1 Timothy 4:3
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.
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(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 Therapeutæ 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 Therapeutæ), 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.

1 Timothy 4:3. Forbidding to marry — The same hypocritical liars, who should promote the worship of demons, should also prohibit lawful marriage. This false morality was very early introduced into the church, being taught first by the Encratites and Marcionites, and afterward by the Manicheans, who said marriage was the invention of the evil god; and who considered it as sinful to bring creatures into the world to be unhappy, and to be food for death. In process of time the monks embraced celibacy, and represented it as the highest pitch of sanctity. It is a thing universally known, that one of the primary and most essential laws and constitutions of all monks, whether solitary or associated, whether living in deserts or in convents, is the profession of a single life, to abstain from marriage themselves, and to discourage it all they can in others. It is equally certain that the monks had the principal share in promoting and propagating the worship of the dead; and either out of credulity, or for worse reasons, recommended it to the people with all the pomp and power of their eloquence in their homilies and orations. At length celibacy was recommended by the priests, and by the orthodox themselves, and more especially by the bishops of Rome, the great patrons of the worship of angels and saints. For they strictly enjoined their clergy, both regular and secular, to abstain from marriage. Thus the worship of demons and the prohibition of marriage, though naturally unconnected, have gone hand in hand in the church, as the Spirit here foretold. And commanding to abstain from meats — The same lying hypocrites, who enjoined the worship of demons, would not only prohibit lawful marriage, but likewise impose unnecessary abstinence from meats. This part of the prophecy hath been exactly fulfilled; for it is as much the rule of the monks and nuns to abstain from meats as from marriage. Some never eat any flesh, others only of certain kinds, and on certain days. Frequent fasts are the rule, the boast of their order; and their carnal humility is their spiritual pride. So lived the monks of the ancient church; so live, with less strictness, perhaps, but with greater ostentation, the monks and friars of the Church of Rome: and these have been the principal propagators and defenders of the worship of the dead, both in former and in latter times. Here therefore the apostle hath pointed out two instances of the hypocrisy of the lying teachers, who should enjoin the worship of demons. Under the false pretence of holiness, they should recommend abstinence from marriage to the monks, friars, and nuns; and under the equally false pretence of devotion, they should enjoin abstinence from meats, to some men at all times, and to all men at some times. There is no necessary connection between the worship of demons and abstinence from marriage and meats. And yet it is certain that the great advocates of this worship have commanded both: and by this pretended purity and mortification have procured the greater reverence to their persons, and the readier reception of their doctrine: a proceeding this which the Spirit of God alone could have foreseen and foretold.

Which meats God hath created to be received with thanksgiving — So that this Popish, monkish abstinence is as unworthy of a Christian, as it is unnatural to man. It is perverting the purpose of the Author of nature, and prohibiting the use of the creatures which he hath made, and given to be used of them who believe and obey the truth — Here the apostle intimates that only true believers have a covenant right to the creatures of God, though others may have a providential right. By those, however, who know the truth, he may chiefly intend those who are instructed to place religion not in such indifferent things as abstaining from marriage, or from certain meats, but in things more truly excellent and worthy of God, and who know that all meats are now clean, and therefore may be used with a pure conscience, and with thanksgiving flowing therefrom. For every creature of God — Fit for man’s food; is good — Lawful to be used, and nothing to be refusedΑποβλητον, to be rejected, or cast away, either from peevishness, or a fancy that it is unlawful; if it be received with thanksgiving — Which is a necessary condition. For it is sanctified — That is, under the gospel all meats are made lawful to us; by the word of God — Allowing us to eat of every kind in moderation; and by prayer — To God, that he would bless us in the use of it. Observe, reader, the children of God are to pray for the sanctification of all the creatures which they use, and to give thanks for them: and not only the Christians, but even the Jews, yea, the very heathen, used to consecrate their table by prayer and praise. “What then,” says Bishop Newton, “can be said of those who have their tables spread with the most plentiful gifts of God, and yet constantly sit down and rise up again without suffering so much as one thought of the Giver to intrude upon them? Can such persons be reputed either to believe or know the truth?”

