By H. R. Reynolds
A careless or hypercritical reader might be tempted to suggest that St. Paul returns, with wearisome iteration, to the task of denouncing the hostile elements and false teachers who had embittered his last visit to Asia; that a tone of exhaustion displays itself; that his voice begins to grate, and his words to pall over the unwelcome theme. Before coming to such a conclusion, it would be well to ponder the heart-breaking disappointment which these immoral busybodies had provided for him. Let it be remembered that certain insolent blunderers into themes which they were incapable of understanding, sundry braggarts and deceivers of silly women, a few self-conceited critics of all Divine revelation, pretenders to systems of thought or methods of life which cut at the very root of Christian sanctification, were making sad havoc among the Churches of Asia. Their plausibility might win the weak, irritate the strong, and enfeeble the work of even an apostolic Evangelist. St. Paul cannot leave the subject which preyed upon him night and day. The increased solemnity of the introductory words and the personal references which follow, make it evident that he is gathering into a few burning sentences all the exhortations he had already given to Timothy, and hurrying his last words on earth to a climax and a close in the form of a direct adjuration of Timothy.
Verse 1.-I solemnly charge thee, I adjure thee, before God,1 and before Christ Jesus, 'Who is about to judge the living (those who will be living at his appearance) and the dead (those who sleep in Jesus and those who have died in their sins), and (I adjure thee) by his manifestation (the grand event which is the hope of the Church), and by his kingdom, which is already established, which has come nigh to them, but will be then seen by all to be the grandest reality in the universe.
Before passing on to the injunction sustained by this mighty oath, it is well to observe that occasions may and do arise when words may be rightfully and consciously uttered as in the realized presence of Almighty God, and amid the awful adjuncts of the last judgment. All the words of Christians should have the sanctity of oaths. What is "more than 'yea' and 'nay' cometh of the evil one," and can only be rendered necessary by the untruth, recklessness, and corruption of the world. The sensuality, the moral chaos, the lotus-eating, the paralyzing indifference of some, and the malice of others, together with the hypocrisy of the deceived deceivers, needed a burst of intense passion on the part of Paul. To give that passion all its meaning, he sought the searching light of the unveiled Face, and all the pomp and solemnity of the final day.
Verse 2.-Preach the word. The aorist imperative (used instead of the infinitive, or of ἵνα with subjunctive) gives intensity and force to these words: "preach the word; "-you are charged with good tidings of great joy to all people; you revolve ideas which are remedies for all the evils and follies of humanity; you are filled with consolations which may soothe the broken-hearted and dying, and you burn with appeals which are enough to wake the dead. By God and His judgment day, "Preach the word, son Timothy!" Be urgent2 in your herald's work; in season when ample and admirable opportunity is provided for you, out of season3 when you have no καιρός, and have to make one, when you must invent your chance, and press with importunity and ingenuity your Master's claims. You must not always quietly bide your time, for it may never come; you must break in upon the busy world with your message, whether men will hear or forbear. Convince of sin and error, convict those who are holding false opinions that they are false, and those who are wandering out of the way of understanding that they have done so. The conviction of sin is the first chief work of the Holy Spirit, but God calls his prophets to utter his word, to deal humanly with human souls, and, by wielding his power, to do his work. Nor is it enough that men should see the actuality of their sin or the extent of their error. The sinful man must have his conscience roused to feel the burning shame of sin. The transgression of the Divine law must be characterized as it deserves. Sin is not a mere misfortune or mischance, a disease, or even wound of our nature; it is blameworthy, and so the " man of God "is bidden not only to convince, but to rebuke,4 to assign the measure of blame and condemnation required in each case; and not only so, but to beseech, or exhort, or comfort, according as each case requires. This wonderful double meaning, or complicated significance of παρακαλεῖν, belongs to its etymology. If one person calls another to his side, the object may be to speak to him on any subject. It may be done with the view of imploring, warning, comforting, or beseeching him on his own account, or with the intention to ask his aid, and to entrust some cause to his advocacy. Thus the word has come to mean the discharge of such duties; and, moreover, to intervene on behalf of another, and thus also to comfort and sustain him. The word paraclesis thus wavers between "comfort" and "exhortation," and" paraclete" (παράκλητος) is the great name applied to the Holy Spirit, and, by implication, to our blessed Lord Himself,5 as our advocate and intercessor. The high function and purpose of the Holy Spirit, the sublime work of the living Christ, are entrusted also to the servants of Christ. Convince, rebuke, exhort, or comfort6 in all longsuffering and (methods of) teaching. Διδαχή, like διδασκαλία, is used in New Testament Greek for both the method and the results of teaching. Now, as the former of these conditions is subjective, it is probable that the latter is also to be regarded in this light, and is used because διδασκαλία in the next clause was required in the sense of doctrine.
