Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Timothy 3:8

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Apostasy;   Character;   Doctrines;   Jambres;   Jannes;   Minister, Christian;   Reprobacy;   Truth;   Wicked (People);   Word of God;   Scofield Reference Index - Apostasy;   Thompson Chain Reference - Helps-Hindrances;   Hindrances;   Opposers;   Truth;   Truth-Falsehood;   The Topic Concordance - Corruption;   Folly;   Last Days;   Manifestation;   Resistance;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Character of the Wicked;   Doctrines, False;   Truth;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jannes;   Reprobate;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Magic;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Mind/reason;   Timothy, First and Second, Theology of;   Truth;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Jesus Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Castaway;   Jambres;   Jannes;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Canon of the Old Testament;   Divination;   Egypt;   Enoch;   Idol;   Jannes and Jambres;   Miracles;   Moses;   Timothy, the First Epistle to;   Timothy, the Second Epistle to;   Tyre;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Castaway;   Jannes and Jambres;   Mind;   Reprobate;   Titus, Epistle to;   2 Thessalonians;   2 Timothy;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jannes and Jambres;   Moses;   Reprobate;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Enoch Book of;   Interpretation;   Jannes and Jambres;   Moses;   Moses ;   Quotations;   Reprobate;   Timothy and Titus Epistles to;   Tradition;   Winter ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Castaway,;   Jannes and Jambres ;   Perilous Times;   Prophets, the;   Reprobate,;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Jambres;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Jan'nes;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Heresy;   Jannes;   Moses;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Castaway;   Enchantment;   Jannes and Jambres;   Pastoral Epistles, the;   Reprobate;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for April 9;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses - This refers to the history of the Egyptian magicians, given in Exodus 7 (see on Exodus 7:11; (note) and Exodus 7:12; (note)), and particularly the concluding observations at the end of that chapter, (note) where several things are said concerning these two men.

Men of corrupt minds - It appears as if the apostle were referring still to some Judaizing teachers who were perverting the Church with their doctrines, and loudly calling in question the authority and doctrine of the apostle.

Reprobate concerning the faith - Αδοκιμοι· Undiscerning or untried; they are base metal, unstamped; and should not pass current, because not standard. This metaphor is frequent in the sacred writings.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-timothy-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses - The names of these two men are not elsewhere mentioned in the Bible. They are supposed to have been two of the magicians who resisted Moses (Exodus 7:11, et al.), and who opposed their miracles to those of Moses and Aaron. It is not certain where the apostle obtained their names; but they are frequently mentioned by the Hebrew writers, and also by other writers; so that there can be no reasonable doubt that their names were correctly handed down by tradition. Nothing is more probable than that the names of the more distinguished magicians who attempted to imitate the miracles of Moses, would be preserved by tradition; and though they are not mentioned by Moses himself, and the Jews have told many ridiculous stories respecting them, yet this should not lead us to doubt the truth of the tradition respecting their names. A full collection of the Jewish statements in regard to them may be found in Wetstein, in loc.

They are also mentioned by Pliny, Nat. Hist. 30:7; and by Numenius, the philosopher, as quoted by Eusebius, 9:8, and Origen, against Celsus, p. 199. See Wetstein. By the rabbinical writers, they are sometimes mentioned as Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses in Egypt, and sometimes as the sons of Balaam. The more common account is, that they were the princes of the Egyptian magicians. One of the Jewish rabbins represents them as having been convinced by the miracles of Moses, and as having become converts to the Hebrew religion. There is no reason to doubt that these were in fact the leading men who opposed Moses in Egypt, by attempting to work counter-miracles. The point of the remark of the apostle here, is, that they resisted Moses by attempting to imitate his miracles, thus neutralizing the evidence that he was sent from God. In like manner, the persons here referred to, opposed the progress of the gospel by setting up a similar claim to that of the apostles; by pretending to have as much authority as they had; and by thus neutralizing the claims of the true religion, and leading off weak-minded persons from the truth. This is often the most dangerous kind of opposition that is made to religion.

Men of corrupt minds; - compare the notes at 1 Timothy 6:5.

Reprobate concerning the faith - So far as the Christian faith is concerned. On the word rendered “reprobate,” see the Romans 1:28 note; 1 Corinthians 9:27 note, rendered “cast-away;” 2 Corinthians 13:5 note. The margin here is, “of no judgment.” The meaning is, that in respect to the Christian faith, or the doctrines of religion, their views could not be approved, and they were not to be regarded as true teachers of religion.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-timothy-3.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Timothy 3:8". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-timothy-3.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And even Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth; men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith.

Jannes and Jambres ... These were the evil magicians who withstood Moses during his appearances before Pharaoh; and Paul's identification of them here is the very earliest mention of these names which has descended to us through history. That these names have appeared in later Jewish writings in slightly different form is not a reflection against Paul, but against those writings. Though their names are not in the Old Testament, the works of these impostors are recorded in Exodus 7:11; 9:11. They could indeed counterfeit some of the miracles of Moses; but in others their weak pretensions were exposed, and their folly became evident to all. For example, when Moses cast down his rod and it became a serpent, the magicians also produced serpents; but all of their serpents were swallowed up by the serpent that came from the rod of Moses. At any time in history when the grace of God is very active, Satan always responds with his own brand of wonders. When the Holy Spirit in the Person of Christ dwelt on earth, Satan entered the arena with demon possession; the "lying miracles" of the apostate church are another example.

Reprobate concerning the faith ... This indicates that the evil men Paul spoke of had once been in the faith but had fallen away from it. "The faith" is understood subjectively in this place by some; but as Lenski wisely observed:

The Lord has not supplied us with a touchstone that may be applied to men's hearts; but he has supplied us with his word, thereby to test all that men offer as "the faith" or doctrine.[17]

ENDNOTE:

[17] R. C. H. Lenski, Interpretations of St. Paul's Epistles ... 2Timothy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1964), p. 828.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses,.... These were not Jews, who rose up and opposed Moses, as Dathan and Abiram did, as some have thought; but Egyptian magicians, the chief of those that Pharaoh sent for, when Moses and Aaron came before him, and wrought miracles; and who did in like manner by their enchantments, Exodus 7:11 upon which place the Targum of Jonathan has these words:

"and Pharaoh called the wise men and the magicians; and Janis and Jambres, the magicians of the Egyptians, did so by the enchantments of their divinations.'

