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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 6

Vincent's Word StudiesVincent's Studies

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Verse 1

As many servants as are under the yoke (οσοι εισιν υπο ζυγον δουλοι] . Incorrect. Rather, as many as are under the yoke as bondservants. As bondservants is added in explanation of under the yoke, which implies a hard and disagreeable condition. Yoke is used only here of the state of slavery. In Galatians 5:1; Acts 14:10, of the Mosaic law. See on Matthew 11:29.

Their own [τους ιδιους] . Lit. private, personal, peculiar, as 1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 7:7. Sometimes strange, eccentric. Constrasted with dhmosiov public or koinov common. See Acts 4:32. Sometimes without emphasis, substantially = possessive pronoun, just as Lat. proprius passes into suus or ejus, or oijkeiov belonging to one's house into the simple one's own. See on Galatians 6:10, and comp. Matthew 22:5; Matthew 25:14. In LXX commonly with the emphatic sense. Very often in the phrase kat' ijdian privately, as Mark 4:34; Luke 9:10; Galatians 2:2, but nowhere in Pastorals.

Masters [δεσποτας] . Comp. Titus 2:9, and see on 2 Peter 2:1. Not in Paul, who styles the master of slaves kuriov Lord. See Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1.

Count [ηγεισθωσαν] . Implying a more conscious, a surer judgment, resting on more careful weighing of the facts. See Philippians 2:3, Philippians 2:6. Be not blasphemed [μη - βλασφημηται] . Or be evil spoken of. See on blasphemy, Mark 7:22, and be evil spoken of, Romans 14:16; 1 Corinthians 10:30. Paul uses the word, but not in the active voice as in the Pastorals.

Verse 2

Partakers of the benefit [οι της ευεργεσιας αντιλαμβανομενοι] . The verb means to take hold of; hence, to take hold for the purpose of helping; to take up for, as Luke 1:54; Acts 20:35. o P. Euergesia, benefit only here and Acts 4:9. Better, kindly service. Rend. they that busy themselves in the kindly service. 126 The reference is to the kindly acts which the masters do to their slaves; not to the benefits received by the slaves. Comp. Galatians 5:13.

Verse 3

Teach otherwise [ετεροδιδασκαλει] . See on ch. 1 Timothy 1:3.

Consent [προσερχεται] . Lit. draw nigh. To approach as one who confidingly accepts another's proffer. Hence, to assent to. Comp. Acts 10:28; 1 Peter 2:4; Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 10:22. Often in LXX, and habitually in the literal sense. The figurative sense, Sir. 1 27, 30; 4 15; Hebrews 6:26. o P. The phrase only here.

Of our Lord, etc. Either concerning our Lord, or spoken by him. Probably the latter, according to N. T. usage, in which word of the Lord or word of God commonly means the word that proceeds from God. The phrase words of our Lord Jesus Christ only here.

Doctrine which is according to godliness [τη κατ ευσεβειαν διδασκαλια] . The phrase only here. See on 1 Timothy 1:10. For eujsebeia, on 1 Timothy 2:2.

Verse 4

He is proud [τετυφωται] . See on ch. 1 Timothy 3:6.

Knowing nothing [μηδεν επισταμενος] . Although he knows nothing. o P. Very frequent in Acts. Comp. ch. 1 Timothy 1:7.

Doting [νοσων] . N. T. o. Lit. sick. Comp. uJgiainousi healthful, ver. 3. Questions [ζητησεις] . o P. o LXX Quite often in Class. Lit. processes of inquiry; hence, debates. Comp. ch. 1 Timothy 1:4.

Strifes of words [λογομαχιας] . N. T. o. o LXX, o Class. One of the unique compounds peculiar to these Epistles. The verb logomacein 2 Timothy 2:14.

Surmisings [υπονοιαι] . N. T. o. See Sir. 3 24. Upo under and nouv mind, thought. A hidden thought. The verb uJponoein to suppose, only in Acts. See 1Ti 13:25; 1Ti 25:18; 1Ti 27:27.

Verse 5

Perverse disputings [διαπαρατριβαι] . N. T. o. o LXX, o Class. Paratribh, is a rubbing against. Dia signifies constinuance. The meaning therefore is continued friction. Hence wearing discussion; protracted wrangling. 127 Of corrupt minds [διεφθαρμενων τον νουν] . More correctly, corrupted in mind. The verb not common in N. T. In Paul only 2 Corinthians 4:16. Only here in Pastorals. Diafqora corruption only in Acts. Comp. katefqarmenoi ton noun corrupted in mind, 2 Timothy 3:8.

