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Song of Solomon
1 Timothy 3 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)
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1 Timothy 3
1 Timothy 3:1
a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
Faithful is the saying
this is a true saying
Faithful is the saying
1 Timothy 1:15
, note). This manifestly refers to what follows, not, as Chrysostom and others, and margin of the R.V., to the saying which precedes, in
1 Timothy 2:15
stretches out his hands after
is peculiar in the New Testament to the pastoral Epistles and the Epistle to the Hebrews, though common in classical Greek (see
1 Timothy 6:10
). The noun
, appetite, desire (which is found several times in the LXX.), is used once by St. Paul (
The office of a bishop
; meaning here, as everywhere else in Scripture, that of a presbyter, or priest.
, in the sense of "the episcopate," occurs only here and
, where it is rendered "bishopric" in the A.V., and "overseer-ship" in the margin of the R.V., being the translation in the LXX. of Psalm 108 (Psalms 109, A.V.) of the Hebrew
, "his office." Elsewhere (
1 Peter 2:12
1 Peter 5:6
) it means "visitation." But
, "bishop" (ver. 2) - except in
1 Peter 2:25
, where it is applied to Christ - always means the overseer of the particular flock, - the presbyter (
the functions of such
1 Peter 5:2
compared with 1). It was not till the sub-apostolic age that the name of
was confined to the chief overseer who had "
and deacons" under him, as Timothy and Titus had. Possibly this application of the word arose from the visits of the apostles, and afterwards of men sent by the apostles, as Timothy and Titus, Tychicus and
, were, to visit the Churches, being occasional and temporary only, as those of Visitors. For such occasional visitation is implied in the verb
Matthew 25:36, 43
Luke 1:68, 78
). Afterwards, when the wants of the Churches required permanent oversight, the name
(Moeso-Goth.), etc. - became universal for the chief overseer of the Church.
A good work
, as ver. 10).
means "honourable," "becoming," "beneficial," and the like.
1 Timothy 3:2
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
of good behavior
(see note on ver. 1); "a bishop" is better English.
); only here and
1 Timothy 5:7
and 1 Tim 6:14 in the New Testament; not found anywhere in the LXX, but used by Thucydides, Euripides, and others, in the sense of "not open to attack," "blameless." The metaphor is said (though denied by others)to be from wrestling or boxing, when a man leaves no part of his body exposed to the attack of his adversary.
The husband of one wife
). Three senses are possible. The passage may be understood
a bishop, (or presbyter) to have a wife, and so some took it even in Chrysostom's time (though he does not so understand it), and so the Russian Church understands it;
as prohibiting his having more than one with at a time;
as prohibiting second marriages for priests and bishops. Bishop Wordsworth, Bishop Ellicott, and Dean Alford, among English commentators, all agree in thinking that (3) is the apostle's meaning. In spite of such
, it appears in the highest degree improbable that St. Paul should have laid down such a condition for the priesthood. There is nothing in his writings when treating expressly of second marriages (
Romans 7:2, 3
1 Corinthians 7:8, 39
) to suggest the notion of there being anything disreputable in a second marriage, and it would obviously cast a great slur upon second marriages if it were laid down as a principle that no one who had married twice was fit to be an
. But if we consider the general laxity in regard to marriage, and the facility of divorce, which prevailed among Jews and Romans at this time, it must have been a common thing for a man to have more than one woman living who had been his wife. And this, as a distinct breach of the primeval law (
), would properly be a bar to any one being called to the "office of a bishop." The same case is supposed in
1 Corinthians 7:10-13
. But it is utterly unsupported by any single passage in Scripture that a second marriage should disqualify a man for the sacred ministry. As regards the opinion of the early Church, it was not at all uniform, and amongst those who held that this passage absolutely prohibits second marriages in the case of an
, it was merely a part of the asceticism of the day. As a matter of course, such writers as Origen and Tertullian held it. The very early opinion that Joseph, the husband of Mary, had children by a former wife, which finds place in the Protevangelium of James (9.), is hardly consistent with the theory of the disreputableness of second marriages. In like manner, the phrase in
1 Timothy 5:9
ἐνὸς ἀνδρὸς γυνή
, is best explained in accordance with the apostle's doctrine about the lawfulness of a woman's second marriage, as meaning that she was the husband of one man only, as long as her husband lived. (For the chief patristic opinions on the subject, see Bishop Wordsworth's note, and Bingham's 'Christian Antiquities,' bk. 4.
