“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some they teach no other doctrine.”

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus”
Literally:  “Even as I called on you to remain {in} Ephesus”– “It is clear from this, that Paul and Timothy had been laboring together at

The language accords with the supposition that Paul had been compelled to leave before he had completed what he had designed to do there. Hel had seen that a bad seed had been sown in the Church; but, as he was obliged to go then into Macedonia, he wished Timothy, on whose prudence, piety, and soundness in the faith he could depend, to stay behind and prevent the spreading of a doctrine that would have been detrimental to the people's spiritual well being.  When Paul came from Rome into Asia, he no doubt visited Ephesus, where, ten years before, he had planted a Christian Church, and, as he had not time to tarry then, he left Timothy to correct abuses.

             BESOUGHT: (Grk.–parekalesa)–From the Greek verb, parekaleô,  which means, “to call to one’s side,” hence, “to call to one’s aid.”  In some sixty places this word has the sense of “beseech, entreat, desire, pray, beg” which is also suitable to this passage.         

            ABIDE:  (Grk.-prosmenô)–The exact sense of this Greek word is “to stay on,” or, as in the KJV, “to abide still.” 

This word tells us that Timothy was already at Ephesus when he received the request from Paul to stay on there instead of going to Macedonia. Timothy’s task in Ephesus would prove to be the most difficult he had ever faced.  He needed all the gifts of God’s grace.

         “when I went”
         Literally:  “was going” or “was on my way.”

“that thou mightest charge some”
Literally:  “that you might charge some” —It is clear that back of the
Pastoral Epistles there is some great heresy which is endangering the Church.  This verse, and the next (v. 4) helps to explain what these heresies were.

          CHARGE:  (Grk.-parangellô)–Literally: “to hand an announcement from one to another.”  Meaning to give a command.  This Greek word is in common use in Luke and Acts, but not so much with Paul.  However, he usesit five times in I Timothy.

          SOME: (Grk.-tisi)–Literally:  “some, certain persons.” Paul does not actually name these false teachers, but it is obvious that he knew who they were.  Instead, he refers to them simply as “some.”

Although Paul does not name any persons; the Judaizing teachers are generally supposed to be those intended; and the word, “some”  which he uses, is expressive of high distain and at the same time of delicacy: they were not apostles, nor apostolic men; but they were undoubtedly members of the Church at Ephesus, and might yet be reclaimed.

“that they teach no other doctrine.”
Literally:  “not to teach other doctrines”–Timothy is himself charged to charge others that they do not teach any doctrines different than that had been preached by Paul.  Paul wrote to the
Galatians that there was no other Gospel.  There is only one Gospel, and only one doctrine

OTHER:  (Grk.-heteros)–Literally:  “another, different, strange, altered.”

The use of the word heteros  means, “another of a different kind.”  These men were mingling strange and different elements with their teaching of the Gospel.  Because of their irrelevance and variance from the Gospel, these elements might easily become hostile to it.  By mingling with it elements that were foreign to its essential nature, they were really changing the entire character of the Christian teaching.  Doctrine inconsistent with the nature of the Gospel becomes false doctrine.  Such teachings must be resisted.

DOCTRINE:  (Grk.-didaskalia)–Literally:  “what is taught, teaching, instruction, doctrine.”

When Paul established a new church, he did not leave his former churches destitute.  He was continually concerned about their welfare and expressed his concern by ceaseless prayer and instructive letters.  The problem that had arisen in Ephesus was the serious threat to sound doctrine which was caused by some would-be Mosaic Law teachers who had infiltrated into that church.  These teachers were perverting true Christian doctrine and so were endangering the very spiritual well-being of the believers.

“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: 
{so do}

“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies,”
Literally:  “nor to give heed to fables and to endless genealogies”–The doctrine is corrupted not only by false opinions, but also by vain and curious speculations: the declaration and utterance of which can in no way help our faith. Paul makes note of one type of vain question.

          HEED TO:  (Grk.prosechein)–This literally means to not merely to “give attention to,” but rather it literally means “to attach oneself to; to adhere to, to hold on to.” Old and common idiom in the N.T. especially in Luke and Acts. The Greek tense shows that they were already doing this, but must stop it.

