1 Timothy 4:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

New Living Translation
"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come."

English Standard Version
for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

New American Standard Bible
for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

King James Bible
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

International Standard Version
Physical exercise is of limited value, but Godliness is very dear, a pledge of life, both there and here.

NET Bible
For "physical exercise has some value, but godliness is valuable in every way. It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For exercise of the body profits a little for this time, but righteousness profits in everything, and it has the promise of life for this time and of the future.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Training the body helps a little, but godly living helps in every way. Godly living has the promise of life now and in the world to come.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

King James 2000 Bible
For bodily exercise profits for a little while: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

American King James Version
For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

American Standard Version
for bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For bodily exercise is profitable to little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Darby Bible Translation
for bodily exercise is profitable for a little, but piety is profitable for everything, having promise of life, of the present one, and of that to come.

English Revised Version
for bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come.

Webster's Bible Translation
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Weymouth New Testament
Train yourself in godliness. Exercise for the body is not useless, but godliness is useful in every respect, possessing, as it does, the promise of Life now and of the Life which is soon coming.

World English Bible
For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come.

Young's Literal Translation
for the bodily exercise is unto little profit, and the piety is to all things profitable, a promise having of the life that now is, and of that which is coming;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:6-10 Outward acts of self-denial profit little. What will it avail us to mortify the body, if we do not mortify sin? No diligence in mere outward things could be of much use. The gain of godliness lies much in the promise; and the promises to godly people relate partly to the life that now is, but especially to the life which is to come: though we lose for Christ, we shall not lose by him. If Christ be thus the Saviour of all men, then much more will he be the Rewarder of those who seek and serve him; he will provide well for those whom he has made new creatures.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - Is profitable for a little for profiteth little, A.V.; for, for unto, A.V.; which for that, A.V. Bodily exercise. Exercise which only affects the body, such as those rules which the Jewish ascetics enforced. Γυμνασία only occurs here in the New Testament, and not at all in the LXX., but is not uncommon in classical Greek. Another form is γύμνασις, and γυμνάσιον is the place where such γύμνασις takes place. For a little; margin, for little, which is the best rendering, Πρὸς ὀλίγον, as Ellicott well remarks, may mean either "for a little while" or "for a little" (better, "for little"), but cannot mean both. The contrast with πρὸς πάντα determines its meaning here to be "for little," which is exactly the same meaning as the A.V. Promise of the life. The genitive here is the genitive of the thing promised, as in Acts 2:33; Galatians 3:14; 2 Timothy 1:1. And the thing promised is "the life that now is," meaning, of course, its enjoyment in peace and happiness (comp. Psalm 34:12 [33, LXX]., where θέλων ζωήν is parallel to ἀγαπῶν ἡμέρας... ἀγαθάς); and "that which is to come," viz. eternal life). There is no occasion to strain after greater grammatical precision. There is no contradiction between tiffs statement of the happiness of a godly life and St. Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 15:19. Another possible way of construing the words is that of Bishop Ellicott and the 'Speaker's Commentary:' "Having the promise of life, both the present and the future." But in this case we should have had τῆς τε νῦν καὶ κ.τ.λ.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For bodily exercise profiteth little,.... Meaning not the exercise of the body in the Olympic games, as by running, wrestling, &c. which profited but little, for the obtaining of a corruptible crown at most; though since a word is used here, and in the preceding verse, borrowed from thence, there may be an allusion to it: much less exercise of the body for health or recreation, as riding, walking, playing at any innocent diversion; which profits but for a little time, as the Syriac and Arabic versions read; and the latter renders the phrase "bodily recreation": nor is the exercise of the body in the proper employment of trade and business, to which a man is called, and which profits for the support of life for a little while, intended; nor any methods made use of for the mortification of the body, and the keeping of it under, as watchings, fastings, lying on the ground, scourging, &c. but rather mere formal external worship, as opposed to godliness, or spiritual worship. There ought to be an exercise of the body, or a presenting of that in religious worship before God; there should be an outward attendance on the word and ordinances; but then, without internal godliness, this will be of little advantage: it is indeed showing an outward regard to public worship, and may be a means of keeping persons out of bad company, and from doing evil things; but if this is trusted to, and depended on, it will be of no avail to everlasting life; see Luke 13:26

but godliness is profitable unto all things; to the health of the body, and the welfare of the soul; to the things of this life, and of that which is to come; to themselves and others, though not to God, or in a way of merit:

