2 Timothy 4:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

New Living Translation
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.

English Standard Version
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

New American Standard Bible
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

King James Bible
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.

International Standard Version
For the time will come when people will not tolerate healthy doctrine, but with itching ears will surround themselves with teachers who cater to their people's own desires.

NET Bible
For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For there will be a time when they will not obey sound teaching, but they will multiply teachers to themselves, according to their desires, and with an itching of their sense of hearing,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, they shall heap up unto themselves teachers who shall speak to them according to their own lusts,

King James 2000 Bible
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they draw to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

American King James Version
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

American Standard Version
For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears:

Darby Bible Translation
For the time shall be when they will not bear sound teaching; but according to their own lusts will heap up to themselves teachers, having an itching ear;

English Revised Version
For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts;

Webster's Bible Translation
For the time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts will they multiply to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Weymouth New Testament
For a time is coming when they will not tolerate wholesome instruction, but, wanting to have their ears tickled, they will find a multitude of teachers to satisfy their own fancies;

World English Bible
For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts;

Young's Literal Translation
for there shall be a season when the sound teaching they will not suffer, but according to their own desires to themselves they shall heap up teachers -- itching in the hearing,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-5 People will turn away from the truth, they will grow weary of the plain gospel of Christ, they will be greedy of fables, and take pleasure in them. People do so when they will not endure that preaching which is searching, plain, and to the purpose. Those who love souls must be ever watchful, must venture and bear all the painful effects of their faithfulness, and take all opportunities of making known the pure gospel.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - The sound for sound, A.V.; having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts for after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, A.V. The sound (τῆς ὑγιαινούσης). Nothing is gained by the addition of the article in English. The phrase, ἡ ὑγιαίνουσα διδασκαλία, is characteristic of the pastoral Epistles, having arisen, no doubt, from the growth of heresy (see 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 6:3. 2 Timothy 1:13; Titus 1:9, 13; Titus 2:1; also Titus 2:8). In classical Greek, ὑγιής is frequently applied to words, sentiments, advice, etc., in the sense of "sound," "wise;" and ὑγιαίειν is also applied to the mind and character. Endure (ἀνέξονται); usually, as Bishop Ellicott observes, applied by St. Paul to persons as the object, as elsewhere in the New Testament (Matthew 17:17; Acts 18:14; Ephesians 4:2, etc.); but not invariably (see 2 Thessalonians 1:4; so too Hebrews 13:22). In classical Greek, ἀνέχεσθαι, followed by persons or things, usually governs an accusative case, if any, but a genitive frequently in Plato. Having itching ears (κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοήν); only here in the New Testament. The phrase, κνησέως ὤτων, is ascribed by Plutarch to Plato (Alford), "scratching the (itching) ear;" κνᾶσθαι τὰ ῶτα, "to tickle the ears" (Lucian); ἀποκναίουσιν ἡμῶν τὰ ᾤτα (Philo, ap. Ellicott). The verb κνήθω (i.q. κνάω) means "to scratch;" "to tickle," and in the passive "to itch." Will heap to themselves (ἐπισωρεύσουσι); a contemptuous word (found only here in the New Testament, and nowhere in early classical Greek), implying the indiscriminate multiplication of teachers (compare our use of "exaggerate"). The simple σωρεύειν occurs in ch. 3:6. After their own lusts. The measure of the number or the quality of their self-chosen teachers will be their own insatiable and ever-varying fancies and mental appetites, not the desire to be taught God's truth by teachers sent from God. Compare Jeroboam's conduct in ordaining a feast "in the mouth which he had devised of his own heart" (1 Kings 12:33).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For the time will come,.... This is a reason of the solemn charge above given: the time referred to was future, when the apostle wrote, but quickly came on; and the characters of it have appeared more or less in all ages since; and in none more than in ours:

when they will not endure sound doctrine; the Gospel which contains the wholesome words of Christ, and is sound itself, having no corruption in it, and salutary in its effects to the souls of men; and yet such is the depravity of some men, both in principles and practice, that they cannot receive it, nor bear to hear it, turn their backs on it, express their indignation at it, and treat it not only with neglect, but with ridicule and contempt:

