corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

1 Timothy 6



Verse 1

As many servants as are under the yoke ( ὅσοι εἰσὶν ὑπὸ ζυγὸν δοῦλοι )

Incorrect. Rather, as many as are under the yoke as bondservants. As bondservants is added in explanation of under the yoke, which implies a hard and disagreeable condition. Yoke is used only here of the state of slavery. In Galatians 5:1; Acts 15:10, of the Mosaic law. See on Matthew 11:29.

Their own ( τοὺς ἰδίους )

Lit. private, personal, peculiar, as 1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 7:7. Sometimes strange, eccentric. Contrasted with δημόσιος publicor κοινός commonSee Acts 4:32. Sometimes without emphasis, substantially = possessive pronoun, just as Lat. proprius passes into suus or ejus, or οἰκεῖος belongingto one's house into the simple one's own. See on Galatians 6:10, and comp. Matthew 22:5; Matthew 25:14. In lxx commonly with the emphatic sense. Very often in the phrase κατ ' ἰδίαν privatelyas Mark 4:34; Luke 9:10; Galatians 2:2, but nowhere in Pastorals.

Masters ( δεσπότας )

Comp. Titus 2:9, and see on 2 Peter 2:1. Not in Paul, who styles the master of slaves κύριος LordSee Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1.

Count ( ἡγείσθωσαν )

Implying a more conscious, a surer judgment, resting on more careful weighing of the facts. See Philemon 2:3, Philemon 2:6.

Be not blasphemed ( μη - βλασφημῆται )

Or be evil spoken of. See on blasphemy, Mark 7:22, and be evil spoken of, Romans 14:16; 1 Corinthians 10:30. Paul uses the word, but not in the active voice as in the Pastorals.

Verse 2

Partakers of the benefit ( οἱ τῆς εὐεργεσίας ἀντιλαμβανόμενοι )

The verb means to take hold of; hence, to take hold for the purpose of helping; to take up for, as Luke 1:54; Acts 20:35. oP. Ἑυεργεσία , benefit only here and Acts 4:9. Better, kindly service. Rend. they that busy themselves in the kindly service. The reference is to the kindly acts which the masters do to their slaves; not to the benefits received by the slaves. Comp. Galatians 5:13.

Verse 3

Teach otherwise ( ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖ )

See on 1 Timothy 1:3.

Consent ( προσέρχεται )

Lit. draw nigh. To approach as one who confidingly accepts another's proffer. Hence, to assent to. Comp. Acts 10:28; 1 Peter 2:4; Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 10:22. Often in lxx, and habitually in the literal sense. The figurative sense, 4:15; 6:26. oP. The phrase only here.

Of our Lord, etc.

Either concerning our Lord, or spoken by him. Probably the latter, according to N.T. usage, in which word of the Lord or word of God commonly means the word that proceeds from God. The phrase words of our Lord Jesus Christ only here.

Doctrine which is according to godliness ( τῇ κατ εὐσέβειαν διδασκαλίᾳ )

The phrase only here. See on 1Timothy href="/desk/?q=1ti+1:10&sr=1">1 Timothy 1:10. For εὐσέβεια , on 1 Timothy 2:2.

Verse 4

He is proud ( τετύφωται )

See on 1 Timothy 3:6.

Knowing nothing ( μηδὲν ἐπιστάμενος )

Although he knows nothing. oP. Very frequent in Acts. Comp. 1 Timothy 1:7.

Doting ( νοσῶν )

N.T.oLit. sick. Comp. ὑγιαίνουσι healthful 1 Timothy 6:3.

Questions ( ζητήσεις )

oP. olxx. Quite often in Class. Lit. processes of inquiry; hence, debates. Comp. 1 Timothy 1:4.

Strifes of words ( λογομαχίας )

N.T.oolxx, oClass. One of the unique compounds peculiar to these Epistles. The verb λογομαχεῖν 2 Timothy 2:14.

Surmisings ( ὑπόνοιαι )

N.T.oSee Acts href="/desk/?q=ac+13:25&sr=1">Acts 13:25; Acts 25:18; Acts 27:27.

Verse 5

Perverse disputings ( διαπαρατριβαὶ )

N.T.oolxx, oClass. Παρατριβή , is a rubbing against. Διὰ signifies continuance. The meaning therefore is continued friction. Hence wearing discussion; protracted wrangling.

