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1 Timothy 6:12-13

Context
6:12 Compete well 1  for the faith and lay hold of that eternal life you were called for and made your good confession 2  for 3  in the presence of many witnesses. 6:13 I charge you 4  before God who gives life to all things and Christ Jesus who made his good confession 5  before Pontius Pilate,

1 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.”

2 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).

3 tn Grk “confessed the good confession.”

4 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.”

5 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).



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