Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) December 10
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1 Timothy 4:1--6:21

Context
Timothy’s Ministry in the Later Times

4:1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves 1  with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, 2  4:2 influenced by the hypocrisy of liars 3  whose consciences are seared. 4  4:3 They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4:4 For every creation of God is good and no food 5  is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. 4:5 For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

4:6 By pointing out such things to the brothers and sisters, 6  you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, having nourished yourself on the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7  4:7 But reject those myths 8  fit only for the godless and gullible, 9  and train yourself for godliness. 4:8 For “physical exercise 10  has some value, but godliness is valuable in every way. It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.” 4:9 This saying 11  is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. 4:10 In fact this is why 12  we work hard and struggle, 13  because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, 14  especially of believers.

4:11 Command and teach these things. 4:12 Let no one look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in your speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, 15  and purity. 4:13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of scripture, 16  to exhortation, to teaching. 4:14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have, 17  given to you and confirmed by prophetic words 18  when the elders laid hands on you. 19  4:15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that everyone will see your progress. 20  4:16 Be conscientious about how you live and what you teach. 21  Persevere in this, because by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.

Instructions about Specific Groups

5:1 Do not address an older man harshly 22  but appeal to him as a father. Speak to younger men as brothers, 23  5:2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters – with complete purity.

5:3 Honor 24  widows who are truly in need. 25  5:4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty 26  toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them. 27  For this is what pleases God. 28  5:5 But the widow who is truly in need, and completely on her own, 29  has set her hope on God and continues in her pleas and prayers night and day. 5:6 But the one who lives for pleasure is dead even 30  while she lives. 5:7 Reinforce 31  these commands, 32  so that they will be beyond reproach. 5:8 But if someone does not provide for his own, 33  especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

5:9 No widow should be put on the list 34  unless 35  she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband, 36  5:10 and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised children, 37  practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress – as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works. 38  5:11 But do not accept younger widows on the list, 39  because their passions may lead them away from Christ 40  and they will desire to marry, 5:12 and so incur judgment for breaking their former pledge. 41  5:13 And besides that, going around 42  from house to house they learn to be lazy, 43  and they are not only lazy, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not. 44  5:14 So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household, in order to give the adversary no opportunity to vilify us. 45  5:15 For some have already wandered away to follow Satan. 46  5:16 If a believing woman 47  has widows in her family, 48  let her help them. The church should not be burdened, so that it may help the widows who are truly in need. 49 

5:17 Elders who provide effective leadership 50  must be counted worthy 51  of double honor, 52  especially those who work hard in speaking 53  and teaching. 5:18 For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” 54  and, “The worker deserves his pay.” 55  5:19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 56  5:20 Those guilty of sin 57  must be rebuked 58  before all, 59  as a warning to the rest. 60  5:21 Before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, I solemnly charge you to carry out these commands without prejudice or favoritism of any kind. 61  5:22 Do not lay hands on anyone 62  hastily and so identify with the sins of others. 63  Keep yourself pure. 5:23 (Stop drinking just water, but use a little wine for your digestion 64  and your frequent illnesses.) 65  5:24 The sins of some people are obvious, going before them into judgment, but for others, they show up later. 66  5:25 Similarly good works are also obvious, and the ones that are not cannot remain hidden.

6:1 Those who are under the yoke as slaves 67  must regard their own masters as deserving of full respect. This will prevent 68  the name of God and Christian teaching 69  from being discredited. 70  6:2 But those who have believing masters must not show them less respect 71  because they are brothers. Instead they are to serve all the more, because those who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved. 72 

Summary of Timothy’s Duties

Teach them and exhort them about these things. 73  6:3 If someone spreads false teachings 74  and does not agree with sound words (that is, those of our Lord Jesus Christ) and with the teaching that accords with godliness, 6:4 he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in controversies and verbal disputes. This gives rise to envy, dissension, slanders, evil suspicions, 6:5 and constant bickering by people corrupted in their minds and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness 75  is a way of making a profit. 6:6 Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit. 6:7 For we have brought nothing into this world and so 76  we cannot take a single thing out either. 6:8 But if we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that. 77  6:9 Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 6:10 For the love of money is the root 78  of all evils. 79  Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.

6:11 But you, as a person dedicated to God, 80  keep away from all that. 81  Instead pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness. 6:12 Compete well 82  for the faith and lay hold of that eternal life you were called for and made your good confession 83  for 84  in the presence of many witnesses. 6:13 I charge you 85  before God who gives life to all things and Christ Jesus who made his good confession 86  before Pontius Pilate, 6:14 to obey 87  this command 88  without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ 6:15 – whose appearing 89  the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, will reveal at the right time. 6:16 He alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see. To him be honor and eternal power! Amen.

