2 Timothy 2:17 makes mention of Hymenaeus and Philetus who were spreading false teaching.

Hymenaeus is also mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20. These double mention of the person Hymenaeus implies that Hymenaeus was a figure of some importance to Paul.

Paul writes against their false teaching which seems like similar to Gnostics.

  • 2
    We have no information about these people at all.
    – user25930
    Apr 23, 2019 at 23:49
  • Certainly there is scanty information concerning these two. I am actively searching books and will provide information concerning them if I come across. Apr 25, 2019 at 6:02

1 Answer 1


The following scriptures are the only ones that refer to these Hymenaeus and Philetus.

1 Timothy 1:20

of whom is Hymenæus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

2 Timothy 2:17

And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenæus and Philetus;

Their teachings were blasphemous and ate as doth a canker (strongs: gangrene/mortification) which signifies the "terrible and deathly nature of the “word” of these false teachers." (Ellicott on 2 Ti 2:17)

We can conclude that they taught extremely contrary doctrine to the word of God but cannot ascertain that they were Gnostics.

Were they Gnostics? Maybe.

But I'd lean on the side of no in my personal opinion. They probably were only teaching things such as that in the following verse of 2 Timothy rather than mystical esoteric type stuff. Taking the doctrines & commandments of God and flipping & twisting them into a lie to subvert those weak in faith from hope, as Satan and his antichristian followers do.

2 Timothy 2:18

who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some

  • www.gffg.info may be correct as Gnostic exists only from second century AD. Both the Epistle of Timothy were written in the first century. Apr 25, 2019 at 6:00
  • Philetus and Hymenaeus are first century apostates,false teachers concerning the resurrection. Today the apostates are thriving ,Jesus in his parable "Weeds among the wheat" (Matthew 24-30)said that Satan will use his efforts to seduce God's servants," the good seed are the children of the kingdom;"the weeds are the children of the evil one. (Matthew 36-43) Jun 8, 2019 at 18:27

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