The Divine Lamp

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Archive for the ‘Notes on 2 Tim’ Category

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 7, 2016

This post opens with Fr. MacEvilly’s summary overview of 2 Timothy, chapter 1. Text in purple indicates his paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on.

2Ti 1:6 For which cause I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee by the imposition of my hands.

In order, then, to insure this perseverance in faith, I exhort thee to enkindle and resuscitate within thee the grace, which thou didst receive at thy ordination, conferred by me, through the imposition of hands.

“For which cause,” i.e., in order to persevere in the faith, “I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God.” The Greek word for “stir up,” αναζωπυρειν, means to blow up the smouldering fire, to which the grace of God is compared. “Which is in thee by the imposition of my hands.” This shows that the grace to which he refers is of an habitual, permanent nature. “Which is in thee,” refers to the sacramental grace of his ordination, which is an habitual sanctifying grace, like every sacramental grace producing certain specific effects, a certain aptitude for particular duties; and, moreover, conferring a right, founded upon God’s gratuitous, but unerring promises, to the necessary actual graces that may, in due time, be required for the proper discharge of the duties of the state for which the sacrament fits us.—(See 1 Tim., 4:14). St. Thomas says, that Timothy grew remiss in the discharge of his Episcopal functions, particularly that of preaching; and hence, the Apostle admonishes him to resuscitate the grace of his ordination. If this was necessary for Timothy—if tepidity and sloth were to be found in this Apostolic man—what cause have not others to tremble for themselves, and to adopt every means, prayer, meditation, and pious works, to revive the grace of their vocation?

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power and of love and of sobriety.

For, God has not conferred on us, at our ordination, the spirit of timidity or indolence, but the spirit of fortitude, and of love, and equanimity.

“Hath not given us,” i.e., Bishops at ordination, “the spirit of fear,” i.e., timidity and indolence, on account of which we would dread danger and death; “but of power,” i.e., fortitude and intrepidity, so necessary for the leaders in the Christian warfare, to meet the enemies of God and of religion. “And of love,” whereby, after the example of Christ, the Bishop would seek only the glory of God and the honour of his Church. “And sobriety;” a certain equanimity of soul both in prosperity and adversity. This shows, that the grace to which he refers in the preceding verse is an interior, sanctifying grace, of which a Bishop stands no less in need for the discharge of his Episcopal functions, than he does of the “gratiæ gratis datæ.”

2Ti 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but labour with the gospel, according to the power of God.

Be not, therefore, ashamed to bear testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ crucified, by preaching his Gospel; nor be ashamed of me, a prisoner on his account; but labour along with me in bearing the afflictions to which all the ministers of the Gospel are subjected, according to the strength given thee by God.

The “testimony of Christ,” may mean the gospel, which means a testimony handed down by witnesses, or rather the preaching of Christ crucified. “But labour with the gospel.” The Greek, συγκακοπαθησον, means, suffer together with the gospel. This he ought to do, in virtue of that spirit of love and equanimity which he received. “According to the power of God;” distrusting himself, he should repose all his hopes in God.

2Ti 1:13 Hold the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me: in faith and in the love which is in Christ Jesus.

Let the sound words, which you heard from me on subjects of faith and Christian love, be the pattern which you will follow, when treating on the like subjects.

He enjoins on Timothy, and through him on all preachers of the gospel, to make the language of the Apostle their pattern in preaching. Hence, vain novelties are to be avoided, in treating either of Christian faith or morality.

2Ti 1:14 Keep the good thing committed to thy trust by the Holy Ghost who dwelleth in us.

Carefully guard the precious deposit of sound doctrine confided to your keeping, by the grace of the Holy Ghost dwelling in us (and imparted to us at our ordination).

“The good thing committed to thy trust.” This deposit which God has place in the hands of Timothy, is quite different from the deposit placed by Timothy in the hands of God (12). The deposit, in this verse, regards the sound doctrine of faith, which, according to the rules of a deposit, should be kept whole and entire, without increase or diminution. The Bishops are the depositaries of this divine treasure of doctrine in its unchangeable entirety, whether contained in the inspired SS. Scriptures, or Tradition.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 21, 2013

This post begins with the bishop’s brief analysis of 2 Timothy chapter 4 followed by his notes on verses 6-8 and 16-18. Text in purple indicates his paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF 2 TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4

In this chapter, the Apostle earnestly conjures Timothy to apply himself to the zealous discharge of his duties, particularly that of preaching the word of God in all forms, and on all occasions. And he assigns as a reason for this earnest injunction, the near approach of corruption in morals, and instability of faith, among the faithful themselves (1–5). He predicts that his own death shall occur at no distant period, and consoles Timothy, by telling him that he is only going to receive a crown of justice, in reward for his past works (5–9). He invites Timothy to come to him, and brings the Epistle to a close with the usual salutations.

2Ti 4:6  For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand.

(You cannot long enjoy the benefit of my counsels), for, I am now subjected to the immediate process preceding my oblation as a victim, and the hour of my death is just at hand.

“I am now ready to be sacrificed.” The Vulgate reading for “sacrificed,” (delibor), and the Greek, σπενδομαι, clearly expresses that immediate preparation for sacrifice, consisting in pouring out a libation on the victim, as if he said: I am sprinkled with wine, as a libation preparatory to my immediate immolation as a victim. This he says with a view of stimulating Timothy to greater exertions, during the very short period of his own existence; for, he will be immediately deprived of the benefit of his counsels.

2Ti 4:7  I have fought a good fight: I have finished my course: I have kept the faith.

(This should be for you a subject of congratulation rather than of grief). For, I have fought a glorious fight, on behalf of the gospel and faith of Christ. I have successfully finished my course, and I have kept inviolable my promise of fidelity.

“I have fought a good fight,” i.e., a glorious fight for the gospel; “I have finished my course.” In both these, he alludes to the athletic exercises of wrestling, and running, at the Olympic games. “I have kept the faith,” commonly understood of his promise of fidelity, in allusion to the promise, which a soldier makes to his commander. It would be no great matter for him to glory in having kept the faith of Christ, or in not having become an apostate. Hence, the word “faith,” refers to fidelity in the discharge of his Apostolic functions.

2Ti 4:8  As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming. Make haste to come to me quickly.

As to what remains, there is stored up and safely kept for me, now almost on the point of victory, the crown which I have justly merited, and which the Lord Jesus Christ, as a just judge, will award to me on the day of General Judgment; and not only to me, but to all who expect and love his glorious coming. Hasten to come to me, without delay, to Rome.

He continues his allusion to the Olympic games. As a prize-fighter, he had come off victorious in the glorious contest; as a runner, he had reached the goal, observing all the rules of the race course. It remained, therefore, for him to receive from the master or judge of the games, the crown which he merited, i.e., to receive from God the reward of eternal life, which is held out by our Lord Jesus Christ, to such as triumphantly struggle in the stadium of a Christian life. Then, this reward is not to be seen, but it is “laid up,” and faithfully kept by God. It is “a crown of justice,” or a crown justly merited; eternal life is, therefore, to be the reward of merit. It is also a grace, because grace is indispensable for merit; hence, as St. Augustine expresses it:—“In crowning our merits, God only crowns his own gifts.” And although eternal life be “a crown of justice,” because due to our good works, owing to the liberal promises of God, it is also “a crown of mercy,” because it is merited through the merciful grace of God, as being infinitely above the reach of our natural powers. “On that day,” the day of General Judgment, when the soul and body shall be publicly glorified, though it virtually commences, on the day of particular judgment. “And not only to me,” &c. “It is a crown reserved for all Christians who shall finish their course well.” “That love his coming,” i.e., who by good works are prepared for him, and show that they love his coming to reward them, as the faithful servant, who performs the wishes of his master, loves his coming.

What an exhortation this passage conveys to us to labour zealously for eternal life! The period of our exertions is but momentary; to the man on the point of death, his past life, no matter how long, appears but a mere point. We have the judge of the games, the author and finisher of our faith, who is to be judge and witness, at the same time, holding out from heaven, the crown, that will never fade, and animating us by the sure prospect of enjoying it.

From the present passage, it appears quite clear, that this Epistle was written, when the Apostle was at the very point of death, which he knew, either from revelation or from circumstances, to “be at hand.” The object of the Apostle in this passage is to excite Timothy to greater zeal, by telling him that these are the last written instructions he will receive from him—for, that he is now in the position of the victim, on whose head is poured forth the preparatory libation, his death, just at hand. He removes the grief which this might naturally occasion Timothy, by telling him that he is about to enter on the possession of the crown of eternal life. Looking, then, to the plain, obvious meaning of the words, they can bear no other interpretation than that which fixes his death as instantly to occur. This Epistle was, therefore, written during his second imprisonment.

2Ti 4:16  At my first answer, no man stood with me: but all forsook me. May it not be laid to their charge!

The first time during this imprisonment, that I pleaded my cause before Nero, none of my friends stood by me, they all forsook me. May this not be imputed to them as a sin, i.e., may God forgive them for this desertion of me.

“In my answer.” (In Greek, ἀπολογίᾳ, apology), i.e., the first time he pleaded his cause during this second imprisonment, either before Nero, or before some subordinate judge. “No man” (of his friends), stood with him, “but all,” i.e., almost all; for, Luke and others did not desert him, but all who could be of any service to him in the court of Nero “forsook” him, from a dread of that Emperor’s cruelty. “May it not be laid to their charge;” may God forgive them, because they sinned only through weakness.

