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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
1 Timothy 1



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Verse 1

An apostle of Jesus Christ

This title appears in the salutations of Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians. In Philippians, Paul and Timothy the servants of Jesus Christ. Philemon a prisoner. This formal announcement of apostleship is strange in a private letter.

By the commandment of God ( κατ ' ἐπιταγὴν θεοῦ )

The phrase in Romans 16:26. Κατ ' ἐπιταγὴν absolutely, by commandment, 1 Corinthians 7:6, 2 Corinthians 8:8. Paul uses διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ bythe will of God. See 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1. Comp. 2 Timothy 1:1.

Our Savior ( σωτῆρος ἡμῶν )

Comp. Luke 1:47; Judges 1:25. oP. Six times in the Pastorals. Used of both God and Christ (see Titus 1:3, Titus 1:4; Titus 2:10, Titus 2:13; Titus 3:4, Titus 3:6). The saving of men appears as God's direct will and act, 1 Timothy 2:4; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9as Christ's work, 1 Timothy 1:15, comp. 2 Timothy 2:10. In lxx σωτὴρ occurs twenty times, and in all but two instances, of God.

Jesus Christ which is our hope

The phrase is unique in N.T. Comp. Colossians 1:27, where, however, the construction is doubtful. Ἑλπὶς hopeis predicated of Christ by Ignatius, Eph. xxi.; Philad. v. The salutation as a whole has no parallel in Paul.

Verse 2

My own son in the faith ( γνησίῳ τέκνῳ ἐν πίστει )

More correctly, “my true child in faith.” Comp. Titus 1:4. With these two exceptions, τέκνον or υἱός ἐν πίστει does not occur in N.T. Ἑν πίστει or τῇ πίστει is not come on Paul; see 1 Corinthians 16:13; 2 Corinthians 8:7; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:13. In the Pastorals, nine times. In Paul joined with ζῇν tolive, εἶναι tobe, στήκειν tostand, βεβαιοῦσθαι tobe established. For γνήσιος truesee 2 Corinthians 8:8; Philemon 2:20; Philemon 4:3. It means natural by birth-relation, therefore true or genuine.

Mercy ( ἔλεος )

This addition to the usual form of salutation is peculiar to the Pastorals.

Verse 3

Even as ( καθὼς )

An awkward construction, there being nothing to answer to καθὼς .

To abide ( προσμεῖναι )

To continue on. The compound does not occur in Paul, but is found in Acts 11:23; Acts 13:43; Acts 18:18.

When I went ( πορευόμενος )

Better, was going, or was on my way. The participle cannot refer to Timothy.

Might'st charge ( παραγγείλῃς )

See on Acts 1:4. Very common in Luke and Acts, but not in Paul. In 1st Timothy alone five times.

Some ( τισὶν )

Note the indefinite designation of the errorists, and comp. 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 5:15, 1 Timothy 5:24; 1 Timothy 6:21. The expression is contemptuous. It is assumed that Timothy knows who they are. This is after the Pauline manner. See Galatians 1:7; Galatians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 15:12; 2 Corinthians 3:1; Colossians 2:4, Colossians 2:8.

That they teach no other doctrine ( μὴ ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν )

Better, not to teach a different doctrine. For ἕτερος differentsee on Galatians 1:6. The verb Pastoolxx. oClass. The charge is not to teach anything contrary to the sound teaching (1 Timothy 1:10) or irreconcilable with it. Comp. Galatians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Romans 16:17.

Verse 4

Give heed ( προσέχειν )

oP. Frequent in lxx and Class. Lit. To hold to. Often with τὸν νοῦν themind, which must be supplied here. It means here not merely to give attention to, but to give assent to. So Acts 8:6; Acts 16:14; Hebrews 2:1; 2 Peter 1:19.

