Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 2:8-13
Posted by Dim Bulb on October 3, 2010
Note: for context I’ve included Father Callan’s summary of verses 1-13.
Summary of 2 Tim 2:1-13~The Apostle’s end is near. He exhorts Timothy to be strengthened in grace and to pass on to other faithful workers the truths he has learned from his master. Timothy’s fidelity and devotion must be like that of a good soldier who wishes to please his leader; he must be like the athlete who adheres to the rules of his game in order to win the prize, like the husbandman who toils faithfully that he may reap a good harvest (ver. 1-6). The Lord will help him to understand his heavy responsibility ; and his duties will become ever more clear if he keeps in mind the Resurrection of Christ, which is according to the Gospel for which Paul suffers. The word of God cannot be stopped; and hence St. Paul endures all things for the sake of the salvation of the elect. We have God’s word for it that we shall not suffer for Him in vain (ver. 7-13).
8. Be mindful that Jesus Christ is risen again from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my gospel.
8. Timothy will be encouraged and sustained in his labors and trials by keeping ever in mind his Risen Saviour, who is at once the pledge and the exemplar of our own glorious future state.
Of the seed of David, i.e., the Risen Saviour, who is the centre and source of the New Dispensation, took His humanity from the stock of David, according to the hopes and promises of the Old Dispensation. See on Rom 1:3.
According to my gospel, i.e., the teaching just enunciated is according to the doctrine Paul has been commissioned to preach.
The Dominum of the Vulgate is not in the Greek.
9. Wherein I suffer evils, even unto bonds, as an evildoer; but the word of God is not bound.
To help Timothy to bear his trials for the Gospel, the Apostle now cites his own sufferings for the same cause; but he observes that, while he may be impeded from working, the Gospel preaching cannot be restrained: it is being done by other workers and is spreading over the world.
The laboro of the Vulgate does not express the Greek, which means ‘I suffer evils,” or “am ill-treated.”
10. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with heavenly glory.
Therefore, i.e., since the Gospel is going forward, the Apostle gladly endures all his sufferings, that all of God’s chosen ones may have a share in the saving graces of the Gospel, which Christ has provided, and whose ultimate issue is eternal glory. The “elect” here are all those whom God would have come to a knowledge of the truth and whom He would save unto life eternal.
11. Faithful is the saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall live also with him:
12. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him : if we deny him, he will also deny us.
11-12. Faithful is the saying. See on 1 Tim. 1. 15, 3:1, 4:9, This formula in the present passage without doubt refers to the words that follow here and in verse 13, which seem to be a portion of an ancient hymn on the glories of martyrdom, and which at the end of verse 12 become a quotation of our Lord’s words in Matt 10:23, and Luke xii. 9. These quotations are given as an incentive to courage and patience in suffering in union with Christ in view of the glories to come in heaven. See on 1 Tim 3:16; Rom 6:3, 8:17 ff. ; 1 Cor 12:26; Eph 1:23, etc.
13. If we believe not, he continueth faithful, he cannot deny himself.
If we believe not. Better, “if we are unfaithful,” in refusing to accept the doctrines God has revealed to us, “he continueth faithful,” i.e., true to His promises to reward the good and punish the wicked; for “he cannot deny himself,” by going counter to His nature and the laws He has established.