Verse 3.-For a season will come when, whatever be the case now, they will not put up with the second doctrine, the healthy life-giving word, which you are bound to preach and teach, but according to their own lusts, their licentious and wayward desires, they will have itching ears,7 either "tickled" in their sense of hearing. ready to. enjoy the luxurious sensation of hearing what is well pleasing to their vanity, or "itching ears," i.e., ears irritated into virtual pain by the intense desire to hear something which seems nevertheless denied them by sound and faithful ministers. of Christ. The latter expresses the idea most forcibly. We all know how an excruciating pain is created by certain slight causes which apparently a single touch or act or word of another would remove, so long as that act is not done and that word is not spoken. The time will come when having itching ears they wilt heap up, or gather around themselves, a rabble of teachers. The teachers thus sought are not represented as having itching ears, but simply the fatal faculty of soothing the irritable desire of those who have them.
Verse 4.-And they will turn away their ears, these ears which itch for novelty, from the truth, and will be turned aside to fables. Too true. The Eastern Church was harassed by a restless desire to solve the problem of the universe, to explain the relation between the Infinite and the finite, the link between matter and spirit: and thus it came to pass that many itching ears were led first to ask for, and then to be satisfied with, wild fancies, gorgeous myths, strange imaginations of Gnostics, instead of accepting the fact of the Incarnation, and drawing forth the boundless meaning of the assurance " the Word was made flesh." In like manner the Western Church was plagued with an irritating desire after authority, ritual, order, method of life, which was not satisfied until the pseudo-Isidorian decretals, the worship of images, the supposed visions and miracles of the medieval period, the sacramental miracle, the outburst of fanatical sectarianism gave apparent satisfaction to these morbid cravings. The Churches of the Reformation have been visited by the same or by similar dissatisfaction with the life-giving word, and their vagaries justify the prevision of the Apostle.
Verse 5.-But be thou sober in all things. Huther urges that νήφειν is equivalent to γρηγορεῖν of I Thessalonians v. 6, and σωφρονεῖν of I Peter iv. 7. The original meaning was " physical sobriety," which then passes into moral and mental wakefulness, in opposition to the religious inebriety of which the Apostle had been speaking. Take calm and judicial views of things, look round, and judge all things by their roots and fruits rather than by the gay and attractive flower. Do not yield to alcoholic stimulants or sedatives, to religious drams, which may momentarily excite or please, and afterwards leave you utterly exhausted. Suffer hardship;8 the aorist implying that the rule here given should apply to the whole experience of a minister of Christ. This is the third occasion9 on which in this Epistle Paul assures Timothy of the cross which awaits him, and rouses him to encounter the brunt of the battle. Do thou the work of an evangelist. According to Ephesians iv. 11, the office of "evangelist" was distinct from prophet, apostle, pastor, or teacher. There were evangelists who were not apostolic helpers, as the Philip of Acts xxi. 8. Others again, such as Titus, Silvanus, and Tychicus, may, like Timothy, have borne this title, or done the like work. Their function was not episcopal, in the diocesan sense of the word; they went everywhere preaching the glad news of the kingdom; making proclamation touching the royalty and sacrifice, the death and resurrection, the incarnation and intercession of the Lord Jesus. Thus the facts of the Gospel were set over against the myths, fables, and endless genealogies, the spiritual pride and perilous compromises, of the false teachers. Timothy was not a localized evangelist, nor was he. bound to remain in one place; he might be summoned, as we see, to Rome, and sent back to Asia or Macedonia, according to the needs and judgment of the Apostle.. The "evangelists " in subsequent times may have been bishop-elders, or deacons, but more frequently occupied no pastoral position; but as Eusebius10 says of the more fervent disciples, "leaving their country, they performed the office of evangelist to those who had not heard the
faith, whilst with a noble ambition to proclaim Christ, they also delivered to them the holy gospels." He then proceeds to describe their missionary zeal in preaching the word.11 In Book v. 1, he gives the name "evangelist" to those like Pantænus and others who employed their Divine zeal to increase and build up the Divine word. The later use of the term "evangelist" limited it to those who had written a "gospel," and of this we have also a trace in Eusebius (H.E. iii. 39.) "The name of John is twice mentioned: the first John is reckoned in the list with Peter, Matthew, and James and the other apostles, evidently meaning by it the 'Evangelist' (John12)." This use of the word rapidly dominated all others, although, in ecclesiastical parlance, the '' evangelist" was the reader of the "Gospel " at the Holy Communion.13
Do the work of an evangelist, and fully discharge thy ministry, thy service to the Master of the Church.14This means not exactly "make full proof of thy ministry," or "prove thyself to be a true servant of God," so much as, "complete the task assigned to thee." This is the condensation of the entire Epistle, and is urged on the younger man, because St. Paul felt that his personal evangelistic work, his own ministry, was at an end.
