[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 Make every effort
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,
11 Λουκᾶς ἐστιν μόνος
11 Luke alone is
Take along Mark
ἄγε μετὰ σεαυτοῦ,
and bring him with you,
ἔστιν γάρ μοι εὔχρηστος
for he is useful to me
12 Τύχικον δὲ ἀπέστειλα
12 But I have dispatched Tychicus
13 τὸν φαιλόνην
13 The cloak
which I left
upon your coming
καὶ τὰ βιβλία
and the books,
μάλιστα τὰς μεμβράνας.
especially the parchments.
Σπούδασον] second person imperative, the focus has implicitly shifted back to Timothy.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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”).