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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
1 Timothy 6

 

 

Verse 1

Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

Servants. Explanatory predicate, "Let as many as are under the yoke" (as) slaves (1 Corinthians 7:21; Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22; Titus 2:9). There was a danger of Christian slaves feeling above their pagan masters.

Their own masters , [ Tous (Greek #3588) idious (Greek #2398) despotas (Greek #1203): despotees, absolute master over slaves; kurios (Greek #2962), lord (used in Paul's other letters), a milder term.] Their own is an argument for submissiveness; it is not strangers, but their own masters whom they are to respect.

All honour - all possible and fitting honour; not merely outward, but inward honour, from which flows spontaneously right conduct (note, Ephesians 5:22).

That the name of God - by which Christians are called.

Blasphemed. The pagan would say, What kind of God must be the God of the Christians, when insubordination is the fruit of His worship! (Romans 2:24; Titus 2:5; Titus 2:10.)


Verse 2

And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

And , [ De (Greek #1161)] - 'But.' The opposition is between Christian slaves under the yoke of pagan, and those that have believing masters (he does not say "under the yoke" in this case, for service under believers is not a yoke). Connect thus, 'Let them (the slaves) not, because they (the masters) are brethren (and so equals, masters and slaves alike being Christians), despise (take liberties with) them' (the masters).

But rather ... - but all the more (with the greater good will) do them service, because they (the masters) are faithful (i:e., believers) and beloved (of God) who receive [in the interchange of reciprocal duties between master and servant: hoi (Greek #3588) antilambanomenoi (Greek #482), the article marking this as the subject, and "faithful and beloved" the predicate] the benefit.' This latter clause is parallel to "because they are brethren;" which proves that "they" refers to the masters, not the servants, in the common sense of the verb (Luke 1:54; Acts 20:35), 'who sedulously labour for their (masters') benefit.' "Benefit" delicately implies service done with the right motive, Christian "good will" (Ephesians 6:7). If the common sense of the verb be urged, explain, 'Because they (the masters) are faithful, etc., who are sedulously intent on the benefiting' of their servants. But Porphyry ('De Abstin.' 1: 46) justifies the sense above, which better accords with the context; for otherwise the article, "the benefit," will have nothing to explain it; whereas in my explanation "the benefit" is the slaves' service.

These things teach - as a matter of doctrine (1 Timothy 4:11; Titus 2:15).

Exhort - as a matter of practice.


Verse 3

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

Teach otherwise - that I desire thee to "teach" (1 Timothy 6:2). The Greek indicative implies, he puts not a supposed case, but one actually existing (1 Timothy 1:3, 'everyone who teaches otherwise') - i:e., heterodoxically.

Consent not , [ proserchetai (Greek #4334)] - 'accede not to.'

Wholesome - sound (1 Timothy 1:10). The false teachers' words were unsound through profitless science and immorality.

Words of our Lord Jesus - Paul's inspired words are not merely his own, but also Christ's words.


Verse 4

He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

He is proud , [ tetufootai (Greek #5187)] - 'beclouded;' filled with the fumes of self-conceit (1 Timothy 3:6), while "knowing nothing" - namely, of the doctrine according to godliness (1 Timothy 6:3), though arrogating pre-eminent knowledge (1 Timothy 1:7).

Doting about , [ noson (Greek #3554)] - 'sick about;' the opposite of "wholesome" (1 Timothy 6:3). Truth is not the center about which his investigations move, but mere word-strifes.

Questions - of controversy.

Strifes of words - rather than realities [ logomachias (Greek #3055)] (2 Timothy 2:14). These stand with them instead of "godliness" and "wholesome words" (1 Timothy 6:3; 1 Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9).

Evil surmisings - as to those differing from themselves.


Verse 5

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Perverse disputings , [paradiatribai] - useless disputings. A Delta G 'Aleph (') f g, Vulgate, read [ diaparatribai (G1275a)] 'lasting,' 'incessant contests.' "Strifes of words" had already been mentioned, so that he would not be likely to repeat the same idea. Corrupt minds , [ dieftharmenoon (Greek #1311) ton (Greek #3588) noun (Greek #3563)] - 'of men corrupted (depraved) in mind.' The source of evil is the perverted 'mind' [ nous (Greek #3563)], including the will (1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:15).

