corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 Timothy 1

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1-2

1 Timothy 1:1-2. SALUTATION.

1 Timothy 1:1. ἀπόστολος χρ. ἰησ. The use of this official title is an indication that the Pastoral Epistles were not merely private letters (ctr. παῦλος δέσμιος χρ. ἰησ., Philemon 1:1), but were intended to be read to the Churches committed to the charge of Timothy and Titus respectively. The phrase means simply one sent by Christ, not primarily one belonging to Christ. Cf. Philippians 2:25, where Epaphroditus is spoken of as ὑμῶν ἀπόστ., and 2 Corinthians 8:23, ἀπόστ. ἐκκλησιῶν. ἀπόστ. χρ. ἰησ. is also found in 2 Corinthians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 2 Timothy 1:1; ἀπόστ. ἰησ. χρ. in 1 Corinthians 1:1, Titus 1:1. The difference in the use Jesus Christ and Christ Jesus seems to be this: in each case the first member of the compound name indicates whether the historical or the notional idea of the Person is chiefly in the writer’s mind. Jesus Christ briefly expresses the proposition, “Jesus is the Christ”; it embodies the first theological assertion concerning Jesus; it represents the conception of the historical Jesus in the minds of those who had seen Him. St. John, St. Peter and St. James employ this name when speaking of our Lord. But in Christ Jesus, on the other hand, the theological conception of the Christ predominates over that of the actual Jesus Who had been seen, felt and heard by human senses. Accordingly we find Christ Jesus in every stage of the Pauline Epistles; and, as we should expect, more frequently in the later than in the earlier letters. In almost every instance of the occurrence of Jesus Christ in the Pastoral Epistles the thought of the passage concerns the humanity, or historical aspect, of our Lord. Thus in Titus 1:1, “a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ,” we could not substitute Christ Jesus without weakening the antithesis. See note there. St. Paul, here as elsewhere, claims to have been as truly sent by Christ as were those who were apostles before him.

κατʼ ἐπιταγήν: in obedience to the command. The full phrase κατʼ ἐπιτ. θ. σ. ἡμῶν occurs again ( τοῦ σωτ. ἡμ. θεοῦ) in a similar context in Titus 1:3; κατʼ ἐπιτ. τοῦ αἰωνίου θ. in Romans 16:26. In 1 Corinthians 7:6, 2 Corinthians 8:8, κατʼ ἐπιτ. is used in a different sense.

St. Paul more commonly refers the originating cause of his mission to the will of God (1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1). He would hardly say through the will of Christ, θέλημα being used of the eternal counsel of the Godhead; but inasmuch as the command is the consequent of the will, he can speak of his apostleship as being due to the command of Christ Jesus, as well as of God the Father. In this matter Jesus Christ is co-ordinated with God the Father in Galatians 1:1; while in Romans 1:4-5, Paul’s apostleship is “through Jesus Christ our Lord” only. On the other hand, in Titus 1:3, St. Paul says he was intrusted with the message “according to the commandment of God our Saviour”. Here it is to be noted that the command proceeds equally from God and Christ Jesus. This language could hardly have been used if St. Paul conceived of Christ Jesus as a creature. Moulton and Milligan (Expositor, vii., vii. 379) compare St. Paul’s use of ἐπιταγή as a Divine command with its technical use in heathen dedicatory inscriptions. We cannot, with Chrys., narrow the “commandment of God” to the specific date of St. Paul’s commission by the Church, whether in Acts 13:2 or on an earlier occasion. St. Paul claimed that he had been “separated from his mother’s womb” (Galatians 1:15).

θεοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν: Westcott on 1 John 4:14 has an instructive note on the Biblical use of the term σωτήρ. “The title is confined (with the exception of the writings of St. Luke) to the later writings of the N.T., and is not found in the central group of St. Paul’s Epistles.” It may be added that in the Lucan references (Luke 1:47, of God; 1 Timothy 2:11, Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23, of Christ) the term σωτήρ has not primarily its full later evangelical import, and would be best rendered deliverer, as in the constant O.T. application of the term to God. Perhaps the same is true of Philippians 3:20, and Ephesians 5:23, where it is used of Christ. On the other hand, apart from σωτὴρ τ. κόσμου (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14), the conventional evangelical use is found: of God the Father in (a) 1 Timothy 1:1, Judges 1:25, θεὸς σωτὴρ ἡμῶν; (b) 1 Timothy 2:3, Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4, σωτὴρ ἡμῶν θεός; (c) 1 Timothy 4:10, σωτήρ in apposition to θεός in the preceding clause; of Christ, in (a) 2 Timothy 1:10, σωτὴρ ἡμῶν χριστὸς ἰησοῦς; (b) Titus 1:4; Titus 3:6, χρ. ἰησ. σωτὴρ ἡμῶν; (c) 2 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 2:20; 2 Peter 3:18, κύριος ἡμῶν καὶ σωτὴρ ἰησ. χρ.; (d) 2 Peter 3:2, κύριος καὶ σωτήρ. To the (c) class belong, perhaps, Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, [ μέγας] θεὸς [ ἡμῶν] καὶ σωτὴρ [ ἡμῶν] ἰησ. χρ.; but see note on Titus 2:13.

In the text, there is an antithesis between the offices of God as our Saviour and of Christ Jesus as our hope. The one points to the past, at least chiefly, and the other to the future. In speaking of the saving action of God, St, Paul uses the aorist. 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 2:11; Titus 3:4-5. He saved us, potentially. See further on ch. 1 Timothy 2:3. God, as the Council of Trent says (Sess. vi. cap. 7), is the efficient cause of our justification, while Jesus, “our righteousness,” besides being the meritorious cause, may be said to be the formal cause; for “the righteousness of God by which He maketh us righteous” is embodied in Jesus, Who “was made unto us … righteousness and sanctification” (1 Corinthians 1:30). We advance from salvation to sanctification; and accordingly we must not narrow down the conception Christ Jesus our hope to mean “the hope of Israel” (Acts 23:6; Acts 28:20); but rather the historical manifestation of the Son of God as Christ Jesus is the ground of our “hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Our hope is that “the body of our humiliation will be conformed to the body of His glory” (Philippians 3:20-21). See also Ephesians 4:13. Our hope is that “we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2-3). See also Titus 2:13, προσδεχόμενοι τὴν μακαρίαν ἐλπίδα. For this vivid use of an abstract noun compare Ephesians 2:14, αὐτὸς γάρ ἐστιν εἰρήνη ἡμῶν.

Ignatius borrows this noble appellation: Magn. 11; Trall. inscr., “Jesus Christ Who is our hope through our resurrection unto Him”; Trall. 2, “Jesus Christ our hope; for if we live in Him, we shall also be found in Him”. See also Polycarp, 8.


