New American Standard Bible
a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,
King James Bible
An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
Darby Bible Translation
an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and of truth in the law:
World English Bible
a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babies, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth.
Young's Literal Translation
an instructor of foolish ones, a teacher of babes, having the form of the knowledge and of the truth in the law.
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CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Of the foolish - The word "foolish" is used in the Scriptures in two significations: to denote those who are void of understanding, and to denote the wicked. Here it is clearly used in the former sense, signifying that the Jew esteemed himself qualified to instruct those without knowledge.
Of babes - This is the literal meaning of the original word. The expression is figurative, and denotes those who were as ignorant as children - an expression which they would be likely to apply to all the Gentiles. It is evident that the character bare given by Paul to the Jews is one which they claimed, and of which they were proud. They are often mentioned as arrogating this prerogative to themselves, of being qualified to be guides and teachers of others; Matthew 15:14; Matthew 23:2, Matthew 23:16, Matthew 23:24. It will be remembered, also, that the Jews considered themselves to be qualified to teach all the world, and hence evinced great zeal to make proselytes. And it is not improbable (Tholuck) that their Rabbies were accustomed to give the names "foolish" and "babes" to the ignorant proselytes which they had made from the pagan.
Which hast the form of knowledge - The word translated here as "form" properly denotes a delineations or picturing of a thing. It is commonly used to denote also the appearance of any object; what we see, without reference to its internal character; the external figure. It sometimes denotes the external appearance as distinguished from what is internal; or a hypocritical profession of religion without its reality; 2 Timothy 3:5. "Having the form of godliness, but denying its power." It is sometimes used in a good, and sometimes in a bad sense. Here it denotes that in their teaching they retained the semblance, sketch, or outline of the true doctrines of the Old Testament. They had in the Scriptures a correct delineation of the truth. Truth is the representation of things as they are; and the doctrines which the Jews had in the Old Testament were a correct representation or delineation of the objects of knowledge; compare 2 Timothy 1:13.
In the law - In the Scriptures of the Old Testament. In these verses the apostle concedes to the Jews all that they would claim. Having made this concession of their superior knowledge, he is prepared with the more fidelity and force to convict them of their deep and dreadful depravity in sinning against the superior light and privileges which God had conferred on them.
Observe that the apostle singled out an individual who had condemned others for transgressions, in which he himself indulged. This man owned so much spiritual light that he knew right from wrong, and he diligently used his knowledge to judge others, condemning them for their transgressions. As for himself, he preferred the shade, where no fierce light might beat on his own conscience and disturb his unholy peace. His judgment was spared the pain of dealing with his home offenses by being set to work …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 29: 1883
Tendencies of Religious Thought in England, 1688-1750.
Note to the Following Treatise 1. The Following Letter
Seances Historiques De Geneve --The National Church.
and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
2 Timothy 1:13
Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
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