Second Timothy 3.10-13

[This is part of a running series on translating Second Timothy. See the introductory post for more information — RB] 

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 3.10-13

10 Σὺ δὲ παρηκολούθησάς
10 Now you have followed
    μου τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ,
    my teaching,
    τῇ ἀγωγῇ,
    τῇ προθέσει,
    τῇ πίστει,
    τῇ μακροθυμίᾳ,
    τῇ ἀγάπῃ,
    τῇ ὑπομονῇ,
    11 τοῖς διωγμοῖς,
    11 in the persecutions,
    τοῖς παθήμασιν,
    the sufferings,
    οἷά μοι ἐγένετο
    like those I suffered
        ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ,
        in Antioch,
        ἐν Ἰκονίῳ,
        in Iconium,
        ἐν Λύστροις,
        and in Lystra.

οἵους διωγμοὺς ὑπήνεγκα
What sufferings I endured,
        καὶ ἐκ πάντων με ἐρρύσατο ὁ κύριος.
        and out of them all the Lord rescued me!

12 καὶ πάντες δὲ οἱ θέλοντες εὐσεβῶς ζῆν
12 Now, even all who desire to live in a godly manner
    ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ
    in Christ Jesus
will be persecuted.

13 πονηροὶ δὲ ἄνθρωποι καὶ γόητες προκόψουσιν
13 But evil men and swindlers will progress
    ἐπὶ τὸ χεῖρον
    into worse,
    πλανῶντες καὶ πλανώμενοι.
    deceiving and being deceived.


The unit is 2Ti 3.10-17. NA27 insert a subparagraph break after 2Ti 3.13, this seems a decent point to break the comments for this unit.

Verse 10

Σὺ δὲ παρηκολούθησάς] The connective δὲ indicates development from the previous major section; here we have contrast between sections as well. The previous section was about the false teachers and the impotence of their teaching; here we have a contrast with Paul’s teaching, which Timothy has followed. Note also the superfluous pronoun Σὺ, here fronted in the clause. This activates Timothy again, bringing him into focus in the discussion. The topic has shifted from those pursuing and purveying false doctrine to Timothy, who pursues and purveys Paul’s true doctrine.

virtue list vv. 10-11a] all datives, each with article; note v. 11a involves plurals.

Verse 11

οἷά μοι ἐγένετο] relative clause, here likely explaining the content of the virtue list above.

ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ, ἐν Ἰκονίῳ, ἐν Λύστροις] three prepositional phrases, these provide examples known to Timothy as reference points for the type of things included in the virtue list.

οἵους διωγμοὺς ὑπήνεγκα] another relative clause; while ambiguous my reading (agreeing with Marshall, ICC 785) sees this as a new clausal unit summarizing Paul’s situations and proclaiming glory to God. see this as a dependent clause with one succeeding dependent clause ending the structure began in v. 10.

καὶ] additive, simple connection between the two short clauses.

ἐκ πάντων] fronted prepositional phrase within the dependent clause, here giving extra attention to “out of all of them”, referring to the persecutions endured.

με ἐρρύσατο ὁ κύριος] The constituent order of this clause (after the fronted prepositional phrase) is Object-Verb-Subject which is simply not normal. The object is the personal pronoun με (“me”, referring to Paul, the one rescued by the Lord). The subject, at the end of the clause, is “the Lord”. Shifting the order of the pronoun makes the progress of the clause easier, “out of all of those persecutions, it was me that the Lord rescued.”

Verse 12

καὶ πάντες δὲ] Here δὲ is the discourse connective, again marking development. I’ve translated it “but”. καὶ is adverbial, modifying πάντες. Instead of the typical “also”, I’ve translated as “even”, which seems better for the context.

οἱ θέλοντες εὐσεβῶς ζῆν] The participle (with article) functions substantivally, so functions as the subject of the clause. However, the participle is also modified by infinitive verb,* the infinitive also being modified adverbially; “who desire to live in a godly manner” (or perhaps “reverently”).

ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ] prepositional phrase, also modifying the infinitive: “to live … in Christ Jesus”.

διωχθήσονται] primary verb of the clause; everything else (apart from the discourse connective δε) is essentially part of the subject.

Verse 13

πονηροὶ δὲ ἄνθρωποι καὶ γόητες προκόψουσιν] Again, δε used as the discourse connective, marking development. The subject is fronted; Paul has shifted topics. The verb is future tense.