Verse 2

1 Timothy 1:2. γνησίῳ qualifies the compound τέκνῳ ἐν πίστει, just as in Titus 1:4 it qualifies τέκνῳ κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν. As in the relation of the heavenly Father to those who are His children by adoption and grace, some are “led by the Spirit of God,” and so are genuine sons of God, so in the filial relationships of earth—physical, spiritual, or intellectual—some sons realise their vocation, others fail to do so. γνήσιος (and γνησίως, Philippians 2:20) is only found in the N.T. in Paul. See reff. It might be rendered lawful, legitimate, as γυνή γνησία means “lawful wife” (Moulton and Milligan, Expositor, vii., vi. 382). Dean Bernard (comm. in loc.) cites an interesting parallel from Philo (de Vit. Cont. p. 482, ed. Mangey), where “the young men among the Therapeutae are described as ministering to their elders καθάπερ υἱοὶ γνήσιοι.” τέκνῳ ἐν πίστει: The parallel from Titus 1:4 quoted above proves that πίστις here is the faith, as A.V. Absence of the article before familiar Christian terms is a characteristic of the Pastorals. Cf. 1 Corinthians 4:15, “In Christ Jesus I begat you through the gospel”. See also Galatians 4:19, Philemon 1:10; and, for the term τέκνον as applied to Timothy, see reff. St. Paul “begat him through the gospel” on the first missionary journey. He was already a disciple in Acts 16:1. Nothing can be safely inferred from the variation ἀγαπητῷ in 2 Timothy 1:2 for γνησίῳ. The selection from among these semi-conventional terms of address is influenced by passing moods of which the writer is not wholly conscious; but a pseudepigraphic author would be careful to observe uniformity.

ἔλεος as an element in the salutation in addition to χάρις and εἰρήνη is only found, in the Pauline Epistles, in 1 and 2 Timothy. See reff. “Mercy” is used in an informal benediction, Galatians 6:16, “Peace be upon them, and mercy”. Bengel notes that personal experience of the mercy of God makes a man a more efficient minister of the Gospel. See 1 Timothy 1:13; 1 Timothy 1:16, 1 Corinthians 7:25, 2 Corinthians 4:1, Hebrews 2:17. See also Tobit 7:12 ((252)) κύριοςποιήσαι ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς ἔλεος κ. εἰρήνην and Wisdom of Solomon 3:9; Wisdom of Solomon 4:15, χάρις κ. ἔλεος τοῖς ἐκλεκτοῖς αὐτοῦ. If one may hazard a conjecture as to what prompted St. Paul to wish mercy to Timothy rather than to Titus, it may be a subtle indication of the apostle’s anxiety as to Timothy’s administrative capacity. Another variation in the salutation in Titus is the substitution of Saviour for Lord. This calls for no comment.

Note the anarthrous θεὸς πατήρ as in all the Pauline salutations, with the exception of 1 Thess., where we have simply χάρις ὑμῖν κ. εἰρήνη. In Colossians the blessing is only from God the Father. ἡμῶν is added to πατρὸς except in 2 Thess. and the Pastorals.


Verse 3

1 Timothy 1:3. καθώς: The apodosis supplied at the end of 1 Timothy 1:4 in the R.V., so do I now, is feebler than the so do of the A.V. We need something more vigorous. St. Paul was more anxious that Timothy should charge some, etc., than that he should merely abide at Ephesus. This is implied in the A.V., in which so do = stay there and be a strong ruler.

An exact parallel occurs in Mark 1:2. Similar anacolutha are found in Romans 5:12, Galatians 2:4-6, Ephesians 3:1.

παρεκάλεσά σε: It is far-fetched to regard this word as specially expressive of a mild command, as Chrys. suggests. παρακαλεῖν constantly occurs, and with very varying meanings, in the Pauline Epistles. διεταξάμην is used in the corresponding place in Titus 1:5, because there the charge concerns a series of injunctions.

προσμεῖναι: ut remaneres (Vulg.). The word (see Acts 18:18) naturally implies that St. Paul and Timothy had been together at Ephesus, and that St. Paul left Timothy there as vicar apostolic.

πορευόμενος refers to St. Paul, not to Timothy, as De Wette alleged. The grammatical proof of this is fully gone into by Winer-Moulton, Gram. p. 404, “If the subject of the infinitive is the same as that of the finite verb, any attributes which it may have are put in the nominative”.

It is unnecessary here to prove that it is impossible to fit this journey of St. Paul to Macedonia, and Timothy’s stay at Ephesus connected therewith, into the period covered by the Acts.

τισίν: τινες is intentionally vague. The writer has definite persons in his mind, but for some reason he does not choose to specify them. To do so, in this case, would have had a tendency to harden them in their heresy, “render them more shameless” (Chrys.). The introduction of the personal element into controversy has a curiously irritating effect. For this use of τινες see 1 Corinthians 4:18, 2 Corinthians 3:1; 2 Corinthians 10:2, Galatians 1:7; Galatians 2:12, 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 1:19; 1 Timothy 5:15; 1 Timothy 6:10; 1 Timothy 6:21, 2 Timothy 2:18.

μὴ ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν: This compound occurs again in 1 Timothy 6:3, and means to teach a gospel or doctrine different from that which I have taught. ἕτερος certainly seems to connote difference in kind. Galatians 1:6, ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον, δ οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο, and 2 Corinthians 11:4, illustrate St. Paul’s language here. The heresy may have been of recent origin, and not yet completely systematised—heresy of course does not aim at finality—but St. Paul does not mean to deal gently with it. It was to him false and accursed (cf. Galatians 1:8-9). His forebodings for the church in Ephesus (Acts 20:29-30) were being fulfilled now. Hort (Judaistic Christianity, p. 134) compares the διδαχαῖς ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις of Hebrews 13:9.

St. Paul elsewhere uses compounds with ἑτερο, e.g., 2 Corinthians 6:14, ἑτεροζυγεῖν; and more remarkably still, when quoting Isaiah 28:11 in 1 Corinthians 14:21, he substitutes ἐν ἑτερογλώσσοις for διὰ γλώσσης ἑτέρας of the LXX. The word is found in Ignat. ad Polyc. 3, οἱ δοκοῦντες ἀξιόπιστοι εἶναι καὶ ἑτεροδιδασκαλοῦντες.


Verses 3-7

1 Timothy 1:3-7. THE MOTIVE OF THIS LETTER: to provide Timothy with a written memorandum of previous verbal instructions, especially with a view to novel speculations about the Law which sap the vitality of the Gospel; the root of which is sincerity, and its fruit, love.


Verse 4

1 Timothy 1:4. μηδὲ προσέχειν: nor to pay attention to. This perhaps refers primarily to the hearers of the ἑτεροδιδάσκαλοι rather than to the false teachers themselves. See reff.

μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις ἀπεράντοις: “Polybius uses both terms in similarly close connection, Hist. ix. 2, 1” (Ell.). Two aspects of, or elements in, the one aberration from sound doctrine.

