Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Timothy, Titus & Philemon Overview

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As I have explained in the past, one of the reasons I am doing this blog is I am curious to see what kind of messages one might get from reading the bible. What might one learn as a take-away. Here is my quick summary of the good and bad from 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus & Philemon.

I've recently decided to put more items in my overviews, and as such it seems like I need to organize these things into categories. I thought of this last minute, so it is a little clumsy this time, but I plan to work on the categories more in the future. It is nice to organize things, but also, you don't want to force things into categories where they don't quite fit. I'm certain some refinement will be necessary.

I've also added a category "Redacted Good Items". These are things I had marked as good when I read the chapter, but I either look back and see it as an error, or more often, things that I have found a different verse negating the message.

(note: the chapter link takes you to my page on that chapter, the verse link takes you to the verse on



1:5 love comes from a pure heart and good conscience

"The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

6:11 love steadfastness and gentleness are virtues

"But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness"


6:9 Greed can be dangerous (oversimplification, but good rule of thumb)

"But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction."

6:18 The rich (and presumably everyone else) should be generous

"They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share"

5:16 if your family can help, they should so the church can focus its resources on the needy

"If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows."

3:14 Help people in need

"And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful."

--do good things--

4:12 Prove your worth with actions

"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity"

2:7 You should do good works and have dignity and integrity

"Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,"

3:8 People should devote themselves to good works.

"The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people."

II 2:10 endure hardship to help other people out

"Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."

--don't do bad things--

1:9-10 those who strike their fathers and mothers, murderers, enslavers, liars, and perjurers are bad

"...those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers..."

2:8 leave your enemies nothing bad to say about you

"and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us."

3:2 Be nice to everyone, don't spread rumors

"to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people."

2:8 Avoid anger and quarreling. 

"I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling"

--the rest--

4:14 do not neglect your gifts

"Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you."

5:24-25 some deeds (good and bad) are obvious, but some are hidden, only showing up later

"The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden"

II 4:2 Always be prepared to teach, also teach with patience

"preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching."

2:2 You should be sober-minded, dignified, and self-controlled

"Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness."

3:3 Remember the mistakes you made in the past and give other people some leeway as well

"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another."

Phil 8-9, 14 making request is better than giving orders

"Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you..."

"but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord."

Phil 16 Paul requests Onesimus be released from slavery

"no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother--especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord."

Phil 18 Paul takes on Onesimus' debt

"If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account."

Redacted Good Items:

1:4 myth, genealogies and speculation are bad

"nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith."

I was clearly trying to hard to come up with a good item here, this is just Paul saying other religions are bad

1:6-7 don't confidently teach things you don't understand

"Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions."

This conflicts with every mention of faith, examples are plentiful

II 2:25 Calm discussion is best

"[RE: the Lord's servants] correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth"

This sounds good, but Paul regularly instructs his leaders to rebuke those who need correction. A perfect example is 1 Timothy 5:20



6:1 Slaves should work hard to reflect well on God

"Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled

2:9 Endorsement of slavery

"Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative"

Phil 11 it is implied that trading slaves is an acceptable form of payment

"Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me."


2:12 Women are not allowed to be teachers

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet"

5:13 young single women are gossips and busybodies

"Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not."

II 3:6 anti-women

"For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions"

2:3-5 A woman's main goal should be to please her husband

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."


1:5 Love comes from sincere faith

"The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

6:11 Faith is a virtue

"But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness"

II 1:5 faith is a virtue, also nepotism

"I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well."

II 3:14 Keep believing what you already believe

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it"

Phil 6 we gain knowledge through faith

"and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ"

--other religions are bad--

1:3 Don't let people teach other religions

"As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine"

4:1 People who disagree with us follow demons

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons"

4:7 Divisive, calls other religions silly myths

"Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness"

6:3-4 Demonizing other religions

"If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions"

1:10, 14, 16 Antisemitic 

"For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party"

"not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth"

"They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work."

1:11 Jews are greedy

"They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach."

