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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

1 Timothy 6

Verse 1

Under the yoke (υπο ζυγον). As slaves (δουλο, bondsmen). Perhaps under heathen masters (1 Peter 2:18). For the slave problem, see also 1 Timothy 6:1; Colossians 3:22; Ephesians 6:5; Titus 2:9. See Matthew 11:29 for Christ's "yoke" (ζυγον, from ζευγνυμ, to join).

Their own masters (τους ιδιους δεσποτας). That is always where the shoe pinches. Our "despot" is this very Greek word, the strict correlative of slave (δουλος), while κυριος has a wider outlook. Old word only here, Titus 2:9; 2 Timothy 2:21; 1 Peter 2:18 for human masters. Applied to God in Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; Acts 4:29 and to Christ in 2 Peter 2:1.

The name of God (το ονομα του θεου). See Romans 2:24. If the heathen could say that Christian slaves were not as dependable as non-Christian slaves. Negative purpose with ινα μη and present passive subjunctive (βλασφημητα).

Verse 2

Let not despise them (μη καταφρονειτωσαν). Negative imperative active third plural of καταφρονεω, to think down on. See 1 Timothy 4:12. He must not presume on the equality of Christian brotherhood not allowed by the state's laws. Some of these Christian slaves might be pastors of churches to which the master belonged. For the difficulty of the Christian master's position, see 1 Corinthians 7:22; Philemon 1:16.

But rather (αλλα μαλλον). Render the Christian Master better service.

They that partake of the benefit (ο της ενεργεσιας αντιλαμβανομενο). For ευεργεσιας (genitive case after participle) see Acts 4:9, only other N.T. example of this old word. Present middle participle of αντιλαμβανω, old verb, to take in turn, to lay fast hold of, in N.T. only here, Luke 1:54; Acts 20:35.

Verse 3

Teacheth a different doctrine (ετεροδιδασκαλε). See 1 Timothy 1:3 for this verb, present active indicative here in condition of first class.

Consenteth not (μη προσερχετα). Also condition of first class with μη instead of ου. Προσερχομα (old verb, to come to, to approach, with dative) is common enough in N.T. (Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 7:25, etc.), but in the metaphorical sense of coming to one's ideas, assenting to, here only in N.T., but is so used in Philo and Irenaeus (Ellicott).

Sound words (υγιαινουσιν λογοις). See 1 Timothy 1:10 for υγιαινω.

The words of our Lord Jesus Christ (τοις του κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστου). Either subjective genitive (the words from the Lord Jesus, a collection of his sayings in Lock's opinion like 1 Timothy 5:18; Acts 20:35, at least in the Spirit of Jesus as Acts 16:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23) or objective genitive about Jesus like 2 Timothy 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:18.

According to godliness (κατα ευσεβειαν). Promoting (designed for) godliness as in Titus 1:1.

Verse 4

He is puffed up (τετυφωτα). Perfect passive indicative of τυφοω, for which see 1 Timothy 3:6.

Knowing nothing (μηδεν επισταμενος). Present middle participle of επισταμα. Ignorance is a frequent companion of conceit.

Doting (νοσων). Present active participle of νοσεω, to be sick, to be morbid over, old word, only here in N.T.

Disputes of words (λογομαχιας). Our "logomachy." From λογομαχεω (2 Timothy 2:14), and that from λογος and μαχομα, to fight over words, late and rare word, here only in N.T. See Plato (Tim. 1085 F) for "wars in words" (μαχας εν λογοις).

Whereof (εξ ων). "From which things."

Surmisings (υπονοια). Old word from υπονοεω, to surmise, to suspect (Acts 25:18), only here in N.T. All these words are akin (envy, φθονος, strife, ερις, railings or slanders, βλασφημια), all products of an ignorant and conceited mind.

Verse 5

Wranglings (διαπαρατριβα). Late and rare (Clem. of Alex.) double compound (δια, mutual or thorough, παρατριβα, irritations or rubbings alongside). "Mutual irritations" (Field).

Corrupted in mind (διεφθαρμενων τον νουν). Perfect passive participle of διαφθειρω, to corrupt, genitive case agreeing with ανθρωπων (of men) and retaining the accusative τον νουν.

Bereft of the truth (απεστερημενων της αληθειας). Perfect passive participle of αποστερεω, old verb (1 Corinthians 6:8) with the ablative case after it (αληθειας).

A way of gain (πορισμον). Late word from ποριζω, to provide, to gain. Only here in N.T. "Rich Christians." Predicate accusative with εινα (indirect assertion) in apposition with ευσεβειαν, the accusative of general reference.

Verse 6

With contentment (μετα αυταρκειας). Old word from αυταρκης (αυτοσ, αρκεω) as in Philippians 4:11. In N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 9:8. This attitude of mind is Paul's conception of "great gain."