ἐπὶ τὸ χεῖρον] prepositional phrase; noting the direction of the progress of the “evil men and swindlers”: they will get worse.

πλανῶντες καὶ πλανώμενοι] Two single-word participial clauses joined by καὶ. These are the same word; each in a different voice (the first active, the second passive). The effect is to show that the deception that continues to plunge these false teachers into the depths of darkness has a reciprocal effect: It damns those who teach; and those teachers continue to spew forth the false teaching. The are deceiving themselves and their hearers (cf. 1Ti 4.16; also $af(2Cl 15.1); $af(2Cl 19.1) but even more so $af(2Cl 10.5) and $af(IgnEph 16.2), which have the formulation in the negative).

* The phenomenon of an articular, substantive participle being modified by an infinitive verb occurs 18x in the NT: Mt 19.12; Mk 10.42; Lk 16.26; 20.35; Jn 1.33; Ac 22.29; Ro 2.21, 22; 15.12; 1Co 10.12; Php 2.13 (2x); 1Ti 6.9; 2Ti 3.12; 1Pe 3.10; 1Jn 2.6, 9; 2Jn 11. (references from a syntax search of the material in Logos Bible Software) The order is always the same.

Second Timothy 3.6-9

[This is part of a running series on translating Second Timothy. See the introductory post for more information — RB]

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 3.6-9

    6 Ἐκ τούτων
    6 For from these
γάρ εἰσιν
    οἱ ἐνδύνοντες
    those who sneak 
        εἰς τὰς οἰκίας
        into the houses
    καὶ αἰχμαλωτίζοντες γυναικάρια
    and capture idle women
        σεσωρευμένα ἁμαρτίαις,
        overwhelmed with sins,
        ἀγόμενα ἐπιθυμίαις ποικίλαις,
        led on by various desires,
        7 πάντοτε μανθάνοντα
        7 always learning
        καὶ μηδέποτε
        and never
            εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας
            into knowledge of the truth
        ἐλθεῖν δυνάμενα.
        [are they] able to come.

    8 ὃν τρόπον δὲ Ἰάννης καὶ Ἰαμβρῆς ἀντέστησαν Μωϋσεῖ,
    8 In the same way Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses,
οὕτως καὶ οὗτοι ἀνθίστανται τῇ ἀληθείᾳ,
similarly also these oppose the truth:
        κατεφθαρμένοι τὸν νοῦν, 
        depraved in mind,
        περὶ τὴν πίστιν. 
        concerning the faith.

9 ἀλλʼ οὐ προκόψουσιν
9 But they will not progress
    ἐπὶ πλεῖον·
    any further.

ἡ γὰρ ἄνοια αὐτῶν ἔκδηλος ἔσται πᾶσιν,
For their mindlessness will be quite obvious to all, 
    ὡς καὶ ἡ ἐκείνων ἐγένετο. 
    just as that of those also became.


The unit is 2Ti 3.1-9. NA27 insert a subparagraph break after 2Ti 3.5, this seems a decent point to break the comments on this unit. See Second Timothy 3.1-5 for comments on the first portion.

Verse 6

Ἐκ τούτων] fronted prepositional phrase, functioning as a Topical Frame (Runge) which brings participants into focus. Here the participants are referred to by the near demonstrative (τούτων), the referent being those described in 2Ti 3.1-5. Essentially, vv. 1-5 describe the group of participants, this fronted prepositional phrase then activates them so that they can be discussed in the following verses.

γάρ] discourse connective, shows that this clause offers support to the previous clause complex.

εἰσιν οἱ ἐνδύνοντες] “are the ones who sneak/creep”. The participle is substantive and is further defined with the following prepositional phrase. Note that Paul is now delimiting a sub-group from the larger group of false doctrine teachers/followers.

εἰς τὰς οἰκίας] prepositional phrase. Modifies the preceding participle. Clarifies the subject as “the ones who sneak into houses”, but this is only one portion of the descriptor.

καὶ αἰχμαλωτίζοντες γυναικάρια] here καὶ is a phrase-level connective joining both participles (the article governing both participles): οἱ ἐνδύνοντες .. καὶ αἰχμαλωτίζοντες; “those sneaking … and capturing”. On γυναικάρια, while formally a diminutive of γυνη (hence “little women”) it is likely a term of derision “foolish women” (see BDAG and M-M).

