Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.—A morbid love of novelty, and a hope to penetrate into mysteries not revealed to God’s true teachers, spurred these female learners on; but “to the full knowledge of the truth”—for this is the more accurate rendering of the Greek word—they never reached, for by their evil life their heart was hardened. That some of these false teachers laid claim to occult arts, to a knowledge of magic and sorcery, is clear from the statement contained in the next verse, where certain sorcerers of the time of Moses are compared to them.
And never able to come to the knowledge of the truth - They may learn many things, but the true nature of religion they do not learn. There are many such persons in the world, who, whatever attention they may pay to religion, never understand its nature. Many obtain much speculative acquaintance with the "doctrines" of Christianity, but never become savingly acquainted with the system; many study the constitution and government of the church, but remain strangers to practical piety; many become familiar with the various philosophical theories of religion, but never become truly acquainted with what religion is; and many embrace visionary theories, who never show that they are influenced by the spirit of the gospel. Nothing is more common than for persons to be very busy and active in religion, and even to "learn" many things about it, who still remain strangers to the saving power of the gospel.
the knowledge—Greek, "the perfect knowledge"; the only safeguard against further novelties. Gnosticism laid hold especially of the female sex [Estius, 1.13.3]: so Roman Jesuitism.ever learning the truth, but cannot obtain of their lusts a leave to acknowledge the truth in their practice. The word is epignwsin, which rather signifies a practical acknowledgment than a notional knowledge. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Timothy 3:7. πάντοτε μανθάνοντα: They have never concentrated their attention on any spiritual truth so as to have learnt it and assimilated it. They are always being attracted by “some newer thing,” τι καινότερον (Acts 17:21), and thus their power of comprehension becomes atrophied.
μηδέποτε: For negatives with the participle, see Blass, Grammar, p. 255.
εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας: See on 1 Timothy 2:4.7. never able] The negative used indicates the class of persons conceived of.
the knowledge of the truth] The fall knowledge, a ‘decisive and stable apprehension,’ Alford. See note on 1 Timothy 2:4. Cf. Lightfoot, Revision N.T. p. 61, where he defines our word as ‘the advanced or perfect knowledge which is the ideal state of the true Christian,’ and quotes 2 Corinthians 6:9 ‘as unknown and yet well known.’2 Timothy 3:7. Μανθάνοντα, learning) for the indulgence of curiosity.—μηδέποτε, never) Whence they are easily led captive, 2 Timothy 3:6.Verse 7. - Ever learning, etc. This is the crowning feature of this powerful sketch of those "silly women," whose thoughts are busied about religion without their affections being reached or their principles being influenced by it. They are always beating about the bush, but they never get possession of the blessed and saving truth of the gospel of God. Their own selfish inclinations, and not the grace of God, continue to be the motive power with them.
From any one who will teach them. See on 1 Timothy 5:13. It is a graphic picture of a large class, by no means extinct, who are caught and led by the instructions of itinerant religious quacks.
Never able (μηδέποτε δυνάμενα)
Because they have not the right motive, and because they apply to false teachers. Ellicott thinks that there is in δυνάμενα a hint of an unsuccessful endeavor, in better moments, to attain to the truth.
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