1 Timothy 1:3
As I sought you to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that you might charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
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(3) That thou mightest charge some.—Some time after the first imprisonment at Rome, and consequently beyond the period included by St. Luke in the Acts, St. Paul must have left Timothy behind at Ephesus while he pursued his journey towards Macedonia, and given him the solemn charge here referred to. The false teachers who are disturbing the Church at Ephesus are not named. There is, perhaps, a ring of contempt in the expression “some,” but it seems more probable that the names were designedly omitted in this letter, which was intended to be a public document. The chief superintendent of the Ephesian community, doubtless, knew too well who were the mistaken men referred to.

That they teach no other doctrine.—“Other”—i.e., other than the truth. When the Apostle and his disciple Timothy re-visited Ephesus, after the long Cæsarean and Roman imprisonment, they found the Church there distracted with questions raised by Jewish teachers. The curious and hair-splitting interpretation of the Mosaic law, the teaching concerning the tithing of mint and anise and cummin, which in the days of Jesus of Nazareth had paralysed all real spiritual life in Jerusalem, had found its way during the Apostle’s long enforced absence into the restless, ever-changing congregations at Ephesus.

Dangerous controversies, disputings concerning old prophecies, mingled with modern traditions, occupied the attention of many of the Christian teachers. They preferred to talk about theology rather than try to live the life which men like St. Paul had told them that followers of Jesus must live if they would be His servants indeed.

Unless these deadening influences were removed, the faith of the Ephesian Church threatened to become utterly impractical. The doctrine these restless men were teaching, and which St. Paul so bitterly condemns, seems to have been no settled form of heresy, but a profitless teaching, arising mainly, if not entirely, from Jewish sources.

1 Timothy 1:3-4. As I besought thee Παρεκαλεσα σε, I entreated thee. It is observed by Beza, that by using this soft expression the apostle hath left a singular example of modesty, to be imitated by superiors in their behaviour toward their inferiors in the church. When I went into Macedonia, (Acts 20:1,) that thou mightest charge some — Who appeared to be inclined to introduce their own corrupt notions into the church; that they teach no other doctrine — Than I have taught. Let them put nothing in the place of it, add nothing to it. These teachers were probably Judaizers, and members of the church at Ephesus; for with other teachers Timothy could have little influence. In not mentioning the names of these corrupt teachers, the apostle showed great delicacy, hoping that they might still be reclaimed. The same delicacy he had observed in his treatment of the false teacher or teachers at Corinth, and of the incestuous person there. Neither give heed to fables — To fabulous Jewish traditions, so as either to teach or regard them; and endless genealogies — Questions about their genealogies. The apostle does not speak of those recorded in the Scriptures, but of the long intricate pedigrees whereby many of the Jews strove to prove their descent from certain persons: which minister questions — Which lead only to useless and endless controversies; rather than godly edifying — The promotion of holiness, which leads men to God; which is in faith — Which edification is by faith in the great truths of the Scriptures, and in Christ, of whom the Scriptures testify as the Redeemer and Saviour of lost sinners.1:1-4 Jesus Christ is a Christian's hope; all our hopes of eternal life are built upon him; and Christ is in us the hope of glory. The apostle seems to have been the means of Timothy's conversion; who served with him in his ministry, as a dutiful son with a loving father. That which raises questions, is not for edifying; that which gives occasion for doubtful disputes, pulls down the church rather than builds it up. Godliness of heart and life can only be kept up and increased, by the exercise of faith in the truths and promises of God, through Jesus Christ.As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus - It is clear from this, that Paul and Timothy had been laboring together at Ephesus, and the language accords with the supposition that Paul had been compelled to leave before he had completed what he had designed to do there. See the Intro. Section 2.

When I went into Macedonia - Having been driven away by the excitement caused by Demetrius and his fellow-craftsmen; Acts 20:1. See the Intro. Section 2, 3.

That thou mightest charge some - The word charge here - παραγγειλης parangeilēs - seems to mean more than is commonly implied by the word as used by us. If it had been a single direction or command, it might have been given by Paul himself before he left, but it seems rather to refer to that continuous instruction which would convince these various errorists and lead them to inculcate only the true doctrine. As they may have been numerous - as they may have embraced various forms of error, and as they might have had plausible grounds for their belief, this was evidently a work requiring time, and hence Timothy was left to effect this at leisure. It would seem that the wrath which had been excited against Paul had not affected Timothy, but that he was permitted to remain and labor without molestation. It is not certainly known who these teachers were, but they appear to have been of Jewish origin, and to have inculcated the special sentiments of the Jews respecting the law.