Fables ( μύθοις )

Μῦθος , in its widest sense, means word, speech, conversation or its subject. Hence the talk of men, rumour, report, a saying, a story, true or false; later, a fiction as distinguished from λόγος ahistoric tale. In Attic prose, commonly a legend of prehistoric Greek times. Thus Plato, Repub. 330 D, οἱ λεγόμενοι μῦθοι περὶ τῶν ἐν Ἅΐδου whatare called myths concerning those in Hades. Only once in lxx, 2Peter href="/desk/?q=2pe+1:16&sr=1">2 Peter 1:16. As to its exact reference here, it is impossible to speak with certainty. Expositors are hopelessly disagreed, some referring it to Jewish, others to Gnostic fancies. It is explained as meaning traditional supplements to the law, allegorical interpretations, Jewish stories of miracles, Rabbinical fabrications, whether in history or doctrine, false doctrines generally, etc. It is to be observed that μῦθοι are called Jewish in Titus 1:14. In 1 Timothy 4:7, they are described as profane and characteristic of old wives. In 2 Timothy 4:4, the word is used absolutely, as here.

Endless genealogies ( γενεαλογίαις ἀπεράντοις )

Both words PastoFor γενεαλογία (olxx) comp. Titus 3:9. Γενεαλογεῖσθαι totrace ancestry, only Hebrews 7:6; comp. 1 Chronicles 5:1, the only instance in lxx. Ἁπέραντος endlessN.T.oTwice in lxx. By some the genealogies are referred to the Gnostic aeons or series of emanations from the divine unity; by others to the O.T. Genealogies as interpreted allegorically by Philo, and made the basis of a psychological system, or O.T. Genealogies adorned with fables: by others again to genealogical registers proper, used to foster the religious and national pride of the Jews against Gentiles, or to ascertain the descent of the Messiah. Ἁπέραντος from ἀ notand πέρας limitor terminus. Πέρας may be taken in the sense of object or aim, so that the adjective here may mean without object, useless. (So Chrysostom, Holtzmann, and von Soden.) Others take it in a popular sense, as describing the tedious length of the genealogies (Alford); and others that these matters furnish an inexhaustible subject of study (Weiss). “Fables and endless genealogies” form a single conception, the καὶ and being explanatory, that is to say, and the “endless genealogies” indicating in what the peculiarity of the fables consists.

Which ( αἵτινες )

Rather the which: inasmuch as they.

Minister ( παρέχουσιν )

Afford, furnish, give occasion for. Only twice in Paul. Elsewhere mainly in Luke and Acts.

Questions ( ἐκζητήσεις )

Better, questionings. N.T.oolxx. oClass. The simple ζητήσεις in Pastorals, John and Acts. The preposition ἐκ gives the sense of subtle, laborious investigation: inquiring out.

Godly edifying

According to the reading οἰκοδομίαν edificationSo Vulg. aedificationem. But the correct reading is οἰκονομίαν orderingor dispensation: the scheme or order of salvation devised and administered by God: God's household economy. Ὁικονομία is a Pauline word. With the exception of this instance, only in Paul and Luke. See Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:2, Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:25.

Which is in faith ( τὴν ἐν πίστει )

See on 1 Timothy 1:2. Faith is the sphere or clement of its operation.

Verse 5

The end of the commandment ( τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας )

The article with “Commandment” points back to might'st charge, 1 Timothy 1:3. Rend. therefore, of the charge. Τέλος endaim, that which the charge contemplates.

Love ( ἀγάπη )

See on Galatians 5:22. The questionings, on the contrary, engendered strifes (2 Timothy 2:23). Love to men is meant, as meant as N.T. When the word is used absolutely. See Romans 13:10.

Out of a pure heart ( ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας )

Comp. Luke 10:27, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God out of they whole heart ( ἐξ ὅλης καρδίας σου ), and in or with ( ἐν ) thy whole soul,” etc. For a pure heart, comp. 2 Timothy 2:22. Καθαρός purein Paul only Romans 14:20. The phrase a pure heart occurs, outside of the Pastorals only in 1 Peter 1:22. For καρδία heartsee on Romans 1:21.

A good conscience( συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς )

Comp 2 Timothy 1:3. Συνείδησις conscienceis common in Paul. See on 1 Peter 3:16.

Faith unfeigned ( πίστεως ἀνυποκρίτου )

Ἁνυπόκριτος unfeignedtwice in Paul, Romans 12:9; 2 Corinthians 6:6, both times as an attribute of love. In James 3:17, it is an attribute of wisdom, and in 1 Peter 1:22, of brotherly love. Notice the triad, love, conscience, faith. There is nothing un-Pauline in the association of conscience and faith, although, as a fact, Paul does not formally associate them. In 1 Corinthians 8:7, 1 Corinthians 8:10, 1 Corinthians 8:12, conscience is associated with knowledge.

