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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
1 Timothy 6

 

 

Verse 1-2

1 Timothy 6:1-2 a. Slaves.—Christianity freed slaves by evolution rather than revolution. A grave social peril would have arisen in the first century had slaves misinterpreted their liberty in Christ (pp. 649f.). Timothy must guard against this (cf. Colossians 3:22, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Peter 2:18). The Gospel's honour demands loyalty even to heathen masters (Titus 2:9 f.). If those who would benefit by the slaves' fuller service are fellow-believers, they should be served the more loyally.


Verses 2-10

1 Timothy 6:2 b - 1 Timothy 6:21. Final Words.

(a) 1 Timothy 6:2 b - 1 Timothy 6:10. The Errorists, and a Fundamental Error.—Such, then, is Paul's charge. Those who teach otherwise are conceited and ignorant, morbidly busying themselves with wordy controversy. From these, among other evils, one crucial error proceeds—the theory that religion is a means of worldly profit (cf. Titus 1:11). Now even in this life religion is of great profit—i.e. profit in terms of true happiness—if accompanied by entire independence of one's circumstances (the meaning of "contentment," cf. Philippians 4:11). For we can take out of the world no more material goods than we brought into it (Luke 12:20), but, with food and clothing, should be satisfied. Rich is the man whose godliness has taught him this. But those who set their desire on material wealth are in great peril. As well-known examples prove, all evils may spring from love of money.

1 Timothy 6:2 b. these things: i.e. the whole charge of the letter. This sentence (contrast RV) belongs to the present paragraph.

1 Timothy 6:3. sound: 1 Timothy 1:10*.

1 Timothy 6:4. questionings: 1 Timothy 1:3-11*.

1 Timothy 6:10. a root, etc.: better as AV.


Verses 11-16

(b) 1 Timothy 6:11-16. Timothy's Call to Fidelity.—In contrast with this quest for worldly profit (1 Timothy 6:5; 1 Timothy 6:9 f.) Timothy must pursue the Christian virtues. Let him, in life's arena (for the metaphor cf. 2 Timothy 4:7, 1 Corinthians 9:24, Philippians 3:12), continuously wage faith's fair contest, and so obtain the victor's garland, eternal life (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10). It was to win this prize that he was summoned in his baptism, at which, entering upon the contest, he made the good confession before many fellow-Christians. Now, in the midst of the struggle, he is charged to loyalty by "a more tremendous Presence," "by an assurance that he is in the hands of One whose protective power is universal, and by the example of One who, as Man, put that protective power to a successful test" (EGT). The charge closes with a noble doxology (cf. 1 Timothy 1:17).

1 Timothy 6:13. witnessed, etc.; cf. Revelation 1:5.

1 Timothy 6:14. commandment: the gospel as a rule of life.

1 Timothy 6:15. King, etc.; cf. Revelation 17:14, Deuteronomy 10:17.

1 Timothy 6:16. who only, ets.: i.e. "as His essential property" (cf. John 5:26).—dwelling, etc.: Exodus 33:17 ff., Enoch 14:21f.—whom, etc.: cf. John 1:18, 1 John 4:12.


Verses 17-19

(c) 1 Timothy 6:17-19. The True Conception of Riches.—Though God gives good things for our enjoyment, wealth is too uncertain a foundation on which to rest our hope. By good works rich men should lay up a foundation for the future (Matthew 6:20, Luke 16:9), secure on which they may gain that life which is more than mere existence (Luke 12:15; Luke 12:21).

(d) 1 Timothy 6:20 f. Final Charge.—A forceful reiteration of the epistle's main message. Timothy must (a) guard the evangelical doctrine (cf. 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:14), the true antidote to error; (b) reject the unholy vain-talking (1 Timothy 1:6, 2 Timothy 2:16) and "endless contrasts of decisions, founded on endless distinctions" (Hort), on which the errorists, falsely claiming to possess the true knowledge, prided themselves (1 Timothy 1:3-11*).

1 Timothy 6:20. oppositions: there is no allusion to Marcion's Book of "Oppositions"; see Hort, Judaistic Christianity, pp. 138ff.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/1-timothy-6.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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