1 Timothy


Final instructions, 6:2b-21

General advice and closing commission


Having reached the conclusion of his letter to Timothy, Paul dictates some final instructions concerning the dangers of false teaching and wealth, and then closes with a personal word of advice.


i] Context: See 1:1-11.


ii] Background: See 1:1-11.


iii] Structure: Concluding instructions:

Proposition / charge:

"Teach and urge these things", v2b.

Evaluation of the false teachers and their teaching, v3-10:

Character, v3-5:

Unorthodox, v3;

Conceited and lack understanding, v4a;

Mired in controversy with its harmful consequences, v4b;

Spiritually blind, v5a;

Materialistic, v5b-10:

  The right attitude to wealth, v6-8;

  The wrong attitude to wealth and its consequences, v9-10.

Primary instruction and encouragement, v11-16:

Flee from evil, pursue the good, v11;

Fight the good fight of faith, v12;

The charge - "keep this command", v13-15a:

  Supportive adjuration / doxology, v15b-16.

Guidance on instructing wealthy believers, v17-19:

The wisdom of setting one's hope on God rather than wealth, v17;

Wealth is best used for practical good, v18;

A laying up of treasure in the age to come, v19.

Final personal instruction to Timothy, v20-21.

Be faithful and beware of false teachers.


iv] Interpretation:

The concluding section of this letter from 6:2b is somewhat disjointed. In fact, D/C are of the view that this section has little cohesion. None-the-less, most commentators do identify an integral unity centred on "false teaching and false teachers and the contrasting way of life of godly people, and Timothy in particular", Marshall. In fact, a number of commentators think that this conclusion is structurally aligned to the introduction, 1:3-20, cf. Towner.

In the conclusion Paul has a few words to say about true and false teaching and the danger of wealth. First, after a transitional sentence, v2b, he exposes the character of the false teachers, v3-5, comments on the proper attitude a believer should have toward wealth, v6-8, and contrasts this attitude with the problem of greed, v9-10. Paul then addresses Timothy personally, encouraging him toward godly behaviour and perseverance, v11-16. This exhortation is eschatologically framed and concludes with a doxology, v16b. Paul then gives Timothy advice on what to say to the rich members of his congregation, v17-19, and finally he encourages him to guard the truth of the gospel and resist false teaching, v20-21.


v] Exposition: A simple verse-by-verse exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 6:2b

Some parting advice, v2b-19: i] A final indictment of the false teachers, 2b-5. Verse 2b is transitional, summing up Paul's instructions and encouraging Timothy's task of faithful teaching. In verses 3-5 Paul reflects on the character of the false teachers They are not orthodox, v3, they are conceited and lack understanding, v4a, are mired in controversy, v4b, with its malicious consequences, v4c. Their fatal condition is spiritual blindness, v5a, evidenced in their materialism, v5b.

tauta pro. "these are the things" - [teach and encourage] these things. The pronoun serves as a substantive, accusative direct object of the verb "to teach.} "These" may refer back to the teaching / instructions Paul has already given, or forward to the instructions he is about to give. Most translations refer forward, but we may be on safer ground if we take the "these things" as the totality of instructions found in this letter.


ei + ind. "if" - if [anyone teaches something different = a different doctrine]. Introducing a conditional clause 3rd. class where the condition is assumed to be true; "if, as is the case, .... then ..." The apodosis / the "then" clause, is v4-5, "then he has become conceited ....."

uJgiainousin (uJgiainw) dat. pres. part. "the sound [instruction]" - [and does not come to = agree with] the being healthy, sound [words]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "words"; "words which are healthy" = "healthy words" = "sound precepts", REB. Dative of direct object after the proV prefix verb "to come to." The logoiV, "words", may be more specific than "instruction / doctrine", namely "the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ", or specifically "the written gospel", so Schlatter.

toiV dat. "-" - the. The article serves as an adjectivizer turning the construction "of our Lord Jesus Christ and according to the godliness teaching" into an attributive modifier limiting "words = teaching, doctrine, gospel", "sound precepts which are of ...."; "Which we base on Christ's own words and which leads to Christ-like living", Phillips. Dative in agreement with "words". "The two phrases 'sound words about Christ' and 'teaching according to godliness' are synonymous, the first emphasising the content of the proclamation and the second the effects of the proclamation. Paul's gospel, which produces true godliness stands in contrast to the opponents' false teaching, which, as Paul will say, is foolishness and produces a 'sickly craving for speculations and empty words'", Mounce.

