Paul’s final words to Timothy in this book come back to the apostolic revelation, or, the
Word of God, that has been “entrusted” to Timothy. Timothy is told to “guard what has been
entrusted to your care.” The English phrase “guard what has been entrusted” is literally
“guard the deposit.” The word “deposit” is from paratheke a banking term in the Greek that
refers to a sum of money placed into the safe keeping of a bank. Obviously, the Word of God
itself is secure, but the presentation of the Word of God can easily be mixed with other things.
Timothy is told to turn away from “godless chatter” and “what is falsely called knowledge.”
The “godless chatter” is a reference to pseudo-religious talk that was, one, “godless” even though
it used Christian words and appeals to emotions; and, two, “chatter” which meant it was empty
of any useful substance for the Christian life. The reference to “what is falsely called knowledge”
is indeed a form of “knowledge” or “information,” but this was cultural knowledge that had crept
into the church ministry. This most likely was the logic, views, values, etc. of Greek philosophy
that was common in Ephesus. The mixing of Greek philosophy with Christian doctrine
(or, socially accepted concepts with the transforming power of God’s Truth) was developing
into what would become known as the false branch of Christianity called Gnosticism.
John would write against Gnosticism later as would followers of John’s disciples, such as Irenaeus, and other early church writers.
Timothy must teach the Word of God. But, he must also be able to discern what is not the Word of God, but is instead merely cultural ideas or actual false doctrine and heretical teaching.