Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Timothy 3:7

always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Apostasy;   Blindness;   Doctrines;   Fellowship;   Minister, Christian;   Wicked (People);   Women;   Worldliness;   Scofield Reference Index - Apostasy;   Thompson Chain Reference - Discernment-Dullness;   Dullness;   Fleeting Impressions;   Ignorance;   Impressions, Fleeting;   Knowledge-Ignorance;   The Topic Concordance - Corruption;   Folly;   Knowledge;   Last Days;   Manifestation;   Resistance;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Women;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Know, Knowledge;   Magic;   Timothy, First and Second, Theology of;   Truth;   Woman;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Jesus Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Truth;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Games;   Idol;   Miracles;   Timothy, the First Epistle to;   Timothy, the Second Epistle to;   Tyre;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Titus, Epistle to;   2 Thessalonians;   2 Timothy;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Gnosticism;   Ignorance;   Timothy and Titus Epistles to;   Truth;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Perilous Times;   Prophets, the;   48 To Know, Perceive, Understand;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Perfect;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for April 9;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Ever learning - From their false teachers, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, because that teaching never leads to the truth; for, although there was a form of godliness, which gave them a sort of authority to teach, yet, as they denied the power of godliness, they never could bring their votaries to the knowledge of the saving power of Christianity.

There are many professors of Christianity still who answer the above description. They hear, repeatedly hear, it may be, good sermons; but, as they seldom meditate on what they hear, they derive little profit from the ordinances of God. They have no more grace now than they had several years ago, though hearing all the while, and perhaps not wickedly departing from the Lord. They do not meditate, they do not think, they do not reduce what they hear to practice; therefore, even under the preaching of an apostle, they could not become wise to salvation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-timothy-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Ever learning - That is, these “silly women;” for so the Greek demands. The idea is, that they seeM to be disciples. They put themselves wholly under the care of these professedly religious teachers, but they never acquire the true knowledge of the way of salvation.

And never able to come to the knowledge of the truth - They may learn many things, but the true nature of religion they do not learn. There are many such persons in the world, who, whatever attention they may pay to religion, never understand its nature. Many obtain much speculative acquaintance with the “doctrines” of Christianity, but never become savingly acquainted with the system; many study the constitution and government of the church, but remain strangers to practical piety; many become familiar with the various philosophical theories of religion, but never become truly acquainted with what religion is; and many embrace visionary theories, who never show that they are influenced by the spirit of the gospel. Nothing is more common than for persons to be very busy and active in religion, and even to “learn” many things about it, who still remain strangers to the saving power of the gospel.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-timothy-3.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Timothy 3:7

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Ever learning, never attaining

This is one of the features of the “perilous times” of the “last days.” “Men shall be selfish.” This lies at the root of all. Self enthroned where God ought to be--self pampered, to the neglect alike of duty and charity--this will explain anything in the longest and blackest list of vices. The text presents another characteristic of the perilous times. These selfish men, without natural affection, despisers of all that is good, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, yet tenacious of the form of that godliness of which they have utterly set at nought the power, shall exercise a strange empire, none the less, over the homes and over the lives and over the consciences of women. Professing themselves religious, calling themselves teachers of truth, they will insinuate themselves into houses, and captivate by their offers of an indulgent and accommodating Christianity, just those who need above all others a discipline of plain speaking--silly women laden with sins, led this way and that way by divers lusts. It is of these captives, these victims, of a debased and degenerate teaching, that the words of the text were written. There are those who, though they are ever learning, are never able to arrive at this sort of knowledge of truth. They are not careless hearers, they are not inattentive readers, they are not uninterested inquirers. If they were this, the wonder of the non-attainment would be at an end. But there is a wonder. The cry and the complaint is, “I am always learning. I never allow a new book, which promises light upon some part of the truth, to escape my notice. I am athirst for knowledge; I would give all I possess to be quite sure.”

1. There is in some minds an impatience of process and progress, fatal of itself to safe and solid attainment. “By little and little” is the motto of the spiritual dealing, whether it be in the “putting out of enemies” or in the discovery of truth.

2. Another cause of disappointment lies in confusion of thought as to the nature of spiritual certainty. If God speaks, certainly He will give me proof of it; but a proof in the same region and in the like material with the thing to be proved; not an evidence of sight, touch, or smell, as to things which, by their very hypothesis, lie outside it, but an evidence appealing to conscience, heart, and soul, as He made each; satisfying the whole (not one part) of me, that the thing of which He gives me the information is beneficial, is wholesome, is good for me--and, because good, therefore also true.

