1 Timothy 4:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

New Living Translation
They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth.

English Standard Version
who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Berean Study Bible
They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from certain foods that God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Berean Literal Bible
forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from foods that God created for reception with thanksgiving by the faithful and those knowing the truth.

New American Standard Bible
men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

King James Bible
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth.

International Standard Version
They will try to stop people from marrying and from eating certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

NET Bible
They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

New Heart English Bible
forbidding marriage and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they forbid to be married and they abstain from foods which God has created for use and thanksgiving for those who believe and know the truth.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They will try to stop others from getting married and from eating certain foods. God created food to be received with prayers of thanks by those who believe and know the truth.

New American Standard 1977
men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
they shall forbid to marry and shall command men to abstain from foods, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who are faithful and have known the truth.

King James 2000 Bible
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them who believe and know the truth.

American King James Version
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

American Standard Version
forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth.

Darby Bible Translation
forbidding to marry, [bidding] to abstain from meats, which God has created for receiving with thanksgiving for them who are faithful and know the truth.

English Revised Version
forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth.

Webster's Bible Translation
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by them who believe and know the truth.

Weymouth New Testament
forbidding people to marry, and insisting on abstinence from foods which God has created to be partaken of, with thankfulness, by those who believe and have a clear knowledge of the truth.

World English Bible
forbidding marriage and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Young's Literal Translation
forbidding to marry -- to abstain from meats that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those believing and acknowledging the truth,
Study Bible
Warnings against False Teachers
2influenced by the hypocrisy of liars, whose consciences are seared with a hot iron. 3They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from certain foods that God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4For every creation of God is good, and nothing that is received with thanksgiving should be rejected,…
Cross References
Genesis 1:29
Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

Genesis 9:3
"Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.

Matthew 15:11
A man is not defiled by what enters his mouth, but by what comes out of it."

Romans 14:6
He who observes a special day does so to the Lord; he who eats does so to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

1 Corinthians 10:30
If I partake in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

Colossians 2:16
Therefore let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a festival, a New Moon, or a Sabbath.

Colossians 2:23
Such restrictions indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-prescribed worship, their false humility, and their harsh treatment of the body; but they are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

1 Timothy 4:4
For every creation of God is good, and nothing that is received with thanksgiving should be rejected,

1 Timothy 5:14
So I advise the younger widows to marry, have children, and manage their households, so they will not give the adversary an occasion for slander.

Hebrews 13:4
Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.
Treasury of Scripture

Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Forbidding.

Daniel 11:37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of …

1 Corinthians 7:28,36-39 But and if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marry, …

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators …

to abstain.

Romans 14:3,17 Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him …

1 Corinthians 8:8 But meat commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the …

Colossians 2:20-23 Why if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, …

Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is …

which.

Genesis 1:29,30 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which …

Genesis 9:3 Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the …

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat …

Acts 10:13-15 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat…

1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy …

with.

1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if …

1 Samuel 9:13 As soon as you be come into the city, you shall straightway find …

Matthew 14:19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took …

Matthew 15:36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and …

Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, …

John 6:23 (However, there came other boats from Tiberias near to the place …

Acts 27:35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God …

Romans 14:6 He that regards the day, regards it to the Lord; and he that regards …

1 Corinthians 10:30,31 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that …

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord …

believe.

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

John 8:31,32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue …

2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brothers beloved …

(3) Forbidding to marry.--This strange and unnatural "counsel of perfection," St. Paul, thinking and writing in the Spirit, looked forward to as a perilous delusion which would, as time went on, grow into the impious dogma of certain of the great Gnostic schools. This teaching was probably, even in those early days, creeping into the churches. The Jewish sects of Essenes and Therapeut had already taught that "abstinence from marriage" was meritorious. Men belonging to these sects doubtless were to be found in every populous centre where Jews congregated, and it was always in these centres of Judaism that Christianity at first found a home. St. Paul, however, saw no reason to dwell on this point at any length; the gross absurdity of such a "counsel "as a rule of life was too apparent; it was a plain contradiction of the order of Divine Providence. But the next question which presented itself in the teaching of these false ascetics, as we shall see, required more careful handling.

And commanding to abstain from meats.--Once more we must look to those famous Jewish religious communities of Egypt (the Essenes and Therapeut), the precursors of the great monastic systems of Christianity, as the home whence these perverted ascetic tendencies issued. These precepts too, like the counsel respecting marriage, were adopted in after years by several of the principal Gnostic sects; and it was especially those times St. Paul looked on to, although, no doubt, the seeds of their false asceticism had already been sown broadcast in the principal Christian congregations.

