2 Timothy 3 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

2 Timothy 3
Pulpit Commentary
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
Verse 1. - But know this for this know also, A.V.; grievous for perilous, A.V. Grievous times (καιροὶ χαλεποί). "Grievous" is not a very good rendering. "Perilous," though in some contexts it is a right rendering, is a little too restricted here. "Difficult," "trying," "uneasy," or the like, is nearer the sense. They are times when a Christian hardly knows which way to turn or what to do. He has to live under a constant sense of hindrance and difficulty of one sort or another.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Verse 2. - Self for their own selves, A.V.; lovers of money for covetous, A.V.; boastful for boasters, A.V.; haughty for proud, A.V.; railers for blasphemers, A.V. Men (οἱἄνθρωποι); men in general, the bulk of men in the Church; for he is speaking, not of the world at large, but of professing Christians. Lovers of self (φίλαυτοι); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the LXX.; but used by Aristotle in a striking passage (quoted by Alford), where he distinguishes those who are φίλαυτοι in a good sense, and those who are justly blamed for being φίλαυτοι, i.e. selfish and greedy. The Christian character is exactly the opposite (see 1 Corinthians 10:24; 1 Corinthians 13:5). Lovers of money (φιλάργυροι); elsewhere in the New Testament only in Luke 16:14, though not uncommon in classical Greek; φιλαργυρία is found in 1 Timothy 6:10. Boastful (ἀλάζονες); as Romans 1:30, and in classical Greek. It the derivation of the word is ἄλη, wandering, we may compare the περιερχόμενοι of Acts 9:13, "vagabond Jews." Such vagabonds were usually boasters. Hence ἀλαζών came to mean "a boaster." Haughty, railers. Υπερηφανία and βλασφημία are coupled together in Mark 7:22; and ὑπερηφάνους and ἀλάζονας in Romans 1:30. In the New Testament βλάσφημος and βλασφημία are most commonly used of evil speaking against God and holy things; but not always (see Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8; 1 Timothy 6:4). Here apparently it means generally "evil speakers." Unthankful (ἀχάριστοι); as Luke 6:35. Found occasionally in the LXX., and common in classical Greek. The ingratitude which they showed to their parents was a part of their general character. We ought to take special note of this passive sin - the not being thankful for good received from God and man. Unholy (ἀνόσιοι); as 1 Timothy 1:9 (where see note).
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
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.
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Verse 4. - Headstrong for heady, A.V.; puffed up for high minded, A.V.; pleasure for pleasures, A.V.; rather for more, A.V. Traitors (προδόται); Luke 6:16; Acts 7:52. It does not mean traitors to their king or country, but generally betrayers of the persons who trust in them, and of the cause of the trust committed to them; perhaps specially, as Bishop Ellicott suggests, of their brethren in times of persecution. Headstrong (προπετεῖς); as in Acts 19:36. Neither "heady" nor "headstrong" gives the exact meaning of προπετής, which is "rash," "hasty," "headlong." "Headstrong" rather denotes obstinacy which will not be influenced by wise advice, but προπετής is the person who acts from impulse, without considering consequences, or weighing principles. Puffed up (τετυφωμένοι); see 1 Timothy 3:6, note. Lovers of pleasure (φιλήδονοι); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the LXX., but occasionally in classical Greek. "Fond of pleasure" (Liddell and Scott). It is used here as an antithesis to lovers of God (φιλόθεοι), which also occurs only here either in the New Testament or the LXX., but is used by Aristotle. Philo, quoted by Bishop Ellicott (from Wetstein), has exactly the same contrast: φιλήδονον... μᾶλλον η}... φιλόθεον. It looks as if the men spoken of claimed to be φιλόθεοι. A somewhat similar paronomasia occurs in Isaiah 5:7, where מִשְׂפַהis opposed to מִשְׁפָט, and צְעָקָה to צְדָקָה.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Verse 5. - Holding for having, A.V.; hating denied for denyiny, A.V.; these also for such, A.V. Holding (ἔχοντες). There is no reason to change "having." Perhaps "indeed" after "having" would give the emphasis conveyed by ἔχοντες preceding the object. A form (μόρφωσιν). It should be the form; i.e. "the outward semblance," i.q. μόρφωμα, form, shape, figure (Liddell and Scott), here in contrast with δύναμις, the reality. In Romans 2:20, the only other place in the New Testament where μόρφωσις occurs, there is no contrast, and so it has the sense of a "true sketch" or "delineation." Having denied (ἠρνημένοι); possibly more correct than the A.V. "denying," though the difference, if any, is very