Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
Verse 1. - Christ Jesus for Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R.; according to for by, A.V.; Christ Jesus our hope for Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope, A.V. and T.R. For the inscription, comp. Romans 1:1, 5; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:1; in all which St. Paul asserts his apostleship, and ascribes it directly to "the will of God" (comp. Galatians 1:11, 12, etc.). According to the commandment (as Titus 1:3) expresses the same truth, but possibly with a more direct reference to the command, "Separate me Paul and Barnabas," recorded in Acts 13:2. This assertion of his apostolic authority indicates that this is not a private letter to Timothy, but a public Church document for all time. Our hope (comp. Colossians 1:27; Acts 28:20).
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Verse 2. - My true child in faith for my own son in the faith, A.V.; peace for and peace, A.V.; the Father for our Father, A.V. and T.R.; Christ Jesus for Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R. My true child in faith. A most awkward phrase, which can only mean that Timothy was St. Paul's true child because his faith was equal to St. Paul's, which is not St. Paul's meaning. Timothy was St. Paul's own son, because he had begotten him in the gospel (1 Corinthians 4:14-16; Philemon 1:10) - his spiritual son. This is best expressed as in the A.V. by "in the faith" (comp. Titus 1:4, where the same idea is expressed by κατὰ κοινὴν πίστιν). Grace, mercy, and peace. This varies from the blessing at the beginning of the Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, by the addition of the word "mercy," as in 2 Timothy 1:2 and Titus 1:4 in the T.R., and also in 2 John 3 and Jude 1:2. It seems in St. Paul to connect itself with that deeper sense of the need and of the enjoyment of mercy which went with his deepening sense of sin as he drew towards his end, and harmonizes beautifully with what he says in vers. 12-16. The analogy of the other forms of blessing quoted above strongly favors the sense our Father rather than the Father. Whether we read ἡμῶν with the T.R. or omit it with the R.T., the idea of Father is contrasted, not with that of Son, but with that of Lord; the two words express the relation of the Persons of the Godhead, not to each other, but to the Church.
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,
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).
Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
Verse 4. - To give for give, A.V.; the which for which, A.V.; questionings for questions, A.V.; a dispensation of God for godly edifying, A.V. and T.R. (οἰκονομίαν Θεοῦ for οἰκοδομίαν Θεοῦ); so do I now for so do, A.V. Fables (see 1 Timothy 4:7). If the spirit which gave birth to the fables of the Talmud was already at work among the Jews, we have a ready explanation of the phrase. And that they were Jewish fables (not later Gnostic delusions) is proved by the parallel passage in Titus 1:14, "Not giving heed to Jewish fables." The prevalence of sorcery among the Jews at this time is a further instance of their inclination to fable (see Acts 8:9; Acts 13:6; Acts 19:13). Endless genealogies. What was the particular abuse of genealogies which St. Paul here condemns we have not sufficient historical knowledge to enable us to decide. But that they were Jewish forms of "vain talking," and not Gnostic, and related to human pedigrees, not to "emanations of eons," may be concluded from the connection in which they are mentioned in Titus 3:9, and from the invariable meaning of the word γενεαλογία itself. It is true that Irenaeus ('Contr. Haer.,' lib. 1.) applies this passage to the Valentinians and their succession of eons (Bythus, Nous, Logos, Anthropus, etc. - in all thirty, male and female); and so does Tertullian, who speaks of the seeds of the Gnostic heresies as already budding in St. Paul's days ('Advers Valentin.,' cap 3. and elsewhere), and Grotius supports thin explanation ('Comment.,' 1 Timothy 1:4). But it was very natural that Irenaeus and Tertullian, living when the heresies of Valentinus, Marcion, and others were at their height, should so accommodate St. Paul's words - which is all that Irenaeus does. On the other band, neither Irenaeus nor Tertullian shows that γενεαλογία was a word applied to the emanations of the eons