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2 Timothy 4:4

ESV and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
NIV They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
NASB and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
CSB They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.
NLT They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
KJV And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
NKJV and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

What does 2 Timothy 4:4 mean?

Paul presents the third and fourth traits of those who would turn from the true preaching of God's Word in the future. The first was growing tired of the gospel and looking for alternatives. The second was seeking out people to tell them what they wanted to hear, rather than what was true.

Third, these who fall away will specifically be avoiding the truth. In addition to not enduring sound teaching and finding teachers of their liking, these unfaithful people will literally turn the other direction from the truth. If the truth says to go right, these people go left. They will not live by the truth or even listen to it. Instead of responding to reason, and conviction, they will rebel against it.

Fourth, these unfaithful people will stumble through false ideas and myths. Timothy had already been warned about false teachers who were devoting themselves to myths (1 Timothy 1:4) and was warned against this practice in this own life (1 Timothy 4:7). Paul also gave a similar warning to Titus (Titus 1:14). Peter firmly stated he and the other apostles did not follow "cleverly devised myths" but were "eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Peter 1:16). Once a person is determined to reject the truth, they are prone to believing anything, no matter how silly it might be.
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