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2 Timothy 2:23

ESV Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.
NIV Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
NASB But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.
CSB But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, because you know that they breed quarrels.
NLT Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.
KJV But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

What does 2 Timothy 2:23 mean?

In the prior two verses, Paul gave Timothy commands of what to "flee" and "pursue." Here, Paul once again reminds Timothy to avoid the kind of shallow, pointless bickering which he warned about in verse 16. There, Paul condemned "irreverent babble" as a form of spiritual gangrene. The false teachers in Ephesus were examples of this kind of foolish talk.

The result of these value-less arguments is that they simply lead to more arguments. They set Christian brothers against each other for no good reason. Paul mentions this in verses 14 and 24 of this chapter as well. In 1 Timothy, Paul called leading men in the church to pray without quarreling (1 Timothy 2:8), taught elders could not be quarrelsome (1 Timothy 3:3), and taught that a sign of false teachers was this type of quarreling over words (1 Timothy 6:4). This theme was also noted in Titus (Titus 3:2, 9), as well as elsewhere by Paul in his other writings (Romans 13:13; 14:1, 1 Corinthians 1:11; 2 Corinthians 12:20). James 4:1–2 also addressed quarreling as a matter of internal sinful desires.
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