Verse 6.-For I (the γάρ introduces the strongest reason which could be advanced for Timothy to make his own ministry complete) am already being poured out as a drink-offering, not (as Luther15) already offered in sacrifice, but poured out as wine upon the one great sacrifice once offered for the sins of the world. The expression "upon the sacrifice" of Philippians ii. 17 is here omitted in expression, but present in thought. The time of my dissolution16 is at hand, is setting in.
The metaphor is somewhat mixed, but reference is made to the custom at Roman banquets for departing guests to pour out a libation to the gods. Surely Paul would not have consciously made use of an idolatrous practice, even by way of metaphor. The probability is that as Plato has used the word ἀνάλυσις of the "death" of Socrates, so the Apostle used the phrase of his own approaching death, whether the image referred to the loosing of the. cable of a vessel when it is getting under way (Wordsworth), or whether it was derived from the custom of departing guests.
The grand fact is that the Apostle faces a hideous and unrighteous death with a calm bravery, and describes it by a genial and gentle term. The strange mystery of his life is drawing near its solution. The strain of his anxiety for the Church is nearly at an end, and St. Paul knows it. He sees the grim apparition of death draw near, and he does not shrink; nay, for a moment he looks back upon his past life with equanimity; he sweeps the horizon and sees all. in the rich sunlight. Every struggle and victory, all his disappointments and regrets, all the dazzling glory of the road to Damascus, all the stern discipline of the prison, alike come into sight. The uproar at Ephesus, the earthquake at Philippi, the violence in Jerusalem, the defection of Galatians, the quarrels and speculations of Corinthian Christians, the chains of Cæsarea, the ship wreck at Malta, seem to him to have occurred but yesterday. Gallio, Felix, Festus, Agrippa, and Nero himself, pass before his eye. He recalls his momentary temptations to swerve from faith in the Christ, to yield to Hebrew prejudice, or to tamper with Oriental speculations or Greek philosophy.. Nay, more than all, he remembers how, though once alive without the law, he was slain by the sword of the Divine commandment, and was raised again to the new life of faith; nay, how faith in the crucified Christ crucified him and buried him and raised him from that death to a new and diviner life. Surveying all the struggle, he who was less than the least of all apostles still records the glorious assurance, "I have maintained the noble contest. I have fought the good fight."17 Chrysostom has finely illustrated the image: " Nothing better than this contest; this crown takes no end. It is not a thing of wild olives; it has not a man for presiding arbiter, nor has it men for spectators of the contest; the theatre is replenished with angels. There they labour for many days, and are fatigued, and in a single hour they receive the crown, the pleasure presently is gone. But here it is not so; for they are always in brightness, glory, and honour."18 I have finished the course; it has been a race with jealousy, with prejudice, with philosophy, with personal weakness and coldness of heart, with exclusiveness and treachery. "I have run this race (says he)19 and reached the goal. I have outstripped my competitors. I have cleared the course. I see the end." And then he adds, dropping all metaphor,20 "I have kept (or guarded) the faith." No undue confidence on his part. Doubtless the contrast between what one might be, and wishes to be, and what one really is, becomes an agony to the saint of God, and deep humility supervenes; yet the heart of the humble believer often bursts with joy on reviewing all the way that he has trodden. The meek. takes his inheritance, and is satisfied with the goodness of the Lord. The "faith" might mean" fidelity to the Ruler of the racecourse" (Heydenreich), or, objectively taken, the whole of "the Christian faith," or, what is more probable, the subjective faith, the appropriation of Divine grace. He has "held fast the beginning of his confidence unto the end." Modern temptations to relinquish our confidence in Christ may help us to understand the triumphant words, " I have guarded (my) faith."
