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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 1

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

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Verse 1

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

An apostle of Jesus Christ - belonging to Him as His servant. Paul thus designates himself in an official letter; but in a personal letter (Philem), "a prisoner of Jesus Christ."

By the commandment of God - the authoritative injunction [ epitageen (G2003)], as well as commission, of God. In the earlier letters, "by the will of God." Here the phrase implies a necessity laid on him to act as an apostle: not a matter of option. The same expression occurs in the doxology in Romans 16:26.

God our Saviour - the Father (1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:10; Luke 1:47; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4; Jude 1:25): a Jewish expression in devotion, from the Old Testament (cf. Psalms 106:21).

Our hope - the object, substance, and foundation of our hope (Colossians 1:27; Titus 1:2; Titus 2:13).

Verse 2

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

My own [ gneesioo (G1103 )] son - `a genuine son' (cf. Acts 16:1; 1 Corinthians 4:14-17). See 'Introduction.'

Mercy. Added, in addressing Timothy, to the ordinary "Grace unto you (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3, etc.), and peace." In Galatians 6:16 "peace and mercy" occur. There are similarities between the letter to the Galatians and the pastoral letters (see 'Introduction'); perhaps owing to his there, as here, having, as a leading object, the correction of false teachers, especially as to the right and wrong use of the law (1 Timothy 1:9): also, owing to Galatians and the pastoral letters being written by Paul's own hand. "Mercy" is tender grace exercised toward the miserable, the experience of which in one's own case especially fits for the MINISTRY. Compare as to Paul himself, 1 Timothy 1:13-14; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Corinthians 7:25; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Hebrews 2:17. He did not use "mercy" as to the churches, because "mercy" in all its fullness already existed toward them; but in the case of an individual minister, fresh measures of it were continually needed. His sense of his need of "mercy" had deepened the older he grew. "Grace" refers to men's sins; "mercy" to their misery. God extends His grace to men as guilty; His mercy to them as miserable (Trench).

Jesus Christ. A Delta G f g, Vulgate, read the order, 'Christ Jesus.' In the pastoral letters "Christ" is often before "Jesus," to give prominence to the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messianic promises, well-known to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:15), in Jesus.

Verse 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,

Timothy's superintendence of the church at Ephesus was as temporary overseer, locum tenens, for the apostle. Thus the office at Ephesus and (Titus 1:5) Crete, in the absence of the presiding apostle, subsequently became a permanent institution on the removal, by death, of the apostles who heretofore superintended the churches. The first title of these overseers was "angels" (Revelation 1:20).

As I besought thee to abide. He meant to add, 'so I still beseech thee;' but does not complete the sentence until virtually, not formally, at 1 Timothy 1:18.

At Ephesus. Paul, in Acts 20:25, declared to the Ephesian elders, "I know that ye all shall see my face no more." If, then, as the arguments favour (see 'Introduction'), this letter was written subsequently to Paul's first imprisonment, the meaning of his prophecy was, not that he should never visit Ephesus again (which this verse implies be did), but that 'they all should see his face no more.' This verse is hardly compatible with Birks' theory, that Paul did not actually visit Ephesus, though in its immediate neighbourhood (cf. 1 Timothy 3:14; 1 Timothy 4:13).

I besought - a mild word, instead of authoritative command, to Timothy, as a fellow-helper.

Some - slightly contemptuous (Galatians 2:12; Jude 1:4) (Ellicott).

Teach no other doctrine - than what I have taught (Galatians 1:6-9). His prophetic bodings years before (Acts 20:29-30) were now being realized (cf. 1 Timothy 6:3).

Verse 4

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

Fables - incipient Gnostic legends about the origin and propagation of angels, as at Colosse (Colossians 2:18-23). Rather, "Jewish fables" (Titus 1:14). "Profane and old wives' fables" (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:4).

Genealogies. Not merely genealogies common among the Jews, tracing their descent from the patriarchs, which Paul would not class with "fables," but Gnostic genealogies of spirits and aeons, or emanations (Alford). So Tertullian, 'Adversus Valentinianos,' ch. 3:, and Irenaeus, 'Praef.' The Judaizers here, while maintaining the obligation of the Mosaic law, joined with it a theosophic ascetic tendency, pretending to see in it mysteries deeper than others. The seeds, not the full-grown Gnosticism of the post apostolic age, then existed. This formed the transition between Judaism and Gnosticism. "Endless" implies their tedious unprofitableness (cf. Titus 3:9). Scripture opposes to their 'aeons' the 'King of the aeons (so Greek, 1 Timothy 1:17), to whom be glory throughout the aeons of aeons.' The word 'aeons' was possibly not used in the technical Gnostic sense as yet; but "the only wise God" (1 Timothy 1:17), by anticipation, confutes subsequent notions in the Gnostics' own phraseology.