in the Gnostic vocabulary. The genealogies, then, were Jewish pedigrees, either used literally to exalt individuals as being of priestly or Davidic origin (as the pedigrees of the Desposyni, or later of the princes of the Captivity), or used cabbalistically, so as to draw fanciful doctrines from the names composing a genealogy, or in some other way which we do not know of (see the writers 'Genealogies of Christ,' 1 Timothy 3. § 2:1; and note C at the end of the volume). Endless (ἀπέραντος); found only here in the New Testament and so one of the words peculiar to the pastoral Epistles, but used in the LXX. for "infinite," "immeasurable." It means either "endless," "interminable," or, "having no useful end or purpose;" οὐδὲν χρήσιμον (Chrysostom). But the former ("interminable") is the better rendering, and in accordance with its classical use. Questionings (ζητήσεις or ἐκζητήσεις, R.T.). (For ζητησις, see John 3:25; Acts 25:20; and below, 1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9; and for the kindred ζήτημα, Acts 15:2; Acts 18:15; Acts 23:29; Acts 25:19; Acts 26:3.) The reading ἐκζήτησις is only found here. A dispensation of God. This version arises from the Greek οἰκονομίαν, which is the reading of the R.T. and almost all manuscripts. The T.R. οἰκοδομίαν ισ thought to be a conjecture of Erasmus, which, from its much easier sense, was taken into the T.R. Taking the reading οἰκονομίαν, the phrase, "a dispensation of God which is in faith," must mean the gospel as delivered by revelation and received by faith. These fables and genealogies address themselves, the apostle says, to the disputatious, itching curiosity of men's minds, not to their faith. The substance of them is matter of doubtful disputation, not revealed truth. "The dispensation" is better English than "a dispensation." So do I now; or, as the A.V., so do, is the conjectural filling up of the unfinished sentence which began "as I exhorted thee." But it is much more natural and simple to take ver. 18 as the apodosis, and the intermediate verses as a digression caused by St. Paul's desire to show how exactly the charge was in agreement with the true spirit of the Law of God.
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
Verse 5. - But for now, A.V.; charge for commandment, A.V.; love for charity, A.V.; a good for of a good, and faith for of faith, A.V. But the end of the charge. Before proceeding with his sentence, in which he was about solemnly to commit the trust of the episcopate of the Church of Ephesus to Timothy, he breaks off abruptly to show the beneficent character of the charge, viz. the furtherance of that brotherly love and purity of heart and life which are the true fruit of the gospel dispensation, but which some, by their false doctrine, were so ruthlessly impeding. Each of these phrases, "a pure heart" and "a good conscience" and "faith unfeigned," seems to rebuke by contrast the merely ceremonial cleanness and the defiled conscience and the merely nominal Christianity of these heretical Judaizers (comp. Titus 1:10-16).
From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
Verse 6. - Which things for which, A.V.; talking for jangling, A.V. Having swerved (ἀστοχήσαντες); literally, having missed the mark, as in the margin. It is found in the New Testament only here and 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 2:18. In Ecclesiastes 7:19 (Ecclesiastes 7:21, A.V.) and 8:9 (Ecclesiastes 8:11, A.V.) it is used in a slightly different sense, "forego" and "miss." In Polybius and Plutarch repeatedly, "to miss the mark.... to fail," with the kindred ἄστοχος ἀστοχία αστόχημα, These men missed the true end of the gospel - purity of heart and conscience and life - and only reached vain and boastful talking. Have turned aside (ἐξετράπησαν); 1 Timothy 5:15; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 4:4; Hebrews 12:13; but not elsewhere in the New Testament. It is found in the active voice in the LXX., and is common in all voices in classical Greek. Vain talking (ματαιολογία); here only in the New Testament, and not feared in the LXX., but used by Strabo, Plutarch, and Porphyry. The adjective ματαιολόγος is used in Titus 1:10, and applied especially to those "of the circumcision." The Latin equivalents are vaniloquus and vaniloquium. Livy's description of a vaniloquus is "Maria terrasque inani sonitu verborum complevit" (lib. 35:48; comp. Jude 1:16).
Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
Verse 7. - Though they understand for understanding. A.V.; confidently affirm for affirm, A.V. Teachers of the Law (νομοδιδάσκαλοι. as Luke 5:17; Acts 5:34). This, again, distinctly marks the Jewish origin of these heretics. Though they understand, etc. So our Lord rebuke,1 the scribes and teachers of the Law in his day: "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God;" "Ye do greatly err" (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:27; Matthew 12:7, etc.; compare, too, Romans 2:17-24). They confidently affirm (διαβεβαιοῦνται). Elsewhere in the New Testament only in Titus 3:8, "I will that thou affirm confidently." So in classical Greek, "to maintain strongly," "to be positive." This was right in the minister of Christ declaring Divine truth, but very wrong in these vain janglers. The nature of their confident assertions is apparent from what follows - they spoke of the Law, but not lawfully.
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
Verse 8. - The Law is good (see the similar statement in Romans 7:12). The Jews thought that St. Paul spoke against the Law (comp. Acts 6:13, 14), because he vindicated its true use (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:24; Galatians 4:4, 5, etc.). But he everywhere speaks of the Law as good and holy. If a man - i.e., a teacher of the Law - use it lawfully; knowing its proper use, as it follows in the next verse.
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
Verse 9. - As knowing for knowing, A.V.; Law for the Law, A.V.; unruly for disobedient, A.V.; and sinners for and for sinners, A.V.; the unholy for unholy, A.V. Law is not made for a righteous man. It is much better to render νόμος, with the A.V., "the Law," as e.g., Romans 2:12-14. The whole proposition relates to the Law of Moses, which these teachers perverted and tried to force upon Christians, being ignorant that the Law was made, not for the righteous, but for sinners. For is not made, we might render does not apply to or is not in force against. Κεῖται with the dative following (as 2 Macc. 4:11) suggests some such meaning, somewhat different from the simple νόμος κεῖται. This freedom of the righteous from the Law is what St. Paul everywhere asserts (Romans 6:14; Romans 8:2; Galatians 2:19; Galatians 3:25; Galatians 5:18, etc.), the Law being viewed, not as a holy rule of life, but as a system of penalties - "a Law of sin and death." That νόμος here means the Law of Moses is further evident from this, that in the following list the apostle clearly follows the general order of the Decalogue, taking first the offences against the first table, and then sins against the fifth, sixth, seventh, and ninth commandments (compare, too, ver. 11 with Romans 2:16). Lawless (ἀνόμοις); with no special reference to its etymology, but meaning simply "transgressors," "wicked," as Luke 22:37; Acts 2:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:8 (A.V.), and very frequently in the LXX. Unruly (ἀνυποτάκτοις); insubordinate, resisting lawful authority. In the LXX. for the Hebrew בְלִיַעִל (1 Samuel 2:12, Symmachus),and perhaps Proverbs 16:27. In the New Testament it is peculiar in this sense to the pastoral Epistles, being only found here and in Titus 1:6, 10 In Hebrews 2:10 it has the classical sense of "unsubdued." The express application of the word in Titus 1:10, to the "unruly talkers of the circumcision," shows that St. Paul has them in view here also. Ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane. All terms implying offences against the first table. Ἀσεβέσι, (with the kindred ἀσεβεία and ἀσεβέω) is always rendered "ungodly," "ungodliness," "to act ungodly;" ἁμαρτωλοῖς, sinners, viz. against God; ἀνοσίοις, unholy (found only here and at 2 Timothy 3:2 in the New Testament, but frequent in the LXX.) is the contrary to ὅσιος, holy, saintly; βεβήλοις (whence βεβηλόω, to profane, Matthew 12:5; Acts 24:6), profane, of persons and things not consecrated to God - peculiar in the New Testament to the pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 2:16;) and Hebrews 12:16, but found commonly in the LXX. and in classical Greek. Πατραλῶαις and μητραλῴαις, not murderers, but, as in the margin, "smiters, ill-users of father and mother." Both words are only found here in the New Testament, but found in Demosthenes, Aristophanes, etc. The allusion here is to Exodus 21:15, where the Hebrew word for "smiteth" is XXX, which does not necessarily mean "to smite to death" any more than ἀλοάω does. Ἀνδροφόνοις, man-slayers; found only here in the New Testament, but used in 2 Macc. 9:28 and in classical writers. The reference is to Exodus 21:12.
