Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 20, 1961

Comments On 2 Timothy 2:15

C. R. McRay, Decatur, Texas

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Our primary thought in this material is a discussion of the word "study" itself.

This word comes to us from the original word, "spay-daze." It appears eleven times in the Greek language and is defined by Thayer, "to exert oneself, endeavor, give diligence." To this definition, Vine, in his word study of the New Testament adds, "to hasten to do a thing," and this is also verified by Thayer. It is used in the latter sense three times in the New Testament, and translated "diligence" by the translators of the King James Version. Those three follow with the word rendered from the original underlined. "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me." (2 Tim. 4:9) "Do thy diligence to come before winter " (2 Tim. 4:21) "When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis....". (Tit. 3:12)

The other eight times it occurs, it is not always translated thus. These follow with the translated word emphasized. "Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward (diligent) to do." (Gal. 2:10) "But, we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored (gave diligence) the more abundantly to see your face with great desire." (1 Thess. 2:17) "Endeavoring (giving diligence) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Eph. 4:3) "Let us labour (be diligent) therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Heb. 4:11) "Wherefore, the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure, for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." (2 Pet. 1:10) "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." (2 Pet. 3:14) "Moreover, I will endeavor (give diligence) that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance." (2 Pet. 1:15) And the last, "Study, (give diligence) to show thyself approved unto God...."(2 Tim. 2:15)

We generally use the word "study" today, meaning only "the application, of the mind to acquire knowledge." (Webster) Certainly, in our giving diligence to be approved of God, it includes this type of study, but would not exclude the other things necessary in giving diligence, such as our work and worship to God. A second meaning is given by Webster, i.e., "endeavor diligently." In fact, the Revised Standard Version renders it "give diligence." This is the correct usage of the word here.

This is one of the ways in which a person can "handle aright" or "rightly divide" the word of truth. Let us always give diligence to show ourselves approved of God, not only in our study, but also in our other works, and in our worship to the great I AM.