2 Timothy 3:3 MEANING

2 Timothy 3:3
(3) Without natural affection.--Careless and regardless of the welfare of those connected with them by ties of blood.

Trucebreakers.--Better rendered, implacable.

False-accusers.--Or, slanderers. (See 1 Timothy 3:11.)

Incontinent.--Having no control over the passions.

Fierce.--Inhuman, savage, or merciless.

Despisers of those that are good.--Better rendered, no lovers of good--that is, hostile to every good thought and work.

Verse 3. - Implacable for truce breakers, A.V.; slanderers for false accusers, A.V.; without self-control for incontinent, A.V.; no lovers of good for despisers of those that are good, A.V. Without natural affection (ἄστοργοι); as in Romans 1:31, where in the T.R. it is coupled with ἄσπονδοι, as here. The verb στέργω is "to love," used primarily of the natural affection of parents to their children and children to their parents. And στοργή is that natural love. These persons were without this στοργή, of which Plato says, "A child loves his parents, and is loved by them;" and so, according to St. Paul's judgment in 1 Timothy 5:8, were "worse than infidels." Implacable (ἄσπονδοι); only here according to the R.T., not at all in the LXX., but frequent in classical Greek. Σπονδή was a solemn truce made over a libation to the gods. 'Ασπονδος at first merely expresses that anything was done, or any person was left, without such a truce. But, in a secondary sense, applied to a war, it meant an internecine war admitting of no truce; and thence, as here, applied to a person, it means "implacable," one who will make no truce or treaty with his enemy. The sense "truce breakers" is not justified by any example. Slanderers (διάβολοι); as 1 Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:3. The arch-slanderer is ὁ διάβολος, the devil, "the accuser of the brethren (ὁ κατήγορυς τῶν ἀδελφῶν)" (Revelation 12:10; see John 6:70). Without self-control (ἀκρατεῖς); here only in the New Testament, not in the LXX. but frequent in classical Greek, in the sense of intemperate in the pursuit or use of anything, e.g., money, the tongue, pleasure, the appetite, etc., which are put in the genitive case. Used absolutely it means generally "without self-control, as here rendered in the R.V. The A.V. "incontinent" (comp. 1 Corinthians 7:5) expresses only one part of the meaning (see ἀκρασία, Matthew 23:25). Fierce (from ferns, wild, savage); ἀνήμεροι; only here in the New Testament, and not found in the LXX., but frequent in the Greek tragedians and others, of persons, countries, plants, etc.; e.g., "Beware of the Chalubes, for they are savage (ἀνήμεροι), and cannot be approached by strangers" (AEschylus, 'Prom. Vinct.,' 734, edit. Scholef.). It corresponds with ἀνελεήμονες, unmerciful (Romans 1:31). No lovers of good (ἀφιλάγαθοι); only here in the New Testament, and not at all in the LXX. or in classical Greek. But φιλάγαθος is found in Wisd. 7:22, and in Aristotle, in the sense of "lovers of that which is good;" and in Titus 1:8. The R.V. seems therefore to be right in rendering here "no lovers of good," rather than as the A.V. "despisers of those which are good," after the Vulgate and the new version of Sanctes Pagninus.

3:1-9 Even in gospel times there would be perilous times; on account of persecution from without, still more on account of corruptions within. Men love to gratify their own lusts, more than to please God and do their duty. When every man is eager for what he can get, and anxious to keep what he has, this makes men dangerous to one another. When men do not fear God, they will not regard man. When children are disobedient to their parents, that makes the times perilous. Men are unholy and without the fear of God, because unthankful for the mercies of God. We abuse God's gifts, if we make them the food and fuel of our lusts. Times are perilous also, when parents are without natural affection to children. And when men have no rule over their own spirits, but despise that which is good and to be honoured. God is to be loved above all; but a carnal mind, full of enmity against him, prefers any thing before him, especially carnal pleasure. A form of godliness is very different from the power; from such as are found to be hypocrites, real Christians must withdraw. Such persons have been found within the outward church, in every place, and at all times. There ever have been artful men, who, by pretences and flatteries, creep into the favour and confidence of those who are too easy of belief, ignorant, and fanciful. All must be ever learning to know the Lord; but these follow every new notion, yet never seek the truth as it is in Jesus. Like the Egyptian magicians, these were men of corrupt minds, prejudiced against the truth, and found to be quite without faith. Yet though the spirit of error may be let loose for a time, Satan can deceive the nations and the churches no further, and no longer, than God will permit.Without natural affection,.... To parents, or children, or wife; parents thrusting their children into religious houses, cloisters, &c. against their wills; children leaving their parents without their knowledge or consent; married bishops and priests being obliged to quit their wives, and declare their children spurious; with many other such unnatural actions.

Trucebreakers; or covenant breakers; stirring up princes to break through their treaties and covenants with one another; dissolving the allegiance of subjects to their sovereigns, and moving them to rebellion against them; loosing the marriage bond between husband and wife; making void all oaths, contracts, and agreements, among men, which stand in the way of their designs; teaching that no faith is to be kept with heretics.

False accusers; or devils, being like Satan, the accuser of the brethren, charging all that depart from their communion with schism and heresy.

Incontinent; though they pretend to the gift of continency, yet give themselves up to all lasciviousness, and work all uncleanness with greediness; or "intemperate" in eating and drinking, indulging themselves in rioting and drunkenness: "she hath lived deliciously", Revelation 18:7.

Fierce; like beasts of prey; such was Rome Pagan, in the times of the ten persecutions; and such has been Rome Papal, exercising the greatest cruelties and barbarities on the saints, being drunk with their blood.

Despisers of those that are good; or without love to good; both to good works, to which they are reprobate, notwithstanding all their pretensions to them, and bluster about them; and to good men, whom they hate.

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