The blog post on 1st Timothy is here. In there, you will find a link to the first Bible blog post I did forever ago, as well as what authors listed the Bible in their top ten (the original blog post also shares _why_ one author listed it).
2nd Timothy is another letter from the Apostle Paul to Timothy. As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve always loved reading letters from one person to another. Also journals, but that’s not relevant here. So, the next time you read a Bible post from me, it’ll possibly be another Pauline Epistle (the fancy way of saying, one of the books of the Bible that is a letter written by Paul to either a person or a new church).
In 2nd Timothy, in the very first opening of it, I love what Paul has to say. 2 Timothy 1:3 “3 I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.”. I love that Paul recognizes and tells about how it is through Him that we are moved to pray for someone. I’ve had times where out of nowhere, I feel the strong urge to just pray for someone, not even knowing why. So, this sort of spoke to me in this verse.
Verses 7 through 9 are part of the support the Protestant churches feel for the concept of being saved by grace alone. (For those of you that don’t know; Catholics believe it is a combination of works and grace, Protestants believe it is only through grace that we get to Heaven). Paul states it in these verses, it has also been stated many other places. “7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
8 Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,”. I also love verse 7, it has a certain amount of hope in it for me.
Here, in the United States, Christians are not heavily persecuted, but in many other countries they are. The following verses, I think, fall flat on American audiences. We think of the times someone’s laughed “oh haha you believe in a man raised from the dead, oh haha, you believe in a virgin conceiving” and we believe that is suffering with and for Christ. However, it’s not. This is.
These are from Chapter 2, 2 Timothy.
“8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”
The following verses sadden me, since most Christians do _not_ follow the advice of Paul to Timothy in these verses:
(also from chapter 2)
“23 Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant[c] must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, 25 correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth”
Unfortunately, many Christians appear to be more along the lines of the first few verses of chapter 3:
“3 You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. 2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them! ”
The following verse is part of the reason that many Christians believe the Bible and all its contents to be true, while others believe that maybe some of it allegorical but still true in its attempts to teach. It’s also from chapter 3.
“16 All scripture is inspired by God and is[b] useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.”
For those of you still wondering how the Bible has much to do with literature, the following verse is referenced more than once in more than one literary genre I’ve read.
From Chapter 4. ” 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Paul basically is talking about how his life is effectively over, that he is a libation being poured onto the ground and that he is ready for his reward in Heaven.
And towards the end of the book, and the end of chapter 4, I found the following paragraph to be very reminiscent of reading just about anyone’s letters to other people.
“9 Do your best to come to me soon, 10 for Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia,[a] Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry. 12 I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds. 15 You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.”.
Okay, done for now with Bible posts. Next time I might be talking about the literary character I hate.