I wonder whether the contents of the letters to Timothy are things Paul forgot to tell Timothy in person? If so this undermines Sola Scriptura.The usual claim is that the Bible has all we need, but if Paul's letters are merely the afterthoughts he wished he had remembered to tell them, this changes everything.
Timothy is a high ranking bishop who directs and admonishes other bishops at Paul's request.He is often portrayed as a weak man who Paul bosses around but who is generally ineffective. This is, I think, a consequence of ignoring the conditions of the early church to deny that it is Catholic. But we simply cannot deny that the early church had strong leaders and this structure was apostolic, that is to say, the apostles taught this.
It is hard to understand why some in the early church would wish to teach false, non-apostolic teaching. Perhaps in converting to Christianity they did not fully give up their philosophical and pagan views. Just so, it is hard to understand why Christians today would wish to paint the early church as being different than it really was.
There is probably pressure on Timothy to leave Ephesus so Paul encourages him to stay on anyway. The apostles and bishops of the early church had a difficult time proclaiming the gospel; they were harshly opposed at every turn.
In verse 15 Paul mentions the gospel message that these were rejecting; it is that Jesus came into the world to save sinners. They were probably were teaching that Jesus did not come into the world in bodily form but, rather, as an apparition. Perhaps they were early Docetists.
(1 Timothy 1:9) Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
Paul admits to being a bad sinner. Perhaps he is referring to his persecution of Christians before his conversion. I doubt if he is intending to say that he is still a bad sinner; rather, he is referring to his condition when Jesus plucked him out for redemption, when he was knocked on the ground on his way to Damascus.
The Jewish religious leaders objected to Jesus spending time with the common people, with sinners, but he came into the world for those sinners who would repent.
(1 Timothy 1:16) Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
God desires that everyone be redeemed. Critics of Christianity will say God failed in his mission. But God truly gave us free will and he will honor this forever. For example, God gave Lucifer domination over this physical universe and Lucifer turned it into a place of pain and suffering as animals eat each other and tree branches fall and crush living creatures. In like manner, God will allow those who reject his offer of redemption to spend eternity in hell.But in every age God offers redemption for those who believe and receive.
We might wonder how exactly God offers this in cultures with no revealed knowledge? I have come to accept the view that Jesus appears to everyone at their death and proclaims the gospel.The view of Calvinismseems to me too harsh and places God in the predicament of judging people who are ignorant of his law.
(1 Timothy 2:9) In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness [decency] and sobriety; not with broided [braided] hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array [clothes];
Women are to dress modestly and simply.
Paul uses this in his argument that women should not teach or talk in church, not should they have spiritual authority over men. The argument seems to be that men aren't prone to evil suggestions from evil spirits, but this doesn't make sense. Perhaps evil spirits are more likely to attempt to deceive women, thinking them to be better targets for their deception — after all, Satan singled-out Eve.
Paul seems to be using the idea of "first" to support his teaching. Men are to be teachers in the church because...
When viewed this way, it does not imply that Adam is somehow superior to Eve but, rather, that by the mere accidental circumstances of their situations, Adam was called by God to teach.
If we wish to deny Paul's conclusion that only men are to teach and to have spiritual authority in the Church, then we must also invalidate his supporting arguments (about the nature of men vs. women, each being first at something). Therefore, it is hard to find a way to make this passage merely cultural, and the early church certainly didn't view it as cultural either (but, of course, they were still in the same culture).
The woman is not saved by teaching in church as the men are, but by childbearing. We each have our proper roles.
Paul mentions bishops (elders) and deacons — there is no third category. Yet some churches insist on three: bishop, priest, deacon; or pastor, elder, deacon.
Paul mentions bishops (elders) and deacons — there is no third category. Yet some churches insist on three: bishop, priest, deacon; or pastor, elder, deacon.
This verse is likely not referring to the wife of a deacon but, rather, to a woman deacon.
