What does 1 Timothy 6:3 mean?
ESV: If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,
NIV: If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,
NASB: If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness,
CSB: If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness,
NLT: Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life.
KJV: If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
NKJV: If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,
Verse Commentary:
The last words of verse 2 are a command for Timothy to stand strong in his teaching of certain things. In general, this refers to the instructions given in chapter 5, as well as the remaining words of this letter, found in the remainder of chapter 6.

Paul again shows his passionate concern for sound doctrine. His zeal for accurate biblical teaching indicates the priority this area should rate in today's churches, as well. False information is anything which contradicts the message of Jesus Christ. In this context, "sound words" means "healthy words," in contrast with the unhealthy teachings of false, non-Christian doctrines.

The words of Jesus are also connected with doctrines associated with godly, proper behavior. Paul's meaning here includes both God's written Word and teachings consistent with it. False teaching or different doctrine misrepresents God in both of these areas. The other place where Paul mentions the phrase "different doctrine" is found in 1 Timothy 1:3. Just after his introduction, he commanded Timothy "remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine." This was perhaps the primary reason Timothy was left in the city. He knew the gospel, Paul's teachings, and the Old Testament well; this made him well qualified to keep others from promoting false teachings in the church.
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.
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