1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, 2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Goal of the Gospel
3 Just as I urged you when I was departing for Macedonia, stay on at Ephesus so that you may direct certain men not to teach false doctrines 4 or to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies, which only promote controversy,1 and not the administration of God’s redemptive plan, which is by faith. 5 Now the goal of the Gospel proclamation is love, flowing from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 6 But certain men, by straying from these things, have turned aside to meaningless talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the Law, yet understanding neither the things they say nor the matters about which they make such confident assertions.
8 Now we know that the Law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing this, that the Law is not intended2 for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 fornicators, homosexuals,3 kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else may be contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.
Gratitude for Grace
12 I am grateful to the One who has empowered me—Christ Jesus our Lord—because He deemed me faithful and placed me in his service, 13 even though in former times I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent aggressor. Yet I found mercy because I acted ignorantly and in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord towards me was exceedingly abundant, along with4 the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 It is a trustworthy saying, deserving of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am first of all. 16 And yet for this very reason I obtained mercy, so that in me, the first of all, Christ Jesus might display all longsuffering, and so provide5 an example for6 those who would7 believe on Him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal,8 immortal, invisible—the one and only God—be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
18 This charge I set before you, Timothy my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously spoken over you,9 so that by them you may fight the good fight, 19 holding firmly both to the faith and to a good conscience, which some have rejected, and so suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.
- Or senseless speculation
- Or was not laid down, put in place
- Lit. male homosexual
- Or possibly bringing with it
- Lit. for an example, illustration
- Or of
- Lit. of those about to believe
- Lit. King of (the) ages
- Lit. brought forth upon you
The Priority of Prayer
2 Therefore, I urge first of all that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and the giving of thanks be made on behalf of all men— 2 and in particular for kings and all who hold high positions, so that we may lead a tranquil and calm life in all reverence and respectability. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to be given in its own proper time; 7 for which I myself was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in the spheres of faith and spiritual truth.
Instructions for Men and Women
8 Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger and disputes. 9 Similarly, I want women to adorn themselves with proper apparel, modestly and discretely; not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but with good deeds, as is fitting for women professing godliness. 11 A woman may learn in silence,1 with entire submissiveness; 12 but I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being completely deceived, became a transgressor. 15 Nevertheless, she will be saved through childbearing, if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with sound judgment and self-control.
- The Greek connotes both silence and a quiet demeanor
- Lit. has come to be in transgression
Qualifications of Overseers
3 It is a trustworthy saying: If any man aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a good work. 2 Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, and able to teach; 3 not given to drink, not pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, and free from the love of money; 4 one who governs his own household well, keeping his children in submission with all dignity 5 (for if a man does not know how to govern his own household, how can he care for the church of God?); 6 and not a recent convert, lest, being inflated with pride, he fall into the same judgment as the devil.1 7 Moreover, he must be well spoken of by2 those outside the church, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Qualifications of Deacons and Their Wives
8 Similarly, deacons must be men of dignity and respect, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not eager for sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clean conscience. 10 And these too must first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, having been found to be above reproach.3 11 In like manner, their wives must also be dignified, not malicious gossips,4 but temperate and sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Deacons must be the husbands of one wife, governing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high5 standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Our Common Confession
14 I am hoping to come to you speedily; 15 but in case I am delayed, I am writing these things to you so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support6 of the truth. 16 And by common confession, great is the mystery of true godliness:7
He8 was manifested in the flesh,
Vindicated by the Spirit,
Beheld by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory.
- Lit. into the judgment (or condemnation) of the devil (or slanderer)
- Lit. must have a good testimony from
- Lit. being above reproach
- Lit. slanderers
- Lit. good
- Or foundation
- Lit. of the godliness (or religion, devotion)
- Lit. Who; many later mss, God
Beware of Apostates
4 Now the Spirit explicitly states that in later times some will depart from the faith, turning their attention to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 and being taken in by the hypocrisy of liars whose own conscience is seared as if by a branding iron. 3 Such men forbid people to marry, and command them to abstain from various foods, which God has created so that those who believe and know the truth might partake of them with gratitude and thanksgiving. 4 For every creation of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
The Good Servant of Christ
6 In setting these matters before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, brought up1 in the truths2 of the faith and of the sound teaching you have been following. 7 But have nothing to do with myths fit only for the godless and the guillible.3 Instead, you must train yourself with godliness as your goal. 8 For bodily exercise profits but little, whereas godliness is profitable for all things, holding promise both for the present life and the life to come. 9 That is a trustworthy saying, and deserving of full acceptance; 10 for to this very end we both toil and struggle,4 having set our hope upon the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
11 Prescribe and teach these things. 12 Let no one look down on you because of your youth, but become an example for the believers in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. 13 Until I come, pay close attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Cultivate these things diligently; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all; 16 keep close watch over yourself and your teaching. Persevere in all these things5, for in so doing you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
- Lit. nourished
- Lit. words
- Lit. with godless and old-womanish myths
- Some mss suffer reproach
- Lit. them
5 Do not reprove an older man with severity, but instead appeal to him as a father. Address younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with all purity.
