St. Paul write this Epistle to his BELOVED TIMOTHY, being then bishop of Ephesus, to instruct him in the duties of a bishop, both in respect to himself and to his charge; and that he ought to be well informed of the good morals of those on whom he was to impose hands: Impose not hands lightly upon any man. He tells him also how he should behave towards his clergy. The Epistle was written about 33 years after our Lord's Ascension; but where it was written is uncertain: the more general opinion is, that it was in Macedonia.
Section 15, Chapter 2
He puts Timothy in mind of his charge and blesses God for the mercy he himself had received.
1:1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the commandment of God our Saviour and Christ Jesus our hope:
1:2. To Timothy, his beloved son in faith. Grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
1:3. As I desired thee to remain at Ephesus when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some not to teach otherwise:
1:4. Not to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which furnish questions rather than the edification of God which is in faith.
1:5. Now the end of the commandment is charity from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith.
1:6. From which things some, going astray, are turned aside unto vain babbling:
1:7. Desiring to be teachers of the law: understanding neither the things they say, nor whereof they affirm.
1:8. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.
1:9. Knowing this: That the law is not made for the just man but for the unjust and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the wicked and defiled, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
The law is not. . .He means, that the just man doth good, and avoideth evil, not as compelled by the law, and merely for fear of the punishment appointed for transgressors; but voluntarily, and out of the love of God and virtue; and would do so, though there were no law.
1:10. For fornicators, for them who defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and whatever other thing is contrary to sound doctrine:
1:11. Which is according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God which hath been committed to my trust.
1:12. I give him thanks who hath strengthened me, even to Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he hath counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry:
1:13. Who before was a blasphemer and a persecutor and contumelious. But I obtained the mercy of God, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
1:14. Now the grace of our Lord hath abounded exceedingly with faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.
1:15. A faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.
1:16. But for this cause have I obtained mercy: that in me first Christ Jesus might shew forth all patience, for the information of them that shall believe in him unto life everlasting.
1:17. Now to the king of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1:18. This precept, I commend to thee, O son Timothy: according to the prophecies going before on thee, that thou war in them a good warfare,
1:19. Having faith and a good conscience, which some rejecting have made shipwreck concerning the faith.
1:20. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I have delivered up to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Section 15, Chapter 3
Prayers are to be said for all men, because God wills the salvation of all. Women are not to teach.
2:1. I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men:
2:2. For kings and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity.
2:3. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,
2:4. Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2:5. For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:
One mediator. . .Christ is the one and only mediator of redemption, who gave himself, as the apostle writes in the following verse.
2:6. Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times.
a redemption for all. . . He is also the only mediator, who stands in need of no other to recommend his petitions to the Father. But this is not against our seeking the prayers and intercession, as well of the faithful upon earth, as of the saints and angels in heaven, for obtaining mercy, grace, and salvation, through Jesus Christ. As St. Paul himself often desired the help of the prayers of the faithful, without any injury to the mediatorship of Jesus Christ.
2:7. Whereunto I am appointed a preacher and an apostle (I say the truth, I lie not), a doctor of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
2:8. I will therefore that men pray in every place, lifting up pure hands, without anger and contention.
2:9. In like manner, women also in decent apparel: adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly attire:
2:10. But, as it becometh women professing godliness, with good works.
2:11. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
2:12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to use authority over the man: but to be in silence.
2:13.For Adam was first formed; then Eve.
2:14. And Adam was not seduced; but the woman, being seduced, was in the transgression.
2:15. Yet she shall be saved through child bearing; if she continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.
Section 15, Chapter 4
What sort of men are to be admitted into the clergy. The church is the pillar of truth.
3:1. A faithful saying: If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth good work.
3:2. It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behaviour, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher,
Of one wife. . . The meaning is not that every bishop should have a wife (for St. Paul himself had none), but that no one should be admitted to the holy orders of bishop, priest, or deacon, who had been married more than once.
3:3. Not given to wine, no striker, but modest, not quarrelsome, not covetous, but
3:4. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all chastity.
3:5. But if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?
3:6. Not a neophyte: lest, being puffed up with pride, he fall into the judgment of the devil.
A neophyte. . . That is, one lately baptized, a young convert.
3:7. Moreover, he must have a good testimony of them who are without: lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
3:8. Deacons in like manner: chaste, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre:
3:9. Holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience.
3:10. And let these also first be proved: and so let them minister, having no crime.
3:11. The women in like manner: chaste, not slanderers, but sober, faithful in all things.
3:12. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife: who rule well their children and their own houses.
3:13. For they that have ministered well shall purchase to themselves a good degree and much confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
3:14. These things I write to thee, hoping that I shall come to thee shortly.
3:15. 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.
The pillar and ground of the truth. . . Therefore the church of the living God can never uphold error, nor bring in corruptions, superstition, or idolatry.