For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
Verse 10. - Fornicators for whoremongers, A.V.; abusers of themselves with men for them that defile themselves with mankind, A.V.; false swearers for perjured persons. A.V.; contrary for that is contrary, A.V.; the sound for sound, A.V. Πόρνοις ἀρσενοκοίταις. The latter word is only found in the New Testament here and 1 Corinthians 6:9. and nowhere else; but the reference is to Leviticus 18:22, where the two words ἄρσενος and κοίτη occur, though not in actual composition. Ἀνδραποδισταῖς, men-stealers; only here in the New Testament, but very common, with its many kindred forms, ἀνδραποδίζειν ἀνδραποδισμός, ἀνδράποδον, etc., in classical Greek. The last word is found once in the LXX., viz. in 3Macc. 7:5. The crime of man-stealing is denounced Exodus 21:16; Deuteronomy 24:7. Ψεύσταις ἐπιόρκοις, liars, false swearers. The latter word only occurs here in the New Testament - the verb ἐπιορκέω in Matthew 5:33 - and twice in the LXX., where ἐπιορκία is also found (Wisd. 14:25); all are common in classical Greek. The reference is to Leviticus 19:11, 12. The order of the offences, as above noted, is that of the Decalogue. The sound doctrine. The article is better omitted, as in the A V. This is one of the many phrases peculiar to the pastoral Epistles. Though the verb ὑγιανίνειν occurs three times in St. Luke's Gospel and once in 3 John 1:2 in its literal sense of bodily health, it is only in the pastoral Epistles that it is applied to doctrine (see 1 Timothy 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:9, 13; Titus 2:1, 2; and note on 2 Timothy 4:3).
According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Verse 11. - The gospel of the glory for the glorious gospel, A,V. The gospel of the glory of the blessed God. The phrase, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς δόξης τοῦ μακαρίου Θεοῦ, cannot mean, as in the A.V., "the glorious gospel of the blessed God," except by a very forced construction. It might mean three things:
(1) τῆς δόξης τοῦ Θεοῦ might be a periphrasis for "God," as Romans 6:4, or Exodus 24:16, 17; Exodus 33:18; Leviticus 9:6, 23; Psalm 104:31; 2 Corinthians 4:6; or as "the Name of the Lord" (Proverbs 18:10; Isaiah 30:27, etc.); and as we say "thee queen's majesty," the "king's grace." Or
(2) "the glory of God" might mean Jesus Christ, who is the Brightness of God's glory, the Image of the invisible God, in whose face the glory of God shines (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6). Or
(3) it might mean the gospel which tells of the glory of God, which reveals and proclaims his glory, the glory of his grace (Ephesians 1:6, 12), or perhaps here rather the glory of his holiness, which St. Paul's "sound doctrine" pressed for imitation upon all Christians (see 1 Timothy 6:3); comp. 2 Corinthians 4:4, "The gospel of the glory of Christ." Either the first or last is doubtless the true meaning. The blessed God. This and 1 Timothy 6:15 are the only passages in the New Testament where μακάριος, blessed, is an epithet of God. Elsewhere "blessed" is εὐλογητός; as e.g. Mark 14:61; 2 Corinthians 11:31. In classical Greek μάκαρ is the proper epithet of the gods; μάκαρες Θεόι μακάριος is usually spoken of men or qualities, and especially of the happy dead. It does not appear how or why the apostle here applies μακάριος to God. Committed to my trust; literally, with which I was entrusted. A thoroughly Pauline statement (comp. Romans 1:1, 5; Romans 2:16; Galatians 1:11, 12; Ephesians 3:1-8, etc.).