That they teach no other doctrine - That is, no other doctrine than that taught by the apostles. The Greek word here used is not found in the classic writers, and does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament, except in 1 Timothy 6:3 of this Epistle, where it is rendered "teach otherwise." We may learn here what was the design for which Timothy was left at Ephesus.

(1) it was for a temporary purpose, and not as a permanent arrangement. It was to correct certain errors prevailing there which Paul would have been able himself soon to correct if he had been suffered to remain. Paul expected soon to return to him again, and then they would proceed unitedly with their work; 1 Timothy 4:13; 1 Timothy 3:15.

(2) it was not that he might be the "Bishop" of Ephesus. There is no evidence that he was "ordained" there at all, as the subscription to the Second Epistle declares (see the notes on that subscription), nor were the functions which he was to perform, those of a prelatical bishop. He was not to take the charge of a "diocese," or to ordain ministers of the "second rank," or to administer the rite of confirmation, or to perform acts of discipline. He was left there for a purpose which is specified, and that is as far as possible from what are now regarded as the appropriate functions of a prelatical bishop. Perhaps no claim which has ever been set up has had less semblance of argument than that which asserts that Timothy was the "Bishop of Ephesus." See this clause examined in my "Inquiry into the Organization and Government of the Apostolic Church," pp. 84-107.

3. Timothy's superintendence of the Church at Ephesus was as locum tenens for the apostle, and so was temporary. Thus, the office of superintending overseer, needed for a time at Ephesus or Crete, in the absence of the presiding apostle, subsequently became a permanent institution on the removal, by death, of the apostles who heretofore superintended the churches. The first title of these overseers seems to have been "angels" (Re 1:20).

As I besought thee to abide still—He meant to have added, "so I still beseech thee," but does not complete the sentence until he does so virtually, not formally, at 1Ti 1:18.

at Ephesus—Paul, in Ac 20:25, declared to the Ephesian elders, "I know that ye all shall see my face no more." If, then, as the balance of arguments seems to favor (see [2462]Introduction), this Epistle was written subsequently to Paul's first imprisonment, the apparent discrepancy between his prophecy and the event may be reconciled by considering that the terms of the former were not that he should never visit Ephesus again (which this verse implies he did), but that they all should "see his face no more." I cannot think with Birks, that this verse is compatible with his theory, that Paul did not actually visit Ephesus, though in its immediate neighborhood (compare 1Ti 3:14; 4:13). The corresponding conjunction to "as" is not given, the sentence not being completed till it is virtually so at 1Ti 1:18.

I besought—a mild word, instead of authoritative command, to Timothy, as a fellow helper.

some—The indefinite pronoun is slightly contemptuous as to them (Ga 2:12; Jude 4), [Ellicott].

teach no other doctrine—than what I have taught (Ga 1:6-9). His prophetic bodings some years before (Ac 20:29, 30) were now being realized (compare 1Ti 6:3).

Ephesus was a great city in Asia the Less, whither Paul came, Acts 19:1; where Demetrius raised a tumult against him, which the town clerk appeased, as we read there. From thence he

went into Macedonia, Acts 20:1-3. Upon this his motion into Macedonia (as divines judge) he left Timothy at Ephesus. The end of leaving him at Ephesus was, that he might

charge some that they preached no other doctrine, that is, none contrary to what he had preached, none contrary to the doctrine of the gospel, Galatians 1:8,9. What power was here committed to Timothy is by some questioned; supposing (which is very probable) there were a greater number of disciples than could meet in one assembly, his power was more than pastoral, for he had a power over the teachers. Whether this power was extraordinary, or ordinary, and what God intended ever to continue in the chnrch, is the question. Those who make it to be such, make it to be episcopal; those that make it extraordinary, say it was the work of an evangelist, 2 Timothy 4:5. That there was such an officer in the primitive church appears from Acts 21:8 Ephesians 4:11. That this was Timothy’s work appears from 2 Timothy 4:5. Nor is it a new thing, but very common in the settlement of all new governments, to authorize some special commissioners, and to give them an extraordinary power for a time, till the government can be settled and things brought into a fixed order. If we consider the words without prejudice:

