Paul’s Instructions to Timothy on Teaching and Leadership – 1 Timothy 4-5

Just as Jesus warned of false teachers (Matthew 7:15), Paul warns Timothy while he was at Ephesus of such men in chapter four. As he exhorts Timothy in his teaching, Paul says in verse 12: “let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers tan example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” This is one of the passages that lead many to believe Timothy to be much younger than he probably was. Paul is speaking here in relative terms. Timothy was old enough by the time of this writing to have had much experience at teachings, having traveled a great deal with and without Paul to do so.

Ephesus-003In chapter five, Paul tells him that the church should take care of its widows, but those who have others to care for them should be taken care of by their own people — the right thing to do, of course. Verse 23 is used by some to excuse all sorts of alcohol use. The verse actually says “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” The words “a little” are key here, and such wine was not so strong as what people drink today anyway. Water was often not very pure in many places, and anyone who had “frequent ailments,” as Timothy apparently did, would benefit from the substitution.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Tim 1, 1 Tim 2, 1 Tim 3, 1 Tim 4, 1 Tim 5

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Qualifications for Deacons and Overseers – 1 Timothy 3

In the third chapter of Paul’s first letter to his young charge, Paul talks about the qualities that should be found in men who serve as elders and deacons. Referring to them here as overseers, Paul says that elders should be the husband of one wife, above reproach, hospitable, and (among other things) able to manage his household well. Otherwise, he says, how can they be expected to care for God’s church?

Painting of a Russian Orthodox deacon leading ...

Painting of a Russian Orthodox deacon leading an ektenia (litany). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The qualities he lists for deacons are very similar, and notice that how their wives conduct themselves is judged to be important as well. The role of women in the Lord’s church is not one to be taken lightly; and it is (unfortunately) often under-valued by men and women alike. In the case of the wives of deacons and elders, one can see that in a well-functioning congregation, these women play a critical role in assuring the instruction of the young, caring for men and women of all ages, and instructing and leading young women in their walk with the Lord. Indeed, it is a fact that the Lord’s church could not function properly at all without the aid of godly women.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Tim 1, 1 Tim 2, 1 Tim 3, 1 Tim 4, 1 Tim 5

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul’s Opening to Timothy – 1 Timothy 1-2

In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he calls him “my true child in the faith.”  paul had great affection for Timothy, and had entrusted him with much important work. He had sent him to the Thessalonians when he had been concerned about their faith. He had left him at Ephesus, where one of his most cherished bodies of brethren dwelled. Now his encouragement for his young companion in this letter comes not only with discussion of the mistakes and sins of those they both know, but also with instruction for those things the brethren will most need from Timothy.

Rembrandt's Timothy and his grandmother, 1648.

Rembrandt’s Timothy and his grandmother, 1648. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter two contains scripture that is most often misunderstood, and even maligned or flatly ignored — especially in this age. In the middle of telling Timothy how men should behave, he talks about how women should adorn themselves modestly. Of course, dressing modestly is certainly expected of both men and women even today. But the description Paul gives here is a warning against the way that women were dressing and behaving in those days as part of a “new Roman woman” movement of the day.

The movement was one that encouraged such women to both dress and behave in a sexually provocative manner, as well as assert themselves into situations that were taboo for the times. The admonishment for women not to teach or exercise authority over a man (verse 12) clearly refers to the assembly (worship) — not in everyday life. This can be seen from the context, which is set in verse 8.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Tim 1, 1 Tim 2, 1 Tim 3, 1 Tim 4, 1 Tim 5

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Do Not Grow Weary of Doing Good – 2 Thess 3

In the final chapter of his letter to the brethren at Thessalonica, Paul again admonishes them against idleness. In fact, he tells them that those among them who will not work, should not eat. It is the will of God that everyone who is able to work should contribute to their own welfare, and not be a burden to others. They are not to treat such people as enemies, but should not have anything to do with them, so as to shame them. Of this he says:

For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Thess 4, 1 Thess 5, 2 Thess 1, 2 Thess 2, 2 Thess 3

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Be Not Deceived – 2 Thess 1-2

Paul opens the second letter to the Thessalonians with a greeting from Silvanus (Silas) and Timothy as well, expressing their great pride for the brethren there because of their faith and strength, despite all of the persecution that they have suffered. He further praises and encourages them, telling them that God’s righteous judgment will see to it that they are rewarded, just as those who have afflicted them will be punished.

In chapter two, he warns them not to be deceived by those who would tell them that the the day of the Lord has already come (suggesting they had been forgotten). We do not know what sort of false teaching and other deception they had already been subjected to, but this suggests that Paul knows more is to come.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Thess 4, 1 Thess 5, 2 Thess 1, 2 Thess 2, 2 Thess 3

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The Day of the Lord – 1 Thess 4-5

Theatre of the Macedonian Studies Foundation

Theatre of the Macedonian Studies Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul begins chapter four, encouraging them to keep themselves holy, and to abstain from the sexual immorality with which he knew they were surrounded. In the midst of their persecution, he encouraged them to keep busy working with their hands and “to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs.” This admonishment was no doubt to keep them from drawing further persecution to themselves. The next few verses suggest that the Thessalonians were distressed about those who of their number who had died (possibly because of false teaching about the dead). He reassured them that those who were “asleep” had not perished, but would rise first when the Lord returns.