Verse 6

Having swerved ( ἀστοχήσαντες )

PastoIn lxx, 8:9. It means to miss the mark.

Have turned aside ( ἐξετράπησαν )

oP. Comp. 1Timothy href="/desk/?q=1ti+5:15&sr=1">1 Timothy 5:15; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 4:4; Hebrews 12:13.

Vain jangling ( ματαιολογίαν )

N.T.oolxx. oClass. The word illustrates the writer's fondness for unusual compounds. Jangling is an early English word from the old French jangler, comp. jongleur a teller of tales. Hence jangling is empty chatter. So Chaucer,

“Them that jangle of love.”

Troil. and Cress ii. 800.

And Piers Ploughman,

“And al day to drynken

At diverse tavernes

And there to jangle and jape.”

Vision, Pass. ii. 1069.


“This their jangling I esteem a sport.”

Mids. Night's D. iii. 2.

Wiclif, Exodus 17:7(earlier version), uses jangling for wrangling. “And he clepide the name of the place Temptynge for the jangling of the sons of Israel.”

Verse 7

Desiring ( θέλοντες )

The participle is explanatory and confirmatory of the preceding statement: since they desire.

Teachers of the law ( νομοδιδάσκαλοι )

oP. It occurs in Luke 5:17and Acts 5:34. Νόμος is, apparently, the Mosaic law. These teachers may have been arbitrary interpreters of that law, but in what way, cannot be shown.

Understanding ( νοοῦντες )

Better, though they understand.

What they say - whereof they affirm ( ἃ λέγουσιν - περὶ τίνων διαβεβαιοῦνται )

The latter expression is an advance on the former, as appears not only from the verbs themselves, but from the different pronominal expressions. They know not what they say, nor what kind of things they are of which they speak so confidently. The compound διαβεβαιοῦσωαι toaffirm, PastoComp. Titus 3:8. The false teachers announce their errors with assurance.

Verse 8

Good ( καλός )

Comp. Romans 7:16. Morally excellent and salutary. See on John 10:11. This is the only instance of χρᾶσθαι touse with νόμος lawLawfully ( νομίμως )

Pastoolxx. The nature of the proper use of the law - is indicated by the next clause.

Verse 9

Knowing ( εἰδὼς )

The participle is connected with τὶς onea man, in the preceding clause.

Is not made ( οὐ κεῖται )

Lit. Is not laid down, set, appointed. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:3. This is the only instance of its use with νόμος lawThat usage is frequent in Class. See, for instance, Thucyd. ii. 37.

Righteous ( δικαίῳ )

Morally upright. Not in the Pauline sense of justified by faith. Comp. 2 Timothy 2:22; 2 Timothy 3:16. This appears from the way in which the opposite of righteous is described in the next clause.

Lawless ( ἀνόμοις )

Recognizing no law; a sense which accords better with the following context than not having a law, as 1 Corinthians 9:21.

Disobedient ( ἀνυποτάκτοις )

Only in Pastorals and Hebrews. Better unruly. Disobedient is too specific. It means those who will not come into subjection. It is closely allied with lawless. In the one case no legal obligation is recognized; in the other, subjection to law is refused.

Ungodly - sinners ( ἀσεβέσι - ἁμαρτωλοῖς )

The same collocation in 1 Peter 4:18; Judges 1:15. See on godliness, 2 Peter 1:3.

Unholy - profane ( ἀνοσίοις - βεβήλοις )

Ἁνοσιος unholyPastoSee on holiness, Luke 1:75. Βέβηλος profanecomp. 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 2:16; Hebrews 12:16. The verb βεβηλοῦν toprofane, Matthew 12:5; Acts 24:6, and often in lxx. Derived from βηλός threshold(comp. βαίνειν togo ). Hence the primary sense is that may be trodden. Comp. Lat. Profanus before the temple, on the ground outside. What is permitted to be trodden by people at large is unhallowed, profane. Esau is called βέβηλος in Hebrews 12:16, as one who did not regard his birthright as sacred, but as something to be sold in order to supply a common need.

