Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2 Timothy 4:8

A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament
2 Timothy 4:8
Henceforth (λοιπον [loipon]). Accusative case, “for the rest.” There is laid up for me (ποκειται μοι [apokeitai moi]). Present passive of ποκειμαι [apokeimai], old verb, to be laid away. See Col. 1:5 for the hope laid away. Paul’s “crown of righteousness” ( της δικαιοσυνης στεφανος [ho tēs dikaiosunēs stephanos], genitive of apposition, the crown that consists in righteousness and is also the reward for righteousness, the victor’s crown as in 1 Cor. 9:25 which see) “is laid away” for him. At that day (ν κειν τ μερ [en ekeinēi tēi hēmerāi]). That great and blessed day (1:12, 18). The righteous judge ( δικαιος κριτης [ho dikaios kritēs]). “The just judge,” the umpire who makes no mistakes who judges us all (2 Cor. 5:10). Shall give me (ποδωσει μοι [apodōsei moi]). Future active of ποδιδωμι [apodidōmi]. “Will give back” as in Rom. 2:6 and in full. But also to all them that have loved his appearing (λλα πασιν τοις γαπηκοσιν την πιφανειαν ατου [alla pāsin tois ēgapēkosin tēn epiphaneian autou]). Dative case of the perfect active participle of γαπαω [agapaō], to love, who have loved and still love his second coming. πιφανεια [Epiphaneia] here can as in 1:10 be interpreted of Christ’s Incarnation.[1]

Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament
8. Henceforth (λοιπν). Lit. as to what remains. Λοιπν or τ λοιπν either finally, as 2 Cor. 13:11; or henceforth as here, Mk. 14:41; 1 Cor. 7:29, Heb. 10:13: or for the rest, besides, as 1 Th. 4:1 (note); 2 Th. 3:1.
There is laid up (πόκειται). Or laid away. In Pastorals only here. In Paul, see Col. 1:5 (note). L. 19:20 of the pound laid up in a napkin.
A crown of righteousness ( τς δικαιοσύνης στέφανος). The phrase N. T.o. See on στεφανοται is crowned, ch. 2:5. Rend. the crown.
Judge (κριτής). Comp. ver. 1. Mostly in Luke and Acts. oP. Only here in Pastorals. Applied to Christ, Acts 10:42; Jas. 5:9; to God, Heb. 12:23; Jas. 4:12.
Shall give (ποδώσει). Most frequent in Synoptic Gospels. It may mean to give over or away, as Matt. 27:58; Acts 5:8; Heb. 12:16: or to give back, recompense, as here, Matt. 6:4, 6, 18; Rom. 2:6.
At that day (ν κείν τ μέρ). See on ch. 1:12.
That love his appearing (τος γαπηκόσι τν πιφάνειαν ατο). For love rend. have loved. Appearing, Christ’s second coming: see on 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Th. 2:8. The phrase N. T.o. Some have interpreted appearing as Christ’s first coming into the world, as ch. 1:10; but the other sense is according to the analogy of 1 Cor. 2:9; Philip. 3:20; Heb. 9:28[2]

Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader
(4:8) But his use of illustrations from Greek athletics is not finished. He likens himself to the Greek athlete, who, having won his race, is looking up at the judge’s stand, and awaiting his laurel wreath of victory. He says, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.” “Henceforth” is from a word (loipon (λοιπον)) that means literally “what remains.” “Crown” is from the Greek word stephanos (στεφανος), referring to the victor’s crown, a garland of oak leaves or ivy, given to the winner in the Greek games. The victor’s crown of righteousness is the crown which belongs to or is the due reward of righteousness. The righteous Judge is the just Judge, the Umpire who makes no mistakes and who always is fair. The word “judge” is kritēs (κριτης), and refers here in this context, not to a judge on a judicial bench but to the umpire or referee at the athletic games. The words “righteousness” and “just” are the two translations of the Greek word used here (dikaios (δικαιος)). The word “love” is perfect in tense, and is the Greek word for a love that is called out of one’s heart because of the preciousness of the object loved (agapaō (γαπαω)). The Greek word translated “appearing” (epiphaneia (πιφανεια)), means literally, “to become visible,” and was used of the glorious manifestation of the gods, here of the glorious coming of the Lord Jesus into the air to catch out the Church. To those who have considered precious His appearing and therefore have loved it, and as a result at the present time are still holding that attitude in their hearts, to those the Lord Jesus will also give the victor’s garland of righteousness. The definite article is used in the Greek text. It is a particular crown reserved for these. The word “give” (apodidōmi (ποδιδωμι)) can be here translated “award.” Thus Paul, the spiritual athlete, his victory won, is resting at the goal posts, awaiting the award which the judge’s stand will give him.
Translation. Henceforth, there is reserved for me the victor’s laurel wreath of righteousness, which the Lord will award me on that day, the just Umpire, and not only to me but also to all those who have loved His appearing and as a result have their love fixed on it.[3]

