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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

2 Timothy 3



Verse 1

d Comp. the beginning of Philemon href="/desk/?q=phm+1:12&sr=1">Philemon 1:12; and θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς εἰδέναι Iwould you should know, 1 Corinthians 11:3.

In the last days ( ἐπ ' ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις )

The phrase only here in Pastorals, Acts 2:17, James 5:3. Similar expressions are ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ inthe last season, 1 Peter 1:5: ἐπ ' ἐσχάτου τῶν χρόνων atthe last of the times, 1 Peter 1:20: ἐπ ' ἐσχάτου χρόνου atthe last time, Judges 1:18: ἐπ ' ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν atthe last of the days, 2 Peter 3:3: ἐν ὑστέροις καιροῖς inthe latter seasons, 1 Timothy 4:1. The times immediately preceding Christ's second appearing are meant. Comp. Hebrews 1:2; James 5:3.

Perilous times ( καιροὶ χαλεποί )

Only here and Matthew 8:28. Lit. hard times: schwere Zeiten. Καιρός denotes a definite, specific season. See on Matthew 12:1; see on Acts 1:17.

Shall come ( ἐνστήσονται )

Or will set in. Mostly in Paul. Only here in Pastorals. See on Galatians 1:4.

Verse 2

Lovers of their own selves ( φίλαυτοι )

Better, lovers of self. N.T.olxx. Aristotle, De Repub. ii. 5, says: “It is not loving one's self, but loving it unduly, just as the love of possessions.”

Covetous ( φιλάργυροι )

Better, lovers of money. Only here and Luke 16:14. For the noun φιλαργυρία loveof money, see on 1 Timothy 6:10. Love of money and covetousness are not synonymous. Covetous is πλεονέκτης ; see 1 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 5:11; Ephesians 5:6. See on Romans 1:29.

Boasters ( ἀλαζόνες )

Or swaggerers. Only here and Romans 1:30. See on ἀλαζονείαις boastings James 4:16.

Proud ( ὑπερήφανοι )

Or haughty. See on ὑπερηφανία pride Mark 7:22.

Blasphemers ( βλάσφημοι )

See on 1 Timothy 1:13. Better, railers. See also on, βλασφημία blasphemy Mark 7:22.

Unthankful ( ἀχάριστοι )

Only here and Luke 6:35.

Unholy ( ἀνόσιοι )

Only here and 1 Timothy 1:9(note).

Verse 3

Without natural affection ( ἄστοργοι )

Only here and Romans 1:31. olxx. See on ἀγάπη love Galatians 5:22, under στέργειν tolove with a natural affection.

Truce-breakers ( ἄσπονδοι )

N.T.oolxx. Rend. implacable. From ἀ notand σπονδαί atreaty or truce. The meaning is, refusing to enter into treaty, irreconcilable.

Incontinent ( ἀκρατεῖς )

Or intemperate, without self -control. N.T.oOnce in lxx, Proverbs 27:20. Ἁκρασία incontinence Matthew 23:25; 1 Corinthians 7:5; Song of Solomon 4:3.

Fierce ( ἀνήμεροι )

Or savage. N.T.oolxx. Comp. ἀνελεήμονες merciless Romans href="/desk/?q=ro+1:31&sr=1">Romans 1:31.

Despisers of those that are good ( ἀφιλάγαθοι )

Better, haters of good. N.T.oolxx, oClass. Comp. the opposite, φιλάγαθον loverof good, Titus 1:8.

Verse 4

Traitors ( προδόται )

Or betrayers. Only here, Luke 6:16; Acts 7:52.

Heady ( προπετεῖς )

Precipitate, reckless, headstrong in the pursuit of a bad end under the influence of passion. Only here and Acts 19:36. In lxx, slack, loose, hence foolish, Proverbs 10:14, and dividing or parting asunder, as the lips; of one who opens his lips and speaks hastily or thoughtlessly, Proverbs 13:3. Comp. 1Timothy href="/desk/?q=1ti+3:6&sr=1">1 Timothy 3:6, and comp. 1 Timothy 6:4.

Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God ( φιλήδονοι μᾶλλον ἢφιλόθεοι )

Pleasure-lovers rather than God-lovers. Both words N.T.oolxx.

Verse 5

A form ( μόρφωσιν )

Only here and Romans 2:20. Μορφὴ Form(for the want of any other rendering) is the expression or embodiment of the essential and permanent being of that which is expressed Μόρφωσις , lit. forming or shaping. Yet the meaning differs in different passages. In Romans 2:20, μόρφωσις isthe truthful embodiment of knowledge and truth as contained in the law of God. Here, the mere outward semblance, as distinguished from the essential reality.

The power ( τὴν δύναμιν )

The practical virtue. Comp. 1 Corinthians 4:20. It is impossible to overlook the influence of Romans 1:29-31in shaping this catalogue.

Turn away ( ἀποτρέπου )

N.T.oComp. παραιτοῦ avoid 2 Timothy 2:23; ἐκτρεπόμενος turningaway, 1 Timothy 6:20; and ἐκκλίνετε turnaway, Romans 16:17.

