1 Timothy front
Introduction to 1 Timothy
Part 1: General Introduction
Outline of the Book of 1 Timothy
- Greetings (1:1,2)
- Paul and Timothy
- Warning about false teachers (1:3-11)
- Paul thankful for what Christ has done in his ministry (1:12-17)
- He calls Timothy to fight in this spiritual battle (1:18-20)
- Prayer for all (2:1-8)
- Roles and responsibilities in the church (2:9-6:2)
- Second warning about false teachers (6:3-5)
- Money (6:6-10)
- Description of a man of God (6:11-16)
- Note to the wealthy people (6:17-19)
- Closing words to Timothy (6:20,21)
Who wrote the Book of 1 Timothy?
Paul wrote 1 Timothy. Paul was from the city of Tarsus. He had been known as Saul in his early life. Before becoming a Christian, Paul was a Pharisee. He persecuted Christians. After he became a Christian, he traveled several times throughout the Roman Empire telling people about Jesus.
This book is the first letter Paul wrote to Timothy. Timothy was his disciple and close friend. Paul probably wrote it near the end of his life.
What is the Book of 1 Timothy about?
Paul had left Timothy in the city of Ephesus to help the believers there. Paul wrote this letter to instruct Timothy about various matters. The topics he addressed included church worship, qualifications for church leaders, and warnings against false teachers. This letter shows how Paul was training Timothy to be a leader among the churches.
How should the title of this book be translated?
Translators may choose to call this book by its traditional title, “1 Timothy” or “First Timothy.” Or they may choose a clearer title, such as “Paul’s First Letter to Timothy.” (See: How to Translate Names)
Part 2: Important Religious and Cultural Concepts
What is discipleship?
Discipleship is the process of making people to be disciples of Christ. The goal of discipleship is to encourage other Christians to be more like Christ. This letter gives many instructions about how a leader should train a less mature Christian. (See: disciple)
Part 3: Important Translation Issues
Singular and plural “you”
What did Paul mean by the expression “in Christ,” “in the Lord,” etc.?
Paul meant to express the idea of a very close union with Christ and the believers. Please see the introduction to the Book of Romans for more details about this kind of expression.
What are the major textual issues in the text of the Book of 1 Timothy?
For the following verse, modern versions of the Bible differ from older versions. The ULT text has the modern reading and puts the older reading in a footnote. If a translation of the Bible exists in the general region, translators should consider using the reading found in those versions. If not, translators are advised to follow the modern reading.
- “godliness is a way to get more money.” Some older versions of the Bible read this way, “godliness is a way to get more money: withdraw from such things.” (6:5)
(See: Textual Variants)
1 Timothy 1
1 Timothy 01 General Notes
Structure and formatting
Paul formally introduces this letter in verses 1-2. Writers often began letters in this way in the ancient Near East.
Special concepts in this chapter
In this chapter, Paul calls Timothy a “son” and his “child.” Paul discipled Timothy as a Christian and a church leader. Paul may also have led him to believe in Christ. Therefore, Paul called Timothy his “son in the faith.” (See: disciple, faith and spirit, spiritual and Metaphor)
Genealogies are lists that record a person’s ancestors or descendants. Jews used genealogies to choose the right man to become king. They did this because only a son of a king could normally become king. They also showed from what tribe and family they came. For example, priests came from the tribe of Levi and the family of Aaron. Most important people had records of their genealogies.
Important figures of speech in this chapter
Play on words
The phrase “the law is good if one uses it lawfully” is a play on words. The words “law” and “lawfully” sound similar in the original language.
1 Timothy 1:1
In this book, unless otherwise noted, the word “our” refers to Paul and Timothy (the one to whom this letter is written), as well as to all believers. (See: Inclusive and Exclusive “We”)
“I, Paul, wrote this letter. I am an apostle.” Your language may have a particular way of introducing the author of a letter. Immediately after introducing the writer, you may want to indicate to whom the letter was written, as in the UST.
κατ’ ἐπιταγὴν Θεοῦ
“by the command of” or “by the authority of”
Θεοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν
“God who saves us”
Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τῆς ἐλπίδος ἡμῶν
Here “our confidence” refers to the person in whom we have confidence. Alternate translation: “Christ Jesus, who is the one in whom we have confidence” or “Christ Jesus, whom we trust” (See: Metonymy)
1 Timothy 1:2
γνησίῳ τέκνῳ ἐν πίστει
Paul speaks of his close relationship to Timothy as though they were father and son. This shows Paul’s sincere love and approval of Timothy. It is also likely that Timothy was converted to Christ by Paul, and so this is why Paul considered him like his own child. Alternate translation: “who is truly like a son to me” (See: Metaphor)
χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη
“May grace, mercy, and peace be yours,” or “May you experience kindness, mercy, and peace”
“God, who is our Father.” Here “Father” is an important title for God. (See: Translating Son and Father)
Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν
“Christ Jesus, who is our Lord”
1 Timothy 1:3
The word “you” in this letter is singular and refers to Timothy. (See: Forms of You)
Paul encourages Timothy to reject the wrong use of the law and use good teaching from God.
καθὼς παρεκάλεσά σε
“As I pleaded with you” or “As I asked you very strongly”
προσμεῖναι ἐν Ἐφέσῳ
“wait for me there in the city of Ephesus”
The implied information can be stated explicitly. Alternate translation: “a different doctrine from what we teach” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
1 Timothy 1:4
The understood information can be stated clearly. Alternate translation: “And I also want you to command them not to pay attention” (See: Ellipsis)
These may have been stories about their ancestors.
With the word “endless” Paul uses exaggeration to emphasize that the genealogies are very long. (See: Hyperbole)
the written or verbal record of a person’s parents and ancestors
αἵτινες ἐκζητήσεις παρέχουσι
“These make people angrily disagree.” The people debated about stories and genealogies about which no one could know the truth for certain.
μᾶλλον ἢ οἰκονομίαν Θεοῦ, τὴν ἐν πίστει
Possible meanings are (1) “rather than helping us to understand God’s plan to save us, which we learn by faith” or (2) “rather than helping us to do God’s work, which we do by faith.”
1 Timothy 1:5
This word is used here to mark a break in the main teaching. Here Paul explains the purpose of what he is commanding Timothy.
Possible meanings are (1) “is to love God” or (2) “is to love people.”
ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας
Here “pure” means the person does not have hidden motives to do wrong. Here “heart” refers to a person’s mind and thoughts. Alternate translation: “from a mind that is honest” (See: Metonymy)
“a conscience that chooses right instead wrong”
“genuine faith” or “a faith without hypocrisy”
1 Timothy 1:6
Paul speaks of faith in Christ as if it were a target at which to aim. Paul means that some people are not fulfilling the purpose of their faith, which is to love as he just explained in 1:5. (See: Metaphor)
Here “turned away” is an idiom that means they have stopped doing what God has commanded. (See: Idiom)
1 Timothy 1:7
Here “law” refers to the law of Moses.