Some light is thrown upon this clause by other passages in this group of letters (1 Timothy 1:6-7; 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 6:4; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 2:14; 2 Timothy 2:16; 2 Timothy 2:23; 2 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:10; Titus 1:14; Titus 3:9). The myths are expressly called Jewish (Titus 1:14), and this affords a good argument that νομοδιδάσκαλοι and νόμος, in 1 Timothy 1:7-8 and Titus 3:9, refer to the Mosaic Law, not restricting the term Law to the Pentateuch. Now a considerable and important part of the Mosaic legislation has relation only to Palestine and Jerusalem; it had no practical significance for the devotional life of the Jews of the Dispersion, with the exception of the community that worshipped at Hierapolis in Egypt. There is a strong temptation to mystics to justify to themselves the continued use of an antiquated sacred book by a mystical interpretation of whatever in it has ceased to apply to daily life. Thus Philo (De Vit. Contempl. § 3) says of the Therapeutae, “They read the holy Scriptures, and explain the philosophy of their fathers in an allegorical manner, regarding the written words as symbols of hidden truth which is communicated in obscure figures”. Those with whom St. Paul deals in the Pastoral Epistles were not the old-fashioned conservative Judaisers whom we meet in the Acts and in the earlier Epistles; but rather the promoters of an eclectic synthesis of the then fashionable Gentile philosophy and of the forms of the Mosaic Law. μῦθοι, then, here and elsewhere in the Pastorals (see reff.), would refer, not to the stories and narrative of the O.T. taken in their plain straightforward meaning, but to the arbitrary allegorical treatment of them.

γενεαλογίαι may similarly refer to the genealogical matter in the O.T. which is usually skipped by the modern reader; but which by a mystical explanation of the derivations of the nomenclature could be made to justify their inclusion in a sacred book, every syllable of which might be supposed antecedently to contain edification. This general interpretation, which is that of Weiss, is supported by Ignat. Magn. 8, “Be not seduced by strange doctrines nor by antiquated fables ( ἑτεροδοξίαις μηδὲ μυθεύμασιν τοῖς παλαιοῖς), which are profitless. For if even unto this day we live after the manner of Judaism ( κατὰ ἰουδαϊσμὸν ζῶμεν), we avow that we have not received grace.” Hort maintains that γενεαλογίαι here has a derived meaning, “all the early tales adherent, as it were, to the births of founders” (see Judaistic Christianity, p. 135 sqq.). On the other hand, Irenæus (Haer. Praef. 1 and Tertullian (adv. Valentin. 3; de Praescript. 33) suppose that the Gnostic groupings of aeons in genealogical relationships are here alluded to. It was natural that they should read the N.T. in the light of controversies in which they themselves were engaged.

ἀπεράντοις: endless, interminatis (Vulg.), infinitis ((253).), because leading to no certain conclusion. Discussions which do not concern realities are interminable, not from their profundity, as the ocean is popularly speaking unfathomable in parts, but because they lead to no convincing end. One end or conclusion is as good as another. The choice between them is a matter of taste.

αἵτινες: qualitative, they are of such a kind as, the which (R.V.).

ἐκζητήσεις: Questionings to which no answer can be given, which are not worth answering. See reff. on 1 Timothy 6:4. Their unpractical nature is implied by their being contrasted with οἰκονομία θεοῦ. Life is a trust, a stewardship, committed to us by God. Anything that claims to belong to religion, and at the same time is prejudicial to the effectual discharge of this trust is self-condemned.

παρέχουσι: παρέχω is used here as in the phrase κόπους παρέχω.

It will be observed that οἰκονομία is here taken subjectively and actively (the performance of the duty of an οἰκονόμος entrusted to a man by God; so also in Colossians 1:25); not objectively and passively (the dispensation of God, i.e., the Divine plan of salvation). The Western reading οἰκοδομήν or οἰκοδομίαν, aedificationem, is easier; but the text gives a deeper meaning.

τὴν ἐν πίστει: This is best taken as in the faith; cf. 1 Timothy 1:2, 1 Timothy 2:7, Titus 3:15. The trust committed to us by God is exercised in the sphere of the faith.

The aposiopesis at the end of 1 Timothy 1:4 is due to an imperative need felt by St. Paul to explain at once, and develop the thought of, οἰκονομία θεοῦ. The true teaching—that of the apostle and of Timothy—would be the consequence of the charge given by Timothy and would issue in, be productive of, an οἰκονομία θεοῦ. This οἰκονομ. θ. is the object aimed at, τέλος, of the charge; and is further defined as love, etc.

This is the only place in Paul in which τέλος means the final cause. In every other instance it means termination, result, i.e. consequence. 1 Peter 1:9 is perhaps an instance of a similar use.

The charge is referred to again in 1 Timothy 1:18. See also 1 Thessalonians 4:2. The expressed object of the charge being the comprehensive virtue, love, it is strange that Ellicott should characterise this exegesis as “too narrow and exclusive”. Bengel acutely observes that St. Paul does not furnish Timothy with profound arguments with which to refute the heretics, because the special duty of a church ruler is concerned with what is positively necessary. The love here spoken of is that which is “the fulfilment of the law” (Romans 13:10); and its nature is further defined by its threefold source. Heart, conscience, faith, mark stages in the evolution of the inner life of a man. Heart, or disposition, is earlier in development than conscience; and faith, in the case of those who have it, is later than conscience.

καθαρὰ καρδία is an O.T. phrase. See reff. συνείδησις is καθαρά in 1 Timothy 3:9, 2 Timothy 1:3; it is ἀγαθή in reff.; καλή in Hebrews 13:18; it occurs without any epithet in 1 Timothy 4:2, Titus 1:15. πίστις ἀνυπόκριτος occurs again 2 Timothy 1:5; and the adj. is applied to ἀγάπη, Romans 12:9, 2 Corinthians 6:6. See other reff. It is evident that no stress can be laid on the choice of epithets in any particular passage.


Verse 6

1 Timothy 1:6. ὧν: i.e., the disposition, conscience, and faith as qualified. τινὲς: see note on 1 Timothy 1:3. ἀστοχήσαντες: (aberrantes, Vulg.; recedentes, (254)7; excedentes, (255)50). In the other passages where this word occurs the A.V. and R.V. have erred; here swerved. They missed the mark in point of fact. It may be questioned whether they really had aimed at a pure heart, etc. But having missed, being in fact “corrupted in mind” 1 Timothy 6:5; “branded in their conscience,” 1 Timothy 4:2; and “reprobate concerning the faith,” 2 Timothy 3:8, they did not secure as their own love, practical beneficence, but its exact opposite, empty talking, vaniloquium, Titus 1:10. The content of this empty talking is analysed in Titus 3:9.

