1 Timothy 2. 6 to 2. 15
W. E. Vine, Bath
Verse 6. Who gave Himself a ransom for all;—This forms the basic net of His mediation. The verb rendered “gave” is didomi, which is used of the Lord in this respect in Gal. 1. 4 and Tit. 2. 14; in those two places there is no defining phrase such as is in the present instance, “a ransom for all.” They do, however, express the purpose for which He gave Himself, namely, “that He might deliver us Out of this present evil world,” and “that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good “works.”
The Lord’s own statements are, ‘The Son of Man came … to give His life (psuche, i.e. soul; cp. John 12. 27) a ransom for many,’ Matt. 20. 28; ‘I will give … My flesh for the life of the world,’ John 6. 51; ‘My body, which is given for you’: Luke 22. 19; cp. Heb. 10. 10.
“These three words of the Lord are instances of a figure of speech called synecdoche, in “which a part is put for the whole, or the whole for a part; thus by the ‘soul,’ the ‘flesh,’ the ‘body’ of the Lord Jesus, He Himself is meant.”1
The word antilutron, a ransom, denotes an equivalent (or adequate) ransom price (from anti, corresponding to, and lutron, a ransom, from luo, to loose; lutron is used in Matt, 20. 28 and Mark 10. 45 of the life of the Lord Jesus as the ransom price to be paid for the deliverance of men). The prefix anti expresses that the ransom is equivalent in value to that which is procured by it. It indicates the vicarious nature of the expiatory sacrifice of Christ in His death.
In the following phrase “for all,” the word “for” translates huper, which means “on behalf of.” In Matt. 20. 28 and Mark 10. 45 the preposition is anti, which is of substitutionary significance, and there the accompanying phrase is “for many.” Christ died on behalf of all men; the validity of His sacrifice is universal; but not all men avail themselves of the benefit. It may not be said of the unrepentant sinner that Christ died (anti) in his stead; it can be said that he died on his behalf (huper); hence the limiting phrase in the two passages mentioned. The “many” are those who are actually saved; they are no longer dead through sin. Christ died, in their stead. His death, whilst accepted by God as the ransom price on behalf of all men, is the actual means whereby He grants deliverance from death and the gift of eternal life to those who repent and receive Christ by faith. Man, by sin, has forfeited his life; Christ gave up His life, though Himself sinless, and, in His sacrifice, endured the condemnation and judgment due to man’s guilt. Thus, for all who accept God’s free grace through the gospel, Christ “restored that which He took not away”; He brought back, for all who believe, the life, which they had forfeited.
The testimony to be borne in its own times;—that Christ gave Himself a ransom on behalf of all men was the central truth of apostolic testimony. The witness of the gospel began at Pentecost, and continues throughout this day of grace. These are the times Divinely appointed for it. The word rendered “times” is kairos, a season, and suggests that what takes place in a period is, as in the present instance, seasonable, suitable for the purpose, and therefore characteristic of the period.
This word is to be distinguished from chronos, which implies simply duration, as in Acts 1. 21; 13. 8; Rev. 10. 6, etc. or refers to the date of an occurrence, whether in the past, as in Matt. 2. 7 and Gal. 4. 4; or in the future, as in Acts 3. 21; 7. 17. The two words occur together in Acts 1. 7 and 1 Thess. 5. 1. Chronos has to do with quantity, kairos with quality. For other instances of kairos see Matt. 13. 21; Acts 14. 17; Gal, 6. 9; Eph. 5. 16; 1 Pet. 1. 11; Rev. 12. 12; 1 Tim. 6. 15, times yet future to those of this present period of gospel testimony; Titus 1. 3, where the reference is to the same period and circumstances as those in the present instance.
Verse 7. whereunto I was appointed—tithemi, to put or place, is sometimes used of appointing to a service or occupation as in Acts 13. 47. “I have set thee”; 20. 28, “hath made you bishops”; 1 Cor. 12. 28; so in I Tim. 1, 12, where see Note. The Apostle makes the same statement in 2 Tim. 1. 11.
a preacher—kerux, lit. a herald, corresponding to the verb kerusso which is frequently used of preaching the gospel, and the noun kerugma, the message, the thing preached, 1 Cor. 1. 21; Tit. 1. 3, e.g. The word is used elsewhere in 2 Tim. 1. 11 and 2 Pet. 2. 5.
and an apostle—See 1. 1. For the association of the two terms, cp. Rom. 10. 15. The former expresses his work, the latter His mission.
