1 Timothy 1:4, Doctrine…fables. Both the modern Jews and Christians have exchanged many biblical doctrines for fables. Fables refers to myths or fiction. In Christianity, for example, think of Santa Clause and the Easter bunny for example. In Judaism, the Midrash Rabbah (the rabbinic commentary on the Torah) as well as the Talmud and Zohar are full of myths and fables. Various church denominations have institutionalized into doctrine many unbiblical and man-made traditions, which, in essence, are myths. For example, the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, the wicked being tormented in hellfire forever, the pre-tribulation rapture, the veneration of Mary, purgatory, a male Holy Spirit, the abrogation of the Torah, exchanging the seventh day Sabbath for Sunday and the biblical feasts for Christian holidays, and the list goes on and on.
1 Timothy 1:5, Commandment. When a Jewish writer of Scripture speaks of the commandments, it can only refer to one thing: YHVH’s Torah-law. The commandments or mandates of Elohim are in stark contrast to the fables of men referred to in the previous verse. How quickly humans willingly turn from the Word of Elohim to fables. Adam and Eve listened to the lies of the serpent and quickly turned away from the clear commands of Elohim. The children of Israel quickly turned to golden calf worship. After the death of the last apostles, the early church of the second century A.D. quickly began to turn away from YHVH’s Torah and turn to man-made doctrines, traditions and fables which were then institutionalized into church doctrine and have been passed on down to us to this day.
Commandment…love. The Torah tells us how to love YHVH with all of our heart and our neighbor as ourself. Yeshua in repeating the shema (Deuteronomy 6:4 and Lev 19:18), the traditional Jewish statement of faith, sums up the Torah as such (Mark 12:29–31) as does Paul (Rom 12:8–10) as does James (Jas 2:8) and as does John (1 John 1:7–11; 3:23; 5:2–3).
1 Timothy 1:8, The law is good. This statement is totally consistent with many other similar statements that Paul makes elsewhere in his writings.
1 Timothy 1:12, Putting me into the ministry. Too many people in the church put themselves into the ministry in that they go into it for the wrong reasons. Instead of being a bondservant who lays their life down for those they are serving, they seek to be served, to gain wealth and fame or simply for an easy career. Scripture refers to these people as hirelings and gospel peddlers (John 10:12–12; 2 Cor 2:17)
1 Timothy 2
1 Timothy 2:4, Desires all men to be saved. Although YHVH desires all humans to be saved and has made a way for this to occur through Yeshua the Messiah, not all humans want to be saved or are willing to do what YHVH requires for them to be saved.
1 Timothy 2:8, Lifting up holy hands. Lifting hands is in prayer, praise and worship is an ancient practice that finds precedence in the psalms and when the priests would give the Aaronic Blessing over the Israelites. This gesture is the universal sign of surrender as well as what a young child does when in need of something and approaches his parents.
1 Timothy 2:15, Saved in/through childbirth.
Reversing the Curse—The Exalted Place of Wives and Mothers
Saved is the Greek verb sozo meaning “to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger, save from suffering or perishing.” The word in or through (depending on one’s Bible version) is the Greek preposition dia, which can have several meanings. In the Greek genitive case (possessive case) dia means “through, in the course of, during or throughout.” In the Greek accusative case (indirect object case), dia means “by reason or means of.” Seldom is dia found in the accusative case in the NT; usually it is used in the genitive case, as is the case here. David Stern, in his Jewish NT Commentary, says of this passage that here Paul has Gen 3:16 in view where YHVH put the curse of a painful child (among other things) upon Eve because of her sin at the tree of knowledge. Admittedly, Stern continues, Paul’s previous seemingly dismissive and condescending statements about women and their place in the church (vv. 8–14) doesn’t appeal to the modern, Western, mind. But in light of the curse that Elohim placed on women, Paul goes on to mitigate his previous statements about women by saying that Elohim would save a saintly woman from the curse of a painful childbirth by lessening the physical and emotional pain of this ordeal and, by implication, that of motherhood and rasing children. This is because the curse, in a sense, has been reversed through her faith in Yeshua the Messiah and his work at the cross as the one who bore upon himself the curse of man’s sin. By her godly demeanor (as Paul spells out in the previous several verses), and raising godly children, much of the pain and suffering to befall most ungodly women will be lifted from her, which is a great blessing. Stern goes on to point out that this verse in no way indicates a woman is saved or redeemed spiritually through the process of childbirth. Were this the case, the act of childbirth would offer an alternate plan of salvation making faith in Yeshua unnecessary. This is obviously not true according to Scripture.