And the same paraphrase on Exodus 1:15 calls them by the same names; and this shows from whence the apostle had these names, which are not mentioned in any place in the Old Testament; namely, from the traditions and records of the Jews, with which he was well acquainted: there is no need to say he had this account by divine revelation, for some of the Heathens had knowledge of this story some such way. Numenius; the philosopher, speaks of Jannes and Jambres as Egyptian scribes, and famous for their skill in the magic art; and who opposed themselves to Moses when the Jews were driven out of EgyptF12Apud Euseb. Praeparat. Evangel. l. 9. p. 411. . Pliny also makes mention of Janme and Jotape as magicians; though he wrongly calls them Jews, and places Moses with themF13Nat. Hist. l. 30. c. 1. , as Jannes likewise is by ApuleiusF14Apolog. p. 248. . It is commonly said by the JewsF15Targum Jon. in Numb. xxii. 22. & Zohar in Numb. fol. 78. 3. & Chronicon Mosis, fol. 6. 2. , that these were the two sons of Balaam, and they are said to be the chief of the magicians of EgyptF16Targum Jon. in Exod. i. 15. & vii. 11. & Zohar in Exod. fol. 75. 1. ; the latter of these is called in the Vulgate Latin version Mambres; and in some Jewish writers his name is MamreF17T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 85. 1. Midrash Shemot Rabba, sect. 9. fol. 97. 3. & Aruch. in voce. by whom also the former is called Jochane or John; and indeed Joannes, Jannes, and John, are the same name; and R. GedaliahF18Shalsheleth Hakabala, fol. 7. 1. says, that their names in other languages are John and Ambrose, which is not unlikely. Mention is made of the sons of Jambri in the Apocrypha:

"But the children of Jambri came out of Medaba, and took John, and all that he had, and went their way with it.' (1 Maccabees 9:36)

whom JosephusF19Antiqu. l. 13. c. 1. sect. 2. calls the sons of Amaraeus. These are said to be the persons that told Pharaoh, that a child should be born among the Israelites, by whom the whole land of Egypt should be destroyed, and which was the reason of Pharaoh's giving such a charge to the Hebrew midwivesF20Targum Jon. in Exod. i. 15. ; also the making of the golden calf is ascribed to themF21Zohar in Exod. fol. 75. 1. & in Numb. fol. 78. 3. Shalsheleth, ib. ; for, according to the Jews, they afterwards became proselytes; but these things are not to be depended on: however, certain it is, that they withstood Moses by their enchantments, and hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that, for a while, he would not let the children of Israel go. Now between these magicians, and the Papists before described, there is a very great agreement; as these men were Egyptians, so the Papists may be called, since Rome is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, Revelation 11:8 as the one were, so the other are idolaters, who worshipped devils, idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, Revelation 9:20 and both sorcerers, using the magic art; Revelation 9:21 and they both pretended to miracles; though what they did were no other than lying wonders, 2 Thessalonians 2:9 and both agreed to keep the people of God in bondage, as much, and as long as they could: and particularly, as the magicians of Egypt withstood Moses,

so do these also resist the truth; the truth of one God, by their worshipping of images; and of one Mediator, by making use of angels, and saints departed, to intercede with God for them; and of justification by the righteousness of Christ, by introducing the doctrine of works, of merit, and supererogation; and of pardon and cleansing by the blood of Christ, and atonement by his sacrifice, by their pardons, indulgences, penance, purgatory, and the sacrifice of the Mass; yea, they resist the Scriptures of truth, not allowing them to be a sufficient rule without their unwritten traditions, and even Christ, who is truth itself, in all his offices, prophetic, priestly, and kingly.

Men of corrupt minds, of bad principles, holding antichristian tenets, derogatory to the grace of God, and glory of Christ; giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; like Jannes and Jambres, who were given to magic arts, and were under the influence of Satan:

reprobate concerning the faith; men of no judgment in the doctrine of faith; who have not their senses exercised to discern good and evil, to try things that differ, and approve the more excellent, but call good evil, and evil good: or as those who are disobedient and wicked in their lives, are said to be to every good work reprobate, Titus 1:16 so these are said to be reprobate to the faith; that is, to have no liking of it, or value for it, but despise it, hate it, and reject it; and upon that account, as they are like reprobate silver, whom God has rejected, they ought to be rejected by men.

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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

NowGreek, “But”; it is no wonder there should be now such opponents to the truth, for their prototypes existed in ancient times [Alford].

Jannes  …  Jambres — traditional names of the Egyptian magicians who resisted Moses (Exodus 7:11, Exodus 7:22), derived from “the unwritten teaching of the Jews” [Theodoret]. In a point so immaterial as the names, where Scripture had not recorded them, Paul takes the names which general opinion had assigned the magicians. Eusebius [Preparation of the Gospel], quotes from Numenius, “Jannes and Jambres were sacred scribes (a lower order of priests in Egypt) skilled in magic.” Hiller interprets “Jannes” from the Abyssinian language a trickster, and “Jambres” a juggler” (Acts 13:8).

resist — “withstand,” as before. They did so by trying to rival Moses‘ miracles. So the false teachers shall exhibit lying wonders in the last days (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:14, Revelation 13:15).

reprobateincapable of testing the truth (Romans 1:28) [Bengel]. Alford takes passively, “not abiding the test”; rejected on being tested (Jeremiah 6:30).

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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.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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

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.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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

As ( ὃν τρόπον )

The formula occurs in the Synoptic Gospels (see Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34), and in Acts (Acts 1:11; Acts 7:28), but not in Paul. Jannes and Jambres. According to tradition, the names of the chiefs of the magicians who opposed Moses. Exodus 7:11, Exodus 7:22.

Of corrupt minds ( κατεφθαρμένοι τὸν νοῦν )

Better, corrupted in mind. The verb, N.T.oComp. διεφθαρμένων τὸν νοῦν corruptedin mind, 1 Timothy 6:5.

Reprobate ( ἀδόκιμοι )

In Pastorals only here and Titus 1:16. A Pauline word. See on Romans 1:28, and see on castaway, 1 Corinthians 9:27.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

Several ancient writers speak of Jannes and Jambres, as the chief of the Egyptian magicians.

Men of corrupt minds — Impure notions and wicked inclinations.

Void of judgment — Quite ignorant, as well as careless, of true, spiritual religion.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-timothy-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Jannes and Jambres; names handed down by tradition, though not mentioned in the Old Testament, as those of the magicians who resisted the claims of Moses to be received as the messenger of God in the palace of Pharaoh.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/2-timothy-3.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Как Ианний. Это сравнение подтверждает то, что я прежде говорил о последних временах. Апостол хочет сказать, что с нами во времена Евангелия происходит то же, что испытывала Церковь почти с самого начала своего существования. По крайней мере, с того времени, как был обнародован закон. Подобно тому, как сказано о постоянных сражениях Церкви в Пс.129:1 [В Синодальном переводе Пс.128:1 — прим. пер.]: часто восставали на меня с юности моей, да скажет ныне Израиль, на спине моей пахали нечестивые, проводили по ней борозды свои. Поэтому, как учит Павел, вовсе не удивительно, если против Христа восстают противящиеся Его Евангелию враги, коль скоро свои противники были и у Моисея. И подобные примеры, заимствованные из крайней древности, немало способствуют нашему утешению.

