AND JUST AS JANNES
AND JAMBRES OPPOSED
MOSES: on tropon de Iannes kai Iambres antesthesan (3PAAI) Mousei:
Other translations -
stand against (YLT),
set themselves against (Wuest),
fought against (NLT),
these teachers fight truth (TLB).
Just as -
Observe that this introduces a
term of comparison ("just as" ~
Remember that figures of speech are always intended to convey a literal
meaning. So when you see these terms remember that it is not a license
to let your mind run wild allegorizing or spiritualizing the text.
Jannes and Jambres
- Not mentioned in Exodus but Jewish tradition identified them as those
who opposed Moses in Exodus 7:11. See
Jannes and Jambres -
[word study] from anti = against, opposite +
histemi = stand) means they set themselves in array
against the truth. The picture is of two enemy forces setting themselves
in array against one another in battle lines, the truth on one side
arrayed against lies, deception, error and falsehood on the other side.
This verb suggests vigorously opposing, with the idea of standing
face-to-face against an adversary so as to stand one's ground.
- Mt 5:39; Lk 21:15; Acts 6:10; 13:8; Ro 9:19; 13:2; Gal 2:11; Ep 6:13;
2Ti 3:8; 4:15; Jas 4:7; 1Pe 5:9. NAS - cope(1), oppose(1), has
opposed(1), opposed(4), opposing(1), resist(5), resists(2).
dramatically illustrates the idea of the verb anthistemi
when Cephas (Peter) began to withdraw from eating with the Gentiles for
fear of Jewish criticism, saying
(anthistemi) him (Peter) to his face. (Ga
Paul also used this "battle word" anthistemi to exhort the
saints at Ephesus (and us) to
take up the full armor of God,
that you may be able to resist (anthistemi)
in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Ep 6:13-note)
Most expositors accept
Jannes and Jambres as the Egyptian court
magicians in Exodus (Ex 7:11; 22 8:7, 18)
but since they are not named in the OT account, this area is rife with
fruitless speculation. The point in the comparison that is quite clear
is their opposition to the truth of God. As Jannes and Jambres in Egypt
set themselves against the truth of God by means of their counterfeit
miracles, so these self-seeking, fraudulent men now oppose the truth of
the glorious Gospel. With this comparison, Paul does leave open the
possibility that these men likewise will avail themselves of occult
supernatural powers and practices. One would not be surprised if this
were the case for Jesus warned that in the end times (actually
referring in context to "the great tribulation", the last 3.5 year
period preceding Christ's return)
false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great
signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Mt
SO THESE MEN ALSO OPPOSE THE TRUTH: houtos kai houtoi anthistantai (3PPMI) te
aletheia: (2Ti 4:15; 1Ki 22:22; 23, 24; Jer 28:1-17; Acts 13:8;
9, 10, 11, 15:24; Ga 1:7; 8, 9, 2:4; 5; Ep 4:14; 2Th 2:9; 10, 2Th 2:11 Titus
1:10; 2Pe 2:1; 2, 3; 1Jn 2:18; 4:1; Re 2:6, 14, 15, 20)
[word study] from anti = against + histemi = stand)
or literally stand against and resist the truth by either their words or
their deeds, effectively setting themselves against
the truth. Their opposition can span the range from mere objection to bitter hostility
or even open warfare (albeit all their opposition is a form of spiritual
middle voice indicates their personal involvement in
initiating the opposition and then actively participating in the
opposition. In other words they are fully cognizant that they are
standing against God and not simply happenchance,
They were men like
"Elymas the magician" who "was
opposing (anthistemi) them (Barnabas and Saul), seeking to turn the proconsul away
from the faith." (Acts 13:8).
They were like Alexander the coppersmith who "vigorously
opposed (Paul's) teaching."
The point is clear that when you stand for the truth, you will be opposed by the lie. So all you young "Timothys" and "Timotheas",
"gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope
completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus
Christ" (1Pe 1:13)
so that strengthened by this truth, you may be enabled to "fight the
good fight of faith (and) take hold of the eternal life to which
you were called (1Ti 6:12).
