1 Timothy 3:15
Parallel Verses
New International Version
if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

New Living Translation
so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

English Standard Version
if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.

New American Standard Bible
but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

King James Bible
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

International Standard Version
in case I am delayed, so that you may know how to behave in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

NET Bible
in case I am delayed, to let you know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, because it is the church of the living God, the support and bulwark of the truth.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if I delay, that you may know how it is necessary to behave in the household of God, which is the church of THE LIVING GOD, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
in case I'm delayed. I want you to know how people who are members of God's family must live. God's family is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if I tarry long, that thou may know how it is expedient to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the congregation {Gr. ekklesia – called out ones} of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth.

King James 2000 Bible
But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

American King James Version
But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

American Standard Version
but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Darby Bible Translation
but if I delay, in order that thou mayest know how one ought to conduct oneself in God's house, which is [the] assembly of [the] living God, [the] pillar and base of the truth.

English Revised Version
but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Weymouth New Testament
But, for fear I may be hindered, I now write, so that you may have rules to guide you in dealing with God's household. For this is what the Church of the ever-living God is, and it is the pillar and foundation-stone of the truth.

World English Bible
but if I wait long, that you may know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the assembly of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Young's Literal Translation
and if I delay, that thou mayest know how it behoveth thee to conduct thyself in the house of God, which is an assembly of the living God -- a pillar and foundation of the truth,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:14-16 The church is the house of God; he dwells there. The church holds forth the Scripture and the doctrine of Christ, as a pillar holds forth a proclamation. When a church ceases to be the pillar and ground of truth, we may and ought to forsake her; for our regard to truth should be first and greatest. The mystery of godliness is Christ. He is God, who was made flesh, and was manifest in the flesh. God was pleased to manifest himself to man, by his own Son taking the nature of man. Though reproached as a sinner, and put to death as a malefactor, Christ was raised again by the Spirit, and so was justified from all the false charges with which he was loaded. Angels ministered to him, for he is the Lord of angels. The Gentiles welcomed the gospel which the Jews rejected. Let us remember that God was manifest in the flesh, to take away our sins, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These doctrines must be shown forth by the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 15. - Men ought to behave themselves for thou oughtest to behave thyself, A.V. To behave thyself (ἀναστρέφεσθαι); variously rendered, both in the A.V. and the R.V., "to have one's conversation," "to live," "to pass (one's time)," "to be used" (Hebrews 10:33). It is literally "to go up and down" a given place, "backwards and forwards," hence "to dwell in it." The substantive ἀναστροφή, in the thirteen places where it occurs in the New Testament, is always rendered "conversation" in the A.V.; in the R.V., "manner of life," "life," "issue of life," "manner of living," "behaviour," "living." It is a favorite word in the two Epistles of St. Peter, where it occurs eight times. The house of God. This phrase here denotes, as it is explained in the following words, the Church on earth. So Hebrews 3:6, "Christ as a Son over his house; whose house are we," where the reference is to Numbers 12:7, "My servant Moses... is faithful in all mine house." The Church of the living God. Here is again a somewhat remarkable resemblance to the phraseology of the Epistle to the Hebrews, "Ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God.... to the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn" (Hebrews 12:22, 23). However, the phraseology is not peculiar to the Epistle to the Hebrews. Thus we read in 2 Corinthians 6:16, "Ye are the temple of the living God." The phrase, "the living God," occurs seven times in St. Paul's Epistles, and four times in the Epistle to the Hebrews. It occurs three times in the Gospels, once in the Acts of the Apostles, and once in the Revelation. Here it is used by St. Paul to enhance the obligation to a holy and blameless walk in those who have the oversight of his Church. The pillar and ground of the truth. Some apply these words to Timothy himself (Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, and others cited by Alford), after the analogy of Galatians 2:9, where James, Cephas, and John are said to be "pillars" (στύλοι), and Revelation 3:12, where it is said of him that over-cometh, "I will make him a pillar (στύλον) in the house of my God." And so, in Venantius Fortunatus, St. Paul is called "stilus ille." But the metaphors of "a pillar" and "a foundation" do not all suit the verb ἀναστρέφεσθαι; and it is well argued that the absence of the pronoun σε is unfavorable to the application of "the pillar and ground of the truth" to the subject of the first clause. It is therefore better to understand this clause as descriptive of the Church of God. The Church is the pillar of the truth. It supports it; holds it together - binds together its different parts. And it is the ground of the truth. By it the truth is made fast, firm, and fixed. The ground (ἑδραίωμα). This word only occurs here at all; ἑδραῖος, common both in the New Testament, the LXX., and in classical Greek, means "fixed," "firm," or" fast." In the A.V. of 1 Corinthians 7:37 and 1 Cor 15:58, "steadfast;" Colossians 1:23 (where it is coupled with τεθεμελιωμένα), "settled." Thence ἑδραιόω in late Greek, "to make firm or fast," and ἑδραίμα, the "establishment" or "grounding" of the truth; that in and by which the truth is placed on a sure and fixed basis.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But if I tarry long,.... Or should long delay coming, defer it longer than may be expected; let it be observed that these things are written,

