1 Timothy 2

1 Timothy 2:1

 Παρακαλῶ οὖν, πρῶτον πάντων, ποιεῖσθαι δεήσεις, προσευχάς, ἐντεύξεις, εὐχαριστίας, ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀνθρώπων,

I exhort, therefore, first of all to make supplications, prayers, petitions, thanksgivings for all men.

Paraphrase:  Now the first piece of instruction I would give you, Timothy, for the establishment of the church in Ephesus, is this.  Be sure to give a large place in your worship services to public prayer.  It is so important to pray for everyone; don’t leave anyone out. Pray even for your enemies as our Master taught us to do. (Matthew 5:44)  Make a point of sending up your petitions to God for everyone who crosses your path, and let your prayers be full of both requests and thanksgiving. (1 Thessalonians 1:2)


ποιεῖσθαι is a complementary infinitive with παρακαλῶ.

1 Timothy 2:2

 ὑπὲρ βασιλέων καὶ πάντων τῶν ἐν ὑπεροχῇ ὄντων, ἵνα ἤρεμον καὶ ἡσύχιον βίον διάγωμεν, ἐν πάσῃ εὐσεβείᾳ καὶ σεμνότητι.

On behalf of kings and all those being in prominence, in order that quiet and tranquil lives we might pass in all godliness and dignity.

Paraphrase:  Especially remember to pray for those who are in positions of leadership and authority.  They carry such a heavy responsibility as they seek to administer society in such a way that all the citizens can pass their lives in peace and security.  What a great blessing it is when these leaders are able to give even we Christians the opportunity to practice our religion with dignity and without persecution from those who hate us.


1 Timothy 2:3

 τοῦτο καλὸν καὶ ἀπόδεκτον ἐνώπιον τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν, Θεοῦ,

This is good and acceptable before God our Savior…

Paraphrase:  This kind of prayer pleases God and is part of what He expects from us.  These prayers show that we really do believe that God is the only One who can provide for us in this life and save us from eternal punishment in the life to come.


The distinction between God’s secret and revealed will is critical to a proper understanding of what follows; see Q54 here.

1 Timothy 2:4

 ὃς πάντας ἀνθρώπους θέλει σωθῆναι, καὶ εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν.

…whom all men He desires to save and to come to a knowledge of truth.

Paraphrase:  Such prayers are also glorifying to God because He takes such delight in people coming to an understanding of the truth of the gospel. (Psalm 147:11)  The fact that God has not chosen everyone for salvation (Romans 11:7) should never obscure from our view that God takes pleasure in sinners repenting from their sin and turning to Him in faith. (Luke 15:22)  In this sense, God desires the salvation of the entire human race.  Recall what God said about His stiff-necked people:  “Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever! (Deuteronomy 5:29)  Now if this is God’s heart for sinners, should we not be motivated to pray for the many lost  souls we encounter from day to day?  Shouldn’t we have the same heart towards the lost as God does?


Every interpreter who reads this passage and is not a universalist must put some limitation on either the θέλει or on the πάντας ἀνθρώπους.  In this context, I would choose to understand God’s will as His revealed will and not His secret will or His will of decree.  This finds support in the fact that it is God’s revealed will that is referenced in the previous verse.  Turretin distinguishes between willing something in the sense of being pleased with it (God’s revealed will) and willing something by intending it (God’s secret will).  Turretin, Elenctic Theology, 1:389.

1 Timothy 2:5

 Εἷς γὰρ Θεός, εἷς καὶ μεσίτης Θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων, ἄνθρωπος Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς,

for there is one God and Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Paraphrase:  There is another reason why you should pray for all men.  You know very well that there is only one God who created the heavens and the earth.  Now in the same way, there is only one Mediator who can reconcile sinners to God.  You have learned from your youngest days that God is infinitely holy and cannot look on man’s sin without punishing it.  This is why God is angry and all mankind are under His curse.  In the gospel, however, God holds out (Romans 10:21) Jesus as the one Mediator who stands between His offended justice and guilty sinners. (John 12:32; Romans 3:26)  Jesus is that Mediator who is able to bring reconciliation between God and men. (Colossians 1:20)  If anyone is going to be saved, they can only be saved through Him.  Neither does God make this offer to fallen angels, but He does call every human person to turn from their sin and to find forgiveness and salvation in this Mediator.  Now if God is offering Jesus to sinners everywhere,  then should we not also lift up these people in prayer and beg God to bring them to that place in their  life where they would take refuge in this Mediator and be saved?


