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1 Timothy 4:7 – Refusal versus exercise

08-02-2024 - Posted by Hans

Now profane and old womanish myths refuse yet exercise yourself in devoutness

Against being cultivated in “the words of the faith and the ideal teaching,” Paul contrasts “profane and old womanish myths.” He could not have formulated the contrast more sharply. At the beginning of this letter, Paul already referred to such myths (1:4). These are stories in the category of ‘people say’. Traditionally, old women have had a proverbial reputation for having a soft spot for this. Endless talking and arguing about irrelevant topics, based on rumors and unproven claims (’talk’). They are stories that often have a lot of volume (seem large), but without any weight. Paul disqualifies this genre as profane. Such myths are the opposite of “sound teaching” in both content and effect. Timothy is not called to combat the myths, but to resolutely turn away from them. Because by paying attention to it he could suggest that the circulating nonsense should be taken seriously.

Instead of paying attention to stories and claims without any foundation, Timothy would train himself like an athlete “in devoutness” (Gr. eusebeia = good reverence). He would train himself to give the one GOD the honor that belongs only to Him in everything!