2Timothy 3-4

Sunday Evening Bible Study

December 10, 2000


Paul’s second letter to Timothy was the last New Testament letter written by the apostle.  We believe it was written around AD 66, just prior to his death.

The account in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs:

“Paul, the apostle, who before was called Saul, after his great travail and unspeakable labors in promoting the Gospel of Christ, suffered also in this first persecution under Nero. Abdias, declareth that under his execution Nero sent two of his esquires, Ferega and Parthemius, to bring him word of his death. They, coming to Paul instructing the people, desired him to pray for them, that they might believe; who told them that shortly after they should believe and be baptized at His sepulcher. This done, the soldiers came and led him out of the city to the place of execution, where he, after his prayers made, gave his neck to the sword.”

2Timothy 3

:1  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

last eschatos – extreme; last in time or in place; last in a temporal succession; the last; last, referring to time.  Paul is talking about the times we are now living in, the “Last Days”.

shall comeenistemi – to place in or among, to put in; to be upon, impend, threaten; close at hand; present

timeskairos – due measure; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, hence:; a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for; a limited period of time; to what time brings, the state of the times, the things and events of time

perilous chalepos – hard to do, to take, to approach; hard to bear, troublesome, dangerous; harsh, fierce, savage.  This word is used one other time in the New Testament:

Mt 8:28  And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

lovers of their own selves philautos (“love” + “self”) – loving one’s self; too intent on one’s interest, selfish

covetous philarguros (“love” + “silver”) – loving money, avarice

boasters alazon – an empty pretender, a boaster; who tells great things concerning his own prowess and achievements, with the implied idea that many of his claims are false. This word naturally describes a trait which is only evident when you are around other people, not just something that lives secretly in a person’s heart.

I’ve read articles about people claiming to be war heroes in various wars can sometimes just be liars who have found a way to get attention.

proudhuperephanos – showing one’s self above others, overtopping, conspicuous above others, pre-eminent; with an overweening estimate of one’s means or merits, despising others or even treating them with contempt, haughty; describes one who thinks too highly of himself, describing a trait which is simply internal, not referring primarily to external manifestation, although this is implied. It means one who is proud, the external manifestation when it appears being in the form of arrogance in dealing with others.

blasphemers blasphemos – speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, abusive

to parentsgoneus – fathers, parent, the parents

disobedientapeithes (“not” + “persuaded”) – impersuasible, not compliant, disobedient, contumacious

unthankful acharistos (“not” + “grace”) – ungracious; unpleasing; unthankful

unholy anosios – unholy, impious, wicked

From opposite of osiov, used of persons or things, describes that which is in harmony with the divine constitution of the moral universe. Hence, it is that which is in accordance with the general and instinctively felt idea of right, "what is consecrated and sanctioned by universal law and consent" (Passow), rather than what is in accordance with any system of revealed truth. As contrary to osiov, i.e., as anosia, the Greeks regarded, e.g., a marriage between brother and sister such as was common in Egypt, or the omission of the rites of sepulture in connection with a relative.

We might almost say “unnatural”.  Going against what you know in your gut is right.

:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Without natural affection astorgos (“not” + “love of kindred”) – without natural affection, unsociable, inhuman, unloving

trucebreakers aspondos – without a treaty or covenant; of things not mutually agreed upon e.g. abstinences from hostilities; that cannot be persuaded to enter into a covenant, implacable; one who refuses to agree to any terms or suggestions of peace. It implies a state of war, and a refusal of covenant or even of armistice to end it permanently or temporarily. In the N.T. use both words probably refer not to war in the strict sense so much as to discord and strife.

false accusers diabolos (here plural) – prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely; a calumniator, false accuser, slanderer,; metaph. applied to a man who, by opposing the cause of God, may be said to act the part of the devil or to side with him; Satan the prince of the demons.

