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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 6

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Verses 1-99

6:1, 2. The relation of slaves to their masters.

Paraphrase. This duty of proper respect holds good also of the relation of slaves to their masters. Some slaves will have heathen masters who make their life a burden to them; yet teach them to show all respect to such, lest the name of God and our teaching should be brought into disrepute. Others will have Christian masters: let such not fail in due respect, on the pretext that Christianity treats them and their masters as brothers; nay, let them serve them all the better on the very ground that those who share the good service are Christians and so dear to themselves.

Cf. 1 Corinthians 7:21, Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22, Philemon 1:10-17, Titus 2:9, Titus 2:10, Titus 2:1 P 2:18-25 (perhaps known to our author). Didache, 4, 11; Ign. ad Polyc. 4 (apparently based on this—ἀλλὰ μηδὲ αὐτοὶ φυσιούσθωσαν,�Canon 63; Can. Apost. 81; Apost. Const. iv. 12, viii. 31.

The treatment here points to an early date. No question is raised about using Church funds for emancipation (as in Ignatius), or of the relation of a slave who was to be baptized (Eg. C.O.; Hipp. Can.; Ap. Const.) or to be ordained (Can. Apost.) to his master. The writer has only to deal with the danger of Christian liberty and brotherhood being abused; cf. 2:2 note, Galatians 3:28, 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, and especially 1 P 2:11-18 (with Hort’s notes). He meets it by laying stress on the respect due to all social positions (cf. 5:3, 17, 1 P 2:17 πάντας τιμήσατε), and on the higher law of love which binds Christians; cf. Galatians 5:13 διὰ τῆς�Ep. 47, “unus omnium parens mundus est” (= ὅτι�Roman Society from Nero, p. 117; Harnack, Expansion of Christianity, 1. pp. 208-11 (Eng. tr.): and of the power of slaves to confer not only service and duty, but freewill benefits upon their masters, Seneca, De Benefic. iii. 18-22.

1. ὑπὸ ζυγόν] perhaps not applied here to all slaves, but only to such as being under heathen masters feel their slavery as a yoke:cf. 1 P 2:18; Apost. Const. iv. 12; Hippol. Can. 63, “si est heri idololatræ servus.”

ἵνα μὴ τὸ ὄνομα κ.τ.λ.] from Isaiah 52:5 (of the heathen), quoted by St. Paul, Romans 2:24. Notice the higher effect of such conduct in Titus 2:10 ἵνα τὴν διδασκαλίαν κοσμῶσιν.

2. ὅτι�: the reason for καταφρονείτωσαν, not for μὴ καταφ.: cf. Proverbs 23:22 μὴ καταφρόνει ὅτι γεγήρακέν σου ἡ μὴτηρ.

ὅτι . . .�] The punctuation of these words and the exact reference of each word are uncertain, but the balance of the sentence seems to show that ὅτι πιστοί εἰσι takes up πιστούς and is parallel to ὅτι�W.-H. (mg.) punctuate�

ἀντιλαμβανόμενοι] taking part in. It might either be “taking part in conferring” or “taking part in receiving” (cf. Mart. Polyc. 15, εὐωδίας�

τῆς εὐεργεσίας] possibly “the divine εὐεργεσία, ” “the unspeakable gift” of 2 Corinthians 9:15 “those who share the blessing of redemption.” Cf. Clem. Alex. Protrept. 111. 1, ἄθρει τὴν θείαν εὐεργεσίαν: 112. 1, ὁ διδάσκαλος ὁ πληρώσας τὰ πάντα . . . δημιουργίᾳ, σωτηρίᾳ, εὐεργεσίᾳ, νομοθεσίᾳ: Liturg. Jacobi ap. Brightman, L. E. and W., p. 41, Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν σωτῆρα καὶ λυτρώτην καὶ εὐεργέτην. Compare the frequent application of it in the Papyri to the εὐεργεσία of an Emperor to his people (M.M. s.v.); and for the ground of the appeal 1 P 3:7�

