Epistle of 1st Timothy

1st Timothy, together with Titus and 2nd Timothy, comprise Paul's last epistles, and are known as the Pastoral Epistles because they include both practical directions for guiding the church, along with the qualifications for elders. 1st Timothy was written around 65 AD from Macedonia (northern Greece).

Timothy may have been the bishop of Ephesus. That, or he resided in the city as Paul’s representative. Tradition says he oversaw the church there until he was beaten to death at age 80. The apostle John is said to have lived with him until being exiled to Patmos. Timothy may even have been “the angel of the church at Ephesus” mentioned in Revelation.



1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

3 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,

4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.1

5 Now the end2 of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling3;

7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man,4 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,

10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind5, for menstealers6, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief7.

14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

15 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.8

16 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.

17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.9

18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies10 which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan,11 that they may learn not to blaspheme.

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the order of God our Savior, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our hope;

2 To Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

3 You recall that I urged you to remain in Ephesus, while I went on to Macedonia, so that you could order some to teach no other doctrines (but the true ones);

4 And not to become embroiled in (Jewish myths), and endless genealogies, which only raise pointless questions instead of focusing on the godly edification that comes through faith. So keep on doing this.

5-7 Now the whole point I was aiming for was to foster love with a pure heart, clear conscience, and sincere faith--which some, unfortunately, have lost sight of by turning back into pointless debate and argument, desiring to be Torah teachers when they don’t understand what they are saying, nor the repercussions of what they are so confidently espousing.

8 Now we know that the Torah is good if a man uses it in the way it was meant to be used.

9-10 In like manner, I would wish that women would (reflect Christian attributes, and) adorn themselves in modest clothing chosen out of a sound mind, rather than (taking their identity from) elaborate coiffures, flashy jewelry, or designer clothes. It’s far better that women professing godliness should stand out for good deeds.

11 And let a wife learn placidly, in subjection to her husband.

12-13 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who empowered me--for he considered me to be faithful, and put me into the ministry even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man who did violence to the church. But I obtained mercy because I did it in ignorance, being unable to believe (in the concept of a crucified Messiah).

14 But the grace of our Lord (changed me, and abundantly filled me with the faith and love that is in Christ Jesus).

15 This is a comment you can absolutely believe: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I was, and am, the worst.

16 But this is exactly why I obtained mercy: That through my experience (--of Christ first saving the absolutely most hopeless and most undeserving case--) I could be an example of the patience of Jesus Christ toward those who would eventually believe in him and receive everlasting life (through my testimony)!

17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

18-19 This is the commission I give to you, son Timothy, which is in accord with the prophetic utterances that were spoken over you as the sword by which you could wage a good fight and hold onto your faith with a clear conscience--unlike some, unfortunately, who have abandoned faith and shipwrecked themselves.

20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are two good examples, and I have given them over to Satan so they can learn not to blaspheme.

1. It is here that we begin to see the problems that have occasioned the writing of this letter: In contradiction to the doctrine of justification by faith, we have Judaisers once again trying to mix Jewish culture and Torah with grace, promoting the use of Jewish genealogies (probably as a means of advancing Jews in position of leadership over Gentile believers).

2. The word here for “end” (telos) is the same as that used in the verse, “For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:14). The word refers to a goal, not to some sort of coming to an end.

3. “Jangling” here means meaningless, pointless babble that serves no useful purpose or actual instruction. The sense is again, “Get off this Torah stuff, and focus on Christ!”

4. Paul here is focusing on one aspect of the Law, which is to keep people from doing wrong to others. No godly man, for instance, needs to be instructed that he should not steal or kill. The wicked do, and the Law points out the righteous judgment of God for those who do break the commandments. The next aspect of the Law reveals the sinfulness of mankind and the necessity for repentance and atonement. Where the false teachers in Ephesus kept veering from course was to go back to making obedience to the Law and its rabbinic ordinances the determining factor in being approved of by God. One of Paul’s major revelations seems to have been that the true salvation through faith, rather than obedience, would produce godly character in the Christian and bring about a change in nature that accomplished practical righteousness without the need of artificially trying to counterfeit this by learning and obeying commandments. A continuing problem faced by the apostle, however, was that many believers simply would not focus on Christ, and continued living carnal, self-centered lives that produced the fruit of sinful behavior. In cases like these, Paul had to retreat to the Law to remind them of the consequences of sin as a means of telling them to get their priorities straight.


