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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
1 Timothy 2



Verse 1

I exhort ( παρακαλῶ )

See on consolation, Luke 6:24.

First of all ( πρῶτον πάντων )

Connect with I exhort. The only instance of this phrase in N.T.

Supplications be made ( ποιεῖσθαι δεήσεις )

The phrase occurs Luke 5:33; Philemon 1:4. olxx. oClass. Δέησις is petitionary prayer. Προσευχὴ prayeris limited to prayer to God, while δέησις may be addressed to men. The two are associated, 1 Timothy 5:5: the inverse order, Ephesians 6:18; Philemon 4:6.

Intercessions ( ἐυντεύξεις )

Only here and 1 Timothy 4:5. lxx, Romans href="/desk/?q=ro+8:27&sr=1">Romans 8:27, Romans 8:34; Romans 11:2; and ὑπερεντυγχάνειν tointercede in behalf of, Romans 8:26. The verb signifies to fall in with a person; to draw near so as to converse familiarly. Hence, ἔντευξις is not properly intercession in the accepted sense of that term, but rather approach to God in free and familiar prayer. Ἑντυγχάνειν in the passages cited is not to make intercession, but to intervene, interfere. Thus in Romans 8:26, it is not that the Spirit pleads in our behalf, but that he throws himself into our case; takes part in it. So Hebrews 7:25: not that Jesus is ever interceding for us, but that he is eternally meeting us at every point, and intervening in al our affairs for our benefit. In ἐντεύξεις here the idea of interposition is prominent: making prayers a factor in relations with secular rulers.

Verse 2

Kings ( βασιλέων )

In Paul only 2 Corinthians 11:32.

That are in authority ( τῶν ἐν ὑπεροχῇ ὄντων )

Ὑπεροχή authorityonly here and 1 Corinthians 2:1. Several times in lxx Originally, projection, prominence: metaphorically, preeminence, superiority. In Byzantine Greek, a little like our Excellency. This very phrase is found in an inscription of the early Roman period, after 133 b.c., at Pergamum. Paul has the phrase ἐξ ουσίαι ὑπερεχούσαι higherpowers, Romans 13:1; and οἱ ὑπερέχοντες thosein high places is found Wisd. 6:5.

We may lead ( διάγωμεν )

PastoComp. Titus 3:3.

Quiet and peaceable ( ἤρεμον καὶ ἡσυχιον )

Ἤρεμος , N.T.oIn Class. only the adverb ἠρέμα quietly Ἡσύχιος tranquiloP. Only here and 1 Peter 3:4. In lxx once, Isaiah 66:2. Ἡρεμος denotes quiet arising from the absence of outward disturbance: ἡούχιος tranquillity arising from within. Thus, ἀνήρ ἡσύχιος is the composed, discreet, self-contained man, who keeps himself from rash doing: ἤρεμος ἀνήρ is he who is withdrawn from outward disturbances. Hence, ἤρεμος here may imply keeping aloof from political agitation's and freedom from persecutions.

Honesty ( σεμνότητι )

Better, gravity. Honesty, according to the modern acceptation, is an unfortunate rendering. In earlier English it signified becoming department, decency, decorum. So Shakespeare: “He is of a noble strain, of approved valor and confirmed honesty” (Much Ado, ii.1). This noun and the kindred adjective σεμνὸς only in the Pastorals, except Philemon 4:8. The adjective signifies reverend or venerable; exhibiting a dignity which arises from moral elevation, and thus invites reverence. In lxx it is used to characterize the name of God (Proverbs href="/desk/?q=pr+8:6&sr=1">Proverbs 8:6); the words of the pure (Proverbs 15:26).

Godliness ( εὐσεβεία )

See on 1 Peter 1:3, and see on sound doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:10. oP. Mostly in the Pastorals.

Verse 3

Acceptable ( ἀπόδεκτον )

PastoCompare ἀποδοχή acceptation 1 Timothy 1:15, and Paul's εὐρόσδεκτος acceptable Romans 15:16, Romans 15:31; 2 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Corinthians 7:12.

