1 Timothy

1 1Paul [Paulos], an apostle [apostolos]

Paul's claim to apostleship puts him on a level with the Twelve, whom Jesus had named 'apostles' (Lk 6:13).

of Christ [christou; Heb. Messiah] Jesus according to the commandment [kat' epitagēn]

This formula was used on official notices, meaning 'by order of' and suggests a royal command which must be obeyed.

of God our Savior, and Christ Jesus our hope; 2to Timothy [Timotheō], my true [gnēsiō]

Used literally of children born of wedlock, legitimate. Paul may have wanted to reinforce Timothy's authority since, his father being a Greek, Jewish law will have regarded him as illegitimate.

child in faith [pistei]: Grace [charis], mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3As I urged [parakaleō] you when I was going into Macedonia, stay at Ephesus that you might command [parangellō] certain men not to teach a different doctrine [heterodidaskaleō]

Possibly a word Paul coined; cf. Gal 1:6; 2 Cor 11:1. The norm of doctrine is described as 'the faith', 'the truth', 'the sound doctrine', 'the teaching' and 'the good deposit', indicating that a body of doctrine existed which was an agreed standard by which all teaching could be tested and judged.

, 4neither to pay attention to myths [mythoi] and endless genealogies [genealogiais]

Perhaps legendary stories about genealogies which were handed down in the Haggada or rabbinical tradition. 'The Book of Jubilees' or 'The Little Genesis' (135 and 105 BC) retells from a Pharisaic perspective the OT story from the creation to Mount Sinai. It divides this history into 'jubilees' (periods of 49 years) and asserts the uniqueness of Israel among the nations. Names of all the children of Adam and Eve, of Enoch's family, of Noah's predecessors and descendants, and of the seventy people who went down into Egypt are supplied. 'The Biblical Antiquities of Philo' (AD 70) retells the OT story from the creation of Adam to the death of Saul and its objective is to maintain the eternal validity of the law against the encroachments of Hellenism. The biblical narrative is augmented by fabulous genealogies and fired the imagination of allegorizers and speculators.

, which cause disputes [zētēseis], rather than God's stewardship [oikonomian]

'Stewardship' or 'plan'.

, which is in faith [pistei]--5but the goal of this command [parangelias] is love [agapē], out of a pure heart and a good conscience and unfeigned faith [pisteōs]; 6from which things some, having missed the mark [astocheō]

'Missed the mark', 'swerve' or 'turn aside'.

, have turned aside [aktrepō]

Again, 'swerve' or 'turn aside', hence the importance of maintaining a straight course.

to vain talking; 7desiring to be teachers of the law [nomodidaskaloi]

Used of the scribes who taught the Mosaic law (Lk 5:17) and of the illustrious Gamaliel (Ac 5:34).

, though they understand [noeō] neither what they say, nor about what they strongly affirm. 8But we know [oida] that the law [nomos; Heb. Torah] is good, if a man uses it lawfully, 9as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous [dikaiō] man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers [patrolōais] and murderers of mothers [mētrolōais], for manslayers, 10for the sexually immoral [pornois], for homosexuals [arsenokoitais]

Only found here and 1 Cor 6:9 combines arsēn (male) and koitē (bed) or keimai (to lie); cf. Lv 18:22; 20:13, LXX.

, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; 11according to the Good News of the glory [euangelion tēs doxēs] of the blessed [makariou] God, which was committed to my trust [pisteuō]. 12And I thank [charin echō] him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted [hēgeomai] me faithful [piston], appointing me to service [diakonian]; 13although I was before a blasphemer [blasphēmon], a persecutor, and insolent [hybristēn]

Hybris is a mixture of arrogance and insolence, which finds satisfaction in insulting and humiliating others.

. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14The grace [charis] of our Lord abounded exceedingly [hyperpleonazō] with faith [pisteōs] and love [agapēs] which is in Christ Jesus. 15The saying is faithful [pistos ho logos] and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world [kosmon] to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display [endeiknymai] all his patience, for an example [hypotypōsin] of those who were going to believe [pisteuō] in him for eternal life. 17Now to the King [basilei] eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen [amēn]. 18This instruction [parangelian]

As in vv 3 and 5 and often in military contexts, a sense of urgent obligation is conveyed.

I commit [paratithēmi] to you, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to you, that by them you may wage [strateuō] the good warfare [strateia]

This noun and the preceding verb refer to a soldier's combat.

; 19holding faith [pistin] and a good conscience; which some having thrust away [apōtheō]

To push someone away or cast something away; to repudiate.

made a shipwreck concerning the faith [pistin]; 20of whom is Hymenaeus [Hymenaios]

Cf. 2 Tim 2:18.

and Alexander [Alexandros]

A common Greek name.

; whom I delivered to Satan, that they might be taught [paideuō] not to blaspheme [blasphēmeō].

2 1I exhort [parakaleō] therefore, first of all, that petitions [deēseis], prayers [proseuchas]

General prayer.

, intercessions [enteuxeis]

It has been suggested that this word has to do with entering a king's presence and submitting a petition to him.

, and givings of thanks [eucharistias], be made for all men: 2for kings [basileōn] and all who are in high places; that we may lead [diagō] a tranquil and quiet life [bion] in all godliness and reverence. 3For this is good [kalon] and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4who desires [thelō] all people to be saved [sōzō] and come to full knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator [mesitēs]

Used in the papyri both for an arbiter in legal disputes and for a negotiator of business deals.

between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom [antilytron] for all [pantōn]; the testimony [martyrion] in its own times; 7to which I was appointed [tithēmi] a preacher [keryx] and an apostle [apostolos] (I am telling the truth in Christ, not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles [ethnōn] in faith [pistei] and truth. 8I desire [boulomai] therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without anger and doubting. 9In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent [kosmiō]

Christian women in Ephesus would need to make sure that their attire in no way resembled that of the hundreds of prostitutes who were employed in the great goddess Diana's temple. As Chrysostom wrote, 'Imitate not therefore the courtesans, for by such a dress they allure their many lovers'.

clothing, with modesty and propriety; not just with braided hair [plegmasin]

'Plaitings'; elaborate hair-styles were fashionable among the wealthy and worn by courtesans. The sculpture and literature of the period make it clear that women often wore their hair in enormously elaborate arrangements with braids and curls interwoven, or piled high like towers and decorated with gems and/or gold and/or pearls. The courtesans wore their hair in numerous small pendant braids with gold droplets or pearls or gems every inch or so, making a shimmering screen of their locks.

, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing; 10but (which becomes women professing godliness [theosebeian]) with good works. 11Let a woman [gynē]

Can mean 'woman' or 'wife'. The Rabbinical opinion expressed in the Jerusalem Talmud was that it would be better for the words of Torah to be burned, than that they should be entrusted to a woman.

learn in quietness with all subjection [hypotagē]. 12But I don't permit [epitripō]

Carries a sense of legislative enactment and in its three occurrences in the Pastoral Epistles, refers to ordering by apostolic authority, cf. 1 Cor 14:34, 37.

a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority [authenteō]

Meaning disputed; only use in NT. Of its several meanings, to have or exercise authority is one; to usurp or grasp authority is another. The word is also used to mean to originate, to murder someone (often in a sexual context), and, falsely, to claim ownership of something. The meaning could be, 'I do not permit a woman to teach or to represent herself as the originator or man'. This was in direct contrast to the teachings of the priestesses in the earth mother cults. Those at Ephesus for example taught that a female goddess was not only the originator of men but of God himself. Mystic knowledge about him could be obtained by having sexual relations with a priestess.

over a man [andros]

'Man' or 'husband'.

, but to be in quietness. 13For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14Adam wasn't deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; 15but she will be saved [sōzō] through her childbearing [tēs teknogonias]

Some of the false teachers were forbidding people to marry (4:3). Paul is not saying that salvation for women is through childbirth but through 'the childbirth' or 'through the Birth of the Child'.