It is more natural to suppose that ὧν is governed by ἀστοχήσαντες (Huther, Grimm, Alf.) than by ἐξετράπησαν (Ellicott). ἀστοχεῖν is used absolutely with περί elsewhere in the Pastorals; but in Ecclus. it governs a genitive directly. ἐκτρέπεσθαι governs both gen. and acc.; the latter in 1 Timothy 6:20.

Moulton and Milligan, Expositor, vii., vii. 373, quote examples of ἀστοχέω from papyri (ii. B.C. ii. A.D.) in the sense “fail” or “forget,” e.g., ἀστοχήσαντες τοῦ καλῶς ἔχοντος. ἐξετράπησαν introduces a new metaphor: they had turned aside out of the right path.— ματαιολογία: Here only; but ματαιολόγοι occurs, Titus 1:10. See 1 Timothy 6:20 : “Vanitas maxima, ubi de rebus divinis non vere disseritur, Romans 1:21” (Bengel).


Verse 7

1 Timothy 1:7. νομαδιδάσκαλοι: The Mosaic or Jewish law is meant. See Titus 3:9. The term is used seriously, of official teachers of the law, in reff.

μὴ νοοῦντες, κ. τ. λ.: Though they understand neither, etc. The participle is concessive, and με is here subjective, as usual, expressing St. Paul’s opinion about them. For the sentiment cf. 1 Timothy 6:4, 1 Corinthians 8:2. λέγουσιν refers to the substance of their assertions, while διαβεβαιοῦνται (affirmant, see Titus 3:8) is expressive of the confident manner (R.V.) in which they made them. They did not grasp the force either of their own propositions (hence resulted βέβηλοι κενοφωνίαι), or the nature of the great topics—Law, Philosophy, etc.—an which they dogmatised, hence their inconsistencies, ἀνιθέσεις τοῦ ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως (1 Timothy 6:20). On the combination of the relative and interrogative pronouns in one sentence, see Winer-Moulton, Grammar, p. 211.


Verse 8

1 Timothy 1:8. οἴδαμεν, as in Romans 7:14, 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 8:4, introduces a concession in the argument καλὸς νόμος was a concession made by St. Paul, Romans 7:16, also Romans 7:12, μὲν νόμος ἅγιος. It is possible that it had been objected that his language was inconsistent with his policy. It may be questioned whether καλός, in St. Paul’s use of it, differs from ἀγαθός, as meaning good in appearance as well as in reality. For the use of καλός in the Pastorals, see notes on 1 Timothy 1:18 and 1 Timothy 3:1. τις has no special reference to the teacher as distinct from the learner. The law is καλός in its own sphere; but Corruptio optimi pessima; “Sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds”. νομίμως here means in accordance with the spirit in which the law was enacted. It does not mean lawfully in the usual acceptation of that term. St. Paul impresses the word into his service, and does it violence in order to give an epigrammatic turn to the sentence. In 2 Timothy 2:5, νομίμως has its ordinary meaning in accordance with the rules of the game. χρῆται: In Euripides, Hipp. 98 νόμοις χρῆσθαι means “to live under laws”.


Verses 8-11

1 Timothy 1:8-11. And yet this alleged antagonism of the Law to the Gospel is factitious: the Law on which they insist is part of law in general; so is the Gospel with which I was entrusted. The intention of both is to a large extent identical: to promote right conduct.


Verse 9

1 Timothy 1:9. εἰδώς refers to τις, as knowing this (R.V). For the expression cf. οἶδας τοῦτο, 2 Timothy 1:15 and Ephesians 5:5. νόμος: Although νόμος when anarthrous may mean the Mosaic Law, the statement here is perfectly general (so R.V.). The Mosaic Law does not differ in the range of its application, though it may in the details of its enactments, from law in general, of which it is a subdivision. Law is not enacted for a naturally law-abiding man (dative of reference). δίκαιος is used here in the popular sense, as in “I came not to call the righteous”. It is unnecessary to suppose that St. Paul had his theory of justification in his mind when writing this; though of course those who “are led by the Spirit” are δίκαιοι of the highest quality, κατὰ τῶν τοιούτων οὐκ ἔστιν νόμος (Galatians 5:18 sqq., Galatians 5:23). The enumeration of those whom legislators have in view when enacting laws naturally begins with ἄνομοι, of whom the ἀνυπότακτοι, unruly, those who deliberately rebel against restriction of any kind, are the extreme type. There is no special class or quality of crime involved in the terms ἄνομος and ἀνυπότακτος. As the series advances, the adjectives indicate more definite and restricted aspects of lawlessness: the first three pairs represent states of mind; then follow examples of violations of specific enactments. Since St. Paul is here dealing with the law of natural religion, it is not safe to deepen the shade of ἀσεβής, κ. τ. λ. by looking at the conceptions they express in the light of the Lord.

ἀσεβὴς καὶ ἁμαρτωλός is a pair of epithets familiar from its occurrence in Proverbs 11:31 (quoted 1 Peter 4:18. See also Judges 1:15). The ἀσεβής is one whose mental attitude towards God Himself is that of deliberate irreverence; the βέβηλος acts contumeliously towards recognised expressions or forms of reverence to God.

Alford and Ellicott, following a hint from Bengel, suppose that in the series commencing πατρολῴαις St. Paul is going through the second table of the Decalogue. It is an argument against this that when St, Paul is unquestionably enumerating the Commandments, Romans 13:9, he places the command against adultery before that against murder (so Luke 18:20; James 2:11; Philo, De Decalogo, xxiv. and xxxii.; Tert. de Pudic, v., all following LXX ((256)) of Deut. chap. 5). There is therefore no necessity to give πατρολῴας the weak rendering smiter of a father (R.V. m.) in order to make the word refer to normal breaches of the Fifth Commandment, It can, of course, both by derivation and use, be so rendered, The Greek word, like parricide in Latin and English, may be applied to any unnatural treatment of a parent.

The apostle is here purposely specifying the most extreme violations of law, as samples ( καὶ εἴ τι ἕτερον) of what disregard of law may lead to. The healthy, wholesome teaching of Christ is of course in opposition to such enormities; it is also in opposition to the false teachers; these teachers have failed to attain to a pure heart, etc. Consequently, although professing to teach the Law, they find themselves in opposition to the essential spirit of law. Let them, and those who listen to them, take care lest their teaching inevitably issue in similar enormities.


Verse 10

1 Timothy 1:10. ἀνδραποδισταῖς, plagiariis (Vulg.), includes all who exploit other men and women for their own selfish ends; as πόρνοις and ἀρσενοκοίταις include all improper use of sexual relations.

διδασκαλία means the body of doctrine, the apostolic Summa Theologiæ. The noun is used absolutely, 1 Timothy 6:1, or with varying epithets: ὑγιαίνουσα, sana (here, 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:9; Titus 2:1); καλή, bona (1 Timothy 4:6); κατʼ εὐσέβειαν, secundum pietatem (1 Timothy 6:3); μου (2 Timothy 3:10); τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ (Titus 2:10).

