[quote="donna369, post:1, topic:335240"]
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. - II Timothy 2:15
i came across this verse in another forum and it reminded me of a very heated argument my mom had with a woman over this verse and their differing beliefs. what i would like to know is correct interpretation of this verse since it appears to be different in every bible version i look at. what is the original word being used original language) for dividing and what does that word actually mean?
"Hasten (σπούδασον, spoudason) to make yourself a fit offering to God, a worker unashamed who clears a road (ὀρθοτομοῦντα, orthotomounta) for the word of truth."
The Greek word spoudason literally means "hasten." The idea here is basically 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 way the New Jerusalem Bible translates the passage shows the road construction connotation: "Make every effort to present to 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.")
You might ask, why do older translations use the word "study"? In older English, the word 'study' could also mean not just to learn something, but also one's concern or objective. For example, let's say the phrase "My study was to avoid disturbing her." Nowadays we would say, "My main concern was to avoid disturbing her." Another example: "the acquisition of a fortune is the study of all." It means that acquisition of a fortune is everybody's aim. The third example is closer: "With no husband to study, housekeeping is mere play," which means "With no husband to take into account..."
"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, proclaiming 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. Perhaps 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 as it is often interpreted, but the Christian message as a whole.
This is how the passage appears 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.