2 Timothy

2:14-26

Paul's charge to Timothy, 2:3-4:8

ii] Confronting the false teachers at Ephesus

Argument

Paul's second letter to Timothy has, so far, encouraged Timothy to stand firm against the onslaught of the secular world. Following on from the summary of the gospel found in the faithful saying in v11-13, Paul now gives advice to Timothy as regard the administration of his Christian fellowship, and this with particular reference to his opponents, the false teachers who resist Timothy's exposition of the Pauline gospel at Ephesus.

 
Issues

i] Context: See 2:3-7.

 

ii] Background: See 1:1-5.

 

iii] Structure: At first glance there seems little in the way of structure, but it is present in the form of instructions, each of which is supplied with a supportive argument, arguments positive and negative, along with further implied instructions - all a bit complex. Smith and Beekman, A Literary-Semantic Analysis of Second Timothy, 1981, suggest a primary proposition / instruction, v14-15, which is then developed in more detail in three sections, v16-19, 20-22, 23-26. This approach is certainly helpful, although Marshall suggests it is not supported by the syntax. The instructions sit in the context of false teachers who oppose Timothy's ministry and the Pauline gospel he preaches. Paul's instruction to Timothy is that he should not play their games, getting into disputes over words, but rather continue teaching the word of truth.

 

Instructions for dealing with opponents.

Proposition / Instruction, v14-15:

"Do not quarrel about words" with opponents:

such "ruins the hearers";

rather, "rightly handle the word of truth."

Specific Instructions:

Avoid inane discussions, v16-19:

they further inflame the situation;

spreading false teaching, eg., Hymeneaus and Philetus;

undermining people's faith, v18;

mentoi, "nevertheless" the stability and permanence of God's work is ultimately assured, v19.

Avoid the opponents who are troublemakers, v20-21:

The church is made up of sheep and goats, v20;

oun, "therefore", "stand away from the tents of Korah", v21.

Avoid the hot-temper of youth, v22:

de, "but rather", foster the qualities of a pure heart.

Avoid "senseless and illiterate speculations", Barclay, v23:

they just promote strife.

Avoid quarrelling for quarrelling sake, v24-26:

be gentle with opponents;

teach them gently;

mhpote, "perhaps" they will come to repentance.

 

iv] Interpretation:

First off, Paul tells Timothy to refocus his congregation on the gospel, as outlined in v11-13, rather than on "pious nitpicking , which chips away at the faith", v14. Timothy needs to be a sound expositor of the word of God, v15, rather than promote "pious talk that is only talk", v16, of which Hymenaeus and Philetus are experts, v17. They are "throwing believers off stride and missing the truth by a mile by saying the resurrection is over and done with", v18. Timothy needs to encourage his congregation, in the face of false teaching, with the truths that God knows who belongs to him, and let every true believer have nothing to do with evil, v19. In a house or shed there are many containers, some spoiled, some clean, some of no use, some useful. Timothy's ministry needs to be like a container, cleansed and useful for the Lord, v20-21. To be this useful container, Timothy must first "run away from infantile indulgence (and) run after mature righteousness - faith, love, peace" - joining with those who pursue godliness rather than error, v22. Second, he must refuse to indulge in senseless theological speculation, v23. Third, as the Lord's minister, Timothy must be "a good listener and a teacher who keeps his cool, working firmly but patiently", v24, gently correcting error with the aim of repentance, v25, so that those in error will not end up Satan's slave, v26

Quote's used are from Peterson's NT paraphrase.

 

v] Exposition: A simple verse-by-verse exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

 
Text - 2:14

Gospel ministry in the face of false teaching, v14-26: i] "Do not quarrel about words", v14-15. This opening instruction, on how to deal with opponents, sets the pattern for the instructions that follow.

tauta "these things" - [keep reminding] these things to them. The indirect object of the verb "remind", "them / God's people", is assumed, the "them" being faithful believers, cf., v2. The "these things" may be the content of the gospel summarized in the faithful saying v11-13, or more extensive, eg., v3-13, even the instructions in the letter as a whole, possibly even forward referencing, v14-26.

diamarturomenoV (diamarturomai) pres. mid. part. "warn them" - solemnly declaring, testifying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to remind", so imperative, as with "remind"; "Remind them of these facts and charge them in the presence of God", Berkeley. Possibly adverbial, instrumental, expressing means; "by charging them."