It means the act of teaching in Romans 12:7; Romans 15:4, 1 Timothy 4:13; 1 Timothy 4:16; 1 Timothy 5:17, 2 Timothy 3:16, Titus 2:7. The term occurs fifteen times in the Pastoral Epistles in a technical Christian sense. This is in the writer’s mind even in 1 Timothy 4:1, διδασκαλίαις δαιμονίων. It is found four times in the other Pauline Epistles. Of these Romans 12:7 is the nearest approach to the special connotation here.

With ὑγιαίνουσα (see reff.) compare ὑγιαίνοντες λόγοι (1 Timothy 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:13), λόγος ὑγιής (Titus 2:8), and ὑγιαίνειν ( ἐν) τῇ πίστει (Titus 1:13; Titus 2:2).

The image is peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles; but it is not therefore un-Pauline, unless on the assumption that a writer never enlarges his vocabulary or ideas. Healthy, wholesome admirably describes Christian teaching, as St. Paul conceived it, in its complete freedom from casuistry or quibbles in its theory, and from arbitrary or unnatural restrictions in its practice. The terms νοσῶν as applied to false teaching (1 Timothy 6:4), and possibly γάγγραινα (2 Timothy 2:17) were suggested by contrast. See Dean Bernard’s note on this verse.


Verse 11

1 Timothy 1:11. κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, κ. τ. λ., refers to the whole preceding sentence and is not to be connected with διδασκαλίᾳ. only, which would necessitate τῇ κατὰ, κ. τ. λ. This reading is actually found in (257),* (258), (259), (260), Vg., Arm., quae est secundum, etc. Von Soden connects with δικαίῳ νόμος οὐ κεῖται.

Inasmuch as unsound teaching had claimed to be a εὐαγγέλιον (Galatians 1:6), St. Paul finds it necessary to recharge the word with its old force by distinguishing epithets. εὐαγγέλιον had become impoverished by heterodox associations. The gospel with which St. Paul had been entrusted was the gospel of the glory of the blessed God. Cf. “the gospel of the glory of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 4:4. The gospel concerning the glory, etc., which reveals the glory. And this glory, although primarily an attribute of God, is here and elsewhere treated as a blessed state to which those who obey the gospel may attain, and which it is possible to miss (Romans 3:23; Romans 5:2; Romans 15:7. See Sanday and Headlam on Romans 3:23). The phrase is not, as in A.V., an expansion of “The gospel of God,” Mark 1:14, etc., “the gospel of which God is the author,” τῆς δόξης being a genitive of quality = glorious. (Compare Romans 8:21, 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:18; Colossians 1:11; Colossians 1:27; Titus 2:13).

μακαρίου: Blessed as an epithet of God is only found here and in 1 Timothy 6:15, where see note. Grimm compares the μάκαρες θεοί of Homer and Hesiod. But the notion here is much loftier. We may call God blessed, but not happy; since happiness is only predicated of those whom it is possible to conceive of as unhappy.

ἐπιστεύθην ἐγώ: This phrase occurs again Titus 1:3. Cf. Romans 3:2, 1 Corinthians 9:17, Galatians 2:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:4. St. Paul does not here allude to his particular presentation of the gospel, as in Galatians 2:7; nor is he thinking specially of God’s goodness to him in making him a minister, as in Romans 15:16, Ephesians 3:8, Colossians 1:25; he is merely asserting his consistency, and repudiating the charge of antinomianism which had been brought against him.


Verse 12

1 Timothy 1:12. This parenthetical thanksgiving, which is quite in St. Paul’s manner, is suggested by ἐπιστεύθην ἐγώ. Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:9 sqq., Ephesians 3:8.

χάριν ἔχω: see note on 2 Timothy 1:3. ἐνδυναμώσαντι: The aor. is used be cause the writer’s thoughts pass back to the particular time when he received inward strength increasingly, Acts 9:22. In Philippians 4:13 the present participle is appropriate, because he is describing his present state. The word ἐνδυναμοῦσθαι is only found in N.T. in Paul and Acts 9:22. Is it fanciful to suppose that Luke’s use of it in Acts was suggested by his master’s account of that crisis? ὅτι: because. πιστόν: trustworthy, as a steward is expected to be, 1 Corinthians 4:2. See ref. There is as Bengel remarks, a touch of ἀνθρωποπάθεια, of anthropomorphism or accommodation, in πιστόν με ἡγήσατο. The Divine Master knew that His steward Paul would be trustworthy. Paul, not unnaturally, speaks as if God’s apprehension of him were of the same relative nature as his own hope of final perseverance.

θέμενος εἰς διακονίαν: The fact that Christ employed Paul in His service was a sufficient proof of His estimate of him. διάκονος and διακονία are used in a general sense of St. Paul’s ministry also in Romans 11:13, 1 Corinthians 3:5, 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 5:18; 2 Corinthians 6:3, Ephesians 3:7, Colossians 1:23; Colossians 1:25. Cf. 1 Timothy 4:6, 2 Timothy 4:5; 2 Timothy 4:11. The nature of it is exactly defined in Acts 20:24, “to testify the gospel of the grace of God”.


Verses 12-14

1 Timothy 1:12-14. I cannot mention my part in the furtherance of the gospel without expressing my gratitude to our Lord for His forgiveness of my errors and His confidence in my natural trustworthiness, and His grace which gave me strength to serve Him.


Verse 13

1 Timothy 1:13. ὄντα: concessive: “though I was,” etc. βλάσφημον: a blasphemer. The context alone can decide whether βλασφημεῖν is to be rendered rail or blaspheme. It was against Jesus personally that Paul had acted (Acts 9:5; Acts 22:7; Acts 26:14). This brings into stronger relief the kindness of Jesus to Paul. ὑβριστής, rendered insolent (R.V.), Romans 1:30, covers both words and deeds of despitefulness. Injurious is sufficiently comprehensive, but, in modern English, is not sufficiently vigorous.

ἀλλὰ ἠλεήθην: Obtaining mercy does not in this case mean the pardon which implies merely exemption from punishment; no self-respecting man would value such a relationship with God. Rather St. Paul has in his mind what he has expressed elsewhere as the issue of having received mercy, viz., to have been granted an opportunity of serving Him whom he had injured. Cf. 1 Corinthians 7:25; 1 Corinthians 15:10, 2 Corinthians 4:1.

ἀγνοῶν ἐποίησα: A possible echo of the Saying from the Cross recorded in Luke 23:34, οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν. See also John 15:21; John 16:3, Acts 3:17; Acts 13:27, 1 Corinthians 2:8. There is a remarkable parallel in The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Judah xix. 3, ἠλέησέ με ὅτι ἐν ἀγνωσίᾳ τοῦτο ἐποίησα) dated by Charles between 109–106 B.C.

ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ does not so much qualify ἀγνοῶν, as correct a possible notion that all ignorance must be excusable. St. Paul declares, on the contrary, that his was a positive act of sinful disbelief; but “where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly,” ὑπερεπερίσσευσεν χάρις, Romans 5:20.


Verse 14

1 Timothy 1:14. ὑπερπλεονάζειν only occurs here in N.T.; but St. Paul constantly uses compounds with ὑπέρ. The comparative force of the ὑπέρ—grace outweighing sin—is brought out in Romans 5:15 sqq. In these passages at least it is not true, as Ellicott maintains, that ὑπέρ has a superlative (abound exceedingly) force.

τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν: The expression our Lord (without the addition of Jesus or Jesus Christ), common in modern times, is rare in N.T. See reff. In 2 Peter 3:15 it is not certain if the reference is to Christ, the Judge, or to the Father who determines the moment of His coming. In Revelation 11:15 God the Father is meant.

Faith and love which is in Christ Jesus occurs again in 2 Timothy 1:13. In both places the singular relative is improperly used for the plural. It is one of the writer’s habitual phrases; and therefore we cannot suppose any special relevance to the context in either of its constituent parts, though here Bengel contrasts faith with the unbelief; and love with the blasphemer, etc., of 1 Timothy 1:13. Faith and love, are the inward and outward manifestations respectively of the bestowal and realisation of grace.

πίστις ἐν χρ. ἰησ. occurs Galatians 3:26, 1 Timothy 3:13, 2 Timothy 3:15. πίστις and ἀγάπη are also associated (in this order) in the first six reff.


Verse 15

1 Timothy 1:15. πιστὸς λόγος: The complete phrase, πιστὸςἄξιος recurs in 1 Timothy 4:9; and πιστὸς λόγος in 1 Timothy 3:1, 2 Timothy 2:11, Titus 3:8.

The only other places in the N.T. in which πιστὸς is applied to λόγος in the sense of that can be relied on are Titus 1:9, ἀντεχόμενον τοῦ κατὰ τὴν διδαχὴν πιστοῦ λόγου; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6, οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί.

In Titus 1:9 the πιστὸς λόγος cannot mean an isolated saying, but rather the totality of the revelation given in Christ. Of the other five places in which the phrase occurs there are not more than two in which it is possible to say with confidence that a definite saying is referred to, i.e., here, and perhaps 2 Timothy 2:11. In the other passages, the expression seems to be a brief parenthetical formula, affirmative of the truth of the general doctrine with which the writer happens to be dealing. See notes in each place.

πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος: Field (Notes on Trans. N.T. p. 203) shows by many examples from Diodorus Siculus and Diog. Laert. that this phrase was a common one in later Greek. He would render ἀποδοχή by approbation or admiration. See also Moulton and Milligan, Expositor, vii., vi. 185. ἀπόδεκτος occurs 1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 5:4; ἀποδέχεσθαι in Luke and Acts.

Other examples in the Pastorals of the use of πᾶς (= summus) with abstract nouns (besides ch. 1 Timothy 4:9) are 1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Timothy 2:11; 1 Timothy 3:4; 1 Timothy 5:2; 1 Timothy 6:1, 2 Timothy 4:2, Titus 2:10; Titus 2:15; Titus 3:2.

χρ. ἰησ. ἦλθενσῶσαι: This is quite evidently a saying in which the apostolic church summed up its practical belief in the Incarnation. ἔρχεσθαι εἰς τὸν κόσμον, as used of Christ, is an expression of the Johannine theology; see reff. It is the converse of another Johannine expression, ἀπέστειλεν θεὸς … (or πατὴρ) εἰς τὸν κόσμον: John 3:17; John 10:36; John 17:18, 1 John 4:9. εἰσερχόμενος εἰς τὸν κόσμον is used in the same association, Hebrews 10:5. εἰσέρχεσθαι εἰς τὸν κόσμον is used of sin, Romans 5:12; ἐξέρχεσθαι εἰς τ. κ. of false prophets in 1 John 4:1, 2 John 1:7.

When we say that this is a Johannine expression, we do not mean that the writer of this epistle was influenced by the Johannine literature. But until it has been proved that John the son of Zebedee did not write the Gospel which bears his name, and that the discourses contained in it are wholly unhistorical, we are entitled, indeed compelled, to assume that what we may for convenience call Johannine theology, and the familiar expression of it, was known wherever John preached.

With ἦλθενσῶσαι cf. Luke 19:10, ἦλθενσῶσαι τὸ ἀπολωλός. For the notion expressed in ἁμαρτωλοὺς σῶσαι cf. Matthew 1:21; Matthew 9:13; see also John 12:47, ἦλθενἵνα σώσω τὸν κόσμον; John 1:29, αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου; and 1 John 2:2.

The pre-existence of Christ, as well as His resistless power to save, is of course assumed in this noble summary of the gospel.

ὧν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ: In the experiences of personal religion each individual man is alone with God. He sees nought but the Holy One and his own sinful self (cf. Luke 18:13, μοι τῷ ἁμαρτωλῷ). And the more familiar a man becomes with the meeting of God face to face the less likely is he to be deceived as to the gulf which parts him, limited, finite, defective, from the Infinite and Perfect. It is not easy to think of anyone but St. Paul as penning these words; although his expressions of self-depreciation elsewhere (1 Corinthians 15:9, Ephesians 3:8) are quite differently worded. In each case the form in which they are couched arises naturally out of the context. The sincerity of St. Paul’s humility is proved by the fact that he had no mock modesty; when the occasion compelled it, he could appraise himself; e.g., Acts 23:1; Acts 24:16, 2 Corinthians 11:5; 2 Corinthians 12:11, Galatians 2:6.


Verses 15-17

1 Timothy 1:15-17. The dealings of Christ with me, of course, are not unique. My experience is the same in kind, though not in degree, as that of all saved sinners. Christ’s longsuffering will never undergo a more severe test than it did in my case, so that no sinner need ever despair. Let us giorify God therefor.


Verse 16

1 Timothy 1:16. ἀλλά: This is not adversative, but rather continues from 1 Timothy 1:13, and develops the expression of self-depreciation. The connexion is: “I was such a sinner that antecedently one might doubt whether I could be saved or was worth saving. But Christ had a special object in view in extending to me His mercy.”

διὰ τοῦτο, followed by ἵνα and referring to what follows, occurs in Romans 4:16, 2 Corinthians 13:10, Ephesians 6:13, 2 Thessalonians 2:11, Philemon 1:15. See also Romans 13:6. ἐν ἐμοί is used as in Galatians 1:16; Galatians 1:24, and as ἐν ἡμῖν in 1 Corinthians 4:6. I was an object lesson in which Christ displayed the extent of His longsuffering.

πρώτῳ: Alford correctly says that the foll. μελλόντων proves that St. Paul here combines the senses first (A.V.) and as chief (R.V.).