Далее, все соглашаются с тем, что два упомянутые Павлом человека были волхвами, которых возвысил фараон. Но не ясно, откуда Павел узнал их имена. Хотя вероятно, что множество такого рода историй передавалось из уст в уста, и Бог не позволил им придти в забвение. Возможно, что во времена Павла имелись комментарии на пророков, более подробно рассказывающие о том, о чем лишь кратко повествовал Моисей. Но как бы то ни было, апостол приводит эти имена вполне сознательно. Можно предположить, что их было двое по следующей причине: коль скоро Господь поставил над Своим народом двух вождей Моисея и Аарона, фараон захотел противопоставить этим людям столько же своих волхвов.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/2-timothy-3.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

Ver. 8. Now as Jannes and Jambres] Numenius the Pythagorean calleth him Mambres. These were those Egyptian sorcerers: their names St Paul had either by tradition, or out of some Jewish records. Apuleius in his second apology mentioneth one Joannes among the chief magicians. The Babylonian Talmud also maketh mention of these two by name, as chief of the sorcerers of Egypt. (Tract. Menachoth, cap. ix.)

Resist the truth] Not so much us as the truth. So Alexander the coppersmith did greatly withstand Paul’s preachings, 2 Timothy 4:15; this was far worse than to withstand his person.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-timothy-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Timothy 3:8. As Jannes and Jambres Jannes and Jambres are not mentioned Exodus 7 nor any where else in the Old Testament; but their names are said to be mentioned, though with some variety as to the spelling, in both the Talmuds, and in the Targum of Jonathan on Exodus 7:11. It is remarkable, that the former of them is mentioned together with Moses by Pliny, and both of them by Numenius the philosopher (quoted byEusebius) as celebrated magicians. The Jews affirmed them to have been princes of Pharaoh's magicians, and greatly to have resisted Moses. See Plin. Nat. Hist. 1. 30. c. 1. and Euseb. lib. ix. c. 8.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-timothy-3.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Jannes and Jambres were two famous magicians in Egypt, who withstood Moses when he was working miracles before Pharaoh to hinder him from believing; their names are not mentioned in scripture, but taken by St. Paul, either from public tradition, or from some ancient Jewish records. Now, says the apostle, as the magicians resisted Moses, so these heretical seducers resist the truth, making a violent and rancorous opposition against it.

Thence learn, That there have been false teachers in all ages, who have with vehemency opposed the truth, and the professors of it. Neither the members nor the ministers of Christ shall ever want enemies to war with, whilst the seed of the serpent remains in the world.

Observe, 2. The character of these men who resist the truth, they are men of corrupt minds, and reprobate concerning the faith; they have lost all sound judgment, and made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience.

A corrupt head, a corrupt heart, and a vicious life, usually attend and accompany one another; loose principles dispose men to loose and licentious practices; such as are latitudinarians in opinion, and oftentimes so in practice too.

An heretical head and an upright heart are incompatible; a good conscience and a true faith, like Hippocrate's twins, live and die together.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/2-timothy-3.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

8.] But (q. d. it is no wonder that there should be now such opponents to the truth, for their prototypes existed also in ancient times) as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses (these are believed to be traditional names of the Egyptian magicians mentioned in Exodus 7:11; Exodus 7:22. Origen says (in Matt. comment. 117, vol. iii. p. 916), “quod ait, ‘sicut Jannes et Mambres (see var. readd.) restiterunt Mosi,’ non invenitur in publicis scripturis, sed in libro secreto, qui suprascribitur Jannes et Mambres liber.” But Thdrt.’s account is more probable ( τὰ μέντοι τούτων ὀνόματα οὐκ ἐκ τῆς θείας γραφῆς μεμάθηκεν ὁ θεῖος ἀπόστολος, ἀλλʼ ἐκ τῆς ἀγράφου τῶν ἰουδαίων διδασκαλίας), especially as the names are found in the Targum of Jonathan on Exodus 7:11; Numbers 22:22. Schöttgen has (in loc.) a long account of their traditional history: and Wetst, quotes the passages at length. They were the sons of Balaam—prophesied to Pharaoh the birth of Moses, in consequence of which he gave the order for the destruction of the Jewish children,—and thenceforward appear as the counsellors of much of the evil,—in Egypt, and in the desert, after the Exodus,—which happened to Israel. They were variously reported to have perished in the Red Sea, or to have been killed in the tumult consequent on the making the golden calf, which they had advised. Origen, contra Cels. iv. 51, vol. i. p. 543, mentions the Pythagorean Noumenius as relating the history of Jannes and Jambres: so also Euseb. præp. evang. ix. 8, vol. iii. (Migne), p. 412. Pliny, H. Nat. xxx. 1, says, “Est et alia Magices factio, a Mose et Jamne et Jotape Judæis pendens, sed multis millibus annorum post Zoroastrem.” The later Jews, with some ingenuity, distorted the names into Joannes and Ambrosius), thus these also withstand the truth, being men corrupted (reff.: the Lexx. quote καταφθαρεὶς τὸν βίον from a fragment of Menander) in mind, worthless (not abiding the test, ‘rejectanei’) concerning the faith (in respect of the faith: περὶ τὴν πίστιν is not, as Huther, equivalent to περὶ τῆς πίστεως, but expresses more the local meaning of περί: ‘circa,’ as the Vulg. here has it. In 1 Timothy 1:19, περὶ τήν πίστιν ἐναυάγησαν, we have the local reference brought out more strongly, the faith being, as it were, a rock, on, round which they had been shipwrecked).

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Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/2-timothy-3.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

2 Timothy 3:8. Further description of the heretics: ὃν τρόπον δὲ ἰαννῆς καὶ ἰαμβρῆς ἀντέστησαν ΄ωϋσεῖ] Paul here compares the heretics to the Egyptian Magi who are mentioned in Exodus 7. but not named. Origen (Tract. 35 in Matt.) thinks that the apostle extracted them from a liber secretus which bore the title “Jamnes et Mambres.” That is, however, doubtful; Theodoret’s supposition is more probable: τὰ μέντοι τούτων ὀνόματα οὐκ ἐκ τῆς θείας γραφῆς μεμάθηκεν θεῖος ἀπόστολος, ἀλλʼ ἐκ τῆς ἀγράφου τῶν ἰουδαίων διδασκαλίας. The names were a part of Jewish tradition from which they passed into the Talmudic and other Jewish writings; see Targum Jonathan, Exodus 7:11; Exodus 22:22. Even the Pythagorean Numenius in the second century mentioned them, as Origen (Contra Celsum, iv.) and Eusebius (Praep. Evangel. ix. chap. 8) inform us. “According to Jewish tradition, they are said to have been the sons of Balaam, and at first the teachers of Moses, but afterwards his chief opponents, and to have perished at last with the Egyptian army in the Red Sea;” see Heydenreich and Wetstein on this passage.