enwpion + gen. "before [God]" - before [God]. Spacial; "in the presence of God." The phrase, in a sense, calls on God to bear witness to / confirm the worth of an attached statement, here a warning against logomacia, "verbal quibbles."

mh logomacein (logamacew) pres. inf. "against quarreling about words" - not to fight about words. A hapax legomenon / once only use in the NT; possibly a Pauline construction. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul warns Timothy not to do; "stop disputing about mere words", NEB. BAGD suggests "hair splitting", but heretical theological debate is more likely; they are "wordy battles which help no one and may undermine the faith of those who hear them", Phillips.

ep (epi) + acc. "-" - [profitable] for [nothing]. Here expressing reference / respect, "profitable, with respect to nothing"; "solemnly urging them ...... not to engage in battles about words, an enterprize which is profitless", Cassirer.

epi + dat. "-" - to [ruin, overthrow]. Here an uncommon usage expressing purpose / goal, "with a view to / in order that", or better expressing result, "so that / with the result that", ie., outcome rather than purpose; "and only ends up undermining the faith of the hearers."

twn akouontwn (akouw) pres. gen. part. "the hearers" - of the ones hearing. The participle serves as a substantive, with the genitive usually classified as verbal, objective.

 
v15

As a minister of the gospel, Timothy should aim for God's approval by "rightly handling the word of truth."

parasthsai (paristhmi) aor. inf. "to present" - [hasten / be diligent] to present [yourself approved]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of perception, expressing the intent of the diligence / concentration, namely, "winning God's approval", Phillips.

tw/ qew/ (oV) dat. "to God" - Dative of indirect object, or possibly ethical.

dokimon adj. "as one approved" - approved. An object complement in a double accusative construction, complement of "yourself", object of the infinitive "to present."

anepaiscunton adj. "[a worker] who does not need to be ashamed" - [a workman] unashamed. Attributive adjective limiting "worker".

orqotomounta (orqotomew) pres. part. "correctly handles" - cutting straight. The participle is possibly adverbial, modal, or temporal, but it seems best taken as adjectival, as NIV, attributive, limiting "workmen", even though anarthrus; "an unashamed workmen who cuts straight / lays out straight the word of truth." The modifying adverb "correctly", "rightly", ESV, RSV, is used to draw out the sense that ministers need not be ashamed in the presence of God when they rightly (assumed) handle the word of truth.

thV alhqeiaV (a) gen. "[the word] of truth" - The genitive is often taken as verbal, objective, but it can also be viewed as adjectival, attributive, limiting "word / message"; it is a message which is all about the truth, namely, the gospel.

 
v16

ii] Avoid inane discussions, v16-19. There will always be those who teach doctrines contrary to scripture, for example, that the resurrection has already taken place. Yet, in the end, God's fundamental truths stand firm and upon these we need to rest. "Refuse to get involved in inane discussions", Peterson.

de "-" - but, and. Adversative; "but rather ...."

periistaso (periisthmi) pres. imp. "avoid" - shift around = avoid, shun [profane, vile babble]. The present tense, being durative, probably indicates a general instruction.

gar "because" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why profane babble should be avoided.

prokoyousin (prokoptw) fut. "those who indulge in it" - they will advance = arrive at. The prefix pro giving the sense of advancing.

epi pleion "more and more" - even more [ungodliness, impiety]. Under Semitic influence the preposition epi + gen. is used here to reinforce / accentuate the adverb pleion, "more", as NIV, Zerwick #70. Technically the preposition replaces the accusative of measure; "they will arrive at an even greater measure of godlessness", Knight.

 
v17

autwn gen. pro. "their [teaching]" - [the word] of them. The genitive is adjectival, possessive / verbal, subjective.

e{xei (ecw) fut. "will spread" - will have [pasture] = will graze, feed = will spread. "Will spread like a cancerous ulcer", Barclay.

wJV "like" - like [gangrene]. Comparative particle.

w|n gen. pro. "among them" - of whom. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.

estin (eimi) "are" - is [Hymanaeus and Philetus]. The pronoun w|n, "of whom", is taken collectively, "of their number", so "of their number is Hymaneus and Philetus." See 1Tim.1:20 for Hymaneus.