--glorification of suffering--

II 1:8 suffering is good

"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God"

II 2:3 Suffering itself is a good thing

"Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus."

--fear mongering--

5:8,20 Ruling through fear

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever"

"As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear."


6:20 Anti-intellectual

"O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called "knowledge,"

II 3:7 anti-intellectual

"always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth."

3:9 Don't have disagreements or quarrels

"But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless."

T 3:10-11 If someone asks too many questions, warn them twice, then have nothing to do with them. Anti-intellectualism.

"As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned."

II 2:16 looking at details is bad

"But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness"

--the rest--

1:9 people are either good or bad, no in between

"...the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless..."

1:10 sex and being gay are bad

"the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality..."

II 1:9 God works in mysterious ways

"who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began"

II 1:18 Paul seems to think the end times are near

"may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!--and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus"

II 2:22 passion is bad, and another mixed list of good and bad things claimed all good

"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."

II 3:2-5 Another list, grouping bad things with not so bad things

"For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."

II 3:12 Christians will be persecuted

"Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted"

II 3:16 All scripture is breathed out by God (clearly false)

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness"

II 4:14 Wishing for revenge through God

"Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds."

1:12-13 Obvious straw man

"One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.' This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,"

3:1 Promoting submission and obedience, also coupling of ideas.

"Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work"

Phil 19-20 By being saved, your life is owed to the church

"I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it--to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ."


2:4 God desires that all people be saved. Why doesn't he make it happen if he's all powerful?

"[God,] who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."


  1. Great stuff, Haus. I just caught up on the podcasts, I've been busy lately. The bible is much more back and forth on slavery than I thought. And I'm really seeing that people want to believe for the delayed justice exacted upon enemies in the afterlife. Everyone wants justice, and in a time when the commoner couldn't find justice in many cases, this is an appealing concept. It also shows people are quite blood thristy.

    I thought all the violent God stuff was in the OT, not so much.

    1. I've been surprised on that account too. I like that now when people say "that was old testament" I can do a quick search of my blog and give them a reference of a NT verse.

    2. It's been interesting reading the Bible from a different perspective. I'd imagine that if I came across some of the horrid stuff when I was a young devout Catholic, I probably would have just skimmed past it thinking "well, obviously it can't mean what I think it means. I guess I just don't understand it."

    3. "well, obviously it can't mean what I think it means. I guess I just don't understand it."

      That's exactly what I did. I would always try to find logical ways around things, crazy mental gynmastics. But if I couldn't come up with anything, I'd always just be like "well I'm sure someone who understands the bible on a deeper level can figure this out". Or "maybe it's a translation issue". Or something, I would figure out what I could and then just dismiss the rest. There's enough breathing room and slippery language in the bible that I could usually get around most of it, if there are a few items that I couldn't figure out it was easy enough to dismiss.

      I wonder how long I would have lasted if I had done an in depth read then like I'm doing now. I can imagine it would be harder when actually confronted with so much bad stuff, I honestly could imagine it going either way. That fact actually kind of bothers me.

  2. I think your summaries are great. It gives a good picture based on reading how much good and bad stuff stuck out. Let's you get a better overall picture.

    1. Thanks :) I'm glad you are liking them. I definitely want the overview posts to be useful.

      In all honesty, I wasn't very happy with this one, it is too long and the organization isn't great. I usually use it with ctrl + F so it's not that big of a deal, but I think it could be better. I'm working on something for the next time, hopefully over the next few books I'll find and organization scheme that works for me.

    2. While I have my bible pretty marked up, using the internet to find stuff really helps. Usually I can remember a story or parts of a verse, but sometimes not where it's located. The other day I wanted to point out to someone that story
      about King Saul commanding David to get a hundred foreskins from the Philistines in order to marry his daughter. He winds up getting another hundred as extra credit I guess. Side note, I'm now thinking about that guy that said on your blog, "don't be a Philistine."

    3. Yeah, being able to look those things up is really nice, it's easy to remember what happened, remembering what book and verse is really hard. I'm trying to imagine doing this kind of thing without the internet, it would be a million times harder.


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