Destitute [ apestereemenoon (G650): judicially deprived of] of the truth (Titus 1:14). They had had the truth, but through want of integrity and love of the truth they were misled by a pretended gnoosis (Greek #1108) (knowledge) and higher ascetical holiness, of which they made a trade (Wiesinger).

Supposing ... - regarding the matter thus, that 'godliness is a means of gain' [ porismon (Greek #4200) einai (Greek #1511) teen (Greek #3588) eusebeian (Greek #2150) the article marks the subject to be teen eusebeian, the predicate porismon, distinct from porisma, the thing gained gain]; not "that gain is godliness."

From such withdraw thyself. Omitted in 'Aleph (') A Delta G f g, Vulgate. The connection with 1 Timothy 6:6 favours the omission; these words interrupt the connection.


Verse 6

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

But. Though they err, there is a sense in which 'piety is' not merely gain, but "great gain:" not the gaining which they pursue, which makes men discontented with present possessions, and using religion as "a cloak of covetousness" (1 Thessalonians 2:5) and means of earthly gain, but the present and eternal gain which piety, whose accompaniment is contentment, secures. Timothy possibly shrank from the conflict; whence Paul felt (1 Timothy 6:11) that Timothy needed exhortation: cf. also the second letter. Not merely contentment is great gain (a sentiment of Cicero, 'Parad.' 6, 'the greatest and surest riches'), but 'piety with contentment;' for piety not only feels no need of what it has not, but also has that which exalts it above what it has not (Wiesinger). [ Autarkeia (Greek #841), contentment, is translated "sufficiency," 2 Corinthians 9:8.] But the adjective, Philippians 4:11, "content," literally, 'having a sufficiency in one's self' independent of others. 'The Lord supplies his people with what is sufficient. True happiness lies in piety; but this sufficiency is thrown into the scale as a kind of overweight' (Calvin) (1 Kings 17:1-16; Psalms 37:19; Isaiah 33:6; Isaiah 33:16; Jeremiah 37:21).


Verse 7

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

For - confirming the reasonableness of "contentment." If riches could be gain for the other world, there would be reason for discontent in present poverty. But our real gain must be something not lost, like riches, in leaving the world.

And it is certain So C Vulgate Delta 'it is true ' But 'Aleph (') A G g omit "and it is certain;" then translate And it is certain. So C Vulgate. Delta 'it is true.' But 'Aleph (') A G g omit "and it is certain;" then translate, 'We brought nothing into the world (to teach us), that neither can we carry anything out' (Job 1:21; Ecclesiastes 5:15). Nature strips man in returning, as in entering (Seneca, 'Epist.' 102). Therefore we should have no gain-seeking anxiety, breeding discontent (Matthew 6:25).


Verse 8

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

And , [ De (Greek #1161)] - 'But.' In contrast to greedy gain-seekers (1 Timothy 6:5).

Having - so long as we have.

Food , [ diatrofas (Greek #1305)] - food sufficient continually supplied for our wants: we, as believers, shall have this.

Raiment , [ skepasmata (Greek #4629)] - 'covering;' perhaps including a roof to cover us, as well as clothing.

Let us be therewith content - we shall be sufficiently provided [arkesthesometha].


Verse 9

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Will be rich , [ boulomenoi (Greek #1014)] - 'wish to be rich;' to have more than "food and raiment;" not merely willing, but resolved, and earnestly desiring riches at any cost (Proverbs 28:20; Proverbs 28:22). This wishing (not the riches themselves) is fatal to "contentment" (1 Timothy 6:6). Rich men are not told to cast away, but not to "trust" in their riches, and to "do good" with them (1 Timothy 6:17-18; Psalms 62:10).

Fall into temptation - not merely are exposed to, but actually "fall into" it. This is what we are to pray against, "Lead us not into temptation" (James 1:14); such a one is already in a sinful state, even before any overt act. [Gain and temptation contain a play on sounds - porismos (Greek #4200), peirasmos (Greek #3986).]

Snare - a further step downward; 1 Timothy 3:7, "the snare of the devil."

Hurtful (cf. Ephesians 4:22) lusts. With the one evil lust ('wish to be rich') many others join themselves: the one is "the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). Which , [ haitines (Greek #3748)] (hurtful) - 'inasmuch as they.'