σεσωρευμένα ἁμαρτίαις] participial clause, this is the first of four participial clauses which describe the “foolish women” who are being led astray. These participial clauses form two groups, each with two clauses. This is the first “overwhelmed with sins”. The participle takes a dative.

ἀγόμενα ἐπιθυμίαις ποικίλαις] participial clause, note the structural similarity with what precedes, a participle with a dative: “led on by various desires”. This as well describes the foolish women.

Verse 7

πάντοτε μανθάνοντα] participial clause; the first of the second set. Note that μανθάνοντα agrees with the following participle (δυνάμενα) in case, number and gender. Also note the contrast between πάντοτε (always) and μηδέποτε (never).

καὶ μηδέποτε] beginning of second participial clause, with καὶ functioning to join the two together.

εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας] prepositional phrase fronted within the participial clause, emphasizing “into knowledge of the truth”. Note that the adverb μηδέποτε is similarly emphasized. On “knowledge of the truth”, see also 1Ti 2.4 and 2Ti 2.25 (discussed here).

ἐλθεῖν δυνάμενα] balance of participial clause, “being able to come”. This seems to be a slam against the false teachers; while they are “always learning”, they are never able to actually get it right. It is vaguely similar to a similar statement in 1Ti 1.7, about those who desire to be teachers of the law but really are clueless about what they’re saying and teaching.

Verse 8

ὃν] The beginnings of a complex structure that runs through the end of verse 9, this relative pronoun indicates a condition of sorts (Runge calls it a “Conditional Frame”).

ὃν τρόπον δὲ Ἰάννης καὶ Ἰαμβρῆς ἀντέστησαν Μωϋσεῖ] At the same time, the entire relative clause is preposed (a “Left Dislocation”, Runge) to introduce information essential to the processing of the main clause. Here it is the balance of a comparison between the way that Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses (the fronted information) to no effect, so Paul’s opponents oppose the truth to no effect. The δὲ is a higher-level discourse connective, not technically a part of this subordinate clause, indicating a developmental connection to the previous discussion.

Ἰάννης καὶ Ἰαμβρῆς] Traditionally the two magicians who opposed Moses and Aaron (cf. Ex 7.11). (Dictionary of Paul and his Letters, p. 582; cf. p. 620-621, 954). Some collections of OT Pseudepigrapha contain something called “The Book of Jannes and Jambres” (cf. Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with Morphology, which has a good introduction and also has the relevant Greek witnesses, from P. Chester Beatty XVI and P. Vindobonensis G 29 456 verso; a translation is in Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha 2:427-442).

οὕτως] adverb, providing the hinge of the comparison between the content in the preposed relative clause and the main clause. Typically translated “so”, though I’ve translated “similarly” here due to the nature of the comparison.

καὶ οὗτοι] The καὶ is adverbial thus better as “also”. The phrase is unnecessary (“so also these”) as the person and number of the verb provide sufficient information; thus Paul is highlighting “these also”, tying them to opposition of the truth.

ἀνθίστανται τῇ ἀληθείᾳ] Note that the same verb is used in the fronted relative clause and the main clause; this solidifies the comparison.

ἄνθρωποι κατεφθαρμένοι τὸν νοῦν] apposition; providing further description of “these also”. First is “people” from ἄνθρωποι which generically refers to people (sometimes translated as a non-gender-specific “men”), modified by a participial clause that describes the mindframe of these people.

ἀδόκιμοι περὶ τὴν πίστιν] more apposition; this as well provides further description of the opponents. Here they are “unqualified”; the prepositional phrase describes the specific area in which they are unqualified.

Verse 9

ἀλλʼ] In my reading, the first half of verse 9 is implicitly contrasted with verse 8, the marker of contrast is ἀλλʼ (see my paper on αλλα for more info). Runge labels the structure a Counterpoint (v. 8) Point (v. 9a) structure; αλλα is the hinge between the two. These depraved people, the ones who are unqualified in the faith, the ones who oppose the truth in the same way as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, they will not progress any further in their teaching and work.

οὐ προκόψουσιν] “They will not progress”. This is the main verb of the clause, modified with a negator.

ἐπὶ πλεῖον] prepositional phrase, modifying the main clause verb, noting the limits of the progress: “any further”. Their opposition will not progress; it will instead crumble, and the truth will overcome — much like Moses overcame Jannes and Jambres.

