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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - 1TIMOTHY 4

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    CHAPTER IV

    1. Now (de). Better but, since there is a contrast with the preceding confession of the norm of faith.

    Expressly (rhtwv). N.T.o . o LXX. In express words.

    In the latter times (en usteroiv kairoiv). The phrase only here. For kairov particular sesson or junture, see on Matthews xii. 1; Acts i. 7. Not the same as ejn ejscataiv in the last days, 2 Tim. iii. 1, which denotes the peliod closing the present aeon, and immediately preceding the parousia; while this signifies merely a time that is future to the writer. There is not the intense sense of the nearness of Christ's coming which characterises Paul. The writer does not think of his present as "the latter days."

    Some (tinev). Not, as ch. i. 3, the heretical teachers, but those whom they mislead.

    Shall depart from the faith (aposthsontai thv pistewv). The phrase only here. The verb in Paul only 2 Cor. xii. 8. Quite frequent in Luke and Acts. The kindred noun tasia (Acts xxi. 21; 2 Thessalonians ii. 3) is almost literally transcribed in our apostasy.

    Seducing (planoiv). Primarily, wandering, roving. O planov a vagabond, hence deceiver or seducer. See 2 John 7, and comp. oJ planwn the deceiver, used of Satan, Apoc. xii. 9; xx. 10; to pneuma thv planhv the spirit of error, 1 John iv. 6. Once in Paul, 2 Cor. vi. 8, and in LXX, Job xix. 4; Jer. xxiii. 32. Evil spirits animating the false teachers are meant.

    Doctrines of devils (didaskaliaiv daimoniwn). Better, teachings of demons. Comp. Jas. iii. 15. Didaskalia teaching often in Pastorals. A few times in Paul. See on 1 Tim. i. 10. Daimonion demon only here in Pastorals. Very frequent in Luke: in Paul only 1 Cor. x. 20, 21. Teachings proceeding from or inspired by demons. The working of these evil spirits is here specially concerned with striking at the true teaching which underlies godliness. It is impossible to say what particular form of false teaching is alluded to.

    2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy (en upokrisei yeudologwn). Wrong. Rend., through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies. Upokrisiv hypocrisy once in Paul, Gal. ii. 13, see note. See also on Matthews xxiii. 13. The phrase ejn uJpokrisei only here. Yeudologov speaking lies, N.T.o . o LXX. Rare in Class.

    Having their conscience seared with a hot iron (en upokrisei yeudologwn) Better, branded in their own conscience. With a hot iron is superfluous. The verb N.T.o . o LXX, o Class. The metaphor is from the practice of branding slaves or criminals, the latter on the brow. These deceivers are not acting under delusion, but deliberately, and against their conscience. They wear the form of godliness, and contradict their profession by their crooked conduct (2 Tim. iii. 5). The brand is not on their brow, but on their conscience. Comp. Tit. i. 15; iii. 11.

    3. Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats (kwluontwn gamein, ajpecesqai brwmatwn). Kwluein, properly to hinder or check. Apecesqai to hold one's self off. In Paul, 1 Thessalonians iv. 3; v. 22; Philemon 15. Commanding is not expressed, but is implied in forbidding.; "Bidding not to marry and (bidding) to abstain from meats." The ascetic tendencies indicated by these prohibitions developed earlier than these Epistles among the Essenes, an aseetic Jewish brotherhood on the shores of the Dead Sea, who repudiated marriage except as a necessity for preserving the race, and allowed it only under protest and under stringent regulations. They also abstained strictly from wine and animal food. This sect was in existence in the lifetime of our Lord. strong traces of its influence appear in the heresy assailed in Paul's Epistle to the Colossians. The Christian body received large accessions from it after the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.). The prohibitions above named were imposed by the later Gnosticism of the second century. Hath created (ektisen). A common Pauline word. Only here in the Pastorals.

    To be received (eiv metalhmyin). Lit. for participation. N.T.. o LXX. lt occurs in Plato and Aristotle.

    Of them which believe and know the truth (toiv pistoiv kai epegnwkosi thn alhqeian). The dative depends on created for participation, and should be rendered; "for them which believe," etc., marking those for whom the food was created. The A.V. misses this by the rendering to be received of (by). Pistoiv and ejpegknwkosi do not denote two classes, but one. Those who believe are described as those who have full knowledge of the truth.

