2 Timothy 4:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Timothy 4:5, NIV: "But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."

2 Timothy 4:5, ESV: "As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

2 Timothy 4:5, KJV: "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

2 Timothy 4:5, NASB: "But as for you, use self-restraint in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

2 Timothy 4:5, NLT: "But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you."

2 Timothy 4:5, CSB: "But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

What does 2 Timothy 4:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After four warnings about those who would turn from the Word of God in the future, Paul gives Timothy four positive commands. First, Timothy was to be focused and alert, talking his life and role seriously. The concept of living a "sober" life, as used here, is not a reference to alcohol (1 Timothy 5:23), but comes from the Greek word nēphe. This means to be calm, focused, and controlled.

Second, Timothy needs to "endure suffering." Endurance is a major theme in this letter, mentioned several times already (2 Timothy 2:10, 12; 3:11; 4:3). The idea is not merely "surviving" situations, but maintaining his Christian perspective during those hard times.

Third, Timothy is to "do the work of an evangelist." This is an interesting term, and Paul's use of it teaches some important points. The Greek euangelistou, from the root word euaggelistes, is uncommon in the New Testament. This description is used elsewhere only of Philip the evangelist (Acts 21:8), who was one of the seven leaders selected in Acts 6, and for a type of church leader mentioned in Ephesians 4:11. An evangelist is literally a person who presented the good news of Christ. Timothy, whether this was his spiritual gift or not, is being commanded to communicate the gospel as part of his ministry as a church leader.

What's also interesting about this is how Paul has not described Timothy. Specifically, Timothy is not being referred to as an "apostle," a term Paul used of himself (2 Timothy 1:1). According to the New Testament, true "apostles" were only those men specifically commissioned as "sent ones" by Christ. Those who came after may be evangelists, such as Timothy, but they cannot be "apostles."

Fourth, Timothy is to more than endure; he is to accomplish the purposes of his ministry calling. Ministry is hard work and there is often a temptation to quit. There is a natural lure to settle for less than our best. Here, Paul commands Timothy to continue, even during difficult times, to complete the calling God had given him.