He closes this first letter by telling them that although they will have no sign of the Lord’s coming (He will come like a thief in the night), that they will not be in darkness because they are children of the light. They are to keep themselves holy and be vigilant, sober, loving, and faithful. He tells them to encourage those who work, to admonish the idle, and to do good to everyone.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

1 Thess 4, 1 Thess 5, 2 Thess 1, 2 Thess 2, 2 Thess 3

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul Encourages the Thessalonians – 1 Thess 2-3

In chapter 2, Paul expresses his love for the brethren at Thessalonica and tells them that they have been wanting to go there to them, but that Satan has hindered them. He reminds them how they had been careful not to be a burden to them while they had been there before. He also thanks them for their zeal, and how they had accepted the gospel as it was given to them – not as by men, but coming from God.

 

Exterior view of Aghia Sophia in Thessaloniki.

Exterior view of Aghia Sophia in Thessaloniki. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He continues in chapter three, telling them that the reason he had sent Timothy to them had been for fear of their faith. Just as he and his travelers had been subjected to affliction, he knew they had been as well, and he feared that the testing of their faith may have resulted in some falling away. But Timothy had returned and reported that they had held strong. So he praised and encouraged them further for that strength.

 

/Bob’s boy

 

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

 

Romans 15, Romans 16, 1 Thess 1, 1 Thess 2, 1 Thess 3

 

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

 

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

 

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul’s First Letter to Thessalonica – 1 Thessalonians 1

Thessonica today is called Salonica. It is the second largest city in Greece, and is a large commercial port. In the 4th century BC, it was founded by Cassander of Macedonia beginning from the city of Therma (or Therme), named for hot springs in the area. His wife was named Thessalonica, and was a sister of Alexander the Great.

English: Coin_of_Cassander

English: Coin_of_Cassander (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Silvanus, in Paul’s opening greeting to the Christians at Thessalonica refers to Silas. The church there was founded in Acts 17:1-9 on Paul’s second missionary journey. In this portion of the epistle, Paul praises and encourages them for their faith and the example that they have been for Christians elsewhere, as word of their conversion and faith in the Lord Jesus has spread throughout the region by reason of the comings and going of people doing trade there, and possibly evangelistic efforts on their part. They had moved from pagan idol worship to deep faith in the resurrected Lord, while at the same time facing tremendous persecution for doing so (Acts 17:5-8).

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Romans 15, Romans 16, 1 Thess 1, 1 Thess 2, 1 Thess 3

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul’s Close to the Roman Epistle – Romans 15-16

Having already spoken to the Jews and Gentiles about their division over keeping feast days, eating certain meat, and other differences, Paul admonishes them further, as he did the brethren at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 10, that they must think about their brethren and their souls as well as their consciences and help each other bear their own weaknesses.

English: It contains fragments of the "Ep...

English: It contains fragments of the “Epistle to the Romans” 8:1-13 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As for the Old Testament Law, he says in verse 4 that “…whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” This was to say that we have much that is profitable to learn from the old Law. But while all should be sensitive to the consciences of others, this does not give those others license for imposing those matters on their brethren, but rather they should all live in harmony, and “welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you.” He finishes this section of the chapter in verses 8-13 by reminding them that “Christ became a servant” for the sake of Jews and Gentiles alike, according to God’s plan.

It is important to Paul, and it is important to the Gentiles themselves, as well as to their unity with Jewish brethren everywhere, as many will see it as symbolic of the entrance of the Gentiles into the kingdom (verse 17-18). Of that mission, Paul says in verse 19 that he had traveled preaching the gospel from Jerusalem to the Roman province of Illyricum (later called Dalmatia). Paul finishes this chapter in verses 22-33 by telling the brethren in Rome that he plans to finally come to visit them on his way to Spain after he goes to Jerusalem.

Paul finishes this letter to the Romans in chapter 16 by greeting many of them personally by name, as well as sending greetings from other brethren. he closes with a doxology: “to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

 

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Romans 15, Romans 16, 1 Thess 1, 1 Thess 2, 1 Thess 3

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

How We Treat Our Brethren – Romans 13-14

Paul begins in chapter 13 by telling them that they should submit to the authority of the rulers. This tends to bring up a discussion of dealing with tyranny that is really beyond the scope of our discussion of the chapter. It can be noted, however, that Paul does say that “rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.” So clearly he is speaking, there at least, about just rulers rather than those who are unjust. Christians also are to pay their taxes — and more. In verse 7, he says:

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

English: Fragments of the Epistle to the Romans

English: Fragments of the Epistle to the Romans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In chapter 14, he speaks of how Christians are to deal with one another. We are not to pass judgment on one another, but respect the differences that we may have without quarreling or hurting someone else’s pride. Above all, we are not to cause others to stumble. The example of not eating meat if it offends one’s brother may not seem relevant to us. But it means that we should not do or say things in the presence of our brothers that may make them believe that we are willfully doing wrong, as that would be a stumbling block to them.

If someone can show us that our behavior is wrong by way of the Bible, we should, of course, change that behavior. But if it is merely a matter of their passionate stance on a matter, we should still altar our behavior in their presence, so as not to offend or cause them to stumble. Being a Christian means realizing that it really isn’t “all about me.”

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Romans 10, Romans 11, Romans 12, Romans 13, Romans 14

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.