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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
2 Timothy 1

 

 

Verse 1

2 Timothy 1:1. παῦλος, Paul) This epistle has three divisions.

I. The Inscription, 2 Timothy 1:1-2.

II. An Invitation, Come to me in prison, variously hinted at.

1. He expresses his affection for Timothy, 2 Timothy 1:3-4,

And kindly exhorts him: be not ashamed of me, 2 Timothy 1:6-7; to which are subjoined sad instances of abandonment, 2 Timothy 1:15, and blessed examples of attachment, 2 Timothy 1:16-17.

2. The twofold proposition, Be strong, and commit thy office to faithful men, 2 Timothy 2:1-2. The first part is treated, 2 Timothy 2:3-13; the second, 2 Timothy 2:14, with an exhortation to Timothy to behave himself as a man of God before his journey, 2 Timothy 2:15-16; 2 Timothy 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:1-2.

3. Come quickly, 2 Timothy 4:9. Here Paul—

1. Mentions his solitary state, 2 Timothy 4:10-11.

2. He orders his books to be brought, 2 Timothy 4:13.

3. He admonishes him concerning the adversary, 2 Timothy 4:14-15.

4. He points out the inconstancy of men, and proclaims the faithfulness of God, 2 Timothy 4:16-17.

4. Come before winter. This invitation is encompassed with salutations, 2 Timothy 4:19-20.

Paul wished Timothy to come to him in prison without fear, and he was about to deliver up to him before his decease the lamp (torch-light) of the evangelical office, ch. 2 Timothy 4:5-6. This epistle is the testament and last words [“cygnea cantio,” swanlike death-song] of Paul. It was written long after the first Epistle to Timothy, and yet the tone of both is very much alike.— κατʼ ἐπαγγελίαν, according to the promise) Paul subserves the fulfilment of this promise in the discharge of his office. So κατὰ, according to, in accordance with, John 2:6 : comp. on the particle and on the truth itself, Titus 1:1-2.— ζωῆς, of life) prepared both for me and thee and the elect. This is the secret spring of the power, which he exhibits in exhorting Timothy, 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:8. [In fact the journey which he wishes to be undertaken by Timothy did not seem to be without risk of life.—V. g.]


Verse 2

2 Timothy 1:2. ἀγαπητῷ, dearly beloved) An appropriate epithet; for the strongest declaration of love follows. In the first epistle he had written, my genuine [ γνησίῳ]: that is compensated for here in 2 Timothy 1:5 [by the expression, τῆς ἐν σοὶ ἀνυποκρίτου πίστεως, the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which corresponds to it].


Verse 3

2 Timothy 1:3. χάριν ἔχω, I feel thankful) Drawing very near to his martyrdom, still he gives thanks. Paul feels thankful to God for the faith bestowed on Timothy, 2 Timothy 1:5. Therefore from ὡς ἀδιάλειπτον, as [not that, as Engl. Vers.] without ceasing, to χαρᾶς πληρωθῶ, I might be filled with joy, is put as a parenthesis, to explain those things which follow, ὑπόμνησιν λαμβάνων, calling to (or rather, receiving a) remembrance, etc.: for ὡς, even as, inasmuch as, is an explanatory particle.— λατρεύω, whom I serve) Romans 1:9, note.— ἀπὸ προγόνων, from the [our] [not my, as Engl. Vers.] forefathers) Paul means the forefathers; not Abraham, etc., whom he calls τοὺς πατέρας, the fathers [Romans 9:5], never προγόνους, forefathers or ancestors, but the immediate progenitors; and signifies their long continuance in the true religion all along from an earlier age of mankind, whether Paul’s ancestors were themselves godly men, which is highly probable, or not; for he does not add, my. The memory of those who have gone before, and to whom he is being [i.e. about to be] gathered, delights him, now that he is prepared to die. He even calls to remembrance Timothy’s grandmother and mother, 2 Timothy 1:5. This epistle especially has something of the ripeness of old age, mild and good-natured [conciliatory].


Verse 4

2 Timothy 1:4. ἐπιποθῶν σε ἰδεῖν, earnestly desiring to see thee) He begins his invitation to Timothy at first gradually.— μεμνημένος σου τῶν δακρύων, remembering thy tears) He seems not merely to speak of the former tears of Timothy shed at bidding Paul farewell (for tears are usually elicited at parting, comp. Acts 20:37), but of his habitual tears under the influence of pious feeling. In this respect also he had him like-minded [Philippians 2:20] with himself: Acts 20:19, note. Tears, the flower of the heart, indicate either the greatest hypocrisy or the utmost sincerity. Turning tears into ridicule is a proof of the depravity of our age.— ἵνα, in order that) Construe with ἰδεῖν, to see thee [not with μεμνημένοςδακρύων].


