THE NEW TESTAMENT: AN UNDERSTANDABLE VERSION Table of Contents
1) [This letter is from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to [the ministry of proclaiming] the promise of never ending life, which is [obtained] through [fellowship with] Christ Jesus. 2) [It is being sent] to Timothy, my dearly loved son. May you have unearned favor, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3) I thank God, whom I worship [or, Aserve@] with a clear conscience, as my forefathers did, that I can remember you [i.e., your commitment] continually in my prayers night and day. 4) Remembering how you cried [Note: This was probably when Paul and Timothy last parted], I long to see you [again], so that I can be filled with joy. 5) I [also] remember the sincere faith you have in your heart, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am convinced, lives in you [too]. 6) The reason I am reminding you [of these things] is so that you will rekindle the gift from God, which is in your life through the laying on my hands. [Note: This Agift@ was probably his ordination to serve as an evangelist (See 4:1-5), and in addition, may have included a supernatural Aspiritual gift@ bestowed by the apostle Paul]. 7) For God did not give us a spirit [i.e., a disposition] that makes us cowards but one that gives us power and love and self-control.
8) So, do not be ashamed to testify for our Lord, or ashamed of [being associated with] me, His prisoner, but [be willing to] suffer hardship with me for the sake of the Gospel, relying on God=s power [to sustain you]. 9) [It is] God who saved us and called us to live holy lives [or, Ato be dedicated people@], not as a result of our [good] deeds, but in harmony with His own purpose and unearned favor. [This was] given to us through [the atoning work of] Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time. [Note: Salvation through Christ was planned before time began. See Titus 1:2; Rom. 16:25; Eph. 1:4]. 10) But, it has [only] now been made known to us by the appearance of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has put an end to death and brought [never ending] life and incorruption [i.e., immortality] to light through the Gospel [message], 11) of which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. 12) For I am suffering these things [See verse 8] for this reason [i.e., because of being a Gospel preacher]. Yet I am not ashamed because I know whom I have believed in [i.e., Jesus], and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him [i.e., Paul=s spiritual well-being] until that day [i.e., the Day of Judgment].
13) You should hold on firmly to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, while [maintaining your] faith and love in [harmony with] Christ Jesus. 14) [Also] guard that precious treasure [i.e., the Gospel message] which was entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit, who lives in us.
15) You know that all those people in [the province of] Asia deserted me [i.e., those who could have helped me], including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16) [But], may the Lord grant mercy to Onesiphorus= family, for he cheered me up many times and was not ashamed of my [being in] chains. 17) But, when he was in Rome, he looked for me diligently until he found me. 18) May the Lord grant that he will find mercy on that day [i.e., the Day of Judgment]. And you know very well the many things he did to serve [me while I was] at Ephesus.
1) So, may you, my son, be strengthened through the unearned favor that comes from [your fellowship with] Christ Jesus. 2) And the things that you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, you should pass on to trustworthy men who will be able to teach other people also. 3) [Be willing to] suffer hardship with me like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4) No soldier on active duty, gets himself involved in the affairs of civilian life, so that he can please the person who enlisted him [i.e., his commanding officer]. 5) And if a person competes as an athlete, he is not awarded the victor=s crown unless he competes according to the rules. 6) [And] the farmer who works hard should be the first one to receive a share of the crops. 7) Consider what I am saying, for the Lord will help you to understand everything.
8) [In the face of trouble] remember Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, who was raised from the dead according to my Gospel, 9) for which I am suffering difficulty [here] in prison, as [though I were] a criminal. But God=s message is not Ain prison.@ 10) So, I endure everything for the elect=s sake [i.e., God=s people], so that they can obtain the salvation which comes through Christ Jesus, with [its] never ending splendor.
11) This saying is trustworthy: For if we have died with Christ [i.e., stopped the practice of sin, See Rom. 6:1-11], we will also live with Him [i.e., both here and hereafter]. 12) If we endure [i.e., remain faithful through suffering], we will also rule with Him [i.e., both here and hereafter]. If we deny Him, He will also deny us. [See Matt. 10:33]. 13) If we prove to be unfaithful [i.e., to our commitment to Christ], He [still] remains faithful [to His word], for He cannot deny Himself. [Note: This verse refers to Christ remaining true to His promise of either accepting or rejecting us. See Matt. 10:32-33].
14) Remind them [Note: This probably refers to the Atrustworthy men@ there at Ephesus. See 2:2] of these things [i.e., the truths just mentioned. Verses 8-13], solemnly urging them, in the presence of the Lord, not to argue over words, [for] it is useless and brings [only] ruin to those who listen to it. 15) Do your best to present yourself as a worker who is approved by God [and] does not have to be ashamed, [because you are] accurately handling [i.e., explaining] the message of truth. 16) But avoid worldly, empty chatter, for those who practice it will become more and more ungodly, 17) and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among these people are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18) who have strayed from the truth [by] saying that the resurrection [from the dead] has already happened and are undermining the faith of some people. 19) However, the solid foundation of God stands firm. [Note: This probably refers to the church. See I Tim. 3:15]. It is sealed with these words [i.e., certifying God=s ownership and a commitment to Him]: AThe Lord knows those who are His people,@ [See Num. 16:5], and AEveryone who confesses the name of the Lord should stop practicing wickedness.@ [See Isa. 36:13].
