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1 Timothy 6:20 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— O Timothy, guard that which is committed unto [thee], turning away from the profane babblings and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane [and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly [and] empty chatter [and] the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”—
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane [and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— O Timotheus, keep the entrusted deposit, avoiding profane, vain babblings, and oppositions of false-named knowledge,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— O Timothy! that which hath been entrusted, do thou guard, avoiding the profane pratings and oppositions of falsely named knowledge,—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— O Timotheus, the thing entrusted guard thou, avoiding the profane vain-words and opposition of the falsely-named knowledge,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— O Timothie, keepe that which is committed to thy trust, auoyding prophane [and] vaine bablings, and oppositions of science, fasly so called:
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— O Timothy, watch over that which is confided to thee, and fly from vain words, and the turnings of false knowledge.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— O Timothy, be careful of that which is committed to thee; and shun vain words, and the oppositions of false science:

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
O 5599
{5599} Prime

As a sign of the vocative O; as a note of exclamation. oh.
Timothy, 5095
{5095} Prime
From G5092 and G2316; dear to God; Timotheus, a Christian.
keep 5442
{5442} Prime
Probably from G5443 through the idea of isolation; to watch, that is, be on guard (literally or figuratively); by implication to preserve, obey, avoid.
<5657> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 376
that which is committed to thy trust, 3872
{3872} Prime
From a compound of G3844 and G2698; something put down alongside, that is, a deposit (sacred trust).
avoiding 1624
{1624} Prime
From G1537 and the base of G5157; to deflect, that is, turn away (literally or figuratively).
<5734> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle (See G5785)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 111
profane 952
{0952} Prime
From the base of G0939 and βηλός [[belos]] (a threshold); accessible (as by crossing the door way), that is, (by implication of Jewish notions) heathenish, wicked.
[and] vain babblings, 2757
{2757} Prime
From a presumed compound of G2756 and G5456; empty sounding, that is, fruitless discussion.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
oppositions 477
{0477} Prime
From a compound of G0473 and G5087; opposition, that is, a conflict (of theories).
of science 1108
{1108} Prime
From G1097; knowing (the act), that is, (by implication) knowledge.
falsely so called: 5581
{5581} Prime
From G5571 and G3686; untruly named.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Timothy 6:20-21

_ _ Recapitulatory conclusion: the main aim of the whole Epistle being here summarily stated.

_ _ O Timothy — a personal appeal, marking at once his affection for Timothy, and his prescience of the coming heresies.

_ _ keep — from spiritual thieves, and from enemies who will, while men sleep, sow tares amidst the good seed sown by the Son of man.

_ _ that which is committed to thy trustGreek, “the deposit” (1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 2:2). “The true” or “sound doctrine” to be taught, as opposed to “the science falsely so called,” which leads to “error concerning the faith” (1 Timothy 6:21). “It is not thine: it is another’s property with which thou hast been entrusted: Diminish it not at all” [Chrysostom]. “That which was entrusted to thee, not found by thee; which thou hast received, not invented; a matter not of genius, but of teaching; not of private usurpation, but of public tradition; a matter brought to thee, not put forth by thee, in which thou oughtest to be not an enlarger, but a guardian; not an originator, but a disciple; not leading, but following. ‘Keep,’ saith he, ‘the deposit,’; preserve intact and inviolate the talent of the catholic faith. What has been entrusted to thee, let that same remain with thee; let that same be handed down by thee. Gold thou hast received, gold return. I should be sorry thou shouldest substitute aught else. I should be sorry that for gold thou shouldest substitute lead impudently, or brass fraudulently. I do not want the mere appearance of gold, but its actual reality. Not that there is to be no progress in religion in Christ’s Church. Let there be so by all means, and the greatest progress; but then let it be real progress, not a change of the faith. Let the intelligence of the whole Church and its individual members increase exceedingly, provided it be only in its own kind, the doctrine being still the same. Let the religion of the soul resemble the growth of the body, which, though it develops its several parts in the progress of years, yet remains the same as it was essentially” [Vincentius Lirinensis, a.d. 434].

_ _ avoiding — “turning away from” (compare 2 Timothy 3:4). Even as they have “turned away from the truth” (1 Timothy 1:6; 1 Timothy 5:15; 2 Timothy 4:4).

_ _ profane — (1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:16).

_ _ vainGreek, “empty”: mere “strifes of words,” 1 Timothy 6:4, producing no moral fruit.

_ _ oppositions — dialectic antithesis of the false teachers [Alford]. Wiesinger, not so probably, “oppositions to the sound doctrine.” I think it likely germs existed already of the heresy of dualistic oppositions, namely, between the good and evil principle, afterwards fully developed in Gnosticism. Contrast Paul’s just antithesis (1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:6; 2 Timothy 2:15-23).

_ _ science falsely so called — where there is not faith, there is not knowledge [Chrysostom]. There was true “knowledge,” a special gift of the Spirit, which was abused by some (1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 12:8; 1 Corinthians 14:6). This gift was soon counterfeited by false teachers arrogating to themselves pre-eminently the gift (Colossians 2:8, Colossians 2:18, Colossians 2:23). Hence arose the creeds of the Church, called symbols, that is, in Greek, “watchwords,” or a test whereby the orthodox might distinguish one another in opposition to the heretical. Perhaps here, 1 Timothy 6:20, and 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 1:14, imply the existence of some such brief formula of doctrine then existing in the Church; if so, we see a good reason for its not being written in Scripture, which is designed not to give dogmatic formularies, but to be the fountain whence all such formularies are to be drawn according to the exigencies of the several churches and ages. Probably thus a portion of the so-called apostle’s creed may have had their sanction, and been preserved solely by tradition on this account. “The creed, handed down from the apostles, is not written on paper and with ink, but on fleshy tables of the heart” Jerome [Against John of Jerusalem, 9]. Thus, in the creed, contrary to the “oppositions” (the germs of which probably existed in the Church in Paul’s latter days) whereby the aeons were set off in pairs, God is stated to be “the Father Almighty,” or all-governing “maker of heaven and earth” [Bishop Hinds].

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on 1 Timothy 6:13-21.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Timothy 6:20

Keep that which is committed to thy trust — The charge I have given thee, 1 Timothy 1:18. Avoid profane empty babblings — How weary of controversy was this acute disputant! And knowledge falsely so called — Most of the ancient heretics were great pretenders to knowledge.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Timothy 6:20

(13) O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane [and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

(13) He repeats the most important of all the former exhortations, which ought to be deeply imprinted in the minds of all ministers of the word, that is, that they avoid all vain babblings of false wisdom, and continue in the simplicity of sincere doctrine.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
O Timothy:

1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.


1 Timothy 6:14 That thou keep [this] commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1 Timothy 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2 Timothy 1:13-14 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. ... That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];
Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.


1 Timothy 6:4-5 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, ... Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: [so do].
1 Timothy 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself [rather] unto godliness.
2 Timothy 3:14-16 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them]; ... All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Titus 1:4 To Titus, [mine] own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.


Acts 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
Acts 17:21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
1 Corinthians 1:19-23 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. ... But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1 Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
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Ac 17:18, 21. Ro 1:22; 3:2. 1Co 1:19; 2:6; 3:19. Col 2:8, 18. 2Th 1:4; 2:15. 1Ti 1:4, 6, 11; 4:7; 6:4, 11, 14. 2Ti 1:13; 2:1; 3:14. Tit 1:4, 9, 14; 3:9. Rv 3:3.

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