5. An absolute reference to homosexuals and unrepentant homosexuality.

6. “Menstealers” refers to kidnappers and slave-traders, harkening back to the 8th commandment that, in direct context, does not refer to robbery or shoplifting, but to kidnapping for ransom or to sell as a slave.

7. It is very interesting that the word here for “unbelief” is not the one referring to a stubborn refusal to accept the truth, but rather is one for a weakness of faith. Paul is probably saying that--as Jews and Moslems do today--the notion of a Messiah coming and dying for the sins of humanity, rather than coming to rule as a king, was simply ridiculous to him.

8. How fascinating to see that as Paul nears the end of his life, his humility and self-image have matured to the point where he no longer considers himself as good as the rest of the apostles, or least of the apostles, but now the chief of all sinners!

9. Many people miss the fact that this is a prayer to God the Father, not to Christ.

10. Interestingly, Paul here seems to refer to an incident in Timothy’s life where personal prophecies had been spoken over him. Undoubtedly, Paul wished Timothy to view these as “anchors” with which to focus his faith and confidence so that, regardless of the circumstances he found himself in, he could be assured that what God had spoken would be manifested in his life.

11. This passage has puzzled many, for it is unique to Paul, and some have viewed it as suggesting some sort of formal excommunication and belief that by “removing the protection of God from their lives,” they will undergo some sort of trials, and repent. That may be true, but the term is also an Eastern idiom that means something along the lines of: “Let them stew in their own pot, and reap the fruit of their actions.” Thus, if it is not some sort of liturgical excommunication, it is a confidence that these men will reap what they have sown, and be sorry for what they have done.



1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity2.

8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands,3 without wrath and doubting.

9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;4

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

11 Let the woman5 learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.6

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.7

15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing,8 if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

1 I therefore encourage you, first of all, to see to it that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all men:

2 For kings and anyone else in authority, that we Christians can lead a quiet, peaceful life in all godliness and honesty.

3 This is good and acceptable in the eyes of God our Savior,

4 Who desires all men to be saved, and to come to knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God and one mediator (who makes peace) between God and humanity: the man Christ Jesus,

6 Who gave himself as a ransom on behalf of all men, and who, at the right time, was testified about (to all men, including the Gentiles).

7 This is why I am ordained to be a preacher and apostle of his, to teach the Gentiles faith and truth. When I say that, I am speaking the truth in Christ, and am not lying.

7 (Alternate reading): This is why I am ordained to be a faithful and true preacher and apostle of his to teach the Gentiles. When I say that, I am speaking the truth in Christ, and am not lying.

8 I thus wish that men everywhere would pray (with a clear conscience and pure motives), without wrath and arguing.

9-10 In like manner, I would wish that women would (reflect Christian attributes, and) adorn themselves in modest clothing chosen out of a sound mind, rather than (taking their identity from) elaborate coiffures, flashy jewelry, or designer clothes. It’s far better that they should stand out for good deeds, something appropriate to women professing godliness.

11 And let a wife learn placidly, in subjection to her husband.

12 But I do not allow a wife to teach, nor to usurp authority from her husband; she should keep her opinions to herself.

13 For Adam was formed first, and Eve came out of him later.

14 And Adam wasn’t the one who was deceived; it was the woman who was tricked into transgression.

15 Even so, wives (will have a secure place in the marriage) if they have children, provided they also continue in faith, love, and holiness with a sober attitude.

15 (Alternate reading): Even so, women will be saved because of the childbearing (of the Messiah), provided they also continue in faith, love, and holiness with a sober attitude.