The correlation of ὃν τρόπονοὕτω does not necessarily place emphasis on the similarity of the manner of the act, but often only on the similarity of the act itself (comp. Matthew 23:37; Acts 7:28). Possibly, therefore, the heretics are compared with these sorcerers only because they both withstood the truth (so Plitt).

Possibly, also, it is because the resemblance lay in the heretics preaching the same thing as Timothy, just as the sorcerers did the same thing as Moses, the heretics and the sorcerers having the same purpose of striving against the truth (so Hofmann). Still the mention of the sorcerers at all is strange; hence we may suppose that the heretics by some more characteristic trait suggested the resemblance to the apostle’s mind, and that this trait was their use of magic arts, to which there is allusion made also in γόητες, 2 Timothy 3:13 (de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee(49)). The δέ not only marks the transition to a new thought, but also introduces something in contrast to what preceded: what they did they did with an appearance of piety, but in truth they were opposing the truth.

κατεφθαρμένοι τὸν νοῦν] The verb καταφθείρω ( ἅπ. λεγ.; in 2 Peter 2:12 it is the reading of the Rec., but there is more testimony for the simple verb) is synonymous with διαφθείρω, 1 Timothy 6:5.

ἀδόκιμοι περὶ τὴν πίστιν] Luther’s translation: “incapable of believing,” is inaccurate; nor is Beza’s explanation suitable: rejectanei, i.e. falsae et adulterinae doctrinae doctores, quos oporteat ab omnibus rejici. ἀδόκιμος is one who does not stand proof, and in connection with περὶ τὴν πίστιν one who does not stand proof in regard to faith: “not standing proof in respect of faith” (Matthies, de Wette); comp. 1 Timothy 1:19. The description here given of the heretics is the same as in 1 Timothy 6:5 : διεφθαρμένοι τὸν νοῦν καὶ ἀπεστερημένοι τῆς ἀληθείας.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/2-timothy-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

2 Timothy 3:8. ἰαννῆς καὶ ἰαμβρῆς, Jannes and Jambres) Euseb., 2 Timothy 1:9, Præp. Evang., quotes the following passage from Numemius: “Jannes and Jambres, understood to be Egyptian sacred scribes ( ἱερογραμματεῖς, a lower order of priests in Egypt), men of no small skill in magical operations, at the time when the Jews were driven out of the land of Egypt,” etc. Jannes and Jambres were names very well known in Paul’s time; for they were very often mentioned in the ancient books of the Hebrews, as two of the principal magicians among the Egyptians. The very acute Hillerus, according to the Abyssinian language, interprets Jannes, a jester or trickster, and Jambres, a juggler; for he is of opinion, that the appellatives were changed into proper names in the lapse of time.—Onom. S., p. 671, 843. Certainly, if they were entirely proper names, we may believe that they were formerly μέσα (terms intermediate between appellatives and proper names), which indicated the profession of the art itself (as well as the person); comp. Acts 13:8.— ἀντέστησαν ΄ωσῇ, withstood Moses) by rivalling to some extent his wonders.— ἀνθίστανται, resist) The opposite is, shall suffer persecution, 2 Timothy 3:12.— ἁδοκίμοι) reprobate, having no power to approve: comp. Romans 1:28.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". 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

Concerning this resistance of Moses by Jannes and Jambres, the Holy Scripture saith nothing but in this text. It is said by interpreters, that they were two brethren, the chief of Pharaoh’s magicians, who opposed Moses in the miracles he wrought, Exodus 7:11, whose names might be known in Paul’s time by tradition, or the public writings of the Jews.

So do these also resist the truth; so will corrupt teachers under the gospel resist the truth of the gospel published by Christ’s ministers.

Men of corrupt minds; men whose hearts are corrupted with sordid lusts.

Reprobate concerning the faith; adokimoi of no sound judgment as to the doctrine of faith, or not approved of God, or good men, as to their sentiments about our faith.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". 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

Ианний и Иамврий Эти имена не упоминаются в Ветхом Завете, но прообраз их можно увидеть в двух египетских чародеях, противостоявших Моисею (Исх. 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18, 19; 9:11). Согласно иудейскому преданию, они, став иудейскими прозелитами, подстрекали к прославлению золотого тельца и были убиты вместе с другими идолопоклонниками (Исх. 32). Павел выбрал их в качестве примера, указывавшего, что лжеучителя в Ефесе пользовались ложными знамениями и чудесами.

истине См. пояснение к ст. 7.

невежды Это же слово переведено как «низкого достоинства» в Рим. 1:28 (см. пояснение там же) и происходит от греческого слова, означающего «бесполезный» (то, что проверили, например, металл и признали негодным).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/2-timothy-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Jannes and Jambres; traditional names of two of the Egyptian magicians.

Withstood Moses; Exodus 7:11.

These; these corrupt teachers.

Resist the truth; by pretending to be Christ’s, and yet opposing his truth.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/2-timothy-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Expositor's Bible Commentary

-2

Chapter 33

THE LAST DAYS-THE BEARING OF THE MENTION OF JANNES AND JAMBRES ON THE QUESTION OF INSPIRATION AND THE ERRORS CURRENT IN EPHESUS. - 2 Timothy 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:8

IN the first chapter the Apostle looks back over the past; in the second he gives directions about the present; in the third he looks forward into the future. These divisions are not observed with rigidity throughout, but they hold good to a very considerable extent. Thus in the first division he remembers Timothy’s affectionate grief at parting, his faith and that of his family, and the spiritual gift conferred on him at his ordination. And respecting himself he remembers his teaching Timothy, his being deserted by those in Asia, his being ministered to by Onesiphorus. In the second chapter he charges Timothy to be willing to suffer hardships with him, and instructs him how to conduct himself in the manifold difficulties of his present position. And now he goes on to forewarn and forearm him against dangers and troubles which he foresees in the future.