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.Forbidding to marry - That is, "They will depart from the faith through the hypocritical teaching - of those who forbid to marry;" see notes on 1 Timothy 4:2. This does not necessarily mean that they would prohibit marriage altogether, but that it would be a characteristic of their teaching that marriage would "be forbidden," whether of one class of persons or many. They would "commend" and "enjoin" celibacy and virginity. They would regard such a state, for certain persons, as more holy than the married condition, and would consider it as "so" holy that they would absolutely prohibit those who wished to be most holy from entering into the relation. It is needless to say how accurately this applies to the views of the papacy in regard to the comparative purity and advantages of a state of celibacy, and to their absolute prohibition of the marriage of the clergy. The tenth article of the decree of the Council of Trent, in relation to marriage, will show the general view of the papacy on that subject. "Whosoever shall say that the married state is to be preferred to a state of virginity, or celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or celibacy, than to be joined in marriage; let him be accursed!" Compare Peter Dens' Moral Theology, pp. 497-500.

And commanding to abstain from meats, ... - The word "meat" in the Scriptures, commonly denotes "food" of all kinds; Matthew 3:4; Matthew 6:25; Matthew 10:10; Matthew 15:37. This was the meaning of the word when the translation of the Bible was made. It is now used by us, almost exclusively, to denote animal food. The word here used - βρῶμα brōma - means, properly, whatever is eaten, and may refer to animal flesh, fish, fruit, or vegetables. It is often, however, in the New Testament, employed particularly to denote the flesh of animals; Heb, Matthew 9:10; Matthew 13:9; Romans 14:15, Romans 14:20; 1 Corinthians 8:8, 1 Corinthians 8:13. As it was animal food particularly which was forbidden under the Jewish code, and as the questions on this subject among Christians would relate to the same kinds of prohibition, it is probable that the word has the same limited signification here, and should be taken as meaning the same thing that the word "meat" does with us.

To forbid the use of certain meats, is here described as one of the characteristics of those who would instruct the church in the time of the great apostasy. It is not necessary to suppose that there would be an "entire" prohibition, but only a prohibition of certain kinds, and at certain seasons. That "this" characteristic is found in the papacy more than anywhere else in the Christian world, it is needless to prove. The following questions and answers from Dr. Butler's Catechism, will show what is the sentiment of Roman Catholics on this subject. "Question: Are there any other commandments besides the Ten Commandments of God? Answer: There are the commandments or precepts of the church, which are chiefly six. Question: What are we obliged to do by the second commandment of the church? Answer: To give part of the year to fast and abstinence. Question: What do you mean by fast-days? Answer: Certain days on which we are allowed but one meal, and "forbidden flesh meat."

Question: What do you mean by days of abstinence? Answer: Certain days on which we are forbidden to eat flesh meat; but are allowed the usual number of meals. Question: Is it strictly forbidden by the church to eat flesh meat on days of abstinence? Answer: Yes; and to eat flesh meat on any day on which it is forbidden, without necessity and leave of the church, is very sinful." Could there be a more impressive and striking commentary on what the apostle says here, that "in the latter days some would depart from the faith, under the hypocritical teaching of those who commanded to abstain from meats?" The authority claimed by the papacy to issue "commands" on this subject, may be seen still further by the following extract from the same catechism, showing the gracious permission of the church to the "faithful." "The abstinence on Saturday is dispensed with, for the faithful throughout the United States, for the space of ten years (from 1833), except when a fast falls on a Saturday. The use of flesh meat is allowed at present by dispensation in the diocess of Philadelphia, on all the Sundays of Lent, except Palm Sunday, and once a day on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday in each week, except the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, and also excepting Holy-week." Such is the Roman Catholic religion! See also Peter Dens' Moral Theology, pp. 321-330. It is true that what is said here "might" apply to the Essenes, as Koppe supposes, or to the Judaizing teachers, but it applies more appropriately and fully to the Papal communion than to any other body of men professing Christianity, and taken in connection with the other characteristics of the apostasy, there can be no doubt that the reference is to that.