Verse 4

Who will have all men to be saved ( ὃς πάντας ἀνθρώπους θέλει σωθῆναι )

Lit, who willeth all men, etc. As who, or seeing that he, giving the ground of the previous statement. Prayer to God for all is acceptable to him, because he wills the salvation of all. Θέλει willethmarking a determinate purpose.

Come to the knowledge of the truth ( εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν )

The phrase only here and 2 Timothy 3:7. Ἑπίγνωσις is a favorite Pauline word. See on Romans 3:20; see on Colossians 1:9; see on 1 Timothy 2:4; see on 1 Timothy 4:3. It signifies advanced or full knowledge. The difference between the simple γνῶσις and the compound word is illustrated in Romans 1:21, Romans 1:28, and 1 Corinthians 13:12. In N.T. always of the knowledge of things ethical or divine, and never ascribed to God. For ἀλήθεια truthsee on sound doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:10. It appears 14 times in the Pastorals, and always without a defining genitive. So, often in Paul, but several times with a defining genitive, as truth of God, of Christ, of the gospel. The logical relation in the writer's mind between salvation and the knowledge of the truth is not quite clear. Knowledge of the truth may be regarded as the means of salvation, or it may be the ideal goal of the whole saving work. See 1 Corinthians 13:12; Philemon 3:8; John 17:3. The latter is more in accord with the general drift of teaching in these Epistles.

Verse 5

For ( γὰρ )

The universality of the grace is grounded in the unity of God. Comp. Romans 3:30. One divine purpose for all implies one God who purposes.

One God

These Epistles deal much with the divine attributes. See 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:13, 1 Timothy 6:15, 1 Timothy 6:16; 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:10; 2 Timothy 2:13; Titus 1:2.

Mediator ( μεσίτης )

See on Galatians 3:19. The word twice in Paul, Galatians 3:29, Galatians 3:20, once of Moses and once generally. In Hebrews always of Christ; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15, Hebrews 12:24. This is the only instance in the pastorals. As the one God, so the one mediator implies the extension of the saving purpose to all.

The man Christ Jesus

The phrase only here.

Verse 6

Who gave himself ( ὁ δοὺς ἐαυτὸν )

The phrase with the simple verb only here, Galatians 1:4, and Titus 2:14. Paul uses the compound verb παραδιδόναι, Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:2, Ephesians 5:25. Comp. Romans 8:32.

Ransom ( ἀντίλυτρον )

N.T.oolxx. oClass. Λύτρον ransom Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45, applied to Christ's life given for many. But neither this nor any of its kindred words is used by Paul. He uses ἀπολύτρωσις, but that means the act not the means of redemption.

For all ( ὑπὲρ )

Ὑπὲρ does not mean instead of ( ἀντὶ ). See on Romans 5:6. Any idea of exchange or substitution which may be implied, resides in ἀντίλυτρον ; but it is pressing that unique word too far to find in it the announcement of a substitutional atonement.

To be testified in due time ( τὸ μαρτύριον καιροῖς ἰδίοις )

Lit. (gave himself a ransom) the testimony in its own times. That is, the gift of Christ as a ransom was to be the substance or import of the testimony which was to be set forth in its proper seasons. Thus μαρτύριον testimonyis in apposition with the whole preceding sentence, and not with ransom only. Μαρτύριον is used sometimes simply as witness or testimony (Matthew 8:4; Mark 6:11): sometimes specially of the proclamation of the gospel, as Matthew 24:14; Acts 4:33; 1 Thessalonians 1:10. The apostles are said, μαρτυρεῖν tobear witness, as eye or ear witnesses of the sayings, deeds, and sufferings of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:15). In 1 Corinthians 1:6, μαρτύριον τοῦ Χριστοῦ is practically = the gospel. In 2 Thessalonians 1:10, τὸ μαρτύριον ἡμῶν ἐφ ' ὑμᾶς ourtestimony among you is our public attestation of the truth of the gospel. The idea of witness is a favorite one with John. See John 1:7. The exact phrase καιροῖς ἰδίοις inits own times, only in the Pastorals, here, 1 Timothy 6:15; Titus 1:3. In Galatians 6:9 καιρῷ ἰδίῳ indue time. Comp. Galatians 4:4.