Verse 6

Of this sort ( ἐκ τούτων )

Lit. of these. The formula often in Paul.

Which creep ( οἱ ἐνδύνοντες )

N.T.oThrust themselves into. Comp. Judges 1:4, παρεισεδύησαν creptin privily (see note); 2 Peter 2:1(note), παρεισάξουσιν shallprivily bring in; and Galatians 2:4, παρεισάκτους broughtin by stealth.

Lead captive ( αἰχμαλωτίζοντες )

Only here in Pastorals. See on captives, Luke 4:18; and see on 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Silly women ( γυναικάρια )

N.T.oolxx. Silly is expressed by the contemptuous diminutive. Comp. Vulg. mulierculas.

Laden ( σεσωρευμένα )

Only here and Romans 12:20, citation. In lxx, see Romans href="/desk/?q=ro+8:14&sr=1">Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18.

Divers ( ποικίλαις )

In Pastorals only here and Titus 3:3. Lit. variegated, of different tints. See on manifold wisdom, Ephesians 3:10.

Verse 7

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.

Verse 8

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.

Verse 9

Shall proceed ( προκόψουσιν )

See on 2 Timothy 2:16.

Folly ( ἄνοια )

Only here and Luke 6:11(note). The senselessness of their teaching, with an implication of its immoral character.

Manifest ( ἔκδηλος )

N.T.olxx, 3 Maccabees 3:19; 6:5.

Verse 10

Hast fully known ( παρηκολούθησας )

Better, thou didst follow. See on 1 Timothy 4:6. oP.

Manner of life ( ἀγωγῇ )

Or conduct. N.T.olxx, mostly 2nd and 3rd Macc. Often in Class., but mostly in a transitive sense, leading, conducting.

Purpose ( προθέσει )

See on Acts 11:23; see on Romans 9:11. In Paul, only of the divine purpose.

Long-suffering, charity, patience

For long -suffering, see on James 5:7. For charity rend. love, and see on Galatians 5:22. For patience, see on 2 Peter 1:6; see on James 5:7.

Verse 11

Persecutions, afflictions ( διωγμοῖς, παθήμασιν )

Διωγμός persecutiononly here in Pastorals. Occasionally in Paul. Πάθημα , only here in Pastorals. Often in Paul, usually in the sense of sufferings, but twice of sinful passions, Romans 7:5; Galatians 5:24.

Antioch, Iconium, Lystra

See Acts 13:50; Acts 14:2ff.; Acts 14:19. These cities may have been selected as illustrations because Timothy was at home in that region. See Acts 16:1, Acts 16:2. Antioch is mentioned by Paul, Galatians 2:11. Iconium and Lystra nowhere in his letters.

Delivered ( ἐρύσατο )

Often in Paul. Originally, to draw to one's self; to draw out from peril. Paul, in Romans 11:26, applies the prophecy of Isaiah 59:20to Christ, who is called a ὁ ῥυόμενος thedeliverer, lxx.

Verse 12

Who will live ( οἱ θέλοντες ζῇν )

Whose will is to live, or who are bent on living.

Godly ( εὐσεβῶς )

Only here and Titus 2:12. Comp. κατ ' εὐσέβειαν accordingto godliness, 1 Timothy 6:3; Titus 1:1; and ἐν πάσῃ εὐσεβείᾳ inall godliness, 1 Timothy 2:2. See also 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 6:11, and on godliness, 1 Timothy 2:2.

Shall suffer persecution ( διωχθήσονται )

In this sense only here in Pastorals.

Verse 13

Seducers ( γόντες )

N.T.oBetter, impostors or deceivers. From γοᾶν tohowl. Originally, one who chants spells; a wizard, sorcerer. Hence, a cheat.

Shall wax worse and worse ( προκόψουσιν ἐπὶ τὸ χεῖρον )

Lit. shall proceed to the worse. The formula, PastoComp. 2 Timothy 3:9and 2 Timothy 2:16.

Deceiving ( πλανῶντες )

Properly, leading astray. See on πλάνοις seducing 1 Timothy 4:1.

Verse 14

Hast been assured of ( ἐπιστώθης )

N.T.oQuite often in lxx. So 2 Samuel 7:16, shall be established (of the house of David): Psalm 78:37, steadfast in his covenant.

Verse 15

From a child ( ἀπὸ βρέφους )

Mostly in Luke. oP. Only here in Pastorals. See on 1 Peter 2:2. Comp. Mark 9:21, ἐκ παιδιόθεν froma child.

