1 Timothy 6:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.

King James Bible
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Darby Bible Translation
constant quarrellings of men corrupted in mind and destitute of the truth, holding gain to be the end of piety.

World English Bible
constant friction of people of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. Withdraw yourself from such.

Young's Literal Translation
wranglings of men wholly corrupted in mind, and destitute of the truth, supposing the piety to be gain; depart from such;

1 Timothy 6:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Perverse disputings - Margin, "gallings one of another." In regard to the correct reading of this passage, see Bib. Repository, vol. iii. pp. 61, 62. The word which is here used in the Received Text - παραδιατρίβη paradiatribē - occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means "mis-employment;" then "idle occupation." (Robinson's Lexicon) The verb from which this is derived means to "rub in pieces, to wear away;" and hence the word here used refers to what was a mere "wearing away" of time. The idea is that of employments that merely consumed time without any advantage. The notion of contention or dispute is not necessarily implied in this passage, but the allusion is to inquiries or discussions that were of no practical value, but; were a mere consumption of time; compare Koppe on the passage. The reading in the margin is derived from the common usage of the verb "to rub," and hence our translators attached the idea of "rubbing against" each other, or of "galling" each other, as by rubbing. This is not, however, the idea in the Greek word. The phrase "idle employments" would better suit the meaning of the Greek than either of the phrases which our translators have employed.

Of men of corrupt minds - That is, of wicked hearts.

And destitute of the truth - Not knowing the truth; or not having just views of truth. They show that they have no correct acquaintance with the Christian system.

Supposing that gain is godliness - That that which contributes to an increase of property is of course true religion; or that it is proper to infer that any course which contributes to worldly prosperity must be sanctioned by religion. They judge of the consistency of any course with religion by its tendency to promote outward prosperity. This they have exalted into a maxim, and this they make the essential thing in religion. But how could any man do this? And what connection would this have with the subject under consideration - the kind of instruction that was to be given to servants? The meaning of the maxim seems to be, that religion must necessarily promote prosperity by its promoting temperance, and industry, and length of days; and that since this was the case, it was fair to infer that anything which would not do this could not be consistent with religion. They adopted it, therefore, as a general rule of judging, and one in entire accordance with the wishes of their own hearts, that any course of life that would not do this must be contrary to the true spirit of religion. This maxim, it would seem, they applied to the relation of the slave and his master, and as the tendency of the system was always to keep the servant poor and in an humble condition, they seem to have inferred that the relation was contrary to Christianity, and hence to have excited the servant to disaffection. In their reasoning they were not far out of the way, for it is fair to infer that a system that tends to produce uniform poverty, and to perpetuate a degraded condition in society, is contrary to the genius of Christianity. They were wrong:

(1) in making this a general maxim by which to judge of everything in religion; and,

(2) in so applying it as to produce insubordination and discontent in the minds of servants toward their masters; and,

(3) in supposing that everything which produced gain was consistent with religion, or that they could infallibly judge of the moral quality of any course of life by its contributing to outward prosperity. Religion will uniformly lead to that which conduces to prosperity, but it does not follow that every way of making money is therefore a part of piety. It is possible, also, that in some way they hoped for "gain" to themselves by inculcating those principles. It may be remarked here, that this is not an uncommon maxim practically among people - that "gain is godliness." The whole object of life with them is to make money; the rule by which they judge of everything is by its tendency to produce gain; and their whole religion may be summed up in this, that they live for gain. Wealth is the real object of pursuit; but it is often with them cloaked under the pretence of piety. They have no more religion than they suppose will contribute to this object; they judge of the nature and value of every maxim by its tendency to make people prosperous in their worldly business; they have as much as they suppose will promote their pecuniary interest, and they sacrifice every principle of religion which they suppose would conflict with their earthly advancement.

From such withdraw thyself - That is, have no communion or fellowship with them. Do not recognize them as religious teachers; do not countenance their views. Timothy was, in no way, to show that he regarded them as inculcating truth, or to patronize their doctrines. From such people, as having any claim to the character of Christians, every man should withdraw with feelings of unutterable pity and loathing. This passage 1 Timothy 6:1-5 is often appealed to by the advocates and apologists for slavery, to prove that Christianity countenances that institution, and that no direct attempt should be made by the ministers of the gospel, or other Christians, to show the evil of the institution, and to promote its abolition, and to prove that we have no right to interfere in any way with what pertains to these "domestic relations." It is of importance, therefore, in view of the exposition which has been given of the words and phrases in the passage, to sum up the truths which it inculcates. From it, therefore, the following lessons may be derived:

(1) That those who are slaves, and who have been converted to Christianity, should not be indolent or disorderly. If their masters are Christians, they should treat them with respect, and all the more because they are fellow-heirs of the grace of life. If they are not Christians, they should yet show the nature of religion on themselves, and bear the evils of their condition with patience - showing how religion teaches them to endure wrong. In either case, they are to be quiet, industrious, kind, meek, respectful. This Christianity everywhere enjoins while the relation continues, At the same time, however, it does not forbid the slave earnestly to desire his freedom, or to use all proper measures to obtain it; see 1 Corinthians 7:21.

