By H. R. Reynolds
Verse 1.—We have already remarked one strange and solemn peculiarity of the prophetic outlook. For the most part, God's prophets anticipate darkness and judgment, apostasy and its doom. The most spiritual of men have seen in the aspects of their own days the hints and forecast of a sadder future. In one of the earliest of St. Paul's letters he prophesied the coming of Antichrist, though he foresaw his discomfiture and ultimate destruction. The heavens had not brightened over St. Paul, nor had the earthly prospects of the kingdom of righteousness become more hopeful when he penned his last letter. The Church itself contained, from the first, elements of evil, explosive forces, antagonistic and deteriorating agencies, which portended evil. The fifth Verse of the Chapter before us shews that the calamitous influences, the humiliating characteristics, and impracticable persons from whom such dire consequences might be anticipated were already sufficiently conspicuous to put Timothy on his guard. This consideration must govern our translation of such a phrase as "the last days." Many passages may be quoted from the Old Testament in which the writers meant by the Hebrew phrase, which is thus rendered in LXX. nothing more than "the future," the "hereafter" of Israel, according as it revealed itself to the prophetic glance of Jacob, Balaam, or Moses.1 But in other passages2 the same phrase has acquired the special technical meaning of " the period," or the " dispensation of the Messiah," and in the New Testament it is often used to denote any portion of that period. With the exception of the references to the last day (ἐσχάτηἡμέρα) in John vi., where that day is associated (as in John xi. 24) with the resurrection of the dead, the phrase is employed to denote the whole period of the Messiah. The Jews3 spoke of "the present age," and of the "world to come," the former referring to the Mosaic, and the latter to the Messianic, dispensation.4 During the entire Mosaic and Judaic dispensation the Jews understood by the " coming age " the whole Messianic period. This rabbinical and post-biblical usage. passed to a certain extent into the vocabulary of the New Testament. Living, as the Apostles did, in the Messianic age, they naturally discriminated between what was the present to them and what was still future. The συντέλεια τοῦ αἰῶνος, although to occur in the "last days," on which they had entered, was yet in the future, and would be accompanied by the epiphany of Christ, the resurrection of the dead,5 and eternal judgment.
Thus the less definite phrase used in I Timothy iv. 1 (ὑστέροις καιροῖς) contemplates a time which, though giving signs of its advent, is yet future to the writer. This, again, slightly differs from " the last time" in I Peter i. 5 and Jude v. 18, a phrase by which the writer clearly means the climax of the kingdom of God. There are numerous proofs that the Apostles felt they were ·living in the closing dispensation of Divine grace,6 and that all things were hurrying forward to their consummation. "In these last days" Timothy's lot was cast, although the horizon would widen as he pressed forward into life and service; and St. Paul says, " Know this, that difficult (grievous, or perilous) seasons will set in—will become present. The instabunt of the Vulgate and aderunt of Bengel represent the idea.
The Gospel is not the cause of these calamities, but the sufferer from them. Evils like those which the Apostle proceeds to describe will shelter themselves under the form of godliness. There are earlier and later "seasons" and "a last time" "among the last days" of the world which had already dawned. For men (the article before men in the Greek text gives great generality to the statement) will be lovers of self. This word, peculiar to the Epistle, describes the root-principle of all sin. St. Paul anticipates in the kingdom of Christ, or in close contact with it, the Antichrist, the radix of all antagonism to the will of God. In the "upper chamber" there were cowards and traitors who loved themselves more than their Master; and the selfishness of fear and of greed disgraced the primitive community of the faithful: "Lovers of self" have played a great part in the Church as well as in the world, from the days of the Apostles to our own. Self-love leads by a certain evolution to avarice; and St. Paul adds, covetous persons will abound. See on φιλαργυρία, I Timothy vi. 10, where self-love in the form of the love of money, or avarice, or eager desire for the means of subsistence or pleasure, is declared to be " a root of all evils." Swaggerers, haughty',7 i.e., arrogant, striving to appear of more importance than they are, shewing themselves as above their neighbours, blasphemers or "slanderers." Blasphemy does not necessarily mean contumelious speech concerning GOD, though it often means more than the slander of a neighbour or brother man. Blasphemous words against Almighty God are a natural outgrowth of arrogant self-consideration. "I knew thee," said the wicked and slothful servant, "that thou wert a hard man," &c. Paul expected the new revelation not to pass unchallenged, and that it might provoke malicious slander of God Himself. Disobedient to parents, a vice condemned by Greek, Roman, and Chinese moralists, and one of the corruptions of humanity referred to in Romans i. 30.8 Another hint is given concerning the extravagant individualism to which a perverted Christianity might lead. Unthankful—to God and man; the state of mind which eats out the spirit of prayer9 and all the grace of mutual love. Profane—this word10 occurs in the New Testament only in 1 Timothy i. 9, and in this verse; and it means lack of conformity with all Divine regulations, trifling with all sacred associations, possibly through moral enmity against God.