2Ti 4:17  But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, that by me the preaching may be accomplished and that all the Gentiles may hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

But the Lord did not abandon me, he stood by me, and supplied me with spirit and courage for my defence, in order that the preaching of the gospel would be accomplished by me, and that all nations might hear it, and, therefore, I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

“The Lord stood by me;” he was not altogether forsaken—the Lord stood by him, encouraging him. “And strengthened me;” giving him strength and courage to go through his defence. Some persons interpret the Greek word corresponding with “stood by me,” παρεστη, to mean, appeared to me, and by his presence refreshed me, giving me strength and confidence. “That by me the preaching may be accomplished;” not that I deserved any such divine interposition; but, the end for which he stood by me, and for which I wished to have my life prolonged, was, that the preaching of the gospel might receive its consummation through me, and that all the nations might hear it at the centre of the greatest power then existing—viz., at Rome, and even in the palace of Nero, to which many had flocked from all parts of the then known world. Hence, it came to pass, that in his second imprisonment, as well as in his first, “his bonds were made manifest in all the court,” and to all the rest (Philip. 1); and, therefore, “he was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” Such was the appellation which Nero received for his savage ferocity and cruelty. He was delivered from Nero’s grasp, and permitted to live some time longer, perhaps comparatively free, under the custody of a single soldier, as had been allowed him, during his first imprisonment. This passage furnishes no argument against the opinion of the ancients, that the present Epistle was written during the Apostle’s second imprisonment. It is rather in favour of that opinion. Because, he says, that “in his first defence,” or as in Greek, apology, “all had forsaken him,” fearing the cruelty of Nero; and he calls him the “lion,” on account of his cruelty. Now, these expressions could not be used in reference to Nero during the Apostle’s first imprisonment; for, as Ecclesiastical writers tell us, St. Paul’s first imprisonment occurred during the early part of Nero’s reign, some say, in the second or third year of it. And it is quite certain that during the four first years of his reign, Nero was a most benevolent prince. So much so that Seneca declares, that when he was called upon to write the sentence for the execution of two robbers, he exclaimed, would I never knew letters! Why, therefore, should the faithful dread so clement and kind-hearted a prince?—why call him “a lion”? This would be true of him only in the subsequent part of his reign, during the Apostle’s second imprisonment. Then, he calls the defence his “first,” because he was often interrogated during his second imprisonment.

2Ti 4:18  The Lord hath delivered me from every evil work and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

But as he has rescued me from the earthly lion so I hope he will rescue me from the spiritual lion—viz., from sin, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom—to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

“The Lord hath delivered (in Greek, ῥύσεται, will deliver) me from every evil work,” from the incursions of the infernal lion, from all sin, and will grant me victory over all temptation, and transfer me to his heavenly kingdom.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 4:10-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 12, 2013

This post opens with the bishop’s brief analysis of 2 Timothy 4, followed by his notes on verses 10-17. Text in purple indicates the bishop’s paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF 2 TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4

In this chapter, the Apostle earnestly conjures Timothy to apply himself to the zealous discharge of his duties, particularly that of preaching the word of God in all forms, and on all occasions. And he assigns as a reason for this earnest injunction, the near approach of corruption in morals, and instability of faith, among the faithful themselves (1–5). He predicts that his own death shall occur at no distant period, and consoles Timothy, by telling him that he is only going to receive a crown of justice, in reward for his past works (5–9). He invites Timothy to come to him, and brings the Epistle to a close with the usual salutations.

2Ti 4:10  Crescens into Galatia, Titus into Dalmatia.

2Ti 4:11  Only Luke is with me. Take Mark and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Luke only remains with me. Take (John) Mark, and bring him with you, for, he is of service to me for the ministry of the gospel.

Luke is the only person able to serve him; that the Apostle was not alone towards the end of his imprisonment—that he and St. Peter were both confined in the Mamertine prison, for nine months before their martyrdom, is the common tradition of the Romans, as we learn from Baronius (A.D. 69). “Mark,” i.e., John Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, who was before rejected by the Apostle (Acts, 15:27). After doing penance, the Apostle received him; he was before useless, but now of some service, while Demas becomes useless. The man who stands should not presume, nor should he who falls, despair.

2Ti 4:12  But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.

Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus (to supply your place).

 He did not wish to leave Ephesus without a pastor during Timothy’s absence; he, therefore, sends Tychicus to supply his place.

2Ti 4:13  The cloak that I left at Troas, with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee: and the books, especially the parchments.

Call on your way for the cloak, which I left with Carpus at Troas, and for the books also, but particularly the parchments.

“The cloak.” This was an outer garment, which the Apostle wished to have in prison, in order to keep off the cold, and not to be troublesome to others, in borrowing from them. His sending for it to so great a distance, shows his great poverty. “The books,” long since written; probably the books of the Old Testament, and “the parchments,” refer to the manuscripts lately written by himself. From this it appears, that though the Apostle was divinely inspired, and taught by Christ himself; still, he omitted no human labour or study for self-improvement. For the short time he had to live, he desired to engage in some useful occupation, and wished for these books to give them to the faithful. If the Doctor of Nations, taught by Christ himself, and after having discharged the Apostleship for so many years, wishes for books to read, how much more necessary must it be for us to make the SS. Scripture and pious books, the subject of our daily study and meditation!

2Ti 4:14  Alexander the coppersmith hath done me much evil: the Lord will reward him according to his works:
Alexander, the copper-smith, has done me much evil: the Lord will inflict on him punishment proportioned to his misdeeds.
2Ti 4:15  Whom do thou also avoid: for he hath greatly withstood our words.
For fear of similar maltreatment, do you also shun him. For, he has offered very great resistance to our preaching.

“Alexander, the copper-smith.” The same, probably, to whom reference is made (1 Tim. 1). Irritated at the excommunication with which the Apostle visited him, he resisted his preaching; he also, very likely, spoke of St. Paul to the friends of Nero, as a seditious person, and an enemy of the Jewish religion, which was tolerated at Rome. “The Lord will reward him,” &c. (In Greek, ἀποδῴη αὐτῷ ὁ Κύριος may the Lord reward him), which is a prophecy, joined with an approval, of the Divine vengeance with which he was to be visited.

2Ti 4:16  At my first answer, no man stood with me: but all forsook me. May it not be laid to their charge!

 The first time during this imprisonment, that I pleaded my cause before Nero, none of my friends stood by me, they all forsook me. May this not be imputed to them as a sin, i.e., may God forgive them for this desertion of me.

“In my answer.” (In Greek, ἀπολογίᾳ, apology), i.e., the first time he pleaded his cause during this second imprisonment, either before Nero, or before some subordinate judge. “No man” (of his friends), stood with him, “but all,” i.e., almost all; for, Luke and others did not desert him, but all who could be of any service to him in the court of Nero “forsook” him, from a dread of that Emperor’s cruelty. “May it not be laid to their charge;” may God forgive them, because they sinned only through weakness.

2Ti 4:17  But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, that by me the preaching may be accomplished and that all the Gentiles may hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

But the Lord did not abandon me, he stood by me, and supplied me with spirit and courage for my defence, in order that the preaching of the gospel would be accomplished by me, and that all nations might hear it, and, therefore, I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

 “The Lord stood by me;” he was not altogether forsaken—the Lord stood by him, encouraging him. “And strengthened me;” giving him strength and courage to go through his defence. Some persons interpret the Greek word corresponding with “stood by me,” παρεστη, to mean, appeared to me, and by his presence refreshed me, giving me strength and confidence. “That by me the preaching may be accomplished;” not that I deserved any such divine interposition; but, the end for which he stood by me, and for which I wished to have my life prolonged, was, that the preaching of the gospel might receive its consummation through me, and that all the nations might hear it at the centre of the greatest power then existing—viz., at Rome, and even in the palace of Nero, to which many had flocked from all parts of the then known world. Hence, it came to pass, that in his second imprisonment, as well as in his first, “his bonds were made manifest in all the court,” and to all the rest (Philip. 1); and, therefore, “he was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” Such was the appellation which Nero received for his savage ferocity and cruelty. He was delivered from Nero’s grasp, and permitted to live some time longer, perhaps comparatively free, under the custody of a single soldier, as had been allowed him, during his first imprisonment. This passage furnishes no argument against the opinion of the ancients, that the present Epistle was written during the Apostle’s second imprisonment. It is rather in favour of that opinion. Because, he says, that “in his first defence,” or as in Greek, apology, “all had forsaken him,” fearing the cruelty of Nero; and he calls him the “lion,” on account of his cruelty. Now, these expressions could not be used in reference to Nero during the Apostle’s first imprisonment; for, as Ecclesiastical writers tell us, St. Paul’s first imprisonment occurred during the early part of Nero’s reign, some say, in the second or third year of it. And it is quite certain that during the four first years of his reign, Nero was a most benevolent prince. So much so that Seneca declares, that when he was called upon to write the sentence for the execution of two robbers, he exclaimed, would I never knew letters! Why, therefore, should the faithful dread so clement and kind-hearted a prince?—why call him “a lion”? This would be true of him only in the subsequent part of his reign, during the Apostle’s second imprisonment. Then, he calls the defence his “first,” because he was often interrogated during his second imprisonment.

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St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on 2 Timothy 2:1-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 9, 2013

The following post consists of St John Chrysostom’s 4th Homily on 2 Timothy, covering 2:1-10. And excerpt from his 5th homily coverse verses 11-14.

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.”