Moreover, there is another glorious truth to be deduced from this passage of Scripture—a truth that exalts a woman from being a curse-causer to a curse-reverser. As a result of a godly woman’s place in Yeshua, the curse placed on her for introducing sin into the world resulting in her offspring being cut off from Elohim can now be undone. How is this? By raising godly children she now has the divine role of bringing here children back to Elohim. Who has more influence over a child then a mother? Who spends more time teaching and training a child than a mother? The saying that “the hand that rocks the cradle moves the nation” exemplifies this truth. A saintly mother has the inimitable and glorious role of helping to turn a nation from enslavement to the world, the flesh and the devil back to Elohim and his Word as revealed in the Bible.
In this passage (1 Tim 2:8–15), Paul is in now way demeaning or denigrating women, but exalting them.
Not only this, but Gen 3:15 speaks of the seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent, which is a prophecy that was clearly fulfilled by Yeshua’s death and resurrection resulting in the defeat of Satan, the serpent, and his defeat of death and the grave. When a godly woman raises up righteous, Elohim-loving children, she will be further reinforcing Yeshua’s defeat of the serpent and helping to expand the kingdom of heaven at the devil’s expense. Through Eve sin entered the world (1 Tim 2:14), now through a saintly women, righteousness can enter the world. This occurred through the birth of Yeshua through the virgin Mary, with the process continuing when a mother births children and brings to faith in Yeshua.
Another aspect of the curse that came on woman when she sinned in the garden was her innate rebellion against authority—especially that of her husband (Gen 3:16b). When a woman demonstrates her willingness to submit not only to the authority of her husband (Eph 5:22), but to church leadership as well by conducting herself in modest and discreet manner (1 Tim 2:8–12), heaven’s blessing of an easier childbirth awaits her along with the further glories and exalted position of motherhood as previously noted above..
Is it any wonder, then, that in our modern society there is an all-out war against woman, marriage and the family? Whether it be the political, educational, economic, entertainment or media establishment, all seem to be hellbent on destroying the traditional family, marriage and the role of women as mother’s and wives. We see this in the secular humanists pushing of abortion (the murder of children), pornography (the perversion of sex), pedophilia (the sexual exploitation of children), the sexualization of children (which undermines the family unit), homosexuality (the diminishing of childbirth), transgenderism (the destruction of the family and marriage), the women’s lib movement (engendering hatred for men and for motherhood) and the list goes on. When the traditional, Elohim-ordained role of the mothers and families is undermined, if not obliterated, the process of the family acting as the means to help redeem mankind back to Elohim comes to a stop. Whose spiritual kingdom does this benefit the most? That of Elohim or the devil? The answer should be obvious. Therefore, who is the author of and driving spiritual force behind the ungodly, anti-biblical agendas? Satan the devil!
1 Timothy 3
1 Timothy 3:1, Bishop. See notes at Eph 4:11.
1 Timothy 3:2, One wife. The word one in 1 Tim 3:2 is the Greek word mia which the feminine form of heis/eis/hice, which is the cardinal number one (as opposed to the ordinal number meaning “first”) (nominative case) meaning “one, one in contrast to many, one after another in succession, a union, one thing or one person.” As used in the Bible, it can mean “a single one in exclusion to others, one in the same, one alone, united in one, a certain one or together (lexical sources: Strong’s, Vine’s, Thayer’s and Mounce). As we can see, the Greek word heis translated here as one can have a number of meanings. The exact meaning of this word must be determined by the context of the scripture verse in which it is found, and by all of Scripture in general.