Of corrupt minds ( διεφθαρμένων τὸν νοῦν )

More correctly, corrupted in mind. The verb not common in N.T. In Paul only 2 Corinthians 4:16. Only here in Pastorals. Διαφθορά corruptiononly in Acts. Comp. κατεφθαρμένοι τὸν νοῦν corruptedin mind, 2 Timothy 3:8.

Destitute of the truth ( ἀπεστερημένων τῆς ἀληθείας )

Rev. bereft of the truth. In N.T. commonly of defrauding, Mark 10:19; 1 Corinthians 6:7, 1 Corinthians 6:8; 1 Corinthians 7:5. The implication is that they once possessed the truth. They put it away from themselves (1 Timothy 1:19; Titus 1:14). Here it is represented as taken away from them. Comp. Romans 1:8.

Gain is godliness ( πορισμὸν εἶναι τὴν εὐσέβειαν )

Wrong. Rend. that godliness is a way (or source ) of gain. Πορισμὸς , only here and 1 Timothy 6:6, is a gain-making business. See Wisd. 13:19; 14:2. They make religion a means of livelihood. Comp. Titus 1:11.

Verse 6

Contentment ( αὐταρκείας )

Only here and 2 Corinthians 9:8. The adjective αὐτάρκης self-sufficient Philemon 4:11. Comp. Sirach 40:18. Αὐτάρκεια is an inward self-sufficiency, as opposed to the lack or the desire of outward things. It was a favorite Stoic word, expressing the doctrine of that sect that a man should be sufficient unto himself for all things, and able, by the power of his own will, to resist the force of circumstances. In Ps. of Song of Solomon 5:18, we read: “Blessed is the man whom God remembereth with a sufficiency convenient for him” ( ἐν συμμετρίᾳ αὐταρκεσίας ); that is, with a sufficiency proportioned to his needs.

Verse 7

And it is certain we can carry, etc.

Omit and and certain. Rend. ὅτι becauseThe statement is: We brought nothing into the world because we can carry nothing out. The fact that we brought nothing into the world is shown by the impossibility of our taking with us anything out of it; since if anything belonging to us in our premundane state had been brought by us into the world, it would not be separated from us at our departure from the world. Comp. Job 1:21; Ecclesiastes 5:15; Psalm 49:17.

Verse 8

Food ( διατροφὰς )

N.T.oRaiment ( σκεπάσματα )

N.T.oolxx. It means covering generally, though the reference is probably to clothing. von Soden aptly remarks that a dwelling is not a question of life with an Oriental.

Let us be content ( ἀρκεσθησόμεθα )

More correctly, we shall be content. Once in Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:9. A few times in lxx. Comp. Ps. of Song of Solomon 16:12: “But with good will and cheerfulness uphold thou my soul; when thou strengthenest my soul I shall be satisfied ( ἀρκέσει μοι ) with what thou givest me.”

Verse 9

They that will be rich ( οἱ βουλόμενοι πλουτεῖν )

Better, they that desire to be rich. It is not the possession of riches, but the love of them that leads men into temptation.

Fall ( ἐμπίπτουσιν )

oP. Lit. fall into; but invariably in N.T. with εἰς intoTemptation ( πειρασμὸν )

See on Matthew 6:13.

Foolish ( ἀνοήτους )

Foolish answers to several words in N.T., ἀνοήτος, ἀσύνετος, ἄφρων, μωρός. Ἁνοήτος notunderstanding; a want of proper application of the moral judgment or perception, as Luke 24:25, note; Galatians 3:1, note. Ἄφρων is senseless, stupid, of images, beasts. Comp. Luke 12:20, note. Ἁσύνετος approaches the meaning of ἀνοήτος unintelligentSee 27:12. It also implies a moral sense, wicked, Wisd. 1:5; 11:15; Sirach 15:7. On the etymological sense, see on Matthew href="/desk/?q=mt+11:25&sr=1">Matthew 11:25; see on Mark 12:33; see on Luke 2:47. Μωρός is without forethought, as Matthew 7:26; Matthew 25:3; without learning, as 1 Corinthians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 3:18; with a moral sense, empty, useless, 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9; and impious, godless, Matthew 5:22; Psalm 94:8; Jeremiah 5:21.

Hurtful ( βλαβεράς )

N.T.olxx once, Proverbs 10:26.

Drown ( βυθίζουσι )

Only here and Luke 5:7, note. A strong expression of the results of avarice.

Destruction ( ὄλεθρον )

See on 1 Thessalonians 1:9, and additional note.

