The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Timothy

1 2 3 4

2 Timothy 1

2Ti 1:1

See Lesson, Paul the man.

See Lesson, Pastoral letters, overview.

See Lesson, Sayings of faith in Pastorals.

ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE: That is, 'according to the communication whereby I made known the promise...'

2Ti 1:2

GRACE, MERCY AND PEACE: Cp 1Ti 1:2; 2Jo 1:3. (1) Grace is for the worthless; it is God giving me what I don't deserve. (2) Mercy is for the helpless; it is God withholding from me what I do deserve. (3) Peace is for the restless; it is the assurance that whatever happens to me will work out for God's glory.

2Ti 1:3

AS MY FOREFATHERS DID: Not "FROM my forefathers" (as KJV), but "LIKE my forefathers did" (cp Acts 24:14).

2Ti 1:5

SINCERE: Gr "anupokritos" = lit, without hypocrisy. Used Rom 12:9; 2Co 6:6; 1Ti 1:5; 2Ti 1:5; Jam 3:17; 1Pe 1:22.

LOIS: Grandmother of Timothy, and undoubtedly the mother of Eunice, Timothy's mother. She is mentioned only once in NT. Apparently the family lived at Lystra, where Paul was stoned. Lois had a genuine faith in God, in which she was joined by Eunice and Timothy. It seems probable she was a godly Jewess before Paul's first visit to Derbe and Lystra, and that she, her daughter, and her grandson all became converts to Christianity through Paul's ministry. Perhaps the circumstances surrounding the stoning of Paul and his recovery contributed to their conversion.

EUNICE: The name, meaning "victorious" (Gr "eu" = good; and "nike" = victory, from the goddess), occurs only once in NT. Eunice was Timothy's mother, and this gives her a measure of importance. She and her mother Lois are both described as women of genuine faith in the Lord, and they had apparently encouraged a similar faith in young Timothy. Eunice was a godly Jewess, married to a Greek unbeliever (Acts 16:1). It is unlikely that she was a Christian believer before Paul's first visit to Derbe and Lystra, where she lived, but evidently she had taught Timothy the OT Scriptures thoroughly (2Ti 3:15), although he was not circumcised until Paul's second visit.

2Ti 1:6

See Lesson, Laying on of hands.

2Ti 1:7

TIMIDITY: "Fear" in KJV, but "timidity" in RSV and NIV. Cp "spirit of slavery" in Rom 8:15.

2Ti 1:8

ME HIS PRISONER: Timothy evidently was later imprisoned himself (Heb 13:23).

JOIN WITH ME IN SUFFERING: Jackie Robinson was the first black man to play major league baseball in the modern era, in 1947. Breaking baseball's color barrier, he faced disgusting racial slurs from opposing players, baseballs thrown at his head while he was batting, and baserunners sliding with spiked shoes lifted high, trying to cut or slash him. Also, he faced jeering crowds in every stadium. While playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he committed an error. Some in the crowd began to ridicule him. He stood at second base, disconcerted and humiliated, while even his hometown fans continued to ridicule and mock him.

Then shortstop Pee Wee Reese came over and stood next to him. He put his arm around Robinson, talked quietly to him, and encouraged him, as if the crowd's cries meant nothing. He was a white Southerner, with his own experiences of racial prejudice, and might have been expected to keep a safe distance from a black man. But it was as if he were saying to everyone: 'This is my teammate; he's with me!' Reese was a star player at this time: popular and successful and well-liked. The fans grew quiet, and the game resumed.

Jackie Robinson later said that that arm around his shoulder saved his career.

A statue will soon be erected and dedicated at the current Brooklyn baseball park, commemorating this simple yet profound act, performed more than 50 years ago now -- joining and identifying with another so as to share his suffering.

2Ti 1:9

See Lesson, Sayings of faith in Pastorals.

2Ti 1:10

IMMORTALITY: Deathlessness. The opposite of life (Rom 5:12). God alone possesses underived immortality: 1Ti 6:16. The word occurs only 5 times in the Bible: once, as the (underived) possession of God only: 1Ti 6:16 (see also 1Ti 1:7); once -- as a truth brought to light through the work of Jesus: 2Ti 1:10; once -- as a condition for which God's people should seek: Rom 2:7; and twice -- as a state or nature with which the faithful are to be clothed at the resurrection of the dead: 1Co 15:53,54. Immortality is not a present possession: we are told to "seek" it: Rom 2:7. Immortality is not inherent, but dependent on the work of Christ: 1Jo 5:11; Tit 3:7; Jude 1:21; Rom 5:21; Tit 1:2.

DESTROYED: "Broken the power of" (NEB): cp 1Co 15:26; Heb 2:14.

BROUGHT... TO LIGHT: That is, made possible. Jesus opened the way to eternal life for repentant sinners: Joh 3:16; 10:10,26-28, through the gospel: Mark 16:15,16; Rom 1:16.

2Ti 1:11

Herald, messenger, instructor.

2Ti 1:12

The strenuous life of the apostle: cp 1Co 4:9-13; 2Co 6:8-10.

WHAT I HAVE ENTRUSTED: The "deposit": 1Ti 6:20.

2Ti 1:15

EVERYONE: Actually, not quite "everyone" (cp v 16)!

2Ti 1:16

ONESIPHORUS: Name sig "light-bearer"! He is greeted by Paul at end of this letter (2Ti 4:19).

2Ti 1:18

LORD... LORD: Twice in this one verse. The first instance may be God, and the second Jesus Christ.

ME: Omitted in some mss: may be a more general statement of his work... to all in Ephesus!

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