3. A further error contributes, in many, to this defeat of knowing, and it is the want of instant action on the footing of the thing learned. Many men listen to a sermon without the slightest intention of doing any one single thing in consequence. A man has been interested in a treatise upon Prayer, upon Inspiration, upon the Atonement. He closes the book with a feeling of satisfaction--now he can give a reason for the hope that is in him. Yet he feels that he has not “come to the knowledge” of that truth. It is not a part of him. It does not enter into his thought, mind, and life. It does not influence him; it has not flowed into him--for that is influence; it will not flow out from him into any one else. Why is this? Because he has not acted upon the thing learned. He has not carried out the acquisition of the head into the heart, if that is its province; or into the conduct, if its region of operation is there. A man powerfully impressed with the reasonableness of prayer will instantly set himself to pray with a new stimulus and a new intensity. If he does not he may have “learned”--as St. Paul would have us distinguish--but he cannot be said to “know.” A man who has received a new instruction on the subject of inspiration, forthwith opens his Bible, kneels on his knees with it, feels the breath of God in it all as he reads, and echoes each sentence of it in earnest prayer. (Dean Vaughan.)

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth

The case here represented may perhaps strike us as having something in it rather extraordinary. That they who take no pains to learn should never grow wiser is what we can readily understand, but that there should be those who do labour in the work of religion and yet never succeed is surely not a little remarkable. Strange, however, as it may on the first view appear, the case is by no means uncommon. It will, then, be useful to investigate the causes of this. We may lay it down for a certain truth, that it is not owing to anything unattainable in the object itself.

1. The knowledge which is necessary to salvation is open to the most ordinary capacity. The great leading truths of the Bible are plain and simple, and, where the mind is in a right disposition, are easily understood.

2. The knowledge of the truth is not unattainable, because we have the promise of Christ that it shall be imparted to every one, be his condition what it may, who is sincere in seeking it. Without Divine illumination it is impossible for any human being to become wise unto salvation. But this illumination God is willing to pour upon the minds Of all who call upon Him for that purpose. The causes of their failure are to be traced entirely to themselves.

Caution against enticement from the truth

1. I wish this were not the sin of silly men as well as of silly women, to be always learning, yet never come to the knowledge of the truth; how many are men in years, yet children in understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20). And when for the time they might have been teachers, they had need to be taught the elements of religion (Hebrews 5:12). Though the knowledge of the best in this life be imperfect, and we are always learners here, yet we must strive toward perfection and not always stick in the place of bringing forth (Hosea 13:13); nor be like a horse in a mill, still going round in the same place; or like a picture that grows not, but is the same now that it was twenty years ago. Such barren trees are nigh to cursing (Luke 13:9), and such unprofitable learners are left by God justly to the power of seducers, as malefactors are to jailers. This is the true cause of all those errors and sins amongst us (Psalms 95:10; Jeremiah 9:3; Matthew 22:19). As for ourselves, let us inquire for the good way, and when we have found it, sit not still, but be walking from knowledge to knowledge, from grace to grace, and from strength to strength, till at last we come to our celestial Sion.

2. Since seducers are so ready to seduce women, how careful should that sex be to shun conversing or disputing with them. Let every one know his own strength, and, if he be wise, keep within his own bounds.

3. Since women often are Satan’s instruments, by which he seduceth many, take heed of women; let not those syrens enchant thee so as to leap into the depths of errors. Consider how many of thy betters have fallen by them. Whosoever they be that seek to draw thee from thy God, let thy heart and thy hand be against them (Deuteronomy 13:6; Deuteronomy 13:8-9). (T. Hall, B. D.)

Unsanctified education

There is a right and wrong way of looking at everything. As a rule, whatever is most valuable in its use is most harmful in its abuse. The keener the surgeon’s knife, the more serviceable it is in skilled hands, but the more dangerous in hands unskilled. Education--learning--is of the utmost value, rightly acquired and rightly used. Misapplied--used as an end, not a means--it is a cogent factor of evil.

1. It is unsatisfactory and embittering. As a man who ascends the mountain-side far enough to enter the blinding mists, but not far enough to overlook them, so is the man of godless learning.