6:17 Command those who are rich in this world’s goods 90  not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, 91  but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. 6:18 Tell them to do good, 92  to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others. 93  6:19 In this way they will save up 94  a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation 95  for the future and so lay hold of 96  what is truly life.

Conclusion

6:20 O Timothy, protect what has been entrusted to you. Avoid 97  the profane chatter and absurdities 98  of so-called “knowledge.” 99  6:21 By professing it, some have strayed from the faith. 100  Grace be with you all. 101 

1 tn Or “desert the faith by occupying themselves.”

2 tn Grk “teachings of demons” (speaking of the source of these doctrines).

3 tn Grk “in the hypocrisy of liars.”

4 tn Or “branded.” The Greek verb καυστηριάζω (kausthriazw) can be used to refer either to the cause (“brand”) or the effect (“seared”).

sn Consciences are seared. The precise meaning of this phrase is somewhat debated. Three primary interpretations are (1) the consciences of these false teachers are “branded” with Satan’s mark to indicate ownership, (2) their consciences are “branded” with a penal mark to show they are lawbreakers, or (3) their consciences have been “seared” (i.e., totally burnt and desensitized) so that they are unable to notice the difference between right and wrong. See G. W. Knight, Pastoral Epistles (NIGTC), 189.

5 tn Grk “nothing.”

6 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” as here (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelfoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited).

7 sn By pointing out…you have followed. This verse gives a theme statement for what follows in the chapter about Timothy’s ministry. The situation in Ephesus requires him to be a good servant of Christ, and he will do that by sound teaching and by living an exemplary life himself.

8 sn Those myths refer to legendary tales characteristic of the false teachers in Ephesus and Crete. See parallels in 1 Tim 1:4; 2 Tim 4:4; and Titus 1:14.

9 tn Grk “the godless and old-wifely myths.”

10 tn Grk “bodily training” (using the noun form of the verb “train” in v. 7b).

11 tn Grk “the saying.”

sn This saying. The literal phrase “the saying” refers to the preceding citation. See 1 Tim 1:15; 3:1; 2 Tim 2:11; Titus 3:8 for other occurrences of this phrase.

12 tn Grk “for toward this,” denoting purpose. The conjunction “for” gives confirmation or emphasis to 1 Tim 4:8-9.

13 tc A number of mss (א2 D 0241vid 1739 1881 Ï latt sy co) read ὀνειδιζόμεθα (oneidizomeqa, “suffer reproach”), while the reading behind the translation (ἀγωνιζόμεθα, agwnizomeqa) is supported by א* A C F G K Ψ 33 1175 al. The reading from the verb ἀγωνίζομαι (agwnizomai) has slightly better external credentials, but this verb is found in the corpus Paulinum five other times, twice in the Pastorals (1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 4:7). The verb ὀνειδίζω (oneidizw) occurs only once in Paul (Rom 15:3), not at all in the Pastorals. In this instance, transcriptional and intrinsic evidence might seem to be opposed to each other. In such cases, the external evidence should be given more weight. With some hesitation, ἀγωνιζόμεθα is preferred.

14 tn The plural Greek term ἀνθρώπων (anqrwpwn) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women, and is thus translated “people.”

15 tn Or “faith.”

16 tn Grk “reading.”

sn The public reading of scripture refers to reading the scripture out loud in the church services. In a context where many were illiterate and few could afford private copies of scripture, such public reading was especially important.

17 tn Grk “in you.”

18 tn Grk “which was given to you through prophecy.” Here as in 2:15 the preposition “through” denotes not “means” but accompanying circumstances: “accompanied by prophecy.”

sn These prophetic words perhaps spoke of what God would do through Timothy in his ministry (cf. 1 Tim 1:18).

19 tn Grk “with the imposition of the hands of the presbytery” (i.e., the council of elders).

20 tn Grk “that your progress may be evident to all.”

21 tn Grk “about yourself and your teaching.”

22 tn Or “Do not speak harshly to an older man.”

23 tn No verb “speak” is stated in this clause, but it continues the sense of the preceding.

24 sn The word honor here carries the double meaning of respect and financial support. This Greek word can imply both senses, and both are intended in this context.

25 tn Grk “the real widows,” “those who are really widows.”

26 tn Or “to practice their religion.”

27 tn Or “and so make some repayment to their parents”; Grk “and to give back recompense to their parents.”