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
Verse 12. - I thank for and I thank, A.V. and T.R.; him that enabled me, even Christ Jesus our Lord for Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, A.V.; appointing me to his service for putting me into the ministry, A.V. I thank, etc. This outburst of praise for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ, who had called him to the ministry of the Word, is caused by the thought, which immediately precedes, of his being entrusted with the gospel. He thus disclaims any notion of merit on his part. That enabled me (ἐνδυναμώσαντι). This verb occurs once in the Acts (Acts 9:22); three times in St. Paul's other Epistles (Romans 4:20; Ephesians 6:10; Philippians 4:13); three times in the pastoral Epistles (here; 2 Timothy 2:1 and 2 Tim 4:17); and Hebrews 11:31. It denotes the giving that peculiar power which was the gift of the Holy Ghost, and which was necessary for the work of an apostle to enable him to bear witness to Christ in the face of an adverse world. This power (δύναμις) Christ promised to his apostles before his ascension (Acts 1:8). St Paul received it after his conversion (Acts 9:22). He continued to hold it throughout his apostleship (Philippians 4:13); he enjoyed it especially at the approach of his martyrdom (2 Timothy 4:17). It comprised strength of faith, strength to testify and to preach, strength to endure and suffer. St. Paul's whole course is the best illustration of the nature of the δύναμις which Christ gave him (see in Ephesians 3:6 the χάρις, the διακονία, and the δύναμις all brought together as here). Appointing me to his service. The A.V., putting me into the ministry, is a better rendering, because" the ministry" exactly expresses the particular kind of service to which the Lord appointed him (see the exactly parallel passage, Ephesians 3:7). The absence of the article is unimportant (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Timothy 4:11). (For the general phrase, comp. Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 12:28; or, still more exactly as regards the grammar, 1 Thessalonians 5:9.)
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
Verse 13. - Though I was for who was, A.V. and T.R.; howbeit for but, A.V. A blasphemer (βλάσημον); applied, as here, to persons, only in 2 Timothy 3:2; applied to words, Acts 6:11, 13 (T.R.). The verb βλασφημεῖν, and the substantive βλασφημία, are very common, both in the sense of "blaspheming" and of "railing" or "reviling." St. Paul was a blasphemer because he spoke against the Name of Jesus, which he had since discovered was a Name above all names. A persecutor (διώκτης); only here; but the verb διωκεῖν is applied to St. Paul repeatedly (Acts 9:4, 5; Acts 22:4; Acts 26:11, etc.), and the διώκτης here refers possibly to that very narrative. Injurious (ὑβριστής); only here and Romans 1:30, where it is rendered "insolent," R.V. The verb ὑβρίζειν, both in the New Testament and in classical Greek, means to "treat or use others despitefully," "to outrage and insult" them, not without personal violence (Matthew 22:6; Luke 18:32; Acts 14:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:2). The ὑβριστής is one who so treats others. St. Paul was thinking of his own conduct toward the Christians, whom he not only reviled, but handled roughly and east into prison (Acts 8:3; Acts 9:1; Acts 22:19). There is no English word which exactly renders ὑβριστής.
