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1 Timothy 5:19 – Two or three witnesses

14-06-2024 - Posted by Hans

Against an elder do not assent to an accusation outside and except before two or three witnesses.

People who are in the front bear more responsibility than others who are not in the position. Their actions are also more visible and that often means that they are more likely to be exposed to suspicion and accusations. Timothy is urged not to participate in such ‘people’s judgments’. In such trials, the ABC of justice is violated because the verdict has already been determined in advance, without proper grounds.

One of the most important principles of fair justice is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. To prove guilt, at least two or three witnesses are required. ‘One witness is no witness’, so the saying goes. A witness will always have to find support in other evidence.

The principle that a conviction may only take place with at least two or three witnesses is encountered several times in the Torah (Deut. 17:6, 19:15,18,19).”… on the statement of two or three witnesses a matter will be settled.” It is the basis of Israel’s jurisprudence. Jesus also refers to this principle several times (Matt. 18:16; John 8:17), as does Paul (2 Cor. 13:1; Heb. 10:28). God Himself honors this principle: He proves and confirms His Own word!