“Do the work of an evangelist”

This recent, brief essay by D. A. Carson in Themelios is helpful for unpacking what “the work of an evangelist” means in 2 Timothy 4:5 in practical terms. Very useful.

New Coptic Fragments of 2 Timothy & Titus

In the most recent Journal of Biblical Literature, Brice C. Jones has published an article on three new Coptic papyrus fragments that witness text of the Pastoral Epistles.

Brice C. Jones, “Three New Coptic Papyrus Fragments of 2 Timothy and Titus (P.Mich. inv. 3535b)”. Journal of Biblical Literature, no 2 (2014): 389–397.

The article provides discussion and transcriptions of the fragments. Text on the fragments are:

  • Fragment 1: 2 Tim 2:14–18; 2:26–3:3
  • Fragment 2: 2 Tim 1:6–11; 1:18–2:6
  • Fragment 3: 2 Tim 4:18–20; Titus 1:7–9

Jones hesitates to provide dates any more specific than “sometime between the fourth and sixth centuries” (392).

I have yet to really read the article, but any time fragments of NT text are located, it is an important thing. Thanks to Brice C. Jones (see his blog) for his work in publishing these fragments.

Abraham Malherbe and the Pastoral Epistles (Guest Post)

This is a guest post from Chuck Bumgardner, who is currently working on a PhD in New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

At the time of his passing in 2012, Abraham Malherbe was working on a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles that was to replace Dibelius/Conzelmann in the Hermeneia series (as of last August when I checked, Fortress had not chosen a new author). His contribution to the literature would have been most welcome, given his scholarly acumen and his previous Pastorals research. I wanted to note here that most of his already-published engagement with the Pastorals, which was scattered rather widely, has been gathered into the first volume of a just-published collection of his essays:
Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity. Collected Essays, 1959-2012, by Abraham J. Malherbe. Edited by Carl R. Holladay, John T. Fitzgerald, Gregory E. Sterling, and James W. Thompson. 2 volumes. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 150. Leiden: Brill, 2014. (ISBN 978-90-04-25339-1)
The following essays are in Light from the Gentiles. I’ve provided original publication data.

“‘Christ Jesus Came into the World to Save Sinners’: Soteriology in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 331-58 in Salvation in the New Testament: Perspectives on Soteriology. Edited by Jan G. van der Watt. Novum Testamentum Supplements 121. Leiden: Brill, 2005.

“Godliness, Self-Sufficiency, Greed, and the Enjoyment of Wealth. 1 Timothy 6:3-19: Part I.” Novum Testamentum 52 (2010): 376-405.

“Godliness, Self-Sufficiency, Greed, and the Enjoyment of Wealth. 1 Timothy 6:3-19: Part II.” Novum Testamentum 53 (2011): 73-96.

“How to Treat Old Women and Old Men: The Use of Philosophical Traditions and Scripture in 1 Timothy 5.” Pages 263-90 in Scripture and Traditions: Essays on Early Judaism and Christianity in Honor of Carl R. Holladay. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 129. Leiden: Brill, 2008.

“‘In Season and Out of Season’: 2 Timothy 4:2.” Journal of Biblical Literature 103 (1982): 23-41.

“Medical Imagery in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 19-35 in Texts and Testaments: Critical Essays on the Bible and Early Church Fathers. Edited by W. E. March. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1980.

“Overseers as Household Managers in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 72-88 in Text, Image, and Christians in the Graeco-Roman World: A Festschrift in Honor of David Lee Balch. Edited by Aliou Cissé Niang and Carolyn Osiek. Princeton Theological Monograph Series 176. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2012.

“Paraenesis in the Epistle to Titus.” Pages 297-317 in Early Christian Paraenesis in Context. Edited by James Starr and Troels Engberg-Pederson. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 125. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004.

Paulus Senex.” Restoration Quarterly 36 (1994): 197-207.

“The Virtus Feminarum in 1 Timothy 2:9-15.” Pages 45-65 in Renewing Tradition: Studies in Texts and Contexts in Honor of James W. Thompson. Edited by Mark W. Hamilton, Thomas H. Olbricht, and Jeffrey Peterson. Princeton Theological Monograph Series 65. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2007.

Second Timothy 4.19-22

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

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 4.19-22

19 Ἄσπασαι
19 Greet
    καὶ Ἀκύλαν
    and Aquila
    καὶ τὸν Ὀνησιφόρου οἶκον.
    and the household of Onesiphorus.