Perhaps more probably “the human kindness,” not of the masters (Chrys. Thdt. Pelagius, von Soden, Dibelius)—as this is scarcely implied in the context—but of the slaves as shown by their better service (Hofmann, Wohlenberg, Field, etc.). Seneca, in a noble passage, de Beneficiis, iii. 18-21, discusses the question whether a slave can confer a beneficium on a master, and decides that he can: “quidquid est quod servilis officii formulam excedit, quod non ex imperio sed ex voluntate præstatur, beneficium est.” The Christian writer assumes it without discussion. Yet even if this is the central meaning, the thought of the divine εὐεργεσία may lie in the background: cf. Ep. Diogn. x. 6, ὅστις . . . ἐν ᾧ κρείσσων ἐστὶν ἕτερον τῶν ἐλαττουμένων εὐεργετεῖν ἐθέλει, . . . θεὸς γίνεται τῶν λαμβανόντων, οὗτος μιμητής ἐστι Θεοῦ.

ἀγαπητοί] they share their faith and have become beloved—no longer feared—by themselves: perhaps also with the suggestion “beloved of God.”

3-21. Conclusion. Final warning and exhortation, returning to the thought and often to the very words of 1:3-20; but there the stress was on the character of the teaching, here on the character of the teachers. Two contrasts underlie the whole: (a) The faithful and unfaithful teacher: the latter loving novelty and controversy, with his eye set on material gain; the former pursuing spiritual aims, loyal to the teaching he has received, with his eye set on the coming of the Lord and on the life eternal. (b) The true and false attitude to riches: the desire for wealth, the source of all evil and the ruin of teachers; the true use of wealth leading to a wealth of good deeds here and eternal life hereafter.

The “words of the Lord Jesus Christ”3 form the standard for the teaching, and His words about contentment and the danger of the desire of riches (Matthew 6:24-34, Mark 10:23-25, Luke 12:15-21, Luke 16:19-31) may lie at the back of the second contrast, though there is not sufficient verbal similarity to prove a literary dependence.

3-10. Paraphrase. I go back to the warning with which I began. If any teacher sets himself up to teach novel doctrines and does not loyally adhere to sound words—I mean words that come from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself—and to the teaching which is true to real religion, such an one’s head has been turned: he has no real knowledge: he is like a delirious patient feverishly excited over this small point and that, fighting with words as his only weapons; and the result is envy, strife, abuse of other teachers, ill-natured suspicions, incessant friction between men whose minds have been confused and who have been deprived of the truth they once knew; they have come to think of religion wholly as a source of gain. Aye, and religion is a source of true gain, if combined with a contented spirit: and we ought to be contented, for we can carry nothing with us when we leave the world, and that is why we brought nothing with us when we came into it. Nay, if we have food for our lifetime and a shelter and clothing, that will be enough for us. Whereas those who set their heart on becoming rich fall into temptations, into dangerous positions, into many desires which are foolish and worse than foolish, fatal, for they lead men to shipwreck and plunge them into death and destruction. For the love of money is proverbially the root from which the whole host of evils springs: and already some teachers through their craving for money have wandered from the safe path of the faith and have fallen pierced through with many a pang and many a sorrow.

3. ἐτεροδιδ.] 1:3 note. προσέρχεται applies himself to; cf. Epict. iv. 11. 24, προσελθεῖν φιλοσοφίᾳ (Dibelius); but the present tense implies constant application and approach to the words of a living and speaking master, and for one already a teacher some word denoting “abiding in” would be more natural. Hence Bentley conj. προσέχει from 1:4, and Tischendorf reads προσέχεται; cf. Introd. p. xxxvii. Was the original reading προσέχει τοῖς?

τοῖς τοῦ κυρίου] possibly the teaching about the Lord, cf. II 1:8, but more probably “the teaching of the Lord.” There is possibly an allusion to some collection of His sayings, cf. 5:18 note, Acts 20:35.

τετύφωται] 3:6 note. νοσῶν suggested by ὑγιαίν. λόγοι: he is not yet dead (5:6) but is in a dangerous state, on the way to death 9; cf. Plut. de Laud. propr. p. 546 f. τοῖς περὶ δόξαν νοσοῦσι(Wetstein), Chrys. de Sacerd. iv. 3, ὅταν περὶ δόγματα νοσῇ ἡ ψυχὴ τὰ νόθα. ζητήσεις, cf. 1:4 note. λογομαχίας (cf. II 2:14) hair-splitting—fights in which words are the weapons and perhaps also the object; there is no reality behind them.