tou ... kuriou Ihsou Cristou (oV) gen. "of [our] Lord Jesus Christ" - of the lord [of us], jesus christ. The genitive may be classified as ablative, expressing source, origin / adjectival, idiomatic, author, agent / verbal, subjective, "the sound precepts which are from our Lord Jesus Christ"; "the gospel which announces our Lord Jesus Christ." Possibly verbal, objective, "the sound precepts announced about / concerning our Lord Jesus Christ", so Mounce. "Jesus Christ" stands in apposition to "Lord".

kat (kata) + acc. "[to godly teaching]" - [and to the teaching] according to [the godliness]. The NIV takes the preposition as adverbial, so Zerwick; "godly teaching." It may express a standard / correspondence / conformity, so Harris, "which teaching accords with godliness"; "teaching that is in accordance with godliness", NRSV. It may express purpose / end, goal; "which teaching is designed for / promotes godliness", so Mounce; "which leads to Christ-like living", Phillips. Cf., Robertson Gk.


tetufwtai (tufow) perf. mid./pas. "they are conceited" - he has become proud, conceited, puffed up. This verb commences the apodosis of the conditional clause commenced in v3. The apodosis covers v4-5; "then they are conceited and without understanding, with a morbid capacity for controversy ......."

epistamenoV (epistamai) pres. mid./pas. part. "and understand" - understanding. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to be conceited", as NIV, or possibly adverbial, modal, expressing manner.

mhden adj. "nothing" - Accusative direct object of the participle "understanding".

alla "-" - but. Here expressing an accessory idea; "not only that, but / but furthermore", cf. BDF.448.6.

noswn (nosew) pres. part. "they have an unhealthy interest" - pining / having a sick, unhealthy desire, craving. The verb is a hapax legomenon / once only use in the NT. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to be conceited" and its attendant participle "understanding", as NIV, although possibly adverbial, modal, expressing manner; "a conceited ignorant creature with a morbid passion for controversy", Moffatt.

peri + acc. "in" - for [controversies and disputes]. Expressing reference / respect; "with regard for / with reference, respect to. The "investigations and discussions" obviously have a negative connotation, so NIV; "he has an unhealthy passion for speculations and for hair-splitting arguments", Barclay.

ex + gen. "that result in" - out of, from [which comes envy, strife / rivalry, blasphemy / slander, evil suspicions ("insinuations", Moffatt) v5, .....]. Expressing source / origin. The false teachers are conceited and confused, with morbid craving for controversy and quarrels, ex w|n, "from which", ginetai, "becomes = arises, comes about", five results, namely, jealously, discord, slander, suspicion and (v5) diaparatribai, "friction". "They are ignorant windbags who infect the air with germs of envy, controversy, bad-mouthing, suspicious rumours (v5) ..... and backstabbing", Peterson.


The false teachers have adopted a view of the Christian life which is very popular today, namely, the idea that material blessings are bestowed on those who are faithful. Of course, if this were true, Jesus would have been the wealthiest Jew in the first century.

diaparatribai (h) "and constant friction between" - irritation, friction against / between. Nominative subject of the verb ginetai, "comes", v4. This constructed word dia + para + tribw, "rub against", Zerwick, takes a genitive, here anqrwpwn, "men", with the prefix dia either intensifying, "constant friction", or stressing the idea of "mutual friction." "And nasty quarrels", CEV.

anqrwpwn (oV) gen. "people" - of men. The genitive of direct object after the dia + para prefix verb "friction against, between." "Men" is generic, so "people".

diefqarmenwn (diafqairw) gen. perf. mid./pas. part. "of corrupt [mind]" - having been corrupted [as to the = their mind]. The participle, as with apesterhmenwn, "having become bereft of / robbed of", is adjectival, attributive, limiting the genitive "men"; "who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth", ESV.

thV alhqeiaV (a) gen. "the truth" - [and having become bereft] of the truth. Genitive of direct object after the apo prefix verb "to defraud", the apo expressing separation from the truth.

nomizontwn (nomizw) gen. pres. part. "and who think" - thinking. This participle is adverbial, causal, expressing cause / reason; "bereft of the truth because they think that godliness is a means of gain." Although anarthrous, it could be treated as adjectival, attributive, limiting "men", and so forming the relative clause "who think of godliness in the terms of acquisition", Berkeley, as NIV. The force is "in that they think (assume!)", Marshall.

einai (eimi) pres. inf. "is" - [godliness, religion] to be [gain, profitable (= "a means of financial gain", Johnson)]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what they "think", namely, "that godliness is a means of gain", ESV.


ii] "The right attitude to wealth", Marshall, v6-8. Paul now reflects on the issue of a believer's attitude toward wealth. Godliness, accompanied by a satisfied acceptance of our share in this world's things, is where the greatest profit lies.