I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, they seem to signify that Timothy was not the established bishop of Ephesus; for to what end should the apostle desire a bishop to reside in his own diocess, which he could not forsake without neglecting his duty, and the offence of God? This were a tacit reflection, as if he were careless of his duty. And the word abide, prosmeinai, does not necessarily import his constant residence there; for it is used to signify continuance for some time only; as it is said of the apostle, that he remained many days at Corinth, Acts 18:18, when his stay there was only for some months. The intention of the apostle seems to be that Timothy should continue for a while at Ephesus, and not accompany him in his voyage to Macedonia, as he was wont to do upon other occasions. And it is evident by the sacred history, that about six months after Timothy was with the apostle in Greece, that he went with him to Macedonia, and Troas, and Miletus, Acts 20:1,4, where the apostle sent for the elders or bishops of Ephesus, to leave his last solemn charge with them. In short, if Timothy had been appointed the bishop of Ephesus, the apostle would probably have given this title of honour to him in the inscription of his Epistle. Upon the impartial considering of the whole matter, though the passion of prelacy is so ingenious as to discover so many mysteries and mitres in a few plain words, (viz. that Timothy was bishop of that city, metropolitan of the province, and primate of all Asia), yet it is most likely that Timothy was left only for some time with a kind of apostolical power in the church of Ephesus; of which power this was one branch, authoritatively to command seducers not to teach another doctrine than what was taught by the apostles, who were Divinely illuminated: a Divine rule, and most worthy of perpetual observation by all in the office of the ministry. And this showeth the mighty proneness of men, as to deviate in their conversations, from the right ways, so in their judgments from the truths of God, otherwise Paul had no need to have left Timothy for that end in this church so newly planted. As I besought thee to abide, still at Ephesus,.... Where it seems he now was, being left here by the apostle, and where he was desired by him to continue:

when I went into Macedonia; not when he went his first journey there, for Timothy was then along with him, Acts 16:3 and so he seems to be in his journey through it, in Acts 20:3. It may be this may refer to a journey which Luke has given no account of:

that thou mightest charge some, that they teach no other doctrine; than the doctrine of Christ and his apostles; than what had been preached by the apostle at Ephesus, and the saints there had received; than what was agreeably to the Scriptures of truth, and was according to godliness; for all other doctrines must be divers and strange ones: nor would he have them teach in another way, in new words, but hold fast the form of sound words; for new words often produce new doctrines: the apostle perhaps by other doctrine chiefly respects the doctrine of justification by the works of the law. It seems as if there were some teachers in this place the apostle was suspicious of, or he had heard that they began to innovate in the doctrine of faith; wherefore he desires Timothy to continue a while, in order to be a check on these persons, and to charge them not to introduce any new doctrine; for it was only "some", and not all that taught there, he was so to charge. Some refer this to hearers; and render, the words, "that they follow no other doctrine"; but it seems best to understand it of teachers; the Syriac and Arabic versions render the words as we do.

{2} As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

(2) This whole epistle consists in admonitions, in which all the duties of a faithful pastor are plainly set out. And the first admonition is this, that no innovation is made either in the apostle's doctrine itself, or in the manner of teaching it.

1 Timothy 1:3-4. The apostle reminds Timothy, in the first place, of a previous exhortation, obviously for the purpose of impressing it more deeply on him.

The most natural construction of the sentence appears to be, to take it as an anacolouthon, to connect ἐν Ἐφέσῳ with προσμεῖναι, to refer πορευόμενος to the subject of παρεκάλεσα, and to make ἵνα dependent on παρεκαλεσά σε κ.τ.λ. This construction is held by most expositors to be the only admissible one. The missing apodosis cannot, however, be supplied before ἵνα, because ἵνα is closely connected with what precedes; we may insert with Erasmus “ita facito,” or with Beza “vide,” or with most expositors “οὕτω καὶ νῦν παρακαλῶ” (Winer, p. 530 [E. T. p. 592]). The peculiarity in such an involuntary (Buttm. p. 331) anacolouthon is, that the grammatical connection is not established by inserting the omitted apodosis. The most simple course is to suppose that the apostle had “οὕτω καὶ νῦν παρακαλῶ” or “οὕτω ποίει,” in mind, but the place for it was lost in the abundance of the thoughts that streamed in on him.