20 Ἔραστος ἔμεινεν
20 Erastus remained
    ἐν Κορίνθῳ,
    in Corinth,

Τρόφιμον δὲ ἀπέλιπον
and Trophimus I left
    ἐν Μιλήτῳ
    in Miletus
    as he was sick.

21 Σπούδασον
21 Make every effort
    πρὸ χειμῶνος ἐλθεῖν.
    to come before winter.

Ἀσπάζεταί σε Εὔβουλος
Eubulus greets you,
    καὶ Πούδης
    as do Pudens
    καὶ Λίνος
    and Linus
    καὶ Κλαυδία
    and Claudia
    καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ πάντες.
    and all the brothers.

22 Ὁ κύριος
22 The Lord be
    μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματός σου.
    with your spirit.

ἡ χάρις
Grace be
    μεθʼ ὑμῶν.
    with you all.


Verse 19

Ἄσπασαι] The whole verse is a greeting, a fairly common phenomenon in Paul’s letters (e.g. Romans 16) and also generally amongst letters found in the papyri (see Francis Xavier J. Exler, $amz(1592442153 A Study in Greek Epistolography: The Form of an Ancient Greek Letter)). Paul is sending greetings to several parties in Ephesus, instructing Timothy to greet these people in his name.

Πρίσκαν καὶ Ἀκύλαν] Prisca (elsewhere Priscilla) and Aquila, a couple known to Paul as evidenced in other letters (Ro 16.3; 1Co 16.19) and Acts (Acts 18.2, 18, 26).

καὶ τὸν Ὀνησιφόρου οἶκον] Mentioned earlier in 2Ti 1.16.

Verse 20

Ἔραστος ἔμεινεν] “Erastus” is a topical frame; we have a switch from the greetings to Paul’s dispensing of information. This name is mentioned in the greeting section of Romans (Rom 16.23) and also in Acts (Acts 19.22).

ἐν Κορίνθῳ] prepositional phrase, modifying the verb “remained”; Paul is giving Timothy information as to Erastus’ whereabouts.

Τρόφιμον δὲ ἀπέλιπον] The δὲ is developmental; we see a progression of information regarding the location of another person. Trophimus is mentioned in Acts 20.4; 21.29. In Acts 21.29, Trophimus is described as “the Ephesian”; in Acts 20.4 he is associated with Timothy and Tychicus.

ἐν Μιλήτῳ] prepositional phrase, modifying ἀπέλιπον, again giving location.

ἀσθενοῦντα] participial clause, here providing circumstance of Paul’s leaving Trophimus. Modifying the main verb ἀπέλιπον.

Verse 21

Σπούδασον] imperative verb; Paul is shifting from information reporting to a final instruction.

πρὸ χειμῶνος ἐλθεῖν] prepositional phrase, modifying previous verb, giving the time frame in which Timothy is to attempt to come to Paul.

Ἀσπάζεταί σε Εὔβουλος] More greetings. Here, the greetings are sent from Paul to Timothy; these are likely people who also know Timothy or who know of him and/or his task in Ephesus. This whole portion of greetings is curious because earlier Paul had mentioned that only Luke was with him (2Ti 4.11). These could also be people that Paul is in contact with via letter.

καὶ Πούδης καὶ Λίνος καὶ Κλαυδία] As with Eubulus, this is the only mention of these names (Pudens, Linus, and Claudia) in the New Testament.

καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ πάντες] This is a catch-all, basically “and all the other believers here”.

Verse 22

Ὁ κύριος] Shift from greetings to a final benediction. This clause has an implied “to be” verb.

μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματός σου] prepositional phrase, modifies the implied verb. Note that this is singular, “the Lord be with your spirit”.

ἡ χάρις] Another topic shift, now to grace. Again, this clause has an implied “to be” verb.

μεθʼ ὑμῶν] prepositional phrase, modifies the implied verb. Here the pronoun is plural, “Grace be with you (plural)”.

Second Timothy 4.16-18

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

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 4.16-18

    16 Ἐν τῇ πρώτῃ μου ἀπολογίᾳ
    16 At my first defense
οὐδείς μοι παρεγένετο,
nobody came to my aid,
ἀλλὰ πάντες με ἐγκατέλιπον·
but all abandoned me.

μὴ αὐτοῖς λογισθείη·
May it not be counted against them.