de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument; "Now, ......"

hJ eusebeia (a) "godliness" - the godliness, piety. Nominative subject of the verb to-be. "Authentic Christian existence", Towner.

meta + gen. "with" - Expressing association / accompaniment, "in association with", but possibly adverbial, manner / attendant circumstance.

autarkeiaV (a) gen. "contentment" - competence / self-sufficiency, contentment. "Self-sufficiency" is probably intended, in the sense "of a man whose resources are in God", Barrett, but not self-sufficiency in the self, but more in the sense of "Christ-sufficiency", Knight.

porismoV (oV) "gain" - [is great] gain, profit. Predicate nominative. Used metaphorically. In v5 we are told of those who think that their godliness will gain them wealth. In a broken world, good does not necessarily follow good, but when it does, it is without value unless a person is content with the good that has come their way, and not driven to get more.


Given that it is not true that the person with the most toys at the time of their death wins, then contentment with the basics is a better approach to life, v7-8.

gar "for" - for [we brought nothing]. More reason than cause - explanation / clarification. Paul seems to be supporting his contention that godliness is of great gain / worth, by explaining that mere existence (buying and selling, etc.) is inevitably worth nothing. There is no gain from mere existence, given that we will leave with nothing. On the other hand, godliness is an eternal verity. "The reason is we brought nothing into the world ..."

eiV + acc. "into" - into [the world]. Spacial - motion toward.

oJti "-" - because, that, since. The NIV has taken this conjunction as presumptive and therefore has not translated it. This approach sharpens the meaning and may fit with the common use of this proverb at the time, eg., Philo. Note the RSV margin which follows the variant "it is certain that." None-the-less, a causal sense can be given to the verse. The proverb teaches that if we could take our toys with us then we would be better equipped when we arrived, but the truth is that we have arrived empty handed because we leave empty handed. "There is no sense in bringing anything into the world with us, because we shall not be able to take anything out", Barrett. None-the-less, it seems more likely that a consecutive sense is intended expressing result, "with the result that", so BAGD, Q/W; "as a result we cannot take anything out of it." Anyway, the point is clear enough: The person with the most number of toys when they die doesn't win because the toys are not transferable (someone else gets to play with them), whereas godliness is transferable and is therefore of greater value.

exenegkein (ekferw) aor. inf. "[we can] take [nothing] out of it" - [neither are we able] to carry [anything] out. The infinitive is complimentary, completing the sense of the verb "to be able."


de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step to a contrasting point, "but", as NIV.

econteV (ecw) pres. part. "if we have" - having. The participle is adverbial, probably conditional, as NIV.

diatrofaV (a) "food" - sustenance, keep = food. Accusative direct object of the participle "having."

skepasmata (a) "clothing" - [and] covering. Accusative direct object of the participle "having". Possibly "shelter" is intended, although since the word is rare, it is difficult to know what is intended. Paul's point is that godliness, holiness in Christ, is the real treasure, and as for our worldly needs, contentment comes with the basics - a square meal and shelter.

arkesqhsomeqa (arkew) fut. pas. "we will be content with" - we will be satisfied with. The future tense is possibly standing in for an imperative; "let us be therewith content", AV.

toutoiV dat. pro. "that" - these things (food and clothing). Dative of direct object after the verb "to be content with"; "given food to eat and clothing to wear, we have quite enough to be going on with", Barclay.


iii] Paul now contrasts the right approach to wealth with the disastrous consequences of greed, v9-10. Paul argues that avarice leads a believer away from Christ, and goes on to support his point by quoting a popular proverb, v10a.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument, "now", or better left untranslated, as NIV.

oiJ boulomenoi (boulomai) pres. part. "People who want" - the ones who will, desiring. The participle serves as a substantive. The present tense may serve to express a desire to stay rich rather than become rich. Probably indirectly referring to the false teachers and their desire to get / stay rich.

ploutein (ploutew) pres. inf. "to get rich" - to be rich. The infinitive introduces a dependent statement of perception expressing what these people want, namely, to be wealthy.

eiV "into" - [fall] into, toward. Spacial. Spacial, movement toward - metaphorical. The desire to get / stay rich leads toward three consequences, evil in character: temptation, entrapment and lust. "It is common idiom that one goes into temptation", Marshall.

peirasmon (oV) "temptation" - test, trial, temptation. "Temptation to sin" is the intended sense here. The desire for riches, avarice, is a dangerous temptation, in that it leads us away from Christ-likeness.