ἐξ ὧν γίνεται] for the singular cf. 1:20, II 2:18; Moulton, Gr. i. p. 58. For a similar formula cf. Didache, c. 3, §§ 2, 3, 4, 5, ἐκ γὰρ τούτων ἁπάντων γεννῶνται φόνοι . . . μοιχεῖαι . . . εἰ̔δωλολατρία . . . κλοπαί . . . βλασφημίαι, which suggests that we should here read γεννᾶται or γεννῶνται with D d g m62.

βλασφημίαι] not here of God, but of their rival teachers. ὑπόν. πονηραί, cf. Ecclus 3:24 ὑπόνοια πονηρὰ ὠλίσθησε διάνοίας αὐτῶν.

5. διαπαρατριβαί] (“conflictationes,” Vulg.) persistent collisions; cf. Polyb. ii. p. 172, τὰ μὲν οὖν κατὰ Καρχηδονίους καὶ Ρ̓ωμαίους ἐν ὑποψίαις ἦν πρὸς�

διεφθ. τὸν νοῦν] cf. II 3:8, Titus 1:15; πορισμόν, cf. 5:17, 18, II 2:6, Titus 1:11, and (Wetstein) Seneca, Ep. 108, “qui philosophiam velut aliquod artificium venale didicerunt.” All the following truths can be illustrated almost verbally from classical writers (cf. Wetstein throughout), and they suggest a conscious modelling on the best Greek teaching.

6. αὐταρκείας] “sufficientia,” Vulg.; “quod sufficit,” Aug.; but the meaning is probably not, “if he has sufficient” (which is stated in 8), but “if combined with contentment”; cf. Philippians 4:11, Proverbs 13:11, ὁ συνάγων ἑαυτῷ μετʼ εὐσεβειας πληθυνθήσεται: Ps. Sol v 18-20, Pirke Aboth iv. 3. “Who is rich? He that is contented with his lot.”

“The training of a Jewish Rabbi might be even more exacting. This is the path of the Torah. A morsel with salt shalt thou eat, thou shalt drink also water by measure, and shall sleep upon the ground and live a life of trouble while thou toilest in the Torah. If thou doest this, happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee: happy shalt thou be in this world and it shall be well with thee in the world to come.” Pirke Aboth iv. 4 (Abrahams, Studies in Pharisaism and the Gospels, c. xiv.).

πορισμὸς μέγας] cf. 4:8: not only because it makes him happy with the little that he has; cf.

“Contentment is a constant feast,

He’s richest who requires the least” (Barnes),

but because he is able to enjoy all God’s gifts as gifts to himself; cf. Proverbs 17:6a, τοῦ πιστοῦ ὅλος ὁ κόσμος τῶν χρημάτων: Tob 4:21, 1 Corinthians 3:23 πάντα ὑμῶν. OGIS. 38314 οὐ μόνον κτῆσιν βεβαιοτάτην�Meditations, Century 1.

7. Perhaps based on Job 1:21 Αὐτὸς γυμνὸς ἐξῆλθον ἐκ κοιλίας μητρός μου· γυμνὸς καὶ�de off. Vict., p. 256. 12, τὸν μηδὲν εἰς κόσμον�Ep. 102, “non licet plus efferre quam intuleris”; Ovid, Trist. v. 14. 12, “Nil feret ad manes divitis umbra suos” (Wetstein). ἐξενεγκεῖν Suggests “carrying out in burial,” Acts 5:6.

ὅτι (if genuine, but cf. W.-H App. where H. suggests that it is an accidental repetition of “ον” in κόσμον), perhaps introducing the quotation “for the proverb says,” or implying the Divine ordering of birth as a preparation for the life of a stranger and sojourner on this earth who has to pass through death to his abiding city. Hillard treats ὅτι as neuter of ὅστις and translates “wherefore,” comparing Eur. Hec. 13, ὃ καί με γῆς ὑπεξέιπεμψεν: cf. αὐτὸ τοῦτο, 2 Corinthians 2:3, Galatians 2:10. Parry, more probably, conjectures οὐδʼ ὅτι, “not to speak of being able to carry anything out;” cf. Introd. p. xxxvii.

