What does 1 Timothy 6:13 mean?
ESV: I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,
NIV: In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you
NASB: I direct you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,
CSB: In the presence of God, who gives life to all, and of Christ Jesus, who gave a good confession before Pontius Pilate, I charge you
NLT: And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate,
KJV: I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
NKJV: I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,
Verse Commentary:
Paul's words here are serious. In prior verses, he has commanded Timothy to "flee" from sin and temptation, to pursue righteous behavior, and to live out the faith he has professed to others. Here, Paul applies all of his spiritual authority over Timothy, similar to his tone in 1 Timothy 5:21 and 2 Timothy 4:1. Paul further emphasizes this charge by making an allusion to God's creation in Genesis 1—2.

In parallel with God the Father, Paul mentions Christ Jesus as the one who gave His "testimony before Pontius Pilate." This letter to Timothy was written a mere 30 years after that event, making it another important example of early written records of Jesus' ministry. This comment about Pontius Pilate would even become part of the early Christian creeds.

Interestingly, the phrase "good confession" is used both here and in the previous verse, marking a parallel between the confession Timothy gave as a believer in Christ and Christ Jesus giving His testimony, confessing Himself as the Messiah and King before Pilate.
Verse Context:
First Timothy 6:11–21 provides a contrast to the errors and temptations exhibited by false teachers. Paul delivers a strong, unmistakable mandate to Timothy: maintain your testimony, maintain your faith, fight for what is true and right. As a church leader, Timothy's primary weapons against false doctrine and sin are keeping himself on God's path and refusing to waver in his instruction of fellow church members. At the same time, Paul warns Timothy not to be distracted by the pseudo-intellectual debates in which some false teachers engage.
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.
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