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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
1 Timothy 1

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 1

1 Timothy 1:1. ἐπιταγήν] א reads instead ἐπαγγελίαν, a reading not found elsewhere, and not confirmed by its meaning; it may have arisen inadvertently from 2 Timothy 1:1

θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν] In the later MSS. there is great variety in the reading, partly by arranging the words differently, partly by adding the article to one or other of them, partly by inserting the word πατρός; τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ, 73, 80, 116, 213, al., Arm.

τοῦ σωτῆρος θεοῦ ἡμῶν, 37.

θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, 38, 48, 72, al., codd.

καὶ κυρίου ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ] καί is omitted by various cursives, or placed before σωτῆρος; the latter in the MSS. just named, as well as in Ambros., who has θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν; the former in Ar. pol., which has θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, κυρίου. In many cursives καί is omitted along with κυρίου following it; θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, in 17, 31, al.; τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, 43, and in those above mentioned, 38, 48, 72, and in Ambros.

Cod. 118 has τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν . χ. καὶ κυρίου . χ.

κυρίου is wanting in the most important authorities, A D* F G, many cursives and translations (Syr. both, Copt. Sahid. Aeth., etc.); hence it is omitted by Griesb. Scholz, Lachm. Buttm. Tisch., while Matthaei has retained it with the remark: ita omnes omnino mei.

Instead of ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, the most important MSS., etc., have the reading χριστοῦ ἰησοῦ, which is therefore adopted by Griesb. א has the same reading as the Rec.: καὶ κυρίου ἰησ. χρ.—1 Timothy 1:2. ἡμῶν after πατρός is wanting in A B D* F G 17, 23, al., Copt. (not Sahid.) Arm. Slav., etc., and is therefore to be deleted; the interpolation is easily explained from a comparison with the other Pauline Epistles.—1 Timothy 1:4. For γενεαλογίαις, κενολογίαις occurs as a conjecture.

Instead of ζητήσεις, א, A and some cursives have ἐκζητήσεις, which is adopted by Tisch. 8. This reading may be the original one, which as a ἁπαξ λεγομ. in the N. T. was changed into the usual ζητήσεις; the meaning is the same.

οἰκοδομίαν (Rec.) is found perhaps in no Greek MS. According to Tisch., D*** has it; but this is denied by Reiche (Comment crit. in N. T. II. p. 356). It is, according to Reiche: “nil nisi error typothetarum Erasmi, aut conjectura Erasmi ipsius;” the latter he considers more probable. By far the most have οἰκονομίαν; only D* and Iren. gr. ap. Epiph. have οἰκοδομήν (aedificationem: Lyr. Erp. Syr. p. in m. Vulg. Ambr. Aug. Ambrosiast.). The reading οἰκονομίαν is supported by authorities so important, that we cannot doubt its correctness. Matthaei says: οἰκονομίαν ita omnes omnino mei, ac ii quidem, qui scholia habent, etiam in scholiis, uti quoque interpretes editi, οἰκοδομίαν nihil nisi error est typothetarum Erasmi, δ cum ν confuso, nisi Erasmus deliberato ita correxerit ad Latinum aedificationem.—1 Timothy 1:8. Instead of χρῆται, Lachm. reads χρήσηται, after A 73, Clem. The common reading is more natural, and is to be considered right, as the other has not sufficient testimony.—1 Timothy 1:9. Instead of the regular forms πατραλῴαις and μητραλῴαις, A D F G 48, 72, 93, al. have πατρολῴαις and μητρολῴαις, which Lachm. and Tisch. have adopted; several cursives have πατραλοίαις and μητραλοίαις.—1 Timothy 1:11. In D* and several versions there stands before κατά the art. τῇ; a manifest interpolation in order to connect κατὰ κ. τ. λ. with the foregoing διδασκαλίᾳ.—1 Timothy 1:12. καὶ χάριν ἔχω] The most important authorities, A F G 17, 31, 67** 71, al., Copt. Aeth. Arm. Vulg., etc., also א, are against καί, which seems to have been added in order to join this verse more closely with the previous one. In Matthaei καί stands without dispute. Lachm. and Tisch. 8 left it out; Tisch. 7, with Wiesinger, had retained it, following D K L, several versions, and Fathers.

ἐνδυναμώσαντί με] א has the pres. ἐνδυναμοῦντι, and omits με; a reading supported by no other authority.—1 Timothy 1:13. τὸν πρότερον ὄντα] A D* F G א 17, 67*** 71, 80, al., Dial. c. Marc. have τό instead of τόν. The latter is a correction in order to join the partic. and the following subst. more closely with the previous με. Lachm. and Tisch. adopted τό. Matthaei, on the other hand, reads τόν, with the remark: τό πρ. in nullo meorum inveni, nisi in uno Chrysostomi α qui fortasse voluit, τὸν τὸ πρότερον. Muralto likewise reads τόν.

After ὄντα, A 73 have με, which is also adopted by Lachm. It disturbs, however, the natural connection, and the authorities for it are not sufficient; hence it is not adopted by Tisch.—1 Timothy 1:15. א omits τόν before κόσμον.—1 Timothy 1:16. Lachm. and Tisch. 7, following A D, etc., read χρ. ἰησ.; Tisch. 8, following א K L P, reads ἰησ. χρ.

Instead of πᾶσαν, according to D K L, Tisch, rightly adopted ἅπασαν from A F G, etc.—1 Timothy 1:17. Instead of ἀφθάρτῳ, D* has the reading ἀθανάτῳ, and F G have this word inserted after μόνῳ.

The word σοφῷ is rightly rejected by Griesb. Knapp, Lachm. Tisch. Buttm. and others, since A D* F G א 37, 179, 73, the Syr. Copt. Arm. and other versions testify against it. It was probably an interpolation from Romans 16:27; Matthaei retained it, remarking: Vulgatum habet et repetit Chrys. xi. 569, 570; item i. 464, c. v. 393, e. Ath. ii. 425, 433. Attamen σοφῷ abest ap. Cyrill. v., a. 295, haud dubie casu ac per errorem. Ex omnibus omnino Codd. omittunt soli A D F G 37. Reiche (Comment. crit. in N. T. II. pp. 360–363) maintains that σοφῷ cannot be an interpolation from Romans 16:27, because the doxology there is not genuine. See, on the other hand, Meyer in his critical remarks on the passage; he holds σοφῷ to be genuine, on internal grounds, viz.: (1) Because Paul had no reason for emphasizing the unity of God against the heretics; and (2) because the reading μόνῳ σοφῷ θεῷ is the more difficult one. But these internal grounds are insufficient against the weight of the authorities.—1 Timothy 1:18. Instead of στρατεύῃ, א has στρατεύσῃ.


Verse 1-2

1 Timothy 1:1-2. As in most of his other epistles, Paul here calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ in the narrower sense of the term, according to which it was applied only to those immediately called by Christ to the ministry of the gospel. He directs attention to the immediate nature of the call by adding the words κατʼ ἐπιταγὴν θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν κ. τ. λ. In 1 Cor., 2 Cor., Eph., Col., 2 Tim., διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ is used for a like purpose. The expression κατʼ ἐπιταγὴν κ. τ. λ. is found elsewhere in the inscription only in Titus 1:3, where, however, it is not placed in such close connection with ἀπόστολος as here (comp. besides Romans 16:26, also 1 Corinthians 7:6; 2 Corinthians 8:8). The θέλημα is the source of the ἐπιταγή, by which we are to understand the commission given to the apostle. By this addition the apostle expresses his “assured consciousness of the divine origin and worth of his apostleship” (Matthies). It is not, however, an “involuntary” expression. The apostle deliberately insists on his apostolic authority, for the very sufficient reason that he was laying down in his epistle rules for church life. Heydenreich’s suggestion, that Paul meant at the same time to confirm Timothy’s position, is very far-fetched.

θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν] This collocation of the words is only found elsewhere in the N. T. in Jude 1:25; in all passages of the Pastoral Epistles it usually runs: σωτὴρ ἡμῶν θεός. In this passage σωτὴρ ἡμῶν is added as in adjectival apposition to θεοῦ; while in Luke 1:47 it is marked as a substantive by the article. In the Pastoral Epistles σωτήρ is used both of God (so frequently in O. T.; comp. LXX. Psalms 24:5; Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 45:15; Isaiah 45:21; Wisdom of Solomon 16:7; Sirach 51:1) and of Christ; in the other Pauline Epistles (e.g. Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20), as well as in John 4:42, Acts 5:31, etc., it serves to denote Christ. Heydenreich is right in remarking that God does not bear this name as preserver and benefactor of men in general, but on account of the means He has instituted for saving and blessing us through Christ.

καὶ χριστοῦ ἰησοῦ] These words are added on account of the apostle’s Christology; so also in Galatians 1:1.

τῆς ἐλπίδος ἡμῶν] Christ is so named because He is both “the ground of our hope” (Wiesinger) and the object of it. He is hoped for, because by Him the σωτηρία is brought to completion (Calvin: in eo solo residet tota salutis nostrae materia); comp. the expression in Colossians 1:27 : ἐλπὶς τῆς δοξῆς.

τιμοθέῳ γνησίῳ τέκνῳ ἐν πίστει] Paul calls Timothy his child; he was not so κατὰ σάρκα but ἐν πίστει, since he was converted to the faith by Paul, as we learn from 1 Corinthians 4:14-17. Paul usually calls himself the father of those who had been led to the faith by him (comp. Galatians 4:19). The idea of τἐκνον is strengthened by γνήσιος, perhaps by way of contrast with the heretics. The opposite of γνήσιος is νόθος or οὐκ ὄντως ὤν (comp. Plato, Rep. 293). This addition also gives prominence to the fact that Timothy was his son in the faith, not in appearance but in truth; hence Paul calls him also in 1 Corinthians 4:17 his τέκνον ἀγαπητὸν καὶ πιστὸν ἐν κυρίῳ.

ἐν πίστει] “in the sphere of faith,” is not to be connected with γνησίῳ but with τέκνῳ, as defined more closely by γνησίῳ; comp. Titus 1:4, and see Winer, p. 130 [E. T. p. 171].

χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη] This collocation occurs only in the Pastoral Epistles and in 2 John 1:3; in the other Pauline Epistles it runs: χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη. In Galatians 6:16, however, εἰρήνη and ἔλεος are connected with one another. In Jude 1:2 we have: ἔλεος ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη καὶ ἀγάπη. The three expressions manifestly do not indicate three different gifts of grace, but only one. The distinction is, that χάρις points more to the soil from which the gift comes, and εἰρήνη denotes its nature, while the ἔλεος (standing between the two others in the Pastoral Epistles) lays stress on the element of compassionate love in χάρις.(39) Otto arbitrarily finds in ἔλεος “a reference to the official position,” appealing to such passages as 1 Timothy 1:13; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Corinthians 7:25; 2 Corinthians 4:1. Paul does also acknowledge that his call to the ministry of the word came from God’s ἔλεος; but it does not follow from this that the word ἔλεος is used only in reference to the official position; comp. Galatians 6:16; 2 Timothy 1:16; 2 Timothy 1:18.

ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ κ. τ. λ.] Even with the reading ἡ΄ῶν the genitive χριστοῦ ἰησοῦ cannot be made to depend on θεοῦ. Next to the Father, Paul names Christ as the source from which the blessing comes, because all the Father’s gifts of blessing come through the Son.


Verse 3-4

1 Timothy 1:3-4. The apostle reminds Timothy, in the first place, of a previous exhortation, obviously for the purpose of impressing it more deeply on him.

The most natural construction of the sentence appears to be, to take it as an anacolouthon, to connect ἐν ἐφέσῳ with προσμεῖναι, to refer πορευόμενος to the subject of παρεκάλεσα, and to make ἵνα dependent on παρεκαλεσά σε κ. τ. λ. This construction is held by most expositors to be the only admissible one. The missing apodosis cannot, however, be supplied before ἵνα, because ἵνα is closely connected with what precedes; we may insert with Erasmus “ita facito,” or with Beza “vide,” or with most expositors “ οὕτω καὶ νῦν παρακαλῶ” (Winer, p. 530 [E. T. p. 592]). The peculiarity in such an involuntary (Buttm. p. 331) anacolouthon is, that the grammatical connection is not established by inserting the omitted apodosis. The most simple course is to suppose that the apostle had “ οὕτω καὶ νῦν παρακαλῶ” or “ οὕτω ποίει,” in mind, but the place for it was lost in the abundance of the thoughts that streamed in on him.

Several expositors depart from the construction commonly accepted. Matthies takes προσμεῖναι as “stay,” not as “remain behind,” refers πορευόμενος not to the subject of παρεκάλεσα, but to σε (making an unjustifiable appeal to Ephesians 3:17-18; Ephesians 4:1-2; Colossians 3:16(40)), and explains the whole thus: When Timothy was intending to travel to Macedonia, Paul had charged him to stop at Ephesus and remain there. Schneckenburger (see his Beiträge z. Einl. pp. 182 ff.) arbitrarily changes the infin. προσμεῖναι into the partic. προσ΄είνας, and refers πορευό΄ενος to the following clause: ἵνα παραγγείλῃς. Otto treats πορευό΄ενος in the same way, at the same time connecting ἐν ἐφέσῳ with παρεκάλεσα, taking προσ΄εῖναι in an absolute sense, making the apodosis begin with ἵνα, and translating: “Just as I exhorted you to stand firm in Ephesus, so shalt thou on the journey to Macedonia command the people not to give attention to strange teachers, nor to hold them in esteem,” etc. This construction is, however, so artificial, that it is obviously incorrect to every one who is not blinded by the desire of placing the date of the composition of the epistle in a period of the apostle’s life known to us.

REMARK.

In order to justify his view of the sentence, Otto tries to prove the incorrectness of the usual construction, and to get rid of the objections to his own. The hypothesis of an ellipsis he rejects on account of the rule that the emphatic word can never be omitted, and that if we supply the apodosis by “ οὕτω καὶ νῦν παρακαλῶ,” the emphatic words are καὶ νῦν. But these words are not by any means the most emphatic. The apostle might be using them not specially of the contrast between past and present, but only to give point to his former exhortation; hence he might easily omit the apodosis. Otto further maintains, that in the usual construction καθώς, which always denotes a material, actual correspondence, even to identity of motives, and further, of material contents, does not get its full force. On this point we indeed grant that the peculiar meaning of καθώς (as distinguished from ὠς) is not distinctly marked by the expositors; but it is not at all necessary in the usual interpretation to weaken arbitrarily the force of καθώς, since the apostle’s former exhortation could not but be his guide in the present one. Still less difficulty, however, is presented by καθώς, if we choose to supply οὕτω ποίει (as Hofmann does), since the meaning then is, that Timothy’s conduct is to be conformed to the exhortation already given by the apostle.

Otto tries further to show that in the usual explanation the participle πορευόμενος is not in its proper place. The rules which Otto lays down on the subject of participial clauses in order to support his assertion are, on the whole, not incorrect. The passages he quotes from the N. T. certainly show that the participle following a finite verb mostly defines it more precisely; that it either explains more precisely the verbal notion, or gives the accompanying circumstances of the verb. But Otto has overlooked the departures from this rule which occur in the N. T.; comp. Luke 4:40 with Mark 1:31; Matthew 12:49 with Acts 26:1; Matthew 22:15 with Matthew 12:14; further, Luke 24:17.(41) It cannot be denied that the participle following sometimes gives simply the time in which the action of the finite verb takes place; that here, therefore, the πορευό΄ενος may simply denote the time of the former exhortation.(42) Otto quotes the passage in Acts 12:25 as supporting the rule that the participle following should serve to explain the verbal notion, and justifies this by saying that the participle πληρώσαντες τὴν διακονίαν gives the motive of the return. But to give the motive is no explanation. In this passage, however, the position of the participle after the finite verb is justified in this way, that it gives the motive for the action expressed by the finite verb. So, too, in the passage here there is nothing to be said against the connection of πορευόμενος with παρεκάλεσα, so soon as we suppose that the journey was the occasion for Paul giving Timothy the exhortation in question. Lastly, Otto attacks the usual construction from the notion of προσμεῖναι, because this word is explained in the construction to be equivalent to “remain, stay;” whereas, when not connected with a dative (or with a participial clause representing a dative), but standing absolutely, it has the meaning: “to maintain the position hitherto possessed, to stand firm.” Hence, if any definition of place is added, it is not as a completion of the verbal notion, but only indicates where the standing firm takes place. Otto infers from this: “accordingly ἐν ἐφέσῳ here does not complete προσ΄εῖναι, but rather προσ΄εῖναι is absolute, and ἐν ἐφέσῳ gives the place at which the whole sentence, viz. παρεκάλεσά σε προσ΄εῖναι, took place.” This inference is obviously incorrect, since from Otto’s premises it only follows that, if ἐν ἐφέσῳ belongs to προσ΄εῖναι, the place is thus given where Timothy is to stand fast,—in particular against the heretics,—it does not follow that ἐν ἐφέσῳ may be connected with προσ΄εῖναι. Besides, from Acts 18:18, it is clear beyond dispute that προσ΄ένειν does occur in the N. T. in the weakened sense of “remain, stay.”(43) Otto does not disguise the objections to his view, but he thinks that when thoroughly weighed they are more apparent than real. In this, too, he is wrong. It is indeed right to say that in the N. T. a sentence often begins with ἵνα without any verb preceding on which it depends,—and this not only in cases where the governing verbal notion is easily supplied from what precedes, as in John 1:8; John 9:3; John 13:18, 2 Corinthians 8:7, but also when that is not the case, so that the clause beginning with ἵνα stands as an imperative clause, as in Ephesians 5:33; Mark 5:23 (comp. Buttm. pp. 207 f.). But in all passages where ἵνα is used elliptically, this is shown clearly and distinctly by the form of the sentence, which is not the case here. It is right also to say that emphatic parts of the clause construed with ἵνα are often placed before ἵνα, so that πορευό΄ενος, therefore, might very well be connected with the clause following ἵνα; but this, too, is always indicated clearly by the form of the sentence. Wherever words standing before ἵνα are to be referred to what follows ἵνα, these words cannot possibly be connected with what precedes them, and the part of the sentence following ἵνα is incomplete in itself, so that it has to be taken along with the part before ἵνα. It is wrong to maintain that the participial clause πορευό΄ενος εἰς ΄ακεδ. becomes emphatic by contrast with ἐν ἐφέσῳ, inasmuch as what took place in Ephesus is now to take place also on the journey to Macedonia; for—the two things are not at all the same. In Ephesus (according to Otto’s view), Paul exhorted Timothy to stand firm; but on the journey to Macedonia, Timothy is to encounter those who had been led astray. Lastly, it is right to assume that the sender of a letter, if he has anything to say of the place from which the letter is sent, may speak of it by name, comp. 1 Corinthians 15:32; 1 Corinthians 16:8, so that ἐν ἐφέσῳ might convey to us that Paul was himself in Ephesus while writing; but we must take into consideration the special circumstances of the case. According to Otto, our epistle is a paper of instructions which the apostle put into Timothy’s hands in Ephesus, where he wrote it before setting out for Macedonia. In that case it was improper to mention the place by name. We cannot understand, then, why Paul in such a paper of instructions should have laid special stress on the exhortation he had imparted to Timothy in the very place where he put that paper into his hands.

Some expositors take the whole section 1 Timothy 1:5-17 to be a parenthesis, and 1 Timothy 1:18 to be the apodosis corresponding to καθώς. The awkwardness of this construction is obvious; but Plitt thinks that, though it is not without its difficulties, most may be said for it. He is wrong, however, since ταύτην τὴν παραγγελίαν, in 1 Timothy 1:18, does not resume the παρεκάλεσά σε.

If we avoid all subtleties, we cannot but explain it: Even as I exhorted thee to remain in Ephesus when I set out for Macedonia, that thou mightst command certain men not to teach false doctrine … even so do (or: even so I exhort thee also now).(44) Regarding the meaning of καθώς and προσ΄εῖναι, see the above remark.

