Attention!
Tired of seeing ads while studying? Now you can enjoy an "Ads Free" version of the site for as little as 10¢ a day and support a great cause!
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

1 Timothy 1

Verse 1

According to the commandment (κατ' επιταγην). A late Koine word (Polybius, Diodorus), but a Pauline word also in N.T. This very idiom ("by way of command") in 1 Corinthians 7:6; 2 Corinthians 8:8; Romans 16:26; 1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:3. Paul means to say that he is an apostle under orders.

Of God our Saviour (θεου σωτηρος ημων). Genitive case with επιταγην. In the LXX σωτηρ (old word from σωζω for agent in saving, applied to deities, princes, kings, etc.) occurs 20 times, all but two to God. The Romans called the emperor "Saviour God." In the N.T. the designation of God as Saviour is peculiar to Luke 1:47; Judges 1:25; 1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4. In the other Epistles Paul uses it of Christ (Philippians 3:20; Ephesians 5:23) as in 2 Timothy 1:10. In 2 Peter 1:1 we have "our God and Saviour Jesus Christ" as in Titus 2:13.

Our hope (της ελπιδος ημων). Like Colossians 1:27. More than the author and object of hope, "its very substance and foundation" (Ellicott).

Verse 2

True (γνησιω). Legitimate, not spurious. Old word from γινομα, but Pauline only in N.T. (Philippians 4:3; 2 Corinthians 8:8; Titus 1:4). In Philippians 2:20 the adverb γνησιως occurs and of Timothy again.

Christ Jesus (Χριστου Ιησου). So twice already in verse 1 Timothy 1:1 and as usual in the later Epistles (Colossians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1).

Verse 3

As I exhorted (καθως παρεκαλεσα). There is an ellipse of the principal clause in verse 1 Timothy 1:4 ( so do I now not being in the Greek).

To tarry (προσμεινα). First aorist active infinitive of προσμενω, old verb, attributed by Luke to Paul in Acts 13:43.

That thou mightest charge (ινα παραγγειληις). Subfinal clause with ινα and the first aorist active subjunctive of παραγγελλω, old verb, to transmit a message along (παρα) from one to another. See 2 Thessalonians 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Lock considers this idiom here an elliptical imperative like Ephesians 4:29; Ephesians 5:33.

Certain men (τισιν). Dative case. Expressly vague (no names as in 1 Timothy 1:20), though Paul doubtless has certain persons in Ephesus in mind.

Not to teach a different doctrine (μη ετεροδιδασκαλειν). Earliest known use of this compound like κακοδιδασκαλειν of Clement of Rome. Only other N.T. example in 1 Timothy 6:3. Eusebius has ετεροδιδασκαλος. Same idea in Galatians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Romans 16:17. Perhaps coined by Paul.

Verse 4

To give heed (προσεχειν). With νουν understood. Old and common idiom in N.T. especially in Luke and Acts (Acts 8:10). Not in Paul's earlier Epistles. 1 Timothy 3:8; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:13; Titus 1:14.

To fables (μυθοις). Dative case of old word for speech, narrative, story, fiction, falsehood. In N.T. only 2 Peter 1:16; 1 Timothy 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:7; Titus 1:14; 2 Timothy 4:4.

Genealogies (γενεαλογιαις). Dative of old word, in LXX, in N.T. only here and Titus 3:9.

Endless (απεραντοις). Old verbal compound (from α privative and περαινω, to go through), in LXX, only here in N.T. Excellent examples there for old words used only in the Pastorals because of the subject matter, describing the Gnostic emphasis on aeons.

Questionings (εκζητησεις). "Seekings out." Late and rare compound from εκζητεω (itself Koine word, Romans 3:11 from LXX and in papyri). Here only in N.T. Simplex ζητησις in Acts 15:2; 1 Timothy 6:4; Titus 3:9; 2 Timothy 2:23.

A dispensation (οικονομιαν). Pauline word (1 Corinthians 9:17; Colossians 1:25; Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 3:9; 1 Timothy 1:4), Luke 16:2-4 only other N.T. examples.

In faith (εν πιστε). Pauline use of πιστις.

Verse 5

The end (το τελος). See Romans 6:21; Romans 10:4 for τελος (the good aimed at, reached, result, end).