Verse 7

Brought into (εισηνεγκαμεν, second aorist active stem with first aorist ending, common in the Koine),

carry out (εξενεγκειν, second aorist active infinitive). Note play on the prepositions εισ- and εξ-.

Verse 8

Food (διατροφας). Plural, supports or nourishments (from διατρεφω, to support). Old word, here only in N.T.

Covering (σκεπασματα). Plural, "coverings." Late word from σκεπαζω, to cover. Here only in N.T.

We shall be content (αρκεσθησομεθα). First future passive of αρκεω, to be content. Old word. See 2 Corinthians 12:9. This is the αυταρκεια of verse 1 Timothy 6:6.

There with (τουτοις). Associative instrumental case, "with these."

Verse 9

Desire to be rich (βουλομενο πλουτειν). The will (βουλομα) to be rich at any cost and in haste (Proverbs 28:20). Some MSS. have "trust in riches" in Mark 10:24. Possibly Paul still has teachers and preachers in mind.

Fall into (εμπιπτουσιν εις). See on 1 Timothy 3:6 for εν -- εις and 1 Timothy 3:7 for παγιδα (snare).

Foolish (ανοητους). See Galatians 3:1; Galatians 3:3.

Hurtful (βλαβερας). Old adjective from βλαπτω, to injure, here alone in N.T.

Drown (βυθιζουσιν). Late word (literary Koine) from βυθος (bottom), to drag to the bottom. In N.T. only here and Luke 5:7 (of the boat). Drown in the lusts with the issue "in destruction and perdition" (εις ολεθρον κα απωλειαν). Not annihilation, but eternal punishment. The combination only here, but for ολεθρος, see 1 Thessalonians 5:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 5:5 and for απωλεια, see 2 Thessalonians 2:3; Philippians 3:19.

Verse 10

The love of money (η φιλαργυρια). Vulgate, avaritia. Common word (from φιλαργυρος, 2 Timothy 3:12, and that from φιλοσ, αργυρος), only here in N.T. Refers to verse 1 Timothy 6:9 (βουλομενο πλουτειν).

A root of all kinds of evil (ριζα παντων των κακων). A root (ριζα). Old word, common in literal (Matthew 3:10) and metaphorical sense (Romans 11:11-45.11.18). Field (Ot. Norv.) argues for "the root" as the idea of this predicate without saying that it is the only root. Undoubtedly a proverb that Paul here quotes, attributed to Bion and to Democritus (την φιλαργυριαν εινα μητροπολιν παντων των κακων), where "metropolis" takes the place of "root." Surely men today need no proof of the fact that men and women will commit any sin or crime for money.

Reaching after (ορεγομενο). Present middle participle of ορεγω (see 1 Timothy 3:1) with genitive ης (which).

Have been led astray (απεπλανηθησαν). First aorist passive indicative of αποπλαναω, old compound verb, in N.T. only here and Mark 13:22.

Have pierced themselves through (εαυτους περιεπειραν). First aorist active (with reflexive pronoun) of late compound περιπειρω, only here in N.T. Perfective use of περ (around, completely to pierce).

With many sorrows (οδυναις πολλαις). Instrumental case of οδυνη (consuming, eating grief). In N.T. only here and Romans 9:2.

Verse 11

O man of God (ω ανθρωπε θεου). In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 3:17, there general and here personal appeal to Timothy. Cf. Deuteronomy 33:1; 1 Samuel 2:27.

Flee (φευγε),

follow after (διωκε). Vivid verbs in present active imperative. The preacher can not afford to parley with such temptations.

Meekness (πραυπαθιαν). Late compound from πραυπαθης, in Philo about Abraham, here only in N.T.

Verse 12

Fight the good fight (αγωνιζου τον καλον αγωνα). Cognate accusative with present middle imperative of αγωνιζω, Pauline word (1 Corinthians 9:25; Colossians 1:29).

Lay hold on (επιλαβου). Second (ingressive) aorist middle imperative of επιλαμβανω, "get a grip on." See same verb with genitive also in verse 1 Timothy 6:19.

Thou wast called (εκληθης). First aorist passive of καλεω as in 1 Corinthians 1:9; Colossians 3:15.

The good confession (την καλην ομολογιαν). Cognate accusative with ωμολογησας (first aorist active indicative of ομολογεω, the public confession in baptism which many witnessed. See it also in verse 1 Timothy 6:13 of Jesus.

Verse 13

Who quickeneth all things (του ζωογονουντος τα παντα). Present active participle of ζωογονεω (ζωογονος, from ζωοσ, γενω), late word to give life, to bring forth alive, in N.T. only here and Acts 7:19. See 1 Samuel 2:6.

Before Pontius Pilate (επ Ποντιου Πειλατου). Not "in the time of," but "in the presence of."

Witnessed (μαρτυρησαντος). Note μαρτυρεω, not ομολογεω as in verse 1 Timothy 6:12. Christ gave his evidence as a witness to the Kingdom of God. Evidently Paul knew some of the facts that appear in 1 Timothy 6:18.