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Verse 14. - Abounded exceedingly for was exceeding abundant, A.V. Abounded exceedingly (ὑπερεπλεόνασε); only here in the New Testament or elsewhere except "in Psalterio Salomonis Psalm 5:19, et in fragmento Hermae ap. Fabricium Bibl. Graec., lib. 5. cap. 1" (Schleusuer). But the word is thoroughly Pauline (comp. ὑπεραίρομαι ὑπεραυξάνωὑπερβάλλω ὑπερεκτείνω ὑπερπερισσεύω ὑπεροψόω, and other compounds with ὑπέρ. It is further remarkable, as regards ὑπέρ itself, that of the hundred and fifty-eight times (or thereabouts) that it occurs in the New Testament, one hundred and six are in St. Paul's Epistles, and twelve in the Epistle to the Hebrews, and only forty in all the other books. With faith and love, etc. The grace bestowed upon St. Paul at and after his conversion showed itself in the wonderful faith and love toward Jesus Christ, whom he had previously disbelieved in and reviled, which accompanied that grace (μετὰ) and was the fruit of it, and characterized his whole after-life.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Verse 15. - Faithful is the saying for this is a faithful saying, A.V. Faithful is the saying (πιστὸς ὁ λόγος). This formula is peculiar to the pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8), and seems to indicate that there were a number of pithy sayings, maxims, portions of hymns or of catechetical teaching, current in the Church, and possibly originating in the inspired sayings of the Church prophets, to which the apostle appeals, and to which he gives his sanction. The one appealed to here would be simply, "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners." This, St. Paul adds, is worthy of all acceptation - by all, and without any reserve. Acceptation (ἀποδοχῆς); only here and 1 Timothy 4:9, in connection with the same formula. The verb ἀποδέχομαι occurs in Luke 8:40; Acts 2:41; Acts 15:4; 18:29; 24:3; 28:30. It contains the idea of a glad, willing acceptance (see note on Acts 2:41). So doubtless ἀποδοχή also means "hearty reception." I am chief; in respect of his having been" a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious." That great sin was indeed freely forgiven by God's grace, but it could never be forgotten by him who had been guilty of it. "Manet alta mente repostum" (comp. Ephesians 3:8).
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Verse 16. - As chief for first, A.V.; might Jesus Christ for Jesus Christ might, A.V.; his long-suffering for long-suffering, A.V.; an ensample of for a pattern to, A.V.; unto eternal life for to life everlasting, A.V. That in me as chief; rather, as A.V., first; i.e. both in order of time, and in respect also of the greatness of the sin forgiven. Show forth (ἐνδείξηται; see 2 Timothy 4:14, note). All his long-suffering; more properly, as Alford, the whole long-suffering; i.e. the entirety of long-suffering - all that was possible, every kind and degree of long-suffering. Ὁ πᾶς with the substantive denotes the whole of a thing: τὸν πάντα χρόνον, "the whole time" (Acts 20:18); ὁ πᾶς νόμος, "the whole Law" (Galatians 5:14). So in the two examples from Polybius, τῆς πάσης ἀλογιστίας and τῆς πάσης ἀτοπίας "the utmost unreasonableness," and "the utmost strangeness," the construction is exactly the same. Long-suffering (μακροθυμια); more literally, long-animity; very frequent both in the New Testament and in the LXX. The adjective μακρόθυμος (LXX.) is a translation of the Hebrew קְצַר אַפַיִם, "long," or "slow to anger," to which the opposite is אֶרֶך, ὀξύθυμος (LXX.), "short to anger," i.e. hasty, passionate. The verb μακροθυμέω also occurs frequently, both in the New Testament and in the LXX.: Ἡ ἀγάπη μακροθυμεῖ, "Charity suffereth long" (1 Corinthians 13:4). For an example (πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν). The word only occurs in the New Testament here and 2 Timothy 1:12; but both it and the verb ὑποτυπόω are good classical words. The meaning of ὑπότύπωσις is "a sketch" or "outline," and hence a "pattern." This pattern is spoken of as being the property of, being for the use of, them which should hereafter believe. Just as the workman looks at his plan, or outline, by which he is to work, so those future believers would see in Christ's dealings with St. Paul the exact pattern of the long-suffering which they might expect for themselves. Others take ὑποτύπωσις in the sense of "instruction," but this sense cannot be made good. Believe on him unto eternal life. These words hang together. The particular force of πιστεύειν ἐπ αὐτῷ, "found in the New Testament only here and Romans 9:33; Romans 10:11; and 1 Peter 2:6" (Huther) - as distinguished from the other constructions of to πιστεύειν - is "rest," "lean on" (Ellicott). St. Paul thus incidentally affirms that his own faith rested upon Jesus Christ in the full assurance of attaining to eternal life (see 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 1:1, 2).
