First, although the word was unusual, it seemed that it would not be a difficult word for an average Greek native speaker to understand. Next, reading the surrounding context with the Septuagint and the Hebrew OT in mind definitely added to the way I understood the entire passage. I found that the lexicons and a review of historic Bible translations intriguing. This was the first time that I deliberately used the 19th century Greek Vamva version in assisting a translation.
Here is my finished translation for 2 Timothy 2:14 - 19.
- 14 Remind them of these things and warn them before God not to war about words, which does no good but causes those who listen to fall down. 15 Make every effort to demonstrate to God that you are trustworthy, a worker with no reason to be ashamed, making straight the path of the true word. 16 Avoid nonsensical wordiness, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, 17 And their word will spread like a cancer. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 Who have wandered away from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: "The Lord acknowledges those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from injustice.”
However, I am still at loss as to why no major Bible translation has used the BAGD gloss for 'orthotomeo', which is 'guide the word of truth along a straight path.' It seems to be well-supported. I would be very interested in hearing some comments as to whether we should stick with 'correctly handle' or somethng similar, or move towards something like 'make straight the path of the true word.'