1 Timothy 4:2
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy.—The Greek words here should be translated, through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies. The lies that these men utter, refer to their teaching that it was pleasing to the eye of the All-seeing Creator for men and women to avoid certain meats, and to abstain from marriage. Their hypocrisy consisted in their assumption of a mask of holiness, which holiness they considered was derived from their false asceticism and their abstinence from things which the Apostle proceeded to show were lawful.

Having their conscience seared with a hot iron.—Better rendered, Branded in their own con-science as with a hot iron. The image is drawn from the practice of branding slaves and certain criminals on their forehead with a mark. “Qua nota turpitudinis non inusta tua vita est?” (Cic. Cat. i. 6.) These men tried to teach the efficacy of a substitution of certain counsels of perfection in place of a faithful loving life. They based their teaching on wild Oriental speculations about the evil nature of all matter. They were often themselves evil-livers, who, conscious of their own stained, scarred lives, strove with a show of outward sanctity and hypocritical self-denial to beguile and to lead astray others, and in the end to make them as vile as themselves.

1 Timothy 4:2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy — Greek, εν υποκρισει ψευδολογων, by the hypocrisy of them that speak lies. This is a more literal, and at the same time a more just translation of the words than that given in our Bible, which represents the demons as speaking lies in hypocrisy, which could not be the apostle’s meaning, as it would not accord with what follows. Having their conscience seared, &c. — An expression which could not be intended of devils. The hypocrisy here mentioned is that reigned show of extraordinary piety and sanctity which the lying teachers were to put on, with an intention to gain the confidence of the multitude. Hence they are described as having the form of godliness, but denying the power, 2 Timothy 3:5. These hypocritical teachers are called liars, because of the gross fictions and frauds which they were to contrive for the purpose of establishing the worship of demons. How well the appellation agrees to the Romish clergy in the dark ages, any one may understand who is acquainted with the lies then propagated concerning the apparitions of angels, and of the ghosts of departed saints; and concerning the miracles done by them, and by their relics, and by the sign of the cross, &c., all preached by monks, priests, and even bishops; and committed to writing, in the fabulous legends of their saints, to render them objects of adoration. “It is impossible,” says Bishop Newton, “to relate or enumerate all the various falsehoods and lies which have been invented and propagated for this purpose; the fabulous books forged under the names of apostles, saints, and martyrs; the fabulous legends of their lives, actions, sufferings, and deaths; the fabulous miracles ascribed to their sepulchres, bones, and other relics; the fabulous dreams and revelations, visions, and apparitions of the dead to the living; and even the fabulous saints who never existed but in the imagination of their worshippers: and all these stories the monks, the priests, the bishops of the church, have imposed and obtruded upon mankind, it is difficult to say, whether with greater artifice or cruelty, with greater confidence or hypocrisy, and pretended sanctity, a more hardened face, or a more hardened conscience. The history of the church, saith Pascal, is the history of truth; but, as written by bigoted Papists, it is rather the history of lies.”4:1-5 The Holy Spirit, both in the Old and the New Testament, spoke of a general turning from the faith of Christ, and the pure worship of God. This should come during the Christian dispensation, for those are called the latter days. False teachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as a duty what he has left indifferent. We find exercise for watchfulness and self-denial, in attending to the requirements of God's law, without being tasked to imaginary duties, which reject what he has allowed. But nothing justifies an intemperate or improper use of things; and nothing will be good to us, unless we seek by prayer for the Lord's blessing upon it.Speaking lies in hypocrisy - ἐν ὑποκρισει ψευδολόγων en hupokrisei pseudologōn. Or rather, "by, or through the hypocrisy of those speaking lies. So it is rendered by Whitby, Benson, Macknight, and others. Our translators have rendered it as if the word translated "speaking lies" - ψευδολόγων pseudologōn - referred to "demons," or, "devils," δαιμονίων daimoniōn - in the previous verse. But there are two objections to this. One is, that then, as Koppe observes, the words would have been inverted - ψευδολόγων ἐν ὑποκρίσει pseudologōn en hupokrisei. The other is, that if that construction is adopted, it must be carried through the sentence, and then all the phrases "speaking lies," "having their conscience seared," "forbidding to marry," etc., must be referred to demons. The preposition ἐν en, "in" may denote "by" or "through," and is often so used.

