1From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by order of God our Saviour and Christ Jesus our hope —
2To Timothy, my true son in the faith:
May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.
Warnings against False Teaching
3I want you to stay in Ephesus, just as I urged you when I was on my way to Macedonia. Some people there are teaching false doctrines, and you must order them to stop. 4Tell them to give up those legends and those long lists of ancestors, which only produce arguments; they do not serve God's plan, which is known by faith. 5The purpose of this order is to arouse the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith. 6Some people have turned away from these and have lost their way in foolish discussions. 7They want to be teachers of God's law, but they do not understand their own words or the matters about which they speak with so much confidence.
8We know that the Law is good if it is used as it should be used. 9It must be remembered, of course, that laws are made, not for good people, but for lawbreakers and criminals, for the godless and sinful, for those who are not religious or spiritual, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for the immoral, for sexual perverts, for kidnappers, for those who lie and give false testimony or who do anything else contrary to sound doctrine. 11That teaching is found in the gospel that was entrusted to me to announce, the Good News from the glorious and blessed God.
Gratitude for God's Mercy
12I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength for my work. I thank him for considering me worthy and appointing me to serve him, 13even though in the past I spoke evil of him and persecuted and insulted him. But God was merciful to me because I did not yet have faith and so did not know what I was doing. 14And our Lord poured out his abundant grace on me and gave me the faith and love which are ours in union with Christ Jesus. 15This is a true saying, to be completely accepted and believed: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them, 16but God was merciful to me in order that Christ Jesus might show his full patience in dealing with me, the worst of sinners, as an example for all those who would later believe in him and receive eternal life. 17To the eternal King, immortal and invisible, the only God — to him be honour and glory for ever and ever! Amen.
18Timothy, my child, I entrust to you this command, which is in accordance with the words of prophecy spoken in the past about you. Use those words as weapons in order to fight well, 19and keep your faith and a clear conscience. Some people have not listened to their conscience and have made a ruin of their faith. 20Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have punished by handing them over to the power of Satan; this will teach them to stop their blasphemy.
1First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people; 2for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence towards God and with proper conduct. 3This is good and it pleases God our Saviour, 4who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth. 5For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and human beings together, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself to redeem everyone. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved, 7and that is why I was sent as an apostle and teacher of the Gentiles, to proclaim the message of faith and truth. I am not lying; I am telling the truth!
8In every church service I want the men to pray, men who are dedicated to God and can lift up their hands in prayer without anger or argument. 9I also want the women to be modest and sensible about their clothes and to dress properly; not with fancy hair styles or with gold ornaments or pearls or expensive dresses, 10but with good deeds, as is proper for women who claim to be religious. 11Women should learn in silence and all humility. 12I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet. 13For Adam was created first, and then Eve. 14And it was not Adam who was deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and broke God's law. 15But a woman will be saved through having children, if she perseveres in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
1This is a true saying: if a man is eager to be a church leader, he desires an excellent work. 2A church leader must be without fault; he must have only one wife, be sober, self-controlled, and orderly; he must welcome strangers in his home; he must be able to teach; 3he must not be a drunkard or a violent man, but gentle and peaceful; he must not love money; 4he must be able to manage his own family well and make his children obey him with all respect. 5For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of the church of God? 6He must be mature in the faith, so that he will not swell up with pride and be condemned, as the Devil was. 7He should be a man who is respected by the people outside the church, so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the Devil's trap.
Helpers in the Church
8Church helpers must also have a good character and be sincere; they must not drink too much wine or be greedy for money; 9they should hold to the revealed truth of the faith with a clear conscience. 10They should be tested first, and then, if they pass the test, they are to serve. 11Their wives also must be of good character and must not gossip; they must be sober and honest in everything. 12A church helper must have only one wife, and be able to manage his children and family well. 13Those helpers who do their work well win for themselves a good standing and are able to speak boldly about their faith in Christ Jesus.
The Great Secret
14As I write this letter to you, I hope to come and see you soon. 15But if I am delayed, this letter will let you know how we should conduct ourselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16No one can deny how great is the secret of our religion:
1The Spirit says clearly that some people will abandon the faith in later times; they will obey lying spirits and follow the teachings of demons. 2Such teachings are spread by deceitful liars, whose consciences are dead, as if burnt with a hot iron. 3Such people teach that it is wrong to marry and to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten, after a prayer of thanks, by those who are believers and have come to know the truth. 4Everything that God has created is good; nothing is to be rejected, but everything is to be received with a prayer of thanks, 5because the word of God and the prayer make it acceptable to God.
