2 Timothy 3:3
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Without natural affection.—Careless and regardless of the welfare of those connected with them by ties of blood.

Trucebreakers.—Better rendered, implacable.

False-accusers.—Or, slanderers. (See 1Timothy 3:11.)

Incontinent.—Having no control over the passions.

Fierce.—Inhuman, savage, or merciless.

Despisers of those that are good.—Better rendered, no lovers of good—that is, hostile to every good thought and work.

2 Timothy 3:3-5. Without natural affection — Even to their own children, as well as of piety toward their parents. “The clergy of the Church of Rome, being forbidden to marry, can have neither wives nor children openly; and so are without the affections natural to mankind. At least they dare not avow their having these affections. It may likewise be meant of the laity, who shut up their female children in nunneries, on pretence of superior sanctity; but in reality from interested motives.” Truce, or rather, covenant breakers — For this sin the Roman Catholic clergy have been remarkable, having not long ago professedly held it as a principle of religion, that no faith is to be kept with heretics; and having set subjects free from their oaths of allegiance to their princes. But ασπονδοι may signify persons who, being offended, will enter into no treaty of reconciliation, and so may be translated implacable, as in Romans 1:31. False accusers — Or slanderers, as διαβολοι may be properly rendered; in which, as the word implies, they will imitate that diabolical malignity which renders the great enemy of mankind so justly odious. Thus the Romish clergy have imputed all manner of crimes to those who have resisted their corruptions. Incontinent — Or intemperate in their pleasures. Fierce — Against their opposers, and in their resentments cruel in their revenge. Despisers of those that are good — That is, of those who maintain the truth, and are real followers of Christ. Or, as αφιλαγαθοι may be translated, without love to goodness, or good men. Traitors — To those that place the greatest confidence in them; yea, such base traitors as to give up their brethren into the hands of persecutors, and even their nearest relations, who oppose their corrupt practices, to death. Heady — Rash in enterprising things which can only issue in the disturbance of society, or the ruin of those that undertake them. High-minded — Puffed up with such insolence and self-sufficiency as to despise any remonstrance which can be made to bring them to a wiser and more decent conduct. Lovers of pleasure — Namely, sensual pleasure, rather than lovers of God — And who will therefore sacrifice all considerations of religion to the gratification of their appetites. Indeed, the love of pleasure naturally extinguishes all sense of God and love to him. “It is observable, that the apostle’s description begins with mentioning extreme selfishness as the root, and concludes with the excessive love of sensual pleasure as the end, of all the corruptions that were to prevail in the latter times. Hence we may learn what a pernicious thing the excessive love of sensual pleasure is! It has been the source of those monstrous perversions of religion which took place among Christians in the dark ages. And, governed by it, many, in every age, destroy their health, their fortune, their reputation, the comfort of their families, and every thing valuable in life, for the sake of gratifying their appetites.” — Macknight. Having a form — Or appearance; of godliness — In observing with exactness the rituals and external ordinances of religion, but not regarding, nay, even denying and blaspheming the inward power and reality of it. A prediction too evidently fulfilled even at this day and that not only among the Papists. From such — Even from all in whom thou discernest a temper like that here described; turn away — Avoid all intimacy with them, lest they should avail themselves of it as an advantage for doing further mischief. Let it therefore evidently appear that thou givest them no countenance. Or, as some would render the original expression, τουτους αποτρεπου, these turn away; that is, turn out of the church all teachers who have any resemblance to the persons I have mentioned. For they are introducing the corruptions which, in after times, their successors will carry to the height I have described.

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.Without natural affection - see the notes at Romans 1:31.

Trucebreakers - The same word in Romans 1:31, is rendered "implacable;" see the notes at that verse. It properly means "without treaty;" that is, those who are averse to any treaty or compact. It may thus refer to those who are unwilling to enter into any agreement; that is, either those who are unwilling to be reconciled to others when there is a variance - implacable; or those who disregard treaties or agreements. In either case, this marks a very corrupt condition of society. Nothing would be more indicative of the lowest state of degradation, than that in which all compacts and agreements were utterly disregarded.

False accusers - Margin, "makebates." The word "makebate" means one who excites contentions and quarrels. Webster. The Greek here is διάβολοι diaboloi - "devils" - the primitive meaning of which is, "calumniator, slanderer, accuser;" compare the notes at 1 Timothy 3:11, where the word is rendered "slanderers."

Incontinent - 1 Corinthians 7:5. Literally, "without strength;" that is, without strength to resist the solicitations of passion, or who readily yield to it.