If this be the true construction, then it will mean that those who departed from the faith did it "by" or "through" the hypocritical teachings of those who spoke lies, or who knew that they were inculcating falsehoods; of those whose conscience was seared; of those who forbade to marry, etc. The meaning then will be, "In the last days certain persons will depart from the faith of the gospel. This apostasy will essentially consist in their giving heed to spirits that lead to error, and in embracing corrupt and erroneous views on demonology, or in reference to invisible beings between us and God. This they will do through the hypocritical teaching of those who inculcate falsehood; whose consciences are seared," etc. The series of characteristics, therefore, which follow, are those of the "teachers," not of "the taught;" of the ministers of the church, not of the great body of the people.

The apostle meant to say that this grand apostasy would occur under the influence of a hypocritical, hardened, and arbitrary ministry, teaching their own doctrines instead of the divine commands, and forbidding that which God had declared to be lawful. In the clause before us - "speaking lies in hypocrisy" - two things are implied, "first," that the characteristic of those referred to would be that they would "speak lies;" "second," that this would be done "hypocritically." In regard to the first, there can be no doubt among Protestants of its applicability to the papal communion. The entire series of doctrines respecting the authority of the Pope, purgatory, the mass, the invocation of the saints, the veneration of relics, the seven sacraments, the authority of tradition, the doctrine of merit, etc., is regarded as false. Indeed, the system could not be better characterized than by saying that it is a system "speaking lies." The entire scheme attempts to palm falsehood upon the world, in the place of the simple teaching of the New Testament. The only question is, whether this is done "in hypocrisy," or hypocritically. In regard to this, it is not necessary to maintain that there is "no" sincerity among the ministers of that communion, or that "all" are hypocritical in their belief and their teaching. The sense is, that this is the general characteristic, or that this is understood by the leaders or prime movers in that apostasy. In regard to the applicability of this to the ministers of the Papal communion, and the question whether they teach what they know to be false, we may observe:

(1) that many of them are men of eminent learning, and there can he no reason to doubt that they Know that many of the Catholic legends are false, and many of the doctrines of their faith contrary to the Bible.

(2) not a few of the things in that communion must be known by them to be false, though not known to be so by the people. Such are all the pretended miracles performed by the relics of the saints; the liquefying of the blood of Januarius, etc.; see the notes on 2 Thessalonians 2:9. As the working of these tricks depends wholly on the priesthood, they must know that they are "speaking lies in hypocrisy."

(3) the matter of fact seems to be, that when young men who have been trained in the Catholic Church, first turn their attention to the ministry, they are sincere. They have not yet been made acquainted with the "mysteries of iniquity" in the communion in which they have been trained, and they do not suspect the deceptions that are practiced there. When they pass through their course of study, however, and become acquainted with the arts and devices on which the fabric rests, and with the scandalous lives of many of the clergy, they are shocked to find how corrupt and false the whole system is. But they are now committed. They have devoted their lives to this profession. They are trained now to this system of imposture, and they must continue to practice and perpetuate the fraud, or abandon the church, and subject themselves to all the civil and ecclesiastical disabilities which would now follow if they were to leave and reveal all its frauds and impostures. A gentleman of high authority, and who has had as good an opportunity as any man living to make accurate and extensive observations, stated to me, that this was a common thing in regard to the Catholic clergy in France and Italy. No one can reasonably doubt that the great body of that clergy "must" be apprized that much that is relied on for the support of the system is mere legend, and that the miracles which are pretended to be performed are mere trick and imposture.

Having their conscience seared with a hot iron - The allusion here is doubtless to the effect of applying a hot iron to the skin. The cauterized part becomes rigid and hard, and is dead to sensibility. So with the conscience of those referred to. It has the same relation to a conscience that is sensitive and quick in its decisions, that a cauterized part of the body has to a thin, delicate, and sensitive skin. Such a conscience exists in a mind that will practice delusion without concern; that will carry on a vast system of fraud without wincing; that will incarcerate, scourge, or burn the innocent without compassion; and that will practice gross enormities, and indulge in sensual gratifications under the mask of piety. While there are many eminent exceptions to an application of this to the Papal communion, yet this description will apply better to the Roman priesthood in the time of Luther - and in many other periods of the world - than to any other "body of men" that ever lived.

