1 Timothy 1:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst.

New Living Translation
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"--and I am the worst of them all.

English Standard Version
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

Berean Study Bible
This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.

Berean Literal Bible
Trustworthy is the saying, and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

New American Standard Bible
It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

King James Bible
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"--and I am the worst of them.

International Standard Version
This is a trustworthy saying that deserves complete acceptance: To this world Messiah came, sinful people to reclaim. I am the worst of them.

NET Bible
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"--and I am the worst of them!

New Heart English Bible
The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
This is a trustworthy saying and worthy of acceptance: “Yeshua The Messiah came to the universe to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is a statement that can be trusted and deserves complete acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I am the foremost sinner.

New American Standard 1977
It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

Jubilee Bible 2000
This is a faithful saying and worthy of acceptation by all, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first.

King James 2000 Bible
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

American King James Version
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

American Standard Version
Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief:

Douay-Rheims Bible
A faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.

Darby Bible Translation
Faithful [is] the word, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am [the] first.

English Revised Version
Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief:

Webster's Bible Translation
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Weymouth New Testament
Faithful is the saying, and deserving of universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; among whom I stand foremost.

World English Bible
The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Young's Literal Translation
stedfast is the word, and of all acceptation worthy, that Christ Jesus came to the world to save sinners -- first of whom I am;
Study Bible
God's Grace to Paul
14And the grace of our Lord overflowed to me, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. 16But for this very reason I was shown mercy, so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His perfect patience, as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.…
Cross References
Matthew 9:13
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Mark 2:17
On hearing this, Jesus told them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Luke 15:2
So the Pharisees and scribes began to grumble: "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."

Luke 19:10
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

Romans 11:14
in the hope that I may provoke my own people to jealousy and save some of them.

1 Corinthians 15:9
For I am the least of the apostles and am unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Ephesians 3:8
Though I am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

1 Timothy 3:1
This is a trustworthy saying: If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble task.

1 Timothy 4:9
This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance.

1 Timothy 6:13
I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who made the good confession in His testimony before Pontius Pilate:
Treasury of Scripture

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

a faithful.

1 Timothy 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away …

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he …

1 Timothy 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also …

Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that you affirm constantly…

Revelation 21:5 And he that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. …

Revelation 22:6 And he said to me, These sayings are faithful and true…

worthy.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the …

John 3:16,17,36 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that …

Acts 11:1,18 And the apostles and brothers that were in Judaea heard that the …

1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and …

that.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: …

Matthew 9:13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not …

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, …

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, They that are whole have no …

Luke 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

John 1:29 The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the …

John 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for …

Acts 3:26 To you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless …

Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is …

Romans 5:6,8-10 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for …

Hebrews 7:25 Why he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God …

1 John 3:5,8 And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in …

1 John 4:9,10 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God …

Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, …

of whom.

1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but …

Job 42:6 Why I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Ezekiel 16:63 That you may remember, and be confounded, and never open your mouth …

Ezekiel 36:31,32 Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that …

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called …

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given…

(15) This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation.--This striking formula in the New Testament, found only in the Pastoral Epistles, here and in 1Timothy 3:1; 1Timothy 4:9; 2Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8; and the somewhat similar expression, "these sayings [words'] are faithful and true," Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6, were formulas expressing weighty and memorable truths, well known and often repeated by the brotherhood of Christians in the first ages of the faith. They were, no doubt, rehearsed constantly in the assemblies, till they became well-known watchwords in the various churches scattered over the Mediterranean-washed provinces of the Roman empire; and in these "sayings" we see, perhaps, the germs of the great creeds of Christianity. [1Timothy 3:1, perhaps, as usually understood, hardly falls under this category of "watchwords of the faith," unless St. Chrysostom's interpretation of the text be followed, which refers "the faithful saying" to the solemn truths which immediately preceded it in 1 Timothy 2]

That Christ Jesus came into the world.--This is an unmistakable allusion to the pre-existence of Christ. He came into the world, leaving the glory which he had with the Father before the world was (see John 16:28; John 17:5; Ephesians 1:3-4). And the purpose for which he came into the world is stated distinctly in the next sentence.

