Timothy, to whom this epistle is written, was eminent for
his early piety and acquaintance with the sacred Scriptures; his
mother was a Jewess, and his father a Greek, which was the reason
why he was not circumcised in his infancy. Mention is made in the
second epistle to him of his mother Eunice, and grandmother Lois, as
believers, and of his knowledge of the Scriptures from a child: this
excellent person the apostle meeting with at Lystra, and having a
good report of him from the brethren there, he chose him to be his
companion in his travels, and to assist him in the spread of the
Gospel; and knowing that it would be very disagreeable to the Jews
to hear the word of God from the lips of an uncircumcised person, he
took him and circumcised him, becoming all things to all, that he
might gain some. This being done, he went along with him into
several parts, and he made great use of him, in preaching the word,
planting churches, and writing epistles; he sent him to various
places with messages from him, to Corinth, Philippi, and
Thessalonica; and now had left him at Ephesus, where he besought him
to abide for a while; for that he was the bishop, pastor, or
overseer of that church is not likely, since his residence here was
not constant, and was afterwards called away from hence by the
apostle, who desired his stay there, under whom, and by whose
directions, he acted while there; and seeing that this church had
elders, bishops, or overseers, whom the Holy Ghost had set over
them, whom the apostle called to him at Miletus, and gave them some
advice and instructions. The design of Timothy's continuance there
was to check growing errors and heresies, and to take care of, and
preserve the discipline of God's house; and to charge him with these
things was the design of this epistle; in which he teaches him how
to behave himself in the church of God, by taking heed to his
doctrine and conversation; and gives rules relating to the
qualifications of bishops and deacons, and to the care of widows,
and with regard to church censures, and the becoming walk and
conversation of all sorts of persons of every office, age, sex,
rank, and order. This epistle is thought to be written about the
year 55.


In this chapter, after the inscription and salutation, the apostle
having entreated Timothy to abide at Ephesus, observes, that his end
was, that he might check the false teachers there, whom he describes;
and then he gives an account of his apostleship, and also of his
conversion, to the encouragement of sinners, and to the glory of the
grace of God; and closes with an exhortation to Timothy to constancy
and perseverance in his Christian warfare. The inscription and
salutation are in \\#1Ti 1:1,2\\ and much in the common form; and
whereas, when he went into Macedonia, he desired Timothy to continue
at Ephesus, his end was, to restrain the false teachers from
preaching the doctrine they did, which was contrary to the Gospel,
fabulous, useless, and unedifying, \\#1Ti 1:3,4\\ for though these men
set up for teachers of the law, they went off, and strayed from its
general end, which was love with faith, through their ignorance of
it, \\#1Ti 1:5-7\\ not but that the law itself was good, as Gospel
ministers full well knew; which is said to prevent an objection
against them, as laying it aside as useless; but the abuse of it is
what is complained of, it being made for some persons, and not for
others who are mentioned, between which, and the sound doctrine of
the Gospel, there is an agreement, \\#1Ti 1:8-11\\ which leads on
the apostle to observe his call to the office of a preacher of it by
Christ, his qualification for it, and investiture with it, for which
he gives thanks, \\#1Ti 1:12\\ And in order to illustrate the grace
of God in converting him first, and then making him a minister of the
word, he takes notice of his state and condition before conversion,
what a vile sinner he had been, and of the abundant grace God bestowed
on him in it, \\#1Ti 1:13,14\\ And that this case of his might not seem
strange and incredible, he observes, that this is the sum of the
Gospel, that Christ came into the world to save the chief of sinners,
such an one as he was, \\#1Ti 1:15\\. And besides, the end of the Lord in
his conversion was, by the pattern of longsuffering he showed in
him, that others might be encouraged to believe in Christ also,
\\#1Ti 1:16\\ and then for all this grace bestowed on him, he ascribes
honour and glory to God, \\#1Ti 1:17\\ and renews his charge to Timothy
to fight manfully against the false teachers, to which he should be
the more induced by the consideration of the prophecies that went
before of him, \\#1Ti 1:18\\ and to hold faith and good conscience,
which had been dropped by some professors; of which instances are
given in Hymenaeus and Philetus, \\#1Ti 1:19,20\\.