Which God hath created - The articles of food which he has made, and which he has designed for the nourishment of man. The fact that God had "created" them was proof that they were not to be regarded as evil, and that it was not to be considered as a religious duty to abstain from them. All that "God" has made is good in its place, and what is adapted to be food for man is not to be refused or forbidden; compare Ecclesiastes 5:18. There can be no doubt that in the apostasy here referred to, those things would be forbidden, not because they were injurious or hurtful in their nature, but because it might be made a part of a system of religion of self-righteousness and because there might be connected with such a prohibition the belief of special merit.

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).

Forbidding to marry: the Greek is, hindering to marry, but that might be by forbidding it by a law under a severe penalty. There are great disputes whom the apostle speaketh of, to find out which it is considerable:

1. That the apostle speaketh of a time that was then to come;

2. Of some who had it in their power to hinder it:

which will make the prophecy hardly applicable to any but the Romish synagogue, to be sure, not so applicable; for though there were some persons before them that condemned marriages, yet as they were but a small, inconsiderable party, so they were persons that had no power to hinder marriage by any penal laws, nor any that did it in such hypocrisy under a pretence of piety, when he who runs may read that they do it to maintain the grandeur of their ecclesiastical hierarchy. How applicable therefore soever this might be to the Ebionites, and those that followed Saturninus and Marcion, and the Encratitae, (which the papists contend for), it certainly more nearly concerns the papists themselves, who more universally forbade them to their clergy, and were the first that had a power to hinder them, and fell into much later times than any of the others.

And commanding to abstain from meats; to abstain from some meats; and this also they should teach in hypocrisy, i.e. under a pretence of piety. This every whit as well agrees to the Romish synagogue as the other, whose prohibitions of flesh are sufficiently known. Mr. Mede is very confident that the Holy Ghost doth here describe the popish monks, and those that gave rules to those orders.

Which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving; which meats, as well as other, God hath created for the use of man, giving him a liberty to kill and eat, only we ought to receive them with thanksgiving; which confirmeth our religious custom both of begging a blessing upon our meat before we eat, and returning thanks to God when we have eaten, for which also we have our Saviour’s example, Matthew 14:19 15:36.

Of them which believe and know the truth: not that such as believe not and are ignorant of the truth may not eat, but they have not so good and comfortable a right to the creatures as believers, Titus 1:15; and they know and understand their liberty to eat of those things, which others deprive themselves of by their superstitious opinions and constitutions.

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} Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, {4} which God hath created {5} to be received {6} with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

(3) He sets down two types of this false doctrine, that is, the law of single life, and the difference of meats.

(4) He proves that he justly called such doctrines devilish, first, because the teachers of them make laws of things which are not their own: for have they created the meats?

(5) Secondly, because they overthrow with their decrees the reason why they were created by God, that is, that we should use them.

(6) Thirdly, because by this means they rob God of his glory, who will be honoured in the use of them. And here with this, the apostle declares that we must use the liberality of God solemnly, and with a good conscience.

1 Timothy 4:3. Further description of the heretics.

Κωλυόντων γαμεῖν] Since even the Essenes and Therapeutae made abstinence from marriage a necessary condition of a holy life, there is no ground whatever for supposing that this description proves the heretics to have been followers of the later Christian gnostics (especially of Marcion, according to Baur).

ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων] similar construction in 1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Corinthians 14:34; the infinitive is dependent on the κελευόντων implied in κωλυόντων (= κελευόντων μή); see Winer, p. 578 [E. T. p. 777]; Buttmann, p. 343. Isidor of Pelusium unnecessarily corrects ἀπέχεσθαι into ἀντέχεσθαι. In the Epistle to the Romans (chap. 14) the apostle speaks of weak brethren’s anxiety in regard to the enjoyment of many meats, and the heretics combated in the Epistle to the Colossians are distinctly described as forbidding the enjoyment of certain meats; but neither here nor in these passages is it said what kinds of meat were forbidden, nor why (comp. also Titus 1:14-15). It is, however, not improbable—if we follow the analogy of later gnostics—that animal food, and perhaps also wine (Colossians 2:6 : ἐν βρώσει ἢ ἐν πόσει), are specially meant. There is no indication that the prohibition was founded on gnostic dualism (van Oosterzee); it is more probable that the false asceticism of the heretics was connected with the Mosaic distinction between clean and unclean (comp. Titus 1:15); so also Wiesinger.[155]

In the Epistle to the Colossians (Colossians 2:22) the apostle indicates the perversity of such a prohibition in a brief relative clause; and so also here.