It has been asked why, in these solemn warnings against a false asceticism which St. Paul foresaw might and would be substituted for a really earnest Godfearing life, the question of celibacy was dismissed with one short sentence, while the apparently less-important question of abstaining from particular kinds of food was discussed with some detail. The reason is easily discoverable. The counsel to abstain from marriage was a strange and unnatural suggestion, one contrary to the plain scheme of creation. Any teaching which taught that the celibate's life was a life peculiarly pleasing to God would, at the same time, throw a slur upon all home and family life, and the Apostle felt that men's ordinary common sense would soon relegate any such strange teaching to obscurity; but with the question of abstaining from meats--that was connected with the precepts of the Mosaic law, which dealt at some length (probably from reasons connected with the public health) with these restrictions in the matter of meats.

These false teachers, while they urged such abstinence as a likely way to win God's favour, would probably base, or at all events support, their arguments by reference to certain portions of the Mosaic law, rightly understood or wrongly understood.

These points, then, might have risen into the dignity of a controverted question between the (Pauline) Gentile and the Jewish congregations. So St. Paul at once removed it to a higher platform. All food was from the hand of one Maker--nothing, then, could really be considered common or unclean without throwing a slur upon the All-Creator.

Which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving.--God's primeval intention is thus sharply contrasted with men's arbitrary restrictions. This divine intention is repeated with still greater emphasis in 1Timothy 4:4.

Of them which believe and know the truth.--The true "Gnostics," in St. Paul's eyes, were not those self-sufficient men who were out of their own corrupt imagination devising these strange and unnatural methods of pleasing God, but those holy, humble men of heart who believed on His crucified Son, and knew the truth of the glorious gospel.

Verse 3. - Created for hath created, A.V.; by for of, A.V.; that for which, A.V. Forbidding to marry. This is mentioned as showing itself first among the Essenes and Therapeutic by Josephus ('Bell. Jud.,' it. 8:2, and 'Ant. Jud.,' 18, 1:5). It became later a special tenet of the Gnostics, as stated by Clem. Alex., 'Strom.,' 3:6; Irenaeus, "Haer.," 1:22, etc. (quoted by Ellicott). See other quotations in Pole's Synopsis. Commanding to abstain from meats; βρωμάτων (1 Corinthians 8:8; Hebrews 9:10; comp. βρώσει, Colossians 2:16; Romans 14:17). The word "commanding" has to be supplied from the preceding κωλυόντων, "commanding not." Some of the sects prohibited the use of animal food. A trace of this asceticism in regard to food is found in Colossians 2:16, 21, 23. (For a full list of authorities on the asceticism of the Jewish sects, see Bishop Lightfoot, 'Introduction to the Epistle to the Coloss.,' pp. 83, 84.) The chief passages relating to it are those referred to above from Josephus: Γάμου ὑπεροψία παρ αὐτοῖς, "They despise marriage;" Ἐσσαίων οὐδεὶς ἄγεται γυναῖκα, "None of the Essenes marry" (Philo, 'Fragm.,' p. 633); "Gens sine ulla femina, venere abdicata" - "A people without a single woman, for they renounce marriage" (Plin., 'Nat. Hist.,' 5:15). As regards their food, Bishop Lightfoot says, "The Essene drank no wine; he did not touch animal food. His meal consisted of a piece of bread, and a single mess of vegetables" ('Introd.,' p. 86). Professor Burton (in Kitto's 'Cyclopaedia,' art. "Gnosticism') says of the later Gnostics that, from their principle of the utter malignity of matter, and the elevating nature of γνῶσις, two very opposite results ensued - one that many Gnostics led very profligate lives; the other that many practiced great austerities in order to mortify the body and its sensual appetites (p. 770). Some of our modern Eneratites, in their language concerning the use of wine and beer, approach Gnosticism very closely. To be received (εἰς μετάληψιν); a classical word, but only found here in the New Testament, not used by the LXX. With thanksgiving. Observe the identity of thought with Romans 14:6. These passages, together with our Lord's action at the last Supper (Luke 22:17, 19), at the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Luke 9:16), and St. Paul's on board ship (Acts 27:35), are conclusive as to the Christian duty of giving thanks, commonly called "saying grace" at meals. The truth (see 1 Timothy 3:15; John 18:37; Ephesians 4:21, etc.). Forbidding to marry,.... Which points out not the Encratites, Montanists, and Manichees, who spoke against marriage; but the Papists, who forbid it to their priests under a pretence of purity and holiness, and at the same time allow them to live in all manner of debauchery and uncleanness; for these are the persons that forbid marriage in an authoritative way, and in hypocrisy: for that phrase is to be joined to all the sentences that follow it; as through the hypocrisy of those whose consciences are seared; and through the hypocrisy of those that forbid marriage to their priests, this being, by the common people, taken as an instance of great purity and holiness, and hereby they are drawn into the deception; as well as also through the hypocrisy of those that command