Love (αγαπη). Not "questionings." Romans 13:9. "Three conditions for the growth of love" (Parry): "Out of a pure heart" (εκ καθαρας καρδιας, O.T. conception), "and a good conscience" (κα συνειδησεως αγαθης, for which see Romans 2:25), "and faith unfeigned" (κα πιστεως ανυποκριτου, late compound verbal in 2 Corinthians 6:6; Romans 12:9).

Verse 6

Having swerved (αστοχησαντες). First aorist active participle of αστοχεω, compound Koine verb (Polybius, Plutarch) from αστοχος (α privative and στοχος, a mark), "having missed the mark." In N.T. only here, 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 2:18. With the ablative case ων (which).

Have turned aside (εξετραπησαν). Second aorist passive indicative of εκτρεπω, old and common verb, to turn or twist out or aside. In medical sense in Hebrews 12:13. As metaphor in 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 4:4.

Vain talking (ματαιολογιαν). Late word from ματαιολογος, only here in N.T., in the literary Koine.

Verse 7

Teachers of the law (νομοδιδασκαλο). Compound only in N.T. (here, Luke 5:17; Acts 5:34) and ecclesiastical writers.

Though they understand (νοουντες). Concessive participle of νοεω, old verb (Ephesians 3:4; Ephesians 3:20).

Neither what (μητε α). Relative α (which things).

Nor whereof (μητε περ τινων). Here the interrogative τινων used in sense of relative ων. It may be regarded as the use of an indirect question for variety (Parry).

They confidently affirm (διαβεβαιουντα). Present middle indicative of the common Koine compound, in N.T. only here and Titus 3:8.

Verse 8

If a man use it lawfully (εαν τις αυτω χρητα). Condition of third class with εαν and present middle subjunctive of χραομα with instrumental case.

Verse 9

Is not made for (ου κειτα). The use of κειτα for τεθειτα (perfect passive of τιθημ) is a common enough idiom. See the same point about law in 1 Timothy 1:18-23; Romans 13:13. For "knowing this" (ειδως τουτο) see Ephesians 5:5.

Unruly (ανυποτακτοις). Dative (like all these words) of the late verbal (α privative and υποτασσω). In N.T. only here, Titus 1:6; Titus 1:10; Hebrews 2:8.

Ungodly (ασεβεσ). See Romans 4:5; Romans 5:6.

Sinners (αμαρτωλοις). See Romans 3:7.

Unholy (ανοσιοις). Common word (α privative and οσιος. In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 3:2.

Profane (βεβηλοις). Old word from βαινω, to go, and βηλος, threshold. See Hebrews 12:16.

Murderers of fathers (πατρολωιαις). Late form for common Attic πατραλωιαις (from πατηρ, father, and αλοιαω, to smite) only here in N.T.

Murderers of mothers (μητρολωιαις). Late form Attic μητραλωιαις. Only here in N.T.

Manslayers (ανδραφονοις). Old compound (ανηρ, man, φονος, murder). Only here in N.T.

Verse 10

For abusers of themselves with men (αρσενοκοιταις). Late compound for sodomites. In N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 6:9.

Men-stealers (ανδραποδισταις). Old word from ανδραποδιζω (from ανηρ, man, πους, foot, to catch by the foot), to enslave. So enslavers, whether kidnappers (men-stealers) of free men or stealers of the slaves of other men. So slave-dealers. By the use of this word Paul deals a blow at the slave-trade (cf. Philemon).

Liars (ψευσταις). Old word, see Romans 3:4.

False swearers (επιορκοις). Old word (επι, ορκος, oath). Perjurers. Only here in N.T. For similar lists, see 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19; Romans 1:28; Romans 13:13; Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:5; 2 Timothy 3:2.

The sound doctrine (τη υγιαινουση διδασκαλια). Dative case after αντικειτα, for which verb see Galatians 5:17 for the conflict between the Spirit and the flesh. "The healthful (υγιαινω, old word for being well, as Luke 5:31; 3 John 1:2, in figurative sense in N.T. only in the Pastorals) teaching." See Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 4:3.

Verse 11

Of the blessed God (του μακαριου θεου). Applied to God only here and 1 Timothy 6:15, but in Titus 2:13 μακαριος occurs with ελπις (hope) of the "epiphany of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ."

