1 Timothy 1:1--3:16
1:1 From Paul, 1 an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior 2 and of Christ Jesus our hope, 1:2 to Timothy, my genuine child in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord!
1:3 As I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus 3 to instruct 4 certain people not to spread false teachings, 5 1:4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies. 6 Such things promote useless speculations rather than God’s redemptive plan 7 that operates by faith. 1:5 But the aim of our instruction 8 is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 9 1:6 Some have strayed from these and turned away to empty discussion. 1:7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently. 10
1:8 But we know that the law is good if someone uses it legitimately, 1:9 realizing that law 11 is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 1:10 sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, 12 kidnappers, liars, perjurers – in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching. 1:11 This 13 accords with the glorious gospel of the blessed God 14 that was entrusted to me. 15
1:12 I am grateful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me faithful in putting me into ministry, 1:13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an arrogant 16 man. But I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief, 1:14 and our Lord’s grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus. 17 1:15 This saying 18 is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them! 19 1:16 But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that 20 in me as the worst, 21 Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life. 1:17 Now to the eternal king, 22 immortal, invisible, the only 23 God, be honor and glory forever and ever! 24 Amen.
1:18 I put this charge 25 before you, Timothy my child, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you, 26 in order that with such encouragement 27 you may fight the good fight. 1:19 To do this 28 you must hold firmly to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to the faith. 1:20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I handed over to Satan 29 to be taught not to blaspheme.
2:1 First of all, then, I urge that requests, 30 prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, 31 2:2 even for kings 32 and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 2:3 Such prayer for all 33 is good and welcomed before God our Savior, 2:4 since he wants 34 all people 35 to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 2:5 For there is one God and one intermediary 36 between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, 37 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time. 38 2:7 For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle – I am telling the truth; 39 I am not lying – and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 2:8 So I want the men 40 to pray 41 in every place, lifting up holy hands 42 without anger or dispute.
2:9 Likewise 43 the women are to dress 44 in suitable apparel, with modesty and self-control. 45 Their adornment must not be 46 with braided hair and gold or pearls or expensive clothing, 2:10 but with good deeds, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God. 2:11 A woman must learn 47 quietly with all submissiveness. 2:12 But I do not allow 48 a woman to teach or exercise authority 49 over a man. She must remain quiet. 50 2:13 For Adam was formed first and then Eve. 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, because she was fully deceived, 51 fell into transgression. 52 2:15 But she will be delivered through childbearing, 53 if she 54 continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control.
3:1 This saying 55 is trustworthy: “If someone aspires to the office of overseer, 56 he desires a good work.” 3:2 The overseer 57 then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, 58 temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, 3:3 not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. 3:4 He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity. 59 3:5 But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God? 3:6 He must not be a recent convert or he may become arrogant 60 and fall into the punishment that the devil will exact. 61 3:7 And he must be well thought of by 62 those outside the faith, 63 so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap. 64
3:8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, 65 not two-faced, 66 not given to excessive drinking, 67 not greedy for gain, 3:9 holding to the mystery of the faith 68 with a clear conscience. 3:10 And these also must be tested first and then let them serve as deacons if they are found blameless. 3:11 Likewise also their wives 69 must be dignified, not slanderous, temperate, faithful in every respect. 3:12 Deacons must be husbands of one wife 70 and good managers of their children and their own households. 3:13 For those who have served well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves 71 and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. 72
3:14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions 73 to you 3:15 in case I am delayed, to let you know how people ought to conduct themselves 74 in the household of God, because it is 75 the church of the living God, the support and bulwark of the truth. 3:16 And we all agree, 76 our religion contains amazing revelation: 77
He 78 was revealed in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit, 79
seen by angels,
proclaimed among Gentiles,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
1 tn Grk “Paul.” The word “from” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to indicate the sender of the letter.
2 sn God our Savior. Use of the title “Savior” for God the Father is characteristic of 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. It occurs six times in these letters, but only twice elsewhere in the NT. However, it occurs commonly in the OT, especially in Isaiah. It emphasizes the Father as the initiator and source of salvation.
