1 timothy 1 commentary

1 timothy 1 commentary DEFAULT

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

Jump to: Alford • Barnes • Bengel • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Chrysostom • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Exp Grk • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Guzik • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • ICC • JFB • Kelly • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Meyer • Parker • PNT • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • TTB • VWS • WES • TSK


Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ.—The letter to Timothy, though addressed to a very dear and intimate friend, was sent with a two-fold purpose. It was an affectionate reminder from his old master, “Paul the Aged,” to his disciple to be steadfast in the midst of the many perils to which one in the position of Timothy would be exposed in the city of Ephesus; but it was also an official command to resist a powerful school of false teaching which had arisen in the midst of that Ephesian Church over which Timothy was then presiding. So St. Paul prefaces his letter by designating himself an Apostle according to the commandment of God. The commandment especially referred to is to be found in Acts 13:2: Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

God our Saviour.—This, designation is peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles, but frequently occurs in the Septuagint. It is fitly ascribed to the first Person of the blessed Trinity in reference to His redeeming love in Christ.

Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.—The words “which is,” printed in italics in the English version, are better left out: Jesus Christ, our hope. As St. Paul felt the end of his course approaching, he loved to dwell on the thought of Jesus—to whom, during so many weary years, he had longed to depart and be with—as his hope, his one glorious hope. The same expression is found in the Epistles of Ignatius.

Benson Commentary

1 Timothy 1:1-2. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ — The apostle begins his epistle with asserting his apostolical dignity, not because Timothy was in any doubt concerning it, but to make the Ephesians sensible of the danger they incurred, if they rejected the charges and admonitions which the apostle ordered Timothy to deliver to them. Familiarity is to be set aside where the things of God are concerned. By — Or according to; the commandment — The authoritative appointment; of God our Saviour — So styled in many other places likewise, as being the grand orderer of the whole scheme of our salvation; and Christ our hope — That is, the author, object, and ground of all our hope. To Timothy, my own son — If Timothy was not at first converted by the apostle, (which it is not certain he was from any historical account that has reached us,) yet he might term him his own, or genuine son, because of the parental affection he had for him, the complacency which he found in that assistance which he had received from him in the work of the ministry, in which he had faithfully served him, like a son with his father, (Php 2:22,) and in the filial reverence and affection which this excellent young evangelist expressed to him; not to mention that Timothy had received much establishment in the faith through the apostle. Grace, mercy, and peace — St. Paul wishes grace and peace in his epistles to the churches. To Timothy he adds mercy, the most tender grace toward those who stand in need of it, as indeed all do. The experience of this prepares a man to be a minister of the gospel.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-4 Jesus Christ is a Christian's hope; all our hopes of eternal life are built upon him; and Christ is in us the hope of glory. The apostle seems to have been the means of Timothy's conversion; who served with him in his ministry, as a dutiful son with a loving father. That which raises questions, is not for edifying; that which gives occasion for doubtful disputes, pulls down the church rather than builds it up. Godliness of heart and life can only be kept up and increased, by the exercise of faith in the truths and promises of God, through Jesus Christ.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ; - see the notes on Romans 1:1.

By the commandment of God - See the notes at 1 Corinthians 1:1.

Our Saviour - The name Saviour is as applicable to God the Father as to the Lord Jesus Christ, since God is the great Author of salvation; see the notes, Luke 1:47; compare 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:10; Jde 1:25.

And Lord Jesus Christ - The apostle Paul had received his commission directly from him; see the notes, Galatians 1:11-12.

Which is our hope - See the notes at Colossians 1:27.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary



Genuineness.—The ancient Church never doubted of their being canonical and written by Paul. They are in the Peschito Syriac version of the second century. Muratori's Fragment on the Canon of Scripture, at the close of the second century, acknowledges them as such. Irenæus [Against Heresies, 1; 3.3.3; 4.16.3; 2.14.8; 3.11.1; 1.16.3], quotes 1Ti 1:4, 9; 6:20; 2Ti 4:9-11; Tit 3:10. Clement of Alexandria [Miscellanies, 2, p. 457; 3, pp. 534, 536; 1, p. 350], quotes 1Ti 6:1, 20; Second Timothy, as to deaconesses; Tit 1:12. Tertullian [The Prescription against Heretics, 25; 6], quotes 1Ti 6:20; 2Ti 1:14; 1Ti 1:18; 6:13, &c.; 2Ti 2:2; Tit 3:10, 11. Eusebius includes the three in the "universally acknowledged" Scriptures. Also Theophilus of Antioch [To Autolychus, 3.14], quotes 1Ti 2:1, 2; Tit 3:1, and Caius (in Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History, 6.20]) recognizes their authenticity. Clement of Rome, in the end of the first century, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians [29], quotes 1Ti 2:8. Ignatius, in the beginning of the second century, in Epistle to Polycarp, [6], alludes to 2Ti 2:4. Polycarp, in the beginning of the second century [Epistle to the Philippians, 4], alludes to 2Ti 2:4; and in the ninth chapter to 2Ti 4:10. Hegisippus, in the end of the second century, in Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History, 3.32], alludes to 1Ti 6:3, 20. Athenagoras, in the end of the second century, alludes to 1Ti 6:16. Justin Martyr, in the middle of the second century [Dialogue with Trypho, 47], alludes to Tit 3:4. The Gnostic Marcion alone rejected these Epistles.

The HERESIES OPPOSED in them form the transition stage from Judaism, in its ascetic form, to Gnosticism, as subsequently developed. The references to Judaism and legalism are clear (1Ti 1:7; 4:3; Tit 1:10, 14; 3:9). Traces of beginning Gnosticism are also unequivocal (1Ti 1:4). The Gnostic theory of a twofold principle from the beginning, evil as well as good, appears in germ in 1Ti 4:3, &c. In 1Ti 6:20 the term Gnosis ("science") itself occurs. Another Gnostic error, namely, that "the resurrection is past," is alluded to in 2Ti 2:17, 18. The Judaism herein opposed is not that of the earlier Epistles, which upheld the law and tried to join it with faith in Christ for justification. It first passed into that phase of it which appears in the Epistle to the Colossians, whereby will-worship and angel-worship were superadded to Judaizing opinions. Then a further stage of the same evil appears in the Epistle to the Philippians (Php 3:2, 18, 19), whereby immoral practice accompanied false doctrine as to the resurrection (compare 2Ti 2:18, with 1Co 15:12, 32, 33). This descent from legality to superstition, and from superstition to godlessness, appears more matured in the references to it in these Pastoral Epistles. The false teachers now know not the true use of the law (1Ti 1:7, 8), and further, have put away good conscience as well as the faith (1Ti 1:19; 4:2); speak lies in hypocrisy, are corrupt in mind, and regard godliness as a means of earthly gain (1Ti 6:5 Tit 1:11); overthrow the faith by heresies eating as a canker, saying the resurrection is past (2Ti 2:17, 18), leading captive silly women, ever learning yet never knowing the truth, reprobate as Jannes and Jambres (2Ti 3:6, 8), defiled, unbelieving, professing to know God, but in works denying Him, abominable, disobedient, reprobate (Tit 1:15, 16). This description accords with that in the Catholic Epistles of St. John and St. Peter, and, in the Epistle to the Hebrews. This fact proves the later date of these Pastoral Epistles as compared with Paul's earlier Epistles. The Judaism reprobated herein is not that of an earlier date, so scrupulous as to the law; it was now tending to immortality of practice. On the other hand, the Gnosticism opposed in these Epistles is not the anti-Judaic Gnosticism of a later date, which arose as a consequence of the overthrow of Judaism by the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, but it was the intermediate phase between Judaism and Gnosticism, in which the Oriental and Greek elements of the latter were in a kind of amalgam with Judaism, just prior to the overthrow of Jerusalem.

The DIRECTIONS AS TO CHURCH GOVERNORS and ministers, "bishop-elders, and deacons," are such as were natural for the apostle, in prospect of his own approaching removal, to give to Timothy, the president of the Church at Ephesus, and to Titus, holding the same office in Crete, for securing the due administration of the Church when he should be no more, and at a time when heresies were rapidly springing up. Compare his similar anxiety in his address to the Ephesian elders (Ac 20:21-30). The Presbyterate (elders; priest is a contraction from presbyter) and Diaconate had existed from the earliest times in the Church (Ac 6:3; 11:30; 14:23). Timothy and Titus, as superintendents or overseers (so bishop subsequently meant), were to exercise the same power in ordaining elders at Ephesus which the apostle had exercised in his general supervision of all the Gentile churches.

The PECULIARITIES OF MODES OF THOUGHT AND EXPRESSION, are such as the difference of subject and circumstances of those addressed and those spoken of in these Epistles, as compared with the other Epistles, would lead us to expect. Some of these peculiar phrases occur also in Galatians, in which, as in the Pastoral Epistles, he, with his characteristic fervor, attacks the false teachers. Compare 1Ti 2:6; Tit 2:14, "gave Himself for us," with Ga 1:4; 1Ti 1:17; 2Ti 4:18, "for ever and ever," with Ga 1:5: "before God," 1Ti 5:21; 6:13; 2Ti 2:14; 4:1, with Ga 1:20: "a pillar," 1Ti 3:15, with Ga 2:9: "mediator," 1Ti 2:5, with Ga 3:20: "in due season," 1Ti 2:6; 6:15; Tit 1:3 with Ga 6:9.

Time and place of writing.—The First Epistle to Timothy was written not long after Paul had left Ephesus for Macedon (1Ti 1:3). Now, as Timothy was in Macedon with Paul (2Co 1:1) on the occasion of Paul's having passed from Ephesus into that country, as recorded, Ac 19:22; 20:1, whereas the First Epistle to Timothy contemplates a longer stay of Timothy in Ephesus, Mosheim supposes that Paul was nine months of the "three years" stay mostly at Ephesus (Ac 20:31) in Macedonia, and elsewhere (perhaps Crete), (the mention of only "three months" and "two years," Ac 19:8, 10, favors this, the remaining nine months being spent elsewhere); and that during these nine months Timothy, in Paul's absence, superintended the Church of Ephesus. It is not likely that Ephesus and the neighboring churches should have been left long without church officers and church organization, rules respecting which are giver in this Epistle. Moreover, Timothy was still "a youth" (1Ti 4:12), which he could hardly be called after Paul's first imprisonment, when he must have been at least thirty-four years of age. Lastly, in Ac 20:25, Paul asserts his knowledge that the Ephesians should not all see his face again, so that 1Ti 1:3 will thus refer to his sojourn at Ephesus, recorded in Ac 19:10, whence he passed into Macedonia. But the difficulty is to account for the false teachers having sprung up almost immediately (according to this theory) after the foundation of the Church. However, his visit recorded in Ac 19:1-41 was not his first visit. The beginning of the Church at Ephesus was probably made at his visit a year before (Ac 18:19-21). Apollos, Aquila and Priscilla, carried on the work (Ac 18:24-26). Thus, as to the sudden growth of false teachers, there was time enough for their springing up, especially considering that the first converts at Ephesus were under Apollos' imperfect Christian teachings at first, imbued as he was likely to be with the tenets of Philo of Alexandria, Apollos' native town, combined with John the Baptist's Old Testament teachings (Ac 18:24-26). Besides Ephesus, from its position in Asia, its notorious voluptuousness and sorcery (Ac 19:18, 19), and its lewd worship of Diana (answering to the Phœnician Ashtoreth), was likely from the first to tinge Christianity in some of its converts with Oriental speculations and Asiatic licentiousness of practices. Thus the phenomenon of the phase of error presented in this Epistle, being intermediate between Judaism and later Gnosticism (see above), would be such as might occur at an early period in the Ephesian Church, as well as later, when we know it had open "apostles" of error (Re 2:2, 6), and Nicolaitans infamous in practice. As to the close connection between this First Epistle and the Second Epistle (which must have been written at the close of Paul's life), on which Alford relies for his theory of making the First Epistle also written at the close of Paul's life, the similarity of circumstances, the person addressed being one and the same, and either in Ephesus at the time, or at least connected with Ephesus as its church overseer, and having heretics to contend with of the same stamp as in the First Epistle, would account for the connection. There is not so great identity of tone as to compel us to adopt the theory that some years could not have elapsed between the two Epistles.

However, all these arguments against the later date may be answered. This First Epistle may refer not to the first organization of the Church under its bishops, or elders and deacons, but to the moral qualifications laid down at a later period for those officers when scandals rendered such directions needful. Indeed, the object for which he left Timothy at Ephesus he states (1Ti 1:3) to be, not to organize the Church for the first time, but to restrain the false teachers. The directions as to the choice of fit elders and deacons refer to the filling up of vacancies, not to their first appointment. The fact of there existing an institution for Church widows implies an established organization. As to Timothy's "youth," it may be spoken of comparatively young compared with Paul, now "the aged" (Phm 9), and with some of the Ephesian elders, senior to Timothy their overseer. As to Ac 20:25, we know not but that "all" of the elders of Ephesus called to Miletus "never saw Paul's face" afterwards, as he "knew" (doubtless by inspiration) would be the case, which obviates the need of Alford's lax view, that Paul was wrong in this his positive inspired anticipation (for such it was, not a mere boding surmise as to the future). Thus he probably visited Ephesus again (1Ti 1:3; 2Ti 1:18; 4:20, he would hardly have been at Miletum, so near Ephesus, without visiting Ephesus) after his first imprisonment in Rome, though all the Ephesian elders whom he had addressed formerly at Miletus did not again see him. The general similarity of subject and style, and of the state of the Church between the two Epistles, favors the view that they were near one another in date. Also, against the theory of the early date is the difficulty of defining, when, during Paul's two or three years' stay at Ephesus, we can insert an absence of Paul from Ephesus long enough for the requirements of the case, which imply a lengthened stay and superintendence of Timothy at Ephesus (see, however, 1Ti 3:14, on the other side) after having been "left" by Paul there. Timothy did not stay there when Paul left Ephesus (Ac 19:22; 20:1; 2Co 1:1). In 1Ti 3:14, Paul says, "I write, hoping to come unto thee shortly," but on the earlier occasion of his passing from Ephesus to Macedon he had no such expectation, but had planned to spend the summer in Macedon, and the winter in Corinth, (1Co 16:6). The expression "Till I come" (1Ti 4:13), implies that Timothy was not to leave his post till Paul should arrive; this and the former objection, however, do not hold good against Mosheim's theory. Moreover, Paul in his farewell address to the Ephesian elders prophetically anticipates the rise of false teachers hereafter of their own selves; therefore this First Epistle, which speaks of their actual presence at Ephesus, would naturally seem to be not prior, but subsequent, to the address, that is, will belong to the later date assigned. In the Epistle to the Ephesians no notice is taken of the Judaeo-Gnostic errors, which would have been noticed had they been really in existence; however, they are alluded to in the contemporaneous sister Epistle to Colossians (Col 2:1-23).

Whatever doubt must always remain as to the date of the First Epistle, there can be hardly any as to that of the Second Epistle. In 2Ti 4:13, Paul directs Timothy to bring the books and cloak which the apostle had left at Troas. Assuming that the visit to Troas referred to is the one mentioned in Ac 20:5-7, it will follow that the cloak and parchments lay for about seven years at Troas, that being the time that elapsed between the visit and Paul's first imprisonment at Rome: a very unlikely supposition, that he should have left either unused for so long. Again, when, during his first Roman imprisonment, he wrote to the Colossians (Col 4:14) and Philemon (Phm 24), Demas was with him; but when he was writing 2Ti 4:10, Demas had forsaken him from love of this world, and gone to Thessalonica. Again, when he wrote to the Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon, he had good hopes of a speedy liberation; but here in 2Ti 4:6-8, he anticipates immediate death, having been at least once already tried (2Ti 4:16). Again, he is in this Epistle represented as in closer confinement than he was when writing those former Epistles in his first imprisonment (even in the Philippians, which represent him in greater uncertainty as to his life, he cherished the hope of soon being delivered, Php 2:24; 2Ti 1:16-18; 2:9; 4:6-8, 16). Again (2Ti 4:20), he speaks of having left Trophimus sick at Miletum. This could not have been on the occasion, Ac 20:15. For Trophimus was with Paul at Jerusalem shortly afterwards (Ac 21:29). Besides, he would thus be made to speak of an event six or seven years after its occurrence, as a recent event: moreover, Timothy was, on that occasion of the apostle being at Miletum, with Paul, and therefore needed not to be informed of Trophimus' sickness there (Ac 20:4-17). Also, the statement (2Ti 4:20), "Erastus abode at Corinth," implies that Paul had shortly before been at Corinth, and left Erastus there; but Paul had not been at Corinth for several years before his first imprisonment, and in the interval Timothy had been with him, so that he did not need to write subsequently about that visit. He must therefore have been liberated after his first imprisonment (indeed, Heb 13:23, 24, expressly proves that the writer was in Italy and at liberty), and resumed his apostolic journeyings, and been imprisoned at Rome again, whence shortly before his death he wrote Second Timothy.

Eusebius [Chronicles, Anno 2083] (beginning October, A.D. 67), says, "Nero, to his other crimes, added the persecution of Christians: under him the apostles Peter and Paul consummated their martyrdom at Rome." So Jerome [On Illustrious Men], "In the fourteenth year of Nero, Paul was beheaded at Rome for Christ's sake, on the same day as Peter, and was buried on the Ostian Road, in the thirty-seventh year after the death of our Lord." Alford reasonably conjectures the Pastoral Epistles were written near this date. The interval was possibly filled up (so Clement of Rome states that Paul preached as far as "to the extremity of the west") by a journey to Spain (Ro 15:24, 28), according to his own original intention. Muratori's Fragment on the Canon of Scripture (about A.D. 170) also alleges Paul's journey into Spain. So Eusebius, Chrysostom, and Jerome. Be that as it may, he seems shortly before his second imprisonment to have visited Ephesus, where a new body of elders governed the Church (Ac 20:25), say in the latter end of A.D. 66, or beginning of 67. Supposing him thirty at his conversion, he would now be upwards of sixty, and older in constitution than in years, through continual hardship. Even four years before he called himself "Paul the aged" (Phm 9).

From Ephesus he went into Macedonia (1Ti 1:3). He may have written the First Epistle to Timothy from that country. But his use of "went," not "came," in 1Ti 1:3, "When I went into Macedonia," implies he was not there when writing. Wherever he was, he writes uncertain how long he may be detained from coming to Timothy (1Ti 3:14, 15). Birks shows the probability that he wrote from Corinth, between which city and Ephesus the communication was rapid and easy. His course, as on both former occasions, was from Macedon to Corinth. He finds a coincidence between 1Ti 2:11-14, and 1Co 14:34, as to women being silent in Church; and 1Ti 5:17, 18, and 1Co 9:8-10, as to the maintenance of ministers, on the same principle as the Mosaic law, that the ox should not be muzzled that treadeth out the corn; and 1Ti 5:19, 20, and 2Co 13:1-4, as to charges against elders. It would be natural for the apostle in the very place where these directions had been enforced, to reproduce them in his letter.

The date of the Epistle to Titus must depend on that assigned to First Timothy, with which it is connected in subject, phraseology, and tone. There is no difficulty in the Epistle to Titus, viewed by itself, in assigning it to the earlier date, namely, before Paul's first imprisonment. In Ac 18:18, 19, Paul, in journeying from Corinth to Palestine, for some cause or other landed at Ephesus. Now we find (Tit 3:13) that Apollos in going from Ephesus to Corinth was to touch at Crete (which seems to coincide with Apollos' journey from Ephesus to Corinth, recorded in Ac 18:24, 27; 19:1); therefore it is not unlikely that Paul may have taken Crete similarly on his way between Corinth and Ephesus; or, perhaps been driven out of his course to it in one of his three shipwrecks spoken of in 2Co 11:25, 26; this will account for his taking Ephesus on his way from Corinth to Palestine, though out of his regular course. At Ephesus Paul may have written the Epistle to Titus [Hug]; there he probably met Apollos and gave the Epistle to Titus to his charge, before his departure for Corinth by way of Crete, and before the apostle's departure for Jerusalem (Ac 18:19-21, 24). Moreover, on Paul's way back from Jerusalem and Antioch, he travelled some time in Upper Asia (Ac 19:1); and it was then, probably, that his intention to "winter at Nicopolis" was realized, there being a town of that name between Antioch and Tarsus, lying on Paul's route to Galatia (Tit 3:12). Thus, First Timothy will, in this theory, be placed two and a half years later (Ac 20:1; compare 1Ti 1:3).

