1-2 I, Paul, am writing this to Timothy. God our Savior and Christ Jesus are those in whom we have confidence for the future, and Christ commanded me to be an apostle. You became a Christian when I told you about Jesus Christ, and you are my true son in the Lord. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord be kind to you, have mercy upon you, and give you peace.
3 The reason that I urged you to remain in Ephesus while I traveled to Macedonia was so that you would command certain men not to teach what is different from what we teach. 4 And command them not to give their time and attention to old useless stories and lists of ancestors that people never stop thinking about. These things only cause people to argue with each other, but do not help them to know God's plan to save us—a plan that we believe by faith. 5 Instead, the purpose of what we command you to teach is to love God from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from faith that is sincere. 6 Some men have stopped trying to do these good things; instead, they are now saying useless things. 7 They want to teach about the law, but they do not understand it. Yet they insist that what they teach is true.
8 But we know that law is good if we know how to use it according to what the law says. 9 We know that the law is not made to control good people, but to control rebellious people and those who do not honor God, for sinners, and disrespectful persons, for murderers and for those who even murder their own parents. 10 It is made also to control homosexuals and all people who practice improper sexual behavior, to control those who steal others and sell them as slaves, to control liars and false witnesses in courts of law, and to stop whatever is different from our good and healthy teaching. 11 All of this agrees with the wonderful good news that God, whom we praise, has taught us, and that he trusts me to announce to others.
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, because he gave me the strength to serve him. He also relies on me to serve him. 13 In past times, I insulted and persecuted the believers. I did violent deeds, but God had mercy on me because I did not believe, and I did not know what I was doing. 14 God was extremely kind to me, for he made me able to believe in Christ Jesus and love him because he united me to him.
15 Everyone should accept this fact, because we can count on it completely: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. It is true that I am the worst sinner of all. 16 But because I am the worst sinner, God had mercy on me before many others, so that they would see how patient he is. God is patiently waiting to give everlasting life to those who believe in him.
17 The eternal king cannot be seen, and he cannot die. He alone is God. It is he whom everyone will honor and praise forever and ever. Amen. 18 Timothy, my child, I command you: Remember what certain believers prophesied about you. Do this in order to follow those things as you work hard for the Lord. 19 Trust God and keep a good conscience. Some people have not paid attention to their own consciences. So what has happened to their faith is a disaster. 20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are two men like this. I have handed them over to Satan for him to attack them, so that they may learn not to insult God.
1 Most importantly, because false teachers are dangerous, I urge all the believers to ask God and pray to him to help all people, and to thank him for them. 2 Pray for kings and for everyone who has power over others, so that we may live quietly and peacefully in a way that we can honor God and other people. 3 God, who saves us, listens to us when we pray like this. He sees it as good. 4 He wants to save everyone. He wants everyone to learn what is true about him. 5 The truth is this, that there is one God, and there is only one person who can make us acceptable to him. Christ Jesus, the man, is this one person. 6 He gave himself to set all people free—and that was the proof of what God was doing through Christ's death. 7 To declare this truth, God made me a messenger and an apostle. I speak the truth; I am not lying. I teach the Gentiles the things that they should truly believe.
8 Therefore, I want men everywhere to pray and to lift up their hands to God in a way that he will accept. Believers should not pray to show anger or doubt about God. 9 I also want the women to dress themselves carefully. They should control themselves so that they do not dress to show themselves off to others. Instead of braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing, 10 women should dress themselves in what is right for women who do good works and who say that they honor God. 11 When men are teaching the believers, women should listen quietly, and they should give respect to their teachers and do all they can to learn from them. 12 I do not allow women to teach or to tell men what to do. Women who honor God keep quiet when the believers come to learn. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve after him. 14 And it was not Adam that the snake deceived. It was the woman whom he completely deceived, so that she sinned. 15 But God will save women as they bear children, if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
1 You should rely on what I tell you here: If someone desires very much to oversee believers, he wants to do something really excellent. 2 For that reason, however, an overseer must be someone whom no one accuses of anything bad. He must have only one wife. He must not do anything to excess; he must think in wise ways. He must behave well, and he must welcome strangers. He must be able to teach others. 3 He must not be an alcoholic and not quick to fight. Instead, he must be patient and peaceful with others. And he should not be greedy for money. 4 He should control the people in his own home well. His children should obey him with respect. 5 I say this because if a man does not even know how to control the people in his own house, how can he care for an assembly of God's people? 6 A new believer should not be be an overseer, because he might think that he is better than other people. If that happened, God might punish him like he punished the devil. 7 Those outside of the church must also think well of him. Otherwise he might be shamed and the devil might persuade him to sin.