Destitute of the truth [απεστερημενων της αληθειας] . Rev. bereft of the truth. In N. T. commonly of defrauding, Mark 10:19; 1 Corinthians 6:7, 1 Corinthians 6:8; 1 Corinthians 7:5. The implication is that they once possessed the truth. They put it away from themselves (ch. 1 19; Titus 1:14). Here it is represented as taken away from them. Comp. Romans 1:8.

Gain is godliness [πορισμον ειναι την ευσεβειαν] . Wrong. Rend. that godliness is a way (or source) of gain. Porismov, only here and ver. 6, is a gain - making business. See Wisd. 13 19; 14 2. They make religion a means of livelihood. Comp. Titus 1:11.

Verse 6

Contentment [αυταρκειας] . Only here and 2 Corinthians 9:8. The adjective aujtarkhv self - sufficient, Philippians 4:11. Comp. Sir. 40 18. Aujtarkeia is an inward self - sufficiency, as opposed to the lack or the desire of outward things. It was a favorite Stoic word, expressing the doctrine of that sect that a man should be sufficient unto himself for all things, and able, by the power of his own will, to resist the force of circumstances. In Ps. of Song of Solomon 5:18, we read : "Blessed is the man whom God remembereth with a sufficiency convenient for him" [εν συμμετρια αυταρκεσιας] ; that is, with a sufficiency proportioned to his needs.

Verse 7

And it is certain we can carry, etc. Omit and and certain. Rend. oti because. The statement is : We brought nothing into the world because we can carry nothing out. The fact that we brought nothing into the world is shown by the impossibility of our taking with us anything out of it; since if anything belonging to us in our premundane state had been brought by us into the world, it would not be separated from us at our departure from the world. Comp. Job 1:21; Ecclesiastes 5:15; Psalms 49:17.

Verse 8

Food [διατροφας] . N. T. o.

Raiment [σκεπασματα] . N. T. o. o LXX It means covering generally, though the reference is probably to clothing. von Soden aptly remarks that a dwelling is not a question of life with an Oriental.

Let us be content [αρκεσθησομεθα] . More correctly, we shall be content. Once in Pauls 2 Corinthians 12:9. A few times in LXX Comp. Ps. of Solomon 16 12 : "But with good will and cheerfulness uphold thou my soul; when thou strengthenest my soul I shall be satisfied [αρκεσει μοι] with what thou givest me."

Verse 9

They that will be rich [οι βουλομενοι πλουτειν] . Better, they that desire to be rich. lt is not the possession of richess but the love of them that leads men into temptation.

Fall [εμπιπτουσιν] . o P. Lit. fall into; but invariably in N. T. with eijv into. Temptation [πειρασμον] . See on Matthew 6:13.

Foolish [ανοητους] . Foolish answers to several words in N. T., ajnohtov, ajsunetov, afrwn, mwrov. Anohtov not understanding; a want of proper application of the moral judgment or perception, as Luke 24:9 Luke 24:5; Galatians 3:1. See notes on both. Afrwn is senseless, stupid, of images, beasts. Comp. Luke 12:20, note. Asunetov approaches the meaning of ajnohtov unintelligent. See Sir. 22 13, 15; 27 12. It also implies a moral sense, wicked, Wisd. 1 5; 11 15; Sir. 14 7. On the etymological sense, see on Matthew 11:25; Mark 12:33; Luke 2:47. Mwrov is without forethought, as Matthew 7:26; Matthew 25:3; without learning, as 1 Corinthians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 3:18; with a moral sense, empty, useless, 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9; and impious, godless, Matthew 5:22; Psalms 43:8; Jeremiah 5:21. Hurtful [βλαβερας] . N. T. o. LXX once, Proverbs 10:26.

Drown [βυθιζουσι] . Only here and Luke 5:7, note. A strong expression of the results of avarice.

Destruction [ολεθρον] . See on 1 Thessalonians 1:9, and additional note. Perdition [απωλειαν] . It is unsafe to distinguish between oleqrov destruction in general, and ajpwleia as pointing mainly to destruction of the soul. Apwleia sometimes of spiritual destruction, as Philippians 1:28; but also of destruction and waste in general, as Mark 14:4; Acts 8:20. One is reminded of Virgil, Aen 3:56 : "Quid non mortalia pectora cogis, Auri sacra fames?"

Verse 10

Love of money [φιλαργυρια] . N. T. o. See 4 Macc. 1 26. Rare in Class.

