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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 43: Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at





1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the appointment of God our Savior, and of the Lord Jesus Christ our hope;

2 To Timothy my own son in the faith, grace, mercy, peace, from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

3 As I besought thee to remain at Ephesus, when I set out for Macedonia, I wish that thou shouldst charge some not to teach differently;  271 and

4 Not to give heed to fables and to genealogies that have no end, which produce questions rather than the edification of God, which consisteth in faith.

5 Now, the end of time commandment is love, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned;

6 From which some, having gone astray, have turned aside to idle talking

7 Wishing to be teachers of the law, not understanding what they say, nor concerning what things they affirm.

8 But we know that the law is good, if one use it lawfully;

9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for the righteous man, but for the unrighteous and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10 For fornicators, for sodomites, for robbers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there be anything else that is contrary to sound doctrine;

11 According to time gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which hath been intrusted to me.

12 And I give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath made me powerful, because he reckoned me faithful, by putting me into the ministry;

13 Who was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an oppressor, but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

14 And the grace of our Lord aboundeth beyond measure, with faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.

15 It is a faithful saying, and worthy of being fully accepted, that Christ Jesus came into the world, to save sinners, of whom I am the first;

16 But for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me the first, Jesus Christ might show all compassion, for a pattern to those who should believe in him to eternal life.

17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, (be) honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

18 This commandment I recommend to thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before concerning thee, that by them thou mayest war a good warfare;

19 Holding faith and a good conscience, from which some, having turned aside concerning faith, have made shipwreck;

20 Of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.


1 I exhort therefore, that, above all, supplications, entreaties, intercessions, and thanksgivings, be made for all men;

2 For kings, and for all who are placed in authority, that we lead a peaceful and quiet life, with all godliness and decency;

3 For this is good and acceptable before God our Savior;

4 Who wishes that all men may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

6 Who gave himself the price of redemption for all, (that there might be) a testimony in due time;

7 For which I have been appointed a herald and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not,) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

8 I wish therefore that men may pray in every place, lifting up pure hands, without wrath and disputing.

9 In like manner also that women adorn themselves in decent apparel, with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly raiment,

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) by good works.

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not the woman to teach, nor to assume authority over the man, but to be silent.

13 For Adam was first created, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived; but the woman, being deceived, was guilty of the transgression.

15 Yet she shall be saved through child — bearing, if they continue in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety.


1 It is a true saying, If a man desireth the office of a bishop, he desireth an excellent work.

2 A bishop, therefore, must be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, temperate, modest not wickedly desirous of gain,

3 But mild, not quarrelsome, not covetous,

4 Who ruleth well his own house, who hath his children in subjection with all reverence.

5 (And if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take charge of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest, being swelled with pride, he fall into condemnation of the devil.

7 He must also have a good report from those who are without, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8 In like manner, the deacons must be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not wickedly desirous of gain;

9 Holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience.

10 And let these be first tried, next let them minister when they have been found blameless.

11 In like manner, their wives must be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

12 Let the deacons be husbands of one wife, who rule their children and their houses in a becoming manner,

13 For they who have served well procure for themselves a good (or, honorable) degree, and much liberty in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

14 These things I write to thee, hoping to come to thee soon and,

15 If I shall delay, that thou mayest see how thou oughtst to conduct thyself in the house of God; which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.

16 And, without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifested in the flesh, seen by angels, preached to the Gentiles, obtained belief in the world, was received into glory.


1 Now, the Spirit plainly saith, that, in the latter times, some will revolt from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and to doctrines of devils;

2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3 Forbidding to enter into marriages, commanding to abstain from some kinds of food, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by believers, and by those that know the truth;

4 Because every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected which is received with thanksgiving;

5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

6 Exhibiting these things to the brethren, thou shalt he a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished by the words of faith, which thou hast followed.  272

7 But avoid profane and old women’s fables, and, on the contrary, exercise thyself to godliness.

8 For bodily exercise is of little profit; but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promises of the present life, and of that which is to come.

9 It is a faithful saying, and worthy of being cordially embraced.

10 For in this we both labor and suffer reproaches, because we have hope fixed on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

11 Instruct and teach these things.

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in chastity.

13 Till I come, apply thyself to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

14 Neglect not the gift which is in thee, which was given to thee by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

15 Take heed to these things; give attention to them, that thy profiting may be manifest to all men, (or’ in all things.)