(1 Timothy 3:15) But if I tarry [delay] long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground [foundation] of the truth.
The Church is pillar and foundation of truth. In other words, without the Church, there is no knowledge of truth, no gospel message of salvation. A corollary of this is that if untruth is being taught, that is not the Church. This is a key component of my system: find contradictions and incorrect statements and reject these as sources of truth. Whatever remains is the Church.
The Church is the house of God. I suspect Paul is equating the Old Testament house of God, the temple, with the New Testament Church; certainly Jesus referred to the temple as the house of God.Just as the Old Testament temple was the place of sacrifice, teaching, and worship; so also is the Church to be these things.
Paul is concerned with their behavior and he instructs them about correct behavior in this letter. I suspect Paul is writing to the other people who will also hear this letter read; why would he exhort Timothy to behave himself? Probably, in every letter Paul writes, his audience is Christians at large.
(1 Timothy 3:16) And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
There is never any mention of whether or not slaughtering animals is cruel, or whether we should prefer vegetarianism if we wish. In my mind this is a big oversight.
Christians do not become ceremonially unclean by eating animals. We are not bound by the Old Testament laws.
(1 Timothy 4:6) If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
Universalists are happy this verse is in the Bible using it as the basis for their view that ultimately, everyone will be redeemed. Several ways of reading this...
If this were the only verse about this topic we might be tempted to adopt option #1 but we must reject it because there are so many verses refuting it.
Paul's sufferings and hardship are a direct result of his preaching the gospel. His call as apostle compels him to strive as he does to reach the lost.
God is living, the source of life, the creator of our soul. Thus, in our conscious experience of the various aspects of life such as love, emotion, self-awareness, etc. we experience the essence of God himself. God created our body but he is our consciousness. In this sense the eastern religions are correct in saying we are divine, we are God. The error is in saying that consciousness is God — pantheism. The correct view is stated in this verse; God is living and he redeems those who believe the gospel.
Many non-Catholic Christians are uncomfortable with this kind of experiential, mystical relationship with God. They therefore reject prayers such as the Rosary and symbolic interactions with God via liturgy, rites, and rituals.
The implication is that if Timothy doesn't continue living the faith, he will lose his salvation.
People who were dying in their sins, after hearing Timothy's preaching and coming to faith, these will become saved. Thus, preaching the gospel is supremely important.
The Church is to care for widows who have no one else to care for them. This implies the Church has money, which requires Christians to give money to the local church. In Roman times there was no social safety net, no welfare programs, and needy people would simply starve. (This happened in the great depression too.) Nowadays, in America, the government provides various welfare programs so you could say that no one is in this category anymore (or at least very few are.) Notice that the Church is to fill the gap and help people who really need it. Most churches can't provide these services directly so they give money to organizations that do.
I doubt if Paul intended to limit this to only widows; that just happened to be the group of people who became derelict in that male-dominated society.
Notice that Paul limits helping people to those in the Church, to Christians. At the time he wrote this letter, Christians were a small minority of the population and he singles out needy Christians for aid. But the Church is to help only those who absolutely need it; the families are supposed to do this for their fellow family members.
(1 Timothy 5:4) But if any widow have children or nephews [grandchildren], let them learn first to shew [show] piety at home, and to requite [repay] their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
We are to pay back our parents for caring for us as children by caring for them when they are older. Notice that taking care of your parents is one ingredient of the practice of Christianity, of the Christian religion.
Paul is instructing Timothy how to determine whether someone qualifies for Church aid, whether they are a "widow indeed." One of the criteria is that they live holy, prayerful lives; that they serve the Church in some way. Thus, the financial assistance is not really free, it requires that they earn it according to their ability, and especially in living a life of devotion and service. This should be the model for any welfare program, that the recipients be expected to work.