    4. Creature (ktisma). Not in Paul. See Jas. i. 18; Apoc. v. 13; viii. 9. A created thing. For ktisiv creation or creature, frequent in Paul, see on Rom. viii. 19; 2 Cor. v. 17; Col. i. 15. Ktisma in LXX, Wisd. ix. 2; xiii. 5; xiv. 11; Sir. xxxviii. 34; 3 Macc. v. 11.

    Refused (apoblhton). Lit. thrown away. N.T.o . In ecclesiastical writings, excommunicated. On the whole verse, comp. Acts x. 15; Rom. xi. 15; 1 Corinthians x. 25, 26, 30, 31.

    5. It is sanctified (agiazetai). Not declared holy, but made holy. The declaration confirms the last clause of ver. 4. Thanksgiving to God has a sanctifying effect. The food in itself has no moral quality (Rom. xiv. 14), but acquires a holy quality by its consecration to God; by being acknowledged as God's gift, and partaken of as nourishing the life for God's service. Comp. Paul's treatment of the unbelieving husband and the believing wife, 1 Cor. vii. 14.

    By the word of God (dia logou qeou). That is, by the word of God as used in the prayer. Scripture is not called "the Word of God." The Word of God includes much more than Scripture: but Scripture contains the Word of God, and the thanksgiving at table was in the words of Scripture. See Psalm cxlv. 15,16. The custom of grace at meat appears 1 Sam. ix. 13. Christ blessed the loaves and fishes (Matthews xiv. 19; xv. 36): Paul on the ship gave thanks for the meal which the seamen ate (Acts xxvii. 35). Enteuxewv prayer, see on ch. ii. 1.

    6. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things (tauta upotiqemenov toiv adelfoiv). The verb only here and Rom. xvi. 4. Lit. to put under; so almost without exception in LXX. See, for instance, Gen. xxviii. 18; xlvii. 29; Exod. xvii. 12. So Rom. xvi. 4. Hence, metaphorically, to suggest, which is, literally, to carry or lay under. Tauta these things are those mentioned vv. 4, 5. In the Pastorals it is only here that ajdelfoi brethren means the members of the church to whose superintendent the letter is addressed. In 2 Tim. iv. 21, they are the Christians of the church from which the letter comes; in 1 Tim. vi. 2, Christians in general; and in 1 Tim. v. 1, without any ecclesiastical sense.

    Minister of Jesus Christ (diakonov Cristou Ihsou). Rendering Christ himself a service by setting himself against ascetic errors. For diakonov minister see on ch. iii. 8. Here in the general sense of servant, without any official meaning. Paul's more usual phrase is servant of God: servant (diakonov) of Christ twice, and diakonov Ihsou Cristou not at all. Paul uses doulov bond-servant with Jesus Christ. See 2 Corinthians xi. 23; Col. i. 7; and comp. Rom. i. 1; Gal. i. 10; Philippians i. 1.

    Nourished up (entrefomenov). Better, nourishing thyself. N.T.o . o LXX. The participle indicates the means by which Timothy may become a good minister. Comp. Heb. v. 12-14.

    In the words of faith. The words in which the faith - the contents of belief - finds expression. Comp. ch. vi. 3; 2 Tim. i. 13. The phrase only here. Paul has to rJhma thv pistewv the word of the faith, Romans x. 8.

    Whereunto thou hast attained (h parhkolouqhkav). Wrong. Rend., which thou hast closely followed. Comp. 2 Tim. iii. 10. The verb means, primarily, to follow beside, to attend closely. In this literal sense not in N.T. To attend to or follow up, as a disease. So Plato, Rep. 406 B, parakolouqwn tw noshmati qanasimw perpetually tending a mortal disease. To follow up a history or a succession of incidents, as Luke i. 3. o P. The writer means that Timothy, as a disciple, has closely attended to his course of Christian instruction.

