|Bible part New Testament|
Category Pauline epistles
|Order in the Bible part 15|
|Book First Epistle to Timothy|
1 Timothy 1 is the first chapter of the First Epistle to Timothy in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author has been traditionally identified as Paul the Apostle as early as AD. 180, although most modern scholars consider the letter pseudepigraphical, perhaps written as late as the first half of the second century CE.
This chapter can be grouped (with cross references to other parts of the Bible):
Verse 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and the Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope,
Verse 2Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Vulgate Latin reads: "beloved son" (dilecto filio).
Verses 5 to 7
New Revised Standard VersionBut the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.
Verse 8But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,
The "law" must be used "lawfully" or "legitimately", that is with the understanding of its purpose: the "function of the law in the lives of those who have been saved by grace". In this passage, Paul describes the actions that are contrary to the law, but not in "personal debauchery" (as in Galatians 5:19-21) but "in opposition to God" (1 Timothy 1:9a) and "in hostility to human beings" (1 Timothy 1:9b-10a), which show love to "neither God nor neighbor".
Verse 9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
The word anomois (from the Greek: a-, meaning "not" or "without", and nomos, meaning "law" or "custom") is generally translated into English as "lawless", although NIV renders it "lawbreakers", while Douay-Rheims uses "unjust". Vincent defines it as "recognizing no law" rather than "not having a law".
This verse establishes that "the law has been made" not for the righteous but for "lawless/lawbreakers" and "disobedient/rebels"; the law is not applicable to the righteous as some heretics try to force it into "a doctrinal or ethical role it was not intended to have". The law functions as a kind of "vice list" to "point out sin in whatever form it may take in a given culture", exposing the false teachers who are misusing it. The "vice list" not only recalls the lists found in ancient moralistic writings, but follows the topics in the "Ten Commandments" (Deuteronomy 5:16-21), as in the following table:
Verse 10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
Also translated in various bible versions as "fornicators". "adulterers" or "sexually immoral people", was understood (as was the seventh commandment) as applying to various acts of sexual immorality. Nevertheless, the Hebrew na׳ap in Deuteronomy 5:18 specifically meant "adultery" (another word, zana, was used for fornication in general), and at the time of the New Testament is rendered as the Greek word porneia, which was broadly used for sexual immorality.
The Greek word arsenokoitais has been translated into English in different ways, among others, "abusers of themselves with men" (1901 American Standard Version), "them that defile themselves with mankind," (Authorized Version 1873), "sodomites" (RSV 1901), and "perverts" (NIV 1973). The word occurs only two times in the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10.
This word is a medical term, related to "hygiene". Paul uses here as a "metaphor that contrasts healthy doctrine with the sickly, unhealthy teaching of the heretics."