[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.