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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 1 - Verse 3

Verse 3. As I besought thee still to abide at Ephesus. It is clear from this, that Paul and Timothy had been labouring together at Ephesus, and the language accords with the supposition that Paul had been compelled to leave before he had completed what he had designed to do there. See the Intro. 2.

When I went into Macedonia. Having been driven away by the excitement caused by Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen, Ac 20:1. See the Intro. & 2, 3.

That thou mightest charge some. The word charge here—paraggeilhv— seems to mean more than is commonly implied by the word as used by us. If it had been a single direction or command, it might have been given by Paul himself before he left, but it seems rather to refer to that continuous instruction which would convince these various errorists, and lead them to inculcate only the true doctrine. As they may have been numerous,—as they may have embraced various forms of error, and as they might have had plausible grounds for their belief, this was evidently a work requiring time, and hence Timothy was left to effect this at leisure. It would seem that the wrath which had been excited against Paul had not affected Timothy, but that he was permitted to remain and labour without molestation. It is not certainly known who these teachers were, but they appear to have been of Jewish origin, and to have inculcated the peculiar sentiments of the Jews respecting the law.

That they teach no other doctrine. That is, no other doctrine than that taught by the apostles. The Greek word here used is not found in the classic writers, and does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament except in 1 Ti 6:3 of this epistle, where it is rendered `teach otherwise.' We may learn here what was the design for which Timothy was left at Ephesus.

(1.) It was for a temporary purpose, and not as a permanent arrangement. It was to correct certain errors prevailing there which Paul would have been able himself soon to correct if he had been suffered to remain. Paul expected soon to return to him again, and then they would proceed unitedly with their work. 1 Ti 4:13; 3:15.

(2.) It was not that he might be the "bishop" of Ephesus. There is no evidence that he was "ordained" there at all, as the subscription to the second epistle declares, (see Notes on that subscription,) nor were the functions which he was to perform, those of a prelatical bishop. He was not to take the charge of a "diocese," or to ordain ministers of the "second rank," or to administer the rite of confirmation, or to perform acts of discipline, he was left there for a purpose which is specified, and that is as far as possible from what are now regarded as the appropriate functions of a prelatical bishop. Perhaps no claim which has ever been set up has had less semblance of argument than that which asserts that Timothy was the "bishop of Ephesus." See this clause examined in my "Inquiry into the Organization and Government of the Apostolic Church," [pp. 91—-114, London edition.]

{f} "went into Macedonia" Ac 20:1,3

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