Perdition ( ἀπώλειαν )

It is unsafe to distinguish between ὄλεθρος destructionin general, and ἀπώλεια as pointing mainly to destruction of the soul. Ἁπώλεια sometimes of spiritual destruction, as Philemon 1:28; but also of destruction and waste in general, as Mark 14:4; Acts 8:20. One is reminded of Virgil, Aen. iii. 56:

“Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,

Auri sacra fames?”

Verse 10

Love of money ( φιλαργυρία )

N.T.oSee 4Macc. 1:26. Rare in Class.

The root ( ῥίζα )

Better, a root. It is not the only root. In Paul only metaphorically. See Romans 11:16, Romans 11:17, Romans 11:18.

Coveted after ( ὀρεγόμενοι )

See on 1 Timothy 3:1. The figure is faulty, since φιλαργυρία is itself a desire.

Have erred ( ἀπεπλανήθησαν )

More correctly, have been led astray. oP.

Pierced through ( περιέπειραν )


Sorrows ( ὀδύναις )

See on Romans 9:2.

Verse 11

Man of God ( ἄνθρωπε θεοῦ )

The phrase only in Pastorals. Comp 2 Timothy 3:17. Not an official designation.

Righteousness ( δικαιοσύνην )

See on Romans 1:17. Not in the Pauline dogmatic sense, but as Ephesians 5:9, moral rectitude according to God's law.

Meekness ( πραΰπαθίαν )

N.T.oolxx. Meekness of feeling ( πάθος ). The usual word is πραΰ̀της , often in Paul. See on meek, Matthew 5:5. With the whole verse comp. Titus 3:12.

Verse 12

Fight the good fight ( ἀγωνίζου τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα )

A phrase peculiar to the Pastorals. Comp. 2 Timothy 4:7. Not necessarily a metaphor from the gymnasium or arena, although ἀγών contestwas applied originally to athletic struggles. But it is also used of any struggle, outward or inward. See Colossians 2:1; Colossians 4:12.

Lay hold ( ἐπιλαβοῦ )

oP. Frequent in Luke and Acts. Occasionally in this strong sense, as Luke 20:20; Luke 23:26; Acts 18:17, but not usually. See Mark 8:23; Luke 9:47; Acts 9:27.

Professed a good profession ( ὡμολόγησας τὴν καλὴν ὁμολογίαν )

Both the verb and the noun in Paul, but this combination only here. For the use of καλός goodsee 1 Timothy 1:18, and 1 Timothy 6:12. Rend. confessed the good confession, and see on your professed subjection, 2 Corinthians 9:13. It is important to preserve the force of the article, a point in which the A.V. is often at fault.

Verse 13

Quickeneth ( ζωογονοῦντος )

oP. Rend. who preserveth alive. Quickeneth is according to the reading ζωοποιοῦντος makethalive. Comp. lxx, Exodus 1:17; Judges 8:19. This association of God as the preserver with confession is noteworthy in Matthew 10:28-33.

Witnessed a good confession ( μαρτυρήσαντος τὴν καλὴν ὁμολογίαν )

Letter, the or his good confession. The phrase is unique. The good confession is the historical confession of Jesus before Pilate, which is the warrant for the truthfulness of Timothy's confession. Christ is called “the faithful and true witness ” ( μάρτυς ), Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:14. It is true that μάρτυς was used very early of those who laid down their lives for the truth (see Acts 22:20; Revelation 2:13), and Polycarp speaks of τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ σταυροῦ thewitness of the cross (Phil. vii.); but this did not become general until after the end of the second century.

Before Pontius Pilate

The mention of Pontius Pilate in connection with the crucifixion is of constant occurrence in early Christian writings. See Ignatius, Magn. xi; Tral. ix; Smyrn. i. It has been supposed that these words were taken from a liturgical confession in which the Christian faith was professed.

Verse 14

Commandment ( ἐντολὴν )

Usually of a single commandment or injunction, but sometimes for the whole body of the moral precepts of Christianity, as 2 Peter 2:21; 2 Peter 3:2. The reference may be explained by ἡ παραγγελία thecommandment, 1 Timothy 1:5, meaning the gospel as the divine standard of conduct and faith. Comp. 2 Timothy 1:14. The phrase τηρεῖν τὴν ἐντολὴν tokeep the commandment is Johannine. See John 14:15, John 14:21; John 15:10; 1 John 2:3, 1 John 2:4; 1 John 3:22, 1 John 3:24; 1 John 5:3.

Without spot ( ἄσπιλον )

Unsullied. Comp. James 1:27; 1 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 3:14.

