2 Timothy 2:11-13

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  • 2 Timothy 2:11-13

    2 Timothy 2:11-13

    [NKJV]
    11 This is a faithful saying:
    ​​For if we died with Him,
    ​​We shall also live with Him.
    12 ​​If we endure,
    ​​We shall also reign with Him.
    ​​If we deny Him,
    ​​He also will deny us.
    13 ​​If we are faithless,
    ​​He remains faithful;
    ​​He cannot deny Himself.

    [NIV]
    11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
    If we died with him,
    we will also live with him;
    12 if we endure,
    we will also reign with him.
    If we disown him,
    he will also disown us;
    13 if we are faithless,
    he remains faithful,
    for he cannot disown himself.

    [ESV]
    11 The saying is trustworthy, for:
    If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
    12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
    if we deny him, he also will deny us;
    13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
    for he cannot deny himself.


    So translations do not differ to any significant degree (feel free to add another if you like).
    In another conversation I was eavesdropping on, someone offered that these verses add a lot of words in English that are implied by the 1 person - plural tense of the verb in Greek. A quick check on Biblehub indicates that he is correct (sorry, I can't cut and paste it without it coming out crazy looking ... here is the LINK - scroll down to v.11-13).

    So his observation is that all of the verbs in these two verses are "WE" and intended to reinforce the connection between Jesus and Us as an unbreakable relationship.
    (v.11) "Jesus and us" ... died with Jesus. "Jesus and us" ... lives with Jesus.
    (v.12) "Jesus and us" ... endure. "Jesus and us" ... reign together.
    (v.13) Since "Jesus and us" are so linked together (we ARE after all 'IN CHRIST'), Jesus cannot 'disown' us without disowning himself and God cannot disown God.

    So two questions for anyone who has a thought:

    Q1: Is he correct about the Greek or has he pressed the point too far?

    Q2: What do these verses actually mean?

    See, I think v.11 seems straight forward. It seems to be a basic statement calling for "all in" or "all out". We have either died to the old self and now live as a new man IN CHRIST, or we got nothing. There is no 'sort of Christian' - just trying it out on a 90 day test drive to see if I like it, but I have not really decided if I am totally a Christian or not. Either we died with Jesus and we now live with Jesus, or we do not.

    How can v.12 and v.13 both be true. Setting aside the deeper implications of the Greek, they seem to contradict just at face value in English. I can't see someone denying Christ (except as a moment of weakness to be repented of) and still being In Christ? What does it mean that Christ will deny them? How does that reconcile with "If we are faithless, Jesus remains faithful"?

    Your thoughts and insight are welcome.

  • #2
    In Greek the form of the verb is usually enough to identify whether it is the first, second or third person, singular or plural which is meant. So the pronoun is usually omitted. Where it is present, it has generally been added for emphasis.
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