1st and 2nd Timothy

1st Timothy
 Charge to uphold doctrine and keep the faith
 Pray for leaders; Women to be modest and submissive
 Overseers and deacons
 Doctrines of spirits; hope in living God; youth
 About widows, elders, slaves, wine and judgment
 Greed, faithfulness, doctrine, and immortality of God

2nd Timothy

 Testify about our Lord; Paul is discouraged
 Be a good soldier in grace, a good worker, and pure
 Form of godliness; persecution; all scripture is inspired
 Preach the Word; I am becoming offering; Come quickly
 How to interpret the Bible reliably  (Below).
 Choosing a Bible version (click left).
These are letters of counsel to Timothy who was a church pastor. Paul often urges him to be aggressive in action. Doctrine is also a topic.
Commentary home
Next books, Titus and Philemon
How can we interpret the Bible reliably?
Dear Friend, your question about interpreting the Bible text is fundamental and important. Here’s a quotation “2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly [thoroughly] furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:15, 16). For Timothy, the “scriptures” were our Old Testament. But they are more. Timothy was a follower of Paul. If you read much of what Paul wrote, you will be impressed with the holy quality of the text. The first part of Romans 8 also help clarify the inspiration of the text.

Then look at Jesus’ final prayer with His disciples in John 17. In verse 17 He declares “Sanctify them [the disciples present and us, verse 20] in the truth; Thy word is truth.” (NASB).

So how do we interpret the Bible text? By prayerful reading and pausing now and then to understand. “2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit].”

Our risk is (1) neglecting to open our hearts to God as we open the inspired Word.
(2) Expecting a preacher or a church to know and teach all truth (Proverbs 14:12).

So what if you read the Bible and come up with one interpretation and I read it with a different interpretation? We need to go back to the text to read again praying for wisdom. In nearly all the Bible, the text is quite clear. To avoid misunderstanding, we read the context.

In our time, many who stand behind the pulpit and in the seminary classroom do not believe that the Scriptures, especially the first 11 chapters of Genesis. They have been taught that we can understand the past by what people would do today. In other words, all the miracles including the life and resurrection of Jesus are thrown out the window and replaced with various theories. Please look at 2 Peter 3, first part. God knew all about the present problems way back in the time when the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to write.

In my own study, I am confident that the Bible is God’s letter of truth for us. Are there things that seem unclear? yes, but these are relatively few and the rest of the Bible is amply clear.