Verse 7

I am ordained ( ἐτέθην ἐγω )

Better, I was appointed. See on John 15:16.

A preacher ( κῆρυξ )

Lit. a herald. See on 2 Peter 2:5. Paul does not use the noun, but the kindred verb κηρύσσειν toproclaim or preach is very common in his writings. See Romans 10:8; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philemon 1:15, etc.

I speak the truth in Christ and lie not

Omit in Christ. A strange asseveration to an intimate and trusted friend. Apparently an imitation of Romans 9:1.

A teacher of the Gentiles ( διδάσκαλος ἐθνῶν )

Paul does not use this phrase. He expressly distinguishes between teacher and apostle. See 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11. He calls himself ἐθνῶν ἀπόστολος apostleof the Gentiles (Romans 11:13); λειτουργός Χριστοῦ Ἱησοῦ εἰς τὰ ἔθνη ministerof Christ Jesus to the Gentiles (Romans 15:16); and δέσμιος τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἱησοῦ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν τῶν ἐθνῶν prisonerof Jesus Christ for you Gentiles (Ephesians 3:1).

In faith and verity ( ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀληθείᾳ )

Or faith and truth. The combination only here. Paul has sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:8), and sanctification of the Spirit and faith of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13). The phrase must not be explained in true faith, nor faithfully and truly. It means that faith and truth are the element or sphere in which the apostolic function is discharged: that he preaches with a sincere faith in the gospel, and with a truthful representation of the gospel which he believes.

Verse 8

I will ( βούλομαι )

Better, I desire. See on Matthew 1:19, and comp. Philemon 1:12. Paul's word is θέλω Iwill. See Romans 16:19; 1 Corinthians 7:32; 1 Corinthians 10:20; 1 Corinthians 14:5, 1 Corinthians 14:19, etc.

Everywhere ( ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ )

Lit. in every place. Wherever Christian congregations assemble. Not every place indiscriminately.

Lifting up holy hands ( ἐπαίροντας ὁσίους χεῖρας )

The phrase is unique in N.T. olxx. Among Orientals the lifting up of the hands accompanied taking an oath, blessing, and prayer. The custom passed over into the primitive church, as may be seen from the mural paintings in the catacombs. See Clement, Ad Corinth. xxix, which may possibly be a reminiscence of this passage. The verb ἐπαίρειν toraise, twice in Paul, 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Corinthians 11:20; but often in Luke. Ὁσίους holyoP. See on Luke 1:75.

Without wrath and doubting ( χωρὶς ὀργῆς καὶ διαλογισμῶν )

The combination only here. Ὁργὴ is used by Paul mostly of the righteous anger and the accompanying judgment of God against sin. As here, only in Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8. Διαλογισμός in N.T. habitually in the plural, as here. The only exception is Luke 9:46, Luke 9:47. By Paul usually in the sense of disputatious reasoning. It may also mean sceptical questionings or criticisms as Philemon 2:14. So probably here. Prayer, according to our writer, is to be without the element of sceptical criticism, whether of God's character and dealings, or of the character and behavior of those for whom prayer is offered.

Verse 9

In like manner ( ὡσαύτως )

The writer's thought is still running upon the public assemblies for worship.

Adorn themselves ( κοσμεῖν ἑαυτάς )

Κοσμεῖν adornoP. Of female adornment, 1 Peter 3:5; Revelation 21:2. In Matthew 25:7, of trimming the lamps. From κοσμός orderso that the primary meaning is to arrange. Often in lxx and Class. Prominent in the writer's mind is the attire of women in church assemblies. Paul treats this subject 1 Corinthians 11:5ff.

In modest apparel ( ἐν κατασψολῇ κοσμιῳ )

Καταστολή N.T.oOnce in lxx, Isaiah 61:3. Opinions differ as to the meaning. Some apparel, others guise or deportment = κατάστημα demeanour Titus 2:3. There seems, on the whole, to be no sufficient reason for departing from the rendering of A.V. and Rev. Κοσμίῳ modestseemly, PastoNote the word - play, κοσμεῖν κοσμίῳ .

