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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 3

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

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Verse 1

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

'Faithful is the saying.' A needful preface; for the office of a bishop in Paul's day, being attended with hardship and often persecution, would not seem to the world a desirable and "good work."

Desire, [ oregetai (G3713)] - 'stretch one's self forward to grasp;' seeks after; distinct Greek from 'desireth' [ epithumei (G1937)]. What one does voluntarily is more esteemed than what he does when asked (1 Corinthians 16:15): utterly distinct from ambition for office (James 3:1).

Bishop - overseer: as yet identical with "presbyter" (Acts 20:17; Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5-7). Originally overseers sent by the Athenian, state to subject cities. As the term "bishop" is from the Greeks, so "presbyter" from the Jews [Hazaqªniym] (Numbers 2:25).

Good [ kalou (G2570 )] honourable] work. Good men alone are to be entrusted with good work. Not the honour, but the work, is the prominent though (Acts 15:38; Philippians 2:30: cf. 2 Timothy 4:5). He who aims at the office must remember the high qualifications needed for its discharge.

Verse 2

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

The existence of church organization, presbyters, and presbyteresses at Ephesus is presupposed (1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Timothy 5:19). The directions here to Timothy, the apostolic delegate, are as to filling up vacancies among the bishops and deacons, or adding to their number. Fresh churches in the neighbourhood also would require presbyters and deacons. Episcopacy was adopted in apostolic times as the most expedient government, being most like Jewish institutions, and so offering less obstruction through Jewish prejudices to the progress of Christianity. The synagogue was governed by presbyters, "elders" (Acts 4:8; Acts 24:1), called also bishops or overseers. Three among them presided as "rulers of the synagogue," answering to modern "bishops" (Lightfoot, 'Horae'); one among them took the lead. Ambrose (in 'Amularius de Officiis,' 2: 13, and Bingham, 'Eccles. Antiq.,' 2: 11) says, 'Those now called bishops were originally called apostles.

But those who ruled the Church after the death of the apostles had not the testimony of miracles, and were in many respects inferior. Therefore, they thought that it was not decent to assume the name of apostles; but dividing the names, they left to presbyters that name, and they themselves were called bishops.' In the second century no one of the lower order was termed "bishop." In the New Testament there are traces of a superintending president-first an apostle, then an apostolic delegate, as Timothy and Titus, then an angel. "Presbyter" expresses the rank; "bishop," the office or duties. Timothy exercised the power at Ephesus which bishops recently exercised. The rule of angel-bishops over dioceses is simply an apostolic precedent, like the love-feasts, and kiss of charity, not divinely and lastingly obligatory. It binds congregations together, instead of being disconnected. When made an absolute law, it tends to spiritual despotism. The authority of a presiding pastor, the consent of presbytery, and that of the people, all combining, is the nearest approach to apostolic usage. Even where there was a real succession of divine origination, as the Aaronic priesthood, there was no infallibility. For if the disciples had submitted to the visible priesthood, they would have rejected Jesus.

Blameless, [ anepileempton (G423)] - 'unexceptionable:' giving no just handle for blame.

Husband of one wife. Confuting the celibacy of Rome's priesthood. Though the Jews practiced polygamy, yet, as he is writing about a Gentile church, and as polygamy was never allowed among even laymen, the ancient interpretation that the prohibition is against polygamy in a candidate-bishop is not correct. It must mean that, though laymen might lawfully marry again, candidates for the episcopate or presbytery were better to be married only once. As in 1 Timothy 5:9 "wife of one man" implies a woman married but once, so "husband of one wife" must mean the same. The feeling among the Gentiles, as well as Jews (cf. Anna, Luke 2:36-37), against a second marriage would, for expediency and conciliation in matters indifferent, not involving compromise of principle, account for Paul's prohibition as to one so prominent as a bishop or a deacon. Hence, the stress laid in the context on the repute in which the candidate for orders is held among those over whom he is to preside (Titus 1:6). The council of Laodicea and the apostolic canons discountenanced second marriages, especially in candidates for ordination. Of course, second marriage being lawful, the undesirableness holds good only under special circumstances. Also, he who has a wife and virtuous family is to be preferred to a bachelor; for he who is himself bound to discharge the domestic duties will be more attractive to those who have similar ties, for he teaches them not only by precept, but also by example (1 Timothy 3:4-5). The Jews teach a priest should be neither unmarried nor childless, lest he be unmerciful (Bengel). So in the synagogue, 'no one shall offer up prayer in public unless he be married.' (In 'Colbo,' ch. 65:; Vitringa, 'Synagogue.')

