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1 Timothy 1:3 – No different teaching

26-09-2023 - Posted by Hans

According as I entreat you, remain with them in Ephesus, when going into Macedonia, that you should be charging some not to be teaching differently

The first part of the above sentence is a major headache for translators. I will leave the ins and outs of it here. This also applies to the dating of the letter, which is mainly based on the explanation of this difficult verse. Some place the letter in the time of Acts 20:1 (or Acts 19:22), which is around 55 AD. However, it is usually assumed that the letter must have been written after Paul’s two-year captivity in Rome (Acts 28:30; 60-62 AD) and therefore falls outside Luke’s historical record. That makes the letter difficult to trace with precision. We will have to make do with those margins.

One thing is certain: Timothy would remain in Ephesus for the time being “to be charging some not to be teaching differently.” Paul gets straight to the point with this appeal and this sets the tone of the Timothy letter. There is one teaching that would be taught and Timothy would oversee it. All teaching should be in accordance with what Paul had taught. That was the criterion for Timothy: “sound teaching” (1 Tim. 1:10; 2 Tim. 4:3; Tit. 1:9; 2:1). And today it is still no different.