Which was committed to my trust (ο επιστευθην εγω). "with which (ο accusative retained with first aorist passive verb επιστευθην) I was entrusted."

Verse 12

I thank (χαριν εχω). "I have gratitude to." Common phrase (Luke 17:9), not elsewhere in Paul.

That enabled me (τω ενδυναμωσαντ με). First aorist active articular participle of ενδυναμοω. Late verb, but regular Pauline idiom (Romans 4:20; Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 6:10; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:17).

Appointing me to his service (θεμενος εις διακονιαν). Second aorist middle participle. Pauline phrase and atmosphere (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:18; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Colossians 1:23; Colossians 3:7; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 4:5; 2 Timothy 4:11).

Verse 13

Before (το προτερον). Accusative of general reference of the articular comparative, "as to the former-time," formerly, as in Galatians 4:13.

Though I was (οντα). Concessive participle agreeing with με.

Blasphemer (βλασφημον). Old word either from βλαξ (stupid) and φημη, speech, or from βλαπτω, to injure. Rare in N.T. but Paul uses βλασφημεω, to blaspheme in Romans 2:24.

Persecutor (διωκτης). So far found only here. Probably made by Paul from διωκω, which he knew well enough (Acts 22:4; Acts 22:7; Acts 26:14; Galatians 1:13; Galatians 1:23; Philippians 3:6; 2 Timothy 3:12).

Injurious (υβριστην). Substantive, not adjective, "an insolent man." Old word from υβριζω, in N.T. only here and Romans 1:30.

I obtained mercy (ελεηθην). First aorist passive indicative of ελεεω, old verb. See 2 Corinthians 4:1; Romans 11:30.

Ignorantly (αγνοων). Present active participle of αγνοεω, "not knowing." Old verb (Romans 2:4). In a blindness of heart.

In unbelief (εν απιστια). See Romans 11:20; Romans 11:25.

Verse 14

Abounded exceedingly (υπερεπλεονασεν). Aorist active indicative of the late and rare (Song of Solomon 5:19 and in Herond.) compound υπερπλεοναζω (here alone in N.T.), in later ecclesiastical writers. The simplex πλεοναζω Paul used in Romans 5:20; Romans 6:1 and the kindred υπερεπερισσευσεν used also with η χαρις. Paul is fond of compounds with υπερ. For "faith in Christ Jesus" see Galatians 3:26, for "faith and love in Christ Jesus" as here, see 2 Timothy 1:13.

Verse 15

Faithful is the saying (πιστος ο λογος). Five times in the Pastorals (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; Titus 3:8; 2 Timothy 2:11). It will pay to note carefully πιστισ, πιστευω, πιστος. Same use of πιστος (trustworthy) applied to λογος in Titus 1:9; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6. Here and probably in 2 Timothy 2:11 a definite saying seems to be referred to, possibly a quotation (οτ) of a current saying quite like the Johannine type of teaching. This very phrase (Christ coming into the world) occurs in John 9:37; John 11:27; John 16:28; John 18:37. Paul, of course, had no access to the Johannine writings, but such "sayings" were current among the disciples. There is no formal quotation, but "the whole phrase implies a knowledge of Synoptic and Johannine language" (Lock) as in Luke 5:32; John 12:47.

Acceptation (αποδοχης). Genitive case with αξιος (worthy of). Late word (Polybius, Diod., Jos.) in N.T. only here and 1 Timothy 4:9.

Chief (πρωτος). Not ην (I was), but ειμ (I am). "It is not easy to think of any one but St. Paul as penning these words" (White). In 1 Corinthians 15:9 he had called himself "the least of the apostles" (ελαχιστος των αποστολων). In Ephesians 3:8 he refers to himself as "the less than the least of all saints" (τω ελαχιστοτερω παντων αγιων). On occasion Paul would defend himself as on a par with the twelve apostles (Galatians 2:6-10) and superior to the Judaizers (2 Corinthians 11:5; 2 Corinthians 12:11). It is not mock humility here, but sincere appreciation of the sins of his life (cf. Romans 7:24) as a persecutor of the church of God (Galatians 1:13), of men and even women (Acts 22:4; Acts 26:11). He had sad memories of those days.

