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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
2 Timothy 3



Verse 1

Know this (τουτο γινωσκεtouto ginōske). See note on 1 Corinthians 11:3; Philemon 1:12.

In the last days (εν εσχαταις ημεραιςen eschatais hēmerais). See note on James 5:3 and 1 Timothy 4:1.

Grievous (χαλεποιchalepoi). Hard. See Ephesians 5:16.

Shall come (ενστησονταιenstēsontai). Future middle of ενιστημιenistēmi (intransitive use), old verb, to stand on or be at hand, as in 2 Thessalonians 2:2.

Verse 2

Lovers of self (πιλαυτοιphilautoi). Old compound adjective (πιλοσ αυτοςphilosπιλαργυροιautos), here only in N.T.

Lovers of money (αλαζονεςphilarguroi). Old compound adjective, in N.T. only here and Luke 16:14. See note on 1 Timothy 6:10.

Boastful (υπερηπανοιalazones). Old word for empty pretender, in N.T. only here and Romans 1:30.

Haughty (βλασπημοιhuperēphanoi). See also Romans 1:30 for this old word.

Railers (γονευσιν απειτειςblasphēmoi). See note on 1 Timothy 1:13.

Disobedient to parents (αχαριστοιgoneusin apeitheis). See note on Romans 1:30.

Unthankful (ανοσιοιacharistoi). Old word, in N.T. only here and Luke 6:35.

Unholy (αστοργοιanosioi). See note on 1 Timothy 1:9.

Without natural affection (astorgoi). See note on Romans 1:31.

Verse 3

Implacable (ασπονδοιaspondoi). Truce-breakers. Old word, only here in N.T. though in MSS. in Romans 1:31 (from αa privative and σπονδηspondē a libation).

Slanderers (διαβολοιdiaboloi). See note on 1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 2:3.

Without self-control (ακρατειςakrateis). Old word (αa privative and κρατοςkratos), here only in N.T.

Fierce (ανημεροιanēmeroi). Old word (αa privative and ημεροςhēmeros tame), only here in N.T.

No lovers of good (απιλαγατοιaphilagathoi). Found only here (αa privative and πιλαγατοςphilagathos for which see note on Titus 1:8). See also Philemon 4:8. A papyrus describes Antoninus as πιλαγατοςphilagathos and has απιλοκαγατιαaphilokagathia f0).

Verse 4

Traitors (προδοταιprodotai). Old word (from προδιδωμιprodidōmi), in N.T. only here, Luke 6:16; Acts 7:52.

Headstrong (προπετειςpropeteis). Old word (from προpro and πιπτωpiptō), falling forward, in N.T. only here and Acts 19:36.

Puffed up (τετυπωμενοιtetuphōmenoi). Perfect passive participle of τυποωtuphoō See note on 1 Timothy 3:6.

Lovers of pleasure (πιληδονοιphilēdonoi). Literary Koiné{[28928]}š word (πιλοσ ηδονηphilosπιλοτεοιhēdonē), only here in N.T.

Lovers of God (πιλοσ τεοςphilotheoi). Old word (philostheos), only here in N.T.

Verse 5

A form of godliness (μορπωσιν ευσεβειαςmorphōsin eusebeias). For μορπωσινmorphōsin see note on Romans 2:20. The outward shape without the reality.

Having denied (ηρνημενοιērnēmenoi). Perfect middle participle of αρνεομαιarneomai (see note on Romans 2:11.).

Power (δυναμινdunamin). See 1 Corinthians 4:20. See Romans 1:29-31 for similar description.

Turn away (αποτρεπουapotrepou). Present middle (direct) imperative of αποτρεπωapotrepō “turn thyself away from.” Old verb, only here in N.T. See 4 Maccabees 1:33.

