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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

1 Timothy 4



Verse 1

Expressly (ρητωςrētōs). Late adverb, here alone in N.T., from verbal adjective ρητοςrētos (from root ρεωreō). The reference is to the Holy Spirit, but whether to O.T. prophecy (Acts 1:16) or to some Christian utterance (2 Thessalonians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 14:1.) we do not know. Parry recalls the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:10, Matthew 24:24.

In later times (εν υστεροις καιροιςen husterois kairois). Old adjective (Matthew 21:31) usually as adverb, υστερονhusteron (Matthew 4:2). Relative time from the prediction, now coming true (a present danger).

Some shall fall away (αποστησονται τινεςapostēsontai tines). Future middle of απιστημιaphistēmi intransitive use, shall stand off from, to fall away, apostatize (2 Corinthians 12:8).

From the faith (της πιστεωςtēs pisteōs). Ablative case (separation). Not creed, but faith in God through Christ.

Giving heed (προσεχοντεςprosechontes). Supply τον νουνton noun (the mind) as in 1 Timothy 3:8.

Seducing spirits (πνευμασιν πλανοιςpneumasin planois). Old adjective (πλανηplanē wandering), here active sense (deceiving). As substantive in 2 Corinthians 6:8. Probably some heathen or the worst of the Gnostics.

Doctrines of devils (διδασκαλιαις δαιμονιωνdidaskaliais daimoniōn). “Teachings of δαιμονςdaimons Definite explanation of the preceding. Cf. 1 Corinthians 10:20.

Verse 2

Through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies (εν υποκρισει πσευδολογωνen hupokrisei pseudologōn). For υποκρισιςhupokrisis see note on Galatians 2:13. ΠσευδολογοςPseudologos (πσευδησ λεγωpseudēsκεκαυστηριασμενων την ιδιαν συνειδησινlegō) Koiné{[28928]}š word from Aristophanes on. Here only in N.T. “A good classical word for liars on a large scale” (Parry).

Branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron (συνειδησινkekaustēriasmenōn tēn idian suneidēsin). Accusative case καυστηριαζωsuneidēsin retained with the perfect passive participle of πσευδολογωνkaustēriazō a rare verb only here and once in Strabo. Branded with the mark of Satan (2 Timothy 2:26) as Paul was with the marks of Christ (Galatians 6:17). Agreeing in case with pseudologōn f0).

Verse 3

Forbidding to marry (κωλυοντων γαμεινkōluontōn gamein). Present active participle of common verb κωλυωkōluō to hinder, genitive case agreeing with πσευδολογωνpseudologōn See note on Colossians 2:16, Colossians 2:21., where Paul condemns the ascetic practices of the Gnostics. The Essenes, Therapeutae and other oriental sects forbade marriage. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul does not condemn marriage.

To abstain from meats (απεχεσται βρωματωνapechesthai brōmatōn). Infinitive dependent, not on κωλυοντωνkōluontōn but on the positive idea κελευοντωνkeleuontōn (implied, not expressed). Ablative case of βρωματωνbrōmatōn after απεχεσταιapechesthai (present direct middle, to hold oneself away from). See 1 Corinthians 8-10; Romans 14; 15 for disputes about “meats offered to idols” and 1 Corinthians 1:22. for the Gnostic asceticism.

Which God created (α ο τεος εκτισενha ho theos ektisen). First active indicative of κτιζωktizō (Corinthians 1 Corinthians 1:16). Cf. 1 Corinthians 10:25.

To be received (εις μεταλημπσινeis metalēmpsin). “For reception.” Old word, only here in N.T.

By them that believe and know (τοις πιστοις και επεγνωκοσιtois pistois kai epegnōkosi). Dative case, “for the believers and those who (one article unites closely) have known fully” (perfect active participle of επιγινωσκωepiginōskō), a Pauline use of the word (Colossians 1:6).

Verse 4

Creature (κτισμαktisma). Late word from κτιζωktizō result of creating. See Genesis 1:31; Mark 7:15; Romans 14:14 for the idea stated.

To be rejected (αποβλητονapoblēton). Old verbal adjective in passive sense from αποβαλλωapoballō to throw away, here only in N.T.

If it be received (λαμβανομενονlambanomenon). “Being received.” Present passive participle of λαμβανωlambanō in conditional sense, “with thanksgiving.”

Verse 5

It is sanctified (αγιαζεταιhagiazetai). Present passive indicative of αγιαζωhagiazō here “rendered holy” rather than “declared holy.” Cf. 1 Timothy 4:4.

Through the word of God and prayers (δια λογου τεου και εντευχεωςdia logou theou kai enteuxeōs). See note on 1 Timothy 2:1 for εντευχιςenteuxis Paul seems to refer to Genesis 1. It is almost a hendiadys “by the use of Scripture in prayer.”

Verse 6

If thou put the brethren in mind of these things (ταυτα υποτιτεμενος τοις αδελποιςtauta hupotithemenos tois adelphois). Present middle participle of υποτιτημιhupotithēmi to place under, to suggest, old and common verb, here only in N.T., “suggesting these things to the brethren.”

Thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus (καλος εσηι διακονος Χριστου Ιησουkalos esēi diakonos Christou Iēsou). This beautiful phrase covers one‘s whole service for Christ (1 Timothy 3:1-7).

Nourished in (εντρεπομενοςentrephomenos). Present passive participle of εντρεπωentrephō old verb, to nourish in, used by Plato of “nourished in the laws,” here only in the N.T.

The words of the faith (τοις λογοις της πιστεωςtois logois tēs pisteōs). Locative case. The right diet for babes in Christ. The Bolshevists in Russia are feeding the children on atheism to get rid of God.

Which thou hast followed (ηι παρηκολουτηκαςhēi parēkolouthēkas). Perfect active indicative of παρακολουτεωparakoloutheō old verb, to follow beside, of persons (often in old Greek) or of ideas and things (Luke 1:3; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 3:10). With associative instrumental case ηιhēi (which).

Verse 7

Refuse (παραιτουparaitou). Present middle imperative second person singular of παραιτεωparaiteō old verb, to ask of one and then to beg off from one as in Luke 14:18.; Acts 25:11; 1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 5:11; Titus 3:10; 2 Timothy 2:23.

Profane (βεβηλουςbebēlous). See note on 2 Timothy 1:9.

Old wives‘ fables (γραωδεις μυτουςgraōdeis muthous). On μυτοςmuthos see note on 2 Timothy 1:4. ΓραωδειςGraōdeis late word (Strabo, Galen) from γραυςgraus old woman, and ειδοςeidos (look, appearance). Such as old women tell to children like the Gnostic aeons.

Exercise thyself (γυμναζε σεαυτονgumnaze seauton). Present active imperative of γυμναζωgumnazō originally to exercise naked (γυμνοςgumnos). Old and common verb, but in N.T. only here and Hebrews 5:14; Hebrews 12:11.

Verse 8

Bodily exercise (η σωματικη γυμνασιαhē sōmatikē gumnasia). ΓυμνασιαGumnasia (from γυμναζωgumnazō), also a common old word, here only in N.T. So also σωματικηsōmatikē (from σωμαsōma body) in N.T. only here and Luke 3:22.

Profitable (ωπελιμοςōphelimos). Another old word (from ωπελεωōpheleō to help, to profit), in N.T. only here, Titus 3:8; 2 Timothy 3:16.

For a little (προς ολιγονpros oligon). “For little.” Probably extent in contrast to προς πανταpros panta (for all things), though in James 4:14 it is time “for a little while.”

Which now is (της νυνtēs nun). “The now life.”

Of that which is to come (της μελλουσηςtēs mellousēs). “Of the coming (future) life.”

Verse 9

See note on 1 Timothy 1:15 for these very words, but here the phrase points to the preceding words, not to the following as there.

Verse 10

To this end (εις τουτοeis touto). The godliness (ευσεβειαeusebeia) of 1 Timothy 4:8. See 2 Corinthians 6:10 as Paul‘s own commentary.

We labour (κοπιωμενkopiōmen Colossians 1:29) and strive (και αγωνιζομεταkai agōnizometha Colossians 1:29). Both Pauline words.

Because we have set our hope (οτι ελπικαμενhoti elpikamen). Perfect active indicative of ελπιζωelpizō (Romans 15:12).

Saviour of all men (σωτηρ παντων αντρωπωνsōtēr pantōn anthrōpōn). See note on 1 Timothy 1:1 for σωτηρsōtēr applied to God as here. Not that all men “are saved” in the full sense, but God gives life (1 Timothy 6:13) to all (Acts 17:28).

Specially of them that believe (μαλιστα πιστωνmalista pistōn). Making a distinction in the kinds of salvation meant. “While God is potentially Saviour of all, He is actually Saviour of the πιστοιpistoi ” (White). So Jesus is termed “Saviour of the World” (John 4:42). Cf. Galatians 6:10.

Verse 12

Despise (καταπρονειτωkataphroneitō). Imperative active third singular of καταπρονεωkataphroneō old verb, to think down on, to despise (Romans 2:4).

Thy youth (σου της νεοτητοςsou tēs neotētos). Genitive case of old word (from νεοςneos) as in Mark 10:20.

Be thou (γινουginou). Present middle imperative of γινομαιginomai “Keep on becoming thou.”

An ensample (τυποςtupos). Old word from τυπτωtuptō a type. Pauline use of the word (1 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; Philemon 3:17; Titus 2:7).

To them that believe (των πιστωνtōn pistōn). Objective genitive.

In word (εν λογωιen logōi). In conversation as well as in public speech.

In manner of life (εν αναστροπηιen anastrophēi). “In bearing” (Galatians 1:13; Ephesians 4:22).

In purity (εν αγνειαιen hagneiāi). Old word from αγνευωhagneuō (αγνοςhagnos). Sinlessness of life. Used of a Nazirite (Numbers 6:2, Numbers 6:21). Only here and 1 Timothy 5:2 in N.T.

Verse 13

Till I come (εως ερχομαιheōs erchomai). “While I am coming” (present indicative with εωςheōs), not “till I come” (εως ελτωheōs elthō).

