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Thursday, May 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy

Derickson's Notes on Selected BooksDerickson on Selected Books

- 1 Timothy

by Stanley L. Derickson


Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D.



All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws.

Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. This is God’s work and I don’t want anyone to profit from it in a material way.



1. First Timothy; D. Edmond Hiebert; Moody Press; Chicago; 1957.

2. Keeping the Faith; Baptist Pub.; Denver; 1971; Adult SS Quarterly.

3. Living Today (Adult magazine) Faith in Action; April-June 1969; Scripture Press; Wheaten; 1969.

4. Adult Teacher manual for number two.

5. Titus & Philemon; D. Edmond Hiebert; Moody Press; Chicago; 1957.

6. Word Studies in the NT; M. R. Vincent; MacDonald Publishing Co; PO 6006; MacDill AFB, Florida 33608.

7. Second Timothy; D. Edmond Hiebert; Moody Press; Chicago; 1958.



One of my favorite books of the New Testament is I Timothy. I rather assume my propensity for this book is the fact that it holds church leadership to a very high standard, even if the church at large does not. It is my personal opinion that if we, the church, were holding our church leaders to the Biblical standard we would see more vibrant and effective churches around the world.

I trust that you find something of use in these thoughts.



Since we are going to be talking about pastors for a while, I thought I would introduce you to a little information about them.

A pastor in a tough situation was asked how he slept at night. "Like a baby, " He replied. "I sleep an hour, wake up and cry awhile. Then I sleep another while, wake up and cry again, and so on through the night."

There is Good News and there is Bad News for the Pastor:

Good News: You baptized four people today

Bad News: You lost two others in the swift current.

Good News: The Women’s Association voted to send you a get-well card.

Bad News: It passed 31 to 30.

Good News: The board accepted your job description the way you wrote it.

Bad News: They also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of filling the position.

Good News: Your stand on nuclear disarmament has won the respect and admiration of many people.

Bad News: None of them are remotely connected to your church.

Good News: You finally found a choir director who approaches things your way.

Bad News: The choir mutinied.

Good News: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons.

Bad News: Mrs. Jones is also wild about the "The Maury Povich Show" and "Real T.V."

Good News: Seventy junior high students showed up last Thursday.

Bad News: The meeting was on Wednesday.

Good News: Your women’s softball team won.                    

Bad News: They beat your men’s softball team.

Good News: The trustee’s finally voted to add more church parking

Bad News: They wanted to blacktop the front lawn of the parsonage.

Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks

Bad News: You were on vacation.

Good News: Your biggest critic just left the church

Bad News: He’s been head of your denomination.

Good News: You finally got a key to the church kitchen.

Bad News: Someone rekeyed the lock.

Good News: Your deacons want to send you to the Holy Land .

Bad News: They are stalling until the next war.

I & II Timothy and Titus are considered the Pastoral Epistles. Not that Timothy and Titus were pastors. They were apostolic delegates doing the biding of Paul. Paul had given them jobs to do and they were in the process of doing these things when Paul wrote to them to give them direction.

Some believe that they may have been evangelists at heart and were involved in evangelism more than in helping or planting churches. I personally don’t feel that this is true. Why would Timothy accept a position to set a church in order if he was gifted to evangelize the lost? I would further question why Paul would place a man so gifted in a place where he would not be fully used in the area of his spiritual gift.

I think the thought of being apostolic delegates fits their position nicely. Paul had some things he desired to accomplish in the churches and delegated these two men to the accomplishment of those goals.

The books are called Pastoral Epistles because they deal with church order and lend themselves to the work of the pastor.

The Pastoral Epistles are unique in two ways.

1. The term mercy is not used in the openings of any books except the Pastoral Epistles of I Timothy, II Timothy and Titus.

The other epistles use grace and peace, but none use the term mercy.

Mercy is found in the following: 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4

The term is not found in the introductions of other books: Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 1:3.

2. These three epistles are unique in another way as well. They are the only books of the Bible written to church leadership.

Since Paul chose his terminology so carefully in using grace and peace in ten books of general interest and included mercy in only three books, all of which are closely related to individual leaders, it would seem that the inclusion in the pastorals was a calculated choice of terms.

There must have been a specific reason for it. Question: What are some possibilities why Paul did this?

1. The books are teaching their recipients how to run and oversee churches. Grace, mercy and peace are essential to a smooth running church.

2. He may have desired that these two men use mercy as they were in the position of oversight in the churches. If indeed they were apostolic delegates they would have been over elders that were already in place and they needed to be careful how they worked.

