Vincent's Word Studies
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
An apostle by the will of God
So 2nd Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians 1st Corinthians adds called or by call (κλητὸς).
According to the promise, etc. (κατ' ἐπαγγελίαν)
Αποστόλος κατὰ does not appear in any of the Pauline salutations. In 1 Timothy, κατ' ἐπιταγὴν according to the commandment, and in Titus κατὰ πίστιν etc., according to the faith, etc. Κατ' ἐπαγγελίαν, though in other connections, Acts 13:23; Galatians 3:29. Ἑπαγγελία, primarily announcement, but habitually promise in N.T. In Pastorals only here and 1 Timothy 4:8. With the promise of the life in Christ goes the provision for its proclamation. Hence the apostle, in proclaiming "ye shall live; through Christ," is an apostle according to the promise.
Of life which is in Christ Jesus
The phrase promise of life only here and 1 Timothy 4:8. oP. Life in Christ is a Pauline thought. See Romans 8:2; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Romans 6:2-14; Galatians 2:19, Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4; Philippians 1:21. It is also a Johannine thought; see John 1:4; John 3:15; John 6:25; John 14:6; 1 John 5:11.
To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Dearly beloved (ἀγαπητῷ)
I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
I thank God (χάριν ἔχω τῷ θεῷ)
Lit. I have thanks to God. The phrase in Luke 17:9; Acts 2:47; oP. unless 2 Corinthians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 12:28; 3 John 1:4. Paul uses εὐχαριστῶ I give thanks (not in Pastorals) or εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεός blessed be God (not in Pastorals). The phrase χάριν ἔχω is a Latinism, habere gratiam, of which several are found in Pastorals.
I serve (λατρεύω)
In Pastorals only here. Comp. Romans 1:9, Romans 1:25; Philippians 3:3. Frequent in Hebrews. Originally, to serve for hire. In N.T. both of ritual service, as Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 10:2; Hebrews 13:10; and of worship or service generally, as Luke 1:74; Romans 1:9. Especially of the service rendered to God by the Israelites as his peculiar people, as Acts 26:7. Comp. λατρεία service, Romans 9:4; Hebrews 9:1, Hebrews 9:6. In lxx always of the service of God or of heathen deities.
From my forefathers (ἀπὸ προγόνων)
Πρόγονος, Pasto. See on 1 Timothy 5:4. The phrase N.T.o. For the thought, comp. Acts 14:14; Philippians 3:5. He means, in the spirit and with the principles inherited from his fathers. Comp. the sharp distinction between the two periods of Paul's life, Galatians 1:13, Galatians 1:14.
With pure conscience (ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει)
That without ceasing (ὡς ἀδιάλειπτον)
The passage is much involved. Note (1) that χάριν ἔχω τῷ θεῷ I thank God must have an object. (2) That object cannot be that he unceasingly remembers Timothy in his prayers. (3) That object, though remote, is ὑπόμνησιν λαβὼν when I received reminder (2 Timothy 1:5). He thanks God as he is reminded of the faith of Timothy's ancestors and of Timothy himself. Rend. freely, "I thank God whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, as there goes along with my prayers an unceasing remembrance of thee, and a daily and nightly longing, as I recall thy tears, to see thee, that I may be filled with joy - I thank God, I say, for that I have been reminded of the unfeigned faith that is in thee," etc. Ἀδιάλειπτον unceasing, only here and Romans 9:2. Ἁδιαλείπτως, Romans 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
I have remembrance (ἔχω τὴν μνείαν)
Night and day (νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας)
Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
Greatly desiring (ἐπιποθῶν)
Better, longing. Pastorals only here. Quite frequent in Paul. See Romans 1:11; 2 Corinthians 5:2; 2 Corinthians 9:14; Philippians 1:8, etc. The compounded preposition ἐπὶ does not denote intensity, as A.V. greatly, but direction. Comp. 2 Timothy 4:9, 2 Timothy 4:21.
