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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
1 Timothy 1



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Verse 1

According to the commandment (κατ επιταγηνkat' epitagēn). A late Koiné{[28928]}š word (Polybius, Diodorus), but a Pauline word also in N.T. This very idiom (“by way of command”) in 1 Corinthians 7:6; 2 Corinthians 8:8; Romans 16:26; 1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:3. Paul means to say that he is an apostle under orders.

Of God our Saviour (τεου σωτηρος ημωνtheou sōtēros hēmōn). Genitive case with επιταγηνepitagēn In the lxx σωτηρsōtēr (old word from σωζωsōzō for agent in saving, applied to deities, princes, kings, etc.) occurs 20 times, all but two to God. The Romans called the emperor “Saviour God.” In the N.T. the designation of God as Saviour is peculiar to Luke 1:47; Judges 1:25; 1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4. In the other Epistles Paul uses it of Christ (Philemon 3:20; Ephesians 5:23) as in 2 Timothy 1:10. In 2 Peter 1:1 we have “our God and Saviour Jesus Christ” as in Titus 2:13.

Our hope (της ελπιδος ημωνtēs elpidos hēmōn). Like Colossians 1:27. More than the author and object of hope, “its very substance and foundation” (Ellicott).

Verse 2

True (γνησιωιgnēsiōi). Legitimate, not spurious. Old word from γινομαιginomai but Pauline only in N.T. (Philemon 4:3; 2 Corinthians 8:8; Titus 1:4). In Philemon 2:20 the adverb γνησιωςgnēsiōs occurs and of Timothy again.

Christ Jesus (Χριστου ΙησουChristou Iēsou). So twice already in 1 Timothy 1:1 and as usual in the later Epistles (Colossians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1).

Verse 3

As I exhorted (κατως παρεκαλεσαkathōs parekalesa). There is an ellipse of the principal clause in 1 Timothy 1:4 (so do I now not being in the Greek).

To tarry (προσμειναιprosmeinai). First aorist active infinitive of προσμενωprosmenō old verb, attributed by Luke to Paul in Acts 13:43.

That thou mightest charge (ινα παραγγειληιςhina paraggeilēis). Subfinal clause with ιναhina and the first aorist active subjunctive of παραγγελλωparaggellō old verb, to transmit a message along (παραpara) from one to another. See 2 Thessalonians 3:4, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Lock considers this idiom here an elliptical imperative like Ephesians 4:29; Ephesians 5:33.

Certain men (τισινtisin). Dative case. Expressly vague (no names as in 1 Timothy 1:20), though Paul doubtless has certain persons in Ephesus in mind.

Not to teach a different doctrine (μη ετεροδιδασκαλεινmē heterodidaskalein). Earliest known use of this compound like κακοδιδασκαλεινkakodidaskalein of Clement of Rome. Only other N.T. example in 1 Timothy 6:3. Eusebius has ετεροδιδασκαλοςheterodidaskalos Same idea in Galatians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Romans 16:17. Perhaps coined by Paul.

Verse 4

To give heed (προσεχεινprosechein). With νουνnoun understood. Old and common idiom in N.T. especially in Luke and Acts (Acts 8:10.). Not in Paul‘s earlier Epistles. 1 Timothy 3:8; 1 Timothy 4:1, 1 Timothy 4:13; Titus 1:14.

To fables (μυτοιςmuthois). Dative case of old word for speech, narrative, story, fiction, falsehood. In N.T. only 2 Peter 1:16; 1 Timothy 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:7; Titus 1:14; 2 Timothy 4:4.

Genealogies (γενεαλογιαιςgenealogiais). Dative of old word, in lxx, in N.T. only here and Titus 3:9.

Endless (απεραντοιςaperantois). Old verbal compound (from αa privative and περαινωperainō to go through), in lxx, only here in N.T. Excellent examples there for old words used only in the Pastorals because of the subject matter, describing the Gnostic emphasis on aeons.

