|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:14-21 Those disposed to strive, commonly strive about matters of small moment. But strifes of words destroy the things of God. The apostle mentions some who erred. They did not deny the resurrection, but they corrupted that true doctrine. Yet nothing can be so foolish or erroneous, but it will overturn the temporary faith of some professors. This foundation has two writings on it. One speaks our comfort. None can overthrow the faith of any whom God hath chosen. The other speaks our duty. Those who would have the comfort of the privilege, must make conscience of the duty Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, Tit 2:14. The church of Christ is like a dwelling: some furniture is of great value; some of smaller value, and put to meaner uses. Some professors of religion are like vessels of wood and earth. When the vessels of dishonour are cast out to be destroyed, the others will be filled with all the fulness of God. We must see to it that we are holy vessels. Every one in the church whom God approves, will be devoted to his Master's service, and thus fitted for his use.
Verse 16. - Profane for profane and vain, A.V.; proceed further in ungodliness for increase unto more ungodliness, A.V. Shun (περιι'´στασο, as in Titus 3:9); literally, step out of the way of, or stand away from - an unusual use of the word, found also in Josephus, 'Ant. Jud.,' 4. 6:12. Profane babblings (see 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 6:20). They will proceed (προκόψουσιν); see note on προκοπή in 1 Timothy 4:15. Further in ungodliness (ἐπὶ πεῖον ἀσεβείας); surely better rendered in the A.V. to more ungodliness. It may be questioned whether "they" refers to the babblings or to the false teachers. It makes very good sense to say, "Avoid these profane babblings, for they won't stop there - they will grow into open impiety and blasphemy." But ver. 17, as Alford observes, is in favour of the "teachers" being the subject of "will proceed;" but it is not conclusive. If a full stop be put after "ungodliness," as in the A.V., ver. 17 comes in quite naturally with the further statement that "their word will eat as doth a gangrene."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But shun profane and vain babblings,.... The ministry of false teachers is mere babbling; a voice, and nothing else, as the man said of his nightingale; a sound of words, but no solid matter in them; great swelling words of vanity, like large bubbles of water, look big, and make a great noise, but have nothing in them; contain nothing but vain, empty, idle, and trifling stuff; what is unprofitable and unedifying, yea, what is profane, contrary to the nature and perfections of God, and not agreeable to the doctrine which is according to godliness; and being palmed upon the Holy Scriptures, is a profanation of them. And all such wicked and empty prate, and babbling, is to be shunned, avoided, and discouraged, refused, and rejected; and, as much as can be, a stop should be put to it, both by ministers and hearers of the word.
For they will increase unto more ungodliness meaning either that such babblings, if used and encouraged, will grow more and more profane and wicked; or the persons that use them, the unruly and vain talkers, will grow more daring, bold; and impudent, will wax worse and worse, and from one error will proceed to another, for such seldom stop; and having abused one passage of Scripture, will go on to attack another, and will not cease, till they have wrested the whole Scripture to their own destruction, and that of others.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. shun—literally, "stand above," separate from, and superior to.
vain—opposed to "the truth" (2Ti 2:15).
babblings—with loud voice: opposed to the temperate "word" (Tit 3:9).
increase—Greek, advance"; literally, "strike forward": an image from pioneers cutting away all obstacles before an advancing army. They pretend progress; the only kind of progress they make is to a greater pitch of impiety.
more ungodliness—Greek, "a greater degree of impiety."
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