1 Timothy 4:12-13

12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

1 Timothy 4:12 in Other Translations

KJV
12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
ESV
12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
NLT
12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
MSG
12 And don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.
CSB
12 No one should despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 4:12-13 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 TIMOTHY 4

In this chapter the apostle foretells a dreadful apostasy which should happen in the last times, the particulars of which he gives; and on occasion of one branch of it, discourses of Christian liberty in eating all sorts of food fit for use; and delivers out exhortations to Timothy to various duties relating to himself, his doctrine, and his charge. The prophecy is in 1Ti 4:1-3, the author of this prophecy is the Spirit of God; the manner in which it was delivered was very clear and express; the time when it should be fulfilled, the last days; the thing itself, a departure of some from the faith; the means whereby it would come about are, some giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, and the hypocrisy and hardened consciences of others, who would forbid marriage, and order an abstinence from certain meats; the evil of which last is exposed by their being the creatures of God, and by their being made for this purpose to be received with thankfulness by all believers, and who know the truth: and the reasons why they should be received and used follow; because they are all good, as they are the creatures of God; and because there is nothing to be refused, provided it be received with a thankful heart; and because every creature is sanctified by the word of God, and prayer, 1Ti 4:4,5. And then Timothy is exhorted to put the brethren in mind of those things, by which he would show himself to be a faithful minister of Christ, and well instructed in the doctrines of the Gospel, 1Ti 4:6, and to reject things profane and fabulous, but use himself to internal and powerful godliness, since outward worship signifies little, but the former has the promise of this, and the other world annexed to it; which is a true saying, and to be depended on, 1Ti 4:7-9 and which is confirmed from the practice and experience of the apostles, and therefore should be taught with authority, 1Ti 4:10,11. And then the apostle gives Timothy some advice, which being taken, would prevent his being despised, on account of his youth; as with respect to his life and conversation, so to behave as to be a pattern to others, 1Ti 4:12, and with respect to the exercise of his ministry, to make use of such means, as reading and meditation, that his profiting might be manifest to all, 1Ti 4:13-15 and with respect to the doctrines he preached, to abide by them, whereby he would be a means of saving himself, and others, 1Ti 4:16.

1 Timothy 4:12-13 In-Context

10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things.
12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

Cross References 5

  • 1. S 2 Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:15
  • 2. Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; Titus 2:7; 1 Peter 5:3
  • 3. 1 Timothy 1:14
  • 4. 1 Timothy 3:14
  • 5. Luke 4:16; Acts 13:14-16; Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27
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