The root [ριζα] . Better, a root. It is not the only root. In Paul only metaphorically. See Romans 11:16, Romans 11:17, Romans 11:18.

Coveted after [ορεγομενοι] . See on ch. 1 Timothy 3:1. The figure is faulty, since filarguria is itself a desire.

Have erred [απεπλανηθησαν] . More correctly, have been led astray. o P. Pierced through [περιεπειραν] . N. T. o o LXX

Sorrows [οδυναις] . See on Romans 9:2.

Verse 11

Man of God [ανθρωπε θεου] . The phrase only in Pastorals. Comp 2 Timothy 3:17. Not an official designation.

Righteousness [δικαιοσυνην] . See on Romans 1:17. Not in the Pauline dogmatic sense, but as Ephesians 5:9, moral rectitude according to God 's law.

Meekness [πραυπαθιαν] . N. T. o. o LXX Meekness of feeling [παθος] . The usual word is prauthv, often in Paul. See on meek, Matthew 5:5. With the whole verse comp. Titus 3:12.

Verse 12

Fight the good fight [αγωνιζου τον καλον αγωνα] . A phrase peculiar to the Pastorals. Comp. 2 Timothy 4:7. Not necessarily a metaphor from the gymnasium or arena, although ajgwn contest was applied originally to athletic struggles. But it is also used of any struggle, outward or inward. See Colossians 2:1; Colossians 4:12.

Lay hold [επιλαβου] . o P. Frequent in Luke and Acts. Occasionally in this strong sense, as Luke 20:20; Luke 23:26; Acts 18:17, but not usually. See Mark 8:23; Luke 9:47; Acts 9:27.

Professed a good profession [ωμολογησας την καλην ομολογιαν] . Both the verb and the noun in Paul, but this combination only here. For the use of kalov good see ch. 1 Timothy 1:18, and ver. 12. Rend. confessed the good confession, and see on your professed subjection, 2 Corinthians 9:13. It is important to preserve the force of the article, a point in which the A. V. is often at fault.

Verse 13

Quickeneth [ζωογονουντος] . o P. Rend. who preserveth alive. Quickeneth is according to the reading zwopoiountov maketh alive. Comp. LXX, Exodus 1:17; Jude 1:8:19. This association of God as the preserver with confession is noteworthy in Matthew 10:28-33.

Witnessed a good confession [μαρτυρησαντος την καλην ομολογιαν] . Letter, the or his good confession. The phrase is unique. The good confession is the historical confession of Jesus before Pilate, which is the warrant for the truthfulness of Timothy's confession. Christ is called is the faithful and true witeness " [μαρτυς] , Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:14. It is true that martuv was used very early of those who laid down their lives for the truth (see Acts 22:20; Revelation 2:13), and Polycarp speaks of to marturion tou staurou the witness of the cross (Philippians 7.); but this did not become general until after the end of the second century. 128 Before Pontius Pilate. The mention of Pontius Pilate in connection with the crucifixion is of constant occurrence in early Christian writings. See Ignatius, Magn. xi; Tral. ix; Smyrn. 1 It has been supposed that these words were taken from a liturgical confession in which the Christian faith was professed.

Verse 14

Commandment [εντολην] . Usually of a single commandment or injunction, but sometimes for the whole body of the moral precepts of Christianity, as 2 Peter 2:21; 2 Peter 3:2. The reference may be explained by hJ paraggelia the commandment, ch. 1 5, meaning the gospel as the divine standard of conduct and faith. Comp. 2 Timothy 1:14. The phrase threin thn ejntolhn to keep the commandment is Johannine. See John 14:15, John 14:21; John 14:10; 1 John 2:3, 1 John 2:4; 1 John 3:22, 1 John 3:24; 1 John 5:3.

Without spot [ασπιλον] . Unsullied. Comp. James 1:27; 1 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 3:14.

Appearing [επιφανειας] . See on 2 Thessalonians 2:8. In the Books of Macc. it is used to describe appearances and interventions Or God for the aid of his people. See 2 Macc. 2 21; 3 24; 14 15; 14 27; 3 Macc. 5 : 8,

1 Timothy 6:15In 2 Timothy 4:18, and Titus 2:13, it denotes, as here, the second coming of Christ. In 2 Timothy 1:10, his historical manifestation, for which also the verb ejpifainein is used, Titus 2:11; Titus 3:4. for the Lord is second advent Paul commonly uses parousia presence; once the verb faneroun to make manifest (Colossians 3:4), and once ajpokaluyiv revelation (2 Thessalonians 1:7). It is quite possible that the word ejpifaneia, so characteristic of these Epistles, grew out of the Gnostic vocabulary, in which it was used of the sudden appearing of the hitherto concealed heavenly aeon, Christ. This they compared to a sudden light from heaven; and Christ, who thus appeared, though only docetically, without an actual fleshly body, was styled swthr savior, although his oneness with the God of creation was denied. The Creator and the Redeemer were not the same, but were rather opposed. Christ was only a factor of a great cosmological process of development. As Neander observes : "The distinctive aim of the Gnostics was to apprehend the appearance of Christ and the new creation proceeding from him in their connection with the evolution of the whole universe."