28 tn Grk “for this is pleasing in the sight of God.”

29 tn Or “left all alone.”

30 tn For “is dead even” the Greek text reads “has died.”

31 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

32 tn Grk “and command these things.”

33 tn That is, “his own relatives.”

34 sn This list was an official enrollment, apparently with a formal pledge to continue as a widow and serve the Lord in that way (cf. v. 12). It was either (1) the list of “true widows” who were given support by the church or (2) a smaller group of older women among the supported widows who were qualified for special service (perhaps to orphans, other widows, the sick, etc.). Most commentators understand it to be the former, since a special group is not indicated clearly. See G. W. Knight, Pastoral Epistles, 222-23 for discussion.

35 tn Grk “let a widow be enrolled if she has reached not less than sixty years.”

36 tn Or “a woman married only once,” “was devoted solely to her husband” (see the note on “wife” in 1 Tim 3:2; also 1 Tim 3:12; Titus 1:6).

37 tn Grk “if she raised children.” The phrase “if she raised children” begins a series of conditional clauses running to the end of the verse. These provide specific examples of her good works (v. 10a).

38 tn Grk “followed after every good work.”

39 tn Grk “refuse younger widows.”

40 tn With a single verb and object, this clause means “pursue sensuous desires in opposition to Christ.”

41 tn Grk “incurring judgment because they reject their first faith.”

sn The pledge refers most likely to a vow not to remarry undertaken when a widow is put on the list (cf. 1 Tim 5:9).

42 tn L&N 15.23 suggests the meaning, “to move about from place to place, with significant changes in direction – ‘to travel about, to wander about.’”

43 tn Or “idle.” The whole clause (“going around from house to house, they learn to be lazy”) reverses the order of the Greek. The present participle περιερχόμεναι (periercomenai) may be taken as temporal (“while going around”), instrumental (“by going around”) or result (“with the result that they go around”).

44 tn Grk “saying the things that are unnecessary.” Or perhaps “talking about things that are none of their business.”

45 tn Grk “for the sake of reviling.”

46 tn Grk “wandered away after Satan.”

47 tc Most witnesses (D Ψ Ï sy) have πιστὸς ἤ (pisto" h) before πιστή (pisth), with the resultant meaning “if a believing man or woman.” But such looks to be a motivated reading, perhaps to bring some parity to the responsibilities of men and women listed here, and as a way of harmonizing with v. 4. Further, most of the earliest and best witnesses (א A C F G P 048 33 81 1175 1739 1881 co) lack the πιστὸς ἤ, strengthening the preference for the shorter reading.

48 tn Grk “has widows.”

49 tn Grk “the real widows,” “those who are really widows.”

50 tn Grk “who lead well.”

51 tn Or “deserving.”

52 tn Like the similar use of “honor” in v. 3, this phrase
denotes both respect and remuneration: “honor plus honorarium.”

53 tn Or “in preaching”; Grk “in word.”

54 sn A quotation from Deut 25:4.

55 sn A quotation from Luke 10:7.

56 sn An allusion to Deut 17:6, 19:15.

57 sn As a continuation of v. 19, this refers to elders who sin, not to sinning believers more generally.

58 tn Or “censured.” The Greek word implies exposing someone’s sin in order to bring correction.

59 tn “Before all” probably refers to the whole congregation, not just all the elders; “the rest” is more likely to denote the remaining elders.

60 tn Grk “that the rest may have fear.”

61 tn Grk “doing nothing according to partiality.”

62 tn In context “laying hands on anyone” refers to ordination or official installation of someone as an elder.

63 tn Grk “and do not share in the sins of others.”

64 tn Grk “for the sake of your stomach.”

65 sn This verse gives parenthetical advice to Timothy, to clarify what it means to keep pure (5:22c). Verse 24 resumes the instructions about elders.

66 tn Grk “they [the sins] follow after others.”

67 tn Traditionally, “servants.” Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.

68 tn Grk “that the name…may not be slandered” (a continuation of the preceding sentence).

69 tn Grk “the teaching.”

70 tn Or “slandered.”

71 tn Or “think the less of them”; Grk “despise them,” “look down on them.”

72 tn Or “those who devote themselves to service are faithful and dearly loved” (referring to slaves who serve them).

73 tn Grk “these things teach and exhort.”

74 tn Grk “teaches other doctrines,” (different from apostolic teaching, cf. 1 Tim 1:3).

