1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.—“For.” This gives the reason why it is good and well-pleasing in the sight of God that Christians should pray for all—for there is one Saviour, God the Father, who wills that all should be saved, and there is one Mediator, Christ Jesus, who has given Himself as ransom for all. Surely then, to us who call ourselves by the name of Christ, the fate of the heathen who as yet know not Christ cannot be a matter of indifference. We must in our praise and prayer include these strangers whom the Father wills should come to Him, for whose sake the Son has given his life.

The man Christ Jesus.—St. Paul with special emphasis speaks of the “one Mediator between God and man” as “the man Christ Jesus,” no doubt wishing to bring into prominence the true humanity of the Lord. It is also a silent refutation of the docetic errors of some of the false teachers, of whose doctrines Timothy was to beware. These would have persuaded men that the Christ Jesus who was nailed to the cross was no man, but simply a phantom.

The human nature of Christ is also specially mentioned because in this state He performed His office as Mediator. In the statement of the next verse we find another reason for St. Paul’s allusion here to the fact of the Mediator being a man. The Messiah must have taken the human nature upon Him before He could have suffered that death which was the ransom of all. Again, the human nature of the Mediator is brought forward to show that the mediatorial office extended over the whole human race—a grand thought, expressed in the following words—“who gave Himself a ransom for all.”

1 Timothy 2:5-7. For there is one God — One Creator of all, the Father of the spirits of all flesh, who is no respecter of persons; and one Mediator between God and men — Appointed by God to make atonement for the sins of men by his death, and who, in consequence of that atonement, is authorized to intercede with God in behalf of sinners, and empowered to convey all his blessings to them. The man Christ Jesus — Therefore all men are to apply to this Mediator. By declaring that the one Mediator is the man Jesus Christ, St. Paul intimated that his mediation was founded in the atonement which he made for our sins in the human nature. Wherefore Christ’s intercession for us is quite different from our intercession for one another: he intercedes as having merited what he asks for us. Whereas we intercede for our brethren, merely as expressing our good-will toward them. We, depraved and guilty sinners, could not rejoice that there is a God, were there not a Mediator also; one who stands between God and men, to reconcile man to God, and to transact the whole affair of our salvation. This excludes all other mediators, as saints and angels, whom the Papists set up and idolatrously worship as such: just as the heathen of old set up many mediators to pacify their superior gods. Who gave himself a ransom for all Αντιλυτρον, such a ransom, the word signifies, wherein a like or equal is given, as an eye for an eye. The clause seems to be an allusion to Christ’s words, (Matthew 20:28,) to give his life, λυτρον αντι, a ransom for many. Any price given for the redemption of a captive, was called by the Greeks λυτρον, a ransom; but when life was given for life, they used the word αντιλυτρον. Indeed, this ransom paid by Christ, from the dignity of his person, was more than equivalent to all mankind. To be testified in due time Το μαρτυριον καιροις ιδιοις, the testimony, that is, a thing to be testified, in his own seasons; namely, those chosen by his own wisdom. Whereunto I am ordained — Appointed; a preacher Κηρυξ, a herald, to proclaim the grace of it all abroad; and an apostle — To attest by miracles that great and essential doctrine of it, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. I speak the truth in Christ — As thou, Timothy, well knowest; I lie not — In pretending to such an extraordinary mission. A teacher of the Gentiles — As if he had said, I was not only in general ordained to this ministry, but by peculiar destination was appointed to preach to the heathen and instruct them; in faith and verity — That is, in the faith of the gospel, and in the whole system of truth which it comprehends. This same solemn asseveration the apostle used Romans 9:1. He introduces it here in confirmation of his being an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles in the true faith of the gospel, because some in Ephesus denied his apostleship, and especially because the Jews were so averse to his preaching the gospel among the Gentiles, charging his doing it either upon the want of a due regard to his own nation, or some view of avarice or ambition. On this passage Dr. Benson remarks, “What writer ever kept closer to his subject than this apostle? The more we understand him, the more we admire how much every sentence and every word tends to the main purpose of his writing.”2:1-7 The disciples of Christ must be praying people; all, without distinction of nation, sect, rank, or party. Our duty as Christians, is summed up in two words; godliness, that is, the right worshipping of God; and honesty, that is, good conduct toward all men. These must go together: we are not truly honest, if we are not godly, and do not render to God his due; and we are not truly godly, if not honest. What is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, we should abound in. There is one Mediator, and that Mediator gave himself a ransom for all. And this appointment has been made for the benefit of the Jews and the Gentiles of every nation; that all who are willing may come in this way, to the mercy-seat of a pardoning God, to seek reconciliation with him. Sin had made a quarrel between us and God; Jesus Christ is the Mediator who makes peace. He is a ransom that was to be known in due time. In the Old Testament times, his sufferings, and the glory that should follow, were spoken of as things to be revealed in the last times. Those who are saved must come to the knowledge of the truth, for that is God's appointed way to save sinners: if we do not know the truth, we cannot be ruled by it.For there is one God - This is a reason for offering prayer for all people, and for the declaration 1 Timothy 2:4 that God desires that all people should be saved. The reason is founded in the fact that he is the common Father of all the race, and that he must have the same desire for the welfare of all his children, He has made them of one blood Acts 17:26, and he must have the same interest in the happiness of all; compare Ephesians 4:6 note; Romans 3:30 note.