παρεκάλεσα] Chrys.: ἄκουε τὸ προσηνές, πῶς οὐ διδασκάλου κέχρηται ῥω΄ῇ, ἀλλʼ οἰκέτου σχεδόν· οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν ἐπέταξα, οὐδὲ ἐκέλευσα, οὐδὲ παρῄνεσα, ἀλλὰ τί; παρεκάλεσά σε. Towards Titus, however, Paul uses the expression διεταξά΄ην (Titus 1:5), although he was not less friendly towards him than towards Timothy.

πορευό΄ενος εἰς ΄ακεδονίαν] “when I went away, from Ephesus to Macedonia;” πορευέσθαι has in itself the general meaning of going, but it is also used of going away from a place, both absolutely (Matthew 11:7) and connected with ἀπό (Matthew 24:1; Matthew 25:41; Matthew 19:15 : ἐκεῖθεν; Luke 13:31 : ἐντεῦθεν). Otto explains it: “on the way to Macedonia,” which is grammatically correct, but opposed to the connection of ideas. There is no ground whatever for thinking that Paul, in this expression, had in mind one particular place on the way to Macedonia, viz. Corinth. We can see no reason why Paul should have expressed himself indefinitely. Otto, indeed, is of opinion that Timothy could not have been uncertain about the meaning of the expression; and that the apostle chose it in order to spare the feelings of the Corinthians, and that he might not confess to the heretics how they had provoked his apostolic opposition to an exceptional degree. But the first reason proves too much, since Paul, if he refrained from the definite expression because Timothy knew his wishes without it, would also have refrained from the indefinite expression. The other two reasons are weak, because if Timothy was to labour successfully against the heretics, he must necessarily appeal to the authority of the apostle in whose name he was to labour. Besides, such playing at hide-and-seek as Otto imputes to the apostle, is in entire contradiction with Paul’s frank character.

ἵνα παραγγείλῃς κ. τ. λ.] gives the purpose for which Timothy was to remain in Ephesus. The theory that this gives at the same time the purpose of the whole epistle (Matthies), which opinion de Wette brings forward as proving the epistle not to be genuine, is wrong.

παραγγείλῃς] does not necessarily involve the suggestion of publicity which Matthies finds in it.

τισί] The same indefinite term is used for the heretics also in 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 1:19; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 5:15, etc.: “certain people whom the apostle is unwilling to designate further; Timothy already knows them” (Wiesinger).

΄ὴ ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν] The word, which is not made up of ἕτερος and διδασκάλειν (= διδάσκειν), but is derived from ἑτεροδιδάσκαλος, occurs in the N. T. only here and in 1 Timothy 6:3 (comp. ἑτεροζυγεῖν in 2 Corinthians 6:14). In ἕτερος there is not seldom the notion of different in kind, strange, something not agreeing with something else, but opposed to it. Accordingly, in the apostle’s use of the word, a ἑτεροδιδάσκαλος is a teacher who teaches other things than he should teach, who puts forward doctrines in opposition to the gospel; and ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν here means nothing else than to teach something opposed to the gospel (Hebrews 13:9 : διδαχαῖς ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις ΄ὴ παραφέρεσθε); comp. 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6 : εὐαγγέλιον ἕτερον. Wiesinger, in order to favour his theory that heresy proper is not spoken of, weakens the meaning into “teach otherwise,” so that according to him it signifies “teaching things which lie apart from κατʼ εὐσέβειαν διδασκαλία.” This is incorrect, for in that case some more precise definition would have been given.

Even in classic Greek, ἕτερος, in composition, often has the meaning alleged by us; thus ἑτεροδοξεῖν = diversae opinionis esse; comp. Plato, Theaet. p. 190 E: δόξαν εἶναι ψευδῆ τὸ ἑτεροδοξεῖν. According to Otto, ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν means: “to have another teacher, to follow another teacher.” Otto wrongly appeals for this to Euseb. Hist. Eccles. iii. 32, where ἑτεροδιδάσκαλοι does not mean false teachers, but “such members of the church as had abandoned the teaching of the apostles and become attached to strange teachers;” and also to Ignat. ad Polycarp. chap. 3, where ἑτεροδιδασκαλοῦντες has the same meaning.(45) Otto also makes appeal to the Greek usage, according to which, in composite nouns, the concluding word, if it be a noun, does not contain the subject of the fundamental thought in such composite words, but the nearer or more distant object. But this rule is only valid with adjectival forms. In composite substantives, on the contrary, the concluding word (if it be an unaltered substantive) may also denote the subject, which is only defined more precisely by the word that precedes.(46)

There is no ground whatever for Schleiermacher’s opinion, that the verb suggests the idea of a hierarchy.

To ΄ὴ ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν there is added a second point: ΄ηδὲ προσέχειν κ. τ. λ., which Timothy is to forbid to τινες.(47) Except in the Pastoral Epistles, προσέχειν does not occur in Paul. Here, as in Titus 1:14, it includes the notion of agreement; so also in Acts 8:6.

μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις] The καί is to be taken epexegetically; we can neither join the two expressions as an hendiadys (fabulosae genealogiae, Heumann), nor regard them as denoting different things. The notion of μῦθοι has been limited too narrowly by many expositors,—as by Theodoret, who understands by it the traditional supplements to the law; or by others, who take it as denoting the allegorical system of interpretation, or the Jewish stories of miracles (such as occur in the pseudo-epigrapha or the Apocrypha), or even the Gentile mythologies. Leo is wrong in agreeing with Theodoret’s exposition, appealing to Ignatius (Ep. ad Magnes. chap. 8), and alluding to 1 Timothy 1:7. From that verse it is certainly clear that heretics had peculiar views regarding the law, which were in contradiction with the gospel; but it is a mere assertion to say that μῦθοι here refers to these views, all the more that the word stands closely connected with γενεαλογίαι. De Wette limits the meaning of the word in another fashion, inferring from 2 Peter 1:16 : σεσοφισμένοι μῦθοι, that the μῦθοι here meant, formed the definite element in an artificial system; the notion of something artificial is obviously imported. Other expositors take the expression quite generally in the sense of “false doctrine,” as Suidas explains the word: μῦθος· λόγος ψευδής, εἰκονίζων τὴν ἀλήθειαν; this is too indefinite. Paul rather employs it because it was used to denote false ideas regarding the nature of the Godhead. The word that follows defines the nature of these μῦθοι more precisely.

On the γενεαλογίαι ἀπέραντοι, see Introd. sect. 4. Wiesinger’s view, that they denote the genealogies in the O. T., as well as that of Hofmann, that they are the historical facts in the Thora, are both to be rejected. Credner’s view, that the genealogies of Christ are meant, is quite arbitrary. So, too, with Chrysostom’s explanation: οἶμαι καὶ ἕλληνας αὐτὸν ἐνταῦθα αἰνίττεσθαι, ὅταν λέγῃ μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις, ὡς τοὺς θεοὺς αὐτῶν καταλεγόντων. It is very far-fetched to refer to the Kabbalistic Sephiroth. The application of the expression to the Essenic doctrine of angels (Michaelis), is contradicted by the fact that theories of emanations cannot be proved to have existed among the Essenes. The view upheld by most expositors, that the apostle was thinking of the series of emanations in the speculation of the heretics, must be considered the right one. It is confirmed by the addition of the adjective ἀπέραντοι. The genealogies are “unlimited,” since there was no necessity for them to stop at any point whatever. The conclusion was altogether arbitrary: hence, in the various systems, the genealogies of the aeons differ from one another in all sorts of ways.

αἵτινες] is not simply an attributive relative; it gives at the same time the reason of the foregoing exhortation μὴ προσέχειν “as those which” (comp. Soph. Oed. R. 1184; Pape, Handwörterbuch der griech. Spr. See the word ὅστις).

ζητήσεις παρέχουσι μᾶλλον οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ] Both notions: ζητήσεις and οἰκονομ. θεοῦ, may be taken either subjectively or objectively. If ζητήσεις be taken objectively, it is “points of controversy, questions of dispute;” if subjectively, it is “investigations, controversies, disputations” (“each one trying to maintain his arbitrary fictions,” Matthies). If οἰκονομία θεοῦ is taken objectively, it is “the salvation of God” (“the salvation grounded historically in Christ and publicly preached by means of His apostles,” Matthies; or according to others, “the ministry of the gospel;” or, lastly, “the divine gift of grace,” i.e. the divine influence on individuals by which they are brought to the faith). If it is taken subjectively, it is “the work of man as an οἰκόνομος θεοῦ;” de Wette: “the work of a steward of God in the faith (to be awakened or to be furthered).” This latter may be taken, in a general sense, as meaning, “the Christian activity, the Christian exercise of the divine gifts of grace,”(48) or, more narrowly: “the maintaining, the strengthening in Christianity, the nourishment in the faith by the spiritual food of Christianity, which the teachers as stewards of God distribute,” Zachariae. The meaning of παρέχουσι is also modified according to the interpretation of these two notions. If they are interpreted objectively, παρέχειν is “reach forth, present;” if subjectively, it is “cause, bring about” (so Galatians 6:17; also frequently in classic Greek and in the Apocrypha of the O. T.; comp. Wahl, Clav. libr. V. T. apocryph., under the word). ζήτησις is not identical with ζήτημα; οἰκονομία is indeed used in the sense of “office of steward,” but οἰκονομία θεοῦ denotes “the preparation, the arrangement made by God” (comp. Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:9), and never “the divine salvation.” Hence the subjective interpretation (Hofmann) is to be preferred to the objective (as formerly in this commentary; also Wiesinger, Plitt, Oosterzee). In any case, Matthies is wrong in taking ζητήσεις subjectively and οἰκονομία θεοῦ objectively, and then assuming that παρέχειν is used in a zeugma. Otto’s explanation is purely arbitrary. He explains ζητήσεις by “speculations,” and οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει by “a system of divine order in the universe (sc. creation and government), resting on faith, grounded in faith,—the cosmogony and physics of the Jewish gnosis.” Of the latter phrase, he says that Paul “adopts the hypocritical name which the νομοδιδάσκαλοι claimed for their system, so that the ζητήσεις form the real, the οἰκον. ἐν πίστει, on the contrary, the pretended contents of the μῦθοι and γενεαλογίαι.” By the addition of τὴν ἐν πίστει, the labour of the οἰκόνομος θεοῦ is defined more precisely as one in the sphere of faith (not “causing faith,” Hofmann).