THE young sailor at sea is inspired with great confidence, if the Master of the ship has been preserved in a shipwreck. For he will not consider that it is from his inexperience that he is exposed to the storm, but from the nature of things; and this has no little effect upon his mind. In war also the Captain, who sees his General wounded and recovered again, is much encouraged. And thus it produces some consolation to the faithful, that the Apostle should have been exposed to great sufferings, and not rendered weak by the utmost of them. And had it not been so, he would not have related his sufferings. For when Timothy heard, that he who possessed so great powers, who had conquered the whole world, is a prisoner, and afflicted, yet is not impatient, nor discontented upon the desertion of his friends; he, if ever exposed to the same sufferings himself, would not consider that it proceeded from human weakness, nor from the circumstance of his being a disciple, and inferior to Paul, since his teacher too suffered the like, but that all this happened from the natural course of things. For Paul himself did this,1 and related what had befallen him, that he might strengthen Timothy, and renew his courage. And he shows that it was for this reason he mentioned his trials and afflictions, in that he has added, “Thou, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” What sayest thou? Thou hast shaken us with terrors, thou hast told us that thou art in chains, in afflictions, that all have forsaken thee, and, as if thou hadst said thou hadst not suffered anything, nor been abandoned by any, thou addest, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong”?—And justly too. For these things were to thy strengthening more than to his.1 For if I, Paul, endure these things, much more oughtest thou to bear them. If the master, much more the disciple. And this exhortation he introduces with much affection, calling him “son,” and not only so, but “my son.” If thou art a son, he means, imitate thy father. If thou art a son, be strong in consideration of the things which I have said, or rather be strong, not merely from what I have told you, but “of God.” “Be strong,” he says, “in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”; that is, “through the grace of Christ.” That is, stand firmly. Thou knowest the battle. For elsewhere he says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood.” (Eph. 6:12.) And this he says not to depress but to excite them. Be sober therefore, he means, and watch, have the grace of the Lord coöperating with thee, and aiding thee in thy contest, contribute thy own part with much alacrity and resolution. “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men”; to “faithful” men, not to questioners nor to reasoners, to “faithful.” How faithful? Such as betray not the Gospel they should preach. “The things which thou hast heard,” not which thou hast searched out. For “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17.) But wherefore, “among many witnesses”? As if he had said: Thou hast not heard in secret, nor apart, but in the presence of many, with all openness of speech. Nor does he say, Tell, but “commit,” as a treasure committed is deposited in safety. Again he alarms his disciple, both from things above and things below. But he says not only “commit to faithful men”; for of what advantage is it that one is faithful, if he is not able to convey his doctrine to others? when he does not indeed betray the faith; but does not render others faithful? The teacher therefore ought to have two qualities, to be both faithful, and apt to teach; wherefore he says, “who shall be able to teach others also.”

“Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Oh, how great a dignity is this, to be a soldier of Jesus Christ! Observe the kings on earth, how great an honor it is esteemed to serve under them. If therefore the soldier of the king ought to endure hardness, not to endure hardness is not the part of any soldier. So that it behooves thee not to complain, if thou endurest hardness, for that is the part of a soldier; but to complain, if thou dost not endure hardness.

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully.”

These things are said indeed to Timothy, but through him they are addressed to every teacher and disciple. Let no one therefore of those who hold the office of a Bishop disdain to hear these things, but let him be ashamed not to do them. “If any one strive for masteries,” he says, “he is not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” What is meant by “lawfully”? It is not enough that he enters into the lists, that he is anointed, and even engages, unless he comply with all the laws of the exercise, with respect to diet, to temperance and sobriety, and all the rules of the wrestling school, unless, in short, he go through all that is befitting for a wrestler,2 he is not crowned. And observe the wisdom of Paul. He mentions wrestlers and soldiers, the one to prepare him for slaughter and blood, the other with reference to endurance, that he might bear everything with fortitude, and be ever in exercise.

“The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

He had first spoken from his own example as a teacher. He now speaks from those that are more common, as wrestlers and soldiers, and in their case he sets before him the rewards. First, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier; secondly, that he may be crowned; now he proposes a third example that more particularly suits himself. For the instance of the soldier and the wrestler corresponds to those who are under rule, but that of the husbandman to the Teacher. (Strive) not as a soldier or a wrestler only, but as a husbandman too. The husbandman takes care not of himself alone, but of the fruits of the earth. That is, no little reward of his labors is enjoyed by the husbandman.

Here he both shows, that to God nothing is wanting, and that there is a reward for Teaching, which he shows by a common instance. As the husbandman, he says, does not labor without profit, but enjoys before others the fruits of his own toils, so is it fit that the teacher should do: either he means this, or he is speaking of the honor to be paid to teachers, but this is less consistent. For why does he not say the husbandman simply, but him “that laboreth”? not only that worketh, but that is worn with toil? And here with reference to the delay of reward, that no one may be impatient, he says, thou reapest the fruit already, or there is a reward in the labor itself. When therefore he has set before him the examples of soldiers, of wrestlers, and husbandmen, and all figuratively, “No one,” he says, “is crowned except he strive lawfully.” And having observed that “the husbandman who laboreth must first be partaker of the fruits,” he adds,

“Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.”

It is on this account that he has spoken these things in proverb and parable. Then again to show his affectionate disposition, he ceases not to pray for him, as fearing for his own son, and he says,

Ver. 8, 9. “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead, according to my Gospel. Wherein I suffer trouble as an evil-doer, even unto bonds.”

On what account is this mentioned? It is directed chiefly against the heretics, at the same time to encourage Timothy, by showing the advantage of sufferings, since Christ, our Master, Himself overcame death by suffering. Remember this, he says, and thou wilt have sufficient comfort. “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead.” For upon that point many had already begun to subvert the dispensation, being ashamed at the immensity of God’s love to mankind. For of such a nature are the benefits which God has conferred upon us, that men were ashamed to ascribe them to God, and could not believe He had so far condescended. “According to my Gospel.” Thus he everywhere speaks in his Epistles, saying “according to my Gospel,”1 either because they were bound to believe him, or because there were some who preached “another Gospel.” (Gal. 1:6).

“Wherein I suffer trouble,” he says, “as an evil-doer, even unto bonds.” Again he introduces consolation and encouragement from himself, and he prepares2 his hearer’s mind with these two things; first, that he should know him to endure hardness; and, secondly, that he did not so but for a useful purpose, for in this case he will gain, in the other will even suffer harm. For what advantage is it, that you can show that a Teacher has exposed himself to hardship, but not for any useful purpose? But if it is for any benefit, if for the profit of those who are taught, then it is worthy of admiration.3

“But the word of God is not bound.” That is, if we were soldiers of this world, and waged an earthly warfare, the chains that confine our hands would avail. But now God has made us such that nothing can subdue us. For our hands are bound, but not our tongue, since nothing can bind the tongue but cowardice and unbelief alone; and where these are not, though you fasten chains upon us, the preaching of the Gospel is not bound. If indeed you bind a husbandman, you prevent his sowing, for he sows with his hand: but if you bind a Teacher, you hinder not the word, for it is sown with his tongue, not with his hand. Our word therefore is not subjected to bonds. For though we are bound, that is free, and runs its course. How? Because though bound, behold, we preach. This is for the encouragement of those that are free. For if we that are bound preach, much more does it behoove you that are loose to do so. You have heard that I suffer these things, as an evil-doer. Be not dejected. For it is a great wonder, that being bound I do the work of those that are free, that being bound I overcome all, that being bound I prevail over those that bound me. For it is the word of God, not ours. Human chains cannot bind the word of God. “These things I suffer on account of the elect.”

Ver. 10. “Therefore I endure all things,” he says, “for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

Behold another incentive. I endure these things, he says, not for myself, but for the salvation of others. It was in my power to have lived free from danger; to have suffered none of these things, if I had consulted my own interest. On what account then do I suffer these things? For the good of others, that others may obtain eternal life. What then dost thou promise thyself? He has not said, simply on account of these particular persons; but “for the elect’s sake.” If God has chosen them, it becomes us to suffer everything for their sakes. “That they also may obtain salvation.” By saying, “they also,” he means, as well as we. For God hath chosen us also; and as God suffered for our sakes, so should we suffer for their sakes. Thus it is a matter of retribution, not of favor. On the part of God it was grace, for He having received no previous benefit, hath done us good: but on our parts it is retribution, we having previously received benefits from God, suffer for these, for whom we suffer, in order “that they may obtain salvation.” What sayest thou? What salvation? Art thou who wast not the author of salvation to thyself, but wast destroying thyself, art thou the author of salvation to others? Surely not, and therefore he adds, “salvation that is in Christ Jesus”; that which is truly salvation, “with eternal glory.” Present things are afflictive, but they are but on earth. Present things are ignominious, but they are temporary. They are full of bitterness and pain; but they last only to-day and to-morrow.

Such is not the nature of the good things, they are eternal, they are in heaven. That is true glory, this is dishonor.

MORAL. For observe, I pray, beloved, that is not glory which is on earth, the true glory is in heaven. But if any one would be glorified, let him be dishonored. If he would obtain rest, let him suffer affliction. If any one would be forever illustrious, would enjoy pleasure, let him despise temporal things. And that dishonor is glory, and glory dishonor, let us now set before us to the best of our power, that we may see what is real glory. It is not possible to be glorified upon earth; if thou wouldest be glorified, it must be through dishonor. And let us prove this in the examples of two persons, Nero and Paul. The one had the glory of this world, the other the dishonor. How? The first was a tyrant, had obtained great success had raised many trophies, had wealth ever flowing in, numerous armies everywhere; he had the greater part of the world and the imperial city subject to his sway, the whole senate crouching to him, and his palace too1 was advancing with splendid show. When he must be armed, he went forth arrayed in gold and precious stones. When he was to sit still in peace, he sat clothed in robes of purple. He was surrounded by numerous guards and attendants. He was called Lord of land and sea, Emperor,2 Augustus, Cæsar, King, and other such high-sounding names as implied3 flattery and courtship; and nothing was wanting that might tend to glory. Even wise men and potentates and sovereigns trembled at him. For beside all this, he was said to be a cruel and violent man. He even wished to be thought a god, and he despised both all the idols, and the very God Who is over all. He was worshiped as a god. What greater glory than this? Or rather what greater dishonor? For—I know not how—my tongue is carried away by the force of truth, and passes sentence before judgment. Meanwhile let us examine the matter according to the opinion of the multitude, and of unbelievers, and the estimation of flattery.

