1 Timothy 1.4-Paul Requested That Timothy Command Certain Pastors In Ephesus Not To Be Occupied With Myths And Endless Genealogies But Their Responsibilities
Wenstrom Bible Ministries
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Thursday January 20, 2011
1 Timothy: 1 Timothy 1:4-Paul Requested That Timothy Command Certain Pastors Not To Be Occupied With Myths And Useless Genealogies But Fulfilling Their Responsibilities
Lesson # 11
Please turn in your Bibles to 1 Timothy 1:1.
Next, we will note 1 Timothy 1:4, which further describes the purpose for Paul urgently requesting that Timothy stay on at Ephesus.
In this verse, Paul states that not only did he not want these Ephesian pastors at any time to teach false doctrine but also not to occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies.
He goes on to state that these myths and interminable genealogies merely promote speculation rather than help them fulfill their responsibilities of administrating God’s household.
So this verse begins a description of the content of what these pastors in Ephesus were teaching and who had strayed from Paul’s teaching.
1 Timothy 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2 to Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4 nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.” (NASU)
“To pay attention to myths” is composed of the present active infinitive form of the verb prosecho (προσέχω) (prose-eh-koe), “to pay attention” and the dative masculine plural form of the noun muthos (μῦθος) (me-those), “to myths.”
The verb prosecho means “to occupy one’s mind with something, devote oneself to” and has its meaning negated by mede, “nor.”
This indicates that Paul does not want certain unidentified pastors in Ephesus to at any time “occupy their minds” with myths.
So Paul urgently requests that Timothy command these pastors to not at any time occupy their minds with the study and teaching of myths.
The present tense of the verb is a “gnomic present,” which is used to describe something that is true “any” time and “does” take place.
This indicates that Paul is prohibiting certain unidentified pastors in Ephesus from “at any time” being occupied with myths and interminable genealogies.
The plural form of the noun muthos means “myths” and is used to describe the content of the teaching of these unidentified pastors in Ephesus as falsehood in contrast to Paul’s gospel.
The gospel is absolute truth since it is inspired by the Holy Spirit as well as rooted in historical events (crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ) and an historical individual (Jesus of Nazareth).
This same word is used in Titus 1:14 but with the added designation as being “Jewish” in nature.
Now, in 1 Timothy 1:4, muthos does not appear with this explicit designation.
However, Paul’s comments throughout the epistle indicate that these myths were Jewish in nature.
Paul describes these pastors in Ephesus as wanting to be “teachers of the Law” in 1 Timothy 1:7.
Also, Titus 1:14 also strongly suggests that these myths were Jewish.
“And endless genealogies” is composed of the conjunction kai (καί) (keh), “and” followed by the dative feminine plural form of the noun genealogia (γενεαλογία) (yen-ay-ah-yoe-ee-ah), “genealogies” which is modified by the dative feminine plural form of the adjective aperantos (ἀπέραντος) (ah-pear-den-doce), “endless.”
The plural form of the noun genealogia means “genealogies” which refers to a listing of descendants of a particular individual.
Paul’s description of these teachers in Ephesus in Ephesus are further described in 1 Timothy 1:7 as wanting to be “teachers of the Law” indicates the Jewish nature of this occupation with genealogies.
Titus 1:10 implicates the Jews or those with Jewish connections.
Paul was not against the study of the genealogies of the Bible since they can teach us quite a bit about God’s creation, His desire to redeem mankind, and His sovereign control over history.
The apostle was against the misuse of genealogies.
The adjective aperantos does not describe these genealogies as “endless” meaning that they cannot be counted since the genealogies in question pertained to the Old Testament, which contained a specific number of genealogies.
It is better to interpret the adjective as meaning “useless” since Paul says in the adversative clause that occupation with these genealogies does not further God’s plan for the Ephesian church that is based upon faith in the Word of God.
Though it is true that the Old Testament genealogies were important with respect to the claims of Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Jewish Messiah and taught the sovereignty of God over the human race, they did not help these pastors fulfill their administration of the household of God.
They did not promote the fulfillment of their duties as pastors.
1 Timothy 1:4, “nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.” (NASU)
“Which give rise to mere speculation” is composed of the nominative feminine plural form of the qualitative relative pronoun hostis (ὅστις) (owe-steece), “which” and the accusative feminine plural form of the noun ekzetesis (ἐκζήτησις) (ek-zee-tee-zeece), “mere speculation” and the third person plural present active indicative form of the verb parecho (παρέχω) (pah-reh-owe), “give rise to.”
The qualitative relative pronoun hostis is used in a causal sense to emphasize the characteristic quality of occupation with myths and useless genealogies that confirms the previous prohibition in the main clause by giving the basis for it.
Paul is prohibiting these Ephesian pastors from being occupied with myths and useless genealogies “because the nature of which” produce speculations that do not advance the plan of God.
The verb parecho means “to promote” since it is used not only with the noun ekzetesis, “pointless arguments” but also the noun oikonomia, “the administration of God’s household” in the adversative clause to follow, which speaks of these pastors in Ephesus fulfilling their responsibilities, which God required of them.
In 1 Timothy 1:4, the idea behind the noun ekzetesis is that occupation with Jewish myths and useless genealogies causes only “pointless disputes.”
He is saying with this word that occupation with these things only causes “pointless arguments.”
“Rather” is the comparative adverb mallon (μᾶλλον) (mah-loan), which is emphasizing that Paul wants these unidentified pastors in Ephesus to choose an alternative to causing pointless arguments, namely the administration of God.
“Than” is the comparative particle e (ἡ&) (ee), which compares promoting pointless arguments with occupation with Jewish myths and useless genealogies and that of promoting the plan of God.
“The administration of God” is composed of the accusative feminine singular form of the noun oikonomia (οἰκονομία) (ee-koe-no-mee-ah), “the administration” and the genitive masculine singular form of the noun theos (θεός) (thay-oce), “of God.”
The noun oikonomia means “administration of a household” and refers to these unidentified individuals in Ephesus fulfilling their stewardship as pastor-teachers.
Specifically, it refers to “the administration” of God’s household, which is the church.
This word thus implies that they are believers since only believers can administrate the church.
The context clearly indicates this since Paul is contrasting what these pastor-teachers were doing in Ephesus in contrast to what they should have been doing.
They were occupied with studying and teaching false doctrine and with myths and useless genealogies rather than fulfilling their responsibilities as pastor-teachers.
Therefore, the word could not possibly mean “plan” or “purpose” referring to the Father’s plan to provide eternal salvation for all mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and is proclaimed through the gospel.
The word speaks of the “spiritual authority” or “spiritual responsibility” of these pastors in Ephesus that has been entrusted to them by the Lord Jesus Christ.
So Paul is attempting to remind these pastors to full their responsibilities as pastor-teachers.
They were not faithful in fulfilling the responsibilities as pastor-teachers by being occupied with Jewish myths and useless genealogies, which by their nature produce only pointless arguments.
“Which is by faith” is composed of the accusative feminine singular form of the definite article ho (ὁ() (owe), “which is” and the preposition en (ἐν), “by” and its object is the dative feminine singular form of the noun pistis (πίστις) (pee-steece), “faith.”
The noun pistis means “faithfulness” since it is used in relation to these unidentified pastors in Ephesus fulfilling their responsibilities and stewardship in God’s household.
It is the object of the preposition en, which is a marker of means by which an event takes place.
Here it indicates that these unidentified pastors in Ephesus will administrate God’s household by being faithful to their responsibilities to do so.