What does 2 Timothy 3:8 mean?
ESV: Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.
NIV: Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.
NASB: Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, worthless in regard to the faith.
CSB: Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth. They are men who are corrupt in mind and worthless in regard to the faith.
NLT: These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith.
KJV: Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
NKJV: Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;
Verse Commentary:
Jannes and Jambres are typically understood as characters from the Exodus, as men who fought against Moses when he sought to free the Jewish people from Egypt. Though not explicitly mentioned in Scripture, these two names were traditionally associated with two of Pharaoh's magicians who opposed Moses (Exodus 7:11–12, 22; 8:7, 18). These men were known for three things.

First, they opposed the truth. They stood against the command God had given through Moses to let the Jewish people go from slavery.

Second, these men were spiritually and intellectually depraved. They did not know God, did not seek God, and did not believe His words.

Third, these men's teachings earned them only rejection by God. Paul's words here resemble his writing in Colossians 2:18–19: "Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head." Such people, in Ephesus and Colossae, did not truly know God despite their claims to be spiritual leaders.
Verse Context:
Second Timothy 3:1–9 is Paul's extensive list of godless traits, which will characterize false teachers and unbelievers. In verses 2 through 5, Paul will list nineteen separate qualities which are to be condemned. Among these are selfishness, arrogance, slander, hedonism, and denial of the truth of God. According to Paul, despite the apparent success of these false teachers, they will eventually be seen for what they are, and punished. Timothy, like other believers, should steer clear of such people.
Chapter Summary:
Chapter 3 presents two sections with very different themes. In the first, Paul describes in detail the sins associated with apostasy: the abandonment of truth. Echoing the themes of prior chapters, Paul instructs Timothy to avoid not only these sins, but the people who participate in them. In the second section, Paul draws a contrast between these false teachers and his own example, as well as the faithful conduct of Timothy. Paul's capstone advice against false teaching and apostasy is the written word of God: the most powerful resource for any Christian leader.
Chapter Context:
In prior chapters, Paul has encouraged Timothy through an appeal to his lifelong spiritual heritage. He has also instructed Timothy to remain focused on the work of God, rather than pointless bickering. Here, Paul will present more warnings about the attitude of false teachers and those who reject God in favor of their own preferences. Just as he taught previously, Paul warns Timothy in no uncertain terms to avoid these behaviors and those who participate in them. This chapter is the high point of Paul's letter, leading to his final instructions to Timothy found in chapter 4.
Book Summary:
Second Timothy is the last New Testament letter written by Paul. Paul writes these words while awaiting execution by Rome. At this time, around AD 67, Timothy was leading the church in Ephesus. Paul writes to Timothy in order to encourage him. Paul is facing the worst of all hardships: his own impending death. So, he encourages Timothy to stand strong in his faith, with a reliance on the written Word of God. This letter echoes many of the themes Paul uses in his other letters.
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