Verse 8.-And as for the rest and the future, henceforth21 there is laid up for me, as a crown of wild olive might be already woven and in the hand of the ruler of the contest in the Olympic games, the crown o f righteousness. This genitive has been variously explained. Thus Heinrichs thinks it denotes the crown which is given by the righteous Judge to the man who is worthy of it. Ellicott that it is a kind of genitive of possession, and says it is the "corona given to the claim originated by the possession of righteousness." Huther regards it simply as the genitive of opposition, "the full manifestation to believers of the righteousness which is really given to them in their faith." The idea seems to me to be this. We have "righteousness" now, i.e., we do enter by faith into right relations with God, but we have not received its "crown," its visible demonstration, or its Divine seal, or the eternal guarantee of its possession. The crown is in view, and will be bestowed in due time. The crown is that which the Lord the righteous judge will render to me at that day. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. The Divine righteousness rules the administration of Divine mercy. Salvation based on righteousness is the true issue of the Biblical teaching with reference to the Divine character. The "righteous judge" is here contrasted with the unrighteous judge who would condemn the writer very shortly to a violent death. " That day"22 on which the award will be made is the day of the great Epiphany.
Whatever be the condition of the reconciled and sanctified soul at death, we are told that a "day" is coming when the vindication of Christ will be complete, and the world will be judged by Him in righteousness: then will the Apostle's righteousness be crowned with joy and peace. And not to me only, but to all those who have loved his appearing. The exclusion from this joy of all those who have dreaded his triumph, and would retard his coming, is inexpressibly solemn. An habitual longing for the full manifestation of the Christ, a desire to see Him in his glory and receive his award, is one of the surest signs of an imperishable and holy life. Sympathy with God's righteousness, entire confidence in the sovereignty and character of Christ, not only as the perfect ideal of man, but as the king and judge of all men, will prove a potent test of any genuine union to Christ. The love of the appearing means that the coming of Christ to the soul would be more than welcomed. Few words of the Apostle have been more prized and repeated more frequently than these. We see from them the full expression of Christian experience amid circumstances that appeal at once to our entire sympathy. There is much in the New Testament which tells us how to live, how to resist temptation, how to do good and gracious things, and to be in perfect peace with God. There are many grand words which meet the speculative scepticism of the heart about atonement, grace, resurrection, and which ignore. rather than solve the mystery of death; but these Divine words are among the very few in the New Testament which shew us how not only a Christian Apostle, but how all lovers of the appearing of Christ, may meet. their inevitable change-may die and turn to their dust.
Verses 9-22.-The closing paragraph reverts to the affairs of this life. The psychological fact is well known and differently interpreted, that in full view of death good men, who know they have not many hours to live, will yet speak of life as though it were to last for days, or months, or years. It is not strange that after all Paul should once more press Timothy to come to him. Dr. Davidson says, Paul would not have asked for such solace. He would have been content to have died alone; but Paul was a thorough man with a great human heart, and, like his Master, he yearned for sympathy even to the last. It was and must have been at risk of his life that Timothy, a fast friend of Paul's, should have ventured at this moment to visit Rome, or to-identify himself with a malefactor in the Mamertine or some similar dungeon.
Everything suggests that when Timothy received this message he was in Ephesus. Yet there is one statement hardly compatible with it: viz., that Tychicus had been already sent to Ephesus, which could hardly have been written if Timothy were known to be there and Tychicus were the bearer of the letter to him. One supposition, however, reduces this difficulty. Tychicus may have received Paul's commission to take the place of Timothy, and so to lessen his natural anxieties on leaving the Church of Ephesus to its seething excitement and false teachers. The other references to the friends of Paul are all calculated to explain to Timothy the loneliness of the Apostle, a circumstance of which he was not aware.
Earnestly strive23 to come to me quickly-" You have difficulties and apprehensions, but make the effort and come." The reasons given in these closing words are that Paul is bereft of his evangelistic helpers, and on this wise: Demas (contracted form of Demetrius, mentioned Col. iv. 14 and Philem. 24), inasmuch as he has loved this present world more than the risk of. my friendship at this crisis, forsook me and went to Thessalonica. There are conjectures with reference to this movement of Demas, but none worth reciting. Crescens, or Kreskes, to Gaul,24 Titus to Dalmatia, the south-western portion of Illyria, between the Drinus and the sea. Titus was, as we know, summoned from Crete to Nicopolis in Epirus, where Paul intended to winter. Since the place of the Apostle's arrest cannot be finally determined, so the moment or reason of Titus being despatched to Dalmatia cannot be settled. All that we gather from this is that the fact, whether already known or not known to Timothy, is used as an argument for Timothy to hasten.