75 tc Although most witnesses, including some early versions and fathers (D2 Ψ Ï sy Cyp Lcf Ambst), have ἀφίστασο ἀπὸ τῶν τοιούτων (afistaso apotwn toioutwn, “stay away from such things!”) after εὐσεβείαν (eusebeian, “godliness”; thus, “who suppose that godliness is a way of making a profit; stay away from such things!”), there seems to be little good reason for this clause’s omission in some of the oldest and best witnesses (א A D* F G 048 6 33 81 1175 1739 1881 lat co). It is likely that it crept into the text early, perhaps as a marginal comment, but it should not be considered authentic in light of the strong external evidence against it.

76 tc The Greek conjunction ὅτι usually means “because,” but here it takes the sense “so that” (see BDAG 732 s.v. 5.c). This unusual sense led to textual variation as scribes attempted to correct what appeared to be an error: D* and a few versional witnesses read ἀληθές ὅτι (“it is true that”), and א2 D2 Ψ Ï read δῆλον ὅτι (“it is clear that”). Thus the simple conjunction is preferred on internal as well as external grounds, supported by א* A F G 33 81 1739 1881 pc.

77 tn Grk “with these.”

78 tn This could be taken to mean “a root,” but the phrase “of all evils” clearly makes it definite. This seems to be not entirely true to life (some evils are unrelated to love of money), but it should be read as a case of hyperbole (exaggeration to make a point more strongly).

79 tn Many translations render this “of all kinds of evil,” especially to allow for the translation “a root” along with it. But there is no parallel for taking a construction like this to mean “all kinds of” or “every kind of.” The normal sense is “all evils.”

80 tn Grk “O man of God.”

81 tn Grk “flee these things.”

82 tn This phrase literally means “compete in the good competition of the faith,” using words that may refer to a race or to a boxing or wrestling match: “run the good race” or “fight the good fight.” The similar phrase in 1 Tim 1:18 uses a military picture and is more literally “war the good warfare.”

83 sn At some point in Timothy’s life, he publicly acknowledged Jesus as the resurrected Lord, perhaps either at his baptism or his ordination as a minister of the gospel. With this reminder of the historical moment of his good confession, Timothy is encouraged to remain steadfast in his faith and to finish his life as a minister in the same way it began (see G. W. Knight, Pastoral Epistles [NIGTC], 264-65).

84 tn Grk “confessed the good confession.”

85 tc ‡ Most witnesses, some of them important (א2 A D H 1881 Ï lat sy bo), have σοι (soi, “you”) after παραγγέλλω (parangellw, “I charge [you]”), a predictable variant because the personal pronoun is demanded by the sense of the passage (and was added in the translation because of English requirements). Hence, the omission is the harder reading, and the addition of σοι is one of clarification. Further, the shorter reading is found in several important witnesses, such as א* F G Ψ 6 33 1739 pc. Thus, both internally and externally the shorter reading is preferred. NA 27 places σοι in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.

tn Grk “I charge.”

86 tn Grk “testified the good confession.”

sn Jesus’ good confession was his affirmative answer to Pilate’s question “Are you the king of the Jews?” (see Matt 27:11, Mark 15:2, Luke 23:3, John 18:33-37).

87 tn The Greek word τηρέω (threw, traditionally translated “keep”) in this context connotes preservation of and devotion to an object as well as obedience.

88 tn Grk “the command.”

sn The command refers to the duties laid upon Timothy for his ministry in Ephesus (1 Tim 1:3-20; 6:2c-5).

89 tn Grk “which.” All of 1 Tim 6:15 is a relative clause which refers back to “appearing” in v.14. The phrase “whose appearing” was supplied to clarify this connection.

90 tn Grk “in the present age.”

91 tn Grk “in uncertainty.”

92 tn Grk “to do good” (the continuation of 6:17). Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started at the beginning of v. 18.

93 tn Grk “to be generous,” “sharing.”

94 tn Grk “saving up” (the continuation of 6:18). Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started at the beginning of v. 19.

95 tn Grk “treasuring up a good foundation.”

96 tn Grk “that they may lay hold of.”

97 tn Grk “avoiding.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

98 tn Or “contradictions.”

99 tn Grk “the falsely named knowledge.”

100 tn Grk “have deviated concerning the faith.”

101 tc Most witnesses (א2 D1 Ψ Ï sy) conclude this letter with ἀμήν (amhn, “amen”). Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. Further, the earliest and best witnesses (א* A D* F G 33 81 1739* 1881 it sa) lack the particle, indicating that the letter concluded with “Grace be with you all.”

tn Grk “with you” (but the Greek pronoun indicates the meaning is plural here).



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