μᾶλλον ] as in several passages of the N. T., John 3:19, Acts 27:11, 2 Timothy 3:4, stands here in the sense of denying the thought contained in the following member, so that (with Suidas) it is equivalent to καὶ οὔ.(49)

With the reading οἰκοδο΄ία (or οἰκοδο΄ή) θεοῦ, we must interpret, “the edifying in the faith as decreed by God” (Luther, inaccurately: “the improvement towards God in the faith”).


Verse 5

1 Timothy 1:5. τὸ δὲ τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας ἐστὶν κ. τ. λ.] It cannot be denied that in παραγγελίας we have an echo of παραγγείλῃς in 1 Timothy 1:3; but it does not follow that we are to understand by it the command which the apostle gave to Timothy not to teach falsely (so Bengel: praecepti quod Ephesi urgere debes). It rather stands here in contrast with the ἑτεροδιδασκαλία just mentioned, and denotes the command which is serviceable to the οἰκονομία θεοῦ (1 Timothy 1:4). It is equivalent to the ἐντολή in 1 Timothy 6:14, the evangelic law which forms the external rule for the conduct of Christians (Hofmann). The apostle alludes to this because he is about to pass to the doctrine of the heretics regarding the law.

It is wrong to understand by παραγγελία the Mosaic law (Calvin, Beza, and others), from which there would arise a thought foreign to the context; and it is unsatisfactory to take it in a general sense as “practical exhortation” (de Wette, Wiesinger, Plitt, Oosterzee), for in that case the imperative should have been used instead of ἐστιν. It is a peculiarity of the N. T. usage to take expressions which of themselves have a more general signification, and to mark them off with the definite article as ideas specifically Christian; thus τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, ὅδος (often in Acts), τὸ κήρυγμα, and others.

τέλος] is neither “fulfilment” nor “chief sum” (Luther, Erasmus: quod universam legis mosaicae vim compendio complectitur ac praestat est caritas), but “goal, scopus ad quem tendit παραγγελία” (Koppe, Wegscheider, de Wette, Wiesinger, and others(50)).

While the ἑτεροδιδασκαλία only causes ζητήσεις, which serve to engender divisions ( γεννῶσι μάχας, 2 Timothy 2:23), the aim of the command of the gospel is love.

ἀγάπη ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας κ. τ. λ.] The gospel proclaims to the believer one divine act, the reconciliation through Christ grounded in God’s love, and it demands also one human act, viz. love, for πλήρωμα νόμου ἀγάπη (Romans 13:10). Leo and Matthies wrongly explain ἀγάπη here of love to God and to one’s neighbour. Here and elsewhere in the N. T., where no other genitive of the object is added, we should understand by it love to one’s neighbour. The words following declare of what nature this love should be.

ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας] καρδία denotes the inward centre of human life, especially as the seat of emotions and desires. Hence in regard to love it is often remarked that it must come from the καρδία (comp. Matthew 12:37), and from a heart that is pure, i.e. free from all self-seeking; 1 Peter 1:22 : ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας ἀλλήλους ἀλαπήσατε ἐκτενῶς; comp. 1 Corinthians 13:5 : ἀγάπηοὐ ζητεῖ τὰ ἑαυτῆς.

The two additions that follow: καὶ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς καὶ πίστεως ἀνυποκρίτου (as is clear from 1 Timothy 1:19; 1 Timothy 3:9; 1 Timothy 4:2), are added with special reference to the heretics, who are reproached with having both an evil conscience and a pretended faith.

συνείδησις ἀγαθή (1 Timothy 1:19; 1 Peter 3:16; καλή, Hebrews 13:18; καθαρά, 1 Timothy 3:9; 2 Timothy 1:3) is not “the conscience pure from the guilt of sin” (de Wette), nor “the conscience reconciled with God” (van Oosterzee, Plitt), nor “the consciousness of peace with God” (Hofmann). Although “a conscience not reconciled with God and one’s neighbours cannot love purely,” there is no hint here of the element of reconciliation. It is simply the consciousness of cherishing no impure, wicked purposes.(51)

πίστις] is not confidence towards one’s neighbour, as it might be here when placed in connection with the idea of love; but, in accordance with the contents of the epistle, is “faith,” which in Galatians 5:6 also is denoted as the ground of love.

ἀνυπόκριτος (also in Romans 12:9; 2 Corinthians 6:6; 1 Peter 1:22, connected with the idea of love) denotes truth and uprightness in opposition to all flattery. It is used here not without allusion to the heretics who conducted themselves as believers in order to gain a more easy admission for their heresies.


Verse 6-7

1 Timothy 1:6-7. At 1 Timothy 1:6 the apostle passes to the heretics.

ων] refers to the ideas immediately preceding: ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας κ. τ. λ., not—as Wiesinger rightly remarks—to ἀγάπη direct, “since εἰς ματαιολογίαν manifestly denotes a false goal in contrast with the true goal, which is ἀγάπη.”(52)

ἀστοχήσαντες] This verb occurs only in the Pastoral Epistles, in this passage and also in 1 Timothy 6:21 and 2 Timothy 2:18 (where it is joined with περί and the accusative). Here it stands in its original sense: a scopo sive meta aberrare (comp. Plut. de Defect. Oracul. chap. 10), which corresponds to the τέλος mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:5, and gives us to understand that the heretics had at first been on the way which leads to the goal, but had not remained in it. In this way Schleiermacher’s criticism (p. 90), that the word here is far from clear, loses its force.

ἐξετράπησαν] ἐξ has its full force (Josephus, Antiq. xiii. 18: ἐκτρέπεσθαι τῆς ὁδοῦ δικαίας) in this verb, which, except in Hebrews 12:13, only occurs in the Epistles to Timothy. The goal to which they have come after turning from the τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας is ματαιολογία. This word (only found here; Titus 1:10 : ματαιολόγοι) characterizes the heresy as empty in nature, contributing nothing to the furtherance of the Christian life. It consists on the one hand of μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις, on the other of such definitions regarding the law as were opposed to evangelic doctrine. This latter reference is proved by the close connection of the verse with what follows.

θέλοντες] The participle does not express contrast: “although;” it gives rather a more precise definition of the previous verb ἐξετράπησαν. Some expositors (de Wette: wish to be, without being so in reality; Bengel has temere; so also Plitt) rightly urge that θέλειν expresses an allegation of their own; Hofmann, on the other hand, wrongly takes it in the sense of “arbitrary assumption.”(53)

νομοδιδάσκαλοι] Luther’s translation is, “masters of the Scripture” (and similar explanations are given; Heinrichs has “teachers”); but this does not give the full force of νόμος. By νόμος we must of course understand the Mosaic law, though it does not follow that the heretics here were Judaizers such as those against whom Paul contends in the Epistles to the Romans and to the Galatians: they might rather be men who acquired the name by laying down arbitrary commands in their interpretations of the law, and calling these the right knowledge of the law. Baur’s theory, that Paul gave this name to the heretics because of their antinomianism, is quite arbitrary, and contrary to the natural meaning of the words. De Wette rightly disproves this by referring to Titus 1:14, from which it is abundantly clear that the heretics made it their business to lay down arbitrary commands. Baur’s appeal to 1 Timothy 1:8, according to which he thinks the heretics must have declared that the law was not good, must decidedly be rejected, since the idea is only an arbitrary importation into 1 Timothy 1:8.(54)

μὴ νοοῦντες] This participle expresses contrast (Leo: quamquam ignorant), “without, however, understanding.” The object of νοοῦντες is given in a sentence of two clauses: μήτεμήτε. The first: μήτε λέγουσι, is clear in itself; the second: μήτε περὶ τίνων διαβεβαιοῦνται, has been variously explained. Most find the difference between the clauses to lie in this, that the one refers to the utterances themselves, the other to things of which the utterance was made, i.e. to the subject-matter of the doctrine (so Raphelius, Leo, Matthies, Wiesinger, Plitt, Oosterzee, Hofmann). De Wette, again, thinks that this explanation rests on a grammatical error, and that “ περὶ τίνων does not refer to the things of which corroboratory assertions were made, but to these assertions themselves” (Luther: what they say or what they suppose). In support of this opinion de Wette wrongly appeals to Titus 3:8.(55) He is wrong, too, in translating διαβεβ. by “corroborate;” it means rather: “give full assurance.” Hofmann says, “to express oneself with confidence regarding anything.” The expression is quite general, and Mack seems to be arbitrary in limiting the thought by explaining how λεγ. refers to expressions in the law brought forward as proofs of assertions with which they had no real connection, and περὶ τίν. βεβ. to those assertions for which proofs out of the law were given, and which in themselves had no meaning. Paul merely says that the νομοδιδάσκαλοι possessed no insight into the nature of the law, and hence they made assertions regarding it which were not understood even by themselves.(56)


Verse 8

1 Timothy 1:8. In contrast with the heretics’ advocacy of the law, the apostle, in what follows, states its real value.

οἴδαμεν δὲ, ὅτι κ. τ. λ.] Baur wrongly infers from these words that the heretics, as Antinomians, had no desire to vindicate the law as good. It is not these first words, but the words ἐάν τις κ. τ. λ., that are directed against the heretics. In spite of Hofmann’s denial, οἴδαμεν δέ stands in a concessive sense, (Wiesinger), as in Romans 7:14, 1 Corinthians 8:1, the apostle making an acknowledgment which is restricted by ἐάν τις κ. τ. λ.; still we cannot translate it simply by concedimus, as Heinrichs does.

