2 Timothy 3
TO HIS OFFICE 2, 14 -- 4, 8 (continued)
Against New Teachers. 1. Compare with 1 Tim. 4, 1. It is in virtue
of prophecies recalled in the first Epistle that St. Paul announces the appearance of difficult times. 5.
Avoid these refers to the false teachers among whom Timothy lives. They belong already to that class of Christians
who the Spirit had foretold would appear in later days. St. Paul in speaking of the later days is thinking of the general
crisis that is to precede the reappearance of Christ. The forerunners are already visible. On this final crisis,
see 2 Thess. 2, 5-12.
8. According to Jewish traditions,
Jamnes and Mambres are the names of the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses before Pharaoh. 9.
St. Paul believes that the folly of the false teachers will be exposed. The thought differs from 2, 16 f.
In the first passage he stressed the dangerous nature of these discussions, which destroy all piety, and he does not pronounce
on their future fate. See also 3, 13.
3, 10-17: Paul's Example
and Doctrine. Once more Paul exhorts Timothy to stand firm and fulfill his office. The letter grows more
and more intimate and urgent. It sounds like the spiritual last will and testament of the Apostle.
10 f. All these persecutions Paul had suffered in the very country of his disciple. This is his
reason for giving them prominence. During these persecutions Timothy's mother and Timothy himself were converted and
joined St. Paul (Acts 13, 49 -- 14, 19). 14. The teachers referred
to are the mother and grandmother of Timothy, as well as Paul himself. Timothy knew the Scriptures, thanks to his mother
and grandmother, both fervent Jewesses. The intention is to move Timothy and touch his heart, as is evident. The
soul of St. Paul has unlimited resourcefulness. 16. All Scripture: a technical
term, designating the books which Jews and Christians held as sacred. In 15 it refers in the concrete to the Scriptures
of the Old Testament. In declaring that all Scripture is inspired by God, St. Paul does no more than recall an idea
admitted by all. 17. Man of God: see 1 Tim. 6, 11.
This title appears to be reserved to workers in the gospel alone and it belongs to them in a special fashion. It marks
them out as persons who belong to God and are attached to His service.
Against New Teachers
1 But know this, that in the last days dangerous times will come. 2 Men will be lovers of self, covetous, haughty, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, criminal, 3 heartless, faithless, slanderers, incontinent, merciless, unkind,
4 treacherous, stubborn, puffed up with pride, loving pleasure more than God; 5 having a semblance indeed of piety, but disowning
its power. Avoid these. 6 For of such are they who make their way into houses and captivate silly women
who are sin-laden and led away by various lusts: 7 ever learning yet never attaining knowledge of the truth. 8 Just
as Jamnes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these men also resist the truth; for they are corrupt in mind, reprobate as regards
the faith. 9 But they will make no further progress, for their folly will be obvious to all, as was that of those others.
Paul's Example and
Doctrine 10 But thou hast closely followed my doctrine, my conduct, my purpose, my faith, my long-suffering,
my love, my patience, 11 my persecutions, my afflictions; such as befell me at Antioch, Iconium and Lystra---such persecutions
as I suffered, and out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 And all who want to live piously in Christ Jesus will suffer
persecution. 13 But the wicked and impostors will go from bad to worse, erring and leading into error. 14 But
do thou continue in the things that thou hast learned and that have been entrusted to thee, knowing of whom thou hast learned
them. 15 For from thy infancy thou hast known the Sacred Writings, which are able to instruct thee unto salvation by
the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16* All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproving, for
correcting, for instructing in justice; 17 that the man of God may be perfect, equipped for every good work.
16: This is the classic text for the divine inspiration of the Scriptures.