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2 Timothy 2:9

ESV for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!
NIV for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained.
NASB for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.
CSB for which I suffer to the point of being bound like a criminal. But the word of God is not bound.
NLT And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained.
KJV Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

What does 2 Timothy 2:9 mean?

This verse continues Paul's sentence from verse 8, noting that it is the gospel "for which I am suffering." He had done nothing illegal except to proclaim Christ. Yet he was "bound with chains as a criminal." Paul has already mentioned his chains (2 Timothy 1:16). In this particular case, this likely means literal chains on his hands and/or feet, similar to Peter in Acts 12:6. Unlike Paul's first Roman imprisonment, in which he lived in his own apartment for two years under house arrest, this imprisonment was much more serious. Paul expected he would not live much longer, but rather would suffer until the end for Christ.

In contrast to Paul's situation, he rejoices in knowing that the truth of the gospel could not be restrained! Even from his cell and in chains, Paul communicated God's truth that influenced Timothy, his congregation, other early churches, and became part of the New Testament. Still today, the Word of God given through Paul impacts lives around the world. As Hebrews 4:12 teaches, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
What is the Gospel?
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