There are several prophecies in the New Testament similar to the one before us. There is that of St Paul to the Ephesian Church some ten years before, just before his final departure for the bonds and afflictions which awaited him at Jerusalem. "I know that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock; and from your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after." [Acts 20:29-30] The Epistles to Timothy show that this prediction was already being fulfilled during the Apostle’s lifetime. There is, secondly, the prophecy respecting the great falling away and the revealing of the man of sin, which is somewhat parallel to the one before us. [2 Thessalonians 2:3-7] Thirdly, there is the similar prediction in the First Epistle to Timothy. [1 Timothy 4:1-3] And besides these three by St. Paul, there are those contained in 2 Peter 2:1-2 about the rise of false teachers, and in the First Epistle of St. John [1 John 2:18 and 1 John 4:3] about the coming of antichrist. Those in 2 Thessalonians and 2 Peter should be compared with the one before us, as containing a mixture of present and future. This mixture has been made the basis of a somewhat frivolous objection. It has been urged that the shifting from future to present and back again indicates the hand of a writer who is contemporary with the events which he pretends to foretell. Sometimes he adopts the form of prophecy and uses the future tense. But at other times the influence of facts is too strong for him. He forgets his assumed part as a prophet, and writes in the present tense of his own experiences. Such an objection credits the feigned prophet with a very small amount of intelligence. Are we seriously to suppose that any one would be so stupid as to be unable to sustain his part for half a dozen verses, or less, without betraying himself? But, in fact, the change of tense indicates nothing of the kind. It is to be explained in some cases by the fact that the germs of the evils predicted were already in existence, in others by the practice (especially common in prophecy) of speaking of what is certain to happen as if it were already a fact. The prophet is often a seer, who sees as present what is distant or future; and hence he naturally uses the present tense, even when he predicts.

The meaning of the "last days" is uncertain. The two most important interpretations are:

(1) the whole time between Christ’s first and second coming, and

(2) the portion immediately before Christ’s second coming.

Probability is greatly in favor of the latter; for the other makes the expression rather meaningless. If these evils "were to come at all," they must come between the two Advents; for there is no other time: and in that case why speak of this period as the "last days?" It might be reasonable to call them "these last days," but not "last days" without such specification. At the present time it would not be natural to speak of an event as likely to happen in the last days, when we meant that it would happen between our own time and the end of the world. The expression used in 1 Timothy 4:1 very probably does mean no more than "in future times; hereafter" ( εν υστεροις καιροις). But here and in 2 Peter 3:3 the meaning rather is "in the last days; when the Lord is at hand." It is then that the enemy will be allowed to put forth all his power, in order to be more completely overthrown. Then indeed there will be perilous, critical, grievous times ( καιροι χαλεποι). The Apostle treats it as possible, or even probable, that Timothy will live to see the troubles which will mark the eve of Christ’s return. The Apostles shared, and contributed to produce, the belief that the Lord would come again soon, within the lifetime of some who were then alive. Even at the close of a long life we find the last surviving Apostle pointing out to the Church that "it is the last hour," [1 John 2:18] obviously meaning by that expression that it is the time immediately preceding the return of Christ to judge the world. And some twenty years later we find Ignatius writing, to the Ephesians, "These are the last times ( εσχατοι καιροι). Henceforth let us be reverent; let us fear the longsuffering of God, lest it turn into a judgment against us. For either let us fear the wrath which is to come, or let us love the grace which now is" {Ephesians 11} Only by the force of experience was the mind of the Church cleared so as to see the Kingdom of Christ in its true perspective. The warning which Jesus had given, that "of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father," seems to have been understood as meaning no more than the declaration "in an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh." That is, it was understood as a warning against being found unprepared, and not as a warning against forming conjectures as to how near Christ’s return was. Therefore we need not be at all surprised at St. Paul writing to Timothy in a way which implies that Timothy will probably live to see the evils which will immediately precede Christ’s return, and must be on his guard against being amazed or overwhelmed by them. He is to "turn away from" the intense wickedness which will then be manifested, and go on undismayed with his own work, "Like as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth." The Apostle is obviously referring to the Egyptian magicians mentioned in Exodus. But in the Pentateuch neither their number nor their names are given; so that we must suppose that St. Paul is referring to some Jewish tradition on the subject. The number two was very possibly suggested by the number of their opponents: Moses and Aaron on one side, and two magicians on the other. And on each side it is a pair of brothers; for the Targum of Jonathan represents the magicians as sons of Balaam, formerly instructors of Moses, but afterwards his enemies. The names vary in Jewish tradition. Jannes is sometimes Johannes, and Jambres is sometimes either Mambres or Ambrosius. The tradition respecting them was apparently widely spread. It was known to Numenius, a Platonic philosopher of Apameia in Syria, who is mentioned by Clement of Alexandria ("Strom.," I 22.), and quoted by Origen and Eusebius as giving an account of Jannes and Jambres ("Con. Cels.," IV 51.; "Praep. Evang.," IX 8.). In Africa we find some knowledge of the tradition exhibited by Appuleius, the famous author of the "Golden Ass," who like Numenius flourished in the second century. And in the previous century another Latin writer, Pliny the Elder, shows a similar knowledge. Both of them mention Jannes as a magician in connection with Moses, who is also in their eyes a magician; but Pliny appears to think that both Moses and Jannes were Jews. It is highly improbable that any of these writers derived their knowledge of these names from the passage before us; in the case of Pliny this would scarcely have been possible. His "Natural History" was published about A.D. 77, and at that time the Second Epistle to Timothy must have been known to but few, even among Christians. The author of the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus very possibly did derive his knowledge of the names from St. Paul; yet he may have had independent sources of information. He represents Nicodemus as pleading before Pilate that Jannes and Jambres worked miracles before Pharaoh; "but because they were not from God, what they did was destroyed." Whereas "Jesus raised up Lazarus, and he is alive". [1 Timothy 5:1-25]

One of the ablest of English commentators on these Epistles remarks upon this passage, "It is probable that the Apostle derived these names from a current and (being quoted by him) true tradition of the Jewish Church." And in a similar spirit a writer in the "Dictionary of the Bible" thinks that it would be "inconsistent with the character of an inspired record for a baseless or incorrect current tradition to be cited."

Let us look at the phenomena of the case and see whether the number and the names appear to be trustworthy or otherwise, and then consider the question of inspiration. To drag in the latter question in order to determine the former, is to begin at the wrong end.

That there should be a pair of brothers to oppose a pair of brothers, has been pointed out already as a suspicious circumstance. The jingling pairing of the names is also more like fiction than fact. Thirdly, the names appear to be in formation, not Egyptian, but Hebrew; which would naturally be the case if Jews invented them, but would be extraordinary if they were genuine names of Egyptians. Lastly, Jannes might come from a Hebrew root which means "to seduce," and Jambres from one which means "to rebel." If Jews were to invent names for the Egyptian magicians, what names would they be more likely to fasten on them than such as would suggest seductive error and rebellious opposition? And is it probable that a really trustworthy tradition, on such an unimportant fact as the names of the enchanters who opposed Moses, would have survived through so many centuries? Sober and unbiased critics will for the most part admit that the probabilities are very decidedly against the supposition that these names are true names, preserved from oblivion by some written or unwritten tradition outside Scripture.