Questionings (εκζητησειςekzētēseis). “Seekings out.” Late and rare compound from εκζητεωekzēteō (itself Koiné{[28928]}š word, Romans 3:11 from lxx and in papyri). Here only in N.T. Simplex ζητησιςzētēsis in Acts 15:2; 1 Timothy 6:4; Titus 3:9; 2 Timothy 2:23.

A dispensation (οικονομιανoikonomian). Pauline word (1 Corinthians 9:17; Colossians 1:25; Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 3:9; 1 Timothy 1:4), Luke 16:2-4 only other N.T. examples.

In faith (εν πιστειen pistei). Pauline use of πιστιςpistis f0).

Verse 5

The end (το τελοςto telos). See Romans 6:21; Romans 10:4 for τελοςtelos (the good aimed at, reached, result, end).

Love (αγαπηagapē). Not “questionings.” Romans 13:9. “Three conditions for the growth of love” (Parry): “Out of a pure heart” (εκ καταρας καρδιαςek katharas kardias O.T. conception), “and a good conscience” (και συνειδησεως αγατηςkai suneidēseōs agathēs for which see note on Romans 2:15), “and faith unfeigned” (και πιστεως ανυποκριτουkai pisteōs anupokritou late compound verbal in 2 Corinthians 6:6; Romans 12:9).

Verse 6

Having swerved (αστοχησαντεςastochēsantes). First aorist active participle of αστοχεωastocheō compound Koiné{[28928]}š verb (Polybius, Plutarch) from αστοχοςastochos (αa privative and στοχοςstochos a mark), “having missed the mark.” In N.T. only here, 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 2:18. With the ablative case ωνhōn (which).

Have turned aside (εχετραπησανexetrapēsan). Second aorist passive indicative of εκτρεπωektrepō old and common verb, to turn or twist out or aside. In medical sense in Hebrews 12:13. As metaphor in 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 4:4.

Vain talking (ματαιολογιανmataiologian). Late word from ματαιολογοςmataiologos only here in N.T., in the literary Koiné.

Verse 7

Teachers of the law (νομοδιδασκαλοιnomodidaskaloi). Compound only in N.T. (here, Luke 5:17; Acts 5:34) and ecclesiastical writers.

Though they understand (νοουντεςnoountes). Concessive participle of νοεωnoeō old verb (Ephesians 3:4, Ephesians 3:20).

Neither what (μητε αmēte ha). Relative αha (which things).

Nor whereof (μητε περι τινωνmēte peri tinōn). Here the interrogative τινωνtinōn used in sense of relative ωνhōn It may be regarded as the use of an indirect question for variety (Parry).

They confidently affirm (διαβεβαιουνταιdiabebaiountai). Present middle indicative of the common Koiné{[28928]}š compound, in N.T. only here and Titus 3:8.

Verse 8

If a man use it lawfully (εαν τις αυτωι χρηταιean tis autōi chrētai). Condition of third class with εανean and present middle subjunctive of χραομαιchraomai with instrumental case.

Verse 9

Is not made for (ου κειταιou keitai). The use of κειταιkeitai for τετειταιtetheitai (perfect passive of τιτημιtithēmi) is a common enough idiom. See the same point about law in Galatians 3:18-23; Romans 13:13. For “knowing this” (ειδως τουτοeidōs touto) see note on Ephesians 5:5.

Unruly (ανυποτακτοιςanupotaktois). Dative (like all these words) of the late verbal (αa privative and υποτασσωhupotassō). In N.T. only here, Titus 1:6, Titus 1:10; Hebrews 2:8.

Ungodly (ασεβεσιasebesi). See Romans 4:5; Romans 5:6.

Sinners (αμαρτωλοιςhamartōlois). See Romans 3:7.

Unholy (ανοσιοιςanosiois). Common word (αa privative and οσιοςhosios In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 3:2.

Profane (βεβηλοιςbebēlois). Old word from βαινωbainō to go, and βηλοςbēlos threshold. See Hebrews 12:16.

