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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

1 Timothy 6

Verses 1-2

Lest the name and doctrine of the Lord be blasphemed, or ill spoken of by infidels, when such as were converted refused to be servants. --- Let them not despise them, &c. That is, they who were servants under Christian masters, ought to think themselves more happy on that account, being brethren, and partakers of the same benefit of faith and grace. (Witham) --- If servants be insolent and disobedient, their infidel masters will blaspheme the Christian religion, as if that were the cause of their disrespectful behaviour. And let them not be arrogant, or aspire to an equality with their Christian masters, under pretence that the profession of the same religion makes them brothers; but rather serve them with greater submission and affection, as partakers of the benefit of the same faith, the same baptism, the same hope, &c. (Calmet)

Verse 4

But sick about questions, [1] unprofitable disputes, blasphemies, which may either signify against God, or railing one against another, conflicts, &c.[2] and dissensions of men corrupted in their minds: such is the character and description he gives of those ancient heretics, which applies to heretics in general. (Witham)

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Languens, Greek: noson. 'c6grotans; Erasmus, insaniens.

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Conflictationes, Greek: paradiatribai, exercitationes.

Verse 5

Supposing gain to be piety. [3] The sense is the same, that they make a shew of piety only for gain-sake. (Witham)

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Existimantes qu'e6stum esse pietatem, Greek: porismon einai ten eusebeian. In the ordinary Greek copies follows, G reek: aphistato apo ton toiouton, and so the Protestant translation, from which withdraw thyself. But Grotius and Dr. Wells leave them out, preferring those manuscripts that agree with the Latin Vulgate and with the Syriac.

Verse 6

But piety with sufficiency, or when a man hath what is sufficient to support his necessities, is certainly great gain, is accompanied with the most valuable advantages, the treasure of a good conscience, peace of mind, the grace of God, and hereafter a recompense of eternal glory. (Witham) --- That man is certainly rich, however small his possession, if he desire nothing more below, and aspires eagerly after that blessing above, which alone can fill his heart. Mediocrity is an enviable state; it frees us from the dangers of riches, and from the temptations of extreme poverty: with this lot let us be content. Why should we fix our hearts on the fleeting possessions of the day: we had not them yesterday, and to-morrow they will not be ours; for as we were born so we must die.

Verse 9

For they who wish to become rich. [4] He does not say, as St. John Chrysostom observes, they who are rich; as persons may be rich, and make good use of their riches to God's honour, and the good of others. But such as would be rich, who see riches, and have their heart and affections upon riches, fall into various temptations of injustice, of pride, and vanity, into hurtful lusts, which drown and plunge[5] men into perdition, &c. (Witham)

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Qui volunt divites fieri, Greek: oi boulomenoi. St. John Chrysostom, ( Greek: log. iz. p. 321.) Greek: ouk aplos eipen, oi ploutountes, all oi boulomenoi.

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Mergunt, Greek: buthizousi.

Verse 10

The root of all evils is covetousness,[6] or the love of money, as it is in the Greek; a covetous man being ready to sacrifice his soul for money. (Witham) --- This truth is verified and illustrated by the example of Judas, in the gospel; of Ananias and Saphira, in the Acts; of Demas, mentioned by St. Paul in his second epistle to Timothy; and many others, who have made shipwreck of their faith through eagerness to gain riches. Whoever seeks visible and terrestrial goods with great avidity, cannot be supposed to retain much faith in things that are celestial and invisible. He quits a future real and substantial good to seek for a delusive happiness that presents itself, but which will prove a source of present and future evils.

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Cupiditas, Greek: philarguria, amor pecuni'e6.

Verse 11

But thou, O man of God. [7] This, says St. John Chrysostom, is one of the highest title and commendations that can be given to any man. So are called Samuel, Elias, Eliseus. (1 Kings ii and ix.; 3 Kings xxxiii.) (Witham)

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

O homo Dei. See St. John Chrysostom, ( Greek: log. iz. p. 321.) Greek: mega axioma, &c. magna dignitas, &c.

