1 Timothy 6:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Timothy 6:10, NIV: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

1 Timothy 6:10, ESV: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs."

1 Timothy 6:10, KJV: "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

1 Timothy 6:10, NASB: "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

1 Timothy 6:10, NLT: "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows."

1 Timothy 6:10, CSB: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

What does 1 Timothy 6:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The opening phrase of this verse is at once famous and obscure. It is famous for being the inspiration for the common adage "money is the root of all evil." It's obscure in the sense that—in reality—the verse says no such thing. Rather, what is being decried is the love of money. Wealth and success are as good or bad as what one does with them. Greed, and obsession with money, forms the basis of many kinds of sin, as verse 9 described in detail.

The Greek word for "all" used here is pantōn. This can literally mean "all" in the sense of "every single one," but it also is used in a more non-literal way. For example, the same root word is used in Matthew 3:5 to say that "all Judea" went to be baptized. It is also used in Colossians 1:6 when saying that the "whole world" was seeing the gospel bearing fruit. Here, as in Matthew and Colossians, the meaning seems to be more "every kind of," not literally "absolutely every single one."

In other words, the point is not that all sin is always the result of material greed. Rather, it is that a love of money can lead a person to virtually any other sin. Greed can enhance, inspire, and amplify the temptation of any other sin, and lead us to disaster. This is why Paul continues by saying that believers tempted by a love of money can leave a close walk with God. They are prone to exchange holiness for a focus on building wealth for personal gain. Paul notes that those who had already done so had "pierced themselves with many pangs." The word picture used here is one of self–inflicted wounds.