Murderers of fathers - murders of mothers ( πατρολῴαις - μητρολῴαις )

Both words Pastoand olxx. Both in Class. More literally, smiters of fathers and mothers, though used in Class. Of parricides and matricides. Derived from ἀλοᾶν tosmite or thresh. The simple verb, 1 Corinthians 9:9, 1 Corinthians 9:10.

Manslayers ( ἀνδροφόνοις )

N.T.oOnce in lxx, 2 Maccabees 9:28.

Verse 10

Them that defile themselves with mankind ( ἀρσενοκοίταις )

Only here and 1 Corinthians 6:9. olxx, oClass.

Menstealers ( ἀνδραποδισταῖς )

N.T.oOnce in lxx. Ellicott remarks that this is a repulsive and exaggerated violation of the eighth commandment, as ἀρσενοκοιτεῖν is of the seventh. The penalty of death is attached to it, Exodus 21:16.

Perjured persons ( ἐπιόρκοις )

N.T.oOnce in lxx, Zechariah 5:3. See Leviticus 19:12.

Is contrary to ( ἀντίκειται )

Lit. Lies opposite to. Used by Paul and Luke. See Luke 13:17; Galatians 5:17.

The sound doctrine ( τῇ ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλίᾳ )

A phrase peculiar to the Pastorals. Ὑγιαίνειν tobe in good health, Luke 5:31; Luke 7:10; 3 John 1:2. oP. Quite frequent in lxx, and invariably in the literal sense. Often in salutations or dismissals. See 9:19; 2Samuel href="/desk/?q=2sa+14:8&sr=1">2 Samuel 14:8; Exodus 4:18. In the Pastorals, the verb, which occurs eight times, is six times associated with διδασκαλία teachingor λόγοι wordsand twice with ἐν τῇ πίστει or τῇ πίστει inthe faith. The sound teaching (comp. διδαχή teaching 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9) which is thus commended is Paul's, who teaches in Christ's name and by his authority (2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 2:2, 2 Timothy 2:8). In all the three letters it is called ἀλη.θεια or ἡ ἀλήθεια thetruth, the knowledge ( ἐπίγνωσις ) of which is bound up with salvation. See 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:25; 2 Timothy 3:7; Titus 1:1. As truth it is sound or healthful. It is the object of faith. To be sound in the faith is, practically, to follow ( παρακολουθεῖν ) sound teaching or the truth. The subjective characteristic of Christians is εὐσέβεια or θεοσέβεια godlinessor piety (1 Timothy 2:2, 1 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:7, 1 Timothy 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:6, 1 Timothy 6:11); and the teaching and knowledge of the truth are represented as κατ ' εὐσέβειαν accordingto godliness (1 Timothy 6:3; Titus 1:1). Comp. εὐσεβεῖν toshow piety, 1 Timothy 5:4. εὐσεβῶς ζῇν to live godly, 2 Timothy 3:12; Titus 2:12; and βίον διάγειν ἐν πάσῃ εὐσεβείᾳ tolead a life in all godliness, 1 Timothy 2:2. The contents of this sound teaching which is according to godliness are not theoretical or dogmatic truth, but Christian ethics, with faith and love. See 1 Timothy 1:14; 1 Timothy 2:15; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 3:10; Titus 2:2. Ἁλήθεια truthis used of moral things, rather than in the high religious sense of Paul. Comp., for instance, Romans 3:7; Romans 9:1; 1 Corinthians 5:8; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 11:10; Galatians 2:5; Ephesians 4:21, Ephesians 4:24; and 2 Timothy 2:25, 2 Timothy 2:26; 2 Timothy 3:7(comp. 2 Timothy 3:1-9); 2 Timothy 4:3, 2 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:12(comp. Titus 1:11, Titus 1:15); Titus 2:4(comp. Titus 2:1, Titus 2:3); Titus 3:1. Whoever grasps the truth has faith (2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 2:18; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:3f.). That the ethical character of faith is emphasized, appears from the numerous expressions regarding the false teachers, as 1 Timothy 1:19; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 5:8, 1 Timothy 5:12; 1 Timothy 6:10, 1 Timothy 6:21. There is a tendency to objectify faith, regarding it as something believed rather than as the act of believing. See 1 Timothy 1:19; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 6:10, 1 Timothy 6:21; Titus 1:4. In comparing the ideal of righteousness (1 Timothy 1:9) with that of Paul, note that it is not denied that Christ is the source of true righteousness; but according to Paul, the man who is not under the law is the man who lives by faith in Christ. Paul emphasizes this. It is faith in Christ which sets one free from the law. Here, the man for whom the law is not made (1 Timothy 1:9) is the man who is ethically conformed to the norm of sound teaching. The two conceptions do not exclude each other: the sound teaching is according to the gospel (1 Timothy 1:11), but the point of emphasis is shifted.