3. There may be a special mercy given to the minister of God. The fall brought about the curse and part of the curse was that man would labor for his food. The minister of the Lord labors but it is such a joy to do what they really want to do in life that it isn’t really labor.

A friend on the internet was listing all of the problems of his people in the church and was relating how he was ministering to them. I made a comment as to the amount of running and work he was doing. His reply was, "that is what I am here for" and that is the crux of the pastor - they are there to minister and it is a joy for them to do so.

4. On the negative side Paul may have extended mercy to the men that were leading churches. Paul knew human nature and had seen a church problem or two, so may have been encouraging the men along.

Church people can be very cruel at times. They will at times say things that they would not tolerate if those things were said to them. They often do things to the pastor that they would not tolerate if those things were done to them.

You might wonder why Paul draws so much attention to the fact of his apostleship in the book? There were many false teachers around spreading all sorts of false teaching even in his day. He was showing that he had the authority to give instructions to Timothy and that his sayings were valid.

The apostles were direct links to the Lord Himself and it was definitely an indication of his authority.

There is also the possibility that the people were questioning Paul’s authority.

Question: What is an apostle? An apostle is someone that was appointed by Christ and someone that knew Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 15:7 for Paul) They were appointed to do a job for the Lord during the transitional period between the old economy and the new - the passing of Law and institution of grace.

The term translated apostle is used as an apostle primarily (78 times of the 81 occurrences). This would indicate that this is the primary thought of the term. Some hold because of the other three usages that it means simply a sent one or a messenger, however the use of the term to designate the disciples, Paul and other leaders would indicate it is more than the simple "sent" idea. This would indicate that these men were leaders in the early church and that there was a responsibility of those that heard them to listen and heed their teaching. In 2 Corinthians 11:13 the term is linked with pseudo to mean false apostle. "For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." Even in this text there seems to be the implication that apostle had more to it than just a sent one. False teachers wished to transform themselves into apostles. Thus, there must have been good reason for them to go to such trouble. The apostles were Christ’s messengers to the church.

In classical Greek there were two terms for a messenger. A lesser term to indicate a messenger, and a second term to indicate a delegate of the one which was sending him. The later would be my concept of the term in the New Testament.

The lesser term would be pictured in the old movies where the slave comes running into the king’s chamber with the bad news that the enemy is marching on the city, while the delegate would be pictured by the pomp and circumstance of a finely dressed envoy entering into the king’s chambers to announce good news from the far countries.

The term is used of Christ’s relationship with the Father in John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Christ is just a tad more than a mear messenger or sent one, He is a delegate from God. It is also used of the Lord in Hebrews 3:1 "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;"

The term is used of other than the 12 apostles at times: "it is used of Barnabas as well as of Paul; in Romans 16:7; of Andronicus and Junias. In 2 Corinthians 8:23 (R.V., margin); two unnamed brethren are called ’apostles of the churches;’ in Philippians 2:25 (R.V., margin); Epaphroditus is referred to as "your apostle." It is used in 1 Thessalonians 2:6; of Paul, Silas and Timothy, to define their relation to Christ." From Vine’s Word studies.

There is great discussion between some of the Christian movements today as to whether there are still apostles. Some folks believe that there are apostles today and many even call themselves apostles.

Others feel that the apostolic office is over and past - that it was an office for the transition period of the early church. These would believe that they had authority from the Lord Himself to go out and set in order the early church.

There are a few in evangelical circles that believe that there is a gift of apostleship and that the early apostles were such gifted men. These usually believe that as the church grew the term and gift changed slightly and today would exist as a preacher or proclaimer of the Word.

I am not sure we have enough evidence to support any of the three positions strongly. I think the last position has the better support of the three. It fits in best with what we see in Ephesians four eleven and following when it says "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" If this is true there would be an understanding that the gift of prophet has also changed. The gift of prophet would be more along the lines of someone that can look at what is going on in the world, look to the Word and bring forth insightful messages from the Word that are closely related to the day. I would see these as some of the writers and scholars of the past that have given the church so much to think about.

Having said all that I think it is also quite possible that Ephesians four was written in a time when the apostles and prophets were still somewhat active in the local churches and that as that first generation died off the church was left with the evangelists and pastor teachers for the training of the saints. As the Word was being recorded, the need for apostolic authority was on the decline as was the need for the prophets.

I personally don’t feel there are apostles and prophets today. If there are, I would think the last position would be the most consistent with Scripture.

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