τὴν ἅπασαν μακροθυμίαν: the utmost longsuffering which he has (Blass, Grammar, p. 162). Here (261) renders μακροθ. longanimitatem. Chrys., followed by Alf. and Ell., explains, “Greater longsuffering He could not show in any case than in mine, nor find a sinner that so required all His longsuffering; not a part only”. If there had been only one soul of sinful man to save, it would have needed the Incarnation to save that soul. In St. Paul’s case, conversion had been preceded by a long internal struggle on his part, and patience on Christ’s part: “It is hard for thee to kick against the goad”. ἅπας only occurs in the Pauline epistles again in Ephesians 6:13. Its use “is confined principally to literary documents” (Moulton and Milligan, Expositor, vii, vi. 88).

πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν τῶν μελλόντων: The use of the genitive here is paralleled exactly in 2 Peter 2:6, ὑπόδειγμα μελλόντων ἀσεβεῖν, “an example unto those that should live ungodly”; and 1 Corinthians 10:6, ταῦτα δὲ τύποι ἡμῶν ἐγενήθησαν; also 1 Timothy 4:12, where see reff. It does not mean as R.V. (an ensample of them), that St. Paul was the first specimen of Jesus’ work of grace, but rather as A.V. (a pattern to them), that no one who ever afterwards hears the gracious invitation of Christ need hang back from accepting it by reason of the greatness of his sin, when he has the example of St. Paul before him (so Chrys.). The ὑποτύπωσις, of course, is the whole transaction of St. Paul’s conversion in all its bearings, ad informationem eorum qui credituri sunt illi (Vulg.). Bengel compares Psalms 32:5-6, “Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. For this let every one that is godly pray unto thee,” etc.

πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ: πιστεύειν is usually followed by εἰς and the acc., or the simple dat. But ἐπί with acc., and ἐν are also found. The construction in the text is due to an unconscious recollection of Isaiah 28:16 (also quoted Romans 9:33; Romans 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6); and no other explanation need be sought. The only other certain instance of the same construction is Luke 24:25. The critical editors reject it in Matthew 27:42.


Verse 17

1 Timothy 1:17. This noble doxology might be one used by St. Paul himself in one of his eucharistic prayers. It is significant that in the Jewish forms of thanksgiving מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם is of constant occurrence. See reff., and θεὸς τῶν αἰ. in Sirach 36:22. Bengel’s suggestion (on ch. 1 Timothy 1:4) that there is a polemical reference to the aeons of Gnosticism is fanciful and unnecessary. βασιλεύς, as a title of God the Father, is found in 1 Timothy 6:15 and Revelation 15:3, a passage of which Swete says (comm. in loc.), “The thought as well as the phraseology of the Song is strangely Hebraic”. Cf. Ps. 9:37 (Psalms 10:16).

ἀφθάρτῳ: The three adjectives ἀφθάρτῳ, ἀοράτῳ, μόνῳ are co-ordinate epithets of θεῷ, to God immortal, invisible, unique.

ἄφθαρτος, immortal, as an epithet of God, occurs Romans 1:23 (cf. Wisdom of Solomon 12:1, τὸ γὰρ ἄφθαρτόν σουπνεῦμά ἐστιν ἐν πᾶσιν, and Moulton and Milligan, Expositor, vii., vi. 376). It is expanded in 1 Timothy 6:15 sq., who only hath immortality, just as ἀοράτῳ becomes whom no man hath seen, nor can see (for the thought, see John 1:18, Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 11:27, 1 John 4:12), and μόνῳ becomes the blessed and only potentate. For the epithet μόνος, used absolutely, see reff. and also Psalms 86:10, John 17:3, Romans 16:27.

τιμὴ καὶ δόξα: This combination in a doxology is found Revelation 4:9, δώσουσινδόξαν καὶ τιμὴν; 1 Timothy 5:13, τιμὴ καὶ δόξα. In St. Paul’s other doxologies (Galatians 1:5, Romans 11:36; Romans 16:27, Philippians 4:20, Ephesians 3:21, 1 Timothy 6:16, 2 Timothy 4:18), with the exception of 1 Timothy 6:16 ( τιμὴ καὶ κράτος), τιμή is not found; and he always has δόξα (see Westcott, Additional Note on Hebrews 13:21).


Verse 18

1 Timothy 1:18. ταύτην τήν παραγγελίαν is partly resumptive of 1 Timothy 1:3; it is the positive aspect of what is there negatively expressed; but as it concerns Timothy directly, it has a reference forward to ἵνα στρατεύῃ, κ. τ. λ., and to the general contents of the epistle. Bengel refers it to παραγγελίας, 1 Timothy 1:5. Peile to πιστὸς λόγος, κ. τ. λ.

παρατίθεμαί σοι: The use of this word, as in Luke 12:48, 2 Timothy 2:2, suggests that the παραγγελία is more than an injunction of temporary urgency, that it is connected with, if not the same as, the παραθήκη (depositum) of 1 Timothy 6:20, etc.

τέκνον τιμόθεε: There is a peculiar affectionate earnestness in this use of the personal name, here and in the conclusion of the letter (1 Timothy 6:20). Cf. Luke 10:41, Martha, Martha; Luke 22:34, Peter; John 14:9, Philip; John 20:16, Mary. For τέκνον see note on 1 Timothy 1:2.

κατὰ τὰςπροφητείας, κ. τ. λ.: By the prophecies, etc., are meant the utterances of the prophets, such as Silas (and not excluding St. Paul himself) who were with St. Paul when the ordination of Timothy became possible; utterances which pointed out the young man as a person suitable for the ministry, led the way to him (R.V. m.). So Chrys. There is no need to suppose that any long interval of time elapsed between the first prophetical utterances and the laying on of hands. In any case, similar prophecies accompanied the act of ordination. This explanation agrees best with the order of the words, and is in harmony with earlier and later references to the extraordinary function of prophets in relation to the ministry in the apostolic church. Thus in Acts 13:1-2, the imposition of hands on Paul and Barnabas—whether for a special mission or to a distinct order it matters not—was at the dictation of prophets. And Clem. Alex. (Quis Dives, 42) speaks of the Apostle John, κλήρῳ ἕνα γέ τινα κληρώσων τῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος σημαινομένων. In the same sense may be understood Clem. Rom. ad Cor. i. 42: οἱ ἀπόστολοικαθίστανον τὰς ἀπαρχὰς αὐτῶν, δοκιμάσαντες τῷ πνεύματι, εἰς ἐπισκόπους καὶ διακόνους.

It is evident from 1 Timothy 4:14 that the prophecy accompanying the laying-on of hands was considered at least contributory to the bestowal of the charisma; it is natural to suppose that it was of the nature of a charge to the candidate. St. Paul here says that his present charge to Timothy is in accordance with, in the spirit of, and also in reinforcement of ( ἵνα στρατεύῃ ἐν αὐταῖς) the charge he had originally received on an occasion of peculiar solemnity. This is a stimulating appeal like that of 2 Timothy 3:14, “knowing of whom thou hast learned them”.