ἡ γὰρ ἄνοια αὐτῶν ἔκδηλος ἔσται πᾶσιν] explanatory; the γὰρ is a cue that this clause provides explanation/support for the previous argument. The opposition progresses no further; “because their mindlessness is quite obvious to all”.

ὡς καὶ ἡ ἐκείνων ἐγένετο] dependent clause with some pronouns that, upon initial inspection, seem hard to track. But they’re really not. First note that καὶ is adverbial, hence “also”. The article functions like a pronoun here, referring back to ἡ ἄνοια (“their mindlessness”). ἐκείνων is a demonstrative pronoun that typically relates to a referent somewhat removed from the current context; Runge (via Levinsohn) labels this a “Far Demonstrative”. Here the referent is Jannes and Jambres from the beginning of v. 8. While the literal translation is something like “just as that of those also became”, the idea is more like “just as [the mindlessness] of [Jannes and Jambres] also became [evident to all]”. This referent ties the whole of vv. 8-9 together and reinforces and explains the Point in v. 9, that the progress of the false teachers will falter; the vacuity of their teaching will cause them to stumble.

Second Timothy 3.1-5

[This is part of a running series on translating Second Timothy. See the introductory post for more information — RB]

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 3.1-5

1 Τοῦτο δὲ γίνωσκε,
1 But know this,
        ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις
        in the last days
    ἐνστήσονται καιροὶ χαλεποί·
    difficult times will present themselves.

2 ἔσονται γὰρ οἱ ἄνθρωποι
2 For people will be
    lovers of self,
    lovers of money,
    γονεῦσιν ἀπειθεῖς,
    disobedient to parents,
    3 ἄστοργοι
    3 hard-hearted,
    unwilling to negotiate,
    without self control,
    not lovers of good,
    4 προδόται
    4 traitors,
    lovers of pleasure
        μᾶλλον ἢ φιλόθεοι,
        rather than lovers of God,
    5 ἔχοντες μόρφωσιν εὐσεβείας
    5 holding to a form of godliness
        τὴν δὲ δύναμιν αὐτῆς ἠρνημένοι·
        but they have denied its power. 
    καὶ τούτους ἀποτρέπου. 
    You must avoid these.


The unit is 2Ti 3.1-9, but that is a large unit to discuss. As NA27 insert a subparagraph break after 2Ti 3.5, this seems a decent point to break the comments on this unit.

Verse 1

Τοῦτο δὲ γίνωσκε] Disclosure formula. Well, it comes close to the formal definition (verb of wishing/desiring + verb of knowing in infinitive + optional οτι/ινα, see Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Disclosure Form for explanation and example); this is more of a command to the addressee. Either way, it is a break from the previous section and an obvious cue that a new section has begun (cf. Van Neste, 174). Runge labels it a Meta-Comment. The resolution of the pronoun τουτο (what is to be known?) is the content of the upcoming subordinate clause.

ὅτι] optional portion of disclosure formula. Marks a subordinate clause.

ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις] prepositional phrase, fronted within the subordinate clause. Thus it establishes a frame of reference for what it is that Paul wants Timothy to know. Runge labels it a Temporal Frame.

ἐνστήσονται καιροὶ χαλεποί] This is in regard to times that will be difficult to endure. Note the future middle verb.

Verses 2-5

ἔσονται γὰρ οἱ ἄνθρωποι] This clause begins a very large list of negative qualities (a “vice” list). The use of γὰρ shows that this is elaboration or explanation of the previous clause; this list offers support as to why the upcoming times (the last days) will be difficult.

[vice list runs through v. 5; only vv. 4b-5 will be discussed here; though note that alpha-privatives and words with the φιλ* cognate are abundant].

φιλήδονοι μᾶλλον ἢ φιλόθεοι] comparison between “lovers of pleasure” and “lovers of God”; again with the φιλ* cognate.

ἔχοντες μόρφωσιν εὐσεβείας] participial clause, with μόρφωσιν εὐσεβείας (“a form of godliness”) as the object of the clause. By all appearances, these people are godly. But the reality is otherwise.

