2 Timothy 3:7
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
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(7) 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.

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.Ever learning - That is, these "silly women;" for so the Greek demands. The idea is, that they seeM to be disciples. They put themselves wholly under the care of these professedly religious teachers, but they never acquire the true knowledge of the way of salvation.

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.

7. Ever learning—some new point, for mere curiosity, to the disparagement of what they seemed to know before.

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.

Women that pretend to be 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,.... Some new notion and practice or another: and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth; partly because of the teachers, which they heap up to themselves, who are unapt to teach, are blind and ignorant guides, and know not the truth, but are enemies to it, and resist it; and partly because of themselves, the sins they are laden, and the lusts they are led away with, which hinder them from coming to the knowledge of the truth. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
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. 2 Timothy 3:7Ever learning

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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