To Timothy 1

1:1Paul, an Ambassador of Jesus the Anointed, according to the divine command of God our Savior and Master Jesus the Anointed, our hope,

1:2To Timothy, a genuine member of the faith:

Favor, compassion, and peace from God the Father and Anointed Jesus our master.

1:3Just as I encouraged you when we were going into Macedonia, stay in Ephesus in order to direct some of them not to spread contrary teachings,1:4and to stop being obsessed with made-up stories and never-ending genealogies. These lead to uncertainty instead of trust in the orderly planning of God.1:5The intended outcome of this directive is love from a clean heart, a good conscience, and a faith that isn’t pedantic.1

1:6Some have gone off-course from this into empty rhetoric,1:7determined to be respected teachers of the law but having no idea what they’re talking about and so strongly asserting.1:8Now of course the law is fine if it’s handled properly.1:9But we need to keep in mind that it isn’t laid down for decent people but for the lawless and rebellious, the irreverent and errant, those who malign and profane, who would murder even their own parents,1:10the promiscuous, homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and anything else that is against wholesome teaching.1:11This is in keeping with the Gospel of the majestic and blessed God, with which I was entrusted.

1:12I am grateful to the one empowering me— our Master Jesus the Anointed— for considering me trustworthy enough to be placed into his service.1:13I used to be irreverent; I persecuted and was arrogant. But I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.1:14Yet the favor of our Master abounded with the faith and love that are in Anointed Jesus.

1:15This saying is trustworthy and acceptable in every way: Jesus came into the world to save the errant— of which I am the supreme example.1:16But I was shown mercy so that in me, the supreme example, Jesus the Anointed could demonstrate his limitless patience, as a prototype of those who would put their trust in him for eternal life.1:17So to the King of the Ages, the immortal, invisible, and only God, let there be the greatest honor for ever and ever; absolutely!

1:18Timothy, my child, here is the charge I lay before you: In accordance with the prior prophecies pronounced over you, be a good soldier in this war.1:19Do this with faithfulness and a clean conscience— from which some have shoved off and shipwrecked, as far as the faith is concerned.1:20Two such people are Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I handed over to the Adversary to be schooled not to slander.2

2:1So I am advocating above all that serious requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks are done for all people,2:2especially for kings and those in positions of influence so that we can conduct tranquil and respectable lives, with the utmost devotion and dignity.2:3This is best and welcome in the sight of God our Savior,2:4who intends for all people to be saved and to come to know the truth.2:5For there is one God and one mediator between God and people: the person Anointed Jesus,2:6who gave himself as the ransom payment for all, and as a testimony at the right time.2:7And I tell you in all honesty that I was appointed to this as an announcer and Ambassador, a true and faithful teacher of the non-Judeans.

2:8It would be nice if the men in every place could manage to pray with clean lives and without argument.2:9The same goes for the women, too. I’d like them to dress themselves tastefully and decently, with modesty and good sense; not with fancy hair or expensive jewelry and clothing,2:10but as is fitting for women who are professors for converts to Judaism3 while they do good things.

2:11The woman must learn, and she must do so in a respectful and supportive manner.2:12At this time I am not even conferring teaching privileges on the woman, much less allowing her to perform fertility rites on the man;4 she must be still.2:13For Adam was formed first and Eve afterward,2:14and Adam was not deceived. But the woman, being completely fooled, has crossed the line.52:15Even so, she will be restored by the mentoring, as long as they remain in faith and love and holiness, with good sense.3:1This saying is trustworthy.

Whoever wants to guard has a lofty aspiration.3:2So it is necessary, then, for the guardian to be blameless, faithful in marriage, sober, sensible, orderly, hospitable, qualified to teach,3:3not a drunkard or a brawler but peaceable, and not greedy.3:4They must also watch over and provide well for their own household, with children who are supportive and dignified,3:5for if they don’t know how to care for their own home, how would they take care of God’s Congregation?3:6And they can’t be a novice, otherwise they might become conceited and come under the False Accuser’s judgment.3:7Further, they must have a good reputation with outsiders so that they don’t fall into disgrace, the trap of the False Accuser.6

3:8Likewise, attendants must be dignified, not be two-faced, not given to excessive drinking, and not be profiteers,73:9holding to the secret of the faith in good conscience.3:10These must first be tested; only after they have been proved to be above reproach can they serve.3:11(The same goes also for the women; they are to be dignified, not false accusers, sober, and trustworthy in everything.)3:12The attendants must be faithful in marriage, watching over their children and households well.3:13Those who serve well earn a high rank and great boldness in the faith of Anointed Jesus.