Being mindful of thy tears (μεμνημένος σου τῶν δακρύων)
The verb, μιμνήσκεσθαι in Paul, only 1 Corinthians 11:2. In Pastorals only here. The words give the reason for the longing to see Timothy. The allusion is probably to the tears shed by Timothy at his parting from Paul. One is naturally reminded of the parting of Paul with the Ephesians elders at Miletus (Acts 20:17 ff., see especially Acts 20:37). Holtzmann remarks that Paul's discourse on that occasion is related to this passage as program to performance. Bonds await the apostle (Acts 20:23), and Paul appears as a prisoner (2 Timothy 1:8). He must fulfill his course (Acts 20:24); here he has fulfilled it (2 Timothy 4:7). He bids the overseers take heed to the flock, for false teachers will arise in the bosom of the church (Acts 20:29, Acts 20:30); these letters contain directions for the guidance of the flock, and denunciations of heretical teachers.
That I may be filled with joy
Const. with longing to see you.
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
When I call to remembrance (ὑπόμνησιν λαβὼν)
The object of χάριν ἔχω, 2 Timothy 1:3. Lit. having received a reminding. The phrases N.T.o. Ὑπόμνησις reminding (but sometimes intransitive, remembrance), only here, 2 Peter 1:13; 2 Peter 3:1. In lxx three times. As distinguished from ἀνάμνησις remembrance (1 Corinthians 11:24, 1 Corinthians 11:25) it signifies a reminding or being reminded by another; while ἀνάμνησις is a recalling by one's self.
Unfeigned faith that is in thee (τῆς ἐν σοὶ ἀνυποκρίτου πίστεως)
See on 1 Timothy 1:5. For the peculiar collocation of the Greek words, comp. Acts 17:28; Romans 1:12; Ephesians 1:15. The writer's thought is probably not confined to Christian faith, but has in view the continuity of Judaism and Christianity. In 2 Timothy 1:3 he speaks of serving God from his forefathers. In Acts 24:14 Paul is represented as saying that even as a Christian he serves the God of his fathers, believing all things contained in the law and the prophets.
Paul uses the verb with sin, the divine Spirit, God, the word of Christ, but nowhere with faith. The phrase faith dwells in, N.T.o. According to Paul, Christians are or stand in faith; but faith is not represented as dwelling in them. Christ dwells in the heart through faith (Ephesians 3:17).
With reference to Timothy, and with a comparative sense, as Matthew 5:24; Matthew 7:5; Mark 3:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, etc. This is shown by the last clause of the verse. The writer merely means that faith had already dwelt in Timothy's grandmother and mother before it did in him. How much farther back his believing ancestry went he does not say. Comp. Acts 16:1.
N.T. Once in lxx, 4 Macc. 16:9. Later Greek. The correct classical word is τήθη. See Aristoph. Ach. 49; Plato, Repub. 461 D. From the emphasis upon Timothy's receiving his training from his Jewish mother, it has been inferred that his father died early. That he was the child of a mixed marriage appears from Acts 16:1
I am persuaded (πέπεισμαι)
The verb in Pastorals only here and 2 Timothy 1:12. Often in Paul.
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
Wherefore (δἰ ἣν αἰτίαν)
Stir up (ἀναζωπυρεῖν)
N.T.o. lxx, (Genesis 45:27; 1 Macc. 13:7. In Class., as Eurip. Electra, 1121, ἀν' αὖ σὺ ζωπυρεῖς νείκη νέα you are rekindling old strifes. From ἀνά again ζωός alive, πῦρ fire. Τὸ ζώπυρον is a piece of hot coal, an ember, a spark. Plato calls the survivors of the flood σμικρὰ ζώπυρα τοῦ τῶν ἀνθρώπων γένους διασεσωσμένα small sparks of the human race preserved. The word is, therefore, figurative, to stir or kindle the embers. Ἁνὰ combines the meanings again and up, rekindle or kindle up. Vulg. only the former, resuscitare. Comp. ἀνάπτειν kindle up, Luke 12:49; James 3:5. It is not necessary to assume that Timothy's zeal had become cold.
The gift of God (τὸ χάρισμα τοῦ θεοῦ)
See on 1 Timothy 4:14.
The laying on of my hands
See on 1 Timothy 4:14.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Spirit of fear (πνεῦμα δειλίας)
Of power (δυνάμεως)
Found in all the Pauline Epistles except Philemon. In Pastorals only here, 2 Timothy 1:8, and 2 Timothy 3:5. Not used by our writer in the sense of working miracles, which it sometimes has in Paul. Here, the power to overcome all obstacles and to face all dangers. It is closely linked with the sense of παρρησία boldness.