3 map For location see JP1-D2; JP2-D2; JP3-D2; JP4-D2.
6 sn Myths and interminable genealogies. These myths were legendary tales characteristic of the false teachers in Ephesus and Crete. See parallels in 1 Tim 4:7; 2 Tim 4:4; and Titus 1:14. They were perhaps built by speculation from the patriarchal narratives in the OT; hence the connection with genealogies and with wanting to be teachers of the law (v. 7).
7 tc A few Western
tn More literally, “the administration of God that is by faith.”
sn God’s redemptive plan. The basic word (οἰκονομία, oikonomia) denotes the work of a household steward or manager or the arrangement under which he works: “household management.” As a theological term it is used of the order or arrangement by which God brings redemption through Christ (God’s “dispensation, plan of salvation” [Eph 1:10; 3:9]) or of human responsibility to pass on the message of that salvation (“stewardship, commission” [1 Cor 9:17; Eph 3:2; Col 1:25]). Here the former is in view (see the summary of God’s plan in 1 Tim 2:3-6; 2 Tim 1:9-10; Titus 3:4-7), and Paul notes the response people must make to God’s arrangement: It is “in faith” or “by faith.”
8 tn Grk “the instruction,” referring to orthodox Christian teaching and ministry in general, in contrast to that of the false teachers mentioned in 1:3-4.
9 tn Grk “love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
10 tn The Greek reinforces this negation: “understand neither what they are saying nor the things they insist on…”
11 sn Law. There is no definite article (“the”) with this word in Greek and so the inherent quality of the OT law as such is in view. But the OT law is still in mind, since the types of sinful people surveyed in vv. 9b-11a follow the general outline of sins prohibited in the Decalogue.
12 tn On this term BDAG 135 s.v. ἀρσενοκοίτης states, “a male who engages in sexual activity w. a pers. of his own sex, pederast 1 Cor 6:9…of one who assumes the dominant role in same-sex activity, opp. μαλακός…1 Ti 1:10; Pol 5:3. Cp. Ro 1:27.” L&N 88.280 states, “a male partner in homosexual intercourse – ‘homosexual.’…It is possible that ἀρσενοκοίτης in certain contexts refers to the active male partner in homosexual intercourse in contrast with μαλακός, the passive male partner” (cf. 1 Cor 6:9). Since there is a distinction in contemporary usage between sexual orientation and actual behavior, the qualification “practicing” was supplied in the translation, following the emphasis in BDAG.
13 tn A continuation of the preceding idea: Grk “teaching, according to the gospel.” This use of the law is in accord with the gospel entrusted to Paul (cf. Rom 7:7-16; Gal 3:23-26). Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
14 tn Grk “the gospel of the glory of the blessed God.”
15 tn Grk “with which I was entrusted.” The translation is more in line with contemporary English style.
16 tn Or “violent,” “cruel.”
17 tn Grk “with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”
19 tn Grk “of whom I am the first.”
20 tn Grk “but because of this I was treated with mercy, so that…”
22 tn Or more literally, “king of the ages.”
23 tc Most later witnesses (א2 D1 Hc Ψ 1881 Ï) have “wise” (σόφῳ, swfw) here (thus, “the only wise God”), while the earlier and better witnesses (א* A D* F G H* 33 1739 lat co) lack this adjective. Although it could be argued that the longer reading is harder since it does not as emphatically affirm monotheism, it is more likely that scribes borrowed σόφῳ from Rom 16:27 where μόνῳ σόφῳ θεῷ (monw sofw qew, “the only wise God”) is textually solid.
24 tn Grk “unto the ages of the ages,” an emphatic way of speaking about eternity in Greek.
26 sn The prophecies once spoken about you were apparently spoken at Timothy’s ordination (cf. 1 Tim 4:14) and perhaps spoke of what God would do through him. Thus they can encourage him in his work, as the next clause says.
27 tn Grk “that by them you might fight…” (a reference to the prophecies which can encourage him in his work).