1 Timothy 5
.) Temperate (
); peculiar to the pastoral Epistles (see ver. 11 and
), but found in classical Greek. The verb
means "to be sober" (
1 Thessalonians 5:6
2 Timothy 4:5
1 Peter 1:13
1 Peter 4:7
1 Peter 5:8
). It denotes that temperate use of meat and drink which keeps the mind watchful and on the alert, and then the state of mind itself so produced. The opposite state of mind is described in
. Sober-minded (
); in the New Testament only here and in
Titus 2:2, 5
is found in the Gospels and Epistles;
σωφρονίζω σωφρονισμός σωφρόνως
, in the pastoral Epistles; and
1 Timothy 2:15
(where see note). Orderly (
1 Timothy 2:9
, note). Given to hospitality (
1 Peter 4:9
). The substantive
is found in
. Apt to teach (
); only here and
2 Timothy 2:24
, and Philo, 'De Proem. et Virt.,' 4 (Huther). The classical word is
, though chiefly applied to
. In the above-quoted passage in
1 Peter 4
. the gifts of
are, as here, placed alongside that of
1 Timothy 3:3
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
not given to wine
, A.V.; the R.T. omits the clause
no lover of money
); only here and
; but, as well as
, common in classical Greek, in the sense of "quarrelsome over wine." In
1 Peter 4:3
the word for "excess of wine" is
); only here and
. It is used, though rarely, in classical Greek for a "striker," "brawler." There is but weak manuscript authority for the reading in the T.R.,
not given to filthy lucre
, which is thought to have been derived from
.). The internal evidence, however, is in its favor, as something is wanted to correspond to
, just as
. So also it is rendered in the A.V. of
1 Peter 2:18
. It is very common in classical Greek, in the sense of "
," "suitable," of things; and of "
," of persons. The substantive
means "clemency," "
2 Corinthians 10:1
); only here and
in the New Testament, and in Ecclus. 19:5 in the Complutensian edition. It is also used in this sense in AEschylus, 'Persse,' 955, though its more common meaning in classical Greek is "invincible."
No lover of money
); only here and
occurs in Hippocrates. The positive
, occurs in
1 Timothy 6:10
2 Timothy 3:2
. Neither the A.V. nor the R.V. quite preserves the form of the original sentence, where the three negative qualities (
μὴ πάροινον μὴ πλήκτην μὴ αἰσχροκερδῆ
, T.R.) are followed by three positive qualities (
ἐπιοικῆ ἄμαχον ἀφιλάργυρον
," and "
1 Timothy 3:4
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
One that ruleth well his own house.
is one who has to preside over and rule (
) the house of God (
1 Timothy 5:17
1 Thessalonians 5:12
), as the high priest was called "ruler of the house of God" (
1 Chronicles 9:11
). So in Justin Martyr the bishop is called
ὁ προεστῶς τῶν ἀδελφῶν
('Apology,' 11) and simply
, and similarly in
the clergy are
οἱ ἡγούμενοι ὑμῶν
which have the rule over you." How needful, then, is it that he should rule well his own house, and have his own children in subjection! The testimony given in this passage to a married clergy is too clear to need any comment.
); as above,
1 Timothy 2:11
, where see note. For the sense, comp.
, which leads us to apply the words,
with all gravity
), the contrary to "riot,"
), to the children. The children of the
are to exhibit that seriousness and sobriety of conduct which is in accordance with their father's office,
, as in
1 Timothy 1:14
1 Timothy 3:5
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1 Timothy 3:6
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
lifted up with pride
); only here in the New Testament, but found repeatedly in the LXX. in its literal sense of "a tree" or "plantation" newly planted (Psalm 127:3 (Psalms 128:3, A.V.); 144:12;
). Here the
is one recently converted and received into the Church (comp.
1 Corinthians 3:6
). As such he is not yet fit to be a ruler and a teacher of the brethren. The reason follows.
Lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil
, puffed up, is peculiar in the New Testament to the pastoral Epistles (
1 Timothy 6:4
2 Timothy 3:4
, smoke (comp.
, "smoking flax,"
). The idea seems to be "lightness," "emptiness," and "elation." Some add that of "obscuration" as by smoke;
, to wrap in smoke;
, to be wrapt in clouds of conceit and folly (Liddell and Scott).
