II Timothy 3





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

 (kairoi< calepoi> - kairoi chalepoiperilous times; gievous times).

 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.

Whether perilous or grievous, the times that follow are a strange prevalence

of moral evil and its coexistence with Christian forms.


2 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters,

proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,”

Men (oiJ a]nqrwpoi - hoi anthropoid – men; humans ); 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 their own selves.  (fi>lautoi philautoi

 lovers of self); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the Septuagint;

but used by Aristotle in a striking passage, where he distinguishes those who are

fi>lautoi  in a good sense, and those who are justly blamed for being

fi>lautoi, i.e. selfish and greedy. The Christian character is exactly the

opposite (see I Corinthians 10:24; 13:5).  Covetous.  (fila>rguroi -  philarguroi

 lovers of money); elsewhere in the New Testament only in Luke 16:14, though

not uncommon in classical Greek; filarguri>a philarguriacoveted; fondness

for money - is found in I Timothy 6:10. Boasters. (ajla>zonev alazones – boastful;

ostentatious; showy ); as Romans 1:30, and in classical Greek. It the derivation of the

word is a]lh alae -  wandering, we may compare the perierco>menoi

perierchomenoi  - wandering - of Acts 19:13, “vagabond Jews.” Such vagabonds

were usually boasters. Hence ajlazw>n alazon - came to mean “a boaster.”

Proud, blasphemers.. Uperhfani>a huperaephaniaproud; haughty and

blasfhmi>a   blasphaemia -–blasphermers; railers; calumniators are coupled

together in Mark 7:22; and uJperhfa>nouv huperaephanousproud and

ajla>zonav - alazonas - boasters in Romans 1:30. In the New Testament

bla>sfhmov blasphaemos – blasphemer and blasfhmi>a blasphaemia

 blasphemy are most commonly used of evil speaking against God and holy things;

but not always (see Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8; I Timothy 6:4). Here

apparently it means generally “evil speakers.”  Disobedient to parents.

(goneusin apeitheiv goneusin apeitaeeis )  Selfishness is

early to show itself in the form of self-will. The young generation are to

show impatience of being ruled by their parents, which is sure to grow into

impatience in respect of all rightful rule. In the grievous times there is to be

a large development of lawlessness, BEGINNING IN THE FAMILY

CIRCLE.  Unthankful. (ajca>ristoi acharistoi - ungrateful); as Luke 6:35.

Found occasionally in the Septuagint, and common in classical Greek. Those who

are allowed to have their own way in early life are not likely to grow up to

show gratitude to parents for what they have sacrificed for them, nor are

 they likely to show gratitude in the ordinary course of life, nor can we think


 is to be a striking feature of the grievous times.  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 (ajno>sioi anosioi); as I Timothy 1:9 (where see note).

There are certain sanctities which are everlasting, which are anterior to

all law and custom, which belong to THE DIVINE CONSTITUTION

OF THINGS  e.g. the sanctities of the marriage bond. The unholy are

those who have no reverence or love in their hearts for THESE

EVERLASTING SANCTITIES.  In the grievous times the most sacred

bonds are to be disregarded..


3 “Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent,

fierce, despisers of those that are good,” - Without natural affection

(a]storgoi astorgoi); as in Romans 1:31, where in the Textus Receptus it is

coupled with a]spondoi aspondoi - implacable, as here. The verb ste>rgw

 stergo is “to love,” used primarily of the natural affection of parents to their

children and children to their parents. And storgh> storgae is that natural love.

These persons were without this storgh>, of which Plato says, “A child loves his

parents, and is loved by them;” and so, according to Paul’s judgment in I Timothy 5:8,

were “worse than infidels.” Affection is that which sweetens life. In the grievous

times affection is to die out, even for those for whom nature specially claims affection.

Parents will act unnaturally toward their children Trucebreakers.  (a]spondoi

aspondoi implacable);  only here according to the Received Text, not at all in the

Septuagint, but  frequent in classical Greek. Spondh> spondae was a solemn truce

made over a libation which accompanied the making of treaties and compacts.

Aspondov aspondos - 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.  The word

implacable supposes a state of variance. In the grievous times men are not to

 come to terms with those who have given them offence, but are to pursue

them with all the might of their vengeance.  False accusers.  (dia>boloi – false

 accusers; slanderers; adversaries); as I Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:3. They are not to

be content with pouring contempt and bitterness on one another in ordinary evil

speaking, but they are to attack one another with falsehoods. (Think of the

change in the media’s way of handling things today – CY -2013)  Thus the

diabolic character is to be developed in the grievous times. The arch-slanderer is –

oJ dia>bolov - ho diabolos  - the devil,  (oJ kath>goruv tw~n ajdelfw~n – ho

 kataegorus ton adelphon -  the accuser of the brethren - Revelation 12:10; see

John 6:70).   Incontinent.  (ajkratei~v akrateis - without self-control;