2. Rather translate, "Through (literally, 'in'; the element in which the apostasy has place) the hypocrisy of lying speakers"; this expresses the means through which "some shall (be led to) depart from the faith," namely, the reigned sanctity of the seducers (compare "deceivers," Tit 1:10).

having their conscience seared—Greek, "having their own conscience," &c., that is, not only "speaking lies" to others, but also having their own conscience seared. Professing to lead others to holiness, their own conscience is all the while defiled. Bad consciences always have recourse to hypocrisy. As faith and a good conscience are joined (1Ti 1:5); so hypocrisy (that is, unbelief, Mt 24:5, 51; compare Lu 12:46) and a bad conscience here. Theodoret explains like English Version, "seared," as implying their extreme insensibility; the effect of cauterizing being to deaden sensation. The Greek, however, primarily means "branded" with the consciousness of crimes committed against their better knowledge and conscience, like so many scars burnt in by a branding iron: Compare Tit 1:15; 3:11, "condemned of himself." They are conscious of the brand within, and yet with a hypocritical show of sanctity, they strive to seduce others. As "a seal" is used in a good sense (2Ti 2:19), so "a brand" in a bad sense. The image is taken from the branding of criminals.

The words, as translated by us, are very difficult; for the word which we translate

speaking lies, being the genitive case, will neither agree with spirits nor doctrines, in the former verse, they being both the dative: but neither is our translation agreeable to the Greek, which is thus: In or through the hypocrisy of such as speak lies, and of such as have a conscience seared with a hot iron; which doubtless is the sense; so the words explain the manner how they were seduced to apostacy, viz. through the hypocrisy or dissimulation of men that speak lies, and had consciences benumbed, and mortified, as it were cauterized and seared with a hot iron. By their hypocrisy he characterizes seducers, uncertain, false men, that regarded not what they said, but made a show and appearance of piety, when indeed they had no sense of piety in them. By men whose consciences were seared with a hot iron, he means persons so far from any sense of piety, that they were hardened to any degree of iniquity: and indeed by both terms he excellently expresseth such persons as generally they are who seduce others to false doctrine, they could not do it without some show or pretence of piety, they would not do it if they had any true sense of it; and by both terms he too well expresseth those that in our days seduce men to the doctrines concerning demons, and abstaining from marriage and meats, which are those doctrines he alone instanceth in. Speaking lies in hypocrisy,.... Or "through the hypocrisy of those that speak lies"; for the apostle is still speaking of the means by which the apostasy should rise, and get ground; and it should be by the means of persons that should deliver lying or false doctrine under the colour of truth, and make great pretensions to religion and holiness, which would greatly take with men, and captivate and lead them aside: and this plainly points at the abettors of antichrist, the Romish priests, who deliver out the lying doctrines of merit, purgatory, invocation of saints, fastings, pilgrimages, &c. and the fabulous legends of saints, and the lying wonders and miracles done by them, and all under a show of godliness, and the promoting of religion and holiness:

having their conscience seared with a hot iron; which exactly describes the above mentioned persons, whose consciences are cauterized and hardened, and past feeling; and have no regard to what they say or do, make no conscience of anything, but under a cloak of sanctity commit the most shocking impieties; and are men of the most infamous characters, and of the most enormous and scandalous lives and conversations; so that the metaphor may be taken either from the searing of flesh with an iron, or cauterizing it, whereby it grows callous and hard; or from the stigmas or marks which used to be put on malefactors, or such who have been guilty of notorious crimes.

{2} Speaking lies in {b} hypocrisy; having their {c} conscience seared with a hot iron;

(2) Even though heretics pretend holiness ever so much, yet they have no conscience.

(b) For they will as it were practise the art of disguised persons and players, so that we may not think they will lie lurking in some one corner or keep any resemblance of being shameful.

