2 Thessalonians 2:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

New Living Translation
With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.

English Standard Version
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

Berean Study Bible
Therefore, brothers, stand firm and cling to the traditions we taught you, whether by speech or by letter.

Berean Literal Bible
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, whether by word, or by letter from us.

New American Standard Bible
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

King James Bible
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught, either by our message or by our letter.

International Standard Version
So then, brothers, stand firm, and cling to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.

NET Bible
Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions that we taught you, whether by speech or by letter.

New Heart English Bible
So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word, or by letter.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Therefore, my brethren, be established and hold the commandments fast that you have learned, whether by discourse or by our epistle.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then, brothers and sisters, firmly hold on to the traditions we taught you either when we spoke to you or in our letter.

New American Standard 1977
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore, brethren, stand fast and retain the doctrine which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

American King James Version
Therefore, brothers, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our letter.

American Standard Version
So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.

Darby Bible Translation
So then, brethren, stand firm, and hold fast the instructions which ye have been taught, whether by word or by our letter.

English Revised Version
So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours.

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Weymouth New Testament
So then, brethren, stand your ground, and hold fast to the teachings which you have received from us, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

World English Bible
So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word, or by letter.

Young's Literal Translation
so, then, brethren, stand ye fast, and hold the deliverances that ye were taught, whether through word, whether through our letter;
Study Bible
Stand Firm
14To this He called you through our gospel, so that you may share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15Therefore, brothers, stand firm and cling to the traditions we taught you, whether by speech or by letter. 16Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who by grace has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope,…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 11:2
Now I commend you for remembering me in everything and for maintaining the traditions, just as I passed them on to you.

1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on the alert. Stand firm in the faith. Be men of courage. Be strong.

2 Thessalonians 2:2
not to be easily disconcerted or alarmed by any spirit or message or letter presuming to be from us and alleging that the day of the Lord has already come.

2 Thessalonians 3:6
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who leads an undisciplined life that is not in keeping with the tradition you received from us.

Titus 1:9
He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it was taught, so that by sound teaching he will be able to encourage others and refute those who contradict this message.
Treasury of Scripture

Therefore, brothers, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our letter.

stand. See on

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be you steadfast, unmovable, always …

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch you, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brothers dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and …

hold.

2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you, brothers, that you remember me in all things, and …

the traditions.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions and …

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write to you of the common …

whether.

2 Thessalonians 2:2 That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, …

2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this letter, note that man, and …

(15) Therefore, brethren, stand fast.--Such an exhortation is, in itself, conclusive against a theory of irreversible predestination. "Because God chose you from eternity, and called you in time, therefore stand your ground." If it were impossible for them to quit their ground, it would be needless to exhort them to maintain it. If it were possible for them to quit their ground, and yet be as well off after all, it would be needless also. At the same time, the "therefore" draws a conclusion, not from 2Thessalonians 2:14 alone, but sums up the whole disquisition of the chapter: "Now that you are reminded of the true Advent doctrine."

Hold the traditions.--The very same word as in Mark 7:3-4; Mark 7:8, "holding the tradition of the elders;" also in the same metaphorical sense in Colossians 2:19; Revelation 2:13. The action expressed is a vigorous and pertinacious grasp, as (for instance) of the lame man clutching the Apostles in Acts 3:11. St. Chrysostom remarks: "It is plain from hence that they used not to deliver all their tradition by letter, but much without writing besides, and that both are equally worthy of belief. Therefore, let us consider the Church's tradition worthy of belief. It is tradition: ask no further questions." What were these "traditions" which it was so essential to keep? The context shows that the particular traditions which were most consciously in St. Paul's mind at the moment, were his eschatological teachings, given to them while he was among them--the lore of which he has been briefly reminding them in this chapter (2Thessalonians 2:5-6): for the exhortation is practically a resumption of that given in 2Thessalonians 2:2-3. "Instead of being seduced by the forgers of prophecies or of communications from us, remember the careful instructions we gave you once for all." At the same time, he speaks generally, and we must not limit his words to that particular tradition. Whatever can be traced to apostolic-origin is of the essence of the faith. They are to "hold tenaciously" all his traditions, and these would include instructions doctrinal (as 1Corinthians 15:3; Jude 1:3), ceremonial (1Corinthians 11:2; 1Corinthians 11:23), and moral (2Thessalonians 3:6; 2Peter 2:21). As a matter of controversy, it is not so remarkable that he should exhort his converts to cling to his own oral teaching ("whether by word") as that he should at so early a period call their special attention to what was gradually to supplant (at least, in doctrinal matters) all independent unwritten tradition--the Holy Scripture ("our Epistle"). St. Paul can speak on occasion as contemptuously of the "traditions of men" as our Lord did (Colossians 2:8). Of course, it depends entirely on the individual character of any tradition whether, and to what extent, it is to be "held" or condemned as "human." In the Church no mutually contradictory traditions can be held together'; and therefore any tradition "by word" which is in disagreement with the written tradition (i.e., Scripture) stands necessarily condemned.