Alford's argument for classing the Epistle to Titus with First Timothy, as written after Paul's first Roman imprisonment, stands or falls with his argument for assigning First Timothy to that date. Indeed, Hug's unobjectionable argument for the earlier date of the Epistle to Titus, favors the early date assigned to First Timothy, which is so much akin to it, if other arguments be not thought to counterbalance this. The Church of Crete had been just founded (Tit 1:5), and yet the same heresies are censured in it as in Ephesus, which shows that no argument, such as Alford alleges against the earlier date of First Timothy, can be drawn from them (Tit 1:10, 11, 15, 16; 3:9, 11). But vice versa, if, as seems likely from the arguments adduced, the First Epistle to Timothy be assigned to the later date, the Epistle to Titus must, from similarity of style, belong to the same period. Alford traces Paul's last journey before his second imprisonment thus: To Crete (Tit 1:5), Miletus (2Ti 4:20), Colosse (fulfilling his intention, Phm 22), Ephesus (1Ti 1:3; 2Ti 1:18), from which neighborhood he wrote the Epistle to Titus; Troas, Macedonia, Corinth (2Ti 4:20), Nicopolis (Tit 3:12) in Epirus, where he had intended to winter; a place in which, as being a Roman colony, he would be free from tumultuary violence, and yet would be more open to a direct attack from foes in the metropolis, Rome. Being known in Rome as the leader of the Christians, he was probably [Alford] arrested as implicated in causing the fire in A.D. 64, attributed by Nero to the Christians, and was sent to Rome by the Duumvirs of Nicopolis. There he was imprisoned as a common malefactor (2Ti 2:9); his Asiatic friends deserted him, except Onesiphorus (2Ti 1:16). Demas, Crescens, and Titus, left him. Tychicus he had sent to Ephesus. Luke alone remained with him (2Ti 4:10-12). Under the circumstances he writes the Second Epistle to Timothy, most likely while Timothy was at Ephesus (2Ti 2:17; compare 1Ti 1:20; 2Ti 4:13), begging him to come to him before winter (2Ti 4:21), and anticipating his own execution soon (2Ti 4:6). Tychicus was perhaps the bearer of the Second Epistle (2Ti 4:12). His defense was not made before the emperor, for the latter was then in Greece (2Ti 4:16, 17). Tradition represents that he died by the sword, which accords with the fact that his Roman citizenship would exempt him from torture; probably late in A.D. 67 or A.D. 68, the last year of Nero.

Timothy is first mentioned, Ac 16:1, as dwelling in Lystra (not Derbe, compare Ac 20:4). His mother was a Jewess named Eunice (2Ti 1:5); his father, "a Greek" (that is, a Gentile). As Timothy is mentioned as "a disciple" in Ac 16:1, he must have been converted before, and this by Paul (1Ti 1:2), probably at his former visit to Lystra (Ac 14:6); at the same time, probably, that his Scripture-loving mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, were converted to Christ from Judaism (2Ti 3:14, 15). Not only the good report given as to him by the brethren of Lystra, but also his origin, partly Jewish, partly Gentile, adapted him specially for being Paul's assistant in missionary work, laboring as the apostle did in each place, firstly among the Jews, and then among the Gentiles. In order to obviate Jewish prejudices, he first circumcised him. He seems to have accompanied Paul in his tour through Macedonia; but when the apostle went forward to Athens, Timothy and Silas remained in Berea. Having been sent back by Paul to visit the Thessalonian Church (1Th 3:2), he brought his report of it to the apostle at Corinth (1Th 3:6). Hence we find his name joined with Paul's in the addresses of both the Epistles to Thessalonians, which were written at Corinth. We again find him "ministering to" Paul during the lengthened stay at Ephesus (Ac 19:22). Thence he was sent before Paul into Macedonia and to Corinth (1Co 4:17; 16:10). He was with Paul when he wrote the Second Epistle to Corinthians (2Co 1:1); and the following winter in Corinth, when Paul sent from thence his Epistle to the Romans (Ro 16:21). On Paul's return to Asia through Macedonia, he went forward and waited for the apostle at Troas (Ac 20:3-5). Next we find him with Paul during his imprisonment at Rome, when the apostle wrote the Epistles to Colossians (Col 1:1), Philemon (Phm 1), and Philippians (Php 1:1). He was imprisoned and set at liberty about the same time as the writer of the Hebrews (Heb 13:23). In the Pastoral Epistles, we find him mentioned as left by the apostle at Ephesus to superintend the Church there (1Ti 1:3). The last notice of him is in the request which Paul makes to him (2Ti 4:21) to "come before winter," that is about A.D. 67 [Alford]. Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History, 3.42], reports that he was first bishop of Ephesus; and [NICOPHORUS, Ecclesiastical History, 3.11], represents that he died by martyrdom. If then, St. John, as tradition represents, resided and died in that city, it must have been at a later period. Paul himself ordained or consecrated him with laying on of his own hands, and those of the presbytery, in accordance with prophetic intimations given respecting him by those possessing the prophetic gift (1Ti 1:18; 4:14 2Ti 1:6). His self-denying character is shown by his leaving home at once to accompany the apostle, and submitting to circumcision for the Gospel's sake; and also by his abstemiousness (noted in 1Ti 5:23) notwithstanding his bodily infirmities, which would have warranted a more generous diet. Timidity and a want of self-confidence and boldness in dealing with the difficulties of his position, seem to have been a defect in his otherwise beautiful character as a Christian minister (1Co 16:10; 1Ti 4:12; 2Ti 1:7).

The DESIGN of the First Epistle was: (1) to direct Timothy to charge the false teachers against continuing to teach other doctrine than that of the Gospel (1Ti 1:3-20; compare Re 2:1-6); (2) to give him instructions as to the orderly conducting of worship, the qualifications of bishops and deacons, and the selection of widows who should, in return for Church charity, do appointed service (1Ti 2:1-6:2); (3) to warn against covetousness, a sin prevalent at Ephesus, and to urge to good works (1Ti 6:3-19).


1Ti 1:1-20. Address: Paul's Design in Having Left Timothy at Ephesus, Namely, to Check False Teachers; True Use of the Law; Harmonizing with the Gospel; God's Grace in Calling Paul, Once a Blasphemer, to Experience and to Preach It; Charges to Timothy.

1. by the commandment of God—the authoritative injunction, as well as the commission, of God. In the earlier Epistles the phrase is, "by the will of God." Here it is expressed in a manner implying that a necessity was laid on him to act as an apostle, not that it was merely at his option. The same expression occurs in the doxology, probably written long after the Epistle itself [Alford] (Ro 16:26).

God our Saviour—The Father (1Ti 2:3; 4:10; Lu 1:47; 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; Jude 25). It was a Jewish expression in devotion, drawn from the Old Testament (compare Ps 106:21).1Ti 1:1,2 The salutation.

1Ti 1:3,4 Timothy is put in mind of the charge before given him by Paul.

1Ti 1:5-7 The end of the commandment is charity, from which

some had turned aside to teach the law, which they

understood not.

1Ti 1:8-11 The scope of the law was to condemn wickedness, which

is the design of the gospel also.

1Ti 1:12-17 Paul blesseth God for calling him to the ministry

notwithstanding his great demerit, whereby all

penitent sinners that believe are assured of mercy

through Christ.

1Ti 1:18-20 He urgeth Timothy to a due discharge of his trust,

warning him of some who had deserted the truth, of

whom Hymeneus and Alexander had been delivered by

him unto Satan.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ; one immediately sent by Jesus Christ, by his voice from heaven, Act 9:15, though not by his voice upon earth, as those, Mat 10:1-42.

By the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ:

through the will of God, 1Co 1:1, not his permissive, but preceptive will; and this is the same with his being called to be an apostle, Rom 1:1 1Co 1:1. By our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father not being excluded, but the Son only being named, to whom the mediatory kingdom was committed.

Which is our hope: our hope, there is no more in the Greek, that is, the object of our hope: as when it is said, Gen 31:53, that Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac, that is, by the Deity whom his father feared. This glorious eulogy belongs to our Saviour, in whom there is a concurrence of all that is requisite to free us from destructive evils, and to make us everlastingly happy: for he is wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Hence the Gentiles without Christ are said to be without hope, Eph 2:12. And from hence it is evident that Jesus Christ is the eternal God, for if he were only a man, though in excellence above all others, he could not be our hope, for cursed is he that trusteth in man, Jer 17:5.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ,.... His name was well known to Timothy, and very dear to him; and so was his office as an apostle, and which he mentions, not so much for Timothy's sake, but for the sake of others, that what he delivers in this epistle might come with its proper weight and authority, and be regarded: of this his office, as well as name; see Gill on Romans 1:1. How he came into this office next follows, not of himself, nor by men,

by the commandment of God; the appointment and decree of God, by which he was separated to this office, even from eternity, and is the same with the counsel or will of God, Ephesians 1:1 or it may refer to the order given by the Holy Ghost to the church; to set apart him and Barnabas, to the work of the ministry, Acts 13:2 though this commandment is called the commandment of God

our Saviour; by whom is meant God the Father; and this character of him is mentioned, to show that the embassy the apostle was sent on as such, and in which the discharge of his office greatly lay, was the affair of salvation, to publish and declare that to the sons of men; and also to show the concern which God the Father has in that work: he resolved upon it, and appointed his people to it, and determined upon saving them by his Son, whom he pitched upon to be his salvation; he drew the scheme of it by his infinite wisdom, and sent his Son into the world to execute it; and he sends his ministers to publish the Gospel of it, and his Spirit to reveal and apply it to the hearts of his chosen ones; and keeps them by his power unto it, and will at last put them into the full possession of it; so that this character well suits with him, to whom it is also given, Titus 3:4 as well as with his Son Jesus Christ, to whom it is more commonly ascribed, and from whom he is here distinguished: for it follows,

The Complutensian edition reads, "of the Father, and, our Saviour Jesus Christ"; and so the Ethiopic version, "of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ".

Geneva Study Bible

Paul, {1} an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

(1) First of all, he affirms his own free vocation and also Timothy's, that the one might be confirmed by the other: and in addition he declares the sum of the apostolic doctrine, that is, the mercy of God in Christ Jesus apprehended by faith, the end of which is yet hoped for.


Meyer's NT Commentary

1 Timothy 1:1-2. As in most of his other epistles, Paul here calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ in the narrower sense of the term, according to which it was applied only to those immediately called by Christ to the ministry of the gospel. He directs attention to the immediate nature of the call by adding the words κατʼ ἐπιταγὴν Θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν κ.τ.λ. In 1 Cor., 2 Cor., Eph., Col., 2 Tim., διὰ θελήματος Θεοῦis used for a like purpose. The expression κατʼ ἐπιταγὴν κ.τ.λ. is found elsewhere in the inscription only in Titus 1:3, where, however, it is not placed in such close connection with ἀπόστολοςas here (comp. besides Romans 16:26, also 1 Corinthians 7:6; 2 Corinthians 8:8). The θέλημαis the source of the ἐπιταγή, by which we are to understand the commission given to the apostle. By this addition the apostle expresses his “assured consciousness of the divine origin and worth of his apostleship” (Matthies). It is not, however, an “involuntary” expression. The apostle deliberately insists on his apostolic authority, for the very sufficient reason that he was laying down in his epistle rules for church life. Heydenreich’s suggestion, that Paul meant at the same time to confirm Timothy’s position, is very far-fetched.

Θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν] This collocation of the words is only found elsewhere in the N. T. in Judges 1:25; in all passages of the Pastoral Epistles it usually runs: ὁ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν Θεός. In this passage σωτὴρ ἡμῶνis added as in adjectival apposition to Θεοῦ; while in Luke 1:47it is marked as a substantive by the article. In the Pastoral Epistles σωτήρis used both of God (so frequently in O. T.; comp. LXX. Psalm 24:5; Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 45:15; Isaiah 45:21; Wis 16:7; Sir 51:1) and of Christ; in the other Pauline Epistles (e.g.Ephesians 5:23; Php 3:20), as well as in John 4:42, Acts 5:31, etc., it serves to denote Christ. Heydenreich is right in remarking that God does not bear this name as preserver and benefactor of men in general, but on account of the means He has instituted for saving and blessing us through Christ.

καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ] These words are added on account of the apostle’s Christology; so also in Galatians 1:1.

τῆς ἐλπίδος ἡμῶν] Christ is so named because He is both “the ground of our hope” (Wiesinger) and the object of it. He is hoped for, because by Him the σωτηρίαis brought to completion (Calvin: in eo solo residet tota salutis nostrae materia); comp. the expression in Colossians 1:27: ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δοξῆς.

Τιμοθέῳ γνησίῳ τέκνῳ ἐν πίστει] Paul calls Timothy his child; he was not so κατὰ σάρκαbut ἐν πίστει, since he was converted to the faith by Paul, as we learn from 1 Corinthians 4:14-17. Paul usually calls himself the father of those who had been led to the faith by him (comp. Galatians 4:19). The idea of τἐκνονis strengthened by γνήσιος, perhaps by way of contrast with the heretics. The opposite of γνήσιοςis νόθοςor οὐκ ὄντως ὤν(comp. Plato, Rep. 293). This addition also gives prominence to the fact that Timothy was his son in the faith, not in appearance but in truth; hence Paul calls him also in 1 Corinthians 4:17his τέκνον ἀγαπητὸν καὶ πιστὸν ἐν κυρίῳ.

ἐν πίστει] “in the sphere of faith,” is not to be connected with γνησίῳbut with τέκνῳ, as defined more closely by γνησίῳ; comp. Titus 1:4, and see Winer, p. 130 [E. T. p. 171].

χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη] This collocation occurs only in the Pastoral Epistles and in 2 John 1:3; in the other Pauline Epistles it runs: χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη. In Galatians 6:16, however, εἰρήνηand ἔλεοςare connected with one another. In Judges 1:2we have: ἔλεος ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη καὶ ἀγάπη. The three expressions manifestly do not indicate three different gifts of grace, but only one. The distinction is, that χάριςpoints more to the soil from which the gift comes, and εἰρήνηdenotes its nature, while the ἔλεος(standing between the two others in the Pastoral Epistles) lays stress on the element of compassionate love in χάρις.[39] Otto arbitrarily finds in ἜΛΕΟς“a reference to the official position,” appealing to such passages as 1 Timothy 1:13; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Corinthians 7:25; 2 Corinthians 4:1. Paul does also acknowledge that his call to the ministry of the word came from God’s ἜΛΕΟς; but it does not follow from this that the word ἜΛΕΟςis used only in reference to the official position; comp. Galatians 6:16; 2 Timothy 1:16; 2 Timothy 1:18.

ἈΠῸ ΘΕΟῦ ΠΑΤΡῸς ΚΑῚ Κ.Τ.Λ.] Even with the reading ἩΜῶΝthe genitive ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ ἸΗΣΟῦcannot be made to depend on ΘΕΟῦ. Next to the Father, Paul names Christ as the source from which the blessing comes, because all the Father’s gifts of blessing come through the Son.

[39] Wiesinger is right in not agreeing with Olshausen, who wishes to see in the expressions σωτήρ, ἐλπίς, ἔλεος, a special reference to the apostle’s position as a prisoner. Van Oosterzee aptly remarks: “Grace may be called the greatest benefaction for the guilty, compassion for the suffering, peace for the contending (?) disciple of the Lord.” Hofmann is right in his remark on 1 Timothy 1:1, that χάριςwith ἀπόdoes not denote God’s thoughts, but “that in which His thoughts are shown, the grace which man receives.” In his explanation of 1 Timothy 1:2: “χάριςis that which is imparted to man by God, who wishes him well,” the idea of χάριςis made far too general.

Expositor's Greek Testament

1 Timothy 1:1-2. SALUTATION.

1 Timothy 1:1. ἀπόστολος Χρ. Ἰησ. The use of this official title is an indication that the Pastoral Epistles were not merely private letters (ctr. Παῦλος δέσμιος Χρ. Ἰησ., Philemon 1:1), but were intended to be read to the Churches committed to the charge of Timothy and Titus respectively. The phrase means simply one sent byChrist, not primarily one belonging toChrist. Cf.Php 2:25, where Epaphroditus is spoken of as ὑμῶν ἀπόστ., and 2 Corinthians 8:23, ἀπόστ. ἐκκλησιῶν. ἀπόστ. Χρ. Ἰησ. is also found in 2 Corinthians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 2 Timothy 1:1; ἀπόστ. Ἰησ. Χρ. in 1 Corinthians 1:1, Titus 1:1. The difference in the use Jesus Christand Christ Jesusseems to be this: in each case the first member of the compound name indicates whether the historical or the notional idea of the Person is chiefly in the writer’s mind. Jesus Christbriefly expresses the proposition, “Jesus is the Christ”; it embodies the first theological assertion concerning Jesus; it represents the conception of the historical Jesus in the minds of those who had seen Him. St. John, St. Peter and St. James employ this name when speaking of our Lord. But in Christ Jesus, on the other hand, the theological conception of the Christpredominates over that of the actual JesusWho had been seen, felt and heard by human senses. Accordingly we find Christ Jesusin every stage of the Pauline Epistles; and, as we should expect, more frequently in the later than in the earlier letters. In almost every instance of the occurrence of Jesus Christin the Pastoral Epistles the thought of the passage concerns the humanity, or historical aspect, of our Lord. Thus in Titus 1:1, “a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ,” we could not substitute Christ Jesuswithout weakening the antithesis. See note there. St. Paul, here as elsewhere, claims to have been as truly sentby Christ as were those who were apostles before him.

κατʼ ἐπιταγήν: in obedience to the command. The full phrase κατʼ ἐπιτ. θ. σ. ἡμῶνoccurs again (τοῦ σωτ. ἡμ. θεοῦ) in a similar context in Titus 1:3; κατʼ ἐπιτ. τοῦ αἰωνίου θ. in Romans 16:26. In 1 Corinthians 7:6, 2 Corinthians 8:8, κατʼ ἐπιτ. is used in a different sense.

St. Paul more commonly refers the originating cause of his mission to the will of God(1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1). He would hardly say through the will of Christ, θέλημαbeing used of the eternal counsel of the Godhead; but inasmuch as the commandis the consequent of the will, he can speak of his apostleship as being due to the commandof Christ Jesus, as well as of God the Father. In this matter Jesus Christ is co-ordinated with God the Father in Galatians 1:1; while in Romans 1:4-5, Paul’s apostleship is “through Jesus Christ our Lord” only. On the other hand, in Titus 1:3, St. Paul says he was intrusted with the message “according to the commandment of God our Saviour”. Here it is to be noted that the commandproceeds equally from God and Christ Jesus. This language could hardly have been used if St. Paul conceived of Christ Jesus as a creature. Moulton and Milligan (Expositor, vii., vii. 379) compare St. Paul’s use of ἐπιταγήas a Divinecommand with its technical use in heathen dedicatory inscriptions. We cannot, with Chrys., narrow the “commandment of God” to the specific date of St. Paul’s commission by the Church, whether in Acts 13:2or on an earlier occasion. St. Paul claimed that he had been “separated from his mother’s womb” (Galatians 1:15).

θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν: Westcott on 1 John 4:14has an instructive note on the Biblical use of the term σωτήρ. “The title is confined (with the exception of the writings of St. Luke) to the later writings of the N.T., and is not found in the central group of St. Paul’s Epistles.” It may be added that in the Lucan references (Luke 1:47, of God; 1 Timothy 2:11, Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23, of Christ) the term σωτήρhas not primarily its full later evangelical import, and would be best rendered deliverer, as in the constant O.T. application of the term to God. Perhaps the same is true of Php 3:20, and Ephesians 5:23, where it is used of Christ. On the other hand, apart from ὁ σωτὴρ τ. κόσμου(John 4:42; 1 John 4:14), the conventional evangelical use is found: of God the Father in (a) 1 Timothy 1:1, Judges 1:25, θεὸς σωτὴρ ἡμῶν; (b) 1 Timothy 2:3, Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4, ὁ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν θεός; (c) 1 Timothy 4:10, σωτήρin apposition to θεόςin the preceding clause; of Christ, in (a) 2 Timothy 1:10, ὁ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς; (b) Titus 1:4; Titus 3:6, Χρ. Ἰησ. ὁ σωτὴρ ἡμῶν; (c) 2 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 2:20; 2 Peter 3:18, ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν καὶ σωτὴρ Ἰησ. Χρ.; (d) 2 Peter 3:2, ὁ Κύριος καὶ σωτήρ. To the (c) class belong, perhaps, Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, ὁ[μέγας] θεὸς[ἡμῶν] καὶ σωτὴρ[ἡμῶν] Ἰησ. Χρ.; but see note on Titus 2:13.

