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2 Timothy 3:15

    2 Timothy 3:15 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And that from the time when you were a child, you have had knowledge of the holy Writings, which are able to make you wise to salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus.

    Webster's Revision

    And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    World English Bible

    From infancy, you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Timothy 3:15

    From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures - The early religious education of Timothy has been already sufficiently noticed; see 2 Timothy 1:5, and the preface to the first epistle. St. Paul introduces this circumstance again here for the confirmation of Timothy's faith. He had learned the doctrines of Christianity from a genuine apostle; and, as Christianity is founded on the law and the prophets, Timothy was able to compare its doctrines with all that had been typified and predicted, and consequently was assured that the Christian religion was true.

    Able to make thee wise unto salvation - The apostle is here evidently speaking of the Jewish Scriptures; and he tells us that they are able to make us wise unto salvation provided we have faith in Jesus Christ. This is the simple use of the Old Testament. No soul of man can be made wise unto salvation by it, but as he refers all to Christ Jesus. The Jews are unsaved though they know these Scriptures, because they believe not in Christ; for Christ is the end of the law for the justification of all that believe.

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Timothy 3:15

    And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures - That is, the Old Testament; for the New Testament was not then written; see the notes at John 5:39. The mother of Timothy was a pious Hebrewess, and regarded it as one of the duties of her religion to train her son in the careful knowledge of the word of God. This was regarded by the Hebrews as an important duty of religion, and there is reason to believe that it was commonly faithfully performed. The Jewish writings abound with lessons on this subject. Rabbi Judah says, "The boy of five years of age ought to apply to the study of the sacred Scriptures." Rabbi Solomon, on Deuteronomy 11:19, says, "When the boy begins to talk, his father ought to converse with him in the sacred language, and to teach him the law; if he does not do that, he seems to bury him." See numerous instances referred to in Wetstein, in loc. The expression used by Paul - "from a child" (ἀπὸ βρέφους apo brephous) - does not make it certain at precisely what age Timothy was first instructed in the Scriptures, though it would denote an "early" age. The word used - βρέφος brephos - denotes:

    (1) a babe unborn, Luke 1:41, Luke 1:44;

    (2) an infant, babe, suckling.

    In the New Testament, it is rendered "babe and babes," Luke 1:41, Luke 1:44; Luke 2:12, Luke 2:16; 1 Peter 2:2; "infants," Luke 8:15; and "young children," Acts 7:19. It does not elsewhere occur, and its current use would make it probable that Timothy had been taught the Scriptures as soon as he was capable of learning anything. Dr. Doddridge correctly renders it here "from infancy." It may be remarked then,

    (1) that it is proper to teach the Bible to children at as early a period of life as possible.

    (2) that there is reason to hope that such instruction will not be forgotten, but will have a salutary influence on their future lives. The piety of Timothy is traced by the apostle to the fact that he had been early taught to read the Scriptures, and a great proportion of those who are in the church have been early made acquainted with the Bible.

    (3) it is proper to teach the "Old" Testament to children - since this was all that Timothy had, and this was made the means of his salvation.

    (4) we may see the utility of Sunday schools. The great, and almost the sole object of such schools is to teach the Bible, and from the view which Paul had of the advantage to Timothy of having been early made acquainted with the Bible, there can be no doubt that if Sunday-schools had then been in existence, he would have been their hearty patron and friend.

    Which are able to make thee wise unto salvation - So to instruct you in the way of salvation, that you may find the path to life. Hence, learn:

    (1) that the plan of salvation may be learned from the Old Testament. It is not as clearly revealed there as it is in the New, but "it is there;" and if a man had only the Old Testament, he might find the way to be saved. The Jew, then, has no excuse if he is not saved.

    (2) the Scriptures have "power." They are "able to make one wise to salvation." They are not a cold, tame, dead thing. There is no book that has so much "power" as the Bible; none that is so efficient in moving the hearts, and consciences, and intellects of mankind. There is no book that has moved so many minds; none that has produced so deep and permanent effects on the world.

    (3) to find the way of salvation, is the best kind of wisdom; and none are wise who do not make that the great object of life.

    Through faith which is in Christ Jesus; - see the Mark 16:16 note; Romans 1:17 note. Paul knew of no salvation, except through the Lord Jesus. He says, therefore, that the study of the Scriptures, valuable as they were, would not save the soul unless there was faith in the Redeemer; and it is implied, also, that the proper effect of a careful study of the "Old" Testament, would be to lead one to put his trust in the Messiah.