THE FIRST EPISTLE
OF
PAUL THE APOSTLE
TO
TIMOTHY



Whereas Paul, traveling from Ephesus to Macedonia, Acts 20:1, had left Timothy at Ephesus, to have for a while the oversight of this congregation, which was the most important of Asia, as he testifies in the third verse of the first chapter, he wrote this epistle to him on the way, or as some think, from Philippi: in which he teaches him and in his person all faithful teachers, and gives them a perpetual instruction how they are to order themselves in this service, and according to which they must regulate all things in the government of the congregation, as he testifies in 1 Tim. 3:15. In the first chapter therefore, after the usual apostolic salutation, he warns him that he shall not permit any strange or vain doctrines to be brought in by anyone. And shows how the law itself must be taught and used lawfully, unto the eleventh verse. From this unto the end of the chapter, he propounds from his own example a short summary of the Gospel that was committed unto him, and commands Timothy to continue in it, and to resist all gainsayers, even as he himself had done to Hymen├Žus and Alexander. In the second chapter he exhorts him that prayers be made publicly in the congregation for kings and all who are in high places, and sets down a general rule according to which both men and women ought carry themselves in the public assemblies. In the third chapter he sets forth the rules according to which the calling of ministers and deacons must be ordered. In the fourth chapter he foretells that in the last times some shall fall away from the faith, forbidding to make use of marriage and meats which God has created, and exhorts him to steadfastness in the true doctrine, with the practice of true godliness, which is profitable unto all things, and to continuance in reading and stirring up of the gifts that are in him. In the fifth chapter he prescribes him how he shall address the exhortations towards old and young, towards men and women; and especially how those widows must be regulated, who are received in the congregation for the service of the poor; and in what esteem the elders, who rule well, must be held, with a declaration before God that he does not lay hands on anyone but those who are well approved. In the last chapter he exhorts believing servants to the performance of their duty; again rejects all strange doctrines and unprofitable disputes, and commands everyone to be content with his own. He exhorts the rich to humility and liberality, and so concludes the epistle with an exhortation to avoid all novelty and vanity in doctrine.