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Verse 17. - Incorruptible for immortal, A.V.; only God for only wise God, A.V. and T.R. The King eternal. The Greek has the unusual phrase, τῷ βασιλεῖ τῶν αἰώνων, "the king of the worlds or ages," which is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, but is found twice in the LXX. - Tobit 13:6 and 10-and in the Liturgy of St. James, in the εὐχὴ τῆς ἐνάρξεως and elsewhere. The similar phrase, ὁ Θεὸς τῶν αἰώνων, is also found in Ecclus. 36:17. In all these passages it is quite clear that the phrase is equivalent to αἰώνιος, Eternal, as a title of the Lord, as in Romans 16:26. The genitive τῶν αἰώνων is qualitative. In Tobit 13:6 he is "the Lord of righteousness," i.e. the righteous Lord; and "the King of the ages," i.e. of eternity, i.e. "the eternal King," the King through all the ages. And in ver. 10 it is said, "Bless the eternal King," who, it follows, will, as King, "love the miserable εἰς πάσας τᾶς γενέας τοῦ αἰῶνος;" and then it follows, in ver. 12, "They that love thee shall be blessed εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα;" and again in ver. 18, "Bless the Lord, who hath exalted Jerusalem εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας;" and the same conception is in the phrase, σὺ εῖ ὁ Θεὸς τῶν αἰώνων. Satan, on the other hand. is (ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου, "the god of this world" (compare such passages as Psalm 102:24; Psalm 104:31; Psalm 105:8; Psalm 135:13; Psalm 145:13; and the doxology in the Lord's Prayer, "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, εἰς, τοὺς αἰῶνας). It seems to be, therefore, quite certain that St. Paul is here using a familiar Jewish phrase for "eternal" which has nothing whatever to do with Gnostic eons. Perhaps in the use of the phrase, βασιλεὺς τῶν αἰώνων, we may trace a contrast passing through the writer's mind between the short-lived power of that hateful βασιλεύς, Nero, by whom his life would soon be taken away, and the kingdom of the eternal King (comp. 1 Timothy 6:15, 16). Incorruptible (ἀφθάρτῳ); applied to God also in Romans 1:23, where, as here, it means "immortal" (ὁ μόνος ἔχων ἀθανασίαν, 1 Timothy 6:16), not subject to the corruption of death, just as ἀφθαρσία is coupled with "life" (2 Timothy 1:10) and opposed to "death" So on the other hand, φθορά means "death." φθαρτός, "perishable." Elsewhere it is applied to a crown, to the raised dead, to the inherit-ante of the saints, to the seed of the new birth, to the apparel of a holy heart, which no rust or moth corrupts (1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Peter 1:4, 23; 1 Peter 3:4). Invisible (ἀοράτῳ); as Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 11:27. (See also Romans 1:20; and comp. 1 Timothy 6:16, for the sense.) The word is used by Philo of God, and of the Word. Here it is especially predicated of God the Father, according to what our Lord says (John 1:18; John 6:46; John 14:9); though some of the Fathers, Nicene and post-Nicene, predicate it also of the Word or Second Person (Hilary, Chrysostom, etc.). But in Scripture the Son is spoken of as the Manifestation, the Image (εἰκών and χαρακτήρ) of the Father, through whom t he Father is seen and known; ἀόρατος, therefore, applies to the Father (see Bishop Lightfoot's note on Colossians 1:15). The only God. The best manuscripts omit σοφῷ, which seems to have crept in here from Romans 16:26. The exact construction is, "To the eternal King, the Immortal, the Invisible, the only God [or, 'who alone is God'], be honor," etc. Be honor and glory. A little varied from St. Paul's usual doxologies (see Romans 11:36; 6:27; Galatians 1:5; Ephesians 3:21; and 1 Timothy 6:16, where δόξα stands alone, and has the article - Ellicott on Galatians 1:5). In Romans 2:10 δόξα and τιμή are coupled together, but applied to man. This interposition of doxology is quite in St. Paul's manner.
