1 Timothy 1:15

Faithful is the saying (pisto o logo). Five times in the Pastorals ( 1 Timothy 1:15 ; 1 Timothy 3:1 ; 1 Timothy 4:9 ; Titus 3:8 ; 2 Timothy 2:11 ). It will pay to note carefully pisti, pisteuw, pisto. Same use of pisto (trustworthy) applied to logo in Titus 1:9 ; Revelation 21:5 ; Revelation 22:6 . Here and probably in 2 Timothy 2:11 a definite saying seems to be referred to, possibly a quotation (oti) of a current saying quite like the Johannine type of teaching. This very phrase (Christ coming into the world) occurs in John 9:37 ; John 11:27 ; John 16:28 ; John 18:37 . Paul, of course, had no access to the Johannine writings, but such "sayings" were current among the disciples. There is no formal quotation, but "the whole phrase implies a knowledge of Synoptic and Johannine language" (Lock) as in Luke 5:32 ; John 12:47 . Acceptation (apodoch). Genitive case with axio (worthy of). Late word (Polybius, Diod., Jos.) in N.T. only here and John 4:9 . Chief (prwto). Not hn (I was), but eimi (I am). "It is not easy to think of any one but St. Paul as penning these words" (White). In 1 Corinthians 15:9 he had called himself "the least of the apostles" (elacisto twn apostolwn). In Ephesians 3:8 he refers to himself as "the less than the least of all saints" (twi elacistoterwi pantwn agiwn). On occasion Paul would defend himself as on a par with the twelve apostles ( Galatians 2:6-10 ) and superior to the Judaizers ( 2 Corinthians 11:5 ; 2 Corinthians 12:11 ). It is not mock humility here, but sincere appreciation of the sins of his life (cf. Romans 7:24 ) as a persecutor of the church of God ( Galatians 1:13 ), of men and even women ( Acts 22:4 ; Acts 26:11 ). He had sad memories of those days.