pagida (iV idoV) "a trap" - [and] a snare, trap. Referring to the power of wealth to subtly / suddenly gain control of a person's life.

epiqumiaV (a) "desires" - [and many foolish and harmful] lusts, desires.

aitineV indef. pro. "which" - whichever, such as. Nominative subject of the verb "to sink." "Such as plunge men into ruin and perdition", Cassirer.

buqizousin (buqizw) pres. "plunge" - sink [men into ruin and destruction]. "Swamp".


gar "for" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why a desire to be wealthy causes such negative consequence: "Because the love of money is the rood of all evil." The explanation looks very much like a proverbial saying used to illustrate the actual consequences evident in the church, namely, the loss of faith and the erosion of personal dignity.

rJiza "a root" - [the love of money is] a root. Predicate nominative. Better, "the root", following Colwell's rule: a definite predicate noun that precedes its verb is usually written without the article. "The love of money is the root of all evil". The proverb supports the case that avarice will lead a believer away from Christ.

twn kakwn gen. adj. "of evil" - of [all] the evils / things which are evil, pernicious, morally wrong. The adjective serves as a substantive. The genitive may be taken as adjectival, partitive, Idiomatic / of product, producer, or better ablative, expressing source / origin; "the love of money is the root from which all evil grows", Barclay.

tineV pro. "some people" - [of which] some. Indefinite, although often derogatory, so possibly alluding to the opposition group, the judaizers.

oregomenoi (oregw) pres. part. "eager" - desiring, craving. The participle could function in a number of ways, but adverbial, causal, seems best; "the craving of money being the cause why certain men have strayed from the faith", Cassirer.

h|V gen. pro. "for money" - of which. Genitive of direct object after the verb "to desire", here as a participle / verbal, objective. Referring to filarguria, "love of money", but not the fil, "desire", but the arguria, "money, wealth, riches". "By desiring for which (money) some were led away from the faith", Mounce.

apo + gen. "from" - [were led away] from [the faith]. Expressing separation; "Some men, in the struggle to be rich, have lost their faith", Phillips.

periepeiran (peripeirw) aor. ind."pierced" - [and] impaled, pierced [themselves]. Paul is obviously referring to the false teachers whose avarice has impaled them on Satan's stake / entrapped them in Satan's snare.

odunaiV (h) dat. "with [many] griefs" - [with much, many] pain, sorrow. The dative is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of piercing themselves. By pursuing the dream of wealth these believers have harmed themselves in "emotional torments or unfulfilled dreams and damaged reputations and relationships", Barnett.


iv] "The way of life that the man of God should follow" is outlined in v11-12. This is "reinforced by a powerful adjuration", Marshall, v13-16. As a believer, Timothy should shun evil and pursue good. The evil he is to flee from is most likely the danger of wealth, along with the sins listed in v4 and 5. Timothy is to flee from such and pursue (run toward) right behaviour.

de "but" - but/and. The NIV opts for a contrastive sense, but it is likely serving as a transitional connective indicating a step in the argument.

w\ anqrwpe tou qeou "man of God" - [you] o man of god. Vocative. Old Testament use of a servant of God. The genitive "of God" is adjectival, relational.

feuge (feugw) pres. imp. "flee from" - flee [these things]. Probably referring to the danger of wealth, but possibly the vices in v3, 4. Note that the singular is used, as with most of the personal pronouns and verbs in this letter, indicating that the letter is a personal address to a single person, not a church. Such evil practice springs out of false, or lax doctrine, v3. Wishy-washy doctrine undermines discipleship. "Shun that, O man of God", Moffatt.

diwke (diwkw) pres. imp. "pursue" - [but/and] pursue. Used some dozen times in this epistle. "Pursue", in the sense of strive for a prize as in the Olympic Games.

dikaiosunhn (h) "righteousness" - As with the following list of nouns, accusative direct object of the verb "to pursue." Here in the sense of "upright conduct."

eusebeian (a) "godliness" - piety. Again probably in the sense of "godly conduct."

pistin (iV ewV) "faith" - Note how "faith" is linked with "love", and as often the case, "perseverance". "Faith" may refer to the ethical quality of "faithfulness", but more likely Paul has in mind "ongoing believing / trusting in Christ", from which flows the fruit of "brotherly love", within the context of "perseverance".

uJpomonhn (h) "endurance" - [love], endurance, perseverance, fortitude. A very Pauline virtue.

praupaqian (a) "gentleness" - The only usage in the New Testament (a hapax legomenon).


