1 Timotheus

1 2 3 4 5 6

1 Timothy 5 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 1 Timothy 5 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.

4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

(5:5-6) "A widow indeed"
Real widows are "desolate" and pray "night and day." But those widows that experience pleasure are "dead while [they] live."
The discussion here is whether others, the church in this case, should pay for every widow. Would it be fair to exact a tax on every church family to support anyone who had become a widow? Is every widow allowed to make a demand on the church for support? Paul says no: only those of sixty years and older, see verse 9, others should be supported by their families or remarry.

6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

"If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
Should Christians be concerned with material things?

9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,

(5:9-16) When to help a widow
You should help a widow only if she 1) is over 60 years old, 2) had only one husband, 3) has raised children, 4) has lodged strangers, 5) has "washed the saints feet," 6) has relieved the afflicted, and 7) has "diligently followed very good work."
"But the younger widows refuse [to help]: for ... they will marry; having damnation." Besides the young widows are always idle tattlers -- "busybodies, spreading things which they ought not." He adds that "some are already turned aside after Satan."
This is not about you or me. This is about the church and church funds. These are the rules when the church would permanently support a widow. It says nothing about supporting family members or if individual church members could or should give to those in need.

10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;

12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.

16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

(Jehovah's Witnesses) "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses."
Jehovah's Witnesses use this verse (along with Dt.19:15) to justify their refusal to report or investigate incidents of child molestation unless two or three JWs have witnessed the event. If witnesses do not come forward (and they are discouraged from doing so since it would embarrass the organization), then the victim is told to be quiet about it.
Jehovah Witnesses are not Christians, and reject most teachings of the Bible.

20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

"That others may also fear"
Publicly humiliate those who sin by announcing their sins in front of God and everybody so "that others may also fear."
The them in this verse are not ordinary church members, but refers to elders, those holding a public office. If they sinned, even in private, they should be rebuked openly. No cover ups as is the habit in certain churches, and especially in the Roman Catholic church.

21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake."
Is it OK to drink alcohol?
Yes, a little wine is OK, and it's effects on health are well attested. See also Num. 6:3.

24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.

25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.