Verse 11

According to

The connection is with the whole foregoing statement about the law and its application, 1 Timothy 1:9ff. The writer substantiates what he has just said about the law, by a reference to the gospel. Comp. Romans 2:16.

The glorious gospel of the blessed God ( τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς δόξης τοῦ μακαρίου θεοῦ )

More correctly, the gospel of the glory, etc. The phrase as a whole has no parallel in N.T. The nearest approach to it is 2 Corinthians 4:4. Gospel of God is a Pauline phrase; but μακάριος blessedis not used of God by Paul, is not used of God by Paul, nor elsewhere outside of the pastorals, where it occurs twice, here and 1 Timothy 6:15. For blessed is not used of God by Paul, nor elsewhere outside of the Pastorals, where it occurs twice, here and 1 Timothy 6:15. For blessed see on Matthew 5:3. The appearing of the glory of God in Jesus Christ is the contents of the gospel. Comp. Titus 2:13.

Which was committed to my trust ( ὃ ἐπιστεύθην ἐγώ )

Or, with which I was intrusted. Comp Titus 1:3; Romans 3:2; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Galatians 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:4. The ἐγώ Iemphatically asserts the authority of Paul against the “teachers of the law” (1 Timothy 1:7).

Verse 12

Hath enabled ( ἐνδυναμώσαντι )

An unclassical word, found in Paul and Acts. See Acts 9:22; Philippians 4:13. Three times in the Pastorals.

Counted ( ἡγήσατο )

A common Pauline word.

Putting ( θέμενος )

Better appointing. The participle defines counted me faithful. He counted me faithful in that he appointed, etc.

Into the ministry ( εἰς διακονίαν )

Better, appointing me to his service. The conventional phrase “the ministry” gives a wrong impression. The term is general, covering every mode of service, either to God or to men. Διάκονοι ministersis used of the secular ruler, Romans 13:4. See also 1 Corinthians 12:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 3:7, 2 Corinthians 3:8; Ephesians 4:12, and on minister, Matthew 20:26.

Verse 13

Blasphemer - persecutor - injurious ( βλάσφημον - διώκτην - ὑβριστήν )

Neither βλάσφημος nor διώκτης is used by Paul. Βλάσφημος in Acts 7:11; 2 Peter 2:11; διώκτης N.T.o ὑβριστής in Romans 1:30only; often in lxx. See on blasphemy Mark 7:22, and comp. 1 Corinthians 10:30. Ὑβριστής is one whose insolence and contempt of others break forth in wanton and outrageous acts. Paul was ὑβριστής when he persecuted the church. He was ὑβρισθείς shamefullyentreated at Philippi (1 Thessalonians 2:2). Christ prophesies that the Son of man shall be shamefully entreated ( ὑβρισθήσεται , Luke 18:32). Similar regretful references of Paul to his former career appear in Acts 22:4; Galatians 1:13, Galatians 1:23. Such a passage may have occurred in some Pauline letters to which this writer had access, or it may be an imitation.

I obtained mercy ( ἠλεήθην )

Comp. 1 Timothy 1:16. In speaking of his conversion, Paul uses χάρις graceSee 1 Timothy 1:14, and the apostleship he speaks of himself as one who has obtained mercy ( ἠλεημένος ) of the Lord to be faithful. 1 Corinthians 7:25; comp. 2 Corinthians 4:1.

Verse 14

Was exceeding abundant ( ὑπερεπλεόνασεν )

Or abounded exceedingly. N.T.oolxx. oClass. Paul is fond of compounds with ὑπὲρ , which, with a few exceptions, are found only in his writings. In the pastorals there are only three. See 1 Timothy 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:2.