2. It destroys the humility and childlike simplicity so essential to a knowledge of real truth.

3. It is inefficient to cleanse from sin. Science, philosophy, all the learning of all the schools cannot, with out Christ’s atonement, regenerate sinful man. Give us, then, education; but let it be complete, as far as it goes--moral building up as well as intellectual. Cried Grotlus, the eminent historian, on his death-bed: “Ah! I have consumed all my life in a laborious doing of nothing. I would give all my learning and honour for the plain integrity of John Urick”--a poor man of remarkable piety. (Homiletic Monthly.)

Resultless study

What would be thought of a chemist who should conduct an experiment day after day, making a number of little variations in his method, but always withholding the deciding element from the crucible, or else persistently refusing to look at the result? Or what would be thought of a merchant always reckoning up his figures, but never writing down the final sums? Or what of a captain who should sail his ship in a circle? Or of a traveller always on the road, never reaching home or inn? (A Raleigh, D. D.)

Activity without progress

Two sailors happened to be on a military parade-ground when the soldiers were at drill, going through the evolution of marking time. One sailor, observing the other watching the movement of the company very attentively, with eyes fixed and arms akimbo, asked him what he thought of it. “Well, Jack,” replied his comrade, “I am thinking there must be a pretty strong tide running this morning, for these poor fellows have been pulling away this half-hour, and have not got an inch ahead yet.”

No further on the road

“How wise I am!” cried the finger-post to a willow-stump by his side. “Are you?” said the willow. “Am I?” indignantly retorted the post. “Do you see my arms? Are not the name to the great town, and road to it and distance from it, plainly written there?” “Ah, yes!” said the willow. “Then you must acknowledge how superior I am to you. Why! I am a public teacher.” “True, indeed,” answered the willow, “and learned you are; but, as to wisdom, I see little difference between you and me. You know the way to the city, I believe, and are the means of enabling many to find it; but here you have stood these twenty years, and I don’t see that you have got a step farther on the road than I have, who don’t profess to understand anything about it.” (Original Fables.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Timothy 3:7". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-timothy-3.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Ever learning ... That is, "Ever learning new things, but never learning the word of God."[16] There is a type of person, by no means restricted to women, who is always seeking novelty, something new and different, such persons having never learned to "Ask for the old paths, where is the good way" (Jeremiah 6:16).

ENDNOTE:

[16] John Wesley, op. cit., in loco.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-timothy-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Ever learning,.... Some new notion and practice or another: and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth; partly because of the teachers, which they heap up to themselves, who are unapt to teach, are blind and ignorant guides, and know not the truth, but are enemies to it, and resist it; and partly because of themselves, the sins they are laden, and the lusts they are led away with, which hinder them from coming to the knowledge of the truth.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-timothy-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Ever learning — some new point, for mere curiosity, to the disparagement of what they seemed to know before.

the knowledgeGreek, “the perfect knowledge”; the only safeguard against further novelties. Gnosticism laid hold especially of the female sex [Estius, 1.13.3]: so Roman Jesuitism.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-timothy-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

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!

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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/2-timothy-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Ever learning

From any one who will teach them. See on 1 Timothy 5:13. It is a graphic picture of a large class, by no means extinct, who are caught and led by the instructions of itinerant religious quacks.

Never able ( μηδέποτε δυνάμενα )

Because they have not the right motive, and because they apply to false teachers. Ellicott thinks that there is in δυνάμενα a hint of an unsuccessful endeavor, in better moments, to attain to the truth.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/2-timothy-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Ever learning — New things. But not the truth of God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-timothy-3.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Ver. 7. Ever learning, and never able] Because resolved not to lose their lusts. Intus existens prohibebat alienum; there was that within that kept out holy learning. It was therefore an excellent prayer of holy Zuinglius before his public lectures, Father of lights, enlighten our minds and open our hearts, so as that we may both understand thine oracles and be transformed into them. (Scultet. Annal.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-timothy-3.html. 1865-1868.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2253

A WANT OF PROFITING BY THE GOSPEL, CENSURED

2 Timothy 3:7. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

FROM what we know of the excellency of the Gospel, we should naturally conclude that it can never produce any thing but good. And this is true. But, as the law, notwithstanding it is good, is sometimes, through the corruption of our nature, an occasion of evil [Note: Romans 7:5; Romans 7:8-13.], so the Gospel often gives occasion to the corruptions of our hearts to manifest themselves to a very awful extent. Who, for instance, would imagine that persons calling themselves Christians should be obnoxious to the charge brought against them in all the preceding context [Note: ver. 1–7.], and answer in any degree to the character there drawn? Yet is it a melancholy fact, that some did answer to that character, even in the apostolic age; and, at different periods of the Church, multitudes have fully corresponded with the description there given; yea, and not only corresponded with it themselves, but laboured also with zeal and industry to infuse into others the same malignant spirit, and taken advantage of those who were less instructed, or more easily wrought upon, to propagate it to the utmost of their power. There is reason for thankfulness, that the Christian Church is not much agitated by such turbulent and unchristian teachers at this time: but still the spirit exists to a considerable extent amongst some classes of Christians; who, whilst they are running after every new preacher, exactly answer to the character here given of them, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

