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1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  2:07:18
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Week 1 of class on 1 Timothy. Covered chapter 1.

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1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1

Sean Emslie / General

1 Timothy

› Background

Modern scholars question the Pauline authorship of the Pastorals including 1 Timothy. Pauline authorship was unquestioned until about 100 years ago.

An Introduction to the New Testament Adoption into the Canon

An Introduction to the New Testament Provenance

The Opening Greetings (1:1–2)

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

From Sha'ul

The writer of this letter is the Apostle Paul. Paul is also known as Sha'ul. The Complete Jewish Bible uses the name Sha'ul for all references to the Apostle Paul in the Brit Hadashah.

Sha'ul was his Hebrew or "synagogue" name (Reumann 2008, Volume 33b, Page 53). Like other Jews of the time, he also adopted a Græco-Roman second name, Paulus or in English, Paul (Deissmann 1901, 315-317) . This second "Gentile" name was usually chosen based on a similar sound or other relationship to the Hebrew name (O'Brien n.d., 44) .

This choice of names is similar to how people who convert to Judaism or were not raised religious adopt a Jewish name later in life similar to their birth name, for example, Robert- Reuben or Susan-Shoshanna.

Starting in Acts 13:9 we read:

“Then Sha’ul, also known as Paul, filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, stared straight at him and said,” (Acts 13:9, CJB)

From this point in Acts forward, Luke refers to Sha'ul by his Græco-Roman name, Paul. Paul also refers to himself in all of his letters as Paul(Betz 1992, Volume 5, Page 187). This change of name from Sha'ul to Paul in Acts could be understood as marking a change of focus and field of service, from Sha'ul the Jewish disciple to Paul the Apostle of Messiah to the whole world, his globally recognized name reflecting on his new global mission (Deissmann 1901, 315--317) . This is in contrast to the teaching that he changed his name from Sha'ul to Paul to demonstrate his rejection of Judaism and his life as a Jew to become Paul the Christian.

God our deliverer

The Greek word “soteria” may be rendered “deliverer” (Hebrew go˒el) or “savior” (Hebrew moshia˓). God as “deliverer” appears in the seventh blessing of the ˓Amidah:

“Look on our affliction, plead our cause and deliver us quickly for your name’s sake; for you are a mighty deliverer. Blessed are you, Adonai, deliverer of Israel.”

In the first blessing of the ˓Amidah, God is spoken of as bringing a “deliverer” (go˒el) in the future, but being himself “savior” (moshia˓):

“Blessed are you, … God, … who remembers the pious deeds of the Patriarchs, and who in love will bring a redeemer [go˒el] to their children’s children for your name’s sake. King, helper, savior [moshia˓] and shield! Blessed are you, Adonai, shield of Abraham.”

Except for Lk 1:47 and Yd 25, where God is praised in the language of the Tanakh, only in this book (here, 2:3, 4:10) and sometimes in Titus is the word “sôtêr” applied to God the Father. Elsewhere in the New Testament it refers to Yeshua, the redeemer whom God has brought to the Patriarchs’ children’s children. For more on “sôtêr” see Lk 2:11N.

to Timothy

Timothy was one of the most loyal co-workers of the Apostle Paul who joined him as he was beginning his Second Missionary Journey where he was going to the Messianic communities of Asia Minor to share the rulings of the Jerusalem Council announcing the opening of Gentiles into the Messianic Community as Gentiles, without the need to convert to Judaism.