καλὸς νόμος] By νόμος we must understand, neither the Christian moral law, nor a single part of the Mosaic law, but the latter as a whole. It is of the entire Mosaic law in its existing form as a revelation of the divine will given in a system of written commands—it is of this that Paul uses καλός as a suitable epithet. It is not enough to take καλός as equivalent to ὠφέλιμος (Theodoret), though the idea of usefulness is included in it; καλός denotes generally the internal excellence of the law, just as the same is set forth in still more significant expressions in Romans 7:12; Romans 7:14. But the good and excellent qualities of the law depend on its being applied according to its nature and signification: when applied otherwise, it ceases to be καλός. Hence Paul, in opposition to the heretics, adds: ἐάν τις αὐτῷ νομίμως χρῆται. The νομίμως, which is clearly a play on words with νόμος, only expresses the formal relation; we can only infer from the thoughts that follow what is meant by the lawful use of law.(57) De Wette rightly remarks: “There is in this passage nothing but what the words really say, that the Christian teacher must not uphold the law as binding on the δίκαιος.” While nearly all expositors understand by τις the Christian as such, Bengel remarks: Paulus hoc loco non de auditore legis, sed de doctore loquitur; in this he is right, as is acknowledged also by de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Hofmann. Paul says nothing here as to how the law is to be obeyed, but rather he tells us how it is to be made use of by Christian teachers.


Verse 9-10

1 Timothy 1:9-10. εἰδὼς τοῦτο] is not to be referred to οἴδαμεν, but to τις, i.e. to the teacher of the church. The use of the same verb is against the construction with οἴδαμεν. As to the meaning of the word, it is to be observed that here, as in many other passages of the N. T., it expresses not only the idea of knowing, but also that of “weighing, considering.” De Wette says, “as he knows and considers.” The law is rightly used only when it is considered that, etc.

ὅτι δικαίῳ νόμος οὐ κεῖται] We may, with Hofmann, take this sentence quite generally, so as to understand by νόμος not any special law, but law in general, and by δίκαιος any one who does rightly, φύσει, and not for the law’s sake (Theophylact: ὃς διʼ αὐτὸ τὸ καλὸν τὴν τε πονηρίαν μισεῖ καὶ τὴν ἀρετὴν περιπτύσσεται). In that case we would have the same thought here as in Antiph. ad Stobaeum, 9: μηδὲν ἀδικῶν οὐδενὸς δεῖται νόμου (comp. also the expression of Socrates in Clemens Alex. Stromata, iv. 678: νόμον ἕνεκεν ἀγαθῶν οὐκ ἂν γενέσθαι).

The sentence, however, may also be taken in such a way as to make νόμος the Mosaic law (notwithstanding the omission of the article; comp. Romans 2:12; Romans 2:14; Romans 2:23, al.), and δίκαιος the righteous man in the specially Christian sense, i.e. the man who, in faith as a child of God, fulfils the divine will in the free obedience of the spirit. In that case we have here the thought which forms the fundamental idea of Paul’s view regarding the relations of the Christian to the law (comp. Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:18, al.). As Paul in 1 Timothy 1:11 appeals to the gospel entrusted to him for confirmation of the thought expressed in this verse, the connection of ideas decidedly favours the latter view, which is adopted also by Matthies, de Wette, Wiesinger, Van Oosterzee, et al.

κεῖται] has not, as Heydenreich thinks probable, the additional notion of an oppressive burden; νόμος κεῖται, simply means, according to a usage current even in profane writings: “the law is given, exists.” Otto rightly remarks: “the νόμος κείμενος is one which has not only been given, but is still valid.” The collocation does not occur elsewhere in the N. T.; comp., however, Luke 2:34 (Philippians 1:16); 1 Thessalonians 3:3; especially also 2 Maccabees 4:11.

If the law was not given for the δίκαιος (as the heretics falsely maintained), then it is valid only for the ἄδικος. This thought Paul emphasizes by pointing out the nature of the ἄδικος in various aspects, mentioning them at first in pairs.

ἀνόμοις δὲ καὶ ἀνυποτάκτοις] These two ideas, which express the most decided contrast, are rightly placed first. ἄνομοι, in 1 Corinthians 9:21, means the heathen (Romans 2:14 : ἔθνη τὰ μὴ νόμον ἔχοντα); but here it means those who withstand the law, who do not serve the law, but their own pleasure; comp. Mark 15:28.

To this corresponds the following ἀνυπότακτοι (only here and in Titus 1:6; Titus 1:10; comp. Hebrews 2:8), as a designation of those who submit themselves to no higher will, no higher order. It is quite arbitrary, with Tittmann and Leo, to refer ἀνομ. to divine, and ἀνυπ. to human ordinances.

ἀσεβέσι καὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς] These ideas (found together also in 1 Peter 4:18 and in Wisd. 41:5) are distinguished from the foregoing by a more definite reference to God; ἀσεβής (used by Paul only here and in Romans 4:5; Romans 5:6) is the man who does not stand in awe, who has no holy awe of God in his heart.

ἀνοσίοις καὶ βεβήλοις] give prominence to the opposition to what is holy. ἀνόσιος (again in 2 Timothy 3:2), when joined with ἀσεβής in the classical usage, refers to the injury of human rights (Xenophon, Cyrop. viii. 8. 13: ἀσεβεστέρους περὶ θεοὺς, καὶ ἀνοσιωτέρους περὶ συγγενεῖς). This distinction, however, cannot here be pressed. βέβηλος, which occurs only in the Epistles to Timothy and in Hebrews 12:16 (the verb βεβηλόω in Matthew 12:5; Acts 24:6), is synonymous with ἀνόσιος. In these first three pairs the ἄδικοι are characterized as those who stand opposed to what is divine, recognising no divine law, and having no awe of God, and whose life is not consecrated by communion with God.

The ideas that follow refer, on the other hand, to our relations with our neighbour.

πατραλῴαις καὶ μητραλῴαις] only here in N. T.: parricides and matricides. Hesychius explains them: τὸν πατέρα ἀτιμάζων, τύπτων, κτείνων; and similarly Matthies: “those who actually assault father and mother.” As the word occurs in this wider sense in Demosth. 732, 14; Lys. 348, ult.; Plato, Phaed. chap. 62, it may be so taken here. At least we cannot, with de Wette, quote the following ἀνδροφόνοις as a cogent reason against it.

ἀνδροφόνοις] 2 Maccabees 9:28; ἅπαξ λεγόμ. in N. T.; the compound is selected to correspond with the previous words.

πόρνοις, ἀρσενοκοίταις] refer to un-chastity, the one towards the female, the other towards the male sex; for this latter, comp. Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9.

ἀνδραποδισταῖς] The Scholiast on Aristoph. Plut. v. 521, says: εἴρηται ἀνδραποδιστὴς παρὰ τὸ ἄνδρα ἀποδίδοσθαι, τουτέστι πωλεῖν. This crime is often mentioned in Greek authors; but also in Exodus 21:16; Deuteronomy 24:7.

ψεύσταις, ἐπιόρκοις] stand both in opposition to truthfulness; ἐπίορκος is one who wantonly breaks an oath, as well as one who swears something false.

We cannot help seeing that in enumerating these various classes of the ἄδικοι, the apostle has had the Decalogue in mind, not adhering to it strictly, but partly extending, partly limiting it, still without departing from its order.

In order to describe the ἀδικία as a whole, the apostle adds: καὶ εἴ τι ἕτερον τῇ ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλίᾳ ἀντίκειται.

The expression ὑγιαίν. διδασκ. is one of those which only occur in the Pastoral Epistles, and help to give them a peculiar impress; comp. 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 2:1; Titus 1:9.

In 1 Timothy 6:3 and in 2 Timothy 1:13, we have ὑγιαίνοντες λόγοι; in Titus 2:8, λόγος ὑγιής. In these epistles ὑγιαίνειν is even used figuratively in another connection; thus Titus 1:13; Titus 2:2 ( νοσεῖν in opposite sense, 1 Timothy 6:4); elsewhere in the N. T. it occurs only in its proper meaning. The expression διδασκαλία is particularly frequent in these epistles, sometimes denoting “the doctrine” (so here) in the objective sense, sometimes subjectively, “the teaching” (comp. chap. 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:6; 1 Timothy 4:13; 1 Timothy 4:16, al.; 2 Timothy 3:10; 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:9 ff.).

He lays emphasis on sound doctrine, as opposed to the ματαιολογία of the heretics. Luther translates ὑγιαίνουσα inaccurately by “wholesome;” the wholesomeness is only the result of the soundness. By ὑγιαίν. διδ. is here meant the pure gospel, free from all foreign admixture, having nothing unclean or sickly in it. The apostle here is certainly thinking chiefly of the ethical side of the διδασκ.; still Leo is wrong in translating it “sound morality.” By the form εἴἀντίκειται Paul gives us to understand that there are indeed other forms and shapes of unrighteousness, incompatible with the pure doctrine of the gospel. The neuter form τὶ ἕτερον is strange. In explanation, we might appeal to passages like 1 Corinthians 1:17, Hebrews 7:7, and others, where the neuter denotes persons; but the use of the verb ἀντίκειται is against this. It is better to regard it as a transition from persons to things.(58)


Verse 11

1 Timothy 1:11. κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον κ. τ. λ.] may be joined with ἀντίκειται, so far as the grammar goes; but the thought is against this, since the ὑγιαίν. διδασκ. is simply the doctrine of the gospel, and the whole of the added clause would be very slipshod. There is as little ground for joining it with διδασκαλία, as was done by Theophylact ( τῇ ὑγ. διδ., τῇ οὔσῃ κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγ.), and approved by many later expositors. The only right construction is to refer this addition to the whole of the preceding thought (Wiesinger, Plitt, van Oosterzee, Hofmann), so as to bring the thought to a concluding point. Similarly in Romans 2:16, κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγ. is joined with what precedes. The apostle asserts thereby that his doctrine regarding the law is not founded on his own private opinion, but on the gospel entrusted to him. In order to make its authority plainer as a rule of life, he describes it as τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς δόξης τοῦ μακαρίου θεοῦ (de “Wette, Matthies).

The genitive τῆς δόξης is not to be interpreted by the adjective ἔνδοξος, and then joined with τὸ εὐαγγ. (= τὸ εὐαγγ. ἔνδοξον; Luther: “according to the glorious gospel”), or even with θεοῦ (Heinrichs: = τοῦ μακαρίου καὶ ἐνδόξου θεοῦ); the genitive should rather be allowed to retain its special meaning. δόξα τοῦ θεοῦ may be the glory of the Christians, which is given them by God (comp. Romans 5:2. Wegscheider: “according to the gladdening doctrine of the salvation which the blessed God imparts to us;” Theodoret: εὐαγγ. δόξης τὸ κήρυγμα κέκληκεν, ἐπειδὰν τὴν μέλλουσαν δόξαν ἐπαγγέλλεται τοῖς πιστεύουσι, and Theophylact). It is more natural, however, to understand the expression here, as in 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 4:6, Romans 9:23, etc., of the glory dwelling in God, peculiar to Him, “revealed to the world in Jesus Christ” (Wiesinger). The relation of the genitive τῆς δόξης to τὸ εὐαγγέλιον is not to be taken to mean that the δόξα was declared to be the ground of the gospel (the gospel proceeding from the glory of God); the δόξα is rather contained in the gospel (Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Plitt), so that it is thereby revealed and communicated to men.