With faith

For faith as treated in the Pastorals, see Introduction, and sound doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:10.

Verse 15

This is a faithful saying ( πιστὸς ὁ λόγος )

Better, faithful is the saying. A favorite phrase in these Epistles. oP. See 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8.

Worthy of all acceptation ( πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος )

The phrase only here and 1 Timothy 4:9. Ἁποδοχή Pastoolxx. Comp. Acts 2:41, ἀποδεξάμενοι τὸν λόγον receivedhis word. Πάσης all or every describes the reception of which the saying is worthy as complete and excluding all doubt.

Came into the world ( ἦλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον )

The phrase is unique in the Pastorals, and does not appear in Paul. It is Johannine. See John 1:9; John 3:19; John 11:27; John 12:46.

To save sinners ( ἁναρτωλοὺς σῶσαι )

The thought is Pauline, but not the phrase. See Luke 9:56; Luke 19:10.

Chief ( πρῶτος )

Or foremost. Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:9, and Ephesians 3:8. This expression is an advance on those.

Verse 16

First ( πρώτῳ )

Not the chief sinner, but the representative instance of God's longsuffering applied to a high-handed transgressor. It is explained by pattern.

All longsuffering ( τὴν ἅπασαν μακροθυμίαν )

More correctly, “all his longsuffering.” The A.V. misses the possessive force of the article. For longsuffering see on be patient, James 5:7. The form ἅπας occurs as an undisputed reading only once in Paul, Ephesians 6:13, and not there as an adjective. Often in Acts and Luke. This use of the article with the adjective πᾶς or ἅπας is without parallel in Paul.

Pattern ( ὑποτύπωσιν )

Or, ensample. Only here and 2 Timothy 1:13. olxx. oClass. An example of the writer's fondness for high-sounding compounds. Paul uses τύπος .

To them

The A.V. conveys the sense more clearly than Rev. “of them,” which is ambiguous. The genitive has a possessive sense. He would be their ensample, or an ensample for their benefit.

Believe ( πιστευ.ειν )

This verb, so frequent in Paul, occurs six times in the pastorals. In two instances, 1 Timothy 1:11; Titus 1:3, it is passive, in the sense of to be intrusted with. Here in the Pauline sense of believing on Christ. In 1 Timothy 3:16, passive, of Christ believed on in the world. In 2 Timothy 1:12, of God the Father, in whom the writer confides to keep the trust committed to him. In Titus 3:8, of belief in God. With ἐπὶ uponand the dative, Romans 9:33; Romans 10:11; 1 Peter 2:6(all citations), and Romans 4:18; Luke 24:25.

Unto life everlasting ( εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον )

Better, eternal life. See additional not on 2 Thessalonians 1:9. The conception of life eternal is not limited to the future life (as von Soden). Godliness has promise of the life which now is, as well as of that which is to come (1 Timothy 4:8). The promise of eternal life (2 Timothy 1:1) and the words who brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10) may fairly be taken to cover the present life.

Verse 17

King eternal ( βασιλεῖ τῶν αἰώνων )

Lit. the king of the ages. Only here and Revelation 15:3. Comp. Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 11:3. In lxx, Exodus 15:18; 1 Samuel 13:13; Psalm 9:7; 28:10; 73:12; 144:13; 145:10. See also additional note on 2Thessalonians href="/desk/?q=2th+1:9&sr=1">2 Thessalonians 1:9.

Immortal ( ἀφθάρτῳ )

Lit. Incorruptible. In Paul, applied to God only, Romans 1:23.

Invisible ( ἀοράτῳ )

Applied to God, Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 11:27.

The only wise God ( μόνῳ θεῷ )

Wise should be omitted. Rend. The only God. Σοφῷ wisewas interpolated from Romans 16:27- the only instance in which Paul applies the term to God. Comp. Judges 1:4, Judges 1:25; Luke 5:21; John 5:44.

Honor and glory ( τιμὴ καὶ δόξα )

This combination in doxology only here and Revelation 5:12, Revelation 5:13. Comp. Revelation 4:9. In doxologies Paul uses only δόξα glorywith the article, the glory, and with to whom or to him (be).