Murderers of fathers (πατρολωιαιςpatrolōiais). Late form for common Attic πατραλωιαιςpatralōiais (from πατηρpatēr father, and αλοιαωaloiaō to smite) only here in N.T.

Murderers of mothers (μητρολωιαιςmētrolōiais). Late form Attic μητραλωιαιςmētralōiais Only here in N.T.

Manslayers (ανδραπονοιςandraphonois). Old compound (ανηρanēr man, πονοςphonos murder). Only here in N.T.

Verse 10

For abusers of themselves with men (αρσενοκοιταιςarsenokoitais). Late compound for sodomites. In N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 6:9.

Men-stealers (ανδραποδισταιςandrapodistais). Old word from ανδραποδιζωandrapodizō (from ανηρanēr man, πουςpous foot, to catch by the foot), to enslave. So enslavers, whether kidnappers (men-stealers) of free men or stealers of the slaves of other men. So slave-dealers. By the use of this word Paul deals a blow at the slave-trade (cf. Philemon).

Liars (πσευσταιςpseustais). Old word, see Romans 3:4.

False swearers (επιορκοιςepiorkois). Old word (επι ορκοςepiτηι υγιαινουσηι διδασκαλιαιorkos oath). Perjurers. Only here in N.T. For similar lists, see note on 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 6:9.; Galatians 5:19.; Romans 1:28.; Romans 13:13; Colossians 3:5; Ephesians 5:5; 2 Timothy 3:2.

The sound doctrine (αντικειταιtēi hugiainousēi didaskaliāi). Dative case after υγιαινωantikeitai for which verb see Galatians 5:17 for the conflict between the Spirit and the flesh. “The healthful (hugiainō old word for being well, as Luke 5:31; 3 John 1:2, in figurative sense in N.T. only in the Pastorals) teaching.” See Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 4:3.

Verse 11

Of the blessed God (του μακαριου τεουtou makariou theou). Applied to God only here and 1 Timothy 6:15, but in Titus 2:13 μακαριοςmakarios occurs with ελπιςelpis (hope) of the “epiphany of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Which was committed to my trust (ο επιστευτην εγωho episteuthēn egō). “with which (οho accusative retained with first aorist passive verb επιστευτηνepisteuthēn) I was entrusted.”

Verse 12

I thank (χαριν εχωcharin echō). “I have gratitude to.” Common phrase (Luke 17:9), not elsewhere in Paul.

That enabled me (τωι ενδυναμωσαντι μεtōi endunamōsanti me). First aorist active articular participle of ενδυναμοωendunamoō Late verb, but regular Pauline idiom (Romans 4:20; Philemon 4:13; Ephesians 6:10; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:17).

Appointing me to his service (τεμενος εις διακονιανthemenos eis diakonian). Second aorist middle participle. Pauline phrase and atmosphere (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:18, 1 Corinthians 12:28; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Colossians 1:23; Ephesians 3:7; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 4:5, 2 Timothy 4:11).

Verse 13

Before (το προτερονto proteron). Accusative of general reference of the articular comparative, “as to the former-time,” formerly, as in Galatians 4:13.

Though I was (ονταonta). Concessive participle agreeing with μεme

Blasphemer (βλασπημονblasphēmon). Old word either from βλαχblax (stupid) and πημηphēmē speech, or from βλαπτωblaptō to injure. Rare in N.T. but Paul uses βλασπημεωblasphēmeō to blaspheme in Romans 2:24.

Persecutor (διωκτηςdiōktēs). So far found only here. Probably made by Paul from διωκωdiōkō which he knew well enough (Acts 22:4, Acts 22:7; Acts 26:14.; Galatians 1:13, Galatians 1:23; Philemon 3:6; 2 Timothy 3:12).

Injurious (υβριστηνhubristēn). Substantive, not adjective, “an insolent man.” Old word from υβριζωhubrizō in N.T. only here and Romans 1:30.

I obtained mercy (ελεητηνeleēthēn). First aorist passive indicative of ελεεωeleeō old verb. See 2 Corinthians 4:1; Romans 11:30.