Verse 5

2 Timothy 1:5. ὑπόμνησιν λαμβάνων, receiving a remembrance) [a reminiscence reminding me] Some external occasion, or a message from Timothy, had brought his faith to Paul’s remembrance [not as Engl. Vers. “When I call to remembrance”]. Ammonius says, “ ἀνάμνησις is, when a man comes to the remembrance of things past— ὑπόμνησις, when they are suggested to him by another [whether person, or thing].— πίστεως, of faith) Among all the virtues of Timothy, faith is most to the purpose which Paul has in view.— ἐνῴκησε, dwelt in) This word conveys the idea of continuance [had its fixed dwelling in].— πρῶτον) first, perhaps before the birth of Timothy. So far the remembrance of Paul reaches. What the condition of the parents of Lois was, is not mentioned.— μάμμῃ, grandmother) The remembrance of the dead is pleasant to intimate friends, especially to those whose death is at hand, and to the posterity of the dead.— μητρὶ, mother) She had married a Greek.— εὐνείκῃ, Eunice) That name is found in Hesiod’s Theogony. Lois seems to have been the mother of Eunice, and both were dead.


Verse 6

2 Timothy 1:6. δἰ ἣν αἰτίαν, for which cause) namely, because I have been reminded, ὑπεμνήσθην [referring to 2 Timothy 1:5, ὑπόμνησιν λαμβάνων].— ἀναμιμνήσκω, I put thee in remembrance) Being reminded himself, he puts others [sc. Timothy] in mind.— ἀναζωπυρεῖν) to stir up. The same word occurs, Genesis 45:27, 1 Maccabees 13:7 : ζωπυρίω, of raising the dead, 2 Kings 8:1; 2 Kings 8:5. The opposite σβεννύειν, to extinguish; Matthew 25:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:19. Timothy, being long without Paul, seems to have become somewhat remiss; comp. note to ch. 2 Timothy 2:22 : at least he is now stirred up to greater exertions.— τὸ χάρισμα, the gift) which is joined with faith, 2 Timothy 1:5 : and is energetic and lively, 2 Timothy 1:7.


Verse 7

2 Timothy 1:7. πνεῦμα, spirit) That is, the spirit which God has given us is not the spirit of fear, but of power, etc. Hence arises the testimony which believers give, spoken of in the following verse and in John 15:26-27 [ye also shall bear witness, etc.].— δειλίας) Eustathius says, δειλὸς δεδιὼς τὰς ἴλας, one that is afraid of troops of soldiers; comp. Sirach 37 :(11) 12. This derivation is quite in consonance with the sense here; comp. ch. 2 Timothy 2:3. The fear meant is that, of which the causes are in the mind, rather than from without. This fear within in too great a degree exaggerates the causes which are without. The act of fear always has its cause in the mind, but a courageous disposition repels and overcomes external causes.— δυνάμεως) of power. δυνάμις, power, strength, is opposed to fear. Divine power in us, not our own, is intended; see 2 Timothy 1:8; and so of love and sober-mindedness. [They also, the ἀγάπη and σωφρονισμὸς (which Engl. Vers. renders a sound mind) meant, are not our own, but are created by God in us]. All these operate in us, and animate us to the discharge of our duties towards God, the saints, and ourselves. Power [strength] and sober-mindedness are the two extremes, but these in a good sense; love is in the middle, and is the bond, and as it were the check upon both, taking away [counteracting the liability to] the two bad extremes, timidity and rashness. Concerning strength or power, see 2 Timothy 1:8, etc.; concerning love, ch. 2 Timothy 2:14, etc.; concerning sober-mindedness, ch. 2 Timothy 3:1, etc. [These gifts are preferable to any miraculous powers whatever.—V. g.]— καὶ ἀγάπης, and of love) Moreover love embraces even those who are prisoners [in a spirit of bondage], by driving out fear; comp. 1 John 4:18.— καὶ σωφρονισμοῦ, and of sober-mindedness) This is a verbal noun [the being sober-minded]. The duty of young men is σωφρονίζεσθαι, to act with sober-mindedness, Titus 2:4; Titus 2:6 : and Timothy was a young man, ch. 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Timothy 4:12. He is therefore admonished to give up all the advantages and pleasures of life, ch. 2 Timothy 2:4, and to remove the ‘thorns,’ by which he may be entangled; Luke 8:14. The Spirit teaches this lesson; and he who learns it, is delivered from fear, and heartily embraces the testimony of his Lord.


