Wenstrom Bible MinistriesMarion, IowaPastor-Teacher Bill Wenstromwww.wenstrom.org
Thursday November 3, 20111 Timothy: 1 Timothy 6:20-21-Paul’s Final Charge To TimothyLesson # 142
First Timothy 6:20-21 constitutes the closing summary of the epistle and Paul’s final charge to Timothy with respect to those teaching false doctrine in Ephesus.
1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’—21 which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you. (NASB95)
“O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you” is composed of the interjection o (Ω) (owe), “O” and this is modifying the vocative masculine singular form of the proper name Timotheos (Τιμόθεος) (ti-moe-thay-oce), “Timothy” and then we have the articular accusative feminine singular form of the noun paratheke (παραθήκη) (pahdah-theekee), “what has been entrusted to you” and this is followed by the second person singular aorist active imperative form of the verb phulasso (φυλάσσω) (fee-lahsoe), “guard.”
The interjection o (Ω) is modifying the proper name Timotheos and expresses Paul’s deep emotional concern that Timothy continue to persevere by teaching and exemplifying the gospel, which would constitute rejecting and combating the false teaching of the Judaizers and apostate pastors in Ephesus.
The verb phulasso is used in an active sense and means “to guard, protect” and its object is the articular form of the noun paratheke, “the deposit,” which refers to Paul’s apostolic teaching, i.e. the gospel, the Christian faith.
Therefore, Paul is solemnly charging Timothy to “guard, protect” the gospel, i.e. Paul’s apostolic teaching or in other words he is to “protect, guard” the Christian faith, that body of doctrine which the church believes and is in the New Testament.
By continuing to teach and exemplify the gospel, Timothy would be guarding the gospel which had been entrusted to him and would at the same time be refuting the false doctrine and the counterfeit godliness exemplified by the apostate pastors and Judaizers in Ephesus.
The aorist imperative form of the verb phulasso is a “constative aorist imperative” emphasizing with Timothy the “urgency” of this final command and that it is a top priority.
Here in 1 Timothy 6:20, paratheke speaks of the gospel or Paul’s apostolic teaching from the perspective that it has been entrusted to Timothy who is to be faithful in protecting and guarding it by teaching and obeying it.
“Avoiding worldly and empty chatter” is composed of the nominative masculine singular present middle participle form of the verb ektrepo (ἐκτρέπω) (ek-trep-oh), “avoiding” and this is followed by the articular accusative feminine plural form of the adjective bebelos (βέβηλος) (vev-ee-loce), “worldly” and it is modifying the accusative feminine plural form of the noun kenophonia (κενοφωνία) (kehnoe-foe-neeah), “empty chatter.”
The verb ektrepo means “to avoid” and is used with reference to the false doctrine being taught in Ephesus by the Judaizers and the apostate pastors who were following their teaching, which he describes with the expression τὰς βεβήλους κενοφωνίας, “worldly and empty chatter.”
The participle form of the word is a result participle indicating the result of Timothy obeying Paul’s command to guard the gospel, which has been entrusted to him by Paul.
The middle voice is a causative middle indicating that by guarding the gospel, which had been entrusted to him by Paul, Timothy would as a result “cause himself” to avoid the false doctrine of the Judaizers and apostate pastors in Ephesus.
The adjective bebelos is describing their false doctrine as being directly related to Satan’s cosmic system and is not related in any way whatsoever to the gospel and God’s plan for the Christian church and describes their teaching as having no godly purpose whatsoever.
The noun kenophonia is in the plural and means “the words, lacking content” and describes the false doctrine taught by the Judaizers and those pastors in the Christian church who obeying their teaching.
It describes this teaching as senseless and therefore useless, thus having no godly purpose and is lacking in content because it is not the Christian gospel.
“And the opposing arguments of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’” is composed of the conjunction kai (καί) (keh), “and” which is followed by the accusative feminine plural form of the noun antithesis (ἀντίθεσις) (ahndee-theh-seece), “the opposing arguments” and then we have the genitive feminine singular form of the adjective pseudonymos (ψευδώνυμος) (psehv-thoeneemoce), “falsely called” which is modifying the articular genitive feminine singular form of the noun gnosis (γνῶσις) (gah-know-seece), “knowledge.”
