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Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Timothy Chapter 6

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 26, 2019

THE DUTIES OF SLAVES TO THEIR MASTERS, WHETHER HEATHEN OR CHRISTIAN

A Summary of 1 Timothy 6:1-2~In Eph. 6:5-9 and Col. 3:22—4:1, St. Paul had already treated at length of the mutual duties and relations of slaves and masters. Here, however, he speaks only of slaves, doubtless because there was somehow more cause for treating only of the one class. He was not in any way approving of slavery, for it was his repeated teaching that in Christ there was “neither bond nor free” (Gal. 3:28) ; like the other Apostles, he was simply taking the existing conditions of society as he found them, and adapting himself to them as the circumstances required. See on Eph. 6:5-9; see also Introduction to Philemon, No. 5.

The slaves addressed in both of the present verses were Christians; and St. Paul tells Timothy to instruct those slaves to conduct themselves with all respect and obedience toward their heathen masters, so as to reflect credit on their profession as believers in God and followers of Christ; any failure in their duties as slaves would only cast discredit on their religion.

1 Tim 6:1. Whosoever are servants under the yoke, let them count their masters worthy of all honor; lest the name of God and his doctrine be blasphemed.

The Domini of the Vulgate should be Dei, as in the Greek.

1 Tim 6:2. But they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but serve them the rather, because they are faithful and beloved, who are partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

In the second verse the masters also are Christians, and this fact calls for even better service on the part of their slaves.

Because they are faithful and beloved, i.e., because those masters are Christians, and consequently beloved by God, This is the reason why their Christian slaves should render them special service.

Who are partakers of the benefit. This does not mean the benefit of redemption which the masters enjoy by being Christians, nor the benefits which the masters confer on their slaves, but the improved and special service which those masters receive from the fidelity and obedience of their slaves. Therefore, translate the second part of the verse with the Westminster Version as follows: “But serve them all the more, for that they who claim their good service are believing and beloved.”

These things, i.e., the directions just given about slaves, or perhaps all the instructions so far given in this letter, Timothy is to “teach and exhort.”

CLOSING INSTRUCTIONS TO TIMOTHY

A Summary of 1 Timothy 6:3-21~In the closing section of his letter St. Paul utters renewed warnings against the false teachers (1 Tim 6:3-5), speaks of the vanity and perils of wealth (1 Tim 6:6-10), personally exhorts Timothy to the practice of virtue and the preservation of the teachings he has received (1 Tim 6:11-16), issues a charge to the rich of Ephesus (1 Tim 6:17-19), and terminates by recalling to Timothy the principal thought of the Epistle and imparting his blessing (1 Tim 6:20-21).

1 Tim 6:3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to goodness,
1 Tim 6:4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions,
1 Tim 6:5. Conflicts of men corrupted in mind, and who are destitute of the truth, supposing godliness to be gain.

Teach otherwise, i.e., teach a different doctrine from that taught by St. Paul (see on 1 Tim 1:3). 

And consent not to the sound words, etc., i.e., to the true teaching contained in our Lord’s words. 

And to that doctrine which is according to godliness, i.e., which teaches the true way in which God is to be worshipped. The false teaching the Apostle has in mind, therefore, is out of harmony with that which Timothy is to “teach and exhort” (ver. 2). The false teacher himself and the practical results of his teaching are next described (ver, 4-5), 

He is proud, knowing nothing, about that which he ought to know, and which constitutes the true doctrine; he is “sick” from feeding his mind on unwholesome speculations and disputes which consist only in words, and which resuh in envy of rivals, quarrels with opponents, suspicions of unworthy motives, and the like. Such men, “corrupted in mind,” pervert the Gospel and subordinate piety and the worship of God to material gains.

In the Vulgate of verse 5, quæstum esse pietatem (“supposing gain to be godliness”) should be reversed, pietatem esse quæstum (“supposing godliness to be gain“), as the position of the article and the order of the words in the Greek indicate. 

1 Tim 6:6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.

While “godliness” or piety is not to be prostituted to material gain, there is, nevertheless, great gain in its possession, for it teaches one to be content with what one has, not desiring to have more (Phil. 4:11-13). 

1 Tim 6:7. For we brought nothing into this world, and certainly we can carry
nothing out.

He now explains why man ought to be content with little in this world. Material goods serve only for the present life; we come into the world without them, and we must leave them behind when we die. It is only what a man is in himself—his spiritual attainments, his character, his good or bad habits—that he takes with him into the next world; all else he leaves behind at death. 

1 Tim 6:8. But having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content.

Food and raiment are the chief necessities of our material existence, but we must remember that we are far more than these, and that we are not to be over-anxious about them (Matt. 6:25 ff.). 

1 Tim 6:9. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into a snare, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition.

It is the desire for wealth and an inordinate attachment to material things that St. Paul is here condemning, the disastrous consequences of which are clearly attested to by history and experience. Those whose minds are set on wealth are exposed and expose themselves to many perils. 

Destruction, etc. See on Phil. 1:28, 3:19 ; 2 Thess. 1:9.

The diaboli of the Vulgate is not in the best Greek. Some manuscripts read: For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into a snare of the devil (see 1 Tim 3:7). 

1 Tim 6:10. For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.

In rhetorical language the Apostle stresses the peril of a love of material wealth. It is “the root,” or, as in the Greek, “a root of all evils,” i.e., of all moral evils, inasmuch as it will induce a person to commit any evil or sin to attain it, when the passion becomes all-absorbing. At all times the love of money is fraught with very dangerous consequences, and if it does not go so far as to lead one away from the faith, it nevertheless chills the spirit of religion, and deadens a person to the appeal of the higher things of the mind and soul. 

1 Tim 6:11. But thou, man of God, fly these things: and pursue justice, godliness, faith, charity, patience, mildness.

St. Paul now exhorts Timothy to flee the love of money and its attendant evils, and to pursue virtue.

Man of God is the regular Old Testament expression for a prophet or ruler of God’s people (1 Sam 9:6; 1Kings 12:22, 13:1 ff.). 

1 Tim 6:12. Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and didst make the good confession before many witnesses. 

Fight the good fight. The metaphor is taken from the athletic games, and is frequently employed by St. Paul (1 Cor. 9:24; Phil. 3:12, 14; 2 Tim. 4:7). “Fight” is in the present tense in Greek, showing the constant struggle; while “lay hold” is aorist, to indicate the single act. 

Whereunto thou art called, etc., doubtless refers to Timothy’s baptism, and to the confession then made of the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Some think the confession referred to was at the time of Timothy’s ordination or consecration as bishop.

1 Tim 6:13. I charge thee before God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate, a good confession:
1 Tim 6:14. That thou keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,

St. Paul now charges Timothy before God, the Creator, “who quickeneth all things” (better, “who preserveth all things in life”) and before His Son Jesus Christ, “who gave testimony, etc.” (i.e., who made the good confession of His divine Kingship and Sonship in the presence or at the time of Pontius Pilate, Matt 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3; John 18:33 ff.), to practise, profess, and defend the faith ; it is this divine example of our Lord that will enable Timothy to “keep the commandment without spot,” i.e., the commands and precepts, implied or expressed, which were laid on him at the time of his baptism or ordination (ver. 12). 

Unto the coming, etc., i.e., till the Second Coming of the Lord in glory. The Greek word for “coming” here is found again in the New Testament only in 2 Thess. 2:8; but it occurs often in the LXX. On the other hand, St. Paul uses a great variety of expressions to describe the Second Advent (cf. 1 Thess. 2:2; 1 Cor. 1:8, 5:5; Phil. 1:10; 2 Tim. 1:12, etc.).

1 Tim 6:15. Which in his times he shall shew who is the Blessed and only Mighty, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
1 Tim 6:16. Who only hath immortality, and inhabiteth light inaccessible, whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and empire everlasting. Amen.

The Second Coming or final manifestation of Jesus Christ will occur “in his times,” i.e., in the season known only to him. 

Who is the Blessed and only Mighty, etc. It is probable that these words and those of verse 16, which constitute a magnificent doxology, belonged to a primitive hymn. The phrase “King of kings arid Lord of lords” is found also in Dan. 4:34 (cf. Deut. 10:17; Ps. 136:3). God alone has essential and underived immortality; He dwells in light because He is light ; and He cannot be seen as He is in Himself by mortal man in this life, nor in the life to come save as the human soul is elevated and strengthened by the light of glory.

1 Tim 6:17. Charge the rich of this world not to be high-minded, nor to trust in the uncertainty of riches, but in God, who giveth us abundantly all things to enjoy,

In verses 17-19 St. Paul returns to the thought of 1 Tim 6:9-10, directing his words, no doubt, to the well-to-do of Ephesus, whose pursuit of wealth he had interfered with years before (Acts 19:25 ff. 

The rich of this world. Better, “those who are rich in the present world,” as contrasted with those who lay up treasure for the world to come (ver. 19 below). They must not put their trust in riches, which are uncertain, but in God, who has given them all they have, to be enjoyed indeed but also to be used for the other good purposes which he proceeds to mention in the following verses.

The vivo of the Vulgate is not in the best MSS., and the brackets are unnecessary.

1 Tim 6:18. To do good, to be rich in good works, to give easily, to communicate to others,
1 Tim 6:19. To lay up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the true life.

Wealth is not only for the pleasure of its possessor, but it is also to be used for the benefit of others, and thus to enable its owner to become spiritually rich. 

To give easilyto communicate. The two equivalent Greek expressions do not occur elsewhere in the Greek Bible, and they signify a ready hand and a ready heart in giving. Thus, to use wealth for the benefit of others is to lay up treasure for the life to come (Matt. 6:20), the only true life.

1 Tim 6:20. Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called,
1 Tim 6:21. Which some professing, have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.

In conclusion, St. Paul addresses solemn words to Timothy, admonishing him diligently to guard the faith he has received and to pass it on unsullied. This he will be able to do by avoiding in his own teaching, and rebuking in others, vain and useless speculations and subtleties of knowledge, falsely so called, which the false teachers professed to have, and so have erred from the faith. 

Keep that which is committed to thy trust. Better, “guard the deposit,” i.e., the deposit of faith. 

Profane novelties of words. Better, “profane babblings,” i.e., empty, useless talk; the Greek word for “babblings” occurs only here and in 2 Tim. 2:16. The words for “oppositions” and “falsely so called” are not found elsewhere in the Bible, but are common in profane Greek. 

Which some professing, etc., i.e., which empty babblings and subtleties the false teachers have professed to their own spiritual destruction. The Greek for “have erred” is aorist, indicating a definite and final loss.

The Apostle terminates his letter with a brief blessing. The tecum of the Vulgate is vobiscum in the best Greek MSS.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Timothy Chapter 5

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 26, 2019

Text in red are my additions. Text in purple indicates quotations from Fr. Callan’s other commentaries.

HOW TIMOTHY IS TO DEAL WITH VARIOUS CLASSES IN THE CHURCH 

A Summary of 1 Timothy 5:1-25~St. Paul now instructs his disciple how he is to act with the different classes of persons that make up the body of the Church, namely, (a) older and younger men and women (1 Tim 5:1-2); (b) widows, as to their maintenance (1 Tim 5:3-8), as an organized body of helpers in the Church (1 Tim 5:9-10), and as to those who are still young (1 Tim 5:11-16); (c) the clergy, their dignity and discipline (1 Tim 5:17-25).

1 Tim 5:1. An elderly man rebuke not, but entreat him as a father; younger men, as brethren:
1 Tim 5:2. Elderly women, as mothers; young women, as sisters, in all chastity.

(1) Rebuke not, i.e., do not treat severely or harshly.

(2) Young women, etc. St. Jerome says : “Either equally ignore, or equally love all girls and virgins of Christ.”

1 Tim 5:3. Honor widows that are widows indeed.

Honor is here used not only in the sense of esteeming, but also in the sense of assisting, taking care of, as is evident from such passages as Matt. 15:4-6 ; Acts 6:1; 1 Tim. 5:17.

Widows that are widows indeed, i.e., women that have lost their husbands, that are destitute, and that have no relatives who can support them; such as these Timothy is told to assist out of the funds of the Church. Widows were a very destitute class among the Jews, and still more so in the Early Church.

1 Tim 5:4. But if any widow have children, or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house, and to make a return of duty to her parents; for this is acceptable before God.

Those widows are not to look to the Church for their support who have living relatives that can give them what they need.

Let her learn, etc. This is according to the reading of the Vulgate, and the meaning is that, if a destitute widow has children or grandchildren, she should give them her services, looking after their upbringing, training, education, etc., and through these offices receive her own support. But the Greek reads differently, as follows: “Let them first learn to practise piety, etc.” This suits the context better, and the meaning is that living young relatives of destitute widows should assist them and take care of them as a matter of filial duty, remembering what their parents and relatives did for them when they were dependent and helpless in their infancy and early years. Respect to parents is the first duty of children, and the care of one’s own household and relatives, when these latter are in need, is likewise a primary obligation binding those who have means sufficient to help (see ver. 8 below).

1 Tim 5:5. But she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, let her trust in God, and continue in supplications and prayers night and day.

The characteristics of the true widow are now described.

A widow indeed, i.e., one who has no relatives to support her, who is alone without helpers, should put her hope in God and give herself to continual prayer. Instead of, “let her trust in God,” the Greek reads, “has her hope in God,” i.e., she has put all her hope in God as her sure refuge and strength. See the story of the widow Anna in Luke 2:36 ff. It is a widow of this sort that deserves help from the Church, to which she makes return by her many prayers.

1 Tim 5:6. But she that liveth in pleasures is dead while she is living.

In contrast to the pious widow, who deserves help from the Church, “she that liveth in pleasures,” i.e., she that lives wantonly, indulging in unlawful pleasures, is spiritually dead, and deserves no help from the Church.

The nam of the Vulgate should be replaced by an adversative conjunction, to agree with the Greek.

1 Tim 5:7. And these things enjoin, that they may be blameless.

And these things, i.e., what he has just said in verses 5-6. The et hoc of the Vulgate should be et haec, as in the Greek.

That they may be, etc., i.e., that the children and grandchildren, spoken of in verse 4 and alluded to in verse 8, may be blameless by giving help and support to their destitute relatives.

1 Tim 5:8. But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.

The Apostle now announces a general principle, which is illustrated by the duty spoken of in verse 4. If any one neglects to care for his needy and dependent relatives, and especially those of his own family, he has already denied the faith in practice; and he is worse than pagans, because even these unbelievers, in response to the dictates of the natural law, provide for their helpless relations.

1 Tim 5:9. Let a widow be chosen of no less than threescore years of age, who hath been the wife of one husband,

There is most likely question in this verse of a special class of widows to whom special duties were entrusted, such as the care of the sick, orphans, and the like. For a possible allusion to this class of women in the Early Church, see Polycarp (Phil, iv) and Ignatius (Smyrn., 13). Their duties were analogous to those required of deacons, and the condition placed on them in regard to marriage was similar to that for bishops and deacons (see the commentary on 1 Tim 3:2 and 3:11-12). Yet, they were not the same as deaconesses, as we shall see.

Be chosen. Literally, “be enrolled,” i.e., placed on the list.

Three score years of age. This condition seems to show that the widows in question constituted a special class; for, on the one hand, the Church would not deny help to all destitute widows until they were sixty years old, and, on the other hand, it would be unreasonable to require that deaconesses be so old before being admitted to active work.

1 Tim 5:10. Having testimony for her good works, if she have brought up children, if she have received to harbor, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have ministered to them that suffer tribulation, if she have diligently followed every good work.