Appearing ( ἐπιφανείας )

See on 2 Thessalonians 2:8. In the Books of Maccabees it is used to describe appearances and interventions of God for the aid of his people. See 3:24; 14:15; 15:27; 3 Maccabees 5:8,51. In 2Timothy href="/desk/?q=2ti+4:18&sr=1">2 Timothy 4:18, and Titus 2:13, it denotes, as here, the second coming of Christ. In 2 Timothy 1:10, his historical manifestation, for which also the verb ἐπιφαίνειν is used, Titus 2:11; Titus 3:4. for the Lord is second advent Paul commonly uses παρουσία presenceonce the verb φανεροῦν tomake manifest (Colossians 3:4), and once ἀποκάλυψις revelation(2 Thessalonians 1:7). It is quite possible that the word ἐπιφάνεια , so characteristic of these Epistles, grew out of the Gnostic vocabulary, in which it was used of the sudden appearing of the hitherto concealed heavenly aeon, Christ. This they compared to a sudden light from heaven; and Christ, who thus appeared, though only docetically, without an actual fleshly body, was styled σωτὴρ savioralthough his oneness with the God of creation was denied. The Creator and the Redeemer were not the same, but were rather opposed. Christ was only a factor of a great cosmological process of development. As Neander observes: “The distinctive aim of the Gnostics was to apprehend the appearance of Christ and the new creation proceeding from him in their connection with the evolution of the whole universe.”

Verse 15

In his times ( καιροῖς ἰδίοις )

Better, his own seasons, or its own seasons. Either the seasons proper to the appearing, or the seasons which God shall see fit to select. See on 1 Timothy 2:6.

Potentate ( δυνάστης )

Only here of God. Very often in lxx. See 2 Maccabees 12:15, etc. In Class. applied to Zeus (Soph. Antig. 608). In Aesch. Agam. 6, the stars are called λαμπροὶ δυνάσται brightrulers, as the regulators of the seasons.

Of kings ( τῶν βασιλευόντων )

Lit. of those who rule as kings. Only here for the noun, βασιλέων. Βασιλεὺς βσιλέων kingof kings, Revelation href="/desk/?q=re+17:14&sr=1">Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16.

Of lords ( κυριευόντων )

Lit. of those who Lord it. Only here for the noun κυρίων . See κύριος κυρίων Lordof lords, Revelation 19:16; comp. lxx, Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 135:3. Probably liturgical.

Verse 16

Who only hath immortality ( ὁ μόνος ἔχων ἀθανασίαν )

Comp. ἀφθάρτῳ incorruptible 1 Timothy 1:17. It has been suggested that there is here a possible allusion to the practice of deifying the woman emperors, with an implied protest against paying them divine honors. In the Asian provinces generally, this imperial cultus was organised as the highest and most authoritative religion. Domitian (81-96 a.d.) assumed the titles of “Lord” and “God,” and insisted on being addressed as Dominus et Deus noster in all communications to himself. Trajan (98-117 a.d.) forbade his subjects to address him as “Lord” and “God,” but Pliny (112 a.d.) required the citizens of Bithynia to pay divine honors to Trajan's statue. Hadrian (117-138 a.d.) allowed the worship of his statues.

In light

Comp. Psalm 103:2; 1 John 1:5, 1 John 1:7; James 1:17.

Which no man can approach unto ( ἀπρόσιτον )

More simply, unapproachable. N.T.oolxx.

Verse 17

Them that are rich in this world ( τοῖς πλουσίοις ἐν τῷ νῦν αἰῶνι )

Forming one conception. Chrysostom says:; “Rich in this world, for others are rich in the world to come.” Comp. Luke 16:25. Πλουσίος richby Paul only metaphorically. See 2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 2:4. The phrase ὁ νῦν αἰών thenow age, only here and Titus 2:12, the usual expression being ὁ αἰὼν οὗτος thisage or world, which is not found in Pastorals.

Be not highminded ( μὴ ὑψηλοφρονεῖν )

The verb N.T.oolxx, oClass. Comp. Romans 11:20; Romans 12:16.

Uncertain riches ( πλούτου ἀδηλότητι )

A rendering which weakens the sense by withdrawing the emphasis from the thought of uncertainty. Rend. the uncertainty of riches. For a similar construction see Romans 6:4. Ἁδηλότης uncertaintyN.T.oolxx. Originally obscurity. Πλοῦτος wealthfrequent in Paul, but never in the material sense. The play upon the word rich in this and the next verse will be noticed.