Luke only is with me. It is unnecessary here to review or enumerate the references to Luke's presence and friendship. He was with his friend when he wrote the Epistles to Colossians (Chap. iv. 14) and to Philemon (Verse 24), but for some reason he was absent when the Epistle to the Philippians was penned. This fact discriminates the first from the second imprisonment. Having taken up Mark, as though he was somewhere on Timothy's route from Ephesus to Rome-bring. him with thee, for he is serviceable to me for ministry. This language is far more sympathetic than that in Colossians iv. 10, where this cousin25 of Barnabas is commended to the. Colossians; but the Apostle adds significantly that they had " received commandments concerning him." These "commands" may have been recommendations which were thereby confirmed; but it seems more probable that they were suspicio11s now to be cancelled. The original quarrel with Barnabas about this Mark had at last disappeared, and Paul would trust, use, and bless him before he suffered. Tychicus have I sent (as you know) to Ephesus, either with my first epistle, or now with this, or to take your place. His trusted character comes out during Paul's journeys and previous imprisonment. (Acts xx. 4; Ephes. vi. 21; Coloss. iv, 7, 8.) These passages shew still more strongly what the loneliness of the Apostle must have been when bereft of such friends.
Verse 13.-The cloak26-akin to the Latin pænula, a strong woollen cloak worn in travelling instead of the Toga, and sometimes worn in the Senate-which I left (behind) at Troas with Carpus (a mutual friend of Timothy and Paul, of whom we know nothing more) bring with thee.
What more natural than that a sufferer in a Roman dungeon might desire a woollen cloak, which he had left on some unknown occasion in a distant place? " Carpus," in this Journal,27 has made the ingenious suggestion that Paul desired his own old cloak, endeared to him by numerous associations, which would be a greater comfort than any that wealth could procure for him. in the bazaars of Rome. It may have been one he had woven with his own hand.
The passage has sometimes been selected as an illustration of the fact that neither a verbal nor plenary inspiration could be required for the record of ideas or wishes so commonplace as this. The illustration has been unfortunately chosen with a view to impugn the mechanical theory of inspiration; for the reply is at once ready: The Spirit of God intended by this expression to paint the character, to draw the portrait, of the Apostle as a sufferer and a man, to give us closer access to his condition, and a more intimate acquaintance with his character and spirit. Moreover, the very passage reveals the special interest in and reverence for the books, the Biblia, the identical copies of the " Law" and " Psalms" and " Prophets," which the Apostle had probably marked through and through with his autograph asterisks and notes. The Biblia may have included amongst them the Gospel of Matthew or Luke, a Manuscript of the Acts, or copies of his own earlier Letters to the Churches. And especially the parchments. What these documents contained we can only conjecture-letters they may have been, certificates of citizenship and nationality, or proofs, perhaps, of his acquittal on his earlier trial.. They may have been left at Troas for safety, or by accident, and great occasion has now arisen for their use. They were more precious than the cloak, more needed than the books: " especially the parchments."
Verse 14. -Alexander the coppersmith, or brass-founder. This epithet discriminates him from the. Alexander associated with Hymenceus in I Timothy i. 20, and said there to have been excommunicated,28 either at Corinth or Ephesus, by the Apostle. It is far more probable that he is identified with the Ephesian whom the Jews had used as their tool against Paul nearly ten years previously.29 The ground of Paul's reproach is, on the present occasion, Alexander's bitterness-of personal hostility, not the perverseness of his intellectual speculations. This Alexander manifested30 towards me much ill-will, either at Ephesus, or on my journey, or in my first appearance before my judges; since when, however, he must have returned to Ephesus. The Lord will31 render to him according to his works. The evidence in favour of this reading preponderates. Paul was justified in thus solemnly leaving Alexander to the judgment of God.
Verse 15.-Of whom be thou on thy guard; for he greatly withstood our words, or our arguments. This may mean " thine and mine." He may have urged or suggested Paul's violation of Roman law, and was perhaps, as we say now, subpœned as a witness on the first count of the prosecution.
Verse 16.-At my first defence. Paul, in Philippians i. 7, uses similar words;32 but he cannot now be referring to the same event, for Timothy was then at his side.33 The whole charge against Paul consisted of several counts, which were considered seriatim.34 No one stood forward with me as my patronus or amicus before the judices. We cannot say what was the precise nature of the charges brought against the Apostle, whether it was violation of some Roman law, or new edict, or had to do with the absence of documents, or touched the sanctity of the licitœ religiones, or raked up the old Jewish calumnies. The custom of the Roman courts allowed witnesses to speak in a prisoner's favour. On this occasion his friends were afraid to stand forward at his side, lest, from some incautious word,35 they might perchance be transformed into bonfires for the imperial gardens on a gala evening. They all deserted me. Onesiphorus must have left Rome. Luke's testimony would have been valueless, from his close intimacy and his probably equal personal peril. Concerning all the others whom Timothy might readily suppose available, St. Paul proceeds to give some account, but, with Christlike forbearance for those who might have safely appeared but failed to do so, he adds, May it not be reckoned as a charge or fault to them! He thought of their temptation rather than of their cowardice, and imitates the protomartyr in his dying prayers.
