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Updated American Standard Version

Translating Truth

The Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy

  • Author: Paul
  • Place Written: Rome
  • Writing Completed: c. 65 C.E.

Greeting

Timothy Entrusted to Guard His Trust

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:[1]

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul Thanks God for Timothy’s Faith

I thank God, to whom I serve with a clear conscience as my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my supplications[2] night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy; having been reminded of[3] your unhypocritical faith, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but one of power and of love and of soundness of mind.[4]

Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing[5] of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until[6] that day. 13 Hold to the pattern of sound[7] words which you heard from me, in the faith and love which are  in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit which dwells in us, that good thing entrusted to you.

Paul’s Enemies and Friends

15 You know this, that all who are in[8] Asia[9] turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; 17 but when he was in Rome, he diligently sought me and found me. 18 May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord in that day! And you well know all the services he rendered at Ephesus.

Entrust the Message to Faithful Men

2 You, therefore, my child,[10] be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No man serving as a soldier[11] entangles himself in the activities of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes[12] he is not crowned unless he competes[13] according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I am saying, for the Lord will grant you understanding in all things.

Enduring Suffering for the Gospel

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David according to my gospel, in which I am suffering hardship, bound with chains as a criminal; but the word of God is not bound. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the chosen ones, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy:

For if we died with him, we will also live with him;

12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

Handle God’s Word Aright

14 Remind them of these things, and bearing thorough witness in the sight of God not to fight about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling[14] the word of truth. 16 But avoid empty speeches that violate what is holy, for they will lead to more and more ungodliness, 17 and their word will spread like gangrene; Hymenaeus and Philetus are among them. 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to withdraw[15] from unrighteousness.”[16]

Flee from Youthful Desires

20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

How to Deal with Opposers

23 But refuse foolish and ignorant questionings,[17] knowing that they produce fights. 24 For a slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be kind to all, qualified to teach, showing restraint when wronged, 25 instructing his opponents with gentleness, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to accurate knowledge[18] of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Difficult Times In the Last Days

3 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power; avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various desires, always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge[19] of truth.

Follow Paul’s Example Closely

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disapproved in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be very plain to all, as it was with those two men.

10 But you have closely followed my teaching, my conduct, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance, 11 my persecutions, and my sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will progress from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Continue In the Things You Have Learned

14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and were persuaded to believe, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from infancy[20] you have known the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through trust[21] in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, equipped for every good work.

Preach the Word

4 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing[22] and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound teaching, but in accordance with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled,[23] and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober-minded[24] in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Fight the Fine Fight

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Final Instructions

Make every effort to come to me soon; 10 for Demas, having loved this present world,[25] has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. 12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left behind in Troas with Carpus, and the scrolls,[26] especially the parchments.[27] 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our words.[28]

God Delivers

16 At my first defense no one stood by me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished and all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and will save me for his heavenly kingdom; to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus. 21 Make every effort to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers.

22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

[1] Or son

[2] Or prayers; The action of asking or pleading for something earnestly or humbly.

[3] Lit receiving a remembrance of

[4] Sound in Mind: (Gr. sophroneo) This means to be of sound mind or in one’s right mind, i.e., to have understanding about practical matters and thus be able to act sensibly, ‘to have sound judgment, to be sensible, to use good sense, sound judgment.’–Acts 26:25; Romans 12:3; 2 Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:6; 1 Peter 4:7

[5] Appearing: (Gr. epiphaneia) It literally means “a shining forth,” which was used to refer to a divine being becoming visible to humans. Epiphaneia is used in the NT to refer to Jesus first coming to the earth and his second coming as well.–2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 8.

[6] Or for

[7] Or wholesome; healthful; beneficial

[8] Or of

[9] I.e. the province of Asia

[10] Or son

[11] Lit doing military service

[12] Lit wrestle; to compete in an athletic contest,

[13] Lit wrestle; to compete in an athletic contest

[14] Or accurately handling the word of truth; correctly teaching the word of truth

[15] Lit let stand off; to keep away from; to have nothing to do with

[16] Quotation from Numbers 16:5

[17] Lit uneducated or ignorant seeking; to disagree and argue about something; forcefully expressing different opinions without the desire of finding the truth.

[18] Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.

[19] Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.

[20] Brephos is the period of time when one is very young–‘childhood (probably implying a time when a child is still nursing), infancy.

[21] Pisteuo is “to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance—‘to believe in, to have confidence in, to have faith in, to trust, faith, trust.’

[22] Appearing: (Gr. epiphaneia) It literally means “a shining forth,” which was used to refer to a divine being becoming visible to humans. Epiphaneia is used in the NT to refer to Jesus first coming to the earth and his second coming as well.–2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 8.

[23] Or to tell them what they want to hear

[24] Sober Minded: (Gr. nepho) This denotes being sound in mind, to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking, ‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.’–1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8

[25] Or age

[26] Lit little books; Gr biblia

[27] I.e., the leather scrolls

[28] I.e., teaching