4:1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves 1 with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, 2 4:2 influenced by the hypocrisy of liars 3 whose consciences are seared. 4 4:3 They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4:4 For every creation of God is good and no food 5 is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. 4:5 For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.
4:6 By pointing out such things to the brothers and sisters, 6 you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, having nourished yourself on the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 4:7 But reject those myths 8 fit only for the godless and gullible, 9 and train yourself for godliness. 4:8 For “physical exercise 10 has some value, but godliness is valuable in every way. It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.” 4:9 This saying 11 is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. 4:10 In fact this is why 12 we work hard and struggle, 13 because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, 14 especially of believers.
4:11 Command and teach these things. 4:12 Let no one look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in your speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, 15 and purity. 4:13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of scripture, 16 to exhortation, to teaching. 4:14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have, 17 given to you and confirmed by prophetic words 18 when the elders laid hands on you. 19 4:15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that everyone will see your progress. 20 4:16 Be conscientious about how you live and what you teach. 21 Persevere in this, because by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
[4:2] sn Consciences are seared. The precise meaning of this phrase is somewhat debated. Three primary interpretations are (1) the consciences of these false teachers are “branded” with Satan’s mark to indicate ownership, (2) their consciences are “branded” with a penal mark to show they are lawbreakers, or (3) their consciences have been “seared” (i.e., totally burnt and desensitized) so that they are unable to notice the difference between right and wrong. See G. W. Knight, Pastoral Epistles (NIGTC), 189.
[4:6] 6 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” as here (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelfoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited).
[4:6] 7 sn By pointing out…you have followed. This verse gives a theme statement for what follows in the chapter about Timothy’s ministry. The situation in Ephesus requires him to be a good servant of Christ, and he will do that by sound teaching and by living an exemplary life himself.
[4:10] 13 tc A number of
[4:13] sn The public reading of scripture refers to reading the scripture out loud in the church services. In a context where many were illiterate and few could afford private copies of scripture, such public reading was especially important.