29 sn The expression handed over to Satan refers to an act of discipline mentioned by Paul here and in 1 Cor 5:5, with a remedial goal, not a punitive one. The Greek word translated taught in this verse is used of “discipline, training of children” to lead them to correct behavior.
30 tn Or “petitions.”
31 tn Grk “all men”; but here ἀνθρώπων (anqrwpwn) is used generically, referring to both men and women.
32 tn For “even for kings” the Greek says simply “for kings.”
34 tn Grk “who wants…” (but showing why such prayer is pleasing to God).
35 tn Grk “all men”; but here ἀνθρώπους (anqrwpous) is used generically, referring to both men and women.
36 tn Traditionally this word (μεσίτης, mesith") is rendered “mediator,” but this conveys a wrong impression in contemporary English. Jesus was not a mediator, for example, who worked for compromise between opposing parties. Instead he was the only one able to go between man and God to enable them to have a relationship, but entirely on God’s terms.
37 tn Grk “one mediator between God and mankind, the human, Christ Jesus.”
38 sn Revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time is a difficult expression without clear connection to the preceding, literally “a testimony at the proper time.” This may allude to testimony about Christ’s atoning work given by Paul and others (as v. 7 mentions). But it seems more likely to identify Christ’s death itself as a testimony to God’s gracious character (as vv. 3-4 describe). This testimony was planned from all eternity, but now has come to light at the time God intended, in the work of Christ. See 2 Tim 1:9-10; Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7 for similar ideas.
39 tc Most
42 sn Paul uses a common ancient posture in prayer (lifting up holy hands) as a figure of speech for offering requests from a holy life (without anger or dispute).
43 tc ‡ Most witnesses have καὶ τάς (kai tas; so D1 Ψ 1881 Ï) or simply καί (א2 D* F G 6 365 1739 pc) after ὡσαύτως (Jwsautw"). A few important witnesses lack such words (א* A H P 33 81 1175 pc). The evidence is for the most part along “party” lines, with the shortest reading being found in the Alexandrian text, the conjunction in the Western, and the longest reading in the Byzantine tradition. Externally, the shortest reading is preferred. However, there is a good chance of homoiomeson or homoioteleuton in which case καί or καὶ τάς could have accidentally been omitted (note the αι [ai] and αι ας [ai as] in the word that follows, written here in uncial script): wsautwskaigunaikas/ wsautwskaitasgunaikas. Nevertheless, since both the καί and καὶ τάς are predictable variants, intended to fill out the meaning of the text, the shortest reading seems best able to explain the rise of the others. NA27 has the καί in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.
45 tn This word and its cognates are used frequently in the Pastoral Epistles. It means “moderation,” “sobriety,” “decency,” “sensibleness,” or “sound judgment.”
47 tn Or “receive instruction.”
48 sn But I do not allow. Although the Greek conjunction δέ (de) can have a simple connective force (“and”), it is best to take it as contrastive here: Verse 11 gives a positive statement (that is to say, that a woman should learn). This was a radical and liberating departure from the Jewish view that women were not to learn the law.
49 tn According to BDAG 150 s.v. αὐθεντέω this Greek verb means “to assume a stance of independent authority, give orders to, dictate to” (cf. JB “tell a man what to do”).
50 tn Grk “but to be in quietness.” The phrase ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ (en Jhsucia) is used in Greek literature either of absolute silence or of a quiet demeanor.
51 tn This phrase uses a compound form of the same verb as in v. 14a: “deceived” vs. “deceived out, completely deceived.” The two verbs could be synonymous, but because of the close contrast in this context, it seems that a stronger meaning is intended for the second verb.
52 tn Grk “has come to be in transgression” (with an emphasis on the continuing consequences of that fall).