The holy Scriptures ( ἱερὰ γράμματα )

Note particularly the absence of the article. Γράμματα is used in N.T. in several senses. Of characters of the alphabet (2 Corinthians 3:7; Galatians 6:11): of a document (Luke 16:6, take thy bill )epistles (Acts 28:21): of the writings of an author collectively (John 5:47): of learning (Acts 26:24, πολλά γράμματρα muchlearning ). In lxx, ἐπιστάμενος γράμματα knowinghow to read (Isaiah 29:11, Isaiah 29:12). The Holy Scriptures are nowhere called ἱερὰ γράμματα in N.T. In lxx, γράμματα is never used of sacred writings of any kind. Both Josephus and Philo use τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα for the O.T. Scriptures. The words here should be rendered sacred learning. The books in the writer's mind were no doubt the Old Testament. Scriptures, in which Timothy, like every Jewish boy, had been instructed; but he does not mean to designate those books as ἱερὰ γράμματα . He means the learning acquired from Scripture by the rabbinic methods, according to which the Old Testament books were carefully searched for meanings hidden in each word and letter, and especially for messianic intimations. Specimens of such learning may be seen here and there in the writings of Paul as 1 Corinthians 9:9f.; 1 Corinthians 10:1f.; Galatians 3:16.; Galatians 4:21f. In Acts 4:13, the council, having heard Peter's speech, in which he interpreted Psalm 118:22and Isaiah 28:16of Christ, at once perceived that Peter and John were ἀγράμματοι , not versed in the methods of the schools. Before Agrippa, Paul drew the doctrine of the Resurrection from the Old Testament, whereupon Festus exclaimed, “much learning ( πολλὰ γράμματα , thy acquaintance with the exegesis of the schools) hath made thee mad” (Acts 26:24). To Agrippa, who was “expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews” (Acts 26:3), the address of Paul, a pupil of Hillel, was not surprising, although he declared that Paul's reasoning did not appeal to him. In John 7:15, when Jesus taught in the temple, the Jews wondered and said: “How knoweth this man letters? ” That a Jew should know the Scriptures was not strange. The wonder lay in the exegetical skill of one who had not been trained by the literary methods of the time.

To make thee wise ( σε σοφίσαι )

Only hero and 2 Peter 1:16. See note there on cunningly devised. To give thee understanding of that which lies behind the letter; to enable thee to detect in the Old Testaments. books various hidden allusions to Christ; to draw from the Old Testaments the mystery of messianic salvation, and to interpret the Old Testaments with Christ as the key. This gives significance to the following words through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ was the key of Scripture, and through faith in him Scripture became a power unto salvation. The false teachers also had their learning but used it in expounding Jewish fables, genealogies, etc. Hence, their expositions, instead of making wise unto salvation, were vain babblings; profane and old wives' fables (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:16). Const. through faith, etc., with make wise, not with salvation.

Verse 16

All Scripture ( πᾶσα γραφὴ )

Better, every Scripture, that is, every passage of Scripture. Scripture as a whole is as αἱ γραφαί or αἱ γραφαί ἅγιαι . Ἱερά is never used with γραφὴ. Γραφὴ is the single passage, usually defined by this, or that, or the, or which saith.

Is given by inspiration of God ( θεόπνευστος )

N.T.oolxx. From θεὸς God and πνεῖν tobreathe. God -breathed. The word tells us nothing of the peculiar character or limits of inspiration beyond the fact that it proceeds from God. In construction omit is, and rend. as attributive of γραφὴ everydivinely -inspired Scripture.

And is profitable ( καὶ ὠφέλιμος )

According to A.V., καὶ and is merely the copula between two predicates of γραφὴ . It is divinely inspired and is profitable. According to the interpretation given above, καὶ has the force of also. Every divinely-inspired Scripture is, besides being so inspired and for that reason, also profitable, etc. Ὡφέλιμος profitablePastoSee on 1 Timothy 4:8.

For doctrine ( πρὸς διδασκαλίαν )

Better, teaching. Comp. to make thee wise, 2 Timothy 3:15.

Reproof ( ἐλεγμόν )

Better, conviction. N.T.ooClass. Comparatively frequent in lxx, mostly in the sense of rebuke: sometimes curse, punishment. See Ps. of John href="/desk/?q=joh+3:20&sr=1">John 3:20.

Correction ( ἐπανόρθωσιν )

N.T.oTwice in lxx. Restoring to an upright state ( ὀρθός erect); setting right.

Instruction ( παιδείαν )

Better, chastisement or discipline. See on Ephesians 6:4. In lxx mostly correction or discipline, sometimes admonition. Specially of God's chastisement by means of sorrow and evil.

Verse 17

Perfect ( ἄρτιος )

N.T.olxx. Rev. complete; but the idea is rather that of mutual, symmetrical adjustment of all that goes to make the man: harmonious combination of different qualities and powers. Comp. κατάρτισις perfecting 2 Corinthians 13:9: καταρτισμός perfecting(as accomplished), Ephesians 4:12: καταρτίσαι makeperfect or bring into complete adjustment, Hebrews 13:21.

Thoroughly furnished ( ἐξηρτισμένος )

The same root as ἄρτιος . It fills out the idea ἄρτιος ; fitted out. Only here and Acts 11:5(note). oClass.

Unto all good works ( πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν )

More correctly, every good work. Any writing which can produce such profitable results vindicates itself as inspired of God. It is to be noted that the test of the divine inspiration of Scripture is here placed in its practical usefulness.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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