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2 Timothy 1:3--2:13

Context
Thanksgiving and Charge to Timothy

1:3 I am thankful to God, whom I have served with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, 1  when I remember you in my prayers as I do constantly night and day. 2  1:4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, 3  so that I may be filled with joy. 1:5 I recall 4  your sincere faith 5  that was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am sure 6  is in you.

1:6 Because of this I remind you to rekindle God’s gift that you possess 7  through the laying on of my hands. 1:7 For God did not give us a Spirit 8  of fear but of power and love and self-control. 1:8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord 9  or of me, a prisoner for his sake, but by 10  God’s power accept your share of suffering 11  for the gospel. 1:9 He is the one who saved us 12  and called us with a holy calling, not based on 13  our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 14  1:10 but now made visible through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus. He 15  has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel! 1:11 For this gospel 16  I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. 17  1:12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. 18  But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set 19  and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me 20  until that day. 21  1:13 Hold to the standard 22  of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 23  1:14 Protect that good thing 24  entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

1:15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia 25  deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 1:16 May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my imprisonment. 26  1:17 But when he arrived in Rome, 27  he eagerly searched for me and found me. 1:18 May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day! 28  And you know very well all the ways he served me in Ephesus. 29 

Serving Faithfully Despite Hardship

2:1 So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2:2 And entrust what you heard me say 30  in the presence of many others as witnesses 31  to faithful people 32  who will be competent 33  to teach others as well. 2:3 Take your share of suffering 34  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 35  the one who recruited him. 2:5 Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he will not be crowned as the winner 36  unless he competes according to the rules. 37  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 38  the Lord will give you understanding of all this. 39 

2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David; 40  such is my gospel, 41  2:9 for which I suffer hardship to the point of imprisonment 42  as a criminal, but God’s message 43  is not imprisoned! 44  2:10 So I endure all things for the sake of those chosen by God, 45  that they too may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus and its eternal glory. 46  2:11 This saying 47  is trustworthy: 48 

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

2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with him. 49 

If we deny 50  him, 51  he will also deny us.

2:13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself. 52 

1 tn Grk “from my ancestors.”

2 tn Or “as I do constantly. By night and day I long to see you…”

3 tn Grk “longing to see you, remembering your tears” (as a continuation of the preceding clause). Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

4 tn Grk “recalling” (as a continuation of the preceding clause). Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

5 tn Grk “the sincere faith in you.”

6 tn Or “convinced.”

7 tn Grk “that is in you.”

8 tn Or “a spirit,” denoting the human personality under the Spirit’s influence as in 1 Cor 4:21; Gal 6:1; 1 Pet 3:4. But the reference to the Holy Spirit at the end of this section (1:14) makes it likely that it begins this way also, so that the Holy Spirit is the referent.

9 tn Grk “the testimony of our Lord.”

10 tn Or “according to.”

11 tn Grk “suffer hardship together,” implying “join with me in suffering.”

12 tn More literally, “who saved us,” as a description of God in v. 8. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

13 tn Or “according to,” or “by.”

14 tn Grk “before eternal times.”

15 tn Grk “having broken…and having brought…” (describing Christ). Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here (and at the beginning of v. 11) in the translation.

16 tn Grk “for which.”

17 tc Most mss (א2 C D F G Ψ 1739 1881 Ï latt sy co) have ἐθνῶν (eqnwn, “of the Gentiles”) after “teacher.” The shorter reading has poorer external credentials (א* A I 1175 pc), but is preferred because ἐθνῶν probably represents a gloss added by copyists familiar with 1 Tim 2:7. There is no easy explanation for the omission of the word if it were original here.

18 tn Grk “suffer these things.”

19 tn Or “in whom I have believed.”

20 sn What has been entrusted to me (Grk “my entrustment,” meaning either (1) “what I have entrusted to him” [his life, destiny, etc.] or (2) “what he has entrusted to me” [the truth of the gospel]). The parallel with v. 14 and use of similar words in the pastorals (1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 2:2) argue for the latter sense.

21 sn That day is a reference to the day when Paul would stand before Christ to give account for his service (cf. 2 Tim 1:18; 1 Cor 3:13; 2 Cor 5:9-10).

22 tn Or “pattern.”

23 tn Grk “in faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

sn With the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This describes the manner in which Timothy must hold to the standard (similar to Paul’s call for him to give attention to his life and his teaching in 1 Tim 4:11-16).

24 sn That good thing (Grk “the good deposit”) refers to the truth of the gospel committed to Timothy (cf. 1 Tim 6:20).

25 tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia.

26 tn Grk “my chain.”

27 map For location see JP4 A1.

28 sn That day is a reference to the day when Onesiphorus (v. 16) stands before Christ to give account for his service (cf. v. 12; 1 Cor 3:13; 2 Cor 5:9-10).

29 tn Grk “all the ways he served in Ephesus.”

map For location see JP1 D2; JP2 D2; JP3 D2; JP4 D2.

30 tn Grk “what you heard from me” (cf. 1:13).

31 tn Grk “through many witnesses.” The “through” is used here to show attendant circumstances: “accompanied by,” “in the presence of.”

32 tn Grk “faithful men”; but here ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") is generic, referring to both men and women.

33 tn Or “able” (see Paul’s use of this word in regard to ministry in 2 Cor 2:16; 3:5-6).

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

35 tn Grk “that he may please.”

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

37 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.

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

39 tn Grk “in all things.”

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

41 tn Grk “according to my gospel.”

42 tn Or “chains,” “bonds.”

43 tn Or “word.”

44 tn Or “chained,” “bound.”

45 tn Grk “the elect.”

46 tn Grk “with eternal glory.”

47 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.

48 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.

49 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.

50 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).

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

52 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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