Pristine Grace

2 Tim 2:16-17, (GILL)
16  But shun profane and vain babblings,.... The ministry of false teachers is mere babbling; a voice, and nothing else, as the man said of his nightingale; a sound of words, but no solid matter in them; great swelling words of vanity, like large bubbles of water, look big, and make a great noise, but have nothing in them; contain nothing but vain, empty, idle, and trifling stuff; what is unprofitable and unedifying, yea, what is profane, contrary to the nature and perfections of God, and not agreeable to the doctrine which is according to godliness; and being palmed upon the Holy Scriptures, is a profanation of them. And all such wicked and empty prate, and babbling, is to be shunned, avoided, and discouraged, refused, and rejected; and, as much as can be, a stop should be put to it, both by ministers and hearers of the word.

For they will increase unto more ungodliness meaning either that such babblings, if used and encouraged, will grow more and more profane and wicked; or the persons that use them, the unruly and vain talkers, will grow more daring, bold; and impudent, will wax worse and worse, and from one error will proceed to another, for such seldom stop; and having abused one passage of Scripture, will go on to attack another, and will not cease, till they have wrested the whole Scripture to their own destruction, and that of others.

17  And their word will eat as doth a cancer,.... Or "gangrene", which gnaws and feeds upon the flesh, inflames and mortifies as it goes, and spreads swiftly, and endangers the whole body; and is therefore to be speedily taken notice of, and stopped. It is better rendered "gangrene", as in the marginal reading, than "cancer".

"The word "gangrene" is Greek [g], and is derived by some authors from the Paphlagonian "gangra", a goat; it being the character of a goat to browse the grass all around without shifting. It is more correct, perhaps, to derive it from the Greek word graw, grainw, "manduco", "consumo", I eat, I consume. The "gangrene" is a disease in the flesh of the part which it corrupts, consumes, and turns black, spreading and seizing itself of the adjoining parts, and is rarely cured without amputation. By the microscope, a gangrene has been discovered to contain an infinite number of little worms engendered in the morbid flesh; and which continually producing new broods, they swarm, and overrun the adjacent parts: if the gangrene proceed to an utter sphacelation (or mortification), and be seated in any of the limbs, or extreme parts, recourse must be had to the operation of amputation''

And so the errors and heresies of false teachers worm and spread, and feed upon the souls of men, and eat up the vitals of religion, or what seemed to be such, and even destroy the very form of godliness; and bring destruction and death, wherever they come; and when they get into Christian churches, threaten the ruin of them; and therefore are to be opposed in time, and those infected with them to be cut off.

Of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; these were some of the principal among the false teachers, the chief authors and spreaders of error and heresy: the former of these is mentioned before in 1Ti 1:20 along with Alexander, as guilty of blasphemy, and as delivered up to Satan for it. Philetus is a Greek name as well as the other, though it is sometimes found in Roman inscriptions [h]: it is very likely that these were both in Asia, and probably in Ephesus, or near to it, since the apostle mentions them by name to Timothy, that he might beware of them.

[g] See Chambers's Cyclopedia in the word "Gangrene". [h] Vid. Kirchman. de Funer. Roman. l. 3. c. 10. p. 390.

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