[sexually]); here only in the New Testament, not in the Septuagint 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 Revised Version.  The Authorized Version “incontinent” (compare I Corinthians

7:5) expresses only one part of the meaning (see ajkrasi>a akrasiaexcess;

Incontinence - Matthew 23:25)  With self-will uncurbed in early life, it is not

to be wondered at that the men of the grievous times are to be men who

have LOST SELF-CONTROL.  Fierce (from ferns, wild, savage);

ajnh>meroi anaemeroifierce - only here in the New Testament, and not found

in the Septuagint, but frequent in the Greek tragedians and others, of persons,

countries, plants, etc.; e.g. “Beware of the Chalubes, for they are savage (ajnh>meroi),

and cannot be approached by strangers” (AEschylus, ‘Prom. Vinct.,’ 734,

edit. Scholef.). It corresponds with ajneleh>monev aneleaemones - unmerciful

(Romans 1:31).  In the grievous times there will be loss of self-control, PROCEEDING

TO ACTS OF VIOLENCE.   Despisers of those that are good.  (ajfila>gaqoi

 aphilagathoi averse to good;  no lovers of good); only here in the New Testament,

and not at all  in the Septuagint or in classical Greek. But fila>gaqov philagathos

lovers of that which is good; is found in Titus 1:8. The Revised Version seems therefore

to be right in rendering here “no lovers of good,” rather than as the Authorized

Version “despisers of those which are good,” after the Vulgate and the new version

of Sanctes Pagninus.   In keeping with the personal reference before and after, we prefer

to translate, “no lovers of good men.” With evil so active in them, like Cain (I John

3:12) the presence of good men will be burdensome to them. They are therefore

likely to make the times grievous to the good, by unjustly treating them.


4 “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers

of God;” Traitors (prodo>tai prodotai); 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,

of their brethren in times of persecution. Fidelity is the sacred bond that joins friend to

friend. In the grievous times friend will be often found betraying friend.  

Heady.  (propetei~v propeteis  headstrong); as in Acts 19:36. Neither “heady”

nor “headstrong” gives the exact meaning of propeth>v propetaes  which is “rash,”

hasty,” “headlong.” “Headstrong” rather denotes obstinacy which will not

 be influenced by wise advice, but propeth>v is the person who acts from impulse,

without considering consequences, or weighing principles.  In the grievous times

 headstrong men will go to daring lengths. Highminded. (tetufwme>noi

 tetuphomenoi - puffed up; conceited); see I Timothy 3:6, note. The explanation

of their daringness is, that they have no right sense of their own position before

 Godtheir insignificance, impotence, and responsibility. Lovers of

pleasures.  (filh>donoi philaedonoifond of own gratification; fond

of pleasure); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the Septuagint,

but occasionally in classical  Greek.  It is used here as an antithesis to lovers of

 God (filo>qeoi philotheoi), which also occurs only here either in the New

Testament or the Septuagint..  It looks as if the men spoken of claimed to be

filo>qeoi (lovers of  God).  A somewhat similar paronomasia occurs in

Isaiah 5:7, where hp"c]miis opposed to fp;v]mi, and hq;[;x] to hq;d;x].

“Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” MEN WILL BE

DARING, especially in SENSUAL GRATIFICATION. Pleasure will    

be preferred to God.


5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from

such turn away.”  Having a form (mo>rfwsin morphosin form). It should

be the form; i.e. “the outward semblance,” i.q. mo>rfwma  morphoma  - form,

shape, figure, here in contrast with du>namiv dunamis – power - the reality.

In Romans 2:20, the only other place in the New Testament where

mo>rfwsiv morphosis  (form) occurs, there is no contrast, and so it has the sense

of a “true sketch” or “delineation.”  Denying. (hjrnhme>noi aernaemenoi

having denied); possibly more correct than the Authorized Version “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. “Holding a form of godliness, but

having denied the power thereof.” The remarkable thing is that the men who

have been described (we do not need to think of the characteristics being all

combined) should hold a form of godliness. The relation of the form of

godliness to the men who make the grievous times, is that it CONCEALS

THEIR TRUE CHARACTER!   It is self throughout, in a more or less

hateful form, and therefore the real power of godliness is denied. But it does

not appear so nakedly and hatefully to be self where there is a form of

acknowledging God. The relation of the form of godliness to the grievous times  

is, that it allows evil to work more insidiously. It is not so difficult to meet

pure heathenism as it is to meet a Christianity that has become heathenish.

From such does not give the sense at all clearly. The Authorized Version does,

though it omits the kai< - kaiand – 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 (ajpotre>pou

apotrepou turn away; be you shunning); only here in the New Testament, or,

at least in the middle voice, in the Septuagint; but frequent in classical Greek in

different senses.  Paul uses ejktre>pomenov ektrepomenosavoiding; turning

 aside - in the same sense in I Timothy 6:20. This command shows that the apostle

treats the symptoms of the last times as in some respects present.  With this

catena of epithets compare Romans 1:29-31. 