The condemnation of the devil
. A somewhat obscure phrase. It means either
the same condemnation as that into which the devil fell through pride, - and so Chrysostom, Olshausen, Bishop Ellicott, Wordsworth, Alford, etc., take it; or
the condemnation or accusation of the devil. In the latter case
would be used in the same sense as
, and would mean the charge preferred against him by "the accuser of the brethren" (comp.
Job 2:4, 5
). One of the senses of
is "to accuse" - like
and Scott). And this view agrees with
παγίδα τοῦ διαβόλου
in ver. 7, which means, not the trap into which the devil fell, but the trap laid by the devil. It remains doubtful which is the true sense, but
seems, on the whole, the most probable.
only mean Satan (
, etc.), though possibly conceived of as speaking by the mouth of traducers and vilifiers of the Church, as in ver. 7.
1 Timothy 3:7
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Good testimony from
a good report of
, A.V. Good testimony (
1 Timothy 5:10
). So it is said of Timothy himself that
, "he was well reported of by the brethren" (
). In accordance with this rule, letters testimonial are required of all persons to be ordained, to the importance of
in a clergyman (comp.
2 Corinthians 6:3
Them that are without
); used in
1 Peter 3:3
, etc., of that; which is
literally, as the outside of the cup, the outer ornament of the body, the outside of the sepulcher, the outer court of the temple. It is synonymous with the more common form,
. (For the phrase, "they that are without" (
), as applied to those who are not members of the Church, see
John 9:34, 35
1 Corinthians 5:12, 13
1 Thessalonians 4:12
.) The opposite is
1 Corinthians 5:12
, etc.). So
, of doctrines intended respectively for the outside world or the inner circle of disciples.
); the reproaches and revilings cast upon him by unbelievers (
). The verb
has the same sense (
1 Timothy 4:10
1 Peter 4:14
), and so in classical Greek. This reproach is further described as the
snare of the devil
1 Timothy 6:9
2 Timothy 2:26
), because it is through these revilings that the devil seeks to impair the power of his ministry and frighten him from the exercise of it. The genitive
depends only upon
, not upon
does not indicate that there are two separate things into which he falls, but adds, as a description of the
, that it is "a snare of the devil." The idea in
1 Peter 5:8
is analogous. There it is by
that the devil seeks to devour the disciple who is weak in faith. Those afflictions might well be described as
," a snare of the devil," set for weak souls.
1 Timothy 3:8
grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
Deacons in like manner must
likewise must the deacons
rendered "honest" in the A.V., and "honourable" in the R.V., and "venerable" in the margin. None of the words are satisfactory, but "honest" in the sense of
"respectable," "becoming the dignity of a man," comes nearest to the meaning of
is a man who inspires respect by his conduct and deportment. It occurs again in ver. 11 and in
); only here in the New Testament, or indeed anywhere. The verb
and the noun
are found in Xenophon and Diodorus Siculus, but in a different sense - "to repeat," "repetition." Here
is used in the sense of
; Ecclus. 28:13), "a slanderer," "a false-tongued man," who, as Theophylact (ap. Schleusner) well explains it, thinks one thing and says another, and says different things to different people. The caution here given is of incalculable importance to young curates. They must not allow themselves to be either receptacles or vehicles of scandal and detraction. Their speech to rich and poor alike must be perfectly sincere and ingenuous.
Not given to much wine.
The effect of the best sermon may be undone, and more than undone, if the preacher sinks into the pot-companion of his hearers. He at once ceases to be
inspire respect (comp.
where the additional idea, most true, of the
of drunkards, is introduced).
Greedy of filthy lucre
); only here and in ver. 3 (T.R.) and
. The adverb
1 Peter 5:2
, and is one of many points of resemblance between the pastoral Epistles and 1 Peter. Balsam, Gehazi, and Judas Iscariot are the three prominent examples of professed servants of God being lovers of filthy lucre. Achan (
) is another (see
1 Timothy 6:10
). When lucre is the price for doing wrong, it is "filthy." When lucre is sought on occasions where none is due, it is "filthy;" and when the desire of even just gains is excessive, it ceases to be clean.