slight. The meaning is that by their life and character and conversation they gave the lie to their Christian profession. Christianity with them was an outward form, not an inward living power of godliness. From these also does not give the sense at all clearly. The A.V. does, though it omits the καὶ, which is not wanted in English. In the Greek it marks an additional circumstance in the case of those of whom he is speaking, viz. that they are to be turned away from as hopeless. Turn away (ἀποτρέπου); only here in the New Testament, or, at least in the middle voice, in the LXX.; but frequent in classical Greek in different senses. St. Paul uses ἐκτρέπομενος in the same sense in 1 Timothy 6:20. "This command shows that the apostle treats the symptoms of the last times as in some respects present" (Alford). With this catena of epithets comp. Romans 1:29-31; and, though of an opposite character, the string of adjectives in Wisd. 7:22, 23.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Verse 6. - These for this sort, A.V.; tact for which, A.V.; take for lead, A.V.; by for with, A.V. Creep into (ἐνδύνοντες); here only in the New Testament. It has the sense of "sneaking into," "insinuating themselves into," as in Xenophon, 'Cyrop.,' 2. 1. 13. Take captive (αἰχμαλωτεύοντες); as in Ephesians 4:3. The other form, αἰχμαλωτίζοντες which is that of the R.T., is in Luke 21:24; Romans 7:23; 2 Corinthians 10:5. The word well describes the blind surrender of the will and conscience to such crafty teachers. Silly women (τὰ γυναικάρια, diminutive of γυνή); nowhere else in the New Testament or LXX., but is used by some late Greek authors. It is a term of contempt - he will not call them γυναῖκας - they are only γυναικάρια. In the passages quoted by Alford from Irenaeus and Epiphanius, the women made use of by the later Gnostics are called γυναικάρια. See, too, the striking quotation in the same note from Jerome, specifying by name the women whom Nicolas of Antioch, Marcion, Montanus, and others employed as their instruments in spreading their abominable heresies. So true is St. Paul's forecast in the text. Laden with sins (σεσωρευμένα ἁμαρτίαις); elsewhere only in Romans 12:20, "heap coals of fire." It occurs in Aristotle and other Greek writers in the sense of heaping one thing upon another, and heaping up anything with something else. The last is the sense in which it is here used. It seems to convey the idea of passive helplessness. Led away (ἀγόμενα); with a strong intimation of unresisting weakness (comp. 1 Corinthians 12:2; Acts 8:32; Luke 23:32). Lusts (ἐπιθυμίαις); all kinds of carnal and selfish desires (see Matthew 4:19; John 8:44; Romans 1:24; Romans 6:12; Romans 7:7, 8; Galatians 5:24; Ephesians 2:3; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:5; 1 Timothy 6:9; 2 Timothy 2:22; 2 Timothy 4:3: Titus 2:12; fit. 3; 1 Peter 1:14, etc.; 2 Peter 2:18; 1 John 2:16, etc.).
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Verse 7. - Ever learning, etc. This is the crowning feature of this powerful sketch of those "silly women," whose thoughts are busied about religion without their affections being reached or their principles being influenced by it. They are always beating about the bush, but they never get possession of the blessed and saving truth of the gospel of God. Their own selfish inclinations, and not the grace of God, continue to be the motive power with them.
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
Verse 8. - And like for now, A.V.; withstand for resist, A.V.; corrupted in mind for of corrupt minds, A.V. And; but would be better. Jannes and Jambres; the traditional names of the magicians who opposed Moses; and, if Origen can be trusted, there was an apocryphal book called by their names. But Theodoret ascribes their names to an unwritten Jewish tradition. Their names are found in the Targum of Jonathan on Exodus 7:11; Exodus 22:22; and are also mentioned, in conjunction with Moses, with some variation in the name of Jambres, by Pliny ('Hist. Nat.,' 31:2), who probably got his information from a work of Sergius Paulus off magic, of which the materials were furnished by Elymas the sorcerer (Acts 13:6-8). Withstood (ἀντέστησαν); the same word as is used of Elymas in Acts 13:8 (so ch. 4:15 and elsewhere). Corrupted in mind (κατεφθαρμένα τὸν νοῦν); elsewhere only in 2 Peter 2:12, in the sense of" perishing," being "utterly destroyed," which is the proper meaning of καταφθείρομαι Here in a moral sense κατεφθαρμένοι τὸν νοῦν means men whose understanding is gone, and perished, as διεφθαρμένος τὴν ἀκοήν means one whose hearing has perished - who is deaf. In 1 Timothy 6:5 St. Paul uses the more common διεφθαρμένων. Reprobate (ἀδόκιμα); as Titus 1:16, and elsewhere frequently in St. Paul's Epistles. It is just the contrary to δόκιμος (2 Timothy 2:15, note).