To enjoy ( εἰς ἀπόλαυσιν )

Lit. for enjoyment. Only here and Hebrews 11:25. See 3 Maccabees 7:16. In class. occasionally, but the verb ἀπολαύειν tohave enjoyment or benefit is common. A contrast is implied between being highminded on account of wealth - cherishing and worshipping it - and rightly enjoying it. The true character of such enjoyment is shown in the next verse.

Verse 18

Do good ( ἀγαθοεργεῖν )

In this uncontracted form, N.T.oolxx, oClass. Comp. Acts 14:17. The usual word is ἀγαθοποιεῖν , see Mark 3:4; Luke 6:9, Luke 6:33, Luke 6:35; 1 Peter 2:15. oP. who has ἐργάζεσθαι τὸ ἀγαθὸν towork that which is good, Romans 2:10; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 4:28.

Good works ( ἔργοις καλοῖς )

For καλός see on 1 Timothy 3:7, and John 10:11: for ἀγαθός on Romans 5:7.

Ready to distribute ( εὐμεταδότους )

N.T.oolxx, oClass. For the verb μεταδιδόναι toimpart to the poor, see Luke 3:11; Ephesians 4:28.

Willing to communicate ( κοινωνικούς )

N.T.oolxx. See on fellowship, Acts 2:42, and comp. κοινωνεῖν topartake, 1 Timothy 5:22, and κοινός common Titus 1:14. Stronger than the preceding word, as implying a personal share in the pleasure imparted by the gift.

Verse 19

Laying up in store ( ἀποθησαυρίζοντας )

N.T.oLaying away ( ἀπὸ ).

Eternal life ( τῆς ὄντως ζωῆς )

More correctly, the life which is life indeed, or that which is truly life. See on 1 Timothy 5:3.

Verse 20

That which is committed to thy trust ( τὴν παραθήκην )

Only in Pastorals. Comp. 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:14. From παρὰ besideor with, and τιθέναι toplace. It may mean either something put beside another as an addition or appendix (so Mark 6:41; Acts 16:34), or something put with or in the keeping of another as a trust or deposit. In the latter sense always in lxx. See Leviticus 6:2, Leviticus 6:4; 2 Maccabees 3:10,15. Hdt. vi. 73, of giving hostages; ix. 45, of confidential words intrusted to the hearer's honor. The verb is a favorite with Luke. The meaning here is that teaching which Timothy had received from Paul; the “sound words” which he was to guard as a sacred trust, and communicate to others.

Vain babblings ( κενοφωνίας )

Only in Pastorals. olxx, oClass. From κενός emptyand φωνή voiceOppositions of science falsely so called ( ἀνιθέσεις τῆς ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως )

Better, oppositions of the falsely-named knowledge. Ἁντίθεσις , N.T.oolxx. Used here, in its simple sense, of the arguments and teachings of those who opposed the true Christian doctrine as intrusted to Timothy. Γνῶσις knowledgewas the characteristic word of the Gnostic school, the most formidable enemy of the church of the second century. The Gnostics claimed a superior knowledge peculiar to an intellectual caste. According to them, it was by this philosophic insight, as opposed to faith, that humanity was to be regenerated. faith was suited only to the rude masses, the animal-men. The intellectual questions which occupied these teachers were two: to explain the work of creation, and to account for the existence of evil. Their ethical problem was how to develop the higher nature in the environment of matter which was essentially evil. In morals they ran to two opposite extremes - asceticism and licentiousness. The principal representatives of the school were Basilides, Valentinus, and Marcion. Although Gnosticism as a distinct system did not reach its full development until about the middle of the second century, foreshadowings of it appear in the heresy at which Paul's Colossian letter was aimed. It is not strange if we find in the Pastoral Epistles allusions pointing to Gnostic errors; but, as already remarked, it is impossible to refer these allusions to any one definite system of error. The word γνῶσις cannot therefore be interpreted to mean the Gnostic system; while it may properly be understood as referring to that conceit of knowledge which opposed itself to the Christian faith. Ψευδώνυμος falsely-namedN.T.oolxx. It characterises the γνῶσις as claiming that name without warrant, and as being mere vain babbling. Comp. Colossians href="/desk/?q=col+2:8&sr=1">Colossians 2:8.

Verse 21


See on 1 Timothy 2:10.

Erred ( ἠστόχησαν )

See on 1 Timothy 1:6, and comp. 2 Timothy 2:18.

Grace be with thee

The correct reading is μεθ ' ὑμῶν withyou. Although addressed to an individual, he is included in the church. This brief benediction occurs in Paul only in Colossians.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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