In the text, there is an antithesis between the offices of God as our Saviourand of Christ Jesus as our hope. The one points to the past, at least chiefly, and the other to the future. In speaking of the saving action of God, St, Paul uses the aorist. 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 2:11; Titus 3:4-5. He savedus, potentially. See further on ch. 1 Timothy 2:3. God, as the Council of Trent says (Sess. vi. cap. 7), is the efficient causeof our justification, while Jesus, “our righteousness,” besides being the meritorious cause, may be said to be the formal cause; for “the righteousness of God by which He maketh us righteous” is embodied in Jesus, Who “was made unto us … righteousness and sanctification” (1 Corinthians 1:30). We advance from salvation to sanctification; and accordingly we must not narrow down the conception Christ Jesus our hopeto mean “the hope of Israel” (Acts 23:6; Acts 28:20); but rather the historical manifestation of the Son of God as Christ Jesus is the ground of our “hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Our hope is that “the body of our humiliation will be conformed to the body of His glory” (Php 3:20-21). See also Ephesians 4:13. Our hope is that “we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2-3). See also Titus 2:13, προσδεχόμενοι τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα. For this vivid use of an abstract noun compare Ephesians 2:14, αὐτὸς γάρ ἐστιν ἡ εἰρήνη ἡμῶν.

Ignatius borrows this noble appellation: Magn. 11; Trall. inscr., “Jesus Christ Who is our hope through our resurrection unto Him”; Trall. 2, “Jesus Christ our hope; for if we live in Him, we shall also be found in Him”. See also Polycarp, 8.

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Ch. 1. Apostolic Faithfulness

1, 2. Greeting

1. an apostle of Jesus Christ] Read rather with the mss. an apostle of Christ Jesus, and again with a similar transposition and omitting ‘Lord,’ Christ Jesus our hope; as in 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 1:4. Altogether, according to the best mss., the change should be made nine times in these epp. The name ‘Christ Jesus’ is most frequently on the Apostle’s lips in old age, occurring 22 times, while ‘Jesus Christ’ is used but seven times, ‘our Lord Jesus Christ’ but twice, see 1 Timothy 6:3. See further, Moule’s Colossians, I. 1.

by the commandment of] Better, by authority from; this phrase (1) recalls to English ears official titles and announcements; and (2) suits each of the seven passages in St Paul’s epistles where it occurs, suggesting the commissiondelegated from the supreme power of God: it gives as here, so in Titus 1:3, the warrant for St Paul’s laying down the rules of Church order, and the warrant therefore for Timothy and Titus doing the same under their delegated commission. It is a clear gain to use the same word in these passages and in Titus 2:15, ‘exhort, reprove, with all authority.’

God our Saviour] A new phrase in St Paul’s language, three times used in this epistle and three times in ep. to Titus; cf. Jude, jude 1:25: the corresponding phrase Christ our Saviourfour times in these epistles (previously in Ephesians 5:23and Php 3:20, the word ‘Saviour’ is used not as a title but in a statement, as predicate not attribute—an evidently earlier stage), five times in the Second Epistle of St Peter. Fairbairn suggests with reason that this title is given to Godhere rather than to Christ ‘as a kind of counteractive to the false teaching’; this personal designation of God, as originating and carrying into effect the work of salvation, would indicate the true preservative against all arbitrariness in speculation and undue licence in practice.

Jesus Christ … our hope] Again a token of the later apostolic age. Christ, who is at first in His own words ‘the Light,’ ‘the Way,’ ‘the Truth,’ ‘the Life,’ is (with still further appropriation of the abstract) in the epistles of the first captivity ‘our peace,’ Ephesians 2:14, ‘the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27, and now towards the days of the second captivity simply ‘our hope.’ This personification of the abstract has still further developed with the lapse of centuries, so that a modern writer can say,

O everlasting Health,

From which all healing springs,

Our Bliss, our Treasure, and our Wealth,

To Thee our spirit clings.

Bengel's Gnomen

1 Timothy 1:1. Ἀπόστολος, an apostle) This title serves to confirm Timothy. Familiarity must be laid aside, where the cause of God is concerned.—κατʼ ἐπιταγὴν, according to the commandment) So Romans 16:26; comp. 1 Corinthians 1:1, note.—σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, our Saviour) So God the Father is also called, ch. 1 Timothy 2:3, 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4; Judges 1:25; Luke 1:47. The reason [for the Father being so called] is explained, 2 Timothy 1:9.—τῆς ἐλπίδος ἡμῶν, who is our Hope) Synonymous with Σωτῆρος, our Saviour,

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1.- Christ Jesusfor Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R.; according tofor by, A.V.; Christ Jesus our hopefor Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope, A.V. and T.R. For the inscription, comp. Romans 1:1, 5; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:1; in all which St. Paul asserts his apostleship, and ascribes it directly to "the will of God" (comp. Galatians 1:11, 12, etc.). According to the commandment(as Titus 1:3) expresses the same truth, but possibly with a more direct reference to the command, "Separate me Paul and Barnabas," recorded in Acts 13:2. This assertion of his apostolic authority indicates that this is not a private letter to Timothy, but a public Church document for all time. Our hope(comp. Colossians 1:27; Acts 28:20). 1 Timothy 1:1

Vincent's Word Studies

An apostle of Jesus Christ

This title appears in the salutations of Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians. In Philippians, Paul and Timothy the servants of Jesus Christ. Philemon a prisoner. This formal announcement of apostleship is strange in a private letter.

By the commandment of God (κατ' ἐπιταγὴν θεοῦ)

The phrase in Romans 16:26. Κατ' ἐπιταγὴν absolutely, by commandment, 1 Corinthians 7:6, 2 Corinthians 8:8. Paul uses διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ by the will of God. See 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1. Comp. 2 Timothy 1:1.

Our Savior (σωτῆρος ἡμῶν)

Comp. Luke 1:47; Jde 1:25. oP. Six times in the Pastorals. Used of both God and Christ (see Titus 1:3, Titus 1:4; Titus 2:10, Titus 2:13; Titus 3:4, Titus 3:6). The saving of men appears as God's direct will and act, 1 Timothy 2:4; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9 as Christ's work, 1 Timothy 1:15, comp. 2 Timothy 2:10. In lxx σωτὴρ occurs twenty times, and in all but two instances, of God.

Jesus Christ which is our hope

The phrase is unique in N.T. Comp. Colossians 1:27, where, however, the construction is doubtful. Ἑλπὶς hope is predicated of Christ by Ignatius, Ephesians 21. Philad. v. The salutation as a whole has no parallel in Paul.


1 Timothy 1:1 Interlinear
1 Timothy 1:1 Parallel Texts

1 Timothy 1:1 NIV
1 Timothy 1:1 NLT
1 Timothy 1:1 ESV
1 Timothy 1:1 NASB
1 Timothy 1:1 KJV

1 Timothy 1:1 Bible Apps
1 Timothy 1:1 Parallel
1 Timothy 1:1 Biblia Paralela
1 Timothy 1:1 Chinese Bible
1 Timothy 1:1 French Bible
1 Timothy 1:1 German Bible

Bible Hub
Sours: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/1_timothy/1-1.htm

About this letter

How to be a Leader in the Church

An EasyEnglish Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on Paul’s First Letter to Timothy


Ian Mackervoy

The translated Bible text and commentary have been through Advanced Checking.

Words in boxes are from the Bible.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

The record in the book of Acts ends with the *apostle Paul in prison in *Rome. That was about AD 60 and he was there for two years. It seems that after that he was free for a time.

After he came out of prison, he asked Timothy to stay in *Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3). He then went to *Macedonia. While he was there, he wrote this first letter to Timothy. We do not know whether Paul visited *Ephesus at this time.

Timothy was the son of a *Gentile father and a *Jewish mother. His mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, both believed the *gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:5). They and Timothy probably became Christians when Paul first went to the town called Lystra (Acts 14). All the Christians in Lystra and in the church in the town called Iconium spoke well about Timothy.

When Paul came the second time to Lystra, he asked Timothy to join his team (Acts 16:1-3). Timothy became a close friend and helper of Paul. He went with Paul as he travelled to many places. Paul spoke about him as his own son in the *faith.

Now he was the leader of the church in *Ephesus. Paul writes this letter to him to encourage him in the task of leading that church. He gives Timothy a lot of advice both for the Christians in the church and for himself.

There were some problems there, with some people who were teaching wrong things. Paul told Timothy to sort out that problem (1 Timothy 1:3). He must stop these people from doing it.

Paul tells Timothy how to select the *elders and *deacons. He writes about the roles of men and women. He speaks about the care of widows. He tells Timothy how slaves ought to serve. He speaks to the rich persons. And he warns them about the dangers that come with wealth. He tells Timothy how he should take care of himself. And he tells him how to be a good leader.

Greetings from Paul to Timothy


False teachers at *Ephesus


The purpose of the law


Paul and the *gospel


*Faith and conscience


Prayer for all people


One God and one way to him


Instructions to men and women


What an *elder must be like


What a *deacon must be like


The church of the God who lives


Warning against false teachers


How to guard against what is false


About personal attitudes and relations


Care of widows


Honour and responsibility of *elders


Servants and masters


More about false teachers


Dangers of wealth


Instructions to Timothy


Advice to wealthy persons


Final appeal to Timothy


Greetings from Paul to Timothy (1:1-2)

v1 This is from Paul. God, who saves us, made me an *apostle of Christ Jesus. The *Lord Jesus, who is our hope, also made me an *apostle. v2 This letter is to Timothy. Timothy, you are a true child in the *faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our *Lord give you *grace, *mercy, and *peace.

Verse 1 Paul was a *Jew but from birth he was also a citizen of *Rome (Acts 22:27-28). His *Jewish name was Saul. But, because God sent him to work with the *Gentiles, he used his *Roman name of Paul (Acts 13:9). Paul was an *apostle of Christ Jesus. That is, the *Lord Jesus had sent him to do his work. Paul did not choose to be an *apostle but it was a command from God.

Paul speaks here about his role as an *apostle. This is to show that he has authority from the *Lord for what he is writing. Timothy did not need Paul to write that he was an *apostle. He knew Paul well and had worked with him for some time. Rather, it was to help Timothy, as he had to deal with the arguments of false teachers. It may be that Paul intended Timothy to read this letter to the Christians.

It is not usual in the *New Testament to speak about God who saves. It is more normal to speak about the *Lord Jesus as the one who saves. But God as well as Christ is the source of *salvation. Our hope is in Christ Jesus. This clearly links the *Lord Jesus with God in the process of our *salvation. We have the hope of *salvation in Christ Jesus. This hope is not something about which there is a doubt. Hope means to be sure that something will happen at a future date.

Verse 2 The letter is from Paul to Timothy. Paul thinks about him as his own child in the *faith. This shows that they had a love and trust for each other. Timothy probably came to trust in the *Lord Jesus through Paul. Paul refers to him as ‘my son whom I love’ (1 Corinthians 4:17). He says, ‘Timothy has proved himself. He has served with me in the work of the *gospel as a son with his father’ (Philippians 2:22).

In this greeting, Paul asks God the Father and Christ Jesus our *Lord to bless Timothy. He asks for three things for him from God. They are *grace, *mercy and *peace. In all of his earlier letters Paul asks the *Lord to bless with *grace and *peace. Here and in the second letter to Timothy he adds *mercy.

Grace is a favourite word with Paul. He uses it almost 100 times in those letters of his that we have. It means the benefits that God gives to those whom he loves. No one deserves them. So, grace is God blessing those who do not deserve it.

Mercy is to give help to those who are in need. As with *grace, it has nothing to do with what a person deserves. It comes from the love and kindness of the person who gives help. Paul could see that Timothy was in need of help from God. Perhaps he asked for help because Timothy was often ill (1 Timothy 5:23). Or perhaps it was because of the problems that Timothy was having in *Ephesus.

In all the problems that troubled Timothy, Paul asks God to give him *peace. This *peace was to be in the heart and mind rather than the removal of the problems. This *peace will keep Timothy. Then all the difficulties that he has will not upset his trust in the *Lord.

False teachers at *Ephesus (1:3-7)

v3 When I went to *Macedonia, I urged you to stay on in *Ephesus. Some people there are teaching what is false. And you must order them to stop. v4 Tell them to stop wasting their time on false stories and long lists of *ancestors. These things cause arguments. And they do not help people to trust and to serve God. v5 The purpose of this order is to produce love. This love comes from a clean heart, a good conscience and sincere *faith. v6 Some people have turned away from these and have lost their way in foolish talk. v7 They want to be teachers of the law of God. But they do not know what they are talking about. Nor do they understand the things that they declare.

Verse 3 We believe that Paul wrote this some time after the close of the book of Acts. Paul had been in prison for a couple of years in *Rome. Then he may have visited *Ephesus and left Timothy there. Timothy could have been in *Ephesus already or Paul may have sent him there. Paul knew that there were problems in that church. While he went on to visit *Macedonia, he asked Timothy to stay in *Ephesus as the leader of the church.

There were people in *Ephesus who taught different things. What they said did not agree with the truth. They confused the Christians with their strange ideas.

Timothy should be in control of this church. By nature, he is a shy and quiet man. So, Paul tells him to exercise that control. He must not let the false teachers continue to teach. He must order them to stop.

Verse 4 The trouble with the false teachers was not that they were teaching against the truth. They told stories that had nothing to do with the truth. They taught as fact theories that came from these stories. They argued about claims based on who their *ancestors were. They made long lists of their *ancestors to prove that they were important. Such stories and claims create a lot of talking but no good results. They are of no use and are just a waste of time. They cause arguments that have no purpose. They do nothing for the work of God. They are a problem rather than a help to those who serve the *Lord.

Timothy had to tell them to stop paying attention to these stories and claims. Instead of these vain things, they should learn the truth. The truth would lead them to greater *faith in God. They should put their trust in the *Lord and do what he wants.

Verse 5 The purpose of the order or command is to cause love to grow. This is why the false teachers had to stop. What they were doing caused confusion rather than love. The command in this verse means more than to stop the false teachers. The command is the truth that Timothy has to teach. This should lead to an increase in love among those who believe. They should love God and each other more. This agrees with what the *Lord Jesus taught (Matthew 22:37-40). He said that the first command is that we should love the *Lord our God. We should do this with all of our mind, heart and *soul. The next command is that we should love other people.

The *apostle makes clear the source of this love. It comes out of a clean heart, a good conscience and sincere *faith.

In the Bible, the heart is the centre of our being. It is from the heart that we have good or bad thoughts. These cause us to perform good or bad actions. The heart must be clean for love to flow from it. It has to be pure with good thoughts and actions. Only God can make the heart clean and put real love in it. He will take away all that is wrong in our hearts. He will do this as we confess our *sins.

Conscience is the knowledge of what is right or wrong in our actions and attitudes. The consciences of some people can be hard and damaged. Their consciences can be dead as if burnt with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2). For these, the knowledge of good or evil is not sure. A good conscience is one that accepts the truth as its standard. It informs the mind as to what is false or evil. We need to keep our consciences good. We do this as we accept the truth of God’s word. And we ask the *Lord to take away all that is wrong. To have a good conscience is to know that God accepts us as clean from all *sin.

*Faith has to be sincere. That means that it must be real and genuine. We can fool people into thinking that we have *faith but we cannot fool God. As we trust God, he puts his love in us. And then we can love him.

Verse 6 Some people at *Ephesus had turned away from the truth of God’s word. They had followed their own ideas. And so, they did not do what the Bible teaches. They failed to have that love which comes from a clean heart, a good conscience and real *faith. They talked a lot, but said nothing of real value. Their teaching was just vain words that were of no use at all.

Verse 7 These false teachers had wanted to be teachers of the law. The law here means the laws that God gave to Moses. They are in the first five books of the *Old Testament. The teacher was very important in those days. They wanted to be important and they wanted the Christians to respect them. But they did not know what the law said. They did not understand the principles of the law that they claimed to teach. What they taught with such confidence was in error. What they said was not correct and it produced no good results.

The purpose of the law (1:8-11)

v8 Now we know that the law is good. It is good if a person uses it properly. v9 We also know that the law is not there for good people. It is for those who do what is wrong. And it is for those who do not obey it. It is for those who do not respect God. And it is for those who *sin. It is for those who do not believe in God or who speak against him. Then it is for those who kill their fathers and mothers or who murder. v10 The law is there for those who have wrong sex, including sex with children. It is for those who make slaves of people. It is for those who tell lies. And it is for those who declare what is false. It is for all that is against good and right instruction. v11 All of this agrees with the wonderful *gospel of the great God. He has given to me the task of declaring this good news.

Verse 8 The problem was not that there was anything wrong with the law. The law itself is good because God gave it. The problem was with the false teachers who used it wrongly. They were using it to support their own ideas. The use of the law must be for its proper purpose. This purpose is to teach people how they should live. It shows them where they have gone wrong.

Verses 9-10 The purpose of all law is to show us when we do wrong things. So law is not for good persons but for those who are bad. We need the law to give us the rules of behaviour by which we must live. By the law, the judge decides whether a person is good or bad. The law gives the rules for punishing those whom it finds to be guilty.

Paul then gives a list of the kinds of persons for whom we have the law. He follows the pattern of the ten commands that God gave to Moses (Exodus 20:1-17). He starts with three pairs of wrong doing which are against the first four commands. These are *sins against God. We should love God. But these people do not obey him or respect him. Some do not believe in him while other people speak against him. The rest of these two verses list the kinds of *sins that are against other people. The list does not describe all that is wrong. But the final sentence does cover all that is not good. All those acts that are against a right understanding of the Bible and of the law are *sin.

Verse 11 The right use of the law and of the Bible is part of the *gospel. The *gospel shows us some of the *glory of God. The law can only show that people are *sinners. But the *gospel shows us the power, goodness and love of God. By the *Lord Jesus, God can make us clean from our *sins. By the *Lord Jesus, we can know God.

God and the *Lord Jesus sent Paul to declare this *gospel. This *gospel is good news because it gives us a way of escape from *sin.

Paul and the *gospel (1:12-17)

v12 I thank Christ Jesus our *Lord who has given me the strength for this. He considered that he could trust me. And so he called me to this work. v13 In the past, I spoke evil about Christ. And I attacked and insulted him. But I did not know what I was doing. And so he had pity on me. At that time, I did not believe in him. v14 The *Lord poured out so much kindness upon me with the *faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. v15 Christ Jesus came into the world to save *sinners and I am the worst of them. This is a true statement. And we should accept and believe it. v16 I am the worst *sinner. But for that very reason he had pity on me. So that first in me, Christ Jesus could show his patience. This is a pattern for all those who would believe in him. They would believe in him for the life that never dies. v17 To the king of all time be honour. He never changes, and we cannot see him. To him who alone is God be honour and *glory for all the ages to come. *Amen.

Verse 12 The task that the *Lord had given to Paul was a big one. He could not do it on his own. He thanked the *Lord for the support that he had received from him. He had to depend on the strength that the *Lord Jesus gave to him.

Paul is looking back to his experience on the road to Damascus city (Acts 9). He was on his way to attack the Christians there. Up to that time, Paul denied that Jesus could be either *Messiah or the *Lord. But the *Lord Jesus Christ met him and so Paul believed in him. From that time, the *Lord Jesus trusted Paul and sent him to declare the *gospel. Paul was astonished at this and he was so grateful to the *Lord for it.

Verse 13 Saul (Paul) was a *Jew. He was eager to be the best one in the religion of the *Jews. He saw those who trusted in Jesus as a danger to his religion. He spoke against Jesus. And he denied that he was the Christ. Paul was convinced about something: He had to destroy all who confessed Jesus. That means ‘said that he was the Christ (*Messiah). (See Acts 8:3; 9:1-2.) He was a cruel man. He dragged them from their homes and sent them to prison.

Paul was sincere. He believed that he served God by doing this. He did not know that what he was doing was wrong. He thought that it was his duty to oppose Jesus. He did not believe that Jesus was the *Lord and the Christ. But when Jesus met him, Paul was convinced. Then the *Lord Jesus Christ showed *mercy to him. And he forgave Paul for all that he had done.

Verse 14 It was more than *mercy that Paul received from God. The kindness of the *Lord was like a flood of water poured over him. He received *faith to believe and trust in the *Lord Jesus. As he received the love of God into his life, so he was able to love the *Lord as well. He once hated the Christians but now he loved them.

Verse 15 Here is the heart of the *gospel of Christ Jesus. He came into the world to save *sinners. Jesus himself said, ‘The Son of Man came to find and to save what was lost’ (Luke 19:10). This is the essential base on which all of the Christian life rests. We must believe it and accept it. We must trust in Jesus and what he has done for us.

Jesus was God but he came as a human being into this world. He came for a purpose. That purpose was to rescue us from our *sins. He took all our *sins to himself. He paid the price for them when he died. He was so great that God raised him from the dead. Now all who trust him and confess their *sins are free from their *sins. The *Lord will give them life with him. This is the life that will never die.