, if they continue in faith [pistei], love [agapē], and sanctification [agiasmō] with sobriety.

3 1This is a faithful [pistos] saying [logos]: if a man seeks [oregō]

Lit. to 'stretch forward, reach out one's hand' for and so 'aspire' to.

the office of an overseer [episkopēs], he desires a good work. 2The overseer [episkopon]

'Overseer', 'bishop'; same office as presbyteros, 'presbyter', 'elder', cf. Ac 20:17, 28; 1 Pet 5:1-2; Phil 1:1 and Tit 1:5-7. Presbyteros was Jewish in origin (every synagogue had its elders) and indicated seniority, whereas episkopos was Greek (used of municipal officials, and supervisors of subject cities) and indicated the superintending nature of the pastor's ministry. Both terms used of Jesus in NT: 1 Pet 2:25; Mk 10:45 and Lk 22:27. The development of the 'monarchical episcopate' (a single bishop presiding over a college of presbyters) cannot be dated earlier than Ignatius of Syrian Antioch, c. AD 110.

therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife [mias gynakos andra]

Polygamy, although technically forbidden by Roman law, was still widely practiced, and was also tolerated in Jewish culture. For example, in his 'Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew', the second-century Christian apologist Justin Martyr wrote of 'imprudent and blind' Jewish teachers 'who ever till this time permit each man to have four or five wives'. There is no evidence that Christians ever practiced polygamy. Divorce and remarriage were frequent in Graeco-Roman society and were not unknown among Jews. The OT priests were not permitted to marry widows (Lv 21:14; cf. Ez 44:22). Tertullian urged his wife, if he were to die first, 'to have done with sex for ever', 'To His Wife' and he developed this false asceticism in his later treatises, 'An Exhortation to Chastity' and 'Monogamy', saying that marriage is to be contracted only once; that those who re-marry are setting themselves against God's will by demanding what he has decided to take away; and that to have two wives successively is no better than to have two simultaneously. But see Ro 7:1ff; 1 Cor 7:39. The 'husband of one wife' stipulation is likely to mean that the overseer must be 'faithful to his one wife' (NEB).

, temperate, sensible, modest, hospitable [philoxenon]

In the ancient world roadside inns were scarce, dirty, unsafe and unsavoury. To be hospitable was to save people from such alternative accommodation.

, good at teaching [didaktikon]; 3not a drinker [mē paroinon], not violent [mē plēktēn], not greedy for money [aphilargyron]

In the ancient world there were quacks who made a good living by posing as itinerant teachers.

, but gentle [epieikē], not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4one who rules [proïstēmi]

Combines the concepts of 'rule' and 'care'.

his own house [oikou] well, having children in subjection with all reverence [semnotētos]; 5(but if a man doesn't know how to rule his own house [oikou], how will he take care of the assembly [ekklēsias] of God?) 6not a new convert [neophyton], lest being puffed up [typhoō]

To 'becloud' from typhos, 'cloud' or 'smoke' describing the false teachers who from 'cloud-cuckoo-land'.

he fall into the same condemnation [krima] as the devil. 7Moreover he must have good testimony from those who are outside, to avoid falling into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8Servants [diakonous]

In secular society the diakonos was one who gave lowly service, especially the waiter at table, e.g., Jn 2:5, 9. To the Greeks, serving was not dignified, but cf. Lk 22:27; 12:37; 17:7. It seems that the deacons were entrusted with practical administration, the distribution of funds, food and clothing to those in need, and the support and assistance of the overseers in their teaching ministry.

, in the same way, must be reverent, not double-tongued [mē dilogous]

Lit. 'not double-tongued'; 'not indulging in double-talk'.

, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for money; 9holding the mystery of the faith [mysterion tēs pisteōs] in a pure conscience [kathara syneidēsei]. 10Let them also first be tested [dokimazō]; then let them serve [diakoneō] if they are blameless. 11Their wives [gynaikas] in the same way must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate [nēphaleous], faithful [pistas] in all things. 12Let servants [diakonoi] be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses [oikōn] well. 13For those who have served [diakoneō] well gain for themselves a good standing [bathmon]

Can denote a stop, stair, grade or rank.

, and great boldness [parrēsian]

Freedom of speech or boldness before God or humankind.

in the faith [pistei] which is in Christ Jesus. 14These things I write to you, hoping to come to you shortly; 15but if I wait long, that you may know how men ought to behave [anastrephō] themselves in the house [oikō]

Either the house (building) or household (people). The church is both: 1 Cor 11:34; 2 Cor 13:10; 1 Cor 3:16; 1 Pet 2:5.

of God, which is the assembly [ekklēsia] of the living [zōntos] God, the pillar [stylos]

Pillar or column, not for holding up the roof but to thrust it high so that it can be seen from afar. The temple of Diana in Ephesus had 100 Ionic columns, each over 18 meters high, which together lifted its massive, shining, marble roof; cf. Eph 2:20.

and ground [hedraiōma]

Either the foundation or a buttress or bulwark which supports the foundation, both of which stabilize the building.

of the truth. 16Without controversy, the mystery [mystērion] of godliness is great [mega]: God was revealed in the flesh [sarki], justified [dikaioō] in the spirit, seen by angels, preached [keryssō] among the nations [ethnesin], believed [pisteuō] on in the world [kosmō], and received up in glory [doxē].

4 1But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away [aphistami]

The parsing of this verb is apostēsontai; will apostatize which is used in LXX of Israel's unfaithfulness to YHWH.

from the faith [pisteōs], paying attention to seducing spirits [pneumasin planois] and doctrines of demons, 2through the hypocrisy [hypokrisei] of men who speak lies [pseudologōn], branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron [kautēriazō]

Only occurrence in NT; 'to brand with a red-hot iron'. Used of the branding of cattle and slaves to mark ownership. Also used in a medical sense of to 'cauterize'; to destroy by burning and render insensitive, 'anaesthetize', or deaden.

; 3forbidding marriage and commanding to abstain [apechō]

The Essenes of Qumran, for example, were said to 'reject pleasures as an evil, but esteem continence .. to be virtue', and to 'neglect marriage' (Josephus, 'Wars' II.8.2; cf. Ant. XVIII.1.5.). Gnosticism regarded matter as evil and despised the material creation. The Encratites, for example, preached against marriage, thus setting aside the original creation of God, and indirectly blaming him who made them male and female for the propagation of the human race'. They also abstained from meat, 'thus proving themselves ungrateful to God who made all things' (Irenaeus, I.28.1).

from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving [eucharistias]

A long-standing custom in Jewish households; cf. Ro 14:6; 1 Cor 10:30.

by those who believe [pistois] and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving [eucharistias]. 5For it is sanctified [agiazō] through the word [logou] of God and prayer. 6If you instruct [hypotithēmi]

'Put these instructions before', like a waiter serving guests, or a merchant displaying his wares; or lit. 'to lay under' so perhaps as a builder who lays down foundational truths.

the brothers [adelphois] of these things, you will be a good servant [diakonos] of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words [logois] of the faith [pisteōs], and of the good doctrine [didaskalias] which you have followed. 7But refuse profane and old wives' fables. Exercise [gymnazō]

Training was essential for athletes intending to compete in the games, which were popular throughout the Graeco-Roman world.

yourself toward godliness [eusebeian]

Basic meaning is 'respect' or 'reverence'; used in secular Greek of respect for rulers, magistrates, and parents. Synonymous for theosebeia reverence for God.