To save sinners.--There are no details given respecting this salvation. The "sinners" here mentioned is a broad, inclusive term. It includes, besides Jews, the outcasts of the Gentiles without hope and without God--all the lost, irrespective of race or time. In the Lord's own blessed words: "The Son of Man was come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

Of whom I am chief.--The intense humility of the strange, beautiful character of the Gentile Apostle prompted this bitter expression. St. Paul, it has been well said, knew his own sins by experience, and every other man's per speculationem. In another place a similar feeling leads him to style himself as "less than the least of all saints" (Ephesians 3:8). He had been in time past so bitter an enemy of the Lord that no preaching of the disciples was effectual to work his conversion. In his case, to overcome his intense hatred of the Name, it needed a special appearance of the Risen One.

Verse 15. - Faithful is the saying for this is a faithful saying, A.V. Faithful is the saying (πιστὸς ὁ λόγος). This formula is peculiar to the pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8), and seems to indicate that there were a number of pithy sayings, maxims, portions of hymns or of catechetical teaching, current in the Church, and possibly originating in the inspired sayings of the Church prophets, to which the apostle appeals, and to which he gives his sanction. The one appealed to here would be simply, "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners." This, St. Paul adds, is worthy of all acceptation - by all, and without any reserve. Acceptation (ἀποδοχῆς); only here and 1 Timothy 4:9, in connection with the same formula. The verb ἀποδέχομαι occurs in Luke 8:40; Acts 2:41; Acts 15:4; 18:29; 24:3; 28:30. It contains the idea of a glad, willing acceptance (see note on Acts 2:41). So doubtless ἀποδοχή also means "hearty reception." I am chief; in respect of his having been" a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious." That great sin was indeed freely forgiven by God's grace, but it could never be forgotten by him who had been guilty of it. "Manet alta mente repostum" (comp. Ephesians 3:8). This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation,.... This is said, lest it should be thought strange, or scarcely credible, that so great a sinner should be saved; as well as to give a summary of the glorious Gospel the apostle was intrusted with; and in opposition to fables, endless genealogies, and vain jangling, and contentions about the law. The doctrine of Christ's coming into the world, and of salvation by him, as it is the sum and substance of the Gospel, so it is a "faithful saying"; in which the faithfulness of God is displayed to himself, and the perfections of his nature, his holiness, justice, love, grace, and mercy; to his law, which is magnified, and made honourable; to his word of promise hereby fulfilled; and to his Son in carrying him through the work: and the faithfulness of Christ is discovered herein, both to his Father with whom, and to his friends for whom, he engaged to obtain salvation; and the faithfulness of ministers is shown in preaching it, and of other saints in professing it, and abiding by it: it is a true saying, and not to be disputed or doubted of, but to be believed most firmly; it is certain that God the Father sent his Son into the world for this purpose; and Christ himself assures us, that he came for this end; his carriage to sinners, and his actions, testified the same; his works and miracles confirm it; and the numberless instances of sinners saved by him evince the truth of it: and it is "worthy of all acceptation"; or to be received by all sorts of persons, learned, or unlearned, rich or poor, greater or lesser sinners; and to be received in all ways, and in the best manner, as the word of God, and not man; with heartiness and readiness, and with love, joy, and gladness, and with meekness, faith, and fear, and by all means; for it is entirely true, absolutely necessary, and suitable to the case of all, and is to be highly valued and esteemed by those who do approve and accept of it. It is the Christian Cabala, or the evangelical tradition, delivered by the Father to Christ, by him to his apostles, and by them to the saints, by whom it is cordially received. The apostle seems to allude to the Cabala of the Jews, their oral law, which they say (m) was delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai, and by him to Joshua; and by Joshua to the elders; and by the elders to the prophets; and so from one to another to his times: but here he suggests, that if they would have a Cabala, here is one, that is firm, and true, and certain, and worthy to be received, whereas the Jewish one was precarious, yea, false and untrue. Indeed, sometimes the words of the prophets are so called by them; so that passage in Joel 2:13 is called "Cabala" (n), some thing delivered and received; upon which one of their commentators (o) has these words,

"whatever a prophet commands the Israelites, makes known unto them, or exhorts them to, is a Cabala.