Questions - of speculation (Acts 25:20), not practical; generating merely curious discussions.

Which, [ haitines (G3748)] - 'inasmuch as they' (1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:14; 2 Timothy 2:23). "Vain jangling" (1 Timothy 1:6-7) of would-be "teachers of the law."

Godly edifying. So Delta f g, Vulgate. But A G 'Aleph (') read 'the dispensation [ oikonomian (G3622) for oikodomeen (G3618)] of God,' the Gospel dispensation originating from God toward man (1 Corinthians 9:17), which is (has its element) in faith; not 'questioning' (1 Timothy 1:5, end). Conybeare, the stewardship of God,' He infers that the false teachers in Ephesus were presbyters,which accords with the prophecy, Acts 20:30; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2.

Verse 5

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

Now - Greek, 'But,' in contrast to the unedifying doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3-4).

The end - the aim.

The commandment, [ parangelias (G3852)] - 'of the charge:' the same "charge" as 1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:18; here including the gospel 'dispensation of God' (note, 1 Timothy 1:4; 1 Timothy 1:11), the sum and substance of the "charge" (the practical, preceptive teaching) committed to Timothy wherewith to "charge" his flock.

Charity - LOVE: the sum and end of the law and Gospel alike; that wherein the Gospel fulfils the spirit of the law in its every essential tittle (Romans 13:10). The foundation is faith (1 Timothy 1:4), the "end" is love (1 Timothy 1:14; Titus 3:15); whereas the 'questions gender strife' (2 Timothy 2:23).

Out of - springing as from a fountain.

Pure heart - purified by faith (Luke 10:27; Acts 15:9; 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Peter 1:22). The heart, the center of the feelings and the imaginations of the soul.

Good conscience - cleared from guilt by sound faith in Christ (Acts 23:1; Acts 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:9; 2 Timothy 1:3; 1 Peter 3:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Hebrews 13:18). John uses "heart" where Paul uses "conscience." In Paul the understanding is the seat of conscience, the heart of love (Bengel). A good conscience is joined with sound faith; a bad conscience, with unsound faith (cf. Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 9:14). Conscience is threefold-an exponent of moral law, a judge, and a sentiment (McCosh in 'Ellicott').

Faith unfeigned - not hypocritical and unfruitful, but working by love (Galatians 5:6). So "unfeigned" is said of "love," Romans 12:9; brotherly love, 1 Peter 1:21; the wisdom from above, James 3:17. Faith is feigned where there is not "good conscience." The false teachers drew men off from a loving, working, real faith, to profitless, speculative "questions" (1 Timothy 1:4): they were just the opposite, "of corrupt minds," 1 Timothy 6:5; "conscience seared," 1 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:15, "unbelieving;" "reprobate concerning the faith," 2 Timothy 3:8: cf. Hebrews 3:12.

Verse 6

From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

From which - namely, from a pure heart, good conscience, and faith unfeigned, the well-spring of love.

Having swerved, [ astocheesantes (G795)] - 'having missed the mark (the "end") to be aimed at;' namely, "love." Translated "erred," 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 2:18. Instead of aiming right, and attaining "love," they "have turned aside (1 Timothy 5:15; 2 Timothy 4:4; Hebrews 12:13) unto vain-jangling" [ mataiologian (G3150), 'vain talk]' about the law and genealogies (1 Timothy 1:7; Titus 1:10; Titus 3:9; 6:20 ). It is the greatest 'vanity' when divine things are not truthfully discussed (Romans 1:21) (Bengel).

Verse 7

Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

Sample of their 'vain talk.'

Desiring - would-be teachers; not really so.

The law - the Jewish law (Titus 1:14; Titus 3:9). The Judaizers in the letters to the Galatians and Romans made the works of the law necessary to justification, in opposition to Gospel grace. The Judaizers here corrupted the law with "fables" added on to it, subversive of morals as well as truth. Their error was not in maintaining the obligation of the law, but in ignorantly abusing it by fabulous and immoral interpretations.

Neither what they say, nor whereof - neither understanding their own asseverations nor the object about which they make them.