What is greater in the common estimation of glory than to be reputed a god? It is indeed a great disgrace that any human being should be so mad, but for the present let us consider the matter according to the opinion of the multitude. Nothing then was wanting to him, that contributes to human glory, but he was worshiped by all as a god. Now in opposition to him, let us consider Paul. He was a Cilician, and the difference between Rome and Cilicia, all know. He was a tent-maker, a poor man, unskilled in the wisdom of those without, knowing only the Hebrew tongue, a language despised by all, especially by the Italians. For they do not so much despise the barbarian, the Greek, or any other tongue as the Syriac, and this has affinity with the Hebrew. Nor wonder at this, for if they despised the Greek, which is so admirable and beautiful, much more the Hebrew. He was a man that often lived in hunger, often went to bed without food, a man that was naked, and had not clothes to put on; “in cold, and nakedness,” as he says of himself. (1 Cor. 11:27.) Nor was this all; but he was cast into prison at the command of Nero himself, and confined with robbers, with impostors, with gave-breakers, with murderers, and he was, as he himself says, scourged as a malefactor. Who then is the more illustrious? The name of the one the greater part have never heard of. The other is daily celebrated by Greeks, and Barbarians, and Scythians, and those who inhabit the extremities of the earth.

But let us not yet consider what is the case now, but even at that time who was the more illustrious, who the more glorious, he that was in chains, and dragged bound from prison, or he that was clothed in a purple robe, and walked forth from a palace? The prisoner certainly. For the other, who had armies at his command, and sat arrayed in purple, was not able to do what he would. But the prisoner, that was like a malefactor, and in mean attire, could do everything with more authority. How? The one said, “Do not disseminate the word of God.” The other said, “I cannot forbear; ‘the word of God is not bound.’ ” Thus the Cilician, the prisoner, the poor tent-maker, who lived in hunger, despised the Roman, rich as he was, and emperor, and ruling over all, who enriched so many thousands; and with all his armies he availed nothing. Who then was illustrious? who venerable? He that in chains was a conqueror, or he that in a purple robe was conquered? He that standing below, smote, or he that sitting above, was smitten? He that commanded and was despised, or he who was commanded and made no account of the commands? He who being alone was victorious, or he who with numerous armies was defeated? The king therefore so came off, that his prisoner triumphed over him. Tell me then on whose side you would be? For do not look to what comes afterwards, but to what was then their state. Would you be on the side of Nero, or of Paul? I speak not according to the estimate of faith, for that is manifest; but according to the estimate of glory, and reverence, and preëminence. Any man of right understanding would say, on the side of Paul. For if to conquer is more illustrious than to be conquered, he is more glorious. And this is not yet much, that he conquered, but that being in so mean a state he conquered one in so exalted a condition. For I say, and will not cease to repeat it, though bound with a chain, yet he smote him that was invested with a diadem.

Such is the power of Christ. The chain surpassed the kingly crown, and this apparel was shown more brilliant than that. Clothed in filthy rags, as the inhabitant of a prison, he turned all eyes upon the chains that hung on him, rather than on the purple robe. He stood on earth bound down and stooping low, and all left the tyrant mounted on a golden chariot to gaze on him. And well they might. For it was customary to see a king with white horses, but it was a strange and unwonted sight to behold a prisoner conversing with a king with as much confidence as a king would converse with a pitiful and wretched slave. The surrounding multitude were all slaves of the king, yet they admired not their lord, but him who was superior to their lord. And he before whom all feared and trembled, was trampled upon by one solitary man. See then how great was the brightness of these very chains!

And what need to mention what followed after these things? The tomb of the one is nowhere to be seen; but the other lies in the royal city itself, in greater splendor than any king, even there where he conquered, where he raised his trophy. If mention is made of the one, it is with reproach, even among his kindred, for he is said to have been profligate. But the memory of the other is everywhere accompanied with a good report, not among1 us only, but among his enemies. For when truth shines forth, it puts to shame even one’s enemies, and if they admire him not for his faith, yet they admire him for his boldness and his manly freedom. The one is proclaimed by all mouths, as one that is crowned, the other is loaded with reproaches and accusations. Which then is the real splendor?

And yet I am but praising the lion for his talons, when I ought to be speaking of his real honors. And what are these? Those in the heavens. How will he come in a shining vesture with the King of Heaven! How will Nero stand then, mournful and dejected! And if what I say seems to thee incredible and ridiculous, thou art ridiculous for deriding that which is no subject for laughter. For if thou disbelievest the future, be convinced from what is past. The season for being crowned is not yet come, and yet how great honor has the combatant gained! What honor then will he not obtain, when the Distributor of the prizes shall come! He was among foreigners, “a stranger and a sojourner” (Heb. 11:13), and thus is he admired: what good will he not enjoy, when he is amongst his own? Now “our life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3); yet he who is dead worketh more and is more honored than the living. When that our life shall come, what will he not participate? What will he not attain?

On this account God made him enjoy these honors, not because he wanted them. For if when in the body he despised popular glory, much more will he despise it now that he is delivered from the body. Nor only on this account has He caused him to enjoy honor, but that those who disbelieve the future may be convinced from the present. I say that when the Resurrection shall be, Paul will come with the King of Heaven, and will enjoy infinite blessings. But the unbeliever will not be convinced. Let him believe then from the present. The tent-maker is more illustrious, more honored than the king. No emperor of Rome ever enjoyed so great honor. The emperor is cast out, and lies, no one knows where. The tent-maker occupies the midst of the city, as if he were a king, and living. From these things believe, even with respect to the future. If he enjoys so great honor here, where he was persecuted and banished, what will he not be when he shall come hereafter? If when he was a tent-maker, he was so illustrious, what will he be when he shall come rivaling the beams of the sun? If in so much meanness he overcame such magnificence, to whom, at his coming, will he not be superior? Can we avoid the conclusion? Who is not moved by the fact, that a tent-maker became more honorable than the most honored of kings? If here things happen so beyond the course of nature, much more will it be so hereafter. If thou wilt not believe the future, O man, believe the present. If thou wilt not believe invisible things, believe things that are seen: or rather believe things which are seen, for so thou wilt believe things which are invisible. But if thou wilt not, we may fitly say with the Apostle, “We are pure from your blood” (Acts 20:26): for we have testified to you of all things, and have left out nothing that we should have said. Blame yourselves therefore, and to yourselves2 will ye impute the punishment of Hell. But let us, my beloved children, be imitators of Paul, not in his faith only, but in his life, that we may attain to heavenly glory, and trample upon that glory that is here. Let not any things present attract us. Let us despise visible things, that we may obtain heavenly things, or rather may3 through these obtain the others, but let it be our aim preeminently to obtain those, of which God grant that we may be all accounted worthy, through the grace and lovingkindness, &c.

“It is a faithful saying: for if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us: if we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord, that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.”

MANY of the weaker sort of men give up the effort of faith, and do not endure the deferring of their hope. They seek things present, and form from these their judgment of the future. When therefore their lot here was death, torments, and chains, and yet he says, they shall come to eternal life, they would not have believed, but would have said, “What sayest thou? When I live, I die; and when I die, I live? Thou promisest nothing on earth, and dost thou give it in heaven? Little things thou dost not bestow; and dost thou offer great things?” That none therefore may argue thus, he places beyond doubt the proof of these things, laying it down beforehand already, and giving certain signs. For, “remember,” he says, “that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead”; that is, rose again after death. And now showing the same thing he says, “It is a faithful saying,” that he who has attained a heavenly life, will attain eternal life also. Whence is it “faithful”? Because, he says, “If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.” For say, shall we partake with Him in things laborious and painful; and shall we not in things beneficial? But not even a man would act thus, nor, if one had chosen to suffer affliction and death with him, would he refuse to him a share in his rest, if he had attained it. But how are we “dead with Him”? This death he means both of that in the Laver, and that in sufferings. For he says, “Bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus” (2 Cor. 4:10); and, “We are buried with Him by baptism into death” (Rom. 6:4); and, “Our old man is crucified with Him”; and, “We have been planted together in the likeness of His death.” (Rom. 6:5, 6.) But he also speaks here of death by trials: and that more especially, for he was also suffering trials when he wrote it. And this is what he says, “If we have suffered death on His account, shall we not live on His account? This is not to be doubted. ‘If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him,’ ” not absolutely, we shall reign, but “if we suffer,” showing that it is not enough to die once, (the blessed man himself died daily,) but there was need of much patient endurance; and especially Timothy had need of it. For tell me not, he says, of your first sufferings, but that you continue to suffer.

Then on the other side he exhorts him, not from the good, but from the evil. For if wicked men were to partake of the same things, this would be no consolation. And if having endured they were to reign with Him, but not having endured were not indeed to reign with Him, but were to suffer no worse evil, though this were terrible, yet it would not be enough to affect most men with concern. Wherefore he speaks of something more dreadful still. If we deny Him, He will also deny us. So then there is a retribution not of good things only, but of the contrary. And consider what it is probable that he will suffer, who is denied in that kingdom. “Whosoever shall deny Me, him will I also deny.” (Matt. 10:33.) And the retribution is not equal, though it seems so expressed. For we who deny Him are men, but He who denies us is God; and how great is the distance between God and man, it is needless to say.

Besides, we injure ourselves; Him we cannot injure. And to show this, he has added, “If we believe not, He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself”: that is, if we believe not that He rose again, He is not injured by it. He is faithful and unshaken, whether we say so or not. If then He is not at all injured by our denying Him, it is for nothing else than for our benefit that He desires our confession. For He abideth the same, whether we deny Him or not. He cannot deny Himself, that is, His own Being. We may say that He is not; though such is not the fact. It is not in His nature, it is not possible for Him not to be, that is, to go into nonentity.1 His subsistence always abides, always is. Let us not therefore be so affected, as if we could gratify or could injure Him. But lest any one should think that Timothy needed this advice, he has added,

“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord, that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.” It is an overawing thing to call God to witness what we say, for if no one would dare to set at nought the testimony of man when appealed to, much less when the appeal is to God. If any one, for instance, entering into a contract, or making his will, chooses to call witnesses worthy of credit, would any transfer the things to those who are not included? Surely not. And even if he wishes it, yet fearing the credibility of the witnesses, he avoids it. What is “charging them before the Lord”? he calls God to witness both what was said, and what was done.

