1 Timothy 4:12-16 ESV
1 Timothy 4:12-16
12 s Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers t an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 u Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you v by prophecy when the council of elders w laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, 1 so that x all may see your progress. 16 y Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save z both yourself and a your hearers.
1 Timothy 4:12-16 NA28
1 Timothy 4:12-16
12 Μηδείς σου τῆς νεότητος καταφρονείτω, ἀλλὰ τύπος γίνου τῶν πιστῶν ἐν λόγῳ, ἐν ἀναστροφῇ, ἐν ἀγάπῃ, ἐν πίστει, ἐν ἁγνείᾳ. 13 ἕως ἔρχομαι πρόσεχε τῇ ἀναγνώσει, τῇ παρακλήσει, τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ. 14 μὴ ἀμέλει τοῦ ἐν σοὶ χαρίσματος, ὃ ἐδόθη σοι διὰ προφητείας μετὰ ἐπιθέσεως τῶν χειρῶν τοῦ πρεσβυτερίου. 15 ταῦτα μελέτα, ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι, ἵνα σου ἡ προκοπὴ φανερὰ ᾖ πᾶσιν. 16 ἔπεχε σεαυτῷ καὶ τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ, ἐπίμενε αὐτοῖς• τοῦτο γὰρ ποιῶν καὶ σεαυτὸν σώσεις καὶ τοὺς ἀκούοντάς σου.
1 Timothy 4:12-16
Μηδείς σου τῆς νεότητος καταφρονείτω,
s Let no one despise you for your youth,
ἀλλὰ τύπος γίνου τῶν πιστῶν
but set the believers t an example
Until I come,
to the public reading of Scripture,
μὴ ἀμέλει τοῦ ἐν σοὶ χαρίσματος,
u Do not neglect the gift you have,
ὃ ἐδόθη σοι
which was given you
v by prophecy
μετὰ ἐπιθέσεως τῶν χειρῶν τοῦ πρεσβυτερίου.
when the council of elders w laid their hands on you.
Practice these things,
ἐν τούτοις ἴσθι,
immerse yourself in them, 1
ἵνα σου ἡ προκοπὴ φανερὰ ᾖ πᾶσιν.
so that x all may see your progress.
ἔπεχε σεαυτῷ καὶ τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ,
y Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.
Persist in this,
τοῦτο γὰρ ποιῶν
for by so doing
καὶ σεαυτὸν σώσεις καὶ τοὺς ἀκούοντάς σου.
you will save z both yourself and a your hearers.
Paul instructs Timothy to conduct his ministry in certain ways for two very specific purposes. First, Timothy must be an example for the other believers, whether or not they are older than him. His ministry ought to be comprised of publically reading Scripture (since most could not read, nor did they have individual Bibles), exhorting the saints, and teaching biblical doctrine. If he did all of that, he couldn’t be neglecting his gifts given to him by God (2 Tim 1:6) but pointed to and validated by prophecies spoken about him when the elders laid their hands on him to commission him. So, why was Timothy to be this exemplary minister? The first reason is a part of the second. First, Timothy must practice and immerse himself in these things “so that all may see your progress” (4:15). This goes hand-in-hand with what it meant for Timothy to be an example for all the believers. Second, he needed to persist in practicing these things and keeping a close watch on himself and his teaching. Here is the climax of the passage: it is by his persistence and faithfulness in being devoted and immersed to stewarding the word and loving the saints that Timothy would save both himself and his hearers. Those who hear our words, day after day, will be saved through their faith in the message that we as Christians proclaim, whether they live in our house, go to the same coffee shop, or come to our church. Therefore, we must keep a close watch on our words and our lives. We cannot invalidate our message before the world because we have not pursued spiritual and bodily disciplines. Rather, we should devote ourselves, body and soul, to stewarding the word and serving the world, so that both we and they might be saved.