1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Saviour, and Christ Jesus our hope; 2to Timothy, my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
A different doctrine
3As I urged you when I was going into Macedonia, stay at Ephesus in order to command certain individuals not to teach a different doctrine 4or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These are a cause of disputes rather than God’s stewardship, which is in faith. 5The goal of this instruction is love, out of a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6But some have wandered away from these things, missing the mark and turning to vain discussions. 7They desire to be teachers of the law, although they do not understand what they are talking about, or what it is that they so strongly affirm. 8We know that the law is good, if it is used properly. 9As it is, we know that the law is not made for the righteous but for the unrighteous and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and irreligious, for murderers of fathers and mothers, for murderers. 10The law is for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, slave- traders, liars, perjurers and for those who practice anything else contrary to the sound doctrine 11which is in accordance with the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.
Gratitude for God’s mercy
12I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because he has considered me faithful and has appointed me to ministry, 13even though I used to be a blasphemer, a persecutor and disrespectful. Nevertheless, I obtained mercy because I did those things in ignorance and unbelief; 14and so the grace of our Lord overflowed with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
15This saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the first. 16This is how I obtained mercy, so that in me as ‘the first’ Jesus Christ might show all his patience as an example for those who would believe in him for eternal life. 17Now, to the eternal King, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory unto ages of ages. Amen.
Instruction to Timothy
18I commit this instruction to you, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies made earlier which singled you out. By them, may you fight the good fight, 19keeping the faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and made a shipwreck of the faith, 20including Hymenaeus and Alexander. I delivered them to Satan so that they might learn not to blaspheme.
A call to prayer
1Therefore, I encourage that first of all, petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all: 2for kings and all in high places, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and piety. 3Indeed, this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth.
5There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all – this testimony given in its own time. 7I was appointed a preacher and an apostle of these things, I am telling the truth in Christ, not lying, a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8I desire, therefore, that in every place, the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or doubting. 9In the same way, women should wear decent clothing, modest and fitting, without elaborate hairstyle, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing, 10but with good works which is fitting for women professing godliness. 11Let a woman learn in quietness, with all submission. 12I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, but to be silent; 13because Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived, fell into disobedience. 15However, women will be saved through childbearing, as they remain in faith, love and sanctifying self-restraint.
Offices in the Church
1This is a sure word: if a man aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a good work. 2The bishop must be irreproachable, husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, modest, hospitable and a good teacher. 3He must not be a drinker; or someone violent or greedy for money. He should be gentle, not irritable or envious. 4He should be someone who rules his own house well, keeping his children in subjection with all reverence. 5Indeed, if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how can he take care of the Church of God? 6He should not be a new convert, for fear that being puffed up with pride he may fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7Moreover, he must have good testimony from those who are outside in order to avoid falling into blame and the snare of the devil.
8Deacons, in the same way, must be reverent, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine and not greedy for money. 9They should keep the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10Let them also be tested first; then let them serve if they are blameless. 11Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers but self-controlled and faithful in everything. 12Deacons should be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13Those who have served well earn for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
The mystery of godliness – The pillar and foundation of the truth
14I write to you these things, hoping to come to you shortly. 15If I am delayed, I want you to know how the people should behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16Without a doubt, great is the mystery of godliness:
God was revealed in the flesh,
vindicated in spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
and received up in glory.
Doctrines of demons – False asceticism
1The Spirit clearly says that in the last times, some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons 2through the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron. 3They forbid marriage and command to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4Everything that God has created is good and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving. 5Indeed, it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer.
Advice for Timothy
6If you instruct the brethren of these things, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith and by the good doctrine which you have followed. 7Reject profane and old wives’ fables. Train yourself for godliness. 8Physical exercise has some value, but godliness has value in everything, having a promise for the present life as well as for the one to come. 9This saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance. 10For this purpose, we work hard and experience rejection, because we have placed our trust in the living God who is the Saviour of all, especially of those who believe. 11Command and teach these things.
