2 Timothy


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

v] The final charge - do the work of an evangelist


In the passage before us, Paul encourages Timothy to make the truth of the gospel known in the face of "hardship", and particularly in the face of the temptation to develop a popular ministry of the Word.


i] Context: See 2:3-7.


ii] Background: See 1:1-5.


iii] Structure: Paul's final charge to Timothy:

The Charge:

A solemn adjuration to a faithful word ministry, v1-2;

in the face of false teaching, v3-4;

A call to endure hardship, v5.


iv] Interpretation:

The passage takes a strong hortatory tone with the use of nine imperatives. "Paul's charge to Timothy is given in the presence of God and Christ and with special reference to Christ's return, to the kingdom and to judgeship, v1. The particular activity with which Timothy is charged is set forth in v2: preaching, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting. Paul commands that these be done constantly and with wisdom. They are to be done, not only because the message and human need call for such activity, but also because of the deteriorating situation in which hearers will seek out a message more in tune with their own likes, v3-4. Paul also speaks to Timothy in more general terms about what he must be, do, and endure, to fulfil this ministry, v5", Knight.


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

Text - 4:1

Paul's final charge to Timothy, v1-5. Because we live in the presence of God and of Christ, who is the judge of all those living and dead, and because the day draws near when Christ will gather to himself all those who are his, and because the new age of God's kingdom, the age of his eternal reign, has dawned, "I give you this charge" - "I adjure you by his coming appearance and his reign."

enwpion + gen. "in the presence of [God]" - [i charge you] before [god and christ jesus]. Spacial; "in the sight of God."

tou mellontoV (mellw) pres. part."who will" - the one being about. The participle may be classified as a substantive standing in apposition to "Christ Jesus", or adjectival, attributive, limiting by describing "Christ Jesus", as NIV.

krinein (krinw) pres. inf. "judge" - to judge. The infinitive is complementary, completing the verbal sense of the participle "being about", best translated as a simple durative future, "will judge", as NIV. On taking up his position of authority at the right hand of the Ancient of Days, Christ will undertake the role of judge, both of the living and of those who have already died.

zwntaV (zaw) pres. part. "the living [and the dead]" - the ones living [and the ones dead]. Although this participle is anarthrous (without an article) it serves as a substantive, as does the adjective "dead".

thn epiqaneian (a) acc. "in view of his appearing" - [and] by the appearing. The grammatical form here is that of an accusative substantive of oaths where Paul has made his charge by / in respect to, Christ's appearing and kingdom. "I adjure you by his coming appearance and his reign", Knight. See Wallace.

autou gen. pro. "his" - of him [and the kingdom of him]. The genitive may be viewed as adjectival, possessive, or verbal, subjective. If we take "kingdom" in the sense of "rule" then a verbal genitive would be more appropriate.

diamarturomai pres. mid. "I give you this charge" - i solemnly charge / declare. Although a middle voice, it takes the present tense (ie., a deponent verb). The word gives the charge an emphatic sense, ie., what follows is an apostolic commission. "I adjure you", Cassirer.


Paul now gives his charge in the form of five word-ministry commands. "Proclaim the message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don't ever quite. Just keep it simple", Peterson.

khuxon (khrussw) aor. imp. "preach" - proclaim [the word]. The aorist, being punctiliar / perfective, may indicate a specific command. "Herald / proclaim forcefully", is the first of five imperatives that make up the charge. It sets the dominant theme of the charge, as evidenced by the qualifying phrase "with great patience ......." "Preach Biblical truth, proclaim the gospel ....."

episthqi (efisthmi) aor. imp. "be prepared" - be ready, on hand, at it, at one's task.

eukairwV akairwV "in season and out of season" - Qualifying adverbs of the verb "be prepared." "Keep at it when the time is right, but also when it's not right." The "not right time" is when Biblical preaching is not appreciated, possibly due to the congregation having drifted from genuine faith, cf., v3.

elegxon (elecw) aor. imp. "correct" - expose. Used elsewhere of exposing sin.

epitimhson (epitimaw) aor. imp. "rebuke" - reprove, convict, correct, censure, rebuke.

parakaleson (parakalew) aor. imp. "encourage" - urge, exhort. The sense of "appeal to" picks up on the "preach" theme.

en + dat. "with" - with [all long-suffering]. Here adverbial, modal, expressing manner. The adverbial prepositional phrase introduced by en qualifies the preaching; "preach the word ... with complete persistence / forbearance and full instruction."

didach/ (h) "careful instruction" - [and] teaching. With "all" = "full instruction."