1. This verse often is misused to criticize Catholics for the notion of saints interceding for people on earth. The verse is saying both that Christ is the one acceptable bridge between God and man, and the one intercessor whose atonement God acknowledges. Throughout Scripture, Christians are otherwise commanded to intercede for one another in prayer, and thus act as general intercessors along with angels.

2. “Verity” means “truth.”

3. “Praying with holy hands” here is being used as a euphemism for, “a clear conscience,” or “with clean hands.”

4. Another verse that has been misused to teach that women should dress like nuns. Paul’s admonition is that women not look or act immodest or worldly.

5. The word here, should be translated as wife, rather than woman. Likewise, the word man should be translated husband.

6. This is not a prohibition against women teachers in the church. The context is one of Paul dealing with roles in marriage, and saying that the woman is not to “wear the pants” in the family. Women otherwise are theoretically open to all ministerial positions in the church with the one exception of being married pastors, which would place them in spiritual authority over their husbands. Even so, it would not be 100% impossible for God to call a woman to that role (consider Deborah, prophetess of Israel and wife of Lapidoth, who would have had spiritual authority over her husband and all men of Israel), but it would be unusual.

7. Adam, it should be noted, may not have been deceived, but he was certainly guilty of open rebellion, a worse sin than Eve's.

8. This verse has puzzled many, but really isn't that hard to understand. Paul is probably saying that the wife's position in the family is secured by having children because this made it more difficult for her to be divorced and gave her some rights that childless women did not have. (Hosea is recorded in Jewish tradition as using this fact to explain why he was reluctant to divorce his unfaithful wife.) Some texts also word this verse to indicate that the woman's influence lives on past her life through her descendants. Otherwise, some believe the “childbearing” refers to Christ’s coming and atonement.



1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife,1 vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.2

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine3, not greedy of filthy lucre;

9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers4, sober, faithful in all things.

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:

15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.5

16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh,6 justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory

1 You can certainly rely on the truth of this statement: If a man desires to hold the office of a church overseer, he desires a noble thing.

2 An overseer must be of sterling reputation, a (non-polygamist), sober-minded, who behaves himself well and is quick to show hospitality. He should also be a good teacher.

3 He should not make drinking alcohol a common practice, nor can he be hot-tempered, nor greedy for ill-gotten gain. He should be patient, and not one given to fighting, nor the sort who is covetous.

4 He should show his success in soberly running his own household effectively, with well-behaved children--

5 For if a man doesn’t know how to oversee his own house, how can he hope to oversee the church of God?

6 Not someone immature in the faith, lest he become puffed up with his own importance as happened with Satan, and likewise undergo condemnation.

7 Moreover, he should have a good reputation even in the secular community, lest he fall into disrepute and be ensnared by the devil.

8 Likewise, church elders must be dignified, not hypocrites, nor given to drinking too much wine or liquor, nor greedy for ill-gotten gain.

9 They should hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

10 Let them first be proved (in their solid grounding in the faith, and their effectiveness in working their way up to greater responsibilities). After that, let them take on the position of elder, having been found to be blameless.

11 Also, their wives must be dignified, rather than the sorts who yield their gossiping tongues to Satan’s use. They must be sober-minded and faithful in all they do.

12 Let the elders also be (non-polygamists) who rule their children and households well.

13 Those who effectively carry out the office of an elder deservedly earn themselves a good reputation for more important duties, and will be used more boldly in the faith of Christ Jesus.

14-15 I write these things to you in hope I can come to you shortly, though in the event it takes me a while, I want you to know how you should behave yourself in the House of God, which is the church of the Living God, and the pillar and ground of the truth.

16 Unquestionably, great is the mystery (of our religion): (God) was manifested in human form, justified through the Spirit, seen by angels, preached about to the Gentiles, believed on by the world, and was received up into glory.