ἃ ὁ Θεὸς ἔκτισεν εἰς μετάληψιν κ.τ.λ.] Different answers have been given to the question why only the second, and not also the first error is refuted. It may have been that the heretics did not make abstinence from marriage, as they made abstinence from certain meats, a command laid on all. It may have been, too, “that the prohibition to marry stood in manifest contradiction with the divine order of creation, whereas the prohibition of certain meats might appear less objectionable because of its analogy with the prohibition in the law of Moses” (Hofmann). Besides, the apostle has already indicated in 1 Timothy 2:15 the opposition of the gospel to this prohibition to marry.

The word μετάληψις occurs only here, though in Acts 27:33 we find μεταλαβεῖν τροφῆς.

The apostle does not content himself with saying that God made food to be enjoyed, but he shows at the same time how God meant it to be enjoyed, viz.: μετὰ εὐχαριστίας (comp. on this 1 Corinthians 10:31). He then limits the general thought by a special reference to believers: τοῖς πιστοῖς καὶ ἐπεγνωκόσι τὴν ἀλήθειαν, as those in whom the purpose of creation is fulfilled, solis filiis suis Deus totum mundum et quicquid in mundo est destinavit, qua ratione etiam vocantur mundi heredes (Calvin). The apostle’s thought is distorted by adding “also” before τοῖς πιστοῖς, as is done by some expositors.

Heydenreich rightly says that the words are equivalent to ἵνα οἱ πιστοὶ καὶ οἱ ἐπεγνωκότες τὴν ἀληθ. μεταλαβῶσιν αὐτῶν μετὰ εὐχαριστίας. Hofmann unjustifiably takes exception to this, and—in spite of ὅτι beginning a new sentence—seeks to connect τοῖς πιστοῖς not with what goes before, but with what follows (!). The added words: τοῖς πιστοῖς κ.τ.λ., show most clearly the perverse conduct of the heretics in forbidding the enjoyment, and to believers of all people. Πιστοί are “believers,” and not “those convinced that enjoyment is permitted to them;” ἐπεγν. τ. ἀλήθ. also does not denote a special class of the πιστῶν: “the Christians who have come to the true gnosis” (as Heydenreich thinks probable), but the πιστοί themselves, as those who, in contrast to the heretics, have recognised the truth, i.e. the divine truth. Καί is epexegetical; comp. 1 Timothy 2:4.

[155] Hofmann, with no good reason, declares, on the other hand, that attention is directed here to the Essenes and Therapeutae, and to the weak Christians mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, as well as to the heretics at Colosse.

1 Timothy 4:3. κωλυόντων γαμεῖν: Spurious asceticism, in this and other departments of life, characterised the Essenes (Joseph. Bell. Jud. ii. 8, 2) and the Therapeutae (Philo Vit. Contempl. § 4), and all the other false spiritualists of the East; so that this feature does not supply a safe ground for fixing the date of the epistle. At the same time, it is not likely that this particular heresy was present to St. Paul’s mind when he was writing 1 Corinthians 7:25-40; see especially 38, ὁ μὴ γαμίζων κρεῖσσον ποιήσει; but similar views are condemned in Col., see especially Colossians 2:16; Colossians 2:21-22. See also Hebrews 13:4. St. Paul had come to realise how tyrannous the weak brother could be; and he had become less tolerant of him.

ἀπέχεσθαι: The positive κελευόντων, commanding, must be supplied from the negative κελευόντων μή, commanding not = κωλυόντων.

