Saturday, August 4, 2018

2 Timothy Chapter 1 Commentary

    1: Paulos an apostle of Iesous Christos by the will of Theos according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus 2: To Timotheos my dearly beloved offspring Grace mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our master 3: I thank Theos whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience that without ceasing I have remembrance of you in my prayers night and day 4: Greatly desiring to see you being mindful of your tears that I may be filled with joy 5: When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and I am persuaded that in you also[1] 6: Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God which is in you by the putting on of my hands Acts 8:9-19 7: For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind 8: Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor of me his prisoner but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God 9: Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began 10: But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel 11: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles 12: For the which cause I also suffer these things nevertheless I am not ashamed for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day[2] 13: Hold fast the form of sound words which you have heard of me in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus 14: That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost who dwells in us 15: This you know that all they in Asia be turned away from me of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes 16: The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains 17: But when he was in Rome he sought me out very diligently and found me 18: The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day :12 and in how many things he served me at Ephesus you know very well

[1] Timothy’s mother and grandmother were Jewish believers, whose influence on Timothy was profound. Nothing is said about his Greek father, so it is assumed that his father was either dead or that he was alive but a follower of one or more of the pantheon of Greek gods available to Roman citizens. If that is the case, then Timothy would have been raised in the Father cult tradition of the Greeks, where the father was the priest of his household, offering sacrifices to whichever patron god[s] he chose and training Timothy to do the same, once he was grown and master over his own household. It is significant, that by the time Timothy reached adulthood, that it was the influence of his believing mother and grandmother that prevailed. It is also significant, that in a society where women’s names were not mentioned publicly (not even in court trials, unless they were notorious for something) that Paul does not shrink from calling women by name in his letters to the churches.

[2] The “day” Paul refers to, is the day he will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ Romans 14:10, 2 Corinthians 5:10,

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Commentary on 1 Timothy chapter 6

       1: Let as many slaves as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed 2: And they that have believing masters let them not despise them because they are brethren but rather do them service because they are faithful and beloved partakers of the benefit These things teach and exhort [1] 3: If any teach otherwise and consent not to [the] wholesome words [of] our Lord Jesus Christ[2] and [to the] teaching which is according to godliness 4: [They are] proud knowing nothing but obsessing about questions and strifes of words from which come envy strife slanders [of] evil suspicions 5: Perverse disputings with those of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth supposing that gain is godliness[3] from such withdraw yourselves 6: But godliness with contentment is great gain 7: For we brought nothing into [the] kosmos and it is certain we can carry nothing out 8: And having food and clothing let us be content with these 9: For they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown them in destruction and perdition 10: For the love of money is the root of all evil which while some coveted after they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows[4] 11: But thou O man of God flee these things and follow after righteousness godliness faith love patience meekness 12: Fight agōnizomai the good fight agōn of faith Lay hold on eternal life to which you are also called and have professed a good profession before many witnesses 13: [I] charge you [I] declare before Theos[5] the GODHEAD [Colossians 2:9] who makes alive all things and Iesous Christos who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession 14: That you keep this charge without spot blameless until the [glorious] appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ[6] 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 15: Who [in] HIS season HE shall prove who is the blessed and only Potentate the King of kings and Lord of lords[7] 16: Who alone has immortality[8] dwelling in the light which no one can approach unto whom none has seen nor can see[9] to whom be honor and power everlasting Amen 17: Charge them that are rich in this world that they be not high-minded nor trust in uncertain riches but in the living God who give us richly all things to enjoy 18: Do good Become rich in good works to be ready to give inclined to become [socially and financially] involved 19: storing up for themselves a good foundation against [that which] is coming that they may lay hold on eternal life
20: O Timotheos guard that which is committed to your trust avoiding profane and useless discussions even [the] antithesis [and] pseudonymos of knowledge 21: Which some profess [to understand and] have erred concerning the faith Grace be with you Amen

[1] The subject of 1 Timothy 6, is slavery. Paul did not change the subject after verse two but, because he could not safely or legally address the sinfulness of slavery overtly, he sought both the spiritual and physical welfare of all of his flock (both slave and free) by addressing the root causes of all sin.  