1. This verse is commonly taught as Paul saying that a “husband of one wife” means “never divorced.” Paul, in the author’s view, is actually referring to non-polygamists. The qualifications here were essentially the same as in Judaism, wherein only non-polygamists were allowed to be elders and heads of the synagogues. (Remember that the Torah actually commands a polygamous marriage in some cases!) In that culture, divorce had no bearing on being an elder.

2. Better paraphrased as: “Not someone immature in the faith, lest he become puffed up with his own importance as happened with Satan, and likewise undergo condemnation.”

3. In opposition to some churches that have improved upon the Scripture by requiring elders and pastors to be teetotalers, Paul absolutely does not require someone in the service of God to abstain from alcohol. This false teaching has gone so far as to see some theologians invent a ridiculous teaching that Paul’s “wine” was an unfermented grape juice! One need only visit Italy or the Middle East to realize what a preposterous notion this is. Alcoholic wine was, and is, an absolute staple within the cultures of Rome, Judaism, and Greece. Were this not the case and Paul was referring to unfermented grape juice, he would not have used the words “Much wine,” since there is no need to warn against drinking too much unfermented grape juice!

4. “Slanderers” actually comes from a word translated “devil” or “diabolical.”

5. This verse about the church being the “pillar” of truth is often used by Catholics to affirm the Catholic Church’s primacy above all other denominations. As the argument goes, since Paul only mentions the church in the singular, thus only one particular denomination--the Roman Catholic Church--holds ultimate spiritual truth.

However, while Paul does speak in the singular here, he repeatedly speaks in the plural in places like Romans 16:16, 1 Cor. 7:17, 1 Cor. 11:16, and so on. Jesus also, in the Book of Revelation, appears to make distinctions between the various churches, treating them as entirely separate entities with no single overseer other than Himself directly. The verse here thus cannot be used to justify the notion that there is only one denomination God recognizes. Rather, it is those individuals who walk in truth who are “the church,” regardless of what denomination they may belong to.


6. Whether one is Trinitarian or not, this verse at least is a good proof text against the teachings of those who wish to deny the Deity of Christ on some level. However, to be fair, not all manuscripts have “God” in the verse, but some good ones have “He.”



1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

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.1

4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.2

11 These things command and teach.

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.3

15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

1 Now the Holy Spirit expressly says that as we near the end of the Age, some shall depart from the true faith, listening to seducing spirits and the demonic doctrines they teach.

2 These hypocrites will speak lies because their consciences will be scarred over with a red-hot iron.

3 They will insist people practice celibacy to be in the church, and command them to abstain from (certain meats), which God created to be eaten with thanksgiving by those who know and believe the truth.

4-5 For every creature of God is good, and there is no basis for refusing to eat it, so long as one eats with thanksgiving, for what is eaten is sanctified by God’s decree, and prayer.

6 If you remind the brethren of these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished by the teachings and good doctrine of the faith that you have attained.

7 But turn away from godless debates and old wives’ tales. Instead, exercise to build up godliness.

8 For all physical exercise can do is build up one’s muscles--but godliness produces good in every area of life, producing God’s sort of life both in this world and the next.

9 Trust what I say about this, and accept it.

10 For this is why we toil and endure reproach: Because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men (--be they Jew or Gentile--) and specifically for those who recognize that and come to faith in Christ.

11 Therefore, command and teach these points.

12 No one should disrespect you because of your young age, but counter that, if it arises, by being an example to the believers in teaching, lifestyle, attitude, faith, and purity.

13 Until I can come, focus on articulating (the Scriptures), exhortation, and doctrine.

14 Don't neglect the gift that was put in you through the prophecy that was given, and the ordination through laying on of hands by the elders.

15 Meditate on all I've told you, and give yourself wholly to these teachings, that all may see your edification through them.

16 Be diligent and conscientious in what you do with the doctrine, for in doing so and continuing in it, you will save both you and those who hear you (from the judgment to come upon the earth).