In the case of 1 Tim 3:2, some Bible teachers have taken this verse to mean that for a man to be an elder in a church, he cannot have ever been divorced or that he must still be married to his first wife. If this interpretation were true, then in all likelihood this would have disqualified Moses from leading Israel, since he was likely divorced from Zipporah whom he had previously put away or divorced (Exod 18:2) when he married the black Cushite woman (Num 12:1). Moreover, this would have disqualified a widower priest who had remarried from serving in the tabernacle or temple, which was not the case in the Torah. Furthermore in a NT church setting, if the wife of an elder died, then not only would he now be disqualified from being an elder, but he couldn’t remarry. For these reasons, I reject the idea that the word mia in 1 Tim 3:2 means first and only. Rather, some of the alternative meanings of the word seem to fit the biblical context better, and thus instead of translating this verse “husband of one wife” as most Bibles commonly translate it, it should read, “united with a wife” or “in union with a wife,” “married to a certain wife” or in response to the polygamy issue, “the husband of one wife in contrast to many” (in other words, Paul could here be taking a stand against polygamy, which was practiced at times in ancient Judaism, even in Paul’s day, though to a lesser degree).
Therefore, based on the above discussion, I take this verse to mean that an elder is (a) to be a married man, (b) and he is to be married to one wife, (c) obviously in a valid and biblical marriage, (d) and he must be in a stable marriage as a one-woman man.” This in no way means that he couldn’t have been married before as would be the case if his wife had died, or he divorced a previous wife for biblical, Torah reasons. After all, the Torah allows for divorce and remarriage for certain specific reasons (Deut 24;1–4), and Yeshua acknowledges this, though it wasn’t Elohim’s ideal situation from the beginning (Matt 19:1–10).
1 Timothy 3:3, Violent. This passage (vv. 3–7) lists the qualifications of an elder or leader of a congregation. One of the of character traits that he is not to posses is that of being a brawler (KJV),violent (NKJV) or pugnacious (NAS). What do the words brawler, violent or pugnacious mean here? It is the Greek word amachos meaning one who is by nature “a fighter, brawler, contentious, quarrelsome, one who causes strife, or one who is combative.” In modern terms, he’s a bully. Perhaps you remember the neighborhood bully from your years as a school child. An elder, overseer or shepherd of a congregation is not to be such a person. This is what Paul had in mind when he gave these instructions concerning the qualifications of an elder.
So let’s now explore this issue a little further. Is there ever a time when spiritual leaders may need to resort to forceful words or even to forceful actions to protect YHVH’s spiritual sheep? What, for example, did David mean when he asks the following question in Psalm 94:16?
Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
What did Yeshua mean when describing a good shepherd versus an evil hireling shepherd when he said that unlike the evil shepherd, a good shepherd lays his life down for the sheep and protects them from those who come to kill, steal and destroy the sheep? He says that the good shepherd defends the sheep, while the evil shepherd runs away (John 10:7–15). Another example of an evil shepherd is found in Ezekiel 34 where such a shepherd fails to protect the sheep from the beasts of the field (Ezek 34:7–10). How does a shepherd protect his sheep from the wolves who want to kill them? With nice words and platitudes, while singing Kumbaya, holding a candlelight vigil and then begging the wolf to leave and go elsewhere “pretty please, with cream and sugar on top”? Hardly! The twenty-third psalm, for example, speaks of a shepherd who is armed with a rod and staff—and such brings comfort to the sheep (Ps 23:4) who know that the good shepherd has their best interests in mind. The staff was for leading and guiding the sheep, while the rod was for protecting the sheep against predators. On the sheep farm I was raised on, we used a rifle, a pitchfork or a baseball bat (whatever was most handy at the time) instead of a rod to protect our sheep. It’s interesting how the Bible prophesies that Yeshua, our Chief Shepherd (1 Pet 2:25; 5:4), will rule the world with a rod of iron in the Millennium (Rev 20:7–10).