Give heed (προσεχεproseche). Present active imperative, supply τον νουνton noun “keep on putting thy mind on.”

The reading (τηι αναγνωσειtēi anagnōsei). Old word from αναγινωσκωanaginōskō See 2 Corinthians 3:14. Probably in particular the public reading of the Scriptures (Acts 13:15), though surely private reading is not to be excluded.

To exhortation (τηι παρακλησειtēi paraklēsei), to teaching (τηι διδασκαλιαιtēi didaskaliāi). Two other public functions of the minister. Probably Paul does not mean for the exhortation to precede the instruction, but the reverse in actual public work. Exhortation needs teaching to rest it upon, a hint for preachers today.

Verse 14

Neglect not (μη αμελειmē amelei). Present active imperative in prohibition of αμελεωameleō old verb, rare in N.T. (Matthew 22:5; 1 Timothy 4:14; Hebrews 2:3; Hebrews 8:9). From αμεληςamelēs (αa privative and μελειmelei not to care). Use with genitive.

The gift that is in thee (του εν σοι χαρισματοςtou en soi charismatos). Late word of result from χαριζομαιcharizomai in papyri (Preisigke), a regular Pauline word in N.T. (1 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Romans 1:11; etc.). Here it is God‘s gift to Timothy as in 2 Timothy 1:6.

By prophecy (δια προπητειαςdia prophēteias). Accompanied by prophecy (1 Timothy 1:18), not bestowed by prophecy.

With the laying on of the hands of the presbytery (μετα επιτεσεως των χειρων του πρεσβυτεριουmeta epitheseōs tōn cheirōn tou presbuteriou). In Acts 13:2., when Barnabas and Saul were formally set apart to the mission campaign (not then ordained as ministers, for they were already that), there was the call of the Spirit and the laying on of hands with prayer. Here again μεταmeta does not express instrument or means, but merely accompaniment. In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul speaks only of his own laying on of hands, but the rest of the presbytery no doubt did so at the same time and the reference is to this incident. There is no way to tell when and where it was done, whether at Lystra when Timothy joined Paul‘s party or at Ephesus just before Paul left Timothy there (1 Timothy 1:3). ΕπιτεσιςEpithesis (φρομ επιτιτημιfrom epitithēmi to lay upon) is an old word, in lxx, etc. In the N.T. we find it only here, 2 Timothy 1:16; Acts 8:18; Hebrews 6:2, but the verb επιτιτημιepitithēmi with τας χειραςtas cheiras more frequently (Acts 6:6 of the deacons; Acts 8:19; Acts 13:3; 1 Timothy 5:22, etc.). ΠρεσβυτεριονPresbuterion is a late word (ecclesiastical use also), first for the Jewish Sanhedrin (Luke 22:66; Acts 22:5), then (here only in N.T.) of Christian elders (common in Ignatius), though πρεσβυτεροςpresbuteros (elder) for preachers (bishops) is common (Acts 11:30; Acts 15:2; Acts 20:17, etc.).

Verse 15

Be diligent in these things (ταυτα μελεταtauta meleta). Old verb from μελετηmeletē (care, practice), present active imperative, “keep on practising these things.” In N.T. only here and Acts 4:25.

Give thyself wholly to them (εν τουτοις ιστιen toutois isthi). Present imperative second person singular of ειμιeimi “keep on in these things.” Note five uses of ενen in 1 Timothy 4:12 and three datives in 1 Timothy 4:14. Plutarch (Pomp. 656 B) says Caesar was εν τουτοιςen toutois (“in these things”). It is like our “up to his ears” in work (ιν μεδιας ρεςin medias res) and sticking to his task.

Thy progress (σου η προκοπηsou hē prokopē). Koiné{[28928]}š word from προκοπτωprokoptō to cut forward, to blaze the way, in N.T. only here and Philemon 1:12, Philemon 1:25. Paul‘s concern (purpose, ιναhina and present subjunctive ηιēi of ειμιeimi) is that Timothy‘s “progress” may be “manifest to all.” It is inspiring to see a young preacher grow for then the church will grow with him.

Verse 16

Take heed to thyself (επεχε σεαυτωιepeche seautōi). Present active imperative of old verb επεχωepechō to hold upon (Philemon 2:1, Philemon 2:16), but here τον νουνton noun (the mind) must be supplied as in Acts 3:5 and as is common with προσεχωprosechō With dative case σεαυτωιseautōi “Keep on paying attention to thyself.” Some young preachers are careless about their health and habits. Some are too finical.

And to the teaching (και τηι διδασκαλιαιkai tēi didaskaliāi). This is important also.

Continue in these things (επιμενε αυτοιςepimene autois). Present active imperative of επιμενωepimenō old and common verb to stay by the side of a person or thing. See note on Romans 6:1; Colossians 1:23. “Stay by them,” “stick to them,” “see them through.” “Stick to the business of framing your own life and your teaching on right lines” (Parry).

Thou shalt save (σωσειςsōseis). Future active of σωζωsōzō effective future, finally save. Cf. 1 Corinthians 9:27; John 10:9.


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

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

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