The conjunction kai is epexegetical meaning that it is introducing an expression that “explains” or “specifies in greater detail” the false teaching in Ephesus, which Timothy is to avoid in Ephesus, which was to be the result of Timothy obeying Paul’s command to guard the deposit, i.e. the gospel.
The noun antithesis is in the plural and means “contradictions” describing the false teaching of the Judaizers and apostate pastors in Ephesus as in direct “contradiction” to the gospel since it is based upon lies and not based upon the person of Jesus of Nazareth and His death and resurrection.
The noun gnosis is used in an objective sense for the content of what is known about the character and nature of God and His will and ways as revealed in the Old Testament Scriptures.
It means “knowledge” pertaining to an intellectual and spiritual grasp or comprehension of the will of the Father.
Some have argued that Paul’s use of the word indicates the presence of Gnosticism in Ephesus.
However, the essentials of Gnosticism do not appear in First Timothy which are the teaching that salvation is by knowledge and speculations about the soul and spiritual hierarchies (Fee, page 161).
Rather, the nature of the heresy in Ephesus when Paul wrote First Timothy is clearly Jewish in nature.
The noun pseudonymos is modifying the noun gnosis, “knowledge” and is describing the word as being “falsely named.”
“Which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith” is composed of the accusative feminine singular form of the relative pronoun hos (ὅς) (oce), “which” and this is followed by the nominative masculine plural form of the indefinite pronoun tis (τις) (teece), “some”
and then we have the nominative masculine plural present middle participle form of the verb epangellomai (ἐπαγγέλλομαι) (ep-ahn-yellow-meh), “have professed” and then we have the preposition peri (περί) (pe-ree), “from” and its object is the articular accusative feminine singular form of the noun pistis (πίστις) (pee-steece), “faith” and this is followed by the third person plural aorist active indicative form of the verb astocheo (ἀστοχέω) (ah-stowe-yeh-oh), “gone astray.”
The indefinite pronoun tis refers to certain unidentified apostate pastors in Ephesus.
The verb epangellomai indicates that these apostate pastors in Ephesus and those Judaizers who were regenerate “professed” or “claimed that they were experts” with regards to the will of God and His character and nature as well as His ways.
They claimed to be well-accomplished in having an intellectual and spiritual grasp of the character and nature of God as well as His will and ways.
It denotes that they asserted that their teaching was knowledge or in other words that their teaching accurately reflected the character and nature of God and communicated the will and ways of God.
In 1 Timothy 6:21, the verb astocheo means “to deviate” from the Christian faith and refers to unbelief in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The noun pistis is used in an objective sense for the Christian faith and refers to the content of what Paul taught the Gentile churches.
It refers to the gospel from the perspective of a body of doctrine or that which is believed by the church.
“Grace be with you” is composed of the articular nominative feminine singular form of the noun charis (χάρις) (ha-reece), “grace” and then we have the preposition meta (μετά) (meh-ta), “with” and the genitive second person plural form of the personal pronoun su (σύ) (see), “you.”
The noun charis, “grace” refers to the Lord Jesus Christ speaking to Timothy and the Ephesian church through the Holy Spirit with regards to the Father’s will for their lives.
“Be” does not translate a word in the Greek text but is added by the translators since they interpret Paul as using the figure of ellipsis meaning that he deliberately omits the third person singular future middle indicative form of the verb eimi (εἰμί) (ee-mee).
Though it is true that Paul is using the figure of ellipsis, he is not however deliberately omitting eimi, but rather he is omitting the third person singular aorist middle optative form of the verb ginomai (γίνομαι) (yee-no-meh), which means “to cause oneself to be manifested.”
This indicates that Paul’s Spirit inspired desire is that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, namely His doctrine or Spirit inspired teaching would cause itself to be manifested among Timothy and members of the Ephesian Christian community.
This would take place if they continue to obey the commands and prohibitions that Paul issued in this epistle.
The middle voice of the verb is a causative middle meaning that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in the form of His Spirit inspired teaching will cause itself to be manifested among the Ephesian believers when they obey His voice, which is heard through the communication of this epistle.
The optative mood of the verb is a voluntative optative expressing Paul’s Spirit inspired desire that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in the form of His Spirit inspired teaching “would cause itself to be manifested” among the Ephesian believers when they obey the Spirit who speaks to them through the Word of God.
The personal pronoun su means “all of you” referring to the Ephesian Christians.