Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 1 Timothy 5:22-6:19

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Place hands hastily on no one - 1 Timothy 5:22

place hands hastily on no one. This section on how to relate to 'the elders' ends with a final admonition to proceed slowly and with caution, when it comes to choosing or ordaining elders in the first place or to restoring them after they have been sanctioned. Move, but slowly.

Criteria for relating to slaves and masters well. - 1 Timothy 6:1-2

This is a difficult passage for several reasons. First, Paul seems to affirm, rather than question, indentured servitude as a form of debt repayment. He seems to affirm, rather than question, the authority of 'masters' over the rights of 'slaves.' However, the more important issue seems to be how the behavior of 'slaves' could discredit the church's witness or the gospel itself.

Slaves - 1 Timothy 6:1

under a yoke as slaves. The word 'yoke' is not positive. In no place does Paul say that slavery is good. In fact, 1 Cor 7:21, Paul's letter to Philemon, and passages like Gal 3 make it plain that freedom is to be desired over slavery. However, this passage, along with its parallel in Titus 2:9-10, teaches that there is something more important than an individual's freedom, the reputation of the gospel. Though slavery in any form is heinous, in first century Ephesus, it was not based on race, but resulted from being captured in war, poverty due to many causes, and was sometimes entered voluntarily. Indeed, Paul described himself repeatedly as a 'slave of Jesus Christ' (see Rom 1:1; Phil 1:1; Titus 1:1).

Believing masters...brothers - 1 Timothy 6:2

believing masters . . .brothers. While Paul acknowledged that certain members in the church at Ephesus had household servants in their charge (cf. Eph 6:5-9), he described their fundamental relationship as "brothers" (cf. Philemon 16). On the one hand, this meant that Christian slaves should serve their brothers with hard work. On the other hand, this meant that Christian masters should not mistreat or threaten their brothers.

False Teaching and Financial Gain - 1 Timothy 6:3-19

Paul Warns Timothy & the Church about Loving Money, which also Questions the Motives of the False Teachers. The last main section of Paul's instructions to Timothy directly addresses "the love of money" (6:10) as a corrosive force, which undermines Christian discipleship. Specifically, it disqualifies the false teachers at Ephesus, who believe "godliness is a means to financial gain" (6:5). This section parallels Paul's opening instruction to Timothy in 1:3-11 to oppose 'false teachers' with 'healthy teaching' and good living.

Loving Money and Loving Christ are incompatible. - 1 Timothy 6:3-10

The first half of this last confrontation with the 'false teachers' of Ephesus strongly echoes 1:3-7, where Paul made it clear that Timothy's first priority was to oppose their 'false teachings' (Gk. heterodidaskalei; 1:3; 6:3). Their words do not agree with the 'sound teaching' (lit. healthy words; 6:3) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, these false teachers are contentious, quarrelsome (6:4) and they are also motivated by greed (6:5), two qualities expressly disallowed in the 'overseers' and 'deacons' (cf. 3:1-11) of Christ's church.

Reliable instruction - 1 Timothy 6:3

reliable instruction. See note on 1:10-11. In Greek hugiainousi logois literally means 'healthy words.' The genitive phrase which follows can be read as a genitive of source, "healthy words from our Lord Jesus Christ," but the use of the phrase 'healthy words' or 'sound doctrine' elsewhere in Paul's letters to Timothy (1:10; 2 Tim 1:13; 4:3) and Titus (1:9; 2:1) is shorthand for the gospel. Paul provides a two-fold test for the church at Ephesus, orthodoxy and orthopraxy. 'Sound words' about Jesus Christ produce 'godliness' in those who hear and obey them.

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