Vigilant, [ neefalion (G3524)] - sober; ever on the watch, as sober men alone can be, to foresee what ought to be done (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).

Sober, [ soofrona (G4998)] - soberminded: discreet.

Of good behaviour, [ kosmion (G2887)] - 'order]y.' "Sober" refers to the inward mind; 'orderly,' to the outward behaviour, tone, look, gait, dress. The new man bears a sacred festival character, incompatible with all disorder, excess, laxity, assumption, harshness, and meanness (Philippians 4:8) (Bengel).

Apt to teach (2 Timothy 2:24).

Verse 3

Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

Not given to wine, [ Mee (G3361) Paroinon (G3943) includes, not indulging in the brawling which proceeds from being given to wine. The opposite of epieikee (G1933), 'patient,' 'forbearing,' reasonable to others (note, Philippians 4:5)].

No striker - with either hand or tongue: not as some teachers pretending a holy zeal (2 Corinthians 11:20); answering to "not a brawler" or fighter (cf. 1 Kings 22:24; Nehemiah 13:25; Isaiah 58:4; Acts 23:2; 2 Timothy 2:24-25).

Not greedy of filthy lucre. Omitted in 'Aleph (') A Delta f g, Vulgate.

Not covetous, [ afilarguron (G866)] - 'not a lover of money,' whether he have much or little (Titus 1:7). [Philarguria is 'avarice;' pleonexia (G4124), 'covetousness.']

Verse 4

One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Ruleth, [ proistamenon (G4291)] - 'presiding over.' His own house - children and servants, as contrasted with 'the church (house) of God' (1 Timothy 3:5; 1 Timothy 3:15), which he is to preside over.

Having his (Greek has no his) children (Titus 1:6).

Gravity - reverent propriety. His having children in subjection to him in all gravity is a recommendation to him as one likely to rule well the church.

Verse 5

(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

For, [ De (G1161)] - 'But.'

The church. Perhaps, 'a church.' [But Theou (G2316) being without the article, justifies its omission before the governing word, ekkleesias (G1577).] How shall he who cannot perform the less function perform the greater?

Verse 6

Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Not a novice - one just converted. This proves the church of Ephesus was established for some time. The absence of this rule in the letter to Titus accords with the recent planting of the church at Crete. Neophite-literally, a young plant: luxuriantly verdant (Romans 6:5; Romans 11:17; 1 Corinthians 3:6). The young convert has not yet been matured by afflictions and temptations. Contrast Acts 21:16, "an old disciple."

Lifted up with pride, [ tufootheis (G5187), 'beclouded'] - wrapped in smoke; inflated with self-conceit, he cannot see himself or others in the true light (1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:4).

Condemnation of the devil - the same condemnation as Satan fell into (1 Timothy 3:7; 2 Timothy 2:26). Pride was Satan's condemnation (Job 38:15; Isaiah 14:12-15; John 12:31; John 16:11; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). It cannot mean condemnation by the Devil. The Devil can bring men into reproach (1 Timothy 3:7). but not into condemnation, for he does not judge, but is judged (Bengel).

Verse 7

Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

A good report - Greek, testimony. So Paul was influenced by the good report of Timothy to choose him as his companion (Acts 16:2).

Of them which are without - the as-yet-unconverted Gentiles around (1 Corinthians 5:12; Colossians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:12), that they may be the more readily won to the Gospel (1 Peter 2:12). Not even the former life of a bishop should be open to reproach.

