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2 Timothy 1:13

ESV Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
NIV What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
NASB Hold on to the example of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
CSB Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
NLT Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me — a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.
KJV Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

What does 2 Timothy 1:13 mean?

In previous verses, Paul has focused on his own life. Here, he transitions to instructions for Timothy. In particular, Timothy should be using Paul as a reference for teaching, preaching, and leadership. Paul used a similar reference in 1 Timothy 6:3. This broader idea of "sound doctrine" was also important to Paul. He mentions it in 1 Timothy 1:10 as well as Titus 1:9 and 2:1. This concept of "soundness" comes through the Greek root word hugiaino, which refers to "health, safety, or wholesomeness." The term is used here as a metaphor for accuracy, truth, and benefit. In other words, "sound doctrine" is God's revealed truth, not the flawed opinions of mankind.

Timothy learned this teaching directly from Paul rather than through Scripture as believers do now. While Scripture is the source of sound doctrine, much emphasis is given in this letter regarding the importance of personally training others. Sound doctrine cannot survive unless it is understood, and then passed along to others (2 Timothy 2:2).

The second half of the verse reminds us that doctrine is not merely meant to change our knowledge, it is meant to affect our behavior. A person who cares about accurate, faithful understanding of the gospel will seek to live by the same faith and love offered by Jesus. Rather than only studying God's truth and ignoring its implications (James 1:22), Timothy was to care about both his life and his teaching (1 Timothy 4:15–16).
What is the Gospel?
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