Donald Guthrie, Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary  (TNTC)
8. The apostle continues his thought into the future as is shown by the words Now there is in store for me. The first word in the Greek is loipon, which draws attention to what still remains to be realized as contrasted with those things already accomplished (verse 7). The crown of righteousness is reminiscent not only of the wreaths of honour awarded to Olympic winners, but also of the awards made to loyal subjects by oriental sovereigns for services rendered (Dibelius cites an example from an inscription of Antiochus 1, where similar phraseology is used). There are two ways of understanding the phrase crown of righteousness. If the genitive is in apposition with the other noun as in the parallel phrase ‘crown of life’ (Jas 1:12; Rev. 2:10), then righteousness must be the crown. But if the genitive is possessive, the phrase would mean ‘the crown which is the reward of the righteous man’. Most commentators prefer the second interpretation, which is the only one in harmony with Paul’s doctrine of righteousness.
There may be an implied contrast between the Lord, the righteous Judge and the wrong judgments of the emperor Nero under whose perverted sense of justice the apostle is at the moment suffering. The idea, may, on the other hand, contrast with the not always impartial decisions of the Olympic umpires. If the Olympic Games (or Isthmian Games) supply the metaphor here there is a marked variation between the completion of the race and the receiving of the crown, which for the Christian is not immediate as in the Games, but must await that day. Already in 1:12 (see note there) the apostle has intimated his forward look to that glorious day of Christ’s appearing and it is evident that this apocalyptic vision dominated his present reactions and his future hopes.
The apostle hastens to add that this crown is not a special reservation for himself alone. He seems sensitive about appearing self-centred and points out, no doubt for the immediate encouragement of Timothy, that a similar crown awaits all who fulfill the conditions. Those who have longed for his appearing probably describes all those who loved the Lord, for all the early Christians had an intense longing for Christ’s complete triumph. The niv does not bring out the true force of the verb here. rsv and av translate as ‘loved’ and this is to be preferred. As the perfect tense suggests, they have loved his appearing in the past and will continue to do so to the moment of receiving the reward.[4]

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary
Paul looked ahead (v. 8). A Greek or Roman athlete who was a winner was rewarded by the crowds and usually got a laurel wreath or a garland of oak leaves. The word for “crown” is stephanos—the victor’s crown; we get our name Stephen from this word. (The kingly crown is diadema, from which we get “diadem.”) However, Paul would not be given a fading crown of leaves; his would be a crown of righteousness that would never fade.
Jesus Christ is the “righteous Judge” who always judges correctly. Paul’s judges in Rome were not righteous. If they were, they would have released him. How many times Paul had been tried in one court after another, yet now he faced his last Judge—his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When you are ready to face the Lord, you need not fear the judgment of men.
The crown of righteousness is God’s reward for a faithful and righteous life; and our incentive for faithfulness and holiness is the promise of the Lord’s appearing. Because Paul loved His appearing and looked for it, he lived righteously and served faithfully. This is why Paul used the return of Jesus Christ as a basis for his admonitions in this chapter (see 2 Tim. 4:1).
We are not called to be apostles; yet we can win the same crown that Paul won. If we love Christ’s appearing, live in obedience to His will, and do the work He has called us to do, we will be crowned.[5]

4:8Because he had been faithful, Paul did not dread dying but looked forward to seeing His Lord. On the day of rewards for Christians (the judgment seat of Christ; 1:12, 18; 2 Cor. 5:10) Paul was confident that the Lord would give him a reward that was proper.
The “crown of righteousness” may be either the fullness of righteousness as a reward or some unspecified reward for righteous conduct on earth (cf. James 1:12; Rev. 2:10). This seems to be a metaphorical crown (i.e., a reward) rather than a literal material crown since righteousness is non-material. This reward (victor’s crown, Gr. stephanos) will go to all Christians like Paul who, by the way they lived, demonstrated a longing for the Lord’s return. Not all Christians are anxious for the Lord to return since some know they need to change their way of living.

Believers’ Crowns
An Imperishable Crown
For leading a disciplined life
A Crown of Rejoicing
For evangelism and discipleship
A Crown of Righteousness
For loving the Lord’s appearing
A Crown of Life
For enduring trials
A Crown of Glory
For shepherding God’s flock faithfully
Clearly Paul was thinking of the judgment seat of Christ in verses 1-8. He referred to his Judge in verses 1 and 8. Note that it will be the righteous Judge who will bestow the crown of righteousness.
"The thought here is not that of a generous giver, but of a righteous judge." 123
 “An expectation of reward is also a recognition of God’s grace. Those who anticipate reward will not be able to boast, ‘Look at my accomplishments.’ They should be able to offer praise to God by saying, ‘Thank you, Lord, for what you have produced in me.’ The very expectation of reward is an acknowledgment of God’s grace.” 124
123   Lock, Walter. The Pastoral Epistles. International Critical Commentaries Series. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1924. , p. 115.
124  Lea, p. 249. See also Joe L. Wall, Going for the Gold, pp. 125-28, 131-39.

[1] A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933), 2 Ti 4:8.
[2] Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 4 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 323–324.
[3] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 2 Ti 4:7–8.
niv New International Version, 1973, 1978, 1984.
rsv Revised Standard Version: Old Testament, 1952; New Testament,21971.
av Authorized (King James) Version, 1611.
[4] Donald Guthrie, Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 14, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990), 188–189.
[5] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 255–256.