. 8For bodily exercise [gymnasia] has some value, but godliness [eusebeia] has value in all things, having the promise of the life [zōēs] which is now, and of that which is to come. 9This saying is faithful [pistos ho logos] and worthy of all acceptance. 10For to this end we both labour and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God [theō zōnti], who is the Saviour [sōtēr] of all men, especially of those who believe [pistōn]. 11Command [parangellō] and teach these things. 12Let no man despise your youth [neotētos]

The ancients regarded the mid-thirties as being within the limits of youth. According to Irenaeus, 'thirty is the first stage of a young man's age, and extends to forty, as all will admit' (Irenaeus, II.22.5.). In fact, a premium was placed on middle age in Roman culture. Statesmen were expected to be middle aged. Greek rulers may have been young, but the portraiture of the Republic suggests a positive relish for wrinkles, thinning hair and sagging jowls. Most countrymen yearned for their forties. Middle age was the prime of a citizen's life, and for the upper classes a time when they could at last run for the consulship. The traditional ruling body of Rome, the Senate, derived its name from 'senex' - 'old man' - and senators liked to dignify themselves with the title of 'Fathers'.

Middle age was the prime of a citizen's life, and for the upper classes a time when they could at last run for the consulship. To the Romans, the cult of youth appeared unsettling and foreign, a delusion to which kings in particular were prone. Greek potentates were forever attempting to hold back the years, whether by preserving their youth in images of marble or by raising pompous monuments to themselves. A Roman was expected to know better. After all, what was the lifeblood of the Republic if not the onward passage of time? Each year magistrate gave way to magistrate. The limit of a magistracy was set at a year, but of a triumph at one or two days. The procession ended, the feast consumed, the trophies hung in the temples of the gods, all that was left behind was litter in the streets. For the Romans, the truest monuments to glory were fashioned not of marble but of memories. Forbidden great architecture, the Romans made an art form out of festival instead.

; but be an example to those who believe [pistōn], in word [logō], in your way of life [anastrophē], in love [agapē], in spirit, in faith [pistei], and in purity. 13Until I come, pay attention to reading [anagnōsei]

Often referred to reading aloud in public. Also used in the reading of wills, petitions, dispatches and reports. Cf. Ne 8:8, LXX; Lk 4:16; Ac 13:15; 15:21; 1 Thes 5:27; Col 4:16; Rev 1:3; 22:18-19. These references indicate that the apostles put their writings on a level with the OT Scriptures. Already by about the middle of the second century these readings were part of the accepted liturgy. Justin Martyr in his 'First Apology' wrote: 'On the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has finished, the president speaks' (I.67).

, to exhortation [paraklēsei], and to teaching [didaskalia]

It was already customary in the synagogue for the reading of Scripture to be followed by an exposition, e.g., Lk 4:16f; Ac 13:16f.

. 14Don't neglect the gift [charismatos] that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the elders [presbyteriou]. 15Be diligent [meletaō] in these things. Give yourself wholly to them, that your progress may be revealed to all. 16Pay attention to yourself, and to your teaching. Continue [epimenō] in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

5 1Don't rebuke [epiplēssō]

Implies sharpness and severity.

an older man [presbyterō], but exhort [parakaleō] him as a father; the younger men as brothers; 2the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, in all purity. 3Honour widows [chēras]

Legal provision was made in the Graeco-Roman world to give a widow financial security by which she would be maintained out of her dowry either by her son or father.

who are widows indeed. 4But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety [eusebein]

The financial maintenance of widows is in the first instance the duty of their relatives and only becomes the duty of the church if the widow has no relatives.

towards their own family, and to repay their parents, for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 5Now she who is a widow indeed, and desolate [monoō], has her hope set on God, and continues in petitions and prayers night and day. 6But she who gives herself to pleasure [spatalaō]

Perhaps a euphemism for a widow who, lacking dowry, relatives or profession, has no alternative to prostitution.

is dead while she lives [zōsa]. 7Also command these things, that they may be without reproach. 8But if anyone doesn't provide for his own, and especially his own household [oikeiōn], he has denied the faith [pistin], and is worse than an unbeliever [apistou]. 9Let no one be enrolled [katalegō]