“even though they do not understand” or “and yet they do not understand”
περὶ τίνων διαβεβαιοῦνται
“what they so confidently state is true”
1 Timothy 1:8
οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι καλὸς ὁ νόμος
“we understand that the law is useful” or “we understand that the law is beneficial”
ἐάν τις αὐτῷ νομίμως χρῆται
“if a person uses it correctly” or “if a person uses it the way God intended”
1 Timothy 1:9
“Because we realize this” or “We also know this”
ὅτι δικαίῳ νόμος οὐ κεῖται
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “that God did not make the law for the righteous man” (See: Active or Passive)
Here “man” includes both male and female. Alternate translation: “a righteous person” or “a good person” (See: When Masculine Words Include Women)
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “God made the law” (See: Active or Passive)
1 Timothy 1:10
This refers to anyone who sleeps with someone to whom they are not married.
men who sleep with other men
“those who kidnap people to sell as slaves” or “those who take people to sell as slaves”
εἴ τι ἕτερον τῇ ὑγιαινούσῃ διδασκαλίᾳ ἀντίκειται
“for those who do anything else that is against true Christian teaching”
1 Timothy 1:11
τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς δόξης τοῦ μακαρίου Θεοῦ
“the gospel about the glory that belongs to the blessed God” or “the gospel of the glorious and blessed God”
ὃ ἐπιστεύθην ἐγώ
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “which God has given me and made me responsible for” (See: Active or Passive)
1 Timothy 1:12
Paul tells how he acted in the past and encourages Timothy to trust God.
πιστόν με ἡγήσατο
“he considered me trustworthy” or “he regarded me as reliable”
θέμενος εἰς διακονίαν
Paul speaks of the task of serving God as if it were a place that one could be placed in. Alternate translation: “he assigned me to serve him” or “he appointed me as his servant” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 1:13
“I was a person who spoke evil against Christ.” Paul is referring to his character before he was a Christian.
“a person who persecuted those who believed in Christ”
“a person was cruel towards other people.” This is a person who believes he has the right to hurt others.
ὅτι ἀγνοῶν, ἐποίησα ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ
“But because I did not believe in Jesus, and I did not know what I was doing, I received mercy from Jesus”
“Jesus showed me mercy” or “Jesus had mercy on me”
1 Timothy 1:14
δὲ ἡ χάρις
“And the grace”
ὑπερεπλεόνασεν…ἡ χάρις τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν
Paul speaks of God’s grace as if it were a liquid that could fill a container and spill out of the top when the container is full. Alternate translation: “God showed me much grace” (See: Metaphor)
μετὰ πίστεως καὶ ἀγάπης
This is the result of God showing much grace to Paul. Alternate translation: “which caused me to trust in Jesus and love him”
τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ
This speaks about Jesus as if he were a container that holds a liquid. Here “in Christ Jesus” refers to having a relationship with Jesus. Alternate translation: “that Christ Jesus enables me to give to God because I am united to him” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 1:15
πιστὸς ὁ λόγος
“This statement is true”
πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος
“we should receive it without any doubt” or “deserves for us to accept it with full confidence”
1 Timothy 1:16
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “God showed me mercy” or “I obtained mercy from God” (See: Active or Passive)
ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ πρώτῳ
“so that through me, the worst sinner”
1 Timothy 1:17
The word “Now” is used here to mark a break in the main teaching. Here Paul praises God.
τῷ…Βασιλεῖ τῶν αἰώνων
“the eternal king” or “the chief ruler forever”
τῷ δὲ Βασιλεῖ τῶν αἰώνων, ἀφθάρτῳ, ἀοράτῳ, μόνῳ Θεῷ, τιμὴ καὶ δόξα, εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων
The abstract nouns “honor” and “glory” can be stated as verbs. Alternate translation: “Now may people forever honor and glorify the king of the ages, who is immortal, invisible, and the only God” (See: Abstract Nouns)
1 Timothy 1:18
ταύτην τὴν παραγγελίαν παρατίθεμαί σοι
Paul speaks of his instructions as if he could physically put them in front of Timothy. Alternate translation: “I am entrusting you with this command” or “This is what I am commanding you” (See: Metaphor)
Paul speaks of his close relationship to Timothy as though Paul is the father and Timothy is the child. It is also likely that Timothy was converted to Christ by Paul, and so this is why Paul considered him like his own child. Alternate translation: “who is truly like my child” (See: Metaphor)
κατὰ τὰς προαγούσας ἐπὶ σὲ προφητείας
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “in agreement with what other believers prophesied about you” (See: Active or Passive)
στρατεύῃ…τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν
Paul speaks about Timothy working for the Lord as if he were a soldier fighting a battle. Alternate translation: “continue to work hard for the Lord” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 1:19
“a conscience that chooses right instead wrong.” See how you translated this in 1 Timothy 1:5.
τινες…τὴν πίστιν ἐναυάγησαν
Paul speaks of these people’s faith as if it were a ship that could be wrecked at sea. He means that they have ruined their faith and no longer believe in Jesus. You should use this or a similar metaphor if it will be understood in the project language. (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 1:20
These are names of men. (See: How to Translate Names)
οὓς παρέδωκα τῷ Σατανᾷ
Paul speaks as if he physically handed these men to Satan. This probably means that Paul rejected them from the community of believers. Since they are no longer a part of the community, Satan can have power over them and harm them. (See: Metaphor)
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “that God may teach them” (See: Active or Passive)
1 Timothy 2
1 Timothy 02 General Notes
Special concepts in this chapter
Paul encourages Christians to pray for everyone. They should pray for rulers so that Christians can live peacefully, in a godly and dignified way.
Women in the church
Scholars are divided over how to understand this passage in its historical and cultural context. Some scholars believe men and women are perfectly equal in all things. Other scholars believe God created men and women to serve in distinctly different roles in marriage and the church. Translators should be careful not to let how they understand this issue affect how they translate this passage.
Other possible translation difficulties in this chapter
“Prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings”
These terms overlap each other in what they mean. It is not necessary to view them as distinct categories.
1 Timothy 2:1
Paul encourages Timothy to pray for all people.