This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
Verse 18. - My child for son, A.V.; by them thou mayest for thou by them mightest, A.V.; the good for a good, A.V. This charge. The apostle now picks up the thread which he had dropped at ver. 4, and solemnly commits to Timothy the episcopal care of the Ephesian Church, for which he had bid him stop at Ephesus. Omitting the long digression in vers. 5-17, the sense runs clearly thus: "As I besought thee to tarry at Ephesus in order that thou mightest charge some not to teach a different doctrine, so now do I place this charge in thy hands, according to the prophecies which pointed to thee, that thou mayest war the good warfare according to the tenor of them." He thus adds that he entrusted this charge to Timothy, not mero motu, but according to direct indications of the Holy Ghost, through the prophets of the Church, which pointed out Timothy as the person who was to war that good warfare. The words, ἵνα στρατεύῃ ἐν αὐταῖς τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν, might possibly depend upon τὰς προαγούσας ἐπί σε, meaning that those prophecies had this end in pointing to Timothy, viz. that he might war the good warfare, that he might be placed in the difficult post of στρατηγός, and the ἐν αὐταῖς follows rather more naturally in this case. But it is, perhaps, better to take them as dependent upon παρατίθεμαι. By them (ἐν αὐταῖς). Here ἐν may be either the causae efficiens, indicating that by the influence of these prophecies Timothy would war the good warfare, or be equivalent to κατὰ, "according to" (see Schleusner's 'Lexicon').
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
Verse 19. - Thrust from them for put away, A.V.; made shipwreck concerning the faith for concerning faith have made shipwreck, A.V. Thrust from them. The addition "from them" is meant to give the force of the middle voice as in Acts 7:39, A.V. The verb ἀπώθομαι occurs Acts 7:27, 39; Romans 11:1, 2. It is a strong expression, implying here the willful resistance to the voice of conscience. The form ἀπωθέω, -έομαι is found, Acts 13:46, and frequently in the LXX. Which (ἥν) applies to the good conscience only. Hence the important lesson that deviations from the true faith are preceded by violations of the conscience. The surest way to maintain a pure faith is to maintain a good and tender conscience (camp. 1 Timothy 2:9; John 7:17). The faith. It is by no means certain that ἡ πίστις here means "the faith" rather than "faith" (subjectire). Both the grammar and the sense equally admit the rendering "faith," referring to the preceding, tiaras. (For the phrase, περὶ τὴν πίστιν, "with respect to," camp. 1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:18; Titus 2:7.)
Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Verse 20. - Delivered for have delivered, A.V.; might be taught for may learn, A.V. Hymenaeus; probably the same as is mentioned 2 Timothy 2:17, 18, as holding heretical doctrine concerning the resurrection, and overthrowing the faith of some. It is an uncommon name, though borne by a Bishop of Alexandria in the second century, and by a Bishop of Jerusalem in the third. Alexander; doubtless the same as "Alexander the coppersmith" of 2 Timothy 4:14. I delivered unto Satan. The passages in Scripture which throw light on this difficult phrase are, chiefly, the following: the almost identical passage, 1 Corinthians 5:5; Job 1:12; Job 2:6, 7; Luke 13:10; Acts 5:5, 10; Acts 10:38; Acts 13:11; 1 Corinthians 11:30; 2 Corinthians 12:7; and Hebrews 2:14. Putting these together, it appears that sickness and bodily infirmity and death are, within certain limits, in the power of Satan to inflict. And that the apostles were able, on fitting occasions, to hand over peccant members of the Church to this power of Satan, that by such discipline "the spirit might be saved." In the case of Hymenaeus and Alexander (as in that of the incestuous person at Corinth), the punishment incident on this delivery to Satan would appear to have been short or' death, but in the case of the two first not to have had the effect of bringing them to a true repentance. Might be taught (παιδευθῶσι); viz. by correction and punishment, as children are taught (Hebrews 12:6-8). The metaphor in the word κολαφίζειν (2 Corinthians 12:7) is similar.