The Care of Widows
3 Respect and support widows who are truly in need.1 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let those first learn to practice their religion at home, and so to make a proper return to their parents, for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 5 Now the widow who is truly in need and left all alone has fixed her hope on God, and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who gives herself to pleasure is dead even as she lives. 7 Give instructions about these things as well, so that all involved2 may be above reproach. 8 But if anyone will not provide for his relatives,3 and especially for the members of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow should be placed on the list4 unless she is over sixty, has been the wife of one husband, 10 and has a reputation for good works: that is, if she has raised children, practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress, and devoted herself to all kinds of good works.
11 But refuse to enroll the younger widows; for when their sensual desires begin to draw them away from Christ, they want to marry, 12 thus incurring judgment, since they are abandoning their previous pledge. 13 And at the same time, they also learn to be idle, wandering around from house to house; and not only to be idle, but also to be gossips and busybodies, speaking of things that are none of their business.5 14 Consequently, I want the younger widows to marry, bear children, and manage their homes, thereby giving the adversary no opportunity at all to bring us into reproach; 15 for some have already turned aside to follow after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has widows in her family, let her assist them; do not let the church be burdened, so that it may assist widows6 who are truly in need.
Instruction About Elders
17 Let the elders who govern well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching7 and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”8 and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”9 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 Those elders who continue to sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest may fear as well. 21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God, Christ Jesus, and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without prejudice, doing nothing at all out of personal favoritism. 22 Do not lay hands on anyone too quickly, and so10 participate in the sins of other men; keep yourself pure.
23 No longer drink water alone, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
24 The sins of some men are completely obvious, going before them to judgment; but in the case of others, they follow after them. 25 Likewise, works that are good are also obvious, and those that are otherwise cannot be concealed.
- Lit. who are truly widows
- Lit. they
- Lit. his own
- This was either a list of all widows qualified for support, or a list of older widows who served younger widows and their children. Enrollment appears to have involved a formal pledge to continue as a widow and to serve the Lord and the church in that capacity.
- Or saying things they ought not to; lit. speaking things that are not necessary
- Lit. those
- Lit. in word
- Deut. 25:4
- Luke 10:7
- Lit. and do not, nor
Concerning Slaves and Their Owners
6 Let all who are under the yoke as bondservants1 consider their own masters worthy of full respect, so that the name of God and the teachings of our faith may not fall into reproach. 2 And let those who have believing masters show no less respect because their masters are brothers; on the contrary, let them serve them all the more, since the ones who are benefitting from their service are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
Concerning False Teachers
3 If anyone is teaching a different doctrine, and does not assent to sound words (those of our Lord Jesus Christ) and to the doctrine that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up and understands nothing, but instead has a morbid preoccupation with controversies and petty disputes,2 out of which arise envy, strife, slanders, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt minds—men who are destitute of the truth and who suppose that godliness is a means of personal gain.
6 Now godliness combined with contentment is indeed great gain; 7 for we brought nothing into this world, therefore we can carry nothing out. 8 So if we have food and covering, with these we will be content.3 9 But those who desire to get rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful lusts that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil,4 and some, by reaching after it, have strayed from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains and sorrows.
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and for the sake of which you 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, and in the presence of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate: 14 Keep the commandment spotlessly and without reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God5 will display at the proper time,6 He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see; to whom belong honor and eternal dominion.7 Amen.
Instructions to the Rich
17 Instruct those who are rich in this present age not to be high-minded, or to set their hopes upon what is uncertain—the accumulation of material wealth—but upon God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, generous, and eager to share with others, 19 thereby storing up for themselves a good foundation for the age8 to come, in order that they may lay hold of that which is life indeed.
20 O Timothy! Guard carefully what has been entrusted to you, avoiding the profane babblings and inconsistencies of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21 which some have openly professed, and thereby strayed from9 the faith.
Grace be with you.
- I.e. as one who sells himself into slavery; or slaves
- Lit. wranglings over mere words (or small matters)
- Or will have enough
- Lit. is a root of all the evils
- Lit. He
- Or in His own good time
- Lit. power
- Or world, time
- Lit. concerning, with reference to