Verse 12

Fight the good fight. Literally, strive [8] a good strife. St. Paul oftentimes brings this comparison of men striving for a prize. --- And hast confessed a good confession before many witnesses, not only when baptized, not only when thou wast ordained a bishop, but by thy constancy and sufferings and persecutions, says St. John Chrysostom, thou we know not the particulars. (Witham) --- Timothy had made profession of his faith at his baptism, at his ordination, and during the whole course of a life which, through many labours and persecutions, had been dedicated entirely to promote the faith. (D. Thomas [St. Thomas Aquinas]) --- Like him let us also combat, if we aspire after the same triumph and prize.

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Certa bonum certamen, Greek: agonizou ton kalon agona, which may be by running as well as by fighting.

Verse 13

Under Pontius Pilate, &c. Some expound it of the words and particular testimony Christ gave when he said he was king, but not of this world, who came to teach the truth. We may rather understand it with others, of all Christ taught and suffered under Pilate, or whilst he was governor of Judea. (Witham)

Verse 14

That thou keep the commandment. Some understand that of fighting manfully; others of loving God; others rather comprehend all that St. Paul had commanded him, and all the instructions given. --- Unto the coming of our Lord; [9] which coming, he in due time will shew. This is the construction by the Greek. (Witham) --- This coming will be desirable for Christians who have preserved or recovered their baptismal innocence, and for pastors who have faithfully fulfilled their ministry; but terrible, in the extreme, for all who have lived in the constant neglect and omission of their duties.

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Usque ad Adventum Domini, quem, &c. Greek: mechri tes epiphaneias...en, not Greek: on, and so must agree with adventum.

Verse 16

Who only hath immortality; i.e. is immortal of himself, and by his own nature. --- Light inaccessible; to human eyes or understandings. (Witham)

Verse 17

Charge the rich of this world not to confide in such uncertain goods; to strive to be rich in good works; to communicate [10] in lending, assisting, giving to others, by which they will lay up an everlasting treasure. (Witham)

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Communicare, Greek: koinonikous. See Greek: koinonein, Romans xii. &c.

Verse 20

O Timothy, keep that which is committed [11] to thy trust. He does not mean his charge of bishop, nor the graces of God, but the true and sound doctrine delivered to him either by writing or word of mouth, according to the common interpretation. See St. John Chrysostom, Vincentius Lirinensis, Commonitorii, chap. xvii. This is confirmed by the following words, avoiding the profane novelties [12] of words: (in the Greek empty, vain, babbling). The apostle here condemns new words, which change the doctrine; but sometimes to express the ancient doctrine, new words may be found necessary, as those of trinity, incarnation, consubstantiality, transubstantiation, &c. as St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, and others observed. See 2 Timothy i. 14. --- Oppositions of knowledge falsely so [13] called. St. John Chrysostom understands in particular the errors of the Gnostics, so called from the same Greek word, who were successors of Simon Magus. But they perhaps not having the name when St. Paul wrote, we may rather understand heretics in general, who all pretend to an uncommon knowledge in Scripture, when they follow their own private judgment, and so fall from the faith. (Witham) --- Keep the deposit, viz. of faith, which has been committed to thee. Throughout this whole epistle the apostle beseeches Timothy, in the most earnest manner, as a guardian of the faith, to preserve it without change. He every where condemns sects, heresies, and changes in faith. It would be well for the modern religionists, to inform us and themselves, why St. Paul is so particular in insisting upon union of faith, under pain of damnation, if it was the intention of Christ that men should differ on questions of religion. Let them tell us what St. Paul means, or else say plainly that they differ from the apostle's religion, and have formed their upon a more liberal scale. (Haydock)

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Depositum custodi, Greek: ten parakatatheken phulaxon. See St. John Chrysostom on these words.

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Profanas vocum novitates; though all the Greek copies have now Greek: kenophonias, vocum inanitates: the Latin interpreter must have read, Greek: kainophonias.

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Falsi nominis scienti'e6, Greek: pseudonuma gnoseos. St. John Chrysostom, ( Greek: log. ie. ) Greek: tines eautous ekaloun tote Gnostikous.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 6". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/1-timothy-6.html. 1859.