Several expositors depart from the construction commonly accepted. Matthies takes προσμεῖναι as “stay,” not as “remain behind,” refers πορευόμενος not to the subject of παρεκάλεσα, but to σε (making an unjustifiable appeal to Ephesians 3:17-18; Ephesians 4:1-2; Colossians 3:16[40]), and explains the whole thus: When Timothy was intending to travel to Macedonia, Paul had charged him to stop at Ephesus and remain there. Schneckenburger (see his Beiträge z. Einl. pp. 182 ff.) arbitrarily changes the infin. προσμεῖναι into the partic. ΠΡΟΣΜΕΊΝΑς, and refers ΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟς to the following clause: ἽΝΑ ΠΑΡΑΓΓΕΊΛῌς. Otto treats ΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟς in the same way, at the same time connecting ἘΝ ἘΦΈΣῼ with ΠΑΡΕΚΆΛΕΣΑ, taking ΠΡΟΣΜΕῖΝΑΙ in an absolute sense, making the apodosis begin with ἽΝΑ, and translating: “Just as I exhorted you to stand firm in Ephesus, so shalt thou on the journey to Macedonia command the people not to give attention to strange teachers, nor to hold them in esteem,” etc. This construction is, however, so artificial, that it is obviously incorrect to every one who is not blinded by the desire of placing the date of the composition of the epistle in a period of the apostle’s life known to us.

[40] In the passages quoted, Paul adds the participles to the previous clauses in the nom., and these participial clauses thus acquire the independence due to them according to the context. But in these passages the relation of the participial clause to the preceding main clause is quite different from what it is here, where there is no reason whatever for departing from the regular construction.


In order to justify his view of the sentence, Otto tries to prove the incorrectness of the usual construction, and to get rid of the objections to his own. The hypothesis of an ellipsis he rejects on account of the rule that the emphatic word can never be omitted, and that if we supply the apodosis by “οὕτω καὶ νῦν παρακαλῶ,” the emphatic words are καὶ νῦν. But these words are not by any means the most emphatic. The apostle might be using them not specially of the contrast between past and present, but only to give point to his former exhortation; hence he might easily omit the apodosis. Otto further maintains, that in the usual construction καθώς, which always denotes a material, actual correspondence, even to identity of motives, and further, of material contents, does not get its full force. On this point we indeed grant that the peculiar meaning of καθώς (as distinguished from ὠς) is not distinctly marked by the expositors; but it is not at all necessary in the usual interpretation to weaken arbitrarily the force of καθώς, since the apostle’s former exhortation could not but be his guide in the present one. Still less difficulty, however, is presented by καθώς, if we choose to supply οὕτω ποίει (as Hofmann does), since the meaning then is, that Timothy’s conduct is to be conformed to the exhortation already given by the apostle.