The word is used 38 times in the New Testament, 35 of those times it is translated “devil” in the King James.  You could translate this, “men shall be … devils

incontinent akrates (“not” + “strength”) – without self-control, intemperate

The word translated “self-control” in Gal. 5:23 (one of the fruits of the Spirit) means “strength in”.  Here, there is “no strength”, no self-control.

fierce anemeros (“not” + “tame”) – not tame, savage, fierce

despisers of those that are good aphilagathos (“not” + “love” + “good”) – opposed to goodness and good men

I heard on the radio that the Boy Scouts are starting to have problems with some of the cities and school districts around the nation because they won’t allow homosexual men to be in leadership.  They are now being banned from using public facilities because they are seen as “discriminatory”.

:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Traitorsprodotes – a betrayer, traitor

heady propetes – to fall forwards, headlong, sloping, precipitously; precipitate, rash, reckless; headstrong

highminded tuphoo – to raise a smoke, to wrap in a mist; metaph.  to make proud, puff up with pride, render insolent; to be puffed up with haughtiness or pride; to blind with pride or conceit, to render foolish or stupid; beclouded, besotted

lovers of pleasures philedonos (“love” + “desires for pleasure”, “hedonism”) – loving pleasure

lovers of God philotheos (“love” + “God”) – loving God

:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

formmorphosis – a forming, shaping; form; the mere form, semblance; the form befitting a thing or truly expressing the fact, the very form

godlinesseusebeia – reverence, respect; piety towards God, godliness

powerdunamis – strength, power, ability

denying arneomai – to deny; not to accept, to reject, to refuse something offered

People will be religious, but won’t see God’s power in their lives.


Be the real thing

God’s desire is that we don’t just “look godly”, but that we are godly.


Not long ago I stood for a while in a cheese shop. Being in a fidgety mood, and having a stick in my hand, I was not content with seeing but felt a need to touch as well. My stick came gently upon a fine cheese in the window. To my surprise a most metallic sound emanated from it. The sound was rather hollow, and there was a sort of crockery jingle in the sound, like the ring of a huge bread or milk pan. I came to the very correct conclusion that I had found a very well disguised hypocrite in the shop window. And ever since that time, when I pass by, I mentally whisper, “Pottery.” Even if the fakes have been exchanged for real cheeses, it will take a long time to convince me. In my mind the stock has become potsherds, and the fine show in the window only suggests the potter’s vessel. This illustration is simply introduced because we find people of this sort in our churches, looking extremely like what they should be, yet having no substance in them, so that if, accidentally, one happens to tap them somewhere or other with sudden temptation or stern duty, the baked earth gives forth its own ring, and the pretender is esteemed no longer.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)


Profession without practice was not only the curse of the Jews; it has been throughout the ages the curse of the Church.  During his early days in South Africa (in Pretoria) Gandhi inquired into Christianity.  For several Sundays he attended a Christian Church, but, he says, "the congregation did not strike me as being particularly religious; they were not an assembly of devout souls, but appeared rather to be worldy-minded people going to Church for recreation and in conformity to custom."  He, therefore, concluded that there was nothing in Christianity which he did not already possess -- and so Gandhi was lost to the Christian Church with incalculable consequences to India and to the world.
-- Commentary on Gospel of Matthew, By William Barclay, p. 254-255


A woman wanting to impress the pastor when he came to visit, said to her little girl, “Honey, go get the book that Mommy loves so much.” The little girl soon returned carrying the new Sears catalog.


American Methodism had recorded one of the most astounding growth records in the history of Christianity, exploding from a membership of 14,988 in 1784 to 7,729,791 in 1939!  Robert Coleman notes, "Above all, undergirding the Wesleyan way of life and constraining their outreach was a simple faith in the gospel of salvation." 
But as theology changed, both the rate of growth and the commitment to evangelism began to suffer.  Wesley had once given his followers a prophetic warning.  He said, "I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist in Europe or America.  But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.  And this undoubtedly will be the case, unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out."
-- Quoted in Luke Tyerman, The Life and Times of the Rev. John Wesley, 3 vols. (New York: Harper & Bros. 1872), 3:519.


