2 Timothy 4:4
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
a. NLT: They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
b. NIV: They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
c. Young’s Literal Translation: and indeed, from the truth the hearing they shall turn away, and to the fables they shall be turned aside.
d. Amplified Bible: And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.
1.”And they shall turn away their ears from the truth…”
a. shall turn away [654 * apostrepho; apo-from; strepho-to turn] [Vine: to cause to turn away, to remove.] [Strong: to turn away or back (literally or figuratively):--bring again, pervert, turn away (from).]
b. ears [189 * akoe][ [Strong: hearing (the act, the sense or the thing heard):--audience, ear, fame, which ye heard, hearing, preached, report, rumor.]
c. truth [225 * aletheia][Strong: truth:--true, X truly, truth, verity.]
1). The truth is the Scriptures. They turn away their ears from the truth because they don’t love the truth or believe the truth. Individuals who choose this path not only hate the Scriptures, they set themselves up to be deceived in the same way people will be deceived who accept the anti-Christ, by rejecting the Scriptures.
a). 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2. “…and shall be turned unto fables.”
a. fables [3454 * muthos] [Zodhiates: “Commonly rendered as a tale or a fable or that which is fabricated by the mind in contrast to reality. It is the word from which Mythology is derived. In the N.T. the word myth does not have the meaning of being a vehicle of some lofty truth as in the early use of the word. Mostly used in the N.T. denoting a fable full of falsehoods and pretenses.”
1). The fables or myths center on their not upholding sound doctrine and accumulating teachers that reinforce their false beliefs, in this case their lusts. In the previous verse Paul wrote that these last day apostate Christians would not “endure sound doctrine but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers”. No doubt one of the myths being referred to here is sexual orientation.
2). The American Psychological Association gives this definition: “…an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectional [sic] attraction to another person” . A political definition was given in H.R. 4636, from the House of Representatives, 103rd Congress on June 23, 1994: “The term sexual orientation means lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual orientation, real or perceived as manifested by identity, acts, statements or associations.”[i] A legal definition is given by Judge Arthur S. Spiegel, in his August 9, 1994 ruling granting a permanent injunction prohibiting Cincinnati’s Issue Three from becoming effective. “Sexual orientation is a deeply rooted complex combination of factors including a predisposition towards affiliation, affection or bonding with members of the opposite and or same gender.”[ii] A religious definition but certainly not Biblical is given by the Episcopal Church in a Study called, Continuing the Dialogue A Pastoral Study Document of the House of Bishops to the Church as the Church Considers Issues of Human Sexuality. Their definition says, “…the homosexually oriented person is one who is consistently attracted affectionately, romantically, and erotically to persons of the same sex. Persistent patterns of homosexual attraction, enduring experience of intimacy, and continuing manifestations of devoted love are the most trustworthy signs of sexual orientation, not simply genital activity.”[iii]
3). It was Isaiah who said in Isaiah 8:20 “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” What the previously mentioned groups and individuals are saying reveals they have no light in them, because what they are saying is darkness. For the so called Christians in this group, it is far more serious, because they are calling God a liar, they know what God’s word says and they choose to say differently.
4). Make no mistake about it, Biblically, man and woman were created heterosexual. This is established in Matthew 19:4-6. “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” The sexual behaviors of men with men and women with women are not sexual orientations; they are, according to Romans 1:26, “vile affections”. And they “defile the flesh” according to Jude 8. The Apostle Paul described their feelings this way in Romans 1:27, these men “burned in their lust one toward another”. The Greek word for “burned” is ekkaio and according to Zodhiates Word Study Dictionary it means “to burn, light, set fire to, to cause to burn or flame up, to kindle”. In the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament it is used of an actual fire in Exodus 22:6 and Judges 15:5. It is also used metaphorically for the anger of the LORD in Deuteronomy 29:20; Psalm 2:12 and Jeremiah 4:4.[iv] The Greek word for “lust” is orexis and according to Zodhiates, it means, “to desire…appetite, lust or concupiscence. It is always the reaching out after an object with the purpose of drawing it to oneself and appropriating it.”[v] Paul goes on to say in Romans 1:27, “…men with men working that which is unseemly.” The Greek word for “working” according to Zodhiates is katergazomai and it means “to work, to bring about, to carry out a task until it’s finished”.[vi] The phrase, “that which is unseemly” is the Greek word aschemosune and it means “indecently, obscenity, nakedness”. In the Septuagint it is used in Exodus 20:26 and Leviticus 18:6, 7 to mean the sexual private parts of male and female.[vii] The complete phrase, “men with men working that which is unseemly” is a discreet way of saying, “men engaging in actions with the sexual private parts of another man.” When all the grammar and definitions of Romans 1:27 are put together this is the sum, “the enflamed desire and appetite and lust of a man to appropriate or seize upon and engage in actions with the private sexual parts of other men.” What a reprobate calls ‘homosexual orientation’, Paul calls a “vile affection”. On two separate occasions the Apostle Paul warned us not to be deceived about homosexual behavior. In 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, of which I will comment on more in a later chapter, Paul writes, “…Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (NASV). And again in Ephesians 5:5, 6 “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man…has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (KJV). The Greek word for “whoremonger” is ‘pornos’. It is #4205 in the Strong’s numbering system. I consulted 4 different Greek dictionaries and found the following: Strong’s: male prostitute; Thayer: male prostitute; Zodiates: male prostitute; Bullinger: sodomite.[viii] So there is no doubt that this is referring to homosexual behavior.
[i] 103rd Congress, House Of Representatives, June 23, 1994, H.R. 4636.
[ii] Judge S. Arthur Spiegel,
District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, Permanent
Injunction against Issue Three, August 9, 1994.
[iii] Continuing the Dialogue, Definition of homosexual orientation, p.39, Lines 266-271.
[iv] Spiros Zodhiates Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, # 1572.
[v] Ibid. # 3715.
[vi] Ibid. #2716.
[vii] Ibid. #808.
[viii] Joseph H. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. #4205.
Spiros Zodhiates Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, # 4205.
The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #4205.
Ethelbert W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon & Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament.