1 Timothy

First Epistle of Paul to Timothy

Approximate date: 63-64 C.E. or 65-67 C.E.
Time period: growth of Messianic community with rise of Paul’s successors, in the midst of some false teachings and apostasy
Author: the Apostle Paul with Luke (secretary)
Location of author: traveling to, or in Macedonia
Target audience and location: Timothy in Ephesus

The Epistle of 1 Timothy is the first in a collection of three letters, also including 2 Timothy and Titus, which are frequently called the Pastoral Epistles, given their widespread attention to matters of congregational administration and leadership. Throughout history, many of those in positions of teaching and leadership have taken encouragement from these letters, yet no one would conclude that they are exclusively “pastoral” in nature, as much of what is encountered does pertain to general spirituality.

The author of each of these letters is identified in the text as being the Apostle Paul (1 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:1), and while many conservatives accept genuine Pauline authorship, liberals do not.[1] Liberals often favor the view that the Pastoral Epistles were written by a second or third generation successor of Paul, possibly composed to honor Paul’s legacy, but including some concepts and ideas that are not from Paul himself. This can understandably cast doubts on the letters’ historicity, and the importance of their instructions. Those who deny Pauline authorship of the Pastorals usually make their argument on the basis of a more organized form of congregational structure being in place, as well as from various terms employed in the three epistles which are believed to be unique in comparison to the agreed-upon genuine Pauline letters.[2] Yet, conservatives who have seen the variance of terms employed[3] are keen on pointing out how that this need not mean that the Pastoral Epistles are the work of a later pseudepigrapher. As Carson and Moo legitimately ask,

“Is it because of different authors, or because of different topics, or because these epistles were written to individuals with certain challenges and not to [assemblies] with quite a different set of challenges, or because of different amanuenses?”[4]

The inclusion of various terms, or the appearance of a certain/unique writing style, in the Pastoral Epistles, is actually thought by many to be the product of Luke’s hand. In 2 Timothy 4:11 we see that Luke is present with Paul in his final days, and Luke is actually thought by many to have served in some capacity as Paul’s secretary in composing these letters.[5] Christian figures of the Second Century C.E. accepted the Pastoral Epistles as genuine works of the Apostle Paul.[6]

Further doubts about Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles are issued from the basis that they portray an historical situation and travels that are not recorded in the Book of Acts. Paul’s imprisonment in Rome in 2 Timothy is not the same as his confinement (mainly a house arrest) depicted at the end of Acts 28. This should not prove to be so much of a problem as liberals espouse, though. It is reasonable to infer that Paul was released from his imprisonment as described at the end of Acts, he traveled to Spain from Rome as he had wanted (Romans 15:24; cf. 1 Clement 5), and he made it back to the East to visit friends as he also desired (cf. Philippians 1:19, 25; 2:24; Philemon 22), conducting further ministry work in Crete and Ephesus. Paul was later arrested and then returned to Rome, where according to tradition he was executed by Nero (Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 2.25.5).

Paul possibly made it to Spain, but for various reasons needed to return East either because of a lack of ministry success in the West and/or pressing concerns because of false teachings that had been circulating in the East. A likely scenario is Paul serving in Crete and leaving Titus to continue on for him (Titus 1:5), moving on to Asia Minor where he left Timothy in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3). Having then gone to Macedonia, Paul would winter in Nicopolis where Titus would meet him (Titus 3:12). Paul was later arrested and sent to Rome (2 Timothy 1:16-17), whereas Titus presumably met Paul in Nicopolis and moved northward to Dalmatia (2 Timothy 4:10).[7] A number of commentaries, noting that 2 Timothy would have been Paul’s last letter before death (2 Timothy 4:8, 18), actually examine the Pastoral Epistles in the order of: 1 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Timothy.[8]

In the Epistle of 1 Timothy, Paul writes his letter to his dear friend and ministry colleague Timothy, actually considered a spiritual son to him (1 Timothy 1:18), who was a native of Lystra in Asia Minor (Acts 20:4). Timothy’s father was a Greek, but his mother was a Jewess. Timothy was taught from the Tanach as a young man by his Jewish grandmother Lois and his mother (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15), but he was never circumcised, nor converted to Judaism. It is assumed that Timothy’s mother may have not originally been religious, causing her to marry a Greek man, who would not allow his son to be circumcised.[9] When Timothy came to faith in Messiah Yeshua, Paul made sure that he underwent circumcision so there would not be any confusion over his ethnicity among Jewish non-Believers. “Paul regarded Timothy’s circumcision not as a means of salvation but as a legal act to remove a serious obstacle to the gospel” (Hawthorne, ISBE).[10] Timothy assisted Paul in his work in Macedonia and Achaia (Acts 17:14-15; 18:5), and was with him during most of his work in Ephesus (Acts 19:22). Timothy was Paul’s traveling companion, going with him from Ephesus to Macedonia, to Corinth (Acts 20:3), through Asia Minor (Acts 20:1-6), and even to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4).

The Apostle Paul mentions Timothy as a “co-sender” of six of his letters (2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, Philemon). When he found himself imprisoned in Rome the second time, Paul asked Timothy to join him (2 Timothy 4:9, 21). We can safely assume that Timothy made every effort to do so, although he may have been arrested himself in the process (cf. Hebrews 13:23). Timothy is mentioned more times than any of Paul’s other companions, indicating a fond affection for him.[11] In spite of his young age, natural reserve, and various other personal idiosyncrasies (1 Corinthians 16:10; 2 Timothy 1:7), as well as some ailments (1 Timothy 5:23), he was a faithful servant to the community of faith, following the tasks assigned to him by Paul and the other Apostles with absolute dedication.

1 Timothy was written by Paul to Timothy while he was in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3). Paul leaves the Ephesian Believers in Timothy’s capable care, and writes the letter either in Macedonia or while traveling to Macedonia. 1 Timothy is often estimated as having been written in 63-64 C.E., although some prefer a slightly later date of 65-67 C.E. Paul indicates in this letter that he might not return for some time, so he writes to encourage him (1 Timothy 1:3, 18). Paul instructs Timothy to refute false teachings (1 Timothy 1:3-7; 4:1-8; 6:3-5, 20-21), and to adequately supervise the assembly (1 Timothy 2:1-3:13; 5:17-25). While the Epistle of 1 Timothy was primarily a personal correspondence written by Paul to Timothy, the Ephesians who Timothy served would eventually encounter its contents as Timothy implemented Paul’s instruction, serving as his authorized administrator.

Contrary to the opinion of some in the Messianic community, no Hebrew or Aramaic origin for 1 Timothy has ever been proposed by anyone in the scholastic community. It really is quite impossible, considering the facts that Timothy was raised as a Greek in Lystra, would have spoken Greek as his native language, and then its instructions would somehow be relayed on to the Ephesians. In fact, his very Greek name Timotheos is preserved in modern Hebrew translations of the New Testament as Timotius.

Much of the information encountered in 1 Timothy is delivered with some kind of false teaching present in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-7; 6:3-5, 20), which had not only stirred controversy and confusion, but had left a path of problems in its wake. This false teaching is something which is said to have involved the Torah (1 Timothy 1:7-9), and some kind of genealogies and speculations (1 Timothy 1:4). Ellis describes how Paul and Timothy “were increasingly endangered by a judaizing-gnostic countermission,”[12] which was likely quite akin to some of the false ideas present in Colossae (Colossians 2:8-3:4).[13] The Ephesian false teaching was something which was particularly appealing to various women, especially widows, who are said to have “go[ne] around from house to house; and not merely [being] idle, but also [as] gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention” (1 Timothy 5:13, NASU), helping to promote it. The false teaching had promoted abstention from eating meat and from marriage (1 Timothy 4:1-5), and had a noticeable negative impact on the leaders of the assembly. Interpreters are divided as to whether or not the instructions issued to Timothy on not only elders and deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-13), but most especially women (1 Timothy 2:11-15), are universal for all time or situation-bound to countering the effect of the false teaching.

What was the problem that had infected the Ephesian congregation(s)? It is frequently proposed that some form of Gnosticism, or a proto- or incipient-Gnosticism, and/or beliefs from various mystery cults that had negatively influenced the local Judaism, had been promoted by the false teachers. The false teachers are specifically labeled as those “wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions” (1 Timothy 1:7, NASU). A major part of what was advocated was speculation on genealogies (1 Timothy 1:4), which likely involved obscure Tanach figures only mentioned once or twice in Scripture (i.e., Genesis chs. 5, 11), but for which there was a great deal of information and/or lore accessible in the (fringe sectors of) Second Temple Judaism and various pseudepigraphal works.[14] Combined with their teachings was some form of asceticism, perhaps tied to the errant idea that the resurrection had already taken place (cf. 2 Timothy 2:18) and that people needed to live in a kind of quasi-Edenic manner without eating meat and dismissing the value of marriage/sex (cf. 1 Timothy 4:1-5). While various readers have often assumed that many of the problems Timothy had to address were just “Jewish” in nature, there is no indication that any kind of mainline Synagogue Judaism was negatively influencing the Believers. The false teachers, whoever they were and whatever they specifically advocated, overlooked the Torah’s main focus in identifying sin and issuing penalties for it (1 Timothy 1:8-10). The Torah is not to be used as a springboard from which one can promote strange ideas.

Within 1 Timothy, we see how Timothy had the job of making sure that proper order and organization were put back into place among the leaders of the Ephesian assemblies. There has been a huge amount of contemporary examination of 1 Timothy chs. 2&3 in the past several decades, which most noticeably focuses upon 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and debates in evangelical Christianity over ordained female clergy. Liberals who deny Pauline authorship of 1 Timothy think that this instruction runs counter to other places in his agreed-upon genuine letters that portray various women in positions of teaching and leadership, and that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is an observation of a later generation.

Complementarian readers think that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is universal instruction from Paul barring women from positions of leadership. Egalitarian readers think that these are situation-specific instructions from Paul, given to counter the false teaching’s influence on various naïve women in Ancient Ephesus, who needed to be taught (1 Timothy 2:11). Per this debate there are various translation issues to be considered regarding the verb authenteō in 1 Timothy 2:12,[15] the clause dia tēs teknogonias in 1 Timothy 2:15,[16] and whether Gunaikas hōsautōs in 1 Timothy 3:11 should be “Women…likewise” (NASU) or “Their wives likewise” (ESV), the former allowing for female deacons (cf. Romans 16:1).

An interesting point witnessed in 1 Timothy 5:18 is the elevation of Apostolic compositions to the level of Scripture, as it includes quotations from both Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7: “For the Scripture says, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,’ and ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages’” (NASU). “Paul combines an Old Testament passage with a saying of Jesus to bring out the truth that the elders are to be paid for their work” (Carson and Moo).[17] This affects one’s interpretation of what Paul will later communicate to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16, and the scope of what “all Scripture” included in the mid-First Century.

Various sectors of today’s Messianic community face the same issues described by Paul in 1 Timothy. We have false teachers out there who think themselves to be teachers of God’s Torah, but expel more of their time and effort involving themselves not with its instructions on ethics, morality, or holy living—but instead various curiosities coupled with perspectives from errant influences like Jewish mysticism. As Paul said, “These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith…They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm” (1 Timothy 1:4b, 7, NIV). There is a proper use of God’s Torah (1 Timothy 1:8), actually attested to be “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God” (1 Timothy 1:11, NASU). We should all expel the necessary efforts to heed Paul’s words to Timothy, and understand them for what they meant to the Believers in Ephesus, and what they might mean for the emerging Messianic movement today. There are a number of important things that we need not overlook any longer!

While the problem and influence of false teachers in Ephesus is something that we need to be aware of as Messianic Believers, such things have been a persistent problem for the Body of Messiah since the First Century. Without question, the biggest amount of debate that will be stirred from the Epistle of 1 Timothy—which is presently going on in much of evangelicalism—is what to do with 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Are these statements really situation-specific? Why are there elders and deacons spoken about for Ephesus (1 Timothy 3:1-13), but only elders spoken about for Crete (Titus 1:5-9)? This would seem to indicate that the Cretan assembly was not large enough to need deacons. Recognizing the elder and deacon instruction as largely situation-specific, how will the Messianic movement learn to deal with the many proposals regarding 1 Timothy 2:11-15, and weighing these verses together with other places in the Pauline Epistles that depict women in leadership? We might not come to a fair place on this for quite some time. Unlike Pauline letters like Romans, 1 Corinthians, or Ephesians—where Messianics largely acknowledge various translation and background issues to be considered—the Pastoral Epistles of 1&2 Timothy and Titus are largely not afforded this at present.

Consult commentary The Pastoral Epistles for the Practical Messianic by J.K. McKee for a more detailed examination of 1 Timothy.

