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1 Timothy 5:20 – Two or three witnesses

14-06-2024 - Posted by Hans

Those who are sinning be exposing in the sight of all, that the rest also may have fear.

For a well-founded accusation, even for seniors, at least two or three witnesses are needed (5:19). Evidence must be provided. That is also the subject in this verse, although Paul is no longer thinking specifically about the seniors. This instruction applies to all “those who sin.” Sin is a broad concept and it is not without reason that Paul leaves its nature open. A person who sins deviates and misses the mark. Regardless of how and in what. This can be in actions, in words or in thoughts and ideas.

Timothy is instructed to openly expose this sin. It is unfortunate that many translations choose to render this word (Gr. elegcho) here as punish. That gives a wrong impression. The Greek word contains the idea of ​​proving, convincing and disproving. Timothy is not called to respond to sin in an authoritarian and angry manner. No, he would expose those who sin. How else but through the Scriptures, God’s word that is sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb.4:12)? That Word exposes and exposes deviations. And it is that Word that inspires deep awe because of its power and sharpness.