Pristine Grace

2 Tim 2:17-18, (GILL)
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.

18  Who concerning the truth have erred,.... That is, the two persons just mentioned; they fell from the truth, wandered and departed from it; they did not keep to the Scriptures of truth, but deviated from them; they missed that mark, and went astray into gross errors and mistakes; rejected the Gospel, the word of truth, in general, and particularly in

saying, that the resurrection is past already; and no other is to be expected; or that there was no future resurrection of the dead: their error was, as some think, that there is no other resurrection than that of parents in their children, who, though they die, live in their posterity; or than the resurrection of Christ, and of the saints, that rose at the same time; or rather, that there is no other resurrection than the spiritual one, or regeneration, which is a quickening of dead sinners, or the resurrection of them from the death of sin, to a life of grace; which seems to be the truest account of their principle, seeing this is what has been received and propagated by others since; though some have thought that they gave into the Palingenesia of the Pythagoreans, who supposed that when men die, their souls go into other bodies; and that these men imagined, that this is all the resurrection that will be: and others have been of opinion, that their notion was, that whereas the deliverance of the Jews out of the Babylonish captivity is signified by a resurrection of them, in Eze 37:1 that this is the resurrection they meant was past, and no other to be looked for; but that which has been fixed upon seems to be the truest account:

and overthrow the faith of some; the Ethiopic version reads, "of many"; that is, of nominal professors of religion; not of true believers, for true faith cannot be overthrown. Hence it follows,

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