BBE: Keep the form of those true words which you had from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
GWT: With faith and love for Christ Jesus, consider what you heard me say to be the pattern of accurate teachings. (GWT)
ICB: Follow the true teachings you heard from me. Follow them as an example of the faith and love we have in Christ Jesus. (ICB: Nelson)
KJV: Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
NLT: Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me. And remember to live in the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: So keep my words in your mind as the pattern of sound teaching, given to you in the faith and love of Jesus Christ. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Be holding fast the pattern of sound words which [words] from me personally you heard, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: The pattern hold thou of sound words, which from me thou didst hear, in faith and love that is in Christ Jesus;
RETAIN THE STANDARD: eche (2SPAM) Hupotuposin:(2Ti 3:14; Pr 3:18,21; 4:4 5 6 7 8,13; 23:23; Php 1:27; 1Th 5:21; Titus 1:9; Heb 3:6; 4:14; 10:23; Jude 1:3; Rev 2:25; 3:3,11)
Retain (2192) (echo) means to hold, keep in one's possession. Hold in one's charge for safekeeping.
Paul is saying "Timothy don't lose your grip on the standard."
Spurgeon adds that...
Paul uses the present imperative indicating that this is a command of vital importance for Timothy calling for habitual action (present tense) on Timothy's part -- continually hold the "outline" (see "standard" below) taught by Paul. The battle for truth is a "mind game". Our memory retains those truths that have been suggested to our mind. It can be very tempting to let go of what we once learned to take hold of a seemingly "new", "more exciting", more "palatable" truth but Paul warned Timothy in (2Ti 4:2,4-note) and forewarned is forearmed.
Hold the sound words fast
Solomon the wisest man in the OT reminds us about "new, exciting" truths declaring that
So often today's "new truth" turns out to be yesterday's heresy, simply redressed.
When was the last time you memorized a passage of Scripture?
Don't put off laboring and striving in this vital spiritual discipline (1Ti 4:7 8 9 10-see notes 1Ti 4:7; 4:8; 4:9; 4:10), because your spiritual life and health depend on it. And don't say you're too old or it's too late to do this now. You are never too old and it's never too late.
Adhere to the standard in opposition to all heresies and false doctrine, which weaken and corrupt the Christian faith as shown in corrupt, ungodly behavior.
In his first epistle Paul had similarly exhorted Timothy to
Steven Cole explains that...
Standard (5296) (hupotuposis from hupotupóo = to draw a sketch or first draft as painters when they begin a picture) is literally an "undertype" and means a model for imitation, an outline, a sketch or model used by an artist. In literature it described the rough draft forming the basis of a fuller exposition.
Hupotuposis is emphatic (positioned first in the Greek sentence for emphasis). Paul wants to emphasize the vital importance of "the standard". Our English word prototype conveys the same picture, for a prototype is an original model on which something is patterned or a first full-scale and usually functional form of a new type or design of a construction. The "gospel" is the prototype upon which which all preaching and teaching should be founded.
Larry Richards has an insightful note regarding personal application writing that...
Paul used this same word in his first epistle writing that
Hupotuposis referred to the outline or model used by an artist. So just as the artist has a model or an initial sketch before them, so Timothy is to keep before him the outline which he has heard from Paul and never depart from it. The idea is analogous to the writer's "rough draft" which forms the basis of a fuller exposition of a writing. This picturesque word thus speaks of a pattern by which one can maintain the sameness of a thing and without which the original work (in this case the gospel) would be corrupted or distorted over time.
Paul had earlier conveyed to Timothy an outline of doctrinal beliefs that were important. He now wanted Timothy to use them as a model in his own ministry. There was a definite outline of doctrine in the early church, a standard by which teaching was tested. If Timothy changed this outline or abandoned it, then he would have nothing by which to test other teachers and preachers. It would be similar to the builder of a house discarding his "plumb line" and just "eye balling" the frame of the house to see if the corners were "close enough" to perpendicular. On the other hand, a wall built with a plumb line is a perpendicular wall with mechanical correctness and solidity, a wall built to last. Paul then in so many words told Timothy, to retain the "plumb line" which you can "entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others" (2Ti 2:2-note) thereby building up strong, solid saints. As we approach closer to the end of this present age and the glorious return of our Lord, saints need to hold fast to the life giving gospel of Christ Jesus (2Ti 1:1-note; 2Ti 1:10-note).
Paul uses the root word tupos (model, pattern or mold) writing to the Roman saints who had become
Hiebert makes an interesting practical application of the "outline" Timothy was to retain stating that
MacDonald gives us an excellent illustration of what it means for us today to retain the standard:
The only other Scriptural use of hupotuposis is in Paul's first epistle to Timothy where he wrote...
Thayer explains the use of hupotuposis in first Timothy writing that it was
William Barclay adds that...