In 2Timothy 1:16-note
Phygelus and Hermogenes were ashamed of the truth, in
2Ti 2:17, 18-note
Hymenaeus and Philetus went astray from the truth and in
2Ti 3:8 men
like Jannes and Jambres were against the truth.
THE BATTLE FOR
2Ti 2:17, 18
MEN OF DEPRAVED MIND: anthropoi
katephtharmenoi (RPPMPN) ton noun: (Ac 8:21;8:22 Ro 1:28; 16:18;
2Co11:13;11:14,15 1Ti1:19; 4:2; 6:5; Titus 1:16; 2Pe2:14; Jude18, 19)
Their minds are variously described as:
debased intellectuals (Weymouth),
warped & twisted (TLB),
corrupt (NJB, NRSV),
whose minds do not function (TEV)
from katá = intensifies the
= corrupt, destroy) means to
corrupt, to destroy (passive - to be destroyed, to perish - used in
Greek Textus Receptus of 2Pe 2:12). Here kataphtheiro is used
figuratively to describe a human
mind that has become corrupted, decadent, entirely spoiled and in a
sense "lain waste." There is an especially picturesque use of
kataphtheiro in the Lxx of Lev 26:39
So those of you who may be left will rot away
(kataphtheiro) because of their iniquity in the lands of your enemies;
and also because of the iniquities of their forefathers they will rot
away with them.
perfect tense pictures the
unalterable, permanently corrupted condition of their minds which in
turn explains their utter moral depravity (as described in 2T 3:2, 3, 4, 5). They
are like those Paul warns about in (1Ti 4:2)
who are "seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron"
and whom Jude described as "worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit"
The only other NT
use is in 2Peter 2:12 but that is found only in the Greek Textus
Receptus version and not in the Nestle-Aland (used for the NAS
- 27v in the Lxx - Gen 6:12, 13, 17; 9:11; Ex 18:18; Lev 26:39; Jdg 6:4; 2 Chr 12:7;
24:23; 25:16; 26:16; 27:2; 35:21; Isa 10:27; 13:5; 24:1; 32:7; Da 4:14,
It is interesting
that the first 4 uses of this vivid verb are in the context of God's
judgment of mankind by a worldwide flood...
(Gen 6:12) God looked on the earth,
and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon
(Gen 6:13) Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before
Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I
am about to destroy them with the earth.
(Gen 6:17) “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the
earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under
heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.
(Gen 9:11) “I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never
again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be
a flood to destroy the earth.”
refers to a basic meaning direct one's inner sense to an object. Nous
refers to human intellectual perception and moral judgment. It is the God given faculty of perceiving and understanding and is the
channel through which truth reaches the heart. Nous describes everything
in the realm of the intellect, including one's will, emotions, ability
to think, reason and decide.