Verse 16

In me as chief (εν εμο πρωτω). Probably starts with the same sense of πρωτος as in verse 1 Timothy 1:15 (rank), but turns to order (first in line). Paul becomes the "specimen" sinner as an encouragement to all who come after him.

Might shew forth (ενδειξητα). First aorist middle subjunctive (purpose with ινα) of ενδεικνυμ, to point out, for which see Ephesians 2:7 (same form with ινα).

Longsuffering (μακροθυμιαν). Common Pauline word (2 Corinthians 6:6).

For an ensample (προς υποτυπωσιν). Late and rare word (in Galen, Sext. Emp., Diog. Laert., here only in N.T.) from late verb υποτυποω (in papyri) to outline. So substantive here is a sketch, rough outline. Paul is a sample of the kind of sinners that Jesus came to save. See υποδειγμα in 2 Peter 2:6.

Verse 17

This noble doxology is a burst of gratitude for God's grace to Paul. For other doxologies see Galatians 1:5; Romans 11:36; Romans 16:27; Philippians 4:20; Ephesians 3:21; 1 Timothy 6:16. White suggests that Paul may have often used this doxology in his prayers. Lock suggests "a Jewish liturgical formula" (a needless suggestion in view of Paul's wealth of doxologies seen above). For God's creative activity (King of the ages) see 1 Corinthians 10:11; Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 3:9; Ephesians 3:11.

Incorruptible (αφθαρτω). As an epithet of God also in Romans 1:23.

Invisible (αορατω). Epithet of God in Colossians 1:15.

The only God (μονω θεω). So Romans 16:27; John 5:44; John 17:3.

For ever and ever (εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων). "Unto the ages of ages." Cf. Ephesians 3:21 "of the age of the ages."

Verse 18

I commit (παρατιθεμα). Present middle indicative of old and common verb, to place beside (παρα) as food on table, in the middle to entrust (Luke 12:48) and used by Jesus as he was dying (Luke 23:46). Here it is a banking figure and repeated in 2 Timothy 2:2.

According to the prophecies which went before on thee (κατα τας προαγουσας επ σε προφητειας). Intransitive use of προαγω, to go before. When Timothy first comes before us (Acts 16:2) "he was testified to" (εμαρτυρειτο) by the brethren. He began his ministry rich in hopes, prayers, predictions.

That by them thou mayest war the good warfare (ινα στρατευη εν αυταις την καλην στρατειαν). Cognate accusative (στρατειαν, old word from στρατευω, in N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 4:4) with στρατευη (second person singular middle present subjunctive of στρατευω, old verb chiefly in Paul in N.T., 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 10:3). As if in defensive armour.

Verse 19

Holding faith and a good conscience (εχων πιστιν κα αγαθην συνειδησιν). Possibly as a shield (Ephesians 6:16) or at any rate possessing (Romans 2:20) faith as trust and a good conscience. A leader expects them of his followers and must show them himself.

Having thrust from them (απωσαμενο). First aorist indirect middle participle of απωθεω, to push away from one. Old verb (see Romans 11:1).

Made shipwreck (εναυαγησαν). First aorist active indicative of ναυαγεω, old verb from ναυαγος (shipwrecked, ναυς, ship, αγνυμ, to break), to break a ship to pieces. In N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 11:25.

Concerning the faith (περ την πιστιν). Rather, "concerning their faith" (the article here used as a possessive pronoun, a common Greek idiom).

Verse 20

Hymenaeus (Hυμεναιος). The same heretic reappears in 2 Timothy 2:17. He and Alexander are the chief "wreckers" of faith in Ephesus.

Alexander (Αλεξανδρος). Probably the same as the one in 2 Timothy 4:14, but not the Jew of that name in Acts 19:33, unless he had become a Christian since then.

I delivered unto Satan (παρεδωκα τω Σατανα). See this very idiom (παραδουνα τω Σατανα) in 1 Corinthians 5:5. It is a severe discipline of apostolic authority, apparently exclusion and more than mere abandonment (1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 2:11), though it is an obscure matter.

That they might be taught not to blaspheme (ινα παιδευθωσιν μη βλασφημειν). Purpose clause with ινα and first aorist passive subjunctive of παιδευω. For this use of this common late verb, see 1 Corinthians 11:32; 2 Corinthians 6:9.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/1-timothy-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.