What does 2 Timothy 3:2 mean?Paul begins an extensive list—some 19 traits in all—of attributes found in evil people. Both these behaviors, and those who persist in them, are to be avoided. Verse 2 includes the first eight attributes.
First, people will be selfish, rather than serving others.
Second, evil people will be obsessed with wealth. Material things are not evil in and of themselves, but the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
Third, these people will be "proud," meaning they are preoccupied with people noticing them and their actions. This is related to concepts such as arrogance, but puts the expectation on others. A "proud" person not only thinks highly of themselves, they expect other people to demonstrate approval.
Fourth, such people will be "arrogant." This is from the Greek word hyperēphanoi, literally meaning "putting one's self above others." This term seems to refer more to one's state of mind, while the idea of "selfishness" involves a similar problem, but in deeds.
Fifth, these evil people will be "abusive." The Greek word used here refers to speaking slander or evil of others: blasphēmoi.
Sixth, these wicked ones would break the commandment to honor one's parents (Exodus 20:12). This is a common thread in the lives of those who despise authority. Children who do not respect their parents typically do not respect anyone. Those who do not honor their parents, in this context, have problems beyond simple family conflict.
Seventh, they will be "ungrateful" or unthankful. This closely relates to the ideas of selfishness and arrogance; those who are ungrateful typically feel entitled to certain things—rather than being thankful when they receive, they are angry when they do not.
Eighth, these depraved people will be "unholy," not truly desiring to live according to God's truth. God is described in the Bible as "holy," which means "set apart" (Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3). In contrast, these evil people are unholy, immersed in the fallen world. This echoes an illustration Paul used in 2 Timothy 2:20–21.