Introduction of 2 Timothy




Outline of contents
1:1–18
Encouragement to be faithful
1:1–2
Greeting
1:3–5
Thanksgiving
1:6–10
Developing the gift
1:11–12
Paul’s personal testimony
1:13–14
A charge to Timothy
1:15–18
Paul and various associates
2:1–26
Special advice to Timothy
2:1–13
An appeal to Timothy
2:14–26
Becoming an approved workman
3:1–17
Predictions and charges
3:1–9
Predictions concerning the last days
3:10–17
Further charges to Timothy
4:1–22
Paul’s farewell to Timothy
4:1–5
A concluding charge
4:6–8
A personal testimony
4:9–18
Personal remarks
4:19–22
Final greetings


Commentary

1:1–18 Encouragement to be faithful

1:1–2 Greeting
    There is a slight difference between the opening of this letter and that of 1 Timothy. Here Paul refers to his apostleship as by the will of God, a fact which he is never tired of repeating. When he adds according to the promise of life, the words have a double meaning, referring to a future hope as well as to a present reality. The description of Timothy as my dear son adds a note of particular intimacy.
1:3–5 Thanksgiving
    Whereas it was normal in letters to include a thanksgiving, here alone in the Pastorals does Paul do so. His mention of his forefathers shows the importance he attaches to the Jewish heritage through which the Christian faith came. It is typical of the apostle to assure his readers of his constant prayers for them. It may seem somewhat exaggerated for him to claim to do this day and night, but see Acts 20:31 for a similar all-inclusive claim. There is no denying the importance that Paul attached to prayer. Included in his thanksgiving is remembrance of Timothy’s tears and a recollection of his sincere faith. Those tears of Timothy speak of his strong attachment to the apostle, which is clearly returned by Paul himself. A reunion is highly desirable. Where emotions are strong, tears and joy can exist side by side.
Paul was evidently acquainted with Timothy’s mother and grandmother, for he knew of their faith (5). Although it is not impossible that Jewish faith is meant, it makes better sense of the context if Christian faith is in mind. We may at least conclude from 3:14 that Timothy’s home environment was not only devout but well governed by understanding of the Scriptures. Nevertheless, Paul is convinced that Timothy should not rely on parental faith but possess a faith of his own.
1:6–10 Developing the gift
    Although Paul uses a metaphor drawn from the fanning of the embers of a waning fire to encourage Timothy to develop his gift, we may not infer from this that Timothy’s faith was on the wane. Paul may have been thinking that he needed stimulating to put to the fullest use the gift received at his setting aside for the ministry. This gift was clearly connected with the Holy Spirit, as v 14 shows, and was therefore more than a natural gift. It is worth noting that even with the gift of the Spirit some human cooperation is needed if the flame is to be fanned. That Timothy was of a timid disposition seems clear from v 7, whereas the Spirit brings power, love and self-discipline. The Spirit does not turn a timid man into a powerful personality, but he provides the resources necessary for each situation.
The next section (8–10) shows something of the application of the last. Timidity is apt to foster shame and Paul warns against this. The appeal to Timothy to join him in suffering for the gospel is a poignant reminder that Paul was a prisoner when he wrote this letter. The mere mention of the gospel leads the apostle to reflect on God’s power and salvation. He connects up several themes here—God’s power, salvation, holy living, God’s purpose and grace. The statement that it is not because of anything we have done is characteristic of Paul’s awareness that salvation is all of grace. Timothy is reminded that suffering in the cause of such a truth is to be expected, but it will be by the power of God not in one’s own strength.
Paul develops the idea of grace (9–10). It is centred in Christ Jesus; it is of ancient origin (before the beginning of time); it is revealed through the incarnate Christ who has destroyed death. Paul is clear that all this has come about, not by human efforts but by the free favour of God. His concept of the gospel is rooted in God’s provision of life and immortality. These wonderful provisions of God have become clear through the gospel, which has thrown light upon them.
1:11–12 Paul’s personal testimony
    Why should Paul need to remind Timothy of his commission to preach the gospel? He has also mentioned this in 1 Tim. 2:7. It may be that the reminder is intended to encourage Timothy. If the great apostle, with his clear sense of mission, has nevertheless been called on to suffer, Timothy must not be surprised if the same happens to him. V 12 is a great affirmation which has proved an inspiration to many. Having urged Timothy in v 8 not to be ashamed, Paul now affirms that he himself is not ashamed of his suffering. He is buoyed up by the conviction that God is able to guard what Paul has entrusted to him. His assurance here is based on his personal knowledge of God. Paul leaves no room for lack of assurance. His conviction here amounts to a virtual certainty.