Timothy is to fight the good fight of faith, resting on the promises of God, particularly the promise of life eternal.

agwnizou (agwnizomai) pres. imp. "fight" - fight, strive for. The present tense is durative, "keep competing", or possibly just indicating a general command. The word has a military background as well as athletic, therefore, the traditional translation of "fight" in the AV etc. is acceptable, although it is possible that the Olympic imagery is still in Paul's mind.

ton kalon adj. "the good" - the good [fight]. Here "the noble contest."

thV pistewV (iV ewV) gen. "of the faith" - The genitive is adjectival, appositional / epexegetic, limiting "fight"; "keep competing in the good contest, the contest of faith." Knight and others opt for an adverbial usage, instrumental, "by means of faith / through faith", or causal, "because of the faith"; Perkins opts for verbal, objective. Does Paul mean the gospel, "the faith", or firmness / reliance on God? The article gives weight to the former, so "in defence of the faith", Cassirer, although better "faith as the characteristic quality of the Christian life that must be maintained to the end", Marshall.

epilabou (epilambanomai) aor. imp. mid. "take hold of" - lay hold of. "Catch", Wycliffe. "Grasp that which is presently obtainable and continue to hold tightly to it" (now/not yet).

thV zwhV (h) "[eternal] life" - the life [eternal]. Genitive of direct object after the epi prefix verb "take hold of." The goal of eternal life is to be taken hold of now rather than pressed toward.

eiV + acc. "to" - to, toward [which (= eternal life)]. Spacial, movement toward = goal, but possibly instead of en, locative, "into which" = "into that life", Q/W.

eklhqhV aor. pas. "you were called" - you were called [and confessed]. Invitation rather than effectual call, given that a response is required. Having responded to the call, a believer is then incorporated into God's called out people, a people predestined and chosen for glory.

kai "when" - and. Ellicott views this use of the conjunctive as coordinative, although its function here seems ambiguous. The NIV opts for a temporal usage. The variant kai before eklhqhV could indicate a correlative "both ..... and" was intended; "to which you were both called and about which you made the good confession."

wJmologhsaV (oJmologew) aor. ind. "you made" - confessed [the good confession]. The aorist, being punctiliar, indicates that the reference is to Timothy's conversion, or his call to ministry, or even the profession of his Christian life; "maintain your confession / profession." Timothy may have given a confession following his conversion, in a testimony or declaration of faith before a Christian congregation, or even in the face of persecution. The point Paul is making is, live this confession.

enwpion + gen. "in the presence of" - before [many witnesses]. Local, expressing space.


v] Verses 13-16 form one sentence in the Gk. and consist of Paul's charge supported by a doxology. With the authority and example of Christ, Paul charges Timothy "to keep the commandment", v14.

enwpion + gen. "in the sight of" - [i charge you] before, in front of [god]. Local, expressing space.

tou zw/ogonountoV (zw/ogonew) pres. part. "who gives life" - the one giving life, maintaining life, preserving life to [all things]. The participle, as with tou marturhsantoV, is adjectival, attributive, limiting by describing, although possibly substantival, in which case the nominal phrase "[the one] who gives life to everything" stands in apposition to "God". The present tense, being durative, expresses ongoing action. The variant zwopoiountoV, "quickening," is to be preferred, although zw/ogonew can carry the stronger sense, "to generate life / give life", so "the quickener of all things." So, instead of "preserve, keep alive", the phrase is best understood in the sense of generating life, "enlivening"; "in the sight of the God who is the source of life", Cassirer.

tou marturhsantoV (marturew) aor. part. "who while testifying" - [and jesus christ] the one bearing witness, having witnessed, testified. The participle as above; "Jesus Christ who bore witness, testified." Paul is using Christ's faithfulness, in the face of life's temptations, as an example for Timothy, so that he might also be steadfast in difficult times, and so make "the good confession." The content of Christ's confession is not the point here, rather it is the exemplary life Jesus lived while Pontius Pilate was the governor of Palestine.

epi + gen. "before" - on, at, to [pontius pilate]. Probably taking a local sense, "before, in the presence of", in the sense of the confession made before Pilate (+ gen. can carry a judicial sense, as here), but possibly the witness of Jesus' life and death made during the time when Pilate was governor, so "in the time of", so Kelly, Turner.

kalhn adj. "good" - [the] good [confession]. "The good confession" serves as the accusative direct object of the participle "having testified." "Good" in the sense of "noble". The relationship between the accusative phrase "the good confession" and the participle is somewhat unclear. The most obvious intent is adverbial, modal; "Jesus Christ who testified with a noble confession [before Pontius Pilate]."

paraggellw pres. ind. "I charge" - i charge, command. "I charge you in the presence of God", Barclay.

