PMT 2015-021 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
With this article I am closing this series responding to Dr. James White’s rebuttal of my views on 2 Tim 3. In his October 16, 2014 webcast he rejected my argument that Paul’s statements should be understood as applying to the first-century heretics Timothy was facing in Ephesus. He sees Paul’s warnings as more general, applying to all the future. As a result, he sees Paul as undermining postmillennialism.
In my response, I have been pointing out that Paul’s letters to Timothy are occasional epistles dealing with occasions in the first century. I noted that Paul mentions the names of specific first-century heretics (Hymenaeus, Alexander, Phygelus, Hermogenes, and Philetus, 1 Tim 1:15, 20; 2:17) and criticizes their particular deeds (e.g., 2 Tim 3:5–9) and doctrines (e.g., 2 Tim 2:16–18). And consequently, in the very context in question, Paul specifically warns Timothy: “Avoid such men as these (2 Tim 3:5b).