Here are mentioned further qualifications required of those widows whose names were to be put on the church list. It was the dispositions manifested by these works rather than their actual performance that counted.

If she have brought up children, not necessarily her own.

If she have washed, etc. To wash the feet of guests was a necessary complement of hospitality among the Orientals (Matt. 26:6; Luke 7:44), and an act of extreme humility (John 13:5 ff.).

1 Tim 5:11. But the younger widows reject. For when they have grown wanton against Christ, they will marry,

In verses 11 -15 St. Paul explains the reasons why certain widows should not be put on the church list. It is supposed that the women thus listed are enrolled for life in the service of the Church; and if they are younger than sixty, they will want to change and remarry “when they have grown wanton against Christ,” i.e., when they have grown tired of the life to which they have engaged themselves. The Greek word for “grown wanton” is found only here, and the figure is that of a young animal that has tired of its yoke and has become restive through fullness of vigor.

In the Vulgate, in Christo would better be contra Christum.

1 Tim 5:12. Having damnation, because they have made void their first faith.

Those widows who had been enrolled on the church list had consecrated themselves to a work for Christ which was incompatible with remarriage; and to break the pledge they had thus freely made would bring upon them the guilt of being unfaithful to their first troth, which was to the Heavenly Bridegroom.

Damnation here means the guilt of unfaithfulness. The punishment of eternal damnation is not at all necessarily involved or implied in this instance; although, if there is unfaithfulness to Christ in one direction, it can easily spread to every direction and to all matters.

1 Tim 5:13. And withal being idle they learn to go about from house to house, and are not only idle, but tattlers also, and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

Another reason is now given why young widows should no tbe listed for church work. Going about as their duties would require, they would turn the opportunity of doing good into one of mischief and trouble-making in families and between neighbors, thus doing no end of harm and disgracing the Church. St. Paul was doubtless speaking from experience. The Greek word for “tattlers” is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, and that for “busybodies” occurs only here in St. Paul.

1 Tim 5:14. I will therefore that the younger should marry, bear children, be mistresses of families, give no occasion to the adversary to speak evil.

Therefore, i.e., in view of the reasons assigned in verses 11-13, the Apostle expresses the wish that those young widows, and all young women for that matter, who cannot live continently (l Cor. 7:9), should marry. His desire in this matter must be qualified by what he says in 1 Cor. 7:8, 40, where he recommends virginity in preference to marriage, if the danger of incontinence be excluded. The context shows he is still speaking of widows in this verse.

Be mistresses of families is in Greek “rule their household.”

Give no occasion to the adversary, i.e., to the Jews and pagans around, who would be only too ready to criticise Christians.

1 Tim 5:15. For some are already turned aside after Satan.

The Apostle’s advice is based on experience; for “already” some of those young widows who had given themselves to Christ and His work, had turned to a life of dissipation, perhaps forsaking the faith.

1 Tim 5:16. If any of the faithful have widows, let him minister to them, and let not the church be charged, that there may be sufficient for them that are widows indeed.

If any of the faithful. The best reading of this phrase is “if any believing woman” (si qua fidelis, in Latin), though there is good evidence in the MSS., versions, and Fathers for “if any believing man or woman.” The context seems to show that the reference is to those destitute young widows who do not remarry and whose age prevents them from being enrolled on the list of the Church. These should be cared for by their relatives, when possible, so that the church funds may be used to help those who are widows indeed, that is, who have no one else to relieve them in their need.

1 Tim 5:17. Let the priests that rule well be esteemed worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine;

In verses 17-25 St. Paul tells Timothy how he is to treat the clergy.

Priests, literally, “elders” (presbyters). (See commentary on 1 Tim 3:1). There is not question here, as in verse 1 above, of elderly men, but of officials of the Church, whether priests or bishops.

Double honor is a Hebraism meaning here more ample material reward or provision. Those of the clergy who fulfill their duties faithfully should be well taken care of by the Church, and especially those who preach the Divine Word and teach the doctrines of faith to others. This verse seems to distinguish between those who were engaged in preaching and those who were occupied in ministerial work, and to show that some of the presbyters of the Pastoral Epistles did not teach. See St. Cyprian (Epist., xxix) on the presbyteri doctores.

1 Tim 5:18. For the scripture saith: Thou shall not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn; and, the laborer is worthy of his reward.

The first quotation of this verse is from Deut. 25:4, and is found also in 1 Cor. 9:9. The second quotation is not in the Old Testament, but occurs in Luke 10:7 (cf. Matt. 10:10). Could St. Paul at so early a date be quoting St. Luke as Scripture on a level with the Old Testament? Hardly so; and yet possibly so. The best explanation seems to be that this second quotation was a familiar proverb to which both St. Paul and our Lord appealed to enforce a moral principle. “The Scripture saith” then would apply only to the first quotation.

1 Tim 5:19. Against a priest receive not an accusation but under two or three witnesses.

In verses 19-21 St. Paul explains to Timothy how he is to deal with priests who have been guilty, or suspected of some fault.

Receive not an accusation, etc. This rule was laid down in Deut. 19:15 as a norm for all, and it is especially necessary for he clergy, both on account of their dignity and the danger of accusation to which their high and responsible offices expose them. For an appeal to this same general principle see 2 Cor. 13:1; Matt. 18:16; John 8:17 (cf. Deut. 17:6).

1 Tim 5:20. Them that sin reprove before all, that the rest also may have fear.

Them that sin, etc. There is question here of public sins on the part of the clergy, as the context shows. These offenders are to be reproved by Timothy in the presence of all the presbyters, that all may take warning for their own conduct. The case mentioned in Matt 18:15 has to do with private sins between private individuals.

1 Tim 5:21. I charge thee before God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by declining to either side.

I charge thee, etc. Better, “I solemnly charge thee, etc.” The same solemn formula occurs again in 2 Tim. 2:14, 4:1.
 
The elect angels, i.e., the heavenly messengers whom God has chosen to do His special bidding and to look with care after the affairs of men (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor, 4:9).
 
These things, i.e., the precepts of verses 19-20.

1 Tim 5:22. Impose not hands lightly upon any man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins. Keep thyself pure.

Impose not hands, etc. The majority of the best commentators see in these words a warning against ordaining unworthy candidates to the sacred ministry. The general context also favors this view. Imposition of hands is the regular New Testament phrase to signify ordination (1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6; Acts 6:6, 13:3).
 
Neither be partaker, etc., by carelessly ordaining unworthy persons.
 
Keep thyself pure, i.e., free from responsibility for others’ sins and guiltless in your personal and private life. That the foregoing words, “impose not hands, etc.,” have reference to the reconciling of public penitents is very improbable.

1 Tim 5:23. Do not still drink water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake, and thy frequent infirmities.

Do not still drink water. More literally, “be no longer a water-drinker,” in the sense of a total abstainer. St. Paul is cautioning Timothy against too much mortification, to which he seems to have been inclined, because of his naturally delicate health. This verse, like 2 Tim. 4:13, “is a little touch of humanity which is a powerful argument for the genuineness of the Epistle in which it is found” (Bernard, op. cit., h. l.).

1 Tim 5:24. Some men’s sins are manifest, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.
1 Tim 5:25. In like manner also good deeds are manifest; and they that are otherwise, cannot be hid.

Timothy is given two final maxims by which he is to be guided in judging the character of his candidates for the ministry. First, Paul says the sins of some men are evident before investigation, while the sins of others are brought out by investigation; secondly, in like manner, some good works are conspicuous, and those that are not cannot be kept hidden if full investigation be made, Timothy, therefore, is to proceed cautiously in his choice of persons for the sacred ministry.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Timothy Chapter 4

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 26, 2019

Text in red are my additions. Text in purple indicates a quotation from one of Fr. Callan’s other commentaries.

ST. PAUL ADVISES TIMOTHY REGARDING THE FALSE TEACHERS

A Summary of 1 Timothy 3:1-16~In this Fourth Chapter the Apostle warns against the false teachers and their errors, and tells Timothy how he is to deal with them, reminding him of his duty as regards his personal conduct.

1 Tim 4:1. But the Spirit manifestly saith, that in future times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,

But. This adversative seems to go back to the thought of verse 15 of the preceding Chapter, and to show that, although the Church is the pillar and ground of truth, heresies will come from some of her children.

The Spirit, i.e., the Holy Ghost, whether alluding to the prophesies of our Lord (Matt. 24:4 ff.), or to the words of some contemporary Christian prophet, or to a private revelation made to the Apostle himself by the Holy Ghost.

Doctrines of devils, i.e., doctrines inspired by demons.

The novissimis of the Vulgate is a wrong rendering of the Greek, which simply means “future” or “after,” i.e., times future to the speaker or writer.

1 Tim 4:2. Through the hypocrisy of those speaking lies, men seared in their own conscience,

Through the hypocrisy of those speaking lies, i.e., the demons are to exercise their influence through lying human agents. The Greek for “speaking lies” is found only here in the Greek Bible; likewise the term “seared,” which in the phrase means that those false teachers had the brand of sin in their own conscience, though they pretended zeal and holiness on the outside before men.

1 Tim 4:3. Forbidding to marry, to abstain from foods, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth.

The exaggerated asceticism of the false teachers held that marriage was bad in itself and to be avoided, and also taught abstention from food on the ground that matter was bad, having been produced by an evil principle, as the Gnostics and Manicheans later taught quite openly; whereas, according to the true doctrine of Christianity, marriage is good (1 Cor. 7:1 ff.), and all food, as coming from God, is good and is to be eaten with thanksgiving to the Giver of all good things (Gen. 1:31). It is only the abstention from marriage and food as the result of false principles that St. Paul is condemning; they are not bad in themselves, though celibacy is to be preferred to matrimony (1 Cor. 7:7 ff.) and fasting from right motives is good.

To abstain from foods. We must understand before this elliptical phrase some word like command; so that the full reading would be, “commanding to abstain from foods.”

The faithful, as contrasted with the unbelieving Jews. By them that have known the truth, as contrasted with the false teachers and the weak, half-instructed Christians (Rom. 14:21).

1 Tim 4:4. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving,
1 Tim 4:5. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

The falsity of the erroneous teaching is now pointed out. Everything God has made is good in itself (Gen. 1:31), and also in its relation to man, despite the fall (Rom. 8:20), provided it be received with thanksgiving.

For it is sanctified by the word, etc. This means that food was sanctified by the blessing said over it before eating, which blessing or prayer was made up of Scripture phrases taken from the Old Testament.

1 Tim 4:6. These things proposing to the brethren, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished up in the words of faith, and of the good doctrine which thou hast learned.

In verses 6-1 1 St. Paul tells Timothy what his attitude should be toward the false asceticism.

These things, i.e., what he has just been saying in verses 4-5. If Timothy will set these principles before the faithful committed to his care, he will “be a good minister, etc.,” in the widest sense of the word “minister,” as embracing all his duties as a real servant of Christ, nourished with the true faith and the sound doctrine he has learnt.

1 Tim 4:7. But avoid foolish and old wives’ fables; and exercise thyself unto godliness.

Timothy is to reject the false teachings of the heretics and discipline himself in piety.

Old wives. The Greek word is found only here in the Bible, but it occurs in profane writers; it means anile (dottering, senile), like an old woman.

Fables, or myths. See on 1:4. Here is what Fr. Callan wrote there~Fables were most probably Jewish legends (Tit. 1:14), such as are frequently found in the Talmud; and genealogies were extravagant, legendary stories about the ancient patriarchs, such as we find in the Book of Jubilees. Speculation on these useless subjects would lead away from the great truths of faith and the practical realities of Christian life ; and thus vast harm would be done to the Church and to souls.

Exercise, i.e., discipline, alluding to the athletic games.

1 Tim 4:8. For bodily exercise is profitable to little, but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

The Apostle now assigns the reason for the advice just given.

Bodily exercise, such as that of the arena or the race course, affords a limited and a passing benefit to the physical constitution and leads to a temporal reward (1 Cor. 9:25); “but godliness” benefits the whole man, body and soul, “having the promise, etc.,” i.e., causing or producing the present spiritual life, which is the foretaste of the enduring life to come hereafter (Matt. 6:33, 19:29; Mark 10:30).

1 Tim 4:9. Faithful is the saying and worthy of all acceptation;

See above, on 1:15. The reference is to what he has just said about godliness in verse 8, as the context shows. Here is what Fr. Callan wrote in 1:15~ Faithful is the saying, i.e,, worthy of all belief. This is a formula peculiar to the Pastorals; it is found elsewhere in these letters in 1 Tim 3:1 and 1 Tim 4:9 below. In 2 Tim 2:11, and in Titus 3:8, It is used to introduce a truth of great importance.

And worthy of all acceptation, i,e, worthy to be accepted by everyone. The Greek for this expression is found again in the Bible only in 1 Tim 4:9 below.

1 Tim 4:10. For therefore we labor and are reviled, because we hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of the faithful.

A proof that “godliness” or piety is profitable for the present and the future life is in this, that it enables its possessors to toil and suffer in view of the rewards that “hope in the living God” holds out to them.
 
We labor, in the sense of toil or wearing fatigue, alluding to the contests in the arena.
 
Are reviled. A better reading has: “We struggle.”
 
The living God. See on 3:15. Here is what Fr. Callan wrote there~Of the living God, as opposed to the dead gods of the pagans (1 Thess. 1:9).
 
The Saviour of all men, etc. See on 2:3-4. It is only as regards “the faithful,” i.e., in those that are really faithful, that God’s will to save is fully realized; in them His grace is efficacious. Here is what Fr. Callan wrote concerning 2 Tim 2:3-4~The title “Saviour,” as attributed to God the father, is peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles, where it occurs six times, reminding us that the Eternal Father is the ultimate source and fountain of salvation, and that Jesus Christ, to whom St. Paul usually attributes this title, is the divine medium through which the Father’s salvation is conveyed to us….God desires all to be saved. According to His primary intention and antecedent will, God wishes the salvation of all men without exception; but man, by the misuse of his free will, has the mysterious power of changing God’s original plan for him, so to speak; and hence it happens that, when man freely chooses not to be saved, God has recourse, in our way of thinking and speaking, to a secondary intention and consequent will in man’s regard, according to which He also wishes that man shall not be saved. This is our poor way of explaining, as best we can, a profound mystery. But when all is said and done, it is certain that no one is saved except by the grace of God, and no one is lost except through his own fault (see on Rom 9:12 ff.).

1 Tim 4:11. These things command and teach.

These things, i.e., what he has been saying in verses 7-10, Timothy is to insist on with authority.

1 Tim 4:12. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the faithful in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in chastity.

In verses 12-16 St. Paul gives Timothy advice regarding his personal behavior. Timothy was not forty years of age at this time, and had been associated with St. Paul some fifteen years. He was young in comparison with the Apostle, who was then sixty or more. Moreover, in ancient times a man was considered young until after forty. St. Paul himself was spoken of as a young man at the martyrdom of St. Stephen (Acts 7:57), when he must have been thirty years old at least.

Young people in authority are apt to be criticised and even despised by older persons, unless shining virtues supply in them for the lack of age. Hence, the aged Apostle tells the youthful bishop to be an example to the faithful in his outward actions and manner of life, and also in the internal virtues that grace the soul and ennoble the character. The classic Greek word for “chastity” is found only here and in 1 Tim 5:2 below in the New Testament. It means chastity of life and purity of motive.