The Hypocrite’s Garb (v. 5)


“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” There may

be conscious and unconscious hypocrisy. Either way godliness is “feigned.”

There is no pulsing heart of life in it. Its appearance is only like phosphorus

on the face of the dead; its activity is only the galvanized motion of a corpse.



What are they? See vs. 2-4, in which men who are “covetous, and

lovers of their own selves,” are associated with blasphemers and false

accusers, unthankful and unholy. All alike find their hypocrisy is

detected BY THE DIVINE INSIGHT.   We may well search and

examine ourselves (II Corinthians 13:5); for do not men think lightly

sometimes of covetousness and selfishness, or of being unthankful or

high minded? Often, indeed, we look to great vices only as our destroyers,

and we forget that hypocrisy may be seen in masked ingratitude. Yet

here it is discovered, not under the cloak which hides evil enormities,

but under the veil which hides from our eyes the presence of the more

respectable sins.




Ø      Prayerless habit which leaves the spirit UNSUPPLIED




Ø      Consciousness of the fact that in the world appearances are

enough, and that religion is so respected and so respectable

that it will not do to live without its appearance.


Ø      Fellowship with the world, which denudes us of all earnest

endeavors after the Divine life.


6 “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive

silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,”  Creep into

(ejndu>nontev endunontes – creep into; ones slipping in); here only in the New

Testament. It has the sense of “sneaking into,” “insinuating themselves

Into.”   Lead captive.  (aijcmalwteu>ontev - aichmaloteuontes - take captive;

capturing); as in Ephesians 4:3. The other form, aijcmalwti>zontev

 aichmalotizontescaptivity -  which is that of the Received Text is in Luke 21:24;

Romans 7:23; II Corinthians 10:5. The word well describes the BLIND


TEACHERS.  Silly women (ta< gunaika>ria ta gunaikariasilly

women; little women - diminutive of gunh> gunae - woman); nowhere else

in the New Testament or Septuagint, but is used by some late Greek authors.

It is a term of contempt — he will not call them gunai~kav gunaikas

female; woman — they are only gunaika>ria (silly women).  In the

passages quoted by Alford from Irenaeus and Epiphanius, the women

made use of by the later Gnostics are called gunaika>ria. 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 (Since the word

heresy means choice, I cannot help but think of all the use and abuse of

women in promoting PRO-CHOICE. 


The Greek word for heresy is ai[resiv - hah’ee-res-is; - a choosing,

                choice then that which is chosen, and hence an opinion, especially

                a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power

                of truth and leads to division, the formation of sects and finally,

                APOSTASY FROM GOD!  (Think of the origins, influences and

                roles of  PRO-CHOICE and the AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES

                UNION in the United States of America’s CULTURAL DEMISE  (IT                                       


                Such a man is a living lie against the truth.

So true is Paul’s forecast in the text. Laden with sins (seswreume>na

aJmarti>aiv sesoreumena amartiais); 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 (ajgo>mena

agomena); with a strong intimation of UNRESISTING WEAKNESS

(compare I Corinthians 12:2; Acts 8:32; Luke 23:32). Lusts (ejpiqumi>aiv

epithumiais); all kinds of CARNAL and SELFISH DESIRES  (see

John 8:44; Romans 1:24; 6:12; 7:7-8; Galatians 5:24;  Ephesians 2:3; 4:22;

Colossians 3:5; I Timothy 6:9; ch. 2:22; 4:3;  Titus 2:12; 3:3; I Peter 1:14-16;

II Peter 2:18; I John 2:16-17).


7 “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the

truth.”  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.


8 “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also

resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the

faith.”  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, 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 on magic, of

which the materials were furnished by Elymas the sorcerer (Acts 13:6-

8). Withstood (ajnte>sthsan antestaesan); the same word as is used of Elymas

in Acts 13:8 (so ch. 4:15 and elsewhere). (katefqarme>na to<n nou~n

katephtharmena ton noun  - of being depraved minds; corrupted in mind);

elsewhere only in II Peter 2:12, in the sense of  “perishing,” being “utterly

destroyed,” which is the proper meaning of katafqei>romai kataphtheiromai.

 Here in a moral sense katefqarme>noi to<n nou~n katephtharmenoi ton noun

means men whose understanding is gone, and perished, as diefqarme>nov

th<n ajkoh>n diephtharmenos taen akoaen means one whose hearing has

perished — who is deaf. In I Timothy 6:5 Paul uses the more common

diefqarme>nwn diephtharmenondeprived; corrupt. . Reprobate (ajdo>kima

 adokima); as Titus 1:16, and elsewhere frequently in Paul’s Epistles. It is just

the contrary to do>kimov dokimos – approved; qualified; ch. 2:15, note).


Moses succeeded in getting the children of Israel out of Egypt; and

Hebrew tradition tells that Jannes and Jambres perished in the Red Sea.