1 Timothy 3:9
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
, a mystery, is that which, having been long hidden, is at length disclosed, either to men generally or to elect disciples. It is derived from
, to initiate, of which the passive
, to be instructed or initiated, is found in
, and is common in classical Greek, being itself derived from
, "to close the lips as in pronouncing the syllable
," whence also
. The idea is of something
, which might not be spoken cf. In the New Testament we have "the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven" (
); and St. Paul brings out the full force of the word when he speaks (
) of "the mystery which was
) since the world began... but is now made known to all nations for the obedience of faith" (see too
:26, etc.). "The faith" is equivalent to "the gospel," or "the kingdom of heaven," or the "godliness" of ver. 16 (where see note); and "the mystery of the faith" might be paraphrased by "the revealed truth of Christianity". What is added, "in a pure conscience," teaches us that orthodoxy without personal holiness is little worth. Holding "the truth in unrighteousness" is severely condemned by St. Paul (
). He says of himself (
), "I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day" (comp.
2 Corinthians 1:12
1 Timothy 1:5, 19
, etc.). It is much to be observed how St. Paul, the great teacher of the doctrine of g-race, lays constant stress upon the functions of the conscience, and the necessity of having a pure conscience.
1 Timothy 3:10
And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being
Serve as deacons
use the office of a deacon
if they be
And let these also
, etc. There is an ambiguity in the English here. It is not" these also" - these in addition to others,
the bishops before named - but "these be also first proved." Their general character, as described in vers. 8, 9, must not be taken upon loose hearsay, but must be put to the test by examination, by special testimony, by inquiry, and then, if they are
, not accused, not open to just blame,
, let them be admitted to serve as deacons (see
. 13, note). The Church of England scrupulously acts up to these directions by requiring written testimonials, by personal inquiries made by the bishop, by the
, by the appeal to the congregation in the Ordination Service, "Brethren, if there be any of you who knoweth any impediment, or notable crime, in any of these persons presented to be ordained deacons, for the which he ought not to be admitted to that office, let him come forth in the name of God, and show what the crime or impediment is;" as well as by the careful examination of the candidates.
Titus 1:6, 7
, rendered in the Vulgate
nullum crimen habentes
(which seems to explain the "notable crime" of the Ordination Service), and in
"unreprovable" both in the A.V. and the R.V. The whole passage, from ver. 2 to ver. 13, shows the supreme importance of a holy and blameless conversation in the clergy.
1 Timothy 3:11
grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
Women in like maturer must
even so must their wives
. What is meant by these "women"? Certainly not women in general, which would be quite out of harmony with the context. The choice lies between
the wives of the deacons, as in the A.V.;
the wives of the episcopi and deacons;
This last, on the whole, is the most probable. The male deacons had just been spoken of, and so the apostle goes on to speak of the female deacons (at
). He conceives of the deacon's office as consisting of two branches -
and gives appropriate directions for each. It must he remembered that the office of the early deacon was in a great measure secular, so that there is nothing strange in that of the deaconess being coupled with it. The retrain in ver. 12 to the male deacon is in favor of understanding "the women" of the deaconesses, as showing that the subject of the diaconate was not done with. Chrysostom (who says, "He is speaking of those who hold the rank of deaconesses") and all the ancient commentators, and De Wette, Wiesinger, Wordsworth, Alford, and Ellicott among the moderns, so understand it (see following notes).
; see ver. 8, note).
, corresponding to the
of ver. 8). This use of
, which is the classical one, is peculiar in the New Testament to the pastoral Epistles (see
2 Timothy 3:3
; see ver. 2, note). It corresponds here to the
μὴ οἴνῳ πολλῷ
of ver. 8.
Faithful in all things
πιστὰς ἐν πᾶδιν
). This seems to refer specially to their being the almoners of the Church charities, and so favors the explanation of "women" as meaning deaconesses.
means especially "trusty" (
1 Timothy 3:12
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
Husbands of one wife
(see above, ver. 2, note).
, etc. (
being at the head of
(see ver. 4, note). In
1 Thessalonians 5:12
it is applied to the spiritual ruler, the
of the Church. Elsewhere only in the pastoral Epistles (above, vers. 4 and 5;
1 Timothy 5:17
Titus 3:8, 14
Their own houses
(above, ver. 5). "Their
is in contrast to"
1 Timothy 3:13
For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Served well as deacons
used the office of a deacon well
gain to themselves a good standing
purchase to themselves a good degree
Served... as deacons
); as in ver. 10. In this technical sense only found in these two passages; which well agrees with the late date of this Epistle, when the technical sense of
Gain to themselves a good standing.