(c) Whose conscience became so hard, that there grew a callous over it, and so became to have a canker in it, and now at length required by very necessity to be burned with a hot iron.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Timothy 4:2. Ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων] Leo: “errarunt sine dubio, qui genitivos, qui sequuntur, ψευδολόγων, κεκαυτηριασμένων, κωλυόντων, lege appositionis, junctos esse dicebant cum voc. δαιμονίων;” but we must also reject Leo’s opinion, that ἐν ὑποκρ. ψευδ. was added to the previous statement as a second characteristic of the heretics, meaning: eadem simulantes, quae simulare solent homines ψευδολόγοι, etc.; ψευδολ., κεκαυτηρ., κωλυόντων denote the heretics themselves, and not those whom they imitated. To regard the genitive ψευδολόγων as dependent on διδασκαλίαις, and ἐν ὑποκρίσει as defining more precisely the substantive following it (Estius: doctrinis, inquam, hominum in hypocrisi loquentium mendacium), would make a double difficulty of construction. Nor can Luther’s translation be defended: “by means of such as are speakers of lies in hypocrisy.” Ἐν ὑποκρίσει is either to be taken with ἀποστήσονται (so Bengel: Constr. cum deficient; hypocrisis ea, quae est falsiloquorum, illos auferet; τινες aliqui, illi, sunt seducti; falsiloqui, seductores; falsiloquorum, genitivus, unice pendet ab hypocrisi), or, still better, with προσέχοντες (Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Plitt). The objection of Matthies, which agrees with Leo’s explanation, that in that case we should have had instead of ἐν either διά or ἕνεκα with the article, is contradicted by the usage of the N. T. In the N. T. ἐν is not seldom used with the instrument, and in regard to the article there prevails a greater freedom of use than in classic Greek. Hofmann strangely combines δαιμονίων ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων into one idea, explaining δαιμονίων to be an adjective with ψευδολόγων, and ἐν ὑποκρίσει also as a qualification of ψευδολόγων in the sense of “hypocritical.”[154]

The hypocrisy of the heretics consisted in giving themselves, in obedience to a false spiritualism (see 1 Timothy 4:3), the appearance of a spiritually-inspired life.

The word ψευδολόγοι, (“liars,” Luther) occurs only here in the N. T. In sense it is equivalent to ψευδοδιδάσκαλος, 2 Peter 2:1, and ψευδοπροφήτης, 1 John 4:1 (comp. ματαιολόγοι, Titus 1:10).

κεκαυτηριασμένων τὴν ἰδίαν συνείδησιν] On the grammatical structure, comp. 1 Timothy 6:5 (διεφθαρμένοι ἄνθρωποι τὸν νοῦν; the more precise definition is not infrequently added in the accusative, see Winer, p. 215 [E. T. p. 287]), “branded as to their conscience” (Wahl: κεκαυτηριασμένην ἔχοντες τὴν ἰδ. συνείδησιν).

It is to be noted that the καυτηριάζειν (cauterio notare) was not only done on slaves “ut facilius possent discerni” (Leo), but was also a form of punishment for, marking criminals as such (comp. Meyer on Galatians 6:17). As these bore the brand on their forehead,—that is the figurative expression,—so do the heretics bear it on their conscience, i.e. they bear in their conscience the knowledge of their guilt. Theophylact rightly: ἐπεὶ συνίσασιν ἑαυτοῖς ἀκαθαρσίαν πολλήν, διὰ τοῦτο τὸ συνειδὸς αὐτῶν ἀνεξαλείπτους ἔχει τοὺς καυτῆρας τοῦ ῥυπαροῦ βίου. Theodoret (followed by Heumann) wrongly understands the apostle’s expression to denote moral deadness: νέκρωσις καὶ ἀποβολὴ πάσης αἰσθήσεως, ἐσχάτη ἀναλγησία· ὁ γὰρ τοῦ καυτῆρος τόπος νεκρωθεὶς τὴν πρότεραν αἴσθησιν ἀποβάλλει. The apostle does not blame the heretics for having a conscience completely blunted, but for acting against their conscience; comp. Titus 3:11 : αὐτοκατάκριτος.

On ἰδίαν, de Wette remarks that it is not emphatic here; but it is not improbable that the apostle had some such side-thought in mind as Bengel suggests: dum alios tamen urgent (so, too, Wiesinger).

[154] Hofmann opposes the view here put forward that ἐν ὑποκρίσει is to be taken with προσέχοντες, and makes the curious remark that ἐν “can only introduce that which is of use to me for doing something, not that which makes me do a thing only in so far as it is of use to another to determine me to do it” (!).1 Timothy 4:2. ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων: The three genitives ψευδολ. κεκαυστ. κωλ. are coordinate, and refer to the human agents of the seducing spirits and demons. ἐν ὑποκρίσει depends on πνεύμασι and διδασκαλίαις. The spirits work, and the teachings are exhibited, in the hypocrisy of them that speak lies; and this hypocrisy finds detailed expression in regulations suggested by a false asceticism.