ALL SPIRITUAL TRICKERY!   It may succeed for a time, but its very

success often works its ruin. The time comes when its impostures are found out,

and IT CAN PROCEED NO FURTHER.   So we can believe that the great

development of evil in the last days will end in complete exposure, and in the

brilliant triumph of good.


9 “But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest

unto all men, as their’s also was.” Shall proceed (proko>yousin prokopsousin

they shall be progessing); as ch. 2:16 (where see note) and v. 13. The

apostle’s meaning here is, as explained by the example of the magicians,

that heresies SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST  the truth. Epi< plei~on

epi pleion means beyond the point indicated in his description of their future

progressive evil. They would “proceed further in ungodliness,” as he said

in ch. 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 was.   (Exodus 8:18-19).


10 “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose,

faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,”  Hast fully known.

(parhkolou>qhsav paraekolouthaesas – have fully followed; didst follow

which is the Received Text for parhkolou>qhkav, in the perfect, which is

the Textus Receptus). The evidence for the two readings is nicely balanced.

But Paul uses the perfect in I 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 Authorized

Version “thou hast fully known” gives the sense fully and clearly. Timothy had

fully known Paul’s whole career, partly from what he had heard, and partly from

what he had been an eyewitness of. My doctrine.  My teaching. How different

from that of those impostors!  Manner of life. (ajgwgh~| agogae – conduct;

bringing up; manner of life); here only in the New Testament, but found in the

Septuagtint in Esther 2:20 (th<n ajgwgh<n aujth~v taen agogaen autaes  -

her manner of  life — her behaviour towards Mordecai, where there is nothing to

answer to it in the Hebrew text); The Authorized Version “manner of life” is a very

good rendering.  Purpose (pro>qesin   prothesin); that which a person sets before

him as the end to be attained (Acts 11:23; 27:13; II Maccabees 3:8; and in Aristotle,

Polybius, and others). Used often of GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE as e.g. ch. 1:9;

Ephesians 1:11.  In enumerating these and the following, “faith, long suffering,

charity, and patience,” 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 (th~| makroqumi>a| - tae makrothumia – the far feeling

patience ); as I Timothy 1:16, of the long suffering of Jesus Christ towards

himself, and elsewhere frequently of human patience and forbearance towards

others. Patience (th~| uJpomonh~| – tae hupomonae – patience; the endurance).

This is exercised in the patient endurance of afflictions for Christ’s sake. It

is coupled, as here, with makroqumi>A makrothumia - long suffering, in

Colossians 1:11.


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.”  Persecutions (diwgmoi~v diogmois ); as

Matthew 13:21; Acts 8:1; 13:50; II Corinthians 12:10, etc.

Afflictions (toi~v paqh>masin tois pathaemasin the sufferings); usually so

rendered in the Authorized Version (Romans 8:18; II Corinthians 1:5;

Colossians 1:24. etc.); rendered “afflictions” in Hebrews 10:32; I Peter 5:9.

At Antioch; in Pisidia (Acts 13:14). For an account of the persecutions

encountered by Paul at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, see chapters 13 and

14 of Acts.  It was at Paul’s second, or rather third, visit to Lystra that he

chose Timothy for his companion (Acts 16:1-3). I endured (uJpenegka

 hupenegka – I endured; I undergo); not simply “suffered,” but “underwent,”

willingly and firmly suffered (see I Peter. 2:19). As regards the construction,

the antecedent to oi=a hoiathe which - is paqh>masin pathaemasin

afflictions; suffering -  and the difference between aJ – a and oi=a is that aJ

would limit the reference to the actual paqh>mata pathaemata – afflictions

at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, but oi=a 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.” The sentence, oi[ouv diw>gmouv uJpe>negka hoious diogmous

hupenegka – what persecutions I endured is an amplification of the preceding

diw>gmoiv: “Thou hast fully known my persecutions…viz. what great

persecutions I endured.” 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 (me ejrjrJu>sato - me errusato

rescued me; delivered me). Had the apostle in his mind the clause in the Lord’s

Prayer, “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13)? Compare ch. 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 Paul’s deliverance (compare

Acts 18:10).


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

persecution.” Yea and all (kai< pa>ntev de< - kai pantes de – and all

yet). 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” (compare John 15:20 and I Peter 4:1, 12-13).  To live godly is to take

the rule of our life from God. This can only be carried out in communion with

Christ Jesus. Were all living according to the Divine rule around us, we should be

abundantly encouraged. But seeing we live in the midst of so many who

hate goodness and do not like to be reminded of God, we must expect to

suffer persecution, i.e. to be misjudged, to be opposed, to be assailed, if

our godliness is active and aggressive against evil, as it should be. We must

have a mind to LIVE GODLY whatever consequences it entails. It was

because he lived according to the Divine rule that Paul was stoned. As the

principle involved was universal, Timothy, in proportion, to the vitality of

his godliness, must expect to suffer persecution.