soi dat. pro. "you" - Dative of indirect object.


thrhsai (threw) aor. inf. "to keep" - . The infinitive is used to form a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul commands; "I charge you that you keep ...."

thn entolhn (h) "this command" - the command [spotless, irreproachable]. Accusative direct object of the infinitive "to command", with its object complement "irreproachable", standing in a double accusative construction. What is the command? Possibly the exhortations in v11-12, or even the exhortatory purpose of the letter as a whole, namely that Timothy maintain his salvation in Christ, by grace through faith, and does so in the face of (and as a counter to) those who would undermine the truth of the gospel (that salvation is by grace through faith and not of works). It is possible, although unlikely, that the command is Timothy's call to ministry. Given the context, avarice may be what is on Paul's mind. Timothy is to hold firmly to the truth that "godliness with contentment is great gain". He is to flee from the snares of wealth.

mecri + gen. "until" - Temporal preposition expressing future time.

thV epifaneiaV (a) gen. "the appearing" - Not the word commonly used by Paul of Christ's return (parousia), although the word does appear in 2 Thessalonians. The word alludes to the Shekinah glory, the appearing of God before his people. It may also carry an honorific sense, as of the appearing of an important dignitary. Note the full ascription of Jesus' name.

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "of [our] Lord" - of the lord [of us, jesus christ]. Usually taken as a subjective genitive, in that Jesus appears, rather than he is caused to appear (objective genitive). Possessive is possible; Christ's parousia. Jesus is "our" Lord, relational / possessive genitive, although usually viewed as a genitive of subordination, "Lord over us." "Jesus Christ" stands in apposition to "Lord".


h}n pro. "which" - Accusative direct object of the verb "to show." Referring to "the appearing" of Christ.

deixei (deiknumi) fut. "God will bring about" - he will show, exhibit = bring about. "God" is the obvious subject, as NIV. Expressing "a decisive visible manifestation", Barrett.

idioiV dat. adj. "in his own" - in his / its own / proper, peculiar, opportune [time]. The dative is temporal; "God's eschatological time", Barrett.

oJ makarioV adj. "the blessed" - The adjective serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "to show", standing in apposition to the assumed subject, "God". This is the first of six appositional descriptives of God; "God, the one who is blessed, ...."

dunasthV (hV ou) "[only] ruler" - [the only] one who exercises sovereign rule. As for "the blessed." Only used here in the New Testament. God is the blessed one, the ruler, the chief; He is "King of kings and Lord of lords"; He is "immortal", that is, he is the only "self-existent One", as Augustine puts it; He is the great "I AM", the one who is; He is the one who dwells in brilliant light, a brilliance which no human can approach, cf. Ex.33:17-23; He is the God of dazzling splendour. To him be honour forever. Amen.

twn basileuontwn (basileuw) gen. pres. part. "[the king] of kings" - [the king] of the one's reigning. The participle serves as a substantive with the genitive being adjectival, idiomatic / subordination, limiting "king"; "the king over those who reign."

town kurieuontwn (kurieuw) gen. pres. part. "[Lord] of lords" - [lord] of the ones ruling. The participle serves as a substantive, with the genitive being adjectival, idiomatic / subordination, limiting "Lord"; "Lord over those who exercise authority / rule." An Old Testament allusion where God is described as the God of the gods. The term again emphasises sovereign rule.


oJ ... ecwn (ecw) pres. part. "who" - the [only] one having [immortality]. The participle serves as a substantive forming a nominal phrase standing in apposition to "God".

oikwn (oikew) pres. part. "lives in" - inhabiting [unapproachable light]. Again the participle serves as a substantive. Based on the Old Testament idea that no human eye can look upon the radiant glory of God, eg. Ex.24:15-17.

anqrwpwn (oV) gen. "-" - [whom no one] of men [saw]. The genitive is adjectival, partitive; "no one from among men" - generic, so "humanity."

idein (eidon) aor. inf. "see" - [neither is able] to see. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "is able."

w|/ dat. pro. "to him" - to whom [be honour and power eternal, amen]. Dative of indirect object of an assumed subjunctive verb to-be, hortatory; "may honour and power eternal be to him" - "let honour and everlasting dominion be ascribed to him", Cassirer.


vi] Paul now outlines the instructions that should be delivered to wealthy believers, v17-19.

paraggelle (paraggellw) pres. imp. "command" - command, charge. The present tense indicating a general command.