12Let no one despise your youth, but be an example for those who believe: in speech, in your way of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to public reading, encouragement and teaching. 14Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the council of presbyters. 15Be attentive in these things. Give yourself to them completely, so that your progress may be manifest to all. 16Watch yourself and your teaching. Continue in these things. In doing so, you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
Relationships in the Church – About widows
1Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father; the younger men as brothers; 2older women as mothers; the younger as sisters, in all purity. 3Honour widows who are truly widows. 4But if any widow has children or grand-children, let them first learn how to carry out their religious duty towards their own family, and to repay their parents. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God. 5Those who are truly widows and abandoned are the ones who have placed their hope in God and who persevere in petitions and prayers night and day. 6But those who live in luxury are dead even as they live. 7Give strict orders regarding these matters, so that they may be without reproach. 8If anyone does not provide for his own, especially his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9Only widows who are more than sixty years old and who were married to one man should be enrolled as widows. 10They should be approved by good works: having brought up children, been hospitable to strangers, washed the saints’ feet, relieved the afflicted, and pursued every good work with attention. 11On the other hand, do not enrol younger widows: when they are overcome by their sensual inclinations more than by Christ, they desire to marry. 12They thus fall under condemnation because they have rejected their first pledge. 13Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and go about from house to house. They are not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they should not. 14Therefore, I think it best that the younger widows should get married, bear children and manage their homes; this will give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15For already some have strayed to follow Satan. 16Believers who have widows among their close relatives should take care of them. Do not allow the Church to be burdened so that it might relieve those who are truly widows.
Guidelines pertaining to presbyters
17Presbyters who rule well should be accounted worthy of double honour, especially those who work hard in preaching and teaching. 18As the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain’ and, ‘The labourer is worthy of his wages.’ (Deuteronomy 25:4 LXX, Leviticus 19:13)
19Do not receive an accusation against a presbyter, except at the word of two or three witnesses. 20Reprove those who have sinned in the sight of all, so that the others may also be in fear. 21I command you in the sight of God and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels: observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. 22Do not lay your hands hastily on anyone and do not be a participant in someone else’s sins. Keep yourself pure. 23Do not drink only water but use a little wine for your stomach and because of your frequent illnesses.
24The sins of some people are obvious long before they come to judgement while others are discovered only later. 25Likewise, good works are obvious, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.
Rules for slaves
1Those who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of all honour, so that God’s Name and our doctrine may not be brought into disrepute. 2Slaves whose masters are believers should not despise them because they are brethren. Rather, they should them serve them because those who have a share in the benefit are believing and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
Doctrinal contentions – The love of money
3If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the doctrine of godliness, 4such a person is conceited, ignorant, obsessed with arguments, controversies and disputes over words. These things result in envy, conflict, insults, evil suspicions, 5and constant antagonism between people whose minds are corrupt and devoid of truth, people who treat religion as a means of gain. Withdraw yourself from such people.
6Godliness, in fact, brings great gain if one is content. 7Indeed, we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything out. 8But if we have food and clothing, let us be content with that. 9Those who are determined to become rich fall into a temptation and a snare with many senseless and harmful lusts which plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10Truly, the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed and they have pierced themselves with many sorrows.
Doctrinal contentions – The love of money
11But you, man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith. Hang on to the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good profession in the sight of many witnesses. 13Before God, who gives life to everything and before Christ Jesus, who bore witness before Pontius Pilate to this good confession, I charge you 14to keep the commandment undefiled and blameless until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ 15which in due time God will reveal. To him who is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, 16alone possessing immortality and dwelling in unapproachable light; whom no one has seen, nor can see: to him be honour and eternal power. Amen.
Instructions for the wealthy – Conclusion
17Instruct those who are rich in this present world that they should not be proud or place their hope on uncertain riches but on the living God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Teach them to do good, to be rich in good works, ready to distribute and willing to share. 19In this way they will store up for themselves a good foundation for the future and take hold of eternal life.
20Timothy, guard what has been committed to you. Turn away from worldly and empty discussions as well as from the contradiction of the falsely so-called knowledge. 21Those who have embraced this have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.