Paul felt that of all *sinners he was the worst. This was because he had attacked the Christians with such cruelty. The *Lord forgave Paul for all his *sins. But Paul still says that he is a *sinner. He is a *sinner whom God, in his *grace, has saved. God has saved him because of his trust in Christ.

Verse 16 Paul was so bad but the *Lord still had pity on him. The *Lord did not punish Paul, as he deserved. But he was patient with him. He met Paul on the road. And he showed him what he ought to do. Then Paul believed in the *Lord Jesus.

Paul was not the first to believe in Christ but his was the most astonishing change. He had been the worst of *sinners. But now he was a leader in the church and an *apostle. Such a change was all due to the patience of the *Lord. All who believe in Christ have a new kind of life. They change as Paul did. Paul’s life was now a powerful example of the *grace of God. He sees his own experience as the pattern of what Christ can do. He does it in the lives of all who believe in him. They will be what God wants them to be. And so they will be truly alive.

Verse 17 As Paul thinks about what he has written, he praises the *Lord.

God is the great king above all other kings. He governs all the ages from the *creation of the world to the end of time. He is in absolute control of all things.

God is always the same because he never changes. As he was, he is and always will be. He is not human as we are. And he can never decrease or die. He is the source of all life and he is the living one.

We cannot see him. This is because he is so far above what we can understand. He lives in a light to which we cannot approach. No human person has seen or can see him. We can only know him to the extent to which he shows himself to us. He has done this by sending the *Lord Jesus Christ. He sent him to show us what he is like.

All honour and *glory is due to him who is the only God. There are many gods but only one true God. Through all the ages to come, praise is due to him.

*Faith and conscience (1:18-20)

v18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you some instructions. These agree with the *prophecies that spoke about you. Do what I teach you. If you do, you will achieve like a good soldier in the battle. v19 Make sure that you keep your *faith and a good conscience. Some people have not listened to their conscience and so they have ruined their *faith. v20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander. I have given these men to *Satan, so that they may learn not to say bad things about God.

Verse 18 Paul, as the older man, is telling his ‘son’ what he must do. ‘Son’ here means that Paul told Timothy about Jesus. This refers back to verses 3-5, where he told Timothy to stop the false teachers and to teach the truth. It also looks forward to what Paul is about to write.

When Timothy first went with Paul (Acts 16:3), the leaders of his church prayed for him. As they prayed the *Lord gave them words to speak to Timothy. These words were the *prophecies. They showed what God wanted Timothy to be and to do. What Paul is now telling Timothy to do agrees with those prophecies.

Both the *prophecies and what Paul told him were to encourage Timothy to be strong. The Christian life is like a war. There are battles to be won and fights to be fought. By doing what the *prophecies and Paul said, Timothy would fight well.

Verse 19 Paul is eager that Timothy should continue to trust God. He wants Timothy to have a good conscience. That conscience will help to keep Timothy from doing bad things. To fight a good fight these two, trust and a clear conscience, are essential.

Some people have refused to act as their consciences showed them. They have done what they know to be wrong. This has had a damaging effect on their trust in God. It is like a ship that hits the rock. The ship sinks. So they have ruined their *faith.

Verse 20 As a warning, Paul names two men who have done bad things. They had ruined their *faith. These are Hymenaeus and Alexander. Hymenaeus had become a false teacher (2 Timothy 2:17). Alexander could be the man who made things from copper in *Ephesus. If so, he caused Paul a lot of trouble (2 Timothy 4:14).

Both of these men had spoken against the *Lord and against the truth of the *gospel. Paul handed these two men to *Satan. This was an act of discipline for a person who would not *repent of *sin. Paul and the leaders put them out of the church.

The purpose of this severe act was that they might *repent. By this, they might learn not to speak against God or against the truth.

Prayer for all people (2:1-4)

v1 First of all, I urge you to pray for all people. Talk to God about them. Ask God to help and bless them, and thank him for each of them. v2 Pray for kings and all who are in authority. Then we may live calm and quiet lives. Do this so that we may respect God. And we may be good and honest in all that we do. v3 This is good. And it pleases God who saves us. v4 He wants to save every person. And he wants them all to know the truth.

Verse 1 When Christians meet together as a church, they should pray. This is most important. Paul urges them to pray for all people. He uses four different words in this verse. These words help to show what this prayer means.

The first of these words means to make requests to God to meet needs. This is when we desire God to do something to help. We see the needs of people. Then we desire that God will meet their needs. We should pray for them.

Then there is the usual word that is prayer to God. We bring to God all the things that trouble us. And then we ask him to guide us. We think about other people. Then we ask God to help us to know what is right. And we ask him to help us to know what we should do. We ask God for his general blessing and care for the people. We talk to God about them.

The third word means to have a conversation with God and to make an appeal to him. The *Lord Jesus gives us the confidence to come to God and to talk with him. We can be like the agents for other people and come to God with an appeal on their behalf. We ask God to help and bless them.

The last word means to thank God. We must always thank God. We thank him for all people. We thank him for all that he has done. Thank him for each of those for whom we have prayed.

They should pray in this manner for all people. He is not asking them to pray for everyone in the world. That would not be possible for them to do. He means that they should pray for all kinds of people. They should pray for the people that they know. And they should pray for the people about whom they know.

Verse 2 They should pray for all who lead in their society. At that time, it would have been for the *emperor in *Rome and all the minor rulers. The *emperor was Nero, who was a very cruel man. Christians should pray for all those who govern them. They should pray for them, whether they are good or bad.

What the rulers do and say will affect the lives of all the people. The purpose in praying for them is that they will rule well. The prayer is that all that they do will be for the good of the people.

The Christians should pray that the rulers would allow them to live in *peace. The reason for this desire is so that they can be free to *worship and serve God. They want to be able to live good and honest lives. They want to be at *peace with all the people. They want to be able to share what they believe with other people.

Verses 3-4 It is a good thing to pray for the people and for the rulers. It is right for Christians to care enough to pray to God for them. More than that, such prayers are pleasing to God. God saves from *sin all those who have come to him through the *Lord Jesus. He desires that all people should come to him. So, as Christians want the same thing, it will please the *Lord.

God wants to save all sorts of people, including those who lead, from the effects of their *sin. He desires that they would come to know the truth. The truth of God will deliver them from all error.

One God and one way to him (2:5-7)

v5 Now there is one God. There is only one person who can make *peace between God and people. He is Jesus Christ who became a man for this purpose. v6 He gave himself to die on behalf of all people, and God showed us this at the right time. v7 God made me an *apostle so that I should *preach this good news. I am telling the truth; I am not lying. He sent me to teach the nations in *faith and truth.

Verse 5 People may believe in many gods but there is only one real God. Many believe that there is only one God. But they do not know him. People can only know God by coming to him through the *Lord Jesus Christ.

The *Lord Jesus is the only one who can bring people and God together. To do this he had to be the agent for both God and people. Jesus Christ is God. And he came to show us what God was like. He became a man so that he could take us to God. The *Lord Jesus had to deal with all that separated us from God. He took the *sins of all people and died on their behalf. By this, he made *peace and is now able to bring people to God.

Verse 6 All people have done what is wrong. There is no person who has not *sinned. The effect of this was to make all people to become like slaves to *sin. The *Lord Jesus gave himself as the price to free people from *sin. He alone was perfect and has not *sinned. But he took the punishment of all our *sins when he died. He suffered instead of and on behalf of us all. Those who accept that he died for them are set free from their *sins.

God sent his Son Jesus Christ at the time that he appointed. In the plan of God, the *Lord Jesus died for all people. This is what he has shown us. And this is the true *gospel.

Verse 7 God called Paul to be an *apostle of the *Lord Jesus. God sent him to declare this *gospel to all people, both *Jews and *Gentiles. It seems that some of those in *Ephesus had doubted the authority of Paul. Therefore, he insists that he is not lying. It is true that God has appointed him an *apostle.

He did not only *preach the *gospel. God also sent him to teach the *Gentiles. He explained to them what is true. And he tried to lead them to the *Lord. He taught them what Christians believe. And he taught them how they should live.

Instructions to men and women (2:8-15)

v8 I want the men to pray in every place. Let them lift up their hands to God. They should be clean from *sin; they should not be angry or doubting. v9 I would like women to wear modest and sensible clothes. They should not do their hair in odd styles. They should not put on much gold and precious stones, or wear expensive clothes. v10 Rather, their charm should be in good works. This is right for women who say that they believe in God. v11 They should learn as they listen, quietly and humbly, to those who teach them. v12 I would not allow them to teach. And I would not allow them to tell men what to do. They should be calm and quiet. v13 This is because God made Adam first. And then he made Eve. v14 The enemy did not fool Adam. But Eve believed his lies and *sinned. v15 God will save the woman through the birth of children. That is if women trust and love him and are holy and modest.

Verse 8 Paul writes here about prayer in the public *worship of the Christians. The women had to keep quiet in the church meetings. So he urges the men to pray. In every place where the Christians meet, the men should pray.

When they pray in the church meeting, they should lift up their hands. They lift them up to God. But this act and their prayers have no value if they are not clean (morally good) in their minds. They cannot really pray unless their lives are good.

There must be a unity in the church. There can be no anger between the members. They must settle all such problems before they pray. They must not argue among themselves. And they must believe that God will hear their prayers.

Verse 9 Paul now talks about how the women should behave in the church meetings. They come together to meet with and *worship the *Lord. They too should pray but they should not pray aloud.

Women should be modest in both their attitude and in their dress. They should not dress or wear things to attract attention to them. The centre of attention should be the *Lord. So they should be modest in their appearance. This does not mean that the women should be dull and not attractive. But they should not display their wealth or beauty. Paul is writing about the excess and the effect of these things.

Verse 10 The women should make themselves attractive by what they do. Not by what they wear. Their lives are more important than the clothes that they put on. Christian women should do good things because they trust in God.

Verse 11 When the *Jews came for *worship, the women had to be silent. Among the *Gentiles, this was not always so. Paul ruled that the women should be quiet. When they came to the meetings, they should be under the authority of the men who taught. They had to listen to them and learn from them.

Verse 12 Paul would not permit a woman to teach in the public meetings of the church. He is not saying that there is no place for a woman to teach. But the task of teaching in the church belonged to the men. For a woman to teach men would be to take the authority from them. The women should keep quiet in the church meetings.

Verses 13-14 The reason why the man should be the leader over the woman is that God made the man first. After this, he made the woman to be a helper for the man (Genesis 2:20-23). It is not that men are superior to women. They are equal before God. But they are not the same and they have different roles in society. Men and women are equal partners but one must take the lead. The man should take that role for the benefit of both of them.

Paul then looks at the story of the first *sin (Genesis 3:1-7). The woman listened to the lies that *Satan told her. She believed what he said. And so she did not obey God. She took and ate of the fruit. But God had said they must not eat that fruit. She gave some of it to the man and he ate it. The man did not accept the lies of *Satan. He decided to *sin when the woman offered the fruit to him.

This is an example of Eve taking the role that Adam had. He was wrong because he listened to the voice of his wife (Genesis 3:17). There is a danger when men or women take on the wrong roles.

Verse 15 Women should not try to take the role that God has given to men. The role that he talks about here is to teach in the church meeting. They have other roles that men cannot have. One of those roles is to have children.

After the fall into *sin, God told Eve that she would be in pain as she gave birth to children. Eve is the subject of the first part of this verse. She had *sinned but God gave the promise of *salvation. He would send the Christ (*Messiah) to be born of a woman. So, through the birth of Jesus to Mary, God kept his promise. God will save women if they continue to trust in him and love him. They should be pure, holy and modest.

Some people take this verse as a promise that women will be safe as they give birth. But they must have the right attitude toward God. They must trust him and love him. They must be pure, holy and modest.

This verse does not mean that having children is the method by which God will save women. That would make their *salvation to depend on their works. But *salvation comes by the gift of God and we receive it by *faith. God will not save women because they give birth to children. He saves them as they *repent and believe the *gospel.

What an *elder must be like (3:1-7)

v1 Anyone who aims to be a leader in the church desires a good task. That is true. v2 But a church leader must be without fault. He must not have more than one wife. He must not drink too much but he should be sensible and well organised. He should be ready to give a welcome to strangers and he must be able to teach. v3 A leader must not drink to excess and should not quarrel or fight. Instead, he must be kind and gentle and he must not love money. v4 He must lead his own family well. And his children must obey him and respect him. v5 If a man does not know how to lead his own family, he is not able to take care of the church of God. v6 A new Christian should not be a leader. If he is, he might be proud. And then he could fall into the punishment of the devil. v7 A leader must have earned the respect of those who are not Christians. Then the devil will not be able to trap him and cause him shame.

Verse 1 The task of the leaders is to look after the affairs of the church. It is their job to take care of all the members, to teach them and to lead them. It is not an easy task but it is a noble one. The desire must be for the good of the church and not for selfish reasons.

Verse 2 In verses 2 to 7, Paul lists the qualities that a man must have to be a church leader. Paul taught here that the work of a leader in the church was for men rather than women. When Paul was writing, the leaders were always men.

The local churches each had a group of men who were the leaders. These were the *elders or *bishops. The word *elder did not mean that they were old. It was a title for a leader. The word *bishop here is not the same function as *bishops have now in some churches. It just meant one of the leaders.

A leader must be a good man. No one should be able to accuse him of doing wrong things. His life must be a good model for the church members to follow.

If he is a married man, he must have only one wife. He must be a loyal husband to his wife.

He needs to be able to think clearly so that he can make wise decisions. He must always be in control of himself. Those who drink too much tend to lose that control. He should earn the respect of both Christians and those who are not Christians.

When strangers come to the church or to his home, he should greet them. He will make sure that they are looked after and helped. If they need it, he will invite them to stay with him or with one of the Christians.

The leaders should be ready and able to teach. What they and other teachers teach to the Christians must be true. The leaders must make sure that it is. They must be able to argue for the truth against all that is false.

Verse 3 A leader must not be a man who drinks a lot. He must never suffer the effects of too much strong drink. Some of these effects can be to argue and to fight. An *elder must never get to that state. He must not quarrel or fight.

He must try to understand people and be kind to them. He should not be too severe with them. His task is to encourage the Christians to be at *peace and to love each other.

He should not be a leader for what he can get from it. His desire should be to serve and give himself for the church members. His aim must not be to gain money or goods for himself. The love of money is the cause of much evil.

Verses 4-5 To be a leader of the church a man must lead his own family well. This means that his children must have a good attitude. Their parents will have taught them how to behave. So, they respect and obey those who look after them.

It is easier for a man to control his own family than to lead the church. So, if he does not control his family, he will not be able to take care of the church. It is the church of God. And those who lead it should be qualified to do so.

Verse 6 A person who has just become a Christian should not be a leader in the church. He should first prove that he has the right qualities for the task. It would take some time and experience to show that he is ready for this work.

There is a danger that a new Christian in this job would be proud. Those who are proud will fall as the devil did. The devil was once good but because of his pride, he became evil. God opposes the devil and all who are proud. One day God will destroy the devil (Revelation 20:10). The proud will share the same punishment as the devil.

Verse 7 A leader must have a very good character. Then those who do not come to the church will respect him. He will not have success if the people do not trust him. Where the people do not respect the church leaders, it will spoil the work of the church. It may stop people from believing the *gospel of the *Lord Jesus Christ. It could be a cause and a reason for them to oppose the church.

The devil is always trying to stop the spread of the *gospel. He will use anything that he can to do this. If there is anything in a leader of the church that he can attack, he will. As a hunter makes a trap to catch an animal, so he tries to catch the church leaders. He tempts them to do what he wants. If they do this, it will have a bad effect on the church.

What a *deacon must be like (3:8-13)

v8 *Deacons also must live good lives and be sincere. They must not drink too much wine or be greedy for money. v9 They must hold to the truth that God has made known of the *faith with a clean conscience. v10 They must first prove themselves. Then if there is nothing against them, they can serve as *deacons. v11 The women must also live good lives. They should not find fault with people. They should be sensible and honest in all that they do. v12 A *deacon must have only one wife. He must manage his children and all who live in his house well. v13 People will respect those who have served well. They can be bold as they speak about their *faith in Christ Jesus.

Verse 8 The word *deacon means a servant. But it became a job in the church. While the *elders led, the *deacons did much of the practical work in the church. There would be a group of *deacons in each local church. In the time of Paul, these would usually be men. Like the *elders, they had to have the right qualities for this work. These were similar to but a little less than those of the *elders.

*Deacons must live good lives so that people can respect them. They must always speak the truth. They will not vary what they say. And people will be able to depend on their word. They must be careful how they live. And they must not drink too much strong drink. They must be honest in all that they do. The desire for gain for themselves must not be their aim or the reason for what they do. Their purpose in this work must be to serve God and the church members.

Verse 9 From the beginning of time, God planned to send Jesus. When Jesus Christ came, he died to take away the *sins of us all. God spoke about the coming of Jesus all through the *Old Testament. But none of the people seemed to understand what he said. They expected the Christ (*Messiah) to come as a strong king like the kings of the nations. But he was humble like a servant and died on a cross. Now God showed to the people what they could not know. God has shown the truth about the *Lord Jesus Christ to those who believe. This is the centre of the Christian *faith. God will save from their *sins all those who believe and trust in the *Lord Jesus. The *deacons must be firm in their belief in this *gospel.

As they maintain this truth, they must have clean consciences. They must not allow any *sin to spoil their life with God. If they do *sin, they must *repent. And they must ask God to forgive them. What they believe must show in how they live.

Verse 10 Those who want to be *deacons must pass these tests. They must show that they possess these qualities. There must be no reason why they may not be *deacons. The other people need to be sure about that. Then the church members or the leaders can appoint them to do this work.

Verse 11 In the church at that time, *deacons were usually men. There were women in the church who did the work of a *deacon. For example, there was Phoebe who was a *deacon in the church at Cenchrea (Romans 16:1). So the women here are those who take part in the work of the *deacons. Some of them may have been the wives of *deacons. Some of them could have been women that the church members had appointed to do this work.

Just as the *deacons had to live good lives, so must these women. They must not gossip or find fault with other people. They will know about things that should be kept private. They must not talk about these things. People must be able to trust them. They must not drink too much strong drink. They must be steady and honest in all their work.

Verse 12 If a *deacon is married, he must be the husband of one wife. This is the same as for the *elders. He must be in control of his own family. It is not that he manages the church. But it shows the character that any who work in the church must have. Poor control at home would show a weakness that is not good in a *deacon.

Verse 13 Those who serve well in their duties in the church gain honour for themselves. Such good service pleases the *Lord. The members of the church will also respect the *deacons who do their job well. These good *deacons can grow in confidence and in their trust in the *Lord Jesus Christ. They can be bolder as they speak about what they believe to other people.

The church of the God who lives (3:14-16)

v14 As I write this letter to you, I hope to come and see you soon. v15 But if there is a delay, you know how to behave in the house of God. This house is the church of the living God. And it supports and defends the truth. v16 We must agree. And we must say that what God has shown us of our religion is very great.

He came and showed himself to us as a human being.

The Spirit declared that he was without fault.

*Angels saw him.

People *preached his good news to the nations.

People all over the world believed in him.

God took him up from the earth to share his *glory.

Verses 14-15 Paul was hoping to visit Timothy soon. But he wrote this letter just in case there was a delay in his plans. He wanted the church members to know how they should live. So, he gave these rules for the leaders and for the members. He wanted them to behave well when they came together as the church.

The church is not the building in which they meet. It is all the *believers when they meet to *worship and serve God. They are the house of God. God is with them. They are the church of the living God. The strength and the foundation of that church are in God.

God has trusted Christians with his truth. Each local church of Christians has a duty to protect that truth from all that is false. There were some people in *Ephesus who opposed the truth. And those people taught wrong things. Timothy had to tell them to stop doing so. The church members must not accept what these people taught. They must hold on to and spread the truth that is from God.

Verse 16 The secret of true religion that God has shown to us is great. All must agree with this because there can be no doubt about it. The secret that he has shown to us is about the *Lord Jesus Christ. And it is about what he has done. It was a secret because people did not know God’s plan. He had promised that the Christ would come to save us from our *sins. All through the *Old Testament, God speaks about the future when Christ would come. When he came, the Christ had to suffer and die for us. But nobody understood that. Now we know that the *Lord Jesus has come. He has done all that God had said that he would do.

The rest of the verse seems to be from a statement of belief in the church. It may have been part of a Christian song. There are six lines, each of which is about Christ or his work on the earth.

1. God, in the person of Christ, came to us as a man. Christ was always God. But he came to us as a human being so that we may know him.

