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2 Timothy 4:2

ESV preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
NIV Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
NASB preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction.
CSB Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching.
NLT Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
KJV Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

What does 2 Timothy 4:2 mean?

The "charge" Paul mentioned in the previous verse is announced here in verse 2: "preach the word." Timothy was not to turn from sound doctrine or to myths (2 Timothy 4:3–4), but was to focus his ministry on communicating God's revealed truth. Paul then includes seven specific ways in which Timothy is to preach the word.

First, Timothy was to be ready when preaching was convenient. The phrase "in season" refers to those times when one is, by common sense, "supposed" to be preaching the word. These are friendly circumstances, or safe times.

Second, Timothy was to be ready when preaching was not convenient. This is the meaning of the phrase "out of season." These are the times when proclaiming the truth is awkward, difficult, or resisted.

Third, he is to provide correction to those who are in error. This echoes Paul's call to "rebuke" or "reprove" found in 1 Timothy 5:20 (Proverbs 3:12; 9:8; 19:25).

Fourth, Timothy is to speak out against wrong. The Greek term translated as "rebuke" is epitimēson, which in this context means to scold, chide, or correct.

Fifth, Timothy must exhort, a term referring to encouragement or urging. This is from the Greek term parakaleson, which involves support, comfort, and aid.

Sixth, Timothy is to preach with patience. For those in leadership, and especially when faced with opposition, this can be extremely difficult. And yet, Paul mentions this as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). Patience, despite frustrations, is meant to be a hallmark of Christian faith.

Seventh, Timothy's preaching of the word should include teaching, a term referring to instruction. He is to include both emotion and intellect, training believers to follow God's truth.
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