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The same reasoning will apply to the ancient oracles of God, which were delivered to the Jews to be kept. For by carefully preserving the Hebrew scriptures, in which the former revelations are recorded, and by handing them down from age to age uncorrupted, notwithstanding in their disputes with us Christians they had many temptations to corrupt them, the church of the living God among the Jews, was to them, as the Christian church is to us, the pillar and support of the truth.
Here, however, it is to be carefully observed, that although the church of the living God hath supported the truth, by preserving the scriptures in which it is contained, neither the truth itself, nor the writings in which it is contained, derive any part of their authority from the catholic Church. The truth derives its authority from the inspiration by which it was made known to the evangelists and apostles, and the copies of the scriptures in our poffeflion, which contain the truth or revelations of God, derive their authority, not from the church, but from their being materially the fame with those written by the inspired penmen. And of this we are assured, in the same manner that we are assured of the genuineness of the writings of other ancient authors. Only the proofs in behalf of the authenticity of the scriptures, arising from the ancient copies of these writings in our poffeffion, are more in number and of greater weight, than the proofs which can be produced in behalf of the authenticity of any other ancient writing whatever.
View and Illustration of the Matters contained in this Chapter. T. Paul began this epistle with asserting his apoftolical dig
nity, not because Timothy was in any doubt concerning it; but to make the Ephesians sensible of the danger they incurred, if they rejected the charges and admonitions, which by the coinmandment of God and of Christ, the apostle ordered Timothy to deliver to them, ver. 1, 2.–Next to establish Timothy's authority with the Ephefians as an evangelist, he renewed the commission he had given him at parting; namely, to charge some who had assumed the office of teachers, not to teach differently from the apostles, ver. 3.-and in particular, not to draw the attention of the people to those fables, which the Jewish Doctors had invented to make men rely on the ritual services of the law for procuring the favour of God, notwithstanding they were utterly negligent of the duties of morality ; . neither to lay any Itress on those endless genealogies whereby individuals 'traced their pedigree from Abraham, in the persuasion, that to secure their salvation, nothing was necessary, but to be rightly descended from him ; an error which the Baptist, long before, had expressly condemned, Luke iii. 8. Begin not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father, ver. 4.This kind of doctrine the apostle termed Vain babbling, because it had no foundation in truth, and made men negligent both of piety and charity, ver. 5. 6,-Farther, because in recommending these fables and genealogies, the Judaizers pretended they were teaching the law of Mofes, the apostle affured Timothy they were utterly ignorant of that law, ver. 7.--which he acknowledged to be a good institution, provided it was used lawfully; that is, agreeably to its true nature, ver. 8. -- whereas the Jews perverted the law, when they taught that it made a real atonement for sin by its facrifices. For the law was not given to justify the Jews, but by temporal punishments to reitrain them from those crimes which are inconsistent with the well-being of society; so that the law of Moses being a mere political institution, was no rule of justification to any person, ver. 9, 10.-This account of the law, Paul told Timothy, was agreeable to the representation given of it in the gospel, with the preaching of which he was entrusted, ver. 11.-an honour he was exceedingly thankful for, becaule formerly he had been a persecutor of the disciples of Christ, ver. 12, 13. --- But he had received mercy for this cause, that in him Jesus Christ might shew to future ages, such an example of pardon as should encourage
the greatest finners to hope for mercy on repentance, ver. 16.Then in a solemn doxology, he celebrated the praise of God in a sublime strain, ver. 17.--And that Timothy might be animated to surmount the danger and difficulty of the work assigned to him, the apostle informed him, that he had committed it to him by prophecy; that is, by a special impulse of the Spirit of God: And from that consideration urged him to carry on
GREEK TE XT. CHAP. I. I Paul, an Παυλ, απος ολο 1apostle of Jesus Christ, by
ησε Χριςο κατ' επιταγην the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Je- @8 wine quwv no6 Kufus Chrift, which is our ριε Ιησε Χριςο, της ελπιδ© @ hope ;
nipewr, Ź Unto Timothy, my own 2 Τιμοθεου γνησιω τεκfon in the faith : Grace, mercy, and peace, from God
πιςει, χαρις, ελεος, our father, and Jesus Christ Elgonun ATO
Θεα σατρος και our Lord.
μων, και Χριςο Ιησε
Κυριε ημων. . 3 As I befought thee to
σαρεκάλεσα abide still at Ephesus, when
Εφεσω, I went into Macedonia, that
Ver. 1.-5. By the commandment of God. This clause, if joined with what goes before, signifies that Paul was made an apostle by the commandment of God and of Christ. See Tit. i. 3. note 1. But joined with what follows, the meaning is, that he wrote this epiftle to Timothy by the commandment of God and of Christ. This construction I have adopted as most suitable to the apostle's defign. Because when Timothy charged the teachers, and exhorted the people, and ordered the whole' affairs of the church of Ephesus, it was of great importance that the Ephesians should know, that in all these matters he followed the commandment of God and Chrift delivered to him by the apostle., 2. Because Paul was made an apostle, not by the commandment of Christ, but by Christ himself, Acts xxvi. 16.-18.
