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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 2

Orchard's Catholic Commentary on Holy ScriptureOrchard's Catholic Commentary

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Verses 1-15

II 1-15 Public Worship— 1. ’ For all men’—for all without exception, not for fellow Christians only.

2. ’For kings and for all that are in high station’— These are given special mention because their attitude is fraught with grave consequences for the well-being of the Church and the individual. The command gains force when we bear in mind that the ruler then in power was Nero. The injunction to pray for those responsible for the guidance of the state is more urgent today than ever, since society is now so highly organized and controlled that the individual is liable to be at the mercy of some form of totalitarian control.

2. ’Chastity’—gravity, referring to the serious thought of our duty towards God and our neighbour. The idea of the Apostle is this: freedom from anxiety and uncertainty regarding the intentions of those in charge of the destiny of the state would enable individuals to pursue their duty towards God and society and at the same time enable the Church to continue her apostolate.

4. ’Who will have all men to be saved’—’The clearest anti-Calvinistic text in the "NT"’, A New Commentary. Here we have a doctrine of the highest importance and consolation for each one of us, since there is no indication in the text of anyone at all being excluded. On the contrary the discourse is emphatic and the universality of God’s will to save is reinforced by the fourfold repetition of the word all in the first few verses; cf. Prat, II, 78, ’It is vain to object that the divine wish to save is necessarily limited by the addition "that all may come to the knowledge of the truth"; for, we are assured, since this second proposition cannot be absolutely and universally true, the first one cannot be true either. The reply is easy: all human beings have not the use of reason, but all, without a single exception, are capable of eternal salvation; thus, while the phrase referring to the knowledge of the truth limits itself naturally to men who are capable of knowing it, the other is limited by nothing and should, according to the rules of sound exegesis, retain its full significance.’

5. ’One Mediator’—a confirmation of the universality of salvation. As man, Jesus represented the whole human race. Since in him the two natures of God and of man were united he was able to atone for the sin of mankind and secure a return of its lost inheritance. Through him alone we have regained access to the Father. This passage is not contrary to the Catholic practice of invoking the aid of the saints, for the Apostle in speaking of Christ as Mediator of our redemption, says nothing against our invoking the saints as intercessors. In fact St Paul himself in asking the prayers of others, as he frequently does, stresses the need for intercessors that we may more surely make use of the redemption gained for us by the mediation of Christ.

6. ’ Redemption’—cf.Matthew 20:28. ’A testimony in due times’—At the time appointed by his heavenly Father, Jesus bore witness to God’s will that all should be saved, and in his turn St Paul, fully conscious of his special mission to proclaim the universality of the Gospel, recalls his commission as the Apostle of the Gentiles.

8. ’Lifting up pure hands’—The customary attitude for prayer was standing erect with arms outstretched. ’Without anger and contention —fitly disposed for prayer.

9. ’In like manner’— Women are urged, in the same way as men, to pray and join in the apostolate of prayer. ’In decent apparel’—Worship is not the time for display of fashion; on the contrary, women are to dress with becoming modesty, making virtuous acts and good works their glory. On St Paul’s teaching regarding women see an interesting explanation of this passage in Enjoying the NT by Margaret T. Monro ( London, 1945) 153 f.11. It is the duty of men, not women, to rule and give instruction in the public assembly; the reasons for this St Paul adduces from Genesis where it is shown that man was first created and that woman was the occasion of his fall.

15. For their part women are to manifest their own womanly virtues, and St Paul stresses in particular the sanctifying effect of motherhood, which is one of the means (not the only one, ef. 1 Corinthians 7:25ff.), by which they will be saved.

Bibliographical Information
Orchard, Bernard, "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2". Orchard's Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/boc/1-timothy-2.html. 1951.
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