Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things . . . Psalm 119:18 (ESV)
2 Timothy 3:2 (NKJV) For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy
The New King James Version (2 Ti 3:2). (1982). Thomas Nelson.
There will be terrible times in the last days. Paul tells Timothy to mark this. . . to understand this . . . to warn him of the collapse coming at the end. Paul gave an extraordinary list of traits to watch for before the coming of Jesus for His bride. We focus on one word in verse two to highlight for today.
V. Predictions of Faithlessness (3:1–9).
3:1–5. As in his previous letter, Paul warned Timothy about the collapse predicted for the last days (cf. 1 Tim. 4:1–3), a term which includes the entire period between the first century and Christ’s return. During this interim, according to the prediction, the world will see terrible times of societal degeneration. Paul gave an extraordinary list (cf. Rom. 1:28–32) of 19 general characteristics believers should expect. People will be: (1) lovers of themselves (philautoi, “self-centered, narcissistic”); (2) lovers of money (philargyroi; cf. 1 Tim. 6:9–10); (3) boastful—the outward manifestation of the fact that inwardly they are (4) proud (“arrogant”); (5) abusive toward others, which translates blasphēmoi (“blasphemers”).
Litfin, A. D. (1985). 2 Timothy. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 756). Victor Books.
989 βλάσφημος [blasphemos /blas·fay·mos/] adj. From a derivative of 984 and 5345; TDNT 1:621; TDNTA 107; GK 1061; Five occurrences; AV translates as “blasphemous” twice, “blasphemer” twice, and “railing” once. 1 speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, abusive.
Strong, J. (1995). In Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.
A clear connection exists between boastful and proud (verse 2). The former word alazōn includes ‘the bounce of swaggering’ (Simpson), while the other word hyperēphanos, when used in a bad sense, conveys the idea of haughtiness or arrogance. The word abusive translates the Greek word blasphēmoi, but points to evil-speaking directed against others rather than against God. The last three vices in verse 2 are all specific denials of definite Christian virtues (in the Greek they all have the negative a-prefix) bringing out forcefully the idea of militant moral perversion. The same evident reversal of moral values is also seen in five of the six vices mentioned in verse 3, the only word without the negative prefix being slanderous (diaboloi). The word translated unforgiving (aspondos) literally means ‘without a truce’, and therefore ‘implacable’. It describes an hostility so intense that a truce is impossible. Without self-control shows an attitude of mind that is dominated by outside influences, while brutal is the antithesis of what is civilized. The expression not lovers of the good really describes those who hate the good and have replaced it with something less demanding.
Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, pp. 174–175). InterVarsity Press.
Lovers of self (φιλαυτοι [philautoi]). Old compound adjective (φιλος, αὐτος [philos, autos]), here only in N. T. Lovers of money (φιλαργυροι [philarguroi]). Old compound adjective, in N. T. only here and Luke 16:14. See 1 Tim. 6:10. Boastful (ἀλαζονες [alazones]). Old word for empty pretender, in N. T. only here and Rom. 1:30. Haughty (ὑπερηφανοι [huperēphanoi]). See also Rom. 1:30 for this old word. Railers (βλασφημοι [blasphēmoi]). See 1 Tim. 1:13.
Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (2 Ti 3:2). Broadman Press.
It has certainly become a challenge to speak directly from the Word of God without offending someone. May the Lord give you a seasoned tongue of tenderness, love and clarity. Encourage others around you!
Cathy and Danny Sartin
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Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.