But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
Verse 9. - Evident for manifest, A.V.; came to be for was, A.V. Shall proceed (proko/yousin); as ch. 2:16 (where see note) and ver. 13. The apostle's meaning here is, as explained by the example of the magicians, that heresies shall not prevail against the truth. Απὶ πλεῖον means beyond the point indicated in his description of their future progressive evil. They would "proceed further in ungodliness," as he said in 2 Timothy 2:16, but not up to the point of destroying the gospel, as history has shown. The various forms of Gnosticism have perished. The gospel remains. As theirs also came to be (Exodus 8:18, 19). Surely the A.V. "was" is better.
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
Verse 10. - Didst follow my teaching for hast fully known my doctrine, A.V. and T.R.; conduct for manner of life, A.V.; love for charity, A.V. Didst follow (παρηκολούθησας, which is the R.T. for παρηκολούθηκας, in the perfect, which is the T.R.). The evidence for the two readings is nicely balanced. But St. Paul uses the perfect in l Timothy 4:6 (where see note), and it seems highly improbable that he here used the aorist in order to convey a rebuff to Timothy by insinuating that he had once followed, but that he was doing so no longer. The sentence, "thou didst follow," etc., is singularly insipid. The A.V. "thou hast fully known" gives the sense fully and clearly. Timothy had fully known St. Paul's whole career, partly from what he had heard, and partly from what he had been an eyewitness cf. My teaching. How different from that of those impostors! Conduct (ἀγωγῇ); here only in the New Testament, but found in the LXX. in Esther 2:20 (τὴν ἀγωγὴν αὐτῆς, "her manner of life" - her behaviour towards Mordecai, where there is nothing to answer to it in the Hebrew text); 2 Macc. 4:16 (τὰς ἀγωγάς); 6:8; 11:24. Aristotle uses ἀγωγή for "conduct," or "mode of life" ('Ethics'), and Polybius (4:74, 14), quoted by Alford, has ἀγωγὴ and ἀγωγαὶ τοῦ βίου, "way" or "manner of life." The A.V. "manner of life" is a very good rendering. Purpose (πρόθεσιν); that which a person sets before him as the end to be attained (Acts 11:23; Acts 27:13; 2 Macc. 3:8; and in Aristotle, Polybius, and others). Used often of God's eternal purpose, as e.g., ch. 1:9; Ephesians 1:11, etc. In enumerating these and the following," faith, long suffering, charity, and patience," St. Paul doubtless had in view, not self-glorification, which was wholly alien to his earnest, self-denying character, but the mention of those qualities which he saw were most needed by Timothy. Long suffering (τῇ μακροθυμίᾳ); as 1 Timothy 1:16, of the long suffering of Jesus Christ towards himself, and elsewhere frequently of human patience and forbearance towards others. Patience (τῇ ὑπομονῇ). This is exercised in the patient endurance of afflictions for Christ's sake. It is coupled, as here, with μακροθυμίΑ, long suffering, in Colossians 1:11.
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.
Verse 11. - Suffering for afflictions, A.V.; what things befell me for which came unto me, A.V.; and for but, A.V. Persecutions (διωγμοῖς); as Matthew 13:21; Acts 8:1; Acts 13:50; 2 Corinthians 12:10, etc. Sufferings (τοῖς παθήμασιν); usually so rendered in the A.V. (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Colossians 1:24. etc.); rendered "afflictions" in Hebrews 10:32; 1 Peter 5:9. At Antioch; in Pisidia (Acts 13:14). For an account of the persecutions encountered by St. Paul at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, see Acts 13, 14. It was at St. Paul's second, or rather third, visit to Lystra that he chose Timothy for his companion (Acts 16:1-3). I endured (ὑπενεγκα); not simply "suffered," but "underwent," willingly and firmly suffered (see 1 Peter 2:19). As regards the construction, the antecedent to οῖα is παθήμασιν, and the difference between and οῖα is that would limit the reference to the actual παθήματα at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, but οῖα extends the reference to all similar sufferings. The proper English rendering is "such as befell me." But the clause at the end of the sentence should be rendered "what great persecutions I endured." As Bengel notes, "οῖος demonstrat rei gravitatem," and οῖους preceding the substantive with which it agrees (διώγμους), cannot be construed the same as οῖα the relative. The sentence, οἵους διώγμους ὑπένεγκα, is an amplification of the preceding διώγμοις: "Thou hast fully known my persecutions...viz. what great persecutions I endured." And out of them all, etc. This is added for Timothy's encouragement, that he might stand fast in the face of persecutions and sufferings. Delivered me (με ἐῥῤύσατο). Had the apostle in his mind the clause in the Lord's Prayer, "Deliver us from evil" (Matthew 6:13)? Comp. 2 Timothy 4:18, where the resemblance is still more striking. Observe the testimony to Christ's omnipotence in this ascription to him, in both passages, of St. Paul's deliverance (comp. Acts 18:10).