53 tn Or “But she will be preserved through childbearing,” or “But she will be saved in spite of childbearing.” This verse is notoriously difficult to interpret, though there is general agreement about one point: Verse 15 is intended to lessen the impact of vv. 13-14. There are several interpretive possibilities here, though the first three can be readily dismissed (cf. D. Moo, “1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning and Significance,” TJ 1 : 70-73). (1) Christian women will be saved, but only if they bear children. This view is entirely unlikely for it lays a condition on Christian women that goes beyond grace, is unsupported elsewhere in scripture, and is explicitly against Paul’s and Jesus’ teaching on both marriage and salvation (cf. Matt 19:12; 1 Cor 7:8-9, 26-27, 34-35; 1 Tim 5:3-10). (2) Despite the curse, Christian women will be kept safe when bearing children. This view also is unlikely, both because it has little to do with the context and because it is not true to life (especially life in the ancient world with its high infant mortality rate). (3) Despite the sin of Eve and the results to her progeny, she would be saved through the childbirth – that is, through the birth of the Messiah, as promised in the protevangelium (Gen 3:15). This view sees the singular “she” as referring first to Eve and then to all women (note the change from singular to plural in this verse). Further, it works well in the context. However, there are several problems with it: [a] The future tense (σωθήσηται, swqhshtai) is unnatural if referring to the protevangelium or even to the historical fact of the Messiah’s birth; [b] that only women are singled out as recipients of salvation seems odd since the birth of the Messiah was necessary for the salvation of both women and men; [c] as ingenious as this view is, its very ingenuity is its downfall, for it is overly subtle; and [d] the term τεκνογονία (teknogonia) refers to the process of childbirth rather than the product. And since it is the person of the Messiah (the product of the birth) that saves us, the term is unlikely to be used in the sense given it by those who hold this view. There are three other views that have greater plausibility: (4) This may be a somewhat veiled reference to the curse of Gen 3:16 in order to clarify that though the woman led the man into transgression (v. 14b), she will be saved spiritually despite this physical reminder of her sin. The phrase is literally “through childbearing,” but this does not necessarily denote means or instrument here. Instead it may show attendant circumstance (probably with a concessive force): “with, though accompanied by” (cf. BDAG 224 s.v. δία A.3.c; Rom 2:27; 2 Cor 2:4; 1 Tim 4:14). (5) “It is not through active teaching and ruling activities that Christian women will be saved, but through faithfulness to their proper role, exemplified in motherhood” (Moo, 71). In this view τεκνογονία is seen as a synecdoche in which child-rearing and other activities of motherhood are involved. Thus, one evidence (though clearly not an essential evidence) of a woman’s salvation may be seen in her decision to function in this role. (6) The verse may point to some sort of proverbial expression now lost, in which “saved” means “delivered” and in which this deliverance was from some of the devastating effects of the role reversal that took place in Eden. The idea of childbearing, then, is a metonymy of part for the whole that encompasses the woman’s submission again to the leadership of the man, though it has no specific soteriological import (but it certainly would have to do with the outworking of redemption).
54 tn There is a shift to the plural here (Grk “if they continue”), but it still refers to the woman in a simple shift from generic singular to generic plural.
56 tn Grk “aspires to oversight.”
57 tn Or “bishop.”
sn Although some see the article with overseer as indicating a single leader at the top of the ecclesiastical structure (thus taking the article as monadic), this is hardly necessary. It is naturally taken generically (referring to the class of leaders known as overseers) and, in fact, finds precedent in 2:11-12 (“a woman,” “a man”), 2:15 (“she”). Paul almost casually changes between singular and plural in both chapters.
58 tn Or “a man married only once,” “devoted solely to his wife” (see 1 Tim 3:12; 5:9; Titus 1:6). The meaning of this phrase is disputed. It is frequently understood to refer to the marital status of the church leader, excluding from leadership those who are (1) unmarried, (2) polygamous, (3) divorced, or (4) remarried after being widowed. A different interpretation is reflected in the NEB’s translation “faithful to his one wife.”
59 tn Grk “having children in submission with all dignity.” The last phrase, “keep his children in control without losing his dignity,” may refer to the children rather than the parent: “having children who are obedient and respectful.”
60 tn Grk “that he may not become arrogant.”
62 tn Or “have a good reputation with”; Grk “have a good testimony from.”