Drown - an awful descending climax from "fall into." [ Empiptousin (Greek #1706): plunging into greed of gain, they are at last inextricably drowned by it: the last step in the descent (James 1:15). Translated "sink" (Luke 5:7).]

Destruction and perdition , [olethron(GNS-3639 kai (Greek #2532) apooleian (Greek #684)] - destruction in general (temporal or eternal): perdition of body and soul in hell.


Verse 10

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

The love of money - not the money, but the love of it-wishing to be rich (1 Timothy 6:9) - 'is a root (not "the root") of all evils.' "The root" is defensible, as the article of the Greek predicate may be omitted. The wealthiest may be rich, not in a bad sense; the poorest may covet to be so. Love of money is not the sole root of evils, but a leading "root of bitterness" (Hebrews 12:15); for it 'destroys faith, the root of all good' (Bengel); its offshoots are 'temptation, a snare, lusts, destruction, perdition.'

Coveted after , [ oregomenoi (Greek #3713)] - 'stretching to reach.'

Erred from , [ apeplaneetheesan (Greek #635)] - 'have been made to err from the faith' (1 Timothy 1:19; 1 Timothy 4:1).

Pierced (Luke 2:35) ... with many sorrows - `pains:' the "thorns" (Matthew 13:22) which choke the word (Proverbs 1:32). Bengel, the gnawings of conscience; remorse for wealth badly acquired; harbingers of the future "perdition" (1 Timothy 6:9).


Verse 11

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

But thou - in contrast to the "some" (1 Timothy 6:10).

Man of God - who hast God as thy riches (Genesis 15:1; Psalms 16:5; Lamentations 3:24): primarily Timothy as a minister (cf. 2 Peter 1:21), just as Moses (Deuteronomy 33:1, Samuel (1 Samuel 9:6), Elijah, and Elisha; but as the exhortation is as to duties incumbent on all Christians, the term applies secondarily to him (so 2 Timothy 3:17) as a Christian born of God (James 1:18; 1 John 5:1), no longer a man of the world: raised above earthly things; therefore God's property, not his own, bought with a price, so having parted with all right in himself: Christ's work is his great work: he is Christ's living representative.

Flee these things - namely, "the love of money," with its evil results (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

Follow after righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22).

Godliness - `piety.' Righteousness is in relation to our fellow-man; "godliness" to God; faith is the root of both (note, Titus 2:12).

Love - by which 'faith worketh:' the cardinal graces.

Patience - brave, enduring perseverance amidst trials.

Meekness , [ praotees (Greek #4236), or prautees (Greek #4240)]. So C Delta. But 'Aleph (') A G read [praupatheian] 'meek-spiritedness'-namely, toward opponents of the Gospel.


Verse 12

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Fight the good fight - against Satan, the world, and the flesh. Birks, This letter was written from Corinth, where national games recurred at stated seasons, which accounts for the allusion here, as 1 Corinthians 9:24-26. Contrast "strifes of words" (1 Timothy 6:4). Compare 1 Timothy 1:18. The "good profession" is connected with the "good fight" (Psalms 60:4).

Lay hold on eternal life - the crown or garland (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10) laid hold of by the winner (2 Timothy 4:7-8; Philippians 3:12-14). [ Agoonizou (Greek #75) ... agoona (Greek #73)] 'Strive' with such earnestness in 'the good strife' as to "lay hold on" the prize, "eternal life."

Also - not in 'Aleph (') A Delta G.

Professed a good profession 'didst confess THE [ teen (Greek #3588)] good confession'-namely, the Christian confession-at thy ordination (whether in general or as overseer at Ephesus): the same occasion as in 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6.

Before many witnesses - who will testify against thee if thou fall away.


Verse 13

I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

In the sight of God - a far more solemn witness than those "many witnesses" (1 Timothy 6:12) before whom Timothy had made profession.

Quickeneth all things , [ zoopoiountos (Greek #2227)]. So 'Aleph ('), Vulgate, 'maketh alive.' But A Delta G [ zoogonountos (Greek #2225)], 'preserveth alive;' as in Acts 7:19 : cf. Nehemiah 9:6. He urges Timothy to faithfulness by God's power manifested now in preserving all things (Matthew 10:29-30); as in 1 Timothy 6:14, by its future manifestation at Christ's appearing. The encouragement to "lay hold on eternal life" (1 Timothy 6:12) rests in the power of the God of all life, who keeps His people unto "eternal life" (1 Peter 1:5).