To counteract this great evil, I will endeavour to shew,

I. What little improvement many make of the Gospel which they hear—

The Gospel, in this age, has acquired a considerable degree of popularity; so that, wherever it is preached, it is attended by multitudes who previously had shewn no regard whatever for religion: yea, to such a degree does it interest many, that their whole souls appear to be engaged in an attention to it. Yet of these, not a few may be characterized by the words before us: they are “ever learning,” losing no opportunity, whether in public or in private, of gratifying their thirst for spiritual instruction, and “yet never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” either in principle or in practice.

1. In principle—

[Of those who indulge a spirit of scepticism, and who make all that they hear an occasion for calling in question the truth of God, it is not my intention to speak. The persons alluded to in my text are rather those who take partial views of the Gospel; insisting on some particular truth, to the exclusion of many others; or espousing some great error, to the utter subversion of the whole Gospel. Such are they who deny the corruption of human nature, the necessity of an atonement, the divinity of our blessed Lord, and the influences of the Holy Spirit. Persons of this description find pleasure in nothing which does not foster their heretical opinions: and to diffuse their principles is as much their labour, as it was the labour of the Pharisees of old; who “compassed sea and land to make one proselyte,” whom, by their hostility to the truth, they reduced to a still more abject condition than themselves.

Nor are Antinomian heretics less zealous, or less pernicious, than they. They can hear of nothing, and talk of nothing, but God’s decrees; whilst all the fruits of Christianity upon the spirit and temper are as much overlooked as if they were of no importance whatever to the soul.

But, not to speak of those who magnify any peculiar tenet to the neglect or exclusion of other truths, a great multitude of those who hear the Gospel get only a vague and indistinct view of it; discerning nothing of its transcendent excellency, as displaying the glory of the Divine perfections, or as suiting the necessities of fallen man: so that, amidst all their zeal for the Gospel, they never get their souls duly impressed with it as “the wisdom of God in a mystery,” or “the power of God unto salvation.” I grant that a truly correct and systematic view of Christianity is not to be expected of those who are altogether illiterate, and whose opportunities of investigating truth are very contracted: but still, the crude notions which many form of it clearly prove that they have never received the Gospel aright; because, if they had really been taught of God, they could not but discern its fundamental truths; since, “what God has hid from the wise and prudent, he does clearly and most intelligibly reveal to babes.”]

2. In practice—

[Truly it is very humiliating to see how little the preached Gospel answers the end for which it is delivered. It is intended to transform men into “the image of their God in righteousness and true holiness:” but on how few does it produce this saving change! Many love the preaching of the truth, like Ezekiel’s hearers, who heard him with delight, “as one that played well upon a musical instrument:” but, like them, they still retain all their former lusts; “their heart goes after their covetousness” and worldly-mindedness as much as ever; and their tempers are as unsubdued as ever. See them year after year; their besetting sins are still their besetting sins, with very little, if any, diminution in their power and ascendency. It is painful to think how many satisfy themselves with embracing the doctrines of Christianity, without experiencing its sanctifying effects. Would to God there were no room for this complaint! but indeed it is so: and there are many professors of religion who are as much under the dominion of unhallowed tempers as if they were utter strangers to divine truth: and, in speaking peace to themselves, they fearfully “deceive their own souls:” for, whatever they may think, “their religion is altogether vain [Note: James 1:26.].”

But there are others, who, though not left under the dominion of any particular sin, are still obnoxious to the censure in my text; because they never attain that knowledge of the truth which would introduce them into the full liberty of the children of God. They have heard and learned of men: but they have never “heard and learned of the Father, as the truth is in Jesus [Note: Ephesians 4:20-21. John 6:45.].” See what the truth is, as it was revealed by the Lord Jesus, and as exemplified in his life and conversation: such is that which we also ought to receive and experience: and it is a shame to us, if, after having been instructed in the Gospel for months and years, we do not, in some good measure at least, attain unto it. But many, “who, for the time that they have been instructed, ought to have been capable of instructing others, yet need again to be initiated into the very first principles of the oracles of God [Note: Hebrews 5:12-14.],” and “to be fed with milk, rather than with meat [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:1-4.],” which their feeble powers are not able to digest.]