“That they strive not about words to no profit;” and not merely so, but “to the subverting of the hearers.” Not only is there no gain from it, but much harm. “Of these things then put them in remembrance,” and if they despise thee, God will judge them. But why does he admonish them not to strive about words? He knows that it is a dainty1 thing, and that the human soul is ever prone to contend and to dispute about words. To guard against this, he has not only charged them “not to strive about words,” but to render his discourse more alarming, he adds, “to the subverting of the hearers.” The  rest of this homily can be read here.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 23, 2013

2Ti 4:6  For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand.

“I am now ready to be sacrificed.” The Vulgate reading for “sacrificed,” (delibor), and the Greek, σπενδομαι, clearly expresses that immediate preparation for sacrifice, consisting in pouring out a libation on the victim, as if he said: I am sprinkled with wine, as a libation preparatory to my immediate immolation as a victim. This he says with a view of stimulating Timothy to greater exertions, during the very short period of his own existence; for, he will be immediately deprived of the benefit of his counsels.

2Ti 4:7  I have fought a good fight: I have finished my course: I have kept the faith.

“I have fought a good fight,” i.e., a glorious fight for the gospel; “I have finished my course.” In both these, he alludes to the athletic exercises of wrestling, and running, at the Olympic games. “I have kept the faith,” commonly understood of his promise of fidelity, in allusion to the promise, which a soldier makes to his commander. It would be no great matter for him to glory in having kept the faith of Christ, or in not having become an apostate. Hence, the word “faith,” refers to fidelity in the discharge of his Apostolic functions.

2Ti 4:8  As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming. Make haste to come to me quickly.

He continues his allusion to the Olympic games. As a prize-fighter, he had come off victorious in the glorious contest; as a runner, he had reached the goal, observing all the rules of the race course. It remained, therefore, for him to receive from the master or judge of the games, the crown which he merited, i.e., to receive from God the reward of eternal life, which is held out by our Lord Jesus Christ, to such as triumphantly struggle in the stadium of a Christian life. Then, this reward is not to be seen, but it is “laid up,” and faithfully kept by God. It is “a crown of justice,” or a crown justly merited; eternal life is, therefore, to be the reward of merit. It is also a grace, because grace is indispensable for merit; hence, as St. Augustine expresses it:—“In crowning our merits, God only crowns his own gifts.” And although eternal life be “a crown of justice,” because due to our good works, owing to the liberal promises of God, it is also “a crown of mercy,” because it is merited through the merciful grace of God, as being infinitely above the reach of our natural powers. “On that day,” the day of General Judgment, when the soul and body shall be publicly glorified, though it virtually commences, on the day of particular judgment. “And not only to me,” &c. “It is a crown reserved for all Christians who shall finish their course well.” “That love his coming,” i.e., who by good works are prepared for him, and show that they love his coming to reward them, as the faithful servant, who performs the wishes of his master, loves his coming.

What an exhortation this passage conveys to us to labour zealously for eternal life! The period of our exertions is but momentary; to the man on the point of death, his past life, no matter how long, appears but a mere point. We have the judge of the games, the author and finisher of our faith, who is to be judge and witness, at the same time, holding out from heaven, the crown, that will never fade, and animating us by the sure prospect of enjoying it.

From the present passage, it appears quite clear, that this Epistle was written, when the Apostle was at the very point of death, which he knew, either from revelation or from circumstances, to “be at hand.” The object of the Apostle in this passage is to excite Timothy to greater zeal, by telling him that these are the last written instructions he will receive from him—for, that he is now in the position of the victim, on whose head is poured forth the preparatory libation, his death, just at hand. He removes the grief which this might naturally occasion Timothy, by telling him that he is about to enter on the possession of the crown of eternal life. Looking, then, to the plain, obvious meaning of the words, they can bear no other interpretation than that which fixes his death as instantly to occur. This Epistle was, therefore, written during his second imprisonment.

2Ti 4:17  But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, that by me the preaching may be accomplished and that all the Gentiles may hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

“The Lord stood by me;” he was not altogether forsaken—the Lord stood by him, encouraging him. “And strengthened me;” giving him strength and courage to go through his defence. Some persons interpret the Greek word corresponding with “stood by me,” παρεστη, to mean, appeared to me, and by his presence refreshed me, giving me strength and confidence. “That by me the preaching may be accomplished;” not that I deserved any such divine interposition; but, the end for which he stood by me, and for which I wished to have my life prolonged, was, that the preaching of the gospel might receive its consummation through me, and that all the nations might hear it at the centre of the greatest power then existing—viz., at Rome, and even in the palace of Nero, to which many had flocked from all parts of the then known world. Hence, it came to pass, that in his second imprisonment, as well as in his first, “his bonds were made manifest in all the court,” and to all the rest (Philip. 1); and, therefore, “he was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” Such was the appellation which Nero received for his savage ferocity and cruelty. He was delivered from Nero’s grasp, and permitted to live some time longer, perhaps comparatively free, under the custody of a single soldier, as had been allowed him, during his first imprisonment. This passage furnishes no argument against the opinion of the ancients, that the present Epistle was written during the Apostle’s second imprisonment. It is rather in favour of that opinion. Because, he says, that “in his first defence,” or as in Greek, apology, “all had forsaken him,” fearing the cruelty of Nero; and he calls him the “lion,” on account of his cruelty. Now, these expressions could not be used in reference to Nero during the Apostle’s first imprisonment; for, as Ecclesiastical writers tell us, St. Paul’s first imprisonment occurred during the early part of Nero’s reign, some say, in the second or third year of it. And it is quite certain that during the four first years of his reign, Nero was a most benevolent prince. So much so that Seneca declares, that when he was called upon to write the sentence for the execution of two robbers, he exclaimed, would I never knew letters! Why, therefore, should the faithful dread so clement and kind-hearted a prince?—why call him “a lion”? This would be true of him only in the subsequent part of his reign, during the Apostle’s second imprisonment. Then, he calls the defence his “first,” because he was often interrogated during his second imprisonment.

2Ti 4:18  The Lord hath delivered me from every evil work and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

“The Lord hath delivered (in Greek, ῥύσεται, will deliver) me from every evil work,” from the incursions of the infernal lion, from all sin, and will grant me victory over all temptation, and transfer me to his heavenly kingdom.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 2:1-7

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 28, 2012

This post includes Fr. Callan’s summary of 2 Tim 2:1-13, followed by his notes on today’s reading. The summary was previously posted. Text in red represent my additions from other parts of Fr. Callan’s writings.

TIMOTHY IS EXHORTED TO FAITHFULNESS AND PATIENCE

A Summary of 2 Timothy 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).

1. Thou therefore, my son, be strengthened in the grace which is in Christ Jesus:

Therefore refers back to the unfaithfulness spoken of in verse 15 of the preceding Chapter, and aims to impress on Timothy the need of the grace of Christ for a faithful fulfillment of his duties.

2. And the things which thou didst hear of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also.

Didst hear. The aorist refers to something definitely past, for which see verse 13 of the preceding Chapter.

By many witnesses, or “through many witnesses,” or “in the presence of many witnesses” (St. Chrysostom). The Apostle is alluding to the instruction he had given Timothy in the presence of others, perhaps at the time of the latter’s ordination (1 Tim 4:14, 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 1:6), and also to his own preaching of which Timothy and many more had been frequent hearers, and of which Timothy had heard indirectly from others. All this teaching of the Apostle, which Timothy has heard and learned, he is to transmit to other faithful custodians, who in turn are to teach it to the faithful in general. Here again we have a strong argument for the authority of unwritten Apostolic tradition.

3. Endure your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

In verses 3-6 St. Paul endeavors to stimulate the zeal of Timothy by citing the example of a soldier, of an athlete, and of a husbandman, whose devotion and efforts for temporal success the young bishop is to emulate for success in spiritual things.

Endure your share, etc. See above on 2 Tim 1:8. That passage reads: Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure your share of suffering for the gospel, according to the power of God. Here is what Fr. Callan wrote concerning it:

Timothy must not be ashamed to bear witness to Christ in preaching the Gospel; nor should he be ashamed of his master who is in prison for preaching the Gospel. On the contrary, he must be willing to endure his share of suffering, along with Paul, for the sake of the Gospel, not trusting in his own strength, but in the “power of God,” which will never fail him.

The collabora of the Vulgate does not express the sense of the Greek, which means “suffer with,” i.e., to take one’s share in suffering for the Gospel. The word is found only here and in 2:3 below in the Greek Bible.

A good soldier, etc. See on Eph 6:14 ff. As Jesus Christ, our divine Captain, suffered and died for the Gospel, so all His faithful followers, and especially His ministers, must be ready to suffer and die for the Gospel. Here is what Fr. Callan wrote concerning Ephesians 6:14-17:

Eph 6:14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice,

The Apostle now begins to describe the various parts of the Christian soldier’s equipment, and his imagery is drawn partly from the dress of the Roman soldiers who in turn had charge of him in prison, and partly from two passages in Isaias where the Messiah is described as a warrior (Isa 11:4, 59:17). He speaks first (ver. 14-17) of defensive and then of oflfensive arms, giving a spiritual meaning to each of the arms and each article of dress of the Roman soldier. The Christian soldier must “stand” (i.e., be ready for the conflict), having “truth” (i.e., sincerity and moral rectitude) for belt, and “justice” (i.e., loyalty in word and action to the law of God) as breastplate; for shoes he must have readiness and alacrity of soul to affirm “the gospel of peace”; “faith” must be his shield, and the inspired “word of God” his sword.