And one Mediator between God and men - see Galatians 3:19-20 notes; Hebrews 9:15 note. This also is given as a reason why prayer should be offered for all, and a proof that God desires their salvation. The argument is, that there is the same Mediator between God and all people. He is not the Mediator between God and a part of the human race, but between "God and men," implying that He desired the salvation of the race. Whatever love there was in giving the Mediator at all, was love for all the race; whatever can be argued from that about the interest which God has in man, is proof of his interest in the race at large. It is proper, therefore, to pray for all. It may be remarked here that there is but one Mediator. There is not one for kings and another for their subjects; one for the rich and another for the poor; one for the master and another for the slave. All are on the same level, and the servant may feel that, in the gift of a Mediator, God regarded him with the same interest that he did his master. It may be added also that the doctrine of the Papists that the saints or the Virgin Mary may act as mediators to procure blessings for us, is false. There is but "one Mediator;" and but one is necessary. Prayer offered to the "saints," or to the "Virgin," is idolatry, and at the same time removes the one great Mediator from the office which he alone holds, of making intercession with God.

The man Christ Jesus - Jesus was truly and properly a man, having a perfect human body and soul, and is often called a man in the New Testament. But this does not prove that he was not also divine - anymore than his being called God (John 1:1; John 20:28; Romans 9:5; 1 John 5:20; Hebrews 1:8), proves that he was not also a man. The use of the word man here was probably designed to intimate that though he was divine, it was in his human nature that we are to consider him as discharging the office. Doddridge.

5. For there is one God—God's unity in essence and purpose is a proof of His comprehending all His human children alike (created in His image) in His offer of grace (compare the same argument from His unity, Ro 3:30; Ga 3:20); therefore all are to be prayed for. 1Ti 2:4 is proved from 1Ti 2:5; 1Ti 2:1, from 1Ti 2:4. The one God is common to all (Isa 45:22; Ac 17:26). The one Mediator is mediator between God and all men potentially (Ro 3:29; Eph 4:5, 6; Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). They who have not this one God by one Mediator, have none: literally, a "go-between." The Greek order is not "and one mediator," but "one mediator also between … While God will have all men to be saved by knowing God and the Mediator, there is a legitimate, holy order in the exercise of that will wherewith men ought to receive it. All mankind constitute, as it were, ONE MAN before God [Bengel].

the man—rather "man," absolutely and genetically: not a mere individual man: the Second Head of humanity, representing and embodying in Himself the whole human race and nature. There is no "the" in the Greek. This epithet is thus the strongest corroboration of his argument, namely, that Christ's mediation affects the whole race, since there is but the one Mediator, designed as the Representative Man for all men alike (compare Ro 5:15; 1Co 8:6; 2Co 5:19; Col 2:14). His being "man" was necessary to His being a Mediator, sympathizing with us through experimental knowledge of our nature (Isa 50:4; Heb 2:14; 4:15). Even in nature, almost all blessings are conveyed to us from God, not immediately, but through the mediation of various agents. The effectual intercession of Moses for Israel (Nu 14:13-19, and De 9:1-29); of Abraham for Abimelech (Ge 20:7); of Job for his friends (Job 42:10), the mediation being PRESCRIBED by God while declaring His purposes of forgiveness: all prefigure the grand mediation for all by the one Mediator. On the other hand, 1Ti 3:16 asserts that He was also God.

