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1 Timothy

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1 Timothy

As Paul neared the end of his life, he chose young men such as Timothy to carry on his work. His two letters to Timothy form a leadership manual for the young pastor, giving Timothy instructions for leading the church and warning him of false teachers. Paul also provided Timothy with personal instructions on how to be a man of God.

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of Goda our Saviorb and of Christ Jesus our hope,c

To Timothyd my true sone in the faith:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.f

Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia,g stay there in Ephesush so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrinesi any longer or to devote themselves to mythsj and endless genealogies.k Such things promote controversial speculationsl rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heartm and a good consciencen and a sincere faith.o Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachersp of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.q

We know that the law is goodr if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteouss but for lawbreakers and rebels,t the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrineu 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.v

The Lord’s Grace to Paul

12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength,w that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.x 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutory and a violent man, I was shown mercyz because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.a 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly,b along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.c

15 Here is a trustworthy sayingd that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinnerse—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercyf so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patienceg as an example for those who would believeh in him and receive eternal life.i 17 Now to the Kingj eternal, immortal,k invisible,l the only God,m be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.n

The Charge to Timothy Renewed

18 Timothy, my son,o I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you,p so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well,q 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience,r which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.s 20 Among them are Hymenaeust and Alexander,u whom I have handed over to Satanv to be taught not to blaspheme.

Instructions on Worship

2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers,w intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority,x that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godlinessy and holiness. This is good, and pleasesz God our Savior,a who wantsb all peoplec to be savedd and to come to a knowledge of the truth.e For there is one Godf and one mediatorg between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,h who gave himself as a ransomi for all people. This has now been witnessed toj at the proper time.k And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lyingl—and a true and faithful teacherm of the Gentiles.n

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy handso without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,p 10 but with good deeds,q appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

11 A womana should learn in quietness and full submission.r 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;b she must be quiet.s 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.t 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.u 15 But womenc will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, lovev and holiness with propriety.

Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

3 Here is a trustworthy saying:w Whoever aspires to be an overseerx desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach,y faithful to his wife,z temperate,a self-controlled, respectable, hospitable,b able to teach,c not given to drunkenness,d not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome,e not a lover of money.f He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of fulla respect.g (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)h He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceitedi and fall under the same judgmentj as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders,k so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.l

In the same way, deaconsb m are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine,n and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.o 10 They must first be tested;p and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

11 In the same way, the womenc are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkersq but temperater and trustworthy in everything.

12 A deacon must be faithful to his wifes and must manage his children and his household well.t 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Reasons for Paul’s Instructions

14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the churchu of the living God,v the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mysteryw from which true godlinessx springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh,y

was vindicated by the Spirit,d

was seen by angels,

was preached among the nations,z

was believed on in the world,

was taken up in glory.a

4 The Spiritb clearly says that in later timesc some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spiritsd and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.e They forbid people to marryf and order them to abstain from certain foods,g which God createdh to be received with thanksgivingi by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good,j and nothing is to be rejectedk if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of Godl and prayer.

If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,a you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faithm and of the good teaching that you have followed.n Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales;o rather, train yourself to be godly.p For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things,q holding promise for both the present lifer and the life to come.s This is a trustworthy sayingt that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God,u who is the Savior of all people,v and especially of those who believe.

11 Command and teach these things.w 12 Don’t let anyone look down on youx because you are young, but set an exampley for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faithz and in purity. 13 Until I come,a devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture,b to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecyc when the body of eldersd laid their hands on you.e

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will savef both yourself and your hearers.

Widows, Elders and Slaves

5 Do not rebuke an older mang harshly,h but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger meni as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.j But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents,k for this is pleasing to God.l The widow who is really in needm and left all alone puts her hope in Godn and continues night and day to prayo and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.p Give the people these instructions,q so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has deniedr the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds,s such as bringing up children, showing hospitality,t washing the feetu of the Lord’s people, helping those in troublev and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also …

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Or wife; also in verse 12

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Or over her husband

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Or him with proper

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The word deacons refers here to Christians designated to serve with the overseers/elders of the church in a variety of ways; similarly in verse 12; and in Romans 16:1 and Phil. 1:1.

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Possibly deacons’ wives or women who are deacons

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Or vindicated in spirit

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The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family.

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