3:16. And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the spirit, appeared unto angels, hath been preached unto the Gentiles, is believed in the world, is taken up in glory.
Section 15, Chapter 5
He warns him against heretics, and exhorts him to the exercise of piety.
4:1. Now the Spirit manifestly saith that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error and doctrines of devils,
4:2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy and having their conscience seared,
4:3. Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful and by them that have known the truth.
Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats. . . He speaks of the Gnostics, the Marcionites, the Eneratites, the Manicheans, and other ancient heretics, who absolutely condemned marriage, and the use of all kind of meat; because they pretended that all flesh was from an evil principle. Whereas the church of God, so far from condemning marriage, holds it a holy sacrament; and forbids it to none but such as by vow have chosen the better part: and prohibits not the use of any meats whatsoever in proper times and seasons; though she does not judge all kind of diet proper for days of fasting and penance.
4:4. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving:
4:5. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
4:6. These things proposing to the brethren, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished up in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which thou hast attained unto.
4:7. But avoid foolish and old wives fables: and exercise thyself unto godliness.
4:8. For bodily exercise is profitable to little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
4:9. A faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
4:10. For therefore we labour and are reviled, because we hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of the faithful.
4:11. These things command and teach:
4:12. Let no man despise thy youth: but be thou an example of the faithful, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in chastity.
4:13. Till I come, attend unto reading, to exhortation and to doctrine.
4:14. Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.
4:15. Meditate upon these things, be wholly in these things: that thy profiting may be manifest to all.
4:16. Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.
Section 15, Chapter 6
He gives him lessons concerning widows, and how he is to behave to his clergy.
5:1. An ancient man rebuke not, but entreat him as a father: young men, as brethren:
5:2. Old women, as mothers: young women, as sisters, in all chastity.
5:3. Honour widows that are widows indeed.
5:4. But if any widow have children or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house and to make a return of duty to her parents; for this is acceptable before God.
5:5. But she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, let her trust in God and continue in supplications and prayers night and day.
5:6. For she that liveth in pleasures is dead while she is living.
5:7. And this give in charge, that they may be blameless.
5:8. But if any man have not care of his own and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.
5:9. Let a widow be chosen of no less than threescore years of age, who hath been the wife of one husband.
5:10. Having testimony for her good works, if she have brought up children, if she have received to harbour, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have ministered to them that suffer tribulation, if she have diligently followed every good work.
5:11. But the younger widows avoid. For when they have grown wanton in Christ, they will marry:
5:12. Having damnation, because they have made void their first faith.
Their first faith. . . Their vow, by which they had engaged themselves to Christ.
5:13. And withal being idle they learn to go about from house to house: and are not only idle, but tattlers also and busy bodies, speaking things which they ought not.
5:14. I will, therefore, that the younger should marry, bear children, be mistresses of families, give no occasion to the adversary to speak evil.
5:15. For some are already turned aside after Satan.
5:16. If any of the faithful have widows, let him minister to them, and let not the church be charged: that there may be sufficient for them that are widows indeed.
5:17. Let the priests that rule well be esteemed worthy of double honour: especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
5:18. For the scripture saith: Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn: and, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
5:19. Against a priest receive not an accusation, but under two or three witnesses.
5:20. Them that sin reprove before all that the rest also may have fear.
5:21. I charge thee, before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by declining to either side.
5:22. Impose not hands lightly upon any man, neither be partaker of other men's sins. Keep thyself chaste.
5:23. Do not still drink water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thy frequent infirmities.
5:24. Some men's sins are manifest, going before to judgment: and some men they follow after.
5:25. In like manner also good deeds are manifest: and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
Section 15, Chapter 7
Duties of servants. The danger of covetousness. Lessons for the rich.
6:1. Whosoever are servants under the yoke, let them count their masters worthy of all honour; lest the name of the Lord and his doctrine be blasphemed.
6:2. But they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but serve them the rather, because they are faithful and beloved, who are partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
6:3. If any man teach otherwise and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and to that doctrine which is according to godliness,
6:4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions,
6:5. Conflicts of men corrupted in mind and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness.
6:6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
6:7. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out.
6:8. But having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content.
6:9. For they that will become rich fall into temptation and into the snare of the devil and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.
6:10. For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.
6:11. But thou, O man of God, fly these things: and pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness.
6:12. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called and be it confessed a good confession before many witnesses.
6:13. I charge thee before God who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate, a good confession:
6:14. That thou keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
6:15. Which in his times he shall shew, who is the Blessed and only Mighty, the King of kings and Lord of lords:
6:16. Who only hath immortality and inhabiteth light inaccessible: whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and empire everlasting. Amen.
6:17. Charge the rich of this world not to be highminded nor to trust in the uncertainty of riches, but in the living God (who giveth us abundantly all things to enjoy)
6:18. To do good, to be rich in good work, to give easily, to communicate to others,
6:19. To lay up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the true life.
6:20. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called.
6:21. Which some promising, have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.