“For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the saviour of all men, specifically of those that believe” 1Timothy 4:10
LIGHT FOR NOW: You can’t ignore details and aim to arrive at proper bible interpretation.
In the above text, Paul makes it clear that the living God is the saviour. He says He is the saviour of all men and then adds “specially of those that believe”. What is he saying? Is this a text to back up the submission that all men are saved? Is salvation automatic? If not, what is Paul saying in the above text? Recall, the living God (Jesus) is the saviour, the saviour of all men. Having quickly shown the mission statement of Jesus which is to save, the understanding of the above text as touching if salvation is automatic or not will lie in unbundling the grammar “specially” from its etymology. The word specially (in 1Timothy 4:10) was translated from the Greek word “malista”; it implies most (in the greatest degree) or particularly, that is, referring to something specific. This word “malista” was used 12 times in the New Testament books of the bible. Let’s begin to examine how this word was used so as to know how to bring this back into 1Timothy 4:10. In Acts 20:37, it was used, it reads “And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship” (Acts 20:37-38). The phrase “most of all” in Acts 20:38 was translated from the Greek word “malista”. Hence, the reason they wept sore was because they would not see his face anymore.
In chapter 25 verse 26 of Acts, it was used, it reads “Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my Lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O King Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write”. Observe the construction here “…brought him forth before you, specially before thee…” refers to the same person. Hence, for better understanding of the above texts (Acts 20:37-38 and Acts 25:26), the word “specially” can be replaced with “specifically” or “emphatically”. If we apply it in these texts, we have:
- In Acts 20:38, they were sorrowing “specifically for the words which he spake that they will see his face no more…”
- And in Acts 25:26, Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my Lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specifically before thee, O King Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write. Hallelujah!
INSTRUCTION:Patiently follow through the study.
PRAYER: I receive understanding as I study through, in Jesus Name. Amen.
QUOTE: Details are essential in bible interpretation.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: ACTS CHAPTER 20; EVENING: ACTS CHAPTER 25