1 Timothy 3:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

King James Bible
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Darby Bible Translation
And confessedly the mystery of piety is great. God has been manifested in flesh, has been justified in [the] Spirit, has appeared to angels, has been preached among [the] nations, has been believed on in [the] world, has been received up in glory.

World English Bible
Without controversy, the mystery of godliness is great: God was revealed in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, and received up in glory.

Young's Literal Translation
and, confessedly, great is the secret of piety -- God was manifested in flesh, declared righteous in spirit, seen by messengers, preached among nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory!

1 Timothy 3:16 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And, without controversy - Και ὁμολογουμενες· And confessedly, by general consent, it is a thing which no man can or ought to dispute; any phrase of this kind expresses the meaning of the original.

God was manifest in the flesh - If we take in the whole of the 14th, 15th, and 16th verses, we may make a consistent translation in the following manner, and the whole paragraph will stand thus: Hoping to see thee shortly; but should I tarry long, these things I now write unto thee, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God. The mystery of godliness, which is the pillar and ground of the truth, is, without controversy, a great thing. And then he proceeds to show what this mystery of godliness is, which he sums up in the six following particulars:

1. God was manifest in the flesh;

2. Justified in the Spirit;

3. Seen of angels;

4. Preached unto the Gentiles;

5. Believed on in the world;

6. Received up into glory.

Though all this makes a very plain and consistent sense, yet we are perplexed by various readings on the first clause, Θεος εφανερωθη εν σαρκι, God was manifest in the flesh; for instead of Θεος, God, several MSS., versions, and fathers, have ὁς or ὁ, who or which. And this is generally referred to the word mystery; Great is the mystery of godliness, Which was manifest in the flesh.

The insertion of, Θεος for ὁς, or ὁς for Θεος, may be easily accounted for. In ancient times the Greek was all written in capitals, for the common Greek character is comparatively of modern date. In these early times words of frequent recurrence were written contractedly, thus: for πατηρ, πρ; Θεος, θς; Κυριος, κς· Ιησους, ιης, etc. This is very frequent in the oldest MSS., and is continually recurring in the Codex Bexae, and Codex Alexandrinus. If, therefore, the middle stroke of the Θ, in ΘΣ, happened to be faint, or obliterated, and the dash above not very apparent, both of which I have observed in ancient MSS., then ΘΣ, the contraction for Θεος, God, might be mistaken for ΟΣ, which or who; and vice versa. This appears to have been the case in the Codex Alexandrinus, in this passage. To me there is ample reason to believe that the Codex Alexandrinus originally read ΘΣ, God, in this place; but the stroke becoming faint by length of time and injudicious handling, of which the MS. in this place has had a large proportion, some person has supplied the place, most reprehensibly, with a thick black line. This has destroyed the evidence of this MS., as now it can neither be quoted pro or con, though it is very likely that the person who supplied the ink line, did it from a conscientious conviction that ΘΣ was the original reading of this MS. I examined this MS. about thirty years ago, and this was the conviction that rested then on my mind. I have seen the MS. several times since, and have not changed my opinion. The enemies of the Deity of Christ have been at as much pains to destroy the evidence afforded by the common reading in support of this doctrine as if this text were the only one by which it can be supported; they must be aware that John 1:1, and John 1:14, proclaim the same truth; and that in those verses there is no authority to doubt the genuineness of the reading. We read, therefore, God was manifested in the flesh, and I cannot see what good sense can be taken out of, the Gospel was manifested in the flesh; or, the mystery of godliness was manifested in the flesh. After seriously considering this subject in every point of light, I hold with the reading in the commonly received text.

Justified in the Spirit - By the miracles which were wrought by the apostle in and through the name of Jesus; as well as by his resurrection from the dead, through the energy of the Holy Ghost, by which he was proved to be the Son of God with power. Christ was, justified from all the calumnies of the Jews, who crucified him as an impostor. All these miracles, being wrought by the power of God, were a full proof of his innocence; for, had he not been what he professed to be, God would not have borne such a decisive testimony to his Messiahship.

Seen of angels - By αγγελοι here, some understand not those celestial or infernal beings commonly called angels, but apostles and other persons who became messengers, to carry far and wide and attest the truth of his resurrection from the dead. If, however, we take the word seen, in its Jewish acceptation, for made known, we may here retain the term angels in its common acceptation; for it is certain that previously to our Lord's ascension to heaven, these holy beings could have little knowledge of the necessity, reasons, and economy of human salvation; nor of the nature of Christ as God and man. St. Peter informs us that the angels desire to look into these things, 1 Peter 1:12. And St. Paul says the same thing, Ephesians 3:9, Ephesians 3:10, when speaking of the revelation of the Gospel plan of salvation, which he calls the mystery, which From the Beginning of the World had been Hid in God; and which was now published, that unto the Principalities and Powers in heavenly places might be Made Known, by the Church, the manifold wisdom of God. Even those angelic beings have got an accession to their blessedness, by an increase of knowledge in the things which concern Jesus Christ, and the whole scheme of human salvation, through his incarnation, passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and glorification.

