Category: Pastoral Epistles|2 Timothy|2 Timothy 1 (Page 1 of 2)

New Coptic Fragments of 2 Timothy & Titus

In the most recent Journal of Biblical Literature, Brice C. Jones has published an article on three new Coptic papyrus fragments that witness text of the Pastoral Epistles.

Brice C. Jones, “Three New Coptic Papyrus Fragments of 2 Timothy and Titus (P.Mich. inv. 3535b)”. Journal of Biblical Literature, no 2 (2014): 389–397. Read more

The Gospel, The Cure of Cowardice

“cowardice [δειλια] would seem to be a sort of fearful yielding of the soul” (Theophrastus, Characters [371-287 BC])

Cowardice (δειλια) “is a disease graver than any that affects the body since it destroys the faculties [δυναμις] of the soul. Diseases of the body flourish but for a short time, but cowardice is an inbred evil, as closely inherent or more so than any part of the bodily system from the earliest years to extreme old age, unless it is healed by God. For all things are possible to Him” (Philo, On the Virtues, 26; 1st century AD). Read more

Thinking about 2Ti 1.8-12

Our pastor has commenced working through Second Timothy (one of the reasons for my recent jaunt through Second Timothy) and today’s text was 2Ti 1.9-10 (he’d discussed the larger section, 2Ti 1.8-12, last week). But I really don’t see the rationale for splitting this out from the larger unit because it is all one sentence (in the Greek) with components building one upon the other to the crescendo of v. 12. Below is my translation of these verses:

And so do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me his prisoner, but suffer together with me for the gospel according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace, which has been granted to us in Christ Jesus from times eternal, and now has been revealed through the appearance of our Savior Christ Jesus, who indeed abolished death and brought to light life and immortality through the gospel into which I was appointed herald and apostle and teacher. 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 quite capable to guard my deposit until that day. (2Ti 1.8-12) Read more

Second Timothy 1.15-18

[This is part of a running series on translating Second Timothy. See the introductory post for more information — RB]

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 1.15-18

15 Οἶδας τοῦτο,
15 You know this,
    ὅτι ἀπεστράφησάν με
    that they have turned away from me—
    πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ,
    all those in Asia,
            ὧν ἐστιν Φύγελος καὶ Ἑρμογένης.
            among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

16 δῴη ἔλεος ὁ κύριος τῷ Ὀνησιφόρου οἴκῳ,
16 May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus,
    ὅτι πολλάκις με ἀνέψυξεν
    because many times he refreshed me.
    καὶ τὴν ἅλυσίν μου οὐκ ἐπαισχύνθη,
    He was not afraid of my chains,
    17 ἀλλὰ γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ σπουδαίως ἐζήτησέν με καὶ εὗρεν·
    17 but having arrived in Rome he diligently sought and found me.

18 δῴη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος εὑρεῖν ἔλεος
18 May the Lord grant him to find mercy
    παρὰ κυρίου
    from the Lord
    ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ.
    on that day.

    ὅσα ἐν Ἐφέσῳ διηκόνησεν,
    of all the service he rendered in Ephesus,
βέλτιον σὺ γινώσκεις.
you are well aware.


Verse 15

Οἶδας τοῦτο] Runge (Discourse Grammar) labels this a “meta-comment”; from an epistolary form-critical perspective it may also be seen as an instance of the “disclosure formula” (e.g. Marshall). The idea of both approaches is to recognize that this is an instance where the author steps back from his default voice and exhorts the reader/hearer to pay attention to what follows because it is important. In this case, τοῦτο looks ahead to the content of the subordinate clause that immediately follows. Note also that Οἶδας is in the second person singular (that is, the referent would be the addressee, Timothy). Many think that this letter was written to a larger group, but grammatical cues such as this may argue against that notion.

ὅτι ἀπεστράφησάν με] subordinate clause, this is the content referenced by “know this”.

πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ] Here Paul more fully describes who was turning away from him. This is likely not a reference to everyone, everywhere in Asia, who was a Christian. It is more likely a reference to subordinates of Paul in Asia. This scope is clarified by the next comment, a relative clause that sharpens the scope of “all those in Asia”.

ὧν ἐστιν Φύγελος καὶ Ἑρμογένης] Here Paul references two specific people, Phygelus and Hermogenes, among the group of “all those who are in Asia”. Because Paul goes to this level of detail here, it is likely that the previous reference is also a smaller group of people, not the mass of Asian Christendom.

Verse 16

δῴη ἔλεος ὁ κύριος] Here δῴη is the aorist optative of διδωμι. Occurrence of the optative is relatively rare in the NT, notable is use of the same verb (with same parsing) in verse 18 below.

ὅτι πολλάκις με ἀνέψυξεν] A subordinate clause, here providing the reason for Paul’s wish that the Lord bestow mercy on the household of Onesiphorus: “because many times he refreshed me”.

καὶ] In the above translation, what is one sentence in the Greek I have split into two English sentences. As I read the verse at present, this καὶ marks the beginning of a new clause, where two parts are joined by αλλα and a comparison is made. In the English, this makes more sense as a separate sentence. This instance of καὶ is necessary in that it marks development of the previous clause, but it need not be “Englished” literally (“and”) as inserting a sentence break in the translation recognizes its function.

καὶ τὴν ἅλυσίν μου οὐκ ἐπαισχύνθη] As noted above, this clause (“He was not afraid of my chains”) is involved in a contrast with the clause that follows it. This portion is the “Counterpoint” (cf. Runge, Discourse Grammar), providing a platform for contrast with what follows.

Verse 17

ἀλλὰ γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ σπουδαίως ἐζήτησέν με καὶ εὗρεν] This is the “Point” of the contrasted pair, the item Paul desires to make prominent. Onesiphorus “sought and found” Paul instead of shying away because Paul was in prison.

γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ] Runge (Discourse Grammar) calls this a “nominative circumstantial frame”. This is when a participle is fronted before the primary verb of the clause, providing background to the current situation. Here the background is “having arrived in Rome”, which provides more background to the main action of the clause, “[Onesiphorus] sought and found me”.

Verse 18

δῴη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος εὑρεῖν ἔλεος] Note the similarity with the first portion of v. 16 above. The verb is the same, the subject is the same (“May the Lord grant”). The one receiving is the same as well, in v. 16 it is “the house of Onesiphorus”, in v. 18 it is “him” (e.g., Onesiphorus). In v. 16 “mercy” is directly wished; in v. 18 it is wished for Onesiphorus to be able “to find mercy”. The wishes, however, are slightly different in that v. 18 has a more directly eschatological vibe to it. On this (optative, syntactic and lexical similarity) see Van Neste, Cohesion and Structure, 159.

παρὰ κυρίου] prepositional phrase, “from the Lord”, and according to the analysis is modifying (providing circumstance) to the infinitive εὑρεῖν (“to find”).

ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ] prepositional phrase, “in that day”. This as well modifies the infinitive εὑρεῖν, “to find”. Paul wishes that Onesiphorus, on that final day, will find mercy from the Lord. This prepositional phrase is doubly interesting with the use of the far demonstrative ἐκεῖνος, “that”, which creates some metaphoric distance between the present time (of the composition) and the time of “that day” (cf. Runge, Discourse Grammar). Secondly, the use of the article with ἡμέρᾳ could be seen and further stressing the nature of “that particular day”.

καὶ ὅσα ἐν Ἐφέσῳ διηκόνησεν] “and of all the service he rendered in Ephesus”. The correlative pronoun indicates a comparison of sorts; Paul is reminding the reader(s) that Onesiphorus served well, and that the reader(s) know about it.