Verse 3.—Without natural affection, destitute of the emotion, which binds by strong instinct children to parents, and parents to children, brothers to sisters, and the like. This word is not used in good writers for sensual or sexual passion. The absence of natural affection is a revolting accompaniment of some forms of heathenism. Infanticide, and the exposure of parents, and many of the customs of the most enlightened nations of the ancient world, might and would invade even the precincts of the kingdom of God. Implacable,11 those who will not make a truce of any kind, or come to any understanding, with friend or opponent. Another exaggeration of self-willed individualism: False accusers (very devils). Mack says that "blasphemers" are those who speak injuriously to your face, "accusers" are those who slander you behind your back—malicious faultfinders; destitute of self-control12 in the broadest sense—licentious, incontinent, and dissipated. Savage, a word which Chrysostom and Œcumenius both define as characterized by rawness, unripeness, and cruelty, the conduct of wild beasts, without any love to what is good.13 They have cropped up in every age. We have heard of men to whom the profession of principle, the claims of righteousness, the beauty of goodness, holy conduct and character, are like a red rag to a mad bull. They deliberately admire self-assertion, and put personal interests before humanity, justice, or the fear of God.
Verse 4.—Traitors, betrayers of—their brethren—an anticipation of the diabolical cruelty of some converts to Christianity, who, in different persecutions, betrayed each other to captivity and death.14 Precipitate (headstrong, literally, falling forward), hasty in speech, thought, and action. This epithet by itself might seem an anticlimax, but coming after the long enumeration of evil characteristics, gives intensity to them all. Besotted, moreover, beclouded with pride—a word generally associated with ignorance, madness, and lack of sense. Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Both compounds are peculiar to this passage in the New Testament, though found in Philo. The uttermost abomination in St. Paul's mind is to make a god of the "belly, and to glory in one's shame" (Phil. iii. 19); and this last touch is explanatory of very much already hinted at. The love of pleasure amounting to an idolatry, will lead its subject to sacrifice the happiness of others, and every higher interest whatsoever, to secure pleasure. The hideous records of licentiousness and ·avarice, of drunkenness and narcotism, will show how the last description may in some sense be seen to embrace and stimulate all that has preceded.
Verse 5.—The worst and most revolting prospect appears in the statement that such as these are not altogether outside of the visible kingdom, but that they actually make the profession of faith in Christ. Having a form15 of godliness—affecting, that is, the possession of some of the essential characteristics of true piety. They make a profession of godliness, not only by wearing its garb, or its external form, but by cherishing the motives of piety, and even by sharing a certain kind of Christian experience; but denying the power of it. Conduct and character such as that which St. Paul believes possible even among professors of godliness, utterly repudiate its true power. Their life is a divorce between ideas and their legitimate effects, a practical negation of the meaning of redemption. " Power" inheres in "godliness," but such conduct proclaims a bold denial of the fact. The base professor lies. Profligate repudiation of the importance of conduct proves that those who practise it know better. This terrible hint riveals the effect upon the Churches of Asia Minor of the entrance in among them of "·grievous wolves." The passage implies that a form of heathen Christianity would be heard of which was antinomian and impure, which tampered ·with vice, and left character and habit unchanged, which, with the name of Christ upon the lip, in song, in prayer, and salutation, would boldly advocate the utmost license. The history of the Church has provided ghastly repetitions of those portentous forms of unnatural alliance between the honour due to Christ and the indulgence of selfish and sensual passion, which produced disastrous consequences from the first. The particular sins that have been regarded as venial have materially differed with successive generations, with the fashion or tradition of the hour, with dominant temptations and physical temperament. At one place and time lust, and at another time and place cruelty or arrogance, unrighteousness or avarice, falsehood or hardness, cowardice or cant, have been actually favoured, protected, or excused by those who doubtless had the form of godliness, but thus denied its power. And from these turn away.16 Already symptoms of the evil had manifested themselves. Admonition, remonstrance, or further trial would be alike useless. No hope remained for such as these: Timothy is to cease from all communication with them.
