4:1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves 1 with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, 2 4:2 influenced by the hypocrisy of liars 3 whose consciences are seared. 4
1 tn Or “desert the faith by occupying themselves.”
2 tn Grk “teachings of demons” (speaking of the source of these doctrines).
3 tn Grk “in the hypocrisy of liars.”
4 tn Or “branded.” The Greek verb καυστηριάζω (kausthriazw) can be used to refer either to the cause (“brand”) or the effect (“seared”).
sn Consciences are seared. The precise meaning of this phrase is somewhat debated. Three primary interpretations are (1) the consciences of these false teachers are “branded” with Satan’s mark to indicate ownership, (2) their consciences are “branded” with a penal mark to show they are lawbreakers, or (3) their consciences have been “seared” (i.e., totally burnt and desensitized) so that they are unable to notice the difference between right and wrong. See G. W. Knight, Pastoral Epistles (NIGTC), 189.