8. διατροφάς] perhaps “throughout life” (διά), σκεπάσματα (“quibus tegamur,” Vulg.), clothing (cf. Genesis 28:20 ἐὰν ὁ κύριος . . . δῷ μοι ἄρτον φαγεῖν καὶ ἱμάτιον περιβαλέσθαι: Diog. Laert. vi. 105 of the Cynics, αὑτάρκεσι χρώμενοι σιτίοις καὶ τρίβωσι) (Dibelius): perhaps also “shelter,” “homes”; cf. Ecclus 29:21 ʼαρχὴ ζωῆς ὕδωρ καὶ ἄρτος καὶ ἱμάτιον, καὶ ὀ͂κος καλύπτων�de Vita Cont., p. 477. 16, σκέπης διττὸν εἷδος τὸ μὲν ἐσθὴς τὸι δὲ οἰκία (Wetstein); Epict. Enchir. 33, τὸ περὶ τὸ σῶμα μέχρι τῆς ψιλῆς χρείας παραλάμβανε, οἷον τροφάς, πόμα,�

9. βυθίζουσι] for the metaphor, cf. 1:19, and de Aleatoribus, § 1, “aleatores se in lacum mortis immergunt”; § 6, “aleæ tabula est diaboli venabulum et delicti vulnus insanabile.” The whole treatise is a comment on this verse.

εἰς ὄλ. καὶ�.] cf. 1 Corinthians 5:5, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:3. The combination (found here only) is emphatic, “loss for time and eternity.”

10. ῥίζα] not “a root,” which would suggest that the writer was thinking of other possible roots (which no doubt there are, e.g. jealousy, St. Cyprian, de zelo ac livore, 6; pride, Aug. in Joh. xxv. 16), but “the root” (cf. Field, Ot. Norvic. ad loc.).

ῥίζαφιλαργυρία] again proverbial, cf. Test. XII. Patr., Judah, c. 19, and the Greek saying attributed sometimes to Bion, sometimes to Democritus, τὴν φιλαργυρίαν εἶναι μητρόπολιν πάντων τῶν κακῶν, Diog. Laert. vi. 50; Seneca, de Clem. 2. 1, “alieni cupiditate, ex qua omne animi malum oritur.” Ps.-Phocyl. 42, ἡ φιλοχρημοσύνη μήτηρ κακότητος ἁπάσης (Wetstein and Dibelius). So Philo, De Judice, c. 3, warns a judge against being φιλοχρήματον ὅπερ ἐστὶν ὁρμητήριον τῶν μεγίστων παρανομημάτων. The combination of this with v. 7 in Polyc. ad Phil. c. 4 suggests literary dependence on the epistle.

ὀδύναις] both actual evils and the pangs of remorse. For the metaphor, cf. Proverbs 7:23-27. For illustrations, Mark 10:22Acts 5:1-10. For a similar condemnation of “wealthy Ephesus,” cf. Pseudo-Heracl. Ep. 8. It is in his address to elders of Ephesus that St. Paul insists that he had coveted no man’s silver or gold or apparel, Acts 20:33.

11-16. Paraphrase. But you, who are God’s own prophet with a message from Him, turn your back on all such desires and empty discussions: nay, press forward to gain true righteousness, true piety, loyalty, love, endurance, and a patient forbearing temper. Persevere in the noblest of all contests, that of the faith; lay hold once and for all on that eternal life to which you were called—ay, and there were many who witnessed the noble profession of faith that you then made. So then I charge you as in the sight of that God who is the source and sustainer of life to all that lives, and in the sight of Christ Jesus who Himself when at the bar of the Roman Governor made His noble profession, that you carefully keep the command He gave us free from all stain and all reproach, until the day of the appearing of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which at the right moment He will unveil to the world, who is the blessed, nay, the One only Sovereign, the King over all who rule kingdoms, the Lord of all who hold lordship over their fellows, He who alone hath in Himself immortality, who dwelleth in light to which none can approach, whom no eye of man ever looked upon, no nor can look upon—to whom be all honour and sovereignty for ever. Amen.