Beker, J.C. “Pastoral letters,” in IDB, 3:668-675.
Carson D.A., and Douglas J. Moo. “The Pastoral Epistles,” in An Introduction to the New Testament, pp 554-587.
Ellis, E.E. “Pastoral Letters,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, pp 658-666.
Earle, Ralph. “1&2 Timothy,” in EXP, 11:341-418.
Gundry, Robert H. “The Pastoral Epistles of Paul,” in A Survey of the New Testament, pp 409-420.
Guthrie, Donald. “Pastoral Epistles,” in ISBE, 3:679-687.
______________. “The Pastoral Epistles,” in New Testament Introduction, pp 607-659.
Hawthorne, G.F. “Timothy,” in ISBE, 4:857-858.
Hendriksen, William. “Pastoral Letters,” in NIDB, pp 753-755.
_________________. “Timothy,” in NIDB, pp 1018-1019.
Kee, H.C. “Timothy,” in IDB, 4:651.
Quinn, Jerome D. “Timothy and Titus, Epistles to,” in ABD, 6:560-571.
Perkins, Pheme. “Pastoral Epistles,” in ECB, pp 1428-1446.
Pervo, Richard I. “Pastoral Epistles,” in EDB, pp 1014-1015.
Stibbs, A.M. “The Pastoral Epistles,” in NBCR, pp 1166-1186.
Tree of Life—The New Covenant, pp 355-363.

NOTES for Introduction

[1] There are various liberal interpreters who do, however, think that some of the more personal references appearing in the three letters may be fragments of some genuine Pauline materials (i.e., 2 Timothy 1:16-18; 3:10-11; 4:1-2a, 5b-22; Titus 3:12-15).

[2] J.C. Beker, “Pastoral letters,” in IDB, 3:670.

[3] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 633-636; Carson and Moo, pp 555-558.

[4] Carson and Moo, 558.

[5] Ibid, pp 559-560.

[6] Donald Guthrie, “The Pastoral Epistles,” in ISBE, 3:680-681; E.E. Ellis, “Pastoral Letters,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, 659.

[7] Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, pp 622-624; Carson and Moo, pp 561-563.

[8] The commentaries of Gordon D. Fee, George W. Knight III, and William D. Mounce examine the Pastoral Epistles in this order. The commentary The Pastoral Epistles for the Practical Messianic by J.K. McKee similarly follows suit.

[9] G.F. Hawthorne, “Timothy,” in ISBE, 4:857.

[10] Ibid.

[11] William Hendriksen, “Pastoral Letters,” in NIDB, 1018.

[12] Ellis, “Pastoral Letters,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, 661.

[13] Cf. Ibid., pp 662-663.

[14] Please understand that this is not to say that there is not value in various extra-Biblical works. The description seen of the false teachers in 1 Timothy leads us to conclude that these people were poorly taught, under-educated, and under-informed as to whatever material they were dealing with to promote their ideas.

[15] “usurp authority” (KJV).

[16] “through the child-bearing” (YLT), likely a reference to the Genesis 3:15 promise of the Messiah to come.

[17] Carson and Moo, 576.



 1 Paul, an apostle of Messiah Yeshua according to the commandment of God our Savior, and Messiah Yeshua our hope;
 2 to Timothy, my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

Warning Against False Doctrine

 3 As I urged you to remain on in Ephesus, when I was going into Macedonia, that you might charge certain persons[1] not to teach strange doctrines,
 4 nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which cause questionings, rather than the administration of God, which is in faith.
 5 But the aim of the charge is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith,
 6 things from which certain persons[2], having missed the mark, have turned aside to vain discussion;
 7 wanting to be teachers of the Torah, though they do not understand either what they are saying, or about the things they confidently affirm.
 8 But we know that the Torah is good, if one uses it lawfully,[3]
 9 knowing this, that the Torah is not laid down for a righteous person[4], but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,
 10 for fornicators, for homosexuals, for slave traders, for liars, for perjurers, and if there be any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine,
 11 according to the good news of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

Thankfulness for Mercy

 12 I thank Him who has strengthened me, Messiah Yeshua our Lord, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service,
 13 though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and an insolent opponent. Yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
 14 and the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly, with faith and love which is in Messiah Yeshua.
 15 Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptance: that Messiah Yeshua came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost.
 16 Yet for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me as foremost, Yeshua the Messiah might demonstrate all His longsuffering, for an example of those who were to believe in Him for eternal life.
 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
 18 This charge I commit to you, my child Timothy, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, that by them you may fight the good fight,
 19 holding faith and a good conscience, which some, having rejected, have caused a shipwreck concerning their faith.
 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme.

NOTES for 1 Timothy 1

[1] Grk. tisin; “certain people” (CJB/TLV).

[2] Grk. tines.

[3] Grk. Oidamen de hoti kalos ho nomos, ean tis autō nomimōs chrētai; “We know that the law is good if one uses it properly” (NIV); “ Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately” (NRSV); “We know that the Torah is good, provided one uses it in the way the Torah itself intends” (CJB).

[4] Grk. hoti dikaiō nomos ou keitai; “the law is not laid down for the just” (RSV/ESV); “the law is laid down not for the innocent” (NRSV).

The key verb of interest is keimai, which AMG notes means “To lie down, be laid down….In Matt. 3:10 and Luke 3:9, in regard to the ax that lies at the root of the trees, it does not simply mean that it is lying there, but also implies the necessity of its being taken up and used” (Zodhiates, Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, 855). This would imply that the Torah is not “laid down” upon righteous people in terms of its penalties and condemnation being enacted upon them.


Instructions Concerning Prayer

 1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings, be made for all people[1],
 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
 4 who desires all people[2] to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
 5 For there is one God[3], and one mediator also between God and humanity, Himself human, Messiah Yeshua,
 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.
 7 For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the nations in faith and truth.
 8 Therefore I want the men[4] in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing;
 9 likewise also that women adorn themselves in modest clothing, with modesty and sensibility, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,
 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—through good works.
 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness.
 12 But I do not permit a woman to teach or usurp authority[5] of a man, but to be in silence.
 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve;
 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived, fell into transgression.
 15 But she will be saved through the Child-Bearing[6], if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sensibility.

NOTES for 1 Timothy 2

[1] Grk. huper pantōn anthrōpōn; “for all human beings” (CJB).

[2] Grk. pantas anthrōpous; “all humanity” (CJB).

[3] The CJB has bolded “God is one” noting a possible allusion to Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, Isra’el! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one” (CJB).

[4] Grk. tous andras; with the term anēr, “male,” used, “men” is an appropriate translation.

[5] Grk. verb authenteō; used only here in the Apostolic Scriptures, related to the noun “authéntēs…murderer, absolute master, which is from autos…himself, and éntea (n.f.) arms, armor. A self-appointed killer with one’s own hand, one acting by his own authority or power” (Zodhiates, Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, 288); notably rendered in various versions not as “exercise authority” (NASU), but instead “usurp authority” (KJV); “domineer” (NEB); “dictate” (REB, TLV); “assume authority” (TNIV).

[6] Grk. dia tēs teknogonias; “through the childbearing” (LITV); “through the(her) childbearing” (Brown and Comfort, 728; Marshall, 615); “she will be saved by the Child-bearing” (Montgomery New Testament); “she will be saved by means of the Birth of the Child” (Source New Testament); more commonly rendered as something like “through the bearing of children” (NASU), notably lacking the definite article tēs.

Various complementarian examiners of the Pastoral Epistles, who are not too favorable to women in ministry, have still had to recognize that “through the Childbearing/Childbirth,” a reference to the birth of the Messiah via the line of Eve (Genesis 3:15), is still the best rendering for dia tēs teknogonias, recognizing that eternal salvation is in view and that females do not “get saved” by having children, but instead through the Messiah (Donald Guthrie, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: The Pastoral Epistles [Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1990], 89; George W. Knight III, New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Pastoral Epistles [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992], 146).


Qualifications of Overseers

 1 Faithful is the saying: if anyone[1] aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a good work.
 2 The overseer, therefore, must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, sensible, hospitable, able to teach,
 3 not addicted to wine, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money.
 4 The overseer must be one who manages his own household well, having his children in submission with all dignity
 5 (but if someone does not know to manage his own household, how will he take care of the assembly of God?)
 6 and not a novice[2], lest being conceited he fall into the same condemnation as the Devil[3].
 7 Moreover, he must have a good testimony from outsiders, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the Devil.

Qualifications of Deacons

 8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain,
 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith in a clean conscience.
 10 And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, if they are blameless.
 11 Women likewise[4] must be dignified, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.
 12 Let deacons be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.
 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great confidence in the faith which is in Messiah Yeshua.

The Mystery of Our Religion

 14 These things I write to you, hoping to come to you shortly;
 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the assembly of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
 16 And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

NOTES for 1 Timothy 3

[1] Grk. tis.

[2] Grk. neophutos; “novice” (ASV).

[3] Grk. krima…tou diablou; “the condemnation incurred by the devil” (NASU); “the same judgment as the devil” (NIV); a more literal rendering would be “the condemnation of the devil” (RSV/NRSV/ESV).

[4] Grk. Gunaikas hōsautōs; some versions render this as “Their wives likewise” (ESV), which is a value judgment determined by whether a reader takes gunaikas is in reference to male deacons’ wives, or female deacons. Among Messianic versions, one encounters a definite preference for the latter, with “Similarly, the wives” (CJB) and “In the same way, their wives” (The Messianic Writings) in two versions, with only one really having “Women likewise” (TLV).