But what has Paul entrusted to God? The Greek speaks of ‘my deposit’. Some have seen it to relate to what God has entrusted to Paul, i.e. his commission or his doctrine, and this would be in agreement with the use of the same word in v 14. But the preceding passage would be better served by regarding Paul’s ‘deposit’ as something Paul is entrusting to God, i.e. himself and the success and continuation of his mission, everything in fact that is dear to him. The words for that day must refer to the day when Paul knows he must give account of his stewardship. He was living and working in the light of the final day of reckoning, but was sure that he could entrust the result to God. This was intended to bring real encouragement to Timothy.
1:13–14 A charge to Timothy
    Paul is conscious still of the threat of the false teachers and is mindful of giving Timothy support to combat the threat. The most urgent thing is for Timothy to keep (lit. ‘hold’) as the pattern of sound teaching, defined as what you heard from me. Paul need not be implying here that this amounts simply to passing on his own teaching, for he makes clear elsewhere that teaching was passed on to him (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3). Timothy’s task is to guard the deposit in the sense of keeping it safe. Paul is acutely aware that this can be achieved only through the help of the Spirit, who is the true guardian of the truth.
1:15–18 Paul and various associates
    His reliance on Timothy reminds the apostle of his experience with certain others, some of whom had not proved so dependable. He assumes Timothy will be aware that everyone in the province of Asia had deserted him. Such widespread desertion must have been traumatic for Paul. The special mention of Phygelus and Hermogenes (15) may suggest that these were the ringleaders.
Onesiphorus had been much more encouraging. Paul speaks of him in the past tense, and it is not clear whether he was still around, since the reference is to the household of Onesiphorus. But there is no need to separate Onesiphorus from his household. Paul mentions several ways in which this man helped him, and especially he mentions that he was not ashamed of Paul’s chains and had actually searched hard for him in Rome. Twice Paul prays for mercy for him (16, 18), the second time relating it to that day, which must refer to the judgment day of Christ. In view of the reference to Onesiphorus’s help at Ephesus, it would seem that he was a consistent helper of the apostle.

2:1–26 Special advice to Timothy

2:1–13 An appeal to Timothy
2:1–7 A call to be strong. In some ways Timothy is to contrast strongly with those who have deserted the apostle. The idea of being strong occurs in Eph.6:10. In view of the opposition to the gospel, a strong approach is always necessary. But the strength is in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, which means with the support of God’s unmerited favour, not in reliance on natural ability. It is not clear what Paul has in mind when mentioning many witnesses. Some see a reference to the witnesses at Timothy’s ordination, but the translation in the presence of is not the most natural understanding of the Greek preposition used here. It is more likely that the reference is to the many witnesses who could testify to the kind of teaching that Paul had given to Timothy. The instruction to entrust it to other teachers is important for our understanding of the development of the early church. Specially selected men who possessed the two qualities of faithfulness and ability to teach were to be set apart for the task of handing on the teaching. Paul intended that this important task should be properly regulated.
The three illustrations which follow (3–6) are designed to encourage Timothy to persevere even if the task is difficult. The military metaphor shows the duty of singleness of purpose; the athletic one the need for abiding by the rules; and the agricultural one the certainty of some reward for the hard work involved. All three metaphors, drawn from everyday life, complement each other. Paul urges such reflection on this because experience would throw further light on it, as the Lord gave insight (7). The following words suggest that Paul is here speaking from his own experience. The passage of nearly two thousand years has not blunted the sharpness of these everyday parallels.
2:8–10 Reflections on suffering for the gospel. In v 8 Paul gives a very brief summary of his gospel. It consists of three elements: Jesus was the Christ, God’s anointed one, the Messiah; he was raised from the dead (a statement which naturally involves his death); he was descended from David. The only other place where Paul mentions this fact is Rom. 1:3. It may have been included here to draw attention to the fulfilment of God’s promises. As an isolated statement it would be inadequate as a summary of the gospel, but Timothy would be well able to fill in the gaps.
Paul sees his own chains as contrasted with the unchained character of God’s word (9). By this he must mean that in spite of his own chains, the gospel will nevertheless be preached by others. When in v 10, Paul states that the reason for his endurance is for the sake of the elect, he sees his own sufferings against the background of those who would come to faith in Christ as a result of the preaching of the gospel. Perhaps his reference to the salvation that is in Christ Jesus is intended to distinguish it from the kind of salvation offered by the false teachers. The words in Christ Jesus not only define the salvation as Christian, but also show it to be the possession of all those who are in Christ. Note that elsewhere Paul links salvation with glory (cf. 2 Thes. 2:13–14).