Timothy is introduced in Acts 16:1-4,

“Sha’ul came down to Derbe and went on to Lystra, where there lived a talmid named Timothy. He was the son of a Jewish woman who had come to trust, and a Greek father. All the brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy. Sha’ul wanted Timothy to accompany him; so he took him and did a b’rit-milah, because of the Jews living in those areas; for they all knew that his father had been a Greek. As they went on through the towns, they delivered to the people the decisions reached by the emissaries and the elders in Yerushalayim for them to observe.” (Acts 16:1–4, CJB)

In this introduction, it can be seen that Timothy was the son of a Jewish mother who had become a follower of Yeshua (and we will also learn that his grandmother Eunice was also a Messianic Jew in 2 Tim 1:5, making him a 3rd generation Messianic Jew) and a Greek father. Though we do not know why Timothy was uncircumcised on the eighth day, it appears from the text that his father was Greek which would mean that his father objected to having his son circumcised. Timothy's father's objection to circumcision may be based on the Greek aesthetic concern for desecrating the perfect human form by removing the foreskin or it could have been a rejection of Jewish separateness from Gentile society by being circumcised and having a mark on the flesh to denote inclusion in the People of Israel and distinction from the "uncircumcised" world (Schäfer 2014, 98,105).

So as not to have any confusion or an issue to disrupt the work of spreading the Gospel with Timothy at his side, Paul circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3). Paul did not want Timothy's ambiguous Jewish identity to pose a roadblock in the work of sharing their message among the Jewish populations of Asia Minor that were familiar with him and the fact that he was Jewish and uncircumcised would have caused a stumbling block to the mission of sharing the Jewish Messiah with fellow Jews. (Stern 1996, Acts 16:3) .

Paul demonstrates Timothy's importance to him as a co-worker and disciple by mentioning Timothy in eight of his letters, and he is also a recipient of two of Paul's letters (Stern 1996, Phil. 1:1) .

Grace to you and shalom

The standard greeting for letters in Greek would use the word, χαίρειν that mean "greetings." Paul in his letters changes χαίρειν (chaireingreetings) to χάρις (charisgrace) (O'Brien n.d., 50) . This reflects a substantial change from offering his readers just "greetings" but "grace," an opening word reflecting on a core teaching of the Messianic faith. Paul also adds εἰρήνη (eirenepeace), the Greek word used for שלום (shalompeace) in the LXX (Septuagint). This can be seen as Paul reflecting on the deep meaning of shalom in Hebrew Bible as being a spiritual completeness or wholeness (Silva 2007, 38) . The use of these two greetings, grace and shalom, could be seen as reflecting Paul sending the Philippians a common Greek and common Jewish greeting to begin his letter to this community of Gentile and Jewish Yeshua followers (Bockmuehl 1997, Phil. 1:2) .

from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

Paul completes the greeting making clear to the Timothy that grace and shalom come from God the Father and the Lord Yeshua.

We can see that Paul acknowledges the divine nature of Yeshua and his eternal unity with God the Father and elsewhere with the Spirit of God to form the triune God (Fee 1995, 70).

Instructions concerning False Teachers (1:3–11)

Warning against false teachers (1:3–11)

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

When I was leaving for Macedonia.

This trip of Paul’s is not recorded in the book of Acts. Perhaps after being imprisoned in Rome (Acts 28) he was released and able to travel to the congregations he had started in Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea (Acts 16–17).

If you remember Paul mentions in Philippians that he hoped to return there to visit them, though we have no record if he was able to go to them.

stay on in Ephesus

Paul here is leaving his traveling companion Timothy in Ephesus as he travelled alone to Macedonia. He here is making Timothy aware of his establishment as a leader in Ephesus as Paul’s representative.

confronting false teaching

It appears that the false teaching involved a false teaching over heredity. Dr. Stern said that it could be Messianic Jews touting their Jewish heritage as making them more important in the community and seeking to make Gentiles feel less as they lacked Jewish heritage.

It could also be as we see even today that Gentile believers obsessed with genealogical research to find a Jewish relative or someone at least with a Jewish sounding name to bolster their status.

The clear teaching of Paul is that Jews are Jews and Gentiles are Gentiles and all are part of the Messianic community and these endless genealogies and myths (makes me think of the teacher that was telling Hispanic people that if their name ended in S or Z or their name is an animal or plant they must be of Jewish descent.

the purpose is unity

As in all of Paul’s letters the value of unity and oneness in the Body of Messiah is paramount. This is seen here as Timothy is called to put an end to this teaching that is separating the community and distracting people by following after fruitless studies.

