Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
(Focus is upon 1:3)
February 15, 2004
3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
3 As I exhorted thee to tarry at Ephesus, when I was going into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine,
FOCUS ON VERSE 3: Notes:
The Progression of Paul's thoughts...
- 1. The only difference between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26 is that the Nestle/Aland 26 uses "ek" in front of "dzataseis", which is mostly a spelling variation rather than a real textual difference.
- 2. The text reads as an ellipsis in the form of anacoluthon [there is an absence of the expected followup phrase to go with "As I...", so the translators insert one: the KJV translators add "so do" at the end of verse 4 and the ASV translators go further and add "so do I now"].
Observations regarding Paul's expressions...
- 1. He reminds Timothy of why he is still in Ephesus while Paul has moved on.
- 2. His interest is upon Timothy being a road-block to certain ones who wish to teach speculative concepts rather than Truth.
- a. The "road-block" will be Timothy's "charge" to them to refrain from certain types of teaching.
- b. The rejected types of teaching are "heterodox" (not "orthodox") [going beyond what is known].
What is Paul talking about?
He is addressing the reason(s) Timothy was left behind.
What is he saying about what he is talking about?
The primary reason was the need for "teachers of speculative thought" to be resisted.
- 1. The "exhort/besought" contrast with "charge" is interesting.
- a. The word translated "exhort/besought" is used variously in the New Testament. It seems to have held most of the root concept it had when it was first coined: a summons alongside. The various translations seem to have their force in the picture created by their context. If the context pictures the "exhorter/beseecher" as behind the one being "exhorted/besought", the translation is "rebuke". If the picture is of the exhorted being off on a tangent, the translation should be "exhort". If the exhorted is falling behind, the translation should be "encourage", etc. The picture in 1 Timothy, however, is of two standing side by side with the "exhorter" on the verge of departing and the "exhorted" left behind. How shall we take this picture? The overall implications of both of Paul's letters to Timothy are that Timothy would have preferred to go with Paul and stay under the umbrella of his boldness. Timothy was somewhat timid and did not look forward to being responsible to take up the reins of authority. Thus, Paul "exhorted" him to stay in Ephesus. But, Timothy really had no options if he wished to stay with "the program". The exhortation, at this point, turned into a requirement.
- b. The requirement was that he was to "charge" certain ones to stop doing something they liked to do. Though this may have involved "exhortation/rebuke/encouragement", the bottom line was that they were to stop. The "charge" was a "demand".
- c. How much real difference, then, was there between what Paul did to Timothy ("exhort") and what Timothy was to do with those under his authority ("charge")?
- 1) The "requirement" upon Timothy from Paul was "love-driven". [It arose from, and was responded to, by two men who loved one another as well as a common Father/Savior Christ/Lord.] Hence, "exhortation".
- 2) The "requirement" upon the foolish teachers from Timothy was "discipline-driven". [In this scenario, Timothy loved the foolish and ignorant, but the foolish didn't love Timothy and were trying to take advantage of the ignorant]. Hence, "charge".
- 2. The "you tarry/I am going" contrast signals a very basic understanding by Paul.
- a. He understands that there is a compelling need to continue pressing on geographically in respect to the mandate "to make disciples of all nations".
- b. He also understands that pressing on while leaving an inadequate "core" behind will ultimately result in an "advance" that leaves nothing "real" behind. [Picture the expansion of a solid "boundary" that encloses more and more territory, but leaves the enclosed area full of vanity...i.e. "the Gospel has gone into all the world, but the world continues to remain unchanged because as soon as the 'gospelizers' leave, the opponents corrupt the foundations of faith and unbelief settles back into its status as the 'norm'."]
- c. This understanding is in direct alignment with Mark's picture of Jesus selecting disciples along the seashore and making their fishing activities a metaphor of their 'kingdom program' activities ["I will make you to become fishers of men"]. Two are "fishing"; two are "mending nets". Evangelism and edification, then, become the twin issues of the 'kingdom program'. Evangelism sponsors the "I am going on to Macedonia" and edification sponsors the "remain in Ephesus and charge certain ones..."
- 3. The "charge" is to refrain from "heterodoxy".
- a. "Heterodoxy" is not, by definition, "heresy"; rather, it is simply "speculative".
- 1) No charge of "heresy" can be made because it does not contradict what is revealed.
- 2) But, since it goes beyond what is revealed, it cannot ground faith in the truth; all it can do is posit certain "possibilities".
- a) Possibilities are speculative.
- b) Being speculation, there is nothing to "believe".
- c) Humanity doesn't need "speculation"; it needs something firm to which to commit.
- b. "Heterodoxy" is, therefore, a more subtle form of danger.
- 1) Heresy can be identified.
- 2) Heterodoxy simply creates "titillating fog".