 
v18

Paul, at this point, identifies a central doctrine advocated by those who enjoy "godless chatter", a doctrine which serves to lead people astray and spreads like an ulcer through the church. Greek Platonic thinking (specifically Gnostic??) is likely to lay behind this heresy - the spirit / flesh dichotomy widely accepted by Greek thinkers. The idea of a physical resurrection of the mortal body would stretch the understanding of a Greek world view. It seems likely that the heretics had adopted the idea of a spiritual / mystical, resurrection whereby a person at the point of conversion / baptism entered a spiritual state of holiness / perfection which was fully realized in the casting off of the mortal body at death. As such, there was no resurrection of the mortal body; see Marshall, p753, Brown, p71, Lock, p99, Barrett, p106. Of course, the problem may just be one of emphasis. The resurrection life is both realized and futuristic, but it is very easy to focus on the now and forget the not yet, cf., Rom.6:3f, Eph.2:5f, Col.2:11-13, 3:1. Even today perfectionism infests Christianity with its consequential polarized response of either asceticism, or anything goes. In such a highly charged spiritual state, a kind of last days community, there is no need to work and no point taking in marriage, cf., 1Tim.4:3.

oiJtineV pro. "who" - Nominative subject of the verb "to miss the mark." Possibly as a simple indefinite relative pronoun, although here more likely with the sense to belong to a certain class of people, here heretics, so "insomuch as they", Marshall.

peri + acc. "-" - [they missed the mark] concerning [the truth]. Expressing reference / respect; "with respect to / concerning the truth." "The truth" being the gospel.

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "they say" - saying . The participle is adverbial, best taken as temporal, but possibly instrumental or causal, so Perkins; they "have missed out on the truth when they say .....", Berkeley.

gegonenai (ginomai) perf. inf. "that [the resurrection] has [already] taken place" - [the resurrection] to have happened [already]. The infinitive forms a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what the false teachers are saying, namely, that the resurrection of the dead in Christ has already occurred.

thn anastasin (iV ewV) acc. "the resurrection" - The infinitive, as usual, takes an accusative subject, here "the resurrection." The article thn may, or may not, be original. "A resurrection" is possible where no particular resurrection is in mind, but it seems more likely that "the resurrection" of the dead in the last day is intended.

thn ... pistin (iV ewV) "the faith" - [and they are overthrowing, overturning] the faith. The article may indicate the content of belief, rather than belief itself, although Mounce argues for belief here.

tinwn gen. pro. "of some" - of some. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.

 
v19

"Lest Timothy and the Christians in Ephesus be discouraged about the inroads of this false teaching and its effect on some and perhaps begin to wonder if a massive falling away is to follow, Paul reminds them about the stability and permanence of God's work. He basis this encouragement on two things (Biblical truths): God's electing knowledge of his own and the fact that such true believers will abstain from wickedness", Knight.

mentoi "nevertheless" - Adverbial particle, adversative; "however".

tou qeou (oV) gen. "God's [solid foundation stands firm]" - [the solid foundation] of God [has stood firm]. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, God owns it, but also attributive / idiomatic, limiting "foundation", God built it, "the solid foundation which God has established", or verbal, subjective, "the solid foundation God built." "Foundation" is used here of the foundation of a building. The foundation is stereoV, "solid, hard, firm"; an immovable foundation. The foundation, and thus the building, "stands", rather than falls, so "stands firm." Most commentators assumed that "God's solid foundation" refers to the church, but there are other possibilities: Christ, Hanson; the Ephesian church, Kelly; the truth as revealed by Jesus, Parry - see Marshall p755,6

ecwn (ecw) pres. part. "sealed [with this inscription]" - having [this seal]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb esthken, "to stand"; "and this is its inscription", Moffatt. Ellicot suggests it is causal; the building stands because it bears the inscription ...

touV ontaV (eimi) pres. part. "those who are [his]" - [the Lord knows] the ones being [his]. The participle serves as a substantive.

oJ onomazwn (onomazw) pres. part. "[everyone] who confesses" - [all] the ones naming, speaking about, mentioning. Taking the adjective paV, "all", as the substantive "everyone", the articular participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "everyone"; "everyone who names the name of the Lord." To "name" possibly in the sense of "recognize". Similar to "call upon the name of the Lord", ie., believe in him, cf., Joel 3:5, Acts 2:21, Rom.10:13. The second quote from Numbers 16:26 is more a general paraphrase than a quote. In the rebellion of Korah in Numbers chapter 16, the true Israel, the called out people of Israel, the elect, "those who are his", demonstrate this reality by setting themselves apart from Korah's rebellion, they "turned away from wickedness."