Verse 8

But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

But - "Now we know" (Romans 3:19; Romans 7:14): as an admitted principle.

Law is good - accordant with God's moral goodness.

If a man - primarily, a teacher; then, every Christian.

Use it lawfully - in its lawful place in the Gospel economy; namely, not as a means of a "righteous man" attaining higher perfection than by the Gospel alone (Titus 1:14) (the perverted use to which the false teachers put it, appending fabulous interpretations of it to the Gospel), but to awaken the sense of sin in the ungodly (1 Timothy 1:9-10: cf. Romans 7:7-12; Galatians 3:21).

Verse 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,

Law is not made [ keitai (G2749 ): fixed: enacted] for a righteous man - standing by faith in the righteousness of Christ, put on him for justification, and put in him by the Spirit for sanctification: so not judicially amenable to the law. For sanctification the law gives no inward power. Alford goes too far in saying the righteous man does 'not morally need the law.' Doubtless, in proportion as he is led by the Spirit, the justified man needs not the outward rule (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:18; Galatians 5:23). But as he often gives not himself up wholly to the inward Spirit, he morally needs the outward law to show him his sin and God's requirements. The reason why the ten commandments have no power to condemn the Christian is not that they have no authority over him, but because Christ has fulfilled them as our surety (Romans 10:4).

Lawless - passively.

Disobedient - actively. [ Anupotaktois (G506), 'not subject,' insubordinate, "unruly" (Titus 1:6; Titus 1:10).] "Lawless and disobedient" are opposers of the law; "ungodly and ... sinners" [ asebesi (G765) kai (G2532) hamartoolois (G268)] are the irreverent and openly sinning against God, from whom the law comes; sinners against the first and second commandments: "unholy and profane" [ anosiois (G462) kai (G2532) bebeelois (G952)] are the inwardly impure, or else impious, and those deserving exclusion from the sanctuary, sinners against the third and fourth commandments; "murderers [ patrolooais (G3964), meetrolooais (G3389); rather, as parricide would be so rare as not to require a special law, smiters] of fathers and ... mothers" (Exodus 21:15; Leviticus 20:9), against the Fifth Commandment; 'man-slayers,' against the Sixth Commandment.

Verse 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;

Whoremongers ... - against the Seventh Commandment.

Men-stealers - i:e., slave-dealers. The worst offence against the eighth commandment. Stealing a man's goods is light compared with stealing a man's liberty. Slavery is not directly assailed by Christianity: its aim was not to revolutionize violently the existing order; but it teaches principles sure to undermine and overthrow slavery wherever Christianity has its natural development (Matthew 7:12).

Liars ... perjured - against the Ninth Commandment.

If there be any other thing ... - the Tenth Commandment in its widest aspect. He does not particularly specify it, his object being to bring out grosser forms of transgression; whereas the Tenth Commandment is so deeply spiritual that by it the sense of sin, in its subtlest form, "lust" (Romans 7:7), was brought home to Paul's own conscience. Paul argues, these would-be teachers of the law while boasting of a higher perfection through it, really fall down from Gospel elevation to the level of the grossly "lawless," for whom, not for believers, the law was designed. In practice, sticklers for the law, as the means of moral perfection, are most liable to fall from the morality of the law. Gospel grace is the only true means of sanctification as well as justification.

Sound, [ hugiainouse (G5198)] - healthy, spiritually wholesome (1 Timothy 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:13; Titus 2:2), as opposed to diseased, morbid [ noson (G3554), "doting," 1 Timothy 6:4 ], and "canker" (2 Timothy 2:17); which unhealthy symptoms appearing at the period of the pastoral letters, cause the use of the terms "sound," 'wholesome' for the first time.

Verse 11

According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

According to the glorious gospel (Romans 2:16). The Christian's freedom from the law as a sanctifier, as well as a justifier (1 Timothy 1:9-10), accords with the Gospel of (i:e., which manifests) the glory [ to (G3588) euangelion (G2098) tees (G3588) doxees (G1391): note, 2 Corinthians 4:4 ] of the blessed God. The Gospel manifests God's "glory" (Romans 9:23; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 3:16) in accounting "righteous" the believer, through the righteousness of Christ, without "the law" (1 Timothy 1:9); and in imparting that righteousness whereby he loathes those sins against which (1 Timothy 1:9-10) the law is directed. "Blessed" indicates at once immortality and self-derived happiness. The supremely - "blessed" One is He from whom all our Gospel blessedness flows: applied to GOD only here and 1 Timothy 6:15: appropriate in contrast to the curse on those under the law (1 Timothy 1:9; Galatians 3:10).