Otto tries further to show that in the usual explanation the participle πορευόμενος is not in its proper place. The rules which Otto lays down on the subject of participial clauses in order to support his assertion are, on the whole, not incorrect. The passages he quotes from the N. T. certainly show that the participle following a finite verb mostly defines it more precisely; that it either explains more precisely the verbal notion, or gives the accompanying circumstances of the verb. But Otto has overlooked the departures from this rule which occur in the N. T.; comp. Luke 4:40 with Mark 1:31; Matthew 12:49 with Acts 26:1; Matthew 22:15 with Matthew 12:14; further, Luke 24:17.[41] It cannot be denied that the participle following sometimes gives simply the time in which the action of the finite verb takes place; that here, therefore, the ΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟς may simply denote the time of the former exhortation.[42] Otto quotes the passage in Acts 12:25 as supporting the rule that the participle following should serve to explain the verbal notion, and justifies this by saying that the participle ΠΛΗΡΏΣΑΝΤΕς ΤῊΝ ΔΙΑΚΟΝΊΑΝ gives the motive of the return. But to give the motive is no explanation. In this passage, however, the position of the participle after the finite verb is justified in this way, that it gives the motive for the action expressed by the finite verb. So, too, in the passage here there is nothing to be said against the connection of πορευόμενος with ΠΑΡΕΚΆΛΕΣΑ, so soon as we suppose that the journey was the occasion for Paul giving Timothy the exhortation in question. Lastly, Otto attacks the usual construction from the notion of προσμεῖναι, because this word is explained in the construction to be equivalent to “remain, stay;” whereas, when not connected with a dative (or with a participial clause representing a dative), but standing absolutely, it has the meaning: “to maintain the position hitherto possessed, to stand firm.” Hence, if any definition of place is added, it is not as a completion of the verbal notion, but only indicates where the standing firm takes place. Otto infers from this: “accordingly ἘΝ ἘΦΈΣῼ here does not complete ΠΡΟΣΜΕῖΝΑΙ, but rather ΠΡΟΣΜΕῖΝΑΙ is absolute, and ἘΝ ἘΦΈΣῼ gives the place at which the whole sentence, viz. ΠΑΡΕΚΆΛΕΣΆ ΣΕ ΠΡΟΣΜΕῖΝΑΙ, took place.” This inference is obviously incorrect, since from Otto’s premises it only follows that, if ἘΝ ἘΦΈΣῼ belongs to ΠΡΟΣΜΕῖΝΑΙ, the place is thus given where Timothy is to stand fast,—in particular against the heretics,—it does not follow that ἘΝ ἘΦΈΣῼ may be connected with ΠΡΟΣΜΕῖΝΑΙ. Besides, from Acts 18:18, it is clear beyond dispute that ΠΡΟΣΜΈΝΕΙΝ does occur in the N. T. in the weakened sense of “remain, stay.”[43] Otto does not disguise the objections to his view, but he thinks that when thoroughly weighed they are more apparent than real. In this, too, he is wrong. It is indeed right to say that in the N. T. a sentence often begins with ἽΝΑ without any verb preceding on which it depends,—and this not only in cases where the governing verbal notion is easily supplied from what precedes, as in John 1:8; John 9:3; John 13:18, 2 Corinthians 8:7, but also when that is not the case, so that the clause beginning with ἽΝΑ stands as an imperative clause, as in Ephesians 5:33; Mark 5:23 (comp. Buttm. pp. 207 f.). But in all passages where ἽΝΑ is used elliptically, this is shown clearly and distinctly by the form of the sentence, which is not the case here. It is right also to say that emphatic parts of the clause construed with ἽΝΑ are often placed before ἽΝΑ, so that ΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟς, therefore, might very well be connected with the clause following ἽΝΑ; but this, too, is always indicated clearly by the form of the sentence. Wherever words standing before ἽΝΑ are to be referred to what follows ἽΝΑ, these words cannot possibly be connected with what precedes them, and the part of the sentence following ἽΝΑ is incomplete in itself, so that it has to be taken along with the part before ἽΝΑ. It is wrong to maintain that the participial clause ΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟς ΕἸς ΜΑΚΕΔ. becomes emphatic by contrast with ἘΝ ἘΦΈΣῼ, inasmuch as what took place in Ephesus is now to take place also on the journey to Macedonia; for—the two things are not at all the same. In Ephesus (according to Otto’s view), Paul exhorted Timothy to stand firm; but on the journey to Macedonia, Timothy is to encounter those who had been led astray. Lastly, it is right to assume that the sender of a letter, if he has anything to say of the place from which the letter is sent, may speak of it by name, comp. 1 Corinthians 15:32; 1 Corinthians 16:8, so that ἐν Ἐφέσῳ might convey to us that Paul was himself in Ephesus while writing; but we must take into consideration the special circumstances of the case. According to Otto, our epistle is a paper of instructions which the apostle put into Timothy’s hands in Ephesus, where he wrote it before setting out for Macedonia. In that case it was improper to mention the place by name. We cannot understand, then, why Paul in such a paper of instructions should have laid special stress on the exhortation he had imparted to Timothy in the very place where he put that paper into his hands.

[41] Otto tries to weaken the force of this passage against him by assuming a rhetorical inversion, because, he says, it is declared “that taking a walk and holding solemn dispute are inconsistent with one another” (!).

[42] In his groundless denial of this, Otto thinks that if πορευόμενος be joined to παρεκάλεσα it must be assumed to be a circumstance accompanying the παρεκάλεσα, but that this assumption is impossible, since a continuing fact (part. pres.) cannot be regarded as the accompanying circumstance of a concluded fact (part. aor.). But Otto overlooks the fact that πορευόμενος in this connection is not to be understood in the sense of continuing a journey, but in the sense of beginning one, of setting out.

[43] In this passage, also, Otto claims for προσμένειν, as a vox militaris, the meaning: “keep one’s ground,” remarking, “for the circumstances in Corinth were such that they might well have induced Paul to cease his labours and depart.” But this assertion is in contradiction with Luke’s statement, that the attack attempted by the Jews through Gallio was decisively warded off. Otto’s explanation, too, becomes all the more unsuitable, since, according to it, Luke would charge the apostle with not holding his ground more, and with abandoning his post.—Further, Otto seems to hesitate whether to take προσμεῖναι in the present passage as really absolute, or whether to supply with it the dative ἐμοί. After finally deciding for the former, he then explains προσμεῖναι as “keeping ground along with the leader appointed by God in the struggle against all the attacks of the heretic,” and thus in self-contradiction returns to the latter, since this leader is the Apostle Paul.