Paul warns Timothy of the day that is coming, and is in a sense already here, when some believers will go after false teachers, v3-4. "You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food - catchy opinions that tickle their fancy", Peterson.

gar "for" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why Timothy needs to focus on his preaching, namely, because of the propensity for believers to "turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories", CEV.

kairoV (oV) "time" - [there will be] a time. Nominative subject of the verb to-be. The period referred to in v2 which is unfavourable, "out of season".

oJte "when men / people" - when. The temporal particle introduces a temporal clause, as NIV.

anexontai (anecomai) fut. "will [not] put up with" - they will [not] bear, endure, forbear. Here in the sense of "will not willingly listen to."

uJgiainoushV (uJgiainw) pres. part. "sound [doctrine]" - healthy [teaching]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "teaching, doctrine", which serves as a genitive of direct object after the ana prefix verb "to bear." Such teaching is in accord with the gospel, cf., 1Tim.1:10-11.

alla "but" - Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction; "not ....., but ......"

kata + acc. "to suit" - according to. Expressing a standard; "in accordance with."

eJautoiV dat. reflec. pro. "their" - [ones own lusts] to themselves. Dative of interest, disadvantage, "for themselves", but it could also be classified as a dative of possession, "the lusts of themselves" = "their lusts."

epiqumiaV (a) "desires" - lusts. They determine who will teach them on the basis of the teaching being acceptable to them.

episwreusousin (episwreuw) fut. "they will gather around them" - they will accumulate, heap up [teachers]. They will gather to themselves, accumulate, teachers that will not disturb their own weakened faith.

knhqomenoi (knhqw) pas. part. "what their itching ears" - tickling, feeling an itching , having itching. Although anarthrous, the participle could be viewed as adjectival, attributive, limiting "teachers"; "teachers who will tickle the ear", but probably better adverbial, causal, modifying the verb to accumulate; "they accumulate teachers to themselves because they tickle their ears", or if we give weight to the passive, "because they feel their ears tickled." The phrase takes a figurative sense: having a curiosity that looks for interesting bits of information found in the message of the false teachers, BAGD. eg., a series of sermons on sex delivered at the evening youth service!!

thn akohn (h) acc. "want to hear" - the ear. Accusative of respect; "with respect to the ear (their ears)."


men ...... de "-" - This adversative comparative construction produces a contrast, "on the one hand they will turn away from the truth, but on the other hand, they will listen to senseless stories."

apostreyousin (apostrefw) fut. "they will turn [their ears] away" - [and from the truth] they will turn away [the ear]. They will not listen.

apo + gen. "from" - Expressing separation; "away from."

thV alhqeiaV (a) "the truth" - Paul gives us a third descriptive of the Christian message, "the word", "sound doctrine" and now "the truth" = information that is absolute.

ektraphsontai (ektrepw) fut. pas. "turn aside" - [and] will be turned aside, changed.

epi + acc. "to" - Spacial, direction; "up to."

touV muqouV (oV) "myths" - Although the word means "myths" or "fables", Paul is probably using it in a figurative sense to debunk the heresy of the false teachers.


Paul makes the point that Timothy must not be like the false teachers and their disciples. He must not be caught up in the spirit of the age, rather he must continue to be wide awake, vigilant, alert - "keep your head." He must also endure the troubles that will come his way because of his faithful attention to the Word. Added to this, he must "do the work of an evangelist." Clearly, Timothy is not a gifted evangelist, but at least he can work at it, even if it is not his gift. Finally, he must discharge his Word-ministry faithfully.

de "but" - [you] but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument to a contrasting point; "but you on the other hand ....."But", with an emphatic nominative of address su, "you", by position and use, contrasts Timothy with those who are unwilling to address Biblical truth. The contrast is established with a list of four imperatives.

nhfe (nhfw) pres. imp. "keep your head" - be sober, self-controlled. This present tense imperative indicates a general command, followed by aorist imperatives indicating more specific commands. Literally meaning "don't be drunk", but here with a figurative meaning "be well-balanced, self-controlled", BAGD. The present tense is durative indicating an ongoing control in the many different situations that Timothy will face. "Unlike the false teachers and their disciples, you must continue to maintain a well-balanced ministry."

en + dat. "in" - in [all things.] Here adverbial, possibly possibly reference / respect, but temporal seems more likely; "on all occasions and under all circumstances", Knight.

euaggelistou (hV ou) gen. "[do the work] of an evangelist" - [suffer hardship, do work] of an evangelist. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "work"; "do your evangelistic work" = "the work of preaching the gospel." The "evangelist" or "missionary" is a particular ministry, distinct from the "pastor / teacher" role that Timothy is now performing. It is possible that Paul is encouraging Timothy to move beyond his present ministry, even though he is not really a gifted evangelist. Timothy can at least do the work of an evangelist; a worthy exhortation for all believers. "Go on steadily preaching the gospel", Phillips.

plhroforhson (plhroforew) aor. imp. "discharge" - [the ministry of you] fully carry out. A summary imperative. Timothy must work at all the duties of his ministry, particularly those listed.


2 Timothy Introduction



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