17 ὁ δὲ κύριός μοι παρέστη καὶ ἐνεδυνάμωσέν με,
17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me,
    so that
        διʼ ἐμοῦ
        through me
    τὸ κήρυγμα πληροφορηθῇ
    the preaching might be fully presented
    καὶ ἀκούσωσιν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη,
    and all the nations might hear;

καὶ ἐρρύσθην
and I was rescued 
    ἐκ στόματος λέοντος.
    out of the lion’s mouth.

18 ῥύσεταί με ὁ κύριος
18 The Lord will rescue me
    ἀπὸ παντὸς ἔργου πονηροῦ
    from all evil works

καὶ σώσει
and will deliver me
    εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐπουράνιον·
    into His heavenly kingdom.

ᾧ ἡ δόξα
To Him [be] the glory
    εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, ἀμήν.
    forever and ever, amen.


Verse 16

Ἐν τῇ πρώτῃ μου ἀπολογίᾳ] fronted prepositional phrase acting as a frame, modifying the following verb παρεγένετο, providing information necessary to understand what follows. This sets the scene for the following comment about no one coming to Paul’s aid.

οὐδείς μοι παρεγένετο] This (plus the prepositional phrase) forms the counterpoint of a point-counterpoint structure hinged on ἀλλὰ (which follows). Note the positioning of οὐδείς (nobody), it has prominence in this clause. This is important because of the upcoming contrast (marked by ἀλλὰ) with πάντες (all, everyone) in the following clause.

ἀλλὰ πάντες με ἐγκατέλιπον] The point of the point-counterpoint structure. Recall in these structures the notion of correction or replacement is present. Here it is correction; the thought Paul wants you to leave with upon exiting this clause complex is that everyone abandoned him.

μὴ αὐτοῖς λογισθείη] Here the pronoun refers to the ones who abandoned Paul; he indicates that such abandonment should not be held against those whom he expected would come.

Verse 17

δὲ] This δὲ is developmental. Paul has just explained how nobody came to help him, everyone abandoned him. “But” here means there is more to the story, and Paul will now tell it. Even though nobody else was with him, the Lord was with him.

ὁ δὲ κύριός μοι παρέστη καὶ ἐνεδυνάμωσέν με] The subject of the clause is ὁ κύριός (the Lord); the Lord is the one who is with Paul. Note the duplication of the pronoun referring to Paul; the first pronoun with the first verb, the second pronoun the object of the second verb. Paul is making very plain that when everyone else abandoned him, the Lord stood with him and gave him the strength to make it through.

ἵνα] indicates a subordinate clause; this sheds light on the purpose for Paul’s deliverance from prison.

διʼ ἐμοῦ] prepositional phrase, fronted in the subordinate clause; this serves as a spatial frame (Runge) introducing the subordinate clause. The following actions are to be seen with Paul as responsible, because of the action of God. Paul sees these things as the reason (as God’s purpose) for his incarceration.

τὸ κήρυγμα πληροφορηθῇ] passive subjunctive verb; the preaching is what is presented “through Paul”.

καὶ ἀκούσωσιν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη] Here καὶ joins the two subjunctive verbs; this verb is active; all the nations hear “through Paul”.

καὶ ἐρρύσθην] The καὶ connects back to the clause that begins v. 17. The effect of the Lord’s standing with and strengthening Paul is Paul’s rescue.

ἐκ στόματος λέοντος] prepositional phrase modifying ἐρρύσθην.

Verse 18

ῥύσεταί με ὁ κύριος] Verse 17 (and the “rescue” mentioned there) was in reference to a specific instance; here Paul is speaking more generally of being rescued. Note the subject (ὁ κύριος, “the Lord”) and the object (με, pronoun referring to Paul)

ἀπὸ παντὸς ἔργου πονηροῦ] prepositional phrase, modifying ῥύσεταί. Here is how we know this is more general than the above.

καὶ σώσει] Here καὶ connects σώσει and ῥύσεταί; thus we can assume the same subject and object from ῥύσεταί.

εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐπουράνιον] prepositional phrase, modifying σώσει. Note the function of the two semantically similar verbs and the motion implied by the modifying prepositional phrases. Paul will be “rescued from” his current situation, “all evil works”, the sin he wrestles with and lives within here; and he will be “delivered to” his next situation, “his kingdom in heaven”. The language helps us visualize Paul’s situation of life, and the promise of moving from this world into the kingdom, of which he is truly a citizen.