1 Tim 4:13. Till I come, attend unto reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine.

St. Paul hopes to come to Ephesus soon, but meanwhile Timothy is to be faithful to the custom of reading and explaining the Scriptures in public, and to the exhortation or preaching that followed that reading, which should be grounded on solid doctrine or teaching. Although the injunction here is primarily to the public reading of the Sacred Scriptures to the faithful in their assemblies, it does not exclude but rather presupposes private reading and study.

1 Tim 4:14. Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the imposition of the hands of the priesthood.

Timothy is exhorted not to fail to exercise the spiritual gifts he received from God at the time of his ordination and consecration as bishop through the imposition of St. Paul’s hands (2 Tim. 1:6). This verse and 2 Tim. 1:6 are the classic passages to prove that Holy Orders is a Sacrament (see on 1 Tim. 1:18). The reference in the present verse is to the episcopal consecration of Timothy in the presence and with the approval of the Ephesian elders, according to the best authorities.

1 Tim 4:15. Meditate upon these things, be wholly in these things, that thy profiting may be manifest to all.

Timothy is to “meditate,” i.e., ponder what St. Paul has been telling him regarding his office and personal duties, and thus make continual progress in the development of his own character and in the consequent better quality of his work.

1 Tim 4:16. Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.

Finally, St. Paul bids Timothy watch over himself and to be careful how he presents the doctrine he has received from the Apostles ; and the result of this proper attention to self and to his duties towards others will be his own and their salvation.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Timothy Chapter 3

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 26, 2019

ST. PAUL EXPOUNDS THE QUALIFICATIONS REQUISITE FOR THE
OFFICIALS AND OTHER WORKERS IN THE CHURCH

A Summary of 1 Timothy 3:1-16~In this third section of his first letter to Timothy, the Apostle, turning from a consideration of the general directions he has just been giving for the whole Church, descends more to particulars and discusses the personal and moral requirements which should be found in bishops (ver. 1-7), and in deacons and deaconesses (ver. 8-13). His imperative insistence on the high personal, moral and ethical equipment of those who are to take a leading part in the government and work of the Church springs from the very nature and from the high and holy character of this organization to which God has committed His truth for the enlightenment of the world and the salvation of mankind (ver. 14-16).

1 Tim 3:1. Faithful is the saying: If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

Faithful is the saying. See on 1 Tim 1:15. This phrase here more probably goes with what follows, “if a man desire, etc.”

Desires, i.e., aspires to. The Greek equivalent is found elsewhere in the Bible only in Heb 11:16, but it is common with profane writers.

Bishop. Literally, “overseer,” “superintendent.” In Titus 1:5-7 the term seems to be used convertibly with “presbyter,” although there the “bishop” of verse 7 can be understood as embracing the “presbyter” of verse 5, since the bishops were doubtless chosen from among the presbyters, and in later times elected by the latter. At any rate, everywhere in the New Testament these terms are applied only to those who, having received a special sacramental consecration, are placed in charge of churches with power to preach, celebrate the divine mysteries, etc. (cf. Acts 20:28; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:5, 7). Hence, under the term “bishop” here St. Paul probably includes also priests; and this would explain why he passes in the next section (ver. 8-13) to speak of deacons, omitting all separate mention of priests as such.

There are some authorities who hold that during the lifetime of the Apostles they alone were the real bishops, and that those who are spoken of as “bishops” or “presbyters” were simple priests associated with the Apostles as missionary companions. Others think only bishops were consecrated, that is, that all priests received at their ordination the plenitude of Holy Orders, being at once elevated to the episcopate. See Sales, h. l., and the other authors cited by him on this question. But both of these conclusions seem to disagree with the distinction which is made or can be made everywhere in the New Testament between the terms episcopos and presbyteros, and the distinction in persons and functions which the Apostolic Fathers made and took for granted between bishops, priests and deacons. The term presbyteros is common in the Old Testament and in the Gospels and Acts, and seems, therefore, to have been of Jewish origin; while episcopos, though frequent in the LXX, appears to have come from paganism where it was a common title of office in Greek societies and guilds. Of course, both these titles and offices were spiritualized in the Church in accordance with the elevated spiritual powers and functions which they implied and which were conferred in ordination.

Dean Bernard has a learned and convincing chapter on the distinction made in the New Testament and in the earliest Fathers and Apostolic writers between the terms episcopos and presbyteros and their respective functions. He shows that there are only two passages in the New Testament (Acts 20:28; Titus 1:7) “which even suggest the interchangeability of the terms episcopos and presbyteros,” and that these “are susceptible of explanations which fall in with the supposition that the words represent distinct functions (which might on occasion be discharged by the same individual).” And thus he does “not regard these passages as inconsistent with the conclusions to which all the other evidence points.” After a careful review of all the evidence the learned Dean comes to the following conclusions: “(1) the episcopate and presbyterate were distinct . . . ; the difference in name points to a difference in duty, although no doubt many duties would be common to both, especially in primitive and half-organized communities; (2) the bishops were originally selected by the presbyteral council, and probably from their own body; (3) there were often several bishops in one place, the number being a matter non-essential; (4) a conspicuous part of the bishop’s duty was the administration of worship —the liturgy in the largest sense; he is above all things an official, the representative of his Church and the director of its discipline” (Introd. to Pastoral Ep., Chap. V, in Cambridge Greek Testament’).

Of course, the Council of Trent has settled for us the divine origin of the episcopate, the presbyterate, and the deaconate.

A good work, i.e., an excellent office, but one of labor and responsibility rather than of honor, as St. Augustine remarks (De Civitate Dei, xix. 19).

1 Tim 3:2. It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behavior, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher,

Since the office of bishop is so high and excellent, only those should be elevated to it who are worthy. St. Paul, therefore, now begins to enumerate some of the outstanding moral and ethical qualities which candidates for the episcopate should possess. Nearly the same qualifications are given in Titus 1:6-9.

Husband of one wife does not mean that a bishop had to be married, but that if he was married and his wife died he should not remarry. That such is the correct interpretation of this passage is made certain by the parallel clause in verse 9 below. All other explanations are decidedly unsatisfactory. Second marriages were looked upon as a sign of incontinence and self-indulgence, and so as unbecoming the high spiritual office of a bishop. General celibacy for the clergy was not practicable in the early years of the Church, when all the members were converts from Judaism or paganism and were usually already married; and hence the law of celibacy for the clergy was enacted later, though it was counselled in 1 Cor 7.

Sober, i.e., temperate in demeanor rather than in appetite, for of this latter temperance there is question in the next verse, “not given to wine.”

Given to hospitality, which was especially necessary in those times when the faithful were often despoiled of their possessions, persecuted, and driven from place to place.

A teacher. One of the principal duties of a bishop was to teach and preach, though in later times the functions of teaching and preaching seem to have devolved more upon the priests (presbyters).

1 Tim 3:3. Not given to wine, no striker, but modest, not quarrelsome, not covetous, but

No striker. Better, “not a brawler,” i.e., not given to the use of hurtful and injurious words.

Not covetous. St. Jerome says : “Ignominia omnium sacerdotum est propriis studere divitiis” (Ad Nepot., Ep. 52, no. 6).

1 Tim 3:4. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all chastity,
1 Tim 3:5. (Indeed if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?);

In case the candidate for the office of bishop was married and had children, it was well first to see how he governed his own household, before allowing him to rule in “the church of God.”

With all chastity. Better, “with all reverence,” as in 1 Tim 2:2. The phrase here is probably to be connected with “having,” rather than with “children.” Verse 5 is parenthetical and gives the reason for the direction contained in verse 4. A bad father of a family will make a bad ruler in the Church, and one of the chief functions of a bishop is to rule.

1 Tim 3:6. Not a recent convert, lest being puffed up with pride, he fall unto the judgment of the devil.

Not a recent convert, i.e., not recently converted to Christianity. The Greek for “recent convert” is found in the New Testament only here.

Puffed up, etc. Better, “beclouded, etc.” The expression is common in Greek literature, but is found only here in the Bible.

Unto the judgment, etc., i.e., into the same condemnation as that passed on the devil for his pride (cf. Isa 14:12-14; Ezek 28:11-17). Some authorities claim that in verses 6-7 here the context requires that we should take the phrase “of the devil” as a subjective, instead of an objective genitive, meaning the condemnation passed by the διάβολος (diabolos), and not that pronounced on him; and that the word “devil” means here slanderer or accuser (as in 1 Tim 3:11; below; 2 Tim 3:3; Titus 2:3). In this interpretation the slanderer or accuser would be “one of those people, to be found in every community, whose delight is to find fault with the demeanour and conduct of anyone professing a strict rule of life” (Bernard, The Pastoral Epistles, h. l, in Camb. Bible); and so the candidate for the office of bishop must try to regulate his Hfe in such a manner as not to fall under the “judgment” or condemnation of slanderers, Cf. Bernard, op. cit., ad locum.

1 Tim 3:7. Moreover he must have a good testimony of them that are without, lest he fall into reproach and a snare of the devil.

The bishop, as the chief representative of the Church, must also have a good reputation with his heathen neighbors; otherwise he cannot hope to make converts to the faith, he is apt to lose prestige among the faithful themselves, and thus he becomes exposed to “reproach and a snare of the devil.” For the interpretation of this last phrase, see above on the preceding verse.

1 Tim 3:8. Deacons in like manner chaste, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre,

In verses 8-13 St. Paul treats of the qualifications for deacons and deaconesses.

Deacons in like manner. The verb is to be supplied from verse 2, “it behooveth.” The same construction occurs again in verse 11 below, speaking of the “women.” It is noticeable that “deacons” is plural, whereas “bishop” above in verse 2 and in Titus 1:7 is singular. While both these classes belonged to the sacred ministry, it is clear that the bishop was a person of higher rank and authority, and that the deacons were only helpers and assistants to whom was entrusted the administration of temporal affairs in the Christian community. For the election and duties of deacons, see Acts 6:1 ff.

Chaste, i.e., reverent, grave in their character and manner of acting.

Not double-tongued, i.e., not saying different things to different people (Pengel).

Not greedy of filthy lucre. The reference is to the illicit disposal of the funds of the Christian community, the administration of which was entrusted to the deacons.

1 Tim 3:9. Holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience.

Holding, rather than preaching, the truths of the Gospel, which constituted the object of faith.

The “mystery of faith” means the secret of salvation, long kept concealed from mankind, but now revealed to the world in Christ. Thus, Christ Himself is “the mystery of faith” (cf. Col 2:2).

In a pure conscience. There must be harmony between the faith professed and the conscience, and this applies not only to deacons but to all Christians.

1 Tim 3:10. And let these also first be proved; and so let them minister, having no crime.

And let these also (as well as the bishops, ver. 7) be proved (i.e., found worthy), in the estimation of the community.

Having no crime, i.e., being irreproachable in their lives.

1 Tim 3:11 The women in like manner chaste, not slanderers, but sober, faithful in all things.

The women were doubtless deaconesses, like Phoebe of Rom 16:1. Women in general could not be meant, as that would be out of harmony with the context, which is speaking of persons connected with the sacred ministry. Nor could we understand the wives of the deacons, for if that were so we should expect in Greek the possessive pronoun their, relating them to the “deacons,” their husbands. These deaconesses “in like manner” (i.e., as well as the deacons) are to possess the qualifications that will fit them for their duties as helpers in the work of the sacred ministry. (It should be noted that Fr. Callan is not here suggesting that the deaconesses functioned as ordained ministers).

1 Tim 3:12. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, who rule well their children and their own houses.

See on verse 2 above, where the same injunctions are laid down for bishops.

1 Tim 3:13. For they that have ministered well shall secure for themselves a good degree, and much confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

For they that have ministered well, etc., i.e., the deacons that have faithfully discharged their office shall merit thereby promotion to a higher degree of office in the hierarchy, namely, to the order of priesthood or of the episcopate.

Other authorities explain “a good degree” as a stepping stone to greater influence and repute among the faithful, rather than as a promotion to higher office, since we do not know that deacons were regularly, if at all, promoted to the priesthood in the Apostolic Church. Still others think there is question in this place of the deacons acquiring a higher degree of merit in this life or of greater glory hereafter. But this last opinion is excluded by the words that follow, “and much confidence, etc.,” which evidently mean that deacons, by their promotion to higher office or their acquisition of greater influence in the community, will be able to preach with greater zeal and courage the faith which has its roots “in Christ Jesus.”

1 Tim 3:13. For they that have ministered well shall secure for themselves a good degree, and much confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

For they that have ministered well, etc., i.e., the deacons that have faithfully discharged their office shall merit thereby promotion to a higher degree of office in the hierarchy, namely, to the order of priesthood or of the episcopate.

Other authorities explain “a good degree” as a stepping stone to greater influence and repute among the faithful, rather than as a promotion to higher office, since we do not know that deacons were regularly, if at all, promoted to the priesthood in the Apostolic Church. Still others think there is question in this place of the deacons acquiring a higher degree of merit in this life or of greater glory hereafter. But this last opinion is excluded by the words that follow, “and much confidence, etc.,” which evidently mean that deacons, by their promotion to higher office or their acquisition of greater influence in the community, will be able to preach with greater zeal and courage the faith which has its roots “in Christ Jesus.”

1 Tim 3:14. These things I write to thee, hoping that I shall come to thee shortly:
1 Tim 3:15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and ground of the truth
.

These things, i.e., the instructions he has just given in Chapters 2 and 3 about public worship and the officers of the Church.

(14) Shortly. Literally, “more speedily.”

(15) The church, i.e., the society of all the faithful under their legitimate pastors and superiors.
 
Of the living God, as opposed to the dead gods of the pagans (1 Thess. 1:9).

A pillar and ground, etc., i.e., the Christian society which is plainly visible, like a pillar in the air, and as unshakable in the truth it teaches as the solid ground on which great material structures are erected. The words afford a clear proof of the visibility of the Church and of its infallibility in guarding and teaching the truth of the Gospel. St. Paul is speaking here about the Church Universal, and not about any local community or congregation.

1 Tim 3:16. And evidently great is the mystery of godliness : who was manifested in the flesh, was justified in spirit, appeared unto angels, was preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

Having spoken of the truth confided to the Church, the Apostle now sums it all up in a brief verse on the mystery of Christ the Redeemer, which verse was probably taken from a Christian hymn that was in use in the Early Church.

And evidently great, etc. Better, “and admittedly great is the mystery of piety,” which was spoken of in verse 9 above as “the mystery of faith,” and which Is none other than Jesus Christ, who is thus described because all true piety toward God and all real religion are founded on faith in Jesus Christ, God and man. Christ “was manifested in the flesh,” i.e., was made man; He “was justified in spirit,” i.e., by His words and works He was proved to be what He claimed to be, namely, God and man; or He was proved to be the true Son of God by His powerful resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:3-4); He “appeared unto angels,” who adored Him at His entrance into the world (Heb. 1:6), who ministered to Him in His mortal life and were witnesses of His resurrection and ascension, and who saw His work in the call and conversion of the Gentiles (Eph. 3:10; 1 Pet. 1:12) ; He “was preached among the Gentiles,” i.e., among the nations of the world; He was “believed in the world,” in spite of Satan and his agents to the contrary ; He was “taken up in glory,” on the day of His ascension (Acts 1:9-10), and sitteth at the right hand of the Father evermore.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Timothy Chapter 2

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 26, 2019

Text in red are my additions. Text in purple indicates a quotation from one of Fr. Callan’s other commentaries.