The beginnings of such a register are alluded to in Ac 9:36, 39, 41. At the beginning of the second century Ignatius sent a greeting 'to the virgins who are called widows' in Smyrna ('Epistle to the Smyrnaeans', 13.1.), and Polycarp wrote to the Philippians that 'the widows must think soberly about the faith of the Lord and pray unceasingly for everyone' and stay away from evil ('Epistle to the Philippians', 4.3; 6.1). But it is not until the end of the second century that Tertullian gives unequivocal evidence that an order of widows existed. They gave themselves to prayer, nursed the sick, cared for orphans, visited Christians in prison, evangelized, and discipled new converts.

as a widow under sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, 10being approved by good works, if she has brought up children [teknotropheō], if she has been hospitable to strangers, if she has washed the saints' [agiōn] feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, and if she has diligently followed every good work. 11But refuse younger widows, for when they have grown wanton against Christ, they desire to marry; 12having condemnation [krima], because they have rejected their first pledge. 13Besides, they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house. Not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. 14I desire therefore that the younger widows marry, bear children, rule the household, and give no occasion to the adversary for insulting. 15For already some have turned aside after Satan. 16If any man or woman who believes [pistē] has widows, let them relieve them, and don't let the assembly [ekklēsia] be burdened; that it might relieve those who are widows indeed. 17Let the elders [presbyteroi] who rule well be counted worthy of double honour [timēs]

Has been used of a physician's honorarium, but diplēs timēs may refer to honour and honorarium; respect and remuneration.

, especially those who labour [kopiaō] in the word [en logō] and in teaching [didaskalia]. 18For the Scripture [graphē Heb. Tenakh] says, "You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain." And, "The labourer is worthy of his wages." 19Don't receive an accusation against an elder [presbyterou], except at the word of two or three witnesses [martyrōn]. 20Those who sin, reprove [elegchō] in the sight of all, that the rest also may be in fear [phobon]. 21I command [diamartyromai] you in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the chosen angels, that you observe [phylassō] these things without prejudice [prokrimatos], doing nothing by partiality [prosklisin]. 22Lay hands [epitithēmi]

Eusebius mentions the re-admission of penitents by the laying on of hands as an 'old custom' of the church ('Ecclesiastical History', 7.2), but there is no evidence for it in NT times.

hastily on no one, neither be a participant in other men's sins. Keep yourself pure. 23Be no longer a drinker of water only, but use a little wine [oinō]

Prescribed as tonic, prophylactic and remedy, especially in relation to indigestion.

for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities. 24Some men's sins are evident, preceding them to judgment [eis krisin], and some also follow later. 25In the same way also there are good works that are obvious, and those that are otherwise can't be hidden.

6 1Let as many as are bondservants under the yoke [zygon douloi]

Slavery was deeply embedded in the structures of Graeco-Roman society. All well-to-do people had slaves, and very wealthy people had several hundreds. They were regarded as domestic servants and farm labourers, but also as clerks, craftsmen, teachers, soldiers and managers. It is believed that there were more than fifty million of them in the Empire, including one third of the inhabitants of Rome. To dismantle slavery all at once would have brought about the collapse of society. Such a structural evil was so firmly rooted that any attempt to tear it up may also pull up the foundations of society too. Any signs of a slave revolt were put down with ruthless brutality. At the same time Paul enunciated principles which undermined the foundations of slavery and led inexorably to its abolition. He declared traders to be in breach of God's law (1:10); shown slavery to be in breach of the gospel in his earlier letters to the Ephesians and Colossians; implied the equality of slaves and owners (Eph 6:9); told masters to provide their slaves with what is right and fair, although there was no such thing as justice for slaves (Col 4:1); and wrote of the radical transformation of relationships which the gospel effects (Phm 16; 1 Tim 6:2; Gal 3:26ff). Meanwhile, even while slaves remain in bondage outwardly, they can enjoy an inner freedom in Christ (1 Cor 7:22).

