And many shall follow their pernicious ways
Their principles and their practices, which lead to destruction, The Complutensian edition, the Alexandrian copy, and six copies of Beza's, and others, read "their lasciviousnesses"; and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "their luxuries"; and all the Oriental versions seem to have read in like manner. The Syriac version renders it, "their impurity"; and the Arabic version, "their unchastities"; and the Ethiopic version, "their lust"; and which seems to have respect to the impure conversation of the followers of Simon Magus, the Nicolaitans, the Gnostics, Carpocratians, and others, who indulged themselves in all unnatural lusts and uncleanness; and generally, when men make shipwreck of faith, they also do of a good conscience, and become immoral in their conversations; and yet, as destructive as their principles, and as dishonourable and scandalous as their practices be, many were, and are their followers; so it was foretold by Christ, ( Matthew 24:11 ) , and so it has been, ( Revelation 13:3 ) . The road both of error and wickedness is a broad one, in which many walk; and a multitude is no proof of the truth of a church or of the principles of men, nor to be followed:
by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of;
that is, either Christ, who is truth itself, and the true way to eternal life and happiness; or the Gospel, the word of truth, which holds forth Christ the truth, and points to him, and every other truth, and nothing but truth; or the Christian religion, which is the true way, in opposition to all sects and heresies; and is what should be blasphemed and spoken against, either by these men or their followers; for the phrase may be rendered, "by whom", as it is in the Vulgate Latin version, and the meaning be, that they should, in a blasphemous way, speak and write against Christ and his truths, reproach and revile them, and in a virulent manner oppose them, and trample them under foot: "or for the sake of them", as other versions read; and as we do; "by reason of them"; they should be the occasion, by their impure lives, of the name of Christ, and his doctrines, being blasphemed by profane and irreligious men; see ( Romans 2:24 ) . The Alexandrian copy, and one of Stephens's, read "the glory of truth"; and so the Ethiopic version, "the glory of his truth".