What does 1 Timothy 1:10 mean?
ESV: the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
NIV: for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine
NASB: for the sexually immoral, homosexuals, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
CSB: for the sexually immoral and males who have sex with males, for slave traders, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching
NLT: The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching
KJV: For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
NKJV: for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,
Verse Commentary:
Paul has been discussing how the Law is not meant to inspire legalism, but a recognition of our sin (1 Timothy 1:8). The prior verse began referring to those who break the Law, using the Ten Commandments as a framework. In this verse, Paul refers to two different kinds of sexual sin, aligned with the commandment "You shall not commit adultery" in Exodus 20:14.

The reference to homosexuality here is sometimes greeted with controversy. The word used by Paul appears to be one he coined, since it does not appear in Greek literature of the time. The word is arsenokoitais, and modern scholars have attempted to claim this word does not imply homosexuality, but rather generic "self abuse" or "abuse of others." In short, however, all evidence points to this being a reference to same-sex acts. In the Septuagint—a Greek translation of the Old Testament made by Hebrew scholars—Leviticus 20:13 uses the phrase kai hos an koimēthē meta arsenos koitēn gynaikos in prohibiting men from having sex with other men. Paul appears to be using that terminology here.

The next term, "enslavers," can refer to those involved in slave trading and fits Exodus 20:15, which teaches "You shall not steal." This is also an important word for understanding the biblical view on slavery. The term andrapodistais literally means "manstealers," which corresponds to the idea of kidnapping people in order to make them into slaves. This is what we would call "slavery" in modern times and it is clearly not biblical. The biblical "slavery" that appears to be condoned is more akin to being a servant.

The next two sins—lying and perjury—refer to various types of dishonesty, in violation of the ninth commandment (Exodus 20:16).

Paul also covers anything not specifically mentioned with his closing phrase in this verse. For example, he does not specifically mention the tenth commandment to not covet. "Sound doctrine" was mentioned by Paul in Titus 1:9 as well, giving the command for elders "… that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it." Sound doctrine also reconnects this unit with the beginning of the section where Paul mentioned "different doctrine" in verse 3. Paul's list of sinful actions stands in contrast with sound doctrine. An interesting insight is that the opposite of sound doctrine is not just false teaching, but also sinful living.
Verse Context:
First Timothy 1:3–11 explains the difference between a correct application of the law versus an ''illegal'' use of it. Paul's point is that the law is meant to make us aware of our sin, not to drive us into legalism. The false teachers of Ephesus are bickering over the law and missing the point. This is driven by their desire for prestige, even though they lack knowledge. Paul gives a list of sins parallel to the Ten Commandments showing how the law is meant to convict such people of sin as a means to explain the gospel of Christ.
Chapter Summary:
Paul introduces himself and emphasizes the positive relationship he has with Timothy. The specific mission Timothy has in Ephesus is to oppose false teaching. Some of the Ephesians have rejected the importance of conscience and attempt to teach without having the required knowledge. As a result, they bicker over pointless issues and misuse the law given by God. Paul recognizes his own need for forgiveness and salvation, and encourages Timothy with a reminder that they share a common savior.
Chapter Context:
The first chapter of 1 Timothy frames the situation Paul is concerned about. In particular, he is worried about the false teachers plaguing the Ephesian church. These men are misusing the law, teaching false doctrines, and rejecting the importance of a clear conscience. Paul points out his own past sins and need for forgiveness, however. By anchoring his arguments in truth and in humility, Paul sets up the importance of the letter's instructions. These are not merely suggestions, they are vital strategies Timothy needs to understand.
Book Summary:
First Timothy is one of Paul's three ''Pastoral Epistles.'' Paul's other letters, such as Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians, are meant for a broader audience. First Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus are written to specific people whom Paul is advising on how to best lead their local churches. These three letters present a close look at the form and function of church leadership. First Timothy, like 2 Timothy and Titus, is less formal and systematic, and more personal. This gives great insight into the way pastors, deacons, and elders ought to prioritize their time and energy.
Accessed 5/18/2024 6:19:37 PM
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