Verses 6, 7.—For of these, of this very class, the Apostle proceeds to give a startling specimen—are they who creep17 (stealthily, by underhand ways, enter) —into houses and make captives18 of silly women,19 not worn-out jades, but small-souled women, impressionable, susceptible of religious excitement, eager for some kind of relief from their ennui. They are not the highborn ladies affected by the Gnostic heresiarchs, but women burdened with sins, i.e., whose sins are heaped up as a heavy burden on their heart and memory; led along by various kinds of lusts, not by sensuality only, but by frivolity, by impatience of control, by their sense of burden, and thus ready for any fresh combination, any wild proposition to break the monotony of their existence; always learning, willing to get hold of some ideas, some "form of piety," yet by their evil propensions never possessing the power, never at any time able to arrive at a full recognition or acknowledgment of the truth. This last clause seems to me to discountenance rather than justify the passage from Jerome (quoted by Oosterzee, Huther, and others) in which he draws up a long list of the heresiarchs from Simon Magus to Arius, who found female proselytes and companions not only contribute to their pleasures, but to their influence over others. The charge might be, and was, retorted on orthodox bishops, and even upon the monk of Bethlehem. Baur has of course seen in this passage the hint of its later origin, and of second century Gnosticism. The argument, however, breaks down, because (1) sufficient proof can be given that before the death of the Apostles Simon Magus had been distinguished by his influence over Helena; (2) because these Asiatic Churches were condemned (in Apocalypse, chap. ii. 2, 6, r9, 20) for the Nicolaitanism and Balaamitism which they had suffered, and which the Lord hated; and (3) because in all probability St. Paul had quite enough of this kind of evil under his own eye to lead him to put Timothy on his guard against its pernicious tendency. If the characteristics described above were beginning to reveal themselves, the helpless, heedless, sinful, uneducated, unteachable women thus referred to would easily be made a prey by designing men, who were trading on their weaknesses.
Verses 8, 9.—As the Egyptian magicians, Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses by imitating and aping his noblest miracles, by using their knowledge of magic and legerdemain, and by utilizing the science and incantation of Egypt, effected a parody upon, and a refutation of, the Divine commission of Moses, so these men by feigning analogous facts, and boasting Divine authority, also resist or withstand the truth. Just as the sorcerer Elymas endeavoured to turn away Sergius Paulus from the faith of Christ (Acts xiii. 8), so similar efforts would be made again. The reference to the names of Jannes and Jambres is startling and ·unlike Paul's more ordinary style. Still we find independent and abundant evidence of Paul's rabbinical training and familiarity with the traditional teaching of the fathers of his nation. Therefore if he read the contemporary Targums, and was acquainted at all with the oral teaching subsequently embodied in the Talmud, the difficulty vanishes. The names of these magicians do not occur in the Hebrew Scriptures, but with certain variants20 they repeatedly appear in the Talmud. They are mentioned in the Chaldee paraphrase of Exodus i. 15 with a story—how Pharaoh dreamed that all the land of Egypt was weighed in the balances against one little lamb; and how he called his magicians and wise men together to· interpret the mystery; and how Jonnes and Jimbres, chief of the magicians, said "an infant will be born in the congregation of Israel by which all the land of Egypt will be laid waste." In the paraphrase of Exodus vii. 11, the magicians are designated by very similar. names, and a Hebrew commentary on the passage declares them to have been disciples (the Talmud says sons) of Balaam, the great soothsayer, and that the two men who followed him on his way from Midian to Balak king of Moab,21 were none other than Jonis and Jimbres. Mr. R. S. Poole believes that he has found the Egyptian origin of one at least of the names. Eusebius (Prœp. Ev. ix. 8) preserves a passage from Numenius,22a Neo-Pythagorean, in which both names are given as those of Egyptian priests; and Origen23 refers to Numenius and his acquaintance with these names in praise of his intimate study of our books. Theodoret says that the Apostle was acquainted with the unwritten teaching of the Jews, and so not only became acquainted with the tradition, but thus put the sanction of inspiration upon it. This is a position which Bishop Ellicott seems to approve, though it suggests a doubtful theory of Divine inspiration. It is enough that proof exists that these names were given to the Egyptian magicians.24
As Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so these also withsta1zd truth—men of corrupt minds, men whose intellectual and moral nature was itself basely corrupted, the very light within them having become darkness, unapproved of (reprobi, reprobate) in the matter of faith, unable to stand its moral requirements, weighed and found wanting. This sense of the word (αδόκιμοι) is that which frequently appears in Paul's epistles.25 Antagonism to the Gospel has often taken a similar form. The record of the thaumaturgic wonders of a credulous age are now quoted to invalidate the supernatural claims of the Gospel. Spiritualism, mesmerism, and scientific marvels are eagerly pressed by those who reject the evidence which miracles supply to the Divine legation of the Christ. Satire, fiction, poetry, paganism, classical allegories, Hindoo Puranas, Scandinavian Eddas, and solar myths are put in requisition to invalidate the unique claims of Christ. The analogues of Jannes and Jambres have often reappeared, and are busy now.