There had obviously been disputes about the rightness or wrongness of slavery. And, in chapter six, the apostle deals with the issue in a way that would have resolved the issue completely, if Christian hearts had been committed to living in God’s love and Christ’s example of humility. As late as the 19th Century, many Christian leaders insisted that the first few verses of Timothy chapter six, taught that slavery was mandated and ordained by God. This passage was wrongly used to that effect. Most contemporary Christian leaders agree that the verses in Timothy have historically been misused, and great harm has been done because of that. 

Slavery in ancient Rome was just as wrong as slavery in the the British Empire or slavery in the United States, but early Christians cannot be criticized for not becoming the first abolitionists. From this letter, it appears that some were and hot debate [on the subject] was going on. But few among the ancient peoples ever questioned slavery. It was too dangerous to do so and simply part of life. This writer believes the modern mind is so far divorced from the context of our forebear’s living reality, that great effort must be made to understand the risks and fear [associated with cultural change] that must have been an ever-present part of ancient life. 

Slavery was the law of the land, and early Christians faced crucifixion or worse for fomenting rebellion against Roman policy. At first, most believers were not citizens and were protected by few rights—and those, only if they toed the line. 

Slavery was an institution of Rome, passed down from the Greeks. Ancient Rome was a Greek culture. All ancient cultures had slavery. Some modern cultures still do. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now, but few people, even today, would risk crucifixion or some other cruel death, in order to become change agents. In the Roman Empire, death was guaranteed for dissenters. 

Through-out history, conviction in Christian hearts, has brought about much improvement and relief from suffering, including the abolition of slavery in the British Empire and the United States…but not in ancient Rome. That culture did not permit such movements, and mass-killings quickly discouraged any who might get any such ideas. 

Paul was a great traveler, spending his life for the gospel. He eventually became a prisoner of Rome, continuing his care for the churches while living under house arrest. The death penalty hung over his head for years. He knew the sentence would eventually be executed, and for nothing less than preaching the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. He understood better than most, that causes must prioritized…At that time

There is a time and a season for every purpose under Heaven…. Nothing could be gained by fomenting rebellion over slavery in the Roman Empire. The time for rising up against slavery had not yet come. Nothing but mass death could be accomplished by fomenting rebellion over the issue. All abolitionists would die; all rebellious slaves would die. This was not to be a permanent situation. The time would come when that would change. But not in Paul’s day. So the apostle did the only thing he could. He wrote to the young pastor and did his best to squelch the fiery debate between those who rightly saw the evil of slavery and the slave-holders whose hearts were not surrendered to God.

The only thing Paul could do, was encourage discipleship and Christian growth through love and humility. When the Holy Spirit has control of a heart, that person will do what is right. Paul knew that change comes from within. Outward laws must be enacted to protect the oppressed, only because people do not heed the laws that are already “written on our hearts.” Until hearts change, restraint must come through civil laws. But, concerning the sin of slavery, abolishing it was not a possibility in Paul’s day. Paul did what he could to mitigate the cruel effects of slavery on both slave and master, but he never condoned it.

[2] Paul appeals to the Words of Jesus. Jesus said to treat others as we would have others treat us. If we do that, we fulfill the Word and Will of God. The apostle knew that, if they were so inclined, slave owners had the legal right to free their slaves, but he could not suggest such a thing. His letter to Philemon, concerning the slave, Onesimus, shows how sensitive and dangerous the subject of slavery was. It also shows how much faith Paul had in Philemon to read between the lines, do the right thing, and not kill Onesimus, but rather, to allow him to return to Paul and fulfill his calling and service to God. 

This passage on slavery, is relevant to the issue of gender-role-religion. Like slavery, gender-role-religion was never mandated by God and the cultural context is no longer relevant. Many of the same arguments used to keep slaves in bondage are still used today to keep women in illegitimate subservience to men. Paul dealt with the woman issue along with slavery and racial prejudice in his letter to the Galatians. He chided them for not tearing down the walls of prejudice that separated races, masters, slaves, women, and men. He said that even though the secular world was full of those things, they did not belong among Christians, who were all ONE in Christ Jesus.

