1 Timothy 4:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Timothy 4:13, NIV: Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

1 Timothy 4:13, ESV: Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.

1 Timothy 4:13, KJV: Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

1 Timothy 4:13, NASB: Until I come, give your attention to the public reading, to exhortation, and teaching.

1 Timothy 4:13, NLT: Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.

1 Timothy 4:13, CSB: Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching.

What does 1 Timothy 4:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul's reference to a later visit suggests he planned to return to Ephesus from Macedonia. Based on what we read in his later letters, Titus and 2 Timothy, it appears unlikely Paul returned to Ephesus. Historically, we are not sure whether or not Paul was able to make his planned trip to Spain (Romans 15:24–28), or to Colossae at Philemon's home (Philemon 1:22). However, he seems to have successfully arrived at Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3), Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3), and Nicopolis (Titus 3:12), where he planned to spend the winter. We then find him imprisoned in Rome (2 Timothy) where he expected soon to die.

Paul told Timothy to "devote" himself to three areas. First, Timothy is to be committed to the public reading of Scripture, which at that time specifically meant the Old Testament. Second, he is to be faithful to exhortation, meaning preaching. Third, he is to teach others. All three aspects are important in the life of a preacher or pastor. He must be able to publically read Scripture well—an often forgotten practice in many modern churches—as well as proclaim it, and instruct others accurately.