We are in the “last days”

Does this list sound like today?  Certainly.
In an article titled "Quantifying America's Decline," William J. Bennett, former secretary of education, refers to a statistical portrait of the moral, social, and behavioral conditions of modern American society. Mr. Bennett concludes that "America's cultural condition is far from healthy," adding that "what is shocking is just how precipitously American life has declined in the past 30 years." Here are some of the cultural indicators:
1960            1990
Average daily TV viewing               5 hours        7 hours
SAT scores                                    975              899
Percent of illegitimate births             5.3%           26.2%
Children with single mothers            8.0%           22.0%
Children on welfare                         3.5%           11.9%
Teen suicide rate                             3.6%           11.3%
Violent crime rate (per 10,000)        16.1             75.8
The average prison sentence given for serious crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and assault has decreased 35 percent since 1960.

-- The Church Around The World, January 1994, Vol. 24:2.

turn awayapotrepo – to turn one’s self away from; to shun, avoid


People to avoid

Not just this list of sins, but especially the “religious” people who don’t know the power of God.

:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

creependuno – to put on, to envelop in, to hide in; to creep into, insinuate one’s self into, to enter

The idea seems to be that of creeping into a house like a person slips into a coat.

lead captiveaichmaloteuo (“with a spear” + “take captive”) – to make captive, take captive, capture

silly women gunaikarion – a little woman: used contemptuously

ladensoreuo – to heap together, to heap up; to overwhelm one with a heap of anything; metaph. to load one with the consciousness of many sins

lustsepithumia – desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust

diverspoikilos – a various colours, variegated; of various sorts

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

everpantote – at all times, always, ever

learningmanthano – to learn, be appraised; to increase one’s knowledge, to be increased in knowledge; to hear, be informed

nevermedepote – never

knowledgeepignosis – precise and correct knowledge; used in the NT of the knowledge of things ethical and divine

abledunamai – to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; to be able to do something; to be capable, strong and powerful


Knowledge without understanding

In his book, Growing Deep in the Christian Life Charles Swindoll tells how we got cars:
Many, many centuries ago, all this iron, glass, rubber, plastic, fabric, leather, and wires came up out of the ground. Furthermore, each substance fashioned itself into various shapes and sizes.  Holes evolved at just the right places, and the upholstery began to weave itself together.  After a while threads appeared on bolts and nuts and—amazing as it may seem—each bolt found nuts with matching threads.  And gradually everything sort of screwed up tightly in place.  A little later correctly shaped glass glued itself in the right places.  And you see these tires?  They became round over the years.  And they found themselves the right size metal wheels.  And they sort of popped on.  They also filled themselves with air somehow. And the thing began to roll down the street.
And one day, many, many years ago—centuries, really—some people were walking along and they found this vehicle sitting under a tree.  And one of them looked at it and thought, “how amazing.  I think we should call it ‘automobile.’”  But there’s more!  These little automobiles have an amazing way of multiplying themselves year after year, even changing ever so slightly to meet the demands of the public.  Actually, that process is called “automutations.”

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

JannesIannes – “he vexed”; he and Jambres, were two Egyptian magicians who in the presence of Pharaoh imitated the miracles of Aaron in order to destroy his influence with the king. The author of the epistle derived their names from the tradition of the Talmudists and the Rabbins

JambresIambres – “foamy healer”

withstoodanthistemi – to set one’s self against, to withstand, resist, oppose; to set against

resistanthistemi – to set one’s self against, to withstand, resist, oppose; to set against

corruptkatphtheiro – to corrupt, deprave; corrupted in mind

reprobateadokimos – not standing the test, not approved; properly used of metals and coins; that which does not prove itself such as it ought; unfit for, unproved, spurious, reprobate

:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

proceedprokopto – to beat forward; metaph. to promote, forward, further; to go forward, advance, proceed; metaph. to increase, make progress

follyanoia – want of understanding, folly; madness expressing itself in rage

manifestekdelos – evident, clear, conspicuous

:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

hast fully knownparakoloutheo – to follow after; so to follow one as to be always at his side; to follow close, accompany; to follow up a thing in mind so as to attain to the knowledge of it; to understand, (cf our follow a matter up, trace its course); to examine thoroughly, investigate; to follow faithfully i.e a standard or rule, to conform one’s self to

doctrinedidaskalia – teaching, instruction

manner of lifeagoge – a leading; metaph.: conduct; a conducting, training, education, discipline; the life led, way or course of life

purposeprothesis – a setting forth of a thing, placing of it in view; a purpose

faithpistis – faith; fidelity, faithfulness

longsufferingmakrothumia – patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs; patience with difficult people.

charityagape – brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence

patiencehupomone – steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings; a patient, steadfast waiting for; a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance

:11 Persecutions, afflictions,

persecutionsdiogmos – persecution

afflictionspathema – that which one suffers or has suffered; externally, a suffering, misfortune, calamity, evil, affliction; of an inward state, an affliction, passion; an enduring, undergoing, suffering

:11  which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra;

It was on Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabas that he faced persecution at these three cities in Asia Minor.

Antioch –

(Acts 13:44-52 KJV)  And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. {45} But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. {46} Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. {47} For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. {48} And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. {49} And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. {50} But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. {51} But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. {52} And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.


Iconium –

(Acts 14:1-6 KJV)  And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. {2} But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren. {3} Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. {4} But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. {5} And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them, {6} They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:


Lystra –

(Acts 14:8-20 KJV)  And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: {9} The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, {10} Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. {11} And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. {12} And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. {13} Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. {14} Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, {15} And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: {16} Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. {17} Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. {18} And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them. {19} And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. {20} Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

It wasn’t until Acts 16:1-3 that Paul meets young Timothy in Derbe and Lystra on his second missionary journey with Silas.  Timothy would join Paul and become his disciple.  But it’s possible that Timothy as a young man had witnessed some of Paul’s persecutions in Lystra, before he was one of Paul’s companions.

:11  what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

I enduredhupophero – to bear by being under, bear up (a thing placed on one’s shoulders); to bear patiently, to endure

deliveredrhoumai – to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver

:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

willthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

godlyeusebos – piously, godly

livezao – to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead); to enjoy real life; metaph. to be in full vigour; to be fresh, strong, efficient

shall suffer persecutiondioko – to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away; to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after; in any way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one; to be mistreated, suffer persecution on account of something


Living right brings trouble

We have this notion that if we want to live in a way that pleases God, that life ought to be better and easier.  But it seems that in reality, just the opposite is true.

:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

evilponeros – full of labours, annoyances, hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition; in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

seducersgoes – a wailer, a howler; a juggler, enchanter (because incantations used to be uttered in a kind of howl); a deceiver, imposter

shall waxprokopto – to beat forward; to lengthen out by hammering (as a smith forges metals); metaph. to promote, forward, further; to go forward, advance, proceed; metaph. to increase, make progress

worsecheiron – worse; comparative of kakos (“bad”)

deceivingplanao – to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way; metaph.  to lead away from the truth, to lead into error, to deceive

Sometimes we wonder how wicked people can keep going and not get caught.  We get discouraged.

:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

continuemeno – to remain, abide

learnedmanthano – to learn, be appraised

hast been assured ofpistoo – to make faithful, render trustworthy; to be firmly persuaded of; to be assured of

:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures,

childbrephos – an unborn child, embryo, a fetus; a new-born child, an infant, a babe

Timothy had been taught about the Lord from an early age.

holyhieros – sacred, consecrated to the deity, pertaining to God

scripturesgramma – a letter; any writing, a document or record; the sacred writings (of the OT)


Children can know

So teach them.

