O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (2 Timothy 4:3) (KJV)
Knowing that 2 Timothy was written in 67 AD, what is the "time" mentioned in the text and who are those who reject sound doctrine?
A valid question, but I think there is in your question, an assumption that "time", as you implied, wasn't expected to continue after the Lord's coming in [their] near future. In other words, I think it's wrong to assume that the early church believed that when the Lord would come that time would somehow stop and that the world would cease to function as it always has.
In fact, I could even use this text to promote preterism, not refute it. After all, if Paul believed that the Lord would come soon, and he was still warning the church that it would have to endure those who were reprobates, isn't that a great indicator that he unerstood that the Lord's coming was going to be a corporate coming, not a physical and material one that was going to make over the pagan world? So it is clear from this that "the time" Paul was speaking of and "the people" he was talking about, would be those in that time who would be even MORE obstinate about believing the gospel than they already were in HIS time. Jesus' coming wasn't expected to change "the world". If anything, as Paul said, it would become WORSE. The Christian church believes that Jesus' coming is going to bring peace to the world and force everyone, everywhere, to submit to a one-world government. If that were the case, then Paul wouldn't have said what he did. He would have instead said something like "the time will come when everyone, everywhere, will submit to Christ, and they will yearn for the truth"
We have to be careful when we read texts like this not to presume that the early church thought like we do today in regard to the Lord's coming. It's my opinion that they understood perfectly well that when Jesus returned, He was going to do so to bring judgement on "the world", meaning, to them, the world they knew about. And, that world was primarily the SYSTEM of false religious beliefs, centered in the Jewish religion. That "world" was to be destroyed, not the people in the physical pagan world.
Thanks for the reply.
I understand your explanation. The issue for me is that Paul speaks of a specific time when men will not endure sound doctrine. Paul says that this time is in the future (post AD 67). In the following verses Paul says that these men would turn their ears from the truth and turn to fables. Paul and Peter speak of fables elsewhere (1 Timothy 1:4, 4:7, Titus 1:14, 2 Peter 1:16). It seems that this is speaking of the Jews returning to Old Covenant rather than hear the truth, Christ, the New Covenant. My difficulty in the text really is time to be specific and not generic.
If my English is bad, I apologize. I am Brazilian.
It is nice to engage you in a conversation. My daughter is coming from Brazil today. She visited Salvador, Sao Paulo, and Rio, where she visited Ipanema and Copacabana. She had a great time while there. She likes to practice Capoeira!
Anyway, regarding your question, I am not sure what you are asking. I wish I spoke Portugese! :)
But if I understand you, you are asking about WHEN (what time) Paul was referring to, correct?
Well, I don't think he was thinking of a specific time this would happen, only that there WOULD COME a time. Paul is saying that a time WILL COME, but he wasn't making a prophecy about WHEN that time would happen. In fact, except for a very few cases in the bible, no prophecy specified an exact time when they would happen. Most prophecies were dependent on when people acted.
It is my impression that God proclaims prophecies and they are dependent on whether people react to what He says. For example, the prophecy that Jonah received was definite, UNLESS the people responded to what he said. In that case, Babylon repented, and the prophecy was delayed.
So time is not the most important thing with prophecy, only that it WILL happen!
Does that help?
exactly ... when! [:
about my English, I really have to practice more 8D
I think this is the problem of living in a place (Brazil) where there is only futurism. So I have to look for answers in distant places. But I promise I'll improve my english XD
I think that refers to the "great falling away" or when the "love of many would grow cold" that Jesus and Paul talked about. In my opinion it was the Judaizers and those that chose to follow them because of persecution leading up to the 1st siege of Jerusalem. When the Roman armies showed you, one had a clear choice. Put it all on the line for this man who claimed to be the Christ (get out of Jerusalem) or put it all on the line for those sticking with the Old Covenant (run to the city and let God fight for you).
The destruction of Jerusalem was the public vindication of Christ, the martyred saints, and the surviving Christians.
No problem. By the way, your english is better than my Portuguese.
Jesus predicted this time too. in Matt 24.
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
The last 3.5 years before the end of the world were times of great disturbances against christians. Jesus warned to those times at the end of their time and so it came to be... Josephus documented the faithlessness of the Jews towards God and the abuse and threats of both romans and jews against Christians... horrifying details of those days. wickedness and loveless...