kuriou (oV) "[the name] of the Lord" - The genitive is adjectival, possessive. "The name" represents the person, and when that person is the Lord, his authority is paramount, so "everyone who recognizes the Lord's authority ...."

apo + gen. "from" - [let depart, turn away, keep away, abstain] from. Expressing separation; "away from."

adikiaV (a) "wickedness" - unrighteousness. Here probably with the particular sense "that which is contrary to the truth", Knight, so Marshall, "truth rather than righteousness."

 
v20

iii] Avoid opponents who are troublemakers, v20-21. Some have drawn implications from this illustration that go well beyond the writer's intention. The illustration is not theological, it is not suggesting that God has devised two groups of people, "vessels for mercy" and "vessels for wrath / retribution." Neither single, nor double predestination is being taught here. Nor is either justification by works, nor sanctification by works being promoted. "The message here is not doctrinal, but hortatory", Houlden. What we have in the illustration is a hortatory device that builds on v19. As with Israel of old, the church will always have a Korah and his followers proclaiming what is contrary to the truth, ie., vessels of wood and clay. The church will also have members who are true to the gospel, ie., vessels of gold and silver. Only by standing for truth, for the gospel, are we "useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." So, the advice is "stand away from the tents of Korah."

de "-" - but, and. Transitional connective, indicating a step in the argument, here an illustration, so best left untranslated, or "now in a great house ...", ESV.

en + dat. "in" - in [a great house there are not only vessels golden and silver, but also wooden and made of baked clay]. Local, expressing space.

ouk ..... allla "not .... but ..." - A counterpoint construction.

kai "-" - and. Possibly adjunctive, "also", or even epexegetic, so Marshall.

a} men ........ a} de "some ..... and some ..." - An adversative comparative construction; "some are put to honorable use and some to menial use", Barclay.

eiV + acc. "for [special] purposes" - to [honor]. Here expressing purpose; "some are used for the highest purpose and some for the lowest", Phillips.

 
v21

oun "-" - therefore. Inferential, drawing a logical conclusion; "therefore, if anyone cleanses ....", ESV.

ean + subj. "-" - if. Introducing a conditional clause 3rd. class where the condition has only a possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, ..... then [he will be a vessel for honorable use ....]"

ekkaqarh/ (ekkaqairw) aor. subj. "cleanse" - [if anyone] clean out, clean away, purifies, cleanses [himself]. The choice of this word is rather strange. The illustration simply had two types of vessels, those for special use and those for menial use. The cleaning of the menial vessel to then take on special use is awkward, to say the least. Pressing the sense "cleansing" prompts the idea of cleansing from sin and thus the reading of aJgiazw as "to sanctify / make holy." One is inclined to the NEB marginal alternative / footnote, "a man must separate himself from these persons", ie., "stand away from the tents of Korah (false teachers)" - "clear out" rather than "cleanse"!

apo + gen. "from" - from [these things]. Expressing separation; "away from."

eiV "for" - [he will be a vessel] to. Here expressing purpose, as in v20.

timhn (h) "noble purposes / special purposes" - honor. Probably in the sense of "noble", as opposed to ignoble, dishonorable; "for noble use." This noble used is defined in two epexegetic participial constructions, "having been sanctified useful to the master" and "having been prepared for every good work."

hJgiasmenon (aJgiazw) perf. mid./pas. part. "made holy" - having been sanctified. The participle is adjectival, epexegetic, specifying "noble use", although Perkins classifies it as adjectival, predicative, with the perfect tense possibly used to intensify, "completely sanctified." "Made holy" is certainly possible, but the word is often used of being set apart for a holy use, and that is surely the intention here, so "consecrated", as of set apart for God; "dedicated to God", Barclay.

tw/ despoth (hV ou) "[useful] to the Master" - [profitable, valuable, useful] to the master, owner, ruler, lord. The adjective eucrhstoV takes a dative of persons / dative of advantage; "useful for the master." Possibly just "the master of the house", so ESV, but "the Master / Lord" is probably intended. Believers "must separate themselves from the unworthy in order to be useful servants of the Church's Lord", Barrett.

hJtoimasmenon (eJtoimazw) perf. mid./pas. part. "prepared" - having been prepared [to/for every good work]. The participle is adjectival, epexegetic, further specifying "noble use", but see "having been sanctified" above. A disciple should be prepared for useful service to the Master; "fit for any honorable purpose", REB.

 
v22

iv] Don't confront your opponents with newterikaV epiqumiaV, "the hot impulses of youth", but rather deal with them in "righteousness, faith, love and peace."