Reproach (of men) and (consequently) the snare of the devil (1 Timothy 5:14; 1 Timothy 6:9; 2 Timothy 2:26). The reproach surrounding him for former sins might lead him into the snare of becoming as bad as his reputation. Despair of recovering reputation might lead into recklessness (Jeremiah 18:12). Only general moral qualities are specified, because he presupposes in candidates for a bishopric the special gifts of the Spirit (1 Timothy 4:14) and faith, which he desires to be evidenced outwardly: also he requires qualifications in a bishop not so indispensable in others.

Verse 8

Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Deacons. The singular, on the other hand, is used of the "bishop" (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7, where "presbyters" (plural) precedes). The deacons were chosen by the people. Cyprian ('Epistle,' 2: 5) says that good bishops never departed from the old custom of consulting the people. The deacons answer to the chazzan of the synagogue; the ministers, or subordinate coadjutors of the presbyter (as Timothy himself was to Paul, 1 Timothy 4:6; Philemon 1:13; and John Mark, Acts 13:5). "Helps," 1 Corinthians 12:28. Their duty was to read the Scriptures in church, to instruct the catechumens, to assist the presbyters at sacraments, to receive oblations, to preach and instruct. As the chazzan covered and uncovered the ark in the synagogue containing the law, so the deacon in the ancient church put the covering on the communion table. (See Chrysostom, 19, 'Homily ou Acts;' Theophylact on Luke 19:1-48; and Balsaman on Canon 22:, 'Council of Laodicea.') The appointing of "the seven" in Acts 6:1-15, as almoners, does not perhaps describe the first appointment of deacons. At least the chazzan previously suggested it. And the Greek names of all seven imply that they were to uphold the claims of the Gentile widows, those of the Hebrew widows being already, it is likely, maintained by Hebrew deacons.

Double tongued, [ dilogous (G1351)] - 'of double speech:' saying one thing to one, and another to another (Theodoret). The extensive contact that deacons would have with members of the church might tempt to such a fault (Proverbs 20:19).

Not greedy of filthy (base) lucre - not abusing a spiritual office to subserve covetousness (1 Peter 5:2). The deacon's office of collecting and distributing alms would render this a necessary qualification.

Verse 9

Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

The mystery of the faith. Holding the faith, which to the natural man remains a mystery, but which is revealed by the Spirit to them (Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10) in a pure conscience (1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:19). ("Pure;" i:e., in which nothing base or foreign is intermixed.) Ellicott, 'the mystery which is the object of faith.' Though deacons were only occasionally called on to preach (Stephen and Philip preached as evangelists rather than as deacons), yet, as being office-bearers, having much contact with all church members, they especially needed to have this characteristic, which all ought to have.

Verse 10

And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

'And moreover' [ kai (G2532) ... de (G1161)] be proved-not by a period of probation, but by searching inquiry by Timothy, the ordaining president (1 Timothy 5:22), then when found 'unaccused' ( anengkleetoi (G410): but anepileemptos (G423), 'unexceptionable,'1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:2: cf. note), 'let them act as deacons.'

Verse 11

Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

(Their) wives - rather, 'women;' i:e., deaconesses. For there is no reason that special rules should be laid down as to wives of deacons, and not also as to wives of bishops. Moreover, if wives of deacons were meant, there seems no reason for the omission of "their." Also [ hoosautoos (G5615)] "even so" ("likewise," 1 Timothy 3:8; "in like manner," 1 Timothy 2:9) denotes a transition to another class of persons. Also the omission of domestic duties in their case, though they are specified in the man (1 Timothy 3:12). There were doubtless deaconesses at Ephesus, such as Phebe was at Cenchrea (Romans 16:1, "servant;" Greek, deaconess), yet no mention is made of them in this letter, if not here; whereas, if they be meant, 1 Timothy 3:1-16 embraces in due proportion all offices of the church. Naturally, after specifying the deacon's qualifications, Paul passes to those of the deaconess. "Grave" is said of both. "Not slanderers" answers to "not double tongued" in deacons; so Titus 2:3. "Sober" answers to "not given to much wine" in the deacons (1 Timothy 3:8). Thus, he requires the same qualifications in deaconesses as in deacons, with such modifications as the difference of sex suggested. Pliny, in his letter to Trajan, calls them 'female ministers.'