Note the stress on life throughout the section. τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς . . . τοῦ ζωογονοῦντος . . .�

11. ἄνθρωπε θεοῦ] here and II 3:17 only in N.T. In the O.T. applied to Moses (Psalms 90:1, Deuteronomy 33:1) and to prophets (1 S 2:27), cf. 2 P 1:21 οἱ ἅγιοι θεοῦ ἄνθρωποι (v.l.). Here the thought is either that of the prophet with a command to carry out, cf. 14, a message to deliver (cf. 20), or more widely (cf. II 3:17 note) of one who is God’s soldier, “The King’s Champion” (Pilgrim’s Progress, of one Great-Grace), one whose whole life is lifted above worldly aims and devoted to God’s service, “non divitiarum homo sed Dei” (Pelagius); cf. Clem. Alex. Quis Dives, c. 41, where the rich man is advised to submit to the guidance of some “man of God”; and Philo, de gigant. 61, θεοῦ δὲ ἄνθρωποι ἱερεῖς καὶ προφῆται, οἵτινες οὐκ ἠξίωσαν πολιτείας τῆς παρὰ τῷ κόσμῳ τυχεῖν . . . τὸ δὲ αἰσθητὸν πᾶν ὑπερκύψαντες εἰς τὸν νοητὸν κόσμον μετανέστησαν κἀκεῖθι ᾢκησαν (Dibelius). The phrase is found in Pagan magical formulæ (Nägeli, p. 49).

φεῦγεδίωκε] cf. II 2:22. The virtues chosen are the central Christian virtues, first towards God, then towards men (δίκ . . .�supra).

πραϋπάθειαν] here only in N.T. but found in Philo, de Abr. § 37; Ign. Trall. 8, τὴν πραϋπάθειαν�

12. ἀγωνίζου] cf. 4:10, II 4:7 note.

ὡμολόγησας] The time is almost certainly the same as that of ἐκλήθης, i.e. baptism. That would have been his public confession (cf. Romans 10:9) of faith in Christ. The phrase ἡ κ. ὁμολογ. is applied to the confession of a martyr at his death in Martyr. Ign. Antiochene Acts, c. 4.

13. Cf. 5:21. Here the appeal is to God and Christ as those in whom he had professed faith at Baptism, who are strong enough to support him in all persecution, and who will judge him at the final judgment.

There may be a semi-quotation of some Baptismal form—faith in God, maker of all things, and in Jesus Christ, as King who is to come again.

ζωογονοῦντος] used in LXX = (i) to give life (1 S 2:6 ὁ κύριος θανατοῖ καὶ ζωογονεῖ, Symm. Genesis 3:23 ζωογόνος, Symm. = Eve. mother of all living, Encyc. Bibl. i. p. 61); (ii) to save alive, Exodus 1:17-22, Judges 8:19 etc. Hence the thought here may include (1) God who is the source of all life (cf. Nehemiah 9:6 σὺ ζωοποιεῖς τὰ πάντα), with a reminiscence of 4:4. In this meaning it will be parallel to the credal expansions of the Baptismal formula; cf. Justin M. Apol. i. 61, ἐπʼ ὀνόματος τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν ὅλων: Iren. c. Hœr. i. 10, τὸν πεποιηκότα τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς: Tert. de Proescr. 36, “unum Deum novit, creatorem universitatis.” In Pap. Lond. 121529 it is used of the Sun, ὁ τὰ ὅλα συνέχων καὶ ζωογονῶν (M. M. s.v.). (ii) God who can protect you in all danger and persecution; cf. 12 and 16; τῆς�

ἐπὶ Π. Π.] not “in the time of,” though that is supported by Ign. Trall. 9, Smyrn. 1, and expanded in Magn. 11 into ἐν καιπῷ τῆς ἡγεμονίας II. II.: but there stress is laid on the historical reality of the facts, which is not in question here; here it is part of an appeal for courage, and corresponds to ἐνώπιον πολλῶν μαρτύρων of Timothy’s own confession, hence “in the presence of,” “at the bar of.”

τὴν κ. ὁμολογίαν] The noble profession of His Messiahship and the nature of His Kingdom. τὴν κ. μαρτυρίαν would have been more natural, but he wishes “to mark the essential identity of the confession which Timothy might soon have to maintain with the Lord’s own confession” (Hort on Revelation 1:2) and with that which he had already made 12.

14. τὴν ἐντολήν] “The charge given thee at baptism,” cf. 2 Clem. 8, τηρήσατε τὴν σάρκα ἁγνὴν καὶ τὴν σφραγῖδα ἂσπιλον: perhaps also more widely “the whole Christian commands”; cf. 1:4 τῆς παραγγελίας, 1:18. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. v. 13) paraphrases it τὴν παραδιδομένην πίστιν.

