1 Timothy 5:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Timothy 5:16, NIV: "If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need."

1 Timothy 5:16, ESV: "If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows."

1 Timothy 5:16, KJV: "If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed."

1 Timothy 5:16, NASB: "If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are actually widows."

1 Timothy 5:16, NLT: "If a woman who is a believer has relatives who are widows, she must take care of them and not put the responsibility on the church. Then the church can care for the widows who are truly alone."

1 Timothy 5:16, CSB: "If any believing woman has widows in her family, let her help them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it can help widows in genuine need."

What does 1 Timothy 5:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This provides Paul's summary and conclusion regarding instructions for widows. This verse emphasizes that Paul has been specifically speaking to believers in the church. Here, he clarifies that Christians are to care for their relatives who were widows, whether believers or unbelievers. Specifically, younger women are commanded in this verse to care for older women who are widows. The group referred to here with the word "them" could include a mother, grandmothers, and possibly other extended family members.

One important reason for this care is the fact that church resources are limited. Money, materials, and manpower are not infinite. This was even more relevant in the persecuted days of the early church. Churches need to concentrate their help on "those who are truly widows" (1 Timothy 5:3).

Interestingly, and importantly, for those who did qualify, the church is not being instructed to merely send money. They are ordered to "care" for them as well (James 1:27). This care could include meeting a wide variety of needs, including food, housing, medical care, and other practical needs. A needs often forgotten in the concept of "care," as well, is simple fellowship (Acts 2:42). Believers need the companionship and closeness of other Christians almost as much as they need food and water (Hebrews 10:24–25).