having promise of the life that now is; of the continuance of it, of length of days, of living long in the earth, and of enjoying all necessary temporal good things, the mercies of life; for God has promised to his spiritual worshippers, to them that fear him, and walk uprightly, that their days shall be prolonged, that they shall want no good thing, nor will he withhold any from them that is for their good, that is proper and convenient for them:

and of that which is to come; even of eternal life; not that eternal life is received or procured hereby; for it is the free gift of God, and is not by any works of men, for otherwise it would not be by promise; for its being by promise shows it to be of grace: there is nothing more or less in it than this, that God promises glory to his own grace; for internal godliness, which animates and maintains spiritual worship, is of God, is of his own grace, and every part of it is a free gift of his, as faith, hope, love, fear, &c.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. profiteth little—Greek, "profiteth to (but) a small extent." Paul does not deny that fasting and abstinence from conjugal intercourse for a time, with a view to reaching the inward man through the outward, do profit somewhat, Ac 13:3; 1Co 7:5, 7; 9:26, 27 (though in its degenerate form, asceticism, dwelling solely on what is outward, 1Ti 4:3, is not only not profitable but injurious). Timothy seems to have had a leaning to such outward self-discipline (compare 1Ti 5:23). Paul, therefore, while not disapproving of this in its due proportion and place, shows the vast superiority of godliness or piety, as being profitable not merely "to a small extent," but unto all things; for, having its seat within, it extends thence to the whole outward life of a man. Not unto one portion only of his being, but to every portion of it, bodily and spiritual, temporal and eternal [Alford]. "He who has piety (which is 'profitable unto all things') wants nothing needed to his well-being, even though he be without those helps which, 'to a small extent,' bodily exercise furnishes" [Calvin]. "Piety," which is the end for which thou art to "exercise thyself" (1Ti 4:7), is the essential thing: the means are secondary.

having promise, &c.—Translate as Greek, "Having promise of life, that which now is, and that which is to come." "Life" in its truest and best sense now and hereafter (2Ti 1:1). Length of life now so far as it is really good for the believer; life in its truest enjoyments and employments now, and life blessed and eternal hereafter (Mt 6:33; Mr 10:29, 30). "Now in this time" (Ps 84:11; 112:1-10; Ro 8:28; 1Co 3:21, 22, "all things are yours … the world, life … things present, things to come"). Christianity, which seems to aim only at our happiness hereafter, effectually promotes it here (1Ti 6:6; 2Pe 1:3). Compare Solomon's prayer and the answer (1Ki 3:7-13).

1 Timothy 4:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Good Minister of Jesus Christ
7But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance.…
Cross References
Job 36:11
If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.

Psalm 37:9
For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

Psalm 37:11
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 22:4
Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 12:32
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Mark 10:30
will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--along with persecutions--and in the age to come eternal life.

Colossians 2:23
Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

1 Timothy 4:7
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

1 Timothy 6:3
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,

1 Timothy 6:5
and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

1 Timothy 6:6
But godliness with contentment is great gain.

2 Timothy 3:5
having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Treasury of Scripture

For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

bodily.

1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings …

Psalm 50:7-15 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify …

Isaiah 1:11-16 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? said the …

Isaiah 58:3-5 Why have we fasted, say they, and you see not? why have we afflicted …

Jeremiah 6:20 To what purpose comes there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet …

Amos 5:21-24 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn …

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

Colossians 2:21-23 (Touch not; taste not; handle not…

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

little. or, for a little time.

Hebrews 9:9,10 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered …

godliness.

1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Job 22:2 Can a man be profitable to God, as he that is wise may be profitable to himself?

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

having.

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the …

Job 5:19-26 He shall deliver you in six troubles: yes, in seven there shall no …

Psalm 37:3,4,16-19,29 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and …

Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and …

Psalm 91:10-16 There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near …

Psalm 112:1-3 Praise you the LORD. Blessed is the man that fears the LORD, that …

Psalm 128:1-6 Blessed is every one that fears the LORD; that walks in his ways…

Psalm 145:19 He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear …

Proverbs 3:16-18 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor…

Ecclesiastes 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, …

Isaiah 3:10 Say you to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they …

Isaiah 32:17,18 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness …

Isaiah 33:16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions …

Isaiah 65:13,14 Therefore thus said the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, …

Matthew 5:3-12 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…

Matthew 6:33 But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and …

Matthew 19:29 And every one that has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, …

Mark 10:19,20 You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do …

Luke 12:31 But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall …

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to …

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love …

1 Corinthians 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, …

2 Peter 1:3,4 According as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain …

1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life.

Revelation 3:12,21 Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, …

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