2 Timothy 2:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor's crown except by competing according to the rules.

New Living Translation
And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules.

English Standard Version
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

New American Standard Bible
Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.

King James Bible
And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

International Standard Version
Moreover, no one who is an athlete wins a prize unless he competes according to the rules.

NET Bible
Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he will not be crowned as the winner unless he competes according to the rules.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And if a man competes, he is not crowned if he does not compete by the rules.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Whoever enters an athletic competition wins the prize only when playing by the rules.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And also if anyone contends in public contest, he is not crowned, except he contends legitimately.

King James 2000 Bible
And if a man also competes as an athlete, yet is he not crowned, unless he strives lawfully.

American King James Version
And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

American Standard Version
And if also a man contend in the games, he is not crowned, except he have contended lawfully.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For he also that striveth for the mastery, is not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Darby Bible Translation
And if also any one contend [in the games], he is not crowned unless he contend lawfully.

English Revised Version
And if also a man contend in the games, he is not crowned, except he have contended lawfully.

Webster's Bible Translation
And if a man also striveth for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he striveth lawfully.

Weymouth New Testament
And if any one takes part in an athletic contest, he gets no prize unless he obeys the rules.

World English Bible
Also, if anyone competes in athletics, he isn't crowned unless he has competed by the rules.

Young's Literal Translation
and if also any one may strive, he is not crowned, except he may strive lawfully;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-7 As our trials increase, we need to grow stronger in that which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our love to God and Christ stronger. This is opposed to our being strong in our own strength. All Christians, but especially ministers, must be faithful to their Captain, and resolute in his cause. The great care of a Christian must be to please Christ. We are to strive to get the mastery of our lusts and corruptions, but we cannot expect the prize unless we observe the laws. We must take care that we do good in a right manner, that our good may not be spoken evil of. Some who are active, spend their zeal about outward forms and doubtful disputations. But those who strive lawfully shall be crowned at last. If we would partake the fruits, we must labour; if we would gain the prize, we must run the race. We must do the will of God, before we receive the promises, for which reason we have need of patience. Together with our prayers for others, that the Lord would give them understanding in all things, we must exhort and stir them up to consider what they hear or read.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - Also a man for a man also, A.V.; contend in the games for strive for masteries, A.V.; he is not for yet is he not, A.V.; have contended for strive, A.V. Contend in the games (ἀθλῇ); only here in the New Testament, and not found in the LXX., but common in classical Greek. It means "to contend for ἄθλον the prize, to be an "athlete." This is also the meaning of the A.V. "strive for masteries." "To strive," means properly to contend with an antagonist, and "mastery" is an old English word for "superiority," "victory," or the like. Dryden has "mastership" in the same sense -

"When noble youths for mastership should strive,
To quoit, to run, and steeds and chariots drive."


(Ovid., 'Met,' bk. 1.) Lawfully (νομίμως, as 1 Timothy 1:8); according to the laws and usages of the games. So Timothy must conform to the laws of the Christian warfare, and not shrink from afflictions, if he would gain the great Christian prize.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And if a man also strive for masteries,.... In the Olympic games, by running, wrestling, leaping, &c.

yet is he not crowned; with a corruptible, fading crown, a crown made of herbs and leaves of trees, as parsley, laurel, &c.

except he strive lawfully; according to the laws and rules fixed for those exercises; so no man that calls himself a Christian, minister, or any other, can expect the crown of life, the prize of the high calling of God, except he runs the race set before him, in the right way; looking to Christ, the mark, pressing through all difficulties, towards the prize, and holds on and out unto the end.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. And—"Moreover."

strive for masteries—"strive in the games" [Alford]; namely, the great national games of Greece.

yet is he not crowned, except—even though he gain the victory.

strive lawfully—observing all the conditions of both the contest (keeping within the bounds of the course and stript of his clothes) and the preparation for it, namely, as to self-denying diet, anointing, exercise, self-restraint, chastity, decorum, &c. (1Co 9:24-27).

2 Timothy 2:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Grace and Perseverance
4No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 5Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. 6The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 9:25
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

2 Timothy 4:8
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Treasury of Scripture

And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

strive.

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say to you, will …

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives …

Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which …

Hebrews 12:4 You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin.

is he.

2 Timothy 4:7,8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith…

Hebrews 2:7,9 You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with …

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, …

1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown …

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil …

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man …

Revelation 4:4,10 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and on the …

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