THE NEW TESTAMENT: AN UNDERSTANDABLE VERSION Table of Contents
1) [This letter is from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope [of never ending life. See Titus 3:7]. 2) [It is being sent] to Timothy, my true son in the faith [i.e., in the realm of Christianity, not in a physical sense]. May you have unearned favor, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3) As I urged you to do when I was leaving Macedonia [See Acts 20:1ff], I want you to remain in Ephesus in order to urge certain people not to teach a different [i.e., false] doctrine, 4) and not to listen to legends or exhaustive lists of ancestors. These [only] serve to arouse speculations, rather than [promote] God=s plan which is based on faith. 5) But the goal of this instruction is [to] love [God and people] from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6) Some people have strayed away from these things and have turned aside to useless discussions. 7) They want to be teachers of the Law of Moses, even though they do not understand what they are saying or what they are affirming with [such] confidence. 8) But we know that the Law of Moses is good if a person uses it properly. 9) We [also] know this: law [or, Athe Law of Moses@] is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawbreakers and rebels, for ungodly people and sinners, for unholy and irreverent people, for people who kill their parents, for murderers, 10) for sexually immoral people, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, and for people who give false testimony. And [law is for] everything else that is against the sound teaching 11) found in the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.
12) I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, appointing me to the ministry [i.e., to His service], because He considered me trustworthy, 13) [even] though I had previously spoken against Christ, and persecuted [Christians] and acted outrageously. However, I obtained mercy because I acted out of ignorance, not believing [in Christ]. 14) [But] the unearned favor of our Lord was given to me in great abundance, producing faith and love which are [found] in [the fellowship of] Christ Jesus.
15) This saying is trustworthy and deserves to be fully accepted: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I am the worst of them all. 16) However, even though I was the worst, I obtained mercy so that the patience of Jesus Christ could be shown toward the worst [of sinners] as an example for those people who would later believe in Him in order to [receive] never ending life. 17) Now, may there be honor and praise forever and ever to the eternal King, the immortal, invisible, only God. May it be so.
18) I give you this instruction, my son Timothy, in keeping with the previously spoken prophecies [i.e., predictions] about you, so that by [following] them you will fight the good battle, 19) holding on to [your] faith and a good conscience. Some people have rejected these things, resulting in the Ashipwreck@ of their faith [i.e., their spiritual life was ruined]. 20) Among these people are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered over to Satan [Note: This probably refers to withdrawing fellowship from them. See I Cor. 5:1-5], so that they would learn not to speak against God [anymore].
1) First of all, then, I urge you to offer [special] requests, prayers, intercessions [Note: AIntercessions@ probably refers to praying on behalf of others], and thanksgivings for all people. 2) [Offer them] for kings and for all people in prominent [governmental] positions, so that we can live a peaceful and quiet life in all reverence [toward God] and respectability [toward people]. 3) This is good and acceptable [behavior] in the sight of God our Savior, 4) who wants all people to be saved and come to a [full] knowledge of the truth. 5) For there is one God and one Mediator between God and mankind --- the man Christ Jesus, 6) who gave Himself as a ransom on behalf of all people [i.e., as a substitute in place of others]. The proper time for the testimony [of this event to be proclaimed] has arrived. [Note: The correct meaning of the foregoing sentence is very difficult to determine]. 7) I was appointed to be a preacher [of this testimony] and an apostle and teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. (I am telling the truth and not lying).
8) Therefore, I want the men to pray in every place [i.e., in all worship assemblies. See verses 1-2], lifting up holy hands without being angry or argumentative. [Note: This passage stresses both the physical and spiritual aspects of prayer].
9) I also want the women to dress themselves in proper clothing, with modesty and discretion, not with [elaborately] braided hair, or gold [ornaments], or pearls, or expensive clothing, 10) but with good deeds, which are [more] appropriate for women who claim to be godly. 11) A woman should learn [the Scriptures] in quietness, being fully submissive. 12) But I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man [in the assembly], but she should remain quiet. 13) For Adam was created first, and then Eve was. [See Gen. 1:27; 2:21-22]. 14) And Adam was not [the one] deceived, but [it was] the woman who, when deceived, fell into sin. 15) But she [i.e., womankind] will be saved [from condemnation, in spite of the Acurse@ of suffering pain] through childbearing [See Gen. 3:16], provided they [i.e., all women] continue to have faith and love and holiness, along with discretion.
1) This is a trustworthy saying: If any man eagerly desires to be an overseer [i.e., an elder], he desires a noble task. 2) Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of [only] one wife, sober-minded [Note: When this word, used here figuratively, is used in its literal sense, it means to abstain from intoxicating drinks], sensible, respectable, hospitable, capable of teaching. 3) [He must] not be a drunkard or a fighter, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not wanting to get money by questionable [or, dishonest] means. 4) [He must] manage his own family well and, with dignity, keep his children in subjection [or, Arespectful@]. 5) For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how will he be able to take care of the church of God? 6) [He must] not be a new convert or else he could become conceited [i.e., over being in a leadership position] and fall into the [same] condemnation incurred by the devil. 7) He must also have a good reputation among outsiders [i.e., non-Christians], or else he could fall into reproach [i.e., from worldly people] and [therefore] into the devil=s trap.
8) Similarly, deacons should be serious-minded [i.e., dignified], not saying one thing while meaning another, not drinking a lot of wine [Note: The wine of Paul=s day was used as a common drink, and was either non-intoxicating or far less intoxicating than wine today], not wanting to get money by questionable [or, dishonest] means. 9) They should keep holding on to the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10) And these [prospective deacons] should also first be tested, [and] then they should [be appointed to] serve [as deacons] if they are found to be above reproach. 11) Women [i.e., probably the deacons= wives], in the same way, should be serious-minded [i.e., dignified], not gossips, [but] sober-minded [see verse 2] and trustworthy in everything. 12) Deacons should be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own family affairs well. 13) For those who have served well [as deacons] acquire for themselves a good standing [i.e., they are respected in the church], and the ability to speak boldly [or, to act confidently] in the faith that is in Christ Jesus [i.e., in the Christian faith].
14) Although I hope to visit you soon, I am writing these things [in this letter] 15) so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to behave themselves in God=s family, which is the church of the living God, the [supporting] column and foundation of the truth. 16) And without question the revealed secret of godly living is great. [It is this]: He [i.e., Christ, or God], who appeared in a fleshly body [was] vindicated [of false charges] by the Holy Spirit; [He was] seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed in throughout the world [and finally] was taken up into glory [i.e., heaven].
1) Now the Holy Spirit specifically says that in later times [Note: ALater times@ in the New Testament usually refers to the period following the first coming of Christ and the establishment of the church], some people will fall away from the faith [i.e., the true teaching of Christianity]. They will pay attention to deceitful spirits [i.e., lying people] and the teaching of evil spirits. 2) [Such teaching will be spread] by hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared over as with a hot iron [i.e., making them insensitive to their guilt]. 3) They forbid people to get married and require them to avoid [eating] certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and [fully] know the truth. 4) For everything created by God is permitted [to be eaten] and nothing should be refused, if it is received with gratitude, 5) for it is consecrated [i.e., made acceptable] by the word of God and prayer.
6) If you point out these things to the brothers you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, and will be nurtured by the message of the faith and of the good teaching which you have been following. 7) But you should have nothing to do with those worldly myths [See 1:4] and superstitious tales [often] told by old women. Instead, train yourself for living a godly life. 8) For physical training is useful to some extent [or, Afor a short time@], but living godly is useful in every way, for it promises benefits [not only] for the present life, but [also] for the life to come. 9) This [foregoing] saying is trustworthy and deserves to be fully accepted. 10) For that reason we work hard and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, [and] especially of those who believe [in Christ].
11) Command and teach these things [i.e., the foregoing teaching. See verse 6-7]. 12) Do not allow anyone to look down on you because you are [so] young, but you should be an example to those who believe [in Christ] in your speech, in your conduct, in your love, in your faith [and] in your purity. 13) Until I come [to you], pay attention to the [public] reading [of Scripture], to exhorting people and to teaching. 14) Do not neglect [using] the gift [i.e., of serving as an evangelist. See II Tim. 4:5], which was given to you in response to a prophetic message [or, prediction], along with the laying on of the elders= hands [i.e., signifying your appointment]. 15) Be attentive to these things [i.e., all of the foregoing]; be involved in [practicing] them, so that your progress [in the ministry] will be evident to everyone. 16) Pay close attention to yourself and to what you teach [people]. Continue doing these things, for in doing them you will both save yourself and those who listen to you.
1) Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as [you would to] your father. [Appeal to] the younger men as [you would to] your brothers; 2) [to] older women as [you would to] mothers; [to] the younger women as [you would to] your sisters, in a [morally] pure way. 3) Show consideration for true widows [i.e., those destitute of family members to care for them]. 4) But if any widow has children or grandchildren, these should first learn [how] to show respectful consideration for their own family members, and [thus] to repay their parents [i.e., for bringing them up and caring for their material needs], for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 5) Now the woman who is a true widow, and living all alone, has placed her hope in God and continues [to offer] special requests and prayers [for help ?] night and day. 6) But the widow who devotes herself to unrestrained pleasure is [spiritually] dead, even while still living. 7) Command these things also, so that they [i.e., the widows and their families] can live above reproach. 8) But if anyone does not provide for [the needs of] his own [relatives], and especially for his own [immediate] family, he has denied the faith [i.e., the fundamental beliefs of Christianity], and is worse than an unbeliever. 9) [But] do not put a widow on the list [i.e., of people being helped by the church. See Acts 6:1] who is under sixty years old. [And she must] have been the wife of one man, 10) having a reputation for doing good deeds, [such as] bringing up children, showing hospitality to strangers, washing the feet of the saints [i.e., God=s holy people], assisting people in trouble and devoting herself to doing all [other] kinds of good deeds.