Committed to my trust. The Greek order brings into emphasis Paul, 'committed in trust to ME;' in contrast to the law-teaching which they (who had no Gospel-commission) assumed to themselves (1 Timothy 1:7-8; Titus 1:3).

Verse 12

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

The honour of having the Gospel ministry committed to him suggests the digression to what he once was, no better (1 Timothy 1:13) than those lawless ones above (1 Timothy 1:9-10), when the grace of our Lord (1 Timothy 1:14) visited him.

And. So Delta. Omitted in 'Aleph (') A G g, Vulgate.

I thank, [ charin (G5484) echoo (G2192)] - 'I have (i:e., feel) gratitude' (1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 3:8). Paul can never allude to God's mercy to him without an outburst of thanksgiving.

Enabled me, for ... the ministry, [ endunamposanti (G1743)] - 'put power in me.' Except in Paul's letters, found nowhere except Acts 9:22. An undesigned coincidence between Paul and Luke, his companion. Man is by nature "without strength" for good (Romans 5:6). Conversion confers spiritual power.

For that (the cause of his 'thanking Christ') he counted me faithful - in His predestinating foresight (1 Corinthians 7:25); the proof of which is His

Putting me into - rather (1 Thessalonians 5:9), 'appointing me (in His sovereign purpose of grace) unto the ministry' (Acts 20:24). Faithfulness is the quality required in stewards (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).

Verse 13

Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Who was - `Though I was.'

A blasphemer (Acts 26:9-11) - toward God. Persecutor (Galatians 1:13) - toward fellow-men.

Injurious, [ hubristeen (G5197)] - 'insolent outrager.' One who adds insult to injury (Romans 1:30). [Uppish in myself: from huper (G5228).] This threefold relation to God, one's neighbour, one's self, occurs often (1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:9; 1 Timothy 1:14; Titus 2:12).

I obtained mercy, [ eeleeetheen (G1653)] - I was had mercy upon. God's mercy, and Paul's want of it, are in sharpest contrast (Ellicott). The sense of mercy was uppermost in Paul's mind. Those who have most experienced mercy can best show it (Hebrews 5:2-3).

Because I did it ignorantly. His ignorance was culpable; for he might have known, if he had sought aright: but it is less culpable than sinning against light and knowledge. His ignorance gave him no claim on, but put him within the range of, God's mercy. Hence, it is Christ's plea (Luke 23:34), and is made by the apostles a mitigating circumstance in the Jews' sin; opening a door of hope upon repentance; showing how it was possible that such a sinner could be the object of mercy (Acts 3:17; Romans 10:2). The positive ground of mercy being shown lay solely in the compassion of God (Titus 3:5). The ground of ignorance lay in unbelief, which is guilt. But there is a difference between mistaken zeal for the law and willful striving against the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:24-32: Luke 11:52).

Verse 14

And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

And, [ De (G1161)] - 'But.' Not only was mercy shown me, but, etc.

The grace - by which 'I was had mercy upon' (1 Timothy 1:13).

Was exceeding abundant, [ huperepleonasen (G5250)] - 'superabounded.' Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Romans 5:20)

With (accompanied with) faith - in contrast to "unbelief" (1 Timothy 1:13).

Love - in contrast to his cruelty to believers, as "a blasphemer ... persecutor, and injurious."

Which is in Christ - as its element and its source, whence it flows to us.

Verse 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.

Faithful - worthy of credit, because "God" who says it "is faithful" to His word (1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6): the phrase, faithful saying, is unique to the pastoral letters (1 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8). Greek, 'Faithful is the saying.' The New Testament prophets' inspired sayings had the same authority as the Old Testament Scriptures, and were accepted as axioms among Christians: soon they became embodied in New Testament Scripture. John, writing to the same church, Ephesus (one of the seven), records the same expression (Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6: cf. 1 Kings 10:6).

All - all possible: to be received by all, with all the faculties of the soul, mind, and heart. Paul, unlike the false teachers (1 Timothy 1:7), understands what he says, and whereof he affirms; he confutes their abstruse unpractical speculations by the simple, but grand, truth of salvation through Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18-28).

Acceptation - reception (as of a boon) into the heart, as well as the understanding, with all gladness: faith welcoming and appropriating the Gospel offer (Acts 2:41).