Those who live a life of pleasure-seeking are not qualified to receive aid from the Church. I suppose this would include drugs and alcohol, partying, entertainment of all sorts. We have no obligation to help people in this predicament, in fact, often their destitute condition was caused by their lifestyle. How many of the happy-go-lucky drug-using hippies of the 60's are now homeless on the street. People often assume Christians have a moral obligation to help everyone but the Bible doesn't teach this. When I publicly read the Bible on the streets, people come up to me expecting a handout (a "helping hand" as they prefer to call it) and they are indignant when I graciously say no, as if, by choosing to represent Christ in public I am morally obligated to give them a handout. (Giving money to them all would ruin my ability to perform this ministry.) No wonder they are on the street with that kind of attitude.
Paul has some pretty strong words for those who won't help their family members in need (again with the condition that they are living holy lives of devotion and service to the Church and to their family.)
What stress this must create for widows under 60 years old who might starve before they reach that age.
(1 Timothy 5:10) Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
This verse is one of those that makes it seem the Church teaches that sex is bad. Notice the implication: young widows will desire to remarry and this desire is called "wantoness" — an ugly word today. But the word "wanton" only means "difficult to control", yet this verse says that this desire to remarry is "against Christ" (and similar words in other translations.) You can't win trying to understand this verse in a neutral way.
I think the answer is that Paul is speaking specifically in the context of whether or not the Church should provide assistance for certain widows. If a younger widow is going to remarry anyway rather than remain unmarried and serve the Church, they should be excluded. I suppose if there were young widows who were very devout and faithful in serving the Church even before their husband died, these would qualify for assistance since they would have proven their devotion is real and persevering.
This seems to refer to widows who abandon the faith, who abandon a life of holiness altogether. Paul seems to imply that these widows have taken some sort of vow to remain unmarried and to live a life of holiness and devotion and service, but have broken this vow to live a life of wanton pleasure. This kind of vow is similar to the Catholic orders of monks, nuns, religious brothers and sisters; those who have consecrated themselves to a life of prayer and devotion and service to the Church.
Likely they had all kinds of herbal and other treatments back then; this was one of them. It may not have been the best, but probably was all they had. Perhaps the water was bad and the wine sanitized it. Perhaps he had parasites in his digestive system.
It appears Timothy didn't consume alcohol; this is a good thing.
(1 Timothy 6:2) And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
We must wait until verse 5 to learn what to do with such men as these — we are to stay away from them.
Paul mentions the characteristics of these enemies of the faith...
The character flaws and spiritual poison of these...
We are to stay away from certain people and from certain interactions with them. The list continues from verse 3...
We should think of money as a tool, not as an end in itself. We should seek only to possess what is needed in living a life pleasing to God. It's hard to get rid of stuff we own once we no longer need it and we may think we should keep it all in case we need it some day. In order to pass the long hours we need something to do and usually possessions are needed for this, even if only some Rosary beads, a prayer book, and a prayer shawl. I don't think this verse is talking about any of this but, rather, those who derive their sense of self-worth from money and possessions.
Presumably Paul has some particular people in mind as he writes this. These people are probably rich and rather than practice holiness and virtue, spend their time and money indulging in all kinds on sinful activities. Perhaps some of these converted to Christianity but their faith remained shallow; these have erred in the faith, they have gone astray, they are off-course. Sin brings its own sorrow; there is no need for God to judge sin, the sin itself judges.
Perhaps Paul is referring to Timothy's profession of faith during his baptism; when he recited a creed. This was the common practice for joining the Church; there was no separate membership aside from baptism. Or, it might be when he was ordained as a bishop.
Paul sets down the principles of the mission of Church leaders. Any Church leader who does not do these things should be rejected.They are to guard the faith passed-on to them from the apostles.The Catholic Church claims to be guarding this but, sadly, they are also guarding things the apostles never taught. Church leaders are to avoid 3 things...
Paul uses a style of writing in which he seems to be directing his statements to Timothy but is actually directing them to everyone, sometimes Church leaders, sometimes Christians at large. It can be difficult at times to know who the audience is for particular statements.
King James Version