Here are some more questions to consider. Was Phinehas, the son of Aaron the high priest, a brawler and therefore disqualified from being an leader or overseer in Israel when he rose up boldly and thrust a spear through the Israelites leader who were fornicating with the Midianite princess thus bringing a plague on Israel (Num 25:5–9)? Evidently not, for YHVH commended him for his zeal in putting evil out of the camp of Israel and rewarded him with an everlasting priesthood (v. 13).
Was Nehemiah, the governor of Jerusalem disqualified from being an elder or overseer in Israel when he stood up against the Jews who were buying and selling on the Sabbath and intermarrying with the surrounding heathens? How did he deal with these sinners? This is what the Bible record declares that this righteous man did,
And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by Elohim, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. (Neh 13:25)
Sadly, such a man as Nehemiah, if he were a pastor in most of our modern churches, would have been run out of town on a rail by his congregates!
What about John the Baptist? How about Yeshua? Were they whimpy kind of men when dealing with the spiritual wolves of their day? Actually, John lost his head because he confronted King Herod calling him to account for his sin. He called the religious leaders of his day “vipers” (Matt 3:7) as did Yeshua (Matt 12:34; Luke 3:7). On numerous occasions, Yeshua called the Jewish leaders hypocrites, and he even pronounced woe on them—a from of rebuke and denunciation (e.g. Matt 6:2, 5, 16; Matt 23;13, 15, 23, 2 5, 27, etc.). He also called them fools (e.g. Matt 23:17,19), spiritual adulterers (Matt 12:39; 16:4), and whitewashed tombs (Matt 23:27). He called his disciples “faithless and perverse” (Matt 17:17; Luke 9:41)
Not only that, Yeshua called the Jews, “children of the devil” (John 8:44).
To add insult to injury, at least in the mind of some, Yeshua even got physically violent when he overturned the moneychangers’ tables and cast them out of the temple area with a rope whip (Matt 21:12). The word cast in this verse in the Greek means “drive out, to send out with a notion of violence.” Was Yeshua a violent man in the sense of being a brawler, and therefore, disqualified from being the Chief Shepherd over Israel? Or was he passionate for truth, and as the Spirit of Elohim led, he forcefully stood up against evil-doers like David declares in Psalm 94:16, and as Phinehas and Nehemiah did?
What about the apostolic writers? How did they deal with evil doers? The Scriptures record that they were men of potent words and spicy speech. Paul, on one instance, described some false teachers as “dogs” (Phil 3:2). He even called the inhabitants of the island of Crete “liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons”(Tit 1:12). Were Paul to say such a thing today, he would be labeled racist and intolerant! Jude pronounced woe (a rebuke and denunciation) upon false teachers (Jude 1:4, 11), and when addressing caranally-minded believers, James refers to them as “you adulterers and adulteresses” and “enemies of Elohim” (Jas 4:4).
Did the apostles, like arrows, merely shoot off powerful sounding words, or were these words followed with actions against the grievous wolves who had come to destroy their spiritual flocks? Of such individuals, Paul instructs us not only note or beware of them, but to avoid them (Rom 16:17), not to even eat with such people (1 Cor 5:11), to turn away from such people (2 Tim 3:5); to withdraw from them (2 Thess 3:5) and to reject them (Tit 3:10).
Did the apostolic writers ever name the names of grievous wolves who were attempting to divide YHVH’s spiritual flock? In fact they did, and put them into letters that became public information (2 Tim 2:16–17; 4:14; 3 John 9–11; Acts 8:20–23). Why did they resort to these extraordinary measures? It was to protect the spiritual flock from those who were out to destroy YHVH’s sheep. What they were doing in identifying these troublemakers was in line with what Yeshua instructed in Matthew 18:17. There, Yeshua is instructing his disciples on how to deal with strife and contention within the congregation.