8 Deacons, in the same way, should be people whom others respect. They should be sincere when they speak. They should not drink too much wine, and they must not be greedy for money. 9 They should believe in the true things that God has told us, and at the same time know what is right, and then do it. 10 Find these qualities in them first, and then choose them to serve because no one can find anything wrong with them. 11 In the same way, other people should respect deacons' wives. Their wives should not talk badly about other people. They must not do anything to excess, and they must be honest in everything they do. 12 A deacon must have only one wife and must control his children and his possessions well. 13 Good deacons are men whom the other believers highly respect. They come to trust in Christ Jesus very much.
14 As I write to you these things, I hope to come to you soon. 15 But if I do not come soon, I am writing to you now so that you may know how to act in the family of God, which is the group of those who believe in God, who gives life to all things. It is these who teach the truth and witness that it is true. 16 And we say together that the truth that God has revealed to us is very great, and we honor him for it:
"Christ was God revealed in a human body.
The Holy Spirit proved that he was genuine.
Angels saw him.
Believers announced him among the nations.
People in many parts of the world believed in him.
God took him up to himself and gave him his power."
1 Now the Spirit clearly says that in later times, some people will stop believing the truth about Christ and pay attention to spirits who deceive believers and demons who teach false things. 2 These people will say one thing but do any evil thing they wish, as if a hot iron had burned and ruined their minds. 3 They will try to stop believers from marrying. They will tell them not to eat certain things, even though God has created them, so that believers who have come to know the truth can share them with each other while thanking God for them. 4 I say this because everything that God has made is good. We reject nothing that we receive from God while thanking him for it. 5 For by praying to God and by believing his word we set it apart for him. 6 If you keep speaking this truth to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Jesus Christ. You will serve him well, because the message that we believe is strengthening you, as the good things God has taught you and that you have followed. 7 But do not listen to the things that mean nothing and to the stories that only old women tell. Instead, train yourself to honor God. 8 Physical exercise helps only a little, but if you honor God, this will help you with everything as you live now on earth and as you live in the future with God. 9 What I have just written is something that you can rely on. It is worth believing completely. 10 For this reason we work very hard, as hard as we can, because our hope is in God who lives, the savior of all humanity, but especially the savior of those who believe. 11 Declare and teach these things to the believers.
12 Do not allow anyone to say that you are useless because you are young. Instead, show other believers how to live. Show them this by how you speak, by how you live, by how you love, by how you trust God, and by how you keep from committing evil deeds. 13 Until I come to you, see to it that you read God's word to the believers in public, and that you explain and teach it to the believers. 14 Be sure to use the gift that is in you, what God gave to you when the elders laid hands on you and spoke God's messages to you. 15 Be sure to do all these things and live according to them. In this way, all the believers will see that you are doing them better and better.
16 Control yourself very carefully and do everything that we teach. Keep doing these things. If you do so, you will save yourself and the people who listen to you.
1 Do not speak harshly to a man older than yourself. Instead, encourage him as if he were your father. Do the same to younger men as if they were your brothers. 2 Encourage older women as mothers, and younger women as if they were your sisters. Act toward them in a way that no one can criticize.
3 Respect the widows if they are true widows. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should honor their mother at home and pay her back for everything she has done for them. If they do this, they will please God. 5 Now, a real widow is a widow who has no family members. So she depends on God and on what he gives her when she asks him and prays to him all day and night long. 6 But a widow who lives for how she can please herself is dead, even though she is still alive. 7 You should announce these things so that these widows and their families will not do anything wrong. 8 But anyone who does not try to help his own relatives, especially those who live in his own house, that person rejects what we believe. He is, in fact, worse than an unbeliever.
9 Put a woman on the list of true widows if she is more than sixty years old. She also must have had only one husband, to whom she had been faithful. 10 People must know that she does good deeds: Perhaps she takes care of children; perhaps she welcomes strangers; perhaps she helps the believers or people who are suffering; or perhaps she is known for doing a large variety of good things. 11 But do not put younger widows on the widows' list, because they often want to marry again when they change their minds and put married love ahead of Christ. 12 When they do this, then they become guilty of going back on their commitment to being widows. 13 Also, they go from house to house and get into the habit of doing nothing. They also engage in foolish and trivial activities and say things that they should not say. 14 So I prefer that younger widows get married, have children, and run their households, so that Satan, the enemy, gets no opportunity to accuse them of doing wrong. 15 I write these things because some younger widows have already left the way of Christ to follow Satan.