ἂσπιλον] possibly agreeing with σε (cf. James 1:27, James 1:2 P 3:14), but probably with ἐντολήν; cf. Job 15:16 (Symm.) of the heavens, Ephesians 5:27 of the Church. The commands must be kept clear, not explained away, and yet presented with such tact as not to cause offence.

ἐπιφανείας] cf. Titus 2:11 note. The thought of the dawning of light which will test the minister’s work and character is prominent here; cf. δείξει 15, 1 Corinthians 4:5.

15. καιροῖς ἰδίοις] cf. Titus 1:3 note. This description of God is full of O.T. reminiscences and is perhaps based on some doxology in use in the synagogue. The stress is laid on the supremacy of God over earthly rulers (ἵνα μὴ δεδοίκῃ τοῦς ἐνταῦθα βασιλεῖς, Chrys.): on His sole possession of life 12, 13, and on His superhuman Majesty. These qualities were brought out in the O.T. in contrast to the heathen gods, here also in contrast to earthly kings, especially to the growing cult of the Roman Emperors. Dibelius quotes the Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs, “jura per genium domini nostri imperatoris,” “Cognosco dominum meum, regem regum et imperatorem omnium gentium.” The Greek metaphysical conception of God may also influence the description (cf. 1:11 note).

μακάριος] cf. 1:11; μόνος δυνάστης, cf. 1:17, 2 Mac 1:24 ὁ μόνος βασιλεύς: 2 Mac 12:15 τὸν μέγαν τοῦ κόσμου δυνάστην, Ecclus 46:5 τὸν ὕψιστον δυνάστην.

ὁ β. τῶν β. κ.τ.λ.] Deuteronomy 10:17, Daniel 4:34, Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:16, Enoch 9:4; Cf. sup. 1:17 note. There is perhaps an implied contrast with Pontius Pilate, the temporary, the unjust, delegate; cf. Martyr. Polyc. 21 of Polycarp’s martyrdom,�

16. ὁ μόνος ἔχων�] cf. 1:17; Philo, de sacrif. Abelis, c. 30, περὶ θεοῦ τοῦ�B.S., p. 293.

φῶς οἰκῶν] based on Exodus 33:17-23.�de vita Mosis, iii. 2.

ὅν εἶδεν] cf. Exodus 33:20, John 1:18.

ἀμήν] cf. 1:17. The thought of the First and of the Second Advent alike suggests a doxology to his mind.

17-19. Advice to the rich.

Paraphrase. I have warned teachers against the desire for riches; but there are other members in your church rich in this world’s good, and they will need your guidance. Bid them not to be purse-proud or conceited, not to set their hopes for hereafter on so uncertain a reed as riches, but on God; and Him they should try to imitate; for He has all the riches of the whole world, and He gives them out liberally to us men that we may enjoy them thoroughly; so they should do good like Him; they should have for their riches a store of good deeds: they should be quick to give to others, ready to share with their friends: in this way they store up true treasures for themselves which form a firm foundation on which they can build for the future; such use of wealth will help them to lay hold of the only life that is worthy of the name.

The paragraph is awkwardly placed here, breaking the connexion between 16 and 20; von Soden suggests that it has been accidentally misplaced, and should come after 2; but it is natural advice to a church in a rich city like Ephesus (cf. Acts 19:25, which shows that St. Paul’s teaching had been attacked there, as endangering the wealth of the trade); the thought may have been suggested by 9, 10; and it is more appropriate after these verses than they would be after it. There may be also consciously a link with 11-16 in the thought of eternal life (cf. note there). That thought suggests to the writer’s mind the special danger in which the rich are of losing eternal life 19.

The thought and language may be based on Our Lord’s words, cf. Matthew 6:19, Luke 12:16-21, Luke 16:9. But the thoughts of the uncertainty of riches, of the treasure laid up in heaven by good use of wealth here, even that of the imitation of God in the use of wealth are thoroughly Jewish (cf. Philo, de Josepho, c. 43, and Abrahams, Studies in Pharisaism and the Gospels, c. xiv.), and found in pagan thought; cf. the epitaph in Or. Henz. 6042, bene fac, hoc tecum feres. So Dill, Roman Society from Nero, p. 190, “Seneca enforces the duty of universal kindness and helpfulness by the example of God, who is bounteous and merciful even to the evil-doer” (de Benef. iv. 5, iv. 26, iv. 28), and p. 232, “Herodes used to say that the true use of money was to succour the needs of others; riches which were guarded with a niggard hand were only dead wealth.” Clement of Alexandria’s Quis Dives Salvetur is an interesting commentary on the section (especially c. 16), but shows no knowledge of it.