count their own masters [despotas] worthy of all honour [timēs], that the name of God and the doctrine [hē didaskalia] not be blasphemed [blasphēmeō]. 2Those who have believing [pistous] masters [despotas], let them not despise [kataphroneō] them, because they are brothers [adelphoi], but rather let them serve them, because those who partake of the benefit are believing [pistoi] and beloved [agapētoi]. Teach [didaskō] and exhort [parakaleō] these things. 3If anyone teaches a different doctrine [heterodidaskaleō], and doesn't consent to sound words [logois], the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine [didaskalia] which is according to godliness [eusebeian], 4he is conceited [typhoō], knowing nothing, but obsessed with arguments, disputes, and word battles, from which come envy, strife, insulting [blasphēmiai], evil suspicions, 5constant friction of people of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. Withdraw yourself from such. 6But godliness [eusebeia] with contentment [autarkeias]

This is the regular term used by the Stoics for a self-sufficiency which is altogether independent of circumstances.

is great [megas] gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world [kosmon], and we certainly can't carry anything out. 8But having food and clothing [skepasmata]

Lit. 'coverings'; meanings 'clothing' but also 'house' or 'shelter'.

, we will be content with that. 9But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish [anoētous] and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin [olethron] and destruction [apōleian]. 10For the love of money [philargyria] is a root of all kinds of evil [pisteōs]

This proverb has been found in varying forms in both Greek and Jewish literature.

. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced [peripeirō] themselves through with many sorrows. 11But you, man of God, flee [pheugō] these things, and follow after [diōkō] righteousness [dikaiosynēn], godliness [eusebeian], faith [pistin], love [agapēn], patience [hypomonēn]

Patience in difficult circumstances.

, and gentleness [praupathian]. 12Fight [agōnizomai]

The model could be athletic (from the Olympic Games; either a wrestling match or a race) or military (from warfare).

the good fight of faith [pisteōs]. Lay hold of [epilambanō]

Grasp, sometimes with violence, take hold of to make one's own, cf. Mt 14:31; Lk 23:26; Ac 21:30; Ac 21:33; (Phil 3:12).

the eternal life [zōēs] to which you were called [kaleō], and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses [martyrōn]. 13I command [parangellō] you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate testified [martyreō] the good confession, 14that you keep the commandment [entolēn] without spot, blameless, until the appearing [epiphaneias] of our Lord Jesus Christ; 15which in its own times he will show, who is the blessed [makarios] and only Ruler [dynastēs], the King of kings, and Lord of lords [kyrieuontōn]

Nebuchadnezzar liked to be designated 'king of kings' (Ez 26:7; Dn 2:37), but YHWH was given a superlative acknowledgement (Dt 10:17; Ps 136:2-3; 2 Macc 13:4. Christ is here given the combined title in opposition to the blasphemies of the emperor cult.

; 16who alone has immortality, dwelling [oikeō] in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and eternal power. Amen [amēn]. 17Charge [parangellō] those who are rich [plousiois] in this present world [nun aiōni] that they not be haughty [hypsēlophroneō], nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches [ploutou], but on the living God, who richly [plousiōs] provides us with everything [plousiōs] to enjoy [apolausin]; 18that they do good, that they be rich [plouteō] in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate [koinōnikous]; 19laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of [epilambanomai] eternal life [zōēs]. 20Timothy [Ω Timothee], guard [phylassō] that which is committed [parathēkēn]

A legal technical term, used of money or valuables deposited with somebody for safe keeping.

to you, turning away from the empty chatter and oppositions [antitheseis]

The title of a book by Marcion, the prominent heretic in mid-second-century Rome.

of the knowledge [gnōseōs] which is falsely so called [pseudōnumou]; 21which some professing have erred [astocheō]

Used of missing the mark in archery, and so of swerving or deviating from truth.

concerning the faith [pistin]. Grace [charis] be with you [hymōn]. Amen [amēn].

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