Verse 6

That creep (οι ενδυνοντεςhoi endunontes). Old and common verb (also ενδυωenduō) either to put on (1 Thessalonians 5:8) or to enter (to slip in by insinuation, as here). See same idea in Judges 1:4 (παρεισεδυησανpareiseduēsan), 2 Peter 2:1 (παρεισαχουσινpareisaxousin), Galatians 2:4 (παρεισηλτονpareisēlthon and παρεισακτουςpareisaktous). These stealthy “creepers” are pictured also in Titus 1:11.

Take captive (αιχμαλωτιζοντεςaichmalōtizontes). “Taking captive.” Present active participle of αιχμαλωτιζωaichmalōtizō for which see note on 2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 7:23.

Silly women (γυναικαριαgunaikaria). Literally, “little women” (diminutive of γυνηgunē), found in Diocles (comedian of 5 century b.c.) and in Epictetus. The word here is neuter (grammatical gender) plural. Used contemptuously here (only N.T. example). Ramsay suggests “society ladies.” It is amazing how gullible some women are with religious charlatans who pose as exponents of “new thought.”

Laden with sins (σεσωρευμενα αμαρτιαιςsesōreumena hamartiais). Perfect passive participle of σωρευωsōreuō old word from Aristotle down (from σωροςsōros a heap) to heap up. In N.T. only here and Romans 12:20. Associative instrumental case αμαρτιαιςhamartiais

Divers (ποικιλαιςpoikilais). Many coloured. See note on Titus 3:3. One has only to recall Schweinfurth, the false Messiah of forty odd years ago with his “heavenly harem” in Illinois and the recent infamous “House of David” in Michigan to understand how these Gnostic cults led women into licentiousness under the guise of religion or of liberty. The priestesses of Aphrodite and of Isis were illustrations ready to hand. ΑγομεναAgomena (present passive participle) means “continually led astray or from time to time.”

Verse 7

Never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (μηδεποτε εις επιγνωσιν αλητειας ελτειν δυναμεναmēdepote eis epignōsin alētheias elthein dunamena). Pathetic picture of these hypnotized women without intellectual power to cut through the fog of words and, though always learning scraps of things, they never come into the full knowledge (επιγνωσινepignōsin) of the truth in Christ. And yet they even pride themselves on belonging to the intelligentsia!

Verse 8

Like as (ον τροπονhon tropon). “In which manner.” Adverbial accusative and incorporation of the antecedent τροπονtropon into the relative clause.

Jannes and Jambres (Ιαννης και ΙαμβρηςIannēs kai Iambrēs). Traditional names of the magicians who withstood Moses (Targum of Jonathan on Exodus 7:11).

Withstood (αντεστησανantestēsan). Second aorist active (intransitive) of αντιστημιanthistēmi to stand against, “they stood against” (with dative ΜωυσειMōusei). Same word used of Elymas in Acts 13:8 and repeated here αντιστανταιanthistantai (present middle indicative). Paul here pictures the seducers of the γυναικαριαgunaikaria above.

Corrupted in mind (κατεπταρμενοι τον νουνkatephtharmenoi ton noun). Perfect passive participle of καταπτειρωkataphtheirō old compound, in N.T. only here in critical text. See on 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 6:5 for διαπτειρωdiaphtheirō The accusative νουνnoun is retained in the passive.

Reprobate (αδοκιμοιadokimoi). See note on 1 Corinthians 9:27; Titus 1:16. They had renounced their trust (πιστινpistin) in Christ.

Verse 9

They shall proceed no further (ου προκοπσουσιν επι πλειονou prokopsousin epi pleion). Future active of προκοπτωprokoptō See note on 2 Timothy 2:16.

Folly (ανοιαanoia). Old word (from ανοοςanoos a privative and νουςnous), want of sense, here only in N.T.

Evident (εκδηλοςekdēlos). Old word (εκ δηλοςekεκεινωνdēlos outstanding), here only in N.T.

Theirs (ekeinōn). Of Jannes and Jambres (Exodus 7:12).

Verse 10

Didst follow (παρηκολουτησαςparēkolouthēsas). First aorist active indicative of παρακολουτεωparakoloutheō for which see note on 1 Timothy 4:6. Some MSS. have perfect active παρηκολουτηκαςparēkolouthēkas (thou hast followed). Nine associative-instrumental cases here after the verb (teaching, διδασκαλιαιdidaskaliāi Romans 12:7; conduct, αγωγηιagōgēi old word here only in N.T.; purpose, προτεσειprothesei Romans 8:28; faith, πιστειpistei 1 Thessalonians 3:6; longsuffering, μακροτυμιαιmakrothumiāi Colossians 1:11; persecutions, διωγμοιςdiōgmois 2 Thessalonians 1:4; sufferings, πατημασινpathēmasin 2 Corinthians 1:6.). The two last items belong to 2 Timothy 3:11.

Verse 11

What things befell me (οια μοι εγενετοhoia moi egeneto). Qualitative relative (οιαhoia) referring to actual experiences of Paul (εγενετοegeneto second aorist middle indicative of γινομαιginomai) more fully described in 2 Corinthians 11:30-33. The Acts of the Apostles tell of his experiences in Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:14, Acts 13:45, Acts 13:50), in Iconium (Acts 14:1-5), in Lystra (Acts 14:6-19). See also Galatians 2:11.

What persecutions I endured (οιους διωγμους υπηνεγκαhoious diōgmous hupēnegka). Qualitative relative again with διωγμουςdiōgmous The verb is first aorist active indicative of υποπερωhupopherō old verb, to bear under as in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Delivered me (με ερυσατοme erusato). First aorist middle of ρυομαιruomai old verb, with εκek here as in 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Used again of the Lord Jesus in 2 Timothy 4:18.

Verse 12

That would live godly (οι τελοντες ζηιν ευσεβωςhoi thelontes zēin eusebōs). “Those who desire (will, determine) to live godly.” Paul does not regard his experience as peculiar, but only part of the price of loyal service to Christ.

Shall suffer persecution (διωχτησονταιdiōchthēsontai). Future passive of διωκωdiōkō “shall be persecuted” (shall be hunted as wild beasts).

Verse 13

Impostors (γοητεςgoētes). Old word from wailers (γοαωgoaō to bewail), professional mourners, deceivers, jugglers. Here only in the N.T. Modern impostors know all the tricks of the trade.

Shall wax worse and worse (προκοπσουσιν επι το χειρονprokopsousin epi to cheiron). “Shall cut forward to the worse stage.” See note on 2 Timothy 2:16 for προκοπτωprokoptō ΧειρονCheiron is comparative of κακοςkakos “to the worse than now.”

Deceiving and being deceived (πλανωντες και πλανωμενοιplanōntes kai planōmenoi). Present active and present passive participles of πλαναωplanaō The tragedy of it all is that these seducers are able to deceive others as well as themselves.

Verse 14

But abide thou (συ δε μενεsu de mene). Emphatic contrast (συ δεsu de), “But thou.” Present active imperative of μενωmenō common verb, to remain.

In the things which (εν οιςen hois). The antecedent to οιςhois is not expressed (“in which things”) and the relative is attracted from αha accusative with εματεςemathes (didst learn, second aorist active indicative of μαντανωmanthanō) to the case of the unexpressed antecedent (locative with ενen).

Hast been assured of (επιστωτηςepistōthēs). First aorist passive indicative of πιστοωpistoō old verb (from πιστοςpistos faithful), to make reliable, only here in N.T.

Knowing from whom (ειδως παρα τινωνeidōs para tinōn). Second perfect active participle of οιδαoida Note τινωνtinōn (ablative case after παραpara in an indirect question). The list included the O.T. prophets, Paul, Eunice, Lois. There ought to be moral authority in such personages.