Fierce - The Greek word used here - ἀνήμερος anēmeros - does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means "ungentle, harsh, severe," and is the opposite of gentleness and mildness. Religion produces gentleness; the want of it makes men rough, harsh, cruel; compare the notes at 2 Timothy 2:24.

Despisers of those that are good - In Titus 1:8, it is said of a bishop that he must be "a lover of good men." This, in every condition of life, is a virtue, and hence, the opposite of it is here set down as one of the characteristics of that evil age of which the apostle speaks.

3. truce-breakers—rather as the Greek is translated in Ro 1:31, "implacable."

false accusers—slanderers (1Ti 3:11; Tit 2:3).

incontinent, fierce—at once both soft and hard: incontinently indulging themselves, and inhuman to others.

despisers, &c.—"no lovers of good" [Alford]; the opposite of "a lover of good" (Tit 1:8).

Without natural affection; having no kindness for such as nature obligeth them to love and honour.

Truce-breakers; men that will be held by no bonds or leagues. Or rather, implacable; so we translate the same Greek word, Romans 1:31; men so full of malice that they will admit no terms or covenants of peace.

False accusers; Greek, devils, venting their malice by informing against and accusing others, without any regard to truth.

Incontinent; intemperate, drunkards, gluttons, unclean persons, &c.

Fierce; men without any gentleness, cruel.

Despisers of those that are good; men that have no kindness for any good men, haters of them.

Without natural affection,.... To parents, or children, or wife; parents thrusting their children into religious houses, cloisters, &c. against their wills; children leaving their parents without their knowledge or consent; married bishops and priests being obliged to quit their wives, and declare their children spurious; with many other such unnatural actions.

Trucebreakers; or covenant breakers; stirring up princes to break through their treaties and covenants with one another; dissolving the allegiance of subjects to their sovereigns, and moving them to rebellion against them; loosing the marriage bond between husband and wife; making void all oaths, contracts, and agreements, among men, which stand in the way of their designs; teaching that no faith is to be kept with heretics.

False accusers; or devils, being like Satan, the accuser of the brethren, charging all that depart from their communion with schism and heresy.

Incontinent; though they pretend to the gift of continency, yet give themselves up to all lasciviousness, and work all uncleanness with greediness; or "intemperate" in eating and drinking, indulging themselves in rioting and drunkenness: "she hath lived deliciously", Revelation 18:7.

Fierce; like beasts of prey; such was Rome Pagan, in the times of the ten persecutions; and such has been Rome Papal, exercising the greatest cruelties and barbarities on the saints, being drunk with their blood.

Despisers of those that are good; or without love to good; both to good works, to which they are reprobate, notwithstanding all their pretensions to them, and bluster about them; and to good men, whom they hate.

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Timothy 3:3. ἄστοργοι: without natural affection, sine affectione. This and the three preceding adjectives appear to have teference to domestic relations.

ἄσπονδοι: implacable, sine pace (absque foedere, Romans 1:31); not truce-breakers (A.V.), which would be ἀσύνθετοι, Romans 1:31; the ἄσπονδος refuses to treat with his foe at all.

διάβολοι: A.V.m. here and in Titus 2:3, has makebates. See note on 1 Timothy 3:11.

ἀκρατεῖς: without self-control (R.V.) rather than incontinent (A.V.). The latter word has a purely sexual reference, whereas ἀκρατεῖς, as Chrys. notes, is used “with respect both to their tongue, and their appetite, and everything else”. It is naturally coupled with ἀνήμεροι, fierce, immites. “Simul et molles et duri” (Bengel).

ἀφιλάγαθοι: No lovers of good (R.V.), the good being “things true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, and of good report” (Php 4:8). The positive φιλάγαθος, Titus 1:8, has the same reference. It is a characteristic of the heavenly Wisdom (Wis 7:22). The A.V. in both places narrows the reference to persons: Despisers of those that are good; A lover of good men. The Vulg. sine benignitate, benignum, does not express the active positive force of the Greek. φιλάγαθος and ἀφιλάργυρος are applied to the Emperor Antoninus in a papyrus of ii. A.D. which also uses the term ἀφιλοκαγαθία (perh. = ἀφιλοκαλοκαγαθία) of Marcus Aurelius (Moulton and Milligan, Expositor, vii., vi. 376).