John MacArthur commenting on this passage in first Timothy writes that
OF SOUND WORDS: hugiainonton (PAPMPG) logon: [1Ti 1:10, 6:3, 2Ti 4:3, 4:4 Titus 1:9]
Hugiano means healthy, sound, wholesome, free from flaw, defect or error and emphasizes the absence of disease, weakness, or malfunction.
Hugiano is translated as "good (physical) health" in (3Jn 1:2, cf Lk 5:31) and in the present context refers to words which produce good spiritual health. False "ear tickling" teaching (2Ti 4:3,4-note) by contrast leads to spiritual sickness at best and eternal death at worst!
"Unhealthy" teaching composed of unsound words will manifest itself in ungodly behavior, because what (healthy or unhealthy doctrine) one is taught and what one believes affects how one behaves. Truth and falsehood will always be discerned by the fruit they produce (Mt 7:15; 16-note). God’s truth produces godliness (Titus 1:1-note). The transformation wrought by the intake of sound words is visibly manifest by holy conduct.
Paul did not tell Timothy he need to hold forth with a good "sound" but to hold fast to sound words! We are not called to please the masses but to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted with God's sound words. Any message that does not conform to Paul's words (and the rest of the Scripture), no matter how good the teacher might sound or how large their following is to be assiduously avoided!
Barnes describes sound words as
Henry translates sound words as healing words noting that "there is healing virtue in the Word of God."
The Psalmist records that in answer to Israel's cry of distress, God
Spurgeon commenting on Psalm 107:20 writes that...
Paul says hold tight to words that are pure and uncorrupted because sound words ("healthy doctrine") produce "holistic health" manifest by wholly holy lives.
Bible doctrine should always breed spiritual health and vitality wherever it goes.
Dead orthodoxy brings no honor to the Living God. Paul is reminding Timothy that in sound words (here tantamount to the gospel), we have God’s true standard which is the only divinely inspired, divinely revealed, absolute, unique, perfect, and sufficient truth which provides everything necessary for salvation (justification or past tense salvation) and for living out the saved life (sanctification or present tense salvation - see Three Tenses of Salvation).
Adam Clarke has sage advice on sound words:
Spurgeon alludes to sound words in his famous statement that
Dr M R De Haan founder of Radio Bible Class warned...
WHICH YOU HAVE HEARD FROM ME: on par emou ekousas (2SAAI):(2Ti 2:2, Php 4:9)
Have heard is aorist tense which in this context indicates a past completed action of a real event (indicative mood). Compare similar phrases "the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses" (see note 2 Timothy 2:2) and "you followed my teaching..." (see note 2 Timothy 3:10)
IN THE FAITH AND LOVE WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS: en pistei kai agape te en Christo Iesou:
How was Timothy to cling to the sound words he had heard from Paul? Was it to be a formal, lifeless retention of a rote formula and rigid orthodoxy?
Clearly not and so Paul adds "in the faith and love" which mark the sphere in which the pattern of sound words must be held.
How one maintains orthodoxy is as important as the content of orthodoxy itself. Just as Timothy is called to suffer for the gospel not in his own strength but "according to the power of God" (2Ti 1:8-note), so also this faith and love are not inherent qualities but rather supernatural gifts given to those who are “in Christ Jesus”. (See related topics: in Christ and in Christ Jesus)
Timothy’s faith and love were fruit of his union with Jesus Christ. Timothy's faith was energized in the faith found in Christ Jesus and the life that flows from Him. Timothy's love bathed in the love of Christ Jesus was to be intelligent and purposeful, loving the lost even as the Father so loved the world. Note that genuine love in Christ Jesus is zealous for the truth (cf Jn 2:15 16 17) and is not indifferent to the promotion of doctrines which are unhealthy and unholy.
Vincent explains this section:
Barnes comments that the idea is that Timothy is to
Steven Cole explains that...
An Atheist’s Point Of View - Three young men who say they are atheists decided to “sample” and report on several churches in their city. One of these men said, “There is something other than teaching that is appealing to people. We didn’t see a lot of doctrine. . . . The appeal was mostly the community. The content in most churches isn’t nearly as important as the packaging.” The three atheists offered this explanation for why thousands of people in their area attend church each Sunday: The attraction stems more from a person’s Christian identity than from what the religion teaches.
Their experience agrees with the observation of author A. W. Tozer, who said, “Increasing numbers of [Christians] are becoming ashamed to be found unequivocally on the side of truth. They say they believe, but their beliefs have been so diluted as to be impossible of clear definition.”