GENERAL REGULATIONS FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP

A Summary of 1 Timothy 2:1-15~St. Paul enjoins that prayers of various kinds be offered for all men, because it is the will of God that all men should be saved, as is evident from the fact that God is one, that there is only one supreme mediator between God and man, and that Christ grave Himself as a ransom for all. This is the Gospel which St. Paul is commissioned to preach (1 Tim 2:1-7). He next prescribes the manner in which these prayers should be offered, and lays down rules for the conduct of women in the public assembly (1 Tim 2:8-15).

1 Tim 2:1.  I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men:

First of all. This expression in Greek occurs only here in the New Testament, and it shows the primary importance of prayer as a means of avoiding evil and progressing in good (St. Thomas). There is question here of public, liturgical prayers, and it is not easy to distinguish between the first three mentioned. Perhaps if there is need of a distinction at all, we may regard “supplications” as made for oneself, “prayers” as acts of adoration, and “intercessions” as prayers offered for others.

1 Tim 2:2. For kings and for all that are in high stations, that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity.

For kings, etc., i.e., for all those who exercise lawful public authority. This attitude toward civil authority was especially necessary for the early Christians, lest they should be suspected of disloyalty and be subjected to persecution. Cf. Rom 13:1 ff.

Piety. The Greek for this word occurs here for the first time in Paul’s letters, and it is used frequently hereafter in the Pastorals.

Chastity would better be “gravity” or “reverence,” to correspond with the Greek term here employed, which is also peculiar to the Pastorals.

1 Tim 2:3. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,

The enim of the Vulgate here is not well supported in the Greek.

God our Saviour. See on 1 Tim 1:1 above. Here is what Fr. Callan wrote concerning that passage: The title “Saviour,” as attributed to God the father, is peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles, where it occurs six times, reminding us that the Eternal Father is the ultimate source and fountain of salvation, and that Jesus Christ, to whom St. Paul usually attributes this title, is the divine medium through which the Father’s salvation is conveyed to us.

1 Tim 2:4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to knowledge of the truth.

The Apostle now explains why prayer for all men is pleasing and “acceptable in the sight of God” (ver. 3), namely, because God desires all to be saved. According to His primary intention and antecedent will, God wishes the salvation of all men without exception; but man, by the misuse of his free will, has the mysterious power of changing God’s original plan for him, so to speak; and hence it happens that, when man freely chooses not to be saved, God has recourse, in our way of thinking and speaking, to a secondary intention and consequent will in man’s regard, according to which He also wishes that man shall not be saved. This is our poor way of explaining, as best we can, a profound mystery. But when all is said and done, it is certain that no one is saved except by the grace of God, and no one is lost except through his own fault (see on Rom 9:12 ff.). This text of St. Paul is a clear refutation of the heretical opinions of Calvin and Jansenius, the first of whom taught that, previously to all thought of demerit on man’s part, God predestined some men to hell; and the second of whom said that Christ did not merit salvation for all men, having died only for the predestined (see Conc. Trid., sess. VI, De justificatione, can. 173.

And come to knowledge of the truth, which is the necessary means of salvation, the way to life eternal. The phrase “knowledge of truth” is peculiar to these Pastoral Epistles (cf. Heb 11:26).

1 Tim 2:5. For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

In verses 5-6 the Apostle proves that God wishes the salvation of all men, (a) because God is one, the first cause and final end of all, and as such stands in the same ultimate relation to all; (b) because there is only one supreme mediator between God and man, namely, Christ Jesus, who in the same divine Person has united the natures of God and man; (c) because Christ offered Himself as the one supreme ransom for all men (Eph 1:12, Eph 2:14; Col 1:20; Heb 8:6, Heb 9:14, Heb 12:14).

The man Christ Jesus. St. Paul stresses the fact that our Lord was man, for it was only as man that He was able to pay the price of our deliverance; and had He not been God at the same time, He could not have given to His death and sacrifice an infinite value, which showed at once the perfection and completeness of His sacrifice for us and the extent of God’s love for man.

It is unreasonable for Protestants, in view of this verse, to deny all value to the invocation and intercession of the Saints, for it has always been the teaching of the Church that the mediation of the Saints is founded upon and derives all its value from the mediatorship of Christ. Properly understood, this is a very reasonable doctrine. Cf. Conc. Trid., sess. XXV, De invocatione sanctorum. The faithfully departed who are in heaven are dependent upon Christ as mediator, just as we here upon earth are when we pray for others.

1 Tim 2:6. Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times.

The Apostle now explains how Christ is our mediator, and how He reconciled man to God.

Who gave himself. It was not His death, but Himself that the Saviour gave as “a redemption” (or better, “a ransom”) for all, i.e., a price that would be required to redeem a slave was paid for all without exception (Rom. 3:24). The Greek for “redemption” here (αντιλυτρον = antilutron) occurs nowhere else, though its meaning is contained in Matt. xx. 28, and Mark x. 45. The prefix αντι (anti) before λυτρον (lutron) means “in place of,” thus signifying the vicarious character of our Lord’s sacrifice, who took our common human nature in order to suffer for us all, that is, in place of us all.

A testimony in due times. The meaning is that the incarnation of the Son and the redemption wrought by Him in the fullness of time completes the revelation begun in the Old Testament of God’s eternal purpose regarding man’s salvation, and is a witness of the friendly will of God that all should be saved.

1 Tim 2:7. Whereunto I am appointed a preacher and an apostle (I say the truth, I lie not), a doctor of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

With unexpected emphasis the Apostle here asserts his divine appointment to teach and preach the Gospel of universal salvation.

In faith and truth, i.e., in the Christian faith and the true teaching of the Gospel.

1 Tim 2:8. I will therefore that men pray in every place, lifting up pure hands, without anger and contention.

After having explained in verses 5-7 the reasons why we should pray for all men, the Apostle now in verses 8-12 gives instructions regarding the manner of making and of assisting at public prayers.

That men pray, instead of women (ver. 9), in the public assemblies. Does Fr. Callan here mean to suggest that only men can pray in public?, or is he merely indicating that this verse is directed specifically to men?. He certainly is not unaware that women prayed in the assembly (1 Cor 11:5, 13). In verses 8 and 9 Paul does not employ the generic, anthropoi, which usually designates humans without distinction of gender.  The Greek word used here in verse 8 is ἀνήρ = anēr, a word which almost always has the sense of “male,” often being used to designated a bridegroom or male fiancee. In verse 9 the word is γυναῖκας = gynaikos, a word designating women, wives, female fiancees. In verses 8 and 9 St Paul is concerned with deportment at public prayer, not function. Apparently, certain men were neglecting joining in intercessory prayer out of anger and contention; while some women were dressing or acting improperly at the assembly (see verse 9 with comments).

Lifting up hands, referring to the posture of prayer among the Jews, and also among the early Christians, as we learn from the writings of Clement of Rome, Clement of Alexandria, and the representations in the Catacombs.  

Without anger, etc., i.e., free from those internal dispositions that are alien to the spirit of prayer. The word “contention” refers to controversial disputations.

2 Tim 2:9. In like manner women also in decent apparel : adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly attire.

The reference is still to public worship, at which women are to appear with that decency and modesty of dress and demeanor that become their sex.

In like manner women also in decent apparel. “In like manner” to what? The reference must go back to the beginning of verse 8 and its reference to prayer. Unlike the English structure of verse 8, the Greek text mentions prayer before mentioning men. Fr. George T Montague, in his commentary on FIRST AND SECOND TIMOTHY, TITUS, in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series, catches the import of this: “[T]he structure of the Greek puts praying first, before the mention of men or women, so that the sense can also be: ‘I wish them to pray, the men lifting up holy hands…the women with proper attire.’ In this understanding, Paul qualifies the praying of the community with dispositions particularly needed by the men and those particularly needed by the women, given the kinds of temptations they were subject to either by nature or in that culture. Men were pronwe to anger and aggression, women to excessive preoccupation with how they looked” (Pg. 60). A similar understanding is suggested in the the translation of verse 8 offered by the Protestant scholars, Dibelius and Conzlemann in their commentary THE PASTORAL EPISTLES. Their translation reflects the Greek structure: “As far as prayer is concerned, I wish that men everywhere would  raise holy hands without a thought of anger or strife.” The Catholic biblical scholar, Luke Timothy Johnson, commenting on verse 9 in his THE FIRST AND SECOND LETTERS TO TIMOTHY notes that what is said regarding women must be seen in reference to the beginning of verse 8.

Sobriety. Better, “self-control,” referring to woman’s natural inclination to vanity in dress. It is indeed the duty of women to try to appear attractive, but always with modesty and decency, otherwise they defeat their very purpose in the eyes and judgment of every right-minded person (cf. 1 Peter 3:3 ff.). St, Chrysostom used to ask the women of his congregation: “Have you come to assist at a ball ?”

1 Tim 2:10. But (as it becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Here the Apostle says the kind of attire that most becomes a Christian lady is the garment of good works. Special stress is put on good works all through the Pastoral Epistles, doubtless because these were often obscured and lost sight of on account of the zeal displayed by the false teachers for controversy and useless doctrines. The Greek word for “godliness” occurs only here in the New Testament.

Fr. Montague introduces his comments on verses 11-15 with these words: “We now come to what many consider the most offensive text of the New Testament. In recent times this text has occasioned more literature than any other passage in the Pastorals.” For this reason I’ll offer little comment and simply let Fr. Callan (who wrote his commentary in the 1920’s) speak for himself. I would however encourage the reader to consult Fr. Montague’s perceptive and judicious commentary on these verses.

1 Tim 2:11. Let a woman learn in silence, with all subjection.
1 Tim 2:12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to use authority over the man, but to be in silence.

St. Paul is speaking of women’s conduct in the public religious gatherings of the faithful, where to teach was an exercise of authority which belonged to men only. Women were not to teach in these public assemblies of the Christians, and this Apostolic ordinance was renewed in the Fourth Council of Carthage in 398 (cf. 1 Cor. 14:26 ff.). This prohibition, however, did not forbid women to teach the young privately, as we know from 2 Tim. 3:14, and Tit. 2:3 (cf. Acts 18:26; 1 Cor. 9:5; Phil 4:3 ff-)-

Nor to use authority over man, etc., i.e., in the public affairs of the Church.

Note the emphasis on the public setting in the above comments.

1 Tim 2:13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
1 Tim 2:14. And Adam was not seduced; but the woman being seduced, was in transgression
.

The Apostle now gives two reasons why women are not to teach and exercise authority over men in the public assemblies of the faithful ; the first of which is drawn from the order in which man and woman were created (Gen. 2:7, 18-23), and the second from the history of the Fall (Gen. 3:11-13). Adam was create before Eve, and Eve was formed from Adam to be his helpmate. Again, at the time of the Fall, it was Eve who showed her weakness and unreliability in being seduced by the tempter, whereas Adam sinned with open eyes, fully conscious of what he was doing; the woman, therefore, is not a safe guide. Eve transgressed by putting faith in the serpent, and Adam by imitating the transgression of Eve.

1 Tim 2:15. Yet she shall be saved through child-bearing; if she continue in faith and love and sanctification, with sobriety.

Although woman is excluded from the office of public teaching and from the exercise of the sacred ministry, she will nevertheless be saved by the faithful discharge of the duties that belong to her sex, the chief of which is the bearing and rearing of children in God’s fear and favor. But just as Adam, in punishment for his sin, must earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, so Eve, in consequence of her sin, will have to bring forth her children with pain and suffering (Gen. 3:16-18). St. Paul, as is clear, is speaking of matrimony as the natural and normal state of woman; but he has by no means forgotten a superior state of virginity to which woman may be called, and of which he treated when writing to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7:7 ff.).

If she continue, etc. The Greek has, “if they continue, etc.,” i.e., women in general, or perhaps the reference is to the husband and wife, living the life of “faith and love and sanctification, etc.” Mere child-bearing, without the practice of the necessary Christian virtues of faith, love, etc., which make for woman’s sanctification, will never save any woman ; it is child-bearing accompanied by the practice of these virtues that will save her.

With sobriety. Better, “with self-control,” as above in verse 9.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Timothy Chapter 1

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 26, 2019

Text in red are my additions. Text in purple indicates a quotation from one of Fr. Callan’s other commentaries.

GREETING AND INSTRUCTION TO TIMOTHY

A Summary of 1 Tim 1:1-20~St. Paul left Timothy in charge of affairs in the Church of Ephesus as he himself made a journey into Macedonia. Timothy was young, delicate in health, and naturally timid; and there was reason for apprehension as to how he might get on with the false teachers at Ephesus, if St. Paul was long delayed in returning to him. The Apostle, therefore, decided to send a letter to him. In the opening section he first greets his beloved son (1 Tim 1:1-2); then repeats the warning against false teachers he had given before leaving him (1 Tim 1:3-1 1), citing his own conversion on the road to Damascus as an instance of the power of the Gospel to assist Timothy in his work and to correct the erring teachers (1 Tim 1:12-17); and terminates by reminding the youthful bishop of the charge that has been committed to him as a true teacher of the doctrines of Christ (1 Tim 1:18-20).

1 Tim 1:1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the commandment of God our Saviour, and of Christ Jesus our hope:

Paul an apostle, etc. St. Paul thus asserts his apostolic authority at the beginning of nine of his letters—in all, therefore, except Phil., Phlm., 1 and 2 Thess., and Heb. This he does in order to give greater weight and solemnity to his words, not only with the faithful and to those to whom he is writing, but also and especially with the false teachers or enemies whom, as in the present Epistle, he is combating.

The commandment, i.e., the divine command by which the apostolic office has been laid upon him.

God our Saviour. The title “Saviour,” as attributed to God the father, is peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles, where it occurs six times, reminding us that the Eternal Father is the ultimate source and fountain of salvation, and that Jesus Christ, to whom St. Paul usually attributes this title, is the divine medium through which the Father’s salvation is conveyed to us.

Christ Jesus our hope, i.e., the object and foundation of our hope. It was not Moses or the Law of Moses, as the Judaizers taught, but Jesus Christ through whom we are to be saved.

1 Tim 1:2. To Timothy, his true son in faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord.

Timothy. See Introduction to 1 Tim., No. I. Here is what Fr. Callan wrote concerning Timothy in the Introduction~Of St. Paul’s many faithful disciples Timothy seems to have been the one dearest to his heart and most according to his own mind. He wrote of him to the Philippians as follows: “I have no man so of the same mind, who with sincere affection is solicitous for you. For all seek the things that are their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ’s” (Phil. 2:20, 21). Timothy was born at Lystra in Lycaonia of a Greek father and a Jewish mother, named Unice (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim. 1:5). It seems that his father died young, and the child was reared and carefully trained in the Old Testament Scriptures by his devout mother and grandmother. It would appear also that these three embraced Christianity when St. Paul preached at Lystra on his first missionary journey (Acts 14:6 ff.). Timothy was about sixteen or seventeen years old at this time, and, when Paul revisited Lystra on his second journey, he chose the youthful and devoted convert as a special companion and helper in the work of the Gospel, having first circumcised him to facilitate his work among the Jews, and ordained him by the laying on of hands (Acts 16:1-3; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6, 7). Thereafter, from the frequent mention of his name in the Acts and in the Epistles, we see that he was almost constantly with the Apostle. Whether or not he was with his master during the latter’s imprisonment at Caesarea and on the voyage thence to Rome, we do not know; but it is certain that he was in the Eternal City while St. Paul was imprisoned there the first time, because his name appears in the opening verses of the Captivity Epistles—Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. He was also with the Apostle during the interval between the two Roman imprisonments; for it was at this time that St. Paul appointed him Bishop of Ephesus (Eusebius, Hist. Ecci, III, iv, 6; Apost. Constit., vii, 46), and left him in charge of that important see. When the Apostle was nearing his end during his second captivity in Rome, he wrote to Timothy to make haste to come to him before winter (2 Tim. 1:4, 4:8, 21). After this we know no more about him, save from tradition, according to which he was martyred at Ephesus in his old age for interfering with the celebration of a licentious heathen feast. St. Jerome tells us that his body was brought to Constantinople and buried there. His feast, as that of a Martyred Bishop, is celebrated in the Latin Church on January 24. He has been declared a Saint also by the Greek, Armenian, Coptic, and Maronite Churches. 

We may get an idea of St. Timothy’s character from what is said of him in the Acts and especially in the Epistles, from the duties entrusted to him and the labors performed by him, and from the great love St. Paul bore him. He was intelligent, innocent, gentle, timid, and yet sufficiently strong, courageous, and fearless when virtue and religion were at stake. He could not so well brave the rough world and wicked opponents as did St. Paul, and yet by the grace of God, though trembling and naturally fearful, he could go when necessary into the thick of the battle. Paul could always depend upon him to do his best, in spite of his shrinking disposition and delicate health. He was ever the Apostle’s “beloved son,” tried and true, full of faith and hope and love. He had found the more excellent way, and by the grace of God he walked in it throughout his days. Cf. Heyes, Paul and His Epistles, pp. 465 flF. ; Pope, Student’s “Aids” to the Study of the Bible, vol. Ill, pp. 235 ff. His true son in faith, seems to indicate that Timothy had been instructed in the faith and baptized by St. Paul; Timothy was St. Paul’s spiritual child, and such he always remained to the venerable Apostle.

Grace, mercy, and peace. See on Eph. 1:2. The word “mercy” is here added to the salutation, as in 2 Tim. 1:2, perhaps because the aged Apostle now felt the greater need of this most attractive and conspicuous attribute of God, and also in order to draw attention to the source of “grace” and “peace.”

The dilecto of the Vulgate ought to be vero or sincere, as in the Greek.

1 Tim 1:3. As I desired thee to remain at Ephesus when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some not to teach otherwise, 

In verses 3-1 1 St. Paul reminds Timothy of the charge he had given him before leaving him at Ephesus, namely, that of combating the false teachers.

As I desired, etc. In characteristic fashion St. Paul leaves his sentence unfinished, as he seeks to pour out the stream of thoughts that flood his mind. We should naturally expect some termination like this: “So now I admonish you.” No forger could have constructed such a Pauline sentence, without leaving a trace of his falsification. Some authorities think the apodosis of this sentence is in verse 18, “this precept I commit to thee, etc.,” but the intervening passage is too long to make such a view likely. Apodosis- The main consequent clause of a conditional sentence.

It may be asked here whether this order given to Timothy “to remain at Ephesus” might not have occurred some time during the period covered by the Acts. The answer is in the negative ; for the Acts mention only two occasions when St. Paul was at Ephesus (Acts xviii. 19-22, and xix, i ff.). On the first of these visits the Apostle was not going to Macedonia, but was on his way East, to Caesarea in Palestine, The second time he was indeed going to Macedonia, whither he had already dispatched Timothy, instead of leaving him behind at Ephesus.
 
That thou mightest charge some, etc. St. Paul does not name these false teachers, but they were evidently Christians.
 
Not to teach otherwise. Better, “not to teach another doctrine,” i.e., an irrelevant, an heretical doctrine. The Greek word for “another doctrine” occurs only here and in 1 Tim 6:3, below, in the Greek Bible; and its meaning here is not so much heretical as irrelevant, as mischievous in practice, and therefore conducive to heresy.

1 Tim 1:4. Not to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which furnish questions rather than the edification of God, which is in faith.

Fables were most probably Jewish legends (Tit. 1:14), such as are frequently found in the Talmud; and genealogies were extravagant, legendary stories about the ancient patriarchs, such as we find in the Book of Jubilees. Speculation on these useless subjects would lead away from the great truths of faith and the practical realities of Christian life ; and thus vast harm would be done to the Church and to souls.
 
The edification of God (i.e., the upbuilding of the Church of God), which is in faith (i.e., which is based on the truths of faith). The “edification of God” is according to the ordinary Greek, the reading of the Latin Fathers, and a number of western versions, and it gives a good sense; but the best Greek MSS. and the Greek Fathers have “the dispensation of God,” i.e., the divine plan of salvation by means of faith, to which vain speculations about fables and genealogies would be injurious. The sense is practically the same in either reading.

1 Tim 1:5. Now the end of the commandment is charity, from a pure heart and a
good conscience and an unfeigned faith
.

In contrast with the irrelevant teaching just condemned, Timothy is now reminded that “the end of the commandment” (i.e., the scope or aim of the charge entrusted to him, which is the practical teaching of the Gospel) “is charity” (i.e., love for one’s fellowman and his welfare), and this love comes (a) “from a pure heart,” which, in Hebrew thought, was the spring of moral thought and emotion; (b) from “a good conscience,” or the practical judgment between right and wrong; (c) from “an unfeigned faith,” i.e., a sincere and honest faith, which regulates man’s relations with God and is the reason and basis of the love of the neighbor.

1 Tim 1:6. From which things some going astray, are turned aside unto vain babbling,

The false teachers have neglected “charity,” “a pure heart, etc.” (ver. 5), with the result that they have abandoned themselves to all sorts of vain and useless talk. The Greek verb which expresses “going astray” here is peculiar to the Pastorals, being found again only in 1 Tim. 6:21, and in 2 Tim. 2:18; and the Greek for “vain babbling” is found only in this place in the Greek Bible.

1 Tim 1:7. Desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither the things they say nor whereof they affirm.

Those unpractical and misguided leaders posed as “teachers of the law,” i.e., of the Law of Moses, the principles and meaning of which they did not understand themselves. This reference to the Law shows that the errors in question had their root in Judaism, and that the false teachers were therefore Christian Judaizers.

1 Tim 1:8. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully,

In verses 8- 11 St. Paul digresses to explain the nature and purpose of the Mosaic Law, and of all law, for that matter, so as not to be understood as opposing that which was good.

But we (in contrast to the ignorant Judaizers) know that the law is good, provided it be used “lawfully,” i.e., according to its nature and spirit, taking account of that in it which has only a temporal purpose and that which is of permanent value, and of that which is weighty and that which is trivial and irrelevant. The ceremonial part of the Mosaic Law was intended to prepare the way for and to lead to Christ, and now that Christ has come it has no place in the Christian life, but is rather an impediment and a hindrance. On the other hand, the moral precepts of the Law are permanent and good, and are not to be covered up and obscured by useless speculations and irrelevant discussions.

1 Tim 1:9. Knowing this, that the law is not made for the just man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

Knowing this. He now explains how the Law should be expounded by him who would “use it lawfully.”

That the law is not made, etc., i.e., the Mosaic Law, as accompanied by threats and chastisements, was not framed or enacted for Christians who are justified from sin, for these fulfill the precepts of the Law, not out of fear of punishment, but out of love ; and consequently the Law, as embodying threats and punishments, is of no use to those who have become Christ’s.
 
But for the lawless, etc., i.e., for sinners, who are ruled by their passions, the Law with its threats of chastisement is necessary. The Apostle now sketches a list of such sinners as he has in mind. Thus, the Law is for “the lawless,” those who disregard all law ; the “disobedient,” those who are unwilling to submit to any rule; “the ungodly and sinners,” those who have no fear of God; “the unholy and profane,” those who act as if God did not exist. With this last class the Apostle begins a more definite description of the sinners he has in view, following the order of the Decalogue.
 
Murderers of fathers, etc. The meaning of the Greek is rather that of dishonoring parents and of hateful feelings against one’s neighbor, and hence of violating the fourth and fifth commandments.

1 Tim 1:10, For fornicators, for them who defile themselves with mankind, for men-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.

Fornicators, etc. Sexual and unnatural sins are now mentioned, that is, violations of the sixth commandment.

Men-stealers, i.e., slave-stealers, one of the worst crimes according to Roman Law, and punishable by death according to Mosaic Law (Ex 21:16; Deut. 24:7). This sin was a violation of the seventh commandment.
 
And whatever else is a general formula to include any other sins that have not been explicitly enumerated, as in Rom. 13:9; Phil 4:8.
 
Sound doctrine means wholesome teaching, the contrary of that of the false teachers. The word for “sound” here is peculiar to the Pastoral Epistles, and the Greek term for “doctrine” occurs fifteen times in these letters.

1 Tim 1:11. This is according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which hath been committed to my trust.

This is according. The Apostle explains what he means by the “sound doctrine” of which he has just spoken. It is in conformity with “the gospel of the glory of the blessed God,” i.e., the Gospel which announces and manifests the glory, wisdom, goodness, mercy, etc. of God, who in Himself is infinitely happy, and who one day will make us partakers of His glory and blessedness, as He has promised in the Gospel (cf. Sales, h. I.). The word μακαριου (= markariou) here applied to God is found only in this passage and in 1 Tim 6:15 below in the whole Bible. It means that God possesses in Himself the fullness of bliss or blessedness.

Which has been committed, etc. Better, as in the Westminster Version, “wherewith I have been entrusted,” in contrast to the false teachers who have received no divine commission. This last phrase is characteristic of St. Paul (cf. Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 9:17; Gal. 2:7; 1 Thess. 2:4; Tit. 1:3).

GREETING AND INSTRUCTION TO TIMOTHY

A Summary of 1 Tim 1:1-20~St. Paul left Timothy in charge of affairs in the Church of Ephesus as he himself made a journey into Macedonia. Timothy was young, delicate in health, and naturally timid; and there was reason for apprehension as to how he might get on with the false teachers at Ephesus, if St. Paul was long delayed in returning to him. The Apostle, therefore, decided to send a letter to him. In the opening section he first greets his beloved son (1 Tim 1:1-2); then repeats the warning against false teachers he had given before leaving him (1 Tim 1:3-1 1), citing his own conversion on the road to Damascus as an instance of the power of the Gospel to assist Timothy in his work and to correct the erring teachers (1 Tim 1:12-17); and terminates by reminding the youthful bishop of the charge that has been committed to him as a true teacher of the doctrines of Christ (1 Tim 1:18-20).

1 Tim 1:12. I give him thanks who hath strengthened me, even to Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he hath counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry;

The mention of the Gospel entrusted to him induces the Apostle to make a personal digression in 1 Tim 1:12-17, reflecting on his own life, and thanking God for the grace vouchsafed to him in spite of his unworthiness, while incidentally vindicating his authority against the Judaizers and proclaiming the saving mercy of Jesus Christ.

Who hath strengthened me, with His grace, not only at the time of my conversion, but throughout my ministry as an Apostle.

Christ Jesus. This is the order of these words everywhere in this Epistle, It is the Anointed of God (Christ) who is the Saviour (Jesus) of mankind.

Faithful, i.e., trustworthy, through the grace of Christ ( 1 Cor 7:25).

The ministry. The Greek word for “ministry” here in the time of St. Paul meant the apostolate, whereas in the second century it had come to designate the order of deaconship. Hence we have in the use of the word here an argument for the early date of this letter. St. Paul would hardly be speaking of himself as having been called to the deaconship.

1 Tim 1:13. Who before was a blasphemer and a persecutor and contumelious. But I obtained mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief:

Although he acted out of ignorance and misdirected zeal, St. Paul can never forget or cease to regret that he opposed the cause of Christ, persecuted the Church, and outraged the rights of men (Acts 7:58 ff., 9:1 ff., 26:9; 1 Cor. 15:9; Phil. 3:6). His sins were only material, but he will not excuse his blind conduct.

Contumelious means a wanton aggressor of men’s rights (Acts 22:4).

The Dei of the Vulgate is not in the Greek.

1 Tim 1:14. Now the grace of our Lord hath abounded exceedingly with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Abounded exceedingly. The Greek for this expression is found only here in the Greek Bible, St. Paul means to say that the grace of God in him went beyond his conversion and made him an Apostle besides (Rom 5:20), He mentions “faith,” as opposed to his former infidelity, and “love,” as opposed to his former hate and persecution of the Church of Christ.

1 Tim 1:15. Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.

Faithful is the saying, i.e,, worthy of all belief. This is a formula peculiar to the Pastorals; it is found elsewhere in these letters in 1 Tim 3:1 and 1 Tim 4:9 below, in 2 Tim 2:11, and in Titus 3:8, It is used to introduce a truth of great importance.

And worthy of all acceptation, i,e, worthy to be accepted by everyone. The Greek for this expression is found again in the Bible only in 1 Tim 4:9 below.

That Christ Jesus came, etc. This is the great truth the Apostle would teach, and it shows that the primary purpose of our Lord’s coming to the earth in the Incarnation was to save sinners.

Of whom I am the chief, a characteristic expression of St. Paul (cf. 1 Cor 15:99; Eph. 3:8), and not so much hyperbolical as expressive of a vivid appreciation of the degradation of sin, on the one hand, and the awful holiness of God and the preciousness of grace, on the other hand; and the Apostle is not speaking in the past but in the present tense. It is only the great Saints who can rightly apprehend sin and appreciate grace.

1 Tim 1:16. But for this cause have I obtained mercy: that in me as first Christ Jesus might shew forth all patience, for an example to them that shall believe in him unto life everlasting.

The Apostle explains why God has shown him so great mercy in spite of his sins, namely, that he might be an example or illustration to others of the “patience,” i.e., the longsuffering and gracious mercy of Christ in bearing with all poor sinners who “believe in Him,” the consequence of whose faith in Christ Jesus will be “life everlasting.”

In me as first, i.e., as chief of sinners (ver. 15).

An example. Literally, “an outline sketch.” The Greek word is found only here and in 2 Tim. 1:13 in the whole Bible.

1 Tim 1:17. Now to the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Apostle now, after reflecting on the divine goodness and mercy, breaks out into a characteristic doxology, which is not a prayer or an aspiration, but a reverent and thankful statement of the divine glory (Bernard),

To the King of the ages, i.e., to the everlasting God. The same expression is found elsewhere in the Bible only in Tobit 13:6, 10, and Rev 15:3.

1 Tim 1:18. This precept I commit to thee, son Timothy; according to the prophecies concerning thee, that thou war in them a good warfare,

In verses 18-20 St. Paul exhorts Timothy to fight the good fight for the faith, to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and not to allow himself to be led away by the example of the false teachers.
 
This precept most probably refers to the injunction of 1 Tim 1:3-4 against the false teachers.
 
The prophecies may refer to predictions made about Timothy at the time St. Paul chose him for the work of the Gospel at Lystra (Acts 16:3), or at the time of his ordination (1 Tim. 4:14). These prophecies were certain revelations made by the Holy Ghost to St. Paul or to some of the faithful, as often happened in the Early Church, concerning the fitness of the person in question for the work of the ministry. Thus were St. Paul and Barnabas selected by a special revelation of the Holy Ghost to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 13:1 ff.).
 
That thou war, etc. The purpose of recalling to Timothy the charge committed to him and the prophecies that were uttered concerning him is to encourage him to fight like a good soldier of Christ to maintain against the false teachers the purity and integrity of the faith.

1 Tim 1:19. Having faith and a good conscience, which some rejecting have made shipwreck concerning the faith.

The Apostle now explains what is required in order to fight the good fight, namely, “faith,” i.e., the Christian faith, and a well instructed conscience, accompanied by sanctity of life; Timothy must hold to sound doctrine and live in conformity with that doctrine. Some, failing to do this, have lost the faith.

1 Tim 1:20. Of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered up to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Here are mentioned two of those who had lost the faith.