(I speak the truth, I lie not),—this asseveration may be understood in connexion with what precedes or with what follows. If the former it is a strong assertion of his apostolic authority, as against the false teachers who denied it; if the latter, it stresses his special commission to the Gentiles, which is appropriate to what he has said as to the universality of the benefits of the gospel (verses 5, 6). Certainly, the declaration does not point to any doubt in Timothy’s mind, but reaffirms the deep gratitude and joy he found in his ministry as already mentioned in 1. 12-17.
a teacher of the Gentiles—this has reference to the particular object of his calling, though there is doubtless an Intimation as to the special fitness by which he had been prepared by the Lord for this purpose. The word for Gentiles is ethnos, from which ‘heathen’ is formed. When used, as here, in the plural it denotes non-Jewish peoples whether civilized or uncivilized. In the singular it is used (a) of the. Jews, Luke 7. 5; 23. 2; John 11. 48, 50, 51, 52; 18. 35; Acts 10, 22; 24. 2, 10, 17; 26. 4; 28. 19; (b) of a non-Jewish people, Mark 13. 8; Luke 21. 10; Acts 7. 7; (c) of the Church, Matt. 21. 43; 1 Pet. 2. 9; (d) of all peoples, Jew or Gentile, Acts 2. 5; Rev. 5. 9; 14. 6. In the A.V. where the word is translated “heathen” the R.V. corrects to “Gentiles,” as the word “heathen” does not convey the accurate sense, Acts 4, 25; 2 Cor. 11. 26; Gal. 2. 9; 3. 8.
Another word laos, signifies the chosen people, Matt, 1. 21; Luke 2. 10; John 11. 50; Acts 4. 10. In the plural it denotes peoples in general, Luke 2. 31; Acts 4, 25; Rom. I5. 11. In Acts 4. 27 “peoples” signifies tribes.
In faith and truth,—the word pistis, faith, is used with the following senses:—
- trust, e.g. 1 Thess. 1, 3, 8; 3. 2; 5. 8; 2 Thess. 3. 2.
- trustworthiness, e.g. Matt. 23. 23; Rom. 3. 3; Titus 2. 10.
- what is believed, e.g. 1 Thess. 3. 10; Titus 1. 13.
- a ground for faith, an assurance, Acts 17. 31.
It is difficult to decide whether the word here comes under (a), (b), or (c). Some regard it in the sense of (c), the faith, connecting it with the description the Apostle gives of himself as a teacher; others take it in sense (a), i.e. the subjective faith of the Apostle. Considering, however, his pointed reference to false teachers and their evil motives (see 1, 3, 19), men whose opposition he had continually to confront (Gal. 1. 7, 9; 4. 17; 6. 12, 13; Phil. 1. 17, etc.), it seems best to regard the word here in the sense (b) fidelity, faithfulness, and so with the word “truth,” not the objective truth, the doctrines of the faith, but truthfulness; this is in keeping with his immediately preceding statement, “I speak the truth,” lit. “Truth,” i.e. truly. The Apostle spake because he believed, 2 Cor. 4. 13. and in his ministry as a preacher or teacher, he was free from all false motives, fulfilling his service in simple devotion to Christ.
Verse 8. I desire therefore—the verb boulomai, to desire, differs from the verb thelo used in verse 4, “willeth.” Thelo chiefly expresses an inclination or longing, whereas boulomai expresses a deliberate purpose or desire. The A.V. “I will” misses the distinction. What is conveyed here is an authoritative wish.
that the men—that is, in contrast to the women, concerning whom separate instructions follow. Hence the necessity for translating the definite article.
pray in every place,—the verb proseuchomai corresponds to the noun rendered “prayers” in verse 1, and signifies prayer in general. The phrase “in every place” here refers primarily to the occasions upon which believers meet together. The instructions have to do with the local assembly. In 1 Thess. 5. 17 the exhortation to prayer has to do with the individual, and the necessity that the believer shall not abandon the habit of prayer. With the present exhortation cp. 1 Cor. 14. 32, 34.