    7. Shun (paraitou). Comp. l Timothy v. 11; 2 Tim. ii. 23; Tit. iii. 10. o P. The primary meaning is to ask as a favor (Mark xv. 6; Hebrews xii. 19). Mostly in this sense in LXX, as 1 Sam. xx. 6, 28. To deprecate; to prevent the consequences of an act by protesting against and disavowing it, as 3 Macc. vi. 27. To beg off, get excused, as Luke xiv. 18, 19; 4 Macc. xi. 2. To decline, refuse, avoid, as here, Acts xxv. 11; Hebrews xii. 25.

    Profane. See on ch. i. 9, and comp. ch. vi. 20; 2 Tim. ii. 16; Hebrews xii. 16.

    Old wives' (grawdeiv). N.T.o . o LXX. From grauv an old woman, and eidov form.

    Fables (muqouv). See on ch. i. 4, and comp. 2 Tim. iv. 4; Tit. i. 14; 2 Peter 1. 16.

    Exercise (gumnaze). o P. Only here in Pastorals. Heb. v. 14; xii. 11; 2 Peter ii. 14. From gumnov naked. In Class. Of training naked in gymnastic exercises; also, metaphorically, of training for or practicing an art or profession.

    8. Bodily exercise (h swmatikh gumnasia). With gumnasia comp. gumnaze, ver. 7. N.T.o . Swmatikov bodily only here and Luke iii. 22. o LXX. The adverb swmatikwv bodily-wise, Col. ii. 9. The words are to be taken in their literal sense as referring to physical training in the palaestra - boxing, racing, etc. Comp. 1 Cor. ix. 24-27. Some, however, find in them an allusion to current ascetic practices; against which is the statement that such exercise is profitable, though only for a little.

    Profiteth little (prov oligon estin wfelimov). Lit. is profitable for a little. The phrase prov ojligon only here and Jas. v. 14. In the latter passage it means for a little while. Comp. Heb. xii. 10, prov ojligav hJmerav for a few days. According to some, this is the meaning here; but against this is the antithesis prov panta unto all things. The meaning is rather, the use of the athlete's training extends to only a few things. Wfelimov useful or profitable, only in Pastorals. Comp. 2 Tim. iii. 16; Tit. iii. 8. o LXX.

    Godliness (eusebeia). See on ch. ii. 2, and Introduction, VI.

    Having promise (epaggelian ecousa). The exact phrase only here. Comp. 2 Cor. vii. 1; Heb. vii. 6. The participle is explanatory, since it has promise. For ejpaggelia promise see on Acts i. 4.

    The life that now is (zwhv thv nun). According to the strict Greek idiom, life the now. This idiom and the following, thv melloushv N.T.o . The phrase oJ nun aijwn the present aeon, 1 Tim. vi. 17; 2 Tim. iv. 10; Tit. ii. 12. O aijwn ou=tov this aeon, a few times in the Gospels, often in Paul, nowhere else. We have oJ aijwn oJ mellwn the aeon which is to be, and oJ aijwn oJ ejrcomenov or ejpercomenov the aeon which is coming on, in the Gospels, once in Paul (Eph. ii. 7), and in Hebrews once, mellwn aijwn without the article. En tw kairw toutw in this time, of the present as contrasted with the future life, Mark x. 30; Luke xviii. 30. O nun kairov the now time, in the same relation, Rom. viii. 18. For zwh life see on John i. 4. The force of the genitive with ejpaggelia promise may be expressed by for. Godliness involves a promise for this life and for the next; but for this life as it reflects the heavenly life, is shaped and controlled by it, and bears its impress. Godliness has promise for the present life because it has promise for the life which is to come. Only the life which is in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. i. 1) is life indeed, 1 Timothy vi. 19. Comp. 1 Pet. iii. 10; 1 Cor. iii. 21-23.

    10. Therefore (eiv touto). More correctly, to this end; or with a view to this.

    We labor and strive (kopiwmen kai agwnizomeqa). Both Pauline words. See on Col. i. 29, where the two are found together as here. Also on kopou labor, 1 Thess. i. 3, and kopiwntav, and laboring 1 Thess. v. 12. Comp. ch. v. 17, and 2 Tim. ii. 6. Both words denote strenuous and painful effort. 111 The kai; has an ascensive force:

    "we labor, yea struggle."