ᾧ ἡ δόξα] relative clause. The pronoun resolves to the referent of “his” in v. 18, which is “the Lord”, the one who rescues Paul and delivers him into his kingdom.

εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, ἀμήν] prepositional phrase, here establishing a time component, modifying the implied “to be” verb in the relative clause.

Second Timothy 4.14-15

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

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 4.14-15

14 Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ χαλκεὺς πολλά μοι κακὰ ἐνεδείξατο·
14 Alexander the coppersmith inflicted a great deal of harm to me.

ἀποδώσει αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος
The Lord will repay him
    κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ·
    in accordance with his deeds.
    15 ὃν καὶ σὺ φυλάσσου,
    15 You also must guard against him,
        λίαν γὰρ ἀντέστη τοῖς ἡμετέροις λόγοις.
        for he is quite opposed to our message.


Verse 14

Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ χαλκεὺς] apposition; “the coppersmith” is a descriptor of “Alexander”. Perhaps there was more than one “Alexander” and the apposition was needed to disambiguate. This is a topical frame; Paul is changing the subject again.

πολλά μοι κακὰ ἐνεδείξατο] There is a direct object, “a great deal of harm” and an indirect object “to me”. These complete the verb; “he inflicted a great deal of harm to me”.

ἀποδώσει αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος] The pronoun refers to Alexander the coppersmith.

κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ] prepositional phrase, modifying the verb in the previous segment. Again, the pronoun refers to Alexander.

Verse 15

ὃν καὶ σὺ φυλάσσου] relative clause. The first pronoun refers to Alexander; the second pronoun refers to Timothy. Note the shifting of the word order in order to make sense in English, while the phrase “whom also you must guard [against]” makes some sense, in the larger translation it is clunky. Note the adverbial καὶ; it does not function to join clauses but serves an additive function within the relative clause.

λίαν γὰρ ἀντέστη τοῖς ἡμετέροις λόγοις] Here γὰρ connects this dependent clause marking its explanatory value; Paul gives Timothy reason why Alexander is dangerous because he is opposed to the true doctrine taught by Paul and Timothy. Interesting here is the characterization of the true teaching as “our message” instead of simply true doctrine or proper teaching.

Second Timothy 4.9-13

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

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 4.9-13

9 Σπούδασον
9 Make every effort
    to come
        πρός με ταχέως·
        to me quickly.

10 Δημᾶς γάρ με ἐγκατέλιπεν
10 For Demas deserted me,
    ἀγαπήσας τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα
    having loved the present age,

καὶ ἐπορεύθη
and journeyed
    εἰς Θεσσαλονίκην,
    into Thessalonica,

    εἰς Γαλατίαν,
    into Galatia,

and Titus
    εἰς Δαλματίαν·
    into Dalmatia.

11 Λουκᾶς ἐστιν μόνος
11 Luke alone is
    μετʼ ἐμοῦ.
    with me.

    Μᾶρκον ἀναλαβὼν
    Take along Mark
ἄγε μετὰ σεαυτοῦ,
and bring him with you,

ἔστιν γάρ μοι εὔχρηστος
for he is useful to me
    εἰς διακονίαν.
    in ministry.

12 Τύχικον δὲ ἀπέστειλα
12 But I have dispatched Tychicus
    εἰς Ἔφεσον.
    to Ephesus.

13 τὸν φαιλόνην
13 The cloak
    ὃν ἀπέλιπον
    which I left
        ἐν Τρῳάδι
        in Troas
        παρὰ Κάρπῳ
        with Carpus
    upon your coming
bring [it],
    καὶ τὰ βιβλία
    and the books,
    μάλιστα τὰς μεμβράνας.
    especially the parchments.


Verse 9

Σπούδασον] second person imperative, the focus has implicitly shifted back to Timothy.

ἐλθεῖν] infinitive

πρός με] prepositional phrase, completes the infinitive. The pronoun με implicitly resolves to Paul, the writer of the letter.

ταχέως] adverb, also modifies the infinitive.

Verse 10

Δημᾶς γάρ με ἐγκατέλιπεν] Again, με resolves to the writer. Here he is informing Timothy of the recent goings-on with Demas (on Demas, see also Col 4.14; Phm 24). Demas is the subject of the verb; it also serves as a topical frame (Runge). The connective γαρ indicates that this is offering some sort of explanation or reasoning for the previous clause; here Paul is explaining why he wants Timothy to make an effort to get to him in due time.