God’s nature is here described more precisely by the adjective μακαρίου, by which still greater emphasis is laid on God’s δόξα, manifesting itself in the gospel in its peculiar power. Though the word is not foreign to the N. T., it is used only here and in 1 Timothy 6:15 as an attribute of God. It is not improbable that the apostle uses it with some reference to the heretics. If, in 1 Timothy 1:4, we are to understand by the genealogies, series of aeons emanating from God, he might readily use μακάριος of God in order to mark the divine unity, for holiness excludes all division of nature. Theodore of Mopsuestia thinks that God is here called μακάριος, not only because He has τὸ μακάριον in His nature διὰ τῆς ἀτρεπτότητος, but also because out of His grace He imparts it to us.(59) The words that follow declare that the gospel was entrusted to the apostle: ἐπιστεύθην ἐγώ (Titus 1:3). Regarding the construction of these words, cf. Buttmann, Gr. Gram. § 121. 7; Winer, p. 244 [E. T. p. 287]. The same construction is found in Romans 3:2; Galatians 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 9:17. It is to be observed that this construction of the verb πιστεύεσθαι, apart from the Pastoral Epistles, occurs only in the epistles of Paul, and only where he speaks of the gospel, or the office given him to hold.(60)


Verse 12

1 Timothy 1:12. After pointing in these last words to his personal relation to the gospel, the apostle, down to 1 Timothy 1:17, describes the grace experienced by him, not merely “to let it be seen what assurance he had for his gospel” (Wiesinger), but also to prove by his own example ( πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν κ. τ. λ., 1 Timothy 1:16) the glory of the gospel entrusted to him as the εὐαγγ. τῆς δόξης τοῦ μακαρίου θεοῦ. There is therefore no ground for de Wette’s criticism, “that the self-styled apostle lets fall here the thread of his meaning, that he may not have to take it up again.” This section is in the closest connection with the preceding one, since it shows how deep is the contrast between the heresy and the gospel. The heresy, on the one hand, takes up unfruitful speculations, and, whenever it wishes to become practical, it places the Christian in bondage to the law. The one thing which is all-important, the forgiveness of sins, it does not assure, and hence it does not know the compassion of the Lord. On the contrary, it is of the very essence of the gospel to reveal this compassion; and in proof of this, Paul appeals to his own experience.

χάριν ἔχω] We have the same expression in 2 Timothy 1:3 (comp. also Luke 17:9; Hebrews 12:28); and in the other Pauline Epistles we have instead: εὐχαριστῶ.

τῷ ἐνδυναμώσαντί με] must not be limited to the strength granted for enduring afflictions and sufferings; it is rather to be applied to his whole work as an apostle. The proper reason of thanksgiving is only furnished by the clause that follows ὅτι κ. τ. λ.; but an additional reason is given in this participle.(61)

χριστῷ ἰησοῦ κ. τ. λ.] is not to be explained, according to some older expositors: “qui me potentem reddidit Christo,” for Christ, but as a dative closely belonging to the verb.

ὅτι πιστόν ΄ε ἡγήσατο] πιστός corresponds with the following διακονία. The reason of his thanksgiving is Christ’s confidence in him that he would become a faithful διάκονος.(62) This confidence the Lord has shown by committing to him the ministry of the gospel, hence he adds: θέμενος εἰς διακονίαν, which is either “placing me in the ministry” (Heydenreich, van Oosterzee, Hofmann), or “setting me apart for the ministry” (de Wette, Plitt, Winer). The latter seems to be more in accordance with the usage of the N. T.; comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:9. De Wette rightly remarks that the participle does not stand for ὡς τίθεσθαί με, nor is it to be taken as a pluperfect; it is simply the proof of πιστόν με ἡγ.; see also Winer, p. 326 [E. T. p. 365].

If the apostle’s thanks are due to the Lord on the general ground of His confidence, they are all the more due that he had been before an opponent of the gospel; to this the next verse points.


Verse 13

1 Timothy 1:13. τὸ πρότερον ὄντα βλάσφημον κ. τ. λ.] τὸ πρότερον is equivalent to the adverb πρότερον, just as, in Matthew 26:45, τὸ λοιπόν is equivalent to λοιπόν. The participle stands here in the relation of contrast to what precedes: “though I was before,” or “I who was nevertheless.”

βλάσφημον] only here as a substantive; comp. on this Acts 26:11. For the most part, the idea of βλασφημία is used in reference to what is divine (Suidas: εἰς θεὸν ὕβρις).

καὶ διώκτην] Leo says: “Paulus non dictis tantum sed etiam factis furuerat in Christianos;” the word occurs only here in the N. T.; on the subject-matter, comp. Acts 22:4; Galatians 1:13.

καὶ ὑβριστήν] also in Romans 1:30. Luther translates “reviler,” but Wegscheider: “one who does violence.” Neither translation expresses the full meaning as it is given in Tittmann’s (Syn. p. 74) explanation: “qui prae superbia non solum contemnit alios, sed etiam contumeliose tractat, et injuriis afficit.” ὑβρίζειν denotes the arrogant conduct of another, whether in words or in actions.

The context leads us to think of Christ’s work, or Christ Himself, as the object of the apostle’s blasphemy.

Having judged his former conduct in straightforward fashion, Paul goes on to contrast with it the grace of the Lord: ἀλλʼ ἠλεήθην, adding, however, by way of explanation: ὅτι ἀγνοῶν ἐποίησα ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ. De Wette is not correct in supposing that the intended aim of these words is to furnish some excuse for himself.(63)

ἠλεήθην] (Luther: “to my lot did compassion fall”) is not to be limited to the pardon of his persecuting fury (Matthies: “to me was my mad eagerness in persecution most graciously forgiven”), but should be taken more generally of the grace imparted to the apostle.(64)

ἀγνοῶν] (comp. Romans 10:2 : ζῆλον θεοῦ ἔχων, ἀλλʼ οὐ κατʼ ἐπίγνωσιν), i.e. without knowing how grievously I sinned therein. The reason of this unconsciousness was ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ. Mack is wrong in inverting the relation, as if the apostle added ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ to explain his ἄγνοια. How far the ἀπιστία was one to be blamed, Paul does not here say: the idea is to be taken in its purely negative form. It was not this, but the ἄγνοια grounded on it, which lessened his guilt.(65)


Verse 14

1 Timothy 1:14. The last words might be so explained as to weaken seemingly the divine grace; and therefore the apostle feels bound to set forth its abundant riches.

ὑπερεπλεόνασε δὲ χάρις κ. τ. λ.] The verb ὑπερπλεονάζειν only occurs here in the N. T., and is not current in classical Greek. The simple πλεονάζειν, with the classic writers, means: “to be more, i.e. than the measure demands, therefore to go beyond the measure;” but in several passages of the N. T. it has clearly the meaning: “become more, therefore increase, grow larger.” Comp. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 (synon. with ὑπεραυξάνειν); Romans 5:20; Romans 6:1 (Meyer: accumulate); so also Philippians 4:17 and 2 Corinthians 4:15 (Meyer has there: “become abundant … increase,” and here: “be increased”). The prefix ὑπερ serves, with Paul, to strengthen the idea with which it is joined; thus ὑπεραυξάνει, 2 Thessalonians 1:3; ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ, Ephesians 3:20; ὑπερλίαν, 2 Corinthians 11:5, al. In Romans 5:20, ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν seems to mean that the ἐπλεόνασεν ἁμαρτία was surpassed by the χάρις (so Meyer; Hofmann differs). If we assume here this reference of surpassing, we cannot regard ἠλεήθην as the thing surpassed. For χάρις cannot be regarded as something surpassing ἔλεος;(66) but ὑπερ in that case would have to be referred to τὸ πρότερον ὄντα βλάσφημον κ. τ. λ. Hence the apostle’s meaning in ὑπερεπλεόνασεν would be that grace was manifested to him in abundant measure, far surpassing his enmity (so in a former edition of this commentary); but in that case ἀλλὰ ἠλεήθην κ. τ. λ. would be parenthetical. It is more correct not to assume such a reference here, but to explain ὑπερπλεονάζειν: “to go (abundantly) beyond the measure” (Plitt, van Oosterzee, Hofmann). The apostle added ὑπερεπλ. χάρις to ἠλεήθην, because the latter expression did not seem enough to his mind, which was penetrated by the unbounded greatness of the grace he had experienced. “It is as though he wrestles with speech in order to find some sufficient expression for the feeling which quite overpowers him” (van Oosterzee). The particle δέ belongs to the relation of climax existing between the two clauses, as in Hebrews 12:6; it corresponds to the English yea or aye in a climax.(67)

΄ετὰ πίστεως καὶ ἀγάπης] The preposition ΄ετά with the genitive serves to connect the fact with the points that accompany it. πίστις and ἀγάπη therefore are, properly speaking, not mentioned as results of the χάρις, but as blessings immediately connected with χάρις. They form, as de Wette says, the subjective side of the condition of grace. Leo is right, therefore, in saying: “verbis ΄ετὰ κ. τ. λ. indicatur, π. κ. ἀγ. quasi comites fuisse illius χάριτος” (so also Plitt and van Oosterzee); but he is wrong, if he means that Paul added these words to tell in what the grace was manifested as ὑπερπλεονάζουσα.

