|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-5 Christians were not to suppose that religious knowledge, or Christian privileges, gave them any right to despise heathen masters, or to disobey lawful commands, or to expose their faults to others. And such as enjoyed the privilege of living with believing masters, were not to withhold due respect and reverence, because they were equal in respect to religious privileges, but were to serve with double diligence and cheerfulness, because of their faith in Christ, and as partakers of his free salvation. We are not to consent to any words as wholesome, except the words of our Lord Jesus Christ; to these we must give unfeigned consent. Commonly those are most proud who know least; for they do not know themselves. Hence come envy, strife, railings, evil-surmisings, disputes that are all subtlety, and of no solidity, between men of corrupt and carnal minds, ignorant of the truth and its sanctifying power, and seeking their worldly advantage.
Verse 5. - Wranglings for perverse disputings, A.V. and T.R.; corrupted in mind for of corrupt minds, A.V.; bereft for destitute, A.V.; godliness is a way of gain for gain is godliness, A.V. Wranglings (διαπαρατριβαί, R.T.; παραδιατριβαί, T.R.). The R.T. has far the largest weight of authority in its favor (Ellicott). The substantive παρατριβή in Polybius means "provocation," "collision," "friction," and the like. Hence διαπαρατριβή (which is only found here) means "continued wranglings." The substantive διατριβή (English diatribe) means, among other things, a "discussion" or "argument." The addition of πάρα gives the sense of a "perverse discussion," or "disputing." Bereft (ἀπεστερημένων). The difference between the A.V. "destitute" and the R.V. "bereft" is that the latter implies that they once had possession of the truth, but had lost it by their own fault. They had fallen away from the truth, and were twice dead. Godliness is a way of gain. The A.V., that gain is godliness, is clearly wrong, utterly confusing the subject with the predicate, and so destroying the connection between the clause and ver. 6. A way of gain (πορισμός); only here and in ver. 6 in the New Testament. but found in Wisd. 13:19 Wisd. 14:2; Polybius, etc. It signifies "a source of gain," "a means of malting money," or, in one word, "a trade." The same charge is brought against the heretical teachers (Titus 1:11). The cause in the A.V. and T.R., from such withdraw thyself, is not in the R.T.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds,.... Who being corrupt in their principles, and corrupters of the word of God, dispute in a very froward and perverse way, rubbing and galling one another, and so provoke, to wrath and anger, and, every evil work:
and destitute of the truth of Christ, who is the truth, knowing nothing of him spiritually and savingly; and of the Gospel, the word of truth; and also of the truth of grace, being carnal, sensual, and having not the Spirit of God.
Supposing that gain is godliness; such were Simon Magus and his followers, and other false teachers, who made merchandise of men, looked everyone for his gain from his quarter, and acted as if there was nothing in religion but worldly profit and gain; these served themselves, their own bellies, and selfish interests, and not the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore the apostle gives the following advice to Timothy, and through him to all ministers and churches,
from such withdraw thyself: do not come near them; have nothing to do with them; do not lay hands on them, or admit them into the ministry; do not suffer them to preach, or encourage them by hearing them: if in the church, cast them out; have communion with them, neither in a civil nor in a religious way; avoid all conversation with them. The Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions omit this clause; it is wanting in the Alexandrian copy, and in Beza's Claromontane Exemplar, but is in other copies.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. Perverse disputings—useless disputings. The oldest manuscripts read, "lasting contests" [Wiesinger]; "incessant collisions" [Alford]. "Strifes of words" had already been mentioned so that he would not be likely to repeat the same idea (as in the English Version reading) again.
corrupt minds—Greek, "of men corrupted (depraved) in mind." The inmost source of the evil is in the perverted mind (1Ti 6:4; 2Ti 3:8; Tit 1:15).
destitute of the truth—(Tit 1:14). They had had the truth, but through want of moral integrity and of love of the truth, they were misled by a pretended deeper gnosis (knowledge) and higher ascetical holiness, of which they made a trade [Wiesinger].
supposing, &c.—The Greek requires, "supposing (regarding the matter in this point of view) that piety (so translated for 'godliness') is a means of gain (that is, a way of advancing one's worldly interests: a different Greek form, poriswa, expresses the thing gained, gain)"; not "that gain is godliness," as English Version.
from such withdraw thyself—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. The connection with 1Ti 6:6 favors the omission of these words, which interrupt the connection.
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