Verse 8

2 Timothy 1:8. ΄ὴ οὖν ἐπαισχυνθῇς, be not thou therefore ashamed) Shame is the companion of fear; if fear be overcome, false shame flees away. Comp. 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:16, where Paul proposes his own example and that of Onesiphorus, adding, in conjunction with this, examples of a contrary character in 2 Timothy 1:15.— τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν, of our Lord) A rare Antonomasia. Elsewhere Paul either omits our, or adds the name of Jesus Christ. Now, when he says our Lord, he places Him in opposition to Cæsar, whom his courtiers so called.— μηδὲ ἐμὲ, nor of me) The cause of the servants of God cannot be separated from the cause of God.— τὸν δέσμιον, His prisoner) Men are easily ashamed of those that are in prison, especially at Rome.— συγκακοπάθησον, but be thou partaker of the afflictions) Suffer afflictions [Endure hardness], ch. 2 Timothy 2:3-5 : and that too together with me and with the Gospel.— δύναμιν, power) This, which is far above all things beside, is nervously described, 2 Timothy 1:9-10; and at the same time the previous exhortation, 2 Timothy 1:8, is deduced from the subject itself, and derives its strength from the following description, 2 Timothy 1:9-10.— θεοῦ, of God) Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are mentioned, 2 Timothy 1:13-14.


Verse 9

2 Timothy 1:9. σώσαντος, who has saved) by conversion; Acts 2:47. There is here an excellent description of the love of the Father, of the grace of the Saviour, and of the whole economy of salvation, for the propagation of which it is worth while to suffer and die. This salvation is not merely a thing to be acquired (acquisitiva), but a thing to be applied (applicativa), for this very reason, that it is so closely connected with the calling. All the things which are placed, 2 Timothy 1:9, under κατὰ, in actual fact [in the very act] precede salvation and calling. Salvation and calling, in point of fact, follow. If a man comes into the state of being called, this is already the beginning of his whole salvation; and in this sense calling is a part of salvation: salvation is the whole, but both are very closely connected. The anxiety itself of the Shepherd is prior to the actual time of the little sheep hearing the voice of the Shepherd.— κλήσει ἁγίᾳ, with a holy calling) which is entirely from God, and claims us entirely for God. The holiness and Divine origin of this calling is afterwards more fully described, especially as the epithet ἰδίαν, His own, excludes our own works.— ἰδίαν, His own) Romans 9:11; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:15, note.— τὴν δοθεῖσαν, given to us) Before we existed, it was given to us, the Mediator even already at that time receiving it.— ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦδιὰἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, in Christ Jesus—by—of Christ Jesus) The name Christ is very skilfully put first when the old economy is mentioned; the name Jesus, when the new economy is mentioned.— πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων, before eternal ages) Titus 1:2; Romans 16:25, note.


Verse 10

2 Timothy 1:10. φανερωθεῖσαν, manifested) Those remarkable words, τῆς ἐπιφανείας, the appearing, and φωτίσαντος, bringing to light, agree with this expression.— ἐπιφανείας, appearing) in the flesh. It does not merely mean here the very act of His coming, but the whole time of the abode of Christ among men.— τὸν θάνατον, death) The article is used here emphatically and designedly. Paul in this passage, as it were, directly abolishes death. Hence the soldier of Christ ought now no longer to fear death.— φωτίσαντος, bringing to light [exposing to the light]) An abbreviated expression: implying, and has procured for us (that should be supplied from the antithetic word καταργήσαντος, who has abolished) and has brought to light by the Gospel; comp. Ephesians 2:17.— ζωὴν καὶ ἀφθαρσίαν) A Hendiadys.— διὰ τοῦ) Schoettgenius construes this with καλέσαντος, 2 Timothy 1:9. We may construe thus: φανερωθεῖσαν διὰ τῆς—( καὶ) διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου, made manifest by His appearing—(and) by the Gospel.


Verse 11

2 Timothy 1:11. ἐθνῶν, of the Gentiles) Construe this not only with teacher, but also with preacher and apostle. There are three designations, preacher, apostle, teacher. I. A public preacher is one who may discharge his office even in one and the same place. II. An apostle goes about everywhere; but he would have fully satisfied the requirements of his apostolic office, if he had once for all declared his message. III. Teacher. Here we have in addition diligence and perseverance in teaching; from which arose suffering.


