An Exposition of the Two Epistles to Timothy

With a Translation of an Amended Text. Third Edition.

Editor’s Note to the Third Edition.

During the years; 1884-7, Mr. Kelly wrote his Notes on the two Epistles to Timothy, which appeared serially under his editorship in The Bible Treasury (Vols. 15 and 16). In July 1889 these Notes were published in single volume form as an Exposition of these Epistles. In 1913 a second edition revised followed in two volumes, now succeeded by the present issue in a single volume. No change in the substance of the Exposition has been made, but slight modifications of phraseology in the expositor’s remarks have occasionally been introduced by the editor for the help of the reader. Also, care has been taken to verify the numerous references in the text and in the footnotes.

A brief summary of the two Epistles, also by W. K., is added1 as a further aid in studying Paul’s final charges to Timothy in view of his own imminent decease, and of the rapid perversion and widespread abandonment of the truth of God by the Christian profession. The present need of this particular instruction is evident. What was but a trickle in the first century is a raging devastating flood in the twentieth. In the solemn warnings and authoritative counsel of the apostle, inspired of God, as they emphatically are, the Holy Spirit has provided an impregnable defence against that roaring, threatening flood. Let us walk around our Zion and count her towers and mark well her bulwarks; so may we stand fast in the evil day of apostasy.

W. J. Hocking March 1948

1 See pages 335-348. [file 2timothy.doc]


Though of late years commentaries on the New Testament in general, and some of a more partial nature yet including the Pastoral Epistles have not been wanting, there seems room for further help. Especially is it desired by such as seek to understand these Epistles each as a whole, next as compared one with another, and lastly as forming a portion of the scriptures still more comprehensively.

The inspired word, though in Hellenistic Greek, has nothing to fear from the minutest research. The slightest change of construction is instructive; so is the choice of case or number, of comparison or collocation, still more of tense or mood, where more than one might have been employed. The particles and prepositions are never loosely used, any more than the article, but always for the most accurate conveyance of truth rather than for mere rhetoric as often is the case in classical writings. Here it is sought to transfuse the apostolic expression as exactly as one could, even at the risk of shocking ears accustomed to the beautiful smoothness of the Authorized Version, and notwithstanding the fact that there is now a Revised Version open to almost everybody who can read English, the result of united labours on the part of many respected names, few of whom may be themselves quite satisfied, as the mass of intelligent students are less so.

My hope is by grace to contribute somewhat to the better understanding and enjoyment of this part of the divine word. But personal dependence on God is indispensable for spiritual profit, even for souls at rest in His love through faith in Christ and His work. If there is plain (I trust neither unkind nor arrogant) speaking, do we not owe this one to another, in truth which concerns the moral glory of God, to say nothing of the effect on man? May His Spirit deign to use this little work to magnify the Lord!

W. Kelly, London, July 1889