“most important” or “before anything else”
παρακαλῶ…ποιεῖσθαι δεήσεις, προσευχάς, ἐντεύξεις, εὐχαριστίας
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “I urge all believers to make requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving to God” (See: Active or Passive)
“I plead” or “I ask”
1 Timothy 2:2
ἤρεμον καὶ ἡσύχιον βίον
Here “peaceful” and “quiet” mean the same thing. Paul wants all believers to be able to live calm lives without trouble from the authorities. (See: Doublet)
ἐν πάσῃ εὐσεβείᾳ καὶ σεμνότητι
“that honors God and that other people will respect”
1 Timothy 2:4
ὃς πάντας ἀνθρώπους θέλει σωθῆναι, καὶ εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “God desires to save all people and for them to come to the knowledge of the truth” (See: Active or Passive)
εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν
Paul speaks of learning the truth about God as if it were a place to which people could be brought. Alternate translation: “to know and accept what is true” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 2:5
εἷς…μεσίτης Θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων
A mediator is a person who helps negotiate a peaceful settlement between two parties who disagree with each other. Here Jesus helps sinners enter into a peaceful relationship with God.
1 Timothy 2:6
“as a price of freedom” or “as a payment to obtain freedom”
τὸ μαρτύριον καιροῖς ἰδίοις
It can be made explicit that this was the testimony that God wants to save all people. Alternate translation: “as the proof at the right time that God wants to save all people” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
This means that this was the time that God had chosen.
1 Timothy 2:7
“For this” or “For this reason”
ἐτέθην ἐγὼ κῆρυξ καὶ ἀπόστολος
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “Christ made me, Paul, a preacher and an apostle” (See: Active or Passive)
διδάσκαλος ἐθνῶν ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀληθείᾳ
“I teach the Gentiles the message of faith and truth.” Here, Paul may be using “faith” and truth” to express one idea. Alternate translation: “I teach the Gentiles about the true faith” (See: Hendiadys)
1 Timothy 2:8
Paul finishes his instructions on prayer then gives some special instructions for women.
βούλομαι…προσεύχεσθαι τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ, ἐπαίροντας ὁσίους χεῖρας
Here “holy hands” means the entire person is holy. Alternate translation: “I want men in every place who are holy to lift up their hands and pray” (See: Metonymy)
τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ
“the males in all places” or “the males everywhere.” Here the word “men” refers specifically to males.
ἐπαίροντας ὁσίους χεῖρας
It was a normal posture for people to raise their hands while praying.
1 Timothy 2:9
μετὰ αἰδοῦς καὶ σωφροσύνης
Both of these words mean basically the same thing. Paul is emphasizing that women should wear clothes that are appropriate and do not attract improper attention from men. (See: Doublet)
μὴ ἐν πλέγμασιν
During Paul’s time, many Roman women braided their hair to make themselves attractive. Braiding is only one way a woman can give undue attention to her hair. If braided hair is unknown, it can be stated in a more general way. Alternate translation: “They should not have fancy hairstyles” or “They should not have elaborate hairstyle that attract attention” (See: Metonymy)
These are beautiful and valuable white balls that people use as jewelry. They are formed inside the shell of a certain kind of small animal that lives in the ocean. (See: Translate Unknowns)
1 Timothy 2:10
ἐπαγγελλομέναις θεοσέβειαν, δι’ ἔργων ἀγαθῶν
“who want to honor God by the good things they do”
1 Timothy 2:11
ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ
“and submit to what is taught”
1 Timothy 2:12
γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω
“I do not allow a woman”
1 Timothy 2:13
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “Adam is the one God formed first” or “God created Adam first” (See: Active or Passive)
The understood information can be stated clearly. Alternate translation: “and then God formed Eve” or “then God created Eve” (See: Ellipsis)
1 Timothy 2:14
Ἀδὰμ οὐκ ἠπατήθη
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “And Adam was not the one whom the serpent deceived” (See: Active or Passive)
ἡ δὲ γυνὴ ἐξαπατηθεῖσα, ἐν παραβάσει γέγονεν
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “but it was the woman who disobeyed God when the serpent deceived her” (See: Active or Passive)
1 Timothy 2:15
σωθήσεται…διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας
Here “she” refers to women in general. Possible meanings are (1) God will keep women physically safe as they give birth to children, or (2) God will save women from their sins through their role as child bearers.
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “God will save her” or “God will save women” (See: Active or Passive)
“if they remain” or “if they continue living.” Here “they” refers to women.
ἐν πίστει, καὶ ἀγάπῃ, καὶ ἁγιασμῷ
The abstract nouns here can be translated with verbal phrases. Alternate translation: “in trusting Jesus and loving others and living a holy life” (See: Abstract Nouns)
Possible meanings for this idiom are (1) “with good judgment,” (2) “with modesty,” or (3) “with self-control.” (See: Idiom)
If the idiom is retained in translation, the abstract noun “soundness” can be translated with an adjective. Alternate translation: “a sound mind” (See: Abstract Nouns)
1 Timothy 3
1 Timothy 03 General Notes
Structure and formatting
1 Timothy 3:16 was probably a song, poem, or creed the early church used to list important doctrines that believers all shared.
Special concepts in this chapter
Overseers and deacons
The church has used different titles for church leaders. Some titles include elder, pastor, and bishop. The word “overseer” reflects the meaning of the original language in verses 1-2. Paul writes about “deacons” in verses 8 and 12 as another kind of church leader.
Other possible translation difficulties in this chapter
This chapter lists several qualities that a man must have if he is to be an overseer or deacon in the church. (See: Abstract Nouns)
1 Timothy 3:1
Paul gives some special instructions on how the overseers of the church should act and be.
“an honorable task”
1 Timothy 3:2
μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα
An overseer must have only one wife. It is unclear if this excludes men who have been previously widowed or divorced, or never married.
δεῖ…εἶναι…νηφάλιον, σώφρονα, κόσμιον, φιλόξενον
“He must not do anything to excess, must be reasonable and behave well, and must be friendly to strangers”
1 Timothy 3:3
μὴ πάροινον, μὴ πλήκτην, ἀλλὰ ἐπιεικῆ, ἄμαχον
“He must neither drink too much alcohol nor like to fight and argue, but instead he must be gentle and peaceful”
“greedy for money”
1 Timothy 3:4
“He should lead” or “He should take care of”
μετὰ πάσης σεμνότητος
Possible meanings are (1) the overseer’s children should obey and show respect to their father or (2) the overseer’s children should show respect to everyone or (3) the overseer should show respect to those in his household as he leads them.
“complete respect” or “respect at all times”
1 Timothy 3:5
εἰ δέ τις τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου προστῆναι οὐκ οἶδεν
“For when a man cannot manage”
πῶς ἐκκλησίας Θεοῦ ἐπιμελήσεται?