Verse 12

2 Timothy 1:12. ταῦτα πάσχω, I suffer these things) These adversities happen to me.— γὰρ, for) Confidence as to the future drives away shame.— ) He says , not τίνι. I know Him, in whom I have placed my faith, although the world knows Him not.— πεπίστευκα) I have believed, and committed to Him my deposit. Here the faithfulness of God is intended; comp. ch. 2 Timothy 2:13 : His power also is presently afterwards mentioned [He is able],— πέπεισμαι, I am persuaded) Romans 8:38.— δυνατὸς, able) against so many enemies.— τὴν παραθήκην, my deposit) There is one deposit which, committed to us by God, we ought to keep, 2 Timothy 1:13; comp. ch. 2 Timothy 2:2, παράθου, commit: there is another which, committed to God by us, and mentioned in this verse, He keeps; and this is indeed our soul, 1 Peter 4:19; comp. Luke 23:46, that is, ourselves and our heavenly portion. Paul, with death immediately before him, had two deposits, one to be committed to the Lord, and another to Timothy.— φυλάξαι, to keep) even in death.— ἐκείνην, that) 2 Timothy 1:18, ch. 2 Timothy 4:8.


Verse 13

2 Timothy 1:13. ὑποτύπωσιν) ὑποτυπόομαι, I revolve in the mind. Therefore Paul wishes that those things which Timothy had once heard, should be always kept in view, and should remain impressed on his mind. It is from this that an outward profession must derive its strength. Paul placed before Timothy faith and love: let Timothy ‘express’ and ‘represent’ in turn [alluding to ὑποτύπωσις, τύπος] faith and love.— ἔχε) hold: a word suited to the context, which is respecting a deposit. He uses ἔχε, not ἔχεις. Nor was it the intention of Paul to give as a teacher information to Timothy about the sum of sound words [a verbal summary of the plan of salvation].— παρʼ ἐμοῦ ἤκουσας, which from me thou hast heard) Comp. 2 Timothy 2:2, where thou hast heard of me, occurs in a different order of the words. Here indeed, 2 Timothy 1:13, the authority of Paul is urged as a reason, why he should hold it the more on that account; hence from me is put first. But ch. 2 Timothy 2:2, thou hast heard, and commit, are the words in antithesis; hence thou hast heard is put first.— ἐν, in) Construed with ἔχε, hold; comp. 1 Timothy 3:9.


Verse 14

2 Timothy 1:14. τὴν καλὴν παραθήκην, this good deposit) namely, the sound words [words of salvation] which I have committed to thee; comp. ch. 2 Timothy 2:2.— διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου, by the Holy Spirit) He is the earnest of the heavenly deposit, which he who keeps, also keeps the deposit committed to him; whence His indwelling is pressed upon our notice.


Verse 15

2 Timothy 1:15. ἀπεστράφησαν με, have turned away from me) at Rome, ch. 2 Timothy 4:16.— ἐν τῇ ἀσίᾳ, in Asia) They therefore returned thither. Not so Timothy, although he was also in Asia at Ephesus.— φύγελλος καὶ ἑρμογένηε, Phygellus and Hermogenes) One might perhaps have thought, that these would have been more steady than the others.


Verse 16

2 Timothy 1:16. δῴη, give) He does not make use of any imprecations against those who had been unfaithful to him, 2 Timothy 1:15. He offers the most excellent prayer for those who had stood fast. The categorical or absolute sentence implied is this; Onesiphorus was beautifully consistent. The feeling forms a modal discourse [gives the sentence its modal form. See Append., “Sermo modalis”].— ἔλεος, mercy) Onesiphorus had abounded in works of mercy.— κυρίος, the Lord) Christ.— τῷ ὀνησιφόρου οἴκῳ, the house of Onesiphorus) at Ephesus, 2 Timothy 1:18, ch. 2 Timothy 4:19. Onesiphorus himself was absent, or was already then dead. Paul therefore honours the survivors by his wish, nay, also himself,(1), 2 Timothy 1:18.— πολλάκις, often) at Ephesus and Rome.


Verse 17

2 Timothy 1:17. καὶ εὗρε, and found) by Divine aid. A great thing in so great a city, where not many would care for Paul a prisoner. The word, find, in 2 Timothy 1:18, corresponds to this expression. He found me in so great a crowd: may he find mercy in that day of the general assembly of all men. A similar allusion occurs twice, ch. 2 Timothy 2:9, note.


Verse 18

2 Timothy 1:18. δῴη, give) A pathetic Anaphora [the frequent repetition of a word in beginnings of sections. See 2 Timothy 1:16, “The Lord give.”]— αὐτῷ, to himself) An antithesis to his house.— κύριος, the Lord) Christ, for whom he so acted [to whom he rendered that service, Matthew 25:45].— παρὰ κυρίου, from the Lord) The same Christ, who shall reward him. The noun for the reciprocal pronoun, with emphasis, as Luke 11:17, note; 2 Thessalonians 3:5.— διηκόνησε, ministered) even after my departure; 1 Timothy 1:3.— βέλτιον) better than I [not as Engl. Vers. very well].

—————

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/2-timothy-1.html. 1897.

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Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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