Verse 15

From a babe (απο βρεπουςapo brephous). Only here in the Pastorals. This teaching from the fifth year, covering the whole of Timothy‘s recollections. See Mark 9:21 εκ παιδιοτενek paidiothen from a child.

Thou has known (οιδαςoidas). Present active indicative, progressive perfect reaching from a babe till now. Would that Christian parents took like pains today.

The sacred writings (ιερα γραμματαhiera grammata). “Sacred writings” or “Holy Scriptures.” Here alone in N.T., though in Josephus (Proem to Ant. 3; Apion 1, etc.) and in Philo. The adjective ιεροςhieros occurs in 1 Corinthians 9:13 of the temple worship, and γραμμαgramma in contrast to πνευμαpneuma in 2 Corinthians 3:6.; Romans 2:29 and in John 5:47 of Moses‘ writings, in Acts 28:21 of an epistle, in Galatians 6:11 of letters (characters). In Ephesus there were Επεσια γραμματαEphesia grammata that were βεβηλαbebēla (Acts 19:19), not ιεραhiera

To make thee wise (σε σοπισαιse sophisai). First aorist active infinitive of σοπιζωsophizō old verb (from σοποςsophos), in N.T. only here, and 2 Peter 1:16.

Which is in (της ενtēs en). Common idiom with the article, “the in.” The use of the Scriptures was not magic, but of value when used “through faith that is in Christ Jesus.”

Verse 16

Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable (πασα γραπη τεοπνευστος και ωπελιμοςpāsa graphē theopneustos kai ōphelimos). There are two matters of doubt in this clause. One is the absence of the article ηhē before γραπηgraphē whether that makes it mean “every scripture” or “all scripture” as of necessity if present. Unfortunately, there are examples both ways with both παςpās and γραπηgraphē Twice we find γραπηgraphē in the singular without the article and yet definite (1 Peter 2:6; 2 Peter 1:20). We have πας Ισραηλpās Israēl (Romans 11:26) for all Israel (Robertson, Grammar, p. 772). So far as the grammatical usage goes, one can render here either “all scripture” or “every scripture.” There is no copula (εστινestin) in the Greek and so one has to insert it either before the καιkai or after it. If before, as is more natural, then the meaning is: “All scripture (or every scripture) is inspired of God and profitable.” In this form there is a definite assertion of inspiration. That can be true also of the second way, making “inspired of God” descriptive of “every scripture,” and putting εστινestin (is) after καιkai “All scripture (or every scripture), inspired of God, is also profitable.”

Inspired of God (τεοπνευστοςtheopneustos). “God-breathed.” Late word (Plutarch) here only in N.T. Perhaps in contrast to the commandments of men in Titus 1:14.

Profitable (ωπελιμοςōphelimos). See note on 1 Timothy 4:8. See Romans 15:4. Four examples of προςpros (facing, with a view to, for): διδασκαλιανdidaskalian teaching; ελεγμονelegmon reproof, in lxx and here only in N.T.; επανορτωσινepanorthōsin correction, old word, from επανορτοωepanorthoō to set up straight in addition, here only in N.T., with which compare επιδιορτοωepidiorthoō in Titus 1:5; παιδειανpaideian instruction, with which compare Ephesians 6:4.

Verse 17

The man of God (ο του τεου αντρωποςho tou theou anthrōpos). See note on 1 Timothy 6:11.

May be complete (ινα ηι αρτιοςhina ēi artios). Final clause with ιναhina and present subjunctive of ειμιeimi ΑρτιοςArtios is old word (from root αρωarō to fit), specially adapted, here only in N.T.

Furnished completely (εχηρτισμενοςexērtismenos). Perfect passive participle of εχαρτιζωexartizō rare verb, to furnish (fit) fully (perfective use of εχex), in N.T. only here and Acts 21:5. In Josephus. For καταρτιζωkatartizō see note on Luke 6:40; 2 Corinthians 13:11.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 31st, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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