3:14I am writing these things to you though I expect to come to see you soon.3:15But if I don’t, this will guide you as to how you must conduct yourself in God’s household, which is the Congregation of the living God, the base and pillar of truth.

3:16Surely this devout secret is vast:8 He was revealed in flesh, justified in spirit, examined by Messengers, heralded among the non-Judeans, believed in the world, and taken up in honor.4:1But the Spirit is telling us plainly that in later times some will leave the faith, listening to straying spirits and the teachings of demons.4:2Their consciences will have been cauterized by pedantic lies,4:3such as forbidding marriage and abstaining from certain foods that God created to be eaten with gratitude by those who are faithful and know the truth.4:4They realize that everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is accepted with gratitude,4:5because it is consecrated through the word of God and prayer.

4:6By recommending these things to fellow believers you will be a good attendant of Jesus the Anointed, nourishing them by means of the sayings of the faith and the good teaching that you have continued to follow closely.4:7But have nothing to do with silly old fables; instead, go into training for devoutness.4:8For while physical exercise is of some small benefit, devoutness is helpful for everything, having promise for both this life and the one to come.4:9This saying is trustworthy and acceptable in every way,4:10because this is what we toil and contend for, seeing that we have put our confidence in the living God who is the savior of all people, especially the faithful.

4:11Direct and teach these things,4:12and let no one put you down for your youth. Instead, be a model of trustworthiness in your speech, behavior, love, faith, and holiness.4:13Until I arrive, focus on reading, intercession, and teaching.4:14And do not neglect the gift in you that was given by means of prophecies when the elders dedicated you.94:15Cultivate all these things and be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be obvious to everyone.4:16Watch what you’re doing and be persistent in this instruction, for in this way you will preserve both yourself and those who hear you.

5:1Do not sharply reprimand an older man but encourage him as a father, the younger men as brothers,5:2the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters; do all of this with absolute propriety.

5:3Honor those who are widows in the fullest sense of the word.5:4Now if a widow has children or grandchildren, those must do their duty above all and repay what is due to their parents or grandparents, because this is acceptable to God.5:5But the true widow, being without support of any kind, is relying on God and praying fervently night and day.5:6On the other hand, the self-indulgent one is dead on her feet.5:7Direct all of these things so that they may be blameless.5:8But if anyone fails to care for their own, especially those living in their own household, they have renounced the faith and are worse than an unbeliever.

5:9Don’t enroll any widow under the age of sixty or if she has had more than one man.105:10She must have a good reputation for how she raised children, being hospitable, serving the other believers, giving aid to the oppressed, and every good deed that follows from that.

5:11Decline younger widows, because whenever they want to marry again they are likely to rebel against the Anointed,5:12bringing the verdict that they have broken the pledge.115:13But at the same time they develop the habit of going around to various houses; they’re not only idle but gossipy and meddling, saying things they shouldn’t.5:14So I’d like the younger ones to marry, raise a family, and take control over their household, so that they don’t give critics any ground to stand on,5:15for some12 have already turned to follow the Adversary.5:16If any believing woman is related to widows, she should support them instead of burdening the Congregation with them.

5:17The elders who have protected and provided well are worthy of double honor, especially those who have done the work of teaching the Word.5:18As the Writing says, “Do not muzzle the ox threshing grain,” and “The worker deserves compensation.”5:19Don’t listen to a charge against an elder unless there are two or three witnesses,5:20but if the charges are true, the elder must be held up as a public example in order to instill fear in the others.5:21I solemnly declare, in the presence of God and Anointed Jesus and the chosen Messengers, that you watch over these things without bias and without a hint of partiality.5:22And stop being so quick to dedicate people, so that you do not take part in the failures of others; watch yourself and stay holy.

5:23Stop drinking the water, and take some wine for your frequent urination problem.

5:24Some people’s failures are so obvious they practically convict them before the trial, while other people’s are only revealed later.5:25Likewise, some good deeds are obvious, while others can’t be hidden for long.13

6:1Whoever is under the harness of slavery is to consider their owner worthy of respect, so that the reputation of God and the Teaching may not be slandered.6:2Now the ones with believing owners are not to treat them with any less respect; in fact, slave for them all the more since they are dear to you in the faith. Then both of you will benefit.

6:3Teach and encourage these things. If anyone teaches otherwise, and does not come to you with the healthy sayings of our Master Jesus the Anointed according to godly instruction,6:4they are conceited and skilled in nothing. They are consumed with investigations and verbal wars, out of which arise envy, strife, slander, suspicion,6:5and malicious friction. They’ve lost their minds and are devoid of the truth, seeing devoutness as a way to make a profit.6:6But it is of great profit to have independent wealth together with devoutness,6:7because none of us brought anything into the world, and we can’t take anything out.6:8Yet we’ll be content to have food and clothing.