[265]. [266]. [267]. Vulg. preserve the awkwardness of the Greek, prohibentium nubere, abstinere a cibis. But Faustus read abstinentes, and Origen int. et abstinentes se a cibis. Epiphanius inserts παραγγέλλουσιν after βρωμ., and Isidore inserts καὶ κελευόντων before ἀπεχ., which was also suggested by Bentley. Theophylact inserts similarly συμβουλευόντων. Hort conjectures that ἀπέχεσθαι is a primitive corruption for ἢ ἅπτεσθαι or καὶ γεύεσθαι. He maintains that “no Greek usage will justify or explain this combination of two infinitives, adverse to each other in the tenor of their sense, under the one verb κωλυόντων; and their juxtaposition without a conjunction in a sentence of this kind is at least strange”. Blass, however (Grammar, p. 291) alleges as a parallel κωλύσει ἐνεργεῖν καὶ [sc. ποιήσει] ζημιοῦν from Lucian, Charon, § 2. Another instance of zeugma, though not so startling as this, is in 1 Timothy 2:12, οὐκ ἐπιτρέπωεἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ. See also 1 Corinthians 10:24; 1 Corinthians 14:34 (T.R.). For ἀπέχεσθαι, as used in this connexion, see reff.

[265] The Latin text of Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[266] The Latin version of Codex Augiensis (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Trinity College, Cambridge, edited by Scrivener in 1859. Its presents the Vulgate text with some modifications.

[267] The Latin text of Codex Boernerianus (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Dresden, edited by Matthæi in 1791. Written by an Irish scribe, it once formed part of the same volume as Codex Sangallensis (δ) of the Gospels.

ἃ ὁ θεὸς ἔκτισεν, κ.τ.λ.: It has been asked why St. Paul does not justify by specific reasons the use of marriage, as he does the use of food. The answer seems to be that the same general argument applies to both. The final cause of both is the same, i.e., to keep the race alive; and man is not entitled to place restrictions on the use of either, other than those which can be shown to be in accordance with God’s law.

μετάλημψιν μετὰ εὐχαριστίας is one complex conception. This expresses the ideal use, truly dignified and human, of food. See Romans 14:6, ὁ ἐσθίων κυρίῳ ἐσθίει, εὐχαριστεῖ γὰρ τῷ θεῷ; and 1 Corinthians 10:30, εἰ ἐγὼ χάριτι μετέχω, τί βλασφημοῦμαι ὑπὲρ οὗ ἐγὼ εὐχαριστῶ; St. Paul of course does not mean that believers only are intended by God to partake of food. His argument is an à fortiori one. “Those that believe,” etc., are certainly included in God’s intention. He who makes His sun to rise on the evil is certainly well pleased to make it rise on the good.

Again, St. Paul does not merely desire to vindicate the use of some of God’s creatures for them that believe, but the use of all of God’s creatures, so far as they are not physically injurious. “God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good,” καλὰ λίαν (Genesis 1:31).

For the association of μετάλημψις compare the phrase μεταλαμβάνειν τροφῆς, Acts 2:46, and reff. on 2 Timothy 2:6.

τοῖς πιστοῖς: dat. commodi, as in Titus 1:15, where see note.

τὴν ἀλήθειαν means, as elsewhere in these epistles, the Gospel truth in general, not the truth of the following statement, πᾶν κτίσμα, κ.τ.λ.

3. forbidding to marry] See on 1 Timothy 4:1 and Introduction, pp. 46, 48, 50, 51. From the verb ‘forbidding’ must be supplied by the rule called zeugma (Winer, § 661 e), the positive ‘bidding’ with the infinitive ‘to abstain from meats.’ ‘Meats’ is to be understood in its older sense ‘food for eating,’ though abstinence from animal food was the distinctive rule of the developed Gnostic systems, such as that of the Encratites or Purists under Tatian.

to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know] The comma of A.V. (Parallel N.T.) after ‘believe’ (though inserted to prevent its being understood to mean ‘believe the truth’) has been omitted by R.V., apparently because there is only one article for the two clauses, and therefore they describe the same people under slightly different aspects: while the insertion might seem to make a higher class among those that believe, viz. those that know the truth fully, and to give the privilege of thus partaking to it only.