Paul uses a question to teach Timothy. Alternate translation: “he cannot take care of a church of God.” or “he will not be able to lead a church of God.” (See: Rhetorical Question)
Here “church” refers to a local group of God’s people. Alternate translation: “a group of God’s people” or “the believers over whom he is in charge” (See: Metonymy)
1 Timothy 3:6
“He should not be a new believer” or “He must be a mature believer”
εἰς κρίμα ἐμπέσῃ τοῦ διαβόλου
Paul speaks of the experience of being condemned for having done wrong as if it were a hole that a person could fall into. Alternate translation: “have God condemn him as he condemned the devil” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 3:7
“those outside of the church.” Paul speaks of the church as though it were a place, and of unbelievers as though they were physically outside of it. Alternate translation: “those who are not Christians” (See: Metaphor)
μὴ εἰς ὀνειδισμὸν ἐμπέσῃ, καὶ παγίδα τοῦ διαβόλου
Paul speaks of disgrace and the devil causing someone to sin as if they were a hole or a trap into which a person falls. Here “fall into” means to experience. Alternate translation: “nothing causes him shame before the unbelievers and so that the devil does not cause him to sin” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 3:8
Paul gives some special instructions on how the deacons of the church and their wives should act and be.
“Deacons, like overseers”
σεμνούς, μὴ διλόγους
Paul speaks about these people as if they were “double-talkers” or could say two things at once. He means the person says one thing but mean something else. Alternate translation: “should act properly and mean what they say” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 3:9
ἔχοντας τὸ μυστήριον τῆς πίστεως
“They must continue to believe the true message God revealed to us and that we believe.” This refers to a truth that had existed for some time but that God was showing to them at that moment. Paul speaks of true teaching about God as if it were an object that a person could keep with himself. (See: Metaphor)
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “the truth that God revealed” (See: Active or Passive)
πίστεως ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει
Paul speaks of a person’s knowledge that he has done no wrong as if that knowledge or conscience were clean. Alternate translation: “faith, knowing they have tried their hardest to do what is right” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 3:10
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “Other believers should approve of them first” or “They should prove themselves first” (See: Active or Passive)
This means other believers should evaluate those who want to be a deacon and determine if they are fit to serve in the church.
1 Timothy 3:11
Possible meanings are (1) “women” refers to the wives of deacons or (2) “women” refers to female deacons.
“act properly” or “be worthy of respect”
“They must not speak evil about other people”
“not do anything to excess.” See how you translated this in 1 Timothy 3:2.
1 Timothy 3:12
μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρες
A man must have only one wife. It is unclear if this excludes men who have been previously widowed, divorced, or never married. See how you translated this in 1 Timothy 3:2.
τέκνων καλῶς προϊστάμενοι καὶ τῶν ἰδίων οἴκων
“properly take care of and lead their children and others who live in their homes”
1 Timothy 3:13
“For those deacons” or “For these church leaders”
“receive for themselves” or “gain for themselves”
The implied meaning may be stated explicitly. Alternate translation: “a good reputation among other believers” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
πολλὴν παρρησίαν ἐν πίστει τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ
Possible meanings are (1) they will trust in Jesus with even more confidence or (2) they will speak confidently to other people about their faith in Jesus.
1 Timothy 3:14
Paul tells Timothy the reason he wrote to him and then describes Christ’s godliness.
1 Timothy 3:15
ἐὰν δὲ βραδύνω
“But in case I cannot go there soon” or “But if something prevents me for being there soon”
ἵνα εἰδῇς πῶς δεῖ ἐν οἴκῳ Θεοῦ ἀναστρέφεσθαι
Paul speaks of the group of believers as if they were a family. Possible meanings are (1) Paul is referring only to Timothy’s behavior in the church. Alternate translation: “so that you may know how to conduct yourself as a member of God’s family” or (2) Paul is referring to the believers’ in general. Alternate translation: “so that you all may know how to conduct yourselves as members of God’s family” (See: Metaphor)
οἴκῳ Θεοῦ…ἥτις ἐστὶν ἐκκλησία Θεοῦ ζῶντος
This phrase gives us information about “the household of God” rather than making a distinction between a household of God which is the church and one that is not the church. This can be stated as a new sentence. Alternate translation: “house hold of God. Those who belong to the family of God are the community of believers in the living God” (See: Distinguishing versus Informing or Reminding)
ἥτις ἐστὶν ἐκκλησία Θεοῦ ζῶντος, στῦλος καὶ ἑδραίωμα τῆς ἀληθείας
Paul speaks of the believers bearing witness to the truth about Christ as if they were a pillar and a base supporting a building. This can be stated as a new sentence. Alternate translation: “which is the church of the living God. And, by keeping and teaching God’s truth, these members of the church support the truth just as a pillar and base support a building” (See: Metaphor)
Here this expression may be speaking of God as the one who gives life to all, as in the UST.
1 Timothy 3:16
“No one can deny”
μέγα ἐστὶν τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον
“that the truth that God has revealed is great”
ὃς ἐφανερώθη…ἀνελήμφθη ἐν δόξῃ
This is most likely a song or poem that Paul is quoting. If your language has a way of indicating that this is poetry you could use it here. If not, you could translate this as regular prose rather than poetry. (See: Poetry)
Here “He” is ambiguous. It could refers to “God” or to “Christ.” It may be best to translate this as “He.” If you must be more specific you could translate it as “Christ who is God” or “Christ.”
Paul uses “flesh” here to mean a human being. Alternate translation: “as a true human being” (See: Metonymy)
ἐδικαιώθη ἐν Πνεύματι
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “the Holy Spirit confirmed that he was who he said he was” (See: Active or Passive)
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “the angels saw him” (See: Active or Passive)
ἐκηρύχθη ἐν ἔθνεσιν
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “people in many nations told others about him” (See: Active or Passive)
ἐπιστεύθη ἐν κόσμῳ
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “people in many parts of the world believed in him” (See: Active or Passive)
ἀνελήμφθη ἐν δόξῃ
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “God the Father took him up to heaven in glory” (See: Active or Passive)
This means he received power from God the Father and he is worthy of honor.
1 Timothy 4
1 Timothy 04 General Notes
Structure and formatting
Other possible translation difficulties in this chapter
This is another way of referring to the last days. (See: last day, latter days)
1 Timothy 4:1
Paul tells Timothy what the Spirit says will happen and encourages him in what he should teach.
This word is used here to mark a break in the main teaching. Here Paul starts to tell a new part of the teaching.
ἐν ὑστέροις καιροῖς
Possible meanings are (1) this refers to a time after Paul dies or (2) this is at a latter time in Paul’s own life.