that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God; that is, the church of God, as it is afterwards explained; called a house, in allusion either to an edifice, it being a spiritual house built of lively stories, or true believers, upon the foundation Jesus Christ, and who also is the door into it; the pillars of it are the ministers of the Gospel; and the windows are the ordinances, and which also are the entertainment in it: or else to a family, as this is sometimes called the household of God, and of faith; the family named of Christ, of which he is the master; and in which are fathers, young men and children; in which ministers are stewards; and which is regulated by good and wholesome laws: and it is called the house of God, because as an edifice, it is of his building and repairing, and in which he dwells; and as a family, is what he provides for. Now the above things were written to Timothy, that he might know bow to order and manage things in this house and family; what became him to do himself, in the character he was; and what persons to direct in the choice of to be officers in it. And of this house it is said,

which is the church of the living God; in opposition to, and distinction from the houses and temples of idols, which are inanimate and senseless creatures; whereas the true God is the living God, has life in himself, essentially, originally, and independently, and is the author and giver of life to others. It is added,

the pillar and ground of the truth; which holds forth the truth to be seen and read of all, as pillars that bear inscriptions; and which supports and maintains truth, as every true church of Christ does so long as it remains so; though truth is the pillar and ground of the church; for if once truth is gone, a church is no more so: rather therefore Timothy himself is here designed; and the sense is, that what was written to him was with this view, that he might the better know how to conduct himself in the church of God, as a pillar and ground of truth, to hold it forth and to secure it: ministers of the Gospel are called pillars, Galatians 2:9 and that with greater propriety than the church itself, which is before called an house: though it may be best of all to understand it of Christ as incarnate, the great mystery of godliness; who as he is the ground and foundation of the church, and all believers, so he is the foundation of all true doctrine; and particularly the doctrine of his person, as truly God and truly man, is the pillar and ground which supports all other truths, and without which they fall to the ground: and so this clause may be read in connection with the following words, thus; "the pillar and ground of the truth, and without controversy, is the great mystery of godliness, &c". And this way of speaking is used by the Jews, both of persons and things; so Zebulun is said (c) to be , "the pillar of the law"; and it is said (d) of

"the great sanhedrim in Jerusalem, they are the root of the oral law; and they are , "the pillars of doctrine"; and from them go forth the statutes and judgments unto Israel;''

and the same is said of things as of persons. Maimonides says (e),

"the foundation of foundations and the pillar of wisdom, is to know that there is a first Being, that gives being to all beings;''

and R. Sangari, another of their writers, says, (f).

"there are two things which are , "the pillars of the law"; the one is, that the law is from God; the other is, that it is received with a faithful (or sincere) heart, from the congregation:''

to which may be added, that it is said (g) that

"the mystery of faith is "amwyqw arqe, "the root and ground" of the world";''

all which may serve to illustrate this passage.

(c) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 152. 1.((d) Maimon. Hilchot Memarim, c. 1. sect. 1.((e) Hilchot Yesode Hattora, c. 1. sect. 1.((f) Cosri, par. 3. sect. 23. fol. 159. 2.((g) Zohar in Gen. fol. 124. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

15. But if I tarry long—before coming to thee.

that—that is, I write (1Ti 3:14) "that thou mayest know," &c.

behave thyself—in directing the Church at Ephesus (1Ti 4:11).

the house of God—the Church (Heb 3:2, 5, 6; 10:21; 1Pe 4:17; 1Co 3:16, "the temple of God"; Eph 2:22).

which is—that is, inasmuch as it is.

the church—"the congregation." The fact that the sphere of thy functions is "the congregation of the living God" (who is the ever living Master of the house, 2Ti 2:19, 20, 21), is the strongest motive to faithfulness in this behavior as president of a department of the house." The living God forms a striking contrast to the lifeless idol, Diana of Ephesus (1Th 1:9). He is the fountain of "truth," and the foundation of our "trust" (1Ti 4:10). Labor directed to a particular Church is service to the one great house of God, of which each particular Church is a part, and each Christian a lively stone (1Pe 2:5).

