The word, meaning properly "venerableness," "sanctity," is used in 2 Macc 3:12 of the "sanctity" of the temple. In 1 Timothy 3:4 the writer declares that a characteristic of a bishop should be that he has "his children in subjection with all gravity." Titus is enjoined (2:7 f) in his "doctrine" (teaching) to show "uncorruptness, gravity, sound speech (Revised Version), that cannot be condemned" (compare 1 Timothy 3:8). In 1 Timothy 2:2 the same word is translated "honesty" (the Revised Version (British and American) "gravity"), "that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity." A better rendering of semnotes might be "dignity" or "dignified seriousness" (Olshausen), which quality is necessary, both on the part of parents in relation to their children, if they are to be properly trained, and on the part of preachers and teachers, if their "doctrine" is to be worthily represented. All mere lightness of demeanor (the opposite of gravity) tells against the great trusts committed to both parents and teachers (compare 1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 2:2). Such "gravity" or "dignified seriousness" ought indeed to characterize Christian demeanor in general, as in 1 Timothy 2:2 above.
W. L. Walker
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