13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving,

and being deceived.”  Evil men (ponhroi> - ponaeroievil; wicked). In ch.4:18

it is panto<v e[rgou ponhrou~ pantos hergou ponaerou – every evil work.

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 oJ ponhro>v – ho ponaeros. Seducers. (go>ntev gontes – seducers;

swindlers; impostor); only here in the New Testament. In classical Greek

go>hv goaes is a juggler, a cheat, an enchanter. Paul still had the Egyptian

magicians in his mind. Shall wax worse and worse (proko>yousin ejpi< to<

cei~ron prokopsousin epi to cheiron – shall be progressing on the worse);

see above, v. 9, note.



The Coming Apostasy (vs. 1-13)


(Apostasia apostasia - an apostasy or falling away from the Christian

Faith.  The language has a wide latitude, covering the whole space of the Christian

dispensation.  The evil had begun to work in the age of Timothy, but the worst

development of  anti-Christian apostasy will be in the closing days of the

dispensation. The “days of the Messiah” are often alluded to in the Hebrew

prophets as “in the last days;” literally, the end of days”  (Isaiah 2:2;

Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1).



“Perilous times shall come.”  (v.1)


Ø      It will be a time of DANGER TO THE FAITH of God’s people.

Ø      It will be a time of PERIL TO THEIR LIVES.

Ø      It will be A TIME OF ABOUNDING WICKEDNESS  as well




degeneracy is marked by a widespread moral decay. The apostle,

after his usual manner, groups the characters into classes for more

distinct consideration.


Ø      THE SELFISH CLASS. “For men shall be lovers of self, lovers

of money”  (v.2).  Selfishness heads the dreary list. It is regarded by

many theologians as the root principle of all sin.. Selfishness is a

hard represser of love. The “love of money” has been called

the daughter of selfishness.”  (Shylock in The Merchant of

Venice).  (When Jesus was asked when the end of the world

would come, He said “Because iniquity [anarchy] will abound,

the love of many shall wax cold.” – Matthew 24:12)


Ø      THE CLASS OF ARROGANT BOASTERS. “Boasters, arrogant,

railers  (v. 2).  The first are ostentatious in speech; the second, full of

pride and contempt for others; the third are full of insults to men.



HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS. “Disobedient to parents,

unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable”  (vs.

2-3).  He who is regardless of filial duty will he ungrateful to others,

and he that is ungrateful will have no regard for holiness of character;

for he will keep covenant with no one, whether parent or benefactor.




self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors”  (v. 3). 


o       The first term points to the disposition to bring the good

down to the level of the base;

o       the second, to the absence of all restraint from law,

(In the 21st century, they have gone a step further and seek to

change laws concering the family; homosexuality; controlled

substances, etc. – CY – 2013) human or Divine.  (See

Daniel 7:25 which speaks of such a time apostasy as we

are discussing.  – CY – 2013)

o       the third, to the savage temper that delights in cruelty;

o       the fourth, to the spirit that “loves darkness rather

than light;”

o       the fifth, to the class of men who could betray their

Christian brethren to their persecutors, or behave

falsely in any of their existing relationships.



“Headstrong, puffed up  (v. 4).  Rashness and conceit are

often allied.


Ø      THE CLASS OF PLEASURE SEEKERS. “Lovers of pleasure

rather than lovers of God.” It represents a dissipated class under

a Christian profession, who have no serious pursuits, and prefer

the friendship of the world to the friendship of God.  (We know

that “friendship of the world is enmity against God.”

(James 4:4)



PROFESSION.   “Having a form of godliness.”  (v. 5).  Thus the

antichrist  looks like a lamb but speaks like a “dragon” (Revelation 13:11).

The picture is that of a CHRISTIANIZED PAGANISM  in the church.

 There was to be a scrupulous regard for all ritualistic regularity; an outward

show of devoutness under strict forms, and the mask of godliness over all




denying the power thereof.” (v. 5)


Ø      The power of godliness consists in love to God and love to our

neighbor. These were both repudiated. The class referred to were

strangers to experimental religion, which they dishonored by saying

one thing with their lips and another thing with their lives.


Ø      Such a repudiation involves graver sin and deeper condemnation

than if they had never known the truth or heard of the way of life.



turn away.” We ought to withdraw from their fellowship, avoid all

familiarity with them, hold no terms with the enemies of Christ and His




ATTITUDE.  They are men of corrupt minds and reprobate

concerning  the faith.”  (v.8)