Some expositors take the whole section 1 Timothy 1:5-17 to be a parenthesis, and 1 Timothy 1:18 to be the apodosis corresponding to καθώς. The awkwardness of this construction is obvious; but Plitt thinks that, though it is not without its difficulties, most may be said for it. He is wrong, however, since ταύτην τὴν παραγγελίαν, in 1 Timothy 1:18, does not resume the παρεκάλεσά σε.

If we avoid all subtleties, we cannot but explain it: Even as I exhorted thee to remain in Ephesus when I set out for Macedonia, that thou mightst command certain men not to teach false doctrine … even so do (or: even so I exhort thee also now).[44] Regarding the meaning of ΚΑΘΏς and ΠΡΟΣΜΕῖΝΑΙ, see the above remark.

ΠΑΡΕΚΆΛΕΣΑ] Chrys.: ἌΚΟΥΕ ΤῸ ΠΡΟΣΗΝΈς, Πῶς Οὐ ΔΙΔΑΣΚΆΛΟΥ ΚΈΧΡΗΤΑΙ ῬΩΜῇ, ἈΛΛʼ ΟἸΚΈΤΟΥ ΣΧΕΔΌΝ· Οὐ ΓᾺΡ ΕἾΠΕΝ ἘΠΈΤΑΞΑ, ΟὐΔῈ ἘΚΈΛΕΥΣΑ, ΟὐΔῈ ΠΑΡῄΝΕΣΑ, ἈΛΛᾺ ΤΊ; ΠΑΡΕΚΆΛΕΣΆ ΣΕ. Towards Titus, however, Paul uses the expression ΔΙΕΤΑΞΆΜΗΝ (Titus 1:5), although he was not less friendly towards him than towards Timothy.

ΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟς ΕἸς ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΊΑΝ] “when I went away, from Ephesus to Macedonia;” ΠΟΡΕΥΈΣΘΑΙ has in itself the general meaning of going, but it is also used of going away from a place, both absolutely (Matthew 11:7) and connected with ἈΠΌ (Matthew 24:1; Matthew 25:41; Matthew 19:15 : ἘΚΕῖΘΕΝ; Luke 13:31 : ἘΝΤΕῦΘΕΝ). Otto explains it: “on the way to Macedonia,” which is grammatically correct, but opposed to the connection of ideas. There is no ground whatever for thinking that Paul, in this expression, had in mind one particular place on the way to Macedonia, viz. Corinth. We can see no reason why Paul should have expressed himself indefinitely. Otto, indeed, is of opinion that Timothy could not have been uncertain about the meaning of the expression; and that the apostle chose it in order to spare the feelings of the Corinthians, and that he might not confess to the heretics how they had provoked his apostolic opposition to an exceptional degree. But the first reason proves too much, since Paul, if he refrained from the definite expression because Timothy knew his wishes without it, would also have refrained from the indefinite expression. The other two reasons are weak, because if Timothy was to labour successfully against the heretics, he must necessarily appeal to the authority of the apostle in whose name he was to labour. Besides, such playing at hide-and-seek as Otto imputes to the apostle, is in entire contradiction with Paul’s frank character.

ἽΝΑ ΠΑΡΑΓΓΕΊΛῌς Κ.Τ.Λ.] gives the purpose for which Timothy was to remain in Ephesus. The theory that this gives at the same time the purpose of the whole epistle (Matthies), which opinion de Wette brings forward as proving the epistle not to be genuine, is wrong.

ΠΑΡΑΓΓΕΊΛῌς] does not necessarily involve the suggestion of publicity which Matthies finds in it.

ΤΙΣΊ] The same indefinite term is used for the heretics also in 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 1:19; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 5:15, etc.: “certain people whom the apostle is unwilling to designate further; Timothy already knows them” (Wiesinger).