toiV plousioiV (oV) dat. "those who are rich" - to the rich. The adjective serves as a substantive, dative of address, or reference / respect; "as for the rich in the present age." It is interesting here that Paul singles out a class of people, namely, the rich, for special attention. As in Corinth, the actions of some wealthy members may be less than gracious and therefore need to be addressed, although it is unlikely that Paul is critical of wealth itself.

en "in [this present world]" - in [the now, present age]. Temporal use of the preposition; "the present age."

mh uJyhlofronein (uJyhlofronew) pres. inf. "not to be arrogant" - not to think, hold exalted thoughts, to be high-minded. This infinitive, along with mhde hlpikenai, "nor to hope", introduces a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul want's Timothy to "command". "High-minded", AV. Wealth can convince us of our own superiority - to be purse-proud.

epi + dat. "in" - [neither to have hope] upon, on. Spacial, "upon uncertain wealth", Johnson, but possibly cause, "because of ...."

ploutou (oV) gen. "wealth" - [the uncertainty] of wealth, riches ("possession of many earthy goods", BAGD). The genitive is adjectival, probably best taken as attributed; "charge the wealthy of the present age ...... not to set their hope on precarious wealth", Q/W.

adhlothti (hV) dat. "which is so uncertain" - uncertainty. Wealth is ephemeral, cf., Prov.23:4-5. It is dangerous to place our confidence in possessions.

all (alla) "but" - Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction.

epi + dat. "to put their hope in" - upon [god]. As above.

tw/ pareconti (parecw) dat. pres. part. "who richly provides" - [the one granting [all things richly]. The participle serves as a substantive, forming a nominal clause standing in apposition to "God"; "God, [the one] who richly provides us with all the riches of life", Moffatt.

hJmin dat. pro. "us" - to us. Dative of indirect object / interest.

eiV "for" - to, into. Probably expressing purpose; "for the very sake of giving them pleasure", Johnson.

apolausin (isV ewV) "our enjoyment" - enjoyment. It is not always recognised in Christian circles that God has a hedonist bent, that the creation is for our enjoyment. An acceptance of this truth frees a believer from a soul-destroying piety that sees "fun" as less than holy. Paul's warning concerns the danger of "things", such that they be enjoyed as a blessing from God, rather than a source of life's meaning, cf., Ecclesiastes.


agaqoergein (agaqoergew) pres. inf. "command them to do good" - This infinitive, as with the infinitives ploutein, "to be rich", and the verb to-be, einai, "to be [generous]", forms a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what should be commanded. "Command them to benefit others", Barrett.

en + dat. "in" - [to be rich] in [works good]. The preposition is functioning adverbially, expressing manner, "wealthy in noble deeds", Johnson, "in kindly actions", Phillips, or reference / respect, "with respect to ....."

einai pres. inf. "to be" - the rich to be [generous], and to be [willing to share]. The infinitive of the verb to-be introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul commands. The predicate adjectives "generous" and "willing to share" modify the assumed subject "the rich." The adjectival form of "fellowship", koinwnikouV, indicates that true riches are found in sharing rather than accumulating; "command the rich to be open handed and ready to share."


apoqhsaurizontaV (apoqhsaurizw) pres. part. "in this way they will lay up treasure" - storing up, treasuring away. The participle is adverbial, best taken to express manner, but possibly purpose / result, so Perkins. The idea that generosity shown in the present serves to lay up treasure in eternity, in heaven, comes directly from Jesus, Lk.12:33, 18:22, Matt.6:19-21. Paul takes the idea a little further, and may not necessarily be thinking of heaven, the distant future, but the immediate future. The treasure-trove of the rich is vulnerable to theft, decay and ultimately death, so securing a treasure with God, a bank balance that is eternal and not subject to earthly ravages, is of far more worth. Yet, what is the treasure? Obviously not brownie points, either to confirm our salvation, or progress our holiness. Possibly our actions here gain value in the eyes of God, a "well done good and faithful servant." Yet, can a compromised act of generosity (even our most noble acts cannot tolerate close inspection) gain God's approval, be of good pleasure to him? Possibly the treasure is the shaping of Christ-likeness in our lives (sanctification), which characteristic has value for the immediate future, our life on earth, as well as our eternal future.

eJautoiV dat. pro. "for themselves" - Dative of interest, advantage.

kalon adj. "firm" - [a] good [foundation]. "A good foundation" serves as the accusative direct object of the verb "to store up." The heavenly treasure serves as "a good foundation into the future." Our Christ-like treasure serves as an excellent foundation for our ongoing service to the Lord.

eiV to mellon "for the coming age" - toward the about to = the coming = the future. Here the preposition eiV expresses purpose, end-view.