Ø      Corrupt affections depraved their mental judgments.  Their

      minds had become darkened. Romans 1:20-32 describes this

      crowd.   “Their foolish heart was darkened.”  They are

      further described in II  Peter 2:10-22).  A corrupt head, a

      corrupt  heart, and a vicious life, USUALLY ACCOMPANY



Ø      The doctrines of these teachers had been tested and discovered to

be worthless.  (Time will tell what role Global Warming, Global

Economy, a false teaching of Separation of Church and State,

the exporting of homosexuality, abortion on demand, prolific

use of mind-altering drugs, and their exponents, have and


Revelation 11:18 describes such as HASTENING TO BRING





FINAL APOSTASY.  “Deceiving and being deceived.” (In the

late 1960’s, the late Marion Duncan, preached a series of sermons

on the traits mentioned in vs. 2-5.  He did them one sermon at a

time and began by reading Revelation 20:1-8, where Satan was

loosed on the world, and he knowing that he has a short time

(Revelation 12:12), immediately sets out to DECEIVE THE

FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD and this my friends,

I submit to you is going on.  Compare 1970 with 2013.  A lot

has happened in America to where change has changed our face

to where we would be hard to be recognized!  The only way

to escape this situation is to take heed to Peter’s message on

the Day of Pentecost, “Save yourselves from this untoward

generation  - Acts 2:40 – and the advice of John the Baptist

flee the wrath to come” – Matthew 3:7 – I recommend

How to be Saved - # 5 – this web site – CY – 2013)


Ø      The method of mental and moral debasement. Let men

repeat falsities with sufficient frequency and deliberateness,

and they will come by and by to believe them themselves.

(Is this not the state of affairs in The Western Media today?

CY – 2013).  They begin by deceiving others. They cannot

deceive God nor the elect, but by their good words and fair speeches,

their lying wonders and their specious arts, they may seduce the

simple into error (the modern term coined for these are “low-

information people.” – CY – 2013)


Ø      The retribution that follows upon deception is Self-Deception.

(Thirty years ago, someone said at Training Union, that he thought

homosexuality was a judgment of God by allowing men to become

such.  Now I wonder if that is really what is going on in America

and the rest of the world!!!!!!   Jesus said, this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world, and MEN LOVE DARKNESS,

rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”  - John 3:19 –

CY – 2013)  Such deceivers have become sincere in their error,

because they have blinded their spiritual eyesight; but now they see

truth as error, and ERROR AS TRUTH!  (Isaiah 5:20 says

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put

darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter

for sweet and sweet for bitter.”)



WILL BE THE WORK OF GOD.  “But they shall proceed no further;

for their folly shall be evident to all men”  (v. 9).   In ch. 2:16, it is said that

they shall advance to more ungodliness;” but there Paul is speaking of

an immediate diffusion of error, but here of ITS ULTIMATE AND

FINAL EXTINCTION!  The evil would advance, but only to a certain point,

and the true character of ITS PROMOTERS  “their folly” — would

be made as manifest as was that of the Egyptian magicians, Jannes and Jambres.

(v. 8)


Thus, the long catalogue of moral enormity developed by the apostasy began with


to the utter exclusion, first  and last, OF THE LOVE OF GOD!


 14 “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast

been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”

Continue 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 (ejpistw>qhv epistothaesyou were entrusted); only here in the

New Testament, but found in II Maccabees 7:24 and I 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 (para< ti>nov

e]maqev para tinos emathes), or, according to another reading of nearly

equal authority, para< ti>nwn para tinon – beside whom). If ti>nov is the

right reading, it must refer either to God or to Paul. In favor of its referring

to God is the expression in the Prophet Isaiah commented upon by our Lord

in John 6:45, where para<tou~ Patro<v  para tou Patros – beside the

Father  answers to para< ti>nov; the promise concerning the Comforter,

“He shall teach you all things” (John 14:26, etc.); and the very similar

reasoning of 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 you, abide in Him” (I 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 ti>nwn does not refer to God, it must refer

to Paul. If, on the other hand, ti>nwn is the true reading (which is less

probable), it must refer to Lois and Eunice, which seems rather feeble.


15 “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.”  And that from a child; 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 holy scriptures.

 (ta<iJera< gra>mmata - - ta hiera grammata - the sacred writings; the

holy scriptures); literally, the holy letters, or learning. An ordinarily

educated child learns gra>mmata grammataletters; writings -

(John 7:15), in contradistinction to the uneducated, who are

ajgra>mmatoi agrammatoi (Acts 4:13). But Timothy had learnt ta< iJera<

gra>mmata (the Holy Scriptures)  whose excellence is described in the next

verse.  We are instructed in the Word of God to "Train up a child in the way

that he should go and when he is old he shall not depart from it"  (Proverbs

22:6).  We are to exert ourselves in doing it.  (Deuteronomy 6:7).   Those

who erroneously who consider a religious upbringing an interference with

free development of the child and systematically kept all religious

ideas out of his mind till  the child is considered able to form an independent

and unbiassed judgment upon the subject of religion, NOT ONLY IS



truth are not presented to the mind till a matured judgment can be formed, it is

not as though there had not been experience, but THE MIND IS ALREADY

WARPED and religion is placed at a fearful disadvantage. Eunice proceeded

on the right principle when she seized the earliest opportunity of influencing the mind

of Timothy in favor of religion.  THE BIBLE IS AS TRULY A CHILD’S BOOK

AS A MAN’S BOOK!  Dwight Moody once said, “This book will KEEP YOU



The Scriptures are able to make one wise unto salvation, but they may not; for

there are some who make themselves wiser than God’s Word, and think they know

better about things than God does, and so perish by being wise in their own

conceits and refusing to be guided.   The efficiency of Scripture is  limitied

to  Through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” The Scriptures cannot do more

than make us wise unto salvation; THEY ARE NOT TO BE PUT IN THE

PLACE OF CHRIST  and only do their work when they bring us up to Christ,

and also induce in us that state of mind which is here called faith, which instrumentally

 appropriates the salvation which is in HIM!