Verse 15

In his times [καιροις ιδιοις] . Better, his own seasons, or its own seasons. wither the seasons proper to the appearing, or the seasons which God shall see fit to select. See on ch. 1 Timothy 2:6 Potentate [δυναστης] . Only here of God. Very often in LXX See Sir. 46 5; q 2 Macc. 12 15, etc. In Class. applied to Zeus (Soph. Antig. 608). In Aesch. Agam. 6, the stars are called lamproi dunastai bright rulers, as the regulators of the seasons.

Of kings [των βασιλευοντων] . Lit. of those who rule as kings. Only here for the noun, basilewn. Basileuv bsilewn king of kings, Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16.

Of lords [κυριευοντων] . Lit. of those who Lord it. Only here for the noun kuriwn. See kuriov kuriwn Lord of lords, Revelation 19:16; comp. LXX, Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalms 135:3. Probably liturgical.

Verse 16

Who only hath immortality [ο μονος εχων αθανασιαν] . Comp. ajfqartw incorruptible, ch. 1 17. It has been suggested that there is here a possible allusion to the practice of deifying the woman emperors, with an implied protest against paying them divine honors. In the Asian provinces generally, this imperial cultus was organised as the highest and most authoritative religion. Domitian (8196 A. D.) assumed the titles of "Lord" and "God," and insisted on being addressed as Dominus et Deus noster in all communications to himself. Trajan (98 - 117 A. D.) forbade his subjects to address him as "Lord" and "God," but Pliny (112 A. D.) required the citizens of Bithynia to pay divine honors to Trajan's statue. Hadrian (117 - 138 A. D.) allowed the worship of his statues. 129 In light. Comp. Psalms 103:2; 1 John 1:5, 1 John 1:7; James 1:17.

Which no man can approach unto [απροσιτον] . More simply, unapproachable. N. T. o. o LXX

Verse 17

Them that are rich in this world [τοις πλουσιοις εν τω νυν αιωνι] . forming one conception. Chrysostom says :; "Rich in this world, for others are rich in the world to come." Comp. Luke 16:25. Plousiov rich, by Paul only metaphorically. See 2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 2:4. The phrase oJ nun aijwn the now age, only here and Titus 2:19, the usual expression being oJ aijwn ou=tov this age or world, which is not found in Pastorals.

Be not highminded [μη υψηλοφρονειν] . The verb N. T. o. o LXX, o Class. Comp. Romans 11:20; Romans 12:16.

Uncertain riches [πλουτου αδηλοτητι] . A rendering which weakens the sense by withdrawing the emphasis from the thought of uncertainty. Rend. the uncertainty of riches. For a similar construction see Romans 6:4. Adhlothv uncertainty, N. T. o. o LXX Originally obscurity. Ploutov wealth, frequent in Paul, but never in the material sense. The play upon the word rich in this and the next verse will be noticed.

To enjoy [εις απολαυσιν] . Lit. for enjoyment. Only here and Hebrews 11:25. See 3 Macc. 7 16. In class. occasionally, but the verb ajpolauein to have enjoyment or benefit is common. A contrast is implied between being highminded on account of wealth - cherishing and worshipping it - and rightly enjoying it. The true character of such enjoyment is shown in the next verse.

Verse 18

Do good [αγαθοεργειν] . In this uncontracted form, N. T. o. o LXX, o Class. Comp. Acts 14:17. The usual word is ajgaqopoiein, see Mark 3:4; Luke 6:9, Luke 6:33, Luke 6:35; 1 Peter 2:15. o P. who has ejrgazesqai to ajgaqon to work that which is good, Romans 2:10; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 4:28. Good works [εργοις καλοις] . For kalov see on ch. 1 Timothy 3:7, and John 10:11 : for ajgaqov on Romans 5:7.