τὴν δὲ δύναμιν αὐτῆς ἠρνημένοι] participial clause. While some might say that δὲ here is contrastive; the context itself is contrastive, not δὲ. The δὲ indicates development from the previous clause that happens to be in a contrastive context. Those being described in this vice list have the form of godliness (they appear to be godly), but they deny the power of godliness.

καὶ τούτους ἀποτρέπου] summary statement. τούτους is anaphoric, it points backwards to the vice list, basically meaning “these people, the ones who embody these sorts of things”. The verb is a middle imperative, second person singular, thus functioning as a command from Paul to Timothy (author to recipient). The idea is “avoid these people!”. The καὶ is essentially additive, showing the barest of relationship between the preceding clause and this one (thus showing relationship with the list and those who deny the power of godliness).

Reviews of Fiore’s New Commentary

Two reviews of Benajmin Fiore’s recent commentary The PE: First Timothy, Second Timothy, and Titus (Sacra Pagina) have recently been posted at RBL. I found Matthew Montonini’s review particularly helpful in summarizing the book.

Second Timothy 2.22-26

[This is part of a running series on translating Second Timothy. See the introductory post for more information — RB]

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 2.22-26

22 Τὰς δὲ νεωτερικὰς ἐπιθυμίας φεῦγε,
22 So flee youthful desires.

δίωκε δὲ δικαιοσύνην πίστιν ἀγάπην εἰρήνην
Pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace;
    μετὰ τῶν ἐπικαλουμένων τὸν κύριον
    with those who call upon the Lord
        ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας.
        out of a pure heart.

23 τὰς δὲ μωρὰς καὶ ἀπαιδεύτους ζητήσεις παραιτοῦ,
23 Reject foolish and ignorant speculations,
        εἰδὼς ὅτι γεννῶσιν μάχας·
        knowing that they breed quarrels.

24 δοῦλον δὲ κυρίου οὐ δεῖ μάχεσθαι
24 And it is not necessary for a slave of the Lord to quarrel
ἀλλὰ ἤπιον εἶναι πρὸς πάντας,
but to be gentle toward all,
    able to teach,
    25 ἐν πραΰτητι παιδεύοντα τοὺς ἀντιδιατιθεμένους,
    25 instructing with gentleness the ones who oppose you,
        μήποτε δώῃ αὐτοῖς ὁ θεὸς μετάνοιαν
        perhaps God may give them repentance
            εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας
            leading to knowledge of the truth 
        26 καὶ ἀνανήψωσιν 
        26 and they may come to their senses, 
            ἐκ τῆς τοῦ διαβόλου παγίδος, 
            out of the devil’s snare, 
            having been captured alive 
                ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ 
                by him
                εἰς τὸ ἐκείνου θέλημα. 
                to do his will.


2Ti 2.14-26 is the larger section (cf. Van Neste, Marshall ICC); it will be examined in two smaller chunks: 2Ti 2.14-21 and 2Ti 2.22-26 (which the UBS4 text has as separate paragraphs). See previous notes on 2Ti 2.14-21.

Further note: Each of the four main clauses in this section (each block above is a “main clause”) are connected with the conjunction δε. Apart from the last main clause, I’ve not translated the word. Each of these blocks is individual, but they do build one upon the other (particularly the first three). The nature of what δε is doing is needed in the Greek, but there is no easy way to translate the function into the English. The typical (and typically inaccurate) gloss of “but” doesn’t work because it is inherently adversative, and the use here is not adversative, it is developmental. Each of these clauses builds in a succession. Translations like “so” or “now” or something of that nature could work, but seem contrived and clunky.

Verse 22

Τὰς δὲ νεωτερικὰς ἐπιθυμίας φεῦγε] Note the imperative verb φεῦγε (“flee”) at the end of the clause, with the object fronted, perhaps something like: “Those ignorant, youthful urges? Run away [from them]!” The fronted object here is, according to Runge, a “Topical Frame”; it brings the topical scope of the clause into view first so one knows how to process the verb when it is encountered.

ἐπιθυμίας] Note that in many contexts this word has a negative connotation (e.g. “lust” or “sinful desires”), but that connotation — specifically the lustful or sinful side of it — is not innate in the meaning of the word. It can (and does) occur positively too. That is, context of occurrence adds that notion, the word itself is used in positive, negative, and neutral contexts. Here it tends toward the negative based on the context of the following command (flee youthful desires, pursue righteousness, faith, love, etc.).