2:11–13 A trustworthy saying. It is clear that the saying here quoted consists of the following verses, since these verses are in rhythmic form. They look like part of a Christian hymn (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16 and 6:16–17). But what is the connection between this hymn and the preceding verses? Possibly it follows on from the thought of future glory. The four sections of the hymn speak of a future which will offset the present sufferings. The ‘dying with him’ is reminiscent of Rom.6:8, which uses the expression of baptism. The linking of dying with living represents the Christian’s identification with Christ’s death and resurrection.
The second statement about endurance connects with v 10 and brings the assurance of future victory. The thought is exactly parallel to Rom.8:17. The warning about disowning him and being disowned by him echoes the warning of Jesus in Mk.10:33. The concluding statement, however, is reassuring. Christ’s faithfulness is not dependent on our faithfulness, because he cannot act contrary to his own nature. This hymn therefore ends on an optimistic note, based on the character of Christ. If, as suggested above, this is part of a fuller hymn, we cannot guess what the missing parts contained. But Paul was content to quote that part which served his immediate purpose of reassuring Timothy.
2:14–26 Becoming an approved workman
    The these things in v 14 must be more than the truth of the hymn in vs 11–13. It includes all the teaching that Paul has given Timothy in this letter. That Paul treats this injunction very seriously is seen in the words before God. The apostle is deeply conscious that quibbles about words are a waste of time and wished to warn Timothy against this. It is not always recognized that trivial debates are harmful, but Paul uses a strong word here (ruins), which emphasizes the disastrous effect on others. V 15 is a gem of positive advice to the person of God. The aim is to produce an approved workman (i.e. approved by God). This requires effort—yet no-one can do more than his or her best. There are two requirements—an unashamed approach and a right handling of the word of truth. The latter will reinforce the former. The Greek verb translated correctly handles really means cutting a straight road and suggests straightforward exegesis. This must be the aim of all true teachers of the word. ‘Reading into’ the text what is clearly not there is of help to nobody but is depressingly common.
The thought of a right understanding of the word leads Paul to reflect again on those who deviate from it (16–19). The threatening alternative teaching, described as godless chatter and compared to gangrene in its effects, must be avoided. The example of Hymenaeus and Philetus is cited and the gist of their error stated—that the resurrection had already taken place. It is noteworthy as an unusual instance in the Pastorals of specific false teaching being mentioned. In spite of the harmful effects of this kind of teaching, Paul stresses the positive truth that God’s solid foundation stands firm. A question arises about the identity of the foundation. Is it the church as a whole, the Ephesian church in particular, or the whole truth of God, including his saving work? The third possibility is to be preferred, although elsewhere Paul uses the metaphor in relation to the church. It would seem that the inscriptions referred to in v 19 are from Nu.16:5, 26, although the second is not a precise quotation and could come from Is. 52:11. The ‘seal’ is used elsewhere by Paul as a sign that something is true (cf. Rom. 4:11; 1 Cor. 9:2).
The illustration in vs 20–21 continues the building metaphor in v 19. But Paul now concentrates on the utensils used in a great house. The various materials out of which they are made stand for different purposes, some noble, others ignoble. The application here is some-what confused, for wooden vessels are as necessary as golden and in fact are more frequently used. But Paul thinks of Christian workers as precious in God’s sight. Yet what does Paul mean by cleansing from ignoble use? Perhaps the best explanation is that Paul is still thinking of Hymenaeus and Philetus (cf. 1 Cor. 5:7 for a parallel use of the verb meaning to purge or cleanse). Here Paul is looking at the situation positively. Note the descriptions, holy, useful and prepared, which show the characteristics of an instrument for noble purposes. Paul clearly has a high view of the ministry.
The last paragraph of this section (22–26) points out the general nature of the behaviour of the servant of God. Again the negative (flee evil desires, avoid foolish arguments) is linked with the positive (pursue righteousness and other virtues). Paul has already made a similar contrast in 1 Tim. 6:11. Here he expresses a corporate aspect along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart, i.e. all who profess to be Christians. Again Paul urges against quarrelling (24), and again adds positive advice which includes attitudes (kindness and lack of resentment) and ability (gift of teaching). A gentle approach is urged towards those who oppose, in order to bring about a positive result. Paul knows that gentleness cannot produce repentance but that God can grant this if a conciliatory attitude is adopted. He expresses the desired result in a positive form (to lead them to a knowledge of the truth) and also in a negative form (to escape from the trap of the devil).