Let me, then, go on to shew,

II. Whence their want of proficiency proceeds—

Many more reasons might be assigned for it than we shall have time to notice. All the different classes which we have mentioned may trace their ignorance to causes in some respect peculiar to the class to which they belong. On the other hand, there are some causes common to them all, which therefore it will be more proper for me to specify.

Men come not to the knowledge of the truth,

1. Because the obstacles to knowledge are not removed from their minds—

[The love of this world, and of the things thereof, casts a thick veil over the human mind, and incapacitates it for the reception of divine truth. It is like a film over the eyes, which either distorts objects, or renders the vision of them very indistinct. Our blessed Lord says, “How can ye believe who receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh of God only [Note: John 5:44.]?” In the parable of the Sower, the cares and pleasures of life are represented as choking the word, and rendering it unfruitful [Note: Matthew 13:22.]: and, till the ground has been in a measure cleared from thorns and briers, it is in vain to hope that any instruction can avail for the renovation and salvation of the soul.]

2. Because the means of attaining it are only partially used—

[Men will hear the Gospel with an almost insatiable avidity: but if you follow them to their own homes, you will not find them meditating upon what they have heard, with an application of it to their own souls; nor praying to God to render it effectual for the ends for which it has been delivered. When they have heard the word, they think they have done their duty: but meditation and prayer are not a whit less necessary for the improvement of the mind, than either written or oral instruction. This is particularly noticed by Solomon, who tells us, that we must add prayer to study; and not only search, but “lift up our voice for understanding,” if ever we would attain it [Note: Proverbs 2:1-6.]: and if we will not use every effort to improve what we have heard, it is no wonder that the instruction we have received fails of conveying any saving benefit to our souls.]

3. Because the knowledge acquired is not conscientiously improved—

[Men, under the word, are made to see their own faces in a glass: but, having no desire to comply with its requisitions, they soon “forget what manner of persons they are [Note: James 1:23-24.].” If they would follow the instruction which they receive, and take it as a light to search the inmost recesses of their souls, and as a touchstone whereby to try their experience before God, what progress would they make in the divine life! How clear would their views become! how eminent their attainments! But they hear not for this end. The Gospel is not contemplated by them in this view. The ordinances are attended by them more for the amusement of their minds than for the edification of their souls. And hence, though they are “ever learning,” they never acquire that self-knowledge that shall abase them in the dust, or that knowledge of God that shall assimilate them to his likeness.]

Address—

1. Those who have not yet attained the knowledge of the truth—

[Consider your responsibility for so abusing the privileges you enjoy. Were it an earthly science which you could not dive into or comprehend, you might plead your incapacity to understand the things submitted to you. But no man is too weak to comprehend divine truth, if God “open the eyes of his understanding to understand it.” Seek, then, to be taught of God; and you shall not be left in darkness. There are, indeed, two keys of knowledge, which you must obtain; and they are, integrity and contrition. Get but “a honest and good heart,” with a soul truly humbled before God; and you shall be “guided into all truth,” and “be made wise unto everlasting salvation.”]

2. Those who think they have acquired it—

[Remember, it is not by its clearness, but by its efficacy, that you are to judge of the knowledge you have acquired — — — Remember, too, that you are still to be “ever learning.” Never, in this world, will you have arrived at a full knowledge of the truth: your views of it will be increasing through all eternity. Of its sanctifying efficacy, also, you must have a progressive experience, to the latest hour of your lives. Be careful, then, that you “grow in grace, as well as in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ;” so shall you, ere long, “see him as he is, and be like him for ever.”]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/2-timothy-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

2 Timothy 3:7. ΄ανθάνοντα, learning) for the indulgence of curiosity.— μηδέποτε, never) Whence they are easily led captive, 2 Timothy 3:6.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/2-timothy-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Women that pretend to be ever learning the truth, but cannot obtain of their lusts a leave to acknowledge the truth in their practice. The word is epignwsin, which rather signifies a practical acknowledgment than a notional knowledge.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-timothy-3.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

познания истины В 1Тим. 2:4 используется это же выражение, означающее спасение. Павел здесь говорит о женщинах (ст. 6) и мужчинах, которые часто бросаются от одного лжеучения или культа к другому, никогда не достигая понимания Божьей спасающей истины в Иисусе Христе. Время от Первого Пришествия Иисуса Христа, было перегружено опасными лжеучениями, которые вели не к спасению, но к осуждению и проклятию (ср. ст. 14, 16, 17; 1Тим. 4:1).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/2-timothy-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Ever learning; from their false teachers what they would have them believe and do.