Verse 14

That thou keep (τηρησα σε). First aorist active infinitive of τηρεω, with accusative of general reference (σε) in indirect command after παραγγελλω.

Without spot (ασπιλον). Late adjective (α privative, σπιλος, spot, Ephesians 5:27). In inscription and papyri.

Without reproach (ανεπιλημπτον). See 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 5:7.

Until the appearing (μεχρ της επιφανειας). "Until the epiphany" (the second epiphany or coming of Christ). Late word in inscriptions for important event like the epiphany of Caligula, in the papyri as a medical term. In 2 Thessalonians 2:18 we have both επιφανεια and παρουσια. See Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:8.

Verse 15

In its own times (καιροις ιδιοις). Locative case. May be "in his own times." See 1 Timothy 2:6. Clearly not for us to figure out.

Who is the blessed and only Potentate (ο μακαριος κα μονος δυναστης). "The happy and alone Potentate." Δυναστης, old word, in N.T. only here, Luke 1:52; Acts 8:27 (the Eunuch). See 1 Timothy 1:11 for μακαριος.

The King of kings (ο βασιλευς των βασιλευοντων). "The King of those who rule as kings." Oriental title. So with "Lord of lords." See Revelation 10:16.

Verse 16

Who only hath immortality (ο μονος εχων αθανασιαν). "The one who alone has immortality." Αθανασια (αθανατος, α privative and θανατος), old word, in N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 15:53. Domitian demanded that he be addressed as "Dominus et Deus noster." Emperor worship may be behind the use of μονος (alone) here.

Unapproachable (απροσιτον). See Psalms 104:2. Late compound verbal adjective (α privative, προσ, ιενα, to go). Here only in N.T. Literary Koine word.

Nor can see (ουδε ιδειν δυνατα). See αορατον in Colossians 1:15 and also John 1:18; Matthew 11:27. The "amen" marks the close of the doxology as in 1 Timothy 1:17.

Verse 17

In this present world (εν τω νυν αιων). "In the now age," in contrast with the future.

That they be not high-minded (μη υψηλοφρονειν). Present active infinitive with negative in indirect command after παραγγελλε, "not to be high-minded." Only instance of the word save some MSS. of Romans 11:20 (for μη υψηλαφρονε) and a scholion on Pindar.

Have their hope set (ηλπικενα). Perfect active infinitive of ελπιζω.

On the uncertainty of riches (επ πλουτου αδηλοτητ). Literary Koine word (αδηλοτης), only here in N.T. A "vigorous oxymoron" (White). Cf. Romans 6:4. Riches have wings.

But on God (αλλ' επ θεω). He alone is stable, not wealth.

Richly all things to enjoy (παντα πλουσιως εις απολαυσιν). "A lavish emphasis to the generosity of God" (Parry). Απολαυσις is old word from απολαυω, to enjoy, in N.T. only here and Hebrews 11:25.

Verse 18

That they do good (αγαθοεργειν). Late word (αγαθος, εργω), in N.T. only here and Acts 14:17.

Rich in good works (πλουτειν εν εργοις καλοις). See Luke 12:21 "rich toward God" and Matthew 6:19 for "treasures in heaven."

Ready to distribute (ευμεταδοτους). Late and rare verbal (ευ, μετα, διδωμ). Free to give, liberal. Only here in N.T.

Willing to communicate (κοινωνικους). Old adjective, ready to share, gracious, liberal again. Only here in N.T. See Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:15.

Verse 19

Laying up in store (αποθησαυριζοντας). Late literary word (απο and θησαυριζω), only here in N.T. Same paradox as in Matthew 6:19, "laying up in store" by giving it away.

Which is life indeed (της οντως ζωης). See 1 Timothy 5:3 for οντως. This life is merely the shadow of the eternal reality to come.

Verse 20

Guard that which is committed unto thee (την παραθηκην φυλαξον). "Keep (aorist of urgency) the deposit." Παραθηκην (from παρατιθημ, to place beside as a deposit, 2 Timothy 2:2), a banking figure, common in the papyri in this sense for the Attic παρακαταθηκη (Textus Receptus here, 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:14). See substantive also in 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:14.

Turning away from (εκτρεπομενος). Present middle participle of εκτρεπω, for which see 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 5:15.

Babblings (κενοφωνιας). From κενοφωνος, uttering emptiness. Late and rare compound, in N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 2:16.

Oppositions (αντιθεσεις). Old word (αντι, θεσις), antithesis, only here in N.T.

Of the knowledge which is falsely so called (της ψευδωνυμου γνωσεως). "Of the falsely named knowledge." Old word (ψευδησ, ονομα). Our "pseudonymous." Only here in N.T.

Verse 21

Have erred (ηστοχησαν). First aorist active indicative of αστοχεω. See 1 Timothy 1:6 for this word.

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 6". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/1-timothy-6.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.