Eph 6:15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:

Preparation. The Greek for this word occurs here only in the New Testament, and it most probably means readiness and alacrity of soul to preach the Gospel. Spiritual equipment gives the meaning of the term as well as anything. St. Chrysostom says: “The preparation of the gospel is nothing else than the best life.”

Eph 6:16. In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

In all things, etc. A lesser reading has “above all things, etc.,” which would mean that, besides all that has been just said, we should take the shield of faith, etc. But “in all things, etc.” is the better reading; and it means that in all the circumstances of our life of warfare faith is our shield, the heavy armor of our souls, by which we can ward off “the fiery darts of the wicked one,” i.e.,
of Satan.

Eph 6:17. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).

“The helmet of salvation” means our salvation, the salvation offered us by Christ (Cajetan), or the hope of salvation (1 Thess 5:8). The helmet protects the head, and the salvation offered us by our Lord is the pledge of our eternal inheritance. The “sword of the Spirit” is “the word of God,” i.e., the utterance of God; the two phrases are in apposition here, and they explain each other: “The word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two-edged sword” (Heb 4:12).

4. No man being a soldier to God, entangleth himself with secular businesses, that he may please him to whom he hath engaged himself.

The singleness of devotion needed for success as a soldier of Christ requires as a consequence that one keep oneself free from entanglements in temporal affairs.

Secular businesses is in Greek “the affairs of life,” i.e., of this present temporal life ( του βιου); we cannot serve God and mammon.

That he may please him, etc. The Greek is “that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier.” The verb here, meaning “to enroll as a soldier,” is not found again in the Greek Bible.

5. For he also that striveth for the mastery is not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

The Greek of this verse is as follows: “Again, if any man strive as an athlete, he will not be crowned unless he strive according to the rules.” St. Paul was fond of appealing to the Olympic games to illustrate the spiritual contest (see below 2 Tim 4:7; 1 Tim 6:12; 1 Cor 9:25-27). See comment on 1 Cor 9:25-27 Here is what Fr. Callan wrote concerning that passage:

1 Cor 9:25. And every one that striveth for the mastery, refraineth himself from all things: and they indeed that may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one.

In the days of the Grecian games, as now, athletes who took part in the public contests severely disciplined themselves beforehand for a long period of time, abstaining from every indulgence that might weaken their bodies and lessen their strength; and all this that they might win a corruptible crown of leaves. How much more, then, should we Christians deny ourselves for the glory of never-fading crowns in heaven!

From ancient writers we learn that candidates for the prize at the Isthmian and Olympic games had to abstain from every kind of sensual indulgence for ten months, and to undergo a most rigorous bodily training (cf. Horace, De Arte Poetica, 412; Epictetus, Enchir. 29).

And (Vulg., et) after all things is not represented in the Greek.

1 Cpr 9:26. I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty: I so fight, not as one beating the air:

Calling attention to his own conduct, which the Corinthians should strive to imitate, St. Paul says he directs all his efforts to the goal of eternal life. He so runs as to obtain the prize; he so fights as to overcome his adversaries. The latter figure is an allusion to the pugilistic contests in Greek games.

1 Cor 9:27. But I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.

I chastise. The best Greek reading here (υπωπιαζω) means literally, “I beat the face black and blue.” As the pugilist beat the face of his adversary black and blue, so St. Paul practiced such corporal austerities as figuratively to make his body black and blue.

And bring it into subjection, i.e., conquer its evil propensities and bring it, as it were, into bondage. The conqueror in some Greek contests was permitted to lead his adversary around the arena and exhibit him to the spectators as a captive and slave.

When I have preached. Literally, “Having announced” (κηρυξας) . The allusion is again to the games in which’ a herald made the announcements of the combatants, proclaimed the conditions, and excluded any who were unworthy. St. Paul was not only a herald but a competitor in the struggle for eternal life, and he feared that while he had announced the conditions for victory to others, he himself might fail to observe them and thus lose his own prize.

6. The husbandman that laboreth must first partake of the fruits.

The thought in this and the two preceding verses is that discipline, labor and toil are the necessary conditions of success in temporal enterprises, and therefore in spiritual undertakings also.

First, i.e., he that labors strenuously will have his reward ahead of him that does not labor so well; or, according to others, the meaning is that he who would be successful must first put forth the required efforts. See on 1 Tim 5:17. The verb for “partake” here does not occur elsewhere in St. Paul’s writings.

Commenting on St Paul’s teaching in 1 Tim 5:17 that those in the church who rule well be esteemed worthy of a double honor wrote:

Double honor is a Hebraism meaning here more ample material reward or provision. Those of the clergy who fulfill their duties faithfully should be well taken care of by the Church, and especially those who preach the Divine Word and teach the doctrines of faith to others. This verse seems to distinguish between those who were engaged in preaching and those who were occupied in ministerial work, and to show that some of the presbyters of the Pastoral Epistles did not teach. See St. Cyprian (Epist., xxix) on the presbyteri doctores.

7. Understand what I say, for the Lord will give thee in all things understanding.

Without making application of the three illustrations just given, St. Paul tells Timothy to reflect on them attentively and the Lord will make him understand their pertinence to himself.

All things, that are necessary for a faithful discharge of Timothy’s duties.

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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.

TIMOTHY IS ABLE TO MEET THE SITUATION

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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Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 24, 2012

I’ve included the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the biblical text, it appears in purple script immediately after the biblical text itself.

2Ti 3:14  But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned and which have been committed to thee. Knowing of whom thou hast learned them:

But do thou persevere in believing and preaching the things which thou hast learned from me, and which have been confided by me to thy safe keeping, mindful of the master, by whom you were taught them.

“And which have been committed to thee.” Referring to the deposit of faith.

“Knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” He assigns two reasons why Timothy should continue faithful: the first is derived from the authority of his teacher, no other than an Apostle of Christ, carried up to the third Heaven.—(2 Cor 12:2).

2Ti 3:15  And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures which can instruct thee to salvation by the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Bearing also in mind, that from thy infancy thou has learned the Sacred Scripture, which can instruct thee unto salvation, through the faith of Christ Jesus to which they conduct thee.

The second reason why Timothy should continue faithful is derived from the long period of his education in the Christian religion. From his very infancy, he was taught the SS. Scripture under the pious care of his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois; for, his father was a Pagan, and would not permit him to be circumcised. ” Which can instruct thee,” in the Greek, τα δυναμενα σε σοφισαι, which can render thee wise, i.e., render you learned, “unto salvation.”  “By the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” The proper reading of the SS. Scrip–ture would lead to Christ; for,”the end of the law is Christ”—or, the words may mean, that in order to derive the proper wisdom and instruction from the SS. Scripture, we should proceed to read them under the guidance of the faith of Christ.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice:

For all Scripture inspired by God is profitable both for the purpose of instructing the ignorant in the truths of faith, of rebutting the contrary errors, of correcting and rebuking corrupt morals, and of instructing and forming men to sanctity of life.

In the Greek it is, πασα γραφη θεοπνευστος και ωφελιμος προς διδασκαλιαν. &c., all Scripture inspired of God and useful for doctrine, &c. According to which, the word is, is understood so as to convey two assertions: first, all Scripture is inspired of God; and secondly. Scripture thus inspired is also useful for the purposes of instruction, &c. According to our Vulgate reading, there is only one assertion conveyed, viz., that all Scripture that is inspired of God, is profitable for instructing the ignorant in the truths of faith, for refuting the errors opposed to sound doctrine, for rebuking men of corrupt principles and morals, and for forming men to sanctity and Christian justice. These are the four great duties of a minister of religion, and for these the SS. Scripture is profitable. It is quite evident that this passage furnishes no argument whatever that the SS. Scripture, without Tradition, is the sole rule of faith; for, although SS. Scripture is profitable for these four ends, still it is not said to be sufficient. The Apostle requires the aid of Tradition (2nd Thessalonians, 2:15). Moreover, the Apostle here refers to the Scripture which Timothy was taught from his infancy. Now, a good part of the New Testament was not written in his boyhood; some of the Catholic Epistles were not written even when St. Paul wrote this; and none of the Books of the New Testament were then placed on the canon of the Scripture books. He refers, then, to the Scriptures of the Old Testament; and it the argument from this passage proved anything, it would prove too much, viz., that the Scriptures of the New Testament, not yet written, were not necessary for a rule of faith.

It is hardly necessary to remark that this passage furnishes no proof of the inspiration of the several books of SS. Scripture, even of those admitted to be such. According to the Vulgate reading of this verse (16), which Bloomfield assures us is adopted by all the most eminent critics after Theodoret, there is nothing said of the inspiration of any part of Scripture; all that is stated is simply this: that every portion of inspired Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproving, &c., without determining what these inspired Scriptures are. Nor is the question determined by the Greek reading either. For we are not told what is meant by “every Scripture,” of which it is said, according to this reading, that it “is inspired,” or what the Books or portion of “inspired Scripture” are.

Neither is there any argument here in favour of the indiscriminate reading of the Holy Scriptures. For, the advantage of reading them is here spoken of in reference to the ministers of the Gospel, which no one questions. Of these alone mention is made. “It is profitable” (verse 16). For whom? “That the man of God may be perfect,” &c.—See Paraphrase.

2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.

So that (by the dilligent and attentive study of the Sacred Scripture) the ministry of the Gospel becomes perfect, completely furnished with the means of performing every good work connected with the discharge of his sacred duties.

So, “that the man of God,” i.e., the minister of the Gospel charged with the care of souls, “may be perfect,” i.e., prepared in ail his duties, the meaning of which is more clearly expressed in the following words, “furnished to every good work,” i.e., supplied, from the study of SS. Scripture, with the abundant means of performing every work connected with the four great duties already mentioned. The study of the SS. Scripture is an imperative obligation on the Paster of souls, in order to be furnished with the means of dischargino all his duties. St. Paul exhorts Timothv to continue the study of them, although instructed in them from his infancy; he tells him to attend “to reading” them(1 Tim 4:13), and if this was necessary for Timothy, instructed by the Apostle himself, how much more so must it not be for others. For the proper and effective application of SS. Scriptures, without which religious discourses or sermons would, in many instances, pass for mere philosophical disquisitions or moral essays, the constant study and attentive perusal of the Sacred Volume is necessary.