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

some want to be teachers

Paul here continues the thought that those caught up in myths and endless genealogies are spending their time fruitlessly because it is time that separates them from the community and is based in false teaching.

There distraction from the truth and following false paths leads them to seeking to teach others and seek to hold themselves out as Torah teachers but they teach based in their own speculations and not from knowledge of the Torah. Their foundation is not Torah and the teachings of Yeshua and the Apostles but teachings of their own making. We can see this today among the various false teachers today that teach what they call Torah but is not and merely speculations and teaching grounded in poor scholarship and false interpretations.

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

8 We know that the Torah is good, provided one uses it in the way the Torah itself intends.

the Torah is good,

The Torah is good and it must be understood and lived appropriately. Those teaching falsely may have been quoting Torah but their teaching was wrong and leading others astray.

Dr. Stern gives a list of incorrect uses of Torah:

(1)Requiring Gentiles to observe aspects of the Torah that were meant only for Jews (Acts 15, 21; Ga 2:11–6:16; Co 2:16–23)

(2)Supposing that mere possession of the Torah guarantees personal salvation (Ro 2:17–3:31, 8:3; MJ 7:11–19)

(3)Regarding humanly determined traditions as Torah more authoritative than God’s Word itself (Mt 15:1–20, Mk 7:1–23)

(4)Ignoring the New Testament’s contribution to the understanding of the Torah (Mt 5:17–20, MJ 8:6)

(5)Using the Torah to lead people away from Yeshua instead of toward him, which is its purpose (Ro 10:4)

(6)Using the Torah as ground for boasting (Ro 3:27–31)

(7)Perverting the Torah into a legalistic system (Ro 3:19–26; Ga 2:16, 3:23)

Proper uses, which the Torah itself intends, include building up Jewish peoplehood, trusting in Yeshua and living a holy life.

The Torah is to build up and bring wholeness not separation and disunity. The Torah was given to the Jewish people as a gift to bring them together as a distinct people living holy lives and with the coming of the Messiah to point all to Yeshua as Messiah.

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

Torah is not for a person who is righteous

Verse 9 seems odd. It is commonly taught that the Torah is the way of life for a redeemed community, it is the way of life fro the righteous. How is Torah not for the righteous?

Dr. Stern comments:

So only in some of its aspects is the Torah not for a person whom God has declared righteous. In its role as that which prescribes punishment and condemnation for offenses, shows people their sinfulness and guilt before God, and guides them away from trying to prove how good they are and toward trusting in Yeshua the Messiah (Ro 2:12, 7:7–25, 9:30–10:4; Ga 3:17–25 and notes to these passages) the Torah is for those who are heedless of Torah in its role for the righteous.

those who are heedless of Torah

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament 1:3–11—Scripture Twisters

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. ἀρσενοκοίτης

ἀρσενοκοίτης, ου, (ἄρσην ‘male’ + κοίτη ‘bed’;


Paul’s experience of grace (1:12–17)

A word of thanksgiving

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

12 and I thank the one who has given me strength, the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord, that he considered me trustworthy enough to put me in his service,

Paul here transitions from instruction and condemnation of false teaching and violations of Torah to share his thankfulness to Yeshua for considering him worthy of service despite his past life.

Paul usually starts his letters with a word of thanksgiving like we have seen before in the Prison Epistles but here he dealt with the problems first.

A changed life

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

13 even though I used to be a man who blasphemed and persecuted and was arrogant! But I received mercy because I had acted in unbelief, not understanding what I was doing.

For documentation of Paul’s former life as a persecutor of God’s Messianic Community, see Ac 7:58; 8:1–3; 9:1–2, 13–14; 22:4–5, 19–20; 26:9–12; 1C 15:9; Ga 1:13, 23; Pp 3:6.