Hopefully, from this brief study, it should be evident that being by nature a brawler or a pugnacious sort of an individual is one thing—something which rightly should disqualify one from being an elder. However, being a righteous and godly shepherd who protects and who will defend YHVH’s sheep with his life is another thing. In so doing, a leader must follow biblical guidelines and the examples of righteous men as recorded in the Scriptures especially when using forceful words and physical force, when, on the rare occasion it is necessary.
1 Timothy 4
1 Timothy 4:1, Doctrines of demons. To what is Paul referring when he uses the term “doctrines of demons.” In a general sense, this could be anything that is contrary to the clear Word of Elohim and which leads a person away “the words of faith and of the good doctrine” (v. 6). The modern church—especially those in the liberal, more left leaning denominations—have embraced doctrines of demons such as homosexuality, abortion, evolution and various aspects of Marxism. But here Paul seems to have in mind the Greek philosophy of asceticism, which we discuss below. The take away for us is to beware of any philosophy of the world—especially those that are trendy, popular and alluring at the time—that may cause the saint to depart from the simple faith or Truth of the Bible.
1 Timothy 4:3, Forbidding to marry…abstain from foods. This is perhaps a reference to the Greek practice of asceticism, which was a means of achieving a higher state of spirituality by denying the flesh certain basic comforts and pleasures. In so doing, it was believed, the immortal soul that was trapped in a physical body would be set free from its prison and be able to achieve divine enlightenment. It could be reasoned that biblical fasting—the affliction of the soul—is a form of asceticism, but there is a major difference. First, fasting was only a temporary practice, not a daily lifestyle. Second, the Bible neither promotes the idea of an immortal soul nor the notion that the soul (a person’s mind, will and emotions) is trapped in an evil body. Rather, the Bible teaches that all that YHVH made—including the body, food and marriage—is good and beautiful if used in a righteous manner.
1 Timothy 4:3–5, Foods. Many take this passage to mean that simple “prayer over the food” sanctifies nonkosher food. Were we to take this logic to its illogical conclusion, then we might suppose that prayer over skunk meat, certain poisonous types of frogs, snakes and salamanders as well as poisonous mushrooms would make them edible. Of course, this is ridiculous. Is this really what Paul, the orthodox Jewish Torah scholar, is teaching? Once again, understanding Scripture in its context is essential to obtaining its proper interpretation. These verses read:
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which Elohim has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of Elohim is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified by the Word of Elohim and prayer. (emphasis added)
What does this passage really say? Does it say that the meat we eat is sanctified (i.e. set aside for special use) only through the act of prayer?
In verse five Paul teaches that the meat we eat is sanctified through prayer and the Word of Elohim. When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy there was no Testimony of Yeshua or New Testament—only the Tanakh or Old Testament. Where in the Tanakh do we find which meats YHVH has set aside or sanctified for man as edible? Leviticus chapter eleven, of course. Furthermore, in verse three above Paul talks about “them which believe and know the truth.” How does Scripture define truth? Yeshua defined truth as the Word of Elohim (namely the Hebrew Scriptures, which is all that existed at that time) (John 17:7). The Tanakh define truth as the Torah-law of YHVH (which contain YHVH’s biblical kosher laws pertaining to clean and unclean meats; see Ps 119:142 and 151).
So when examined in its proper context this passage in 2 Timothy in no way teaches that it is scripturally permissible for believers to indulge in unclean meats. On the contrary, this passage in fact validates the biblical kosher laws as outlined in the Torah and shows clearly, if we let Scripture speak for itself and define its own terms instead of reading into it our own meanings, that the biblical dietary laws are for believers today.
1 Timothy 4:8, Life that now is…is to come. To those who pursue it, godliness brings blessings and rewards in this physical life and in the life to come. This is heaven’s blessed promise, which is a great hope and expectation of the saint.
1 Timothy 4:13, Give attention. (See notes at Acts 2:42.) This is a corollary passage to Acts 2:42 indicating what activities should be occurring when the saints gather together. It is an expansion of the “continuing steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” instruction of Acts 2:42, which includes those activities listed in this verse: “reading [the Scriptures], exhortation, [studying or teaching] doctrine.”