Verse 9.—But they shall not advance to more, i.e., to a higher position of influence over human minds. This is not a contradiction to Verse I 6 or to Verse I 3· The folly of these men may become more conspicuous. Their moral condition and peril will be worse, but their power to withstand the truth will be arrested, for their folly shall be manifested to all, as theirs (that of Jannes and Jambres) also was in the hands of Moses. Christianity survived the literary hostility of Celsus and Porphyry and Julian. It has surmounted the bitter envenomed malice of false friends and open enemies, the deplorable parodies of ecclesiastical miracles and of false religions, and the subtle substitutes made for it in scholasticism and in the logical jugglery of medieval superstition. It lives on, notwithstanding the cruel accumulation of myth, the hunt for relics, the worship of images, the abuse of ecclesiastical pardons, and the transformation of rhetorical imagery into physical fact. The spiritual triumphs it has won vindicate its own essential worth. The rivalry of the modern vendor of scientific miracles and the boasts of the founders of new religions will pass away like dreams of the night; the outbreak of enthroned reason and maddened pessimism, and the insufferable audacity of some crude solutions of the mysteries of existence, will make "their folly manifest." The triumphs of grace go forward in individual souls; triumphs and marvels occur which only the colour-blind cannot see. One by one the opponents of Christ subside. The Nazarene gains the victory.
Verse 10.—But thou, my dear son Timothy (the pronoun is emphatic), thou hast been or wert a follower (perhaps a diligent follower, for the word ἀκόλουθος suggests close intimacy) of my doctrine. If the aorist tense be the correct reading instead of the perfect,26 it implies the possibility of a change of Timothy's sentiment towards the Apostle; but it is quite possible also that the length of time that had elapsed since the grand days of the early intimacies between these two, and even since the later prison fellowship, had begun to fade into the past, and to be looked at as an entire experience. If so, this would justify the aorist, without the faintest suggestion of defalcation of interest, or of implicit rebuke. " Thou wert" in old times, "and," so far as —opportunity presents itself, "thou art still a diligent follower of my method, of the form and manner of my instructions." The word διδασκαλία is used almost interchangeably in a subjective sense, for instruction, or method of teaching, and anon in an objective sense for the matter of the teaching or "doctrine." Since all the following terms refer to the subjective and experimental aspects of Paul's apostleship, I think it is well to assume that the first term of the series is of the same kind (so Heydenreich, Fairbairn, &c.) Thou wert a diligent observer of my manner of life,27 of "my ways which are in Christ Jesus,"28 of my purpose too, a word generally used elsewhere by St. Paul to denote God's eternal plan. Here it may refer to the resolute determination with which the Apostle pursued one great aim, or, the well-known aim itself. The Apostle's grand "regal passion," which dominated his conduct, " his life-long master—thought, the purpose to which everything else gave way," may embrace both the subjective and objective interpretations of πρόθεσις.29 My faith, not the body of truths I have held, but the trust I have exercised, the confidence in God, the reliance on Christ's love and power which has been the keynote of my life. Observe the close proximity of the terms (μακροθυμία, ἀγάπη, ὑπομονή). my long suffering, love, patience, or patient endurance. This is another instance where " patience," the fruit of hope, is made to occupy its place.30
Verse 11.—My persecutions, my sufferings such (sufferings) as befel me in Antioch, in Iconium, in Lystra. These sufferings are described in Acts xiii. so, xiv. 2-19, and were those which induced young Timothy to embrace the religion of Jesus Christ. The stunned and bleeding form of the brave Apostle, dragged out of Lystra as dead, watched by the group of his converts, Timothy among them, is likely to have left a deep impression on the susceptible and affectionate nature of the latter. From that time forward we find him enrolled among the " followers" of Paul. As the stoning and prayer of Stephen led to the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, a similar experience led probably to the conversion of Timothy. What persecutions I endured! Erasmus, Flatt, Mack, Heydenreich, Conybeare and Howson regard the clause as interjectional, but Luther, Ellicott, and Davidson regard the clause as a relative one, and translate such persecutions as I endured yet (the force of καὶ, when it adds a clause intended to modify the significance of the previous one), yet out of them all the Lord, the ruler of the Church, the Saviour of the world, delivered me. " Many are the afflictions of the righteous, yet out of them all the Lord delivers." The deliverance may be vouchsafed by death or from death, by the grace which enables him to endure to the end, by the transmuting force of the Spirit which gives to pain a new character, which turns the blood-sweat on his garments into a vesture of regal glory, and transforms the cross itself into a throne.
