives its exclusion a "B" rating (almost certain).

2 Timothy 1:12 "for this reason I also suffer these things" This must relate to 2 Timothy 1:8. Paul knew personally the price of spiritual leadership (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; 2 Corinthians 6:3-10; 2 Corinthians 11:24-28).

"but I am not ashamed" This refers to Paul's admonition to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:8 and v. 2 Timothy 1:16. Paul's problems were in a sense evidence of his success in gospel proclamation (cf. Galatians 6:17)!

"for I know whom" Notice that the emphasis is on personal relationship, not circumstances.

"I have believed" This is a perfect active indicative which is literally "I have believed and continue to believe." It refers to Paul's salvation experience on the road to Damascus (cf. Acts 9:0).

For "believed" see Special Topic at 1 Timothy 1:16.

"I am convinced" This is a perfect passive indicative. It refers to Paul's confidence in God and from God, even amidst the persecution and imprisonments that he experienced.


"He is able to guard" The phrase "He is able" is a wonderful descriptive designation for God (cf. Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:20 and Jude 1:24). God is not only able, but He is willing to protect our profession of faith in Christ (cf. 1 Peter 1:4-5) and our faithful lifestyle! Not only is salvation a God-initiated, God-produced and God-consummated event, but so too, is the Christian life.

"what I have entrusted to Him" God guards believers' professions (cf. 1 Peter 1:4-5). However, believers must guard their stewardship of the gospel (see full note at 1 Timothy 1:18, cf. 1 Timothy 6:20; 1 Timothy 2:0 Tim . 2 Timothy 1:14). Christianity is a covenant with benefits and privileges, but also with requirements and responsibilities!

"that day" This is an OT way of referring to the end time (cf. 2 Timothy 1:18). The OT clearly revealed one climactic intervention of God into human history. However, from the progressive revelation of the NT believers now know there are two comings, the incarnation (the inauguration of the kingdom of God) and the Second Coming (the consummation of the kingdom of God).


2 Timothy 1:13

NASB"retain" NKJV"hold fast" NRSV"hold to" TEV"hold firmly to" NJB"keep"

This is the very common "I have" (echô), but it has a wide semantic range as the translations show. The form is a present active imperative. Timothy must continue to hold on to the apostolic truth passed on to him by Paul (cf. 2 Timothy 1:14; Titus 1:9).

"the standard" The term "standard" in Greek meant "to sketch" and was used of an architect's designs (i.e., a blueprint). Paul had given Timothy the overall theological plan.

"of sound words" This is a recurrent theme in the Pastoral Letters which refers to healthy teachings (cf. 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 4:6; 1 Timothy 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 4:3, 2 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:9, Titus 1:13; Titus 2:1, Titus 2:2). This verse obviously reflects the presence and problems caused by the false teachers.

"in the faith and love" This refers to the manner in which leaders are to retain, pass on, and defend the truth of the gospel (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:0).

2 Timothy 1:14 "Guard through the Holy Spirit" This is an aorist active imperative. Note that believers must guard, but the Holy Spirit is the means and power by which it is done!

"who dwells in us" This is a present active participle. There is a fluidity between the work of the Spirit and the Son. G. Campbell Morgan said that the best name for the Spirit is "the other Jesus." The following is an outline comparison of the work and titles of the Son and Spirit:

1. Spirit called "Spirit of Jesus" or similar expression (cf. Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 4:6; 1 Peter 1:11).

2. Both called by the same terms

a. "Truth"

(1) Jesus (John 14:6)

(2) Spirit (John 14:17; John 16:13)

b. "Advocate"

(1) Jesus (1 John 2:1)

(2) Spirit (John 14:16; John 16:7)

3. Both indwell believers

a. Jesus (Matthew 28:20; John 14:20, John 14:23; John 15:4-5; Romans 8:10; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27)

b. Spirit (John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9, Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Timothy 1:14)

c. Father (John 14:23; 2 Corinthians 6:16)


NASB"the treasure which has been entrusted to you" NKJV"that good thing which was committed to you" NRSV"the good treasure entrusted to you" TEV"the good things that have been entrusted to you" NJB"that precious thing given in trust"

This refers to something entrusted to another for safe keeping. This is possibly a word play on the term pistis, which is translated into English as belief, trust, or faith. Believers have entrusted (see full note at 1 Timothy 1:18) their faith to God (cf. 2 Timothy 1:12). God in turn has entrusted to them the gospel message (cf. 1 Timothy 6:20). Believers are stewards of the gospel message. We will one day give an account to Him (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10) on how we have handled this deposit of truth!


Verses 15-18

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 2 Timothy 1:15-18 15You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chains; 17but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me, and found me 18the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that dayand you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.

2 Timothy 1:15 "all who are in Asia" This is a hyperbole. Paul is emphasizing that most/many were afraid and stopped association with him.

"turned away from me" Some of Paul's helpers (cf. 2 Timothy 4:10, 2 Timothy 4:16) deserted him in his imprisonment (cf. 2 Timothy 1:8, 2 Timothy 1:16) but not necessarily deserted their faith in Christ. This was probably related to Paul's Roman trial.

"Phygelus and Hermogenes" Nothing is known about Phygelus or Hermogenes.

2 Timothy 1:16-18 Verses 2 Timothy 1:16-18 are an extended prayer (aorist active optative).

2 Timothy 1:16 "Onesiphorus" This is one believer and his family (or house church) who did not desert Paul (cf. 2 Timothy 4:19). In unspecified ways (emotionally, financially) this man encouraged Paul while he was in prison, as well as provided a needed ministry in Ephesus (cf. 2 Timothy 1:18).

2 Timothy 1:18 "The Lord. . .the Lord" In Hebrew there is a clear distinction between YHWH (Lord) and Adon (Lord, cf. Psalms 110:1). In Greek both are translated as kurios. It seems that this prayer is addressed to the Messiah and refers to the "day of YHWH," an OT idiom for the end of time (a day of blessing or judgment). See SPECIAL TOPIC: NAMES FOR DEITY at 2 Timothy 1:2.

This seems like a strange prayer to us. Some commentators have assumed that Onesiphorus had died, if so this is the only prayer in the Bible on behalf of the dead. Paul was asking that God bless his "house" (i.e., family or house church) because of his faithful ministry (cf. Deuteronomy 7:9; Deuteronomy 5:10 and the same concept in 1 Corinthians 7:14).

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/2-timothy-1.html. 2021.
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