Paul speaks of people ceasing to trust in Christ as if they were physically leaving a place or an object. Alternate translation: “stop trusting in Jesus” (See: Metaphor)
“and give attention” or “because they are paying attention”
πνεύμασι πλάνοις καὶ διδασκαλίαις δαιμονίων
“spirits who trick people and the things that demons teach”
1 Timothy 4:2
ἐν ὑποκρίσει ψευδολόγων
This can be stated as a separate sentence. Alternate translation: “These people will be hypocrites and speak lies”
κεκαυστηριασμένων τὴν ἰδίαν συνείδησιν
Possible meanings are (1) Paul is speaking of people who can no longer tell that they are doing wrong as if their minds are ruined like skin that someone has burned with a hot iron or (2) Paul is speaking of these people as if Satan had put a mark on these people with a hot iron to indicate that they belong to him. (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 4:3
“These people will”
It is implied that they will forbid believers to marry. Alternate translation: “forbid believers to marry” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
It is implied that they will forbid only certain foods. Alternate translation: “they will require believers to abstain from certain foods” or “they will not allow people to eat certain foods” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
1 Timothy 4:4
πᾶν κτίσμα Θεοῦ καλόν
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “everything that God has created is good” (See: Active or Passive)
οὐδὲν ἀπόβλητον μετὰ εὐχαριστίας λαμβανόμενον
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “We should not refuse anything for which we give thanks to God” or “Everything that we eat with thanksgiving is acceptable” (See: Active or Passive)
1 Timothy 4:5
ἁγιάζεται…διὰ λόγου Θεοῦ καὶ ἐντεύξεως
Here “word of God” and “prayer” are used together to express one idea. The prayer is in agreement with the truth that God has revealed. Alternate translation: “it is dedicated for God’s use by praying in agreement with his word” (See: Hendiadys)
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “we sanctify it” or “we have set it apart” (See: Active or Passive)
Here “word” refers to God’s message or what he has revealed. (See: Metonymy)
1 Timothy 4:6
ταῦτα ὑποτιθέμενος τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς
Paul speaks of his instructions as if they were objects that could be physically presented to the believers. Here, to place before means to instruct or to remind. Alternate translation: “If you help the believers remember these things” (See: Metaphor)
This refers to the teaching that started in 1 Timothy 3:16.
This refers to all believers whether male or female. (See: When Masculine Words Include Women)
ἐντρεφόμενος τοῖς λόγοις τῆς πίστεως, καὶ τῆς καλῆς διδασκαλίας ᾗ παρηκολούθηκας
Paul speaks of God’s word and its teaching as if it could physically feed Timothy and make him strong. This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “the words of faith and the good teaching that you have followed are causing you to trust more strongly in Christ” (See: Metaphor and Active or Passive)
λόγοις τῆς πίστεως
“words that cause people to believe”
1 Timothy 4:7
βεβήλους καὶ γραώδεις μύθους
“profane stories and old wives’ tales.” The word for “stories” is the same as for “myths” in 1 Timothy 1:4, so you should translate it the same here.
This is probably an expression that means “silly” or “absurd.” Paul is not purposely insulting women in his reference to “old women.” Instead, he and his audience knew that men die younger than women, so there are more women than men whose minds have become feeble due to old age. (See: Metaphor)
γύμναζε…σεαυτὸν πρὸς εὐσέβειαν
“train yourself to honor God” or “train yourself to act in ways that please God”
1 Timothy 4:8
γὰρ σωματικὴ γυμνασία
ἐπαγγελίαν ἔχουσα ζωῆς
“is beneficial to this life”
1 Timothy 4:9
πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος
“worthy of your complete belief” or “worthy of your full trust”
1 Timothy 4:10
εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ
“This is the reason”
κοπιῶμεν καὶ ἀγωνιζόμεθα
ἠλπίκαμεν ἐπὶ Θεῷ ζῶντι
Here “living God” probably means, “God, who makes all things live.”
The understood information can be stated clearly. Alternate translation: “but he is especially the Savior of those people who believe” (See: Ellipsis)
1 Timothy 4:11
παράγγελλε ταῦτα καὶ δίδασκε
“Command and teach these things” or “Command and teach these things I just mentioned”
1 Timothy 4:12
μηδείς σου τῆς νεότητος καταφρονείτω
“Do not let anyone consider you less important because you are young”
1 Timothy 4:13
πρόσεχε τῇ ἀναγνώσει, τῇ παρακλήσει, τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ
The words “reading,” “exhortation,” and “teaching” can be translated with verbal phrases. The implied information can also be supplied in translation Alternate translation: “continue reading the scripture to the people, exhorting the people, and teaching the people” (See: Abstract Nouns and Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
1 Timothy 4:14
μὴ ἀμέλει τοῦ ἐν σοὶ χαρίσματος
Paul speaks of Timothy as if he were a container that could hold God’s gifts. This can be stated in positive form. Alternate translation: “Do not neglect your spiritual gift” (See: Metaphor)
This can be stated in positive form. Alternate translation: “Be sure to use” (See: Active or Passive)
ὃ ἐδόθη σοι διὰ προφητείας
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “which you received when leaders of the church spoke God’s word” (See: Active or Passive)
ἐπιθέσεως τῶν χειρῶν τοῦ πρεσβυτερίου
This was a ceremony in which the church leaders put their hands on Timothy and prayed that God would enable him to do the work he had commanded him to do.
1 Timothy 4:15
ταῦτα μελέτα, ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι
Paul speaks of God’s gifts to Timothy as if he could physically be in them. Alternate translation: “Do all these things and live according to them” (See: Metaphor)
ἵνα σου ἡ προκοπὴ φανερὰ ᾖ πᾶσιν
Paul speaks of Timothy’s increasing ability to serve God as if it were a physical object that others could look at. Alternate translation: “so other people will know that you are serving God better and better” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 4:16
ἔπεχε σεαυτῷ καὶ τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ
“Conduct yourself carefully and give attention to the teaching” or “Control your own behavior and give attention to the teaching”
“Continue to do these things”
καὶ σεαυτὸν σώσεις καὶ τοὺς ἀκούοντάς σου
Possible meanings are (1) Timothy will save himself and those who hear him from God’s judgment or (2) Timothy will save himself and those who hear him from the influence of false teachers.
1 Timothy 5
1 Timothy 05 General Notes
Special concepts in this chapter
Honor and respect
Paul encourages younger Christians to honor and respect older Christians. Cultures honor and respect older people in different ways.
In the ancient Near East, it was important to care for widows, because they could not provide for themselves.
1 Timothy 5:1
Paul was giving these commands to one person, Timothy. Languages that have different forms of “you” or different forms for commands would use the singular form here. (See: Forms of You)
Paul continues to tell Timothy how to treat the men, women, widows, and younger women in the church.