ΜῊ ἙΤΕΡΟΔΙΔΑΣΚΑΛΕῖΝ] The word, which is not made up of ἝΤΕΡΟς and ΔΙΔΑΣΚΆΛΕΙΝ (= ΔΙΔΆΣΚΕΙΝ), but is derived from ἙΤΕΡΟΔΙΔΆΣΚΑΛΟς, occurs in the N. T. only here and in 1 Timothy 6:3 (comp. ἙΤΕΡΟΖΥΓΕῖΝ in 2 Corinthians 6:14). In ἝΤΕΡΟς there is not seldom the notion of different in kind, strange, something not agreeing with something else, but opposed to it. Accordingly, in the apostle’s use of the word, a ἑτεροδιδάσκαλος is a teacher who teaches other things than he should teach, who puts forward doctrines in opposition to the gospel; and ἙΤΕΡΟΔΙΔΑΣΚΑΛΕῖΝ here means nothing else than to teach something opposed to the gospel (Hebrews 13:9 : ΔΙΔΑΧΑῖς ΠΟΙΚΊΛΑΙς ΚΑῚ ΞΈΝΑΙς ΜῊ ΠΑΡΑΦΈΡΕΣΘΕ); comp. 2 Corinthians 11:4; 1 Timothy 1:3-7. THE MOTIVE OF THIS LETTER: to provide Timothy with a written memorandum of previous verbal instructions, especially with a view to novel speculations about the Law which sap the vitality of the Gospel; the root of which is sincerity, and its fruit, love.3. As I besought thee … so do] Rather as I exhorted thee … so do I now, i.e. exhort thee. The R.V. varies between ‘beseech’ and ‘exhort’ for parakalein, e.g. reading in Philemon 1:9, ‘for love’s sake I rather beseech.’

to abide still] Or to tarry; the force of the preposition in the verb is expressed by ‘still’; the aorist is usual after verbs of hoping, &c.

when I went into Macedonia] The present participle is emphatic—when I was going. This journey into Macedonia cannot be fitted in anywhere during the period covered by the Acts. See Ellicott here, and Paley, Hor. Paul. ch. xi. Cf. Introduction, p. 43.

that thou mightest charge some] Rather certain persons slightingly, and indicating that he could name them if he would; the word for ‘charge,’ cf. 1 Timothy 1:5, is in St Paul’s mind in writing, and occurs seven times in this epistle.

no other doctrine] Better, not to be teachers of a different doctrine, as in Galatians 1:6, ‘a different gospel,’ i.e. different in kind; the word appears in our ‘heterodoxy,’ difference for the worse from the established view of things.

3–11. Timothy is exhorted to faithful Ministry. He is reminded first of the character of the true Gospel1 Timothy 1:3. Καθὼς, even as) The Protasis; the Apodosis is at 1 Timothy 1:18. [In the meantime Paul refutes those who taught other doctrine, by the very striking example of his own conversion.—V. g.]

There are three divisions of this epistle:

I.   The Inscription, 1 Timothy 1:1-2.

  II.  The Instruction of Timothy in regard to the holy administration of the church affairs at Ephesus in the absence of Paul: where

1)  In general, he commits to him a charge to he delivered to those who erroneously taught the law, the sum of the Gospel being established and confirmed by his own example, 1 Timothy 1:3-4; 1 Timothy 1:8-9; 1 Timothy 1:11-12; 1 Timothy 1:18-19.

2)  In particular,

1)  He prescribes the order of prayer, 1 Timothy 2:1-2, chiefly to men, ver. 8; moreover to women good works, 1 Timothy 2:9-10, with modesty, 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

2)  He enumerates the requisite qualifications of a bishop, 1 Timothy 3:1-2.

And also the duties of deacons and women, 1 Timothy 3:8-9; 1 Timothy 3:11-13.

3)  He explains what Timothy ought to teach, after he had very weightily set forth the most momentous points, 1 Timothy 3:14 to 1 Timothy 4:3; in 1 Timothy 4:4-5, also what he ought to avoid, and what he ought to follow, 1 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Timothy 4:12-13 :

Then how he should deal with men and women, 1 Timothy 5:1-2;

  With widows, 1 Timothy 5:3-4; 1 Timothy 5:9-12; 1 Timothy 5:16;

With elders, 1 Timothy 5:17-18;

With offenders, 1 Timothy 5:20-21;

With Timothy himself, 1 Timothy 5:22-23;

With those of whom he is in doubt, 1 Timothy 5:24-25;

With servants, 1 Timothy 6:1-2.

4)  Those who teach otherwise are reproved, 1 Timothy 6:3-4; 1 Timothy 6:6-7; but Timothy is admonished and incited forward, 1 Timothy 6:11-12, and a charge is given to him, 1 Timothy 6:13-14; and precepts are prescribed to be enforced upon the rich, 1 Timothy 6:17-18.