Ready to distribute [ευμεταδοτους] . N. T. o. o LXX, o Class. For the verb metadidonai to impart to the poor, see Luke 3:11; Ephesians 4:28. Willing to communicate [κοινωνικους] . N. T. o. o LXX See on fellowship, Acts 2:48, and comp. koinwnein to partake, 1 Timothy 5:22, and koinov common, Titus 1:14. Stronger than the preceding word, as implying a personal share in the pleasure imparted by the gift.

Verse 19

Laying up in store [αποθησαυριζοντας] . N. T. o Laying away [απο] . Eternal life [της οντως ζωης] . More correctly, the life which is life indeed, or that which is truly life. See on ch. 1 Timothy 5:3.

Verse 20

That which is committed to thy trust [την παραθηκην] . Only in Pastorals. Comp. 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:14. From para beside or with, and tiqenai to Place. It may mean either something put beside another as an addition or appendix (so Mark 6:41; Acts 16:34), or something put with or in the keeping of another as a trust or deposit. In the latter sense always in LXX See Leviticus 6:2, Leviticus 6:4; Tob. 10 13; II Macc. 3 10, 15. Hdt 6 73, of giving hostages; 9 45, of confidential words intrusted to the hearer's honor. The verb is a favorite with Luke. The meaning here is that teaching which Timothy had received from Paul; the "sound words" which he was to guard as a sacred trust, and communicate to others.

Vain babblings [κενοφωνιας] . Only in Pastorals. o LXX, o Class. From kenov empty and fwnh voice.

Oppositions of science falsely so called [ανιθεσεις της ψευδωνυμου γνωσεως] Better, oppositions of the falsely - named knowledge. Antiqesiv, N. T. o. o LXX Used here, in its simple sense, of the arguments and teachings of those who opposed the true Christian doctrine as intrusted to Timothy. Gnwsiv knowledge was the characteristic word of the Gnostic school, the most formidable enemy of the church of the second century. The Gnostics claimed a superior knowledge peculiar to an intellectual caste. According to them, it was by this philosopllic insight, as opposed to faith, that humanity was to be regenerated. faith was suited only to the rude masses, the animal - men. The intellectual questions which occupied these teachers were two : to explain the work of creation, and to account for the existence of evil. Theil ethical problem was how to develop the higher nature in the environment of matter which was essentially evil. In morals they ran to two opposite extremes - asceticism and licentiousness. The principal representatives of the school were Basilides, Valentinus, and Marcion. Although Gnosticism as a distinct system did not reach its full development until about the middle of the second century, foreshadowings of it appear in the heresy at which Paul 's Colossian letter was aimed. It is not strange if we find in the Pastoral Epistles allusions pointing to Cxnostic errors; but, as already remarked, it is impossible to refer these allusions to any one definite system of error. The word gnwsiv cannot therefore be interpreted to mean the Gnostic system; while it may properly be understood as referring to that conceit of knowledge which opposed itself to the Christian faith. Yeudwnumov falsely - named, N. T. o. o LXX It characterises the gnwsiv as claiming that name without warrant, and as being mere vain babbling. Comp. Colossians 2:8.

Verse 21

Professing. See on ch. 1 Timothy 2:10.

Erred [ηστοχησαν] . See on ch. 1 Timothy 1:6, and comp. 2 Timothy 2:18.

Grace be with thee. The correct reading is meq' uJmwn with you. Although addressed to an individual, he is included in the church. This brief benediction occurs in Paul only in Colossians. ===2 Timothy 1:0


1 An apostle by the will of God. So 2nd Corinthians, Ephesians, Colosians. 1st Corinthians adds called or by call [κλητος] .

According to the promise, etc. [κατ επαγγελιαν] . Apostolov kata does not appear in any of the Pauline salutations. In 1 Timothy. kat' ejpitaghn according to the commandment, and in Titus kata pistin etc., according to the faith, etc. Kat' ejpaggelian, though in other connections, Acts 13:23; Galatians 3:29. Epaggelia, primarily announcement, but habitually promise in N. T. In Pastorals only here and 1 Timothy 4:8. With the promise of the life in Christ goes the provision for its proclamation. Hence the apostle, in proclaiming "ye shall live; through Christ," is an apostle according to the promise.

Of life which is in Christ Jesus. The phrase promise of life only here and 1 Timothy 4:8. o P. Life in Christ is a Pauline thought. See Romans 8:2; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Romans 6:2-14; Galatians 2:19, Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4; Philippians 1:21. It is also a Johannine thought; see John 1:4; John 3:15; John 6:25; John 14:6; 1 John 5:11.

Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 6". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/1-timothy-6.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.
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