1 Timothy 4:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Timothy 4:6, NIV: If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.

1 Timothy 4:6, ESV: If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.

1 Timothy 4:6, KJV: If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

1 Timothy 4:6, NASB: In pointing out these things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the good doctrine which you have been following.

1 Timothy 4:6, NLT: If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed.

1 Timothy 4:6, CSB: If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed.

What does 1 Timothy 4:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Prior verses began Paul's refutation of the false teachers Timothy was facing. Verses 1 through 5 specifically called out those who condemned marriage and eating certain foods.

Here, Paul focuses more on Timothy's pastoral approach to these heretics. A church leader's primary strategy for combatting false teaching is to keep sound doctrine in the eyes and ears of his congregation (Titus 2:1). And, Timothy was to teach what he was given in this letter to others (2 Timothy 2:2). Paul uses a Greek term here, adelphois, which literally means "of the same womb." This is often translated as "brothers" in English, but it is meant to refer to all members of the Christian family.

Those who seek to promote the truth, and combat error (Titus 1:9), are pursuing the primary goal of a follower of Jesus. The same Greek phrase is used by Jesus in Luke 19:17 when He taught, "Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities." The word "servant" here is from doulos, meaning "slave or bondservant," rather than a volunteer. The purpose of this term is its emphasis on a serious commitment and obligation to serving Christ.

Paul also identifies an aspect of a "good servant" as one who is knowledgeable and experienced in the truths of the Christian faith. In order for a person to know the truth, teach the truth, and defend the truth, they have to have experience with the truth. This means a knowledge of the Scriptures, and an understanding of how they are meant to be lived out. This living out of what we study is a core part of what it means to "follow" the teachings of Christ.