2. The *Lord Jesus claimed to be the Christ (*Messiah) that God had promised to send. He said that he was the Son of God. He said that he was one with and equal to the Father. He was God. The Spirit agrees that these claims are true. He declares that Jesus is the Son of God and that he is perfect. Jesus did not *sin at all. But he took our *sins when he died on the cross.

The Spirit declared Christ to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4). He proved it in that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead.

3. *Angels were involved at times while Jesus lived on the earth. One of them came to those who looked after the sheep to tell them about his birth (Luke 2:9). They came to Jesus after the devil had tempted him (Matthew 4:11). An *angel helped him as he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:43). An *angel rolled back the stone from the entrance to the grave when Jesus rose from the dead (Matthew 28:2-7). The *angel sat on that stone. Some women had come. And the *angel told the women that Jesus was alive again. Two *angels who were inside the grave spoke to Mary (John 20:11-13). Later, Jesus left the earth and went up to heaven. Two *angels were there. And they told the friends of Jesus that he would come again (Acts 1:10-11).

Therefore, the *angels see him. They are God’s servants. He sends them to help those who believe in Jesus (Hebrews 1:14). They see what the *Lord Jesus has done. They look to him as the ruler in heaven. They praise and *worship him (Hebrews 1:6).

4. As he was leaving the earth, the *Lord Jesus told his friends to tell the people in all the nations of the world about him. From that day, Christians have gone to the nations with the good news of Christ.

5. Where the Christians have told people the good news of Christ, some have believed it. They have put their trust in him and become Christians too.

6. The *Lord Jesus went up from this earth. He entered into the bright light of heaven where God lives. There he enjoys honour and praise. God has given to him all power to rule in heaven and over the earth.

Warning against false teachers (4:1-5)

v1 The Spirit clearly says that in the last days some people will turn from the *faith. They will follow the lies of evil *spirits and the things that *demons teach. v2 These errors come through people who tell lies. Their consciences, which decide between right and wrong, are dead as if burnt with a hot iron. v3 Such people teach that it is wrong to marry. And they teach that it is wrong to eat certain kinds of food. But God created these foods for those who believe in him to eat. They thank God for what they eat. Those who believe in him know the truth. v4 All that God has created is good. We are not to refuse anything that God has made. But we should thank him and receive it. v5 This is because by the word of God and prayer all food is made good and fit to eat.

Verse 1 Paul turns from instructions to Timothy and the church members, to give a warning. He talks about a time when many will turn away from the *Lord. These people said that they trusted in God. But then they changed their minds. They gave up their *faith and turned their backs on the *Lord. The Holy Spirit had said that this would happen in future times.

The last days here means some time after the Spirit had spoken. It is not just the final period, which is still to come. The last days here refer to the present, which began with the coming of Christ. Since the church started, there have been those who said that they believed. But later, they turned away from the *Lord. The Bible does say that there will be a time when a large number will turn away. That will be in the period just before the *Lord Jesus comes again (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

These people stop believing in the *Lord. This is because they act on lies. They turn away from the truth and believe lies. They listen to what false teachers say. These lies come from evil *spirits that lead them away from the truth. They start to accept what *demons teach.

These *spirits and *demons are enemies of God and of the *Lord Jesus Christ. Their aim is to make of no effect the work that the *Lord has done for us. They will do all that they can to stop people from trusting in Christ. They also try to turn Christians from their belief in him.

Verse 2 The false teachers whom the *demons use seem to be good. But they speak lies. They teach things that do not agree with the truth from God. It may sound good but it is false.

These teachers should have known the truth but they chose to deny it. They have allowed the *demons to persuade them that the truth is not right. They have decided to follow and to teach what is false. This has damaged their consciences. It is as if they have burned them with a hot iron. They can no longer know what is right or what is wrong.

Verse 3 Paul mentions two of the wrong things that these people taught. They forbade people to marry. And they told them that they must not eat certain foods.

The Bible teaches that marriage is a good thing. And it is from God. As for the foods, God created them for us to eat. Christians should know that they can eat all kinds of food. But they should always thank God for what they eat. They should be grateful to God for all that he has given to them.

Verses 4-5 God is good and therefore all that he does is good. He created all things. In the story of the *creation, at each stage, it says that God saw that it was good (Genesis 1). He gave all kinds of plants and fruit for food (Genesis 1:29). He told Noah that every moving thing that lives should be food for him (Genesis 9:3). So, we should not forbid any kind of food. God is not pleased with us just because we do not eat certain foods.

We should receive all things as from God and thank him for them. What God has said and our prayer of thanks to him make all food fit for us to eat. This teaches us that Christians should pray before they eat.

How to guard against what is false (4:6-16)

v6 If you advise the brothers and sisters (Christians) about these things, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus. And you will feed yourself on the words of the *faith and of the truth that you have followed. v7 Avoid those wrong or silly stories that have nothing to do with God. Rather, work hard to be what God wants you to be. v8 If you train your body you will get some small benefit. But it is better to train to be what God wants you to be. That will benefit you in every way. That has the promise of life now and of the life that is to come. v9 These words are true. And you should accept and believe them. v10 We struggle and work hard, because we have set our hope in the living God. He is the one who can save all people. And he will save all those who believe in him. v11 Order and teach these things. v12 Do not let anyone fail to respect you because you are young. But you must be a good example to those who believe. Prove your worth by what you say and do. Show it by your love, *faith, and good living. v13 Until I come, read the *scriptures. Read them when you meet. Urge the Christians to do what it says. And teach them the truth. v14 You must not fail to use the gift that the Holy Spirit gave to you through *prophecy. The *elders also agreed with it as they laid their hands on you. v15 Be careful to do these things. Work hard at them so that everyone can see how well you are doing. v16 Be careful about the way that you live. And be careful about the things that you teach. You must keep on doing the things that I have taught you. As a result, by you, God will save both you yourself and those who listen to you.

Verse 6 Timothy should remind the Christians of the things about which Paul writes. There was nothing new in what Paul wrote. They should all have been aware of these things. Timothy should continue to teach the truth that they have received. Then he will be a good leader.

He will be a good servant of Christ Jesus. The *Lord appoints leaders as his servants to serve the church members. The task of the leaders is not to be bosses as are leaders in the world. Rather, they should see themselves as those who serve the church members. The *Lord Jesus said about himself that he was among them as one who serves (Luke 22:27). They and all who believe in Christ should have that same attitude.

Those whom he teaches are the brothers and sisters. These are the Christians in that place. All who believe in the *Lord Jesus are children of God. They are members with Paul and Timothy in the family of God. They should be to each other as brothers and sisters.

Timothy needs to look after himself by learning all that the *Lord Jesus and the *apostles taught. They are the words of the *faith. This is because their aim is to bring people to believe and trust in the *Lord. Food makes the body strong. In the same way, as Timothy studies these words, he will be stronger in his own belief. He will be more able to lead and help other Christians.

Timothy has known the truth since he was a child. He has followed it from his youth. He should continue to live and grow in that truth.

Verse 7 A good leader must refuse all that is not true. So many of the stories that people believe in are a waste of time. They are often not correct and some come from an evil source. Paul advises Timothy to have nothing to do with such things. They would cause damage to, rather than help, the work of God.

A person who runs races will train hard to be as fit as possible. He or she will take off all clothing that is not needed for the race. In the same way, Paul tells Timothy to work hard and avoid what he does not need. The aim is not a race but to be ready for the work of God. He, and all Christians, should aim to become more like the *Lord Jesus.

Verse 8 It is a good thing to exercise the body. It helps to keep the body in good health. But its benefits are only for the short time that we live here on earth. Paul does not say that we should not exercise the body. But he says that there is much more benefit if we train to be like the *Lord Jesus. This has benefit for all time and for the life that is to come.

What God gives has the promise of life. This is the life that is to come. He gives that life to all who believe and trust in the *Lord Jesus Christ. So, that life is far more important than the health of the body. Christ has promised us a different quality of life now. And it goes on when our body dies. Therefore, it should be the aim of all Christians to be like Christ. They cannot achieve it now, but they should work hard towards it. Such effort is well worthwhile because God will bless it.

Verses 9 The words and the message that Paul gives are true. This could apply to verse 8 or verse 10 or to both of them. He urges Timothy to accept what he writes and to believe it.

Verse 10 To be like Christ has the promise of life. So, Christians work hard and struggle to be like him. This is not to earn that life because it is a gift from God. They continue to hope in the God who lives. That is why they work hard. There is no doubt in this hope. They are sure of that life by their belief and trust in Christ. This hope gives them the confidence to go on and not to give up.

God, by what the *Lord Jesus has done, has made it possible for all people to receive the new life. That is life with him both now and after the death of the body. But they have to receive it from him. God has given that *salvation to all who trust in Christ.

Verse 11 Timothy should order and teach these things. Timothy was a shy and quiet man. But Paul tells him to use his authority as the leader of this church. He must be strong. And he must order people to do what the *Lord has said. He must teach them the things about which Paul writes.

Verse 12 As Timothy does give commands and teach, there may be some who would oppose him. They may claim that he is still young. He does not have the experience that they would respect. Timothy must not let this happen. He can overcome this by being mature in all that he does.

The word young here means a young man of up to 30 or 40 years of age. Timothy must have been 30 years old or even a bit older. Many of the *believers at *Ephesus would have been much older than he was.

Paul urges Timothy to be a pattern to them of how a Christian should live. He should be careful how he speaks. And he should be careful about what he says. In all that he does, he must show true Christian character. What he says and does should show that he has the basic qualities of the Christian life. The first of these is love. This is the kind of love that the *Lord has for us. Timothy should speak and act with love for God and for the Christians whom he leads. Then his words and works should always show that he believes and trusts in the *Lord. His life should be morally good before God and the people.

Timothy should live like this. Then all will see that he is fit to lead. He will prove that his age is not important. He has the authority to do as Paul urges him to do. He can order and teach the church members. And he can expect them to accept what he says.

Verse 13 Paul said ‘until I come’. But he did not want Timothy to stop doing these things when he came. While Paul was absent from *Ephesus, Timothy should continue to do these things. He writes about the meetings of the church. They should read the *scriptures. The leader should urge them to obey the *scriptures. A teacher should teach them about the truth. When the members come together, there should be those three things.

Timothy should make sure that he or someone else reads the *scriptures aloud. There would be those there who could not or did not read the Bible for themselves. All who believe in Christ should know what the Bible says. That is important. The Bible is God’s word to his people and through it he speaks to them.

James tells us to do what the word says. We should not be just those who hear it (James 1:22). As the church members hear the *scriptures, they should obey them. Timothy, as the leader, should urge them to obey what God says in the Bible.

The church members need to understand and know the truth. Timothy has to teach them all that he has learnt about the word of God and about the Christian *faith.

Verse 14 Timothy had received a gift from God when the *elders laid their hands on him. This gift was to help him do the work to which God appointed him. God gave him the gift through *prophecy. The Holy Spirit had shown one or more persons that he was giving the gift to Timothy. The *elders who were there agreed that the *prophecy was true.

Paul tells Timothy that he must not neglect that gift. God gave it for him to use. There are many gifts of the Holy Spirit. He gives them as he chooses. (See 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.) We do not know what this gift was. But it was to help Timothy in his life and work.

The laying on of hands was to appoint a person to a task. It was to show that the *elders agreed with the decision to chose him or her. It showed that they believed that the call to do it was from God. It was to bless and show that they supported that person. The *elders of the church laid their hands on Timothy.

Verse 15 Timothy must be careful to do all the things that Paul has written. He must give himself to the work to which God has called him. Then all will see how he is progressing. They will see how he grows in his trust in God. And grows in the authority that God has given to him.

Verse 16 Timothy must give attention to two things. They are himself and what he teaches.

He needs to be careful about his own life with the *Lord. He needs to grow in his trust in God and in his knowledge of God. It is important that he lives a good life. He must continue to live as Paul has shown him.

He must teach the truth of God. What he teaches must be true to God’s word. He must always continue to do and teach what Paul had taught him.

As Timothy does all this, he will achieve two aims. God will be pleased with what he has done. Also, the *Lord will rescue from punishment those who believe in what he teaches.

About personal attitudes and relations (5:1-2)

v1 Do not correct an older man with hard words. But appeal to him as if he were your father. Correct the younger men as if they were your own brothers. v2 Behave toward the women in a way. Speak to the older women as you would speak to your own mother. Talk to the younger women as if they were your own sisters.

Verses 1-2 Timothy has a duty to teach the local church members what is true and right. He has to show them how they should live as Christians. He has to order the false teachers and those who gossip to stop doing it. He has to correct those who do not obey. And he has to correct those who do not live in a good way. In all of this, it is important that he has the right attitude. He must be gentle and kind but firm with them all.

Where he needs to correct an older man, he should respect him like a father. He must not be strict and severe with him. Rather, he should appeal to him. And he should urge him to change and to do what is right.

Timothy must think of the younger men as his own brothers. He must not think of himself as better than them. But he should see them as brothers in the family of God. He should talk to them and encourage them to trust in the *Lord. And he should encourage them to live as they should.

He should be as gentle to the older women as he would be to his own mother. The younger women should be as his sisters. He must be most careful when he deals with these. He must be sure that his thoughts and actions are morally good.

Care of widows (5:3-16)

v3 Show respect to the widows who have no one to support them and look after them. v4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn to serve God and take care of her. They owe it to her because she once took care of them. As they do this, it pleases God. v5 A widow who is alone, with no one to take care of her, has placed her hope in God. She continues to pray and ask him for his help night and day. v6 But some widows might live only to please themselves. A widow like that has died in her heart even while she lives. v7 Give them these instructions, so that no one will find fault with them. v8 But if any people do not take care of their relatives, they are against the *faith. This is more true of those who do not look after their own families. They are worse than someone who does not have *faith in the *Lord. v9 Do not add a widow to the list of widows if she is less than 60 years old. She must also have been the wife of one husband. v10 You should accept only those whom you know do all sorts of good things. This could be that she brought up children well. She receives strangers as guests and washes the feet of Christians. She also helps those in trouble, and does all kinds of good acts. v11 But do not include younger widows in the list. When their desires make them want to marry again, they may turn away from Christ. v12 If they do, they will be guilty of breaking their earlier promise to God. v13 They also learn to waste their time by going from house to house. They will gossip and find fault with people. And they will talk about things that they should not talk about. v14 I would prefer that these widows get married. Then they can have children, and take care of their homes. This would give our enemies no chance to speak evil about us. v15 But some of these widows have already turned and gone after *Satan. v16 But if a Christian woman has widows in her family, she must take care of them. She must not leave it to the church to do. Then the church will be able to help widows who are really in need.

Verse 3 Widows need help and care. Someone has to decide what care should be given. And they must decide who should give it. The church members must respect those who are widows. Paul makes a distinction between those who have no one to help them and those who have. The church should provide for those who have no support.

Verse 4 Children should learn that they have a duty to look after their parents. This is part of their Christian *faith. The same applies to grandchildren and to all in the family. These should supply all that the widow needs. They are responsible for this care and they should not expect the church to do it.

They have a debt that they owe to their parents. The support that they give is only what is due to the widow. Parents give a lot when they bring up children. The support of the widow is some payment for what she has given in the past.

God wants them to support their widows. It pleases God when they do it.

Verse 5 A widow who is alone has no family to look after her. Her only hope for this life and the next is in God. She trusts God to take care of her and to provide all that she needs. As a Christian, she has always prayed to the *Lord. She has trusted him in the past and she still does. Now she continues to pray to him. Every night and morning, she asks God to help her.

Verse 6 In contrast with the widow who trusts in God, Paul speaks about another one. This one does not trust in God or help other people in their need. She lives only to please herself in the present. She has no thought for the future. She thinks that this is real life. But she is dead to the life that God gives. The church has no duty to support her.

Verses 7 Paul now returns to the subject of those who should look after their widows. Timothy should tell the relatives to look after their widows. If they do this, no one can blame them. They are doing what is good and right.

Verse 8 If they do not provide what their widows need, they fail in their duty. This is more so if the widow is their mother or their grandmother. The Christian *faith teaches that they have a duty to care. But they have not obeyed. They are guilty of the *sin of neglect. It is like turning away from the *Lord. Christians who fail in this are worse than those who do not trust in God. Even those who do not believe in the *Lord look after their widows.

Verse 9 Paul has shown what the families should do for their widows. Now he turns to what the church members should do. They may provide for those who have no family to support them.

The church at that time used to give a promise of support to those who passed some tests. These they put on an official list. Once they were on the list, the church members would provide for them for the rest of their lives.

To qualify for the list the widow must be at least 60 years old. In those days people thought that at that age, she was an old woman. She would not get married again. She must have no family. Or, if she had, they did not support her. That could only be if the family were not Christians. She must have been living with and loyal to her husband while he was alive.

Verse 10 She must have a good character and have done good works. Paul lists some of the good works that she might have done.

It could be that she looked after children. These may have been her own or other people’s. Maybe they were children whose parents had died.

When travellers came to the church or to her house she made them welcome. She took them into her home and provided for them.

The roads were dusty. And as the Christians walked, their feet got dirty. When they came into a home, they needed to wash them. A good hostess would wash the feet of her guests. She was willing to do this humble task for them.

When anybody was in trouble, she was there to give what help she could. She would try to meet their needs and look after them.

She must have done all kinds of good works. This was how she lived, always doing good things to help other people. This was the kind of life that she should have lived. Then the church members could support her.

Verse 11 Paul does not say that the church should not look after the younger widows. He says that the church should not add them to the list for which there is the promise of continued support. These widows do not qualify for the list because of their age. They are not yet 60 years old.

To be on the list carries with it a promise to serve Christ in the church in some way. This means that those on the list are not free to marry. It is quite likely that at some time a young widow will want to marry again. If she were on the list, her marriage would break the promise that she had made to Christ. She would not then be loyal to him because she had promised to give herself to serve him.

Verse 12 If a widow is not on the list she can get married. Paul says that it would be a good thing if they did get married (verse 14). But being on the list involves a promise to God. That means that they would not get married. If they do get married, they break that promise. They are guilty of turning away from the *Lord.

Verse 13 In the time when Paul wrote, most of the women had no education. They did not have jobs by which they could keep themselves. Women should marry. They should have children and keep the home. When the husband died and the children had left home, they did not have much to do. There was the danger that these women would be lazy. Worse still, they might waste their time and that of other women. They would go from house to house. They would spend their time talking to each other. They would gossip about other people. And they would talk about things that they should not talk about. They would get involved in affairs that had nothing to do with them.

Verse 14 A widow is free to marry again if she wants to. It would be better for them and the church if they did marry. They would then be busy again with the tasks of family life. They might have children and they would look after a husband and a home. They would not have the time to gossip from house to house.

Those who are against the church look for reasons to attack it. What the young widows did could give them an excuse to say bad things about the church. But when they marry there is no longer a problem.

Paul’s chief aim is to protect the good name of the church.

Verse 15 Paul shows the reason for the worry that he has. Some widows had turned aside from the *Lord. He does not say how many of them were involved. But some of them had left the church to follow *Satan. They may not have been aware that it was *Satan that they followed. But that was the truth of the matter.

Verse 16 If there are widows in their family, the Christians should take care of them. Paul here says that this is the duty of the women. They may themselves be widows but have the means to give support. They may be daughters or daughters in law of the widows. They could be sisters or mothers to the widows. It does not matter what the relationship is. They should look after them.

It would be wrong to leave the support of these widows to the church members. No doubt, the church members would do it if it were necessary. But the church should not have this duty. It would take time and money. That time and money could be used for those who have no one to help them.

Honour and responsibility of *elders (5:17-25)

v17 You should respect the *elders who lead well. They deserve twice as much honour. This is especially true about those who work hard as they *preach and teach. v18 This is because the *scripture says, ‘Do not stop the *ox from eating when you use it to separate the grain’ (Deuteronomy 25:4). It also says, ‘The person who works deserves to be paid’ (Luke 10:7). v19 Do not believe a bad report about an *elder unless at least two or three people say that it is true. v20 As for those who are *sinning, put them to shame in front of all of the church members. Then the rest will be afraid. v21 In front of God and Jesus Christ and the holy *angels, I warn you. And I urge you to obey these rules. You must be fair. And you must show no prejudice in anything that you do. v22 Do not be in a hurry to lay hands on anyone for the service of the *Lord. Take no part in the *sins of other people but keep yourself free from *sin. v23 Do not drink water only, but drink a little wine. This will be good for you and help with your frequent stomach problems. v24 The *sins of some people are plain to see. It is clear to all that they are guilty. But the *sins of other people are not as clear and we will not know about them until later. v25 It is the same with good works. Some of these are plain to see now and the rest we cannot hide for long.

Verse 17 The local churches each had a group of men who were the leaders. The job of these officials was to direct the affairs of the church. They were responsible for the work and growth of the church. These were the *elders.