11) But refuse [to put] younger widows [on the list. See verse 9], because when they become restless for sensual pleasure, contrary to [their commitment to] Christ, they want to get married [again]. 12) Thus, they bring the judgment [for being untrustworthy] on themselves because they have broken their previous pledge. [Note: This probably refers to younger widows who pledged themselves to fulfill some important church activity and then quit suddenly to get married. But some suggest it refers to them leaving the faith and marrying a non-Christian]. 13) And on top of that, they learn to be idle, going around from house to house; and not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not be. 14) Therefore, I want the younger widows to get married, have children and manage their homes, so that they do not give the enemy [i.e., non-Christians] an opportunity for speaking against [the church]. 15) For some [young widows] have already turned away [from their commitment to God] to serve Satan. 16) [So], if any woman believer has widows [in her family], she should take care of them and not require the church to be burdened, so that it can take care of the true widows [i.e., destitute ones].
17) The elders who lead [the church] well should be considered deserving of double honor [Note: This probably refers to financial support in addition to the honor of the office], especially those who work hard at [preaching] the word and at teaching it. 18) For the Scripture says [Deut. 25:4], AYou should not put a muzzle on the ox while it tramples over the grain.@ And [Luke 10:7], AThe worker deserves his wages.@ 19) Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it comes from two or three witnesses. 20) You should rebuke in front of everyone [in the church] those elders who continue to sin, so that the rest [of the congregation] will be afraid [of sinning].
21) I solemnly urge you, in the presence of God, and Christ Jesus and the elect [i.e., chosen] angels, that you obey these instructions without showing prejudice [toward anyone], or doing anything out of partiality.
22) Do not be in a hurry to lay hands on anyone [i.e., to appoint them to office. See 4:14], and do not participate in the sins of other people. [Note: If Timothy failed to carefully determine the qualifications of a prospective elder before appointing him, it would make him partially responsible for any wrongdoing by that elder]. Keep yourself pure [i.e., of involvement in anyone=s sins]. 23) Do not continue drinking water only, but use a little wine [i.e., for its medicinal value] for your stomach and for your frequent [other] ailments. 24) The sins of some people are evident, preceding them to [the day of] judgment, but the sins of other people follow them there. 25) In the same way, the good deeds [of people] are [also] evident, and even those [deeds] which are not [good] cannot be hidden.
1) All those people who are under the reins of slavery [i.e., in subjection to someone] should consider their own masters as deserving of full respect, so that God=s name and [His] teaching will not be spoken against [i.e., by unbelievers]. 2) And those slaves who have believing masters should not despise them, since they are [Christian] brothers, but rather they should serve them all the more [faithfully]. For those [masters] who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved [by them and God]. Teach and exhort people regarding these things.
3) If anyone teaches a different doctrine [i.e., from what has been urged above], and does not agree to [proclaim the] sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and to teaching that is godly [i.e., in harmony with godliness], 4) that person is conceited. He does not understand anything, but has an unhealthy concern for controversy and arguments over words, which produce envy, dissension, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5) [and] continual wrangling between people with corrupt minds, who are deprived of the truth. They think that [professing] godliness is a way to obtain [financial] gain. 6) But godliness [itself] is great gain, [when it is] accompanied by contentment. 7) For we did not bring anything into the world, and we cannot take anything out of it either. 8) But if we have [enough] food and clothing, we will [i.e., should] be content with that. 9) But those people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and [spiritual] destruction. 10) For, loving money is a source of all kinds of evil, [and] some people who crave it have been led astray from the faith, and have stabbed themselves [in the heart] with many sorrows.
11) But you, man of God, run from these things [See verses 3-10], and pursue right living and godliness, having faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12) Fight the good battle of the faith; take hold of never ending life, to which you were called [i.e., by the Gospel. See II Thess. 2:14], [when] you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. [Note: This Aconfession@ probably refers to a person=s acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord and Christ prior to his immersion. See Acts 2:36; Rom. 10:9-10]. 13) I [solemnly] urge you in the presence of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who made the good confession when He testified in front of Pontius Pilate [See John 18:37; Matt. 27:17], 14) to obey this command without [moral] blemish or blame. [Note: This Acommand@ probably refers to Timothy=s responsibility to fulfill his ministry. See verses 11-12; II Tim. 4:1-2]. [Do this] until our Lord Jesus Christ returns, 15) which God will bring about in its [or, AHis@] own time. [For] He is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. 16) He alone possesses immortality [Note: That is, only God possesses an eternal existence, with neither beginning nor ending. See John 5:26], and lives in unapproachable light. No one has seen Him, or can see Him. May there be honor and never ending power to Him. May it be so.
17) [Solemnly] urge those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, nor to place their hope in the uncertainty of [their] wealth, but in God, who generously supplies us with everything to enjoy. 18) [Urge them] to do what is good, to be rich in [the practice of] good deeds, to be generous and willing to share [with others]. 19) [In that way] they will store up for themselves a treasure [of never ending rewards] for providing a solid foundation for the future, so that they can take hold of the true life [i.e., in heaven].
20) [So], Timothy, guard [the Gospel message] which has been entrusted to you, while avoiding worldly, empty chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called Aknowledge,@ 21) which some people have claimed [to have], and in doing so have strayed from the faith.
May [God=s] unearned favor be upon you.
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Copyright © 1994 by William E. Paul.
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