Yesterday I shared all of the charges Paul gave Timothy in 2 Timothy. I mentioned that I would share some observations today. The first is on 2 Timothy 4:2. I mentioned when I listed the charge in 2 Timothy 4:2 that I preferred “proclaim” over what most of your translations have, “preach”.
If you look at the use of the word through time, you find that the word group refers to the king’s herald. He is sent as a representative of the king to give the king’s message. I am not sure when the word picked up the notion of preach. I am still working on that. I have suspicions, I will not share them unless I can validate them.
The problem I have with translating κηρύσσω “preach” is the way most of us will understand that word. We assign that function to the pastor, the preacher. In doing so, eliminating those of us who are not preachers from needing to apply that verse.
I am convinced that is wrong.
We are ALL Responsible
I base that on Christ’s ministry and His charge to His disciples in Matthew 28:18 – 20, primarily but there are other passages that have that same force. That charge is clear. The disciples are to teach those who come to faith through their ministry ALL that Christ taught them. One of the things that Christ did with them is to send them out to – it is the same word, κηρύσσω, in Mark 3:14 – proclaim the gospel of the kingdom.
ALL Believers to Proclaim
If all disciples are supposed to be taught ALL that Christ taught the 12, that must include κηρύσσω. He expects us to proclaim the Word. We certainly do that by the way we live, but we also do that verbally. Peter got this, and got it clearly. 1 Peter 3:15 is a great example and a good cross reference to 2 Timothy 4:2.
A lot of the literature labels 2 Timothy a pastoral epistle. When we read that we tend to assign it to our church’s staff. If my analysis is correct here. That is a misapplication of Paul and Christ’s intent.
We are all to proclaim.