    We trust in (hlpikamen epi). Better, have set our hope on. The verb with ejpi in Pastorals, in Paul, Rom. xv. 12, a citation, and in 1 Peter i. 13.

    12. Youth (neothtov). o P. See Luke xviii. 21. Acts xxvi. 4. See Introductions VII. Timothy was probably from 38 to 40 years old at this time.

    In word (en logw). Including teaching and verbal intercourse of every kind.

    Conversation (anastrofh). Comp. Gal. i. 13; Eph. iv. 22; Jas. iii. 13. A favorite word with Peter. See on 1 Pet. i. 15.

    In spirit. Omit.

    Purity (agnia). Only here and ch. v. 2. Agnov pure, 1 Tim. v. 22; Tit. ii. 5. In Paul, 2 Cor. viii. 11; xi. 2; Philip. iv. 8. Also in James, Peter, and 1 John. Agnothv purity, 2 Cor. vi. 6; xi. 3. o LXX, o Class. Agnov always with a moral sense; not limited to sins of the flesh, but covering purity in motives as well as in acts. In 1 John iii. 3, of Christ. In 2 Cor. xi. 2, of virgin purity. In Jas. iii. 17, as a characteristic of heavenly wisdom. Agnwv purely (Philip. i. 17)-, of preaching the gospel with unmixed motives. The verb aJgnizein to purify, which in LXX is used only of ceremonial purification, has that meaning in four of the seven instances in N.T. (John xi. 55; Acts xxi. 24, 26; xxiv. 18). In the others (Jas. iv. 8; 1 Pet. i. 22; 1 John iii. 3) it is used of purifying the heart and soul.

    13. To reading (anagnwsei). Three times in N.T. See Acts xiii. 15; 2 Corinthians iii. 14. The verb ajnaginwskein usually of public reading. See on Luke iv. 16. So in LXX. In post - classical Greek, sometimes of reading aloud with comments. See Epictetus, Diss. 3, 23, 20. Dr. Hatch says: "It is probable that this practice of reading with comments... may account for the coordination of 'reading' with 'exhortation' and 'teaching' in 1 Timothy iv. 13."

    Exhortation (th paraklhsei). Often in Paul. See on consolation, Luke vi. 24, comfort, Acts ix. 31, and comforter, John xiv. 16.

    14. Neglect (amelei). Rare in N.T. Only Matthews xxii. 5; Heb. ii. 3; viii. 9.

    The gift that is in thee (tou en soi carismatov). Comp. 2 Timothy i. 6. Carisma gift is a distinctively Pauline word, being found only three times outside of Paul's Epistles, and o LXX, o Class. See on Rom. i. 11. That is in thee, comp. thv ejn soi pistewv the faith that is in thee, 2 Timothy i. 5. The meaning is the special inward endowment which qualified Timothy for exhortation and teaching, and which was directly imparted by the Holy Spirit. 112 By prophecy (dia profhteiav). See on 1 Tim. i. 18. Profhteiav genitive, not accusative. The meaning is by the medium of prophecy. The reference is to prophetic intimation given to Paul concerning the selection of Timothy for the ministerial office. These prophecies were given by the Holy Spirit who bestowed the "gift", so that the gift itself and the prophecy concurred in attesting the candidate for ordination.

    With the laying on of the hands (meta epiqesewv twn ceirwn). Meta implies that the prophetic intimations were in some way repeated or emphasised in connection with the ceremony of ordination. We note the association of prophecy with ordination in the setting apart of Paul and Barnabas (Acts xiii. 9, 3); so that the case of Timothy has an analogue in that of Paul himself. 113 Epiqesiv laying on, emposition, also Acts viii. 18; 2 Tim. i. 6; Heb. vi. 2, in each case with of hands. "The custom," says Lange, "is as old as the race." The Biblical custom rests on the conception of the hand as the organ of mediation and transference. The priest laid his hand on the head of the bullock or goat (Lev. i. 4) to show that the guilt of the people was transferred. The hand was laid on the head of a son, to indicate the transmission of the hereditary blessing (Gen. xlviii. 14); upon one appointed to a position of authority, as Joshua (Num. xxvii. 18-23); upon the sick or dead in token of miraculous power to heal or to restore to life (2 Kings iv. 34). So Christ (Mark. vi. 5; Luke iv. 40). In the primitive Christian church the laying on of hands signified the imparting of the Holy Spirit to the newly-baptized (Acts viii. 17; xix. 6; comp. Heb. vi. 2). Hands were laid Upon the seven (Acts vi. 6). But the form of consecration in ordination varied. No one mode has been universal in the church, and no authoritative written formula exists. In the Alexandrian and Abyssinian churches it was by breathing: in the Eastern church generally, by lifting up the hands in benediction: in the Armenian church, by touching the dead hand of the predecessor: in the early Celtic church, by the transmission of relics or pastoral staff: in the Latin church, by touching the head.