FABLES:  (Grk.muthois; mythois)–The root from which we get our English word, “myths.”

          These “fables” would be better rendered as “idle tales.” Idle fancies; things of no real importance; unauthenticated doctrines and opinions; legends, of which no people ever possessed a greater stock than the Jews.  Their Talmud abounds with them;  legends about the origin and propagation of angels, such as the false teachers taught at Colosse (Col 2:18-23). “Jewish fables” (Titus. 1:14).
          It is likely such fables as those of the Talmud are meant by Paul; legends which have been committed to writing a little later; legends and traditions which had been long in existence added to the history of the O.T., additions to the Scriptures. The Talmud was full of such stories. “Profane, and old wives' fables” (4:7; II Tim.4:4).
         One of the characteristics of the ancient world was that the poets, and even the historians, loved to work out romantic and fictitious tales about the foundation of cities and families.  They would tell how some god came to earth and founded the city or took in marriage some mortal maid and founded a family.  The ancient world was full of such stories. These “idle tales” were really the ancient’s explanations of their pagan Olympian “gods” and “goddesses,” i.e., the very mythology regarding their “deities.”

“With the words, fables and endless genealogies,’ apparently two phases of the same fault, Paul gives us a more precise statement of the problem.  In the N.T. use, the word translated as ‘fables’ (muthois), the word from which we get our word ‘myth,’ means: ‘an invention, a fiction, a falsehood;’  it denotes something without historical reality.  They were really fanciful tales such as abound in the rabinnical writings; apparently bound up with the fictitious amplifications of the O.T. genealogies.  These genealogies were expanded, the names of wives invented, additional stories woven into them, and given wild allegorical interpretations.  Paul calls them ‘endless’ because the inventions led to no certain conclusions.”D. Edmond Hiebert–First Timothy

            ENDLESS: (Grk.–aperantos)–The Greek word (peras) means “a limit; a termination.”  Putting the letter “a” in front of it puts it in the negative case; making it say,    “no limit; without end.”  Vincent (Vincent’s Word Studies in the N.T.) suggests that the word may be taken in the sense of “object” or “aim” so it would describe the study and teaching regarding these genealogies as with any object; useless.

GENEALOGIES:  (Grk.genealogiais)–The exact nature of these is unknown.

          According to some, the reference is to the Jewish records of the descent from Abraham, by which their pride was nourished, and their confidence was withdrawn from Christ to fleshly relations. The ancients, and especially ancient Jews, had a passion for genealogies This is evidenced in the O.T. with its chapters of names, and in the N.T. with the genealogies of Jesus with which Matthew and Luke began their gospels. The Jews kept careful genealogical records, for this was necessary in order that the distinction of their tribes might be kept up. Any Jew worth his salt could trace his lineage back twenty generations. Of course, in the lapse of centuries, these tables would become very numerous, complicated, and extended–so that they might, without much exaggeration, be called “endless.”
          As the Messiah, however, had now come–as the Jewish polity was to cease–as the separation between them and the gentiles was no longer necessary, and the distinction of tribes was now useless, there was no real reason that these distinctions should be regarded by Christians. The whole system was, moreover, contrary to the genius of Christianity, for it served to keep up the pride of blood and birth.
          Some have supposed that Paul refers to some foolish fancies of the Gnostics, but those were of later date. Though the system of Gnosticism, which is filled with such “endless genealogies,” was of later origin, they suppose that its germs may have existed in Paul’s day, and have mixed themselves with Jewish fables.

Gnosticism, is largely speculative.  It really began with the problem of the origin of sin and of suffering.  If God is altogether good, He would not have created them.  How then did they get into the world? How then did we get into the world?  The Gnostic answer was that matter existed.  They believed that this matter was essentially imperfect, an evil thing; and out of this essentially evil matter the world was created.–William Barclay

Understand that Ephesus was the very center of the mystery religions of that day.  In Ephesus, after Paul’s time, would, be located the temples to the “deified” Roman Emperors Hadrian and Trajan, and despicable temple to the goddess Artemis¸ called in the KJV as Diana.  This latter was simply a cult of lust and sexual depravities.  It was in the Council of Ephesus (456 CE) that the worship of Mary (worship of the Mother and Child) came into the church; Ephesus being the center of Artemis/Diana (the Mother goddess) worship.

