What does 1 Timothy 4:11 mean?
ESV: Command and teach these things.
NIV: Command and teach these things.
NASB: Prescribe and teach these things.
CSB: Command and teach these things.
NLT: Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.
KJV: These things command and teach.
NKJV: These things command and teach.
Verse Commentary:
This short verse includes only four words in the Greek text and five in English: "Command and teach these things."

Timothy was given two imperatives. The Greek word parangelle means to "declare, command, or charge." Timothy is to explicitly instruct people according to these truths. In addition, he is to teach. This follows the instructions Paul has given in the prior verses.

This two-fold command to preach and teach was common in the New Testament (Ephesians 4:12). In 1 Timothy 5:7, Paul will also tell Timothy to "Command these things as well," there referring to instructions regarding the church's treatment of widows.

The items Paul has in mind are all the points made in verses 1 through 10. In particular, Paul is referring to the immediate context of verses 6–10. There, he dealt with avoiding myths and pursuing godly living. These words also hold special importance; the next verse will command Timothy to be an example through his life of these commands and teachings.
Verse Context:
First Timothy 4:11–16 focuses on Timothy's own personal conduct as the leader of a Christian church. Paul emphasizes ideas such as persistence, confidence, and diligence. Of particular importance is that Timothy live out an example for other believers. Among the most powerful counters to false teaching are the positive results spiritual truth can bring. Along with teaching the truth, Timothy must live it. By devoting himself to these principles, Paul reassures Timothy that he can be a powerful positive influence for Christ.
Chapter Summary:
First Timothy 4 provides an important perspective in advance of Paul's upcoming instructions. After giving Timothy details on how to choose church leaders, and the proper conduct of church members, this chapter is mostly focused on Timothy's own personal spiritual choices. In particular, Paul instructs him to be diligent, faithful, and prepared. The stakes are high—both for Timothy and those he is called to lead. This chapter emphasizes the importance of good spiritual practice, which is key when considering Paul's advice in the passages both before and after these words.
Chapter Context:
First Timothy chapter 4 serves as a bridge from Paul's introduction into the later part of his letter. Prior chapters indicated the qualifications for church leaders, and some instructions on the proper way for church members to conduct themselves. Here, in chapter 4, Paul reminds Timothy not to be swayed by the false teachings of others. This combination of encouragement and warning sets the stage for the rest of Paul's message. The final two chapters will provide a means for Timothy to identify and avoid errors in his spiritual life.
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.
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