Faithful in all things - of life as well as faith. Trustworthy as to the alms and their other functions; answering to "not greedy of filthy lucre" (1 Timothy 3:8) in the deacons.

Verse 12

Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

One wife (note, 1 Timothy 3:2).

Ruling (their) children. There is no article; 'ruling children' implying he regarded the having children to rule as a qualification (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6).

Their own houses - distinguished from "the church of God" (note, 1 Timothy 3:5). In the deacons, as in the bishops, he mentions the first condition of office rather than the qualifications for its discharge. The practical side of Christianity is most dwelt on in the pastoral letters, in opposition to heretical teachers; moreover, as miraculous gifts began to be withdrawn, the safest criterion would be the candidate's previous moral character, the disposition and talent for the office being presupposed. So in Acts 6:3, "Look ye out among you seven men of honest report." Less stress is laid on personal dignity in the deacon than in the bishop (notes, cf. 1 Timothy 3:2-3).

Verse 13

For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Purchase to themselves a good degree, [ bathmon (G898) peripoiountai (G4046)] - 'are acquiring ... a

... step.' Not promotion to the higher office of presbyter. For ambition seems an unworthy motive to faithfulness for Paul to urge; besides, it would require 'a better degree.' Then the past aorist participle, 'they that used the office of deacon well,' implies that the present verb, 'are acquiring to themselves boldness,' is the result of the completed action of using the diaconate well. Moving upwards in church offices was as yet unknown (cf. Romans 12:7, etc.; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

Moreover, there is no connection between a higher church rank and "great boldness." Therefore, what those who faithfully discharged the diaconate acquire is 'a good standing place' (Alford) (a well-grounded hope) against the day of judgment (1 Timothy 6:19 [with peripoiountai (G4046) here: cf peripoieesin (G4047) sooteerias (G4991), 1 Thessalonians 5:9 ]; 1 Corinthians 3:13-14); ("degree" meaning figuratively the degree of worth which one has obtained in the eye of God, Wiesinger); and boldness (resting on that standing) as well in prayer and in preaching against error now, as also especially in relation to their coming Judge, before whom they may be boldly confident (Acts 24:16; Ephesians 3:12; Ephesians 6:19; 1 John 2:28; 1 John 4:17; 1 John 3:21; Hebrews 4:16).

In the faith - Greek, 'in (boldness resting on) faith.

Which is (rests) in Christ Jesus Which is (rests) in Christ Jesus.

Verse 14

These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:

Write I unto thee, hoping - i:e., 'though I hope to come unto thee' (1 Timothy 4:13). As his hope was not confident (1 Timothy 3:15), he provides for Timothy's lengthened superintendence by the preceding rules to guide him. He now gives general instructions to him as an evangelist having a "gift" (1 Timothy 4:14).

Shortly, [ tachion (G5032)] - 'sooner,' namely, than is presupposed in the preceding directions. (See 'Introduction.') This verse best suits the theory that this letter was not written after Paul's visit and departure from Ephesus (Acts 19:1-41; Acts 20:1-38), when he resolved to winter at Corinth, after passing the summer in Macedonia (1 Corinthians 16:6), but after his first imprisonment at Rome (Acts 28:1-31); probably at Corinth, where he might think of going on to Epirus before returning to Ephesus (Birks).

Verse 15

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

But if I tarry long - before coming.

That - i:e., I write (1 Timothy 3:14) "that thou mayest know," etc.

Behave thyself - in directing the church at Ephesus (1 Timothy 4:11).

The house of God - the Old Testament (Numbers 12:7; Hosea 8:1) and the New Testament Church (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 2:22; Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 3:5-6; Hebrews 10:21; 1 Peter 4:17).