The members should respect those who do this job well. They should give to them the honour that they deserve.

All of the *elders must be able to teach. But some of them would be more able to do it. The highest honour should go to those who *preach and teach. To do this well requires a lot of hard work and study. Those whom they teach should appreciate this.

The church members should reward the *elders for the work that they do. They should reward them for how well they do it. This may be in money if the church pays its *elders. Or it may be in the honour that they give to them.

Verse 18 Then, as they still do in some countries, the farmer used an *ox to separate the grain from the crop. They spread the crop over the ground and made the *ox walk on it. As the *ox walked on the crop the farmer should not stop it from eating some of the grain. He should not tie up its mouth. It should be free to eat while it worked.

This was a rule that God gave to the *Jews in the *Old Testament (Deuteronomy 25:4). This teaches that the *ox should be able to benefit from its work. So the *elder who does his task well should benefit from his work.

The *Lord Jesus said that the person who works deserves to be paid (Luke 10:7; Matthew 10:10). He sent his *disciples to tell the people the *gospel and to heal the sick. He told them not to take money or food with them. They should expect those whom they taught to provide for them. As the *elders work in the church, so the church members should provide for them. The *elder who works well deserves to live from his work.

Verse 19 When one person accuses an *elder, Paul warns Timothy not to act on it. He should not accept it as true. But if two or three persons say that it is true, he must think about it. Timothy must decide whether they are right or not.

Verse 20 If the bad report is true, Timothy must act on it. He must bring the *sin of the *elders to the whole church. Paul is eager that the *sins of *elders are not hidden. They should be dealt with in public. The purpose of this is to act as a warning to the other *elders. The result should be that they and the members would be more careful not to *sin. They would be afraid of such shame in public.

Verse 21 Paul urges Timothy to obey what he has said in the last two verses. These things are very important. And Timothy must do what is right. Paul warns him in a most serious manner. He says that God, the *Lord Jesus and the *angels are there to see that Timothy does obey. There might be two or three people who accuse an *elder. Then Timothy must look at the facts. He must not act on his own opinions. He must search for what is true. He must not act from prejudice.

Verse 22 To appoint a new *elder, Timothy and the *elders would put their hands on him. They would lay hands as they appoint people to any office or task in the church. To lay hands on them shows that they have the authority to do the task. The leaders put their hands on a person. This shows that they approve of him or her.

Paul tells Timothy not to be too quick in laying hands on anyone. He ought first to be sure that the person is fit for the office. He needs to see that the person has the right qualities. The person has to prove that he or she is the right person. He has to prove that he is ready for the task.

Those who lay their hands on a person are to some extent responsible for them. They are responsible for what he or she does. If they have made a bad choice, they share in the faults of that person. They share the blame for the *sins of that person. They take part in the *sins of other people.

Paul tells Timothy to take care when he lays hands on other people. If he does it without due care he may be sharing in their *sin. Timothy must keep himself from *sins, both his own and other people’s.

Verse 23 Timothy did not have good health. He was often sick and had a weak stomach. He only drank water but Paul now tells him to also drink some wine. It may be that poor water was partly the cause of the stomach problems. Wine would act against the bad effects of the water. So a little wine would be like a good medicine for the stomach.

Verse 24 It can be quite difficult to know whom to appoint to a task in the church. With some people, it is clear that they are not the right choice. The decision to refuse them is easy as one can see their *sins. With other people, it is not that simple. They hide their *sins and they appear to be good persons. It is only later that they show their true nature. This is why Timothy must not be quick to lay hands on any person. He must wait until he is sure that they are right.

With some people, we can see that they are guilty. God will be their judge. With other people, we will not know that they are guilty. We cannot know what they have done. We cannot know it until the day when they stand before God.

Verse 25 We can see the *sins of some people. In the same way, we can see the good that some people do. So, the choice of some persons for a task in the church can be easy. With other persons, we may not be able to see how good they are. But in time, we will see the good that they have done. To delay in the laying on of hands will allow time to prove who is the right person for the task.

Timothy should not act on first impressions because these can be false. He should take care. And he should take the time to be sure about the persons that he appoints.

Servants and masters (6:1-2)

v1 Those who are slaves must respect and honour their masters. They should do this so that no one will speak bad things about the name of God and about what we teach. v2 Some slaves would belong to masters who believe in Christ. They must not respect them less. Instead, they should serve them better. This is because those who gain from their work are Christians. And they love them. Teach these things and urge them to obey.

Verse 1 In the time of Paul there were many slaves. Many of the first Christians were slaves. Paul teaches them how they should serve the *Lord and their masters.

Some masters did not believe in God. To a master like that, the slave was something that he owned. Slaves were there to do what the master wanted. They had no rights of their own. They were just tools of the master. Not all masters were bad but many were.

The slaves had to do what their masters told them. But Christians who were slaves should respect their masters. And they should give them honour. The masters may not be good but the slaves should serve them. Their attitude as they do their work should be that of respect. They should try to do well for their masters.

The reason why the slaves must serve like this is that they belong to God. What they do shows what they believe. Their masters will not speak evil about God if the slaves have the right attitude. But if the slaves do not show their God by their actions, the masters will not turn to God. They will refuse to accept what the Christians teach. They will blame the *gospel for the poor performance of their slaves.

Verse 2 Not all Christian slaves had masters who believed in the *Lord. But those who did were not to respect them any less because of that. Rather, these slaves should respect their masters more because they serve the same *Lord. They may know them as equal persons in the family of God and in the church. But they must perform the duties of slaves and give the honour due to them as masters.

They must not make the beliefs that they hold in common an excuse for poor service. Instead, they should work harder and serve better. In this way, they would benefit those who were their brothers and sisters in Christ.

The love of God for both slaves and masters has made them as one in his family. They must then love each other. So, the slaves should love their Christian masters and do their best for them.

Timothy must teach these things to the church members. He must urge all who are slaves to give good service to their masters. They should see this as a duty given to them by the *Lord.

More about false teachers (6:3-5)

v3 Someone may teach that which does not agree with the true words of the *Lord Jesus Christ. What he or she teaches does not help people to please God. v4 People who teach such things are proud. And they do not understand the truth. They have sick minds. So, they want to argue and quarrel about the meanings of words. They cause *envy, spite, unkind words and evil doubts. v5 These people quarrel all the time. They have so damaged their minds that they cannot find the truth. They think that they will be rich if they try to please God.

Verse 3 Paul comes back to the subject of false teachers. These teachers do not agree with what Paul taught. They teach their own ideas as the truth. But what they teach is different from what the *Lord Jesus taught. They do not agree with what is correct. What they say does not lead people to obey and serve God.

Verses 4-5 The false teachers are vain. They think that they are superior. And they think that they can know the truth by using their own minds. But it is the *Lord who shows us what is true. So, by their own efforts, they are not able to understand the truth. They claim to know what is right. But they have no knowledge of the truth.

They always want to discuss things that do not help people to believe in the *Lord. They ask questions. And they cause doubts about what the *Lord and the *apostles have taught as the truth. They like to argue about the meaning of words. They waste time on things that do not really matter. They do nothing to spread the good news of the *gospel.

Paul lists five things that result from their arguments. These are *envy, spite, bad words, doubts and quarrels.

What they say and do leads people to *envy each other. They want to have what someone else has. When they cannot have it, they are jealous.

By their arguments, they destroy the unity that there should be in the church. Instead of *peace there was spite among the members.

Those who accepted what was false said wicked things. They said wicked things about those who did not agree with them.

Where there should be trust between the members there were evil doubts.

Then there were constant quarrels.

They have ruined their minds because they refused the truth. They think that they will gain by their religion. But they are wrong. They may get money or fame but there is no real gain in false religion.

Dangers of wealth (6:6-10)

v6 But those who please God are rich. They are rich even if they do not have much money. They are rich if they are content with what they have. v7 This is because we came into the world with nothing and we can take nothing out of it. v8 So then, if we have food and clothes, that should satisfy us. v9 There are those who want to get rich. But that tempts them to do all sorts of evil. It catches them in a trap of strong and foolish desires that will hurt them. These desires will pull them down into ruin and destroy them. v10 It will destroy them because the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil. Some people have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the *faith. This has caused them a lot of pain.

Verse 6 True religion brings much gain. This may not be in this life but certainly will be in the life to come. We should please God and be content with what we have. Then we will receive a rich reward.

Verses 7-8 When a child is born, it brings nothing with it. Neither can we take anything out of the world with us when we die. We will have to leave behind all that we possess. All the wealth that a person can get will be of no benefit, in the end. Nothing that we own can add anything to us. Death will strip all those things from us and leave us naked. Then only that which God gives will be of value. He gives it to those who believe in him

So then, we should be content with the things that are necessary for life. We should only want to have the food and the clothes that we need. That should be enough for us.

Verse 9 There are many dangers for those who want to be rich. When they want to gain wealth, their desires tempt them to do wrong things. Once they start doing those things, it is like falling into a trap. It is easier to do worse things than to break free from this trap. It is as if the devil has caught that person. And he will not let go. This trap consists of strong desires that seem to force that person to do more evil.

Those who want to be rich and make that their purpose in life will never be content. They will never have enough. And what they get will not satisfy them. Such desires are foolish and they will cause hurt and ruin in the end.

Paul speaks about ruin as if it were like the sea or a river. These desires drag people down beneath the surface and there they drown. The desire to be rich will ruin and destroy them.

Verse 10 The love of money is the strong desire to get wealth. It is greater than the desire to love and serve God. It becomes the main purpose in life. That love is like a root. It is like the root from which plants grow. From that source, there come all kinds of evil.

There are people who, because of their desire to get money, have gone away from the *faith. It is not possible to serve both God and money. One or other of them must be the more important. Those who reach out to grasp money will lose their grip on the *Lord.

These who had loved money did themselves much damage. It is as if they had pushed a sword through their own hearts and minds. As a result, they will suffer much trouble and pain. They will suffer when they realise what they have done.

Instructions to Timothy (6:11-16)

v11 But you are a man of God. So you must avoid doing all these evil things. You must make it your purpose to please God and to do all that he wants you to do. You need to be firm in what you believe. And you must love God and other people. Never give up but be patient and gentle at all times. v12 As you trust in Christ, life will be a struggle. It will be a struggle in which you must fight. Take hold on the life that has no end. God has promised that life to you. He made that promise to you when you first confessed that you believed in Christ. Many people there heard you when you said it. v13 I am giving you these commands. God, who gives life to all things, is here with us. And Jesus Christ, who confessed his trust in God before Pontius Pilate, is here with us too. It is to them that you must answer. v14 You must keep the command without fault or blame until our *Lord Jesus Christ appears. v15 God will bring this about in his own time. We praise him because he is the only true ruler, *Lord and king of all. v16 God is the only one who has in him life with no beginning and no end. He lives in such a bright light that no one can approach him. No one has ever seen him and no one can ever see him. To him be all honour and power for all time and without end. *Amen.

Verse 11 In contrast to the false teachers, Timothy is a man of God. God chose him to be his agent in that church. He is God’s man for the task to which God had appointed him. As a man of God, he must avoid all the evil things about which Paul has just been writing. He does not just warn Timothy against these *sins. Timothy must pursue what is good and right. Paul insists on that. What he says to Timothy applies to all Christians.

Paul lists six good qualities that Christians should try to have. These are:

·           They must always do what is good and right.

·           They should live to please God.

·           They should believe in and trust the *Lord at all times.

·           They ought to love God and other people.

·           They must be patient and strong. And they must have a good attitude through all the problems that come to them.

·           They should be gentle. When people do bad things to them, they must never do bad things in return. Some people may accuse them wrongly. And some people may insult them but they must not reply in the same way. They should try to do good things even to those who hate them.

Verse 12 To live for Christ in this world can be a struggle. And it often is. Timothy must be willing to suffer for the *gospel of Christ. Many opposed him. And they were doing all that they could to stop the spread of the *gospel. The man or woman of God must fight, not with swords or guns but by trusting in the *Lord and with prayer. This is because the real enemies are not men and women. They are the devils and the evil things that *Satan sends against us.

Paul tells Timothy to fight a good fight. The struggle is good because it is for God and the *gospel. The good news will spread in this evil world by this means. It is by trust in God that Timothy can continue in the struggle. So it is a fight of *faith.

God had appointed him to this task. He had given to him that life which has no end. Timothy must take a firm hold on that life. He must make it a present reality and not just a hope for the future. (See 1:16.)

God has promised to give the life that has no end. He has promised to give it to those who believe in the *Lord Jesus. Timothy claimed that promise when he first trusted in the *Lord. Now Paul reminds him about this. There were many there when Timothy confessed that he trusted in the *Lord.

Verse 13 As an *apostle of the *Lord, Paul has told Timothy how he should live. Paul is conscious that God and the *Lord Jesus are here with us. Timothy should obey what Paul orders him to do. But God and the *Lord Jesus will be the judges of what he does. Timothy is responsible to them and he must give an account of his life to them. The same is true of all Christians.

God gives life to all things. He is the source of all life. He gives the life that has no end. He gives it to those who believe in the *Lord Jesus. All living things will have to give an account of their lives to him.

Pontius Pilate was the *Roman ruler in the city of Jerusalem. When he asked the *Lord Jesus questions, he gave a good answer. Pilate asked him if he was the king of the *Jews (Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3; John 18:33-37). Jesus agreed that he was a king. But he said that his *kingdom was not of this world. Pilate could find nothing wrong in Jesus and wanted to set him free. He did not do it but he wrote over the cross ‘Jesus of Nazareth the king of the *Jews’ (John 19:19).

Jesus did all that God had sent him to do. And, because of that, he suffered and died on the cross. Timothy should obey God as he did. And so should all who believe in the *Lord Jesus. They may have to suffer and even die for this. But they must be true to the *faith that they confess. One day, they will have to give an account to the *Lord Jesus. God has made him to be the judge of all people.

Verse 14 Timothy has to obey a command. The command is all that the *Lord has told him to do. This has come in the instructions that Paul and the *elders gave to him. Paul has shown him in this letter what the command means. It is to keep and obey all that Jesus and the *apostles taught. It is to be and to do all that the *Lord requires. This is not just for Timothy but it should be the aim of all Christians.

The *Lord Jesus will one day come again. Then he will take up those Christians who are alive on the earth to be with him. And he will take up those Christians who have died. Until then, Timothy must do what the *Lord orders. And so must all who believe in the *Lord. We all fail. But as we ask the *Lord to forgive us he will do it. He will clear us from all wrong-doing and blame. When he comes we must all give an account to him. We must all give an account of all that we have done.

Verse 15 God has planned the moment when his son, Jesus, will return. And he will control that moment. The *Lord Jesus will come as the champion for all who believe in him. He will defeat all that is against us. All the struggles of this life will be over.

God has in himself all blessing. He blesses his people who in turn bless and praise him.

God is the real and absolute ruler of all. He is the king of all those who rule as kings. He is the *Lord of all who rule as *lords.

Verse 16 God alone has that life which is better than all other kinds of life. His life has no beginning and will have no end. It can never die. His life is the source from which all other life comes.

Where God lives is so pure, clean and holy that it is like a bright light. That light is so bright that no one can come near to it. It is not possible for anyone to see through that light. No one has ever seen God. God allowed Moses to see a part of him but he did not see God’s face (Exodus 33:18-23). No one has ever seen God. But the *Lord Jesus came to show us what God is like (John 1:18). We can know God by the *Lord Jesus but we cannot see him.

The *Lord Jesus will come. And then, he will change all those who belong to him. They will see him as he is. So he will make them to be like him (1 John 3:2). Those who believe shall see God in Christ. And they will live and not die. They will share the same quality of life as God has.

All honour, power and strength belong to God. These things are part of the character of God. They are also, what Christians declare about God as part of their praise to him. In this they respect God as their *Lord and themselves as his servants.

*Amen means 'let it be so'. What comes before it is true. We use *amen to show that we agree with it and accept it. All honour, power and strength do belong to God.

Advice to wealthy persons (6:17-19)

v17 Warn those who are rich in the things of this life not to be proud. They should not put their trust in their *riches because they will fail. Let them trust in God. God is rich. And he gives to us everything that we need to enjoy life. v18 Tell them to do good works, to be rich in goodness. They should be generous. And they should share what they have. They should share it with people who need help. v19 In this way they will store up for themselves the kind of wealth that will be of value for the future. Then they will be able to grasp the life that is the true life.

Verse 17 There is a danger for those who are rich. The danger is to think that they are better than other people. They may have more wealth and a higher rank in this world. But that does not make them better persons. Such rich persons should not be proud because of what they possess.

They must not depend on what they own. All that they have could vanish in a very short time. They cannot be certain that they will always be rich. When they die, these *riches will have no value for them. They will go to someone else. All the money in the world cannot buy life after death. It is foolish to trust in *riches for this life and for the future life.

Instead, they should trust in God. He is rich because he owns all things. And all things belong to him. God is great and he is generous to us. He gives to us all that we need for this life. The blessings of God are true *riches. He blesses us so that we can enjoy his life. That means the life that he gives.

Verse 18 Rich persons are responsible to God for how they use their wealth. The more they have the greater their duty to use it to do what is good. So, Timothy should tell those who are rich that they should use their resources. Rather than to be rich in money, they should do many good works. This is how to have real *riches.

Rich persons have more than enough for their own needs. There is no benefit to them in owning an excess of wealth. They should be generous. And they should share what they have. They should use their wealth for the benefit of those who are in need of their help.

Verse 19 They should share what they have. In that way, they will bless those whom they help. But, as they give help to other people, they will benefit as well. By doing good works the rich Christians will reduce their wealth on earth. But they will be building up *riches for the future life. These *riches will then be like a firm foundation for them. The *Lord Jesus said that we should not store up *riches on earth. But rather we should store up *riches in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20).

The purpose of this is so that they can grasp hold of the life to come. That life is the true life that will have no end.

Final appeal to Timothy (6:20-21)

v20 Timothy, you must keep safe what God has given you to look after. Do not listen to the empty talk that does not respect God. Take no notice of those who argue against the truth. They claim to have knowledge. But what they claim to be knowledge is false. v21 Some have claimed to possess this knowledge and as a result, they have lost their *faith. I pray that the *Lord will be kind to all of you.

Verse 20 Paul ends his letter with some final advice for Timothy. God has given him that life which comes through *faith in the *Lord Jesus Christ. God has called Timothy and given him the task of being a leader in the church. God has trusted him to teach the truth and to spread the *gospel. Timothy must keep and guard all that God has given to him. He must take care to live as God would want him to live. He must lead the church in the ways of truth. What he says and does must point people to the *Lord.

In order to keep the truth, Timothy should avoid empty talk. Such talk wastes time and does not advance the cause of Christ. It may even be against God.

He also should not waste time with what the false teachers say. They oppose the truth. They claim that their ideas are knowledge. But they do not know the truth. And what they teach is wrong.

Verse 21 Some had believed what the false teachers taught. They claimed to have this knowledge. This has caused them to turn from the truth of what the *Lord Jesus and the *apostles taught. As a result, they no longer believe in the true *gospel of Christ.

Paul closes the letter with a blessing for them all. He asks for the kindness of God to be with them. This is something that they do not deserve. But they can be sure that God will continue to love them.

Paul wrote this letter to Timothy but here he gives the blessing to them all. He intended the church members to read what he had written. All that he taught Timothy is also for the church there. And it is also for all who believe in the *Lord.

amen ~ a word from the Hebrew (*Old Testament) language; it means we agree, or it is true, or let it be so.

ancestors ~ any persons in the past from whom the families of your father or mother came.

angel ~ a *spirit person that God made; he made them to serve him and take his messages. There are *angels who *sinned. They now serve the devil.

apostle ~ one whom God sends; especially one of the 12 that Jesus chose to be his helpers.

believers ~ those who know and accept Christ.

bishops ~ the leaders in the church, [see *elders].

creation ~ the act of God when he made the world and everything there is; everything that God has made.

deacons ~ deacons are a group of persons whose task is to serve in the church.

demons ~ bad or evil *spirits that work for the devil.

disciples ~ the 12 helpers that Jesus chose to be with him and to learn from him.

elders ~ older men, respected men, or leaders in the church.

emperor ~ a king. The ruler of *Rome was its emperor.

envy ~ to be jealous of someone else; or to want what that person has.

Ephesus ~ the name of a city.

faith ~ trust in someone or something; belief and trust in God and in Jesus Christ his Son. The faith is the Christian religion. It is what Christians believe.

Gentiles ~ people who are not *Jews.

glory ~ great honour and beauty.

gospel ~ the good news that God saves people from *sin by Jesus Christ.

grace ~ help that God gives to us. He gives us this help as a free gift. We cannot buy it. God gives it to us because he loves us.