[3] These would likely be professing believers defending slavery (the subject of verses one and two has not changed) against true believers who were convicted in their hears that slavery was wrong. The debate had heated up to the point where the debate itself had become sinful and possibly legally dangerous. The apostle saw a need to shut it down altogether.

[4] This verse appears to contradict the doctrine of eternal security/once saved always saved. 

[5] Hierarchical theology assumes that all mentions of Theos refer to only one person within the Godhead—the Father, when in most cases, the reference is to the Godhead itself Colossians 2:9. There is no such thing as the first, second, or third persons in the Godhead. Such designations imply hierarchy where none exists and an exaggerated importance of the Father over the Son and Holy Spirit. This is misleading as Jesus is Jehovah John 1:1

Jesus is the Everlasting Father Isaiah 9:6. The Holy Spirit is Jehovah Acts 5:3-4. The Holy Spirit is the father of that holy thing which was conceived in the womb of Mary Matthew 1:18 & 20, Luke 1:35
The name Jehovah YHWH encompasses the fullness of the Godhead.  In Heaven, there is no BIG GOD who is the Father, followed by two little gods who are the son and the holy spirit. Elohiym is the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. The Being who created and redeemed all things, the Godhead Elohiym [Genesis 1:1] is not a three-god triad. “Hear O Israel YHWH Jehovah Elohiym OUR GODS is ONE YHWH Jehovah”. 

The Hebrew word, Elohiym, is the plural form of the word, Elohwahh. Elohwahh, is the singular form of the word for God, which occurs in Deuteronomy 32:15 and 56 more times in the Hebrew text. Elohiym is the plural form of the word, God, that designates three [or more]. There is a Hebrew word for Gods that designates two. Elohiym is not that word. It means three [or more] and occurs 2,606 times in the Hebrew text. Elohiym is our creator Genesis 1:1. That means the Godhead is the Creator. Jehovah [the Godhead] is our Creator Isaiah 44:24 Jesus is Jehovah. Jesus is our Creator Colossians 1:16-17, John 1:1-3

   When Jesus said that God was His Father, He was referring to the Godhead. The Bible says that God is not a man, so we will not refer to the One God as the first, second, or third person of the Trinity. Those are hierarchical designations…that do not exist.
   The Father is the one who beget Jesus?
   Who did the angel tell Joseph that Holy Thing within Mary’s womb was conceived by? 
   Wasn’t Jesus conceived by the Holy Spirit?
   Isn’t a child’s Father that person by which he is conceived?
   Wouldn’t that make the Holy Spirit Jesus’ Father?
   Do we find a contradiction here? No, there is no contradiction when we understand that the prophets spoke the truth when they foretold the coming to earth in the form of a man, not the “second person of the Godhead,” but rather, the Almighty.
   In Colossians we read that all the fullness of the Godhead resides in our Savior in physical form.
   This had to be so because the Almighty declared that there was no Savior but Himself. He also declared that He created all things by Himself, alone.
   Out goes the theory that the Father used a subordinate Son to create all things. That “subordinate Jesus” the Father used in creation goes hand in glove with the insidious Arian lie that Jesus was Himself a created being—the first creation of God—who was then used to create all other things (complementarian expositors conveniently cherry-pick Arius’ teachings expunging overtly unacceptable portions). The Bible says that in the beginning Elohiym (The triune God) created the heavens and the earth. Who created man? Elohiym, the Triune God—the Godhead—created man. Let Us create man in Our image.

[6] Paul makes reference to the coming or appearing of Jesus 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 in almost every one of his letters to the churches. That is a reference to Bible prophecy as well his own revelation, which aligns perfectly with the Law and the prophets 
[7] Deuteronomy 10:17, YHWH is Lord of Lords. Jesus is Yahweh

[8] Psalm 136:3, YHWH is the high and lofty one who inhabits Eternity (has immortality). Jesus is Yahweh.

[9] This verse refers to the Godhead. Jehovah (YHWH) in all his fullness is the Godhead, and no one can see the Godhead and live. Moses spoke with God face to face (Exodus 33:11) and lived, but God put his hand over Moses’ face (Exodus 33:18-23) when he partially granted his request to see His Glory (the Godhead in all its fullness) and only allowed him to see His back parts as He passed by.