ἀγαπήσας τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα] participial clause, modifying verb of main clause, thus providing information as to why Demas left Paul.

καὶ ἐπορεύθη] The conjunction και connects with the previous clause, thus the subject (Demas) can be assumed. Paul is giving more information about Demas, he left Paul and went somewhere else.

εἰς Θεσσαλονίκην] prepositional phrase, modifying ἐπορεύθη, giving Demas’ destination.

Κρήσκης εἰς Γαλατίαν] The implied verb here is ἐπορεύθη; this is just giving information as to Crescens’ location; it is not linking Crescens with Demas.

Τίτος εἰς Δαλματίαν] Again, just giving information as to Titus’ location. Paul’s point is that those who were with him are (largely) no longer with him; they’re off doing other things.

Verse 11

Λουκᾶς ἐστιν μόνος μετʼ ἐμοῦ] “Luke” is another topic shift; Paul moves from talking about those who have left him to talking about those who have stayed. Luke is the only one who has stayed.

Μᾶρκον ἀναλαβὼν] fronted participial clause, here shifting the topic to Mark and backgrounding the information. This is information essential to process the whole clause. The shift now goes to instructions for Timothy; to carry these out Timothy needs to know Paul’s desire for Mark.

ἄγε] second person imperative verb.

μετὰ σεαυτοῦ] prepositional phrase. The whole clause could be, following Greek word order, “Taking along Mark, bring [him] with you”.

ἔστιν γάρ μοι εὔχρηστος] Here we have the γαρ clause offering explanation of Paul’s need for Mark to come along; Mark is useful.

εἰς διακονίαν] prepositional phrase, modifying the verb ἔστιν.

Verse 12

Τύχικον δὲ ἀπέστειλα] The connective δὲ is developmental; we’re moving on from Paul’s need for Mark and into what’s going on with Tychicus (see also Ac 20.4; Eph 6.21; Col 4.7 and Titus 3.12 for more on Tychicus). Note here that “Tychicus” is a topical frame, it is needed to process the balance of the clause — about Tychicus’ being sent.

εἰς Ἔφεσον] prepositional phrase. Tychicus is coming to Ephesus (where Timothy is currently located).

Verse 13

τὸν φαιλόνην] Another fronted object that serves as a topical frame. Paul is (again) changing the subject. Now he’s interested in a particular cloak.

ὃν ἀπέλιπον] beginnings of a relative clause. This specifies which cloak Paul is concerned with. This as well is part of the topical frame.

ἐν Τρῳάδι] prepositional phrase, modifying ἀπέλιπον.

παρὰ Κάρπῳ] prepositional phrase, modifying ἀπέλιπον.

ἐρχόμενος] participial clause. All of the previous items were fronted before the main verb (which follows this participle). First the information about the cloak was needed, then information about the particular cloak was needed, now Paul can inform Timothy to, upon his coming, bring the cloak.

φέρε] second person imperative, primary verb of the whole clause. With the cloak sufficiently described, Paul can instruct Timothy to bring it upon his coming.

καὶ τὰ βιβλία] The καὶ connects this with τὸν φαιλόνην above; implicit is the same verb. Timothy is to also bring the books along with the cloak.

μάλιστα τὰς μεμβράνας] adverbial clause. “especially the parchments”. This small phrase has produced no end of discussion in commentaries and other literature, particularly having to do with μάλιστα. The basic question has to do with whether or not this is appositional (“books” and “parchments”), or whether “parchments” are a class or subset of the “books”. In 1979, T.C. Skeat published an article (“Especially the Parchments: A Note on 2 Timothy IV.13”, Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Vol. 30, 1979, pp. 173-177) where, using examples from some papyri, he posited that this could mean something like “bring the books, that is, the parchments” where μάλιστα plays a clarifying role, sorting out a smaller group from a larger, more general group. Many commentaries (starting with Knight, I believe) take this route here (and elsewhere where the use of μάλιστα is more theologically sensitive). In 2002, however, Vern Poythress published a response to Skeat’s article (“The Meaning of μάλιστα in 2 Timothy and Related Verses”, Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 35 pt. 2 October 2002, pp. 523-532) basically taking a fairly conservative (in the literal sense) approach that Skeat’s suggestion wasn’t necessary, that his examples were explainable using the standard lexical knowledge, and that adding another sense to a lexical entry wasn’t justified in this case. I think Skeat’s suggestion has some merit, but I also think it needs to be carefully applied, particularly in situations rife with theological implications (e.g. 1Ti 4.10’s “especially the believers”).