The apostle Paul knew whom he believed, and he instructed Timothy to “hold fast” to the truth he had been taught (2Timothy 1:12 13). We too need to hold tightly to our beliefs based on the unfailing, God-inspired Bible. What we believe about God is more crucial than any feeling we get by being in church. Tozer calls us to stand “firm on the Word of God that lives and abides forever.” —Anne Cetas (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
2TIMOTHY 1:14 COMMENTARY
Amplified: Guard and keep [with the greatest care] the precious and excellently adapted [Truth] which has been entrusted [to you], by the [help of the] Holy Spirit Who makes His home in us. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE: That good thing which was given to you keep safe, through the Holy Spirit which is in us.
GWT: With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, protect the Good News that has been entrusted to you.
ICB: Protect the truth that you were given. Protect it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (ICB: Nelson)
KJV: That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
MLB: Guard, by the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit within us, that precious deposit that was entrusted to you. (Berkley)
Moffat: Keep the great securities of your faith intact, by aid of the holy Spirit that dwells within us.
NJB: With the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, look after that precious thing given in trust. (NJB)
NLT: With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Take the greatest care of the good things which were entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who lives within us. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: That precious treasure which is in your charge, guard through the Holy Spirit who has His home in our hearts.
Wuest: That good thing which was committed in trust to you, guard through the Holy Spirit who indwells us. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: the good thing committed guard thou through the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in us;
GUARD: phulaxon (2SAAM): [1Ti 6:20 Pr 4:23]
The word order of this verse reads more literally
Here Paul uses phulasso in the aorist tense and imperative mood which calls for urgent attention, following through with firm resolution and conviction. The idea is "Do this now and don't delay Timothy".
Timothy is to guard, watch, and defend the truth once for all delivered to the saints in view of the defection from the truth beginning even in the first century.
A T Robertson points out that because
THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO DWELLS IN US: dia pneumatos hagiou tou enoikountos (PAPNSG) en hemin: (Jn 14:17; Ro 8:11; 1Cor 3:16; 6:19; Eph 2:22)
The Holy Spirit Who dwells in us - Paul reiterates this glorious truth throughout his epistles...
Dwells (1774) (enoikeo from en = in + oikéo = dwell) literally means to dwell in and so to take up residence, make one's home in or among and the present tense signifies a continual indwelling. The Spirit of God makes his home in us, not in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48).
Paul reminded the Corinthians "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1Cor 3:16, 6:19, 2Cor 6:16) Even those who are well taught cannot keep spiritual truth they have learned, any more than they could at first learn it, without the assistance of the Holy Spirit, which parallels Jesus' warning that "apart from Me you can do nothing." (Jn 15:5).
We must not think we can protect this spiritual truth by our own strength, but must abide in Christ, let His Word richly dwell in us, be filled with His Spirit, humbly maintaining a sense of determined dependence upon our Helper, the Holy Spirit. So in this verse we see man's responsibility (guard) and God's sovereignty (through the Holy Spirit) working together to bring about the intended result. The ministry of the Holy Spirit will enable Timothy and all believers to be a good custodian of the Gospel.
Jameison writes that...
By way of contrast Boise adds that
Steven Cole writes that...
THE TREASURE (the good deposit) WHICH HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO YOU: ten kalen paratheken :
Treasure (3866) (paratheke from paratithemi = place alongside, then to entrust) (Click discussion of paratheke) refers to something entrusted to another for faithful keeping or deposited for protection.
Paratheke was a secular legal term describing something placed on trust in another's keeping.
C Maurer in the one volume abridged TDNT writes that the secular use of paratheke had the
The treasure...entrusted - In context this phrase refers to the standard of sound words, the Christian doctrine and specifically the Gospel. Here the reference is to the deposit God makes with Timothy for which he will one day give an account of his stewardship. The deposit of our lives with God is secure. The question is, how secure is His deposit of truth with us?
Keener adds that paratheke
Paratheke was used two other times, both by Paul, one in this same chapter (see note 2 Timothy 1:12) and the other in the first epistle to Timothy, where Paul uses paratheke in his closing charge...
W E Vine writes that the gospel..
The Jewish people had been "entrusted with the oracles of God" (see note Romans 3:2). Paul "had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised" (Gal 2:7, 1Ti 1:11), which he referred to as "a stewardship entrusted" (1Cor 9:17). Now he was passing the "precious baton" to Timothy.
Matthew Henry adds that
Barclay writes that in this verse...
God has made an "investment" in you. Are you protecting and preserving (in His power) His deposit of the gospel so that you might be able to reliably transmit it to other faithful men and women? (see note 2 Timothy 2:2)
Gill elaborates on the idea of the
John MacArthur sums up this section with some thoughts on application...
When a church or any other Christian organization becomes liberal, not surprisingly this "drift" usually begins with a weakening of the convictions of the leadership regarding the inerrancy and sufficiency of the Word of God.
Do not be deceived beloved brethren.
Hold fast to the Truth.