16 If any believing woman has widows among her relatives, let her help them, so those widows will not be a burden to the church. In this way the church will be able to help real widows.
17 Let the believers give double honor to the elders who lead them well, and especially to the elders who preach and teach God's word. 18 For the scripture says, "You shall not keep the ox from eating the grain that he is treading out" and "The laborer deserves to get his pay."
19 Do not listen to anyone who accuses an elder of doing wrong, unless two or three people are testifying about the matter. 20 Those who continue to sin, correct them where everyone can see you, so that the rest of the people will be afraid to sin.
21 God, Jesus Christ, and the chosen angels see me as I solemnly command you to do these things. Be sure that you do not judge anyone before you should. Be sure that you do not favor one person over another when you lead the believers.
22 When you want someone to begin to serve the believers, make no decision too quickly, so you do not choose them too soon. And do not be a partner with anyone in sinning. You must keep yourself without fault. 23 No longer drink only water, Timothy. Instead, drink a little wine for your many stomach sicknesses. 24 The sins of some people are clear to everyone, and the church does not need much time to judge them. But the church does not discover some sins until later. 25 In the same way, some good deeds are clear to everybody, but even the other good deeds will become clear at some time in the future.
1 As for believers who are slaves, they should honor their masters in every way, so that no one will insult God or what we teach.
2 Slaves who have believing masters should not respect them less, for they are brothers. Instead, they should serve their masters even better, because the masters whom they serve are their brothers whom they should love. Teach and announce these things to the believers.
3 If anyone teaches false doctrines that do not agree with the reliable and true teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 that person is very proud and does not understand anything. They want to argue about unimportant matters and about certain words, and people who listen to them envy others. They quarrel with others and with one another. They say bad things about others. They suspect that others have evil motives. 5 Their whole way of thinking has become completely wrong because they have rejected true things. As a result, they make the mistake of thinking that by doing religious things they will get a lot of money.
6 Well, we truly do gain great benefit when we behave in a way that honors God and when we are content with what we have. 7 Indeed, we brought nothing into the world when we were born, and we cannot take anything out of it when we die. 8 So if we have food and clothing, we should be satisfied with these. 9 But some people strongly desire to be rich. As a result, they do wrong things to get money, and this will cause them to be caught as animals get caught in traps. They foolishly desire many things, and so they get hurt. God will completely destroy them! 10 People do all sorts of evil things when they want to have a lot of money. Because some people longed for money, they have stopped believing the truth that all of us believe and they have caused themselves to be very sorrowful.
11 But you, the man who serves God, keep completely away from such love of money. Decide that you will do what is right, and that you will honor God. Trust God, and love others. Endure difficult circumstances. Always be gentle with people. 12 Fight a good fight for that faith that saves you! Take hold of this great gift of eternal life and cling to it through everything you experience, no matter where you go. Remember that God chose you to live with him forever. These gifts of God are in you, and you made a good confession about them when you stood before many people.
13 God, who gives life to all things, knows everything that you do. Christ Jesus also knows everything that you do. He strongly declared what was true when he was on trial before Pontius Pilate. 14 So as you remember those things, I command you to hold tightly on to what Christ has commanded us in every way. Hold fast to those teachings in a way that our Lord Jesus Christ will not need to criticize you about what is wrong, until he comes again. 15 Remember that God will cause Jesus to come again at the proper time. God is awesome! He is the only Ruler! He rules over all other people who rule! 16 He is the only one who will never die, and he lives in heaven in light that is so bright that no one can approach it! He is the one whom no person has ever seen and whom no person is able to see! My desire is that all people will honor him and that he will rule powerfully forever! May it be so!
17 Tell the believers who are rich here in this present world that they should not be proud, and that they should not trust in their many possessions, because they cannot be certain how long they will have them. Instead, they should trust in God. He is the one who abundantly gives us everything we have in order that we may enjoy it. 18 Also, tell them to do good things. These are true wealth. Indeed, they should share with others very much of what they have. 19 If they do that, it will be as though they were storing up for themselves many things that God will give them. When they do this, they will have the life that is the real life.
20 Timothy, faithfully proclaim the true message that Jesus has given to you. Avoid the people who want to chatter about things that are not important to God. Avoid the people who say that they have true knowledge but who say things that are against the true things we teach. 21 Certain men teach these things and so they stop believing the truth. May God be kind to you all.