By πίστις κ. ἀγ. ἐν χρ. . we are not to understand God’s faithfulness and love in Christ, nor the apostle’s endeavour to bring others to faith and love; nor, again, is ἐν to be explained by διά or by εἰς. The words τῆς ἐν χρ. . are added to τῆς ἀγάπης, and mark the love as one “that has its ground and middle-point in Christ” (Matthies); cf. 2 Timothy 1:13. It is doubtful whether the addition is to be referred also to πίστεως (for this Matthies, Plitt, van Oosterzee; against it, Hofmann); since πίστεως does not properly require it, it might be better to limit the reference to ἀγάπης.(68) “In contrasting his former ἀπιστία with his present increasing πίστις κ. ἀγ.” (Heydenreich), Paul does not lose sight of the heresy which did not effect οἰκονο΄ία θεοῦ ἐν πίστει (1 Timothy 1:4), and had not the ἀγάπη (1 Timothy 1:5) as its goal.


Verse 15

1 Timothy 1:15. πιστὸς λόγος κ. τ. λ.] With this formula, which is peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles (found besides here in 1 Timothy 3:1, 1 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8; only in Rev. is there a similar formula: οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί εἰσι, Revelation 21:5, Revelation 22:6), the apostle introduces the general thought whose truth he had himself experienced.

καὶ πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος] This addition is also in 1 Timothy 4:9; the word ἀποδοχή occurs nowhere else in the N. T. (comp. ἀπόδεκτος, 1 Timothy 2:3, 1 Timothy 5:4). As Raphelius has shown by many proofs from Polybius, it is synonymous in later Greek with πίστις: the verb ἀποδέχεσθαι (“receive believing”) is used in the same sense in Acts 2:41. The adjective πάσης describes the ἀποδοχή of which the word is worthy, as one complete and excluding all doubt.

ὅτι χρ. ἰησ. ἦλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον] This expression, found especially in John, may be explained from the saying of Christ: ἐξῆλθον παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ ἐλήλυθα εἰς τὸν κόσμον, John 16:28, κόσμος having here a physical, not an ethical meaning: “the earthly world.”

ἁμαρτωλοί stands here in a general sense, and is not with Stolz to be limited to the opponents of Christianity, nor with Michaelis to the heathen. As little can the idea of σῶσαι be limited in the one direction or the other. After this general thought, that the aim of Christ’s coming is none other than the σωτηρία of sinners, the apostle returns to his own case, adding, in consciousness of his guilt (1 Timothy 1:13): ὧν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ, “of whom I am first.” Paul says this, conscious of his former determined hostility to Christ when he was a βλάσφημος κ. τ. λ. (1 Timothy 1:13), and considering himself at the same time as standing at the head of sinners. It is inaccurate to translate πρῶτος without qualification by “the foremost” (in opposition to Wiesinger and others). Even in Mark 12:28-29, πρώτη πάντων ἐντολή is the commandment which stands at the head of all, is first in the list, and δευτέρα is the one following. In order to qualify the thought, Flatt wishes to translate πρῶτος by “one of the foremost,” which he thinks he can justify by the absence of the article. Wegscheider, again, wishes not to refer ὧν to ἁμαρτωλούς, but to supply σωζομένων or σεσωσμένων; and similarly Mack explains ὧν by “of which saved sinners.” All these expositions are, however, to be rejected as pieces of ingenuity. The thought needs no qualification—at least not for any one who can sympathize with the apostle’s strong feeling. The apostle does not overstep the bounds of humility in what he says in 1 Corinthians 15:9 and Ephesians 3:8; neither does he overstep them here.


Verse 16

1 Timothy 1:16. After calling himself the first of sinners, Paul gives the reason why he, this foremost sinner, found grace. He begins with ἀλλά, since it must appear strange that grace was imparted to him.

διὰ τοῦτο ἠλεήθην] De Wette says: “therefor (to this end) did I receive grace.”

ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ πρώτῳ ἐνδείξηται χρ. . τὴν ἅπασαν μακροθυμίαν.

ἐν ἐμ. πρ.] stands first for the sake of emphasis; ἐν is not equivalent to “by means of,” but to “in the case of” (comp. Romans 7:19). To supply ἁμαρτωλῷ with πρώτῳ (first ed. of this commentary, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, and others) is arbitrary. There is no need to supply anything. The thought is: “in my case, Christ first showed His entire μακροθυμία.”(69) Paul says this, meaning that the entire fulness of Christ’s μακροθυμία (Buttmann, p. 105) could not be shown to those who before had received grace, because they had not cherished such decided enmity to Christ as he. The πρώτῳ therefore has ἅπασαν corresponding with it; the greater the guilt, the greater the manifestation of μακροθυμία. Bengel says: “cunctam longanimitatem: quum minores peccatores etiam mensura quasi minor possit restituere.” It is not necessary to give the word μακροθυμία the meaning here of “magnanimity” (Heydenreich, Matthies: “long-suffering or magnanimity”). The apostle here regards the love of the Lord as not causing judgment to follow straight on condemnation, but as patient, and granting space for conversion. In this Paul has given the purpose of his pardon; but he states it still more definitely in the words that follow: πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν τῶν μελλόντων πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ. The expression ὑποτύπωσις, “likeness, image,” occurs elsewhere only in 2 Timothy 1:13; it is synonymous with ὑπόδειγμα in 2 Peter 2:6, and other passages. Elsewhere in the Pauline Epistles we find τύπος (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 10:6; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Philippians 3:17). Leo, without sufficient grounds, explains the word by institutio. The idea of type is not contained in the word itself, but is here transferred to it from the μελλόντων.

πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ] This construction of the word πιστεύειν is found in the N. T. only here and in Romans 9:33; Romans 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6; but in all these passages it occurs in words quoted from Isaiah 28:16, where the LXX. has simply πιστεύων. It may be explained in this way, that faith has confidence as its substance and basis. Matthies rightly says: “ ἐπʼ αὐτῷ, not so much in Him as the object of faith, but rather trusting in faith on Him as the absolute basis of our salvation.”

εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον] These words are not to be joined to the distant ὑποτύπωσιν (Bengel), but to the πιστεύειν immediately preceding. They present the goal towards which the πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ is directed (Wiesinger). As Paul usually sets forth his conduct to others as a type, so here he gives to his experience a typical meaning for future believers.(70) This may he explained from the peculiar and important position which he held for the development of God’s kingdom on earth, and of which he was distinctly conscious.


Verse 17

1 Timothy 1:17. “Ex sensu gratiae fluit doxologia” (Bengel). With this doxology the apostle closes the digression begun in 1 Timothy 1:11, and returns again to the proper epistolary style.

τῷ δὲ βασιλεῖ τῶν αἰώνων] This designation for God is not found elsewhere in the N. T. (even the use of βασιλεύς of God only occurs elsewhere in chap. 1 Timothy 6:15 and Matthew 5:35), but it is found in the Apocrypha of the O. T. in Tobit 13:6; Tobit 13:10. (Sirach 36:19 : θεὸς τῶν αἰώνων.) οἱ αἰῶνες means either “the world,” as in Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 11:3 (see Delitzsch and Lünemann on this passage), or “the times.” The former meaning is adopted by Chrysostom, Leo, etc. (Leo appealing to Eusebius, de Laud. Constant. chap. vi. p. 431, ed. Heinrichs: τὸν μέγαν τοῦ σύμπαντος αἰῶνος βασιλέα); the latter, by Matthies: “the ruler of all times, so that all generations are at the same time concretely included.” In a similar way, Heydenreich has “the supreme ruler of time, and of all that takes place in its course.” This latter explanation is supported as correct both by the preceding μελλόντων (van Oosterzee), and also by the ἀφθάρτῳ following, and by εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων farther on.(71) It is incorrect to take αἰῶνες as equivalent to “eternity,” and translate: “to the king eternal” (de Wette, but tentatively; Hofmann: “the king who is for ever and without end”),(72) for αἰῶνες never has that meaning in itself. Only in the formulas ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων and εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας does the meaning of the word approach that idea. Besides, the apostle would surely have expressed that adjectival idea by an adjective. It is quite erroneous to take the word here in the Gnostic sense of series of emanations, synonymous with γενεαλογίαι in 1 Timothy 1:4; for, on the one hand, no proof is given that this expression had been already used by the heretics alluded to in this epistle; and, on the other, the apostle considered the whole theory of genealogies as belonging to the sphere of myths. It was impossible, therefore, for him in his doxology to speak of God as the king of things which were to Him nothing but the inventions of fancy.

ἀφθάρτῳ] is only used of God elsewhere in Romans 1:23 (Plut. adv. St. 31; Wisdom of Solomon 12:1). Matthies: “God is the Imperishable One, because His nature is unchanging and based on itself,” equivalent to μόνος ἔχων ἀθανασίαν, chap. 1 Timothy 6:16.

ἀοράτῳ] comp. Hebrews 11:27 (without θεός), Romans 1:20, and Colossians 1:15 (with θεός); equivalent to ὃν εἶδεν οὐδεὶς ἀνθρώπων, οὐδὲ ἰδεῖν δύναται, chap. 1 Timothy 6:16; comp. also John 1:18.

μόνῳ θεῷ] chap. 1 Timothy 6:15 : μόνος δυναστής; comp. also John 5:44; John 17:3; Romans 16:27 : μόνῳ σοφῷ θεῷ. The words ἀφθάρτῳθεῷ are to be taken as in apposition to τῷ βασιλεῖ. But it is doubtful whether θεῷ is to be joined with μόνῳ only, or also with ἀφθάρτῳ and ἀοράτῳ, as is commonly done. De Wette is wrong in asserting that all these predicates are used of God superfluously: they manifestly express the absolute exaltation of God above all conditioned finite being, and are occasioned naturally (which Hofmann disputes) by the contrast with the heresy which denied the absoluteness of the divine existence.

τιμὴ καὶ δόξα] The two words are united also in Romans 2:7; Romans 2:10; Hebrews 2:7; but only here and in the Apocalypse do they occur in doxologies. Paul elsewhere uses only δόξα, and always with the article.

εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων] a very common conclusion in doxologies, and found in Paul’s other epistles. It is not to be overlooked that this doxology has a peculiar character distinct from those usually occurring in Paul, both in the mode of connection (elsewhere a pronoun connects them with what precedes) and also in the designation for God and the expressions used.


