2 Timothy 3:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

New Living Translation
They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

English Standard Version
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

New American Standard Bible
holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

King James Bible
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!

International Standard Version
They will hold to an outward form of godliness but deny its power. Stay away from such people.

NET Bible
They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Who have a form of God-worship and are far from his power; remove from you those who are such.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people.

Jubilee Bible 2000
having the appearance of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

King James 2000 Bible
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

American King James Version
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

American Standard Version
holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof. From these also turn away.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.

Darby Bible Translation
having a form of piety but denying the power of it: and from these turn away.

English Revised Version
holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away.

Webster's Bible Translation
Having a form of godliness, but denying its power: from such turn away.

Weymouth New Testament
and will keep up a make-believe of piety and yet live in defiance of its power. Turn away from people of this sort.

World English Bible
holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also.

Young's Literal Translation
having a form of piety, and its power having denied; and from these be turning away,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-9 Even in gospel times there would be perilous times; on account of persecution from without, still more on account of corruptions within. Men love to gratify their own lusts, more than to please God and do their duty. When every man is eager for what he can get, and anxious to keep what he has, this makes men dangerous to one another. When men do not fear God, they will not regard man. When children are disobedient to their parents, that makes the times perilous. Men are unholy and without the fear of God, because unthankful for the mercies of God. We abuse God's gifts, if we make them the food and fuel of our lusts. Times are perilous also, when parents are without natural affection to children. And when men have no rule over their own spirits, but despise that which is good and to be honoured. God is to be loved above all; but a carnal mind, full of enmity against him, prefers any thing before him, especially carnal pleasure. A form of godliness is very different from the power; from such as are found to be hypocrites, real Christians must withdraw. Such persons have been found within the outward church, in every place, and at all times. There ever have been artful men, who, by pretences and flatteries, creep into the favour and confidence of those who are too easy of belief, ignorant, and fanciful. All must be ever learning to know the Lord; but these follow every new notion, yet never seek the truth as it is in Jesus. Like the Egyptian magicians, these were men of corrupt minds, prejudiced against the truth, and found to be quite without faith. Yet though the spirit of error may be let loose for a time, Satan can deceive the nations and the churches no further, and no longer, than God will permit.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - Holding for having, A.V.; hating denied for denyiny, A.V.; these also for such, A.V. Holding (ἔχοντες). There is no reason to change "having." Perhaps "indeed" after "having" would give the emphasis conveyed by ἔχοντες preceding the object. A form (μόρφωσιν). It should be the form; i.e. "the outward semblance," i.q. μόρφωμα, form, shape, figure (Liddell and Scott), here in contrast with δύναμις, the reality. In Romans 2:20, the only other place in the New Testament where μόρφωσις occurs, there is no contrast, and so it has the sense of a "true sketch" or "delineation." Having denied (ἠρνημένοι); possibly more correct than the A.V. "denying," though the difference, if any, is very slight. The meaning is that by their life and character and conversation they gave the lie to their Christian profession. Christianity with them was an outward form, not an inward living power of godliness. From these also does not give the sense at all clearly. The A.V. does, though it omits the καὶ, which is not wanted in English. In the Greek it marks an additional circumstance in the case of those of whom he is speaking, viz. that they are to be turned away from as hopeless. Turn away (ἀποτρέπου); only here in the New Testament, or, at least in the middle voice, in the LXX.; but frequent in classical Greek in different senses. St. Paul uses ἐκτρέπομενος in the same sense in 1 Timothy 6:20. "This command shows that the apostle treats the symptoms of the last times as in some respects present" (Alford). With this catena of epithets comp. Romans 1:29-31; and, though of an opposite character, the string of adjectives in Wisd. 7:22, 23.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Having a form of godliness,.... Either a mere external show of religion, pretending great piety and holiness, being outwardly righteous before men, having the mask and visor of godliness; or else a plan of doctrine, a form of sound words, a scheme of truths, which men may have without partaking of the grace of God; and which, with respect to the doctrine of the Trinity, the church of Rome has; or else the Scriptures of truth, which the members of that church have, and profess to hold to, maintain and preserve; and which contains doctrines according to godliness, and tend to a godly life and godly edification:

but denying the power thereof; though in words they profess religion and godliness, the fear of God, and the pure worship of him, yet in works they deny all; and though they may have a set of notions in their heads, yet they feel nothing of the power of them on their hearts; and are strangers to experimental religion, and powerful godliness: or though they profess the Scriptures to be the word of God, yet they deny the use, the power, and efficacy of them; they deny the use of them to the laity, and affirm that they are not a sufficient rule of faith and practice, without their unwritten traditions; and that they are not able to make men wise, or give them a true knowledge of what is to be believed and done, without them; and that the sense of them is not to be understood by private men, but depends upon the infallible judgment of the church or pope:

from such turn away; have no fellowship with them, depart from their communion, withdraw from them, and come out from among them: this passage sufficiently justifies the reformed churches in their separation from the church of Rome.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. form—outward semblance.


denying—rather as Greek, "having denied," that is, renounced.

the power—the living, regenerating, sanctifying influence of it.

turn away—implying that some of such characters, forerunners of the last days, were already in the Church.

2 Timothy 3:5 Additional Commentaries
Evil in the Last Days
4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,…
Cross References
Matthew 7:15
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

2 Thessalonians 3:6
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

1 Timothy 4:7
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

1 Timothy 4:8
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

1 Timothy 5:8
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Treasury of Scripture

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

a form.

Isaiah 29:13 Why the Lord said, For as much as this people draw near me with their …

Isaiah 48:1,2 Hear you this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of …

Isaiah 58:1-3 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show …

Ezekiel 33:30-32 Also, you son of man, the children of your people still are talking …

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, …

Matthew 23:27,28 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like to …

Romans 2:20-24 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which have the …

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his …

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being …


2 Timothy 2:16,23 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase to more …

Romans 16:17,18 Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions and …

Ephesians 4:14 That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried …

2 Thessalonians 3:6,14 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the …

Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;

2 John 1:10-12 If there come any to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him …

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