:15  which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

are abledunamai – to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; to be able to do something; to be capable, strong and powerful

make … wisesophizo – to make wise, teach; to become wise, to have understanding


The gospel

It starts with the Scriptures, knowing what they say about salvation.

:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

allpas – individually; each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything; collectively

scripturegraphe – a writing, thing written; the Scripture, used to denote either the book itself, or its contents; a certain portion or section of the Holy Scripture

given by inspiration of Godtheopneustos (“God” + “breathed”) – inspired by God; the contents of the scriptures

(2 Pet 1:21 KJV)  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

(Acts 1:16 KJV)  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

profitableophelimos – profitable

doctrinedidaskalia – teaching, instruction

reproofelegchos – a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested; conviction

correctionepanorthosis (“upon” + “straighten”) – restoration to an upright or right state; correction, improvement of life or character

instructionpaideia – the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body; whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and curbing passions.; instruction which aims at increasing virtue; chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)

in righteousnessdikaiosune – in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God

:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

perfectartios – fitted; complete, perfect; having reference apparently to “special aptitude for given uses”; specially adapted

thoroughly furnishedexartizo – to complete, finish; to furnish perfectly; to finish, accomplish, (as it were, to render the days complete)

2Timothy 4

:1  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

You now get the idea as Paul is winding up his letter that he feels that this is the last thing he’ll every write to Timothy his beloved son in the faith.

chargediamarturomai – to testify; earnestly, religiously to charge; to attest, testify to, solemnly affirm

shallmello – to be about; to be on the point of doing or suffering something

quickzao – to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead); to enjoy real life

appearingepiphaneia – an appearing, appearance

:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

preachkerusso – to be a herald, to officiate as a herald; to proclaim after the manner of a herald; always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed

be instant ephistemi – to place at, place upon, place over; to stand by, be present; to be at hand; be ready

in season eukairos – seasonably, opportunely; when the opportunity occurs

out of season akairos – unseasonable

reprove elegcho – to convict, refute, confute; generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted; by conviction to bring to the light, to expose; to find fault with, correct; to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove; to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation.  Not just to rebuke, but to bring the person to a confession and conviction of sin.

God is concerned that people not be deceived into thinking that they are going to get away with their sins.  He will bring judgment against sin and He longs for people to be reminded to repent from their sins.

(Lam 2:14 NASB)  Your prophets have seen for you False and foolish visions; And they have not exposed your iniquity So as to restore you from captivity, But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.
The people should have been reminded by the prophets of their sins so they could repent, but instead they were told “foolish visions” and the people did not turn from their sin.  They ended up in captivity in Babylon as a result.

rebuke epitimao – to show honour to, to honour; to raise the price of; to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty; to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely; to admonish or charge sharply.  To simply rebuke, whether or not it brings a change in the other person.

Sometimes you have to say hard things to a person, even when you know it won’t have any effect on them.

exhort parakaleo – to call to one’s side, call for, summon; to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.; to admonish, exhort; to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort

longsufferingmakrothumia – patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs.  This is patience with people.

To keep ministering to people, even when they’re difficult.

doctrinedidache – teaching; that which is taught; doctrine, teaching, concerning something; the act of teaching, instruction

Not only to be bringing out people’s sins, but to also build them up with good teaching.

:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

time kairos – due measure; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of tim; a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for; opportune or seasonable time

Timothy was to be ready “in season and out of season”, or, “in good times and bad times”.  This will be one of the bad times.

sound hugiaino – to be sound, to be well, to be in good health; metaph.  of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error

doctrinedidaskalia – teaching, instruction; that which is taught, doctrine

endureanechomai – to hold up; to hold one’s self erect and firm; to sustain, to bear, to endure

lustsepithumia – desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust

ownidios – pertaining to one’s self, one’s own, belonging to one’s self

heapepisoreuo (“upon” + “heap”) – to heap up, accumulate in piles

teachersdidaskalos – a teacher

itchingknetho – to scratch, tickle, make to itch; to itch; desirous of hearing something pleasant


Be careful about people who always tell you what you want to hear.

