1 Timothy 3:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

King James Bible
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

American Standard Version
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, Preached among the nations, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the spirit, appeared unto angels, hath been preached unto the Gentiles, is believed in the world, is taken up in glory.

English Revised Version
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, received up in glory.

Webster's Bible Translation
And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Weymouth New Testament
And, beyond controversy, great is the mystery of our religion-- that Christ appeared in human form, and His claims justified by the Spirit, was seen by angels and proclaimed among Gentile nations, was believed on in the world, and received up again into glory.

1 Timothy 3:16 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Without controversy (ὁμολογουμένως)

Lit. confessedly. N.T.o.

The mystery of godliness (τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον)

(a) The connection of thought is with the truth (1 Timothy 3:15), and the words mystery of godliness are a paraphrase of that word. The church is the pillar and stay of the truth, and the truth constitutes the mystery of godliness. (b) The contents of this truth or mystery is Christ, revealed in the gospel as the Savior from ungodliness, the norm and inspiration of godliness, the divine life in man, causing him to live unto God as Christ did and does (Romans 6:10). See 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 2:5; Colossians 1:26, Colossians 1:27. According to the Fourth Gospel, Christ is himself the truth (John 14:6). The mystery of godliness is the substance of piety equals mystery of the faith (1 Timothy 3:9). (c) The truth is called a mystery because it was, historically, hidden, until revealed in the person and work of Christ; also because it is concealed from human wisdom, and apprehended only by faith in the revelation of God through Christ. (d) The genitive, of godliness, is possessive. The mystery of godliness is the truth which pertains or belongs to godliness. It is not the property of worldly wisdom. Great (μέγα) means important, weighty, as Ephesians 5:32.

God (Θεὸς)

But the correct reading is ὃς who. The antecedent of this relative is not mystery, as if Christ were styled "the mystery," but the relative refers to Christ as an antecedent; and the abruptness of its introduction may be explained by the fact that it and the words which follow were probably taken from an ancient credal hymn. In the earlier Christian ages it was not unusual to employ verse or rhythm for theological teaching or statement. The heretics propounded their peculiar doctrines in psalms. Clement of Alexandria wrote a hymn in honor of Christ for the use of catechumens, and Arius embodied his heresy in his Thalia, which was sung in the streets and taverns of Alexandria. The Muratorian Canon was probably composed in verse. In the last quarter of the fourth century, there are two metrical lists of Scripture by Amphilochius and Gregory Nazianzen.

Was manifest (ἐφανερώθη)

More correctly, was manifested. The verb is used John 1:2; Hebrews 9:26; 1 Peter 1:20; 1 John 3:5, 1 John 3:8, of the historical manifestation of Christ; and of the future coming of Christ in Colossians 3:4; 1 Peter 5:4; 1 John 3:2.

In the flesh (ἐν σαρκί)

Comp. John 1:14; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7; Romans 1:3; Romans 8:3; Romans 9:5. Σάρξ flesh only here in Pastorals.

Justified in the Spirit (ἐδικαιώθη ἐν πνεύματι)

The verb δικαιοῦν, so familiar in Paul's writings, is found in the Pastorals only here and Titus 3:7. Its application to Christ as the subject of justification does not appear in Paul. Its meaning here is vindicated, indorsed, as Matthew 11:19; Luke 10:29. Concerning the whole phrase it is to be said: (a) That the two clauses, manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, exhibit a contrast between two aspects of the life of Christ (b) That ἐν in must have the same meaning in both clauses (c) That meaning is not instrumental, by, nor purely modal, expressing the kind and manner of Christ's justification, but rather local with a shade of modality. It expresses in each case a peculiar condition which accompanied the justification; a sphere of life in which it was exhibited and which gave character to it. In the one condition or sphere (the flesh) he was hated, persecuted, and murdered. In the other (the Spirit) he was triumphantly vindicated. See further the additional note at the end of this chapter.

Seen of angels (ὤφθη ἀγγέλοις)

Better, appeared unto or showed himself to, as Matthew 17:3; Luke 1:11; Acts 7:2; Hebrews 9:28. The same verb is used of the appearance of the risen Christ to different persons or parties (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). The reference of the words cannot be determined with certainty. They seem to imply some great, majestic occasion, rather than the angelic manifestations during Jesus' earthly life. Besides, on these occasions, the angels appeared to him, not he to them. The reference is probably to his appearance in the heavenly world after his ascension, when the glorified Christ, having been triumphantly vindicated in his messianic work and trial, presented himself to the heavenly hosts. Comp. Philippians 2:10; Ephesians 3:10, and, in the latter passage, note the connection with; "the mystery," 1 Timothy 3:9.

continued...

1 Timothy 3:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

without.

Hebrews 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

the mystery.

1 Timothy 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ...

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory:

Ephesians 1:9 Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself:

Ephesians 3:3-9 How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery; (as I wrote before in few words...

Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of understanding...

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Revelation 17:5,7 And on her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH...

God.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful...

Jeremiah 23:5,6 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper...

Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah...

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is...

John 1:1,2,14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers...

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh...

Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God...

Colossians 1:16-18 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones...

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power...

Hebrews 2:9-13 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor...

1 John 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father...

Revelation 1:17,18 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand on me, saying to me, Fear not; I am the first and the last...

manifest. Gr. manifested.

1 John 3:5 And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

justified.

Isaiah 50:5-7 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back...

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him...

John 1:32,33 And John bore record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it stayed on him...

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father...

John 16:8,9 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment...

Acts 2:32-36 This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses...

Romans 1:3,4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh...

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh...

1 John 5:6-8 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood...

seen.

Psalm 68:17,18 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place...

Matthew 4:11 Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.

Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven...

Mark 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.

Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment...

Luke 2:10-14 And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people...

Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel to him from heaven, strengthening him.

Luke 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

John 20:12 And sees two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

Acts 1:10,11 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel...

Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now to the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

1 Peter 1:12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did minister the things...

preached.

Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Acts 13:46-48 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you...

Romans 10:12,18 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call on him...

Galatians 2:8 (For he that worked effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

Ephesians 3:5-8 Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit...

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you...

believed.

Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them...

Colossians 1:6,23 Which is come to you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit, as it does also in you, since the day you heard of it...

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds...

received.

Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Luke 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

John 6:62 What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

John 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

Acts 1:1-9,19 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach...

Ephesians 4:8-10 Why he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men...

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power...

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest...

Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame...

1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.

Cross References
Mark 16:19
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

Luke 2:13
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

Luke 24:4
While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Acts 1:9
And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

Romans 3:4
By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, "That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged."

Romans 16:25
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages

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