Never able; under such teachers, to know the truths of the gospel. Compare Matthew 15:14.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/2-timothy-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

2 Timothy 3:7. The words describe vividly the fruitless wanderings of those who pass from system to system and teacher to teacher.

The knowledge of the truth, i.e., as in 2 Timothy 2:25, the full clear knowledge that shuts out uncertainty.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/2-timothy-3.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Never attaining to the knowledge of the truth. These words, in construction, agree with the aforesaid women. (Witham)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-timothy-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Ever = Always. App-151.

never = not at any time. Greek. medepote. Only here

to. App-101.

knowledge. App-132.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-timothy-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Ever learning - some novelty to suit their own fancies, from mere curiosity and instability, to the disparagement of old truths (Acts 17:21).

The knowledge, [ epignoosin (Greek #1922)] - 'the perfect knowledge,' the safeguard against unwarranted novelties. Gnosticism played especially on the credulity of the female sex (Irenaeus, 1: 13. 3; Epiphanius, 'Hoer.' 26: 11): so Jesuitism.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-timothy-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.—A morbid love of novelty, and a hope to penetrate into mysteries not revealed to God’s true teachers, spurred these female learners on; but “to the full knowledge of the truth”—for this is the more accurate rendering of the Greek word—they never reached, for by their evil life their heart was hardened. That some of these false teachers laid claim to occult arts, to a knowledge of magic and sorcery, is clear from the statement contained in the next verse, where certain sorcerers of the time of Moses are compared to them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-timothy-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
learning
4:3,4; Deuteronomy 29:4; Proverbs 14:6; Isaiah 30:10,11; Ezekiel 14:4-10; Matthew 13:11; John 3:20,21; 5:44; 12:42,43; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Ephesians 4:14; Hebrews 5:11
never
1 Timothy 2:4
the knowledge
2:25
Reciprocal: Isaiah 28:10 - For precept;  Amos 8:12 - shall run;  John 8:32 - ye shall;  1 Corinthians 3:12 - wood;  1 Timothy 1:7 - understanding

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-timothy-3.html.

Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Ever know a woman like this - always reading, studying, listening and never quite grasping the truth - always following the whims of those she listens to - constantly gaining information, but little true knowledge.

A sad case indeed - one that takes so much time and effort seeking knowledge from the wrong sources when she could go to the Word and immediately gain the truth she desires.

Copyright Statement
Copyright 2008. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws. Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way.
Bibliographical Information
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/2-timothy-3.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7.Ever learning—Being continually poring over the doctrines of their visionary teachers, and trying to obtain satisfactory discoveries.

Never able to come to the knowledge of the truth—Forever led on with the expectation of firm result, yet forever tantalized that no sure result, no firm foundation, is attained.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-timothy-3.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

2 Timothy 3:7. : They have never concentrated their attention on any spiritual truth so as to have learnt it and assimilated it. They are always being attracted by “some newer thing,” (Acts 17:21), and thus their power of comprehension becomes atrophied.

: For negatives with the participle, see Blass, Grammar, p. 255.

: See on 1 Timothy 2:4.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/2-timothy-3.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

7. Always trying to learn. This continues 2 Timothy 3:6. These women are always looking for some new thing (compare Acts 17:21). They listen greedily to everyone that comes along, but they never learn anything (of the truth). If truth sets you free, error keeps you a slave (John 8:32).

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/2-timothy-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7Always learning, while yet they never can come to the knowledge of the truth That fluctuation between various desires, of which he now speaks, is when, having nothing solid in themselves, they are tossed about in all directions. They “learn,” he says, as people do who are under the influence of curiosity, and with a restless mind, but in such a manner as never to arrive at any certainty or truth. It is ill-conducted study, and widely different from knowledge. And yet such persons think themselves prodigiously wise; but what they know is nothing, so long as they do not hold the truth, which is the foundation of all knowledge.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/2-timothy-3.html. 1840-57.