Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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1 TIMOTHY - Chapter 6

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1 Timothy 6

Supplemental Commentary:

IV.  DUTIES TOWARDS THE FLOCK  5, 1 -- 6, 19 (continued)

6, 1-2:  Slaves.  This passage shows that the gospel had introduced enough of practical fraternity to create a seeming danger of too great familiarity between different social classes.

6, 3-10:  Lying Teachers.  St. Paul returns for the last time to the false teachers.  Empty discussions and exploiting of piety for the sake of gain describe their whole conduct, with the result that many wander far from the faith, inasmuch as their teachers are not given to the sound speech that is of Jesus Christ in the teaching that is conformed to godliness, but to discussions of the Law and Jewish traditions.

6, 11-16:  Final Plea.  Here is an extraordinarily urgent return to the point, betraying a certain anxiety.  In terms particularly solemn the Apostle urges Timothy to be faithful.  No other writer at the close of the first century would have so written of the preferred disciple of St. Paul.

12.  Since the confession of Timothy is compared to the confession of Christ before Pilate, its content must be the same, namely that Jesus was the Christ.  This was the great Christian confession (Rom. 10, 9); it was made by Timothy either at his baptism, or when the priests of Lystra laid hands on him, or before the civil magistrates.  Perhaps the last is the most probable hypothesis.    14.  The Second Coming of Christ will be accomplished in due time.  The perspective appears to be rather distant.

6, 17-19:  The Rich.  These verses are the counterpart of 6, 1-2, to slaves.

Conclusion  6, 20 f

6, 20-21:  Exhortation and Greeting.    20.  The trust is the sound teaching, the true gospel.  The expression is Pauline, the Apostle often referring to the gospel as a deposit entrusted to him.

Confraternity Bible:

Slaves  1 Let slaves who are under the yoke account their masters deserving of all honor, that the name of the Lord and his teaching be not blasphemed.  2 And when they have masters who are believers, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more because they who receive their service are believers and beloved.  Teach and exhort these things.

Lying Teachers  3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that doctrine which is according to godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about controversies and disputes of words.  From these arise envies, quarrels, blasphemies, base suspicions, 5 the wranglings of men corrupt in mind and bereft of truth, supposing godliness to be gain.  6 And godliness with contentment is indeed great gain.  7 For we brought nothing into the world, and certainly we can take nothing out; 8 but having food and sufficient clothing, with these let us be content.  9 But those who seek to become rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many useless and harmful desires, which plunge men into destruction and damnation.  10 For covetousness is the root of all evils, and some in their eagerness to get rich have strayed from the faith and have involved themselves in many troubles.

Final Plea  11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; but pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness.  12 Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on the life eternal, to which thou hast been called, and hast made the good confession before many witnesses.  13 I charge thee in the sight of God, who gives life to all things, and in the sight of Christ Jesus, who bore witness before Pontius Pilate to the good confession, 14 that thou keep the commandment without stain, blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  15 This coming he in his own time will make manifest, who is the Blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; 16 who alone has immortality and dwells in light inaccessible, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting dominion.  Amen.

The Rich  17 Charge the rich of this world not to be proud, or to trust in the uncertainty of riches, but in God, who provides all things in abundance for their enjoyment.  18 Let them do good and be rich in good works, giving readily, sharing with others, 19 and thus providing for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, in order that they may lay hold on the true life.

Exhortation and Greeting  20 O Timothy, guard the trust and keep free from profane novelties in speech and the contradictions of so-called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and have fallen away from the faith.  Grace be with thee.  Amen.