Verse 18

1 Timothy 1:18. Paul again addresses himself to Timothy direct.

ταύτην τὴν παραγγελίαν] cannot be referred back to ἵνα παραγγείλῃς in 1 Timothy 1:3 (Otto), because there he was speaking of a παραγγελία which Timothy was to receive, here he is speaking of a παραγγελία to which Timothy was to give heed. Nor can it be referred to καθὼς παρεκάλεσά σε (Plitt), since that denotes only a special commission, to which there is here no allusion. Some have therefore joined ταύτην immediately with the following ἵνα, and taken ἵνα as introducing the object (so Chrysostom and Theophylact, Matthies, de Wette, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee; also in this commentary; comp. Winer, pp. 314 f. [E. T. p. 422]). This construction, however, is opposed by the order of the words; after the verb and the parenthesis κατὰ τὰς κ. τ. λ., we no longer expect an expansion of the thought contained in ταύτην τ. παρ.(73) The only course remaining is to agree with Hofmann in referring ταύτ. τ. παραγγ. back to τῆς παραγγελίας in 1 Timothy 1:5; not, however, agreeing with him in interpreting the word here, “the Christian teaching,” but taking it in the same sense in both places.

παρατίθεμαί σοι] comp. 2 Timothy 2:2. The verb is here explained by most expositors, against usage, as equivalent to “lay to heart” (Luther: “order,” in the sense of “recommend to”). Otto, and following him Hofmann, took it in the sense of “give something into one’s charge” which meaning is possible, but not imperative. In itself the word means “bring something before one,” and is defined more precisely by its context, i.e. the purpose of bringing before is not contained in the word itself. παρατίθεσθαι παραγγελίαν may therefore quite well mean: propose a command to one, viz. that he may act in accordance with it.(74)

τέκνον τι΄.] see 1 Timothy 1:1.

κατὰ τὰς προαγούσας ἐπὶ σὲ προφητείας] Before giving the command itself, Paul inserts these words to add force to his exhortation; for they are not (as some expositors, Oecumenius, Heumann, Flatt, wish) to be placed after ἵνα in sense, but to be joined with παρατίθε΄αι.

κατά, “in conformity with” not “justified and occasioned by.”

προαγούσας stands here quite absolutely, with the same meaning as in Hebrews 7:18 : ἀθέτησις γίνεται προαγούσης ἐντολῆς, “the law that preceded;”(75) the προαγ. προφητ. are accordingly “the promises that preceded.” Matthies is wrong in explaining προάγουσα in connection with ἐπὶ σέ, as equivalent to “leading towards thee,” i.e. “pointing or aiming towards thee.” This meaning προάγειν never has; as a transitive verb it certainly means: “lead forward to any one;” but this is manifestly a different idea from that which Matthies ascribes to it. Otto explains it: “the prophecies that guide to thee,” making appeal to Xenophon, Memorab. iv. 1, in which passage Kühner paraphrases προάγειν by viam monstrare. In this case we should have to understand it: those among the prophecies that showed others the way leading to Timothy, a statement clearly without meaning. It is, however, altogether arbitrary when Otto defines the prophecies more precisely as those that led to Timothy’s ordination, or occasioned it.

ἐπὶ σέ] is not to be connected with προαγούσας, but with προφητείας, as Luther rightly translates it: “according to the former prophecies regarding thee;” or de Wette: “in accordance with the preceding prophecies on thee” (so, too, Wiesinger, van Oosterzee, Plitt, Hofmann). On the other hand, the translation: “vaticinia olim de te praenuntiata” (Heydenreich), is inaccurate. αἱ ἐπὶ σὲ προφ. are: the prophecies (expressed) over thee (the peculiar meaning of ἐπί as descending to something should not be overlooked); while προαγ. describes these as preceding Timothy’s apostleship.(76)

προφητείας] Chrysostom: τὸ τῆς διδασκαλίας καὶ ἱερωσύνης ἀξίω΄α, ΄έγα ὄν, τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ δεῖται ψήφου διὰ τὸ παλαιὸν ἀπὸ τῆς προφητείας γίνονται οἱ ἱερεῖς, τουτέστι ἀπό πνεύ΄ατος ἁγίου. οὓτως τι΄. ᾑρέθη. This is wrong, simply because Timothy’s office was not a priestly one. It is quite arbitrary to translate προφητεῖαι by: “doctrines, exhortations,” or “hopes,” or “good testimonies” (Heinrichs: “by means of the good hope and expectation which every one cherished regarding thee”). προφητεῖαι here, as always, are utterances proceeding from the Holy Spirit, whatever be their contents or their occasion; here it is most natural to think of prophecies made when the ἐπίθεσις τῶν χειρῶν τοῦ πρεσβυτερίου (chap. 1 Timothy 4:14) was imparted to Timothy and made regarding his worthy discharge of the office (Wiesinger).(77)

ἵνα στρατεύῃ ἐν αὐταῖς τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν] Purpose of the παρατίθε΄αί σοι. στρατεία (elsewhere only in 2 Corinthians 10:4) is frequently translated inaccurately by “fight;” Luther is more correct: “that thou mayest exercise in it a good knighthood.” στρατεία denotes the entire warfare; the only thing wrong in Luther’s translation is the indefinite article. Though the Christian calling is not seldom described as a warfare, yet here the word is used specially of Timothy’s office, in which he had to contend against the ἑτεροδιδασκαλοῦντες (1 Timothy 1:3 ff.).(78) De Wette inaccurately explains it: “that thou conduct thyself worthily and bravely in the discharge of thy evangelic duty;” as if the words were: ἵνα καλῶς στρατ. τὴν στρατείαν. The chief accent rests on ἐν αὐταῖς, not on καλήν; the στρατεία assigned to Timothy is in itself καλή, quite apart from his behaviour in it.

ἐν αὐταῖς] According to Matthies, Winer (p. 362 [E. T. p. 484]), Wiesinger, Otto, and others, Paul conceives the προφητεῖαι, as an armour round Timothy: “as though equipped with them;” it might, however, be more natural to translate: “within them,” i.e. in their limits, not exceeding them. The interpretation: in accordance with them (van Oosterzee, Hofmann: “the prophecies are to be regarded as a rule of conduct”), is against the usage of the N. T.


Verse 19

1 Timothy 1:19. The manner in which Timothy is to discharge his office, is given still more precisely in the words ἔχων πίστιν καὶ ἀγαθὴν συνείδησιν. It is difficult to bring ἔχων into direct connection with the preceding figure στρατεία (Matthies: “hold fast the faith which elsewhere, in Ephesians 6:16, is called a shield, a weapon of defence in our warfare;” Otto thinks that Paul conceives πίστις and ἀγ. συνείδησις as “the contending power which the general commands, i.e. as his troops!”). It is simply “holding, maintaining” (de Wette), i.e. not denying. The reason for the collocation peculiar to this epistle of πίστις and ἀγαθὴ συνείδησις, and for the strong emphasis laid on the latter idea (comp. 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Timothy 4:2, etc.), is, that the apostle regards the denial of the ἀγ. συνείδ. as the source of the heresy. This is proved by the words that follow, in which Paul returns to the mention of the heretics: ἥν (viz. ἀγαθὴν συνείδησιν) τινες (comp. 1 Timothy 1:6).

ἀπωσάμενοι] This expression, not strange (de Wette) but suitable, denotes the “wantonness” (de Wette) with which the heretics sacrificed the good conscience to their selfish purposes.(79)

περὶ τὴν πίστιν ἐναυάγησαν] ναυαγεῖν occurs only here in a figurative sense. περί gives the matter in which they had made shipwreck, i.e. suffered loss. περί with the accusative, equivalent to quod attinet ad, is found in the N. T. only in the Pastoral Epistles; comp. 1 Timothy 6:4; 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 2:18; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 2:7; see Winer, p. 379 [E. T. p. 506].


Verse 20

1 Timothy 1:20. ὧν ἐστὶν ὑμέναιος καὶ ἀλέξανδρος] In 2 Timothy 2:17, the apostle names two false teachers whose words eat like a cancer

Hymenaeus and Philetus. There is no ground for distinguishing between the Hymenaeus there and the one here mentioned. No difficulty is caused even by the fact that “the one here is mentioned as a man cast out from the church, and the other merely as an example of error” (de Wette); for Hymenaeus and Philetus are not so tenderly dealt with in the other passages as de Wette seems to think. As to Alexander, we must leave it unsettled whether he is the same as the one mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:14. The reasons are not decisive which seem to tell against the identity, viz. that in the other passage the surname χαλκεύς is added, and that “he is mentioned there not as excommunicated, but rather as still coming in contact with the apostle; not as a heretic, but as an opponent” (de Wette). It is, however, quite arbitrary to regard the Alexander (Acts 19:33) who took part in the uproar at Ephesus as identical with the one mentioned here (see Meyer on the passage).(80)

οὒς παρέδωκα τῷ σατανᾷ] the same excommunication of which the apostle speaks in 1 Corinthians 5:5 (comp. Meyer on the passage). It is not simply excommunication from the church, but with the purpose of ensuring, through Satan’s means, ὄλεθρος τῆς σαρκός to the one excommunicated. This is shown not only by the formula itself, but also by the solemnity with which Paul there expresses himself. The added clause, ἵνα παιδευθῶσιν κ. τ. λ., makes it clear that here also the apostle had in mind εἰς ὄλεθρον τ. σαρκ., for that clause at the same time gives the purpose of the παρέδωκα, which is the reformation ( ἵνα τὸ πνεῦ΄α σωθῇ, 1 Corinthians 5:5), or at least the preservation, of the excommunicated man from βλασφη΄εῖν.(81)

παιδεύειν] in classical Greek equivalent to “educate, especially by instruction,” so also Acts 7:22; Acts 22:3, has elsewhere in the N. T. the meaning of “punish in order to reform,” i.e. chastise; comp. 2 Timothy 2:25; 1 Corinthians 11:32; 2 Corinthians 6:9, especially Hebrews 12:5-11. In Revelation 3:19 it stands connected with ἐλέγχειν (in Luke 23:16; Luke 23:22, the purpose of reformation falls quite into the background).

The ὄλεθρος τῆς σαρκός is intended by the apostle to be a chastisement to the one named, that he may be kept from further reviling. The expression βλασφη΄εῖν shows that they had not only suffered shipwreck in faith, but in their unbelief were on the point of proceeding actually to revile the Lord.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-timothy-1.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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