Ligon Duncan on Second Timothy 4.6-22

The Gospel Coalition’s recent national conference had the theme “Entrusted with the Gospel” and was focused on Second Timothy. Each plenary session focused on a different portion of the epistle.

Ligon Duncan’s session on 2Ti 4.6-22 was titled “Finishing Well”. Audio and video is available.

Bryan Chapell on Second Timothy 3.10-4.5

The Gospel Coalition’s recent national conference had the theme “Entrusted with the Gospel” and was focused on Second Timothy. Each plenary session focused on a different portion of the epistle.

Bryan Chapell’s session on 2Ti 3.10-4.5 was titled “Preach the Word!”. Audio and video is available.

Second Timothy 4.1-8

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

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 4.1-8

1 Διαμαρτύρομαι
1 I solemnly urge
    ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ
    in the presence of God and Christ Jesus,
        τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς,
        the one who will judge the living and the dead,
    καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ
    and by His appearing
    καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ·
    and His Kingdom.

2 κήρυξον τὸν λόγον,
2 Preach the word.

Be ready
    when convenient
    or untimely.



and encourage,
    ἐν πάσῃ μακροθυμίᾳ καὶ διδαχῇ.
    with complete patience and instruction.

3 Ἔσται γὰρ καιρὸς
3 For there will be a time
    ὅτε τῆς ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας οὐκ ἀνέξονται
    when they will not put up with sound doctrine
        κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας
        according to their own desires
    ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισωρεύσουσιν διδασκάλους
    they will accumulate for themselves a great many teachers
        κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοὴν
        to tickle their ears
    4 καὶ
    4 and
        ἀπὸ μὲν τῆς ἀληθείας τὴν ἀκοὴν ἀποστρέψουσιν,
        indeed they will turn their ears away from the truth,
        ἐπὶ δὲ τοὺς μύθους ἐκτραπήσονται.
        and turn aside toward myths.

5 Σὺ δὲ νῆφε
5 But you be self-controlled
    ἐν πᾶσιν,
    in all things.

Endure hardship.

ἔργον ποίησον εὐαγγελιστοῦ,
Do the work of an evangelist.

τὴν διακονίαν σου πληροφόρησον.
Fulfill your ministry.

6 Ἐγὼ γὰρ ἤδη σπένδομαι,
6 For I am already poured out as a drink offering,

καὶ ὁ καιρὸς τῆς ἀναλύσεώς μου ἐφέστηκεν.
and the season of my departure is imminent.

7 τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα ἠγώνισμαι,
7 I have fought the good fight.

τὸν δρόμον τετέλεκα,
I have finished the race.

τὴν πίστιν τετήρηκα·
I have kept the faith.

8 λοιπὸν ἀπόκειταί μοι ὁ τῆς δικαιοσύνης στέφανος,
8 Henceforth the crown of righteousness is reserved for me,
    ὃν ἀποδώσει μοι ὁ κύριος
    which the Lord will award to me
        ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ,
        on that day,
    ὁ δίκαιος κριτής,
    the righteous judge,
        οὐ μόνον δὲ ἐμοὶ
        not only to me,
        ἀλλὰ καὶ πᾶσι τοῖς ἠγαπηκόσι τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ.
        but also to all those who have loved his appearing.


On this passage generally, Craig Smith, $amz(1905048297 Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect) (Sheffield Phoenix, 2006) has excellent information on the “charge form” and background to these sorts of statements in associated literature. I’m not sure I agree with all of his conclusions (Is this a charge, or is it a testament?) but his discussion on the background of this passage from the perspective of epistolary form criticism is excellent. For background on the supposed “charge form” and other epistolary forms, see my paper Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism. While in the below I may refer to this as a “charge”, that does not mean I necessarily agree with Smith’s conclusions. “Charge” is just a handy way to refer to the structure.