16 Give heed to thyself, and to the doctrine; continue in them; for, if thou shalt do this, thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.


1 Do not harshly rebuke an elder, but exhort him as a father, the younger as brethren;

2 The older women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all chastity.

3 Honor widows that are really widows.

4 Now, if any widow hath children or grandchildren, let them learn first to exercise piety toward their own house, and to requite their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.

5 Now, she who is really a widow and desolate hopeth in God, and continueth in prayers and supplications night and day.

6 But she who spendeth her time in luxury is dead while she liveth.

7 And enjoin these things, that they may be blameless.

8 And if any person do not provide for his own, and especially for those of his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

9 Let a widow be chosen, not under sixty years of age, who hath been the wife of one man

10 Having attestation for good works, if she hath brought up children, if she hath been hospitable, if she hath washed the feet of the saints, if she hath relieved the afflicted, if she hath been diligent in every good work.

11 But refuse younger widows; for, when they have begun to he wanton against Christ, they wish to be married;

12 Having condemnation, because they have renounced their first faith.

13 And at the same time, being idle, they learn to go about from house to house; and not only are idle, but also tattlers and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

14 I wish the younger (widows), therefore, to be married, to bear children, to take charge of the house, to give no occasion to the adversary, that he may have ground for slandering;

15 For some have already turned aside after Satan.

16 And if any believing man or believing woman hath widows, let him or her relieve them; and let not the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.

17 Let the elders  273 that rule well be reckoned worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in word and doctrine.

18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn, (De 25:4,) and, The laborer is worthy of his hire. (Mt 10:10.)

19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, unless by two or three witnesses.

20 Those that sin rebuke in presence of all,  274 that others also may fear.

21 I adjure thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without hastiness of judgment, doing nothing by turning to this side or that.

22 Lay not bands suddenly on any man, neither partake of other men’s sins; keep thyself pure.

23 No longer drink water, but use a little wine on account of thy stomach, and of thy frequent ill health.

24 The sins of some men are visible beforehand, hastening to judgment; and in some they follow after.

25 In like manner, also, the good works are visible beforehand; and those that are otherwise cannot be concealed.


1 Let all who are slaves under the yoke reckon their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine may not be blasphemed.

2 And they who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren; but let them serve so much the more, because they are believers and beloved, and partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

3 If any man teacheth otherwise (or, other thing), and consenteth not to the healthful words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness,

4 He is puffed up, knowing nothing, but sickening after questions and debates of words, out of which spring envy, strife, slanders, unfounded suspicions,

5 Useless disputes of men corrupt in understanding, and that are destitute of the truth, thinking that gain is godliness. Withdraw thyself from such.

6 But godliness with sufficiency  275 is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into the world; it is certain that neither can we carry anything out.

8 And having food and raiment, we shall be content with these.

9 For they who wish to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into numerous and hurtful follies, which plunge men into ruin and destruction.

10 For the root of all evils is avarice, which some eagerly desiring, have gone astray from the faith, and have entangled themselves with many sorrows.

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, piety, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12 Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life, to which also thou art called, and hast confessed a good confession before many witnesses.

13 I charge (or, command) thee before God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who testified a good confession before Pontius Pilate,

14 That thou keep the commandment without spot and unblameably, till the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ;

15 Which shall be manifested in due season by the blessed and only Prince, the King of kings, and Lord of lords,

16 Who along bath immortality, who inhabiteth unapproachable light, whom no man hath seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power (or, everlasting dominion). Amen.

17 Command (or, charge) those who are rich, that they be not haughty, nor hope in the uncertainty of riches, but in the living God, who supplieth all things abundantly for enjoyment;

18 To do good, to be rich in good works, ready to distribute (or, to bestow), willingly imparting,

19 Laying up for themselves a good foundation for the future, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

20 O Timothy, guard that which is committed to thee, avoiding profane vanities of noises, idle talking, and contradictions of science falsely so called,

21 Which some professing, have erred concerning the faith. Grace (be) with thee. Amen.

The first (Epistle) to Timothy was sent from Laodicea, which is the chief city of Phrygia Pacatiana.



Autrement, ou, diverse doctrine.” — “Differently, or, different doctrine.”


Que tu as soigneusement suivie.” — “Which thou hast carefully followed.”


Les prestres on aneiens.” — “The presbyters or elders.”


Repren publiquement.” — “Rebuke publicly.”


Avec suffisance, ou, contentement.” — “With sufficiency, or, with contentment.”

Next: Second Timothy