Always Learning and Never Able to Arrive at a Knowledge of the Truth

3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the witness for this proper time.1 Timothy 2:3-6 (LSB) 

7 always learning and never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth.2 Timothy 3:7 (LSB) 

Carefully read both passages above (1 Timothy 2:3-6 and 2 Timothy 3:7). Notice that the Apostle Paul used the exact same phrase “knowledge of the truth” in both. This a translation of the Greek words ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας in both passages. Notice also that in 1 Timothy 2:4 that Paul clearly is referring to believers coming to an understanding of God’s saving truth in Jesus Christ, however, in 2 Timothy 3:7 he is describing people are unable to do so….

What has truth to do with salvation anyway? I read some articles and emails today from some of those who want to redefine Christianity and they are of the opinion that there is no such thing. However, here we must do two things. We must stand firm and tell it like it is.

Here is 2 Timothy 3:7 in Greek:

7 πάντοτε μανθάνοντα καὶ μηδέποτε εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν δυνάμενα.2 Timothy 3:7 (NA28)

Here is my translation:

7 always learning and never being able to come to a knowledge of truth. 2 Timothy 3:7 (translated from the NA28 Greek text to English)

The word “truth” here is ἀληθείας. It is used in John 1:14, for instance, where it refers to the incarnate Christ: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In John 16:13 we read, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” In God’s economy, in the Biblical sense, in the way God has designed things for His people, the concept of the truth is that which is not concealed. It is what really is true. The genuine Christian understanding of truth is that it is that which is absolute, that which is incontrovertible, irrefutable, incontestable, unarguable, and unchanging. If something is true, it is always true and can never be untrue, no matter what the circumstances. Also, and this makes some post modernists very angry with me for saying it, what is true is true regardless of whether you believe it to be true or not. View article →