Witnessed. It was the Lord's part to witness, or attest the truth of, Timothy's part to 'confess (1 Timothy 6:12), the good confession' [ homologia (Greek #3671) in both verses]. The confession was His testimony that He was King, and His kingdom that of the truth (1 Timothy 6:12; 1 Timothy 6:15 : cf. Matthew 27:11; John 18:36-37). Christ, in bearing witness to this truth, attested the whole of Christianity. Timothy's confession included, therefore, the whole Christian truth. Ellicott [ epi (Greek #1909)], 'under Pontius Pilate,' 'the good confession' of Christ's authentication and of Timothy's profession is thus the Christian confession generally. So [epi] Luke 3:2, He witnessed before the high priest Caiaphas and the sanhedrim that He is Messiah, the Son of God; His confession, which cost Him His life given for us, comprising His:

(1) office and

(2) person (note, Mark 14:61-64).


Verse 14

That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Keep this commandment - Greek, 'the commandment;' i:e., the Gospel rule (John 13:34; 1 Timothy 1:5; Titus 2:12; 2 Peter 2:21; 2 Peter 3:2).

Without spot, unrebukeable - agreeing with "thou" [as aspilon (Greek #784), anepileempton (Greek #423) are applied in the New Testament only to persons]. Kept the commandment; so be without spot, etc. "Pure" (1 Timothy 5:22; Ephesians 5:27; James 1:27; 2 Peter 3:14).

Until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ - in person (2 Thessalonians 2:8; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13). Believers then used to set before themselves as a motive the day of Christ as at hand; we, the hour of death. The fact has in all ages of the Church been certain; the time as uncertain to Paul as it is to us (cf. 1 Timothy 6:15): the Church's true attitude is, continual expectation of her Lord's return (1 Corinthians 1:8; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 1:10).


Verse 15

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

In his times , [ kairois (Greek #2540) idiois (Greek #2398)] - 'His own (fitting) seasons' (Acts 1:7). The plural implies successive stages in manifesting the kingdom of God, each having its own appropriate time; the regulating principle and knowledge of which rest with the Father (1 Timothy 2:6; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:3; Hebrews 1:1).

He shall show - display as a mighty "sign" to men (Matthew 16:1) [ deixei (Greek #1166)], appropriate to His "APPEARING" [epiphaneia], which is stronger than His 'coming,' and implies its visibility (cf. Acts 3:20): "He" is the Father (1 Timothy 6:16).

Blessed - so about to be the source of blessing to His people at Christ's appearing, whence flows their "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13; 1 Timothy 1:11).

Only (John 17:3; Romans 16:27; Revelation 15:4).

King of kings - elsewhere applied also to Jesus (Revelation 1:5; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16).


Verse 16

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Frequent doxologies occur in the pastoral letters; the apostle now, in advancing years, realizing more and more God's presence, and instinctively gliding often into language of adoration.

Who only hath immortality - in His essence: not derived, or at the will of another, as all other immortal beings (Justin Martyr, 'Quest. ad Orthod.' 61). As He hath immortality, so will He give it to us who believe: to be out of Him is death. It is pagan philosophy that attributes to the soul indestructibility in itself: this is solely of God's gift. As He hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26). [Athanatos] Immortal does not occur in the New Testament, but [aphthartos] "incorruptible." "Immortality" is found in 1 Corinthians 15:53-54.

Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto. After life comes light, as Daniel 2:22; John 1:4. That light is unapproachable to creatures, except so far as they are admitted by Him, and He goes forth to them (Bengel). If one cannot gaze stedfastly at the sun, but a small part of creation, by reason of its exceeding heat and power, how much less can mortal gaze at God's inexpressible glory! (Theophylact, 'Ad Autolycum:' Ps and power, how much less can mortal gaze at God's inexpressible glory! (Theophylact, 'Ad Autolycum:' Psalms 104:2; 1 John 1:5.)