The apostle proves the universal love of God to men by two reasons, the unity of God, and the unity of the Mediator: though there are divers societies and vast numbers of men, yet there is but one God, the Creator and Preserver of all. If there were many gods in nature, it were conceivable that the God of Christians were not the God of other men, and consequently that his good will were confined to his own portion, leaving the rest to their several deities; but since there is but one true God of the world, who has revealed himself in the gospel, it necessarily follows that he is the God of all men in the relation of Creator and Preserver. And from hence he concludes: God will have all men to be saved. He argues in the same manner that salvation by faith in Christ belongs to the Gentiles as well as the Jews, Romans 3:29,30. The apostle adds, for the clearest assurance of his good will of God to save men, that there is

one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. When the sin of man had provoked Divine justice, and the guilt could not be expiated without satisfaction, God appointed his Son incarnate to mediate between his offended Majesty and his rebellious subjects. And it is observable, the parallel between the unity of God and the unity of the Mediator; as there is one God of all nations, so there is one Mediator of all. The strength of the apostle’s argument from the unity of the Mediator is this: If there were many mediators, according to the numbers of nations in the world, there might be a suspicion whether they were so worthy and so prevalent as to obtain the grace of God, every one for those in whose behalf they did mediate. But since there is but one, and that he is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him, it is evident that all men have the same Mediator, and that every one may be assured that God is willing he should be saved, and, for that blessed end, should by faith and repentance accept the covenant of grace. The apostle for the stronger confirmation specifies the Mediator,

the man Christ Jesus, to encourage the hopes of all men, from the communion they have with him in nature, that they may partake of his salvation, and that this great Mediator, having come from heaven and assumed the infirmity of our nature, Hebrews 4:15, will be inclined compassionately to assist them, and raise them to his heavenly kingdom. For there is one God,.... This does not so much regard the unity of God, with respect to himself, or his divine essence, though that is a truth; but does not carry in it any apparent and forcible reason why all men should be prayed for, for which it is produced; but the unity of God with respect to men, as that there is but one God, who is the Creator of all men, and who, in a providential way, is the Saviour of all men; and in a way of special grace is the one God, the one covenant God of all sorts of men, of Jews and Gentiles; for he has taken of the latter into the covenant of his grace, as well as the former, and has loved them with a special and distinguishing love, has chosen them in Christ to salvation, and has sent his Son to redeem them; and of these he calls by his grace, regenerates, sanctifies, adopts, pardons, and justifies; see Romans 3:29 and therefore all sorts of men, Gentiles as well as Jews, are to be prayed for: another argument follows,

and one Mediator between God and men; a Mediator is of more than one, and has to do with two parties; and these at variance among themselves, between whom he stands as a middle person; his business is to bring them together, and make peace between them; and such an one is Christ: the two parties are God and his elect, who in their natural state are at a distance from God, and at enmity to him, and who have broken his law, and affronted his justice; Christ stands as a middle person, a daysman between them, and lays his hands upon them both; has to do with things pertaining to the glory of God, and makes reconciliation for the sins of the people; brings them that were afar off nigh to God, and makes peace for them by the blood of his cross, by fulfilling the law, and satisfying justice for them; in consequence of this he appears for them in the court of heaven, intercedes and pleads for them, is their advocate, and sees that all covenant blessings, of which he is the Mediator, are applied unto them, and preserves their persons, which are committed to his care and charge, safe to everlasting happiness; and this Mediator is