The sense of the passage depends a good deal upon the exact meaning of
1 Samuel 5:4, 5
, in the LXX.,
is the rendering of
), a somewhat unusual word for a "threshold." In
2 Kings 20:9, 10, 11
, it is the rendering of
, "a degree on the sun-dial." This latter seems to suit better the verb
, they gain or acquire, which suggests the idea of
. It does not follow that St. Paul had in his mind their advancement from the "
office" to "
higher ministries in the Church" (Ordination Service); he may merely have meant to say that the discharge of the duties of a deacon in an efficient and exemplary manner raised a man to high estimation in the Church, and so gave him confidence in confessing the faith of Jesus Christ both by word and deed.
Gain to themselves
); acquire by purchase or otherwise. Frequent in the LXX.; but only elsewhere in the New Testament in
); very common in the New Testament (comp.
Acts 4:13, 29, 31
, etc.), where it is especially applied to boldness in preaching the gospel of Christ. This seems to imply that St. Paul contemplated
as a part of the deacon's work. We know that Philip the deacon and Stephen the deacon were both preachers.
1 Timothy 3:14
These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
To come unto thee
; to Ephesus, where Timothy was (
1 Timothy 1:3
1 Timothy 3:15
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
ought to behave themselves
thou oughtest to behave thyself
To behave thyself
); variously rendered, both in the A.V. and the R.V., "to have one's conversation," "to live," "to pass (one's time)," "to be used" (
). It is literally "to go up and down" a given place, "backwards and forwards," hence "to dwell in it." The substantive
, in the thirteen places where it occurs in the New Testament, is always rendered "conversation" in the A.V.; in the R.V., "manner of life," "life," "issue of life," "
of living," "
," "living." It is a favorite word in the two Epistles of St. Peter, where it occurs eight times.
The house of God.
This phrase here denotes, as it is explained in the following words, the Church on earth. So
as a Son over his house; whose house are we," where the reference is to
servant Moses... is faithful in all mine house."
The Church of the living God.
Here is again a somewhat remarkable resemblance to the phraseology of the Epistle to the Hebrews, "Ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God.... to the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn" (
Hebrews 12:22, 23
). However, the phraseology is not peculiar to the Epistle to the Hebrews. Thus we read in
2 Corinthians 6:16
are the temple of the living God." The phrase, "
," occurs seven times in St. Paul's Epistles, and four times in the Epistle to the Hebrews. It occurs three times in the Gospels, once in the Acts of the Apostles, and once in the Revelation. Here it is used by St. Paul to enhance the obligation to a holy and blameless walk in those who have the oversight of his Church.
The pillar and ground of the truth
. Some apply these words to Timothy himself (Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, and others cited by Alford), after the analogy of
, where James, Cephas, and John are said to be "pillars" (
, where it is said of him that over-cometh, "I will make him a pillar (
) in the house of my God." And so, in Venantius Fortunatus, St. Paul is called "stilus ille." But the metaphors of "a pillar" and "a foundation" do not all suit the verb
; and it is well argued that the absence of the pronoun
is unfavorable to the application of "the pillar and ground of the truth" to the subject of the first clause. It is therefore better to understand this clause as descriptive of the Church of God. The Church is the pillar of the truth. It supports it; holds it together - binds together its different parts. And it is the ground of the truth. By it the truth is made fast, firm, and fixed.
). This word only occurs here at all;
, common both in the New Testament, the LXX., and in classical Greek, means "fixed," "firm," or" fast." In the A.V. of
1 Corinthians 7:37
and 1 Cor 15:58, "steadfast;"
(where it is coupled with
), "settled." Thence
in late Greek, "to make firm or fast," and
, the "establishment" or "grounding" of the truth; that in and by which the truth is placed on a sure and fixed basis.
1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
, A.V. and T.R.;
among the nations
unto the Gentiles
); only here in the New Testament, but used in the same sense in the LXX. and in classical Greek, "confessedly," by common confession.
Great is the mystery of godliness.
This is said to enhance the glory of the Church just spoken of, to whom this
has been entrusted, and so still further to impress upon Timothy the vital necessity of a wise and holy walk in the Church.