Verse 12.—Yea and all,31 or, and all too who wilt (whose will is) to live godly in Christ Jesus, will suffer persecution, all whose purpose, whose regal passion is to govern their conduct by religious considerations, by the reality of Divine and eternal things, in Christ Jesus, i.e., regarding Him as the power, the spirit, the model, and exemplar of true εὐσέβεια, all who are set upon holy living after the example, and by reason of their faith in Christ Jesus, will be persecuted. Bengel says, "out of Jesus Christ, there is no piety." This can scarcely be endorsed. The worldly, magical, fashionable εὐσέβεια may indeed fall short of the great "mystery of godliness," but it must never be forgotten that the religious sentiment is wider than Christianity. Many purpose to live (εὐσεβῶς) religiously, piously, godly, without traversing the fashion of this world, and therefore they do not discover or arouse the hostility of the world. If, however, any man sets himself to press forward the example and supreme claim of Christ, if he proceeds to insist on Christian morality in business, law, or politics, he will soon find the truth of the Lord's own words, "If they have persecuted ME, they will also persecute you."32 Timothy then must resign himself to persecution and pain, and to God's method of deliverance.· But neither he nor we must dignify by the name of "persecution" all the awkwardnesses arising from incompatible tempers, or the trouble which the minister of Christ will be sure to encounter from those who do not understand and appreciate him.
Verse 13.—But evil men and seducers (γόητες) will make progress towards the worse, to worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Though they will reveal their own folly, and the victory will ultimately be with Christ, yet these seductive persons and principles will not stop at their present misrepresentations and excesses.
The dark arts of superstition were utilized by the clever speculators and false teachers. Simon, the goes of Samaria,33 combined Oriental ideas of the evil of matter with fragments of Hebrew and Christian faith, and appears to have harassed the career of Peter from Samaria to Rome. This residuum of historic truth may at least be gleaned from the Clementine literature. In Cyprus, Elymas endeavoured to turn from the faith the opening mind of the pro-consul Sergius Paulus.34 In the city of Ephesus, in conjunction with the worship of Artemis, Jewish exorcists and students of occult thaumaturgy strove to make use of the name of Jesus to produce certain magical results, and miserably failed.35 In later years Asia was the congenial home of the Montanistic excesses, while Apollonius of Tyana and Peregrinus Proteus and others found appropriate soil in this same region for their peculiar attack on Christianity. The Apostle says such men not only deceive others but deceive themselves.36 None do such fatal work with souls as those who are self-deceived, who have the power of a spurious earnestness and strong faith to back their antagonism to God's truth. Those who are under strong delusion and believe a lie lave often wielded a deadly facility in diffusing error. The wild enthusiasm of Buddhist and Brahmin, of the Fakir and the devil prophet, the fierce eagerness· of a conscientious atheist, and the strenuous insistence of a genuine believer inJoseph Smith or Joanna Southcote, being deceived, or having fully convinced himself, does delude others, with fatal facility, into the strongholds of his own delusions.
Verse 14.—But do thou, in opposition to all deceptive teaching by dupes or others, continue in the things which thou didst learn, and of which thou wert well assured37 by personal conviction, that distinguishing characteristic of genuine certitude. Thou wert thoroughly convinced by sufficient evidence, by true insight and inward experience. Knowing,38 inasmuch. as thou dost know, .from whom,39 from what person thou didst learn them.