the man Christ Jesus; not that he is a mere man, for he is truly and properly God; or that he is a Mediator only according to the human nature: it was proper indeed that he should be man, that he might have something to offer, and that he might be capable of obeying, suffering, and dying, and so of making satisfaction in the nature that had sinned; but then, had he not been God, he could not have drawn nigh to God on the behalf of men, and undertook for them, and much less have performed; nor would his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, have been available to cleanse from sin, to procure the pardon of it, justify from it, make atonement for it, or make peace with God: the reason why he is particularly mentioned as man, is, with a view to the argument in hand, praying for all men; since he who is the Mediator between God and man, has assumed a nature which is common to them all: and this Mediator is said to be one, not so much in opposition to other mediators, angels or saints departed, though it is a truth, and stands full against them, but with respect to men; there is but one Mediator between God and all sorts of men, through whom both Jews and Gentiles have an access to God, and peace with him; and therefore prayer through this Mediator should be made for all. So the Jews say of the Messiah (u), that he is , "a Mediator, God", a middle person between God and men. And they call him , "the Pillar of mediation" (w) or the middle Pillar; that is, the Mediator or Reconciler. And Philo (x) the Jew speaks of the word, as a "middle" person, and standing in the middle between the dead and the living, and between God and men. The Ethiopic version here renders it, "there is one elect of God"; which is one of the characters of the Messiah, Isaiah 42:1.

(u) R. Albo, Sepher Ikkarim, orat 2. c. 28. (w) Sepher Jetzira, p. 126. (x) Quis rerum divin. Hares, p. 508, 509, 510.

{4} For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the {b} man Christ Jesus;

{4} God should not otherwise be manifested to be the only God of all men, unless he should show his goodness in saving all types of men. Neither should Christ be seen to be the only mediator between God and all types of men, by having taken upon him that nature of man which is common to all men, unless he had satisfied for all types of men, and made intercession for all.

(b) Christ Jesus who was made man.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Timothy 2:5. Εἷς γὰρ Θεός] The particle γάρ connects this verse with the thought immediately preceding (Wiesinger), and not, as Leo and Mack think, with the exhortation to pray for all.[89] The apostle wishes by it to confirm the idea of the universality of the divine purpose of salvation as true and necessary: he does this first by pointing to the unity of God. There is a quite similar connection of ideas in Romans 3:30 (emphasis is laid on God’s unity in another connection in 1 Corinthians 8:6, and, in a third connection, in Ephesians 4:6). From the unity of God, it necessarily follows that there is only one purpose regarding all; for if there were various purposes for various individuals, the Godhead would be divided in its nature. As there is one God, however, so also there is one Mediator.

εἷς καὶ μεσίτης Θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων] The word ΜΕΣΊΤΗς[90] occurs elsewhere in the Pauline Epistles only in Galatians 3:19-20, where the name is given to Moses, because through him God revealed the law to the people. Elsewhere in the N. T. the word is found only in Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24, and in connection with διαθήκης, from which, however, it cannot (with Schleiermacher and de Wette) be concluded that the idea mediator refers necessarily to the corresponding idea covenant. Christ is here named the μεσίτης Θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, because He is inter Deum et homines constitutus (Tertullian). He is the Mediator for both, in so far as only through Him does God accomplish His purpose of salvation (His θέλειν) regarding men, and in so far as only through Him can men reach the goal appointed them by God (σωθῆναι καὶ εἰς ἐπίγν. ἀλ. ἐλθεῖν). Hofmann says: “He is the means of bringing about the relation in which God wishes to stand towards men, and in which men ought to stand towards God.” As with the unity of God, so also is the unity of the Mediator a surety for the truth of the thought expressed in 1 Timothy 2:4, that God’s θέλειν refers to all men.