Hymenaeus, who denied the resurrection of the dead, is spoken of as a heretic in 2 Tim. 2:17.

Alexander, a Christian heretic, is not to be identified with Alexander the Jew mentioned in Acts 19:33-34; but he may be the same person as the individual spoken of in 2 Tim. 4:14 as a personal enemy of St. Paul’s.

Delivered up to Satan, i.e., excommunicated from the Church (1 Cor. 5:5), thus leaving him exposed to the temptations and tortures of the Evil One, that he might be disciplined for his sins against our Lord.

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Father Callan’s Introduction to 1 and 2 Timothy

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 26, 2019

THE TWO EPISTLES TO TIMOTHY
INTRODUCTION

1. Timothy.

Of St. Paul’s many faithful disciples Timothy seems to have been the one dearest to his heart and most according to his own mind. He wrote of him to the Philippians as follows: “I have no man so of the same mind, who with sincere affection is solicitous for you. For all seek the things that are their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ’s” (Phil. 2:20, 21). Timothy was born at Lystra in Lycaonia of a Greek father and a Jewish mother, named Unice (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim. 1:5). It seems that his father died young, and the child was reared and carefully trained in the Old Testament Scriptures by his devout mother and grandmother. It would appear also that these three embraced Christianity when St. Paul preached at Lystra on his first missionary journey (Acts 14:6 ff.). Timothy was about sixteen or seventeen years old at this time, and, when Paul revisited Lystra on his second journey, he chose the youthful and devoted convert as a special companion and helper in the work of the Gospel, having first circumcised him to facilitate his work among the Jews, and ordained him by the laying on of hands (Acts 16:1-3; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6-7). Thereafter, from the frequent mention of his name in the Acts and in the Epistles, we see that he was almost constantly with the Apostle. Whether or not he was with his master during the latter’s imprisonment at Caesarea and on the voyage thence to Rome, we do not know ; but it is certain that he was in the Eternal City while St. Paul was imprisoned there the first time, because his name appears in the opening verses of the Captivity Epistles—Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. He was also with the Apostle during the interval between the two Roman imprisonments; for it was at this time that St. Paul appointed him Bishop of Ephesus (Eusebius, Hist. Ecci, III, iv, 6; Apost. Constit., vii, 46), and left him in charge of that important see. When the Apostle was nearing his end during his second captivity in Rome, he wrote to Timothy to make haste to come to him before winter (2 Tim. 1:4, 4:8, 21). After this we know no more about him, save from tradition, according to which he was martyred at Ephesus in his old age for interfering with the celebration of a licentious heathen feast. St. Jerome tells us that his body was brought to Constantinople and buried there. His feast, as that of a Martyred Bishop, is celebrated in the Latin Church on January 24. He has been declared a Saint also by the Greek, Armenian, Coptic, and Maronite Churches.

We may get an idea of St. Timothy’s character from what is said of him in the Acts and especially in the Epistles, from the duties entrusted to him and the labors performed by him, and from the great love St. Paul bore him. He was intelligent, innocent, gentle, timid, and yet sufficiently strong, courageous, and fearless when virtue and religion were at stake. He could not so well brave the rough world and wicked opponents as did St. Paul, and yet by the grace of God, though trembling and naturally fearful, he could go when necessary into the thick of the battle. Paul could always depend upon him to do his best, in spite of his shrinking disposition and delicate health. He was ever the Apostle’s “beloved son,” tried and true, full of faith and hope and love. He had found the more excellent way, and by the grace of God he walked in it throughout his days. Cf. Heyes, Paul and His Epistles, pp. 465 flF. ; Pope, Student’s “Aids” to the Study of the Bible, vol. Ill, pp. 235 ff.

2. Occasion, Time and Place of Writing:

(a) 1 Timothy, In his discourse to the clergy of Ephesus at the close of his third missionary journey, St. Paul predicted that false teachers would arise among them, “speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). And later, when he was a prisoner in Rome, he doubtless heard that those disturbing spirits were already at their work. After his liberation, therefore, he and Timothy made it a point to go to Ephesus for the purpose of applying a remedy. But it happened that St, Paul soon had to go into Macedonia, and so he left Timothy behind, hoping before long to rejoin him at Ephesus. Counting on an early return, he had not given Timothy full instructions, and since he was delayed in Macedonia longer than had been expected, he wrote this first letter to assist his disciple in combating the false teachers, to give him rules regarding the careful choice of ministers of the Gospel, and to recall to his mind the principal duties of a faithful pastor of souls (1 Tim., 1:2-3, 3:14-15, 4:7, 13 ff., 6:4 ff.).

As regards the date of this letter and the place whence it was written, we may say with all those who admit its authenticity that it was composed about the year 65 a.d., while St. Paul was in Macedonia after leaving Timothy at Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3, 3:14-15). If, as we suppose, the Apostle was liberated from his Roman imprisonment about the end of 63 a.d., and that he probably went immediately to Spain for a short visit and then proceeded with Timothy to Ephesus, it would be about 65 a.d. before we should find him in Macedonia writing this letter.

It is idle to try to maintain that the journey of St. Paul to Macedonia here spoken of was the same as that given by St. Luke in Acts 19:21 ff.; for before this latter journey the Apostle had already dispatched Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia, and was himself remaining at Ephesus, though intending to follow them later into Macedonia on his way to Corinth. Furthermore, at the time mentioned by St. Luke the Ephesian Church was not sufficiently developed to receive such mature instructions regarding the clergy as were given by St. Paul to Timothy in this Epistle.

(b) 2 Timothy. St. Paul was in prison in Rome for the second and last time when he wrote this pathetic but beautiful letter, telling of the hopelessness of his case and of his loneliness, with no one but Luke as his companion. He recalls the years of labor and the ties of affection that have bound him and Timothy together in a passionate love for the common cause of their Master, refers to a few of the false teachers and urges his beloved Timothy to come to him before winter to receive final instructions about his office and duties and the work which he will have to carry on henceforth without the aid of his spiritual father.

The letter is intensely personal and affectionate in tone, more so than any other of the Apostle’s Epistles. The great preacher is about to lay down his life’s labor, and he is solicitous only that it be faithfully carried on when he is gone. As for himself, he looks death in the face fearlessly, confident of the glorious issue. Labor for Christ has been the one grand passion of his life. He has fought a good fight, he has finished his course, he has kept the faith; and his crown is waiting for him (2 Tim. 4:1 ff.).

We are justified, therefore, in holding that this Epistle was written shortly before the Apostle’s death, probably in 67 a.d., which is the traditional year of his martyrdom.

3. Division of Contents:

(a) 1 Timothy. After an introduction (1 Tim 1:1-2) and a conclusion (1 Tim 6:20-21), this letter may be divided into a number of instructions given by St. Paul to Timothy, as follows:

A. In this first instruction (1 Tim 1:3-20) the Apostle begins by stressing the duty of combating the errors of the false teachers ( 1 Tim 1:3-1 1); and then to encourage Timothy he makes a personal digression, showing the saving power of the Gospel as manifested in his own conversion (1 Tim 1:12-17). Returning to the thought of verse 3, he reminds Timothy of the charge committed to him of guarding the interests of Christ as revealed in the Gospel (1 Tim 1:18-20).

B. In the second instruction (1 Tim 2:1-15) two thoughts come up for consideration, first, the Christian’s duty of praying for all men, since Christ died for all (1 Tim 2:1-7); and, secondly, the proper ordering of public prayer, and the place and work of women in the saving ministry of the Church (1 Tim 2:8-15).

C. In the third instruction (1 Tim 3:1-16) St. Paul directs attention to the officials and other workers in the Church—bishops, priests, deacons, etc.—and tells Timothy first what sort of men ought to be chosen for the ranks o’f the clergy, especially as regards conduct and character (1 Tim 3:1-7); and secondly, what ought to be the qualifications of deacons and good women who are to assist the clergy (1 Tim 3:8-13). In his anxiety that all may go well with Timothy, St. Paul sends these instructions on ahead of the visit he hopes soon to make to the Church of Ephesus (1 Tim 3:14-16).

D. In the fourth instruction (1 Tim 4:1-16) Timothy is warned against heretics and their false teachings (1 Tim 4:1-5), and admonished to nourish his own soul by the solid doctrine that sustains and quickens faith, and to show by the example of his personal life the spiritual excellence of the Gospel (1 Tim 4:6-16).

E. The fifth instruction has to do with the administration of discipline in certain special cases (1 Tim 5:1-6:2). Here the Apostle teaches Timothy how he is to deal with the old and the young of both sexes (1 Tim 5:1-2), with widows (1 Tim 5:3-16), with the clergy (1 Tim 5:17-25), and finally with slaves (1 Tim 6:1-2).

F. The sixth and last instruction (1 Tim 6:3-19) returns to the subject of 1 Tim 1:3, again warns Timothy to be on his guard against the teachers of unsound doctrine (1 Tim 6:3-10), exhorts him to be faithful to his call and his trust as a true teacher (1 Tim 6:11-16), and adds a few words concerning riches and their proper use (1 Tim 6:17-19).

(b) 2 Timothy. This Epistle consists of an introduction or greeting (2 Tim 1:1-2), an exhortation (1 Tim 1:3—2:13), an instruction (2 Tim 2:14—4:18), and a conclusion containing greetings and a blessing (2 Tim 4:19-22).

A. In his introduction to this letter (2 Tim 1:1-2), St. Paul recalls the great privilege he has enjoyed in being elected by God to preach the Gospel, and greets Timothy, his beloved convert, who has so long been associated with him in this privileged work.

B. In the first main part of the Epistle (2 Tim 1:3—2:13), the Apostle begins by thanking God for the graces that have been accorded Timothy, and exhorts him to stir up within him the grace he received at his ordination (2 Tim 1:3-14). He then refers to those from Asia who have forsaken him, and prays for his faithful friend, Onesiphorus, who was probably dead at this time (2 Tim 1:15-18). Finally, Timothy is exhorted to be diligent in the discharge of his duties, and to be ready to suffer for the Gospel (2 Tim 2:1-13).

C. In the second main part of this letter (2 Tim 2:14—4:18), St. Paul first instructs Timothy how he is to become the kind of workman that God would have him be. Holding fast to the great central truths of the Gospel, he is to avoid useless wranglings and contentious disputes, which are to no profit; he is to eschew the foolish desires of youth and to practise solid virtues, and by prudent, patient and tactful methods he is to lead the erring to repentance and to saving ways (2 Tim 2:14-26). But after insisting on these necessary qualifications of the workman of Christ—namely, undivided devotion to his Master, loyalty to Gospel teaching, willingness to suffer for the cause, and the practice of his own preaching on the part of Timothy—St. Paul now proceeds to warn his disciple that worse things are yet to come, and forthwith describes the character and the sins of evil men who will appear in the days ahead to shake the faith and pervert the multitudes (2 Tim 3:1-9). But Timothy will be equipped to meet these emergencies by holding to the doctrine he has received, by being ready to suffer for the faith as Paul has done, and by drawing help and strength from the Sacred Scriptures (2 Tim 3:10-17). The Apostle’s work is finished, and he now issues a final charge to Timothy to be faithful to his duty of preaching the Gospel in the critical days ahead, and to be exact in the fulfillment of all his sacred trusts. As for himself, his end is at hand, his reward is waiting for him (2 Tim 4:1-8). He is alone with Luke: some have left him, others have been sent on duties elsewhere (2 Tim 4:9-12). A few final requests and observations close this part of the letter (2 Tim 4:13-18).

D. In the conclusion (2 Tim 4:19-22), St. Paul sends greetings to a number of persons at Ephesus, makes special mention of Erastus and Trophimus, urges Timothy to hasten his coming to him, includes the greetings of several of his friends in Rome, and terminates his last Epistle with a unique blessing, probably in his own handwriting.

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Father Callan’s General Introduction to the Pastoral Epistles

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 26, 2019

Here Fr. Callan is giving an general introduction to the Pastoral. In the next post I will present his specific introduction to 1 and 2 Timothy. After working through his commentaries on these two letters we will see that he gives a specific introduction to Titus as well.

THE PASTORAL EPISTLES
INTRODUCTION 

1. Pastoral. For over two centuries now the two Epistles of St. Paul to Timothy and the one to Titus have been commonly known as “Pastoral Epistles.” The term “pastoral” was, indeed, applied to the letters to Timothy by St. Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century; but its general currency as pertaining to these three letters seems to date from the time of Paul Anton (1726). The term is an appropriate one inasmuch as these Epistles were addressed by the great Apostle to the heads of Churches in their capacity of pastors of souls, whose duty it was to oversee, guide and instruct those committed to their care, to guard against error and preserve the purity of apostolic teaching, to set by example a high standard of Christian life and character, and to provide through careful selection, training, and ordination successors to carry on the glorious preaching and work of the Gospel when they themselves should be called to their rewards.

Though written for specific times and particular conditions pertinent to their own age, these Pastoral letters are invaluable to us and to all succeeding ages for the information they supply regarding primitive church organization and discipline, early heresies, the qualifications of Christian teachers and leaders, the duties of pastors, the ideals of zeal and devotion that should ever animate the bearers of the priestly office, and for the information they afford regarding the last years and activities of St. Paul. In a very special sense, therefore, these letters impress upon the Christian priest and bishop the necessity at all times of taking a spiritual view of his office, life and work, and of the weighty responsibility that rests upon him and the consequent necessity of keeping ever in close contact with his Master, to whom he must render an account of his stewardship, and from whom, if he is faithful, he may, like St. Paul, expect a crown of glory when his labors are over.

2, Authenticity of the Pastorals. Before beginning this discussion, “it will be convenient to remark in this place that these three Epistles are so closely linked together in thought, in phraseology, and in the historical situation which they presuppose, that they must be counted as having all come into being within a very few years of each other. The general consent of critics allows that they stand or fall together; and it is therefore not always necessary to distinguish the indications of the existence of one from those of the existence of another. We may speak generally, without loss of accuracy, of evidences of knowledge of the Pastoral Epistles if we come upon reminiscences of any one of them. And so, in investigating their literary history, we consider them not separately, but together” (Bernard, Introd. to The Pastoral Epistles, p. xii., in Cambridge Greek Test.).

For Catholics the question of the Pauline authorship of these letters is beyond dispute. In fact, no one ever doubted that Paul was their author until the beginning of the last century, when certain German and other scholars began to attack them, chiefly on internal grounds. Since that time the Pastorals have been under fierce fire, and they have been more generally rejected by non-Catholic critics than any other letters of St. Paul except Hebrews.

That prior to the last century the authenticity of these Epistles was universally accepted is admitted by all the best non-Catholic scholars. The following are some worthwhile testimonies : “There never was the slightest doubt in the ancient Church that the Epistles to Timothy and Titus were canonical and written by Paul” (Dean Alford). “Traces of their circulation in the Church before Marcion’s time are clearer than those which can be found for Romans and Second Corinthians” (Zahn). “These Epistles are as well attested by external or historical evidence as the other Epistles of Paul” (De Wette). “The witness of the Early Church to their place in the New Testament canon and their Pauline authorship is as clear, full and unhesitating as that given to the other Epistles” (Findlay). “The work of no ancient classic author has such strong external and internal proof of its genuineness. . . . We may be sure that these Epistles are not a fraud” (Bishop Vincent). “The external attestation of the Epistles is quite on a par with that of the other Paulines” (Weiss).