16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for

doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

All scripture.   Every Scripture, etc. There are two ways of construing this

important passage:


  1. As in the Authorized Version, in which qeo>pneustov - theopneustos

inspiration of God; God inspired - is part of the predicate coupled by

kai< - kai – and - with the following wjfe>limov ophelimos

profitable; beneficial.;


B.   As in the Revised Version, where qeo>pneustov (inspiration of God)

is part of the subject (as pa~n e]rgon ajgaqo>n – pan ergon agathon -

every good work, II Corinthians 9:8, and elsewhere); and the following

 kai<  (and) 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 favor of A), however,

it may be said:



1)      that such a sentence as that which arises from (B) necessarily

implies that there are some grafai< - graphaiwritings - which

are not qeo>pneustoi  (God inspired) just as ~n e]rgon ajgaqo>n –

(every good work)  some works which are not good;

pa~sa eujlogi>a pneumatikh> pasa eulogia pneumatikae

all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3), that there are some

blessings which are not spiritual; pa~n e]rgon ponhro>n

pan ergon ponaeron - every evil work (ch.4:18), that there

are some works which are not evil; and so on. But as

grafh> graphae  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



2)      The sentence, taken according to (B), is an extremely

awkward and harsh construction, not 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 I Timothy 4:4, Pa~n kti>sma Qeou~

kalo>n kai<oujde<n ajpo>blhton - Pan ktisma Theou kalon kai

aouden apoblaeton  - 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)      With regard to the rendering of pa~sa grafh> - pasa graphae (all

 Scripture) no doubt, strict grammar, in the absence of

the article, favors the rendering in the Revised Version, “every Scripture,”

rather than that of the Authorized Version, “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.

 Qeo>v no>mov uiJo<v Qeou~ Theos nomos huios Theou” etc.

Therefore, just as pa~sa JIeroso>luma pasa Iierousoluma

 all Jerusalem (Matthew 2:3) means “all Jerusalem,” not “every

Jerusalem,” so here pa~sa grafh >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 grafh> (Scripture) without the article

are II Peter 1:20 and  Romans 1:2; and of pa~v (all) not followed by the

article, and yet meaning “all,” are in Ephesians 2:21 and 3:15.


 Inspired of God, etc. (qeo>pneustov Theopneustos); here only in the

New Testament or Septuagint, but occasionally in classical Greek, as

Plutarch. For doctrine; for teaching, etc. The particular uses for which

Scripture is said to be profitable present no difficulty. Teaching, of which


Reproof  (ejlegmo>n elegmonreproof; conviction; proof); 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

(compare 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

 (ejpano>rqwsin epanorthosin); only here in the New Testament,

 but occasionally in the Septuagint, 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 in righteousness  exactly expresses the meaning.

The Greek, th<n ejn dikaiosu>nh taen en dikaiosunaethe in

righteousness merely limits the paidei>a paideiainstruction -

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.


There is a revealing power in the Bible. It teaches us much that we could not

otherwise have known. It supplies us with what is necessary not only for a correct,

 but A LOFTY CONCEPTION OF GOD. It acquaints us with our fallen

state, and with God’s dealings with us for our salvation.


The reproving power of the Bible results from ITS GREAT REVEALING

POWER along with the state in which it finds us. The light it sheds is not for

Our justification, but for our being convicted of departures both from truth and

righteousness. (The Bible thus acts like “a mirror to where we can see ourselves.

CY – 2013). 


The corrective power of the Bible starts from our being convicted as out

of the straight path. By proper directions, admonitions, warnings, encouragements,

it brings us back into the straight path. “For instruction which is in righteousness.”


The disciplinary power of the Bible is specified as being within the sphere of righteousness.

In the lofty demands it makes — the loftier the further we advance — it gives us

the spiritual drill which makes for right habits.


Completeness aimed at. “That the man of God may be complete,

furnished completely unto every good work.” The man of God is man

according to the Divine idea. Many excellences go to make the complete

man, intellectual, emotional, practical. God desires to see the complete

man; and he has given the Bible for that end. The completeness thought of

is that of man as a worker, producing good thoughts, good words, good

actions. God desires to see the completely furnished worker, and He has

given the Bible for that end. It is true that we come very far short of the

Divine ideal of our humanity; the reason will be found to be that we neglect

the help provided for us. We do not consult God, but our own prejudiced

thoughts. Let us go back to the Bible, to be convicted of our error, and

corrected, and severely exercised toward the complete man.