lifting up holy hands,—the lifting up of the hands in prayer was customary in Israel, e.g. 1 Kings. 8. 22; Psa. 28. 2; 141. 2; 143. 6; Isa. 1. 15; Lam. 3. 41. The custom apparently was followed in the early churches. Here the stress is not upon the posture or attitude of body but upon the conduct and life; “holy hands” points to the spiritual condition of entire separation to God as manifested in a life of uprightness before Him. The word hosios, holy, expresses that which is righteous, and has regard to the qualities both of grace and truth. The synonymous word hagios expresses more definitely that which is separated to God, set apart to Him for His purposes, and therefore partakes of His character. See, e.g., 2 Tim. 1, 9; 1 Pet. 1. 15, 16.
without wrath and disputing,—The word orge, wrath, is used (a) with reference to God’s holy and righteous indignation. (b) to the wrath of man, as here, in the warning to believers; see also Eph. 4. 31; Col, 3. 8; Jas. 1. 19. The word dialogismos, rendered disputing (A.V., and R.V. margin, “doubting”), here signifies those disputations concerning which a warning is given in Phil. 2. 14, the inward reasonings that find expression in controversy and contention. The two evils here spoken of are obviously hindrances to effective prayer.
Verse 9. In like manner that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,—the word translated “in like manner” is to be taken with “I desire therefore” in verse 8. The Apostle is not giving directions as to the oral prayers of women in the churches. That would be contrary to the arrangement of the context and inconsistent with the plain instruction in 1 Cor. 14. 34, “Let the women keep silence in the churches,” where the prohibition is not against chattering but against oral utterances. That is clear from the fact that the word “keep silence” is the same as that in verses 28-30. He who had a tongue was to keep silence if there was no interpreter. The prophet was to keep silence if another had received a revelation.
Nor again is the Apostle limiting the exhortation concerning the adornment of women to the times when they assembled themselves with the church and took part in silent prayer. The following context makes that clear. It is in keeping with the Apostle’s manner that, whereas he might be supposed to be going to add directions about prayer, he passes from that subject to speak about another matter, that of conduct.
That word kastastole conveys the idea of external appearance as principally exhibited in dress. The adjective kosmios expresses what is orderly, decent, and modest.
with shamefastness—the spelling “shame-facedness” obscures both the meaning and the etymology of the word, as if it had to do simply with the face. What is expressed is really a moral repugnance of what is base and unseemly, leading to that due restraint which prevents the overstepping of the limits of womanly reserve and yet has regard to that which is due to others. This word aidos is not found elsewhere in the N.T.
and sobriety;—the word sophrosune, rendered “sobriety,” is derived from sos, sound, and phren, the mind. “Sound judgment” would express the two parts of the word almost exactly; “it is that habitual inner self-government, with its constant rein on all the passions and desires, which would hinder the temptation to this from arising, or at all events from arising in such strength as should overbear the checks and barriers which aidos opposed to it” (Trench, Synonyms, p. 69). Cognate words are the verbs sophronizo, Titus 2. 4, to train; the adjective sophron, sober minded, 1 Tim. 3. 2; Tit. 1. 8; 2. 2, 5; the adverb sophronos, soberly. Tit, 2. 12, and the verb sophroneo, to be soberminded, Tit, 2. 6; these words are thus especially characteristic of the Pastoral Epistles. What the Apostle had in view in the present passage was the snare of the extreme forms of current fashions. The great safeguard against being captured by these, which exist in every age, is the habit of reverence towards God and the evidence of it in deeds of devoted service. This ever meets with God’s pleasure and approval; fidelity to the Lord in this respect will find its reward at the Judgment Seat.
not with braided hair,—lit. “plaiting,” that is to say, not the simple and comely plaiting of the long hair which is the glory of a woman, but the extravagant ostentation displayed by fashionable women of those times; cp. 1 Pet. 3. 3.
and gold, or pearls or costly raiment;—the gold would include that which was twined amongst the plaits of hair. There was a temptation to imitate the personal adornments of the fashionable rich, designed to attract the eye, and tending, in gatherings, to distract the mind of the worshipper. In the luxurious period in which this Epistle was written, bracelets, earrings, necklaces were lavishly employed for female adornment. Since “the whole lieth in the evil one” (1 John 5. 19, R.V.), believers need to be on their guard against these influences, manners and customs which would mar their testimony as those who are not of the world. The great requisite for this is faith, which is “the assurance of things hoped for, the proving of things not seen” (Heb. 11. 1), and it is faith that gives the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5. 4).