No man hath seen - with the bodily eye, nor shall hereafter; with the spiritual eye, though only in part now, the believer shall fully hereafter (Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 11:27; 1 John 4:12). Still, the saints shall, in some sense, have the blessedness of seeing Him face to face in Christ, which is denied to mere man (Matthew 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Hebrews 12:14; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 22:4).


Verse 17

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

Resuming the subject (1 Timothy 6:5; 1 Timothy 6:10). Ephesus abounded in rich men. The immortality of God, alone rich in glory, and of His people through Him, is opposed to the lust of money (cf. 1 Timothy 6:14-16). From those desiring to be rich, he passes to those who are rich:

(1) What ought to be their disposition;

(2) And use of their riches;

(3) The consequences of so using them.

Rich in this world - contrasted with the rich of the future kingdom, the portion of believers at Christ's "appearing" (1 Timothy 6:14).

High-minded - often characteristic of the rich (see Romans 12:16).

Trust , [ eelpikenai (Greek #1679)] - 'to have their trust.'

In , [ epi (Greek #1909)] - 'upon ... upon.' ['Aleph (') A G Delta have epi for en (Greek #1722)].

Uncertain riches , [ ploutou (Greek #4149) adeeloteeti (Greek #83)] - 'the uncertainty of riches.' Riches are not only uncertain: uncertainty is their very essence. They who rest on riches rest on uncertainty itself (Proverbs 22:5). Now they belong to one, now to another; that which has many masters is possessed by none (Theodoret).

Living God. So Delta. But 'Aleph (') A G omit "living." He who trusts in riches renders them the duty he owes to God (Calvin).

Who giveth , [ parechonti (Greek #3930)] - 'affordeth.'

Richly all things - temporal and eternal, for body and soul. To be truly rich, seek to be blessed of, and in, God (Proverbs 10:22; 2 Peter 1:3).

To enjoy - Greek, 'for enjoyment.' Not that the heart may cleave to them as its trust (1 Timothy 4:3). Enjoyment consists in giving, not in holding fast. Non-employment should be far removed, as from man, so from his resources (James 5:2-3) (Bengel). Though we have abundance, yet we have no enjoyment of it, except by God's gift (Ecclesiastes 6:2).


Verse 18

That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

Do good - like God Himself (Psalms 119:68; Acts 14:17) and Christ (Acts 10:38). Tittmann translates [ agathoergein (Greek #14)]: to do well; as to be beneficent is a distinct word [agathopoiein].

Rich in good works - so "rich in faith," which produces them (James 2:5). Contrasted with "rich in this world" (1 Timothy 6:17) - literally, 'rich in honourable works.' [Greek, kalois (Greek #2570) ergois (Greek #2041), are works right in themselves: agathois, good to another.]

Ready to distribute - `liberal in distributing:' the heart not cleaving to possesions.

Willing to communicate - to impart a share of goods to others (Galatians 6:6; Hebrews 13:16).


Verse 19

Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Laying up in store , [ apotheesaurizontas (Greek #597)] - 'therefrom;' i:e., from their abundance. [Bengel makes the apo mean laying apart against a future time, Matthew 6:19-20]. This is a treasure which we act wisely in laying up in store; but the wisest thing we can do with earthly treasures is "to distribute," and give others a share (1 Timothy 6:18).

Good foundation - the treasure laid up in certainty contrasted with the uncertainty of riches (note, 1 Timothy 3:13; Luke 6:48; 1 Corinthians 3:11). The sure reversion of the heavenly inheritance: earthly riches scattered in faith lay up in store a sure increase of heavenly riches. We gather by scattering (Proverbs 11:24; Proverbs 13:7; Luke 16:9).

That ... eternal life. 'Aleph (') A Delta G f g, Vulgate read [tees kutees for aiooniou (Greek #166)] 'that which is really life:' joys solid and enduring (Psalms 16:11). The life that now is cannot be called so, its goods being unsubstantial, itself a vapour (James 4:14). In order that ('with their feet on this foundation,' De Wette) 'they may lay hold on that which is life indeed.'


Verse 20

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

21. Recapitulatory conclusion: the main aim of the letter summarily stated.

O Timothy. A personal appeal, marking his affection for Timothy, and his prescience of the coming heresies.