Take an athletic man, the most perfect specimen of athletic training,

                    bone flesh and sinew, if that is all,

he is but one-third of a man and useless to society!


Send him to the schools and cram his mind full,

                    He is but two-thirds of man

and now he is dangerous as well as useless!


Put Christ in his heart to control and urge his purpose

    an ideal man – all three-thirds – A COMPLETE  MAN!


17 “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all

good works.”  Perfect.  (a]rtiov - artios complete; fitted; perfect of its

kind); only here  in the New Testament, but common in classical Greek.

Throughly furnished.  (ejxhrtisme>nov exaertismenos  - furnished completely

containing the same root as a]rtiov); elsewhere in the New Testament only in

Acts 21:5 in the sense of “completing” a term of days. It is nearly synonymous with

katarti>zw  katartizo  - perfected; you tuned; (Matthew 21:16; Luke 6:40;

II Corinthians 13:11; Hebrews 13:21; I Peter 5:10). In late classical Greek ejxarti>zw

 exartizo 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 favor 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 (I Timothy 6:11, note); the other that 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 v. 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.)



The Design of the Scriptures (v. 17)


“That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every

good work.”


  • The design is the perfection of the believer in life and service. The

description supplies the man of God with all due appliances for this end.

They help to make us perfect in knowledge, faith, and holiness, as well as

to furnish us with wisdom and guidance in all holy service.


  • Inference to be drawn from the design of Scripture. It is a perfect,

plain, and sufficient rule of faith and life. If it can make wise to salvation,

perfect the man of God, and furnish him for all holy work, then there is

no need for tradition to supplement its imaginary defects.


The law of the LORD is perfect,

converting the soul: the testimony

of the LORD is sure, making wise

the simple. The statutes of the LORD

are right, rejoicing the heart: the

commandment of the LORD is pure,

 enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD

 is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of

the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea,

than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey

 and the honeycomb.  Moreover by them is thy

servant warned: and in keeping of them there is

great reward.   (Psalm 19:7-11)



Holy Scripture the Strength of the Man of God (vs. 1-17)


There is marvelous force in the application to the Christian bishop and

evangelist of the title THE MAN OF God When we remember the course

of faithful and untiring labor, and patient unflinching suffering, which was

run by those to whom alone this title was given in the Old Testament —

Moses and Samuel and Elijah, and other prophets of God — we feel at

once that the application of this title to the ministers of Christ under the

New Testament teaches them with incisive power that the like spirit must

be found in them if they are worthy to be classed with the men of God.

Evidently the “man of God”


  • must not be afraid of a man that shall die,
  • or a son of man which shall be made as grass;
  • he must not shrink from bearing witness for God before an unbelieving

and gainsaying world;

  • he must not be a lover of ease or pleasure, or
  • of the praise of men;
  • he must not be greedy of gain or covetous of reward;
  • he must not be a man of strife and brawls, but a man of love

and peace;

  • he must be zealous for God’s honor and glory;
  • he must be a staunch upholder of God’s truth against errors and

false doctrines; and

he must be a man of prayer, and very devout towards God;


for otherwise how shall he be called a “man of God”? But how shall

this unearthly character be maintained? When those perilous times are at

their height in which all the natural affections of men seem to be blighted,

and all the natural safeguards against the growth of evil seem to be

overborne by the floods of ungodliness, when a proud boasting spirit, as

empty as it is pretentious, carries men into all kinds of unseemly action, and

when religion itself, far from guiding men in holy paths, degenerates into

hypocrisy and faction and opposition to that which is good, how shall the

man of God:


·        maintain his integrity,

·        abide in the true doctrine of God, and

·        hold his own against the teachers of lies, and the seducers of weak

 and silly souls?


God has provided him with an all-sufficient weapon of attack and of

defense. IN THOSE HOLY SCRIPTURES  which were given by

 inspiration of God, the man of God finds a spiritual furniture suitable

for every need. By the study of it he acquires fresh wisdom for his task, and

 by its spirit his own spirit is nourished and refreshed. IN THE BRIGHT



·        the pernicious errors of seducers are exposed;

·        by its counsels waverers are established,

·        the weak are strengthened,

·        the crooked are set straight again.


Conversant with its heavenly doctrine, the man of God is never at a loss for

a word of rebuke, of comfort, or exhortation. And while, on the one hand,

he is able to refute every new heresy that arises, by reference to the

unchanging Word of God, on the other he daily acquires some new insight

into the depths of revelation for his own edification and that of others.

He finds that the manifold and many-sided wisdom of the Scriptures is as able

to cope with the intellectual difficulties of the twenty-first century as it was

with the Gnosticism of the East in the first centuries of Christianity. And

so, while some turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto

fables, the man of God finds his faith daily strengthening and increased,

 and looks forward fearlessly to the time when THE FOLLY OF THE







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