but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers; not being content with the ministry of one man only, or of a few, though of their own sort; but must follow many, and have heaps of them; which seems to express not only the number of false teachers which they accumulate to themselves, but the confused and indiscreet choice they make of them; and that after their own lusts; choosing to hear such as either indulge them in their sinful lusts and pleasures; or are agreeable to their private corrupt sentiments, in opposition to the generally received doctrine of faith. It is a blessing to have pastors and teachers after God's heart, and who preach according to the word of God; these feed men with knowledge and understanding, Jeremiah 3:15 but it is a curse upon a people, when they are left to choose teachers after their hearts' lusts:

having itching ears; always desirous of new things, as the Athenians of old; or loving to have their ears scratched and tickled with smooth things; that are pleasing and agreeable to natural men, and carnal minds; as the purity of human nature, the power of man's free will, the excellency of his righteousness, and the merit of his works, and the like; see Isaiah 30:9. Now, this being the case, should not discourage, but rather animate the ministers of the Gospel to preach it; for should they desist, in all likelihood the Gospel would soon be gone.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. they—professing Christians.

sound doctrine—Greek, "the sound (see on [2506]1Ti 1:10) doctrine (didascalias)" or "teaching," namely, of the Gospel. Presently follows the concrete, "teachers."

after their own lusts—Instead of regarding the will of God they dislike being interrupted in their lusts by true teachers.

heap—one on another: an indiscriminate mass of false teachers. Variety delights itching ears. "He who despises sound teaching, leaves sound teachers; they seek instructors like themselves" [Bengel]. It is the corruption of the people in the first instance, that creates priestcraft (Ex 32:1).

to themselves—such as will suit their depraved tastes; populus vult decipi, et decipiatur—"the people wish to be deceived, so let them be deceived." "Like priest, like people" (1Ki 12:31; Ho 4:9).

itching—like to hear teachers who give them mere pleasure (Ac 17:19-21), and do not offend by truths grating to their ears. They, as it were, tickle with pleasure the levity of the multitude [Cicero], who come as to a theater to hear what will delight their ears, not to learn [Seneca, Epistles, 10.8] what will do them good. "Itch in the ear is as bad in any other part of the body, and perhaps worse" [South].

2 Timothy 4:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
Preach the Word
2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.…
Cross References
Isaiah 30:10
They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.

1 Timothy 1:10
for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine

2 Timothy 1:13
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:1
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.

Jude 1:18
They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires."
Treasury of Scripture

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

the time. See on ch.

2 Timothy 3:1-6 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come…

1 Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall …

they will.

1 Kings 22:8,18 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, …

2 Chronicles 16:9,10 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth…

2 Chronicles 24:20-22 And the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, …

2 Chronicles 25:15,16 Why the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent …

Isaiah 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest with which you may cause the weary …

Isaiah 33:9-11 The earth mourns and languishes: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: …

Jeremiah 6:16,17 Thus said the LORD, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the …

Jeremiah 18:18 Then said they, Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; …

Amos 7:10-17 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying…

Luke 20:19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay …

John 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not.

Galatians 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

sound.

1 Timothy 1:10 For fornicators, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for …

but.

2 Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive …

1 Kings 18:22 Then said Elijah to the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet …

2 Chronicles 18:4,5 And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray you, …

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their …

Jeremiah 23:16,17 Thus said the LORD of hosts, Listen not to the words of the prophets …

Jeremiah 27:9 Therefore listen not you to your prophets, nor to your diviners, …

Jeremiah 29:8 For thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your …

Micah 2:11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will …

Luke 6:26 Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their …

John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, …

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there …

having.

Exodus 32:33 And the LORD said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against me, him will …

Acts 17:21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their …

1 Corinthians 2:1,4 And I, brothers, when I came to you, came not with excellency of …

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Alphabetical: a accordance accumulate around but come desires doctrine ears endure For gather great have hear in Instead itching men not number of own put say sound suit teachers the their them themselves they tickled time to up want wanting what when will with

NT Letters: 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they (2 Tim. 2Ti iiTi ii Tim) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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