Christ - as promised.

Jesus - as manifested (Bengel).

Came into the world - which was full of sin (John 1:29; John 16:28; Romans 5:12; 1 John 2:2). This implies his pre-existence.

To save sinners - even notable sinners, like Saul of Tarsus. His instance was unrivaled in the greatness of the sin and of the mercy; that the consenter to Stephen, the proto-martyr's death, should be the successor of the same! "Devout men" carried Stephen to his burial; and "a devout man according to the law," Ananias (Acts 8:2; Acts 22:12), introduced Saul, Stephen's successor, into the Church.

I am - not merely, 'I was' (1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 3:8: cf. Luke 18:13). To each believer his own sins always appear greater than those of others, which he never can know as he does his own.

Chief - same Greek as 1 Timothy 1:16, "first." Translate in both verses, 'foremost.' Where there was mercy for him there is mercy for all who will come to Christ (Luke 19:10).

Verse 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.

Howbeit - contrasting his own conscious sinfulness with God's gracious mercy to him.

That in me - in my case. As I was 'foremost' (1 Timothy 1:15) in sin, so God has made me the 'foremost' (not "first") sample of mercy.

Show - to His own glory [ endeixeetai (G1731): middle voice, Ephesians 2:7 ].

All long-suffering, [ teen (G3588) hapasan (G5370) - 'the whole (of His)] long-suffering;' namely, in bearing so long with me while a persecutor.

A pattern, [ hupotupoosin (G5296), 'for an adumbration:' 'for a type-like sample of (for) them,' etc. (1 Corinthians 10:6; 1 Corinthians 10:11: tupoi (G5179))] - to assure the greatest sinners that they shall not be rejected in coming to Christ, since even Saul found mercy. No greater long-suffering can be required in the case of any other than was exercised in my case. So David made his own pardon, notwithstanding his great sin, a sample to encourage other sinners to seek pardon (Psalms 33:5-6). Literally, 'a sketch' or outline-the 'filling up to take place in each man's case.

Believe on him - belief rests ON Him, the only foundation on which faith relies. [ Pisteuein (G4100) autoo (G846) expresses simply believing Him; pisteuein (G4100) en (G1722) autoo (G846) involves union with Him; pisteuein (G4100) eis (G1519) auton (G846) (only in John and Peter), a fuller mystical union, with the notion of mental motion toward; pisteuein epi autoo, reliance upon; pisteuein epi auton, mental motion toward, with a view to reliance on, Him (Ellicott).]

To life everlasting - the ultimate aim which faith always keeps in view (Titus 1:2).

Verse 17

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

A suitable conclusion to the beautifully-simple Gospel enunciation, of which his own history is a living pattern. It is from experimental sense of grace that the doxology flows (Bengel).

The King eternal - literally, 'King of the (eternal) ages.' [Septuagint, ton (G3588) aioona (G165), kai (G2532) ep' (G1909) aioonoon (G165), kai (G2532) eti (G2089) (Exodus 15:18, 'The Lord shall reign for ages and beyond them') (Psalms 145:13, margin.)] The "life everlasting" (1 Timothy 1:16) suggested 'the King everlasting.' It answers to "forever and ever" - literally, 'to the ages of the ages' (the countless succession of ages made up of ages).

Immortal. So Delta f, Vulgate. But A G g read 'incorruptible' [apthartoo for athanatoo] (Romans 1:23).

Invisible (1 Timothy 6:16; Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 11:27).

The only wise God. So C. But 'Aleph (') A Delta G f g, Vulgate, omit "wise," which probably crept in from Romans 16:27 (Jude 1:25; 1 Timothy 6:15; Psalms 86:10; Greek, John 5:44).

Honour and glory in doxology only here and Revelation 5:13 Honour and glory - in doxology, only here and Revelation 5:13.

Forever ... The thought of eternity (terrible to unbelievers) is delightful to those assured of grace (1 Timothy 1:16) (Bengel).

Verse 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;

He resumes 1 Timothy 1:3. The conclusion to the "As I besought thee ... charge" (1 Timothy 1:3) is here given, not formally, but substantially.

This charge - namely, 'That thou in them mightest war,' etc.; i:e., fulfill thy Christian and ministerial calling one function of which is to "charge some that they teach no other doctrine" (1 Timothy 1:3). This verse is the general conclusion; 1 Timothy 1:3-11, the direct charges; 1 Timothy 1:12-16, Paul's authority; 1 Timothy 1:18-19, the substance of his previous injunctions (Ellicott).