1 Timothy 4:15, Church…pillar and ground of the truth. For the church assembly to be the pillar and ground for the Truth, it requires that the church’s leaders and teachers themselves know and teach the truth. The Word of Elohim, not men, determines what Truth is. To the degree that church leaders know and teach the divinely revealed and immutable Truth of Elohim is to the degree that the church will be the pillar and ground of the Truth and vice versa. The Torah is the biblical foundation of Truth (Ps 119:142, 151).
1 Timothy 5
1 Timothy 5:8, Provide for his own…household. How many able-bodied men in the church have failed to live up this command and instead rely on their wives or the government to support them instead of working six days a week as Scripture commands them to do (Exod 20:9)? Paul expresses no tolerance for such behavior, and deems such a person to have denied the faith and to be worse than a heathen. There is no exception here for fathers (or “deadbeat dads”) who fail to support the children that they engendered, or for those who are lazy or able but unwilling to work and, instead, choose to live “on the dole” or on government handouts.
1 Timothy 5:17–18, Elders…worthy of double honor. Those who fit the biblical qualifications of being an elder (see 1 Tim 3:1–7) and who minister the word and doctrine are worthy of financial support by those they serve. This is a Torah-based concept that Yeshua taught and applied to his disciples whom he commissioned to preach the gospel (Lev 19:13; Deut 24:15; Matt 10:10; Luke 10:7; 1 Cor 9:14) and it was expected that those who benefit from the preaching and teaching of the Word of Elohim will help to support those who are teachers.
1 Timothy 5:19, Accusation against an elder. The apostle here forbids the saints from bringing an accusation (false or otherwise) against a person who meets the biblical definition of an elder (see 1 Tim 3:1–7) unless certain protocols are met (e.g. see Matt 18:15–19). Elohim deals harshly with anyone who wrongly accuse a person whom he has placed in leadership over his people as Miriam, Aaron and Korah, Dathan and Abiram sadly found out (Num 12:1–12; 16:1–33).
1 Timothy 5:20, Those who are sinning rebuke. There is a proper way to deal with sin within the church. Yeshua discusses these protocols in Matthew 18:15–19.
1 Timothy 5:22, Lay hands. Anyone that the church ordains to be a leader must meet stringent biblical requirements the least of which can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1–13. (Also see notes at Heb 6:2.)
1 Timothy 5:23, Wine. The Bible nowhere forbids the drinking of alcohol. To say it does is a man-made doctrine. Scripture does forbid drunkenness and Paul elsewhere goes so far as to say that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 6:9–10). (Also see notes at Prov 31:6–7 and Ps 104:15.)
1 Timothy 6
1 Timothy 6:1, Bondservants …under the yoke. In the first century, some people came to faith who were slaves. The slave master could dictate what his servant had to do and when, but not what the servant believed. That said, the master may dictate that his servant work on the Sabbath or feasts, and the slave had no choice in this unless or until YHVH moved on the heart of the slave master to grant the slave the time off. A similar situation in our day would be those who come to faith in Yeshua who are in military service. For those servants in this situation, Paul admonishes them to serve their masters honorably and to do the best they can to not bring a reproach against Elohim or his doctrine. It is a very different thing, however, if the servant (such as an employee) has the choice to work for whomsoever he desires. For them, there is no excuse to submit to employment conditions that violate the laws of Elohim.
1 Timothy 6:14, Keep his commandments. A stronger appeal to Torah obedience by Paul is not to be found anywhere else in any of his writings.
1 Timothy 6:16, Who alone has immortality. Only Yeshua has immortality presently. The saints will receive immortality at the resurrection.
1 Timothy 6:20, What is falsely called knowledge/science [Gr. gnosis]. By dictionary definition, science is “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment: the world of science and technology.” Knowledge is defined as “facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject; what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information: the transmission of knowledge; philosophy true, justified belief; certain understanding, as opposed to opinion; awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation” (emphasis added). How does the theory of evolution fit either the definition of science or knowledge in light of the bolded phrases abov