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Verse 12. - Would for will, A.V. Yea and all (καὶ πάντες δὲ). As though he had said. "Mine is not a solitary example of a servant of God being persecuted; it is the common lot of all who will live godly in Christ Jesus" (comp. John 15:20 and 1 Peter 4:1, 12, 13).
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Verse 13. - Impostors for seducers, A.V. Evil men (πονηροί). In 2 Timothy 4:18 it is παντὸς ἕργου πονηροῦ. The adjective is applied indifferently to persons and things - evil men, evil servants, evil persons, evil generation, evil spirits, etc., and evil deeds, evil fruits, evil eye, evil works, etc. Satan, the embodiment of evil, is ὁ πονηρός. Impostors (γόντες); only here in the New Testament. In classical Greek γόης is a juggler, a cheat, an enchanter. St. Paul still had the Egyptian magicians in his mind. Shall wax worse and worse (προκόψουσιν ἐπὶ τὸ χεῖρον); see above, ver. 9, note.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
Verse 14. - Abide for continue, A.V. Abide thou, etc. Be not like these juggling heretics, blown about by every wind of doctrine, and always seeking some new thing, but abide in the old truths which thou hast learnt from thy childhood. Hast been assured of (ἐπιστώθης); only here in the New Testament, but found in 2 Macc. 7:24 and 1 Kings 1:36. In classical Greek it has the same sense as here (among others), "to be made sure of a thing." Of whom thou hast learned them (παρὰ τίνος ἔμαθες, or, according to another reading of nearly equal authority, παρὰ τίνων). If τίνος is the right reading, it must refer either to God or to St. Paul. In favour of its referring to God is the expression in the Prophet Isaiah commented upon by our Lord in John 6:45, where παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς answers to παρὰ τίνος; the promise concerning the Comforter, "He shall teach you all things" (John 14:26, etc.); and the very similar reasoning of St. John, when he is exhorting his "little children" to stand fast in the faith, in spite of those that seduced them: "Let that therefore abide in you which ye have heard from the beginning;" for "the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things,...and even as it hath taught yon, abide in him" (1 John 2:24-28); and other similar passages. There would obviously be great force in reminding Timothy that he had received the gospel under the immediate teaching of the Holy Spirit, and that it would be a shameful thing for him to turn aside under the influence of those impostors. If τίνων does not refer to God, it must refer to St. Paul. If, on the other hand, τίνων is the true reading (which is less probable), it must refer to Lois and Eunice, which seems rather feeble.
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Verse 15. - Babe for child, A.V.; sacred writings for Holy Scriptures, A.V. And that from a babe, etc. Another consideration urged as a reason for standing fast. He was no novice in the Scriptures. His mother and grandmother had been careful to imbue him with that sacred literature which should make him wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, from his very earliest years. Surely he would not throw away such a precious advantage. The sacred writings (τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα); literally, the holy letters, or learning. An ordinarily educated child learns γράμματα (John 7:15), in contradistinction to the uneducated, who are ἀγράμματοι (Acts 4:13). But Timothy had learnt τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα, whose excellence is described in the next verse.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Verse 16. - Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable for all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable, A.V.; teaching for doctrine, A.V.; which is in for in, A.V. Every Scripture, etc. There are two ways of construing this important passage: (A) As in the A.V., in which θεόπνευστος is part of the predicate coupled by καὶ with the following ὠφέλιμος; (B) as in the R.V., where θεόπνευστος ισ part of the subject (as πᾶ῀ν ἔργον ἀγαθόν, "every good work," 2 Corinthians 9:8, and elsewhere); and the following καὶ is ascensive, and to be rendered "is also." Commentators are pretty equally divided, though the older ones (as Origen, Jerome (Vulgate), the versions) mostly adopt (B). In favour of (A), however, it may be said

(1) that such a sentence as that which arises from (B) necessarily implies that there are some γραφαὶ which are not θεόπνευστοι, just as Πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν implies that there are some works which are not good; πᾶσα εὐλογία πνευματική (Ephesians 1:3), that there are some blessings which are not spiritual; πᾶν ἔργον πονηρόν (2 Timothy 4:18), that there are some works which are not evil; and so on. But as γραφή is invariably used in the New Testament for "Scripture," and not for any profane writing: it is not in accordance with biblical language to say, "every inspired Scripture," because every Scripture is inspired.