πρεσβυτέρῳ μὴ ἐπιπλήξῃς
“Do not speak harshly to an older man”
“Instead, encourage him”
ὡς πατέρα…ὡς ἀδελφούς
Paul uses these similes to tell Timothy that he should treat fellow believers with sincere love and respect. (See: Simile)
1 Timothy 5:2
ὡς μητέρας…ὡς ἀδελφὰς
Paul uses these similes to tell Timothy that he should treat fellow believers with sincere love and respect. (See: Simile)
You can state clearly the understood information. Alternate translation: “exhort younger women” or “encourage younger women” (See: Ellipsis)
ἐν πάσῃ ἁγνίᾳ
“with pure thoughts and actions” or “in a holy way”
1 Timothy 5:3
“Respect and provide for widows”
τὰς ὄντως χήρας
“widows with no one to provide for them”
1 Timothy 5:4
“first of all they should learn” or “let them make it a priority to learn”
τὸν ἴδιον οἶκον
“to their own family” or “to those living in their homes”
ἀμοιβὰς ἀποδιδόναι τοῖς προγόνοις
“Let them do good to their parents in return for the good things their parents have given them”
1 Timothy 5:5
ἡ δὲ ὄντως χήρα καὶ μεμονωμένη
“But one who is truly a widow has no family”
προσμένει ταῖς δεήσεσιν καὶ ταῖς προσευχαῖς
“She continues to make requests and prayers”
ταῖς δεήσεσιν καὶ ταῖς προσευχαῖς
These two words mean basically the same thing. Paul uses them together to emphasize how much these widows pray. (See: Doublet)
νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας
The words “night” and “day” are used together to mean “at all times.” Alternate translation: “all the time” (See: Merism)
1 Timothy 5:6
Paul speaks about people who do not seek to please God as if they were dead. Alternate translation: “is like a dead person, she does not respond to God” (See: Metaphor)
This refers to physical life.
1 Timothy 5:7
“Command these things”
ἵνα ἀνεπίλημπτοι ὦσιν
“so that no one can find fault with them.” Possible meanings of “they” are (1) “these widows and their families” or (2) “the believers.” It might be best to leave the subject as “they.”
1 Timothy 5:8
τις τῶν ἰδίων καὶ μάλιστα οἰκείων οὐ προνοεῖ
“does not help with his relatives’ needs, especially for those family members living in his home”
τὴν πίστιν ἤρνηται
“he has acted contrary to the truth we believe”
ἔστιν ἀπίστου χείρων
“is worse than those who do not believe in Jesus.” Paul means this person is worse than an unbeliever because even unbelievers take care of their relatives. Therefore, a believer should certainly take care of his relatives.
1 Timothy 5:9
There seems to have been a list, written or not, of widows. The church members met these women’s needs for shelter, clothing, and food, and these women were expected to devote their lives to serving the Christian community.
μὴ ἔλαττον ἐτῶν ἑξήκοντα
As Paul will explain in 5:11-16, widows who were younger than 60 years old might get married again. Therefore the Christian community was to care only for widows who were older than 60. (See: Numbers)
γεγονυῖα, ἑνὸς ἀνδρὸς γυνή
Possible meanings are (1) she was always faithful to her husband or (2) she had not divorced her husband then married another man.
1 Timothy 5:10
ἐν ἔργοις καλοῖς μαρτυρουμένη
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “People must be able to attest to her good deeds” (See: Active or Passive)
“has welcomed strangers into her home”
ἁγίων πόδας ἔνιψεν
Washing the dirty feet of people who have been walking in the dirt and mud is one way of meeting other people’s needs and making life more enjoyable for them. This probably means she did humble work in general. Alternate translation: “has done common work to help other believers” (See: Metonymy)
Some versions translate this word as “the believers” or “God’s holy people.” The essential idea is to refer to Christian believers.
Here “the afflicted” is a nominal adjective that can be stated as an adjective. Alternate translation: “has helped those who are suffering” (See: Nominal Adjectives)
παντὶ ἔργῳ ἀγαθῷ ἐπηκολούθησεν
“has given herself to doing all kinds of good deeds”
1 Timothy 5:11
νεωτέρας δὲ χήρας παραιτοῦ
“But do not include younger widows in the list.” The list was of widows aged 60 years and older whom the Christian community would help.
ὅταν γὰρ καταστρηνιάσωσιν τοῦ Χριστοῦ, γαμεῖν θέλουσιν
“For when they prefer to fulfill their sensual desires and get married, they go against their promise to serve Christ as widows”
1 Timothy 5:12
τὴν πρώτην πίστιν ἠθέτησαν
“do not keep their prior commitment” or “do not do what they promised before to do”
The commitment of the widows was their agreement to serve the Christian community for the rest of their lives if the community would supply the widows’ needs.
1 Timothy 5:13
“get into the habit of doing nothing”
φλύαροι καὶ περίεργοι, λαλοῦσαι τὰ μὴ δέοντα
These three phrases are probably three ways of speaking of the same activity. These people should not be looking into other people’s private lives and telling about them to others who are no better off after hearing.
words that do not help those who hear them
people who look into other people’s private lives for their own good and not for the good of the other people
1 Timothy 5:14
“to take care of everyone in her house”
Possible meanings are (1) this refers to Satan or (2) this refers to unbelievers who are hostile to Christians.
Here “us” refers to the entire Christian community, including Timothy. (See: Inclusive and Exclusive “We”)
1 Timothy 5:15
ἐξετράπησαν ὀπίσω τοῦ Σατανᾶ
Paul speaks of living in faithfulness to Christ as if it were a path to be followed. This means the woman stopped obeying Jesus and started obeying Satan. Alternate translation: “left the path of Christ to follow Satan” or “decided to obey Satan instead of Christ” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 5:16
“any Christian woman” or “any woman who believes in Christ”
“has widows among her relatives”
καὶ μὴ βαρείσθω ἡ ἐκκλησία
Paul speaks of the community having to help more people than they are able as if they were carrying too much weight on their backs. This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “so that the church will not have more work to do than they can” or “so that the Christian community will not have to help widows whose families could provide for them” (See: Metaphor and Active or Passive)
“those women who have no one to provide for them”
1 Timothy 5:17
Paul again talks of how elders (overseers) should be treated and then gives Timothy some personal instructions.
οἱ καλῶς προεστῶτες πρεσβύτεροι…ἀξιούσθωσαν
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “All believers should think of the elders who are good leaders as worthy” (See: Active or Passive)
Possible meanings are (1) “respect and payment” or (2) “more respect than others receive”
οἱ κοπιῶντες ἐν λόγῳ καὶ διδασκαλίᾳ
Paul speaks about the word as if it is an object that a person can work with. Alternate translation: “those who preach and teach God’s word” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 5:18
λέγει γὰρ ἡ Γραφή
This is personification that means that this is what someone has written in the scriptures. Alternate translation: “For we read in the scriptures that” (See: Personification)
βοῦν ἀλοῶντα οὐ φιμώσεις
Paul is using this quotation as a metaphor meaning that church leaders deserve to receive payment from the Christian community for their work. (See: Metaphor)
a sleeve that goes over an animal’s snout and mouth to prevent it from eating while it is doing work (See: Translate Unknowns)
And ox “treads the grain” when it walks on or pulls a heavy object over the cut grain to separate the grain from the stalks. The ox was allowed to eat some of the grain as they worked.