Verse 17.-But (nevertheless, howbeit, on the other hand) the Lord stood by me and inwardly strengthened me-" Divine energy gave me courage." "My eyes were opened to see my Lord, -in order that by my means the proclamation of the Gospel might be fully accomplished. Those who conclude that the Epistle is genuine, and that it was written towards the close of the first imprisonment, suppose this to refer to Paul's subsequent preaching in Spain, or elsewhere; but the usage of the word in this very epistle justifies the rendering given above: in order that all the nations men representing all the peoples of the Empire who crowded the courts on such occasions-might hear. Paul defended his own cause without human help of any kind, and with such convincing force, that he adds, I was delivered out of the lion's jaw. This may have referred to the gladiatorial sport to which he was in peril of being condemned, or, what is more probable, to the imperial monster himself. The language of the Psalms (xxii. 21; xxxv. 17; lvii. 4) is quite sufficient to explain his expression as a figurative reference to extreme peril.
Verse IS.-The Lord will (moreover,36) deliver (rescue) me from every evil work, not "from all evil," as Luther translated, nor "from all evil circumstances," as Heydenreich supposes, for this would be in contradiction to Verse 6, and the general tenour of Scripture. Πόνηρος is moral evil, and ἔργου refers probably to the activity of the devil, and the fierce zeal of the enemies of the faith. The Lord will deliver him. as he knows full well, from the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil; from his own moral peril in the pangs of death; from fear, doubt, or falling away; from annihilation or damnation; from all the works of the devil, and save me into-i.e., lead me to, and usher me into his heavenly kingdom. An explicit and grand proof this of the existence in Paul's mind of the royalty and living sway of the Christ, TO WHOM BE GLORY UNTO THE AGES OF THE AGES (for ever and ever)! AMEN! The last word of the letter proper, the. last burning utterance of this great saint and prophet, is a testimony to the Divinity, Royalty, Eternal Power, and Glory of his Lord. And so thousands of millions have said after him. Whatever happens to us, to the cause that is dear to us, though the darkest hour arrives for it and us, let Christ be glorified for ever and ever!
We may suppose that a few days later, before entrusting the letter to Tychicus, or any other messenger, he took up his Manuscript and added some friendly greetings.
Verse 19.-Salute Prisca (or Priscilla) and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. It is unnecessary to review the career of these Roman friends of the Apostle with whom he worked at Corinth;37 who accompanied him to Ephesus;38 who in Paul's absence were the means of converting from Johannine faith to a genuine Christianity the brilliant Apollos; who visited Rome about the time when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans;39 who had returned to Ephesus when he penned his first Epistle to the Corinthians;40 and who seemed to be in Ephesus at this later period. We have already said all that is needed about the household of Onesiphorus. The young people were much in the Apostle's heart, and he sends them once more his love. 'This reiteration is very touching.
Verse 20.-Erastus remained at Corinth. An Erastus accompanied Timothy to Corinth,41 and an Erastus, chamberlain οῖκονομος of the city of Corinth, is mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans.42 Timothy, at the close of the first imprisonment, would not need this information, as he had been for a considerable time in Paul's company between this event and the composition of the letter. The same remark applies more forcibly still to the next clause. I left Trophimus at Miletus sick. This expression cannot refer to the journey from Jerusalem to Rome. Trophimus had indeed been the unwilling cause of Paul's arrest in Jerusalem, having followed him thither from Ephesus.43 The advocates of one imprisonment, who hold to the genuineness of the Epistle, say that Trophimus probably went from Crete, sailing in the Adramyttium vessel to Miletus, where he was taken sick; but on that supposition why should Timothy, who had been since that time with the Apostle in Rome, have needed such information?44 If, however, St. Paul had been arrested at Ephesus on a new charge, and Trophimus had started with him as an amicus, or a witness, but had fallen sick on the way, and thus St. Paul had been deprived of his aid on his trial, it became, even if Timothy should have heard of the circumstance by other means, a strong additional reason why he should now hasten to the Apostle's side.
