2 Timotheus

1 2 3 4

2 Timothy 2 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 2 Timothy 2 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

"Jesus Christ of the seed of David"
Was Joseph the father of Jesus?

9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

"If we deny him, he also will deny us."
(Fair is fair!)
If it is fair, why display the icons of injustice and intolerance?

13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

(2:16) "Shun profane and vain babblings."
Shun non-believers and other profane babblers.
Should believers discuss their faith with non-believers?
Paul didn't shun unbelievers. This is about shunning babblings, a particular kind of talk. But there's more, this is not about unbelievers, but about professing believers! The advice here is given to Timothy, and the contents is that he should avoid a particular kind of preaching. As John Gill comments:

The ministry of false teachers is mere babbling; a voice, and nothing else, as the man said of his nightingale; a sound of words, but no solid matter in them; great swelling words of vanity, like large bubbles of water, look big, and make a great noise, but have nothing in them; contain nothing but vain, empty, idle, and trifling stuff; what is unprofitable and unedifying, yea, what is profane, contrary to the nature and perfections of God, and not agreeable to the doctrine which is according to godliness; and being palmed upon the Holy Scriptures, is a profanation of them. And all such wicked and empty prate, and babbling, is to be shunned, avoided, and discouraged, refused, and rejected; and, as much as can be, a stop should be put to it, both by ministers and hearers of the word.

17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

(2:17-18) Hymenaeus and Philetus are condemned for disagreeing with Paul about the timing of the resurrection. (See 1 Tim.1:20 and 2 Tim.4:14-15)

18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

"The Lord knoweth them that are his."
This verse was used by the Catholic Church during the inquisition to justify killing those suspected of heresy. ("Kill them all, for `the Lord knows them that are His'.")
The church of Rome has always opposed Christ. Killing those who follow Christ is a sure sign of being the anti-Christ.

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

"Be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient."

25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

"The devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
The devil can take us captive any time he pleases.
Can the devil capture us at will?
The ones who are taken captive are the ones who oppose God's ministers (verse 25). They think they strife for the truth, but the reality is they oppose it. They think they are doing their own or perhaps God's will, but in fact they do what the devil would like them to do. So Paul instructs that also the more than difficult members in the Church should be taught in meekness, in order that they might be saved too.
So this verse does not teach that the devil can capture anyone at will, but it teaches that those who sin do the devil's will. That is what he wants them to do.