2Ti 4:1  I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming and his kingdom:

I conjure thee before God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, who, in virtue of the power received from the Father, will judge all men, as well as those who are living immediately before the judgment, as those long before dead, at his second coming, and at the final manifestation of his kingly and undisputed power.

Having referred, in the preceding chapter, to the four great duties of the Episcopal office, he now earnestly conjures Timothy to devote himself to their fulfilment, and this obtestation is made in the most solemn form, invokmg God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ (before “Jesus Christ,” the words, the Lord, are placed in the Greek, to whom, as man, the “Father had given all judgnient,” and whom he constituted Judge of the living, &c.—Acts, 10.)—as witnesses, who will also be one day the Judges of his fidelity or neglect. For the meaning of the words, “the living and the dead,” (see First Epistle to Thess 4:16.) “By his coming,” &c. This is not to be joined to the words, “I charge thee,” but to the words, “who shall judge,” as appears from the Greek particle corresponding with “by,” which signifies, that in this coming and manifestation of his glorious kingdom, when his enemies are trodden under foot, death among the rest (1 Cor 15:28), he shall judge all mankind. After the words, “I charge thee,” the particle, therefore, is added in the Greek, but it is now rejected by critics.

2Ti 4:2  Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.

(I conjure thee therefore), to preach the word of God, to attend to this duty constantly and sedulously, both in season and out of season; to convince by arguments the gainsayers, the chide and rebuke the immoral, to entreat and exhort all to sanctity of life; and all this do with the utmost meekness and the most patient endurance, and the exhibition of sound doctrine.

This is what he thus solemnly conjures him to do:—It is, “preach the word” of God.  “Be instant,” i.e., zealously discharge this sacred duty, “in season, out of season;” which some understand to mean, constantly. The words also mean, that no opportunity, no matter how unseasonable or inconvenient to the minister of the Gospel himself, should be omitted, if there be a hope of advantage; or even though it should be unseasonable for the hearer, as to time, if there be hope of advantage to him, the same is to be said, because even then the word itself is seasonable.  “Reprove,” “entreat,” “rebuke,” &c. In the Greek, ”rebuke” is before ”entreat;” thus:—”’Reprove, rebuke, entreat,” expressing the four-fold duty for which he said, in the precedmg chapter, that the Scripture is profitable. “In all patience.” The Greek is, in all long suffering, i.e., with the most perfect meekness; for, correction, or instruction, if appearing to emanate from passion rather than from charity, will lose all effect.  “And doctrine ;” men wish to be convinced, and led by reason and argument. The great duty, then, of the minister of religion is, to “rebuke, and entreat,” alternately, according to circumstances. Hence, the rigour with which the Council of Trent enjoins on Bishops, under the heaviest sanction of moral guilt, to discharge the great duty of preaching—(SS. v., 2, 2, and SS. xxiv., 4, de Ref.)

2Ti 4:3  For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears:

(It is not without a cause, I thus earnestly conjure thee). For, the time is approaching at no remote period, when the faithful themselves will not endure the sound doctrine of the gospel; but according to the corrupt desires of their own hearts, shall rashly select and multiply for themselves teachers, who shall propound principles pleasing to their passions; and this, because they wish to hear things new and curious, soothing and agreeable to them.

“They will not endure sound doctrine;” they will cast it away as an intolerable burthen.

“They shall heap to themselves teachers.” These words show that they will take to themselves, without any choice or prudent selection, and multiply teachers; just as men carelessly throw one stone over another in a heap.

“Having itching ears.” This refers to the people, and not to the teachers, as appears from the Greek, κνηθομενοι την ακοην. “Itching ears,” may either refer to their anxiety for hearing curious and new things, or things pleasing to their passions and corrupt inclinations. Such was the “itching of ears,” among the Jews of old, when they listened to the eloquence of the prophet as “to a musical song; they heard his words and did them not” (Ezekiel 33); or when they called on the prophet—”Speak unto us pleasant things; see errors for us.”—(Isaiah 30:10).

2Ti 4:4  And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.

Hence it is, that they shall turn away their hearing from the truth of the gospel, and shall attend only to idle fables.

The truth of the Gospel neither humours the whims, nor flatters the passions of any one; hence, they will turn away from it and attend to “fables,” i.e., Jewish fables or, through insane curiosity, they will look after the fables of the heretics, viz., the Simonians, and others of the kind.

2Ti 4:5  But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. Be sober.

But (in order to arrest the progress of these impending evils), be constantly on the alert, sustain all evils to which you may be exposed, perform all the duties of an Evangelist, faithfully fulfill your ministry, and to do this, be sober.

“But be thou vigilant, labour in all things.” “All things” may affect either “vigilant” or “labour;” the meaning of which latter word, according to the Greek κακοπαθησον, is, endure hardships, i.e., manfully encounter all the evils that may befall thee in the discharge of thy duty.

“Do the work of an evangelist,” by preaching the gospel truth in its full integrity, and from the pure motive of God’s glory, “fulfil thy ministry,” in all its parts; neglect none of them.

“Be sober.” These words are not in the Greek, nor are they in all the Latin manuscripts. They have rnade their way into our Vulgate, owing to the signification of the Greek word corresponding with “be vigilant,” νηφε, which also means, be sober, and hence, both significations may have been expressed in our version.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 24, 2012

I’ve included Father Callan’s summary of 3:10-17 and 4:1-8 to help provide context for the reading. The latter summary will appear after the commentary on 3:17.  Notes in red, if any, represent my additions.

TIMOTHY IS ABLE TO MEET THE SITUATION

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.

2Ti 3:14  But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned and which have been committed to thee. Knowing of whom thou hast learned them:

In contrast with the impostors, Timothy must continue firm in the faith which he has received, being mindful of those by whom he was taught it. Concerning the impostors and how they should be responded to  see verses 3:1-13.

And hast been assured of. This is the meaning of the Greek here, which the Vulgate has missed.

Knowing from whom, etc. The best Greek reading makes “whom” plural in this phrase, and hence the reference is to St. Paul and Timothy’s mother and grandmother (see above, on 1:5).

2Ti 3:15  And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures which can instruct thee to salvation by the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The Jews were obliged to teach the Scriptures to their children (Exod 10:2, 12:26; Deut 4:9, etc.), and the Rabbins enjoined that this instruction should begin when they were five years old. Thus, Timothy’s Jewish mother had taught him the Old Testament from his infancy.

The holy scriptures. The best Greek reading here retains the article. This is the only passage in the New Testament where the adjective ἱερός (hieros)  is applied to the Scriptures, meaning sacred as opposed to profane writings. But the holy writings was a quasi-technical expression signifying the Old Testament Scriptures, as we learn from Philo (Vita Mos., Ill, 39, and Frag, in Exod., Mangey’s ed., II, 657, and cap, de Vit., cont. 3) and from Josephus (Ant. Proem. 3 and X, 10, 4). Clement of Alexandria was the first Christian writer to apply this phrase to the New Testament (Strom., I, 20, § 98). Cf. Bernard, op. cit., h. I. See the quote from St Clement below.

Which can instruct thee, etc. Better, “which can make thee wise unto salvation.” Other books impart knowledge, but the Divine Scriptures give also wisdom—a wisdom that is not of this world; but for their true and full meaning they must be studied in the light of the faith of Jesus Christ, because they are all directly or indirectly ordained to Christ, and speak directly or indirectly of His Person, ministry, life, work. Church, etc.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice:

We must understand this verse in the light of the preceding one, and hence “scripture” here must mean the Old Testament. Moreover, the word γραφή (graphe = scripture), occurs some fifty times in the New Testament, and everywhere it means the Old Testament. All scripture. It is better to translate “every scripture,” meaning each and every part of the Old Testament.

Inspired of God, etc. We may translate as in the Douai version, since the verb is not expressed in Greek; but it is perhaps better to render, “is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, etc.” St. Paul seems to be impressing on Timothy the usefulness of the Holy Scriptures, as inspired by God, for wisdom unto salvation (ver. 15) and for teaching, reproving, correcting, etc. (ver. 16). If we adopt the first rendering, it will mean that St. Paul is taking the
inspiration of Scripture for granted by Timothy, and is insisting here on its profitableness for teaching, reproving, etc. In either case the inspiration of the Old Testament and all its parts is certain to the mind of St. Paul. The word here translated “inspired” θεόπνευστος (theopneustos, literally, “God breathed”) does not occur elsewhere in the Greek Bible, but is common in Greek literature. It was first applied to the New Testament by Clement of Alexandria (Strom., VII, 16, § loi). St Clement wrote: “For truly holy are those letters that sanctify and deify; and the writings or volumes that consist of those holy (ἱερός) letters and syllables, the same apostle consequently calls “inspired of God θεόπνευστος, being profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work.”

Four uses of Scripture are here stressed: (a) “to teach,” the truths of faith; (b) “to reprove,” or refute the errors against faith; (c) “to correct,” vices and sins; (d) “to instruct in justice,” by giving practical norms for the practice of virtue and the attainment of sanctity.

2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.

The final result for Timothy of a study of the Divine Scriptures will be to fit him for a perfect discharge of his ministry.

Man of God. See on i Tim. vi. 11. Here the expression means the minister of Christ, as the context shows.

Perfect. The Greek word is a common one, but it is found only here in the Bible. The word is ἄρτιος (artios). A synonym ὁλόκληρος (holoklēros) is used in 1 Thess 5:23 and James 1:4. The words convey the idea of completeness in the sense that all parts are in place.