Although the ψευδολόγοι are included in the τινεςπροσέχοντες, yet there is a large class of persons who are merely deceived; who are not actively deceiving others, and who have not taken the initiative in deceit. These latter are the ψευδολόγοι. For this reason it is better to connect ἐν ὑποκρίσει with προσέχοντες (Ell., von Soden) rather than with ἀποστήσονται (Bengel, Alf.), though no doubt both verbs refer to the same class.

ἐν ὑποκρίσει of course is not adverbial as A.V., speaking lies in hypocrisy. This could only be justified if ψευδολόγων referred to δαιμονίων. The absence of an article before ὑποκρίσει need cause no astonishment.

ψευδολόγων: This word expresses perhaps more than ψεύστης the notion of definite false statements. A man might be on some occasions and on special points a ψευδολόγος, a speaker of that which is not true, and yet not deserve to be classed as a ψεύστης, a liar.

κεκαυστηριασμένων τὴν ἰδίαν συνείδησιν: These speakers of falsehood are radically unsound. They are in worse case than the unsophisticated heathen whose conscience bears witness with the law of God (Romans 2:15). The conscience of these men is perverted. κεκαυστ. may mean that they are past feeling, ἀπηλγηκότες (Ephesians 4:19), that their conscience is callous from constant violation, as skin grows hard from searing (A.V., R.V. m., so Theodoret); or it may mean that these men bore branded on their conscience the ownership marks of the Spirit of evil, the devil’s seal (ctr. 2 Timothy 2:19), so perhaps R.V.; as St. Paul “bore branded on his body the marks of Jesus” (Galatians 6:17), as “Christ’s bondservant” (1 Corinthians 7:22). (So Theophylact). Either of these interpretations is more attractive than that of Bengel, followed by Alford, who takes it to mean that the marks of crime are burnt into them, so that they are self-condemned. See Titus 1:15; Titus 3:11.

There is no special force in ἰδίαν (see on chap. 1 Timothy 3:4), as though a course of deceiving others should, by a righteous judgment, result in a loss to themselves of moral sensitiveness.2. speaking lies in hypocrisy] Rather, as R.V. through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, that is, the ‘false prophets,’ ‘many of whom,’ we read, by the time of the writing of 1 John 4:1, ‘are gone out into the world’ as the scene of their activity; cf. Westcott’s note there. ‘The words point, as it appears, to the great outbreak of the Gentile pseudo-Christianity which is vaguely spoken of as Gnosticism, the endeavour to separate the ideas of the Faith from the facts of the historic Redemption.’

having their conscience seared] Lit. branded as to their own conscience, grown callous in their own case as flesh would with the branding of hot iron: the word is found nowhere else in N.T. Individually conscious of their own responsibility, they were like branded slaves who knew their guilt.1 Timothy 4:2. Ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων, [Engl. Vers. speaking lies in hypocrisy] through the hypocrisy of liars) This is construed with they shall fall away, or depart. That hypocrisy, which is the characteristic of liars, shall carry them away. Τινὲς, some, viz. they, are the seduced; the liars are the seducers, ψευδολόγων, the genitive, depends solely on ὑποκρίσει. The expression, of liars, implies a relation to others, and therefore the antithesis is in ἰδίαν, their own conscience.—κεκαυτηριασμένων τὴν ἰδίαν συνείδησιν, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron) As faith and a good conscience are joined in ch. 1 Timothy 1:5 (where see the note[30]), so, hypocrisy (i.e. unbelief, Matthew 24:51, note[31]) and a depraved conscience in this passage; where, on the contrary, ‘faith’ and “the knowledge of the truth,” and ‘thanksgiving’ (1 Timothy 4:3; 1 Timothy 4:6), are presently after commended. The medical use of cautery is for the purpose of curing; here, therefore, a different use is denoted, it is for the purpose of branding men as infamous. Those who are αὐτοκατάκριτοι, condemned of themselves, are here intended, Titus 3:11; those who are infamous of themselves in their own conscience, which is branded with spots (scars) of deceit; having a conscience not good and pure, because they have cast it from them, but μεμιασμένην, polluted. For so, in Titus 1:15, those seared as with a hot iron here, are described by the expression, their conscience is defiled; just as liars (ψευδόλογοι) here, are described by the words there, their mind is defiled. Καυτὴρ, a branding iron, denotes the same thing, in a bad sense, as σφραγὶς, a seal, in a good sense, 2 Timothy 2:19; although Macarius uses both words in a good sense, concerning the flock of Christ, Homil. xii. § 13. Plato, in Gorgias, speaks of “the soul marked with stripes (διαμεμαστιγωμένην) and covered with scars (οὐλῶν μεστὴν), in consequence of perjury and iniquity, which every man’s own conduct has deeply impressed (ἐξωμόρξατο) upon his soul.” Claudian says, “Why do you foolishly deny what is manifest? lo! branded spots disfigure the breast.”[32]—τὴν ἰδίαν, their own) while, however, they urge others.