The mystery of godliness
is all that truth which "in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit."
the Christian faith;" what in
1 Timothy 6:3
is called "The words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine which is according to godliness (
τῇ κατ αὐσεβείαν
)," and in
2 Timothy 1:1
, "The truth which is according to godliness." In ver. 9 it is "the mystery of the faith, where
is equivalent to
. Bishop Ellicott, however, does not admit this objective sense
ἡ πίστις ορ
but explains the genitive as "a pure possessive genitive," the mystery appertaining to, or the property of, subjective faith and godliness; but this is a use not borne out b- any passage in which the word "mystery" occurs. It is always mysteries (or mystery) of the kingdom of God, of Christ, of God, of the gospel, and the like. In the following passages the objective sense of
is either necessary or by far the most natural:
1 Timothy 1:19
1 Timothy 5:8
1 Timothy 6:10, 21
2 Timothy 4:7
. Having thus exalted the "mystery of godliness," St. Paul goes on to expound it.
). This is generally adopted now as the true reading, instead of
, instead of
). Bishop Ellicott satisfied himself, by most careful personal examination, that the original reading of the Cod. Alex. was
, and that it had been altered by a later hand to
. The Cod. Sinait certainly has
, and to this all the older versions agree. The Vulgate has
, agreeing with
and representing the Greek
Accepting this, then, as the true reading, we proceed to explain it.
, who, is a relative, and must, therefore, have an antecedent. But there is no expressed antecedent of the masculine gender for it to agree with. The antecedent, therefore, must be understood, and gathered from the preceding words,
τὸ μυστήριον τῆς
. It can only be Christ. The mystery of the whole Old Testament, that which was wrapped in types and hidden under veils, was Christ (
). Moses spake of him, the Psalms speak of him, the prophets speak of him; but all of them spake darkly. But in the gospel "the mystery of Christ" (
)is revealed. Christ is the Mystery of Christianity. It is, therefore, no difficult step to pass from "the mystery" to "Christ," and to supply the word "Christ" as the antecedent to "who."
); a word frequently applied to Christ (
1 John 1:2
1 John 3:5, 8
, etc.). The idea is the same in
Justified in the spirit.
This is rather an obscure expression. But it seems to describe our Lord's spotless righteousness, perhaps with special reference to the declaration of it at his baptism, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." We have the same contrast between the flesh and the Spirit of Christ in
1 Peter 3:18
. And between the flesh and the spirit of a Christian man in
, "The body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness." To this clause apparently the remark of Chrysostom applies, "God became man, and man became God." "The spirit" seems to mean the moral nature - the inner man.
Seen of angels.
Perhaps the multitude of the heavenly host who welcomed the birth of Christ were permitted to see the new-born Babe, as he seems to have done who described him to the shepherds as "wrapped in swaddling clothes" (
). Angels ministered unto him after the temptation (
), and in the Garden of Gethsemane (
, where the word
is used), and at his resurrection (
). The special interest of angels in the "
is referred to in
1 Peter 1:12
Preached among the nations
ἐκηρύχθη ἐν ἔθνεσιν
). It would have been better to keep the rendering "Gentiles" here, to mark the identity of thought with
Ephesians 3:6, 8
, where, in the apostle's view, the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles, that they might be fellow-heirs with the Jews of the promises of God, is one main feature of the mystery (comp.
1 Timothy 2:7
Believed on in the world.
The next step in this ascending scale is the acceptance of Christ in the world as the Savior thereof. The language here is not stronger than that of
Colossians 1:5, 6
, "The word of the truth of the gospel, which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world, and beareth fruit." And in
, "The gospel which was preached in all creation under heaven" (comp.
). The statement in
might almost have been in St. Paul's mind. Note the use there of the words
τὸν κόσμον ὀ πιστεύσας πιστεύσασι ἀνελήφρη
Received up in glory.
The change of "into" (A.V.) into "in" is of very doubtful propriety. In New Testament Greek
, frequently follows verbs of motion, and means the same as
, like the Hebrew
. Our Lord is net said to have ascended
(as he appeared at the Transfiguration), but, as St. Mark has it, "He was received up into heaven, and [there] sat down at the right hand of God," fulfilling
. This grand burst of dogmatic teaching is somewhat like that in
1 Timothy 2:5-7
. There is no adequate evidence of its being, as many commentators have thought, a portion of a hymn or creed used in the Church. It rather implies the same tension in the apostle's mind which is apparent in other parts of the Epistle (comp.
1 Timothy 6:11
and following verses).
Courtesy of Open Bible
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