2. Our Saviour. This title is given to God in other passages, I Tim. ii. 3. iv. 10. Tit. iii. 4. Jude ver. 25. because he contrived the method of our salvation, and sent his Son into the world to accomplish it, John iii. 16.
3. Our hope. The apostle hoped for salvation, not through the facrifices of the law, as the Judaizers did, but through the atonement for fin made by the death of Christa
strenuously, the good warfare against the false teachers, ver. 18.-by always holding the truth with a good conscience ; which come teachers having put away, had made shipwreck of themselves, and of the gospel, ver. 19.-Of this sort were Hymeneus and Alexander, two noted Judaizing teachers, whom the apostle, after his departure from Ephesus, had delivered to Satan, that they might learn no more to blaspheme,
COMMENTARY. CHAP. I. i Paul an CHAP. I. i I Paul an apofle of apostle of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, write this epistle by the by the commandment' cornmandment of God, the contriver of of God our Saviour, ' and
our salvation, and of the Lord Jesus of the Lord Jesus Christ Chrift, on whose death, and not on our hope,
the facrifices of the law, our hope of
eternal life is founded, 2 To Timothy My ge- 2 To Timothy who is my genuine nuine son' in the faith : son in the faith, being like minded (zapis) grace, (EXE05) mer. with myself: May gracious alistances, cy, and (Espoon) peace merciful deliverances, such as I have from God our Father and often obtained, and inward peace Christ Jesus our Lord. from God our Father, and from
Christ Jefus our Lord be multiplied
to thee. 3 As I entreated' thee 3 As I entreated thee to continue in to continue in Ephesus, Ephesus, when I was going into Macewhen going into Mace- donia, I now, by the commandment
Ver. 26–1. Timothy my genuine Son. See Tit. chap. i. 4. Illustration. Some think the apostle called Timothy his son for the same reason that the disciples of the prophets were called, the fons of the pro. phets. But I rather fuppofe, he called Timothy his son, because he had converted him, and thereby conveyed to him a new nature. We have the same phraseology, Philem. ver. 10. my fon Onefimus whom I begat in my bonds. I Cor. iv. 15. To Chris Jefus, by the gospel, I hade begotten you.--Perhaps also the apostle called Timothy his genuine son, on account of his age, and because he resembled him in the difpofitions of his mind, his faith, his love, and his zeal in spreading the gospel
. 2. Grace, mercy, and peace. To the churches, and to Philemon, the benediction is, Grace and peace. But to Timothy and Titus, who were exposed to great dangers in discharging their office, the apostle wished mercy likewise ; which therefore may mean, merciful deliverances from dangers and enemies.
Ver. 3.-5. As I intreated thee. Beza obferves, that by using the soft expression, TagIxalaca CE, I intreated thee, the apostle hath left a fin
thou mightest charge fome
πορευομενος εις Μακεδονιαν, that they teach no other
ένα παραγγειλης τισι doctrine;
τεροδιδασκαλειν 4 Neither give heed to 4 Μηδε προσεχειν μυθοις fables, and endless genealo
και γενεαλογιαις απεραντοις, gies, which minifter queftions rather than godly cdi- αιτινες ζητησεις παρεχεσι fying, which is in faith και ο μαλλον η οικοδομιαν Θεα do.
την εν πιςει. 5 Now, the end of the
5 Το δε τελος της παcommandment is charity,
αγαπη out of a pure heart, and ? ραγίελιας εςιν a good confcience, and ή καθαρας καρδιας, και συνfaith unfeigned ;
ειδησεως αγαθης, και
σεως ανυποκριτ8' 6. From which some hav. 6 Ων τινες ανοχησαν ing swerved, have turned afide unto vain jangling;
τες, εξετράπησεων εις ματαιολογιας
gular example of modefty, to be imitated by superiors, in their beha. viour towards their inferiors in the church.
2. So do. At the time the apostle wrote this letter, the absolute neceflity of Timothy's prefence in Ephefus, having been made known to him perhaps by revelation, he turned his former request into a command. .
3: That thou mayest charge fome, not to teach differently. These teachers seem to have been Judaizers, and members of the church at Ephefus. For with other teachers, Timothy could have little influence. In not mentioning the names of these corrupt teachers, the apostle shewed great delicacy, hoping that they might still be reclaimed. The fame delicacy he had observed in his treatment of the false teacher at Corinth, and of the inceftuous person there.
Ver. 4.-1. Nor to give heed to fables. These are called, Tit. i. 14. Jewish fables, because they were invented by the Jewish Doctors to recommend the institutions of Moses.
2. And endless genealogies. Though the Jews were all, excepting the profelytes, defcended from Abraham, the genealogies by which many of them pretended to derive their pedigree from him, could not with certainty be shewed to end in him; for which reason the apostle termed them, απεραντοις, εndlers. See Tit. iii. 9. note 1.
3. Great edification : So the phrase orxosousay Sed, properly signifies, being the Hebrew superlative. -- Mill affirms that all the ancient MSS. without exception, read here, η οικονομιαν θεα την εν τοιςει, rather than the dispensation of God which is by faith; the Christian dispensation. But