1 Timothy 5:19
κατηγορίαν μὴ παραδέχου
Paul speaks of accusations as if they were objects that could be physically accepted by people. Alternate translation: “Do not accept as true any accusation that someone speaks” (See: Metaphor)
δύο ἢ τριῶν
“at least two” or “two or more”
1 Timothy 5:20
This refers to anyone doing anything that disobeys or displeases God, even things that other people do not know about.
“where everyone can see”
ἵνα καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ φόβον ἔχωσιν
“so that others will be afraid to sin”
1 Timothy 5:21
τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν ἀγγέλων
This means the angels whom God and Jesus have chosen to serve them in a special way.
ταῦτα φυλάξῃς χωρὶς προκρίματος, μηδὲν ποιῶν κατὰ πρόσκλισιν
The words “partiality” and “favoritism” mean basically the same thing. Paul is emphasizing that Timothy must judge honestly and be fair to everyone. Alternate translation: “to keep these rules without being partial or showing favor to anyone” (See: Doublet)
Possible meanings are (1) this refers to the rules Paul just told Timothy or (2) this refers to the rules Paul is about to tell Timothy.
1 Timothy 5:22
The placing of hands was a ceremony in which one or more church leaders would place their hands on people and pray that God would enable those people to serve the church in a way that would please God. Timothy was to wait until the person had shown good character for a long time before officially setting that person apart to serve the Christian community.
μηδὲ κοινώνει ἁμαρτίαις ἀλλοτρίαις
Paul speaks of someone’s sin as if it were an object that could be shared with others. Alternate translation: “do not join in another person’s sin” or “do not participate when another person sins” (See: Metaphor)
μηδὲ κοινώνει ἁμαρτίαις ἀλλοτρίαις
Possible meanings are (1) if Timothy chose someone who was guilty of sin to be a church worker, God would hold Timothy responsible for that person’s sin or (2) Timothy should not commit sins he saw others committing.
1 Timothy 5:23
It is implied that Paul means Timothy should not drink only water. He is telling Timothy to use wine as medicine. The water in that area often caused sickness. (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
1 Timothy 5:24
τινῶν ἀνθρώπων αἱ ἁμαρτίαι πρόδηλοί εἰσιν
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “The sins of some people are very obvious” (See: Active or Passive)
προάγουσαι εἰς κρίσιν
“their sins go before those people into judgment.” Paul speaks of sins as if they were moving. Possible meanings are (1) Their sins are so obvious that everyone will know they are guilty even before anyone testifies against them or (2) Their sins are evident, and God judges them now. (See: Personification)
τισὶν δὲ καὶ ἐπακολουθοῦσιν
“But some sins follow people later.” Paul speaks of sins as if they were moving. Possible meanings are (1) Timothy and the Christian community will not know about certain sins until later or (2) God will not judge some sins until the final judgment. (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 5:25
τὰ ἔργα τὰ καλὰ πρόδηλα
“some good works are obvious”
τὰ ἔργα τὰ καλὰ
The works are considered “good” because they fit with God’s character, purposes, and will.
καὶ τὰ ἄλλως ἔχοντα, κρυβῆναι οὐ δύναταί
Paul speaks of sins as if they were objects that someone could hide. This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “but people will later find out about even the good deeds that are not obvious” (See: Metaphor and Active or Passive)
1 Timothy 6
1 Timothy 06 General Notes
Special concepts in this chapter
Paul does not write in this chapter about whether slavery is good or bad. Paul teaches about honoring, respecting, and diligently serving masters. Paul teaches all believers to be godly and content in every situation.
1 Timothy 6:1
Paul gives some specific instructions to slaves and masters and then continues with instructions on living in a godly way.
ὅσοι εἰσὶν ὑπὸ ζυγὸν δοῦλοι
Paul speaks of people working as slaves as if they are oxen carrying a yoke. Alternate translation: “Let all who are working as slaves” (See: Metaphor)
It is implied that Paul is speaking about believers. Alternate translation: “Let all who are believers” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
μὴ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ ἡ διδασκαλία βλασφημῆται
τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Θεοῦ
Here “name” refers to God’s nature or character. Alternate translation: “the character of God” or “God” (See: Metonymy)
“the faith” or “the gospel”
1 Timothy 6:2
Here “brothers” means “fellow believers.”
οἱ τῆς εὐεργεσίας ἀντιλαμβανόμενοι
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “For the masters whom the slaves help with their work” (See: Active or Passive)
This can be stated in active form. Possible meanings are (1) “and the slaves should love them” or (2) “whom God loves” (See: Active or Passive)
1 Timothy 6:4
Here “he” refers to anyone in general that teaches what is not correct. To make this clear, you can translate “he” as “they” as in the UST. (See: Generic Noun Phrases)
“understands nothing about God’s truth”
νοσῶν περὶ ζητήσεις καὶ λογομαχίας
Paul speaks of people who feel compelled to engage in useless arguments as if they were ill. Such people greatly desire to argue, and they do not really want to find a way to agree. Alternate translation: “all he wants to do is argue” or “he craves arguments” (See: Metaphor)
ζητήσεις καὶ λογομαχίας, ἐξ ὧν γίνεται φθόνος
“controversies and arguments about words, and these controversies and arguments result in envy”
“about the meaning of words”
people falsely saying bad things about each other
“people feeling like others want to do evil to them”
1 Timothy 6:5
ἀπεστερημένων τῆς ἀληθείας
Here the word “They” refers to anyone who teaches anything that does not agree with the teaching of Jesus. The phrase “have lost the truth” represents ignoring it or forgetting it. Alternate translation: “They have ignored the truth” or “They have forgotten the truth” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 6:6
This marks a break in the teaching. Here Paul begins to contrast the kind of riches the wicked people seek through godliness (1 Timothy 6:5) and the true kind of gain people receive through godliness. Alternate translation: “Of course”
ἔστιν…πορισμὸς μέγας ἡ εὐσέβεια μετὰ αὐταρκείας
The words “godliness” and “contentment” are abstract nouns. Alternate translation: “it is great gain for a person to do what is godly and to be content with what they have” (See: Abstract Nouns)
“provides great benefits” or “does many good things for us”
1 Timothy 6:7
οὐδὲν γὰρ εἰσηνέγκαμεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον
“brought nothing into the world when we were born”
οὐδὲ ἐξενεγκεῖν τι δυνάμεθα
“And we can take nothing out of the world when we die”
1 Timothy 6:8
1 Timothy 6:9
This word marks a break in the teaching. Here Paul returns to the topic about those who think being godly will make them wealthy (1 Timothy 6:5).