To define it more precisely, Paul adds: ἄνθρωπος Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς. This addition may not, as Otto and others assume, have been occasioned by opposition to the docetism of the heretics. In other epistles of the N. T. special emphasis is laid on Christ’s humanity, with no such opposition to suggest it; thus Romans 5:15; 1 Corinthians 15:21; Php 2:7; Hebrews 2:16-17. In this passage the reason for it is contained first in the designation of Christ as the μεσίτης (Theodoret: ἄνθρωπον δὲ τὸν Χριστὸν ὠνόμασεν, ἐπειδὴ μεσίτην ἐκάλεσεν· ἐνανθρωπήσας γὰρ ἐμεσίτευσεν); and further, in the manner in which Christ carried out His work of mediation, i.e., as the next verse informs us, by giving Himself up to death.[91]

[89] Van Oosterzee confuses the two references: “God’s universal purpose of salvation is here established in such a way that at the same time there is to a certain extent (!) an indication of a third motive for performing Christian intercessions.”

[90] Regarding the use of the word in classical Greek, comp. Cremer, s.v.—There is no necessity for Cremer’s opinion, that μεσίτης in the passages of Hebrews does not so much mean “mediator” as “surety.”

[91] The ἀνθρώπων suggested the ἄνθρωπος all the more naturally, that in the apostle’s consciousness the σωτηρία of men could be wrought only by a man. Only a man could reconcile men with God; only, indeed, the man of whom it was said ὃς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί (chap. 1 Timothy 3:16). Hofmann supposes that Christ Jesus is here called ἄνθρωπος, “in order to say that, as He became man to be mediator, He is therefore the mediator and saviour not of this or of that man, but of all men without distinction.” This thought, however, is more the ground of the εἷς, for even the mediator “of this or that man” might also be a man.1 Timothy 2:5. This emphatic statement as to the unity of the Godhead is suggested by the singular σωτῆρος just preceding. The εἷς neither affirms nor denies anything as to the complexity of the nature of the Godhead; it has no bearing on the Christian doctrine of the Trinity; it simply is intended to emphasise the uniqueness of the relations of God to man. The use of one, with this intention, is well illustrated by Ephesians 4:4-6, ἓν σῶμα, κ.τ.λ. The current thought of the time was conscious of many σωτῆρες. In contrast to these, St. Paul emphasises the uniqueness of the σωτήρ and θεός worshipped by Christians. The contrast is exactly parallel to that in 1 Corinthians 8:6, εἰσὶν θεοὶ πολλοί, καὶ κύριοι πολλοί· ἀλλʼ ἡμῖν εἶς θεὸς ὁ πατήρκαὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησ. Χρ. The question as to the mutual relations of the Persons of the Godhead had not arisen among Christians, and was not present to the writer’s mind. Indeed if it had been we could not regard the epistle as a portion of revealed theology. Revealed theology is unconscious. The prima facie distinction here drawn between εἷς θεός and εἷς μεσίτης would have been impossible in a sub-apostolic orthodox writer.

Again, the oneness of God has a bearing on the practical question of man’s salvation. It is possible for all men to be saved, because over them there are not many Gods that can exercise possibly conflicting will-power towards them, but one only. See also Romans 3:30. One Godhead stands over against one humanity; and the Infinite and the finite can enter into relations one with the other, since they are linked by a μεσίτης who is both God and man. It is noteworthy that μεσίτης θεοῦ κ. ἀνθρώπων is applied to the archangel Michael in The Test. of the Twelve Patriarchs, Daniel 6:2.

ἄνθρωπος explains how Christ Jesus could be a mediator. He can only be an adequate mediator whose sympathy with, and understanding of, both parties is cognisable by, and patent to, both. Now, although God’s love for man is boundless, yet without the revelation of it by Christ it would not be certainly patent to man; not to add that one of two contending parties cannot be the mediator of the differences (Galatians 3:20). See also Romans 5:15. Again, we must note that ἄνθρωπος (himself man, R.V., not the man, A.V.) in this emphatic position suggests that the verity of our Lord’s manhood was in danger of being ignored or forgotten.5. For there is one God] Usually taken as a proof of God’s willing all men to be saved, as in the quotation from Theodore, 1 Timothy 2:4. But the parallel passage is ch. 1 Timothy 3:15-16, where the test word ‘the truth’ leads at once to the recital of an apparently well-known elementary creed. And so here, 1 Timothy 2:5-6 give us a creed, a brief exposition of ‘the truth’; and 1 Timothy 2:7 is seen to have a much plainer connexion and stronger force—this creed, this Gospel, is what you have received with my imprimatur as apostle of the Gentiles, and is ‘the truth,’ whatever the teachers of false knowledge may say. See App. A iii.

and one mediator … the man] Accurate rendering requires one mediator also … (himself) man. The word ‘mediator’ has now come to be applied without explanations to Christ; a token of the later use, even of creed formulary. The places in Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24, where Christ is thus spoken of in contrast to Moses would lead on to this usage. ‘Man,’ not of the angelic race, whose aid some would wish to use for mediation, Colossians 2:18. Cf. Hebrews 2:16.