the pillar and ground of the truth—evidently predicated of the Church, not of "the mystery of godliness" (an interpretation not started till the sixteenth century; so Bengel); for after two weighty predicates, "pillar and ground," and these substantives, the third, a much weaker one, and that an adjective, "confessedly," or "without controversy great," would not come. "Pillar" is so used metaphorically of the three apostles on whom principally the Jewish Christian Church depended (Ga 2:9; compare Re 3:12). The Church is "the pillar of the truth," as the continued existence (historically) of the truth rests on it; for it supports and preserves the word of truth. He who is of the truth belongs by the very fact to the Church. Christ is the alone ground of the truth in the highest sense (1Co 3:11). The apostles are foundations in a secondary sense (Eph 2:20; Re 21:14). The Church rests on the truth as it is in Christ; not the truth on the Church. But the truth as it is in itself is to be distinguished from the truth as it is acknowledged in the world. In the former sense it needs no pillar, but supports itself; in the latter sense, it needs the Church as its pillar, that is, its supporter and preserver [Baumgarten]. The importance of Timothy's commission is set forth by reminding him of the excellence of "the house" in which he serves; and this in opposition to the coming heresies which Paul presciently forewarns him of immediately after (1Ti 4:1). The Church is to be the stay of the truth and its conserver for the world, and God's instrument for securing its continuance on earth, in opposition to those heresies (Mt 16:18; 28:20). The apostle does not recognize a Church which has not the truth, or has it only in part. Rome falsely claims the promise for herself. But it is not historical descent that constitutes a Church, but this only, to those heresies (Mt 16:18; 28:20). The apostle does not recognize a Church which has not the intermediate; the "ground," or "basement" (similar to "foundation," 2Ti 2:19), the final support of the building [Alford]. It is no objection that, having called the Church before "the house of God," he now calls it the "pillar"; for the literal word "Church" immediately precedes the new metaphors: so the Church, or congregation of believers, which before was regarded as the habitation of God, is now, from a different point of view, regarded as the pillar upholding the truth.

1 Timothy 3:15 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Mystery of Godliness
14I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
Cross References
Matthew 16:16
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

1 Corinthians 3:16
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?

1 Corinthians 10:32
Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God--

2 Corinthians 6:16
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

Galatians 2:9
James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.

Ephesians 2:21
In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

1 Timothy 3:5
(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)

1 Timothy 3:14
Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that,

1 Timothy 4:10
That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

Hebrews 3:6
But Christ is faithful as the Son over God's house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

Hebrews 10:21
and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

1 Peter 2:5
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 4:17
For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Treasury of Scripture

But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

know.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, …

Deuteronomy 31:23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and …

1 Kings 2:2,4 I go the way of all the earth: be you strong therefore, and show …

1 Chronicles 22:13 Then shall you prosper, if you take heed to fulfill the statutes …

1 Chronicles 28:9-21 And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve …

Acts 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the …

the house.

Ephesians 2:21,22 In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to an holy temple …

2 Timothy 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, …

Hebrews 3:2-6 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful …

1 Peter 2:5 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy …

the church. See on ver.

1 Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take …

the living.

1 Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust …

1 Timothy 6:16 Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can …

Deuteronomy 5:26 For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living …

Joshua 3:10 And Joshua said, Hereby you shall know that the living God is among you…

1 Samuel 17:26,36 And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall …

2 Kings 19:4 It may be the LORD your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, …

Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and …

Psalm 84:2 My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD: my heart …

Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting …

Jeremiah 23:36 And the burden of the LORD shall you mention no more: for every man's …

Daniel 6:26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble …

Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of …

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of …

John 6:69 And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like …

Romans 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said to …

2 Corinthians 3:3 For as much as you are manifestly declared to be the letter of Christ …

2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are …

1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had to you…

Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of …

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal …

Hebrews 12:22 But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, …

Revelation 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal …

the pillar.

Jeremiah 1:18 For, behold, I have made you this day a defended city, and an iron …

Matthew 16:18,19 And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will …

Matthew 18:18 Truly I say to you, Whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven…

Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that to them were committed the oracles of God.

Galatians 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived …

ground. or, stay. the truth.

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was …

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man …

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, …

2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness …

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey …

Ephesians 4:21 If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as …

Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard …

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