Verse 1

Διαμαρτύρομαι] syntactically very similar to 1Ti 5.21. Some (Craig Smith) see this as a charge, utilizing a “charge verb” (διαμαρτυρομαι, παραγγελλω, μαρτυρομαι, ενορκιζω, εχορκιζω, ορκιζω, κελευω, παρακαλεω, εντελλοωμαι) with an appeal to authority (“before God and Jesus Christ … and by His appearing, and by His Kingdom”) to underscore the seriousness of the charge. See notes on 2Ti 2.14 above. Others see this as a testamentary statement, Paul passing the baton to his lieutenant.

ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ] prepositional phrase. This brings the ones whom the charge is being made before into the discussion as witnesses. Paul’s exhortation to Timothy (vv. 2-8) is consciously made with God and Jesus Christ as authoritative witnesses.

τοῦ μέλλοντος κρίνειν ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς] A participial clause that contains an infinitival clause. This modifies “Christ Jesus”, further specifying the authority by whom Paul gives the charge as one who judges the living and the dead. Serious stuff.

καὶ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ] This links back to “Christ Jesus” above; the charge is also given in the context of “his appearing” and “his kingdom”.

Verse 2

κήρυξον τὸν λόγον] Simple clause with imperative verb and object. This is a second person singular imperative; thus directed to Timothy, the recipient of the letter. This begins a section that is crammed with finite verbs, thus analyzed as a series of rather short clauses; each an exhortation from Paul to Timothy.

ἐπίστηθι] imperative verb, two adverbs (rounding out the clause) follow.

εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως] Two adverbs that each modify ἐπίστηθι. Traditionally translated something like “in season and out of season”, but wanting to go more with a “in good times and in bad” vibe, I’ve mostly followed BDAG’s glosses, to be ready “when convenient or untimely”.

ἔλεγξον, ἐπιτίμησον, παρακάλεσον] Three imperative verbs, each second person singular (thus addressed to Timothy).

ἐν πάσῃ μακροθυμίᾳ καὶ διδαχῇ] prepositional phrase, modifying παρακάλεσον. This provides guidance on how Timothy is to encourage those he is ministering to: with complete patience and instruction. He is to patiently instruct them in the truth, Paul’s gospel and doctrine.

Verse 3

Ἔσται γὰρ καιρὸς] Here we have explanation for the previous charge. This clause runs from vv. 3-4; a bit of a jolt from the very short series of clauses that comprise v. 2. The γαρ typically marks explanatory content, offering support for the previous material.

ὅτε τῆς ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας οὐκ ἀνέξονται] relative clause; this is providing more information as to the “time” mentioned previously. Note that this is also the “counterpoint” to a point-counterpoint structure that hinges on the αλλα in v. 3. (cf. Runge). This marks contrast; this present portion of the structure (“when they will not put up with sound doctrine”) will be contrasted, and correction or replacement will be offered in the next portion (the “point”) of the structure.

ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας] The prepositional phrase is preposed, giving vital information as to motive of the false teachers and their adherents. Whatever it is that they’re doing, they’re doing it because they are following their own strong desires.

ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισωρεύσουσιν διδασκάλους] The verb ἐπισωρεύσουσιν (“they will accumulate”) is what the preposed prepositional phrase modifies.

κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοὴν] participial clause, modifying ἐπισωρεύσουσιν, giving further reason for the accumulation of teachers: “to tickle their ears”.

Verse 4

καὶ] Here καὶ connects the previous unit (with the base of “they themselves will accumulate …”) with the two-part μεν/δε counterpoint/point that follows.

ἀπὸ μὲν τῆς ἀληθείας τὴν ἀκοὴν ἀποστρέψουσιν] prepositional phrase, use of μὲν indicates that this prepositional phrase acts in tandem with the following prepositional phrase (itself marked as participating in the structure by use of δὲ). The prepositional phrase is again fronted in this dependent clause (respecting word order, “from the truth the ears the will turn away”) here marking “truth” as the axis on which the progress of the structure turns (away from truth and toward myths).

ἐπὶ δὲ τοὺς μύθους ἐκτραπήσονται] prepositional phrase, the use of δὲ constrains the dependent clause to function with the previous μὲν-instantiated clause. Again, the prepositional phrase is fronted in the dependent clause, noting provision of important information, with verb following. Here the information completes the motion begun in the previous clause (the counterpoint). On a spectrum with “truth” at one extreme and “myths” at the other, these people with their itching ears, who disdain sound doctrine, will turn from seeking truth to seeking myths.