Keep - from spiritual thieves, and from enemies who will, while men sleep, sow tares amidst the good seed.

That which is committed to thy trust , [ teen (Greek #3588) paratheekeen (Greek #3866)] - 'the deposit' (1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 2:2). The sound doctrine to be taught; opposed to the science falsely so called, leading to error concerning the faith (1 Timothy 6:21). 'It is not thine: it is another's property with which thou art entrusted: diminish it not at all (Chrysostom). 'Entrusted to thee, not found by thee; received, not invented; a matter not of genius, but of teaching; not of private usurpation, but of public tradition; a matter brought to thee, not put forth by thee, in which thou oughtest to be, not an enlarger, but a guardian; not an originator, but a disciple; not leading, but following. "Keep," saith he, 'the deposit;' preserve inviolate the talent of the catholic faith. What has been entrusted to thee, let that same remain with thee; be handed down by thee. Gold thou hast received, gold return. I should grieve if thou shouldest substitute anything else. If for gold thou shouldest substitute lead impudently, or brass fraudulently. I do not want the mere appearance of gold, but its actual reality. Not that there is to be no progress in Christ's Church. Let there be the greatest progress; but then let it be real progress, not a change of the faith. Let the intelligence of the whole Church and its individual members increase exceedingly, provided it be only in its own kind, the doctrine being still the same. Let the religion of the soul resemble the growth of the body, which, though it develops its several parts in the progress of years, yet remains the same essentially' (Vincentius Lirinensis, A.D. 434 AD).

Avoiding , [ ektrepomenos (Greek #1624)] - 'turning away from' (cf. 2 Timothy 4:4). Even as they 'turned away from the truth' (1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 5:15).

Profane (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:16).

Vain - Greek, 'empty:' mere "strifes of words" (1 Timothy 6:4) producing no moral fruit.

Oppositions - antitheses. 'Questions for discussion' (Wahl.) Wiesinger, not so probably, 'oppositions to sound doctrine.' Germs existed already of the heresy of dualistic "oppositions" - namely, between the good and evil principle, afterward developed in Gnosticism. Contrast Paul's just antithesis (1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 6:5-6; 2 Timothy 2:15-23).

Science ( Gnoosis (G1108)) falsely so called. Where there is not faith, there is not knowledge (Chrysostom). There was a true 'knowledge,' a gift [ charisma (Greek #5486)] of the Spirit, abused by some (1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 12:8; 1 Corinthians 14:6). This gift was counterfeited by false teachers, as if pre-eminently theirs (Colossians 2:8; Colossians 2:18; Colossians 2:23). Hence, arose the creeds called symbols [sumbola] - i:e., watchwords: tests whereby the orthodox might distinguish one another from the heretical. Perhaps here, 1 Timothy 6:20, and 2 Timothy 1:13-14, imply the existence then of some brief formula of doctrine; if so, we see good reason for its not being in Scripture, which is designed not to give dogmatic formularies, but to be the fountain whence they are to be drawn, according to the exigencies of churches and ages. A portion of the so-called Apostles' creed may have had their sanction, and been preserved solely by tradition; but its sole authority to us is its being provable by Scripture. 'The creed, handed down from the apostles, is not written on paper, and with ink, but on fleshy tables of the heart,' (Jerome, 'Adv. err. Johann. Hieros.,' ch. 9:) Thus, in the creed, contrary to the "oppositions" (the germs of which existed in Paul's latter days) whereby the aeons were set off in pairs, God is stated to be 'the Father Almighty' (all-governing) 'maker of heaven and earth' (Dr. Hinds).


Verse 21

Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee.

Which (falsely-called science) some professing ... erred (note, 1 Timothy 1:6) - literally, missed the mark (2 Timothy 3:7-8). True sagacity is inseparable from faith. 'It is incredible that any forger in the second century should have applied so mild an expression to followers of the Marcionite Gnosis' (Ellicott).

Grace - Greek, 'the grace,' namely, of God, for which we Christians look, and in which we stand (Alford.)

Be with thee. He restricts the salutation to Timothy, as the letter was not to be read in public (Bengel). So Delta f g, Vulgate. But 'Aleph (') A G g read 'be with you.'

Amen. So C. Omitted in 'Aleph (') A G Delta.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-timothy-6.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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