Preached unto the Gentiles - This was one grand part of the mystery which had been hidden in God, that the Gentiles should be made fellow heirs with the Jews, and be admitted into the kingdom of God. To the Gentiles, therefore, he was proclaimed as having pulled down the middle wall of partition between them and the Jews; that, through him, God had granted unto them repentance unto life; and that they also might have redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Believed on in the world - Was received by mankind as the promised Messiah, the Anointed of God, and the only Savior of fallen man. This is a most striking part of the mystery of godliness, that one who was crucified as a malefactor, and whose kingdom is not of this world, and whose doctrines are opposed to all the sinful propensities of the human heart, should, wherever his Gospel is preached, be acknowledged as the only Savior of sinners, and the Judge of quick and dead! But some would restrict the meaning to the Jews, whose economy is often denominated עולם הזה olam hazzeh, this world, and which words both our Lord and the apostles often use in the same sense. Notwithstanding their prejudices, many even of the Jews believed on him; and a great company of the priests themselves, who were his crucifiers, became obedient to the faith. Acts 6:7. This was an additional proof of Christ's innocence.

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

without.

Hebrews 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

the mystery.

1 Timothy 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ...

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory:

Ephesians 1:9 Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself:

Ephesians 3:3-9 How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery; (as I wrote before in few words...

Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of understanding...

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Revelation 17:5,7 And on her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH...

God.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful...

Jeremiah 23:5,6 Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper...

Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah...

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is...

John 1:1,2,14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers...

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh...

Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God...

Colossians 1:16-18 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones...

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power...

Hebrews 2:9-13 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor...

1 John 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father...

Revelation 1:17,18 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand on me, saying to me, Fear not; I am the first and the last...

manifest. Gr. manifested.

1 John 3:5 And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

justified.

Isaiah 50:5-7 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back...

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him...

John 1:32,33 And John bore record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it stayed on him...

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father...

John 16:8,9 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment...

Acts 2:32-36 This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses...

Romans 1:3,4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh...

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh...

1 John 5:6-8 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood...

seen.

Psalm 68:17,18 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place...

Matthew 4:11 Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.

Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven...

Mark 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.

Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment...

Luke 2:10-14 And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people...

Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel to him from heaven, strengthening him.

Luke 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

John 20:12 And sees two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

Acts 1:10,11 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel...

Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now to the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

1 Peter 1:12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did minister the things...

preached.

Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Acts 13:46-48 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you...

Romans 10:12,18 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call on him...

Galatians 2:8 (For he that worked effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

Ephesians 3:5-8 Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit...

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you...

believed.

Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them...

Colossians 1:6,23 Which is come to you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit, as it does also in you, since the day you heard of it...

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds...

received.

Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Luke 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

John 6:62 What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

John 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

Acts 1:1-9,19 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach...

Ephesians 4:8-10 Why he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men...

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power...

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest...

Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame...

1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.

Library
Christ's Humiliation in his Incarnation
'Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh.' I Tim 3:16. Q-xxvii: WHEREIN DID CHRIST'S HUMILIATION CONSIST? A: In his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross. Christ's humiliation consisted in his incarnation, his taking flesh, and being born. It was real flesh that Christ took; not the image of a body (as the Manichees erroneously held), but a true body; therefore he
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Since Our Pious and Christian Emperor Has Addressed this Holy and Ecumenical Council...
Since our pious and Christian Emperor has addressed this holy and ecumenical council, in order that it might provide for the purity of those who are in the list of the clergy, and who transmit divine things to others, and that they may be blameless ministrants, and worthy of the sacrifice of the great God, who is both Offering and High Priest, a sacrifice apprehended by the intelligence: and that it might cleanse away the pollutions wherewith these have been branded by unlawful marriages: now whereas
Philip Schaff—The Seven Ecumenical Councils

Of the Unity of the Godhead and the Trinity of Persons
Deut. vi. 4.--"Hear, O Israel The Lord our God is one Lord."--1 John v. 7 "There are three that bear record in heaven the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these three are one." "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2 Tim. iii. 16. There is no refuse in it, no simple and plain history, but it tends to some edification, no profound or deep mystery, but it is profitable for salvation. Whatsoever
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Of the Practice of Piety in Fasting.
There are divers kinds of fasting--First, A constrained fast, as when men either have not food to eat, as in the famine of Samaria (2 Kings vi. 25;) or, having food, cannot eat it for heaviness or sickness, as it befel them who were in the ship with St. Paul (Acts xxvii. 33.) This is rather famine than fasting. Secondly, A natural fast, which we undertake physically, for the health of our body. Thirdly, A civil fast, which the magistrate enjoins for the better maintenance of the commonwealth. Fourthly,
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Cross References
Mark 16:19
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

Luke 2:13
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

Luke 24:4
While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Acts 1:9
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

Romans 3:4
Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

Romans 16:25
Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,

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