Mind by Phillip Towner
Mind - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
& Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament on Nous- A
comprehensive name for the thoughts existing in the conscience;
understanding, the reasoning faculty, man’s power of judgment; thinking,
understanding; it is the constellation of thoughts and assumptions which
make up the consciousness of the person and acts as the agent of
rational discernment and communication; the thinking power, reason
in its moral quality and activity; reasoning capacity, especially as
concerns moral action; the intellect in its judging faculty
Old Testament writers understood the mind as the inner being of a
person—much like a person’s heart. When the Gospels speak of a person’s
mind, it is mostly in connection with a person’s heart as well (“in the
thoughts of their heart”; see Luke 1:51). The only other significant
occurrence of the word mind comes in Jesus’ statement of the
great commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all
your mind (dianoia)”
(Mt. 22:37; Mk 12:30; Lk 10:27). The Gospel writers are unanimous in
their agreement that Jesus quoted Dt 6:5 and added “with all your
mind” to the quote. In the writings of Paul, we enter the Greek
world’s understanding of the mind. Paul used two words for the mind:
meaning “understanding” or “mind,” and nous, meaning “mind” or
“intellect.” Paul understood the mind as distinct from the spirit and
the heart of a person. The mind possesses the ability to understand and
to reason (1Cor 14:14–19); it is the seat of intelligence. In other
places, Paul used the Greek word for mind to refer to the entire mental
and moral being of a human. A person’s actions flow from the
inclinations of his or her mind; whether a person is good or evil
depends on the state of that person’s mind. Paul makes it clear that a
person’s condition depends upon how that person controls his or her
mind. Ro 8:6-7 speaks of a person’s mind being controlled either by the
flesh or by the Spirit. The person whose mind is controlled by the flesh
is evil and the mind controlled by the Spirit leads to good. Other
passages refer to the inclination of a person’s mind being controlled by
the god of this world (2Cor 4:4). People whose minds are controlled by
the god of this world will have their minds darkened and will not be
able to understand the world as it really is (2Cor 3:14). It is like a
veil over one’s understanding; but it is the Lord who can open peoples’
minds. When we are born again, we can experience God’s renewing of our
minds (Ro 12:2; Ep 4:23). It is our responsibility to renew our minds by
regularly reading God’s Word; but only the Holy Spirit can make us
spiritually-minded (1Cor 2:15–16). (Holman Treasury of Key
The nous is a very "dynamic"
organ - A mind (nous) can be...
depraved (Ro 1:28=adokimos,
for praying, for singing, speaking
(1Cor 14:14-15, 19)
of Christ (1Cor 2:16),
(Ro 12:2, Eph 4:23),
opened to spiritual truth (Lk 24:45),
in "synch" with others, speaking of
unity among believers (1Cor 1:10), = "In essentials unity; in
non-essentials, liberty; in all things charity.
guarded by the peace of God (Php
1. the mind, comprising
alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of
feeling, judging, determining; hence, specifically,
a. the intellective faculty, the understanding: Luke 24:45 (on which
see dianoi,gw, 2); Phil 4:7; Rev 13:18; 17:9; opposed to to the spirit
intensely roused and completely absorbed with divine things, but
destitute of clear ideas of them, 1Cor. 14:14f,19; to be furnished with
the understanding of Christ, 1Cor 2:16b.
b. reason in the narrower sense, as the capacity for spiritual
truth, the higher powers of the soul, the faculty of perceiving divine
things, of recognizing goodness and of hating evil: Ro 1:28; 7:23; Eph.
4:17; 1Ti 6:5; 2Ti 3:8 Titus 1:15; opposed to the flesh Ro 7:25; to be
so changed that the spirit which governs the mind is renewed, Eph 4:23;
c. the power of considering and judging soberly, calmly and
impartially: 2Th 2:2.
2. a particular mode of thinking and judging: Ro 14:5; 1 Cor.
1:10; equivalent to thoughts, feelings, purposes: (from Isa. 40:13),
Rom. 11:34; 1 Cor. 2:16a
The mind of the
men in 2Ti 3:8 has become so thoroughly corrupted that the truth of the
Gospel cannot penetrate and be perceived. This state naturally leads to
them being reprobate and disqualified regarding the Christian faith.
basic meaning direct one's inner sense to an object; (1) as the
faculty of intelligence understanding, mind, intellect (1Cor 14.15);
(2) as the faculty of moral perception (practical) reason, insight,
awareness (Ro 7.25); (3) as the total inner orientation or moral
attitude way of thinking, mind (set), disposition (Ro 1.28); (4)
as the result of mental activity thought, judgment, resolve, opinion (Ro
"mind," denotes, speaking generally, the seat of reflective
consciousness, comprising the faculties of perception and understanding,
and those of feeling, judging and determining. Its use in the NT may be
analyzed as follows: it denotes (a) the faculty of knowing, the
seat of the understanding, Luke 24:45 ; Romans 1:28 ; 14:5 ; 1
Corinthians 14:15,19 ; Ephesians 4:17 ; Philippians 4:7 ; Colossians
2:18 ; 1 Timothy 6:5 ; 2 Timothy 3:8 ; Titus 1:15 ; Revelation 13:18 ;
17:9 ; (b) counsels, purpose, Romans 11:34 (of the "mind" of
God); 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:10 ; 2:16 , twice (1) of the thoughts
and counsels of God, (2) of Christ, a testimony to His Godhood;
Ephesians 4:23 ; (c) the new nature, which belongs to the
believer by reason of the new birth, Romans 7:23,25 , where it is
contrasted with "the flesh," the principle of evil which dominates
fallen man. Under (b) may come 2 Thessalonians 2:2 , where it
stands for the determination to be steadfast amidst afflictions, through
the confident expectation of the day of rest and recompense mentioned in
the first chapter. (Mind
- Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words)
- Nous describes "the ability to think, the understanding, the
moral capabilities of human beings. Early Greek writers were lavish in
their praise of human reason. Plato called it the most excellent part of
a human being, because it gave him the edge over lesser beings.