“The other equally essential condition that he should be God is not here insisted on, for the tendency of Gnosticism was to Docetism.”1 Timothy 2:5. Εἷς) one, common to all. They who have not this one God, by one Mediator, have none, [—and therefore they are not saved. Yet GOD wishes all men to be saved by the saving knowledge of God and the Mediator; but there is a legitimate and most holy order in the exercise of that will, wherewith men ought to receive it. All mankind constitute as it were one man before God; wherefore it is right, that they who have obtained salvation should intercede for those who are farther distant from it. If that were done, how much better would be the condition of the human race! Let him pray, I request, who knows how to pray.—V. g.]—γὰρ, for) 1 Timothy 2:4 is proved from 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Timothy 2:1 from 1 Timothy 2:4. The whole is universal. Comp. Isaiah 45:22.—εἷς καὶ, one also) [who is Mediator.] He does not say, also one; therefore the stress of the voice does not so much fall upon the adjective, one, as upon the substantives. We could not rejoice that there is a God, if we did not rejoice also in the Man Mediator.—εἷςεἷς, one—one) Mark 12:29; Mark 12:32; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:5-6.—μεσίτης, Mediator) This is as it were an epithet of the noun, man; and the word, one, coheres at the same time with both of these.—ἄνθρωπος, man) The Saviour, not without reason, is here called man, rather than God; that the reason may be marked, why all men should be converted to this Mediator, who [i.e. inasmuch as He, a man] has given Himself for all [men]: comp. Romans 5:15, note. The article is not added. Again, in turn, he calls Him God, ch. 1 Timothy 3:16.Verse 5. - One... also for and one, A.V.; himself mar, for the man, A.V. For there is one God, etc. The connection of ideas indicated by γὰρ seems to be this: Pray to God for all men, Jews and Gentiles, barbarians, Scythians, bond and free. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of the one God, who is the God of all the nations of the earth. And God wills that all should come to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, because Jesus Christ is the One Mediator between God and all men, by whom alone men can come to the Father, and who gave himself a ransom for all. One Mediator. The term μεσίτης ισ only applied to our Savior in the New Testament here and in Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15: 12:24. In the only other passage where St. Paul uses it (Galatians 3:19, 20) it is applied to Moses the media-tar of the Old Testament. In the LXX. it only occurs in Job 9:33. Himself man. Surely an infelicitous and unnecessary change from the A.V. Even supposing that the exact construction of the sentence requires "Christ Jesus" to be taken as the subject and "man" as the predicate, the English way of expressing that sense is to say, "the man Christ Jesus." But it is very far from certain that ἄνθρωπος, standing as it does in opposition to Θεός, is not the subject, and must not therefore be rendered "the man." The man. The human nature of our Lord is here insisted upon, to show how fit he is to mediate for man, as his Godhead fits him to mediate with God. For (γὰρ)

The universality of the grace is grounded in the unity of God. Comp. Romans 3:30. One divine purpose for all implies one God who purposes.

One God

These Epistles deal much with the divine attributes. See 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:13, 1 Timothy 6:15, 1 Timothy 6:16; 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:10; 2 Timothy 2:13; Titus 1:2.

Mediator (μεσίτης)

See on Galatians 3:19. The word twice in Paul, Galatians 3:29, Galatians 3:20, once of Moses and once generally. In Hebrews always of Christ; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15, Hebrews 12:24. This is the only instance in the pastorals. As the one God, so the one mediator implies the extension of the saving purpose to all.

The man Christ Jesus

The phrase only here.

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