         “which minister questions,”
         Literally:  “which provide doubts”–Rather than godly edifying; led to nothing but empty questions of speculation and dispute.

          MINISTER:  (Grk.parechô)–Meaning, “to reach forth, to offer.”  In this case, it means, “to afford, furnish, give occasion to” questions.

          QUESTIONS:  (Grk.zêtêseis)–Referring to investigations, toilsome inquiry, inconclusive disputations.”

Questions of mere speculation (Acts 25:20), not practical; generating merely curious discussions. “Questions and strifes of words” (6:4): “to no profit” (II Tim. 2:14); “gendering strifes (II Tim. 2:23). “Vain jangling” (vv. 6-7) of would-be “teachers of the law.” Which afford matter for troublesome and angry debates.

It was often difficult to settle or understand them.
1.      They became complicated and perplexing. Nothing is more difficult than to unravel an extensive genealogical table. To do this, therefore, would often give rise to contentions; and, when settled, would give rise to still further questions about rank and precedence. These inquiries do nothing to promote true faith in the soul.
2.      They settle no permanent principle of truth; they determine nothing that is really concerned in the salvation of men.
3.      They might be pursued through life, and not one soul be converted by them.
4.      They might be settled with the greatest accuracy, and yet not one heart would be made better.
5.      They are the foundation of endless altercations and disputes.
Isn’t this still true of many controversies and arguments in the church? No point of controversy is worth such trouble, which, if it were settled one way or the other, would not tend to convert the soul from sin, or to establish some important principle in promoting true faith.

“rather than godly edifying which is in faith:  {so do}
Literally:  “rather than the stewardship of God in faith”–What had
Jewish genealogies to do with the Gospel?  Men are not saved by virtue of the privileges or faithfulness of their ancestors.  The Jews depended much on this.

          EDIFYING:  (Grk.oikonomian)–Literally:  “stewardship.” Referring to the order of salvation as devised and administered by God; the method of operation of salvation  in the life of th believing sinner.

         “which is in faith”
         Literally:  “in faith”–This speaks of the fact that
faith is the sphere, or element, in which salvation operates.

In this dispensation of God, FAITH in Christ Jesus is the only means and way of salvation.  These endless and uncertain genealogies produced no faith; indeed they were intended as a substitute for it; for those who were intent on making out their genealogical descent paid little attention to faith in Christ. They ministered questions rather than that economy of God which is by faith This dispensation is by faith. It was NOT by natural descent, nor by but works, but by faith in Christ; therefore it was necessary that the people who were seeking salvation in any other way should be strictly informed that all their toil and labor would be vain.

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and {of} a good conscience and {of} faith unfeigned:”

“Now the end of the commandment is charity”
Literally:  “but the end of the commandment is love”–That is, Its scope or aim; its substance, which all its particular precepts have in view.
Charity; love towards God and man.

END:  (Grk. telos)–Meaning: “aim; that which the charge contemplates that which completes a things, that which renders it perfect; boundary, issue, termination.”

          COMMANDMENT:  (Grk.–parangelias)–This is the noun form of the verb rendered as “charge”  in v. 3.  By the “commandment” may be meant the order given to Timothy, or the charge committed to him; see v. 18

          The charge to forbid the teaching of another doctrine; and to avoid fables and endless genealogies; the end and design of which was to cultivate peace, to maintain and secure brotherly love, which cannot long subsist, when a different doctrine is introduced and received; and to promote godly edification, which is brought about by charity or love, for charity edifies; but is greatly hindered by speculative notions, fabulous stories, and genealogical controversies and contentions: or by it may be intended the ministration of the Gospel, called the commandment (6:14), because enjoined the preachers of it by Christ; the end of which is to bring persons to the obedience of faith, or to that faith which works by love, to believe in Christ, to love the Lord, his truths, ordinances, people, and ways; or rather the moral law is designed, which is often called the commandment, (Rom. 7:8)  since of this the apostle treats in some following verses; the end and design, sum and substance, completion and perfection of which law are love to God, and love to one another; (see Matt. 22:36). 