If the text is τίνων rather than τίνος, then Lois, Eunike, and possibly Luke and Silvanus, were associated with St. Paul in the early education of Timothy. There were sacerdotal reasons for altering the plural of this text to the singular rather than the reverse, and hence we judge that τίνων is the true reading; moreover, the context points in the same direction; for Paul goes on to say—
Verse 15.—Even because (if ὅτι is causal) thou knowest from earliest childhood40 the sacred writings, or (if ὅτι be relative) and the fact (i.e., acquainted, as thou art, with the fact) that from earliest childhood thou knowest the sacndwritings.41 The critics who espouse the later origin of the Epistle think that the unknown author included under it, by mistake, the writings of the New Testament. In Timothy's "early childhood" this would have been impossible. Consequently the passage is another proof of the profound reverence felt by the Apostle for the Holy Scriptures of the old covenant, while he reveals the spirit and quality of his own interpretation of their meaning; for he adds, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith exercised by you in Christ Jesus. "Salvation" (σωτηρία), meaning a complete state of health, strength, security, and soundness, and suggesting the effective deliverance of the soul from imminent and prospective peril, and a position of undisturbed tranquillity, is the most comprehensive word used in the New Testament to denote the end of all God's revelati0n to the soul. It is more than (μετανοία or παλιγγενεσία), repentance or regeneration, which describe the initial stages of the Divine life; it is more than (καταλλαγή, or) reconciliation, which takes account mainly of the cessation of the hostility and enmity between the conscience and the will of God; it is more, even, than (δικαιοσύνη, or) that "righteousness" and right relation with God which is the radix of all virtue and the secret of peace. "Salvation" will not indeed be complete until the last enemy is overthrown, and until all the promises are fulfilled; but it contains or presupposes in its connotation all these famous theological terms. The "salvation" is not characterized as one realizable only through faith in Christ Jesus. Such an idea, though advocated by Heydenreich and others, would have required a τὴν before the διά, and would tempt the reader to believe in several different kinds of salvation, as well as that through faith in Christ. Timothy is assured that the Holy Scriptures have the faculty of producing such mental and moral results as issue in salvation, when their Divine teaching is consummated and explained by this Divine key to their meaning. In other words, through faith in Christ Jesus, the Scriptures are able to make wise unto salvation. The Christ is the great Light which, thrown upon the ancient Scripture, gives It 1ts saving power. Christ is the end of the law, and the spirit of prophecy. Christ gives universal bearing and significance to the Old Testament. The sanctifying saving force of the sacred writings consists in this, that they pointed to the great mystery of godliness, and prepared the world for his advent in the flesh.
Verse 16.—It is allowed on all hands that classical and New Testament usage render either of the following renderings of this famous passage admissible—either, Every Scripture inspired of God (is) profitable, &c., or, Every Scripture—not every written document whatsoever, but every part of the holy writings mentioned in the previous Verse—(is) inspired by God, and (also) profitable, &c. There is no grammatical. reasoning or induction that can decide between these two translations. Commentators do little beyond recording the names of their predecessors, who have decided one way or the other. Thus Luther, Tyndale, Coverdale, and Cranmer, Huther, Ellicott, Alford, Davidson, Van Ess, Stolz, Knapp, following Origen and perhaps Chrysostom, and the Vulgate and Syriac Versions, take the former, while Wycliffe, the Authorized Version, Bengel, De Wette, Oosterzee, Hofmann, Fairbairn, &c., incline to the latter. The former translation assumes the Divine inspiration of every part of Scripture, and proceeds on that common understanding between Paul and Timothy to predicate other matters of practical moment; the latter translation asserts of every part of Scripture42 its God-inspired character, and then illustrates further its ethical value. This "assertion" does not seem called for in the conduct of the Apostle's argument, while the eminently practical character of the context makes the "assumption" of great importance. It should be observed that the meaning, the physical character, the extent and limits, of the inspiration are left to be decided by other Scriptures. Moreover, if we were to take "inspired" as a predicate, we cannot include in it the New Testament writings as a whole. Even if St. Paul were thinking of his own letters, or of Luke's Gospel, we cannot believe that at this time they were being designated by a name so long reserved for the sacred canon. Nor can we regard anything as settled by it as to the canon of the Old Testament. St. Paul declares that certain writings, being interpenetrated by the Divine Breath, conveying Divine thoughts, do also suggest Divine admonitions. He does not give a judgment as to the quality of the words themselves, nor raise a controversy as to the language by which the thoughts may be conveyed. Hebrew as he is, he. writes in Greek, and quotes largely from the often faulty, yet most serviceable, translation of the LXX.; and the assertion he makes is, such. Scripture is profitable, useful for instruction, should form the basis and rule of teaching. Throughout the Holy Scriptures, great truths are enunciated by prophetic men, enforced by simile, history, proverb, psalm: for confutation of error and conviction of sin. Hardly any form of error, of moral defect, even in the best of men, is left unscathed by prophetic word. The oppressor, miser, liar, blasphemer, and licentious man, the adulterer, thief, idolater, hypocrite, and traitor, are gibbeted in these wonderful pages. The little, unobserved sins, the secret faults and great transgressions, alike receive the searching, illuminating word of the God of truth and righteousness. For correction,43 so that the foolish wanderers out of the way of under standing, the weak and wayward, may be brought back to the true standard of conduct. For discipline in righteousness, elevation to higher moral standard, by an educational enlargement and refinement of the moral sense, by the infliction of rebuke and pain. The great judgments falling on races, nations, cities, kings, priests, and peoples, crowd the God-inspired pages. The end of all the discipline is righteousness, viz., that the man of God may be in every way completed and made ready for every good work. " The man of God " is not necessarily prophet, or evangelist, or minister of the word, but it may connote any man who has received a Divine calling to righteousness and righteous service. The word ἄρτιος is used as an antithesis to lame and mutilated, and signifies the presence of all the parts of our nature or functions of our calling.
