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1 Timothy 1:20 – Hymeneus and Alexander

08-11-2023 - Posted by Hans

Of whom are Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I give up to Satan, that they may be trained not to calumniate

The two names mentioned here serve as examples of people who have rejected a good conscience so that their faith has suffered shipwreck. Conscience is the basic, inner voice of God with which every human being is endowed. Anyone who does not listen to that will not rely on the compass of the sound words of faith.

The two names mentioned here are also found in the second Timothy letter (2:17 and 4:14), although it is not entirely certain whether they are the same persons in both cases. It could well be, because in those passages too, both Hymenaeus and Alexander appear to be opponents of Paul’s message. Here Paul only mentions that both men blaspheme (Gr. blasphemeo). Slander is slander with the intention of damaging someone’s name and reputation.

Hymenaeus and Alexander were not merely opponents of Paul’s message. They slandered and were of ill will and therefore unreachable. What could Paul do other than let them go and thus in practice hand them over to the adversary (= Satan)? Maybe being ignored and isolated would open their eyes? If you definitely don’t want to hear, you just have to feel.