Some people don’t like to hear about their sin, but they feel like they need to be religious.  So they will find a church that won’t talk about “sin”.
The popular evangelist, Wilbur Chapman, told of a preacher friend who delivered a powerful sermon on the subject of sin. After the service, one of the church officers confronted the minister in his study and offered what he thought was some needed counsel.  “Pastor,” he said, “we don’t want you to talk as openly as you do about man’s guilt and corruption, because if our boys and girls hear you discussing that subject they will more easily become sinners.  Call it a mistake, if you will, but do not speak so plainly about sin.”  The pastor removed a small bottle from a shelf behind his desk.  Showing it to the man, he said, “You see this label?  It says ‘Strychnine,’ and underneath in bold, red letters is the word ‘poison.’  What you are asking me to do would be like changing this label.  Suppose I write over it ‘Essence of Peppermint.’  Someone who doesn’t know the danger might use it and become very ill.  The milder the label, the more dangerous the poison!”

:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

turn awayapostrepho – to turn away; to remove anything from anyone; to turn him away from allegiance to any one; tempt to defect

turned untoektrepo – to turn or twist out; in a medical sense used of dislocated limbs; to turn off or aside; to be turned aside

fablesmuthos – a speech, word, saying; a narrative, story; a true narrative; a fiction, a fable; an invention, a falsehood

I think it’s interesting that this word is only found five times in the New Testament, three of them written to Timothy, one to Titus, and the other used by Peter in his second letter.  All four letters were written on the late side, after AD 60.  I kind of get the idea that Paul and Peter were concerned about the “myths” that had begun to creep into the church.

1Ti 1:4  Neither give heed to fables <3454> and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
1Ti 4:7  But refuse profane and old wives’ fables <3454>, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
2Ti 4:4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables <3454>.
Tit 1:14  Not giving heed to Jewish fables <3454>, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
2Pe 1:16  For we have not followed cunningly devised fables <3454>, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

There are other writings called pseudopigrapha (“false writings”), things written around this time by people claiming to be Christians or even claiming to be important people like Thomas and Barnabas.  These writings were beginning to circulate around the church and the church flatly rejected them as false, as “myths”.  I find it interesting that there are scholars who want to look at these things and try to put them back into the church.

Fables – I think of some of the garbage that has gotten into the church regarding how the Bible was written, the authority of the Scriptures, questioning the life of Jesus, etc.

:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

watch thou nepho – to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit; to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect

endure afflictions kakopatheo (“evil” + “suffer”) – to suffer (endure) evils (hardships, troubles); to be afflicted

This was what Paul had encouraged Timothy to do earlier in the epistle:

(2 Tim 1:8 KJV)  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
(2 Tim 2:3 KJV)  Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

workergon – business, employment, that which any one is occupied; an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasised in opp. to that which is less than work

evangelisteuaggelistes – a bringer of good tidings, an evangelist; the name given to the NT heralds of salvation through Christ who are not apostles

ministrydiakonia – service, ministering, esp. of those who execute the commands of others

make full proofplerophoreo – to bear or bring full, to make full; to cause a thing to be shown to the full; to fulfil the ministry in every part; to carry through to the end, accomplish

“fulfill your ministry”

:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

ready to be offered spendo – to pour out as a drink offering, make a libation; in the NT to be offered as a libation; fig. used of one whose blood is poured out in a violent death for the cause of God.  Present tense, he is being poured out as a drink offering.

timekairos – due measure; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time

departure analusis – an unloosing (as of things woven); a dissolving (into separate parts); departure; a metaphor drawn from loosing from moorings preparatory to setting sail

Paul is talking about his own soon death.

is at handephistemi – to place at, place upon, place over; to stand by, be present

:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable

fight agon – an assembly; the assembly of the Greeks at their national games; hence the contest for a prize at their games; generally, any struggle or contest; a battle; an action at law, trial

fought agonizomai – to enter a contest: contend in the gymnastic games; to contend with adversaries, fight; metaph. to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers; to endeavour with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something

coursedromos – a course; in the NT figuratively, the course of life or of office

finishedteleo – to bring to a close, to finish, to end; to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.)

kepttereo – to attend to carefully, take care of; to guard; metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is

:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

loveagapao – to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly; to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

appearingepiphaneia – an appearing, appearance


Are you looking for Jesus to return?

:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:

do thy diligencespoudazo – to hasten, make haste; to exert one’s self, endeavour, give diligence

Paul is lonely for his friend Timothy.

:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

DemasDemas – “governor of the people”

Demas had been one of Paul’s companions the last time he was in Rome.

(Col 4:14 KJV)  Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

But he abandoned Paul this time.

forsakenegkataleipo – abandon, desert; leave in straits, leave helpless; totally abandoned, utterly forsaken; to leave behind among, to leave surviving

having lovedagapao – to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly; to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

this presentnun – at this time, the present, now

worldaion – for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity; the worlds, universe; period of time, age

Thessalonica – a city in Macedonia, northern Greece.

CrescensKreskes – “growing”; an assistant of Paul, said to be one of the seventy disciples

Galatia – an area in Asia Minor.

Titus – one of Paul’s assistants

Dalamatia – An area north of Greece.  Perhaps to look for missing puppies?   J

:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

LukeLoukas – Lucus = “light-giving”.  Dr. Luke, Paul’s companion and author of the book of Luke and Acts.

I think Paul means that of his ministry team, only Luke is with him.  There are others who live in Rome who are with Paul, like Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia (2Tim. 4:21).

MarkMarkos – “a defense”.  Cousin to Barnabas, author of the book of Mark.  Apparently Mark is with Timothy in Ephesus.

profitableeuchrestos – easy to make use of, useful

ministrydiakonia – service, ministering, esp. of those who execute the commands of others


God’s not done with you

Mark had been the source of a problem for Paul.
(Acts 15:36-40 KJV)  And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. {37} And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. {38} But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. {39} And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; {40} And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

Barnabas and Paul split up over a dispute over whether or not Mark was good for ministry.  Paul didn’t want to use Mark because he had abandoned them earlier.

But now Paul thinks that Mark is “useful”.

Because you’ve had past failures doesn’t mean that God can’t use you in the future.

:12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

TychicusTuchikos – “fateful”.  One of Paul’s companions, he was from Asia Minor (Acts 20:4), the area of Ephesus.  Paul used him often to send messages and find out about churches.

(Eph 6:21 KJV)  But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

(Col 4:7 KJV)  All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:

(Titus 3:12 KJV)  When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

Keep in mind, Paul is writing to Timothy, who is in Ephesus.

:13 The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

cloakphelones – a travelling cloke, used for protection against stormy weather

Paul is facing wintertime in Rome (2Tim. 4:21), and wants Timothy to bring his heavy coat.

booksbiblion – a small book, a scroll, a written document; a sheet on which something has been written.  Probably written on papyrus.  Could be copies of Old Testament Scriptures and maybe even some of his own letters.

parchmentsmembrana – parchment, made first of dressed skins at Pergamos, hence its name.  More expensive than papyrus, probably including copies of the Old Testament books and possibly the sayings of Jesus.


What’s your treasure?

For Paul, it seems to have been his “books”.

:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

AlexanderAlexandros – “man defender”.  We don’t know anything about this individual except what Paul says here.

coppersmithchalkeus – a worker in copper or iron, a smith

evilkakos – of a bad nature; base, wrong, wicked; troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful

didendeiknumi – to point out; to manifest, display, put forth

rewardapodidomi – to deliver, to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own, to sell; to pay off, discharge what is due; to requite, recompense in a good or a bad sense

Paul is putting Alexander into God’s hands.  He’s letting God deal with Alexander.