17. μὴ ὑψηλοφρονεῖν] cf. Jeremiah 9:23, Romans 11:20, Romans 12:16, James 1:9-11, James 2:1-5 Clem. Alex. Quis Dives, 1, τῆς περιουσίας καθʼ αὑτὴν ἱκανῆς οὔσης χαυνῶσαι τὰς ψυχὰς τῶν κεκτημένων. As ταπεινοφρονεῖν was among the Greeks a term of reproach but in the Bible a virtue, so ὑψηλοφρονεῖν was a term of praise and becomes a reproach (Wohlenberg from Hofmann).

ἠλπικέναι] cf. 1 Corinthians 15:19 ἠλπικότες ἐσμέν: Job 31:24 εἰ λίθῳ πολυτελεῖ ἐπεπόθησα. The perfect tense either looks back to the beginning of the rich man’s hopes, or possibly anticipates his feelings at the παρουσία: “Alas, alas, I have placed my hopes on that which has failed me!” cf. II 4:8 ἠγαπηκόσι.

ἀδηλότητι] Cf. James 1:10, Anthol. Gr. i. 80, 19:

ὅταν λογισμοῖς καταμάθω τὰ πράγματα

καὶ τὰς�

εἰς�] stronger than εἰς μετάληψιν, 4:3. There is a true “apolaustic” life, but it comes from realizing that the simple blessings of nature (τὸν�Meditations, and Didache 10. τροφήν τε καὶ ποτὸν ἒο͂ωκας τοῖς�

18. ἀγαθοεργεῖν] like God Himself, Acts 14:17

εὐμεταδότους, κοινωνικούς] The distinction is not clear; either, quick to give away to others in charity (singulatim, Bengel), cf. Romans 12:8, Ephesians 4:28, 1 Corinthians 13:3, and ready to share with one’s friends that which is one’s own (cum multis, Bengel), e.g. at the�Galatians 6:6, Hebrews 13:16; or, εὐμεταδ., of action, “open-handed,” cf. εὐμ. εἰς τὴν�Apost. K.O. § 19; κοινωνικούς, of demeanour and temper, “gracious,” with true sense of human fellowship, the antithesis of ὑψηλοφρονεῖν, cf. Romans 12:16; so Chrys. προσηνεῖς Thdt. τοὺς ἄτυφον ἦθος ἔχοντας, and so frequently in Plutarch, who couples it with πολιτικός and φιλάνθρωπος. For the Church’s use of money, cf. Harnack, Expansion of Christianity, Eng. tr. 1. ii. c. 3.

19. ἀποθησαυρ.] cf. Mark 10:21, Matthew 6:20. The thoughts of the true treasure and the true foundation lie close together in the Sermon on the Mount; cf. Apost. K.O.. § 21, καὶ γὰρ ταῦτα πρῶτα Κυρίου (? leg. παρὰ τῷ κυρίῳ) θησαυρίσματά εἰσιν�Expositor, Oct. 1919); cf. Ign. ad Pol. 2, τὸ θέμα�

ἵνα ἐπιλάβ.] cf.12. This true life would be laid hold of here and now, as they enter into the true life of love, cf. John 17:3. τῆς ὄντως ζωῆς, cf. 5:3; Clem. Alex. Quis Dives, 7, θεοῦ τοῦ ὄντως ὄντος. 8, τῷ ζησομένῳ τὴν ὄντως ζωήν: Philo, de Decal. 2, τὸν ὄντα ὄντως�

An interesting Rabbinic illustration is found in Bab. Bath. 11a. It happened to Monobaz that he dispersed his wealth and the wealth of his fathers on alms in time of famine. His brethren gathered round him and said, “Thy fathers laid up treasure and added to their fathers’ store, and dost thou waste it all?” He answered, ‘My fathers laid up treasure below; I have laid it up above. … My fathers laid up treasure of Mammon; I have laid up treasure of souls. … My fathers laid up treasure for this world; I have laid up treasure for the world to come.”

