The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 2:8-10, 3:10-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 28, 2012

Note: for context I’ve included Father Callan’s summary of 2 Tim 2:1-13 and 2 Tim 3:10-17.

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.

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.


Summary of 2 Tim 3:10-17~Timothy is equipped to encounter and deal with the difficulties that now confront him, and with worse ones that may arise in the future; for he has before him Paul’s example and that of all those who desire to live piously in Christ Jesus, he has been instructed by Paul himself, and the Sacred Scriptures are always at his disposal for his guidance and comfort.

2 Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsufFering, love, patience,
2 Ti 3:11. Persecutions, aflflictions: such as came upon me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra: what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me.

10-11. St. Paul is near to death and is writing a private letter to his dear son in the faith; and to encourage him to suffer and endure, he Speaks openly and familiarly about his own teaching, manner of life, and sufferings. He mentions in particular what he endured in the cities of Southern Asia Minor, because Timothy himself was from Lystra and was more familiar with these persecutions of his master than with the more severe ones later endured at Philippi and elsewhere.

But thou, in contrast with the false teachers.

Purpose, i.e., the aim he had in all his actions.

Antioch, Iconium, Lystra. See Acts 13:0, Acts 14:2-28.

The Lord delivered me. This fact is mentioned so that Timothy will not lose courage in his sufferings and trials.

2 Ti 3:12  And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.

Timothy will be further encouraged to suffer willingly and gladly for the Gospel by reflecting that such is the lot of all whose habitual desire and effort it is to live that life which is in Christ Jesus: “And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake, etc.” (Matt 10:22); “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, etc.” (Matt 5:10).


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