de "-" - but, and. Transitional connective, indicating a step in the argument.

epiqumiaV (a) "evil desires [of youth]" - [youthful] passions, desires, lusts [flee and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace]. It seems unlikely that Paul is using the word with the sense "lust, sexual desire"; the context does not suggest that the instruction is sexual in nature. It seems more likely that this slavery to youthful passions refers to being hot-headed; youthful "wayward impulses", Barrett, "the hot impulses of youth." The art of thinking before we speak takes half a lifetime to develop. So, in dealing with his opponents, Timothy needs to count to ten. Instead of blasting them, best to bathe them with goodness / uprightness, faith (faith in God, or better, faithfulness, reliability), love / compassion and peace (harmony, tranquility), cf., 1Tim.6:11.

meta + gen. "along with" - with. Expressing association / accompaniement; "pursue ....... in association with ....."

twn epikaloumenwn (eipkalew) pres. mid. part. "those who call on [the Lord]" - the ones calling on [the Lord Jesus]. The participle serves as a substantive. Probably the call associated with conversion - "Lord have mercy on me." "All sincere Christians", Barrett.

ek + gen. "out of" - from [a pure heart]. Expressing source / origin. Out of a heart (thoughts, emotions, consciousness, volition) associated with conversion, so Towner.

 
v23

v] Truth is truth, and error is error, so refuse to get involved in speculative theology which leads to strife.

de "-" - but, and. Transitional connective; best left untranslated.

zhthseiV (iV ewV) "[stupid] arguments" - [uneducated, ignorant, undisciplined, uninstructed, senseless, stupid] debates, arguments / questioning, speculations [refuse]. Accusative direct object of the verb "to refuse." It seems unlikely that Paul is instructing Timothy to avoid engaging with his opponents. The problem is not debating with them, but involving himself in their "speculations". "Having nothing to do with foolish and ignorant speculations", NEB.

eidwV (oida) perf. part. "because you know" - knowing. The participle is adverbial, best taken as causal, as NIV.

oJti + ind. "-" - that [they give birth to = breed, produce strife, quarrels]. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what Timothy knows, namely, that ignorant controversies breed, generate strife.

macaV (h) "quarrels" - Accusative direct object of the verb "to breed, produce." Often describing metaphorical war, "battles over words", "quarrels which alienate", but the sense here may be wider, "strife in general."

 
v24

vi] Avoid quarrelling for quarrelling sake, v24-26. The issue at hand is that stated in v14, of getting caught up in theological speculations which undermine the gospel. Such are "of no value, and only ruins those who listen." "Don't have anything to do with their foolish and ignorant speculations", v23. In dealing with those who are caught up in these zhthseiV, "Controversies", "be a kind, patient, and effective leader-teacher who can be used to bring people to repentance and to knowledge of the truth and to lead them away from the captivity of error and the devil", Knight, v24-26. The most appropriate way of dealing with those promoting error / heresy is not to acquiesce to their point of view, but confront them with kindness; gently correct those who oppose the gospel of grace, v24-25a.

de "and" - but, and. Probably as a transitional connective, indicating a step in the argument, but possibly coordinative, "and", or adversative, "but", ie., theological controversies inevitably promote "strife", "but the person who is in the Lord's service must avoid strife / bickering."

kuriou (oV) "the Lord's [servant]" - [servant] of Lord. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, or attributive / idiomatic, "the servant who is in the service of the Lord."

ou .... alla "must not ..... but" - [it is necessary not ..... but ....] Counterpoint construction.

macesqai (macomai) pres. mid. inf. "be quarrelsome" - to engage in combat / war (here a war of words) = quarrel, bicker. The infinitive serves as the subject of the negated verb dei, "it is [not] necessary" = "to quarrel is not necessary." "It is not appropriate for ministers of the gospel to bicker over personally held theological issues."

einai (eimi) pres. inf. "must be" - to be. The verb dei, "is is necessary", is assumed; "it is necessary to be ......" The infinitival construction "to be gentle to all, skilled in teaching, patient" serves as the subject of the verb "is necessary."

hpion adj. "gentle" - gentle, kind. Predicate adjective.

didaktikon adj. "able to teach" - skilful, able, effective at teaching, education. Predicate adjective.

anexikakon adj. "not resentful" - patient, forebearing, long suffering. Predicate adjective. Hapax legomenon; "bearing evil without resentment", Marshall.