:15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

be thou warephulasso – to guard; to watch, keep watch; to guard or watch, have an eye upon: lest he escape; to observe for one’s self something to escape; to avoid, shun flee from

greatlylian – greatly, exceedingly, exceedingly beyond measure

withstoodanthistemi – to set one’s self against, to withstand, resist, oppose; to set against


It’s okay to warn others

Paul actually mentions Alexander by name.  He owes it to Timothy to warn him of this man.

:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

answer apologia – verbal defence, speech in defence; a reasoned statement or argument

Paul is talking about his first defense hearing before Caesar, when nobody stood up for him.

stood withsumparaginomai – to come together; to come to one’s help

forsookegkataleipo – abandon, desert; leave in straits, leave helpless; totally abandoned, utterly forsaken; to leave behind among, to leave surviving

may not be laid to their charge logizomai – to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over

“may it not be counted”.  Sounds like the current election.

:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

stood withparistemi – to place beside or near; to stand beside, stand by or near, to be at hand, be present

strengthenedendunamoo – to be strong, endue with strength, strengthen; to receive strength, be strengthened, increase in strength

might be fully knownplerophoreo – to bear or bring full, to make full; to cause a thing to be shown to the full; to fulfil the ministry in every part; to carry through to the end, accomplish

deliveredrhoumai – to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver; the deliverer


Jesus stands with you.

Others may forsake you, but Jesus won’t.
(Psa 27:10 KJV)  When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
Makes me think of some of the stories in Daniel
Dan. 3 – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego thrown into the fiery furnace for taking a stand.  But they weren’t alone in the furnace, there was another with them.
Dan. 6 – Daniel is thrown into the lion’s den for praying.  He is rescued from the lions by the Lord.

:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

shall deliverrhoumai – to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver; the deliverer

will preservesozo – to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction


The real victory

We might get confused at Paul’s confidence because we know that he would be shortly put to death.  Was Paul wrong?  Did God let him down?  No.  God delivered Paul right into heaven.  The evil didn’t touch Paul.  Paul died, but Satan couldn’t keep Paul from the Lord.
We might think that God’s victory means that our tough circumstances need to change.  What if God wants to deliver you by making it worse?

:19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.

PriscaPriska – “ancient”, also known as Priscilla, the wife of Aquila.

AquilaAkulas – “an eagle”; a Jew of Pontus, a tent maker convert to Christ, companion and ally of Paul in propagating Christianity

OnesiphorusOnesiphoros – “bringing profit”.  A Christian who had come to Paul in Rome and had “refreshed” him (2Tim. 1:16-18)

:20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

ErastusErastos – “beloved”.  A travelling companion of Paul and Timothy.

(Acts 19:22 KJV)  So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

Corinth – in Achaia, southern Greece

TrophimusTrophimos – “nutritious”.  One of Paul’s travelling companions (Acts 20:4) from Ephesus.  He was involved in Paul’s arrest in Jerusalem (Acts 21:29) because some people thought that he, as a Gentile, had been taken into the Jewish temple in Jerusalem by Paul.

Miletum – the city of Miletus, near Ephesus.

sickastheneo – to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, powerless; to be weak in means, needy, poor; to be feeble, sick

:21 Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.

do thy diligencespoudazo – to hasten, make haste; to exert one’s self, endeavour, give diligence

wintercheimon – winter; stormy or rainy weather, a tempest; winter, the winter season

EubulusEuboulos – “prudent”.  We know nothing else of this man.

PudensPoudes – “modest”; a Christian friend of Timothy at Rome, and may have been one of the seventy disciples

LinusLinos – “a net”; a Christian at Rome, known to Paul and to Timothy, who was the first bishop of Rome after the apostles (A.D. 64).  I think he had a friend named Charlie Brown J

ClaudiaKlaudia – “lame”; a Christian woman

:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.