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1 Timothy 1:16-18 New English Translation (NET Bible)

16 But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that[a] in me as the worst,[b] Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life. 17 Now to the eternal king,[c] immortal, invisible, the only[d] God, be honor and glory forever and ever![e] Amen.

18 I put this charge[f] before you, Timothy my child, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you,[g] in order that with such encouragement[h] you may fight the good fight.


  1. 1 Timothy 1:16 tn Grk “but because of this I was treated with mercy, so that…”
  2. 1 Timothy 1:16 tn Grk “in me first,” making the connection with the last phrase of v. 15.
  3. 1 Timothy 1:17 tn Or more literally, “king of the ages.”
  4. 1 Timothy 1:17 tc Most later witnesses (א2 D1 Hc Ψ 1175 1241 1881 M al) have “wise” (σόφῳ, sophō) here (thus, “the only wise God”), while the earlier and better witnesses (א* A D* F G H* 33 1739 lat co) lack this adjective. Although it could be argued that the longer reading is harder since it does not as emphatically affirm monotheism, it is more likely that scribes borrowed σόφῳ from Rom 16:27 (Rom 14:26 in M) where μόνῳ σόφῳ θεῷ (monō sophō theō, “the only wise God”) is textually solid. It is difficult to explain why Alexandrian and Western scribes would omit “wise” in 1 Tim 1:17 while keeping it in Rom 16:27 for a similar benedition.
  5. 1 Timothy 1:17 tn Grk “unto the ages of the ages,” an emphatic way of speaking about eternity in Greek.
  6. 1 Timothy 1:18 sn This charge refers to the task Paul described to Timothy in vv. 3-7 above.
  7. 1 Timothy 1:18 sn The prophecies once spoken about you were apparently spoken at Timothy’s ordination (cf. 1 Tim 4:14) and perhaps spoke of what God would do through him. Thus they can encourage him in his work, as the next clause says.
  8. 1 Timothy 1:18 tn Grk “that by them you might fight…” (a reference to the prophecies which can encourage him in his work).
New English Translation (NET)

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