(2) that the ministers of religion should not labor to produce a spirit of discontent among slaves, or excite them to rise upon their masters. This passage would undoubtedly forbid all such interference, and all agencies or embassies sent among slaves themselves to inflame their minds against their masters, in view of their wrongs; to put arms into their hands; or to induce them to form combinations for purposes of insurrection. It is not so much in the true spirit of Christianity to go to those who are wronged, as to those who do the wrong. The primary message in such cases is to the latter; and when it does go to the former, it is to teach them to be patient under their wrongs, to evince the Christian spirit there, and to make use only of those means which are consistent with the gospel to free themselves from the evils under which they suffer. At the same time, nothing in this passage, or in any other part of the New Testament, forbids us to go to the master himself, and to show him the evil of the system, and to enjoin upon him to let the oppressed go free.

Nothing in this passage can be reasonably construed as teaching that an appeal of the most earnest and urgent kind may not be made to him; or that the wrongs of the system may not be fully set before him, or that any man or set of men may not lawfully lift up in his hearing a loud and earnest voice in favor of the freedom of all. And in like manner there is nothing which makes it improper that the slave himself should be put fully in possession of that gospel which will apprize him of his rights as a man, and as redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Every human being, whether held in bondage or not, has a right to be made acquainted with all the provisions and truths of that gospel, nor has any man or class of men a right to withhold such knowledge from him. No system of things can be right which contemplates that that gospel shall be withheld, or under which it is necessary to withhold it in order to the perpetuity of the system.

(3) the passage teaches that it is possible that a man who is a slaveholder may become a Christian. But it does not teach that, though he may become a Christian while he is a slaveholder, that it is proper for him to continue this relation after he becomes such. It does not teach that a man can be a Christian and yet go into the business of buying and selling slaves. It does not teach that a man can be a Christian and continue to hold others in bondage, whatever may be true on that point. It does not teach that he ought to be considered as maintaining a "good standing" in the church, if he continues to be a slaveholder; and whatever may be the truth on these points, this passage should not be adduced as demonstrating them. It settles one point only in regard to these questions - that a case was supposable in which a slave had a Christian master. It settles the duty of the slave in such a case; it says nothing about the duty of the master.

(4) this passage does not teach that slavery is either a good thing, or a just thing, a desirable relation in life, or an institution that God wishes to be perpetuated on the earth. The injunctions to slaves to be patient, meek, industrious, and respectful, no more demonstrate this, than the command to subjects to be obedient to the laws proves that God regarded the government of Nero as such an administration as he wished to be perpetuated on the earth. To exhort a slave to manifest a Christian spirit under his oppressions and wrongs, is not to justify the system that does him wrong, nor does it prohibit us from showing to masters that the system is contrary to the gospel, and that it ought to be abandoned.

(5) this passage, therefore, furnishes no real support for slavery. It can no more be adduced in favor of it than any exhortation to those who are oppressed, or in any degrading situation in life, to be patient, proves that the system which oppresses and degrades them, is a good one. Nor does the fact that a man might be converted who was a slaveholder, and might be spoken of as a πιστός pistos, or believer, prove that it would be right and desirable that he should continue that relation, anymore than the fact that Saul of Tarsus became a Christian when engaged in persecution, proves that it would have been right for him to continue in that business, or than the conversion of the Ephesians who "used curious arts" Acts 19:19, proved that it would have been proper for them to continue in that employment. People who are doing wrong are converted in order to turn them from that course of life, not to justify them in it.

1 Timothy 6:5 Parallel Commentaries

Library
August the Thirty-First the Real Gains and Losses
"Godliness with contentment is great gain." --1 TIMOTHY vi. 6-16. And so I must go into my heart if I would make a true estimate of my gains and losses. The calculation is not to be made in my bank-books, or as I stride over my broad acres, or inspect my well-filled barns. These are the mere outsides of things, and do not enter into the real balance-sheet of my life. We can no more estimate the success of a life by methods like these than we can adjudge an oil-painting by the sense of smell. What
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

A Plain Description of the Essence and Attributes of God, Out of the Holy Scripture, So Far as Every Christian must Competently Know, and Necessarily Believe, that Will be Saves.
Although no creature can define what God is, because he is incomprehensible (Psal. cxliii. 3) and dwelling in inaccessible light (1 Tim. vi. 16); yet it has pleased his majesty to reveal himself to us in his word, so far as our weak capacity can best conceive him. Thus: God is that one spiritual and infinitely perfect essence, whose being is of himself eternally (Deut. i. 4; iv. 35; xxxii. 39; vi. 4; Isa. xlv. 5-8; 1 Cor. viii. 4; Eph. iv. 5, 6; 1 Tim. ii. 5; John iv. 24; 2 Cor. iii. 17; 1 Kings
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Conflict and Comfort.
"For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts may be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ."--COL. ii. 1, 2. Although he was in prison the Apostle was constantly at work for his Master, and not least of all at the work of prayer. If ever the words
W. H. Griffith Thomas—The Prayers of St. Paul

"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God," &C.
Matt. vi. 33.--"But seek ye first the kingdom of God," &c. O "seekest thou great things for thyself," says God to Baruch, (Jer. xlv. 5) "seek them not." How then doth he command us in the text to seek a kingdom? Is not this a great thing? Certainly it is greater than those great things he would not have Baruch to seek after, and yet he charges us to seek after it. In every kind of creatures there is some difference, some greater, some lesser, some higher, some lower; so there are some men far above
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
1 Timothy 4:7
But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

1 Timothy 4:8
for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

2 Timothy 3:8
Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.

Titus 1:11
who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.

Titus 1:15
To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

2 Peter 2:3
and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

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