But is it consistent with the character of an inspired writer to quote an incorrect tradition? Only those who hold somewhat narrow and rigid theories of inspiration will hesitate to answer this question in the affirmative. No one believes that inspired persons are in possession of all knowledge on all subjects. And if these names were commonly accepted as authentic by the Jews of St. Paul’s day, would his inspiration necessarily keep him from sharing that belief? Even if he were well aware that the tradition respecting the names was untrustworthy, there would be nothing surprising in his speaking of the magicians under their commonly accepted names, when addressing one to whom the tradition would be well known. And if (as is more probable) he believed the names to be genuine, there is still less to surprise us in his making use of them to add vivacity to the comparison.

Nothing in God’s dealings with mankind warrants us in believing that He would grant a special revelation to an Apostle, in order to preserve him from so harmless a proceeding as illustrating an argument by citing the incorrect details which tradition had added to historical facts. And it is worth noting that nothing is based upon the names; they occur in what is mere illustration. And even in the illustration it is not the names that have point, but the persons, who are supposed to have borne them; and the persons are real, although the names are probably fictitious. Still less are we warranted in believing, as Chrysostom suggests, that St. Paul by inspiration had supernatural knowledge of the names. As we have seen, the names were known even to Gentiles who cannot well have derived their knowledge from him; and why should he have received a revelation about a trifle which in no way helps his argument? Such views of inspiration, although the product of a reverential spirit, degrade rather than exalt our conceptions of it. The main point of the comparison between the two cases appears to be opposition to the truth. But there is perhaps more in it than that. The magicians withstood Moses by professing to do the same wonders that he did; and the heretics withstood Timothy by professing to preach the same gospel as he did. This was frequently the line taken by heretical teachers; to disclaim all intention of teaching anything new, and to profess substantial, if not complete, agreement with those whom they opposed. They affirmed that their teaching was only the old truth looked at from another point of view. They used the same phraseology as Apostles had used: they merely gave it a more comprehensive (or, as would now be said, a more catholic) meaning. In this way the unwary were more easily seduced, and the suspicions of the simple were less easily aroused. But such persons betray themselves before long. Their mind is found to be tainted; and when they are put to the proof respecting the faith, they cannot stand the test ( αδοκιμοι).

There is nothing improbable in the supposition that St. Paul mentions the magicians who withstood Moses as typical opponents of the truth, because the false teachers at Ephesus used magic arts; and the word which he uses for impostors ( γοητες) in ver. 13 [2 Timothy 3:13] fits in very well with such a supposition, although it by no means makes it certain. Ephesus was famous for its charms and incantations ( εφεσια γραμματα) and around the statue of its goddess Artemis were unintelligible inscriptions, to which a strange efficacy was ascribed. The first body of Christians in Ephesus had been tainted by senseless wickedness of this kind. After accepting Christianity they had secretly retained their magic. The sons of the Jew Sceva had tried to use the sacred name of Jesus as a magical form of exorcism; and this brought about the crisis in which numbers of costly books of incantations were publicly burned. [Acts 19:13-20] The evil would be pretty sure to break out again, especially among new converts; just as it does among Negro converts at the present day. Moreover, we know that in some cases there was a very close connection between some forms of heresy and magic: so that the suggestion that St. Paul has pretensions to miraculous power in his mind, when he compares the false teachers to the Egyptian magicians, is by no means improbable.

The connection between heresy and superstition is a very real and a very close one. The rejection or surrender of religious truth is frequently accompanied by the acceptance of irrational beliefs. People deny miracles and believe in spiritualism; they cavil at the efficacy of sacraments and accept as credible the amazing properties of an "astral body." There is such a thing as the nemesis of unbelief. The arrogance which rejects as repugnant to reason and morality truths which have throughout long centuries satisfied the highest intellects and the noblest hearts, is sometimes punished by being seduced into delusions which satisfy nothing higher than a groveling curiosity.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "Expositor's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/teb/2-timothy-3.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth. Men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith.’

For these men who creep into women’s houses are like the magicians who opposed Moses in the days of the Pharaoh (Exodus 7:11, where the Jewish commentary, the Targum of Jonathan, mentions Jannes and Jambres; Exodus 8:7; Exodus 9:11). Just as those magicians/false religionists opposed and withstood Moses, so do these false teachers oppose and withstand the truth. They stand firm against the revelation of God’s power. And this is because their minds are corrupted, so that they have become spurious, ‘rejected after testing’, concerning the faith.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/2-timothy-3.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

2 Timothy 3:8. Jannes and Jambres. The names do not appear in the Pentateuch or elsewhere in the Old Testament. They are found in the Targum or Paraphrase of Exodus 7:11; Exodus 22:11, ascribed to Jonathan, and may represent either a fragment of decorative fiction or an unwritten tradition. According to one legend they were the sons of Balaam, who prophesied the birth of Moses, suggested the murder of the Hebrew infants, and were Pharaoh’s counsellors in all evil. As in the reference to Enoch in Jude 14, we see a free use of what we call uncanonical materials by way, not of proof, but illustration.

Of corrupt minds. As in 1 Timothy 6:5, though the Greek word is not quite the same, ‘corrupted in their mind.’

Reprobate. In its strict sense, as ‘tried, found wanting, and rejected.’

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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

Jannes and Mambres. The names of the magicians, who in Egypt, resisted Moses, says St. John Chrysostom, and though not mentioned in the Scriptures, their names might be known by tradition. (Witham) --- Since the Old Testament does not mention these magicians of Pharao, who opposed Moses, it seems probable that St. Paul either learnt their names by a particular revelation, as St. John Chrysostom, Theophylactus, and Tirinus think, or by some tradition of the Jews, agreeably to the opinions of Theodoret, Grotius, Estius, &c. Others think he might have found their names in some ancient histories, which have not reached our time; or perhaps from the apocryaphal book of Jannes and Mambres, mentioned by Origen and Ambrosiaster. Certain it is, that in St. Paul's time the name of these two famous magicians were very well known; this it is by no means necessary in this instance to have recourse to a particular inspiration. The Orientals say that were many magicians who opposed Moses. Among others, they mention Sabous and Gadous, who came from Thebias; Graath and Mospha, from some other country. They wished, as they inform us, to imitate the miracle by which Moses turned his rod into a serpent, by throwing their canes on the ground, and ropes filled with quicksilver. These ropes began to move a little, one twisting with another, on account of the heat of the earth warmed by the sun. But the rod of Moses in a moment broke them to pieces. (Calmet) --- These magicians are called by different names. The Greek has Jannes and Jambres. Some ancient writers, Jannes and Mambres; as St. Cyprian, Optatus, (chap. 7.) Born. &c. The Jews call that Joanne, or Johanna, whom the Greeks name Jannes; and that called by the Jews Jambres, the Greeks name Mambres. The Hebrews would have them to be the sons of Balaam, the soothsayer, and the masters of Moses in the sciences of the Egyptians. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-timothy-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

as. Literally in the manner in which.

