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2 Timothy 2:3-13

Context
2:3 Take your share of suffering 1  as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2:4 No one in military service gets entangled in matters of everyday life; otherwise he will not please 2  the one who recruited him. 2:5 Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he will not be crowned as the winner 3  unless he competes according to the rules. 4  2:6 The farmer who works hard ought to have the first share of the crops. 2:7 Think about what I am saying and 5  the Lord will give you understanding of all this. 6 

2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David; 7  such is my gospel, 8  2:9 for which I suffer hardship to the point of imprisonment 9  as a criminal, but God’s message 10  is not imprisoned! 11  2:10 So I endure all things for the sake of those chosen by God, 12  that they too may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus and its eternal glory. 13  2:11 This saying 14  is trustworthy: 15 

If we died with him, we will also live with him.

2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with him. 16 

If we deny 17  him, 18  he will also deny us.

2:13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself. 19 

1 tn Grk “suffer hardship together,” implying “join with me and others in suffering” (cf. 1:8).

2 tn Grk “that he may please.”

3 tn Grk “will not be crowned,” speaking of the wreath awarded to the victor.

4 sn According to the rules (Grk “lawfully, by law”) referring to the rules of competition. In the ancient world these included requirements for training as well as rules for the competition itself.

5 tn The Greek word here usually means “for,” but is used in this verse for a milder continuation of thought.

6 tn Grk “in all things.”

7 tn Grk “of David’s seed” (an idiom for physical descent).

8 tn Grk “according to my gospel.”

9 tn Or “chains,” “bonds.”

10 tn Or “word.”

11 tn Or “chained,” “bound.”

12 tn Grk “the elect.”

13 tn Grk “with eternal glory.”

14 sn This saying (Grk “the saying”) refers to the following citation. See 1 Tim 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; Titus 3:8 for other occurrences of this phrase.

15 sn The following passage has been typeset as poetry because many scholars regard this passage as poetic or hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing, not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a passage is poetic or hymnic: “(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary, particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from the surrounding context” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188-89). Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However, not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this passage, so the decision to typeset it as poetry should be viewed as a tentative decision about its genre.

16 tn Grk “died together…will live together…will reign together,” without “him” stated explicitly. But “him” is implied by the parallel ideas in Rom 6:8; 8:17 and by the reference to Christ in vv. 12b-13.

17 tn Or “renounce,” “disown,” “repudiate.” It is important to note that the object of Christ’s denial is “us.” The text does not contain an implied object complement (“he will deny us [x]”), which would mean that Christ was withholding something from us (for example, “The owner denied his pets water”), since the verb ἀρνέομαι (arneomai) is not one of the category of verbs that normally occurs in these constructions (see ExSyn 182-89).

18 tn Grk “if we renounce,” but the “him” is implied by the parallel clauses.

19 sn If we are unfaithful…he cannot deny himself. This could be (1) a word of warning (The Lord will exact punishment; he cannot deny his holiness) or (2) a word of hope (Because of who he is, he remains faithful to us despite our lapses). The latter is more likely, since Paul consistently cites God’s faithfulness as a reassurance, not as a warning (cf. especially Rom 3:3; also 1 Cor 1:9; 10:13; 2 Cor 1:18; 1 Thess 5:24; 2 Thess 3:3).



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