With shamefacedness and sobriety ( μετὰ αἰδοῦς καὶ σωφροσύνης )

Ἁιδώς N.T. ( αἰδοῦς in Hebrews 12:28is an incorrect reading). In earlier Greek, as in Homer, it sometimes blends with the sense of αἰσχύνη shamethough used also of the feeling of respectful timidity in the presence of superiors, or of penitent respect toward one who has been wronged (see Homer, Il. i. 23). Hence it is connected in Homer with military discipline (Il. v. 531). It is the feeling of a suppliant or an unfortunate in the presence of those from whom he seeks aid; of a younger man toward an older and wiser one. It is a feeling based upon the sense of deficiency, inferiority, or unworthiness. On the other hand, it is the feeling of a superior in position or fortune which goes out to an unfortunate. See Homer, Il. xxiv. 208; Od. xiv. 388; Soph. Oed. Col. 247. In the Attic period, a distinction was recognised between αἰσχύνη and αἰδώς : αἰδώς representing a respectful and reverent attitude toward another, while αἰσχύνη was the sense of shame on account of wrong doing. Thus, “one αἰδεῖται isrespectful to his father, but αἰσχύνεται isashamed because he has been drunk.” Trench (N.T. Synon. § xix.) remarks that “ αἰδώς is the nobler word and implies the nobler motive. In it is involved an innate moral repugnance to the doing of the dishonorable act, which moral repugnance scarcely or not at all exists in the αἰσχύνη . Let the man who is restrained by αἰσχύνη alone be insured against the outward disgrace which he fears his act will entail, and he will refrain from it no longer.” The A.V. shamefacedness is a corruption of the old English shamefastness. So Chaucer:

“Schamefast chastite.”

Knight's T. 2057.


“'Tis a blushing shamefast spirit that mutinies in a man's bosom.”

Richard III. i. 4.

It is one of a large class of words, as steadfast, soothfast, rootfast, masterfast, handfast, bedfast, etc. Shamefaced changes and destroys the original force of the word, which was bound or made fast by an honorable shame. Σωφροσύνη sobrietysoP. Once in Acts, Acts 26:25. The kindred verb σωφρονεῖν tobe of sound mind, Romans 12:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:13; Titus 2:6. Several representatives of this family of words appear in the Pastorals, and with the exception of σωφροσύνη and σωφρονεῖν , nowhere else in N.T. Such are σωφρονίζειν tobe soberminded (Titus 2:4); σωφρονισμός discipline(2 Timothy 1:7); σωφρόνως soberly(Titus 2:12); σώφρων soberminded(1 Timothy 3:2). The word is compounded of σάος or σῶς safesound, and φρήν mindIt signifies entire command of the passions and desires; a self-control which holds the rein over these. So Aristotle (Rhet. i. 9): The virtue by which we hold ourselves toward the pleasures of the body as. the law enjoins.” Comp. 4Macc. 1:31. Euripides calls it “the fairest gift of the gods” (Med. 632). That it appears so rarely in N.T. is, as Trench remarks, “not because more value was attached to it in heathen ethics than in Christian morality, but because it is taken up and transformed into a condition yet higher still, in which a man does not command himself, which is well, but, which is better still, is commanded by God.” The words with shamefastness and sobriety may either be taken directly with adorn themselves, or better perhaps, as indicating moral qualities accompanying ( μετὰ with) the modest apparel. Let them adorn themselves in modest apparel, having along with this shamefastness and sobermindedness.

With broidered hair ( ἐν πλέγμασιν )

Lit. with plaitings. N.T.oRend. with braided hair. Broidered is a blunder owing to a confusion with broided, the older form of braided. So Chaucer:

“Hir yelow heer was broyded in a tresse,

Bihinde hir bak, a yerde long, I gesse.”

Knight's T. 1049 f

Costly array ( ἱματισμῷ πολυτελεῖ )

Neither word in Paul. Ἱματισμός , signifies clothing in general. Πολυτελής costlyoccurs only three times in N.T.

Verse 10

Professing ( ἐπαγγελλομέναις )

In the sense of professing only in the Pastorals. In Titus 1:2, and everywhere else in N.T. it means promise. See Acts 7:5; Romans 4:21; Galatians 3:19, etc.

