John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 1:3 - 1:3

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 1:3 - 1:3


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

3.As I besought thee Either the syntax is elliptical, or the particle ἵνα is redundant; and in both cases the meaning will be obvious. (3) First, he reminds Timothy why he was besought to remain at Ephesus. It was with great reluctance, and through hard necessity, that he parted with a companion so dearly beloved and so faithful, in order that he might laboriously hold the part of his deputy, which no other man would have been competent to fill; and, therefore, Timothy must have been powerfully excited by this consideration, not only not to throw away his time, but to conduct himself in an excellent and distinguished manner.

I wish that thou shouldst forbid any. Thus, by way of inference, he exhorts him to oppose the false teachers who corrupted pure doctrine. In the injunction given to Timothy, to occupy his place at Ephesus, we ought to observe the holy anxiety of the Apostle; for while he labored so much to collect many churches he did not leave the former churches destitute of a pastor. And indeed, as an ancient writer remarks, “ keep what has been gained is not a smaller virtue than to make new acquisitions.” The word forbid denotes power; for Paul wishes to arm him with power to restrain others.

Not to teach differently The Greek word ( ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν) which Paul employs, is a compound, and, therefore, may either be translated, “ teach differently,” or after a new method, or, “ teach a different doctrine.” The translation given by Erasmus, ( sectari “ to follow,” does not satisfy me; because it might be understood to apply to the hearers. Now Paul means those who, for the sake of ambition, brought forward a new doctrine.

If we read it, “ teach differently,” the meaning will be more extensive; for by this expression he will forbid Timothy to permit any new forms of teaching to be introduced, which do not agree with the true and pure doctrine which he had taught. Thus, in the Second Epistle, he recommends ὑποτύπωσις (4) that is, a lively picture of his doctrine. (2Ti_1:13.) For, as the truth of God is one, so is there but one plain manner of teaching it, which is free from false ornament, and which partakes more of the majesty of the Spirit than of the parade of human eloquence. Whoever departs from that, disfigures and corrupts the doctrine itself; and, therefore, “ teach differently,” must relate to the form.

If we read it, “ teach something different,” it will relate to the matter. Yet it is worthy of observation, that we give the name of another doctrine not only to that which is openly at variance with the pure doctrine of the gospel, but to everything that either corrupts the pure gospel by new and borrowed inventions, or obscures it by ungodly speculations. For all the inventions of men are so many corruptions of the gospel; and they who make sport of the Scriptures, as ungodly people are accustomed to do, so as to turn Christianity into an act of display, darken the gospel. His manner of teaching therefore, is entirely opposed to the word of God, and to that purity of doctrine in which Paul enjoins the Ephesians to continue.



(3) “ construction here is tortuous and elliptical. Πορευόμενος εἰς Μακεδονίαν must be construed between καθὼς and παρεκάλεσα, and the protasis at καθὼς is without its apodosis, οὕτως, which must be supplied. The simplest and most natural method is to understand οὕτω καὶ νῦν παρακαλῶ.” — Bloomfield.

(4) “Il ne recommande pas simplement a Timothee de retener sa doctrine, mais il use d’ mot qui signifie le vray patron, ou vif portraict d’.” — “ does not merely advise Timothy to hold by his doctrine, but employs a word which denotes the true pattern or lively portrait of it.”