  III.  The Conclusion.

προσμεῖναι, to abide) The same word occurs in Acts 18:18. The presence of good men is a restraint upon the wicked. Timothy at Ephesus, Titus at Crete, were not bishops, but were directors of the bishops, and, so to speak, Vicars Apostolic.—μὴ ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν, to teach no other doctrine) than that which I have taught. Let them not substitute anything else for it, let them not add [liter, impart by rubbing, ‘affricent’] aught to it. Comp. the address of Paul to these same Ephesians, Acts 20:28-30. The same word occurs, ch. 1 Timothy 6:3, where those things which are contrary [to wholesome doctrine] are condemned, just as at the beginning of the epistle, the things which are good are commended. Even the things which seem to be only different (“other doctrine”), carry with them something which is positively contrary [to the true doctrine]. They taught the law, in opposition to the Gospel, 1 Timothy 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:11.Verse 3. - Exhorted for besought, A.V.; tarry for abide still, A.V.; was going for went, A.V.; certain men for some, A.V.; not to teach a different for that they teach no other, A.V. Exhorted (παρεκάλεσα). In about sixty places this word has the sense of "beseech," "entreat," "desire," "pray," which is more suitable to this passage than the R.V. exhort. It is a strong expression, and seems to imply that Timothy had been anxious to go with St. Paul to Macedonia, to share his labors and wait upon him; but that St. Paul, with that noble disinterestedness which characterized his whole life, had, not without difficulty, persuaded him to abide at Ephesus. Tarry. Here again the R.V. is unfortunate. The exact sense of προσμεῖναι is "to stay on," or, as in the A.V., "to abide still." The word tells us that Timothy was already at Ephesus when he received the request from St. Paul to stay on there instead of going to Macedonia. There is nothing in the phrase that implies that St. Paul was at Ephesus himself when he made the request to Timothy. It may have been made by message or by letter. When I was going. Some commentators have endeavored to explain πορευόμενος as applying to Timothy, or as if the order were ἵνα πορευόμενος παραγγείλῃς; but the Greek will not admit of it. Charge (παραγγείλῃς); a word implying authority, almost invariably rendered "command" or "charge." It is taken up in ver. 18 (ταύτην τὴν παραγγελίαν), "This charge," etc. Teach a different doctrine (ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν). This is one of the many words peculiar to the pastoral Epistles. It only occurs here and 1 Timothy 6:3. It is formed from ἑτεροδιδάσκαλος, a teacher of other than right doctrine, and means "to play the part of a teacher of other than right doctrine," just as in ecclesiastical language ἐτερόδοξος means "one who holds opinions contrary to that which is orthodox," and such as do so are said ἑτεροδοξεῖν. The classical sense is a little different, "one who holds a different opinion" - "to be of a different opinion." The introduction of the word into the vocabulary of Scripture is a sign of the somewhat later age to which this Epistle belongs, when heresies were growing and multiplying. Other similar compounds are ἑτερόγλωσσος (1 Corinthians 14:21) and ἑτεροζυγεῖν (2 Corinthians 6:14). Even as (καθὼς)

An awkward construction, there being nothing to answer to καθὼς.

To abide (προσμεῖναι)

To continue on. The compound does not occur in Paul, but is found in Acts 11:23; Acts 13:43; Acts 18:18.

When I went (πορευόμενος)

Better, was going, or was on my way. The participle cannot refer to Timothy.

Might'st charge (παραγγείλῃς)

See on Acts 1:4. Very common in Luke and Acts, but not in Paul. In 1st Timothy alone five times.

Some (τισὶν)

Note the indefinite designation of the errorists, and comp. 1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 5:15, 1 Timothy 5:24; 1 Timothy 6:21. The expression is contemptuous. It is assumed that Timothy knows who they are. This is after the Pauline manner. See Galatians 1:7; Galatians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 15:12; 2 Corinthians 3:1; Colossians 2:4, Colossians 2:8.

That they teach no other doctrine (μὴ ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν)

Better, not to teach a different doctrine. For ἕτερος different, see on Galatians 1:6. The verb Pasto. olxx. oClass. The charge is not to teach anything contrary to the sound teaching (1 Timothy 1:10) or irreconcilable with it. Comp. Galatians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Romans 16:17.

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