1) Gen. xlix. 1; Numb. xxiv. 14; Dent. iv. 30,
2) Isaiah ii, 2; Hosea iii. 5; Micah iv. 1, &c.
3) Wahl and Bretschneider differ from Buxtorf about the universality of the usage among the Rabbins. See Stuart, Comm. Heb. i. 1.
4) Ὁ αίὼν ὁ ἐνεστώς ὁ μέλλων ἔσχαται ἡμέραι, and ἔσχατον ἡμερῶν appear to be used in nearly the same signification.
5) See an interesting article in Cremer's Lexicon, p. 74, ff.
6) Cf. Heb. ii. 5—τὴν αἰκουμένην τὴν μέλλουσαν," "the world that was to be."
7) See Archbishop Trench, Synonyms, § xxix. Ἀλαζών is boastful in words, swaggering; ὑπερήφανος, proud, and arrogant in thought; ὑβρίστης, insolent in action. The second word is associated, Esther iv. 10, LXX., with φιλοδοξία.
8) Ἀλαζόνες, ὑπερήφανοι, γονεῦσιν, ἀπειθεῖς, ἄστοργοι, ἄσπονδοι are all found in the catalogue of the sins of the heathen world (Rom; i.).
9) Phil. iv. 6.
10) Ἀνόσιος, which is associated with βεβήλος in I Tim. i. 9· Ellicott takes it to mean a lack of inward purity. It contradicts ὅσιος, a word which in classical Greek means conformity with law, human and Divine, and also conformity with honoured usage. It rises in dignity in LXX., though it is seldom used by New Testament writers. Ἀνόσιος is used in Ezek. xxii. 9 of an unburied corpse. Cf. Plato, Euthyphron, 9: ὁ ἄν πάντες οἱ θεοὶ μεσῶσιν ἀνόσιον.
11) Ἀσύνθετος. according to Hesychius, is one who will not abide by a contract; ἄσπονδος, one who will not make one. The latter word is here used.
12) Another ἄπ. λεγ. Ἀκρατεῖς is the very opposite to ἐγκρατεῖς.
13) Φιλάγαθος occurs in Tit. i. 8; the negative form is ἄπ. λεγ.
14) See Synodical letter containing canons attributed to Gregory of Neo-Cæsarea. Ante-Nicene Lib. vol. xx. p. 33·
15) Μορφή has been admirably distinguished by Bishop Lightfoot from σχῆμα in his notes to the Epistle to Philippians, pp. 125-131. Wiesinger thinks that μόρφωσις is antithetic to the substance of godliness.
16) Αποτρέπεσθαι, is another ἄπ. λεγ., ἐκτρέπες θαι being used 1 Tim. vi. 20, and παραιτοῦ in 2 Tim. ii. 23.
17) Ἐνδύνω generally means to enter, or put on; and we have it in the latter sense in New Testament, Matt. vi. 25; 2 Cor. v. 3; but a few instances are quoted from the classics in which a furtive entrance is suggested by the word = hineinschlupfen, thus Herod. ii. 121; Aristp. Vespæ, 1020. Plato and Arist. are referred to by Rost and Palm.
18) Αἰμαλωτϊζοντες: cf. Luke xxi. 24; Rorn. vii. 23. The ordinary Attic form is αἰχμαλωτον ποιεῖν, cf. Ignat. ad. Philad. c. 2.
19) "Little women," mulierculas.
The term is one of reproach, or rather of contempt.
יואני ,יוחנא ,יניס Cf. Syriac New Testament, which gives Yonis and Yanbris.
Cf. Lightfoot's Erubhin,.c. 24; Wettstein and Heydenreich in loco; Winer's
Realwörterbuch, i. 534·
22) In his work
Comm. Matt. contra Celsum, iv.
24) Wieseler, in his great article in Herzog's Encyc. Appendix, urges
numerouss evidences of the presence of Neo-Pythagorean Goëtism in Asia Minor, of which we have proof in the burning of the books at Ephesus at the close of Paul's first ministry there. Thus he accounts for the peculiarities of the false teachers to whom frequent references are made in the Pastoral Epistles.
δοκιμος in chap. ii. 15; Titus i.