Jewish ~ people or things that are from the *Jews.

Jews ~ people who were born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children. It is also a name for the *Jewish people.

kingdom ~ the place or territory where a king rules. The kingdom of God is the people over whom God rules.

Lord ~ a title for God, or Jesus, to show that he is over all people and things.

lord ~ a title for someone who rules.

Macedonia ~ the northern part of modern Greece.

mercy ~ kindness and help to a person who does wrong; to show love to that person.

Messiah ~ a special servant of God; a name for Jesus Christ; it means the person whom God sent; he sent him to save people from the anger of God because of our bad ways; the only one who can put people right with God; the one who will come again to rule over God’s *kingdom.

New Testament ~ the last part of the Bible, which the writers wrote after the life of Jesus.

Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible; the holy things that the writers wrote before Christ’s birth.

ox ~ a large animal that farmers used.

peace ~ when there is no fighting with God; when we have no trouble in our minds; when a person is not afraid or angry.

preach ~ to speak out the message from God and to teach his word.

prophecy ~ a message from God; a gift of the Holy Spirit.

repent ~ to change one’s mind and heart; to turn away from *sin and turn to God. To turn one’s mind and heart away from *sin is to repent.

riches ~ the wealth that rich people have.

Roman ~ *Rome was the capital city of the rulers at that time. That which belonged to *Rome was Roman.

Rome ~ the capital city of the rulers at that time. They were the Romans.

salvation ~ the result of God saving us from *sin and punishment; the new life that God gives to those who believe in the *Lord Jesus.

Satan ~ the name of the devil.

scriptures ~ the books of the Bible.

sin ~ to sin is to do wrong, bad or evil; not to obey God; sins are the wrong things that we do.

sinner ~ a person who does *sins.

soul ~ the part of a person that we cannot see; it is in us during our life; and it lives after we die; it is our inner life (not the body).

spirit ~ spirits are alive, but we cannot see them. There are good spirits usually called *angels. Bad spirits (also called evil spirits, or demons) live in the air round us. *Satan is their leader.

worship ~ the act of showing honour to God with praise, thanks and respect.

George W. Knight ~ The Pastoral Epistles ~ The New International Greek Testament Commentary

J. N. D. Kelly ~ The Pastoral Epistles ~ Black’s New Testament Commentaries

A. M. Stibbs ~ The New Bible Commentary ~ Inter-varsity Fellowship

Donald Guthrie ~ The Pastoral Epistles ~ The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries

Ralph Earle ~ in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

W. Barclay ~ The Letters to Timothy ~ The Daily Study Bible

W. E. Vine ~ Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


© 1997-2003, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

October 2003

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.bible


Sours: https://www.easyenglish.bible/bible-commentary/1tim-lbw.htm
  1. Raiden mortal kombat
  2. Welding machine buyers
  3. Electric start bicycle engine

Bible Commentaries

StudyLight.org has pledged to build one church a year in Uganda. Help us double that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

1 Timothy

Verse 1

Chronological Notes relative to this Epistle.

-Year of the Constantinopolitan era of the world, or that used by the Byzantine historians, 5573.

-Year of the Alexandrian era of the world, 5567.

-Year of the Antiochian era of the world, 5557.

-Year of the Julian period, 4775.

-Year of the world, according to Archbishop Usher, 4069.

-Year of the world, according to Eusebius, in his Chronicon, 4293.

-Year of the minor Jewish era of the world, or that in common use, 3825.

-Year of the Greater Rabbinical era of the world, 4424.

-Year from the Flood, according to Archbishop Usher, and the English Bible, 2413.

-Year of the Cali yuga, or Indian era of the Deluge, 3167.

-Year of the era of Iphitus, or since the first commencement of the Olympic games, 1005.

-Year of the era of Nabonassar, king of Babylon, 812.

-Year of the CCXIth Olympiad, 1.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor, 812.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Frontinus, 816.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to the Fasti Capitolini, 817.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Varro, which was that most generally used, 818.

-Year of the era of the Seleucidae, 377.

-Year of the Caesarean era of Antioch, 113.

-Year of the Julian era, 110.

-Year of the Spanish era, 103.

-Year from the birth of Jesus Christ according to Archbishop Usher, 69.

-Year of the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 65.

-Year of Gessius Florus, governor of the Jews, 1.

-Year of Vologesus, king of the Parthians, 16.

-Year of L. C. Gallus, governor of Syria, 1.

-Year of Matthias, high priest of the Jews, 3.

-Year of the Dionysian period, or Easter Cycle, 66.

-Year of the Grecian Cycle of nineteen years, or Common Golden Number, 9; or the first year after the third embolismic.

-Year of the Jewish Cycle of nineteen years, 6, or the second embolismic.

-Year of the Solar Cycle, 18.

-Dominical Letter, it being the first after Bissextile, or Leap Year, F.

-Day of the Jewish Passover, according to the Roman computation of time, the VIIth of the ides of April, or in our common mode of reckoning, the seventh of April, which happened in this year on the day after the Jewish Sabbath.

-Easter Sunday, the day after the ides of April, or the XVIIIth of the Calends of May, named by the Jews the 22d of Nisan or Abib; and by Europeans in general, the 14th of April.

-Epact, or the age of the moon on the 22d of March, (the day of the earliest Easter Sunday possible,) 28.

-Epact, according to the present mode of computation, or the moon's age on New Year's day, or the Calends of January, 5.

-Monthly Epacts, or the moon's age on the Calends of each month respectively, (beginning with January,) 5,7,6,7,8,9,10,11,12, 12,14,14.

-Number of Direction, or the number of days from the twenty-first of March to the Jewish Passover, 17.

-Year of the reign of Caius Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar, the fifth Roman emperor computing from Augustus Caesar, 12.

-Roman Consuls, A. Licinius Nerva Silanus, and M. Vestinius Atticus; the latter of whom was succeeded by Anicius Cerealis, on July 1st.

Dr. Lardner and others suppose this epistle to have been written in A. D. 56, i.e. nine years earlier than is stated above. See the preceding preface, where this point is largely considered, and also the general observations prefixed to the Acts of the Apostles.


Paul's salutation to Timothy, 1, 2.

For what purpose he had left him at Ephesus, 3.

What the false apostles taught in opposition to the truth, 4-7.

The true use of the law, 8-11.

He thanks God for his own conversion, and describes his former

state, 12-17.

Exhorts Timothy to hold fast faith and a good conscience, and

speaks of Hymeneus and Alexander who had made shipwreck of their

faith, 18-20.


Verse 1 Timothy 1:1. Paul an apostle - by the commandment of God — We have already seen that the term αποστολος, apostle, literally signifies a person sent from one to another, without implying any particular dignity in the person, or importance in the message. But it is differently used in the New Testament, being applied to those who were sent expressly from God Almighty, with the message of salvation to mankind. It is, therefore, the highest character any human being can have; and he message is the most important which even God himself can send to his intelligent creatures. It was by the express command of God that St. Paul went to the Gentiles preaching the doctrine of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus.

Jesus Christ-our hope — Without Jesus, the world was hopeless; the expectation of being saved can only come to mankind by his Gospel. He is called our hope, as he is called our life, our peace, our righteousness, &c., because from him hope, life, peace, righteousness, and all other blessings proceed.

Verse 2

Verse 1 Timothy 1:2. My own son in the faith — Brought to salvation through Christ by my ministry alone. Probably the apostle speaks here according to this Jewish maxim: כל המלמר בן תכירו תורה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאלו ילרוHe who teaches the law to his neighbour's sonis considered by the Scripture as if he had begotten him; Sanhedrin, fol. xix. 2. And they quote Numbers 3:1, as proving it: These are the generations of Aaron and Moses-and these are thenames of the sons of Aaron. "Aaron," say they, "begot them, but Moses instructed them; therefore they are called by his name." See Schoettgen.

But γνησιω τεκνω may mean my beloved son; for in this sense το γνησιον is not unfrequently used.

In the faith — The word πιστις, faith, is taken here for the whole of the Christian religion, faith in Christ being its essential characteristic.

Grace, mercy, and peace] GRACE, the favour and approbation of God. MERCY, springing from that grace, pardoning, purifying, and supporting. PEACE, the consequence of this manifested mercy, peace of conscience, and peace with God; producing internal happiness, quietness, and assurance.

Verse 3

Verse 1 Timothy 1:3. I besought thee — The apostle had seen that a bad seed had been sown in the Church; and, as he was obliged to go then into Macedonia, he wished Timothy, on whose prudence, piety, and soundness in the faith he could depend, to stay behind and prevent the spreading of a doctrine that would have been pernicious to the people's souls. I have already supposed that this epistle was written after Paul had been delivered from his first imprisonment at Rome, about the end of the year 64, or the beginning of 65. See the preface. When, therefore, the apostle came from Rome into Asia, he no doubt visited Ephesus, where, ten years before, he had planted a Christian Church, and, as he had not time to tarry then, he left Timothy to correct abuses.

That thou mightest charge some — He does not name any persons; the Judaizing teachers are generally supposed to be those intended; and the term τισι, some, certain persons, which he uses, is expressive of high disapprobation, and at the same time of delicacy: they were not apostles, nor apostolic men; but they were undoubtedly members of the Church at Ephesus, and might yet be reclaimed.

Verse 4

Verse 1 Timothy 1:4. Neither give heed to fables — Idle fancies; things of no moment; doctrines and opinions unauthenticated; silly legends, of which no people ever possessed a greater stock than the Jews. Their Talmud abounds with them; and the English reader may find them in abundance in Stehlin's Jewish Traditions, 2 vols. 8vo.

Endless genealogies — I suppose the apostle to mean those genealogies which were uncertain-that never could be made out, either in the ascending or descending line; and, principally, such as referred to the great promise of the Messiah, and to the priesthood. The Jews had scrupulously preserved their genealogical tables till the advent of Christ and the evangelists had recourse to them, and appealed to them in reference to our Lord's descent from the house of David; Matthew taking this genealogy in the descending, Luke in the ascending, line. And whatever difficulties we may now find in these genealogies, they were certainly clear to the Jews; nor did the most determined enemies of the Gospel attempt to raise one objection to it from the appeal which the evangelists had made to their own public and accredited tables. All was then certain; but we are told that Herod destroyed the public registers; he, being an Idumean, was jealous of the noble origin of the Jews; and, that none might be able to reproach him with his descent, be ordered the genealogical tables, which were kept among the archives in the temple, to be burnt. See Euseb. H. E., lib. i. cap. 8. From this time the Jews could refer to their genealogies only from memory, or from those imperfect tables which had been preserved in private hands; and to make out any regular line from these must have been endless and uncertain. It is probably to this that the apostle refers; I mean the endless and useless labour which the attempts to make out these genealogies must produce, the authentic tables being destroyed. This, were all other proofs wanting, would be an irresistible argument against the Jews that the Messiah is come; for their own prophets had distinctly marked out the line by which he was to come; the genealogies are now all lost; nor is there a Jew in the universe that can show from what tribe he is descended. There can, therefore, be no Messiah to come, as none could show, let him have what other pretensions he might, that he sprang from the house of David. The Jews do not, at present, pretend to have any such tables; and, far from being able to prove the Messiah from his descent, they are now obliged to say that, when, the Messiah comes, he will restore the genealogies by the Holy Spirit that shall rest upon him. "For," says Maimonides, "in the days of the Messiah, when his kingdom shall be established, all the Israelites shall be gathered together unto him; and all shall be classed in their genealogies by his mouth, through the Holy Spirit that shall rest upon him; as it is written, Malachi 3:3: He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shallpurify the sons of Levi. First he will purify the Levites, and shall say: 'This man is a descendant from the priests; and this, of the stock of the Levites;' and he shall cast out those who are not of the stock of Israel; for behold it is said, Ezra 2:63: And the Tirshatha said-they should not eat of the most holythings, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim. Thus, by the Holy Spirit, the genealogies are to be revised." See Schoettgen.

Some learned men suppose that the apostle alludes here to the AEons, among the Gnostics and Valentinians, or whom there were endless numbers to make up what was called their pleroma; or to the sephiroth, or splendours of the Cabalists. But it is certain that these heresies had not arrived to any formidable head in the apostle's time; and it has long been a doubt with me whether they even existed at that time: and I think it the most simple way, and most likely to be the intention of the apostle, to refer all to the Jewish genealogies, which he calls Jewish fables, Titus 1:14, to which we know they were strongly and even conscientiously attached and which, at this time, it must have been extremely difficult to make out.

Instead of γενεαλογιαις, genealogies, some learned men have conjectured that the original word was κεςολογιαις, empty words, vain speeches; but this conjecture is not supported by any MS. or version.

Which minister questions — They are the foundation of endless altercations and disputes; for, being uncertain and not consecutive, every person had a right to call them in question; as we may naturally suppose, from the state in which the genealogical tables of the Jews then were, that many chasms must be supplied in different lines, and consequently much must be done by conjecture.

Rather than godly edifying — Such discussions as these had no tendency to promote piety. Many, no doubt, employed much of that time in inquiring who were their ancestors, which they should have spent in obtaining that grace by which, being born fromabove, they might have become the sons and daughters of GodAlmighty.

Instead of οικοδομιαν θεου, godly edifying, or theedification of God, οικονομιαν θεου, the economy or dispensation of God, is the reading of almost every MS. in which this part of the epistle is extant, (for some MSS. are here mutilated,) and of almost all the versions, and the chief of the Greek fathers. Of the genuineness of this reading scarcely a doubt can be formed; and though the old reading, which is supported by the Latin fathers and the Vulgate, gives a good sense, yet the connection and spirit of the place show that the latter must be the true reading. Griesbach has received this reading into the text.

What had Jewish genealogies to do with the Gospel? Men were not to be saved by virtue of the privileges or piety of their ancestors. The Jews depended much on this. We have Abraham toour father imposed silence on every check of conscience, and every godly reproof which they received for their profligacy and unbelief. In the dispensation of God, FAITH in Christ Jesus was the only means and way of salvation. These endless and uncertaingenealogies produced no faith; indeed they were intended as a substitute for it; for those who were intent on making out their genealogical descent paid little attention to faith in Christ. They ministered questions rather than that economy of God which isby faith. This dispensation, says the apostle, is by faith, οικονομιαν θεου την εν πιστει. It was not by natural descent, nor by works, but by faith in Christ; therefore it was necessary that the people who were seeking salvation in any other way should be strictly informed that all their toil and labour would be vain.

Verse 5

Verse 1 Timothy 1:5. Now the end of the commandment is charity — These genealogical questions lead to strife and debate; and the dispensation of God leads to love both to God and man, through faith in Christ. These genealogical questions leave the heart under the influence of all its vile tempers and evil propensities; FAITH in Jesus purifies the heart. No inquiry of this kind can add to any thing by which the guilt of sin can be taken away; but the Gospel proclaims pardon, through the blood of the Lamb, to every believing penitent. The end, aim, and design of God in giving this dispensation to the world is, that men may have an unfeignedfaith, such as lays hold on Christ crucified, and produces a goodconscience from a sense of the pardon received, and leads on to purity of heart; LOVE to God and man being the grand issue of the grace of Christ here below, and this fully preparing the soul for eternal glory. He whose soul is filled with love to God and man has a pure heart, a good conscience, and unfeigned faith. But these blessings no soul can ever acquire, but according to God'sdispensation of faith.

The paraphrase and note of Dr. Macknight on this verse are very proper: "Now the scope of the charge to be given by thee to these teachers is, that, instead of inculcating fables and genealogies, they inculcate love to God and man, proceeding from a pure heart, and directed by a good conscience, and nourished by unfeignedfaith in the Gospel doctrine. The word παραγγελια denotes a message or order, brought to one from another, and delivered by word of mouth. The charge here meant is that which the apostle ordered Timothy to deliver to the teachers in Ephesus; for he had said, 1 Timothy 1:3: I had besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, ινα παραγγειλνς, that thou mightest charge some: here he tells him what the scope of this charge was to be."

Of faith unfeigned — πιστεως ανυποκριτου. A faith nothypocritical. The apostle appears to allude to the Judaizing teachers, who pretended faith in the Gospel, merely that they might have the greater opportunity to bring back to the Mosaic system those who had embraced the doctrine of Christ crucified. This IS evident from the following verse.

Verse 6

Verse 1 Timothy 1:6. From which some having swervedFrom which some, though they have pretended to aim at the τελος, scope, or mark, have missed that mark. This is the import of the original word αστοχησαντες.

Turned aside unto vain jangling — The original term, ματαιολογιαν, signifies empty or vain talking; discourses that turn to no profit; a great many words and little sense; and that sense not worth the pains of hearing. Such, indeed, is all preaching where Jesus Christ is not held forth.

Verse 7

Verse 7. Teachers of the law — To be esteemed or celebrated as rabbins; to be reputed cunning in solving knotty questions and enigmas, which answered no end to true religion. Of such the rabbinical teaching was full.

Understanding neither what they say — This is evident from almost all the Jewish comments which yet remain. Things are asserted which are either false or dubious; words, the import of which they did not understand, were brought to illustrate them: so that it may be said, They understand not what they say, norwhereof they affirm. I will give one instance from the JerusalemTargum, on Genesis 1:15: And God made two great lights, and they were equal in splendourtwenty-one years, the six hundred and seventy-second part of anhour excepted: and afterwards the moon brought a false accusationagainst the sun, and therefore she was lessened; and God made thesun the greater light to superintend the day, &c. I could produce a thousand of a similar complexion.

Verse 8

Verse 8. But we know that the law is good — The law as given by God, is both good in itself and has a good tendency. This is similar to what the apostle had asserted, Romans 7:12-16: The law is holy; and the commandment is holy, just, and good; where see the note.

If a man use it lawfully — That is, interpret it according to its own spirit and design, and use it for the purpose for which God has given it; for the ceremonial law was a schoolmaster to lead us unto Christ, and Christ is the end of that law for justification to every one that believes. Now those who did not use the law in reference to these ends, did not use it lawfully-they did not construe it according to its original design and meaning.

Verse 9

Verse 9. The law is not made for a righteous man — There is a moral law as well as a ceremonial law: as the object of the latter is to lead us to Christ; the object of the former is to restrain crimes, and inflict punishment on those that commit them. It was, therefore, not made for the righteous as a restrainer of crimes, and an inflicter of punishments; for the righteous avoid sin, and by living to the glory of God expose not themselves to its censures. This seems to be the mind of the apostle; he does not say that the law was not MADE for arighteous man, but ουκειται, it does not LIE against arighteous man; because he does not transgress it: but it liesagainst the wicked; for such as the apostle mentions have broken it, and grievously too, and are condemned by it. The word κειται, lies, refers to the custom of writing laws on boards, and hanging them up in public places within reach of every man, that they might be read by all; thus all would see against whom the law lay.

The lawless — ανομοις. Those who will not be bound by a law, and acknowledge none, therefore have no rule of moral conduct.

Disobedient — ανυποτακτοις. Those who acknowledge no authority; from α, negative, and οποτασσω, to subject; they neither acknowledge law, nor executive authority, and consequently endeavour to live as they list; and from such dispositions all the crimes in the following catalogue may naturally spring.

For the ungodly — ασεβεσι. The irreligious-those who do not worship God, or have no true worship; from α, negative, and σεβω, to worship. For sinners, αμαπτωλοις those who transgress the laws; from α, negative, and μαρπτω, to hitthe mark. This has been elsewhere explained.

For unholy — ανοσιοις. Persons totally polluted-unclean within, and unclean without; from α, negative, and οσιοςholy.

And profane — βεβηλοις. Such who are so unholy and abominable as not to be fit to attend any public worship; from βε, denoting privation or separation, and βηλος, athreshold or pavement, particularly of a temple. Our word profane comes from procul a fano, "far from the temple." When the ancients, even heathens, were about to perform some very sacred rites, they were accustomed to command the irreligious to keep at a distance; hence that saying in a fragment of Orpheus:-

Φθεγξομαι οἱς θεμις εστι· θυρας δ' επιθεσθε βεβηλοις Πασιν ὁμως.

"I will speak to whom it is lawful; but these doors, O, shut against the profane."

And that of Virgil, AEn. vi. ver. 258.

Procul! O procul! este profani.

Far! ye profane! get hence.

Murderers of fathers — πατραλωαις. The murderer of a father or a mother, notwithstanding the deep fall of man, and the general profligacy of the world, has been so rare, and is a crime so totally opposite to nature, that few civilized nations have found it necessary to make laws against it. Yet, such monsters, like the most awful and infrequent portents, have sometimes terrified the world with their appearance. But I think the original does not necessarily imply the murder of a father or of a mother; πατραλωας comes from πατερα, a father, and αλοιαω, to strike, and may mean simply beating or striking a father or mother: this is horrible enough; but to murder a parent out-herods Herod.