Which is - i:e., inasmuch as it is.

The church, [ ekkleesia (G1577)] - 'the congregation,' the communion of saints [Hebrew, 'Aleph (')]. The fact that thy sphere of office is, 'the congregation of God' (the ever-living Master of the house, unlike the dead idol Diana, of the Ephesian temple (2 Timothy 2:19-21), is the strongest motive to faithfulness in thy behaviour as president of a department of it. The living God contrasts with the lifeless idol, Diana of Ephesus (1 Thessalonians 1:9). He is the fountain of "truth:" the foundation of our "trust" (1 Timothy 4:10). Labour for a particular church is service to the one great house of God, of which each church is a part, and each Christian a lively stone (1 Peter 2:5). The pillar and ground [ hedraiooma (G1477 ): basis] of the truth - predicated of the Church, not of "the mystery of godliness;" for, after two weighty predicate substantives, "pillar and ground," a third, a weaker predicate, and an adjective, 'confessedly ["without controversy:" homologoumenos] great,' would not come. "Pillar" is used metaphorically of the three apostles on whom, humanly speaking, the Jewish Christian church depended (Galatians 2:9: cf. Revelation 3:12). The Church is "the pillar of the truth," as the continuance (historically) of the truth rests on it: it witnesses to and preserves the Word of truth. He who is of the truth belongs by the very fact to the Church, for He belongs to Christ, its Head (John 18:37, end). Christ is the alone "ground" of the truth in the highest sense (1 Corinthians 3:11). The apostles are 'foundations' in a secondary sense (Ephesians 2:20; Revelation 21:14). The Church rests on the truth as it is in Christ, not the truth on the Church.

But the truth as it is in itself is to be distinguished from the truth as it is acknowledged in the world. The former needs no pillar, but supports itself; the latter needs the Church as its pillar - i:e., its human upholder and preserver under God. The importance of Timothy's commission appears from the excellence of "the house," and this in opposition to the heresies which Paul presciently forewarns him of (1 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:20). Rome falsely claims the promise. But it is not historical descent that constitutes a church, but this only, that it upholds the truth. The absence of this unchurches Rome. The "pillar" is the intermediate, the "ground" (cf. "foundation," 2 Timothy 2:19) the ultimate stay of the buildings. It is no objection that, having called the Church "the house of God," he now calls it the "pillar;" for the literal word "church" immediately precedes the new metaphors. The Church, before regarded as the habitation of God, is now, from a different point of view, regarded as the pillar upholding the truth.

Verse 16

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

And - following up 1 Timothy 3:15: 'AND (that thou mayest know how grand is that truth which the Church, like a pillar, upholds) confessedly (by the universal confession of the members of the Church, which is in this respect "the pillar of the truth") great is the mystery of godliness: (namely) He WHO [so 'Aleph (') A C G, hos (G3739), for Theos (G2316), 'God.' Delta f g, Vulgate, read ho (G3588), 'which mystery'] was manifested in (the) flesh, (He who) was justified in the Spirit,' etc. If Christ were not essentially superhuman (Titus 2:13), how could Paul declare emphatically that He was manifested in (the) flesh? (Philippians 2:7; 1 John 1:2; 1 John 3:5; 1 John 3:8; 1 John 4:2.) Christ is Himself "the mystery of godliness." [Hence, the neuter, to musteerion (G3466), passes into the masculine, hos.] He who before was hidden 'with God' was made manifest (John 1:1; John 1:14; Romans 16:25-26; Colossians 1:26; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 2:11; Titus 3:4).

The mystery - the divine scheme embodied in CHRIST (Colossians 1:27), once hidden from, but now revealed to, believers. There are six New Testament mysteries:

(1) The incarnation here;

(2) The mystery of iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:7);

(3) Christ's marriage to the Church (Ephesians 5:32); (4) The union of Jews and Gentiles in one body (Ephesians 3:4-6);

(5) The final restoration of the Jews;

(6) The resurrection of the body (1 Corinthians 15:51).