Verse 21.-Earnestly strive to come before winter. From the sixth day of the ides of November to the sixth day of the ides of March, the seas were in those days closed to traffic. Moreover, the winter was the legal vacation. The great matter might be settled before the winter season and vacation; if Timothy delayed, his visit might be too late. Eubulus, Linus (probably the bishop of Rome mentioned by Irenæus and Eusebius), Pudens, and Claudia and all the brethren salute thee. An attempt has been made to identify this Pudens and Claudia with a noble pair whose marriage. is referred to by Martial in one of his Epigrams.45. This is possible, as Martial wrote his poems between A.D. 66-100. Claudia is there said to be a foreigner. But the identification does not stop here. Tacitus asserts that certain territories, which can be identified with Sussex, were given to Cogidunus, a British king, about A.D. 52, when Tiberius Claudius Nero, commonly called Claudius, was emperor. Now in the year 1723 a marble inscription was found in Chichester, which contains the name of Cogidu[b]nus, who is also found to bear the cognomina Tiberius Claudius. So far all is clear. Here supposition enters. The said Cogidu[b]nus, who had taken the name Claudius, may have had a daughter, and her name may have been Claudia; she may have been sent to Rome, and have been placed under the care of Pomponia, wife of Aulus Plautius, imperial legate in Britain. This Pomponia was accused in A.D. 57 of complicity in a "foreign superstition;" and this may have been Christianity; and she may have converted this hypothetical Claudia to the Christian faith, and here may be the British maiden now married to Pudens who comforted Paul, and sent her salutations to Timothy. This long string of suppositions is rendered barely possible by another curious coincidence. The inscription at Chichester says that Pudens, son of Pudentius, gave ground to Cogidubnus, for the erection of a temple to Neptune. This brings Pudens and the father of a possible Claudia into close connection, and implies a safe journey across the sea to the shores of Sussex. The links are very slight and the speculation shadowy, yet none can say that the identification is impossible. The bare supposition that St. Paul in his latest thoughts associated our native island with love and kindness shewn to himself, is not without interest.
Verse 22.-The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy Spirit! Grace be with you all! An unusual46 form of benediction, but condensing into one word all his hope and life. Christ's presence is Paul's last and best wish for Timothy. We never can know whether Timothy obeyed the call, and came to see his master die.
We have lingered long over these epistles, and have emphasized-perhaps to weariness-the various indications of genuineness which they supply. Apart altogether from the question of authorship, they are a most precious guide to holy living and active ministerial service. They paint a period in the history of Christianity with delicacy and sharpness of touch and extraordinary brilliancy. They involve every great principle of New Testament revelation. They record, in burning words and "faithful sayings," a portion of the common experience of the early Church, an experience of unexampled and unique value; they pulsate throughout with righteousness and purity, and reveal a lively sense of the greatness, freeness, and abundance of Divine Love. We find blended everywhere otherworldliness with practical duty, sensitiveness to pain with triumph over it, the sense of sin with that of pardon, tears with triumph, imminent death with life eternal.
The criticism is vexatious, the reasons are frivolous, and the evidence is nil, yet by its aid many distinguished scholars have burned the body, scattered the ashes, and sung the requiem of the Pastoral Epistles. We venture to think that they will survive the process.
1) There are three important alterations in the text of the first verse which all modern critics make, viz., the omission of the ἐγὼ οὖν before ἐνώπιον, the omission of the τοῦκυρίου before χριστοῦ, as well as of κατὰ, in place of καὶ, before τήν ἐπιφάνειαν. Each of these corrections made by Griesbach have been confirmed by later investigations. The last of them brings the clause following it into its proper case after διαμαρτύρομαι. Cf. Mark v. 7; Acts xix. 13, &c.
2) This is Dr. Davidson's translation-more than the Vulgate insta, or Ellicott's "Be ready." De Wette cites from Demosthenes, Phil. ii. 70, ἐγρήγορεν, ἐφέτηκεν.
3) Many illustrations are given from Latin, Greek, English, of this combination of words without copula.
4) The word means to pronounce blame where such is needed (Jude 9; Matt. xvi. 22), is frequently used in the Gospel for "rebuke" to the evil spirit, and for other condemnations and serious commands.
5) John xiv. 16; 1 John ii. 1.
6) The last two words are given in inverted order in א. F, G, and in early version! and quotations; but א. A, C, D, .other versions and quotations preserve the order given in the Textus Receptus. The supposed climax of the triplet is enhanced in the opinion of some by this inversion (which is adopted by Tisch. 8), but surely the climacteric force is stronger as it stands.