iJna + subj. "so that" - that [they may secure, catch, take hold of]. This construction forms a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that", or hypothetical result, "so that". Although "the purpose clause might almost be thought to suggest that people can lay up a treasury of credit for their generous deeds which will win reward in the next life ... 2Tim.1:9 forbids this idea", Marshall, so Kelly.

thV ... zwhV (h) gen. "life" - of the [really, truly] life. Genitive of direct object after the epi prefix verb "to take hold of." Paul may simply be speaking of eternal life, so Knight, Towner, Q/W, Mounce, but as there are those who are dead while they live, so there are those who are alive while they live, ie., "real life" "as a share of God's own life", Johnson, such that the way we live can exhibit either life or death. "Clearly heavenly life is meant, but the phrase includes spiritual life in the here and now", Marshall. "So as to secure the life which is life indeed", Moffatt.


vii] Final personal instruction, v20-21. hold fast to gospel truth - Hold fast to the outline of propositional revelation, that good deposit, that revelation of Divine truth taught by Paul and the other apostles.

W Timoqee (oV) voc. "Timothy" - o timothy [guard the deposit entrusted to you]. Vocative of address. "The deposit" is presumably "the deposit of truth", the apostolic / Pauline gospel. "My dear Timothy, keep what has been entrusted to you safe", Barclay.

ektrepomenoV (ektrepw) pres. mid. part. "turn away from" - turning away from. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the imperative "guard", so imperative as NIV, or possibly adverbial, means, so Perkins, expressing "how Paul expects Timothy to guard the deposit, ie., by turning from or avoiding something. "Holding yourself aloof from", Cassirer.

taV bebhlouV (oV) adj. "godless chatter" - the profane, [empty]. With "empty" and "oppositions", serving as the accusative direct object of the participle "turning away from." With "empty", not technically a Hendiadys, but it is likely that the sense of these two nouns overlap; "profane drivel", Q/W.

antiqeseiV (iV ewV) "opposing ideas" - [and] oppositions = dialectic. Closely related to "profane, empty" by the article + substantive + kai construction. The Greek idea of determining truth by the comparing and contrasting of opposites. For Paul, truth is revelational. Today, truth is subjective rather than objective revealed truth. The problem for the church today, as it was for Timothy, lies in the pressure to adopt the subjective truth of the secular world, "what is falsely called knowledge", rather than "the deposit of truth", that which is entrusted to our care by God.

thV ... gnwsewV (iV ewV) gen. "of what is [falsely called] knowledge" - of the [falsely called] knowledge. The genitive, modified by the attributive adjective "falsely called", is adjectival, further limiting by description the heresy of "dialectic profane drivel". The "falsely called knowledge" obviously refers to the heresy that Timothy must deal with. As already indicated, it is likely not to be gnosticism. As Marshall notes, the word "knowledge" "can be used of knowledge derived from Jewish law." "What is knowledge in name only."


h{n pro. "which" - which = it. Accusative direct object of the verb "to profess", the antecedent being "the knowledge in name only."

epaggellomenoi (epaggellomai) pres. mid. part. "have professed" - [some] professing. The participle is adverbial, best treated as either instrumental, expressing means; "by professing it (which)", ESV, or cause, "some, because they claim to be experts in this so called knowledge, have, with respect to faith, missed the mark", so Perkins. "By laying claim to it ("this erroneous system", Knight)", REB.

peri + acc. "and in so doing" - concerning [the faith]. Adverbial use of the preposition, expressing reference / respect, "with regard to, with respect to, concerning the faith."

hstochsan (hstocew) aor. "have departed from" - lost the way, fallen short, missed the mark. "Be wide of the mark", Zerwick, "to miss the mark", Marshall.

pistin (iV ewV) "the faith" - Not in the sense of "the church" = "the faith", so departed from the church, nor "believing, trusting", as in loosing one's faith in Christ, but "the faith" as that which is professed, the truth of the gospel, ie., a creedal use of "faith". In professing the knowledge which is in name only they have shifted their allegiance from a knowledge which is revealed, namely "the faith." "As far as faith is concerned, they went altogether off the mark", Cassirer.

hJ cariV (iV ewV) "grace" - grace. Often "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" is explicitly stated, but it may be assumed here. "Grace" in the sense of "God's unmerited favour strengthening and enabling his people", Knight. The sentence is probably in the form of a wish-prayer; "May the grace of God be with you all." The verb to-be is often assumed in such, in this case optative. Following most of Paul's letters he prays that grace be bestowed on his readers.

meq (meta) + gen. "with" - be with [you]. Expressing association / accompaniment.


1 Timothy Introduction



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