16; Ram. i. 28
26) Tischendorf in 8th
ed. has given παρηκολούθησάς, although the majority of
Ἀγωγή is ἄπ. λεγ. in New Testament, but is found in Esther ii. 20, and is (Hesych.) equivalent to
τρόπος or ἀναστροφή.
28) 1 Cor. iv. 17.
Cf. Acts xi. 23, τῆ
προθέσει τῆς καρδίας.
30) I Thess. i. 3, with I Cor. xiii.
13, and note Titus ii. 2. Cf. Rev. ii. 2, where the work (of faith), the labour (of love) and
patience (of hope) are substituted for the
principles of "faith", "love," and "hope", from which respectively they spring.
20) יואני ,יוחנא ,יניס Cf. Syriac New Testament, which gives Yonis and Yanbris.
21) Cf. Lightfoot's Erubhin,.c. 24; Wettstein and Heydenreich in loco; Winer's Realwörterbuch, i. 534·
22) In his work περὶ τἀγαθοῦ.
23) Comm. Matt. contra Celsum, iv. 51.
24) Wieseler, in his great article in Herzog's Encyc. Appendix, urges numerouss evidences of the presence of Neo-Pythagorean Goëtism in Asia Minor, of which we have proof in the burning of the books at Ephesus at the close of Paul's first ministry there. Thus he accounts for the peculiarities of the false teachers to whom frequent references are made in the Pastoral Epistles.
25) Cf. δοκιμος in chap. ii. 15; Titus i. 16; Ram. i. 28
26) Tischendorf in 8th ed. has given παρηκολούθησάς, although the majority ofuncials א, A, C, F, G, read παρηκολούθησας. The perfect occurs in 1 Tim. iv. 6, which he supposes may have led to the correction from aorist to perfect here.
27) Ἀγωγή is ἄπ. λεγ. in New Testament, but is found in Esther ii. 20, and is (Hesych.) equivalent to τρόπος or ἀναστροφή.
28) 1 Cor. iv. 17.
29) Cf. Acts xi. 23, τῆ προθέσει τῆς καρδίας.
30) I Thess. i. 3, with I Cor. xiii. 13, and note Titus ii. 2. Cf. Rev. ii. 2, where the work (of faith), the labour (of love) and patience (of hope) are substituted for the principles of "faith", "love," and "hope", from which respectively they spring.
31) See here Ellicott's careful treatment of καί—δε. Cf. notes I Tim. iii. 10. When χαί and δέ occur in the same sentence καί has the force of even, or also, or too, and δε of and. Winer's Greek Grammar, p. 553; Jelfs, § 769.
32) Cf. John xv. 19, xvi. 33, and Matt. v. 11.
33) Acts viii. 9-18.
34) Acts xiii. 6.
35) Acts xix. 13. Cf. Josephus, Antiq. viii. 2, 5.
36) Bengel and Heydenreich refer the πλανῶντες to the γόητες, the πλανώμενοι to the πονηροί. But there is no need to do this.
37) Πιστόω not πιστεύω. This word in Homer means to obtain a pledge of fidelity. It is used in the middle voice by Thucydides for "to confirm," but by Homer, Od. "to be convinced."
38) Cf. for this use of εἰδώς the εἰδότες of Mark xii. 24.
39) Tischendorf, on the authority of א. A, C, F, G, P, 17, 71, has gone back in 8th ed. to
παρὰ τίνων; so also Tregelles, Lachmanu, Oosterzee, Huther.
40) This is the meaning of
ὰπὸ βρέφους. The primary meaning of
βρέφος is the
40) This is the meaning of ὰπὸ βρέφους. The primary meaning of βρέφος is thereborn child (see Luke i. 41, 44), but in numerous passages it is found in the sense of early years.
41) Beza translates, "Sciens a quo didiceris teque a puero sacras Ietteras novisse:" ἠ γραφή αἱ γραφαί, γραφαί ἄγιαι, are the more ordinary expressions. This word is used in John vii. 15 and by Josephus.
42) It has been urged by Van Oosterzee that πᾶσα γραφή should bear the translation πᾶσα ἡ γραφ ή, the entire Scripture, on the ground that γραφή and γραφάι, in some fifty or sixty places in the New Testament, mean the Sacred Scripture as a whole, and that occasionally γραφή is used anarthrously, with the meaning ἡ γραφή.
43) Ἐπανόρθωσις, a setting to rights, bringing up to a standard. The word is not elsewhere used in the New Testament, but is common in Philo, Arrian, and Polybius. Grotius, quoted by Ellicott, says, "ἐλέγχονται inverecundi. ἐπανορθοῦνταν teneri, fragiles."