Forever and ever ( εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων )

Lit unto the aeons of the aeons. The formula in Paul, Romans 16:26; Galatians 1:5; Philemon 4:20. Also in Hebrews and 1Peter, and often in Revelation The doxology as a whole is unique in N.T.

Verse 18

This charge ( ταύτην τὴν παραγγελίαν )

See on 1 Timothy 1:5. It refers to what follows, that thou might'st war, etc.

I commit ( παρατίθεμαι )

The verb in the active voice means to place beside. In the middle, to deposit or intrust. Only once in Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:27. Comp. 1 Peter 4:19.

According to the prophecies which went before on thee ( κατὰ τὰς προαγούσας ἐπὶ σὲ προφητείας )

Const, according to with I commit: which went before is to be taken absolutely, and not with on thee: const. prophecies with on these. On thee means concerning thee. The sense of the whole passage is: “I commit this charge unto thee in accordance with prophetic intimations which I formerly received concerning thee.” Prophecy is ranked among the foremost of the special spiritual endowments enumerated by Paul. See Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 13:2, 1 Corinthians 13:8; 1 Corinthians 14:6, 1 Corinthians 14:22. In 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11, prophets come next after apostles in the list of those whom God has appointed in the church. In Ephesians 2:20, believers, Jew and Gentile, are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. According to 1 Timothy 4:14, prophecy has previously designated Timothy as the recipient of a special spiritual gift; and the prophecies in our passage are the single expressions or detailed contents of the prophecy mentioned there. Προαγεῖν togo before is not used by Paul. In the Pastorals and Hebrews it appears only as an intransitive verb, and so in the only instance in Luke, Luke 18:39. In Acts always transitive, to bring forth. See Acts 12:6; Acts 16:30; Acts 17:5; Acts 25:26.

That by them ( ἵνα ἐν αὐταῖς )

Ἵνα thatdenoting the purport of the charge. By them ( ἐν ), lit. in them; in their sphere, or, possibly, in the power of these.

Thou mightiest war a good warfare ( στρατεύῃ - τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν )

More correctly, the good warfare. Στρατεία war-fareonce by Paul, 2 Corinthians 10:4. Not flight ( μάχην ), but covering all the particulars of a soldier's service.

Verse 19

Holding ( ἔχων )

Not merely having, but holding fast, as in 2 Timothy 1:13.

Faith and a good conscience ( πίστιν καὶ ἀγαθὴν συνείδησιν )

The phrase good conscience is not in Paul, although συνείδησις is a Pauline word. The phrase appears once in Acts (Acts 23:1), and twice in 1Peter (1 Peter 2:16, 1 Peter 2:21). In Hebrews evil ( πονηρᾶς ) conscience and fair ( καλὴν ) conscience; Hebrews 10:22; Hebrews 13:18. The combination faith and good conscience is peculiar to the Pastorals. Comp. 1 Timothy 3:9.

Which ( ἥν )

Referring to God conscience.

Having put away ( ἀπωσάμενοι )

The A.V. is not strong enough. Better, having thrust from them. It implies willful violence against conscience. Twice in Paul, Romans 11:1, Romans 11:2, and three times in Acts.

Concerning faith have made shipwreck ( περὶ τὴν πίστιν ἐναυάγησαν )

Better, “concerning the faith made shipwreck.” For a similar use of περὶ concerningsee Acts 19:25; Luke 10:40; 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 2:18; 2 Timothy 3:8. It is noteworthy that περὶ with the accusative occurs only once in Paul (Philemon 2:23). Ναυαγεῖν tomake shipwreck only here and 2 Corinthians 11:25. Nautical metaphors are rare in Paul's writings.

Verse 20

Hymenaeus and Alexander

Comp. 2 Timothy 2:17; 2 Timothy 4:14.

Have delivered unto Satan ( παρέδωκα τῷ Σατανᾷ )

See on 1 Corinthians 5:5.

They may learn ( παιδευθῶσι )

Neither A.V. nor Rev. gives the true force of the word, which is, may be taught by punishment or disciplined. See on Ephesians 6:4.


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The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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Sunday, May 31st, 2020
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