Ignorantly (αγνοωνagnoōn). Present active participle of αγνοεωagnoeō “not knowing.” Old verb (Romans 2:4). In a blindness of heart.

In unbelief (εν απιστιαιen apistiāi). See Romans 11:20, Romans 11:25.

Verse 14

Abounded exceedingly (υπερεπλεονασενhuperepleonasen). Aorist active indicative of the late and rare (So 1 Timothy 5:19 and in Herond.) compound υπερπλεοναζωhuperpleonazō (here alone in N.T.), in later ecclesiastical writers. The simplex πλεοναζωpleonazō Paul used in Romans 5:20; Romans 6:1 and the kindred υπερεπερισσευσενhupereperisseusen used also with η χαριςhē charis Paul is fond of compounds with υπερhuper For “faith in Christ Jesus” see note on Galatians 3:26, for “faith and love in Christ Jesus” as here, see 2 Timothy 1:13.

Verse 15

Faithful is the saying (πιστος ο λογοςpistos ho logos). Five times in the Pastorals (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; Titus 3:8; 2 Timothy 2:11). It will pay to note carefully πιστισ πιστευω πιστοςpistisπιστοςpisteuōλογοςpistos Same use of οτιpistos (trustworthy) applied to αποδοχηςlogos in Titus 1:9; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6. Here and probably in 2 Timothy 2:11 a definite saying seems to be referred to, possibly a quotation (αχιοςhoti) of a current saying quite like the Johannine type of teaching. This very phrase (Christ coming into the world) occurs in John 9:37; John 11:27; John 16:28; John 18:37. Paul, of course, had no access to the Johannine writings, but such “sayings” were current among the disciples. There is no formal quotation, but “the whole phrase implies a knowledge of Synoptic and Johannine language” (Lock) as in Luke 5:32; John 12:47.

Acceptation (πρωτοςapodochēs). Genitive case with ηνaxios (worthy of). Late word (Polybius, Diod., Jos.) in N.T. only here and 1 Timothy 4:9.

Chief (ειμιprōtos). Not ελαχιστος των αποστολωνēn (I was), but τωι ελαχιστοτερωι παντων αγιωνeimi (I am). “It is not easy to think of any one but St. Paul as penning these words” (White). In 1 Corinthians 15:9 he had called himself “the least of the apostles” (elachistos tōn apostolōn). In Ephesians 3:8 he refers to himself as “the less than the least of all saints” (tōi elachistoterōi pantōn hagiōn). On occasion Paul would defend himself as on a par with the twelve apostles (Galatians 2:6-10) and superior to the Judaizers (2 Corinthians 11:5.; 2 Corinthians 12:11). It is not mock humility here, but sincere appreciation of the sins of his life (cf. Romans 7:24) as a persecutor of the church of God (Galatians 1:13), of men and even women (Acts 22:4.; Acts 26:11). He had sad memories of those days.

Verse 16

In me as chief (εν εμοι πρωτωιen emoi prōtōi). Probably starts with the same sense of πρωτοςprōtos as in 1 Timothy 1:15 (rank), but turns to order (first in line). Paul becomes the “specimen” sinner as an encouragement to all who come after him.

Might shew forth (ενδειχηταιendeixētai). First aorist middle subjunctive (purpose with ιναhina) of ενδεικνυμιendeiknumi to point out, for which see note on Ephesians 2:7 (same form with ιναhina).

Longsuffering (μακροτυμιανmakrothumian). Common Pauline word (2 Corinthians 6:6).

For an ensample (προς υποτυπωσινpros hupotupōsin). Late and rare word (in Galen, Sext. Emp., Diog. Laert., here only in N.T.) from late verb υποτυποωhupotupoō (in papyri) to outline. So substantive here is a sketch, rough outline. Paul is a sample of the kind of sinners that Jesus came to save. See υποδειγμαhupodeigma in 2 Peter 2:6.