πλουτεῖν, ἐμπίπτουσιν εἰς πειρασμὸν, καὶ παγίδα
Paul speaks about those who let the temptation of money cause them to sin as if they are animals that have fallen into a hole that a hunter has used as a trap. Alternate translation: “to become wealthy will encounter more temptation than they can resist, and they will be like an animal in a trap (See: Metaphor)
οἱ…ἐμπίπτουσιν…ἐπιθυμίας πολλὰς ἀνοήτους καὶ βλαβεράς
This continues the trap metaphor. This means that their foolish and harmful passions will overcome them. Alternate translation: “And as an animal falls into a hunter’s trap, they will fall into many foolish and harmful passions” (See: Metaphor)
αἵτινες βυθίζουσι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους εἰς ὄλεθρον καὶ ἀπώλειαν
Paul speaks about those that let sin destroy them as if they are a boat that sinks under the water. Alternate translation: “into other kinds of evil that ruin and destroy people as if they were a boat sinking under the water” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 6:10
ῥίζα γὰρ πάντων τῶν κακῶν ἐστιν ἡ φιλαργυρία
Paul speaks of the cause of evil as if it were a plant root. Alternate translation: “This happens because loving money is a cause of all kinds of evil” (See: Metaphor)
“who desire money”
ἀπεπλανήθησαν ἀπὸ τῆς πίστεως
Paul speaks of wrong desires as if they were evil guides who intentionally guide people down the wrong path. This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “have let their desires lead them away from the truth” or “have stopped believing the truth” (See: Metaphor and Active or Passive)
ἑαυτοὺς περιέπειραν ὀδύναις πολλαῖς
Paul speaks about grief as if it were a sword that a person uses to stab themselves. Alternate translation: “have caused themselves to be very sorrowful” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 6:11
Here “you” is singular and refers to Timothy. (See: Forms of You)
ὦ ἄνθρωπε Θεοῦ
“servant of God” or “person who belongs to God”
Paul speaks of these temptations and sins as if they were things that a person could physically run away from. Alternate translation: “completely avoid these things” (See: Metaphor)
Possible meanings of “these things” are (1) the “love of money” or (2) the different teachings, pride, arguments, and the love of money.
“Run after” or “Chase.” Paul speaks of righteousness and other good qualities as if they were things that a person could run after. This metaphor is the opposite of “flee from.” It means to try your best to obtain something. Alternate translation: “Seek to gain” or “Do your best to act in” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 6:12
ἀγωνίζου τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα τῆς πίστεως
Here Paul speaks about a person continuing in faith as if they are an athlete fighting to win a contest or a warrior fighting a battle. Alternate translation: “Try your hardest to obey Christ’s teachings with as much energy as an athlete uses in a contest” (See: Metaphor)
ἐπιλαβοῦ τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς
This continues the metaphor. Paul speaks about a person receiving eternal life as if they are a victorious athlete or warrior taking their prize. Alternate translation: “Take eternal life as your reward as a victorious athlete takes his prize” (See: Metaphor)
εἰς ἣν ἐκλήθης
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “to which God has called you” (See: Active or Passive)
ὡμολόγησας τὴν καλὴν ὁμολογίαν
“you confessed what is good” or “you confessed the truth”
ἐνώπιον πολλῶν μαρτύρων
Paul expresses the idea of location in order to signal the idea of the people to whom Timothy was speaking. Alternate translation: “to many witnesses” (See: Metonymy)
1 Timothy 6:13
Paul talks of Christ’s coming, gives specific instructions to the rich, and lastly closes with a special message to Timothy.
“This is what I command you”
τοῦ ζῳοποιοῦντος τὰ πάντα
“in the presence of God, who causes all things to live.” It is implied that Paul as asking God to be his witness. Alternate translation: “with God, who causes all things to live, as my witness” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ, τοῦ μαρτυρήσαντος ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πειλάτου
“in the presence of Christ Jesus, who spoke…Pilate.” It is implied that Paul is asking Jesus to be his witness. Alternate translation: “with Christ Jesus, who spoke…Pilate, as my witness” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
1 Timothy 6:14
The word “spot” is a metaphor for moral fault. Possible meanings are (1) Jesus will not find fault with Timothy or blame him for doing wrong or (2) other people will not find fault with Timothy or blame him for doing wrong. (See: Metaphor)
μέχρι τῆς ἐπιφανείας τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν, Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
“until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again”
1 Timothy 6:15
It is implied that God will reveal Jesus. Alternate translation: “God will reveal Jesus” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)
ὁ μακάριος καὶ μόνος Δυνάστης
“the One worthy of praise who rules over the world”
1 Timothy 6:16
ὁ μόνος ἔχων ἀθανασίαν
“Only he has the power to live forever”
φῶς οἰκῶν ἀπρόσιτον
“dwells in a light so bright that no one can approach him”
1 Timothy 6:17
Here “rich” is a nominal adjective. It can be stated as an adjective. Alternate translation: “Tell those who are rich” (See: Nominal Adjectives)
ἐπὶ πλούτου ἀδηλότητι
“in the many things that they own that they may lose.” The reference here is to physical objects.
“all the things that will make us truly happy.” The reference here may include physical objects, but it more likely refers to states like love, joy, and peace that people try to obtain by means of physical objects.
1 Timothy 6:18
πλουτεῖν ἐν ἔργοις καλοῖς
Paul speaks of spiritual blessings as if they were earthly wealth. Alternate translation: “serve and help others in many ways” (See: Metaphor)
1 Timothy 6:19
ἀποθησαυρίζοντας ἑαυτοῖς θεμέλιον καλὸν εἰς τὸ μέλλον
Here Paul speaks about God’s blessings that he gives in heaven as if they are riches that a person is storing away for later use. And, the certainty of these blessings that people will never lose is spoke of as if they were the foundation of a building. Alternate translation: “it will be as though they were storing up for themselves many things that God will give them” (See: Metaphor)
ἐπιλάβωνται τῆς ὄντως ζωῆς
1 Timothy 6:20
τὴν παραθήκην φύλαξον
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “faithfully proclaim the true message that Jesus has given to you” (See: Active or Passive)
ἐκτρεπόμενος τὰς βεβήλους κενοφωνίας
“Do not pay attention to the foolish talk”
τῆς ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως
This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “of what some people falsely call knowledge” (See: Active or Passive)
1 Timothy 6:21
τὴν πίστιν ἠστόχησαν
Paul speaks of faith in Christ as if it were a target at which to aim. Alternate translation: “they have not understood or believed the true faith” (See: Metaphor)
ἡ χάρις μεθ’ ὑμῶν
“May God give grace to all of you.” The “you” is plural and refers to the whole Christian community. (See: Forms of You)