And if a prophetic command or admonition, then surely: such an evangelical doctrine, as follows, is entitled to this character,

that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; Christ came into the world, being sent by his Father, but not against his will, but with his free consent: he came voluntarily in the fulness of time into this sinful world, where he was ill treated; and this was not by local motion, or change of place, but by assumption of nature; and the end of it was, that he might be the Saviour of lost sinners, as all men are, both by Adam's sin, and their own transgressions; though he came not to save all, for then all would be saved, whereas they are not; and if he came to save them, he must have then so far lost his end; but he came to save sinners, of all sorts, even notorious sinners, the worst and chief of sinners: and the apostle instances in himself,

of whom I am chief; or "first"; not that he was the first in time; Adam was the first man that sinned, though Eve was before him in the transgression: it is a most stupid notion, that some gave into from this passage, as if the soul of Adam passed from one body to another, till it came to Paul, and therefore he calls himself the first of sinners: but his meaning is, that he was the first in quality, or the greatest and chiefest of sinners, not only of those that are saved, but of all men, Jews or Gentiles; and this he said not hyperbolically, nor out of modesty, but from a real sense or apprehension he had of himself, and his sins, which were made exceeding sinful to him; or he was the chief of sinners, and exceeded all others in his way of sinning, in blaspheming the name of Christ, and persecuting his saints, otherwise his conversation was externally moral, and in his own, and in the opinion of others, blameless: he was no fornicator, adulterer, thief, extortioner, &c. but in the above things he went beyond all others, and was a ringleader in them; and the remembrance of these sins abode with him, and kept him humble all his days; he was always ready to acknowledge them, and express his vileness and unworthiness on account of them: hence he here says, not "of whom I was", but "of whom I am chief". Now such sinners, and all sorts of sinners, Christ came to save from all their sins, original and actual; from the law, its curse and condemnation; from the bondage of Satan, the evil of the world, and wrath to come, and from every enemy; and that, by his obedience, sufferings, and death, by fulfilling the law, bearing its penalty, offering himself a sacrifice for sin, thereby finishing it, making reconciliation for it, and bringing in an everlasting righteousness: and a great Saviour he is, and an only one; a full, suitable, able, and willing Saviour; a Saviour of the soul, as well as of the body, and of both with an everlasting salvation,

(m) Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 1.((n) Misn. Taanith, c. 2. sect. 1.((o) Jarchi Misn. Taanith, c. 2. sect. 1.15. faithful—worthy of credit, because "God" who says it "is faithful" to His word (1Co 1:9; 1Th 5:24; 2Th 3:3; Re 21:5; 22:6). This seems to have become an axiomatic saying among Christians the phrase, "faithful saying," is peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles (1Ti 2:11; 4:9; Tit 3:8). Translate as Greek, "Faithful is the saying."

all—all possible; full; to be received by all, and with all the faculties of the soul, mind, and heart. Paul, unlike the false teachers (1Ti 1:7), understands what he is saying, and whereof he affirms; and by his simplicity of style and subject, setting forth the grand fundamental truth of salvation through Christ, confutes the false teachers' abstruse and unpractical speculations (1Co 1:18-28; Tit 2:1).

acceptation—reception (as of a boon) into the heart, as well as the understanding, with all gladness; this is faith acting on the Gospel offer, and welcoming and appropriating it (Ac 2:41).

Christ—as promised.

Jesus—as manifested [Bengel].

came into the world—which was full of sin (Joh 1:29; Ro 5:12; 1Jo 2:2). This implies His pre-existence. Joh 1:9, Greek, "the true Light that, coming into the world, lighteth every man."

to save sinners—even notable sinners like Saul of Tarsus. His instance was without a rival since the ascension, in point of the greatness of the sin and the greatness of the mercy: that the consenter to Stephen, the proto-martyr's death, should be the successor of the same!

I am—not merely, "I was chief" (1Co 15:9; Eph 3:8; compare Lu 18:13). To each believer his own sins must always appear, as long as he lives, greater than those of others, which he never can know as he can know his own.

chief—the same Greek as in 1Ti 1:16, "first," which alludes to this fifteenth verse, Translate in both verses, "foremost." Well might he infer where there was mercy for him, there is mercy for all who will come to Christ (Mt 18:11; Lu 19:10).1:12-17 The apostle knew that he would justly have perished, if the Lord had been extreme to mark what was amiss; and also if his grace and mercy had not been abundant to him when dead in sin, working faith and love to Christ in his heart. This is a faithful saying; these are true and faithful words, which may be depended on, That the Son of God came into the world, willingly and purposely to save sinners. No man, with Paul's example before him, can question the love and power of Christ to save him, if he really desires to trust in him as the Son of God, who once died on the cross, and now reigns upon the throne of glory, to save all that come to God through him. Let us then admire and praise the grace of God our Saviour; and ascribe to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons in the unity of the Godhead, the glory of all done in, by, and for us.
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