1 Timothy 6

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1 Timothy 6
Uncial 015 (1 Tm 2.2-6).jpg
Fragments showing 1 Timothy 2:2–6 on Codex Coislinianus, from ca. AD 550.
BookFirst Epistle to Timothy
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part15

1 Timothy 6 is the sixth (and the last) chapter of the First Epistle to Timothy in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author has been traditionally identified as Paul the Apostle since as early as AD 180,[1][2][3] although most modern scholars consider the letter pseudepigraphical,[4] perhaps written as late as the first half of the second century AD.[5]


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 21 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing this chapter are:

Slaves and Masters (6:1–2)[edit]

Verse 2[edit]

And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved.
Teach and exhort these things.[6]

False Teaching (6:3–10)[edit]

Verse 9[edit]

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.[7]

Verse 10[edit]

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.[10]
  • "Love of money" (Greek: φιλαργυρία, philargyria)[11]: or "avarice, miserlines" (4 Maccabee 1:26); as a 'dictum' linked to evil was widely used by ancient philosophers with various expressions (for example, Diogenes Laërtius[a] etc.[b]); written as adjective (philargyros; "fond of money") in 1 Timothy 3:3 and Luke 16:14.[12]

Final Exhortation to Timothy (6:11–16)[edit]

Verse 15[edit]

[Lord Jesus Christ's appearing] which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,[13]

See: Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament

Verse 16[edit]

who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.[14]
  • "Who alone has immortality": The soul of men, the angels and the body of men after resurrection are immortal, but none of these have immortality of themselves, because they have it from God, who alone originally and essentially has it.[15]
  • "Dwelling in unapproachable light" (KJV: "that light which no man can approach unto"): in this current mortal and frail state of men, that even the angels cannot bear, but have to cover their faces with their wings, because God is light itself and fountain of lights to all his creatures.[15]
  • "Whom no man has seen or can see": none but in Christ, at least spiritually, and that but very imperfectly in the current state: frailty, sin and mortality of human nature must be removed away, to inherit the kingdom of God, and enjoy the beatific vision of him, which no man now does, or can see.[15]
  • "To whom be honor and everlasting power": which may be regarded either as a wish, that such honor, power, and glory might be ascribed to him, or as an assertion that it is given to him, by the angels as well as the saints in heaven and in earth.[15]

Exhortation for the Wealthy (6:17–19)[edit]

This part can be seen as an interlude in the exhortation to Timothy (6:11–16; 6:20–21) or alternatively the previous exhortation (6:11–16) can be seen as an 'interruption' in Paul's discourse on wealth (6:3–10; 6:17–19), but in either case, the topic of wealth here seems to be a continuation of the theme of 6:3–10.[16] In this short pericope, the 'sound of riches' is repeated (a literary device called paronomasia, "repetition of the same sound") four times, could be heard by those listening to the reading of the epistle: plousiois ... ploutou ... plousiōs ... ploutein ("the rich ... riches ... richly [generously] ... to be rich"), which are, respectively, a personal noun, an objective noun, an adverb, and a verb.[16]

Verse 17[edit]

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.[17]
  • "Command" (Greek: παραγγέλλω; paraggelló): This is the fifth of the five times in this epistle Paul uses the forms of the verb parangellō ("I charge you"; the others see 1:3; 4:11; 5:7; 6:13) for Timothy to "charge, command or instruct" the people, in this verse: to 'those who are rich'.[18]

Epistolary Closing (6:20–21)[edit]

Verses 20–21[edit]

20O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— 21by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.
Grace be with you. Amen.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Diogenes Laërtius 6.50: "He called love of money the mother-city of all evils", apud Towner 2006, p. 403
  2. ^ The list in Marshall, 652 n. 55, apud Towner 2006, p. 403


  1. ^ See the arguments on composition of the epistle.
  2. ^ Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook: an abbreviated Bible commentary. 24th edition. Zondervan Publishing House. 1965. p. 631
  3. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  4. ^ David E. Aune, ed., The Blackwell Companion to The New Testament (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 9: "While seven of the letters attributed to Paul are almost universally accepted as authentic (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon), four are just as widely judged to be pseudepigraphical, i.e. written by unknown authors under Paul's name: Ephesians and the Pastorals (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus)."
  5. ^ Stephen L. Harris, The New Testament: A Student's Introduction, 4th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001), 366.
  6. ^ 1 Timothy 6:2 NKJV
  7. ^ 1 Timothy 6:9 NKJV
  8. ^ Greek Text Analysis, 1 Timothy 6:9. Biblehub.com
  9. ^ Towner 2006, p. 402.
  10. ^ 1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV
  11. ^ Greek Text Analysis, 1 Timothy 6:10. Biblehub.com
  12. ^ Towner 2006, p. 403.
  13. ^ 1 Timothy 6:15 NKJV
  14. ^ 1 Timothy 6:16 NKJV
  15. ^ a b c d John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible – 1 Timothy 6:16
  16. ^ a b Collins 2002, p. 169.
  17. ^ 1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV
  18. ^ Collins 2002, p. 170.
  19. ^ 1 Timothy 6:20–21 NKJV
  20. ^ Notes [a] on 1 Timothy 6:20 in NKJV
  21. ^ Towner 2006, p. 435.


  • Collins, Raymond F. (2002). 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: A Commentary. New Testament Library (reprint ed.). Presbyterian Publishing Corp. pp. 15–174. ISBN 9780664238902.
  • Towner, Philip H. (2006). Bruce, Frederick Fyvie (ed.). The Letters to Timothy and Titus. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 9780802825131.

External links[edit]