νεωτερικὰς] NT hapax, see also $afen(IgnMag 3.1)

δίωκε δὲ δικαιοσύνην πίστιν ἀγάπην εἰρήνην] Here component order is inverted, instead of Object-Verb, it is Verb-Object. The conjunction δὲ is used for a developmental connection to the previous clause. They are rhetorically connected through the inversion of component order. The previous clause was an exhortation to avoid particular negative action; this clause is an exhortation to partake of particular positive action. The flee/pursue exhortation is used to similar effect in 1Ti 6.11; see also Mt 10.23 where the order is reversed.

μετὰ τῶν ἐπικαλουμένων τὸν κύριον] prepositional phrase, modifying the imperative verb δίωκε. This provides information on how to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. The object is a participle clause with the participle ἐπικαλουμένων functioning substantivally.

ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας] another prepositional phrase, here modifying the participle of the previous clause, ἐπικαλουμένων. It’s not just those who call on the Lord, but those who call on the Lord “from” or “out of” a pure heart. On purity of heart, see also 1Ti 1.5.

Verse 23

τὰς δὲ μωρὰς καὶ ἀπαιδεύτους ζητήσεις παραιτοῦ] This clause, again, is ordered Object-Verb, and again the verb (παραιτοῦ) is imperative. This is a third exhortation, here Paul wants Timothy to reject “foolish and ignorant speculations”. After emphasizing the positive, Paul returns to make sure Timothy also understands what not to do. The “foolish and ignorant speculations” include anything that is contrary to Paul’s gospel. Anything that would prevent pursuing righteousness, faith, love and peace with others.

εἰδὼς ὅτι γεννῶσιν μάχας] participial clause with subordinate clause, modifying the imperative verb in the main clause. This provides the reason for avoiding “foolish and empty speculations”, it is because such things are the source of further battles. To avoid them is to avoid the later battles.

Verse 24

δοῦλον δὲ κυρίου οὐ δεῖ μάχεσθαι] Here again the δὲ implies a logical connection to what precedes, but little more. The negator ου modifies the verb δεῖ (“it is necessary”) adverbially. μάχεσθαι (“to fight”) is an infinitive verb, it takes δοῦλον .. κυρίου as its accusative subject. Note the repetition of the semantic notion of “fighting” with the cognate μαχ* and the consistent position against such fighting.

ἀλλὰ ἤπιον εἶναι] εἶναι is another infinitive verb which has implicitly the same subject as the previous infinitive, though it is unstated. The conjunction ἀλλὰ notes a relationship between this infinitive clause and the previous one. The previous verb (“to fight”) and this verb+object (“to be gentle”) provide the contrast and correction. The servant of the Lord does not fight (as in physically fight) but is instead gentle in the approach he takes to correct the false teaching and doctrine he encounters.

πρὸς πάντας] prepositional phrase functioning adjectivally. This provides the range of whom Timothy is to “be gentle” toward (at least in his correction of false doctrine). He is to be gentle toward everyone while he corrects.

διδακτικόν, ἀνεξίκακον] additional groups in the object. These as well function as objects of the infinitive verb, providing a comprehensive opposite to fighting: instead responding by physically fighting, he is to respond with gentleness toward all, the ability to teach, and patience. Note especially BDAG’s gloss of ἀνεξίκακος: “pertaining to bearing evil without resentment”. The idea is for Timothy to bear the person with love and correct the false doctrine — not to simply end the relationship with the person who has succumbed/is succumbing to false doctrine.

Verse 25

ἐν πραΰτητι παιδεύοντα τοὺς ἀντιδιατιθεμένους] participle clause; with prepositional phrase modifying participle. Note the continuance of the semantic notion of “gentleness” from verse 24. Instruction and correction of those opposing isn’t a smackdown, it is done (as specified above) in gentleness and love. This doesn’t mean that one gives ground, but it does mean that one is not belligerent in the maintaining and outlining of the true doctrine.

μήποτε δώῃ αὐτοῖς ὁ θεὸς μετάνοιαν] Subordinate clause. “that God may perhaps give repentance to them”. On μήποτε as “perhaps”, see BDAG μήποτε 3bβ, which classifies usage with the subjunctive in indirect questions (such as we have here). While not punctuated in the Greek with a question mark, this could perhaps also be a rhetorical question: “might not God give them repentance [leading to the truth]?”

εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας] prepositional phrase, modifying the verb of the subordinate clause (δώῃ). The same prepositional phrase occurs in 1Ti 2.4; the function there is similar to here. The idea is that, though a gentle and patient approach, the mindset of the opponent can be changed. I think there is a bit of wordplay with the idea of repentance (μετάνοιαν, “changing the mind”) here, though the Christian idea of repentance also applies to some degree. The opponent must turn (repent) from the way of error and come to knowledge of the truth.

Verse 26

καὶ] joins the previous subordinate clause and the following subordinate clause (all of v. 26) together into one structure: “that God may give repentence and may come to their senses”

ἀνανήψωσιν] subjunctive verb, primary verb in the subordinate clause, “return to one’s senses”. NT hapax, but with adequate testimony in Philo (Leg II 60), Josephus (Ant 6.241; Wars 1.619) and Ignatius ($af(IgnSmyrn 9.1)). The Ignatius reference is most analogous to the instance here in 2Ti.

ἐκ τῆς τοῦ διαβόλου παγίδος] prepositional phrase, modifying the subjunctive verb. On “snare of the devil” see also 1Ti 3.7. By this langauge, realize, the opponents are actually presently trapped within “the snare of the devil”, and coming to their senses, repenting, and coming into knowledge of the truth will get the out.

ἐζωγρημένοι] participle clause (also containing the following two prepositional phrases), modifying the verb, explaining how and why the opponents ended up in the trap of the adversary. Occurs 2x in NT, here and also in Luke 5.10 where it is used of “catching” men (e.g., becoming fishers of men). Here the sense is of “catching alive”.

ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ] prepositional phrase, modifying the participle. “by him”, the referent being the devil/adversary. The opponents were captured alive by the adversary …

εἰς τὸ ἐκείνου θέλημα] … “to do his [the adversary’s] will”. Another prepositional phrase modifying the participle. θέλημα occurs 33x in the NT, 18 of those are as objects of prepositional phrases (as here). It occurs most commonly with δια (8x, usually “by the will …”, 5x in Pauline epistolary salutations, including the salutation to Second Timothy) and κατα (3x, “according to God’s will”). In Paul, outside of 1Co 7.37 and perhaps this instance, θέλημα as prepositional object always has to do with God’s will. There is some debate as to the referent of ἐκείνου here (does it refer to God or to Satan?). The plain referent (particularly if you just look at most English translations) seem to be devil/adversary; some ambiguity is present in the Greek, however. The pronoun ἐκεῖνος usually refers to a more distant referent (“that one” instead of “this one”). I’ve followed the traditional route (the same route as Marshall (768) and Knight (426)).

New Article on the Structure of Titus


Google is amazing!  Yesterday I was completing a writing project and using “Google books” to track down a few stray references.  On one page Google linked to an article by Kevin Gary Smith titled “The Structure of Titus: Criss-cross Chiasmus as Structural Marker.”  I had never heard of this article so I followed the link.  I discovered that this article is from volume 3 (March 2007): 99-110, of Conspectus the online, refereed journal of South African Theological Seminary.


 Smith interacts with my article and monograph on the structure of Titus as well as an article by Clark.[1]  Smith accepts the chiastic structural suggestions made by Banker[2] and myself but wants to press them further.  There is little point in me here summarizing the argument when the article is readily available and only 12 pages in length.


 I am pleased to see ongoing reflection on the structure of the Pastorals, and I agree with Smith that Titus “may well be the most delicately structured of all Paul’s letters” (99).  In the end Smith says his argument “confirms, with minor adjustments” my own proposal (109).  I think this is true, though I am not convinced by the adjustments. He mentions his intention to publish a follow up article with supporting linguistic evidence.  I will be eager to see that article as well.


I would be quite interested to hear from others what they think of Smith’s argument.  It is good to see this conversation continue.

UPDATE: Elias Fairfield has kindly pointed me to the link for Smith’s dissertation online:

Thanks, Elias!

[1] Ray Van Neste, ‘Structure and Cohesion in Titus,’ Bible Translator  53.1 (January 2002): 118-33; Cohesion and Structure in the Pastoral Epistles (London: T&T Clark, 2005); D. J. Clark, “Discourse Structure in Titus,” Bible Translator  53.1 (January 2002): 101-17.


[2] John Banker, Semantic Structure Analysis of Titus (Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1987).