Q. I have a question about the meaning of the word “incontinent” with regard to this being one of the characteristics people will exhibit during the last days. Does it refer to the inability to control the urge to urinate, or is there a different meaning when the word is used in scripture? If the meaning is in the conventional sense, how is that relevant? Thank you for enlightening me.
A. Here’s the passage you’re referring to:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Tim 3:1-5 KJV)
In this passage, the word translated incontinent in the KJV literally means intemperate or lacking self-control. It’s one of those cases where over time some words acquire different meanings, because our current understanding of the word incontinent doesn’t fit with the context of the passage.