20, 21. Conclusion. Very probably added by St. Paul with his own hand, 2 Thessalonians 3:17, summing up the thoughts of 1:3-11, 4:1-10, 6:3-10.

Paraphrase. O Timothy, it is to you that I must look. Remember the truth is a sacred trust which Christ has left with us, and He will come to ask it back. Keep it then jealously; avoid all empty argumentations, all balancing of casuistical problems: they have nothing to do with religion, they add nothing to it, they spoil its simplicity, though some who falsely claim to special knowledge lay stress on them. These teachers, though they assert their proficiency in knowledge, have wholly missed the central truths.

May God’s grace be with you all.

20. ὦ Τιμ.] cf. 11, 1:18 notes. τὴν παραθήκην; cf. II 1:12 note; and for this application, Didache 4. 13, φυλάξεις ἃ παρελάβες: Dem. c. Meid. p. 572, τοῦτο γὰρ ἐσθʼ ὃ φυλάττειν ὑμᾶς δεῖ, τοὺς νόμους, τὸν ὅρκον. ταῦτʼ ἒχεθʼ ὑμεῖς οἱ δικάζοντες ὡσπερεὶ παρακαταθήκην ἣν ἅπασιν . . . σῶν ὑπάρχειν δεῖ: Philo, de ebriet. § 52, παρακαταθήκην βιωφελεστάτων δογμάτων φυλάξαι μὴ δυναμένῳ (Wohlenberg). An exact exegesis of each word in this verse will be found in Vincent. Lerin. Commonitorium, 22.

ἐκτρεπόμενος] 1:6, 5:15, II 4:4; cf. II 2:16 τὰς β. κ. περϊίστασο. This last passage makes it probable that the meaning is not “turning your back on those who so talk,” but “refusing to adopt their methods.”

βεβ.] cf. 4:7; κενοφ. II 2:16 only; cf. ματαιολογίαν, 1:6; λογομαχίας, 6:4 note; τοῦς κενολογοῦντας,Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 8:19.

ἀντιφέσεις] parallel to κενοφωνίας, and under the construction of τὰς βεβήλους; hence not (i) oppositions, controversies, “turn aside from opponents and do not argue with them”; cf. II 2:25 τοὺς�supra, 1:10 εἲ τι�Job 32:3 οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν�but (ii) rival theses (= θεσὶν�Mort. D. x. 373,�P.E. p. 165)); either the Gnostic contrasts between the O.T. and the New, which found their fullest expression in Marcion’s “Antitheses,” cf. Tert. adv. M. i. 19, iv. 1, “opus ex contrarietatum oppositionibus Antitheses cognominatum et ad separationem legis et evangelii coactum”; but this is not consistent with the stress on the Jewish law implied in 1:6-10: or, more probably, “the endless contrasts of decisions, founded on endless distinctions, which played so large a part in the casuistry of the scribes as interpreters of the law” (Hort, Judaistic Christianity, p. 140). It is identical with “the tradition of the elders” which the Lord denounced, and of which St. Paul had been zealous before his conversion (Mark 7:3, Galatians 1:14), afterwards embodied in the Halacha; cf. 4:7, II 3:8 note.

τῆς ψ. γνώσεως (contrast γνῶσιν�1 Corinthians 8:2, 1 Corinthians 8:3 εἲ τις δοκεῖ εἰνωκέαι τι, οὒπω ἔγνω καθὼς δεῖ γνῶναι: or to the Rabbinical pride in knowledge, Luke 11:52, Romans 2:20.

21. ἐπαγγελλόμενοι] cf. 2:10: ἠστόχησαν, 1:6.

ἡ χάρις μεθʼ ὑμῶν] as in II and Tit the blessing is for the whole Church; but there is considerable MSS support for μετα σοῦ: cf. Introd. p. xxxvii.

W.-H The New Testament in Greek, with Introduction and Appendix, by Westcott and Hort, Cambridge, 1881.

OGIS. Orientis Grœci Inscriptiones Selectœ, ed. W. Dittenberger, 1903-1905.

Nägeli Das Wortschatz des Apostel’s Paulus, von T. Nägeli, 1905.

Apost. K.O. Apostolische Kirchen-Ordnung, in Texte und Untersuchungen, ii. 5.

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 6". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/1-timothy-6.html. 1896-1924.
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