Aristotle described reason as the power of thought. The Stoics believed
that the whole world was ruled by a divine mind, a cosmic reason. The
other word for “mind” in the New Testament is phronesis. It comes
from the verb phroneo, which means to “think,” “judge,” “set one’s mind
on something,” or “have insight.” This word is used to describe the
activities of the nous. One sees it in such a phrase as “being
tough-minded.” The ancient Greek writers often wrote about this word.
Both Plato and Aristotle used it to describe discernment, insight, and
judicious reasoning. In the Septuagint Greek Old Testament it was used
to describe wisdom and intellectual cunning. In short, the nous
seems to be the ability to reason and think, while the phronesis appears
to be the process of reasoning or thinking....Nous is seen to be
the disposition of man, or his moral attitude. This is found in unsaved
as well as saved people. When people do not accept God’s enlightenment,
their minds become depraved and darkened (Ro. 1:28). This is also called
the understanding of man (Eph 4:18) or a “fleshly mind” (Col. 2:18).
Paul warned Timothy against people with depraved minds (1Ti 6:5). Such
minds are darkened by sin and need God’s enlightening. When one is
converted his mind is worked on by the Holy Spirit. It responds to the
truth of God’s Word and longs to obey Him (Ro 7:22–23, 25). In a
born-again person this mind becomes an instrument for understanding
God’s Word (Lk 24:45; Rev. 13:18; 17:9). Because of the presence of the
Lord in our lives, our minds are kept at peace (Phil 4:7). Thus, nous
refers to the ability to think, understand, or comprehend.
Nous - 24x in 22v
- Usage: composure(1), comprehension(1), mind(20), minds(1),
Luke 24:45 Then He opened their
minds to understand the Scriptures,
Romans 1:28-note And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any
longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which
are not proper,
Wuest - Virtually, they
pronounced the true God adokimos (disapproved), and would have none of
Him, and He in turn gave them up to a nous adokimos (a
disapproved mind), a mind which is no mind and cannot discharge the
functions of one, a mind in which the divine distinctions of right and
wrong are confused and lost, so that God’s condemnation cannot but fall
on it at last. Nous is not only reason, but conscience; when this
is perverted, as in the people of whom Paul speaks, or in the
Canaanites, who did their abominations unto their gods, the last deep of
evil has been reached.”
Romans 7:23-note but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging
war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of
sin which is in my members.
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one
hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other,
with my flesh the law of sin.
Romans 11:34-note For WHO HAS KNOWN THE
MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS
Romans 12:2-note And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by
the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God
is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 14:5-note One person regards one day above another, another regards
every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among
you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same
1 Corinthians 2:16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL
INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 14:14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my
mind is unfruitful.
15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray
with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the
1 Corinthians 14:19 however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my
that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a
Ephesians 4:17-note So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that
you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of
Wuest - “Mind” is nous, not
merely the intellectual faculty or understanding, but also the faculty
for recognizing moral good and spiritual truth. Expositors says: “It is
a description of the walk of the heathen world generally—a walk moving
within the limits of intellectual and moral resultlessness, given over
to things devoid of worth or reality.”
