Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 1:18-3:16

<< Previous Note(s)1 Timothy Main PageNext Note(s) >>

Timothy's commission to confront false teachers with this gospel - 1 Timothy 1:18-20

Timothy's commission to confront false teachers with this gospel. Having described the merciful circumstances of his own commission from Christ, Paul passed on "this charge" to Timothy on the basis of "prophecies once made" about him, and Paul's own assessment that Timothy's fidelity was like that of a "genuine child." Timothy would need to draw strength from these confirmations of his calling which meant confronting false teachers at Ephesus.

The prophecies previously made about you - 1 Timothy 1:18

the prophecies previously made about you. This is the first of three references Paul makes to Timothy's commissioning (or ordination) by a "council of elders" (4:14), who recognized Timothy's gifts and calling to Christ's service (see note on 1:12). This event included "prophecies" and the "laying on of hands" (cf. Acts 13:1-13; 1 Tim 4:14) by council members about the purpose(s) of Timothy's ministry. From 2 Timothy 1:6-7, we learn that Paul participated personally

For the Scripture says - 1 Timothy 1:18

For the Scripture says. Paul's instructions to Timothy continue to model readings from the Law based on Jesus' teaching. Here, Paul cites both Moses (Deuteronomy 25:4) and Jesus (as recorded in Luke 10:7), identifying both as 'Scripture.' As he also wrote in 1 Cor 9:9, Paul believed that someone who devotes the majority of their time to teaching the Scriptures should be supported financially by the church

A good conscience - 1 Timothy 1:19

holding faith and a good conscience. Specifically, Timothy was called to contend for the gospel against the confidence the false teachers at Ephesus were placing in law-keeping to cultivate "a good conscience." As Paul made clear by narrating his own experience of God's mercy, personal and communal transformation come by faith in Christ alone.

Hymenaeus and Alexander- 1 Timothy 1:20

Hymenaeus and Alexander. Paul named two leaders in the community who had "ship-wrecked their faith." In 2 Tim 2:17-18, Hymenaeus (likely the same person) is described as one who "wandered away from the truth." Though we cannot be certain, Alexander, described as Paul's opponent in 2 Tim 4:14 and Acts 19:33-34, may be the man named here. I gave over to Satan. As in 1 Cor 5:5, where Paul used similar language, this probably refers to a form of excommunication or formal disciplinary action against these two men, that placed them outside the church in the domain of Satan (cf. Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; Tit 3:10-11). taught not to blaspheme. This disciplinary action against Hymenaeus and Alexander had a corrective purpose to restore them to "healthy teaching" and practices rooted in the gospel (cf. Gal 6:1; 2 Tim 2:24-26).

Paul Describes Healthy Worship & Leadership in God's Household. - 1 Timothy 2:1-3:16

Having focused Timothy's attention on the problem of false teachers at Ephesus and the remedy of "healthy teaching" in accord with the gospel, Paul unpacks the implications of the gospel for corporate worship (2:1-15) and selecting leaders (3:1-13). These two practices are essential gestures for the church to express its character as God's household, and its civic role to bear witness to the truth (3:14-16).

Worshippers of Christ Should Pray for Leaders & Model a Wholesome Social Order. - 1 Timothy 2:1-15

Paul's first concern is the conduct of corporate worship and the cosmic order it signifies. At the time of Paul's writing, every public assembly in Ephesus (cf. Acts 19:32, 39 and 20:28)—gatherings in the theater, the temples, the games—represented the dominant belief in the cities of Asia Minor that the Roman Caesar was favored by that city's gods and goddesses (especially Artemis) to provide them blessings for life and protection from harm. This view was represented in the social order and practices of their assemblies, which included praise for Caesar alongside their deities as supreme, and public honor for civic and temple leaders who received benefaction from Caesar, and shared his gifts locally to their advantage. Paul insisted that, as an alternative public assembly, the church must signify the true cosmic order by praising and praying to the "one God" and the "one mediator between God and human beings, the man Jesus Christ" (2:5), and by honoring one another.

Related Resources

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

<< Previous Note(s)1 Timothy Main PageNext Note(s) >>