[30] Faith is as the precious liquor, a good conscience as clean glass. Faith is towards God; conscience, towards one’s self.—ED.

[31] In Matthew 24:5, “Shall appoint him his portion with the hypocrites;” in Luke 12:46, “with the unbelievers.” The two are therefore akin.—ED.

[32] “Quid demens manifesta negas? En pectus inustæ Deformant maculæ.”Verse 2. - Through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies for speaking lies in hypocrisy, A.V.; branded in their own conscience as with for having their conscience seared with, A.V. Through the hypocrisy of men, etc. The construction is rather obscure, as the most obvious way of construing is that of the A.V., where ψευδόλογων must agree with δαιμονίων. But then the clause, "having their conscience seared with a hot iron," does not suit "devils." It is therefore, perhaps, best to translate the clause as the R.V. does, and to explain, with Bishop Ellicott, that the preposition ἐν, which precedes ὑποκρίσει, defines the instrument by which they were led to give heed to seducing spirits, viz. the hypocritical preterites of the men who spake lies, and whose consciences were seared. If ψευδολόγων agrees with δαιμονίων, we must conceive that St. Paul passes insensibly from "the devils" to the false teachers who spake as they taught them. In the Gospels, the speech of the devils, and of those possessed by devils, is often interchanged, as e.g., Luke 4:33, 34, 41; Mark 1:23, 24. Men that speak lies (ψευδολόγω); only found here in the New Testament, but occasionally in classical Greek. Branded (κεκαυτηριασμένων); here only in the New Testament, but used in Greek medical and other writers for "to brand," or "cauterize;" καυτήρ and καυτήριον, a branding-iron. The application of the image is somewhat uncertain. If the idea is that of "a brand," a mark burnt in upon the forehead of a slave or criminal, then the meaning is that these men have their own infamy stamped upon their own consciences. It is not patent only to others, but to themselves also. But if the metaphor is from the cauterizing a wound, as the A.V. takes it, then the idea is that these men's consciences are become as insensible to the touch as the skin that has been cauterized is. The metaphor, in this case, is somewhat similar to that of πωρόω πώρωσις (Mark 3:5; Mark 6:52; John 12:40, etc.). The latter interpretation seems to suit the general context best, and the medical use of the term, which St. Paul might have learnt from Luke. The emphasis of τῆς ἰδίας, "their own conscience," implies that they were not merely deceivers of others, but were self-deceived. Speaking lies in hypocrisy (ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων)

Wrong. Rend., through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies. Ὑποκρίσις hypocrisy once in Paul, Galatians 2:13, see note. See also on Matthew 23:13. The phrase ἐν ὑποκρίσει only here. Ψευδολόγος speaking lies, N.T.o. olxx. Rare in Class.

Having their conscience seared with a hot iron (ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων)

Better, branded in their own conscience. With a hot iron is superfluous. The verb N.T.o. olxx, oClass. The metaphor is from the practice of branding slaves or criminals, the latter on the brow. These deceivers are not acting under delusion, but deliberately, and against their conscience. They wear the form of godliness, and contradict their profession by their crooked conduct (2 Timothy 3:5). The brand is not on their brow, but on their conscience. Comp. Titus 1:15; Titus 3:11.

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