Jannes and Jambres. The names of the magicians of Exodus 7:11. Found in the Targum of Jonathan.

withstood. Greek. anthistemi. Translated nine times "resist", five times "withstand".

Moses. The tenth occurance of the name in the Epistles. See Romans 5:14.

resist. Same as "withstood".

of corrupt minds = utterly corrupted (Greek. kataphtheiro. Only here and 2 Peter 2:12) as to their mind.

reprobate. See Romans 1:28.

concerning. App-104.

faith. App-150.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

Now - Greek, 'But.' It is no wonder there should be now such opponents to the truth, for their prototypes existed of old (Alford).

Jannes and Jambres - Egyptian magicians who resisted Moses (Exodus 7:11; Exodus 7:22). In a point so immaterial, where Scripture had not recorded the names, Paul takes those which Jewish tradition, or more probably history, assigned. Eusebius ('Praeparatio Evangelica') quotes from Numenius, 'Jannes and Jambres were sacred scribes (a lower order of priests in Egypt) deemed inferior to none in magic' Tradition made them to perish in the Red Sea. Hiller, derives Jannes from the Abyssinian 'trickster,' and Jambres, a juggler. Aan was the second predecessor of Joseph's Pharaoh. Ra, in the ending of Jambres, means the sun. The names were known to the Greeks and Romans, independently of Paul's mention of them. They probably were in some old chronicle of Israel's history (Smith, 'Dictionary of the Bible;' Pliny, 'H.N.' 30: 1; Apuleius, 'Apology' 24).

Resist - `withstand,' as before. They tried to rival Moses' miracles. So the false teachers shall exhibit lying wonders in the last days (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:14-15 : cf. Acts 8:9; Acts 13:6; Acts 19:13; Acts 19:19).

Reprobate (Romans 1:28) - 'not abiding the test:' rejected on being tested (Jeremiah 6:30).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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

(8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses.—To one brought up, like Timothy, by a pious Jewish mother, and who from a child knew the Holy Scriptures and all the history and ancient traditions connected with the early history of the people, such a comparison would be very striking. No child of Israel could hear the name of Moses, the loved hero of the chosen people, unmoved; and to be told that these false teachers of Ephesus stood in the same relation to him and the Church of Christ as, in old days—in the never-to-be-forgotten Egyptian episode—those famous magicians Jannes and Jambres stood to Moses, would throw for Timothy a new light on all the words and works of these wicked and ambitious men. We can well imagine the comparison being repeated in many an assembly of the faithful, long after the great Apostle’s death: how St. Paul had likened these early Heresiarchs to those evil men who before Pharaoh had dared to resist God and His servant Moses. These magicians, also termed wise men and sorcerers (Exodus 7:11-22) at the court of Pharaoh, appear as the enemies of Moses. The names “Jannes” and “Jambres,” though not given in the sacred text, are preserved in the oral tradition of Israel. The names are found in the Targum of Jonathan on Exodus 7:11; Exodus 22:22. These traditions relate how these men were sons of Balaam, and in the first instance were the instructors of Moses, though subsequently his enemies and opponents. One legend mentions them as perishing in the catastrophe when the waves of the Red Sea overwhelmed the armies of Egypt; another tradition speaks of their having met their death in the slaughter after the worship of the golden calf, the making of which they advised. It was their prophetic words, so say these legendary histories, which, foretelling the birth of Moses, induced Pharaoh to give this order for the destruction of the Jewish children. The later Jews distorted the names into John and Ambrose.

So do these also resist the truth.—The point of comparison between the depraved teachers of Ephesus and these Egyptian sorcerers consisted in a persistent and deadly enmity to the truth, which existed in both cases. The life of the prophet Balaam, the traditionary father of this Jannes and Jambres, supplies a vivid illustration of this malignant and persistent hatred of what is known and felt to be true. That these Ephesian heretics in like manner availed themselves, or pretended to avail themselves of occult power is just probable, though in the comparison this point is of but little moment. We know, however, that the claim at least to possess mysterious and unearthly powers was often made by covetous and worldly men in these times: as, for instance, by Simon Magus (Acts 8:9-24), by Elymas the sorcerer, the false prophet and Jew in Cyprus (Acts 13:6-12). See also the episode of Acts 19:18-20, when “many which used curious arts came to Paul and his companions, and confessed and shewed their deeds.”

Men of corrupt minds.—Literally, corrupted in their minds. Timothy might possibly have been induced to regard these evil men, though erring in some particulars, as still of the flock of Christ, to which they belonged nominally; but he was now instructed that they were simply enemies to the truth: that it was vain to hope that they would ever come to a knowledge of the truth, for their “mind,” the human spirit, the medium of communication with the Holy Spirit of God, was corrupted. There was no common ground of faith, save in the bare name of Christian, between Timothy and these men, for they, in the matter of faith, had been tried and found wanting.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-timothy-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
as
Exodus 7:11,22; 8:7,18
resist
4:15; 1 Kings 22:22-24; Jeremiah 28:1-17; Acts 13:8-11; 15:24; Galatians 1:7-9; 2:4,5; Ephesians 4:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; Titus 1:10; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 2:18; 4:1; Revelation 2:6,14,15,20
men
Acts 8:21,22; Romans 1:28; 16:18; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Timothy 1:19; 4:2; 6:5; Titus 1:16; 2 Peter 2:14; Jude 1:18,19
reprobate
or, of no judgment.
2 Corinthians 13:5,6
Reciprocal: Exodus 9:11 - General1 Kings 18:29 - voice;  1 Kings 22:11 - horns of iron;  2 Chronicles 18:10 - horns of iron;  Ezra 4:2 - Let us;  Nehemiah 6:14 - on the prophetess;  Proverbs 22:12 - he;  Ecclesiastes 1:10 - it hath;  Ecclesiastes 9:18 - sinner;  Jeremiah 29:27 - which;  Ezekiel 13:20 - and will;  Daniel 1:20 - the magicians;  Daniel 4:7 - but;  Micah 3:7 - the seers;  Matthew 23:13 - for ye shut;  Luke 20:7 - that;  Luke 20:26 - they could;  Acts 8:9 - used;  Acts 13:6 - a false;  Acts 16:16 - possessed;  1 Corinthians 8:13 - if meat;  2 Timothy 3:9 - their;  2 Timothy 3:13 - evil;  Revelation 9:4 - that they;  Revelation 13:13 - he maketh;  Revelation 13:16 - or

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-timothy-3.html.

Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

Week 9

2 Timothy 3:8-13

A FAITHFUL SERVANT IS EXAMPLED (Paul was Timothy's example)

"8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was. 10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."

"Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith."

Even clearer - these are those that reject the truth - they are not seeking, nor following God, thus worthy to be avoided.

Reprobate seems to relate to not coming up to the standard - rejected - not standing the test - castaway. Something, when examined, which is found wanting in some manner.

This in effect is saying the person has been found wanting in truth. There seems to be an evaluation on the part of others in the determination of the person's credibility.

To those that do not want us to judge others - well this seems to be a clear command to "evaluate" the teachings of others and class them according to the truth found within.

Jannes and Jambres were, according to tradition the magicians that withstood Moses before Pharoah and imitated the miracles. (Exodus 7:11-12; Exodus 7:22; Exodus 8:7; Exodus 9:11 speaks to the events, but does not name the men involved.) There is nothing in the Bible dictionaries that I checked that would indicate the truth or falsehood of what is assumed by many. (Jannes means "he vexed" and Jambres means "foamy healer")

The two are named in some of the older traditional sources including the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. These names come to us from Tradition, but Paul knowing that tradition of the Jews knew of the men and that the old Jewish teachers had held the two names to be authentic. Since they are in the inspired New Testament, we know the names of the men to be true from God via Paul. Not as if we need tradition to prove it.

A note of further information about these men - the term "corrupt" is a verb and is presented in the perfect tense, thus these are men of corrupt minds - minds that will remain corrupt into the future to a corrupt end - at least this is Paul's "evaluation" of them.

To seek to reconcile them might be a total waste of time and this should be considered before going to them.

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Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/2-timothy-3.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.Jannes and Jambres—The traditional names of the magicians who at Memphis withstood Moses with their false miracles opposed to the true.

Exodus 7:11; Exodus 7:22. Origen says, that the account was preserved in a secret, or apocryphal, Jewish volume entitled “Jannes and Jambres.” The names are found, variously spelled, in the Targum of Jonathan on Exodus 7:11, and Numbers 21:22. Says Alford:— “They were the sons of Balaam—prophesied to Pharaoh the birth of Moses, in consequence of which he gave the order for the destruction of the Jewish children—and thenceforward appear as the counsellors of much of the evil—in Egypt, and in the desert after the Exodus—which happened to Israel. They were variously reported to have perished in the Red Sea, or to have been killed in the tumult consequent on the making the golden calf, which they had advised. Origen (‘Contra Cels., 4:51, vol. i, p. 543’) mentions the Pythagorean Noumenius as relating the history of Jannes and Jambres; so also Euseb., (Praep. Evang., 9:8, vol. iii, [Migne,] p.412.)” Pliny (“H. Nat., 30:1”) says: “There is another performance of magic, namely, by Moses, and Jannez and Jotapez, among the Jews, but many thousands of years after Zoroaster.”

Reprobate—Rejected, not able to stand the test when tried by the true doctrine of Christ as summarized in 2 Timothy 2:8-13.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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 3:8. The apostle now returns from the to their seducers, whom he compares to the magicians who withstood Moses and Aaron, both in their hostility to the truth and in their subsequent fate. St. Paul is the earliest extant authority for the names; but of course he derived them from some source, written (Origen), or unwritten (Theodoret), it is immaterial which. But the former theory is the more probable. The book is called by Origen (in Matt. p. 916, on Matthew 27:8), Jannes et Mambres liber, and is perhaps identical with Pœnitentia Jamnis et Mambrae condemned in the Decretum Gelasii. Pliny, whose Natural History appeared in A.D. 77, mentions Jannes along with Moses and Lotapis (or Jotapis) as Jewish Magi posterior to Zoroastes (Hist. Nat. xxx. 1). He is followed by Apuleius, Apol. c. 90. Numenius (quoted by Eusebius (Prep. Ev. ix. 8) mentions Jannes and Jambres as magicians who resisted Moses. In the Targ. of Jonathan on Ex. vii. 11, the names are given as , Janis and Jamberes; but in the Talmud as , Jochana and Mamre. It is generally agreed that Jannes is a form of Jochanan (Johannes), and that Jambres is from the Hiphil of to rebel. For the legends associated with these names, see art. in Hastings’ D. B.

: The same word is used of Elymas the Sorcerer, Acts 13:8. The refers rather to the degree of their hostility than to the manner in which it was expressed, i.e., by magical arts. At the same time, it is possible that magic was practised by the false teachers; they are styled impostors, , in 2 Timothy 3:13; and Ephesus was a home of magic. See Acts 19:19.

: cf.1 Timothy 6:5, . . This is the Pauline equivalent for the Platonic “lie in the soul”. . is not coordinate with .; the latter is the exemplification of the former.

: reprobate. The A.V.m. gives the word here, and in Titus 1:16, an active force, of no judgment, void of judgment. For with the acc. See on 1 Timothy 1:19.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/2-timothy-3.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

8. As Jannes and Jambres. These are the traditional names of Pharaoh’s chief sorcerers, who opposed Moses (Exodus 7:11). Opposed to the truth. Like Elymas (Acts 13:8and note). Paul must mean that some of these will even do counterfeit miracles and false outpourings of the Spirit to deceive people! See Revelation 13:13and note. These false teachers were very deep into the occult. And who are failures. Paul also uses this expression in 2 Corinthians 13:5. These people have reached the stage in their apostasy that they are amoral, having lost any sense of right or wrong, good or bad.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "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

8And as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses This comparison confirms what I have already said about the “last times”, for he means that the same thing happens to us under the gospel, which the Church experienced almost from her very commencement, or at least since the law was published. In like manner the Psalmist also speaks largely about the unceasing battles of the Church.

“Often did they fight against me from my youth, now let Israel say. The wicked ploughed upon my back, they made long their furrows.” (Psalms 129:1)

Paul reminds us, that we need not wonder if adversaries rise up against Christ to oppose his gospel, since Moses likewise had those who contended with him; for these examples drawn from a remote antiquity yield us strong consolation.

It is generally believed; that the two who are mentioned, “Jannes and Jambres,” were magicians put forward by Pharaoh. But from what source Paul learned their names is doubtful, except that it is probable, that many things relating to those histories were handed down, the memory of which God never permitted to perish. It is also possible that in Paul’s time there were commentaries on the prophets that gave more fully those narratives which Moses touches very briefly. However that may be, it is not at random that he calls them by their names. The reason why there were two of them may be conjectured to have been this, that, because the Lord had raised up for his people two leaders, Moses and Aaron, Pharaoh determined to place against them the like number of magicians.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/2-timothy-3.html. 1840-57.