Of godliness (note, 1 Timothy 2:10). In opposition to the ungodliness inseparable from, error (departure from the faith, 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:7: cf. 1 Timothy 6:3). To the victims of error the "mystery of godliness" (i:e., Christ Himself) remains a mystery unrevealed (1 Timothy 4:2). It is accessible only to "godliness" (1 Timothy 4:7-8): in relation to the godly it is termed a "mystery," though revealed (1 Corinthians 2:7-14), to imply the unfathomable excellence of Him who is its subject, and who is "wonderful" (Isaiah 9:6; Ephesians 3:18-19: cf. Ephesians 5:32). Paul now unfolds this great mystery in detail. Probably some generally-accepted confession or hymn existed in the Church, to which Paul alludes-`confessedly great is the mystery,' etc., (to wit,) 'He who was manifested,' etc. (cf. Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Pliny, 1: 10, 'Ep.' 97, 'They are wont, on a fixed day, before dawn, to meet and sing a hymn in alternate responses to Christ as God;' and Eusebius, 'Ecclesiastical History,' 1 Tim. 3:28 .) The short unconnected sentences, with words similarly arranged, number of syllables almost equal, and ideas antithetically related, indicate a Christian hymn. The clauses stand in parallelism: each two form a pair, with an antithesis contrasting heaven and earth. The order of this contrast is reversed in each new pair: flesh and spirit, angels and Gentiles, world and glory. The first and the last clause correspond-`manifested in the flesh, received up into glory.'

Justified - evinced to be just (Ellicott). Christ, while "in the flesh," seemed a mere man in the flesh, and in fact bore man's sins; but having died to sin and risen again, He gained for Himself and His people justifying righteousness (Isaiah 50:8; John 16:10; Acts 22:14; Romans 4:25; Romans 6:7; Romans 6:10; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1; 1 John 2:1) (Bengel). Rather, as the antithesis requires, He was "justified in the spirit" at the same time that He was "manifest in the flesh" - i:e., vindicated as divine 'in His spirit'-His higher spiritual nature as man (with which the Godhead inseparably united itself: Mark 8:12; Luke 2:40; Luke 10:21; John 11:33; John 13:21), in contrast to "in the flesh," His visible human nature. So Romans 1:3-4, "Made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." So "justified" means vindicated in one's true character (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35; Romans 3:4).

His manifestation "in the flesh" exposed Him to misapprehension, as though He were nothing more (John 6:41; John 7:27). His justification, or vindication, in respect to His spirit, was effected by ALL that manifested that higher being, His words (Matthew 7:29; John 7:46), His works (John 2:11; John 3:2), His Father's testimony at His baptism (Matthew 3:17) and at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5), and especially by His resurrection (Acts 13:33).

Seen of angels. He manifested Himself in His incarnation to their vision: answering to "preached unto [ en (G1722): among] the Gentiles" (Matthew 28:19; Romans 16:25-26). 'Angels with us saw the Son of God, not having seen Him before' (Chrysostom). 'For the invisible nature of the Godhead not even they had seen, but saw Him when He became flesh' (Theodoret) (Ephesians 3:8; Ephesians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12: cf. Colossians 1:16; Colossians 1:20). What angels came to know by seeing, the nations by preaching. He is a new message to the one as to the other: in the wondrous union in His person of things most opposite-heaven and earth-lies "the mystery" (Wiesinger). The contrast is between the angels, so near the Son of God, the Lord of angels, and the Gentiles, so utterly "afar off" (Ephesians 2:17).

Believed on in the world - which lieth in wickedness (1 John 2:15; 1 John 5:19). Opposed to "glory" (John 3:16-17). Believing followed His being "preached" (Romans 10:14).

Received up into glory - Greek, 'in glory.' 'Received up (so as now to be) in glory' (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:11). His reception in heaven answers to His reception on earth by being "believed on."

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-timothy-3.html. 1871-8.
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