Verse 17

This noble doxology is a burst of gratitude for God‘s grace to Paul. For other doxologies see note on Galatians 1:5; Romans 11:36; Romans 16:27; Philemon 4:20; Ephesians 3:21; 1 Timothy 6:16. White suggests that Paul may have often used this doxology in his prayers. Lock suggests “a Jewish liturgical formula” (a needless suggestion in view of Paul‘s wealth of doxologies seen above). For God‘s creative activity (King of the ages) see 1 Corinthians 10:11; Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 3:9, Ephesians 3:11.

Incorruptible (απταρτωιaphthartōi). As an epithet of God also in Romans 1:23.

Invisible (αορατωιaoratōi). Epithet of God in Colossians 1:15.

The only God (μονωι τεωιmonōi theōi). So Romans 16:27; John 5:44; John 17:3.

For ever and ever (εις τους αιωνας των αιωνωνeis tous aiōnas tōn aiōnōn). “Unto the ages of ages.” Cf. Ephesians 3:21 “of the age of the ages.”

Verse 18

I commit (παρατιτεμαιparatithemai). Present middle indicative of old and common verb, to place beside (παραpara) as food on table, in the middle to entrust (Luke 12:48) and used by Jesus as he was dying (Luke 23:46). Here it is a banking figure and repeated in 2 Timothy 2:2.

According to the prophecies which went before on thee (κατα τας προαγουσας επι σε προπητειαςkata tas proagousas epi se prophēteias). Intransitive use of προαγωproagō to go before. When Timothy first comes before us (Acts 16:2) “he was testified to” (εμαρτυρειτοemartureito) by the brethren. He began his ministry rich in hopes, prayers, predictions.

That by them thou mayest war the good warfare (ινα στρατευηι εν αυταις την καλην στρατειανhina strateuēi en autais tēn kalēn strateian). Cognate accusative (στρατειανstrateian old word from στρατευωstrateuō in N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 4:4) with στρατευηιstrateuēi (second person singular middle present subjunctive of στρατευωstrateuō old verb chiefly in Paul in N.T., 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 10:3). As if in defensive armour.

Verse 19

Holding faith and a good conscience (εχων πιστιν και αγατην συνειδησινechōn pistin kai agathēn suneidēsin). Possibly as a shield (Ephesians 6:16) or at any rate possessing (Romans 2:20) faith as trust and a good conscience. A leader expects them of his followers and must show them himself.

Having thrust from them (απωσαμενοιapōsamenoi). First aorist indirect middle participle of απωτεωapōtheō to push away from one. Old verb (see note on Romans 11:1.).

Made shipwreck (εναυαγησανenauagēsan). First aorist active indicative of ναυαγεωnauageō old verb from ναυαγοςnauagos (shipwrecked, ναυςnaus ship, αγνυμιagnumi to break), to break a ship to pieces. In N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 11:25.

Concerning the faith (περι την πιστινperi tēn pistin). Rather, “concerning their faith” (the article here used as a possessive pronoun, a common Greek idiom).

Verse 20

Hymenaeus (υμεναιοςHumenaios). The same heretic reappears in 2 Timothy 2:17. He and Alexander are the chief “wreckers” of faith in Ephesus.

Alexander (ΑλεχανδροςAlexandros). Probably the same as the one in 2 Timothy 4:14, but not the Jew of that name in Acts 19:33, unless he had become a Christian since then.

I delivered unto Satan (παρεδωκα τωι Σαταναιparedōka tōi Satanāi). See this very idiom (παραδουναι τωι Σαταναιparadounai tōi Satanāi) in 1 Corinthians 5:5. It is a severe discipline of apostolic authority, apparently exclusion and more than mere abandonment (1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 2:11), though it is an obscure matter.

That they might be taught not to blaspheme (ινα παιδευτωσιν μη βλασπημεινhina paideuthōsin mē blasphēmein). Purpose clause with ιναhina and first aorist passive subjunctive of παιδευωpaideuō For this use of this common late verb, see note on 1 Corinthians 11:32; 2 Corinthians 6:9.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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