By word, or our epistle.--The "our" belongs to both:" whether by word or epistle of ours." Unless, St. Paul had written them some other letter, now lost, this proves that the "First" Epistle was in reality the earlier written. "Have been taught" should be "were taught"--the historic tense.

Verse 15. - Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions. Traditions generally denote statements orally delivered and reported; here the word denotes the apostle's instructions in Christianity, whether these are given by word of mouth or by letter. Which ye have been taught, whether by word; referring to the apostle's preaching when in Thessalonica. Or our Epistle; referring to the First Epistle to the Thessalonians. Therefore, brethren, stand fast,.... In the doctrine of the Gospel in general, and in the article of Christ's second coming in particular, and not in the least waver about the thing itself, nor be shaken in mind, and troubled as if it was just at hand; and the rather it became them to be concerned that they stood fast in the truth, and persevered unto the end, since there was to be a falling away, and the mystery of iniquity was already working, and antichrist would shortly appear, whose coming would be with all deceivableness, of unrighteousness; and they had the greater encouragement to continue firm and unmoved, seeing they were chosen from eternity unto salvation through sanctification and belief of the truth, and were called in time by the Gospel to the enjoyment of the glory of Christ in another world.

And hold the traditions which ye have been taught: meaning the truths of the Gospel, which may be called traditions, because they are delivered from one to another; the Gospel was first delivered by God the Father to Jesus Christ, as Mediator, and by him to his apostles, and by them to the churches of Christ; whence it is called the form of doctrine delivered to them, and the faith once delivered to the saints: and also the ordinances of the Gospel which the apostles received from Christ, and as they received them faithfully delivered them, such as baptism and the Lord's supper; as well as rules of conduct and behaviour, both in the church, and in the world, even all the commandments of Christ, which he ordered his apostles to teach, and which they gave by him; see 2 Thessalonians 3:6. And so the Syriac version here renders it, "the commandments": and these were such as these saints had been taught by the apostles, under the direction of Christ, and through the guidance of his Spirit; and were not the traditions of men or the rudiments of the world, but what they had received from Christ, through the hands of the apostles:

whether by word, or our epistle, that is, by "our" word, as well as by our epistle, and so the Arabic version reads; these doctrines, ordinances, and rules of discipline were communicated to them, both by word of mouth, when the apostles were in person among them, and by writing afterwards to them; for what the apostles delivered in the ministry of the word to the churches, they sent them in writing, that they might be a standing rule of faith and practice; so that this does not in the least countenance the unwritten traditions of the Papists; and since these were what were taught them, "viva voce", and they received them from the mouth of the apostles, or by letters from them, or both, it became them to hold and retain them fast, and not let them go, either with respect to doctrine or practice. 15. Therefore—God's sovereign choice of believers, so far from being a ground for inaction on their part, is the strongest incentive to action and perseverance in it. Compare the argument, Php 2:12, 13, "Work out your own salvation, FOR it is God which worketh in you," etc. We cannot fully explain this in theory; but to the sincere and humble, the practical acting on the principle is plain. "Privilege first, duty afterwards" [Edmunds].

stand fast—so as not to be "shaken or troubled" (2Th 2:2).