(2) The sentence, taken according to (B), is an extremely awkward, and, as Alford admits. harsh construction, net supported in its entirety by one single parallel usage in the whole New Testament.

(3) The sentence, taken according to (A), is a perfectly simple one, and is exactly parallel with 1 Timothy 4:4, Πᾶν κτίσμα Θεοῦ καλόν καὶ οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον, "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused."

(4) It is in perfect harmony with the context. Having in the preceding verse stated the excellence of the sacred writings, he accounts for that excellence by referring to their origin and source. They are inspired of God, and hence their wide use and great power.

(5) This interpretation is supported by high authority: Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, etc., among the ancients (Alford); and Bengel, Wiesinger, De Wette, etc., among modern. The advocates of (B), as Bishop Ellicott, Dean Alford, etc., speak very doubtfully. With regard to the rendering of πᾶσα γραφή, no doubt, strict grammar, in the absence of the article, favours the rendering in the R.V., "every Scripture," rather than that of the A.V., "all Scripture." But Alford's remark on Matthew 1:20 applies with full force here: "When a word or an expression came to bear a technical conventional meaning, it was also common to use it without the article, as if it were a proper name, e.g., Θεός νόμος υἱὸς Θεοῦ," etc. Therefore, just as πᾶσα Ἱεροσόλυμα (Matthew 2:3) means "all Jerusalem," not "every Jerusalem," so here πᾶσα γραφή means "all Scripture." What follows of the various uses of Holy Scripture is not true of "every Scripture." One Scripture is profitable for doctrine, another for reproof, and so on. Examples of γραφή without the article are 2 Peter 1:20 and Romans 1:2; and of πᾶς not followed by the article, and yet meaning "all," are in Ephesians 2:21 and Ephesians 3:15. Inspired of God, etc. (θεόπνευστος); here only in the New Testament or LXX., but occasionally in classical Greek, as Plutarch. For teaching, etc. The particular uses for which Scripture is said to be profitable present no difficulty. Teaching, of which Holy Scripture is the only infallible source. Reproof (ἔλεγχον or ἐλεγμόν); only here and Hebrews 11:1; but in classical Greek it means "a proof," specially for the purpose of "refutation" of a false statement or argument. Here in the same sense for the "conviction" or "refutation" of false teachers (comp. Titus 1:9, 13), but probably including errors in living (compare in the 'Ordering of Priests,' "That there be no place left among you, either for error in religion or for viciousness in life"). Correction (ἐπανόρθωσιν); only here in the New Testament, but occasionally in the LXX., and frequently in classical Greek, as Aristotle, Plato, etc., in the sense of "correction," i.e. setting a person or thing straight, "revisal," "improvement," "amendment," or the like. It may be applied equally to opinions and to morals, or way of life. Instruction which is in righteousness. There is no advantage in this awkward phraseology. "Instruction in righteousness" exactly expresses the meaning. The Greek, τὴν ἐν δικαιοσύνη, merely limits the παιδεία to the sphere of righteousness or Christian virtue. By the use of Holy Scripture the Christian is being continually more perfectly instructed in holy living.
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Verse 17. - Complete for perfect, A.V.; furnished completely for throughly furnished, A.V.; every good work for all good works, A.V. Complete (ἄρτιος); only here in the New Testament, but common in classical Greek. "Complete, perfect of its kind" (Liddell and Scott). Furnished completely (ἐξηρτισμένος, containing the same root as ἄρτιος); elsewhere in the New Testament only in Acts 21:5 in the sense of "completing" a term of days. It is nearly synonymous with καταρτίζω (Matthew 21:16; Luke 6:40; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 5:10). In late classical Greek ἐξαρτίζω means, as here, "to equip fully." As regards the question whether the man of God is restricted in its meaning to the minister of Christ, or comprehends all Christians, two things seem to decide in favour of the former: the one that "the man of God" is in the Old Testament invariably applied to prophets in the immediate service of God (see 1 Timothy 6:11, note); the other that in 1 Timothy 6:11 it undoubtedly refers to Timothy in his character of chief pastor of the Church, and that here too the whole force of the description of the uses and excellence of Holy Scripture is brought to bear upon the exhortations in ver. 14, "Continue thou in the things which thou hast heard," addressed to Timothy as the Bishop of the Ephesian Church (see, too, ch. 4:1-5, where it is abundantly clear that all that precedes was intended to bear directly upon Timothy's faithful and vigorous discharge of his office as an evangelist).

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