1 Timothy 5
New English Translation
Instructions about Specific Groups
3 Honor[c] widows who are truly in need.[d] 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty[e] toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them.[f] For this is what pleases God.[g] 5 But the widow who is truly in need, and completely on her own,[h] has set her hope on God and continues in her pleas and prayers night and day. 6 But the one who lives for pleasure is dead even[i] while she lives. 7 Reinforce[j] these commands,[k] so that they will be beyond reproach. 8 But if someone does not provide for his own,[l] especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow should be put on the list[m] unless[n] she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband,[o] 10 and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised children,[p] practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress—as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works.[q] 11 But do not accept younger widows on the list,[r] because their passions may lead them away from Christ[s] and they will desire to marry, 12 and so incur judgment for breaking their former pledge.[t] 13 And besides that, going around[u] from house to house they learn to be lazy,[v] and they are not only lazy, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not.[w] 14 So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household, in order to give the adversary no opportunity to vilify us.[x] 15 For some have already wandered away to follow Satan.[y] 16 If a believing woman[z] has widows in her family,[aa] let her help them. The church should not be burdened, so that it may help the widows who are truly in need.[ab]
17 Elders who provide effective leadership[ac] must be counted worthy[ad] of double honor,[ae] especially those who work hard in speaking[af] and teaching. 18 For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”[ag] and, “The worker deserves his pay.”[ah] 19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses.[ai] 20 Those guilty of sin[aj] must be rebuked[ak] before all,[al] as a warning to the rest.[am] 21 Before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, I solemnly charge you to carry out these commands without prejudice or favoritism of any kind.[an] 22 Do not lay hands on anyone[ao] hastily and so identify with the sins of others.[ap] Keep yourself pure. 23 (Stop drinking just water, but use a little wine for your digestion[aq] and your frequent illnesses.)[ar] 24 The sins of some people are obvious, going before them into judgment, but for others, they show up later.[as] 25 Similarly good works are also obvious, and the ones that are not cannot remain hidden.
- 1 Timothy 5:1 tn Or “Do not speak harshly to an older man.”
- 1 Timothy 5:1 tn No verb “speak” is stated in this clause, but it continues the sense of the preceding.
- 1 Timothy 5:3 sn The word honor here carries the double meaning of respect and financial support. This Greek word can imply both senses, and both are intended in this context.
- 1 Timothy 5:3 tn Grk “the real widows,” “those who are really widows.”
- 1 Timothy 5:4 tn Or “to practice their religion.”
- 1 Timothy 5:4 tn Or “and so make some repayment to their parents”; Grk “and to give back recompense to their parents.”
- 1 Timothy 5:4 tn Grk “for this is pleasing in the sight of God.”
- 1 Timothy 5:5 tn Or “left all alone.”
- 1 Timothy 5:6 tn For “is dead even” the Greek text reads “has died.”
- 1 Timothy 5:7 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
- 1 Timothy 5:7 tn Grk “and command these things.”
- 1 Timothy 5:8 tn That is, “his own relatives.”
- 1 Timothy 5:9 sn This list was an official enrollment, apparently with a formal pledge to continue as a widow and serve the Lord in that way (cf. v. 12). It was either (1) the list of “true widows” who were given support by the church or (2) a smaller group of older women among the supported widows who were qualified for special service (perhaps to orphans, other widows, the sick, etc.). Most commentators understand it to be the former, since a special group is not indicated clearly. See G. W. Knight, Pastoral Epistles, 222-23 for discussion.
- 1 Timothy 5:9 tn Grk “let a widow be enrolled if she has reached not less than sixty years.”
- 1 Timothy 5:9 tn Or “a woman married only once,” “was devoted solely to her husband” (see the note on “wife” in 1 Tim 3:2; also 1 Tim 3:12; Titus 1:6).
- 1 Timothy 5:10 tn Grk “if she raised children.” The phrase “if she raised children” begins a series of conditional clauses running to the end of the verse. These provide specific examples of her good works (v. 10a).
- 1 Timothy 5:10 tn Grk “followed after every good work.”
- 1 Timothy 5:11 tn Grk “refuse younger widows.”
- 1 Timothy 5:11 tn With a single verb and object, this clause means “pursue sensuous desires in opposition to Christ.”
- 1 Timothy 5:12 tn Grk “incurring judgment because they reject their first faith.”sn The pledge refers most likely to a vow not to remarry undertaken when a widow is put on the list (cf. 1 Tim 5:9).
- 1 Timothy 5:13 tn L&N 15.23 suggests the meaning, “to move about from place to place, with significant changes in direction—‘to travel about, to wander about.’”
- 1 Timothy 5:13 tn Or “idle.” The whole clause (“going around from house to house, they learn to be lazy”) reverses the order of the Greek. The present participle περιερχόμεναι (perierchomenai) may be taken as temporal (“while going around”), instrumental (“by going around”) or result (“with the result that they go around”).
- 1 Timothy 5:13 tn Grk “saying the things that are unnecessary.” Or perhaps “talking about things that are none of their business.”
- 1 Timothy 5:14 tn Grk “for the sake of reviling.”
- 1 Timothy 5:15 tn Grk “wandered away after Satan.”
- 1 Timothy 5:16 tc Most witnesses (D Ψ 1175 1241 1505 M al sy) have πιστὸς ἤ (pistos ē) before πιστή (pistē), with the resultant meaning “if a believing man or woman.” But such looks to be a motivated reading, perhaps to bring some parity to the responsibilities of men and women listed here, and as a way of harmonizing with v. 4. Further, most of the earlier and better witnesses (א A C F G P 048 33 81 1739 1881 co) lack the πιστὸς ἤ, strengthening the preference for the shorter reading.
- 1 Timothy 5:16 tn Grk “has widows.”
- 1 Timothy 5:16 tn Grk “the real widows,” “those who are really widows.”
- 1 Timothy 5:17 tn Grk “who lead well.”
- 1 Timothy 5:17 tn Or “deserving.”
- 1 Timothy 5:17 tn Like the similar use of “honor” in v. 3, this phrase denotes both respect and remuneration: “honor plus honorarium.”
- 1 Timothy 5:17 tn Or “in preaching”; Grk “in word.”
- 1 Timothy 5:18 sn A quotation from Deut 25:4.
- 1 Timothy 5:18 sn A quotation from Luke 10:7.
- 1 Timothy 5:19 sn An allusion to Deut 17:6; 19:15.
- 1 Timothy 5:20 sn As a continuation of v. 19, this refers to elders who sin, not to sinning believers more generally.
- 1 Timothy 5:20 tn Or “censured.” The Greek word implies exposing someone’s sin in order to bring correction.
- 1 Timothy 5:20 tn “Before all” probably refers to the whole congregation, not just all the elders; “the rest” is more likely to denote the remaining elders.
- 1 Timothy 5:20 tn Grk “that the rest may have fear.”
- 1 Timothy 5:21 tn Grk “doing nothing according to partiality.”
- 1 Timothy 5:22 tn In context “laying hands on anyone” refers to ordination or official installation of someone as an elder.
- 1 Timothy 5:22 tn Grk “and do not share in the sins of others.”
- 1 Timothy 5:23 tn Grk “for the sake of your stomach.”
- 1 Timothy 5:23 sn This verse gives parenthetical advice to Timothy, to clarify what it means to keep pure (5:22c). Verse 24 resumes the instructions about elders.
- 1 Timothy 5:24 tn Grk “they [the sins] follow after others.”