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This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance.(A) 10 For this we toil and struggle,[a] because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all, especially of those who believe.(B)

11 [b]Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one have contempt for your youth,[c] but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity.(C) 13 Until I arrive, attend to the reading,[d] exhortation, and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word[e] with the imposition of hands of the presbyterate.(D) 15 Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to everyone.

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  1. 4:10 Struggle: other manuscripts and patristic witnesses read “suffer reproach.”
  2. 4:11–16 Timothy is urged to preach and teach with confidence, relying on the gifts and the mission that God has bestowed on him.
  3. 4:12 Youth: some commentators find this reference a sign of pseudepigraphy. Timothy had joined Paul as a missionary already in A.D. 49, some fifteen years before the earliest supposed date of composition.
  4. 4:13 Reading: the Greek word refers to private or public reading. Here, it probably designates the public reading of scripture in the Christian assembly.
  5. 4:14 Prophetic word: this may mean the utterance of a Christian prophet designating the candidate or a prayer of blessing accompanying the rite. Imposition of hands: this gesture was used in the Old Testament to signify the transmission of authority from Moses to Joshua (Nm 27:18–23; Dt 34:9). The early Christian community used it as a symbol of installation into an office: the Seven (Acts 6:6) and Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:3). Of the presbyterate: this would mean that each member of the college of presbyters imposed hands and appears to contradict 2 Tm 1:6, in which Paul says that he imposed hands on Timothy. This latter text, however, does not exclude participation by others in the rite. Some prefer to translate “for the presbyterate,” and thus understand it to designate the office into which Timothy was installed rather than the agents who installed him.