1. For centuries, the Catholic Church has unfairly been slandered by these verses. First, Paul himself says that these false doctrines will arise in the “latter times”--i.e. as the end of the Age approaches. Second, the man-made doctrine of priestly celibacy is ancient, not modern. Third, not all rites within the Catholic Church mandate priestly celibacy; only the Western rites of the church do, while the Eastern rites permit married priests. Whatever Paul is referring to is either yet to manifest, or else could be an indictment against some Essene believers who apparently embraced Christ while repudiating Paul, and perhaps gave birth to the heretical Ebionites. (Remember that the Essenes and Pharisees despised each other, so Paul would have had no love for this group to start with.) The Essenes, it will be recalled, discouraged marriage and often practiced vegetarianism. If the warning about meats is not to be understood as criticizing mandatory vegetarianism, it is a warning against mandating some sort of return to kosher eating. Given Paul’s continuous opposition to the Judaisers and what we see in much of the Messianic movement of today, the latter is a strong possibility. Finally, it could be a reference to the early form of the Nicolaitans, who started out advocating celibacy and vegetarianism, but who later developed into sexual profligates.

2. Some have misinterpreted these words to mean that Christ has redeemed all men, including those who do not believe. Paul’s intent is to state that Christ paid for the sins of both Jew and Gentile. Forgiveness, however, is still dependent upon repentance and belief.

3. A reference to the semikhah, or “laying on of hands” (Numbers 27:22-23, Heb. 6:2), for ordination.



1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.1

4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man.2

10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;

12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.3

13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.

16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.4

20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

22 Lay hands suddenly on no man,5 neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.

23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.6

24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.

25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

1 Do not sharply rebuke an older person, but treat him with the respect of a father; and treat the younger men as brothers.

2 Treat older women as mothers, and treat the younger women with purity, as you would your own sisters.

3 See to the needs of widows who are truly widows.

4 But if any widows have children or grandchildren, they should learn how to show reverence and support for their elders at home, something good and acceptable before God.

5 Now she who is really a widow, without family or resources to see to her own needs (--and thus is worthy of the church’s provision--) trusts in God and should continually make prayers and supplications to Him day and night.

6 But a widow who “does her own thing” is a walking dead person.

7 Teach and proclaim all these things, that they may be blameless.

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own relations, and especially for his own direct family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.

9 Don’t consider a widow to be qualified for support unless she is at least sixty years old, and has not been married to more than one man.

10 She should be known for having done good works, and if she has raised (godly) children, lodged strangers, (served the church), aided the less fortunate, and if she has been diligent in good deeds.

11 But the younger widows should not be put on the church welfare roles since they may still have to deal with some natural desires distracting them from Christ, and thus they may want to remarry.

12 This will bring condemnation on them since they will be (abandoning their vow to be consecrated to the work of the church).

13 At the same time, younger widows tend to have too much time on their hands and learn to be idle, wandering from house to house, gossiping and being busybodies, and speaking things they should not.

14 So I prefer that the younger women marry, have children, and run a good household so they don’t give the devil occasion to slander Christianity (through others’ tongues).

15 For some of these younger women have already turned aside to follow Satan (and his ways).

16 If any man or woman that is a believer in the church has a family member who is a widow, they should care for them, that the church is not burdened down with their upkeep, and so see to the needs of true widows.

17 Let the elders who do their jobs well be counted worthy of twice the (financial support) of other people, especially if they focus on (preaching and teaching).

18 Remember what the Scripture says: Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And: The labourer is worthy of his reward.

19 Don’t listen to an accusation against a church elder unless there are at least two or three witnesses to it. (Which obviously means that their ministry is never to be done in private, but publicly, in view of all.)

20 As for those who are in continuous, unrepentant sin--rebuke them publicly so the congregation will learn the fear of God.

21 I charge you by God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that you do these things without showing partiality to anyone.

22 Don’t ordain people into leadership who haven’t first been tried and tested. Don’t partake in other men’s sins, but keep yourself pure.

23 (And before I forget--) Don’t only drink water any more, but take a little alcoholic wine for your stomach and other problems.

24 (Despite your best efforts, there will always be wolves hiding in the flock, so remember that) some men’s sins are clear for all to see (before the Last Judgment); but some men’s sins will never be known in this life, but will follow after them.

