Shalom. Let God dwell in your thought, abide in your heart and reside in your spaces.
Paul was encouraging Timothy to continue in his role of ministry he’d been released to and gave him this warning and advice in his second letter to him…
2 Timothy 4 : 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…(KJV)
I agree with this that the time has come, and, indeed has been with us since the end of the first century. Indeed, for about 2000 years the church has wrestled with this issue. But the language is something I struggle a bit with to be honest, and this verse to me is a good case of hermeneutical understanding of the scripture, helping us to better grasp what the Greek was saying – for me, this verse could be better rendered to us today to say… the time will come when people won’t listen to healthy teaching.
Eugene Peterson in ‘The Message’ takes this imagery of healthy to a digestive level…
You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy.
Because …not endure sound doctrine… gives me a picture of a set of laws, a stringent code of practice and a rigid adherence to a religious system; but ‘listening to healthy teaching’ sounds more in line with the invitation Jesus gave us in Matthew 11: 28 – 30 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
In fact there are people who write theses on just such issues; so it just goes to show that language changes over time and words can mean different things in different times to different generations. It doesn’t mean that another rendering is wrong; it’s just that we need to understand what it meant to those who heard it. It also helps to explain why there are so many differing versions of the bible, and they aren’t all created equal; but that’s another issue entirely.
I trust you enjoy grappling with the written words of God this week and applying them to your life.