7) κνήθω in the active is to scratch or tickle; and the passive has the sense of being pricked or irritated with eager desire, or tickled-soothed that is-by luxurious enjoyment.
8) Cf. ii. 9.
9) Cf. 2 Tim. i. 8; ii. 3.
10) H. E. iii. 39.
11) Neander, Hist. of Plant. (Bohn's Ed.), vol. i. p. 148.
12) Ἰωάννην add. Steph. A. E.
13) Suicer, Thesaurus, sub vace, l. 1234.
14) Cf. Acts xii. 25.
15) Ich werde schon geopfert-I am already offered. The translation which appears in all the English versions is, "I am ready to be offered." Wicliffe wrote, "I am sacrificed now," and the Rheims Version, "I am even now to be sacrificed."
16) See Phil. i. 23; εἰς τὁ ἀναλῦσαι-ἀνάλυσις is ἄπ.
17) Observe the form of the expression, "the fight or contest, the good one." The ἠγώνισμαι = I have fought it in the past, and I am doing it still.
18) Translated by Fairbairn.
19) Cf. Phil. iii. 12; I Cor. ix. 24; Acts xx. 24; Heb. xii. 1, 2.
20) Res bis per metaphoram expressa nunc tertio loco exprimitur proprie.-Bengel.
21) So De Wette, Wiesinger, Ellicott, Davidson, &c.
22) Cf. Chap. i. 12, 18; 2 Thess. i. 10.
23) Σπουδάζειν, not σπεύδειν. The fundamental idea of the former is to be in earnest, of the latter to be in haste, though they both are used in the inverse sense as secondary meanings (Palm and Rost).
24) Tiscbendorf (8th ed.) has brought Γαλλιαν into the text on authority of א. C, and many cursives ant! references of Eusebius, iii. 4.
25) Lightfoot's most elaborate note, Colossians iv. 10, on the word ἀνεψεος.
26) The Manuscripts differ. The Textus Receptus reads φαιλόνην other readings are, φαινόλην, φαιλώνην, φελόνην. Chrysostom writes φελόνην, and seems to doubt whether it is a garment or tunic, or a case or purse. Suidas says φαινόλης is a warm cloak, a tunic ( =pæuula), or even a priestly tunic; while φαιλόνης is a small roll of parchment and also a small tunic. φελόνην is a "thick travelling cloak" (Wettstein, ii. p. 366). So that with all forms of the reading, "cloak,. prevails as the meaning.
27) THE EXPOSITOR, vol. i. p. 286.
28) Conybeare and Howson think it may have been the same person, and Huther does not regard the objections of De Wette as decisive.
29) Acts xix. 33.
30) Ἐνδεικνυμι in the active is constantly used in a forensic sense (both good and evil), and Conybeare and Howson, Lewin, and others think that, though here used in the middle, it has the sense of "brought evil charges against me." But it seems certain that in the middle voice this word has an ordinary and not technical sense.
31) The text ἀποδώσει is found in א. A, C, D, F, and many versions, and is preferred by Tischendolf. The fact that Justin Martyr endeavours to explain away the force of the imprecation shews that he must have read ἀποδόιη. If this were the text, it must be taken in connection with μὴ λογισθείη of Verse 16.
32) Ἐντῇἀπολογίατοῦεὐγγελιου, where the article is necessitated by the following dependent clause, and therefore has a clifierent meaning.
33) Phil. i. 1.
34) Suetonius (Nero. 15) says that it was customary to hear causes thus in separate departments. Wieseler supposed that reference is made to the actio and ampliatio of the ancient system, but it is probable that under the Empire this practice was discontinued.
35) Συμπαραγίνεσθαι. is a technical word to denote this right claimed by dependants. Lucian (De Morte Peregrini, § 13).derided the readiness with which Christians were ready to help each other in this way.
36) Καί is omitted by most modern editors.
37) Acts xviii. 2.
38) Ibid. xviii. 18.
39) Rom. xvi. 3.
40) I Cor. xvi. 19.
41) Acts xix. 22.
42) Rom. xvi. 23.
43) Acts xx. 4; xxi 29.
44) Some have said that the text has been ἐν Μελίτη no first-class Manuscript contains such a reading.
45) See Alford, G. T. vol. iii. p. 105; Conybeare and Howson, vol. ii. 501. Dr. Plumptre's beautiful poem, "Pudens and Claudia," is built on the identification.
46) Cf. Gal. vi. 18; Philemon 25; I Tim. vi. 22.