3. without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers] Or, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, another triad which starts from another breach of the same fifth commandment, the rending of the family ties of love, and advances to a breach of the sixth commandment in a refusal to make peace, and further of the ninth commandment in calumnious attacks and slanders. The threefold contrary spirit is in the same Sermon on the Mount, Luke 6:27, ‘love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you.’ The word for ‘unloving’ occurs only in Romans 1:31, the other similarities of which seem to suggest that St Paul may have it in his mind, and be sadly tracing the decline and fall of Christian men back to the old heathen state. The word for ‘unforgiving,’ means ‘unwilling to make a truce,’ the opposite of ‘peacemakers,’ Matthew 5:9. It has been wrongly introduced in Romans 1 from this place where only in N. T. it is found, though an ordinary classical word.

incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good] Vicious or uncontrollable, unapproachable, unkindly to all good, a descending triad, in which the characters of the libertine, the churl, the worldling are painted. The three words occur nowhere else in N.T. But the exact opposites are found together in Titus 1:8, ‘temperate, a lover of hospitality, a lover of good.’

2 Timothy 3:3. Ἀκρατεῖς, ἀνήμεροι, incontinent, fierce) at once both soft (yielding as to self-indulgence) and hard.—ἀφιλάγαθοι, haters of those that are good) Its contrary is a lover of good, Titus 1:7, note 3.

Verse 3. - Implacable for truce breakers, A.V.; slanderers for false accusers, A.V.; without self-control for incontinent, A.V.; no lovers of good for despisers of those that are good, A.V. Without natural affection (ἄστοργοι); as in Romans 1:31, where in the T.R. it is coupled with ἄσπονδοι, as here. The verb στέργω is "to love," used primarily of the natural affection of parents to their children and children to their parents. And στοργή is that natural love. These persons were without this στοργή, of which Plato says, "A child loves his parents, and is loved by them;" and so, according to St. Paul's judgment in 1 Timothy 5:8, were "worse than infidels." Implacable (ἄσπονδοι); only here according to the R.T., not at all in the LXX., but frequent in classical Greek. Σπονδή was a solemn truce made over a libation to the gods. 'Ασπονδος at first merely expresses that anything was done, or any person was left, without such a truce. But, in a secondary sense, applied to a war, it meant an internecine war admitting of no truce; and thence, as here, applied to a person, it means "implacable," one who will make no truce or treaty with his enemy. The sense "truce breakers" is not justified by any example. Slanderers (διάβολοι); as 1 Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:3. The arch-slanderer is ὁ διάβολος, the devil, "the accuser of the brethren (ὁ κατήγορυς τῶν ἀδελφῶν)" (Revelation 12:10; see John 6:70). Without self-control (ἀκρατεῖς); here only in the New Testament, not in the LXX. but frequent in classical Greek, in the sense of intemperate in the pursuit or use of anything, e.g., money, the tongue, pleasure, the appetite, etc., which are put in the genitive case. Used absolutely it means generally "without self-control, as here rendered in the R.V. The A.V. "incontinent" (comp. 1 Corinthians 7:5) expresses only one part of the meaning (see ἀκρασία, Matthew 23:25). Fierce (from ferns, wild, savage); ἀνήμεροι; only here in the New Testament, and not found in the LXX., but frequent in the Greek tragedians and others, of persons, countries, plants, etc.; e.g., "Beware of the Chalubes, for they are savage (ἀνήμεροι), and cannot be approached by strangers" (AEschylus, 'Prom. Vinct.,' 734, edit. Scholef.). It corresponds with ἀνελεήμονες, unmerciful (Romans 1:31). No lovers of good (ἀφιλάγαθοι); only here in the New Testament, and not at all in the LXX. or in classical Greek. But φιλάγαθος is found in Wisd. 7:22, and in Aristotle, in the sense of "lovers of that which is good;" and in Titus 1:8. The R.V. seems therefore to be right in rendering here "no lovers of good," rather than as the A.V. "despisers of those which are good," after the Vulgate and the new version of Sanctes Pagninus. 2 Timothy 3:3Without natural affection (ἄστοργοι)

Only here and Romans 1:31. olxx. See on ἀγάπη love, Galatians 5:22, under στέργειν to love with a natural affection.

Truce-breakers (ἄσπονδοι)

N.T.o. olxx. Rend. implacable. From ἀ not, and σπονδαί a treaty or truce. The meaning is, refusing to enter into treaty, irreconcilable.

Incontinent (ἀκρατεῖς)

Or intemperate, without self-control. N.T.o. Once in lxx, Proverbs 27:20. Ἁκρασία incontinence, Matthew 23:25; 1 Corinthians 7:5; 1 Macc. 6:26; Ps. of Sol. 4:3.

Fierce (ἀνήμεροι)

Or savage. N.T.o. olxx. Comp. ἀνελεήμονες merciless, Romans 1:31.

Despisers of those that are good (ἀφιλάγαθοι)

Better, haters of good. N.T.o. olxx, oClass. Comp. the opposite, φιλάγαθον lover of good, Titus 1:8.

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