6:9Now those who are determined to get rich are wandering into a trial and a trap and into many unwise and harmful cravings, which are sinking some people into ruin and devastation.6:10For being stingy is a root of all sorts of worthless things. This aspiration has lured some of them away from the faith, basically roasting themselves on a spit with a lot of grief.

6:11But since you belong to God, run away from these things and toward justice, devoutness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.6:12Fight for the best in the contest of faith, and seize the eternal life into which you were called, along with the good agreement you made in front of many witnesses.

6:13I am directing you in the sight of God, the one sustaining all life, and of Anointed Jesus who testified to the same good agreement before Pontius Pilate,6:14to guard this injunction. Remain unblemished and blameless until the sudden return of our Master Jesus the Anointed,6:15who will appear at the right time. He is the only Power, the King of kings and Master of masters,6:16the only immortal one living in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or is able to see. To him belong absolute honor and mighty rule!

6:17As for those who are rich in this age, direct them to not be elitist. They are to stop trusting in uncertain riches (instead of God, the one richly supplying everything to us for our enjoyment),6:18to be good, to be rich in good deeds, to share generously.6:19Then they will be storing up for themselves the best foundation for what is to come, acquiring real life.

6:20Timothy, protect the deposit entrusted to you. Turn aside from those profane and empty words, and the opposition from what is falsely called “knowledge,”146:21which some have professed so authoritatively. They have missed the mark concerning the faith.

May you all enjoy God’s favor.

  1. 1The “not pedantic” meaning for anupokritou was chosen here since Paul just spoke of those who were acting this way.
  2. 2Paul’s use of “shipwrecked” gives us the sense of “shoved off” to match, and illustrates how some people had abandoned the clean conscience Paul just mentioned, which led to their faith being crippled. It is not accurate to take it to mean that they ruined other people’s faith directly, though this is certainly possible indirectly, and might be part of the reason Paul had them disfellowshiped. But all he actually said was that they had to be taught a lesson.
  3. 3“Professors for converts to Judaism” is the proper meaning in the Greek; ref. Jews and Godfearers at Aphrodisias, J. Reynolds and R. Tannenbaum, Cambridge Philological Society Supp. Vol. 12, 1987, p. 50.
  4. 4“I am not even… much less” can also be thought of as simply “neither/nor,” but in the context of the Artemis cult in Ephesus, this rendering seems a better fit. The term “perform fertility rites” was chosen to convey the meaning of authentein in the context of the Artemis fertility cult, wherein a priestess would teach men and then impart divine wisdom to them through sex; ref. Ancient Heresies by Catherine C. Kroeger.
  5. 5This passage is highly controversial. But note that Paul has not only switched abruptly from plural to singular (women/woman), he has also gone from instructions for women who are already teaching to a woman who must stop for a time. But whoever the woman is, she is still “over the line” at the time of Paul’s writing. This is a vital key to understanding the passage.
  6. 6The emphasis is on character, not authority, and on a proven track record; that is, the guardian must already have attained a high level of spiritual maturity and unsoiled reputation before serving in this capacity. And in the Greco/Roman society of the first century, where men were expected to be promiscuous, the requirement for men to be faithful to their wives was especially unusual. This list of qualifications, then, is restrictive on the basis of character and not societal class, ethnicity, gender, or any other factor.
  7. 7The charge for these attendants (whose duties are never clearly defined in scripture) not to be profiteers is significant if they were benefactors for the community of believers. As with guardians, the emphasis is on character, not authority. Also, both men and women are addressed and have identical requirements; women are neither excluded nor given a pass.
  8. 8This “secret” is, of course, revealed in the One being described here. The word is not “mystery,” meaning something that cannot be figured out, but a fact that had been kept hidden. Note that it is followed by what the Spirit is saying “openly.”
  9. 9“Dedicated you” is a less ambiguous English rendering of the Greek phrase “laid hands on you.”
  10. 10“if she has had more than one man” refers to the fact that had she been married more than once or had other men to provide for her, she would not be a truly needy widow. This was not a matter of purity or morality.
  11. 11“Pledge” instead of the literal “first faith” because the subject here is Christian widows, not losing faith just to remarry.
  12. 12“some” refers to “critics”, not the young women.
  13. 13This section seems out of place, but it may be due to Paul’s having written the letter piecemeal.
  14. 14“Knowledge” here is an obvious slam on Gnosticism.