Ephesians 4:23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your
Philippians 4:7-note And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 2:18-note Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by
delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his
stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,
2 Thessalonians 2:2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure
or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from
us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
1 Timothy 6:5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and
deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
2 Timothy 3:8-note Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men
also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the
Titus 1:15-note To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are
defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their
conscience are defiled.
Revelation 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate
the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number
is six hundred and sixty-six.
Revelation 17:9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The
seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits
Nous -12v in Non-apocryphal
Septuagint - Ex 7:23; Josh 14:7; Job 7:17, 20; 33:16; 36:19; Pr 29:7;
31:3; Isa 10:7, 12; 40:13; 41:22;
AS REGARDS THE FAITH: adokimoi peri ten pistin: (2Co13:5-note)
disqualified (NET, ESV)
reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected (Amp)
their faith spurious (NJB)
of no real worth (Weymouth)
put to the test but disapproved (Wuest)
failures in the faith (TEV)
who cannot pass the test (Jewish NT)
(adokimos from a = without +
= that which after testing has stood the test and been proven authentic,
reliable, acceptable) refers to those who do not stand the test, and so
are worthless, unapproved, and rejected after God's searching test. They
failed to pass His test of purity and were "discarded", even as metals
that do not pass the purity test of purity are discarded.
8x in 8v - Ro 1:28; 1Cor 9:27; 2 Cor 13:5, 6, 7; 2Ti 3:8; Titus 1:16;
These men have
been tested in regard to ""the
faith" (Christian teaching and the gospel)
and like counterfeit coins they have been found wanting and hence are
discarded as worthless!
As Hiebert notes
the truth which they claim to bring in their teaching, upon examination,
is found to be counterfeit gold.
Adokimos was used in secular Greek
writings to describe (1) a counterfeit coin below standard weight, (2) a
cowardly soldier who fails
in the testing hour of battle, (3) a rejected candidate for office whom
citizens regarded as useless, (4) a stone which the builders rejected. If
a stone had a flaw it was marked with a capital "A" for
Adokimos and left
aside, as unfit to have any place in the building.
The ultimate test of life is usefulness, of doing the "good and
acceptable and perfect" will of the Lord (Ro12:1-note).
These men are like the stones marked with the letter "A" who
are of no value in building the Kingdom of God or building up the body
of Christ. In fact in context, instead of helping God's work, these men
actively (albeit often surreptitiously) oppose it and stand against it.
Furthermore, the fact that the men were rejected as regards the faith makes it very clear that Paul was speaking of individuals within the
church who professed to be Christians but were not.
The men Paul
describes are like those in Romans who arrogantly...
not see fit (dokimazo)
to acknowledge God any longer (so)
God gave them over to a
depraved (adokimos) mind (KJV = reprobate),
to do those things which are not proper.
Paul exhorted (actually
commanded) the Corinthians to
"Test yourselves to see if you are in
the faith; examine (dokimazo
= test something to prove it worthy) yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus
Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test (adokimos)?(2Co
The faith (4102) (pistis)
is a specific phrase (definite article "the" plus "faith" - Click study
of the phrase the faith) found some 38x in the NASB, some instances
referring to saving faith in Christ exercised by an individual and
necessary for salvation. Approximately one-half of the 38 occurrences of
the specific phrase the faith refer not to the ACT of believing
but rather to WHAT is believed (The Gospel), the latter being the
usage that the present context would seem to favor - they were rejected.
They did not pass the test. They were not genuine believers. They were
in the church, the body of Christ, but the Spirit of Christ was not in
The faith - Acts 3:16; 6:7; 13:8; 14:22; 16:5; Ro 4:11f, 16;
14:22; 1Co 16:13; 2Co 13:5; Gal 1:23; 3:23; 6:10; Eph 1:15; 4:13; Phil
1:25, 27; Col 1:23; 1Ti 1:2, 14; 3:9, 13; 4:1, 6; 5:8; 6:10, 21; 2Ti
1:13; 2:18; 3:8; 4:7; Titus 1:1, 13; 3:15; Philemon 1:5; Jude 1:3; Rev