The word for ‘know’ is most exactly have come to full knowledge of, and implies that full experience of God’s will and ways which is open to all who have become ‘adherents of the faith,’ ‘faithful.’ Cf. note on 1 Timothy 3:4.

1 Timothy 4:3. Κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων, forbidding to marry—to abstain from meats) The hypocritical appearance of false doctrines, very austere and plausible, which gains a show for all the rest of their dogmas (giving colour to them in the eyes of the dupes), is here expressed: comp. Colossians 2:23. Explain the sense by analysis thus, commanding, not to marry, to abstain from meats. Κωλύω is the same as I command, that not, not to. To marry and to abstain are construed with commanding; the negative belongs only to the expression, to marry. Pricæus has pointed out examples of this Zeugma, of which examples that of Chrysostom corresponds most nearly to the present instance: Ταῦτα λέγω, οὐ κηδωύειν κωλύων, ἀλλὰ μετὰ συμμετρίας τοῦτο ποιεῖν, “I mention these things, not forbidding you to take care, but desiring you to do this only in due measure.” Paul refutes the more specious error respecting meats. He considers it enough here merely to mention that respecting marriage (unless the , which, that follows, is to be referred to this also), and he refutes it also below, ch. 1 Timothy 5:14.—βρωμάτων, meats) They shall not forbid all kinds of meats (therefore the article is not added); for who would listen to such prohibitions? therefore it is only some kinds that they forbid. Also it is implied here, that he who forbids even one kind does a wrong to his Creator and to believers. The old heresies are chiefly denoted; but their remains, however, have come down to those who pride themselves on antiquity.—τοῖς) the Dative, as the Hebrew ל, signifies, so far as concerns believers. For God hath created meats, even for those who are without faith and do not give thanks. Paul turns away from them who are without faith and the ‘knowledge of the truth, and leaves them, as it were, to themselves; he declares that he is speaking of believers.—πιστοῖς καὶ ἐπεγνωκόσι, to them who believe and have known) The words are synonymous. The second synonym, knowing the truth, gives occasion for presently declaring the truth, ὅτι πᾶν, κ.τ.λ., and forms a more express antithesis to lying, ψωῦδος, which is contained in ψευδολόγων, 1 Timothy 4:2.—τὴν ἀλήθειαν, the truth) This is explained in the following verse.

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.). 1 Timothy 4:3Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats (κωλυόντων γαμεῖν, ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων)

Κωλύειν, properly to hinder or check. Ἁπέχεσθαι to hold one's self off. In Paul, 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Plm 1:15. Commanding is not expressed, but is implied in forbidding; "Bidding not to marry and (bidding) to abstain from meats." The ascetic tendencies indicated by these prohibitions developed earlier than these Epistles among the Essenes, an ascetic Jewish brotherhood on the shores of the Dead Sea, who repudiated marriage except as a necessity for preserving the race, and allowed it only under protest and under stringent regulations. They also abstained strictly from wine and animal food. This sect was in existence in the lifetime of our Lord. Strong traces of its influence appear in the heresy assailed in Paul's Epistle to the Colossians. The Christian body received large accessions from it after the destruction of Jerusalem (70 a.d.). The prohibitions above named were imposed by the later Gnosticism of the second century.

Hath created (ἔκτισεν)

A common Pauline word. Only here in the Pastorals.

To be received (εἰς μετάλημψιν)

Lit. for participation. N.T. olxx. It occurs in Plato and Aristotle.

Of them which believe and know the truth (τοῖς πιστοῖς καὶ ἐπεγνωκόσι τὴν ἀλήθειαν)

The dative depends on created for participation, and should be rendered; "for them which believe," etc., marking those for whom the food was created. The A.V. misses this by the rendering to be received of (by). Πιστοῖς and ἐπεγκνωκόσι do not denote two classes, but one. Those who believe are described as those who have full knowledge of the truth.

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