Manslayers — ανδροφονοις. Murderers simply; all who take away the life of a human being contrary to law. For no crime, unless it be murder, should any man lose his life. If the law did not speak differently, I should not scruple to say that he whose life is taken away, except for murder, is murdered.

Verse 10

Verse 10. For whoremongers — πορνοις. Adulterers, fornicators, and prostitutes of all sorts.

Them that defile themselves with mankind — αρσενοκοιταις. From αρσην, a male, and κοιτη, a bed; a word too bad to be explained. A sodomite.

Men-stealers — ανδραποδισταις. Slave-dealers; whether those who carry on the traffic in human flesh and blood; or those who steal a person in order to sell him into bondage; or those who buy such stolen men or women, no matter of what colour or what country; or those who sow dissensions among barbarous tribes in order that they who are taken in war may be sold into slavery; or the nations who legalize or connive at such traffic: all these are men-stealers, and God classes them with the most flagitious of mortals.

For liars — ψευσταις. They who speak for truth what they know to be false; and even they who tell the truth in such a way as to lead others to draw a contrary meaning from it.

For perjured persons — επιορκοις. From επι, against, and ορκος, an oath; such as do or leave undone any thing contrary to an oath or moral engagement, whether that engagement be made by what is called swearing, or by an affirmation or promise of any kind.

And if there be any other thing — Every species of vice and immorality, all must be necessarily included, that is contrary to sound doctrine-to the immutable moral law of God, as well as to the pure precepts of Christianity where that law is incorporated, explained, and rendered, if possible, more and more binding.

Verse 11

Verse 11. According to the glorious Gospel — The sounddoctrine mentioned above, which is here called ευαγγελιον της δοξης του μακαριου θεου, the Gospel of the glory of the blessed or happy God-a dispensation which exhibits the glory of all his attributes; and, by saving man in such a way as is consistent with the glory of all the Divine perfections, while it brings peace and good will among men, brings glory to God in the highest. Sin has dishonoured God, and robbed him of his glory; the Gospel provides for the total destruction of sin, even in this world, and thus brings back to God his glory.

Verse 12

Verse 12. I thank Christ — I feel myself under infinite obligation to Christ who hath strengthened me, ενδυναμωσαντι, who hath endued me with various miraculous gifts of his Holy Spirit, and put me into the ministry, διακονιαν, the deaconship, the service of mankind, by preaching the Gospel, for that he countedme-he knew that I would be, faithful to the charge that was delivered to me.

Verse 13

Verse 13. A blasphemer — Speaking impiously and unjustly of Jesus, his doctrine, his ways, and his followers.

And-persecutor — Endeavouring, to the uttermost of his power, to exterminate all who called on the name of the Lord Jesus.

And injurious — και υβριστην. As full of insolence as I was of malevolence; and yet, all the while, thinking I did God service, while sacrificing men and women to my own prejudices and intolerance.

I did it ignorantly in unbelief — Not having considered the nature and evidences of Christianity, and not having believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah, I acted wholly under the prejudices that influenced my countrymen in general. God therefore showed me mercy, because I acted under this influence, not knowing better. This extension of mercy, does not, however, excuse the infuriated conduct of Saul of Tarsus, for he says himself that he was exceedingly mad against them. Let us beware, lest we lose the man's former crimes in his after character.

Verse 14

Verse 14. The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant — The original is very emphatic, that grace of our Lord, υπερεπλεονασε, hath superabounded - it manifested itself in a way of extraordinary mercy.

With faith and love — Not only pardoning such offences, but leading me to the full experimental knowledge of Christianity; of that faith and love which are essential to it; and giving me authority to proclaim it to mankind.

Verse 15

Verse 15. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — This is one of the most glorious truths in the book of God; the most important that ever reached the human ear, or can be entertained by the heart of man. All men are sinners; and as such condemned, justly condemned, to eternal death. Christ Jesus became incarnate, suffered, and died to redeem them; and, by his grace and Spirit, saves them from their sins. This saying or doctrine he calls, first, a faithful or true saying; πιστοςολογος, it is a doctrine that may be credited, without the slightest doubt or hesitation; God himself has spoken it; and the death of Christ and the mission of the Holy Ghost, sealing pardon on the souls of all who believe, have confirmed and established the truth.

Secondly, it is worthy of all acceptation; as all need it, it is worthy of being received by all. It is designed for the whole human race, for all that are sinners is applicable to all, because all are sinners; and may be received by all, being put within every man's reach, and brought to every man's ear and bosom, either by the letter of the word, or, where that revelation is not yet come, by the power of the Divine Spirit, the true light from Christ that lightens every man that cometh into the world. From this also it is evident that the death of Christ, and all its eternally saving effects, were designed for every man.

Of whom I am chief — ων πρωτος ειμι εγω. Confounding Paul the apostle, in the fulness of his faith and love, with Saul of Tarsus, in his ignorance, unbelief, and persecuting rage, we are in the habit of saying: "This is a hyperbolical expression, arguing the height of the apostle's modesty and humility and must not be taken according to the letter." I see it not in this light; I take it not with abatement; it is strictly and literally true: take the whole of the apostle's conduct, previously to his conversion, into consideration, and was there a greater sinner converted to God from the incarnation to his own time? Not one; he was the chief; and, keeping his blasphemy, persecution, and contumely in view, he asserts: Of all that the Lord Jesus came into the world to save, and of all that he had saved to that time, I am chief. And who, however humble now, and however flagitious before, could have contested the points with him? He was what he has said, and as he has said it. And it is very probable that the apostle refers to those in whom the grace and mercy of God were, at the first promulgation of the Gospel, manifested: and comparing himself with all these he could with propriety say, ων πρωτος ειμι, of whom I am the first; the first who, from a blasphemer, persecutor (and might we not add murderer? see the part he took in the martyrdom of Stephen,) became a preacher of that Gospel which I had persecuted. And hence, keeping this idea strictly in view, he immediately adds: Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy; that in me FIRST, πρωτω, Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for apattern TO THEM which should HEREAFTER, των μελλοντωνbelieveon him to life everlasting. And this great display of the pardoning mercy of God, granted in so singular a manner, at the very first promulgation of the Gospel, was most proper to be produced as a pattern for the encouragement of all penitent sinners to the end of time. If Jesus Christ, with whom there can be no respect of persons, saved Saul of Tarsus, no sinner need despair.

Verse 17

Verse 17. Now unto the King eternal — This burst of thanksgiving and gratitude to God, naturally arose from the subject then under his pen and eye. God has most wondrously manifested his mercy, in this beginning of the Gospel, by saving me, and making me a pattern to all them that shall hereafterbelieve on Christ. He is βασιλευς των αιωνων, the king ofeternities; the eternity a parte ante, and the eternity a partepost; the eternity that was before time was, and the eternity that shall be when time is no more. Therefore, ever living to justify and save sinners, to the end of the world.

Immortal — αφθαρτω. Incorruptible-not liable to decay or corruption; a simple uncompounded essence, incapable, therefore, of decomposition, and consequently permanent and eternal. One MS., the later Syriac in the margin, the Vulgate, one copy of the Itala, and some of the Latin fathers, read αθανατω, immortal, which our translation follows; but it is not the original reading.

Invisible — αορατω. One who fills all things, works everywhere, and yet is invisible to angels and men; the perfect reverse of false gods and idols, who are confined to one spot, work nowhere, and, being stocks and stones, are seen by every body.

The only wise God — The word σοφωwise, is omitted by AD*FG, Syriac, Erpen's Arabic, Coptic, Sahidic, AEthiopic, Armenian, Vulgate, and Itala. Some of the Greek fathers quote it sometimes, and omit it at others; which shows that it was an unsettled reading, probably borrowed from Romans 16:27. See the note there. Griesbach leaves it out of the text. Without it the reading is very strong and appropriate: To the only God; nothing visible or invisible being worthy of adoration but himself.

Be honour — All the respect and reverence that can be paid by intelligent beings, ascribing to him at the same time all the glory-excellences, and perfections, which can be possessed by an intelligent, unoriginated, independent, and eternal Being; and this for ever and ever-through eternity.

Verse 18

Verse 18. This charge — See the note on 1 Timothy 1:5. It was a charge that the Judaizing teachers should not teach differently from that doctrine which the apostle had delivered to him. See 1 Timothy 1:3.

According to the prophecies — This may refer to some predictions by inspired men, relative to what Timothy should be: and he wishes him to act in all things conformably to those predictions. It was predicted that he should have this high and noble calling; but his behaviour in that calling was a matter of contingency, as it respected the use he might make of the grace of his calling. The apostle therefore exhorts him to war a goodwarfare, c. He was now called to that estate to which the prophecies referred and now he is to act worthily or unworthily of that calling, according as he fought or did not fight the good warfare, and according as he held or did not hold faith and a good conscience.

Some think that the προαγουσας προφητειας, the foregoingprophecies, refer to revelations which the apostle himself had received concerning Timothy; while others think that the word is to be understood of advices, directions, and exhortations, which the apostle had previously delivered to him; we know that προφητευω signifies to speak to men to edification, toexhortation, and to comfort. See 1 Corinthians 14:3. This is a very sober and good sense of the passage.

War a good warfare — The trials and afflictions of the followers of God are often represented as a warfare or campaign. See Isaiah 40:2; 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 10:4; and see the reasons of this metaphorical form of speech, in Clarke's notes on "Ephesians 6:13".

Verse 19

Verse 19. Holding faith — All the truths of the Christianreligion, firmly believing them, and fervently proclaiming them to others.

And a good conscience — So holding the truth as to live according to its dictates, that a good conscience may be ever preserved. As the apostle had just spoken of the Christian's warfare, so he here refers to the Christian armour, especially to the shield and breastplate; the shield of faith, and the breastplate of righteousness. Ephesians 6:13, c., and "1 Thessalonians 5:8".

Which some having put away — απωσαμενοι. Having thrust away as a fool-hardy soldier might his shield and his breastplate, or a mad sailor his pilot, helm, and compass.

Concerning faith — The great truths of the Christian religion.

Have made shipwreck — Being without the faith, that only infallible system of truth; and a good conscience, that skilful pilot, that steady and commanding helm, that faithful and invariable loadstone; have been driven to and fro by every windof doctrine, and, getting among shoals, quicksands, and rocks, have been shipwrecked and ingulfed.

Verse 20

Verse 1 Timothy 1:20. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander — Who had the faith but thrust it away; who had a good conscience through believing, but made shipwreck of it. Hence we find that all this was not only possible, but did actually take place, though some have endeavoured to maintain the contrary; who, confounding eternity with a state of probation, have supposed that if a man once enter into the grace of God in this life, he must necessarily continue in it to all eternity. Thousands of texts and thousands of facts refute this doctrine.

Delivered unto Satan — For the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. See what is noted on 1 Corinthians 5:5; what this sort of punishment was no man now living knows. There is nothing of the kind referred to in the Jewish writings. It seems to have been something done by mere apostolical authority, under the direction of the Spirit of God.

Hymeneus, it appears, denied the resurrection, see 2 Timothy 2:17-18; but whether this Alexander be the same with Alexander the coppersmith, 2 Timothy 4:14, or the Alexander, Acts 19:33, cannot be determined. Probably, he was the same with the coppersmith. Whether they were brought back to the acknowledgment of the truth does not appear. From what is said in the second epistle the case seems extremely doubtful. Let him who most assuredly standeth, take heed lest he fall.

He that is self-confident is already half fallen. He who professes to believe that God will absolutely keep him from falling finally, and neglects watching unto prayer, is not in a safer state. He who lives by the moment, walks in the light, and maintains his communion with God, is in no danger of apostasy.

1 Timothy

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/1-timothy-1.html. 1832.

Sours: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/1-timothy-1.html
1 Timothy 1 - Jon Courson

1 Timothy 1:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Timothy 1:1, NIV: "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,"

1 Timothy 1:1, ESV: "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,"

1 Timothy 1:1, KJV: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;"

1 Timothy 1:1, NASB: "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope,"

1 Timothy 1:1, NLT: "This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope."

1 Timothy 1:1, CSB: "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope:"

Sours: https://www.bibleref.com/1-Timothy/1/1-Timothy-1-1.html

1 commentary timothy 1

1 Timothy chapter 1

New International Version

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

2 To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God's work--which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.

English Standard Version

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. 5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

King James Version

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; 2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

New American Standard Bible

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope,

2 To Timothy, my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 Just as I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, to remain on at Ephesus so that you would instruct certain people not to teach strange doctrines, 4 nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to useless speculation rather than advance the plan of God, which is by faith, so I urge you now.5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith. 6 Some people have strayed from these things and have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.

8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and worldly, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, homosexuals, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13 even though I was previously a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost sinner Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

New Living Translation

1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.

2 I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.

3 When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. 4 Don't let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don't help people live a life of faith in God.

5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. 7 They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don't know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.

8 We know that the law is good when used correctly. 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. 10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, 13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. 14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.

15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'--and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.

18 Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord's battles. 19 Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. 20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.

Christian Standard Bible

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope:

2 To Timothy, my true son in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 As I urged you when I went to Macedonia, remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach false doctrine 4 or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God's plan, which operates by faith. 5 Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, although they don't understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on. 8 But we know that the law is good, provided one uses it legitimately. 9 We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for slave traders, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.

12 I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry-- 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"--and I am the worst of them. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the good fight, 19 having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have shipwrecked their faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.

Sours: https://www.bibleref.com/1-Timothy/1/1-Timothy-chapter-1.html
1 Timothy 1 - Introduction (Paul LeBoutillier)

Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:12-17

First Timothy provides guidance for church life; hence, this letter is counted among the Pastoral Epistles.

Central to its message is the grace of God and the salvation through Jesus Christ. Much, of course, can be said about the two concepts of grace and salvation that permeate both parts of the Christian Bible.

In the context of Old Testament covenant loyalty, God is known as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6); God expects Israel’s faithfulness and obedience in return. In the New Testament, Paul’s doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-26; Galatians 2:16) combines both concepts to epitomize the apostle’s gospel message. Therefore, the church and the academy have theorized about these topics at great length throughout the centuries.

However, what the author of First Timothy wrote in the first century CE about grace and salvation is no theoretical treatise. Instead, he evokes the way in which God has changed a human life, and his example is the life of Paul.

(At this point, the preacher might need to make a decision as to the whether First Timothy is an authentic Pauline or Deutero-Pauline writing; modern scholars have provided support for either option. If First Timothy is considered Pauline, then the example is taken from the author’s own life and experience. If First Timothy is considered pseudonymous, then it reflects on the life and experience of an important apostle of the early Church who lived a few decades earlier.)

Specifically Paul’s conversion experience becomes the focus of the argument. Even if the event on the road to Damascus is well known, the preacher is advised (1) to remind the church audience of it and (2) to be aware of possible misapprehension on their part.

Originally from Tarsus in Asia Minor (Acts 21:39), Paul received some of his education “at the feet of Gamaliel” (Acts 22:3), a highly respected rabbi in Jerusalem (Acts 5:34). Joining the Pharisaic movement, Paul vigorously set out to defend his ancestral traditions, thus persecuting the early church (Galatians 1:13, 23; Philippians 3:6). On the way to Damascus where he wanted to arrest those “who belonged to the Way” (Acts 9:2), he had a vision of Jesus Christ that changed his life and turned him into the apostle to the gentiles (Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 9:1). This experience is interpreted in 1 Timothy 1:12-14 as an act of God’s mercy.

The possible misunderstanding when recounting this “conversion” event lies in the fact that today, this term typically refers to an act of turning away from one religion in order to adhere to a different one. This is, however, not what happened in Paul’s life, nor is this what 1 Timothy 1:12-14 really describes.

Most importantly, for the sake of historical accuracy, we need to bear in mind that Judaism and Christianity were not yet distinct religions at that time. In fact, Christianity did not exist in the first half of the first century CE. The “conversion” of Paul, then, occurred within Judaism, namely from the Pharisaic to the Messianic-Christian movement. Furthermore, a close reading of our text yields the insight that Paul’s “conversion” pertained in particular to the question of how to live out one’s faith in God.

The Saul before this experience was “a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence” (1 Timothy 1:13) who had even assisted in, and approved of, the execution of Stephen (Acts 7:57-8:1). The post-conversion Paul, by contrast, is depicted as somebody who rejected not only violence but also impressive rhetoric, trusting instead to be empowered and strengthened by Christ for his ministry (1 Timothy 1:12; see also 2 Corinthians 10:1-6; 12:8-10). These two considerations are important to avoid the usage of this passage to denigrate Judaism.

For the author of First Timothy, personal experience trumps doctrine and theory, especially when it comes to grace and salvation. This is the core of what the example of Paul’s conversion conveys to the audience. Similar statements have already appeared prior to our passage, for instance in 1:3-4: “ … instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training that is known by faith.”

Such “endless genealogies” might be a reference to ancestor lists like those in Matthew 1:1-17 or Luke 3:23-38 (which are not identical at all). The Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written in 80 – 90 CE, a few years before First Timothy if we assume that the letter is deutero-Pauline.

Our passage in First Timothy displays a strong belief in the activity of God. “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the foremost” (1:15). This statement summarizes important aspects of the mission of Jesus who demonstrated that God cares specifically about those whom many considered sinners. Christian preaching focuses on salvation in Jesus Christ, which became visible in the story of his life. No human will ever be without sin; therefore all are in need of God’s salvation, which God chose to give freely (Romans 3:21-26).

The experience of having encountered Jesus Christ and of being saved by him leads to thankfulness (1 Timothy 1:12). The word for thankfulnessis derived from Greek charis which also means “grace.” The author even states that “the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1:14).

Moreover, it is no surprise that charis occurs in prominent places in this letter, for instance in the initial salutation “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (1:2) as well as in the short final benediction “Grace be with you” (6:21). God’s grace is always “Amazing Grace.” John Newton’s famous hymn composed in 1772 would summarize well some of the important aspects of our passage.

Sours: https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/ordinary-24-3/commentary-on-1-timothy-112-17-3

You will also be interested:

1 Timothy 1 Bible Commentary

Complete     Concise

Chapter Contents

The apostle salutes Timothy. (1-4) The design of the law as given by Moses. (5-11) Of his own conversion and call to the apostleship. (12-17) The obligation to maintain faith and a good conscience. (18-20)

Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:1-4

(Read 1 Timothy 1:1-4)

Jesus Christ is a Christian's hope; all our hopes of eternal life are built upon him; and Christ is in us the hope of glory. The apostle seems to have been the means of Timothy's conversion; who served with him in his ministry, as a dutiful son with a loving father. That which raises questions, is not for edifying; that which gives occasion for doubtful disputes, pulls down the church rather than builds it up. Godliness of heart and life can only be kept up and increased, by the exercise of faith in the truths and promises of God, through Jesus Christ.

Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:5-11

(Read 1 Timothy 1:5-11)

Whatever tends to weaken love to God, or love to the brethren, tends to defeat the end of the commandment. The design of the gospel is answered, when sinners, through repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ, are brought to exercise Christian love. And as believers were righteous persons in God's appointed way, the law was not against them. But unless we are made righteous by faith in Christ, really repenting and forsaking sin, we are yet under the curse of the law, even according to the gospel of the blessed God, and are unfit to share the holy happiness of heaven.

Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:12-17

(Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17)

The apostle knew that he would justly have perished, if the Lord had been extreme to mark what was amiss; and also if his grace and mercy had not been abundant to him when dead in sin, working faith and love to Christ in his heart. This is a faithful saying; these are true and faithful words, which may be depended on, That the Son of God came into the world, willingly and purposely to save sinners. No man, with Paul's example before him, can question the love and power of Christ to save him, if he really desires to trust in him as the Son of God, who once died on the cross, and now reigns upon the throne of glory, to save all that come to God through him. Let us then admire and praise the grace of God our Saviour; and ascribe to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons in the unity of the Godhead, the glory of all done in, by, and for us.

Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:18-20

(Read 1 Timothy 1:18-20)

The ministry is a warfare against sin and Satan; carried on under the Lord Jesus, who is the Captain of our salvation. The good hopes others have had of us, should stir us up to duty. And let us be upright in our conduct in all things. The design of the highest censures in the primitive church, was, to prevent further sin, and to reclaim the sinner. May all who are tempted to put away a good conscience, and to abuse the gospel, remember that this is the way to make shipwreck of faith also.

  1. Bible > Bible Commentary
  2. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise)
  3. 1 Timothy
  4. 1 Timothy 1
Sours: https://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary/matthew-henry-concise/1-timothy/1

2125 2126 2127 2128 2129