25 In the same way, the good deeds of some are known in this life, but even those that are not will be known in the next.

1. “Honour” here, as in the fifth commandment, means to “take care of.” It’s interesting to note that the church had an early welfare system.

2. Paul seems to be saying here that women who have been married more than once are disqualified from being on the church welfare roles. His rationale, however, is unclear. He does not restrict this to women divorced and remarried, but appears to include someone whose husband died, and who subsequently remarried.

3. While some believe that Paul had a low opinion of women as a whole, he was still a world ahead of his contemporaries in the way he exalted them as equal heirs of God along with men. He does, however, almost take for granted that younger widows will drift from the faith to become gossips and busybodies. It may well have been in that culture and time the women did have that propensity…unlike today, of course.

4. This command refers back to Deut. 17:6. A point should also be made that incumbent in the command is that an elder’s life should be led in such a way that everything he does in the ministry is open to public scrutiny. Paul, for instance, would not have allowed men to counsel women privately, for how would it have been possible for there to be more than one witness to any impropriety?

5. This reiterates the command not to appoint novices to the role of leadership as stated in chapter 3, verse 6.

6. This is license for Timothy to use alcoholic wine for some sort of stomach ailment. (Perhaps gallstones, for alcohol sometimes relaxes the gallbladder when the stones float up and get trapped in the bile duct.)



1 Let as many servants1 as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.2

3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:3

21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

1 Let as many slaves who are in that state count their earthly masters worthy of all honor so that the name of God, and His doctrines, are not slandered.

2 And if a slave happens to have a master who is a believer, let him not resent him (for not automatically freeing him, despite being a brother Christian). Instead, the slave should serve his master well, because (both) are faithful and beloved of God, and the master is blessed by the slave’s faithful service. Teach and exhort these things.

3 If any man teaches otherwise (to what I have been saying in this epistle), and does not consent to wholesome teachings, even those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine that develops godliness--

4 He is arrogant, knowing nothing, but instead questioning God’s ways in a contentious manner. Out of such attitudes come envy, strife, abuse, evil suspicions,

5 And twisted disputes among men of corrupted minds devoid of truth, who see our faith as a means for material gain. Turn your back on such people.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can take nothing with us when we leave it.

8 In having food and clothing, let us be content.

9 But those who yearn to be rich fall into temptation, and are ensnared by many foolish and harmful ambitions that drown men in destruction and devastation.

10 For the love of money is the cause of all sorts of injurious things that have caused some who’ve been caught up in it to stray from the faith and pierce themselves through with many sorrows.

11 But you, O man of God, flee from these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness.

12 Fight the good fight of faith and take hold of eternal life to which you have been called and displayed a good testimony of before many witnesses.

13 I commission you in the sight of God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate,

14 That you keep this command without varying from it, and without reproach, until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Whom God, in His own good time, will reveal is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords,

16 Who alone is immortal, dwelling in the light (of God Himself) that no man can approach, Whom no man has ever seen nor can see. To him be honor and might everlasting. Amen.

17-19 Instruct those who are rich not to become arrogant, nor to place their trust in their transitory riches, but instead in the living God who richly gives us everything to enjoy. They should be rich in good deeds, and ready to share their resources (with the less fortunate), thus storing up a good account for the Age to come, that they may lay hold of true life.

20 O Timothy, keep that which has been placed in your care, avoiding pointless and vain disputes and arguments against the faith based on “science,” falsely so called.

21 Some, you see, professing to be intellectuals, have erred from the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.

1. Should be translated: “Slaves.”

2. These verses were used in the 1800s to justify slavery. However, since Paul elsewhere lists slave-traders as those denied salvation, there can be no question that he disapproved of it; he merely acknowledged its existence within Roman law, and gave instructions as to how those who did have slaves, or were slaves, should behave: With the same propriety, uprightness, and sober-mindedness that all Christians, regardless of their position in society, were expected to display.

3. How apt are these words today!