Indeed, if we just briefly glance at the external evidence in the ancient Church in favor of these Epistles, we shall see that the foregoing testimonies are well founded. For allusions to their wording or quotations from them are to be seen in the writings of Clement of Rome and the Epistle of Barnabas (end of first century), of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch (circa, no a.d.), of Polycarp (c. 117), of Justin Martyr (c. 140), of Heracleon (c. 165), of Hegesippus (c. 170), of Athenagoras of Athens (c. 176), of Theophilus of Antioch (c. 181), and St. Athenagoras (end of second century).

Besides these authorities, we find many others at the same time or immediately following them who accepted the Pastorals without a sign of hesitation, such as Tertullian, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, etc. They are also found in the Muratorian Fragment, in the old Latin and Syriac versions, and in the list of Pauline Epistles accepted by Eusebius. Many other ancient witnesses might be added to this catalogue, but they would all be to the same effect, with the exception of a few early heretics—like Marcion, Valentine, Basilides—who, as Clement of Alexandria (Strom., ii. 11) said, rejected these letters because they were contrary to their own false doctrines.

The internal evidence in support of the Pastoral Epistles, which is also very strong, will appear from an examination of the objections that are brought against their genuineness by modern non-Catholic scholars. For these objections, while not at all unanswerable, are of sufficient weight to demand our attention and serious thought. It is true, as has been said in part already, that many of the best non-Catholic authorities of the last as well as of the present century find nothing in these letters that can shake their Pauline authorship, so thoroughly established by external proofs from the beginning down to the first half of the last century. Among these authorities may be mentioned Adeney, Alford, Lightfoot, Hort, Findlay, Ramsay, Sanday, Plummer, Farrar, Godet, Gilbert, SchaflF, Shaw, Lange, Weiss, Zahn, Wiesinger, and many more. Against the genuineness of the Pastorals we may mention the following: Baur, Davidson, Holtzmann, Meyer, Julicher, Weizsacker, Hatch, Schwegler, Beyschlag, and Schenkel—all of whom believe these Epistles were written by some one who lived at a later date. But there is another large and increasing class of critics who take a middle position on this question. They are of the opinion that we have here documents containing genuine Pauline fragments and unpublished notes which a later writer incorporated into his own work and issued under Paul’s name in order to give it greater influence and authority. Among these writers are: Ewald, Harnack, Bacon, Harrison, Hausrath, Deissmann, Moffatt, McGiffert, and others.

With this outline of the problem before us we may now proceed to examine the principal objections to the Pauline authorship of these letters.

3. Objections to the Authenticity of the Pastorals. First Objection. The historical and biographical data given in the Pastorals cannot be fitted into the life of St. Paul as detailed in the Book of Acts.

But they do not need to be so fitted. Who has said that the Acts ever pretended to give us a complete history of Paul or of anyone else? This objection proceeds from false suppositions, namely, that we have a complete account of St. Paul’s life in the Acts of The Apostles, and that he was put to death at the end of his first Roman captivity. As a matter of fact, from St. Luke’s record of the Apostle’s arrest in Jerusalem and his later imprisonment in Rome and from the letters written by St. Paul during his first captivity there, we have every reason to accept the testimonies of Clement of Rome, the Muratorian Fragment, the Acta Pauli, etc., that the Apostle was not only released but that he actually afterwards visited Spain, as he had intended to do (Rom. 15:24). St. Jerome, St. Chrysostom, Theodoret, and many other Fathers also tell us that Paul preached in Spain. Moreover, at his first arrest, there was no serious charge brought against him (Acts 28:18 ff,), and in Rome he enjoyed great liberty (Acts 28:30-31), and seemed reasonably sure of being released and of being able to revisit the East (Phlm. 22; Phil. 2:19-24). Harnack, Lightfoot, Weiss and others, therefore, rightly maintain that no proof can be given to show that the Apostle was not released from his first Roman captivity, and that, consequently, the historical data of the Pastoral Epistles (except 2 Tim.) can be referred to in the years following A.D. 63 or 65.

Second Objection. There is a large percentage of strange words and phrases in these Epistles that are not found in other letters of St. Paul, nor elsewhere in the New Testament.

This should cause no difficulty. There are many words and expressions that are peculiar to every Epistle of this most versatile writer; and if the Pastorals have a greater number than the other letters, this can be quite satisfactorily explained by the difference of the persons addressed, the subjects treated, the Apostle’s advancing years, his associates when writing, etc.

Third Objection. Great numbers of favorite Pauline words are absent from these letters.

But why should it be otherwise, if in later years he was treating of different subjects, writing to different persons, and subject to a different environment as he wrote? But are these favorite words absent only from the Pastorals, or also from the other genuine Epistles of St. Paul? Moffatt has made a list of these words; and Dr. Ahern, having examined every one of them, has found that with a single exception they are all absent from one or several of the admittedly genuine letters of St. Paul, and that the exceptional word occurs but once in some of them (cf. Ahern, Timothy, in Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. XIV, p. 728a).

Nor should we be disturbed at the absence in the Pastorals of many small words, like enclitics and prepositions; for it is conceded that the Apostle was not uniform in his use of them in his other letters, and that when treating practical matters, like those of the Pastoral Epistles, he was at all times sparing of these little words and particles. Hence Julicher says that no argument can be drawn from the absence of these words.

Fourth Objection. The style of these Epistles is very different from St. Paul’s usual manner of writing.

It is different from the argumentative and doctrinal parts of the Apostle’s other letters, but it is so similar to the style of the practical sections of those other Epistles that not a few writers have jumped to the conclusion that we have in the Pastorals a composition of many authentic but unpublished Pauline fragments. Bishop Lightfoot’s study of the style of these Epistles led him only to the conclusion that they were all three written about the same time, and that a considerable period must have intervened between them and the other Epistles of St. Paul.

Fifth Objection. There are noticeable differences of theology here.

And this is what we should expect, since St. Paul is writing, not from an argumentative or controversial, but from a practical viewpoint. The Apostle is here giving Timothy and Titus practical directions and counsels; he is not discussing the deep problems of theology, nor giving instructions in Christian doctrine to his thoroughly schooled disciples. His former teachings are presupposed as the basis of the Christian life, and the moral instruction he now imparts differs from that of his earlier letters only in so far as new conditions and circumstances demand it.

Sixth Objection, The church organization implied in the Pastorals was not so advanced in the time of St. Paul.

If the organization and church discipline of these letters were an advance on those of the Apostle’s earlier Epistles, this is again just what we should expect, for these were his last writings and things were moving rapidly in those formative days. But it is hard to find on this point anything in these letters which cannot also be found in the Acts and other Epistles. Thus, in the very beginning of their ministry we see that the Apostles, by prayer and the laying on of hands, set aside deacons who were to assist them in their work (Acts 6 and 7). And Paul and Barnabas on their first mission, after they had preached and instructed, confirmed the souls of the disciples and ordained priests in all the Churches they had established (Acts 14:20-22). In Acts 11:30 we see that priests (presbyters) were associated with the Apostles at Jerusalem, and that it was they to whom Paul and Barnabas sent the alms for the poor in Judea. In Acts 15:2 we read that priests were assisting the Apostles at Jerusalem when Paul and Barnabas went up for the first Council of the Church, and they were with St. James at the reception of St. Paul in the Holy City (Acts 21:18). In Thessalonica and Corinth we know that definite arrangements were made for organization and discipline (1 Cor. 5:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:12). At Miletus at the close of his third journey St. Paul addressed bishops and priests (Acts 20:28). To the Ephesians he spoke of “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and doctors” (Eph. 4:11). Many other instances might be cited, but these are enough to show that the church organization and discipline implied in the Pastorals were found at an earlier date everywhere. Of course, it was only natural that, as time went on and the number of Churches and converts increased, there would be need for greater organization and a stricter and more detailed system of government and discipline.

Seventh Objection. Timothy and Titus are addressed in these Epistles as if they were young, immature and untried disciples, whereas they were grown men of mature years who had been instructed by St. Paul and had long borne heavy responsibilities.

Our first reply to this apparent difficulty is that in the Roman world men were considered youths until they were forty-six years old. Until they were seventeen, boys were called children. But, in the second place, we should remember that Paul was an old man at this time, and he had known Timothy and Titus from their early years; they always seemed young to their old master. Moreover, they were comparatively young to undertake alone the weighty charges which were theirs at Ephesus and Crete, and were indeed youths in doctrine and experience as compared with Paul.

Eighth Objection. The false teaching condemned in these Epistles seems to be the Gnosticism of the second century.

The most that can be said in support of this difficulty is that the developed Gnosticism of the second century had its beginning in St. Paul’s time, and that he was warning against its incipient errors (1 Tim 4:1-5; 2 Tim. 2:17-18; 2 Tim. 3:8, 13). But from 1 Tim. 1:7, and Tit. 1:14, 3:9, it appears that the false teaching was Jewish, and that the “old wives’ fables” condemned in 1 Tim. 4:7, and in 2 Tim. 4:4, were such as we find in Jewish Midrash and apocryphal books like the Jewish Haggadoth and the Book of Jubilees. We do not know any system of Gnosticism which corresponds with the errors condemned in the Pastorals, and the fact that St. Irenaeus and others use these Epistles against the Gnostics of their time is no proof that St. Paul had them in mind when he wrote (cf. Ahern, in Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. XIV, p. 731 a; Hort, in Judaistic Christianity, pp. 130-146). The second-century Gnostics hated and despised the Old Testament, while the false teachers of the Pastorals were Judaizers who claimed to be authorities and right interpreters of the Law of Moses (1 Tim. 1:7). Hence, it may be seriously doubted whether the Jewish ideas and teachings condemned in these letters had much, if anything, to do with the Gnosticism of the second century (cf. Gigot, Introd. to The Pastorals, in Westminster Version of the Sacred Scripture, p. xv).

Ninth Objection. St. Paul in Acts 20:25, said to the Ephesians: “I know that all of you shall see my face no more.”

But St. Paul was not uttering an infallible prophecy at this time; he was simply expressing his own personal opinion as a man (Beelen).

Tenth Objection. The writer of these Epistles was oblivious of Paul’s teaching about the fatherhood of God, the union of the believer with Jesus, the power and witness of the Holy Spirit, etc.

But Timothy and Titus were perfectly familiar with these doctrines, and there was no need to discuss them at this time. The Apostle had other matters to deal with here. However, he had not forgotten these old subjects, even in the Pastorals, as we see from 1 Tim. 1:15, 2:6; 2 Tim. 1:2, 2:13; Tit. 1:4, 3:4, 5, 7.

Other minor objections might be adduced against the authenticity of the Pastoral Epistles, but we think we have said enough to convince any unbiased mind that these letters are genuine. All external evidence is decidedly in their favor as authentic Pauline documents, and the internal evidence is all that could be reasonably required. Most of the objections that are raised can also be brought to a greater or less extent against the admittedly genuine ‘Pauline letters, and very reasonable solutions can be given to the others.

We conclude, therefore, by affirming with the Biblical Commission of June 12, 191 3, that both internal and external evidence prove these letters to be genuine and canonical Epistles of St. Paul, that there is nothing in the fragmentary hypothesis of recent writers or in the objections raised by critics to weaken the traditional view regarding the authenticity of these Epistles, and that we can safely affirm that they were written between the Apostle’s liberation from his first Roman captivity and his death.

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St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on 2 Timothy 1:8-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 22, 2017

“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

THERE is nothing worse than that man should measure and judge of divine things by human reasonings. For thus he will fall from that rock3 a vast distance, and be deprived of the light. For if he who wishes with human eyes to apprehend the rays of the sun will not only not apprehend them, but, besides this failure, will sustain great injury; so, but in a higher degree, is he in a way to suffer this, and abusing the gift of God, who would by human reasonings gaze intently on that Light. Observe accordingly how Marcion, and Manes, and Valentinus, and others who introduced their heresies and pernicious doctrines4 into the Church of God, measuring divine things by human reasonings, became ashamed of the Divine economy. Yet it was not a subject for shame, but rather for glorying; I speak of the Cross of Christ. For there is not so great a sign of the love of God for mankind, not heaven, nor sea, nor earth, nor the creation of all things out of nothing, nor all else beside, as the Cross. Hence it is the boast of Paul, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gal. 6:14.) But natural men, and those who attribute to God no more than to human beings, stumble, and become ashamed. Wherefore Paul from the first exhorts his disciple, and through him all others, in these words: “Be not thou ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,” that is,5 “Be not ashamed, that thou preachest One that was crucified, but rather glory in it.” For in themselves death and imprisonment and chains are matters of shame and reproach. But when the cause is added before us, and the mystery viewed aright, they will appear full of dignity, and matter for boasting. For it was that death which saved the world, when it was perishing. That death connected earth with heaven, that death destroyed the power of the devil, and made men angels, and sons of God: that death raised our nature to the kingly throne. Those chains were the conversion of many. “Be not” therefore “ashamed,” he says, “of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel”; that is, though thou shouldest suffer the same things, be not thou ashamed. For that this is implied appears from what he said above; “God hath given us a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”; and by what follows, “Be thou partaker of the sufferings of the Gospel”: not merely be not ashamed of them, but be not ashamed even to experience them.

And he does not say, “Do not fear,” but, the more to encourage him, “be not ashamed,” as if there were no further danger, if he could overcome the shame. For shame is only then oppressive, when one is overcome by it. Be not therefore ashamed, if I, who raised the dead, who wrought miracles, who traversed the world, am now a prisoner. For I am imprisoned, not as a malefactor, but for the sake of Him who was crucified. If my Lord was not ashamed of the Cross, neither am I of chains. And with great propriety, when he exhorts him not to be ashamed, he reminds him of the Cross. If thou art not ashamed of the Cross, he means, neither be thou of chains; if our Lord and Master endured the Cross, much more should we chains. For he who is ashamed of what He endured, is ashamed of Him that was crucified. Now it is not on my own account that I bear these chains; therefore do not give way to human feelings, but bear thy part in these sufferings. “Be partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel.” He says not this, as if the Gospel could suffer injury, but to excite his disciple to suffer for it.

“According to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
More especially because it was a hard thing to say, “Be partakers of afflictions,” he again consoles him.1 Reckon that thou sustainest these things, not by thine own power, but by the power of God. For it is thy part to choose and to be zealous, but God’s to alleviate sufferings and bid them cease.2 He then shows him the proofs of His power. Consider how thou wast saved, how thou wast called. As he elsewhere says, “According to His power that worketh in us.” (Eph. 3:20.) So much was it a greater exercise of power to persuade the world to believe, than to make the Heavens. But how was he “called with a holy calling”?3 This means, He made them saints, who were sinners and enemies. “And this not of ourselves, it was the gift of God.” If then He is mighty in calling us, and good, in that He hath done it of grace and not of debt, we ought not to fear. For He Who, when we should have perished,4 saved us, though enemies, by grace, will He not much more cooperate with us, when He sees us working? “Not according to our own works,” he says, “but according to his own purpose and grace,” that is, no one compelling, no one counseling Him, but of His own purpose, from the impulse of His own goodness, He saved us; for this is the meaning of “according to His own purpose.” “Which was given us before the world began.” That is, it was determined without beginning that these things should be done in Christ Jesus. This is no light consideration, that from the first He willed it. It was not an after-thought. How then is not the Son eternal? for He also willed it from the beginning.

Ver. 10. “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel.”

Thou seest the power, thou seest the gift bestowed not by works, but through the Gospel. These are objects of hope: for both were wrought in His Body. And how will they be wrought in ours? “By the Gospel.”

