New American Standard Bible
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
King James Bible
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Darby Bible Translation
For the time shall be when they will not bear sound teaching; but according to their own lusts will heap up to themselves teachers, having an itching ear;
World English Bible
For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts;
Young's Literal Translation
for there shall be a season when the sound teaching they will not suffer, but according to their own desires to themselves they shall heap up teachers -- itching in the hearing,
2 Timothy 4:3 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For the time will come ... - Probably referring to the time mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:1, following.
When they will not endure sound doctrine - Greek, "healthful doctrine;" i. e., doctrine contributing to the health of the soul, or to salvation. At that time they would seek a kind of instruction more conformable to their wishes and feelings.
But after their own lusts - They will seek such kind of preaching as will accord with their carnal desires; or such as will palliate their evil propensities, and deal gently with their vices; compare Isaiah 30:10. "Speak unto us smooth things; prophesy deceits."
Shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears - The word rendered "heap" - ἐπισωρεύω episōreuō - does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It means "to heap up upon, to accumulate;" and here "to multiply." The word rendered "itching" - κνήθω knēthō - also occurs only in this place in the New Testament. It means "to rub, to scratch;" and then "to tickle," and here to feel an "itching" for something pleasing or gratifying. The image is derived from the desire which we have when there is an itching sensation, to have it rubbed or scratched. Such an uneasiness would these persons have to have some kind of instruction that would allay their restless and uneasy desires, or would gratify them. In explanation of this passage we may observe,
(1) that there will be always religious teachers of some kind, and that in proportion as error and sin abound, they will be multiplied. The apostle here says, that by turning away from Timothy, and from sound instruction, they would not abandon all religious teachers, but would rather increase and multiply them. People often declaim much against a regular ministry, and call it "priest-craft;" and yet, if they were to get rid of such a ministry, they would by no means escape from all kinds of religious teachers. The deeper the darkness, and the more gross the errors, and the more prevalent the wickedness of men, the more will a certain kind of religious teachers abound, and the more it will cost to support them. Italy and Spain swarm with priests, and in every pagan nation they constitute a very numerous class of the population. The cheapest ministry on the earth is a well-educated Protestant clergy, and if society wishes to free itself from swarms of preachers, and prophets, and exhorters, it should secure the regular services of an educated and pious ministry.
(2) in such classes of persons as the apostle here refers to, there is a restless, uneasy desire to have some kind of preachers. They have "itching ears." They will be ready to run after all kinds of public instructors. They will be little pleased with any, and this will be one reason why they will have so many. They are fickle, and unsettled, and never satisfied. A desire to hear the truth, and to learn the way of salvation, is a good desire. But this can be better gratified by far under the patient and intelligent labor of a single religious teacher, than by running after many teachers, or than by frequent changes. How much would a child learn if he was constantly running from one school to another?
(3) such persons would have teachers according to "their own lusts;" that is, their own tastes, or wishes. They would have those who would coincide with their whims; who would foster every vagary which might enter their imagination; who would countenance every wild project for doing good; who would be the advocates of the errors which they held; and who would be afraid to rebuke their faults. These are the principles on which many persons choose their religious teachers. The true principle should be, to select those who will faithfully declare the truth, and who will not shrink from exposing and denouncing sin, wherever it may be found.
LibrarySermon for St. Peter's Day
Of brotherly rebuke and admonition, how far it is advisable and seemly or not, and especially how prelates and governors ought to demean themselves toward their subjects. 2 Tim. iv. 2.--"Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine." THIS is the lesson which St. Paul gives to his beloved disciple Timothy, whom he set to rule over men, and it equally behoves all pastors of souls and magistrates, to possess these two things,--long-suffering and doctrine. First, it is their office to …
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler
Paul Before Nero
Who say to the seers, "You must not see visions"; And to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, Speak to us pleasant words, Prophesy illusions.
1 Timothy 1:10
and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
2 Timothy 1:13
Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:1
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts."
Jump to PreviousAccordance Accumulate Bear Desires Doctrine Ears Endure Find Gather Great Heap Hearing Instead Instruction Itching Lusts Moved Multiply Multitude Pleasure Satisfy Sound Suit Teachers Themselves Time Tolerate Wanting Wholesome
Jump to NextAccordance Accumulate Bear Desires Doctrine Ears Endure Find Gather Great Heap Hearing Instead Instruction Itching Lusts Moved Multiply Multitude Pleasure Satisfy Sound Suit Teachers Themselves Time Tolerate Wanting Wholesome
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