Prediction of Apostasy

 1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
 2 through the hypocrisy of liars, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron,
 3 forbidding to marry, and advocating to abstain from foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving;
 5 for it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer.

A Good Minister of Messiah Yeshua

 6 In pointing out these things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Messiah Yeshua, trained in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which you have followed.
 7 But refuse profane and old wives’ tales. Rather, exercise yourself toward godliness;
 8 for bodily exercise is of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, holding promise of the present life and of the life to come.
 9 Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptance:
 10 for to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people[1], especially of believers.
 11 Command and teach these things.
 12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example, in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.
 15 Practice these things; be involved in them, so that your progress may be evident to all.
 16 Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

NOTES for 1 Timothy 4

[1] Grk. pantōn anthrōpōn; or “all human beings.”


Duties toward Others

 1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers,
 2 the older women as mothers, the younger women as sisters, in all purity.
 3 Honor widows who are widows indeed;
 4 but if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety toward their own family, and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.
 5 Now she who is a widow indeed, and has been left all alone, has her hope set on God, and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.
 6 But she who gives herself to pleasure is dead while she lives.
 7 Command these things also, that they may be without reproach.
 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
 9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man,
 10 having a testimony for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the holy ones’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has devoted herself to every good work.
 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when they feel sensual desires against Messiah, they want to marry;
 12 having condemnation, because they have rejected their first faith.
 13 And at the same time they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house; and not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
 14 Therefore, I want the younger widows to marry, bear children, manage a household, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;
 15 for some have already turned aside after Satan.
 16 If any believing woman has dependent widows, let her assist them, and do not let the assembly be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.
 17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor[1], especially those who labor in the word and in teaching.
 18 For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHEN IT IS TREADING OUT THE GRAIN” [Deuteronomy 25:4][2], and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages” [Luke 10:7].
 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder, except on the basis of two or three witnesses[3].
 20 Those who continue in sin[4], rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning.
 21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Messiah Yeshua, and of the elect angels, that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality.
 22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.
 23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
 24 The sins of some people are evident, going before them to judgment; but indeed some follow after.
 25 Likewise also, good works are evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be hidden.

NOTES for 1 Timothy 5

[1] Grk. diplēs timēs; “an ample honorarium” (HCSB); “ample remuneration” (Moffat New Testament); “adequate salary” (Phillips New Testament).

[2] You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing” (Deuteronomy 25:4, PME).

[3] The CJB has bolded “by two or three witnesses” noting a possible allusion to Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15:

“The death sentence is to be carried out only if there was testimony from two or three witnesses; he may not be sentenced to death on the testimony of only one witness (Deuteronomy, 17:6 CJB).

“One witness alone will not be sufficient to convict a person of any offense or sin of any kind; the matter will be established only if there are two or three witnesses testifying against him” (Deuteronomy 19:15, CJB).

[4] Grk. hamartanontas; this is a present active participle, “those sinning,” and would be best taken to describe those who “persist in sin” (RSV/NRSV/ESV), as opposed to just those who commit an offense here or there.


 1 Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and our doctrine not be blasphemed.
 2 And let those who have believing masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and encourage these things.

False Teaching and True Wealth

 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and to the doctrine according to godliness,
 4 he is conceited, knowing nothing, but has a morbid interest for questionings and disputes over words, out of which come envy, strife, blasphemy, evil suspicions,
 5 and constant friction between people corrupted in mind and deprived of the truth, supposing that godliness is a means of gain.
 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
 7 For we brought nothing into the world, neither can we take anything out.
 8 But having sustenance and covering, with these we shall be content.
 9 But they who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, which plunge people into destruction and perdition.
 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, which some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and have pierced themselves with many griefs.

The Good Fight of Faith

 11 But you, O person of God[1], flee these things; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, gentleness.
 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Messiah Yeshua, who before Pontius Pilate testified the good confession,
 14 that you keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah,
 15 which He will display at the proper time—the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords;
 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no mortal seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be high-minded, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly provides us with all things to enjoy.
 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed.
 20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, turning away from the profane, empty chatter and oppositions of the falsely-named “knowledge”—
 21 which some professing have missed the mark concerning the faith. Grace be with you.

NOTES for 1 Timothy 6

[1] Grk. ō anthrōpe Theou; the generic anthrōpos for humankind is employed here.