Verse 10. but (which becometh women professing godliness) through good works.—the verb epangello, translated “professing,” properly means to proclaim, to announce; it denotes something more than mere profession, and conveys the thought of a practical realization of what it professed.
Theosebeia, “godliness,” differs little from eusebeia (see notes on verse 2), though the first part of the word (theo-) gives a certain emphasis to the Person of God as the One Who is reverenced. Both words indicate an apprehension of the presence of God.
In the phrase “through good works,” the R.V. “through” expresses a change of preposition, which is lost in the A.V., ” with.” Here dia is instrumental, signifying, not accompanying circumstances, but the means whereby what is stated is accomplished. It is possible to take the phrase with “professing” but the proper connexion seems undoubtedly to be with the word “adorn” in verse 9. Good works are the media of that adornment which pleases God (cp. Acts 9. 36). These are the essential means whereby faith is carried into practice; the word rendered “good” is not kalos, beautiful, fair, but agathos, that which is good by being beneficial, that beauty of the Christian life, which finds its expression in seeking the welfare of others.
Verse 11. Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection—There is no article before “woman” in the original. The word hesuchia, rendered “silence” in the A.V., denotes “quietness,” as in 2 Thess. 3. 12. There the exhortation is against the noisy activities of members of the assembly who refused to work. Here church gatherings are particularly in view, as in 1 Cor. 14. 34. The injunction is not directed towards a surrender of mind and conscience, or the abandonment of the duty of private judgment; the phrase ” with all subjection ” is a warning against the usurpation of authority, as. e.g., in the next verse. The word is used again in 3. 4; 2 Cor. 9. 13 and Gal. 2. 5, in which last the thought is rather which of submission, i.e. of yielding one’s self to opponents.
Verse 12. But I permit not a woman to teach,—“permit” is preferable to the A.V., “suffer”; cp. Acts 26. 1; 1 Cor.. 14. 34; 16. 7; Heb. 6. 3. The prohibition is against her teaching in the public assembly of believers; it does not refer to occasions of teaching others of her own sex, or of the private teaching of the young. An instance of each is given in the case of Timothy in 2 Tim. 3. 15, with 1. 5; see also Tit. 2, 3, 4. Though the Apostle words the injunction as if it were his own command, it is obvious from verses 13, 14, that he gave it by Divine authority; this indeed he had made clear in verse 7.
In post-apostolic times the command had been neglected in some churches. In A.D. 398 it was renewed at the Fourth Council of Carthage, where it was especially directed against the irregularities that had sprung up in the North African churches.
nor to have dominion over a man,—the word authenteo, found here only in the N.T., signifies to exercise authority, to govern. It is derived from the corresponding noun, denoting one who acts on his own authority. There is no word in the original for the A.V. “usurp.”
but to be in quietness,—the same word as in the preceding verse. The change of word from “silence.” in 1 Cor. 14. 34, is not to be understood as offering any modification of the command there given. In the chapter in 1 Corinthians the subject is confined to every sort of oral utterance in the meetings of the church. Here, whilst the occasion is the same, and silence is included, the more general attitude of women is in view. Nor, again, do these injunctions run counter to the condition of honour and freedom into which Christian women had been brought through the instrumentality of the teaching of the Lord and His gospel, delivering women from the degradation which was their lot in the various pagan systems. The gospel had taught that “in Christ,” that is, in the spiritual relationship to Him of believers, both men and woman, distinctions of sex are absent, as are national distinctions of Jew and Gentile, servant and master, Gal. 3. 28. On the other hand, with this position of honour and freedom the injunctions here given as to church gatherings are perfectly consistent, and are based upon the two great facts mentioned in the following verses.
Verse 13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve;—the first ground for the preceding commands is the order of creation as recorded in Gen. 2. 7, 22. Cp. 1 Cor. 11. 9. The authenticity and permanent validity of the Genesis narrative are taken for granted. This is the constant and consistently adopted attitude of the writers of the New Testament toward the Old, an attitude likewise demonstrated in the teaching of the Lord Himself and all His use of the Scriptures. What the Apostle states is not simply the outcome of his upbringing, but a direct declaration under the guidance and power of the Spirit of God. It is not a matter of the Apostle’s dependence upon his belief in the historicity of the Bible narrative; the unquestioning acceptance of that fact is an outstanding feature of the writers of both the Old and New Testaments. We may not read the Apostle’s teaching merely in the light of what kind of a man he was; his written ministry forms an essential part of the Word of God.