hold—so as not to let go. Adding nothing, subtracting nothing [Bengel]. The Thessalonians had not held fast his oral instructions but had suffered themselves to be imposed upon by pretended spirit-revelations, and words and letters pretending to be from Paul (2Th 2:2), to the effect that "the day of the Lord was instantly imminent."

traditions—truths delivered and transmitted orally, or in writing (2Th 3:6; 1Co 11:2; Greek, "traditions"). The Greek verb from which the noun comes, is used by Paul in 1Co 11:23; 15:3. From the three passages in which "tradition" is used in a good sense, Rome has argued for her accumulation of uninspired traditions, virtually overriding God's Word, while put forward as of co-ordinate authority with it. She forgets the ten passages (Mt 15:2, 3, 6; Mr 7:3, 5, 8, 9, 13; Ga 1:14; Col 2:8) stigmatizing man's uninspired traditions. Not even the apostles' sayings were all inspired (for example, Peter's dissimulation, Ga 2:11-14), but only when they claimed to be so, as in their words afterwards embodied in their canonical writings. Oral inspiration was necessary in their case, until the canon of the written Word should be complete; they proved their possession of inspiration by miracles wrought in support of the new revelation, which revelation, moreover, accorded with the existing Old Testament revelation; an additional test needed besides miracles (compare De 13:1-6; Ac 17:11). When the canon was complete, the infallibility of the living men was transferred to the written Word, now the sole unerring guide, interpreted by the Holy Spirit. Little else has come down to us by the most ancient and universal tradition save this, the all-sufficiency of Scripture for salvation. Therefore, by tradition, we are constrained to cast off all tradition not contained in, or not provable by, Scripture. The Fathers are valuable witnesses to historical facts, which give force to the intimations of Scripture: such as the Christian Lord's day, the baptism of infants, and the genuineness of the canon of Scripture. Tradition (in the sense of human testimony) cannot establish a doctrine, but can authenticate a fact, such as the facts just mentioned. Inspired tradition, in Paul's sense, is not a supplementary oral tradition completing our written Word, but it is identical with the written Word now complete; then the latter not being complete, the tradition was necessarily in part oral, in part written, and continued so until, the latter being complete before the death of St. John, the last apostle, the former was no longer needed. Scripture is, according to Paul, the complete and sufficient rule in all that appertains to making "the man of God perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2Ti 3:16, 17). It is by leaving Paul's God-inspired tradition for human traditions that Rome has become the forerunner and parent of the Antichrist. It is striking that, from this very chapter denouncing Antichrist, she should draw an argument for her "traditions" by which she fosters anti-Christianity. Because the apostles' oral word was as trustworthy as their written word, it by no means follows that the oral word of those not apostles is as trustworthy as the written word of those who were apostles or inspired evangelists. No tradition of the apostles except their written word can be proved genuine on satisfactory evidence. We are no more bound to accept implicitly the Fathers' interpretations of Scripture, because we accept the Scripture canon on their testimony, than we are bound to accept the Jews' interpretation of the Old Testament, because we accept the Old Testament canon on their testimony.

our epistle—as distinguished from a "letter AS from us," 2Th 2:2, namely, that purports to be from us, but is not. He refers to his first Epistle to the Thessalonians.2:13-15 When we hear of the apostacy of many, it is a great comfort and joy, that there is a remnant according to the election of grace, which does and shall persevere; especially we should rejoice, if we have reason to hope that we are of that number. The preservation of the saints, is because God loved them with an everlasting love, from the beginning of the world. The end and the means must not be separated. Faith and holiness must be joined together as well as holiness and happiness. The outward call of God is by the gospel; and this is rendered effectual by the inward working of the Spirit. The belief of the truth brings the sinner to rely on Christ, and so to love and obey him; it is sealed by the Holy Spirit upon his heart. We have no certain proof of any thing having been delivered by the apostles, more than what we find contained in the Holy Scriptures. Let us then stand fast in the doctrines taught by the apostles, and reject all additions, and vain traditions.
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Alphabetical: and brethren brothers by firm from hold letter mouth of on or passed So stand taught teachings the then to traditions us we were whether which word you

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