1 Timothy 2:6

 ὁ δοὺς ἑαυτὸν ἀντίλυτρον ὑπὲρ πάντων, τὸ μαρτύριον καιροῖς ἰδίοις,

The One giving Himself a ransom for all, the testimony in its own times.

Paraphrase:  This is the good news of the gospel which we preach; the gospel which has come in these times (Titus 1:1-3) with such power and proclaims death in Adam and life in Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:22)  Jesus is the great sin offering (Leviticus 4), and this offering is the price (1 Corinthians 6:20) of our freedom (1 Corinthians 7:23) by which we are set free from slavery and brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)  And this offering which He made is sufficient to atone for the sins of every person who has ever lived.  No matter what a person’s background might be, no matter what sin they may have committed in their life, no one may exclude themselves from this offer of salvation thinking that perhaps Jesus will not be able to save him.  There is enough and more than enough in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to cleanse the most vile sinner from all his guilt. (1 Timothy 1:15)


On τὸ μαρτύριον καιροῖς ἰδίοις see Robertson here.

1 Timothy 2:7

 εἰς ὃ ἐτέθην ἐγὼ κῆρυξ καὶ ἀπόστολος— ἀλήθειαν λέγω· οὐ ψεύδομαι— διδάσκαλος ἐθνῶν, ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀληθείᾳ.

into which I was placed a herald and an apostle, I speak truth; I am not lying, a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Paraphrase:  Into the service of this Mediator, I was called as a herald and a missionary.  I have the privilege of announcing to all men everywhere the truth that Jesus is dead for them.  There is salvation for all who will come and put their trust in the Mediatorial work of Jesus.  This is the truth, Timothy, I am not lying.  I didn’t make this up myself.  Jesus Christ Himself called me to teach this truth to the Gentiles while standing on this truth for my own salvation and proclaiming it far and wide as the only way of salvation for lost men and women.


1 Timothy 2:8

 Βούλομαι οὖν προσεύχεσθαι τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ, ἐπαίροντας ὁσίους χεῖρας, χωρὶς ὀργῆς καὶ διαλογισμοῦ.

Therefore, I want men to pray in all places, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.

Paraphrase:  But to return.  All of these glorious truths lead us to one conclusion; pray!  Beseech God for the salvation of lost people and not just when you are gathered for public worship, but pray in all places and at all times and for all people.  When you are gathered together for worship, let everyone lift up their hands in prayer and be sure you are raising holy hands. (Isaiah 1:15)  Don’t lift up hands that are stained with sins like anger and quarrelling (Galatians 5:15); this is not pleasing to God.  Neither is God pleased with those prayers which are offered up with a million doubts as to whether God is really able to do what we ask or whether He will really do the right thing. (James 1:5-8)  Be sure to pray in faith.


TDNT (p44):  The verb βουλομαι here and θελω above are near synonyms.  It is not wise to base anything of significance on the different nuances of these verbs.  “The two terms mostly express the same thing.”

1 Timothy 2:9

 Ὡσαύτως ‹καὶ› γυναῖκας, ἐν καταστολῇ κοσμίῳ, μετὰ αἰδοῦς καὶ σωφροσύνης, κοσμεῖν ἑαυτάς, μὴ ἐν πλέγμασιν, καὶ χρυσίῳ, ἢ μαργαρίταις, ἢ ἱματισμῷ πολυτελεῖ,

1 Timothy 2:10

 ἀλλ’ ὃ πρέπει γυναιξὶν ἐπαγγελλομέναις θεοσέβειαν, δι’ ἔργων ἀγαθῶν.

1 Timothy 2:11

 Γυνὴ ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ μανθανέτω ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ.

1 Timothy 2:12

 διδάσκειν δὲ, γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω, οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ.

1 Timothy 2:13

 Ἀδὰμ γὰρ πρῶτος ἐπλάσθη, εἶτα Εὕα.

1 Timothy 2:14

 καὶ Ἀδὰμ οὐκ ἠπατήθη· ἡ δὲ γυνὴ, ἐξαπατηθεῖσα, ἐν παραβάσει γέγονεν.

1 Timothy 2:15

σωθήσεται δὲ διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας, ἐὰν μείνωσιν ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ, μετὰ σωφροσύνης.

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