Paul in Acts 26 gave a brief description of his life as a persecutor of Yeshua followers:

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 26

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

14 Our Lord’s grace overflowed to me with trust and love that come through the Messiah Yeshua

grace overflowed

Paul was the greatest persecutor of the early Messianic Jewish community. He devoted his life work to destroying the faith in Yeshua, including arresting people and bringing them to Jerusalem for stoning. This the great persecutor became the great proclaimer of the Messiah. By God’s grace he changed paths from seeking to destroy to seeking to build up.

Paraphrasing a commentary of Philippians 1:21, on this transformation in Paul’s life we read:

It is as though Messiah were the air or element in which Paul moved and had his being, thinking with His mind and willing with His will. Paul has absolutely become the organ or instrument of Yeshua, and is drawn, spirit, soul, and body, into His dominating and recreating life.

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

the number one sinner

Here Paul makes clear why Messiah came into the world, to save sinners. This was the core of his teaching and life that it was faith trust in Yeshua’s atoning death that brings new life.

Given his previous life dedicated to standing against Yeshua and seeking to destroy the Messianic Jewish community he refers to himself as the number one sinner.

Paul seeks to show that God in his mercy and grace saved him, the greatest of sinners that he was more than willing to save the #2 and lower sinners too.

Paul holds himself up as a grand example of how far God will go to reach the lost, even accepting one that blasphemed his name and killed his followers.

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

17 So to the King—eternal, imperishable and invisible, the only God there is—let there be honor and glory for ever and ever! Amen.

a closing benediction

Dr. Stern comments on this verse:

17This verse, with its listing of God’s attributes, has characteristics of a Jewish benediction or hymn (compare 2C 1:3–4&N).

King—eternal, literally, “King of the ages,” equivalent to the Hebrew words “Melekh-ha˓olam” in many Jewish blessings, which are usually rendered, “King of the universe,” but can also be translated, “King of eternity.”

Invisible. “No one has ever seen God” (Yn 1:18); yet, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Yn 14:9). An antinomy: both statements are true.

The only God there is. Sha’ul quotes the Sh˒ma (Deuteronomy 6:4) below at 2:5.

Amen. See Ro 9:5N.

Paul concludes this reflection on his life and God’s grace with a closing benediction offering praise to God.

Paul’s charge to Timothy (1:18–20)

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 1

the prophecies already made about you

Though Paul does not tell us what prophecies were made about Timothy, we can see a reference later in 1 Timothy 4:14, that the prophecies were given at his ordination/smikhah.

14 Do not neglect your gift, which you were given through a prophecy when the body of elders gave you s’mikhah.

Dr. Stern commented:

Timothy should take courage from the prophecies given to him to fight the good fight, as Paul himself did (2 Ti 4:7), against wrong teaching. But essential weapons for the fight are trust and a good conscience; they are even more important than sound doctrine because they have to do with heart and spirit, not mind only.

Hymenaeus and Alexander

Paul concludes his teaching and this 1st chapter with two examples of those who went astray to false teaching, Hymenaeis and Alexander.

Hymenaeus taught that the resurrection had already come (2 Ti 2:17–18;

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 2

This false teaching that the resurrection had come is contradicted by Paul’s own warning in 2 Thess 2:3-4:

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 2

Alexander was more likely to have been the metalworker who harmed and opposed Sha’ul (2 Ti 4:14–15)

Complete Jewish Bible Chapter 4

Alexander opposed Paul’s teaching. This may have been out of jealousy or not respecting his authority or may have been some unmentioned false teachings.

turn them over to the Adversary

Turn over to Adversary - Greek paideuthôsin“ conveys the idea of stern punishment rather than instruction.

These two were beyond being taught or instructed to go right they had to be punished by being removed from the community until they changed their ways. The hope is that there time away would cause them to repent and then be able to return.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament 1:18–20—Removing a Blasphemer

Official synagogue excommunication seems to have included a curse or execration against the person being banned from the community; it was meant to be equivalent to capital punishment under the Old Testament law. By handing these blasphemers over to Satan, Paul is simply acknowledging the sphere they had already chosen to enter (5:15). Paul’s purpose here is restorative, however, “so that they might be taught not to blaspheme” (NASB), as God had taught Paul (1:13).

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