Verse 5

Σὺ δὲ νῆφε] note again the superfluous Σὺ (cf. 2Ti 3.10, 14 and previous comments), bringing Timothy back into focus. After focusing (once again) on the problems of the false teachers, Paul gets back to exhorting Timothy. In this analysis I’ve broken verse five into several small clauses, each with a second person singular imperative verb, thus addressed to Timothy. Here the verb is νῆφε, “be self controlled”.

ἐν πᾶσιν] prepositional phrase, providing circumstance to the verb νῆφε.

κακοπάθησον] imperative, “endure hardship”.

ἔργον ποίησον εὐαγγελιστοῦ] Here the object (“work”) is fronted in the clause, drawing attention. It is the most important information of the clause. Also note the use of εὐαγγελιστής (“evangelist”), which is used in Eph 4.11-15, a list of roles and responsibilities in the nascent Christian community (cf. also Acts 21.8; FragPapias 3.5; 13.1; 16.1).

τὴν διακονίαν σου πληροφόρησον] The imperative verb is out of place at the end of the clause and thus is in a place of prominence. There may be an appositional relationship between this clause and the clause that precedes; Timothy is to fulfill his ministry, which is to do the work of an evangelist.

Verse 6

Ἐγὼ γὰρ ἤδη σπένδομαι] Here note the use of Ἐγὼ (instead of Σὺ) to again switch the topic, this time back to Paul. The conjunction γὰρ marks support or explanation; here it clues us in that Paul now is explaining the reasons for his charge to Timothy.

καὶ ὁ καιρὸς τῆς ἀναλύσεώς μου ἐφέστηκεν] Here the topic shifts from Paul himself to “the time of my (Paul’s) departure”.

Verse 7

τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα ἠγώνισμαι] The next three clauses are formulaic, each with similar Object-Verb syntax. The fronted object serves to shift topic with each clause. Again, this whole clause complex (starting in v. 6) is Paul giving reason for his exhortation of Timothy in verse 5 (and the whole charge, going back to vv. 1-2). This particular clause hearkens back to 1 Ti 6.12, where Paul adjures Timothy to “fight the good fight”; which itself hearkens back to Paul’s initial charge to Timothy in 1Ti 1.18, to “wage the good warfare”. Here Paul is looking back upon his evangelistic career (though his career is not finished yet) and offering himself as a model to Timothy, as encouragement to Timothy. Paul isn’t so much saying, “take my place” as he is saying “be like me” while he looks forward to his coming reward. He knows the end is near, but he also knows he’s not yet at the end (as v. 8 clearly shows).

τὸν δρόμον τετέλεκα] Here the fronted object indicates a new topic, that of “the race”. Paul’s example of running the race is reason for his exhortation to Timothy.

τὴν πίστιν τετήρηκα] Again a new topic, here “the faith”. Paul has lived up to what he has been entrusted with; he implores Timothy to do the same with the deposit he has been given.

Verse 8

λοιπὸν ἀπόκειταί μοι ὁ τῆς δικαιοσύνης στέφανος] Here λοιπὸν indicates a temporal shift (cf. Runge LDGNT); Paul is looking ahead from the present into the future, to his reward, which is being held for him.

ὃν ἀποδώσει μοι ὁ κύριος] relative clause, giving further information about the “crown of righteousness”.

ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ] prepositional phrase. The use of ἐκείνῃ, the “far demonstrative” (Runge) notes something that is somewhat removed (thus “far”) from the present context. This is speaking of a day in the future. Paul has not received his reward already. He is not finished. He is looking forward to the day of the reward.

ὁ δίκαιος κριτής] appositionally related to “the Lord”; here further describing the Lord (the one who will give Paul his crown) as “the righteous judge”.

οὐ μόνον δὲ ἐμοὶ] The conjunction δὲ marks this as a development connected to the previous clause; it is thus related to the “awarding” on “that day”. This is the counterpoint of a counterpoint/point structure. The “not only … but also” (οὐ μόνον .. ἀλλὰ καὶ) is frequently used in this manner. The reward is not only for Paul.

ἀλλὰ καὶ πᾶσι τοῖς ἠγαπηκόσι τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν αὐτοῦ] The point of the counterpoint/point structure. The reward is also for “all who have loved his [the Lord, the righteous judge] appearing”. This is a correction with underlying contrast between the single person Paul and (the correction) everyone who “has loved his appearing” will receive the reward. Commentators (Marshall, Knight, etc.) traditionally associate ἐπιφάνειαν with Christ’s return. See also 2Ti 4.1, above.