 
v25

The possible result / hoped for outcome (mhpote) of this gentle approach is that "they may come to their senses and be rescued from the snare of the devil", Phillips, v25b-26.

touV antidiatiqemenouV (antidiatiqhmai) pres. mid. part. "opponents" - [in meekness instructing] the ones opposing. The participle serves as a substantive. Obviously referring to the false teachers.

en "[must be gently]" - in. The prepositional phrase en mrauthti, "in meekness", is functioning adverbially here, expressing the manner of the instruction, "meekly, gently instructing the opponents", but possibly instrumental, expressing means, "by means of gentleness ....." "Be humble when you correct those who oppose you", CEV.

paideuonta (paideuw) pres. part. "instructed" - instructing / correcting, practicing discipline. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the infinitival construction "it is necessary to be gentle, skilled in teaching, patient"; "and able to gently correct." Both senses, instructing and correcting are probably present, so "corrective instruction", Knight - "the exercising of an educative influence which, if God permits, will bring about conversion (better, help them "come to their senses", Phillips) ..", Bertram.

mhpote + subj. "in the hope that" - if perhaps [may grant ...... and may regain their senses]. This construction will often introduce clause expressing purpose / end view / result, the negation serving to express hesitation; a hoped for outcome. The outcome is "problematic", Moule. "In the eager anticipation that God may perhaps grant them ......"

autoiV dat. pro. "them" - [God may give] to them. Dative of indirect object.

metanoian (a) "repentance" - Accusative direct object of the verb "to give." It is possible that repentance for conversion is intended, a "true acknowledgment of sin, sorrow for it, and a turning from it", Knight, so also Marshall. In the NT. this sense is dominant. None-the-less, the root meaning is "to change ones mind" and that seems to be what is intended here, so D/C who argue that in the Pastorals "repentance" takes the sense "to return to the truth"; "a turning from false teaching back to the apostolic gospel", Towner.

eiV + acc. "leading them to" - to. Here expressing result; "with the result that / resulting in a knowledge of truth = an acknowledgment, recognition of the truth." "That leads to", Zerwick.

alhqeiaV (a) gen. "of the truth" - [a knowledge] of truth. The genitive is usually treated as verbal, objective, where the genitive substantive "truth" receives the action of the verbal noun "knowledge = acknowledgment", so recognizing, accepting the truth. "Truth" being "the content of Christianity as the absolute truth", BAGD. "God may then grant them a change of heart and lead them to recognize the truth", REB.

 
v26

kai "and that" - and. Possibly epexegetic rather than coordinative, so Marshall, although the subjunctive ananhywsin indicates the verb's link with mhpote, v25. The hoped for result is that the false teachers will change their mind, v25, and come to their senses. "You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil's trap", Peterson.

ananhywsin (ananhfw) aor. subj. "that they will come to their senses" - [and] in the hope that they may regain one's senses]. Hapax legomenon, once only use in the NT. "They may awaken in time to escape the snare of the devil", Junkins. As above, mhpote + subj.

ek + gen. "and escape from" - from. Expressing separation; "away from." Somewhat elliptic / short-talk; the hoped for result is that they may come to their senses again and so escape from the snare of the devil.

tou diabolou (oV) gen. "[the trap] of the devil" - The genitive may be classified as verbal, subjective, "the trap set by the devil", adjectival, possessive, "the devil's trap", or attributive / idiomatic, "the trap which the devil has set." Knight suggests that the trap is "the intellectual allurement of error."

uJp (uJpo) + gen. "[who]" - by [whom]. Expressing agency; "by the Devil." Moffatt has an interesting take, identifying the agent as God, rather than the Devil; "and escape the snare of the devil, as they are brought back to life (taken captive alive) by God to do his will." This interpretation is supported by ekeinou, "to do that ones will", the distant object being God. Yet ekeinoV, "that one" is sometimes interchangeable with autoV, "him", and that is likely here, as NIV.

ezwgrhmenoi (zwgrew) perf. mid./pas. part. "has taken them captive" - having been captured alive. The participle is possibly adverbial, temporal, "after being captured by him", ESV, or concessive, although it is more likely that the participial construction explains why the false teachers are in the devil's snare, so causal, or even epexegetic, "in which they have been trapped and held at his will", REB.

eiV + acc. "to do [his will]" - to [the will of that one = of him]. Here used to express purpose; held captive for the purpose of doing / in order to do his will.

 

2 Timothy Introduction

Exposition

 

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