What does 1 Timothy 6:10 mean?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NKJV: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
First Timothy 6:3–10 describes the character flaws common among false teachers. Those who refuse to accept correct doctrines are often characterized by traits such as hard-headedness, greed, slander, and bickering. The core cause of these errors is an unwillingness to accept the truth, and an insistence on clinging to false teachings. Paul also gives a more extensive explanation of how and why greed can destroy a person's life.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter completes Paul's highly practical instructions to his friend and student, Timothy. The major focus of this passage is proper Christian conduct, and the avoidance of evil. Paul gives several character flaws common in those who teach false doctrine. He also provides a stark warning about the dangers of greed and materialism. Those who become obsessed with wealth open themselves to virtually any other sin one can imagine. Timothy is given a clear mandate to uphold his faith and testimony, along with Paul's blessings and encouragement.
Chapter Context:
The book of 1 Timothy is full of very practical advice, from Timothy's mentor, the apostle Paul. Chapter 6 rounds out the instructions given in the first five chapters. Building on the ideas laid down earlier in the letter, Paul reminds Timothy of the importance of godly living and avoiding the snares of evil and temptation. This chapter provides a strong encouragement for Timothy to apply the wisdom of this letter, both in his personal life and in the churches he is leading.
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 5/20/2024 9:46:58 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com