The concluding statement (26) has led to much discussion. The Greek is not clear because two different pronouns are used meaning ‘him’ and ‘his’. If no distinction is intended, both would refer to the devil. But another interpretation is possible in that ‘his will’ may refer to the will of God, who is also seen to have taken captive those who escape from the devil. But this is difficult because it implies that those who escape one snare fall into another. A third possibility is to take the word in the sense of being taken captive by the devil to do God’s will, thus distinguishing the pronouns. But this seems a strange idea and the first interpretation is to be preferred.

3:1–17 Predictions and charges

3:1–9 Predictions concerning the last days
    1–4 Paul not infrequently mentions the last days, by which he seems to mean the time immediately preceding the consummation of this age. But elsewhere in the NT the last days represent the beginning of the Christian era (see Acts 2:17–21; Heb. 1:1). There is clearly a close connection between the present and the future since although in this passage Paul speaks of the false teachers in the future, he has previously referred to them in the present. He is most concerned about the moral degeneracy which sets in as a consequence of wrong teaching. In the list which occurs in vs 2–4 there is a mixture of wrong actions and wrong attitudes. The contrast between the first and the last words in the list brings out vividly the difference between love of self and love of God. This list shows, in fact, the disastrous consequences of self-centredness. There are several words here which point to arrogance—boastful, proud, abusive … brutal … conceited. The worst feature is that these people claim some form of godliness, pretending to be religious but having no intention of putting their beliefs into practice. The mere form without the power is highly damaging. It is no wonder that Paul urges Timothy to have nothing to do with them (5). This shows that he is thinking of a problem which is imminent.
6–7 After the list Paul comments on other features which will need noting. The methods of these false teachers are insidious as the striking expression worm their way into homes shows. Moreover their selection of gullible people as recipients is characteristic of most false teachers. Here weak-willed women are singled out who are loaded down with sins. This suggests that the women concerned were so stricken in their consciences that they would turn to anyone for help, although clearly not motivated towards the good. These women seem to have had a desire for knowledge, but were incapable of arriving at the truth. It may be supposed that they were seeking sensational experiences. The false teachers are not themselves able to pass on knowledge of the truth, since they are deficient in their own understanding of it. The picture Paul paints here is relevant in any age in which false teachers are operating.
8–9 The reference to Jannes and Jambres (8) is interesting since they are referred to nowhere else in the Bible, although they do occur in the Targum of Jonathan on Ex. 7:11. (The targums were interpretations of the Hebrew Bible, written in Aramaic, though probably most were composed later than Paul’s letter to Timothy.) By Paul’s time it was presumably common knowledge that two of Pharoah’s magicians bore these names. The similarity between these magicians and the current false teachers is that both opposed the truth and are consequently to be rejected. As in the case of all false teachers there is an assurance that their supposed progress is no more than illusion. Their ultimate folly will become clear to everyone, even if there may be an interval of time before this happens. Paul is convinced that error cannot triumph in the end.
3:10–17 Further charges to Timothy
    In this section Paul’s references to Timothy stand in strong contrast to the description of the false teachers in the preceding section. This is brought out by the emphatic pronoun You. Timothy is first given an historical reminder (10–12). He has had the advantage of observing Paul’s teaching and his manner of life. The fact that Paul notes that Timothy knows all about his teaching should caution us against drawing any unwarranted assumptions from the absence of some of Paul’s great themes from the Pastoral Letters, as if this could be an argument against his being the author. It is worth noting moreover that the reference to those spiritual qualities (faith, patience, love, endurance) which Paul had shown are the very qualities that he has already urged on Timothy himself (cf. 1 Tim. 6:11). As to his sufferings, Paul cites the incidents on his first missionary journey, presumably because it was at that time that he first made Timothy’s acquaintance. Timothy would vividly remember what Paul had had to endure and it is not impossible that the experience had been a powerful factor in persuading Timothy to become involved in the work of the gospel. When Paul says Yet the Lord rescued me from them all, Timothy would know from personal observation how true that was.
From a reference to his own experience of persecution, Paul assures Timothy that anyone who sets out to live a godly life will be persecuted (12). In this he is doing no more than repeating the teaching of Jesus. Paul knows that impostors will continue in this age. It is of the nature of deceivers to go from bad to worse (13). Once the process has started it is difficult to stop. Those who deceive others end up deceiving themselves. This is true at all stages in the development of false teaching.
