The First Epistle of Paul to Timothy

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The First Epistle of Paul to Timothy

  • Who Wrote: The Apostle Paul
  • Where Written: Macedonia
  • When Written: c. 61–64 C.E.



1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the  command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

To Timothy, a genuine child in the faith:

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

Warning Against False Teachers

As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain ones not to teach different doctrine, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than God’s plan that is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love out of a clean heart and out of faith without hypocrisy. Certain ones, by deviating from these, have wandered away into futile talk, wanting to be teachers of the law, without giving thought neither to what they say nor about what they firmly assert.

The Law was made for the Lawless

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, knowing this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, manslayers, 10 the sexually immoral ones, men who lie with men,[1] kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Christ Jesus Came to Save Sinners

12 I thank him who has empowered me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to a ministry, 13 although formerly I was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and a violent man. But I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 but the grace of our Lord abounded for me with trust and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 It is a trustworthy saying and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,[2] of whom I am the foremost. 16 But because of this I was shown mercy, that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might demonstrate all his long suffering as an example to those who were to trust in him for eternal life. 17 Now to the eternal King, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

18 This charge I am setting before you, child, Timothy, in accordance with the prophecies spoken long ago about you, that by them you might fight as a soldier the fine warfare, 19 having trust and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may be taught not to blaspheme.


Pray for All People

2 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to an accurate knowledge[3] of truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom[4] for all, the testimony at the proper time, For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Instructions for Men and Women

Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger and dispute. Likewise, women are to adorn themselves with appropriate clothing, with modesty and soundness of mind,[5] not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 10 but with what is proper for women professing godly reverence, by means of good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with full submissiveness. 12 But I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence.[6] 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman having been thoroughly deceived and came to be in transgression. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing, if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.


Qualifications for Overseers

3 The saying is trustworthy: If a man is reaching out to be an overseer, he is desirous of a fine work. The overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not quarrelsome but reasonable, not fighting, not a lover of money. A man who manages his own household well, having his children in subjection[7] with all seriousness, (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the congregation of God?), not a newly converted man, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the judgment passed on the Devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside,[8] so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Qualifications for Servants

Servants likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued,[9] not addicted to much wine, not greedy of dishonest gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as servants if they are beyond reproach. 11 Women should likewise be dignified, not slanderous, but sober-minded,[10] faithful in all things. 12 Servants must be husbands of one wife, managing their children well and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as servants obtain for themselves a good standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

The Mystery of Godliness

14 I am writing you these things, though I am hoping to come to you shortly; 15 but in case I am delayed, I am writing[11] so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the congregation of the living God, the pillar and bulwark[12] of the truth. 16 And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness:

He was manifested in the flesh,
    vindicated in the Spirit,
        seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
    believed on in the world,
        taken up in glory.


Warning Against Teachings of Demons

4 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, whose conscience is seared as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and command to abstain from foods that God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who have faith and accurately know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

A Good Servant of Christ Jesus

In pointing out these things to the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed closely. Pay no attention to worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, train[13] yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily training is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the life now and also for the life to come. The statement is trustworthy and deserving full acceptance. 10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on a living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially faithful ones.

Pay Attention to Your Teaching

11 Keep commanding and teaching these things. 12 Let no one look down on your youth, but be an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift within you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the elders. 15 Practice these things, be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.


Instructions for the Congregation

5 Do not severely rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Support of Widows

Honor widows who are truly widows.[14] But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is truly a widow and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties[15] and prayers night and day. But the one who gives herself to sensual pleasure[16] is dead though she is living. Keep commanding these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his own,[17] and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 having a reputation for good works; if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the holy ones feet, if she has assisted those afflicted,[18] and if she has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse younger widows, for when they feel sexual desires[19] in disregard of Christ, they want to marry, 12 thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge.[20] 13 At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not. 14 Therefore I want younger widows to marry, to bear children, to manage a household, to give the adversary no opportunity for reproach; 15 For some have already turned aside after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her assist them so that the congregation[21] is not burdened, so that it may assist those who are truly widows.

Honoring the Elders

17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking[22] and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest may have fear.[23] 21 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels to observe these things[24] without any prejudice, doing nothing according to partiality. 22 Do not lay your hands hastily on any man; do not share in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (Do not drink just water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some men are evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. 25 Likewise also good works are evident, and those considered otherwise are not able to be hidden.


The Workers, the Wicked, the Wise, and the Wealthy

6 All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our teaching will not be spoken against. Those who have believing owners must not be disrespectful to them because they are brothers, but rather must serve more readily, because those who receive the benefit are believers and beloved.

False Teachers and the Love of Money

Teach and encourage these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the teaching according to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but has a sick interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who consider godliness to be a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have been led astray from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

11 But you, O man of God, flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and mildness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things,[25] and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 that you keep the commandment without spot or reproach until the appearing[26] of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will make known in his own appointed time, the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of those who reign as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords, 16 the one who alone possesses immortality,[27] who lives in unapproachable light, whom no human being has seen nor is able to see, to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen.

Be Rich in Good Works

17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age[28] not to be arrogant,[29] and to place their hope, not on uncertain riches, but on God, who richly provides us with all the things to enjoy; 18 to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 treasuring up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is the real life.

Guard Your Trust

20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, turning away from the profane, empty speech that violate what is holy and from the contradictions of the falsely called “knowledge,” 21 which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.

Grace be with you.

[1] men who are sexually active with members of his own sex.

[2] Sinner: (hamartōlos) In the Scriptures “sinners” is generally used in a more specific way, that is, referring to those willfully living in sin, practicing sin, or have a reputation of sinning.–Matt. 9:10; Mark 2:15; Luke 5:30; 7:37-39; John 9:16; Rom. 3:7; Gal. 2:15; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:26; Jam. 4:8; 1 Pet 4:18; Jude 1:15.

[3] Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.

[4] Gr antilytron; See Ransom

[5] Or good sense; discreetness

[6] Or remain calm; remain quiet

[7] Or keep children under control

[8] That is, those outside the congregation

[9] That is, hypocritical or insincere speech

[10] Or moderate in habits; having no extreme behaviors

[11] “I am writing” is not in the Greek text, but is an understood repetition from the previous clause

[12] That is, a defensive support at the bottom of the foundation of a building that offers a defense, protection, or support.

[13] Or discipline; to control oneself by thorough discipline–‘to discipline oneself, to keep oneself disciplined.

[14] That is, having no one to support them

[15] Or supplications

[16] to indulge oneself excessively in satisfying one’s own appetites and desires–‘to live indulgently.’

[17] That is, relatives

[18] to suffer trouble or hardship

[19] to experience strong physical desires, particularly of a sexual nature–‘passion, lust, lustful desire, to have lust.’

[20] Lit faith

[21] Gr ekklesia (“assembly;” “congregation, i.e., of Christians”)

[22] Or preaching

[23] That is, fear of living in sin

[24] Or rules, instructions, principles

[25] Or preserves all things alive; or who brings all things to life

[26] Appearing: (Gr. epiphaneia) It literally means “a shining forth,” which was used to refer to a divine being becoming visible to humans. Epiphaneia is used in the NT to refer to Jesus first coming to the earth and his second coming as well.–2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1, 8.

[27] Lit deathlessness; Gr., athanasian

[28] Or world

[29] Lit to be high-minded

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