A Good Servant of Christ Jesus
6If you give these instructions to the believers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, as you feed yourself spiritually on the words of faith and of the true teaching which you have followed. 7But keep away from those godless legends, which are not worth telling. Keep yourself in training for a godly life. 8Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future. 9This is a true saying, to be completely accepted and believed. 10We struggle and work hard, because we have placed our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all and especially of those who believe.
11Give them these instructions and these teachings. 12Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith, and purity. 13Until I come, give your time and effort to the public reading of the Scriptures and to preaching and teaching. 14Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is in you, which was given to you when the prophets spoke and the elders laid their hands on you. 15Practise these things and devote yourself to them, in order that your progress may be seen by all. 16Watch yourself and watch your teaching. Keep on doing these things, because if you do, you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
1Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as if he were your father. Treat the younger men as your brothers, 2the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, with all purity.
3Show respect for widows who really are all alone. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn first to carry out their religious duties towards their own family and in this way repay their parents and grandparents, because that is what pleases God. 5A widow who is all alone, with no one to take care of her, has placed her hope in God and continues to pray and ask him for his help night and day. 6But a widow who gives herself to pleasure has already died, even though she lives. 7Give them these instructions, so that no one will find fault with them. 8But if anyone does not take care of his relatives, especially the members of his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9Do not add any widow to the list of widows unless she is over sixty years of age. In addition, she must have been married only once10and have a reputation for good deeds: a woman who brought up her children well, received strangers in her home, performed humble duties for fellow-Christians, helped people in trouble, and devoted herself to doing good.
11But do not include younger widows in the list; because when their desires make them want to marry, they turn away from Christ, 12and so become guilty of breaking their earlier promise to him. 13They also learn to waste their time in going round from house to house; but even worse, they learn to be gossips and busybodies, talking of things they should not. 14So I would prefer that the younger widows get married, have children, and take care of their homes, so as to give our enemies no chance of speaking evil of us. 15For some widows have already turned away to follow Satan. 16But if any Christian woman has widows in her family, she must take care of them and not put the burden on the church, so that it may take care of the widows who are all alone.
17The elders who do good work as leaders should be considered worthy of receiving double pay, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox when you are using it to thresh corn” and “Workers should be given their pay.”19Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or more witnesses. 20Rebuke publicly all those who commit sins, so that the rest may be afraid.
21In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the holy angels I solemnly call upon you to obey these instructions without showing any prejudice or favour to anyone in anything you do. 22Be in no hurry to lay hands on anyone in dedication to the Lord's service. Take no part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.
23Do not drink water only, but take a little wine to help your digestion, since you are ill so often.
24The sins of some people are plain to see, and their sins go ahead of them to judgement; but the sins of others are seen only later. 25In the same way good deeds are plainly seen, and even those that are not so plain cannot be hidden.
1Those who are slaves must consider their masters worthy of all respect, so that no one will speak evil of the name of God and of our teaching. 2Slaves belonging to Christian masters must not despise them, for they are their brothers and sisters. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their work are believers whom they love.
False Teaching and True Riches
You must teach and preach these things. 3Whoever teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the true words of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching of our religion 4is swollen with pride and knows nothing. He has an unhealthy desire to argue and quarrel about words, and this brings on jealousy, disputes, insults, evil suspicions, 5and constant arguments from people whose minds do not function and who no longer have the truth. They think that religion is a way to become rich.
6Well, religion does make a person very rich, if he is satisfied with what he has. 7What did we bring into the world? Nothing! What can we take out of the world? Nothing! 8So then, if we have food and clothes, that should be enough for us. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and are caught in the trap of many foolish and harmful desires, which pull them down to ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil. Some have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the faith and have broken their hearts with many sorrows.
11But you, man of God, avoid all these things. Strive for righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12Run your best in the race of faith, and win eternal life for yourself; for it was to this life that God called you when you firmly professed your faith before many witnesses. 13Before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who firmly professed his faith before Pontius Pilate, I command you 14to obey your orders and keep them faithfully until the Day when our Lord Jesus Christ will appear. 15His appearing will be brought about at the right time by God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. 16He alone is immortal; he lives in the light that no one can approach. No one has ever seen him; no one can ever see him. To him be honour and eternal dominion! Amen.
17Command those who are rich in the things of this life not to be proud, but to place their hope, not in such an uncertain thing as riches, but in God, who generously gives us everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share with others. 19In this way they will store up for themselves a treasure which will be a solid foundation for the future. And then they will be able to win the life which is true life.
20Timothy, keep safe what has been entrusted to your care. Avoid the profane talk and foolish arguments of what some people wrongly call “Knowledge”. 21For some have claimed to possess it, and as a result they have lost the way of faith.