Ver. 11. “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher and an Apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”

Why does he so constantly repeat this, and call himself a teacher of the Gentiles? Because he wishes to persuade them that they also ought to draw close to the Gentiles. Be not therefore dismayed at my sufferings. The sinews of death are unstrung. It is not as a malefactor that I suffer, but because I am “a teacher of the Gentiles.” At the same time he makes his discourse worthy of credit.

Ver. 12. “For the which cause I also suffer these things, nevertheless I am not ashamed. For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”

“I am not ashamed,” he says. For are chains, are sufferings, a matter for shame? Be not then ashamed! Thou seest how he illustrates his teaching by his works. “These things,” he says, “I suffer”: I am cast into prison, I am banished; “For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him1 against That Day.” What is2 “that which is committed”?3 The faith, the preaching of the Gospel. He, who committed this to him, he says, will preserve it unimpaired. I suffer everything, that I may not be despoiled of this treasure, and I am not ashamed at these things, so long as it is preserved uninjured. Or he calls the Faithful the charge which God committed to him, or which he committed to God. For he says, “Now I commit you to the Lord.” (Acts 20:32.) That is, these things will not be unprofitable to me. And in Timothy is seen the fruit of the charge thus “committed.” You see that he is insensible to sufferings, from the hope that he entertains of his disciples.

MORAL. Such ought a Teacher to be, so to regard his disciples, to think them everything. “Now we live,” he says, “if ye stand fast in the Lord.” And again, “What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ?” (1 Thess. 3:8, and 2:19.) You see his anxiety in this matter, his regard for the good of his disciples, not less than for his own.4 For teachers ought to surpass natural parents, to be more zealous than they. And it becomes their children to be kindly affectioned towards them. For he says, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls as they that must give account.” (Heb. 13:17.) For say, is he subject to so dangerous a responsibility, and art thou not willing to obey him, and that too, for thy own benefit? For though his own state should be good, yet as long as thou art in a bad condition his anxiety continues, he has a double account to render. And consider what it is to be responsible and anxious for each of those who are under his rule. What honor wouldest thou have reckoned equal, what service, in requital of such dangers? Thou canst not offer an equivalent. For thou hast not yet devoted thy soul for him, but he lays down his life for thee, and if he lays it not down here, when the occasion requires it, he loses it There. But thou art not willing to submit even in words. This is the prime cause of all these evils, that the authority of rulers is neglected, that there is no reverence, no fear. He says, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.” But now all is turned upside down and confounded. And this I say not for the sake of the rulers; (for what benefit will they have of the honor they receive from us,5 except so far as we are rendered obedient;) but I say it for your advantage. For with respect to the future, they will not be benefited by the honor done them, but receive the greater condemnation, neither will they be injured as to the future by ill treatment, but will have the more excuse. But all this I desire to be done for your own sakes. For when rulers are honored by their people, this too is reckoned against them; as in the case of Eli it is said, “Did I not choose him out of his father’s house?” (1 Sam. 2:27.) But when they are insulted, as in the instance of Samuel, God said, “They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me.” (1 Sam. 8:7.) Therefore insult is their gain, honor their burden. What I say, therefore, is for your sakes, not for theirs. He that honors the Priest, will honor God also; and he who has learnt to despise the Priest, will in process of time insult God. “He that receiveth you,” He saith, “receiveth Me.” (Matt. 10:40.) “Hold my priests in honor” (Ecclus. 7:31?), He says. The Jews learned to despise God, because they despised Moses, and would have stoned him. For when a man is piously disposed towards the Priest, he is much more so towards God. And even if the Priest be wicked, God seeing that thou respectest him, though unworthy of honor, through reverence to Him, will Himself reward thee. For if “he that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward” (Matt. 10:41); then he who honoreth and submitteth and giveth way to the Priest shall certainly be rewarded. For if in the case of hospitality, when thou knowest not the guest, thou receivest so high a recompense, much more wilt thou be requited, if thou obeyest him whom He requires thee to obey. “The Scribes and Pharisees,” He says, “sit in Moses’ seat; all therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do, but do not ye after their works.” (Matt. 23:2, 3.) Knowest thou not what the Priest is? He is an Angel6 of the Lord. Are they his own words that he speaks? If thou despisest him, thou despisest not him, but God that ordained him. But how does it appear, thou askest, that he is ordained of God? Nay, if thou suppose it otherwise, thy hope is rendered vain. For if God worketh nothing through his means, thou neither hast any Laver, nor art partaker of the Mysteries, nor of the benefit of Blessings; thou art therefore not a Christian. What then, you say, does God ordain all, even the unworthy? God indeed doth not ordain all, but He worketh through all, though they be themselves unworthy, that the people may be saved. For if He spoke, for the sake of the people, by an ass, and by Balaam, a most wicked man, much more will He speak by the mouth of the Priest. What indeed will not God do or say for our salvation? By whom doth He not act? For if He wrought through Judas and those other that “prophesied,” to whom He will say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity” (Matt. 7:22, 23); and if others “cast out devils” (Ps. 6:8); will He not much more work through the Priests? Since if we were to make inquisition into the lives of our rulers, we should then become the ordainers1 of our own teachers, and all would be confusion; the feet would be uppermost, the head below. Hear Paul saying, “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment.” (1 Cor. 4:3.) And again, “Why dost thou judge thy brother?” (Rom. 14:10.) For if we may not judge our brother, much less our teacher. If God commands this indeed, thou doest well, and sinnest if thou do it not; but if the contrary, dare not do it, nor attempt to go beyond the lines that are marked out. After Aaron had made the golden calf, Corah, Dathan, and Abiram raised an insurrection against him. And did they not perish? Let each attend to his own department. For if he teach perverted doctrine, though he be an Angel, obey him not; but if he teach the truth, take heed not to his life, but to his words. Thou hast Paul to instruct thee in what is right both by words and works. But thou sayest, “He gives not to the poor, he does not govern well.” Whence knowest thou this? Blame not, before thou art informed. Be afraid of the great account. Many judgments are formed upon mere opinion. Imitate thy Lord, who said, “I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, and if not, I will know.” (Gen. 18:21.) But if thou hast enquired, and informed thyself, and seen; yet await the Judge, and usurp not the office of Christ. To Him it belongs, and not to thee, to make this inquisition. Thou art an inferior servant, not a master. Thou art a sheep, be not curious concerning the shepherd, lest thou have to give account of thy accusations against him. But you say, How does he teach me that which he does not practice himself? It is not he that speaks to thee. If it be he whom thou obeyest, thou hast no reward. It is Christ that thus admonishes thee. And what do I say? Thou oughtest not to obey even Paul, if he speaks of himself, or anything human, but the Apostle, that has Christ speaking in him. Let not us judge one another’s conduct, but each his own. Examine thine own life.

But thou sayest, “He ought to be better than I.” Wherefore? “Because he is a Priest.” And is he not superior to thee in his labors, his dangers, his anxious conflicts and troubles? But if he is not better, oughtest thou therefore to destroy thyself? These are the words of arrogance.2 For how is he not better than thyself? He steals, thou sayest, and commits sacrilege! How knowest thou this? Why dost thou cast thyself down a precipice? If thou shouldest hear it said that such an one hath a purple robe,3 though thou knewest it to be true, and couldest convict him, thou declinest to do it, and pretendest ignorance, not being willing to run into unnecessary danger. But in this case thou art so far from being backward, that even without cause thou exposest thyself to the danger. Nor think thou art not responsible for these words. Hear what Christ says, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matt. 12:36.) And dost thou think thyself better than another, and dost thou not groan, and beat thy breast, and bow down thy head, and imitate the Publican?

And then thou destroyest thyself, though thou be better. Be silent, that thou cease not to be better. If thou speak of it, thou hast done away the merit; if thou thinkest it, I do not say so; if thou dost not think it, thou hast added much. For if a notorious sinner, when he confessed, “went home justified,” he who is a sinner in a less degree, and is conscious of it, how will he not be rewarded? Examine thy own life. Thou dost not steal; but thou art rapacious, and overbearing, and guilty of many other such things. I say not this to defend theft; God forbid! deeply lament if there is any one really guilty of it, but I do not believe it. How great an evil is sacrilege, it is impossible to say. But I spare you. For I would not that our virtue should be rendered vain by accusing others. What was worse than the Publican? For it is true that he was a publican, and guilty of many offenses, yet because the Pharisee only said, “I am not as this publican,” he destroyed all his merit. I am not, thou sayest, like this sacrilegious Priest. And dost not thou make all in vain?

This I am compelled to say, and to enlarge upon in my discourse, not so much because I am concerned for them, but because I fear for you, lest you should render your virtue vain by this boasting of yourselves, and condemnation of others. For hear the exhortation of Paul, “Let every one prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” (Gal. 6:4.)

If you had a wound, tell me, and should go to a physician, would you stay him from salving and dressing your own wound, and be curious to enquire whether the physician had a wound, or not? and if he had, would you mind it? Or because he had it, would you forbear dressing your own, and say, A physician ought to be in sound health, and since he is not so, I shall let my wound go uncured? For will it be any palliation1 for him that is under rule, that his Priest is wicked? By no means. He will suffer the destined punishment, and you too will meet with that which is your due. For the Teacher now only fills a place. For “it is written, They shall all be taught of God.” (John 6:54; Isa. 54:13.) “Neither shall they say, Know the Lord. For all shall know Me from the least to the greatest.” (Jer. 31:34.) Why then, you will say, does he preside? Why is he set over us? I beseech you, let us not speak ill of our teachers, nor call them to so strict an account, lest we bring evil upon ourselves. Let us examine ourselves, and we shall not speak ill of others. Let us reverence that day, on which he enlightened2 us. He who has a father, whatever faults he has, conceals them all. For it is said, “Glory not in the dishonor of thy father; for thy father’s dishonor is no glory unto thee. And if his understanding fail, have patience with him.” (Ecclus. 3:10–12) And if this be said of our natural fathers, much more of our spiritual fathers. Reverence him, in that he every day ministers to thee, causes the Scriptures to be read, sets the house in order for thee, watches for thee, prays for thee, stands imploring God on thy behalf, offers supplications for thee, for thee is all his worship. Reverence all this, think of this, and approach him with pious respect. Say not, he is wicked. What of that? He that is not wicked,3 doth he of himself bestow upon thee these great benefits? By no means. Everything worketh according to thy faith. Not even the righteous man can benefit thee, if thou art unfaithful, nor the unrighteous harm thee, if thou art faithful. God, when He would save His people, wrought for the ark by Oxen.4 Is it the good life or the virtue of the Priest that confers so much on thee? The gifts which God bestows are not such as to be effects of the virtue of the Priest. All is of grace. His part is but to open his mouth, while God worketh all: the Priest only performs a symbol.5 Consider how wide was the distance between John and Jesus. Hear John saying, “I have need to be baptized of Thee” (Matt. 3:14.), and, “Whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” (John 1:27.) Yet notwithstanding this difference, the Spirit descended. Which John had not. For “of His fullness,” it is said, “we all have received.” (John 1:16.) Yet nevertheless, It descended not till He was baptized. But neither was it John who caused It to descend. Why then is this done? That thou mayest learn that the Priest performs a symbol.6 No man differs so widely from another man, as John from Jesus, and yet with him7 the Spirit descended, that we may learn, that it is God who worketh all, that all is God’s doing. I am about to say what may appear strange, but be not astonished nor startled at it. The Offering is the same, whether a common man, or Paul or Peter offer it. It is the same which Christ gave to His disciples, and which the Priests now minister. This is nowise inferior to that, because it is not men that sanctify even this, but the Same who sanctified the one sanctifies the other also. For as the words which God spake are the same which the Priest now utters, so is the Offering the same, and the Baptism, that which He gave. Thus the whole is of faith. The Spirit immediately fell upon Cornelius, because he had previously fulfilled his part, and contributed his faith. And this is His Body, as well as that. And he who thinks the one inferior to the other, knows not that Christ even now is present, even now operates. Knowing therefore these things, which we have not said without reason, but that we may conform your minds in what is right, and render you more secure for the future, keep carefully in mind what has been spoken. For if we are always hearers, and never doers, we shall reap no advantage from what is said. Let us therefore attend diligently to the things spoken. Let us imprint them upon our minds. Let us have them ever engraved upon our consciences, and let us continually ascribe glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 1:8-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 22, 2017

This post opens with Fr. MacEvilly’s brief analysis of chapter 1, followed by his comments on today’s reading. Text in purple indicates his paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on. Text in red, if any, are my additions.

ANALYSIS OF 2 TIMOTHY CHAPTER ONE

In this chapter, the Apostle, after the usual Apostolical salutation, expresses his great affection for Timothy of which he gives a proof in his unceasing remembrance of him (1–3); and he shows how deserving Timothy was of this affection (4, 5). He, next, exhorts him to re-enkindle within him the grace which he received at his ordination. To preach the gospel with fortitude, and not to be ashamed of Christ crucified (8).

After having adduced several engaging motives for enduring sufferings and labour in the cause of the Gospel, he points out the manner of preaching, and the doctrine to be preached (9–14). He notes the defection of certain parties from the faith, and commends the charity of Onesiphorus towards himself in chains, for which he prays that he may be amply remunerated by God (15–18).

2 Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but labour with the gospel, according to the power of God.

Be not, therefore, ashamed to bear testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ crucified, by preaching his Gospel; nor be ashamed of me, a prisoner on his account; but labour along with me in bearing the afflictions to which all the ministers of the Gospel are subjected, according to the strength given thee by God.

The “testimony of Christ,” may mean the gospel, which means a testimony handed down by witnesses, or rather the preaching of Christ crucified. “But labour with the gospel.” The Greek, συγκακοπαθησον = synkakopatheson, means, suffer together with the gospel. This he ought to do, in virtue of that spirit of love and equanimity which he received. “According to the power of God;” distrusting himself, he should repose all his hopes in God.

2 Tim 1:9 Who hath delivered us and called us by his holy calling, not according to our own works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the times of the world:

Who has saved us from sin and eternal death and has, for this end, called us to a state of sanctity, not certainly in consideration of our works; (for, they were evil), but out of his own liberal bounty, and gratuitous mercy, which was decreed from eternity to be given to us, in consideration of the merits of Jesus Christ.

“Who has delivered us.” (In the Greek, τοῦ σώσαντος ἡμᾶς, = tou sosantos hemas =  saved us), from sin and its consequences, temporal and eternal, “and called us by his holy calling.” He saved us, by calling us to a state of sanctification. “According to his own purpose and grace, which was given,” i.e., given from eternity on the part of God, in virtue of his unchangeable decree, though it is only in time we could enjoy its effects.

2 Tim 1:10 But is now made manifest by the illumination of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath destroyed death and hath brought to light life and incorruption by the gospel.

But this gratuitous and merciful will of God in our regard, though hidden from eternity in God, has now been manifested by the advent and apparition of Jesus Christ our Saviour, who, indeed, by his passion destroyed the dominion of death, and brought into open light, immortal and incorruptible life, and afforded us a sure hope of enjoying it, by the preaching of his Gospel throughout the world.

“By the illumination,” i.e., the apparition and coming, as appears from the Greek, which literally is, Epiphany. “Who hath destroyed death,” or, according to the Greek, καταργῆσαντος μεν τὸν θάνατον = katargesantos men ton thnaton = rendered void death, by depriving it of its dominion over man, “and hath brought to light, life and incorruption, by the gospel.” Christ did this in two ways—first, he showed incorruptible life in himself, for forty days after his Resurrection; secondly, by the preaching of the gospel, throughout the world, he gave us a certain hope of one day enjoying the same incorruptible life.

 

 

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