63 tn Grk “the ones outside.”
65 tn Or “respectable, honorable, of serious demeanor.”
66 tn Or “insincere,” “deceitful”; Grk “speaking double.”
67 tn Grk “not devoted to much wine.”
68 sn The mystery of the faith is a reference to the revealed truths of the Christian faith.
69 tn Or “also deaconesses.” The Greek word here is γυναῖκας (gunaika") which literally means “women” or “wives.” It is possible that this refers to women who serve as deacons, “deaconesses.” The evidence is as follows: (1) The immediate context refers to deacons; (2) the author mentions nothing about wives in his section on elder qualifications (1 Tim 3:1-7); (3) it would seem strange to have requirements placed on deacons’ wives without corresponding requirements placed on elders’ wives; and (4) elsewhere in the NT, there seems to be room for seeing women in this role (cf. Rom 16:1 and the comments there). The translation “wives” – referring to the wives of the deacons – is probably to be preferred, though, for the following reasons: (1) It would be strange for the author to discuss women deacons right in the middle of the qualifications for male deacons; more naturally they would be addressed by themselves. (2) The author seems to indicate clearly in the next verse that women are not deacons: “Deacons must be husbands of one wife.” (3) Most of the qualifications given for deacons elsewhere do not appear here. Either the author has truncated the requirements for women deacons, or he is not actually referring to women deacons; the latter seems to be the more natural understanding. (4) The principle given in 1 Tim 2:12 appears to be an overarching principle for church life which seems implicitly to limit the role of deacon to men. Nevertheless, a decision in this matter is difficult, and our conclusions must be regarded as tentative.
71 sn The statement those who have served well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves is reminiscent of Jesus’ teaching (Matt 20:26-28; Mark 10:43-45) that the one who wishes to be great must be a servant (διάκονος [diakonos], used here of deacons) of all, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve (διακονέω [diakonew], as in 1 Tim 3:10, 13).
72 sn In the phrase the faith that is in Christ Jesus, the term faith seems to mean “what Christians believe, Christian truth,” rather than personal trust in Christ. So the whole phrase could mean that others will come to place greater confidence in them regarding Christian truth; but the word “confidence” is much more likely to refer to their own boldness to act on the truth of their convictions.
73 tn Grk “these things.”
sn These instructions refer to the instructions about local church life, given in 1 Tim 2:1–3:13.
74 tn Grk “how it is necessary to behave.”
75 tn Grk “which is” (but the relative clause shows the reason for such conduct).
76 tn Grk “confessedly, admittedly, most certainly.”
77 tn Grk “great is the mystery of [our] religion,” or “great is the mystery of godliness.” The word “mystery” denotes a secret previously hidden in God, but now revealed and made widely known (cf. Rom 16:25; 1 Cor 2:7; 4:1; Eph 1:9; 3:3, 4, 9; 6:19; Col 1:26-27; 4:3). “Religion” (εὐσέβεια, eusebeia) is a word used frequently in the pastorals with a range of meanings: (1) a certain attitude toward God – “devotion, reverence”; (2) the conduct that befits that attitude – “godliness, piety”; and (3) the whole system of belief and approach to God that forms the basis for such attitude and conduct – “religion, creed.” See BDAG 412-13 s.v.; 2 Tim 3:5; 4 Macc 9:6-7, 29-30; 15:1-3; 17:7. So the following creedal statements are illustrations of the great truths that the church is charged with protecting (v. 15).
78 tc The Byzantine text along with a few other witnesses (אc Ac C2 D2 Ψ [88 pc] 1739 1881 Ï vgms) read θεός (qeos, “God”) for ὅς (Jos, “who”). Most significant among these witnesses is 1739; the second correctors of some of the other
tn Grk “who.”
sn This passage has been typeset as poetry because many scholars regard this passage as poetic or hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing, not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a passage is poetic or hymnic: “(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary, particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from the surrounding context” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188-89). Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However, not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this passage, so the decision to typeset it as poetry should be viewed as a tentative decision about its genre.
79 tn Or “in spirit.”