Again Paul draws a strong contrast between these imposters and Timothy, who is given encouragement to prevent him from being deceived. Basically he must continue in what he has learned and knows from personal conviction (14). Such advice is applicable to every Christian leader. Naturally the source of the imparted knowledge is important—Timothy had not only had the advantage of learning much about the Christian gospel from the apostles, but he had been taught the Scriptures since his earliest years. This emphasis on the Scriptures is important here because Paul himself based so much on the testimony of Scripture. He is not expecting that Timothy will rely simply on what he has learned from Paul, without backing it up from Scriptures. There is a reminder here that a good reliable background of instruction is indispensable for the minister of the gospel.
It should be noted that in v 15, Paul uses the expression the holy Scriptures, drawing special attention to its sacred character, presumably in contrast to the secular sources of the false teaching which he has just mentioned. An important aspect is the function of Scripture to make wise for salvation. This could be abundantly illustrated from the many times in which Paul in his letters appeals to Scripture in his expositions of God’s work of salvation in Christ.
V 16 sets out a clear statement about the character of Scripture and its usefulness. But the precise meaning has been much disputed. Some have questioned whether the Greek word grapheµ necessarily refers to Scripture. It could mean any writings. But the use of the term in the NT to denote Scripture is well established. But does the term refer to the whole of Scripture or to only a part? The use of the word all is determinative. If all here means ‘every’ it would be possible to understand it of separate parts of Scripture. But parallel uses in the NT suggest that ‘all’ is the correct translation. That being so, Paul is assuming that Scripture in its entirety is God-breathed. But why does he need to inform Timothy of this? It would seem better to suppose that the main point of the passage is not so much the inspiration of Scripture as its profitableness. Timothy would know of its inspiration, and this would enhance its usefulness. The four functions of Scripture cover a wide range from imparting doctrine to challenging behaviour and training in righteousness. These functions are still the valid purpose of Scripture and are vital in equipping the man of God, a term which stands particularly for all Christian teachers, but is applicable to every Christian worker. Note the significant stress on thoroughness in preparation for the work of God.

4:1–22 Paul’s farewell to Timothy

4:1–5 A concluding charge
    In view of the fact that he is facing the end of his life, Paul wants to express himself with the utmost solemnity. The charge is connected with three facts—the reality of the judgment of Christ, the certainty of his return and the establishment of his kingdom.
The content of the charge is set out in v 2 and consists of five commands, all of which are as applicable to ministers of the gospel today as they were to Timothy. Paul begins with preaching because he recognized that this is basic (cf. Rom.10:14). The need for being constantly prepared suggests that the man of God must always be on duty. The other three commands (correct, rebuke and encourage) are complementary to each other. There is a combination of severity and gentleness here. The whole work demands patience and care. Paul intends Timothy to have a clear picture of the demands of Christian service. The picture is completed in v 5, where four other charges are given. Timothy is to show presence of mind in all situations and a willingness to accept hardship. The Christian ministry is no bed of roses. The work of an evangelist is essentially to preach the gospel, while the concluding words call for dedication to all the various aspects of ministry.
Vs 3 and 4 are something of a digression in Paul’s thought. He fits in a final warning about the false teachers. He is aware that many will not want sound teaching, hearing only what they want to hear—hence the itching ears. Paul once again mentions the myths which these people will circulate.
4:6–8 A personal testimony
    This section connects with the last as the word For shows. What Paul is about to say is intended to be an example to Timothy. He uses the same metaphor of the drink offering as he had already used in Phil. 2:17. It is a vivid image of the apostle about to pour out his life-blood for the sake of Christ. He senses that the end is near. He quickly changes the metaphor of sacrifice to those of conflict and the running track (7). In both cases he knows tasks are nearly finished. But there is a great confidence here. Paul is in no way ashamed of what he has done. The words I have kept the faith are in parallel with the other two affirmations, which suggests that the faith here is the deposit of Christian teaching which Paul had already entrusted to Timothy. He might also mean that he had been loyal to his trust.
V 8 has a triumphant ring about it. Paul has no doubt about the crown. He is probably thinking of the laurel wreath earned by those who competed in athletics races. The description of it as of righteousness, however, shows the spiritual nature of the prize he will be awarded. The righteousness is not achieved by Paul himself but is something given. Because God is a righteous Judge he cannot bestow anything that is not righteous. The day here is the final day of Christ’s appearing. It points to what Paul elsewhere calls ‘the judgment seat of Christ’. He sees this future day as applicable to all Christians, whom he assumes will long for that glorious event.