Ellicott disconnects προαγούσας from ἐπὶ σέ; but “forerunning, precursory,” is pointless as an epithet of predictions, though quite appropriate as applied to ἐντολή in Hebrews 7:18 : and the notion of “prophecies uttered over Timothy at his ordination … foretelling his future zeal and success” is unnatural.

ἵνα στρατεύῃτὴν καλὴν στρατείαν: The ministry is spoken of as a warfare, militia, “the service of a στρατιώτης in all its details and particulars” (Ell.). See reff., and an interesting parallel in 4 Maccabees 9:23, ἱερὰν κ. εὐγενῆ στρατείαν στρατεύσασθε περὶ τῆς εὐσεβείας.

ἐν αὐταῖς: in them, as in defensive armour. (Winer Moulton, Grammar, p. 484). Cf. Ephesians 6:14; Ephesians 6:16, for a similar use of ἐν.

καλός is characteristic of the Pastorals, in which it occurs twenty-four times as against sixteen times in the other Pauline Epistles. It has a special Christian reference in such phrases as the present, and as qualifying στρατιώτης, 2 Timothy 2:3; ἀγών, 1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:7; διδασκαλία, 1 Timothy 4:6; ὁμολογία, 1 Timothy 6:12-13 : παραθήκη, 2 Timothy 1:14; διάκονος, 1 Timothy 4:6. Moreover, the use of the word in these epistles is also different from that found in the earlier epistles: (a) it is used as a qualifying adjective twelve times in the Pastorals (excluding καλὸν ἔργον, καλὰ ἔργα) viz., in addition to the reff. already given, 1 Timothy 3:7; 1 Timothy 3:13; 1 Timothy 6:19. This use is not found in the other Pauline Epistles. (b) As a predicate it occurs twice, viz., 1 Timothy 1:8; 1 Timothy 4:4, as against once elsewhere in Paul, Romans 7:16. On the other hand, τὸ καλόν is not found in the Pastorals, though five times elsewhere (Romans 7:18; Romans 7:21; 2 Corinthians 13:7; Galatians 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:21); nor καλά (Romans 12:17; 2 Corinthians 8:21); nor καλόν (Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Corinthians 7:8; 1 Corinthians 7:26; 1 Corinthians 9:15; Galatians 4:18); but τοῦτο καλόν occurs chap. 1 Timothy 2:3 (Titus 3:8) as well as in 1 Corinthians 7:26. See also note on chap. 1 Timothy 3:1.


Verses 18-20

1 Timothy 1:18-20. The charge that I am giving you now is in harmony with what you heard from the prophets at your ordination. It only emphasises the fundamental moral relations of man to things unseen and seen. The rejection of these principles of natural religion naturally issues in a perversion of revealed religion, such as caused the excommunication of Hymenaeus and Alexander.


Verse 19

1 Timothy 1:19. ἔχων: It is best perhaps to suppose that the metaphor of warfare is not continued beyond στρατείαν; else we might render, holding faith as a shield, cf. Ephesians 6:16. But ἐν αὐταῖς implies that the prophecies included every piece of defensive armour. So ἔχων here simply means possessing, as in 1 Timothy 3:9, 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 3:5, Romans 2:20, 1 Corinthians 15:34, 1 Peter 3:16. συνείδησιν: see note on 1 Timothy 1:5.

τινες: see note on 1 Timothy 1:3.

ἀπωσάμενοι: The indictment against the moral standard of the false teachers is here expressed more severely than above in 1 Timothy 1:6. There they are said to have “missed” or “neglected” faith, etc.; but here that they thrust it from them (R.V., cf. Acts 13:46) when it importuned for admittance into their hearts. “Recedit invita. Semper dicit, Noli me laedere” (Bengel).

περὶ τὴν πίστιν ἐναυάγησαν: Another change of metaphor: they suffered moral shipwreck, so far as the faith is concerned. “When the life is corrupt, it engenders a doctrine congenial to it” (Chrys.). We are not justified in interpreting suffered shipwreck as though it meant that they were lost beyond hope of recovery. St. Paul himself had suffered shipwreck at least four times (2 Corinthians 11:25) when he wrote this epistle. He had on each occasion lost everything except himself. For the construction, cf. περὶ τὴν πίστιν [ ἀλήθειαν] ἠστόχησαν, 1 Timothy 6:21, 2 Timothy 2:18; ἀδόκιμοι περὶ τὴν πίστιν, 2 Timothy 3:8. περί with acc. is used in a somewhat similar sense in Mark 4:19, Luke 10:40-41, Acts 19:25, Philippians 2:23 (the only instance in Paul outside the Pastorals) 1 Timothy 6:4, Titus 2:7.

Hymenaeus and Alexander were the ringleaders of those who had suffered shipwreck. There is no sufficient reason to suppose that this Hymenaeus is different from the heretic of the same name in 2 Timothy 2:17, where his error is more precisely defined. The identification of Alexander with Alexander the smith of 2 Timothy 4:14 is more precarious.


Verse 20

1 Timothy 1:20. οὓς παρέδωκα τῷ σατανᾷ: I have delivered (A.V.) expresses more accurately than I delivered (R.V.) the force of the aorist followed by the subjunctive: they were still under sentence of excommunication (see Field in loc.). The theory of the relation of the Church to non-Christians which underlies this phrase is expressed in 1 John 5:19, ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐσμεν, καὶ κόσμος ὅλος ἐν τῷ πονηρῷ κεῖται. The ἐξουσία τοῦ σατανᾶ was “the darkness” over against “the light” of the Kingdom of God (Acts 26:18). The conception is not popular among modern Christians. The two kingdoms, if there are two, have interpenetrated each other. The phraseology, here and in the parallel, 1 Corinthians 5:5, is based on Job 2:6, ἰδοὺ παραδίδωμί σοι σὐτόν. The name σατανᾶς also occurs in chap. 1 Timothy 5:15 and in eight other places in the Pauline Epistles.

ἵνα παιδευθῶσι: The apostolic severity was not merely punitive; it was also corrective. The intention, at least, of excommunication was ἵνα τὸ πνεῦμα σωθῇ, 1 Corinthians 5:5. So Chrys. We must not therefore render here, sarcastically, that they may learn, A.V., but that they might be taught or instructed. At the same time, it is unnatural to assume with Bengel that the ταιδεία was intended to keep them from blaspheming at all; St. Paul hoped that it might prevent a repetition of the sin. The term has more of the association of discipline here and in 1 Corinthians 11:32, 2 Corinthians 6:9, than in the other references.

βλασφημεῖν: It is absurd to suppose that St. Paul here refers to a railing disparagement of his own apostolic claims.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 1:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-timothy-1.html. 1897-1910.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology