1 Timothy 1. 18 to 2. 5
W. E. Vine, Bath
Verse 18. This charge—Parangelia recalls verse 3, with the corresponding verb, and verse 5, where the same noun was used. Though the intervening passage is lengthy, yet the theme is continued. Verse 18 is not only resumptive of what has preceded, it is prospective, in its particular application to Timothy and that which would devolve upon him in his fulfilment of the charge.
I commit unto thee,—The verb Tendered “commit” is in the Middle Voice, which, in the Greek language, lies between, the Active and Passive Voices, and indicates that the personal subject of the verb has a particular interest in what is expressed. Here it points to what he in committing as a sacred trust.
my child Timothy,—See Note at verse 2.
according to the prophecies—Prophetic utterances were among thy gifts ministered by the Holy Spirit in the churches in apostolic times until the Scriptures were completed. What was uttered in those times came by immediate revelation from God. See, e.g., Acts 11, 27, 28; 13. 1, 2; 21. 8-11; 1 Cor. 14. Since the completion of the written Word, all that is required for Divine instruction in the churches in contained therein; prophesying as a supernatural gift ceased, as indicated in 1 Cor. 115. 10. The change from supernaturally-uttered prophecy (i.e., a telling forth of the Divine mind) to the gift, of teaching, is intimated in 2 Pet. 2. 1. which speaks of false “prophets” having risen, and foretells that there would be false “teachers” who would set in the name way.
which went before on thee,—Some take this to refer to special occasions in Timothy’s experience, e.g. at his baptism. The R.V. margin gives the rendering “which led the way to thee.” This is possible grammatically, the preposition epi combining the ideas of “to” and “upon”. It also points to prophetic utterances, perhaps by Silas, as has been suggested, or by Paul himself, which indicated Timothy to the Apostle as one Divinely chosen for the service to which he was eventually called.
that by them—The preposition is en, here instrumental, with the thought of acting in the power of. The prophecies referred to were designed not only to lead the way to Timothy, but to provide abiding strength in his experiences and activities. How often special dealings of God with us upon certain occasions in our past circumstances, afford strength and confidence to us in our spiritual conflicts and difficulties!
thou mayest war the good warfare;—The life of the believer is described by this verb (stratenomai) and the noun (stratia), as one of spiritual warfare, whether (a) by way of illustration, 1 Cor. 9. 7; 2 Tim. 2. 4, or (b) by actual metaphor, 2 Cor. 10. 3, 4; 1 Pet. 2. 11, and here; so with the noun stratiotes a soldier, 2 Tim. 2. 3. Cp. Eph. 6. 13-17; 1 Pet. 4. 1. In 1 Tim, 6, 12, the metaphor is different.
The word rendered “good” is kalos, that which is intrinsically good, admirable. In the next verse (1 Tim. 1. 19) in the phrase “a good conscience,” the word is agathos, that which is beneficial in its effect, useful is its action. In Luke 8. 15 the two occur together; the “honest” heart (kalos) is one that takes its true place before God; the “good” heart (agathos) is one that works no ill to a neighbour.
Verse 19. holding faith—“Holding” translates the verb echo, to have, This indicates that, the metaphor of warfare is not continued beyond the end of verse 18. So that this is an additional exhortation; the word rather means “possessing”, or retaining possession of, as in 3. 9; 2 Tim. 1. 13; 3. 5; Rom. 2. 20, “having”; 1 Cor. 15. 34, “have”; 1 Pet. 3. 16, “having”.
and a good conscience;—See verse 5, where the opposite order is used. The combination suggests that faith is not the mere acceptance of certain truths, but is inseparable from that abstinence from sin which produces a good conscience. Faith and the love of sin are incompatible. Demons believe, but tremble.
which some having thrust from them—The “some” refers to the false teachers, as in verse 3, where the same word is rendered “certain men” (see Note there). The indictment is stronger than in verse 6: there they were said to have “swerved” from a good conscience (and from faith); to thrust it from them is still worse. The verb rendered to thrust away is used in the Middle Voice (see Note above), and indicates an act both wilful and violent. It is used elsewhere in Acts 7. 27, 39; 13. 46; and Rom. 11. 1, 2, “cast off” In one of its uses it applied nautically to thrusting away things from vessels, and here it has a nautical connection (see next Note), the good conscience being perhaps the ball nut, or the rudder or compass, the casting away of which means wrecking the vessel.
made shipwreck—Nauageo (from naus, a ship and agnumi, to break) is used (a) literally, in 2 Cor. 11. 25, (b) metaphorically, here. Both “having thrust” and “made shipwreck” are in the aorist tense, pointing to definite acts. There is a close association in the two acts.
concerning the faith;—not “faith” (A.V.), but “the faith,” the body or sum of Christian doctrine. “Concerning” means “in the matter of.” Faith is in dissociable from the faith; the latter is the basis of the former; the faith is to faith as cause to effect. Since a good conscience is the concomitant of faith, to thrust away a good conscience is to deny thy faith. Indulgence in evil is in itself a denial of the truth. To make or suffer shipwreck regarding the faith is to mar the spiritual life.
Verse 20. of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander;—These were apparently the moat glaring teases, perhaps the ringleaders of those who had made shipwreck. Both were well known among the believers at Ephesus. Hymenaeus was probably the same as in 2 Tim. 2. 17. There the error is specified. Alexander was a far more common name. There is not sufficient ground for identifying him with either of those mentioned elsewhere.
whom I delivered unto Satan,—The same phrase as in 1 Cor. 5. 5. The delinquency there was moral, here it is doctrinal. There the disciplinary act was stated as that of the Apostle with the church; here he stresses his apostolic authority, though the act involved excommunication from the church.
The Adversary in ever ready to expend his energy against the spiritual and physical welfare of the saint. Since he is “the spirit that worketh in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2. 2), a believer who identities himself with their ways, whether by immorality or by rejection of the truth, exposes himself to his attacks. While Satan’s activities are ever under the unthwartable control of the Lord, he is, under God’s permissive will, and in the all-wise and necessary exercise of His disciplinary measures, allowed to damage the well-being of those who thus imperil the spiritual life and physical welfare, whether of themselves or of others. Scripture admonishes us, both by doctrine and by example, lest we bring, ourselves under God’s retributive discipline.
that they may be taught—paideuo has two distinct meanings, (a) to train a child (pais), to teach, instruct. Acts 7. 22; 22. 3; 2 Tim. 2. 25; Tit. 2. 12 (“instructing”); (b) to chasten, correct, discipline, chastise, whether by man, Luke 23. 16, 22; Heb. 12. 7, 10, or by the Lord, 1 Cor. 11. 32; 2 Cor. 6. 9; Heb, 12. 6; Rev. 3. 19. As to the present, passage, whilst the verb is rendered “be taught,” It is plain that severe discipline is intended, and not the impartation of knowledge. It would therefore come under the second heading.
not to blaspheme.—the reference here is to utterances antagonistic to the honour and dignity of the Lord; this is involved in the propagation of erroneous doctrines relating to His Person and work. See in verse 13.
This chapter deals with the following matters :—
- Verses 1-7: public prayer - its subjects, purposes, and motive,
- Verses 8-16: conduct and demeanour in church gatherings,
and, following on the introductory changes, begins the main subject of the Epistle, namely, as to how it in necessary to behave in a local assembly, as God’s House (3. 15, see introduction), go as to give a cons intent collective witucs.4 for Him. The exhortations 88 to prayer and demeanour centre in the fact of God’s will for the salvation of men and for their instruct ion in the truth (verse 4).
Verse 1. I exhort, therefore,—the “therefore” makes it clear that, there is a connection with what precedes; it is resumptive particularly of the charge, vv. 5, 18; the Apostle now give a in detail what previously had been a general admonition. For parakaleo, to exhort, set note on 1. 3.
first of all,—this is wrongly placed in the A.V.; it is to be connected with “exhort” as in the R.V.; it indicates the primary importance of the subject about to be dealt with. It does not mean that supplications, etc., are to have an initial place on any or every occasion, but that the following exhortation is of paramount importance in connection with the burden of the Epistle.
that supplications prayers, intercessions—deesis, supplication, is akin to the verb deomai, to want, to need, and gives prominence to a sense of need. In the N.T. it is always used of an address to God. It is also associated with proseuche, prayer, in Eph. 6. 18; Phil. 4, 6; 1 Tim. 5, 5. Proseuche, is a more comprehensive term, used of prayer in general and is confined to prayer addressed to God. It is found most frequently in the Acts. Enteuxis, intercession, is the usual word for a petition to a superior, and is found many times in. the writings of Koine, the common colloquial language of the period including the late centuries B.C., and the early centuries A.D. It is used only here and in 4. 5, and of petitions to God. The corresponding verb is found in Acts 25. 24; Rom. 8, 27, 34; 11. 2; Heb. 7. 25. Its use in 4. 5 “prayer” of this Epistle is sufficient to show that its meaning is not limited to intercession, which always indicates pleading on behalf of others. The verb form indicates freedom of access, confidence and holy intimacy in approach to God.
thanksgivings,—eucharistia primarily signifies a feeling of thankfulness, then, giving of thanks; it is formed from eu, well, and charis, thanks. Thanksgiving is to be the accompaniment of prayer. Phil. 4. 6; Col. 4. 2; of faith, Col. 2. 7; of all that we do, in word or deed. Col. 3. 17; it is to be a constant condition of soul, verse 15, and an expression of the heart to God, in all circumstances, Eph, 5. 20, Neglect of thanksgiving is a characteristic of the soul that is alienated from God, Rom. 1. 21; cp. Luke 6. 35. Love, joy, peace, and in general the qualities spoken of as “the fruit of the Spirit,” are ever conducive to thankfulness.
be made for all men;—this is to be connected with all the four preceding words. Arguments as to the impossibility of giving thanks for the cruel, tile lustful, etc., miss the point of the injunction; supplications, prayers and intercessions are to be made for all men, and all those kinds of prayers are to be accompanied by thanksgiving. The exhortation forbids the circumscribed exclusivism which often limits the prayers of the gathered saints, to the neglect of the universality here indicated.
Verse 2. for Kings—as early as the second century this was taken to mean the Emperors who were reigning at that time. On the contrary, as shown by Prof. Ramsay (The Church in the Roman Empire, p. 230), it shows that the reference is to kings in general. Whilst then, there is no special reference to Roman Emperors, yet Nero, e.g., the existing Monarch when this Epistle was written, is included (see next note). See Ezra 6. 10; Jer. 29. 7.
and all that are in high place;—huperoche signifies pre-eminence (from huper, over, and echo, to hold or have). The corresponding verb is used in Rom. 13, 1, rendered “higher,” and in 1 Pet, 2. 13, “supreme.” Here it denotes all who have part in constituted authority. Civil government is a Divine institution, Rom. 13. 1, Since the attitude adopted by such authorities influences the subjects of the State, and thus affects the life and testimony of Christians, much depends upon their obedience to the command here given. Josephus records that a refusal by Jews to pray for Roman magistrates led to the war which involved their national overthrow. Assemblies of believers should carefully guard against neglect of prayer, in the forms mentioned here, for supreme governors ever the State as well as for local authorities. The teaching of this passage and the primary place given to the command show the danger of allowing this fulfilment to lapse into desuetude.
that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life—diago, to lead, to pass one’s life, is elsewhere used In Tit. 3. 3, “living,” with reference to the opposite mode of living, namely, in malice, envy, hatred.
Eremos, tranquil, is used here only in the N.T. The notion underlying the word is that, of restfulness unmarred by disturbance.
Hesuchios, quiet, suggests the stillness that accompanied rest fullness, in contrast to noisy commotion and merely bustling activity; see 1 Pet. 3. 4, only there elsewhere in the N.T. Cp. the corresponding verb in 1 Thess. 4. 11, “to be quiet,” and the context there, frequently used of silence; Luke 14. 4; Acts 11. 18; 21. 14; and the corresponding noun in 2 Thess. 3. 12; 1 Tim, 2. 11, 12, R.V. “quietness.” The distinction drawn by some, that the first word indicates freedom from trouble without, the second from trouble within is scarcely to be pressed.
Bios, life, denotes either duration, or the means, or the manner of life; here the last of the three, life in regard to moral conduct; in this sense it is frequently accompanied by adjectives or other words oppressing qualities, as here.
Converts from Judaism were doubtless in danger of the influence of their unbelieving fellow-nationals in their intense antipathy to the Roman yoke. When in A.D. 70, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the nation, Christians took no part in the rebellion.
in all godliness and gravity.—eusebeia, godliness, is formed from eu, well, and sebomai, to be devout, and, in the N.T. denotes that piety which, ever acting in a Godward attitude, does that which is well-pleasing to God. This word and the corresponding verb eusebeo (see 5. 4, “to shew piety;” elsewhere only in Acts 17. 23, “worship” and the adverb eusebos, godly (2 Tim. 3. 12, and Tit. 2. 12, only), are frequently in the Pastoral Epistles, where they are found eleven times; they are not used in any previous Epistles of Paul. The Apostle Peter has the noun four times in the 2nd Epistle, 1. 3, 6, 7; 3. 11; and the adjective eusebes, godly, in 2. 9. The noun is used elsewhere only in Acts 3. 12, the adjective “devout” in Acts 10. 2, 7; 22. 12.
Semnotes, gravity, is used only in the Pastoral Epistles, here, 3. 4 and Tit. 2. 7. The A.V. rendering “honesty” had, in older English, when the A.V. was produced, the meaning of seemliness. The significance of the Greek word is that of gravity combined with dignity, with freedom alike from moroseness and from levity.
A life which exhibits these qualities gives a consistent witness to the Person and Name of Christ, and to the truth and validity of the gospel.
Verse 3. This is good and acceptable—“This” has reference not merely to verse 1, but to that mode of life mentioned in verse 2. “which alone in consistent with prayer and intercession.
Kalos, good, is the same word as in 1. 18, where see note.
Apodektos, acceptable, is an adjective akin to apodechomai, to accept gladly, to welcome, receive. Its use is confined to this Epistle, here and 5. 4. For the corresponding noun apadoche acceptation, see 1. 15. A synonymous word is euprosdektos, Rom. 15. 16, 31; 2 Cor. 6. 2; 8. 12; 1 Pet. 2. 5. Cp. euarestos, well-pleasing, rendered “acceptable” in Rom. 12. 2.
in the sight of God our Saviour;—enopion in the sight of, primary means face to face; hence, in the presence of. It suggested not only that God’s eye’s are upon the ways and actions, but that He is pleased with the apprehension of this on our part.
For the title “God our Saviour,” see on 1. 1. “Here it is appropriate to the context, in verse 4.
Verse 4. who willeth that all men should be saved,—“willeth” is an important R.V. substitution for the A.V., “will have” which might suggest that God has determined that everybody shall be saved. Thelo, to will, chiefly indicates the impulse of the will rather than the tendency (boulomai). The different shades of meaning must be determined by the teaching of the Scriptures generally or by the context.
Here, firstly, stress is laid upon God’s sovereignty; secondly, it expresses His gracious desires for all men, as antecedent to man’s response to what His grace has wrought in Christ in proof of His gracious desires,. There are conditions of repentance and faith which man is responsible to fulfil. “The grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” Tit. 2. 11. That, men refuse the conditions and so reject the palpation, does not argue the inefficacy of His will. Salvation is universal in its scope but conditional in its effect. God is “longsuffering … no wishing (boulomai) that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Pet. 3. 9. It is therefore only consistent with His wish in this respect that we should pray for all men
“Sozo, to save, soteria and soterion, salvation, and soter, saviour, are, one or other of them, found in every book is the N.T. save Galatians, Colossians, Philemon, and 2 and 3 John. “The characteristic use of the words in the Bible is to sum up and describe the spiritual and eternal deliverances which result from the intervention of God on behalf of those who trust Him. Salvation has its origin in the mercy of God, Tit. 3. 5, and in the grace of God, 2. 11, Whose gift it is. Eph, 2. 8. To be saved is to enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens or of God, Matt. 19. 23-25. It is to obtain the remission, or forgiveness, of sins, Luke 7, 50 (cp. 1. 77), and to enter upon the enjoyment of peace, Luke 8, 48. The believer’s present experience of the power of God to deliver from the bondage of sin, Rom. 6. 6. is also included in salvation, mid in the primary reference of the word in 2. Cor. 2. 15; Heb. 7. 25; Jas 1. 21; cp. 1 Tim. 4. 16, and Phil. 2. 12; .1 Pet. 1. 1. 9; 3. 21. Salvation in this sense is intended by the word sanctification, as in 1 Thess. 4. 3; it is the experience of present deliverance from the dominion of sin, Rom. 6. 14, and is as much the privilege of the believer, and as much the mind Of God for him hero and now, as it is that he should have present assurance that, his sins have been forgiven him. Salvation is also the object of hope, 1 Thess. 5. 8, inasmuch as its consummation is reserved until the Lord comes Rom. 5. 9, 10; 13. 11; 1 Cor. 3. 15; 5. 5; Phil. 3. 20; Heb 9. 28; 1 Pet. 1. 5.”1
and come to the knowledge of the truth—“Knowledge” translates the word epignosis, a strengthened form of gnosis, knowledge, therefore indicating a full knowledge or acquaintance; this is something more than recognition. The difference between the two verbs may be illustrated from 1 Cor, 13. 12, “now I know (ginosko) in part; but then shall I know (epiginosko, i.e. know fully) even as also I have been known” (epiginosko, fully known). For other passages where the intensive force is observable, see e.g., Rom. 1. 28; 3. 20; Phil. 1. 9; 2 Pet. 1. 2. 8; 2. 20.
At the same time, this longer form suggests knowledge as directed towards a special object, as something to be discerned and recognised, e.g., Eph. 1. 17; 4. 13; Col. 1. 10. So here with regard to the truth. For the same phrase, see 2 Tim. 2. 25; 3, 7; Tit. 1. 1.; Heb, 10. 26; in these places, except the last, the article is absent, as hero in 2. 4, stressing the character of the doctrines of the faith as being the truth. The absence of the article is not to be taken to indicate the meaning as being truth in contrast to falsehood.
To come to a knowledge of the truth is the accompaniment of salvation in its present significance and fullness. The Lord’s command, relative to the ministry of the gospel was to make disciples from among all the nations, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever He had commanded, Matt. 28, 19, 20. There cannot be real salvation without apprehension of the truth. The doctrines of the faith have all of them a practical effect upon the lives of those who are saved. The accretions of human dogmas have no such effect; they produce superstition and bondage to the traditions of men. The Lord said “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8. 32.
Verse 5. For there is one God,—this is not a statement of the existence of one God in contrast to the plurality of the gods of the heathen, as in 1. 17 (where see Note), but is designed to lay stress upon the oneness of the relations of God to man. There is not one God for the Jew exclusively. Israel was indeed His chosen people. The realization of this with the exclusivism which it produced in the Jewish mind prevented a ready acceptance of the truth contained in this passage that the Divine purposes of grace extend towards all mankind. That is the point of the connection with the preceding verses, with the injunction that prayer is to be made for all men, and that God “willeth that all men should be saved.” The same truth is enforced in Rom. 3, 29, 30. There the Apostle points out that faith is not a national quality and that God is not merely a national God, that “God is one,” i.e., for both Jew and Gentile. There the condition of justification is stressed; here the fact of salvation. In each place the stress on the “one,” marked by its position at the beginning of the sentence, has this force.
one Mediator also between God and men,—the word mesites, a mediator, signifies (a) one who mediates between, two parties with a view to producing peace, or (b) one who acts as a guarantee so as to secure something which otherwise would not be obtained. The former is the significance of the present passage, though there is more; involved here in Christ’s Mediatorship than that simple fact. More than mere mediatorship is in view, for thy salvation of sinners necessitated that tile Mediator should Himself possess the nature and attributes of Him towards whom Ho ants, and should likewise participate in the nature of those for whom He acts (sin apart); in other words, that He should be possessed both of Deity and humanity. Only so could he comprehend the claims of the One and the needs of the other, further, as the salvation in view implies the sinnership of man mid his deliverance from sin and its effects, the claims of God and the needs of man could be met only by One Who; Himself being proved sinless, would offer Himself an expiatory sacrifice on behalf of the latter. This is what, the present passage sets forth.
In Heb. 8. 6; 9. 15, and 12. 24, where only elsewhere in the N. T. the word is used of Christ, it has more” especially the second of the two meanings mentioned above (b). Christ is the Surety of the better covenant, He guarantees its terms for His people.
In Gal. 3. 19 Moses is spoken of as a mediator, and the statement is made that “a mediator is not a mediator of one,” that is of one party. There the contrast is between the promise given to Abraham and the giving of the Law. The Law was, so to speak, a contract between God and the Jewish people. Its efficaciousness depended upon the fulfilment of the contract by both parties. But, in regard to the promise to Abraham, all the obligations were assumed by God, and that is what is implied in the statement, “but God is One,”
The word mesites is found only once in the Septuagint, in Job. 9. 33, where it is rendered “daysman.”
Himself man,—though there is no actual word in the original for “Himself,” yet the insertion of it in the R.V. is useful, as serving to bring out the emphasis given to the word “man” in the original by its position in the sentence. In other words, it stresses the humanity of Christ as additional to His Deity, and this sets forth how it is that Christ could be a Mediator between God and man. The A.V, has inserted the definite article, “the man,” which misses the point just referred to, the important point of the passage.
As there is only one God, there is only one Way to God, and it is because Christ in both God and man, that He is Himself “the Way:” “No one cometh unto the Father but by Me” (John 14. 6. R.V.). There is no other mediator. The idea of the mediation of angels, of the Virgin Mary and of saints, is entirely unscriptural.
Christ Jesus,—the order of the titles is significant; we note on 1. 1; it points to Him as this One Who, being in the glory with the Father, stooped to be born of a woman, that, becoming man, He might suffer the expiatory death of the Cross.
1. From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 77, 78, 79