Godliness ( θεοσεβείαν )

N.T.oSeveral times in lxx. The adjective θεοσεβής worshippingGod, John 9:31. It is = εὐσέβεια . See 1 Timothy 2:2. Const. by good works with professing godliness: omit the parenthesis which - godliness; take which ( ὅ ) as = with that which ( ἐν τούτῳ ὅ ) and construe it with adorn. The whole will then read: “That women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array, but (adorn themselves) with that which becometh women professing godliness through good works.”

Verse 11

Learn ( μανθανέτω )

Comp. 1 Corinthians 14:35.

In silence ( ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ )

See on peaceable, 1 Timothy 2:2. Rev. renders quietness; but the admonition concerns the behavior of women in religious assemblies. Comp. 1 Corinthians 14:34. The word is used in the sense of silence, Acts 22:2: with the broader meaning quietness in 2 Thessalonians 3:12.

Verse 12

Suffer ( ἐπιτρέπω )

Lit. turn over to; thence, permit. See 1 Corinthians 14:34.

Usurp authority ( αὐθεντεῖν )

N.T.oolxx, oClass. It occurs in late ecclesiastical writers. The kindred noun αὐθέντης onewho does a thing with his own hand, Wisd. 12:6, and also in Herodotus, Euripides, and Thucydides. Ἁυθεντία right3 Maccabees 2:29. The verb means to do a thing one's self; hence, to exercise authority. The A.V. usurp authority is a mistake. Rend. to have or exercise dominion over.

Verse 13

Was formed ( ἐπλάσθη )

Comp. Romans 9:20. Strictly of one working in soft substances, as a potter in clay; moulding or shaping. Often in Class. and lxx.

Verse 14

Was not deceived ( οὐκ ἠπατήθη )

Once in Paul, Ephesians 5:6. Comp. 2 Corinthians 11:3. Rev. beguiled. As it is evident that Adam was beguiled, the interpreters have tried many ways of explaining the expression, either by supplying πρῶτος firstor by saying (as Bengel) that the woman did not deceive the man, but persuaded him; or by supplying by the serpent, or so long as he was alone; or by saying that Eve was directly and Adam indirectly deceived.

Being deceived ( ἐξαπατηθεῖσα )

Completely or thoroughly beguiled.

Was in the transgression ( ἐν παραβάσει γέγονεν )

A.V. misses the force of γέγονεν. Γίνεσθαι ἐν often signifies the coming or falling into a condition, as Acts 12:11; Acts 22:17; Revelation 1:10; 1 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 3:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:5. Rend. hath fallen into transgression.

Verse 15

She shall be saved in childbearing ( σωθήσεται διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας )

Better, “through the childbearing.” (1) Saved is used in the ordinary N.T. sense. (2) She shall be saved is set over against hath fallen into transgression. (3) It is difficult to see what is the peculiar saving virtue of childbearing. (4) The subject of σωθήσεται shallbe saved is the same as that of ἐν παραβάσει γέγονεν hathfallen into transgression. A common explanation is that γυνή is to be taken in its generic sense as referring to all Christian mothers, who will be saved in fulfilling their proper destiny and acquiescing in all the conditions of a Christian woman's life, instead of attempting to take an active part as teachers or otherwise in public religious assemblies. On the other hand, the woman, Eve, may be regarded as including all the Christian mothers. Notice the change to the plural, “if they continue.” She, though she fell into transgression, shall be saved “by the childbearing” (Genesis 3:15); that is, by the relation in which the woman stood to the Messiah. This seems to be the better explanation. Τεκνογονία childbearing, N.T.oolxx, oClass. Comp. τεκνογονεῖν tobear children, 1 Timothy 5:14. The expression is utterly un-Pauline.

If they continue ( ἐὰν μείνωσιν )

They, the woman regarded collectively or as including her descendants. The promise does not exempt them from the cultivation of Christian virtues and the discharge of Christian duties.

Sanctification ( ἁγιασμῷ )

A Pauline word; but the triad, faith, love, sanctification, is unique in N.T.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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