4:9–18 Personal remarks
    In the next section (9–13) Paul infers the possibility of seeing Timothy again, in spite of being aware that his end is near. He is still hoping Timothy will manage to come to him. His desire to see Timothy is heightened by the movements of his other associates. Saddest of all is the brief comment about Demas having deserted him. This man was one of Paul’s close associates when he wrote Col. 4:14. We must presume that the going was too hard for him and the pull of the world too strong. Of the others mentioned here, the reference to Luke is significant as he is now Paul’s sole support. Both he and Mark, as well as Demas, are mentioned in Colossians. There is a poignancy about the request that Timothy should bring to him his cloak. Does this suggest that he was cold in his imprisonment? There is also particular interest in the scrolls and parchments. What these were it is impossible to say. They may have been OT texts, or perhaps Paul’s personal papers, or some of each.
Vs 14–15 are a warning against Alexander the metalworker. This man may be identified with the Alexander mentioned in Acts 19:33–34 or in 1 Tim. 1:20. Paul refers here to the great harm he had done, which is further defined as opposition to Paul’s message. The last part of v 14 echoes the words of Ps. 62:12.
The third section (16–18) is a reference to Paul’s present position. The first defence must have been a preliminary examination. Since Paul gives no further information, it is impossible to pin-point this occasion. What concerns him most is the fact that no-one came to his support. There are some parallels here with Paul’s imprisonment at Caesarea, but there is no mention in the Acts record of him having been forsaken then. It is better to suppose that an earlier trial in Rome is intended. If this implies that the Roman Christians did not come to his assistance, this may have been because they were not sufficiently aware of the position, or else were hesitant to get involved. Since the apostle speaks of being deserted, he evidently felt that he had been badly let down.
In contrast to the desertion of others, he was encouraged by the fact that the Lord stood by him. This reflects something of the spiritual resources which supported Paul in his trouble, and they can serve as an encouragement to all God’s servants when suffering for his sake. In Paul’s case he claims to have received courage to proclaim the gospel even at his trial. When he says so thatall the Gentiles might hear it a difficulty arises. Clearly, if he is referring to his trial, all the Gentiles did not hear, if the words are taken literally. He may, however, mean the words metaphorically in the sense that with the preaching of the gospel at the centre of the empire all the Gentile world was ‘within earshot’. The words translated thatthe message might be fully proclaimed literally mean ‘that the proclamation of the message might be fulfilled’. Paul may have been thinking that when he preached at Rome, his own mission of preaching was accomplished.
Some have seen the lion from whom Paul was delivered as the emperor Nero, but this is a common metaphor for danger and probably no more is intended. Elsewhere in the NT the lion is symbolic of Satan (1 Pet. 5:8). Paul ends on a confident note which leads him into a spontaneous doxology. In view of what he has already written, the rescuing from every evil attack cannot be supposed to mean that he expects release, but must be taken in a spiritual sense. This would be in harmony with his reference to God’s heavenly kingdom. There is here a strong contrast between Paul’s present tribulations under an earthly kingdom and that more enduring and victorious heavenly kingdom to which he looks forward.
4:19–22 Final greetings
    Paul mentions a number of his close friends. Priscilla and Aquila were especially dear to him for he had lodged with them in Ephesus (Acts 18). Onesiphorus has already been commended in 1:16. Erastus is mentioned as an associate with Timothy in Acts 19:22. Trophimus is twice mentioned in Acts—in 20:4 at Miletus and in 21:29 in Jerusalem. Since Trophimus was an Ephesian, it is probable that he intended to accompany Paul on his recent journeys but had been prevented from doing so through illness. It seems that Timothy was not aware of this and needed to be informed.
There is another urgent call to Timothy to hasten to Paul’s side (21). It may be that the reference to the approaching winter is due to the fact that shipping would stop over the winter period. Nothing is known of the four people mentioned in v 21. In the final benediction (22) the first part is directed to Timothy in the singular, while the grace is to Christians generally in the plural.
lit. literally
cf. compare
NT New Testament
OT Old Testament
Carson, D. A. (1994). New Bible commentary : 21st century edition. Rev. ed. of: The new Bible commentary. 3rd ed. / edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970. (4th ed.) (2 Ti 1.1). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press.