20) Now in a large house there are utensils made, not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. And some are for honorable uses [i.e., for special occasions] and some are for common, ordinary use. 21) If a person rids himself of the common ones [i.e., the influences of evil people and qualities], he will be an instrument for [God=s] honor, dedicated, suitable for use by the Master, [and] prepared for [doing] every good deed.
22) But run from the evil desires of youth and pursue [the practice of] right living, faith, love and peace, along with those people who call on the Lord [i.e., in prayer] from a pure heart. 23) But refuse [to participate in] foolish and stupid arguments, knowing that they produce quarreling. 24) For the Lord=s slave must not quarrel, but be kind toward everyone, capable of teaching, [and] patient [with difficult people and situations]. 25) [He must] gently correct those people who oppose [him], in hope that God will give them [opportunity for] repentance, leading to a [full] knowledge of the truth, 26) and that they will come to their senses and escape from being trapped by the devil, who had captured them to do what he wanted.
1) But you should know this: There will be terrible times in the last days [of the Christian age]. 2) For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive talkers, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3) lacking in natural affection, unwilling to be reconciled [to their enemies], slanderers, lacking self-control, brutal, haters of what is good, 4) treacherous [i.e., betrayers], reckless, conceited, [and] lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. 5) [These people] maintain an appearance of being godly, but they have denied its power; [you should] turn away from such people. 6) They are the kind of people who enter homes and influence [morally] weak-willed women, loaded down with sins, [and] led on by all kinds of evil desires. 7) They are constantly learning and [yet] never able to arrive at a [full] knowledge of the truth. 8) These people oppose the truth just like Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have corrupt minds and are worthless as far as the faith is concerned. 9) But they will not advance any farther [in their sin] because their foolish ways will become obvious to everyone, just as those of Jannes and Jambres were.
10) But you have followed [Note: These words mean Ato observe closely, have a keen interest in@] my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11) persecutions and sufferings. You know what kind of things happened to me at Antioch, Iconium and Lystra [See Acts 13:13-14:23], and what [severe] persecutions I experienced [there]. But the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12) In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in [the service of] Christ will be persecuted. 13) But evil people and impostors will go from bad to worse [in their behavior], deceiving people and being deceived by them. 14) But you should continue [to believe and practice] what you have learned and been convinced of, knowing those from whom you learned it. [Note: These persons would include Lois and Eunice (See 1:5), as well as Paul himself]. 15) And [remember] that, from childhood, you have known the sacred Scriptures which are able to make you wise [enough] to be saved through faith in Christ Jesus. 16) All Scripture is inspired by God [Note: Literally, this word means Abreathed out by God@] and is useful for teaching [truth], rebuking [wrongdoing], correcting [error] and for providing instruction [i.e., training] on how to live right, 17) so that the man of God will be thoroughly equipped for [doing] every good deed.
1) In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge [both] those still alive and those who have already died, and in view of His appearing [i.e., at His second coming] and His kingdom [i.e., when it is revealed in its eternal splendor], I solemnly urge you: 2) Preach the [Gospel] message; be prepared [to do it both] when it is convenient and when it is inconvenient; reprove [i.e., convince people of their wrongdoing], rebuke [i.e., convict people of their sin], and exhort [i.e., urge people to act], with great patience and teaching. 3) For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound teaching, but will assemble to themselves teachers who will satisfy what their Aitching ears@ want to hear. 4) They will refuse to listen to the truth and will turn their attention to myths. 5) But you should be sober-minded about everything, [willing to] endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
6) For I am already being Apoured out like a drink offering,@ and the time for me to leave has come. [Note: Paul here likens the prospect of shedding his blood for the work of Christ to the pouring of wine and oil on an Old Testament sacrifice]. 7) I have fought the good battle; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith [i.e., I have been true to my commitment]. 8) So, now there is a crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, who is a just Judge, will award me on that day [i.e., the judgment day], and not to me only, but also to everyone who has loved [the prospect of] His appearing.
9) Hurry up and come to me as soon [as possible], 10) for Demas loved this world and [so] has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia. 11) Luke is the only one [of my fellow-workers still] with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you for he [will be] helpful to me in [my] ministry. 12) But I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13) When you come, bring my cloak that I left at Troas with Crispus, along with the scrolls and especially the parchments.
14) Alexander the metal worker did me much harm; the Lord will repay him for what he did. 15) You should beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.
16) At my first defense [Note: Paul here refers to his initial hearing before the Roman court] no one supported me, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17) But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message could be fully proclaimed and that all the Gentiles could hear it. And I was rescued from the lion=s mouth. [Note: This is probably a figure of speech indicating that Paul had escaped some immediate danger. See Psa. 22:20-21]. 18) The Lord will [continue to] rescue me from all harm and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. May He be praised forever and ever. May it be so.
19) [I send] greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, and to the family of Onesiphorus. 20) Erastus stayed on at Corinth, but I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. 21) Hurry up and come [to me] before winter. Eubulus sends his greetings, along with Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia and all [the rest of] the brothers.
22) May the Lord be with your spirit [i.e., close to you]. May God=s unearned favor be with you.
Table of Contents
Copyright © 1994 by William E. Paul.
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