2 Timothy 2:15


#1

2 Timothy 2:15 encourages us to read scripture, but I’ve been comparing bibles, why is the KJV similar to the catholic DRV? and those 2 are different from the New Jerusalem bible?

King James (Anglican)

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Douay Rheimes (Catholic) ( drbo.org)

[15] Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

And my Jerusalem Bible says this: (Catholic)

Make every effort to present to yourself before God as a proven worker who has no need to truth on a straight path.

So in the above case of 2 Timothy 2 15, the anglican is similar to the catholic bible, which is different from another catholic bible…


#2

Hi Strontium, the Greek for 2 Tim 2:15 reads:

Σπουδασον σεαυτον δοκιμον παραστησαι τω θεω, εργατην ανεπαισχυντον, ορθοτομουνται τον λογον της αληθειας

Which means, literally, something like:

"Be earnest to present yourself approved to God, a workman (worker) not ashamed, cutting straight the word of truth."

In terms of a literal translation, they are all a bit off.

Σπουδασον, for instance, does not necessarily mean "study" but "try hard" or "work hard", so the New Jerusalem is better here. However, with the end of the clause "cutting straight the word of truth", I think the KJV is literally closer but the Douay Rheims has more of the sense of what is meant.

To be honest, I'd suggest the RSV (any edition), which I find the best by far.


#3

It is because the English language is changing every day. Not so much that we can not understand the English of centuries ago, but it has changed so that good translations of a hundred years ago or so are not good translations for today.

Did you know that the second person singular and the second person plural have changed over the past few centuries. That is why translating with a "thy" instead of a "you" made perfect sense a few hundred years ago(and I would prefer if we all went back to out thee's and our thy's) but it doesn't make sense now.


#4

I agree :slight_smile: In these cases, since I don’t know Greek but I know a bit of Latin, I check the 4th Century Biblia Sacra Vulgata:

Sollicite cura te ipsum probabilem exhibere Deo, operarium inconfusibilem, recte tractantem verbum veritatis

Sollicite cura te” can be loosely translated as “take care with solicitude”. “Probabilem” in fact can mean approvable, but even commendable, admirable. “Operarium inconfusibilem” is in fact a worker that cannot be ashamed, or that cannot be embarrassed. The last statement, “recte tractantem”, can have several meanings since the verb “tracto” is fairly complex - it can go from “correctly handling” to “correctly exercising” and “correctly practicing”, but that I guess can be interpreted in more elegant ways :shrug:

Anyways, I am not too sure that 2 Tim 2:15 encourages us to read Scripture :shrug: After all, the apostle is warning them in 2:14-15 about not fighting over words, so he may be pointing them towards a more practical exercise of the good news.

tell them in the name of God that there must be no wrangling about words: all that this ever achieves is the destruction of those who are listening. Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who has no need to be ashamed, but who keeps the message of truth on a straight path.


#5

You have to remember that while the Challoner (aka ‘Douay-Rheims’, although this is really not the original Reims-Douai translation) and the King James Version are more literal (formal equivalence) translations, the Jerusalem Bible (and the New Jerusalem Bible) is more ‘sense-for-sense’.

“Hasten to make yourself a fit offering to God, a worker unashamed who clears a road for the word of truth.” Spoudason literally means “hasten.” As Jonathan said, the idea here is to ‘try hard’ or ‘do your best’. The word orthotomounta (literally ‘cutting straight’), meanwhile, refers to the cutting of a path or road (Proverbs 3:6; 11:5 LXX; Plato, Laws 810e), or the cutting of a stone. (The Jerusalem Bible shows the road clearing connotation here.) “Rightly dividing the word of truth” may not accurately convey the intended sense here: it probably means not so much as “rightly dividing the Scriptures,” but rather cutting straight to the point in preaching, proclaimng the straight stuff, not beating around the bush with esoterica (cf. Galatians 2:14). This is supported by what follows in verse 16 with the comments avoiding godless talk or specious reasoning (cf. 1 Timothy 2:20). In other words, St. Paul is advising Timothy to get to the point without flaw or error. The “word of truth” is better understood to mean (in this context and Paul’s use of the same expression elsewhere; cf. Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 1:5) not just the written Scriptures, but the Christian message as a whole. In which case, R_C is also correct.

P.S. The similarity between the Challoner and the KJV can be explained due to the fact that Bishop Richard Challoner used that translation as a base when he ‘revised’ the original Douai-Reims. The original Reims NT translates the passage thus (spelling modernized): “Carefully provide to present thy self approved to God, a workman not to be confounded, rightly handling the word of truth.”

  1. Rightly.] The Scriptures or challenge of the word of God is common to Catholics and Heretics, but all is in the handling of them. These later handle them guilefully, adultering the word of God, as elsewhere the Apostle speaketh: the other sincerely after the manner of the Apostles and doctors of God’s Church. Which the Greek expresseth by a significant word of cutting a thing straight by a line, ὀρθοτομοῦντα.
  • Reims NT footnote

Ver. 15. Thyself approved, or acceptable to God. — Rightly handling. In the Greek, cutting or dividing the word of truth, according to the capacities of the hearers, and for the good of all. (Witham) — The Protestant version has, dividing the word of truth. All Christians challenge the Scriptures, but the whole is in the rightly handling them. Heretics change and adulterate them, as the same apostle affirms, 2 Corinthians xi. and 4. These he admonishes us (as he did before, 1 Timothy vi. 20.) to avoid, for they have a popular way of expression, by which the unlearned are easily beguiled. “Nothing is so easy,” says St. Jerome, “as with a facility and volubility of speech to deceive the illiterate, who are apt to admire what they cannot comprehend.” (Ep. ii. ad Nepot. chap. 10)


#6

Here is the passage in context:

Remind (them of) these things, solemnly charging before God (that they) not dispute about words (which is) useful for nothing, (but) for (the) ruin of the hearers. Hasten to make yourself a fit offering to God, a worker unashamed, clearing a straight (road) for the word of truth, but avoid profane drivel, for in an even greater measure they will go forward in ungodliness, and their message will spread like gangrene, of whom are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have deviated concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened; and they overthrow the faith of some.


#7

[quote="bolinstephen, post:3, topic:317721"]
It is because the English language is changing every day. Not so much that we can not understand the English of centuries ago, but it has changed so that good translations of a hundred years ago or so are not good translations for today.

Did you know that the second person singular and the second person plural have changed over the past few centuries. That is why translating with a "thy" instead of a "you" made perfect sense a few hundred years ago(and I would prefer if we all went back to out thee's and our thy's) but it doesn't make sense now.

[/quote]

There are a few older Friends I know who in the privacy of their homes with family or other Friends still use "plain speech". In the 17th century one had to address their "betters" by the more formal "you", "your" and addressed people of their own class "thy" and "thee".....Friends refused to use the formal "you" and "yours" as it was not "truthful" to do so, when we all are equal before God....thousands spent time in jail because they refused to address judges, clergy, civil officers as "you" and "your". One could be beaten if one did not address one's "betters" in the more formal way.


closed #8

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