Of love (ἀγάπης)
See on Galatians 5:22.
Of a sound mind (σωφρονισμοῦ)
N.T.o. olxx, oClass. Not self-control, but the faculty of generating it in others or in one's self, making them σώφρονες of sound mind. Comp. Titus 2:4. Rend. discipline. See on σωφροσύνη 1 Timothy 2:9.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Be not ashamed (μὴ ἐπαισχυνθῇς)
See on Luke 9:26.
See on 1 Timothy 2:6.
His prisoner (δέσμιον αὐτοῦ)
Paul styles himself the prisoner of the Lord, Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 4:1, Plm 1:9. Only here in Pastorals. Not in a figurative sense, one who belongs to Christ, but one who is imprisoned because of his labors as an apostle of Christ. On Paul's supposed second imprisonment, see Introd. IV.
Be partaker of the afflictions (συνκακοπάθησον)
Only here and 2 Timothy 2:3. olxx, oClass. The compounded συν with, not with the gospel, as Rev., but with me. Share afflictions with me for the gospel.
According to the power of God
Which enables him to endure hardness. Connect with be partaker, etc.
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Who hath saved us
Salvation is ascribed to God. See on our Savior, 1 Timothy 1:1.
Comp. 1 Timothy 6:12, and see Romans 8:30; Romans 9:11; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Galatians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:12. It is Paul's technical term for God's summoning men to salvation. In Paul the order is reversed: called, saved.
With a holy calling (λκήσει ἁγίᾳ)
Grace which was given (χάριν τὴν δοθεῖσαν)
Before the world began (πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων)
See additional note on 2 Thessalonians 1:9. In Pastorals the phrase only here and Titus 1:2. Not in Paul. Lit. before eternal times. If it is insisted that αἰώνιος means everlasting, this statement is absurd. It is impossible that anything should take place before everlasting times. That would be to say that there was a beginning of times which are from everlasting. Paul puts the beginnings of salvation in God's purpose before the time of the world (1 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Peter 1:20); and Christ's participation in the saving counsels of God prior to time, goes with the Pauline doctrine of Christ's preexistence. The meaning, therefore, of this phrase is rightly given in A.V.: before the world began, that is, before time was reckoned by aeons or cycles. Then, in that timeless present, grace was given to us in God's decree, not actually, since we did not exist. The gift planned and ordered in the eternal counsels is here treated as an actual bestowment.
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
Made manifest (φανερωθεῖσαν)
See on 1 Timothy 3:16. In contrast with the preceding clause, this marks the historical fulfillment in time of the eternal, divine counsel. Comp. Titus 1:3. There is an implication that the divine counsel was hidden until the fitting time: comp. Ephesians 3:5, and see Colossians 1:26.
By the appearing (διὰ τῆς ἐπιφανείας)
Who hath abolished (καταργήσαντος)
Better, since he made of none effect. In Pastorals only here. Frequent in Paul. See on make without effect, Romans 3:3, and comp. is swallowed up, 1 Corinthians 15:54. Notice the association of the verb with ἐπιφάνεια appearing in 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
Brought to light (φωτίσαντος)
Better, incorruption. With this exception, only in Paul. See Wisd. 2:23; 6:9; 4 Macc. 9:22; 17:12.
Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
A teacher of the Gentiles (διδάσκαλος ἐθνῶν)
Omit of the Gentiles. Comp. 1 Timothy 2:7, from which the words were probably transferred when the three Epistles were jointly edited. Paul calls himself an apostle, and describes himself as preaching (κηρύσσων); but he nowhere calls himself διδάσκαλος a teacher, although he uses διδάσκειν to teach, of himself, 1 Corinthians 4:17; Colossians 1:28. He also uses διδαχή teaching, of matter given by him to the converts, Romans 6:17; Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 14:6. He distinguishes between the apostle and the teacher, 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11.
