2 Timothy 3:17
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.
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(17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.—The “man of God” here is no official designation, but simply designates the Christian generally, who is striving, with his Master’s help, to live a life pleasing to God; and the “good works” have no special reference to the labours of Timothy and his brother presbyters, but include all those generous and self-sacrificing acts to which, in these Epistles, so many references have been made.

It was in the Holy Scriptures that the true servant of the Lord, the man of God, would find defined with clearness and precision the nature of those works the Holy Spirit was pleased to call “good.”

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.That the man of God may be perfect - The object is not merely to convince and to convert him; it is to furnish all the instruction needful for his entire perfection. The idea here is, not that any one is absolutely perfect, but that the Scriptures have laid down the way which leads to perfection, and that, if any one were perfect, he would find in the Scriptures all the instruction which he needed in those circumstances. There is no deficiency in the Bible for man, in any of the situations in which he may be placed in life; and the whole tendency of the book is to make him who will put himself fairly under its instructions, absolutely perfect.

Thoroughly furnished unto all good works - Margin, "perfected." The Greek means, to bring to an end; to make complete. The idea is, that whatever good work the man of God desires to perform, or however perfect he aims to be, he will find no deficiency in the Scriptures, but will find there the most ample instructions that he needs. He can never advance so far, as to become forsaken of his guide. He can never make such progress, as to have gone in advance of the volume of revealed truth, and to be thrown upon his own resources in a region which was not thought of by the Author of the Bible. No new phase of human affairs can appear in which it will not direct him; no new plan of benevolence can be started, for which he will not find principles there to guide him; and he can make no progress in knowledge or holiness, where he will not feel that his holy counsellor is in advance of him still, and that it is capable of conducting him even yet into higher and purer regions. Let us, then, study and prize the Bible. It is a holy and a safe guide. It has conducted millions along the dark and dangerous way of life, and has never led one astray. The human mind, in its investigations of truth, has never gone beyond its teachings; nor has man ever advanced into a region so bright that its light has become dim, or where it has not thrown its beams of glory on still far distant objects. We are often in circumstances in which we feel that we have reached the outer limit of what man can teach us; but we never get into such circumstance in regard to the Word of God.

How precious is the book divine,

By, inspiration given!

Bright as a lamp its doctrines shine.

To guide our souls to heaven.

It sweetly cheers our drooping hearts.

In this dark vale of tears:

Life, light, and joy, it still imparts,

And quells our rising fears.

This lamp, through all the tedious night.

Of life, shall guide our way;

Till we behold the clearer light.

Of an eternal day.

17. man of God—(See on [2505]1Ti 6:11).

perfect, throughly furnished—Greek, "thoroughly perfected," and so "perfect." The man of God is perfectly accoutred out of Scripture for his work, whether he be a minister (compare 2Ti 4:2 with 2Ti 3:16) or a spiritual layman. No oral tradition is needed to be added.

That the man of God may be perfect; that both ministers and all godly men may be as perfect as they can be in the state of mortality, fitted for the duties of their several callings and places.

Throughly furnished unto all good works; and be prepared to every work which is good, acceptable and well-pleasing unto God, whether it be a work of piety, or justice and charity. The Scripture, as to all, is so full a direction, that Christians need not go down to the Philistines to whet their tools, nor be beholden to unwritten traditions, or to the writings of pagan philosophers, for directions what to do, how to worship God, or manage any part of their conversation, either as to their general calling, or as to their particular relations. That the man of God may be perfect,.... By the man of God may be meant everyone that in a special relation belongs to God; who is chosen by God the Father, redeemed by the Son, and called by the Spirit; but more especially a minister of the Gospel; for as it was usual to call a prophet under the Old Testament by this name, it seems to be transferred from thence to a minister of the New Testament, see 1 Timothy 6:11 and the design of the Scriptures and the end of writing them are, that both preachers of the word, and hearers of it, might have a perfect knowledge of the will of God; that the former might be a complete minister of the Gospel, and that nothing might be wanting for the information of the latter:

thoroughly furnished unto all good works, or "every good work"; particularly to the work of the ministry, which is a good one; and to every part and branch of it, a thorough furniture for which lies in the holy Scriptures; from whence, as scribes well instructed in the kingdom of heaven, do Gospel ministers bring forth things new and old, both for delight and profit: though this may be also applied to all good works in common, which the Scriptures point unto, give directions about, as well as show where strength is to be had to perform them.

That the {e} man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

(e) The Prophets and expounders of God's will are properly and distinctly called, men of God.

2 Timothy 3:17. Ἵνα declares the purpose which Scripture is to serve.

ἄρτιος ᾖ ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος] ἄρτιος (literally, “adapted”) is a ἅπ. λεγ., equivalent to τέλειος, Colossians 1:28, “perfect;” according to Hofmann: “in suitable condition,” which, however, agrees with the notion of perfection.

ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος] is mostly understood by expositors to denote those entrusted with the office of evangelist, and is referred specially to Timothy. The latter point is clearly wrong, since 2 Timothy 3:16 is general in sense; the apostle speaks here not of Timothy only, but of every one who is an ἄνθρ. τ. Θεοῦ. Even although Timothy is so named in 1 Timothy 6:11 with reference to his office, it does not follow that here, where the thought is quite general, it is a name for the office; every believing Christian by his relation to God (van Oosterzee: “he who by the Holy Spirit is born of God and is related to God”) may receive the same name.

πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐξηρτισμένος] a more precise definition of ἄρτιος.

πᾶν ἔργ. ἀγ. is also, for the most part, understood to have an official reference. Bengel: genera talium operum enumerantur 2 Timothy 3:16; nam homo Dei debet docere, convincere, corrigere, instituere 2 Timothy 4:2. But this is wrong; it is rather to be taken quite generally (Wiesinger, van Oosterzee; de Wette differs). 2 Timothy 3:16 does not tell for what purpose Scripture may be used with others, but what is its influence on one who occupies himself with it; and though 2 Timothy 4:2 does deal with Timothy’s official work, that does not prove that πᾶν ἔργ. ἀγ. is only to be limited to this special thought.

ἐξηρτιομένος] equipped, Luther: “skilled.”

The same word occurs in Acts 21:5, but in another connection (see Meyer on the passage); corresponding to it we find κατηρτισμένος in Luke 6:40 and other passages.2 Timothy 3:17. ἄρτιος: perfectus, completely equipped for his work as a Man of God. τέλειος would have reference to his performance of it.

ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος: See on 1 Timothy 6:11. The Man of God has here a primary reference to the minister of the Gospel.

πρὸς πᾶν, κ.τ.λ.: see 2 Timothy 2:21; and, for this use of πρός, 1 Peter 3:15, 2 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 10:4, Ephesians 4:29, Hebrews 5:14 and on ἐξαρτίζω, Moulton and Milligan, Expositor, vii., vii. 285.

Cf. the use of καταρτίζω, Luke 6:40, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Hebrews 13:21, 1 Peter 5:10.17. the man of God] As in 1 Timothy 6:11.

perfect] In the sense in which, for example, Confirmation is sometimes said to make ‘a perfect Christian,’ i.e. one perfectly equipped and supplied with the full measure of gifts and graces through the Holy Spirit. The word for ‘perfect’ here occurs nowhere else in N.T. It is derived from an adverb meaning ‘exactly,’ and so occurs in Homer, Il. xiv. 92, of speaking ‘exactly to the purpose,’ in Theophrastus H. P. 2. 5. 5, of being ‘full-grown.’ Complete, then, as R.V. renders, is more correct than A.V. So when the word is compounded with hand, foot, mind, we get ‘perfect of hand,’ ‘of feet,’ ‘sound of mind,’ &c.

throughly furnished] The perfect participle again expressing the resulting and abiding state; the verb is from the same root as the adjective; hence R.V. rightly preserves the play upon the words by rendering furnished completely. It only occurs again in Acts 21:5, ‘we had accomplished,’ completely finished, the days. Another compound occurs Luke 6:40, ‘Every one, when he is perfected, shall be as his master.’2 Timothy 3:17. Ἄρτιος ᾖ may be perfect) in his duty.—ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος, the man of God) 1 Timothy 6:11, note.—πρὸς πᾶν, for every good work) These kinds of such works are enumerated, 2 Timothy 3:16. For the man of God ought to teach, reprove, correct, train or instruct; comp. 2 Timothy 4:2.—ἐξηρτισμένος, thoroughly fitted or perfected [furnished]) by Scripture. He ought ἐξαρτίζεσθαι, to be thoroughly perfected, then he will be ἄρτιος, perfect. To become and to be differ.

—————Verse 17. - Complete for perfect, A.V.; furnished completely for throughly furnished, A.V.; every good work for all good works, A.V. Complete (ἄρτιος); only here in the New Testament, but common in classical Greek. "Complete, perfect of its kind" (Liddell and Scott). Furnished completely (ἐξηρτισμένος, containing the same root as ἄρτιος); elsewhere in the New Testament only in Acts 21:5 in the sense of "completing" a term of days. It is nearly synonymous with καταρτίζω (Matthew 21:16; Luke 6:40; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 5:10). In late classical Greek ἐξαρτίζω means, as here, "to equip fully." As regards the question whether the man of God is restricted in its meaning to the minister of Christ, or comprehends all Christians, two things seem to decide in favour of the former: the one that "the man of God" is in the Old Testament invariably applied to prophets in the immediate service of God (see 1 Timothy 6:11, note); the other that in 1 Timothy 6:11 it undoubtedly refers to Timothy in his character of chief pastor of the Church, and that here too the whole force of the description of the uses and excellence of Holy Scripture is brought to bear upon the exhortations in ver. 14, "Continue thou in the things which thou hast heard," addressed to Timothy as the Bishop of the Ephesian Church (see, too, ch. 4:1-5, where it is abundantly clear that all that precedes was intended to bear directly upon Timothy's faithful and vigorous discharge of his office as an evangelist).

Perfect (ἄρτιος)

N.T.o. lxx. Rev. complete; but the idea is rather that of mutual, symmetrical adjustment of all that goes to make the man: harmonious combination of different qualities and powers. Comp. κατάρτισις perfecting, 2 Corinthians 13:9 : καταρτισμός perfecting (as accomplished), Ephesians 4:12 : καταρτίσαι make perfect or bring into complete adjustment, Hebrews 13:21.

Thoroughly furnished (ἐξηρτισμένος)

The same root as ἄρτιος. It fills out the idea ἄρτιος; fitted out. Only here and Acts 11:5 (note). oClass.

Unto all good works (πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν)

More correctly, every good work. Any writing which can produce such profitable results vindicates itself as inspired of God. It is to be noted that the test of the divine inspiration of Scripture is here placed in its practical usefulness.

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