|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:14-17 Those who would learn the things of God, and be assured of them, must know the Holy Scriptures, for they are the Divine revelation. The age of children is the age to learn; and those who would get true learning, must get it out of the Scriptures. They must not lie by us neglected, seldom or never looked into. The Bible is a sure guide to eternal life. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but delivered what they received of God, 2Pe 1:21. It is profitable for all purposes of the Christian life. It is of use to all, for all need to be taught, corrected, and reproved. There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every case. Oh that we may love our Bibles more, and keep closer to them! then shall we find benefit, and at last gain the happiness therein promised by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the main subject of both Testaments. We best oppose error by promoting a solid knowledge of the word of truth; and the greatest kindness we can do to children, is to make them early to know the Bible.
Verse 14. - Abide for continue, A.V. Abide thou, etc. Be not like these juggling heretics, blown about by every wind of doctrine, and always seeking some new thing, but abide in the old truths which thou hast learnt from thy childhood. Hast been assured of (ἐπιστώθης); only here in the New Testament, but found in 2 Macc. 7:24 and 1 Kings 1:36. In classical Greek it has the same sense as here (among others), "to be made sure of a thing." Of whom thou hast learned them (παρὰ τίνος ἔμαθες, or, according to another reading of nearly equal authority, παρὰ τίνων). If τίνος is the right reading, it must refer either to God or to St. Paul. In favour of its referring to God is the expression in the Prophet Isaiah commented upon by our Lord in John 6:45, where παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς answers to παρὰ τίνος; the promise concerning the Comforter, "He shall teach you all things" (John 14:26, etc.); and the very similar reasoning of St. John, when he is exhorting his "little children" to stand fast in the faith, in spite of those that seduced them: "Let that therefore abide in you which ye have heard from the beginning;" for "the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things,...and even as it hath taught yon, abide in him" (1 John 2:24-28); and other similar passages. There would obviously be great force in reminding Timothy that he had received the gospel under the immediate teaching of the Holy Spirit, and that it would be a shameful thing for him to turn aside under the influence of those impostors. If τίνων does not refer to God, it must refer to St. Paul. If, on the other hand, τίνων is the true reading (which is less probable), it must refer to Lois and Eunice, which seems rather feeble.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But continue thou in the things,.... That is, in the doctrines of the Gospel, and not be moved away from them, either through the malice or persecutions, or the cunning sleight of men that lie in wait to deceive; and which is an exhortation suitable to the godly in all ages: and what follow are so many reasons enforcing it:
which thou hast learned: not merely in a theoretical way, as arts and sciences are learned, but in a spiritual and experimental manner; a comfortable knowledge and experience of which he had attained unto; and were not like those in 2 Timothy 3:7, who had been ever learning, and yet could not come to the knowledge of the truth: and since therefore he had learned the truths of the Gospel, and had attained to a good understanding of them, it was his duty, as it is the duty of all such, to abide by them:
and hast been assured of: the doctrines of the Gospel are certain things; they are truths without controversy; there is a full assurance of understanding of them, which men may arrive unto, and which ministers should, since they are to affirm them with certainty. Scepticism is very unbecoming one that calls himself a minister of the Gospel; and when a man is assured of the truth and reality of Gospel doctrines, it would be shameful in him to drop them, or depart from them:
knowing of whom thou hast learned them. The apostle means himself, though he modestly forbears the mention of himself: and it is another argument why Timothy should continue steadfastly in the doctrines of the Gospel, seeing he had learned them of so great an apostle of Christ; whose mission, as such, was abundantly confirmed by miracles and success, and who had received these doctrines by immediate revelation from Christ; so that it was all one as if Timothy had learned them from Christ himself. The Alexandrian copy reads the word "whom", in the plural number, as if the apostle referred to more teachers of Timothy than himself; however, he doubtless was the principal one.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. But … thou—Whatever they may do. Resuming the thread begun at 2Ti 3:10.
learned—from me and thy mother and grandmother (2Ti 1:5; 2:2).
assured of—from Scripture (2Ti 3:15).
of whom—plural, not singular, in the oldest manuscripts, "from what teachers." Not only from me, but from Lois and Eunice.
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