         The use of the term, “the commandment” in the KJV must not mislead us to think that Paul is referring to the Mosaic Law, or a part of it.  This charge is not merely Paul’s charge to Timothy, but rather the church which Timothy is to give to the false teachers. Timothy was to deliver a prohibitive charge.  He was CHARGED BY Paul to charge the errorists not to teach their different doctrine.  He was to tell them to “cease and desist” immediately their false teaching.

          LOVE:  (Grk.agapê)–Love towards God (confidence in Him, and conscientious devotion to His will) and man. When the Gospel is preached and men see themselves as lost and receive Christ into their lives, the new nature of the believer causes him to love God, his fellow believers, and lost men.

“out of a pure heart,”–-Springing as from the fountain of a pure heart–a heart purified by faith (Acts 15:9; II Tim. 2:22; Titus 1:15).   The ultimate source of this love is the     love of God poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).

A pure heart is in contrast to our old nature.  It means a person who has been made righteous in Christ and can now manifest the fruit of the Spirit, which includes love.  A pure heart is a heart made pure in affection and single in purpose by faith.  It is enabled to discern the presence and love of God. 

and {of} a good conscience”
Literally:  “and a good conscience”–Having been made in the image of
God, man is a moral personality.  He has an innate sense of what he ought to do; an intuitive concept of right and wrong.

          CONSCIENCE:  (Grk.–suneidêsis)–Conscience literally means “knowing with,” A pure conscience is one that produces a sense of well-being, satisfaction, and pleasure:  it leads its owner to obey the Word of God.  A guilty conscience is uncomfortable, dissatisfied.

1.      Conscience is man’s moral intuition, his moral self in the act of passing judgment upon his own state, emotions and thoughts, and upon his own words and actions whether these be viewed as past, present or future.  It is both positive and negative.  It both approves or condemns (Rom.  2:14-15).
2.      Conscience causes the inner-self to sit in moral judgment upon its attitudes and actions.  Warren Wiersbe observes:  “Conscience is the inner judge that accuses us when we have done wrong and approves when we have done right.”

It is only in the born-again believer that conscience attains its highest goal.  For such an one, God’s will, as expressed in His Word, becomes the Lord of conscience, its Guide and Director” (I Pet. 2:19).  The good conscience of which Paul speaks here is more than merely a clear conscience.  Rather, it is the conscience which:
1.     It is guided by God’s special revelation as its norm.
2.     It pronounces judgments that are accepted, and issues directives that are obeyed.
3.     It produces “godly sorrow” which works repentance unto salvation(II Cor. 7:10)
A salvation by means of which, “the love of God is spread abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 5:5).And God’s love produces the response of love.

“and {of} faith unfeigned:”
Literally:  “and faith not pretended”–
Faith is not hypocritical.  Paul appears to be alluding to the Judaizing teachers, who pretended faith in the Gospel; merely that they might have the greater opportunity to bring back to the Mosaic system those who had embraced the Doctrine of Christ Crucified. The three things essential to a pure and holy love are: (1) A pure heart; (2) a good conscience; and (3) sincere faith.

          UNFEIGNED: (Grk.anupokritou)-From the Greek verb  (hupokrinomai),  which means, “to judge under.”  It was used of a Greek actor on the stage, of one who assumes to be what he is not.  Our word, “hypocrite” comes from this word.  The letter “a” in front of the word shows that the one referred to is not hypocritical.

“Undissembled confidence in God. This does seem to be intended specifically of faith in the Lord Jesus, but it means that all true love to God, such as this law would produce, must be based on confidence in him. How can any one have love to him who has no confidence in him? Can we exercise love to a professed friend in whom we have no confidence? Faith, then, is as necessary under the law as it is under the gospel.”– Barnes Notes