Literary Context

1 Timothy 5:17-25

Outline of 1 Timothy

  • 1:1-2- Greeting

  • 1:3-20- Timothy’s responsibility while in Ephesus
    • 1:3-11- Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to deal with false teachers in Ephesus and their misuse of God’s Law
    • 1:12-17- Paul as an example of God’s grace
    • 1:18-20- Hymeneus and Alexander as examples of those who had succumbed to false teaching
  • 2:1-6:19- Paul’s instructions concerning how Timothy should fulfill his responsibility
    • 2:1-3:13- Content for Timothy to teach the church at Ephesus
      • 2:1-7- Pray for all people, especially those in positions of authority
      • 2:8-15- How men and women in the church should conduct themselves
      • 3:1-7- Qualifications for elders
      • 3:8-13- Qualifications for deacons
    • 3:14-4:16 -Specific commands for Timothy
      • 3:14-16- Timothy’s charge to teach the church concerning proper Christian living
      • 4:1-5- A reminder that false teachers should be expected and further description of the false teachers in Ephesus
      • 4:6-10- A reminder for Timothy to be fervent in Christian living
      • 4:11-16- A reminder for Timothy to faithfully complete the task he had been given
    • 5:1-6:2- Instructions for Timothy on dealing with various groups in the church
      • 5:1-2- Instructions concerning how Timothy should treat older men, younger men, older women, and younger women
      • 5:3-16- Instructions concerning widows in the church
      • 5:17-25- Instructions concerning church leaders
      • 6:1-2- Instruction concerning slaves and their masters
    • 6:3-6:19- Final instructions concerning the false teachers
      • 6:3-10- A condemnation of the false teachers and their greed
      • 6:11-16- A final encouragement for Timothy to faithfully complete the charge he had been given
      • 6:17-19- A final warning to the rich
  • 6:20-21- A concluding charge for Timothy

The Literary Setting of 1 Timothy 5:17-25

The bulk of 1 Timothy is instructions for Timothy concerning how he should fulfill the charge Paul gave him in Timothy 1, to deal with the false teachers in Ephesus by teaching sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 5:17-25 occurs in the context of instructions Paul gave to Timothy related to various groups in the church, specially widows, church leaders, and then slaves. 5:17 shifts the topic to elders who lead well, while 6:1 marks a clear shift to the topic of slaves. Given the large number of 2nd singular imperatives, the instructions are cast most specifically as instructions for Timothy, but the instructions were also relevant to the Ephesian church as a whole.

Explore more…

Genre Analysis
Historical Context
Translation & Notes
Word Study
Exegetical Outline
Preaching Outline

Or return to the passage overview