Posted by: SandreS | September 16, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 10

Hold on to Paul’s Words

Paul encourages Timothy to “hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me” (1:13). Paul presents his epistles as the divine pattern. Timothy was exhorted not to abandon the actual words of Paul for some new, improved, “politically correct,” “ecclesiastically correct” ones. The actual recorded words of Paul are the divine standard of our dispensation. “Standard” is found in the definition of this word “form.”[1] In the King James Version it is translated “pattern” in I Timothy 1:16.

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting (I Timothy 1:16).

Paul’s epistles are the divine standard of truth for our age. Everything must be measured by it, whether by teaching or practice!

D.L. McCroskey wrote,

Timothy is urged to hold fast the great truths of the One Body which Paul has taught him. … Again, it was the special revelation of the “mystery,” the sacred secret for this age, which Paul had committed to Timothy.[2]

Thus when Paul speaks of his words being the “pattern” to follow, he is referring to the actual Greek words that God had inspired him to deliver. He obviously was not making reference to the words of other men. When men attempt to translate the words of Paul into their language, no matter how noble their efforts, it is still the actual words of Paul that remain the divine standard.

Many men blindly follow the words of their translators and, sadly, far too often they are led astray. Little wonder that we are instructed, not merely to “read” but, to “study.” After all, any translation of Paul’s words are simply study tools at best.

These words of Paul are actually the words of our Father. Cherish them, study them, know them, proclaim and herald them, protect and defend them.

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press


[1] Arndt and Gingrichg’s Greek-English Lexicon.
[2] D.L. McCroskey, II Timothy – The Divine Outline of World Apostasy (The Last Day Messenger, November-December, 1975).

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