2 Timothy 3

Ministry in the Last Days

1But understand this, that in the last days difficult
Or perhaps, “dangerous,” “fierce.”
times will come.
2For people
Grk “men”; but here ἄνθρωποι (anqrōpoi) is generic, referring to both men and women.
will be lovers of themselves,
Or “self-centered.” The first two traits in 2 Tim 3:2 and the last two in 3:4 are Greek words beginning with the root “lovers of,” and so bracket the list at beginning and end.
lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. 5They will maintain the outward appearance
Or “form.”
Outward appearance. Paul’s contrast with power in 3:5b shows that he regards this “form” to be outward, one of appearance rather than reality (cf. 1 Cor 4:19–20; 1 Thess 1:5).
of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.
Grk “and avoid these,” with the word “people” implied.
6For some of these insinuate themselves
Grk “For from these are those who sneak.”
into households and captivate weak women
Or “silly women.”
who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions.
7Such women are always seeking instruction,
Grk “always learning,” continuing the description of the women from v. 6. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
8And just as Jannes and Jambres
Jannes and Jambres were the traditional names of two of Pharaoh’s magicians who opposed Moses at the time of the Exodus.
opposed Moses, so these people – who have warped minds and are disqualified in the faith
Grk “disapproved concerning the faith.”
– also oppose the truth.
9But they will not go much further,
Grk “for they will not progress any more.”
for their foolishness will be obvious to everyone, just like it was with Jannes and Jambres.
Grk “as theirs came to be,” referring to the foolishness of Jannes and Jambres. The referent of “theirs” (Jannes and Jambres) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

Continue in What You Have Learned

10 You, however,
There is a strong emphasis on the pronoun you in contrast to the people described in vv. 2–9.
have followed my teaching, my
The possessive “my” occurs only at the beginning of the list but is positioned in Greek to apply to each of the words in the series.
way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance,
11as well as the persecutions and sufferings
Grk “persecutions, sufferings,” as a continuation of the series from v. 10.
that happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, and in Lystra.
In Antioch, in Iconium, and in Lystra. See Acts 13–14 for the account of these persecutions.
I endured these persecutions and the Lord delivered me from them all.
12Now in fact all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13But evil people and charlatans will go from bad to worse,
Grk “will advance to the worse.”
deceiving others and being deceived themselves.
Grk “deceiving and being deceived.”
14You, however, must continue
Grk “but you, continue,” a command.
in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know
Grk “knowing,” giving the reasons for continuing as v. 14 calls for.
who taught you
Grk “those from whom you learned.”
15and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16Every scripture
Or “All scripture.”
There is very little difference in sense between every scripture (emphasizing the individual portions) and “all scripture” (emphasizing the composite whole). The former option is preferred, because it fits the normal use of the word “all/every” in Greek (πᾶς, pas) as well as Paul’s normal sense for the word “scripture” in the singular without the article, as here. So every scripture means “every individual portion of scripture.”
is inspired by God
Inspired by God. Some have connected this adjective in a different way and translated it as “every inspired scripture is also useful.” But this violates the parallelism of the two adjectives in the sentence, and the arrangement of words makes clear that both should be taken as predicate adjectives: “every scripture is inspired…and useful.”
and useful for teaching, for reproof,
Or “rebuke,” “censure.” The Greek word implies exposing someone’s sin in order to bring correction.
for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17that the person dedicated to God
Grk “the man of God,” but ἄνθρωπος (anqrōpos) is most likely used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women.
may be capable
This word is positioned for special emphasis; it carries the sense of “complete, competent, able to meet all demands.”
and equipped for every good work.

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