I commit, [ paratithemai (G3908)] - as a sacred deposit (1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 2:2) for the good of thy hearers.

According to - inconsonance with.

The prophecies which went before on [ epi (G1909 ): referring to] thee - the intimations, given by prophets respecting thy future zeal and success, at thy ordination, 1 Timothy 4:14 (probably by Silas, a companion of Paul and "a prophet," and others; Acts 15:32). Such prophecies and the good report of Timothy given by the two churches, Lystra (the scene of his conversion) and Iconium, where under the elders he probably had been "messenger of the churches" (2 Corinthians 8:23; Acts 14:21; Acts 14:23; Acts 16:2), induced Paul to take him as his companion. Compare similar prophecies (Acts 13:1-3) in connection with laying on of hands; 11:28; 21:10-11: cf. 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:1; Ephesians 4:11. In Acts 20:28, it is expressly said, 'the Holy Spirit had made the Ephesian presbyters overseers.' Clement of Rome, 'Epist. ad Corinthios,' states it was the custom of the apostles 'to make trial by the Spirit' - i:e., by the 'power of discerning'-in order to choose overseers and deacons in the several churches. So Clement of Alexandria says, as to the churches near Ephesus, that the overseers were marked out for ordination by a revelation of the Holy Spirit to John.

By (Greek, in) them - arrayed in them as thine armour.

Warfare - not the mere "fight" (1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7), but the whole campaign [ teen (G3588) kaleen (G2570) strateian (G4752), 'the good warfare.']

Verse 19

Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

Holding - Keeping hold of "faith;" and "good conscience" (1 Timothy 1:5); not 'putting this away' as "some." The faith is the precious liquor; good conscience, the clean glass that contains it (Bengel). The loss of good conscience entails shipwreck of the faith. Consciousness of sin (not repented of and forgiven) kills the germ of faith (Wiesinger).

Which, [ hen (G1520)] - singular; namely, "good conscience;" not "faith" also.

Put away - a willful act [ apoosamenoi (G683), 'thrust away.'] They thrust it from them as a troublesome monitor (Acts 13:46, Greek). It reluctantly withdraws, extruded by force, when its owner is tired of its importunity, and is resolved to retain his sin at the cost of losing it. One cannot be at once on friendly terms with it and with sin.

Made ship-wreck. The faith is the vessel in which they had professedly embarked, of which "good conscience" is the anchor. The ancient church often compared the course of faith to navigation. The Greek does not imply that they having once had faith, made shipwreck of it, but that they who put away good conscience 'made shipwreck with respect to THE [ teen (G3588)] faith.'

Verse 20

Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Hymeneus - probably the Hymeneus of 2 Timothy 2:17-18. Though 'delivered over to Satan' (the lord of all outside the church, Acts 26:18, and the executor of wrath, when judicially allowed by God, on the disobedient, 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:27), he was restored to the Church subsequently, and again troubled it. Paul, as an apostle, though distant at Rome, pronounced the sentence of excommunication to be executed at Ephesus (Matthew 18:17-18). The sentence operated not only spiritually but physically, sickness, or some such visitation, falling on the excommunicated, in order to bring him to repentance. "Alexander" is probably "the coppersmith" who did Paul "much evil" when the latter visited Ephesus. The 'delivering him to Satan' was the consequence of his withstanding the apostle (2 Timothy 4:14-15): as the sentence on Hymeneus was for his "saying that the resurrection is past already;'' his putting away good conscience, producing shipwreck concerning the FAITH (1 Timothy 1:19). If one's religion better not his morals, his moral deficiencies will corrupt his religion. The rain which falls pure from heaven will not continue pure, if received in an unclean vessel (Dr. Whately). He possibly was the Alexander, then a Jew, put forward by the Jews against Paul at the riot in Ephesus (Acts 19:33).

That they may - not 'might:' the effect still continues: the sentence is as yet unremoved.

Learn, [ paideuthoosin (G3811)] - 'be disciplined;' namely, by chastisement and suffering. Blaspheme - God and Christ, by doings and teachings unworthy of their profession (Romans 2:23-24; James 2:7). Though the apostles, being infallible, could excommunicate judicially, with bodily inflictions miraculously sent (2 Corinthians 10:8), it does not follow that fallible ministers now have any power, except that of excluding from church-fellowship immoral people who notorious lives.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-timothy-1.html. 1871-8.
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