ἐν Ἐφέσῳ] A spatial frame (Runge, Discourse Grammar), the larger structure isn’t about Onesiphorus’ service in general, it is specifically about the service he rendered in Ephesus. Also, ΕΝ ΕΦΕΣΩ is a great blog you should really have in your blog reader.

βέλτιον σὺ γινώσκεις] Note the verb here (γινώσκεις, “you know”) is also second person singular, modified by the adverb βέλτιον (only here in the NT). The pronoun σὺ is also second person. As the second person reference is grammaticalized in the verb itself, the existence of the pronoun could be seen to be emphatic, making the second person reference all the more prominent. The referent here is Timothy. Also worthy of note is how this set of verses begins with “you know this” (v. 15) and ends with “you are well aware”. A semantic chain (on semantic chains, cf. Van Neste, Cohesion and Structure) of knowing/being aware may be indicated, with vocabulary of cognition beginning and ending the section.

All in all, Onesiphorus’ example has been held up as worthy to Timothy; this in juxtaposition with the information that several in Asia have left Paul. The offshoot is to be like Onesiphorus, do not be like Phygelus and Hermogenes and those who are with them.

Second Timothy 1.13-14

[This is part of a running series on translating Second Timothy. See the introductory post for more information — RB]

Phrasing/Translation: 2Ti 1.13-14

13 Ὑποτύπωσιν ἔχε ὑγιαινόντων λόγων
13 Hold to the standard of sound words
    ὧν παρʼ ἐμοῦ ἤκουσας
    which you have heard from me
    ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ
    in faith and love
        τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ·
        which are in Christ Jesus.

14 τὴν καλὴν παραθήκην φύλαξον
14 Guard the good deposit
    διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου
    through the Holy Spirit
        τοῦ ἐνοικοῦντος
        who dwells
            ἐν ἡμῖν.
            in us.


Verse 13

Ὑποτύπωσιν] See 1Ti 1.16. The above translation takes Ὑποτύπωσιν as the object, which (cf. Marshall 712) seems best. In both v. 13 and v. 14 the object is fronted in the clause, creating a topical frame (cf. Runge, Discourse Grammar). This introduces new information, new participants, or a new concept to the discourse in such a way as to draw attention to it.

ἔχε] imperative. Note also that the predicator in the following verse is an imperative. Also note the basic pattern of both verses: Object-Verb-Adjunct.

ὑγιαινόντων λόγων] “sound words” or “healthy words”, this is a concept unique to the Pastoral Epistles.

ὧν παρʼ ἐμοῦ ἤκουσας] relative clause. Here Paul takes responsibility for providing the “standard of sound words”

ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ] prepositional phrase. This functions adverbially, providing circumstance to ἔχε (“hold to”). It further describes in what way Timothy is to hold to the standard of sound words.

τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ·] Here the article τῇ functions like a pronoun, the structure is like a relative clause. It tells us where the faith and love of the previous prepositional phrase come from.

Verse 14

τὴν καλὴν παραθήκην] fronted object, creating a topical frame (see comment on v. 13 above).

τὴν καλὴν παραθήκην φύλαξον] “guard the good deposit”. Note that “deposit” was used earlier in 2Ti 1.12 with the same verb, “guard”: “he is quite capable to guard my deposit”. Similar language is also in 1Ti 6.20, also see $af(Did 4.13) and $af(EpBarn 19.11). The “deposit” in 1&2 Timothy is Paul’s teaching, the true teaching (sound words, healthy doctrine) which is the antidote to the false teaching that Timothy finds himself combating in Ephesus.

διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου] prepositional phrase, functioning adverbially. This provides further circumstance to the verb, “guard”. The Holy Spirit, in some unspecified manner, helps with the guarding of the deposit.

τοῦ ἐνοικοῦντος ἐν ἡμῖν] participle clause functioning as relative clause, note the embedded prepositional phrase. This gives further information about the Holy Spirit. The “Holy Spirit who dwells in us” is who assists with the guarding of the deposit.

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