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2 Timothy 2:3

ESV Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
NIV Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
NASB Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
CSB Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
NLT Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
KJV Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

What does 2 Timothy 2:3 mean?

Paul then transitions from his own ministry to Timothy to the first of many word pictures related to the Christian life. First, Paul notes, "Share in suffering." Paul was suffering in prison at the time he wrote. He expected Timothy to also be willing to suffer for the faith. He had already mentioned suffering twice (2 Timothy 1:8, 12) and will mention it three more times in this brief letter (2 Timothy 2:9; 3:11; 4:5). Suffering—enduring hardship for the sake of Christ—was the expectation of the person who sought to live fully for God.

Timothy was to suffer "as a good soldier of Christ Jesus." Paul did not have violence in mind, but rather the attitude of a well-trained soldier. Military personnel focus on their mission, not unrelated concerns. They leave the greater planning, as well as the details of food and housing, to their commander. The next verse further develops this concept. Ephesus was a Roman military city during this time. The image of a soldier would have been very familiar to Timothy as well as to other believers in Ephesus. Of course, Paul was likely in contact with Roman soldiers on a daily basis during this second Roman imprisonment, which may have kept this imagery at the forefront of his mind when writing his last letter to Timothy.
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