to abstain from meats: not from some certain meats forbidden by the law of Moses, as did some judaizing Christians; but from all meats at some certain season of the year, as at what they call the Quadragesima or Lent, and at some days in the week, as Wednesdays and Fridays; and this all under an hypocritical pretence of holiness, and temperance, and keeping under the body, and of mortification; when they are the greatest pamperers of their bodies, and indulge themselves in all manner of sensuality: the evil of this is exposed by the apostle, as follows,

which God hath created; and therefore must be good, and ought not to be abstained from: and besides, the end of his creation of them is,

to be received: to be taken, and used, and eaten; and therefore it is wicked to command men to abstain from them, and evil in those that do it: and the manner in which they should be received is

with thanksgiving; since they are the creatures of God, and useful to men, and men are unworthy of them, having forfeited them by sin; and since they are the bounties of Providence, and a free use of them is allowed; so far then should men be from abstaining from them, that they ought to take them, and use them with all thankfulness: and especially this should be done

of them which believe and know the truth: that is, who believe in Christ, and know the truth of the Gospel, which frees from every yoke of bondage, and from the burdensome rites, ceremonies, and inventions of men; for these have the good creatures as the fruits of divine love, through Christ the Mediator, and as blessings indeed; and who have the best right, claim, and title to them through Christ, being in him heirs of the world, and for whose sake all things are; and therefore these, as they know how to use them, and not abuse them, are to receive them at the hands of God, with thanksgiving, and not put them away, or abstain from them under a pretence of religion and holiness. 3. Sensuality leads to false spiritualism. Their own inward impurity is reflected in their eyes in the world without them, and hence their asceticism (Tit 1:14, 15) [Wiesinger]. By a spurious spiritualism (2Ti 2:18), which made moral perfection consist in abstinence from outward things, they pretended to attain to a higher perfection. Mt 19:10-12 (compare 1Co 7:8, 26, 38) gave a seeming handle to their "forbidding marriage" (contrast 1Ti 5:14); and the Old Testament distinction as to clean and unclean, gave a pretext for teaching to "abstain from meats" (compare Col 2:16, 17, 20-23). As these Judaizing Gnostics combined the harlot or apostate Old Testament Church with the beast (Re 17:3), or Gnostic spiritualizing anti-Christianity, so Rome's Judaizing elements (1Ti 4:3) shall ultimately be combined with the open worldly-wise anti-Christianity of the false prophet or beast (1Ti 6:20, 21; Col 2:8; 1Jo 4:1-3; Re 13:12-15). Austerity gained for them a show of sanctity while preaching false doctrine (Col 2:23). Eusebius [Ecclesiastical History, 4.29] quotes from Irenæus [1.28] a statement that Saturninus, Marcion, and the Encratites preached abstinence from marriage and animal meats. Paul prophetically warns against such notions, the seeds of which already were being sown (1Ti 6:20; 2Ti 2:17, 18).

to be received—Greek, "to be partaken of."

of them—literally, (created and designed) "for them," Though all (even the unbelieving, Ps 104:14; Mt 5:45) are partakers in these foods created by God, "they which believe" alone fulfil God's design in creation by partaking of them with thanksgiving; as opposed to those who abstain from them, or in partaking of them, do not do so with thanksgiving. The unbelieving have not the designed use of such foods by reason of their "conscience being defiled" (Tit 1:15). The children of God alone "inherit the earth"; for obedience is the necessary qualification (as it was in the original grant of the earth to Adam), which they alone possess.

and know the truth—explanatory and defining who are "they which believe." Translate as Greek, "and have full knowledge of the truth" (see on [2474]Php 1:9). Thus he contradicts the assumption of superior knowledge and higher moral perfection, put forward by the heretics, on the ground of their abstinence from marriage and meats. "The truth" stands in opposition to their "lies" (1Ti 4:2).4:1-5 The Holy Spirit, both in the Old and the New Testament, spoke of a general turning from the faith of Christ, and the pure worship of God. This should come during the Christian dispensation, for those are called the latter days. False teachers forbid as evil what God has allowed, and command as a duty what he has left indifferent. We find exercise for watchfulness and self-denial, in attending to the requirements of God's law, without being tasked to imaginary duties, which reject what he has allowed. But nothing justifies an intemperate or improper use of things; and nothing will be good to us, unless we seek by prayer for the Lord's blessing upon it.
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NT Letters: 1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding marriage and commanding to abstain (1 Tim. 1Ti iTi 1tim i Tm) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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