Unto every good work, pertinent to his ministry.

A LAST APPEAL TO TIMOTHY

A Summary of 4:1-8~Now that the end is drawing near, the aged Apostle, feeling his days are numbered and his work is done, adjures Timothy incessantly to continue the labors of the ministry and to bear up under its trials, being prepared for the onslaughts of future false teachers. As for Paul himself, he is about to pour out his blood as a sacrifice for the cause; but he is ready and his reward is waiting for him. The just Judge will never fail him, nor anyone else who has lived and labored for the cause.

2Ti 4:1  I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming and his kingdom:

St. Paul in verses 1-4 solemnly charges Timothy so much the more to preach the word of God as the wicked stray farther from the truth.

I charge thee, etc. See on 1 Tim 5:21. Here is how Father Callan commented on that passage: Better, “I solemnly charge thee, etc.” The same solemn formula occurs again in 2 Tim 2:14, 4:1.

The living and the dead. See on 1 Thess 4:16-17. Here is what Father Callan wrote concerning that passage, specifically, verse 16, which reads: “Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air, and so shall we be always with the Lord.” Father Callan comments: He (St Paul) seems to say plainly that those saints who are alive at the time of the Parousia will not die, but will be transformed and taken, together with the righteous dead already raised to life, into glory with Christ. The Greek Fathers and many modem interpreters so understand the Apostle; and this interpretation agrees with the correct reading and meaning of 1 Cor 15:51, on which see commentary in vol. I of this series. To be consistent,we should explain “we who are alive” here as in verse 14, that is, as referring, not to St. Paul and his companions then living when the Apostle was writing nor to others then living with whom he compares those then dead, but to those just who will be living when the Lord comes in glory. Hence follows the conclusion that the righteous who are alive at the Second Coming of Christ to judge the world will pass to glory without dying, and this is what the Apostle was referring to in 2 Cor 5:4. For further argument and a consideration of the opposing opinion on this subject, see vol. I of this series, on 1 Cor 15:51.” I’ve thought it best not to include the commentary on 1 Cor 15:51 here as it is fairly lengthy.

His coming, in General Judgment to render to each one according to his works.

His kingdom, which the good will be invited to share. The word “coming” and “kingdom” are accusatives of adjuration in Greek and form part of the Apostle’s oath.

2Ti 4:2  Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.

The word, i.e., the Gospel message (Gal 6:6; Col 4:3). This Timothy is to proclaim incessantly, in order that all may hear it and have the opportunity to embrace its teachings.

And doctrine. Preaching without doctrine is of little value, since it lacks substance and leaves rebuke and exhortation without a reason and basis.

2Ti 4:3  For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears:

The reason is now given why Timothy must redouble his zeal; for during his own lifetime there will be persons who, following their own lusts and craving for novelties, will reject sound doctrine they will repudiate and turn away from the dogmas of the Church, and instead will seek out teachers whose doctrines appeal to the passions and lower appetites. In our own time this is precisely what is taking place. Multitudes are now ridiculing the very notion of dogfma as old-fashioned and out of date, and are running after those preachers who justify artificial birth-control, trial marriages, divorces, and similar disorders.

Having itching ears, i.e., they will be eager for all kinds of novelties.

2Ti 4:4  And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.

Fables. See on 1 Tim 1:4; 1 Tim 4:7. On 1 Tim 1:4 Father Callan wrote: “Fables were most probably Jewish legends (Titus 1:14), such as are frequently found in the Talmud; and genealogies were extravagant, legendary stories about the ancient patriarchs, such as we find in the Book of Jubilees. Speculation on these useless subjects would lead away from the great truths of faith and the practical realities of Christian life; and thus vast harm would be done to the Church and to souls”.

2Ti 4:5  But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. Be sober.

In the face of the difficulties just described, Timothy is to be prudent and well poised in all things, to endure hardship, to preach the Gospel, and faithfully to fulfill all his duties as a minister of Christ, entrusted with his master’s business.

Evangelists. See on Eph 4:11. In his notes on Eph 4:11 Father Callan wrote: Evangelists are not necessarily those only who wrote the Gospels, but missionaries and preachers of the word among strangers and infidels (John 21:15 ff.; Acts 21:8; 2 Tim 4:5; 1 Peter 2:25).

Ministry. See on 1 Tim 1:12. In his notes on 1 Tim 1:12 Father Callan wrote: “The Greek word for “ministry” here in the time of St. Paul meant the apostolate, whereas in the second century it had come to designate the order of deaconship. Hence we have in the use of the word here an argument for the early date of this letter. St. Paul would hardly be speaking of himself as having been called to the deaconship.” In Father Callan’s day some rationalist scholars were postulating a second century date for the Pastorals, a position now almost completely abandoned.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:10-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 7, 2012

Texts in red are my additions.

TIMOTHY IS ABLE TO MEET THE SITUATION

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).

2 Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, erring and driving into error.

See above on verse 8 and 9. These verses read: Now, as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no farther; for their folly shall be manifest to all men, as theirs also was. Father Callan Comments: “While these wicked men always grow worse in their evil ways (2 Tim 2:16; 2 Tim 3:13), nevertheless their wickedness will not prevail against the truth any more than did the efforts of the Egyptian magicians prevail against Moses (Exodus 8:18-19). No intellectual victory can ever be won against faith rightly understood; for God is the author of both the truths of faith and the intellectual faculties of man, and truth is not contradictory”.

But evil men, etc. In contrast with the godly of the preceding verse, the wicked and impostors will go from bad to worse, because they have no persecution to suffer. This may be the meaning here, though some expositors think this verse gives the reason of the preceding: the good are persecuted because of the progress of the wicked in evil.

Seducers. More literally, “imposters,” “wizards.” The word occurs only here in the Greek Bible. Probably these deceivers practised magical arts at Ephesus (Acts 19:19).

2Ti 3:14  But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned and which have been committed to thee. Knowing of whom thou hast learned them:

In contrast with the impostors, Timothy must continue firm in the faith which he has received, being mindful of those by whom he was taught it. Concerning the impostors and how they should be responded to  see verses 3:1-13.

And hast been assured of. This is the meaning of the Greek here, which the Vulgate has missed.

Knowing from whom, etc. The best Greek reading makes “whom” plural in this phrase, and hence the reference is to St. Paul and Timothy’s mother and grandmother (see above, on 1:5).

2Ti 3:15  And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures which can instruct thee to salvation by the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The Jews were obliged to teach the Scriptures to their children (Exodus 10:2, Exodus 12:26; Deut 4:9, etc.), and the Rabbins enjoined that this instruction should begin when they were five years old. Thus, Timothy’s Jewish mother had taught him the Old Testament from his infancy.

The holy scriptures. The best Greek reading here retains the article. This is the only passage in the New Testament where the adjective ἱερός (hieros)  is applied to the Scriptures, meaning sacred as opposed to profane writings. But the holy writings was a quasi-technical expression signifying the Old Testament Scriptures, as we learn from Philo (Vita Mos., Ill, 39, and Frag, in Exod., Mangey’s ed., II, 657, and cap, de Vit., cont. 3) and from Josephus (Ant. Proem. 3 and X, 10, 4). Clement of Alexandria was the first Christian writer to apply this phrase to the New Testament (Strom., I, 20, § 98). Cf. Bernard, op. cit., h. I. See the quote from St Clement below.

Which can instruct thee, etc. Better, “which can make thee wise unto salvation.” Other books impart knowledge, but the Divine Scriptures give also wisdom—a wisdom that is not of this world; but for their true and full meaning they must be studied in the light of the faith of Jesus Christ, because they are all directly or indirectly ordained to Christ, and speak directly or indirectly of His Person, ministry, life, work. Church, etc.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice:

We must understand this verse in the light of the preceding one, and hence “scripture” here must mean the Old Testament. Moreover, the word γραφή (graphe = scripture), occurs some fifty times in the New Testament, and everywhere it means the Old Testament. All scripture. It is better to translate “every scripture,” meaning each and every part of the Old Testament.

Inspired of God, etc. We may translate as in the Douai version, since the verb is not expressed in Greek; but it is perhaps better to render, “is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, etc.” St. Paul seems to be impressing on Timothy the usefulness of the Holy Scriptures, as inspired by God, for wisdom unto salvation (ver. 15) and for teaching, reproving, correcting, etc. (ver. 16). If we adopt the first rendering, it will mean that St. Paul is taking the inspiration of Scripture for granted by Timothy, and is insisting here on its profitableness for teaching, reproving, etc. In either case the inspiration of the Old Testament and all its parts is certain to the mind of St. Paul. The word here translated “inspired” θεόπνευστος (theopneustos, literally, “God breathed”) does not occur elsewhere in the Greek Bible, but is common in Greek literature. It was first applied to the New Testament by Clement of Alexandria (Strom., VII, 16, § loi). St Clement wrote: “For truly holy are those letters that sanctify and deify; and the writings or volumes that consist of those holy (ἱερός) letters and syllables, the same apostle consequently calls “inspired of God θεόπνευστος, being profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work.”

Four uses of Scripture are here stressed: (a) “to teach,” the truths of faith; (b) “to reprove,” or refute the errors against faith; (c) “to correct,” vices and sins; (d) “to instruct in justice,” by giving practical norms for the practice of virtue and the attainment of sanctity.

2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.

The final result for Timothy of a study of the Divine Scriptures will be to fit him for a perfect discharge of his ministry.

Man of God. See on 1 Tim 6:11. Here the expression means the minister of Christ, as the context shows.

Perfect. The Greek word is a common one, but it is found only here in the Bible. The word is ἄρτιος (artios). A synonym ὁλόκληρος (holoklēros) is used in 1 Thess 5:23 and James 1:4. The words convey the idea of completeness in the sense that all parts are in place.

Unto every good work, pertinent to his ministry.

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