The word rendered “formed” is plasso, to mould, fashion, and is the same word as is used in the Sept. of Gen, 2, 7, corresponding to the Hebrew word. It is found elsewhere in the N.T. in Rom. 9. 20, where also the corresponding noun plasma is used, that which is moulded.
Verse 14. and Adam was not beguiled,—this introduces the second basis of the preceding injunctions. The first is the record of the creation; the second is that, of the Fall. The tempter did not directly assail Adam; his sin was committed in consciousness of its character and magnitude. He yielded to the persuasion of his wife, after she herself had fallen a victim to the cunning of the spiritual foe.
but the woman being beguiled—the English Versions do not show that the word rendered “beguiled” differs from that in the preceding sentence, in being a strengthened form of it. The first word is apatao, this one is exapatao, and should be rendered “being thoroughly beguiled.” This stresses the difference already pointed out in the case of Eve in contrast to that of Adam.
hath fallen into transgression;—the significance of the change from “Eve” to “the woman” is that the woman is here the typical representative of the race. The perfect tense “hath fallen” indicates the permanent effects of her act. At the same time the phrase is, literally, “hath fallen in transgression,” that is to say, she came into the state of sin at a definite point of time, with abiding results.
The word parabasis, a transgression, signifies a. stepping across. It is always used of a breach of law, Rom. 4. 15, and especially of the Mosaic Law, e.g., Rom. 2. 23; Heb. 2. 2; 9. 15. Previous to that, there was no definite command of this character save in the case of the prohibition given in Eden, Rom. 5. 14. The guilt of Eve, as a transgression, was therefore of the same character as the breach of the Laws of God given through Moses. Adam was likewise guilty, but Eve was first in it (see preceding notes).
Verse 15. but she shall be saved through the childbearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.—In this verse there is a transition to womankind generally. Eve being the prototype of the sex. The statement has been taken in several ways, of which we may select three. The first is that the child bearing refers to the Birth of Christ and that the salvation mentioned is that which is bestowed upon all believers, owing to the Incarnation as the necessary preliminary to the Lord’s Death in atoning sacrifice. It seems somewhat improbable, however, that Paul would have spoken of the Birth of Christ in this way without any further explanation.
The second associates the statement with Gen. 3. 16 and the promise that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head, by reason of which salvation would come upon all men.
The third is, that by means of begetting children and so fulfilling the design appointed for her through acceptance of motherhood in the bonds of holy wedlock as God’s ordinance, she would be saved from becoming a prey to the social evils of the time and would take her part in the maintenance of the testimony of the local church.
This indeed is consistent with the whole trend of the teaching of the Epistle, and with the condition, which immediately follows in this verse. For a Christian woman, while yet bringing up a family, might backslide and fail in her testimony, whereas the salvation referred to, that is from the snares and allurements of the world, would depend upon continuance “in faith and love and sanctification with, sobriety.” The very fact that the Apostle has already given a warning to the women in the assembly in these matters, in verses 9-10, is sufficient evidence of the danger from which faithful women would be delivered. Then again, that which involves suffering in the bearing of children would issue in the blessing resulting from bringing up children in the fear of the Lord, and thus strengthening and maintaining the witness of the church. The promise is not that the woman would be sure of deliverance from death at childbirth, for many godly women have not been saved in this way; the salvation is in her manner of life. It is not necessary to stress the definite article as if it referred to one particular fact. The presence of the article often indicates that the noun is abstract and has a general meaning. How great is the practical salvation in a Christian mother’s life where continuance in faith and love and sanctification are in evidence!
The word hagiasmos “sanctification,” signifies separation to God. as, e.g., in 1 Cor. 1. 3O and the course of life becoming those who have been so separated, 1 Thess. 4. 3, 4, 7; Rom. 6. 19, 122; Heb. 12. 14. For sophrosune, “sobriety,” see on verse 9.
1. From “Notes on Thessalonians,” by Hogg and Vine, p. 20