    Of the presbytery (tou presbuteriou). The word is found in Luke xxii. 66, where it denotes the body of representative elders of the people in the Sanhedrim, as distinguished from the two other constituents of that body - the chief priests and scribes. Similarly Acts xxii. 5. Here of the college or fraternity of Christian elders in the place where Timothy was ordained. The word is frequent in the Epistles of Ignatius. 114 According to this, Timothy was not ordained by a Bishop. Bishop and Presbyter are not identical. In 2 Tim. i. 6 we read, "by the laying on of my hands." The inconsistency is usually explained by saying that Paul was associated with the Presbyters in the laying on of hands.

    15. Meditate (meleta). Only here and Acts iv. 25 (citation). Often in Class. and LXX. Most translators reject the A.V. meditate, and substitute be diligent in, or practice, or take care for. Meditate, however, is legitimate, although in Class. the word commonly appears in one of the other senses. The connection between the different meanings is apparent. Exercise or practice applied to the mind becomes thinking or meditation. In LXX it represents seven Hebrew equivalents, and signifies to meditate, talk of, murmur, deligfit one's self in, attend to. Often to meditate, Josh. i. 8; Psalm i. 9; ii. 1; xxxvii. 12; lxxii. 6; Sir. vi. 7. Meditation is a talking within the mind, and issues in speech; hence to speak, as Psalm xxxiv. 28; xxxvi. 30; Isaiah lxix. 3. Similally, logov signifies both reason and discourse. In Lat. meditari, "to reflect," is also "to exercise in," "to practice," as Virgil, Ecclesiastes i. 2. In the Vulg. meditabor is the translation of murmur or mourn iu Isa. xxxviii. 14. The Hebrews hanah means to murmur, whisper; hence the inner whispering of the heart; hence to think, meditate, consider, as Psalm lxiii. 7; lxxviii. 13.

    Give thyself wholly to them (en toutoiv isqi). Lit. be in these things. The phrase N.T.o . The only parallel in LXX is Prov. xxiii. 17. The meaning is that he is to throw himself wholly into his ministry. Comp. "totus in illis," Horace, Sat. i. 9, 2.

    Profiting (prokoph). Better, advance or progress. Only here and Philip. i. 12. The verb prokoptein in 2 Tim. ii. 16; iii. 9, 13. In LXX, see Sir.li. 17; 2 Macc. viii. 8. The figure in the word is uncertain, but is supposed to be that of pioneers cutting (koptw) a way before (pro) an army, and so furthering its advance. The opposite is ejgkoptein to cut into, throw obstacles in the way, and so hinder. See Gal. v. 7; 1 Thessalonians ii. 18; 1 Pet. iii. 7.

    16. Take heed (epece). Only here in Pastorals, and once in Paul, Philip. ii. 16. Quite frequent in LXX. Lit. hold upon, fasten thy attention on, as Luke xiv. 7; Acts iii. 5; xix. 22. In LXX, in the sense of apply, as Job xviii. 2; xxx. 26; or forbear, refrain, as 1 Kings xxii. 6, 15. In Philippians ii. 16, to hold out or present, a sense which is found only in Class. Unto thyself and unto the doctrine (seautw kai th didaskalia). Better, to thyself and to thy teaching. The order is significant. Personality goes before teaching.

    Continue in them (epimene autoiv). See on Rom. vi. 1. In LXX only Exod. xii. 39. Autoiv is neuter, referring to these things, ver. 15. A.V. in them is indefinite and ambiguous. Better, continue in these things.

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