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Bible Commentaries

Geneva Study Bible

1 Timothy 1

Verse 1

1:1 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.

Verse 2

1:2 Unto Timothy, [my] own son in the faith: Grace, {a} mercy, [and] peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

(a) There is as much difference between mercy and grace, as is between the effect and the cause: for grace is that free good will of God, by which he chose us in Christ, and mercy is that free justification which follows it.

Verse 3

1:3 {2} 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,

(2) This whole epistle consists in admonitions, in which all the duties of a faithful pastor are plainly set out. And the first admonition is this, that no innovation is made either in the apostle’s doctrine itself, or in the manner of teaching it.

Verse 4

1:4 {3} Neither give heed to fables and endless {b} genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: [so do].

(3) The doctrine is corrupted not only by false opinions, but also by vain and curious speculations: the declaration and utterance of which can help our faith in no way.

(b) He makes note of one type of vain question.

Verse 5

1:5 {4} Now the end of the {c} commandment is {d} charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned:

(4) The second admonition is, that the right use and practice of the doctrine must be joined with the doctrine. And that consists in pure charity, and a good conscience, and true faith.

(c) Of the Law.

(d) There is neither love without a good conscience, nor a good conscience without faith, nor faith without the word of God.

Verse 6

1:6 {5} From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

(5) That which he spoke before generally of vain and curious controversies, he applies to those who, pretending a zeal of the Law, dwelled upon outward things, and never made an end of babbling of foolish trifles.

Verse 7

1:7 {6} Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

(6) There are none more unlearned, and more impudent in usurping the name of holiness, than foolish babblers, who reason fallaciously.

Verse 8

1:8 {7} But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully;

(7) The taking away of an objection: he does not condemn the Law, but requires the right use and practice of it.

Verse 9

1:9 {8} Knowing this, that the law is not made for a {e} righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for {f} sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

(8) He indeed escapes the curse of the Law, and therefore does not abhor it, who fleeing and avoiding those things which the Law condemns, gives himself with all his heart to observe it: and he does not make a vain babbling of outward and curious matters.

(e) And such a one is he, whom the Lord has endued with true doctrine, and with the Holy Spirit.

(f) To those who make an art, as it were, of sinning.

Verse 11

1:11 {9} According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, {10} which was committed to my trust.

(9) He contrasts fond and vain babbling with, not only the Law, but the Gospel also, which does not condemn, but greatly commends the wholesome doctrine contained in the commandments of God. And therefore he calls it a glorious Gospel, and the Gospel of the blessed God, the power of which these babblers did not know.

(10) A reason why neither any other Gospel is to be taught than he has taught in the Church, neither after any other way, because there is no other Gospel besides that which God committed to him.

Verse 12

1:12 {11} And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath {g} enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

(11) He maintains of necessity his apostleship against some that did find fault with his former life, debasing himself even to hell, to advance only Christ’s only, with which he abolished all those his former doings.

(g) Who gave me strength, not only when I had no will to do well, but also when I was wholly given to evil.

Verse 13

1:13 Who was before a {h} blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did [it] ignorantly in unbelief.

(h) These are the meritorious works which Paul brags of.

Verse 14

1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant {12} with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

(12) He proves this change by the effects, because he who was a profane man, has become a believer: and he that did most outrageously persecute Christ, burns now in love towards him.

Verse 15

1:15 {13} This [is] a {i} faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

(13) He turns the reproach of the adversaries upon their own head, showing that this singular example of the goodness of God, contributes greatly to the benefit of the whole Church.

(i) Worthy to be believed.

Verse 17

1:17 {14} Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the {k} only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(14) He breaks out into an exclamation, even because of the very zeal of his mind, because he cannot satisfy himself in amplifying the grace of God.

(k) See Geneva "John 17:3"

Verse 18

1:18 {15} This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by {l} them mightest war a good warfare;

(15) The conclusion of both the former fatherly admonitions, that is, that Timothy striving bravely against all stops, being called to the ministry according to many prophecies which went before of him, should both maintain the doctrine which he had received, and keep also a good conscience.

(l) By the help of them.

Verse 19

1:19 Holding {m} faith, and a good conscience; {16} which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

(m) Wholesome and sound doctrine.

(16) Whoever does not keep a good conscience, loses also by little and little, the gift of understanding. And this he proves by two most lamentable examples.

Verse 20

1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; {17} whom I have {n} delivered unto Satan, that they may {o} learn not to blaspheme.

(17) Those who fall from God, and his religion, are not to be endured in the Church, but rather ought to be excommunicated.

(n) Cast out of the Church, and so delivered them to Satan.

(o) That by their pain they might learn how serious it is to blaspheme.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.