1 Timothy 1-3 Common English Bible (CEB)
1 From Paul, who is an apostle of Jesus Christ by the command of God our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.
2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith.
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
Timothy’s purpose in Ephesus
3 When I left for Macedonia, I asked you to stay behind in Ephesus so that you could instruct certain individuals not to spread wrong teaching. 4 They shouldn’t pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. Their teaching only causes useless guessing games instead of faithfulness to God’s way of doing things. 5 The goal of instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 6 Because they missed this goal, some people have been distracted by talk that doesn’t mean anything. 7 They want to be teachers of Law without understanding either what they are saying or what they are talking about with such confidence. 8 Now we know that the Law is good if used appropriately. 9 We understand this: the Law isn’t established for a righteous person but for people who live without laws and without obeying any authority. They are the ungodly and the sinners. They are people who are not spiritual, and nothing is sacred to them. They kill their fathers and mothers, and murder others. 10 They are people who are sexually unfaithful, and people who have intercourse with the same sex. They are kidnappers,[a] liars, individuals who give false testimonies in court, and those who do anything else that is opposed to sound teaching. 11 Sound teaching agrees with the glorious gospel of the blessed God that has been trusted to me.
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength because he considered me faithful. So he appointed me to ministry 13 even though I used to speak against him, attack his people, and I was proud. But I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and without faith. 14 Our Lord’s favor poured all over me along with the faithfulness and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is reliable and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I’m the biggest sinner of all. 16 But this is why I was shown mercy, so that Christ Jesus could show his endless patience to me first of all. So I’m an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life. 17 Now to the king of the ages, to the immortal, invisible, and only God, may honor and glory be given to him forever and always! Amen.
Importance of faith and a good conscience
18 Timothy, my child, I’m giving you these instructions based on the prophecies that were once made about you. So if you follow them, you can wage a good war 19 because you have faith and a good conscience. Some people have ruined their faith because they refused to listen to their conscience, 20 such as Hymenaeus and Alexander. I’ve handed them over to Satan so that they can be taught not to speak against God.
Prayer for everyone
2 First of all, then, I ask that requests, prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving be made for all people. 2 Pray for kings and everyone who is in authority so that we can live a quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and it pleases God our savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a payment to set all people free. This was a testimony that was given at the right time. 7 I was appointed to be a preacher and apostle of this testimony—I’m telling the truth and I’m not lying! I’m a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Instructions for men and women
8 Therefore, I want men to pray everywhere by lifting up hands that are holy, without anger or argument. 9 In the same way, I want women to enhance their appearance with clothing that is modest and sensible, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive clothes. 10 They should make themselves attractive by doing good, which is appropriate for women who claim to honor God.
11 A wife[b] should learn quietly with complete submission. 12 I don’t allow a wife[c] to teach or to control her husband.[d] Instead, she should be a quiet listener. 13 Adam was formed first, and then Eve. 14 Adam wasn’t deceived, but rather his wife[e] became the one who stepped over the line because she was completely deceived. 15 But a wife[f] will be brought safely through childbirth,[g] if they both continue in faith, love, and holiness, together with self-control.
Supervisors in God’s household
3 This saying is reliable: if anyone has a goal to be a supervisor[h] in the church, they want a good thing. 2 So the church’s supervisor must be without fault. They should be faithful to their spouse, sober, modest, and honest. They should show hospitality and be skilled at teaching. 3 They shouldn’t be addicted to alcohol or be a bully. Instead, they should be gentle, peaceable, and not greedy. 4 They should manage their own household well—they should see that their children are obedient with complete respect, 5 because if they don’t know how to manage their own household, how can they take care of God’s church? 6 They shouldn’t be new believers so that they won’t become proud and fall under the devil’s spell. 7 They should also have a good reputation with those outside the church so that they won’t be embarrassed and fall into the devil’s trap.
Servants in God’s household
8 In the same way, servants[i] in the church should be dignified, not two-faced, heavy drinkers, or greedy for money. 9 They should hold on to the faith that has been revealed with a clear conscience. 10 They should also be tested and then serve if they are without fault. 11 In the same way, women who are servants[j] in the church should be dignified and not gossip. They should be sober and faithful in everything they do. 12 Servants[k] must be faithful to their spouse and manage their children and their own households well. 13 Those who have served well gain a good standing and considerable confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Leading God’s household
14 I hope to come to you quickly. But I’m writing these things to you so that 15 if I’m delayed, you’ll know how you should behave in God’s household. It is the church of the living God and the backbone and support of the truth. 16 Without question, the mystery of godliness is great: he was revealed as a human, declared righteous by the Spirit, seen by angels, preached throughout the nations, believed in around the world, and taken up in glory.