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
I am not ashamed
Whom I have believed (ᾧ πεπίστευκα)
Often used with a stronger meaning, as 1 Corinthians 1:26, mighty; Acts 25:5, οἱδυνατοὶ the chief men: as a designation of God, ὁ δυνατός the mighty one, Luke 1:49 : of preeminent ability or power in something, as of Jesus, δυνατός ἐν ἔργῳ καὶ λόγῳ mighty in deed and word, Luke 24:19 : of spiritual agencies, "The weapons of our warfare are δυνατὰ mighty," etc., 2 Corinthians 10:4. Very often in lxx.
That which I have committed (τὴν παραθήκην μου)
More correctly, that which has been committed unto me: my sacred trust. The meaning of the passage is that Paul is convinced that God is strong to enable him to be faithful to his apostolic calling, in spite of the sufferings which attend it, until the day when he shall be summoned to render his final account. The παραθήκη or thing committed to him was the same as that which he had committed to Timothy that; he might teach others (1 Timothy 6:20). It was the form of sound words (2 Timothy 1:13); that which Timothy had heard from Paul (2 Timothy 2:2); that fair deposit (2 Timothy 1:14). It was the gospel to which Paul had been appointed (2 Timothy 1:11); which had been intrusted to him (1 Timothy 1:11; Titus 1:3; comp. 1 Corinthians 9:17; Galatians 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:4). The verb παρατιθέναι to commit to one's charge is a favorite with Luke. See Luke 12:48; Acts 20:32. Sums deposited with a Bishop for the use of the church were called παραθῆκαι τῆς ἐκκλησίας trust-funds of the church. In the Epistle of the pseudo-Ignatius to Hero (vii.) we read: "Keep my deposit (παραθήκην) which I and Christ have committed (παρθέμεθα) to you. I commit (παρατίθημι) to you the church of the Antiochenes."
That day (ἐκείνην τὴν ἡμέραν)
The day of Christ's second appearing. See on 1 Thessalonians 5:2. In this sense the phrase occurs in the N.T. Epistles only 2 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; but often in the Gospels, as Matthew 7:22; Matthew 26:29; Mark 13:32, etc. The day of the Lord's appearing is designated by Paul as ἡ ἡμέρα, absolutely, the day, Romans 13:12; 1 Corinthians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:4 : ἡμέρα τοῦ κυρίου the day of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:2 : the day of Jesus Christ or Christ, Philippians 1:6, Philippians 1:10; Philippians 2:16: the day when God shall judge, Romans 2:16 : the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, Romans 2:5 : the day of redemption, Ephesians 4:30.
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
The form (ὑποτύπωσιν)
Pastso. olxx, oClass. See on 1 Timothy 1:16.
Of sound words (ὑγιαινόντων λόγων)
See on 1 Timothy 1:16.
In faith and love
The teaching is to be held, preached, and practiced, not as a mere schedule of conduct, however excellent, but with the strong conviction of faith and the favor of love.
That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
That good thing which was committed (τὴν καλὴν παραθήκην)
That fair, honorable trust, good and beautiful in itself, and honorable to him who receives it. The phrase N.T.o. See on 2 Timothy 1:12. Comp. the good warfare, 1 Timothy 1:18; teaching, 1 Timothy 4:6; fight, 1 Timothy 6:12; confession, 1 Timothy 6:12.
This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
Proconsular Asia, known as Asia Propria or simply Asia. It was the Romans province formed out of the kingdom of Pergamus, which was bequeathed to the Romans by Attalus III((b.c. 130), including the Greek cities on the western coast of Asia, and the adjacent islands with Rhodes. It included Mysia, Lydia, Caria, and Phrygia. The division Asia Major and Asia Minor was not adopted until the fourth century a.d. Asia Minor (Anatolia) was bounded by the Euxine, Aegean, and Mediterranean on the north, west, and south; and on the east by the mountains on the west of the upper course of the Euphrates.
Have turned away (ἀπεστράφηνσαν)
Not from the faith, but from Paul.
The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
Mentioned again, 2 Timothy 4:19.
Once in Paul, Ephesians 6:20. Several times in Mark, Luke, and Acts. It may mean handcuffs or manacles (see Lightfoot, Philippians, ed. of 1896, page 8), but is not limited to that sense either in classical or later Greek. See Hdt. ix. 74; Eurip. Orest. 984. Mark 5:4 is not decisive.
But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
Very well (βέλτιον)
N.T.o. The sense is comparative; better than I can tell you.