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1 Timothy 4:14

    1 Timothy 4:14 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Neglect not the gift that is in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Make use of that grace in you, which was given to you by the word of the prophets, when the rulers of the church put their hands on you.

    Webster's Revision

    Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

    World English Bible

    Don't neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the elders.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

    Definitions for 1 Timothy 4:14

    Presbytery - An assembly of elders.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Timothy 4:14

    Neglect not the gift that is in thee - The word χαρισμα here must refer to the gifts and graces of the Divine Spirit, which Timothy received when set apart to the work of an evangelist by the imposition of St. Paul's hands, 2 Timothy 1:6, and by that of the presbytery or eldership; for it most evidently appears, from this verse and that above quoted, that he received this double imposition, not probably at different times, but on one and the same occasion. These very gifts and graces might be improved; and we have reason to believe, if not improved, would be withdrawn by the great Head of the Church.

    Given thee by prophecy - It has already been conjectured (see the preface, and the note on 1 Timothy 1:18) that there had been some remarkable prediction relative to the future destiny and usefulness of Timothy. And probably it was in consequence of this that he was set apart to the office of evangelist and bishop in the Church at Ephesus. When apostles laid their hands on men, they ordinarily received the Holy Spirit with this imposition. This may be what the apostle calls to the remembrance of Timothy, and tells him not to neglect what he had received, nor the purpose for which he had received it.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Timothy 4:14

    Neglect not the gift that is in thee - An important question arises here, to what the word "gift" refers; whether to natural endowment; to office; or to some supposed virtue which had been conferred by ordination - some transmitted influence which made him holy as a minister of religion, and which was to continue to be transmitted by the imposition of apostolic hands. The word which is here used, is rendered "gift" in every place in which it occurs in the New Testament. It is found in the following places, and with the following significations: deliverance from peril, 2 Corinthians 1:11; a gift or quality of the mind, 1 Corinthians 7:7; gifts of Christian knowledge or consolation, Romans 1:11; 1 Corinthians 1:7; redemption or salvation through Christ, Romans 5:15-16; Romans 6:23; Romans 11:29; the miraculous endowments conferred by the Holy Spirit, Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:9,1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 12:30-31, and the special gift or endowment for the work of the ministry, 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; 1 Peter 4:10. The "gift" then referred to here was that by which Timothy was qualified for the work of the ministry. It relates to his office and qualifications - to "every thing" that entered into his fitness for the work. It does not refer "exclusively" to any influence that came upon him in virtue of his ordination, or to any new grace that was infused into him by that act, making him either officially or personally more holy than other people, or than he was before - or to any efficacy in the mere act of ordination - but it comprised "the whole train of circumstances" by which he had been qualified for the sacred office and recognized as a minister of religion. All this was regarded as a "gift," a "benefit," or a "favor" - χαρισμα charisma - and he was not to neglect or disregard the responsibilities and advantages growing out of it. In regard to the manner in which this gift or favor was bestowed, the following things are specified:

    (1) It was the gift of God; 2 Timothy 1:6. He was to be recognized as its source; and it was not therefore conferred merely by human hands. The call to the ministry, the qualifications for the office, and the whole arrangement by which one is endowed for the work, are primarily to be traced to him as the source.

    (2) it was given to Timothy in accordance with certain predictions which had existed in regard to him - the expectations of those who had observed his qualifications for such an office, and who had expressed the hope that he would one day be permitted to serve the Lord in it.

    (3) it was sanctioned by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. The call of God to the work thus recognized by the church, and the approbation of the Presbytery expressed by setting him apart to the office, should be regarded by Timothy as a part of the "gift" or "benefit" (charisma) which had been conferred on him, and which he was not to neglect.

    (4) an additional circumstance which might serve to impress the mind of Timothy with the value of this endowment, and the responsibility of this office, was, that Paul himself had been concerned in his ordination; 2 Timothy 1:6. He who was so much more aged (Plm 1:9; compare 2 Timothy 4:6-7); he who had been a father to him, and who had adopted him and treated him as a son had been concerned in his ordination; and this fact imposed a higher obligation to perform aright the functions of an office which had been conferred on him in this manner. We are not to suppose, therefore, that there was any mysterious influence - any "virus" - conveyed by the act of ordination, or that that act imparted any additional degree of holiness. The endowment for the ministry; the previous anticipations and hopes of friends; and the manner in which he had been inducted into the sacred office, should all be regarded as a "benefit" or "favor" of a high order, and as a reason why the gift thus bestowed should not be neglected - and the same things now should make a man who is in the ministry deeply feel the solemn obligations resting on him to cultivate his powers in the highest degree, and to make the most of his talents.

    Which was given thee by prophecy - That is, the prophetic declarations and the hopes of pious friends in regard to your future usefulness, have been among the means by which you have been introduced to the ministry, and should be a reason why you should cultivate your powers, and perform faithfully the duties of your office; see the notes on 1 Timothy 1:18.

    With the laying on of the hands of the presbytery - it was common to lay on the hands in imparting a blessing, or in setting apart to any office; see Matthew 19:15; Mark 6:5; Luke 4:40; Luke 12:13; Leviticus 8:14; Numbers 27:23; Acts 28:8; Acts 6:6; Acts 8:17; Acts 13:3. The reference here is undoubtedly to the act by which Timothy was set apart to the office of the ministry. The word rendered "presbytery" - πρεσβυτέριον presbuterion - occurs only in two other places in the New Testament - Luke 22:66, where it is rendered "elders;" and Acts 22:5, where it is rendered "estate of the elders." It properly means an "assembly of aged men; council of elders." In Luke 22:66, and Acts 22:5, it refers to the Jewish "sanhedrin;" see the notes on Matthew 5:22. In the passage before us, it cannot refer to that body - for they did not ordain men to the Christian ministry - but to some association, or council, or body of elders of the Christian church. It is clear from the passage:

    (1) that there was more than "one person" engaged in this service, and taking part in it when Timothy was ordained, and therefore it could not have been by a "prelate" or "bishop" alone.

    (2) that the power conferred, whatever it was, was conferred by the whole body constituting the presbytery - since the apostle says that the "gift" was imparted, not in virtue of any particular power or eminence in anyone individual, but by the "laying on of the hands of the presbytery."

    (3) the statement here is just such a one as would be made now respecting a Presbyterian ordination; it is not one which would be made of an Episcopal ordination. A Presbyterian would choose "these very words" in giving an account of an ordination to the work of the ministry; an Episcopalian "would not." The former speaks of an ordination by a "presbytery;" the latter of ordination by a "bishop." The former can use the account of the apostle Paul here as applicable to an ordination, without explanations, comments, new versions or criticisms; the latter cannot. The passage, therefore, is full proof that, in one of the most important ordinations mentioned in the New Testament, it was performed by an association of men, and not by a prelate, and therefore, that this was the primitive mode of ordination. Indeed, there is not a single instance of ordination to an office mentioned in the New Testament which was performed by one man alone. See this passage examined at greater length in my" Enquiry into the organization and government of the apostolic church," pp. 208-221.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Timothy 4:14

    4:14 Neglect not - They neglect it who do not exercise it to the full. The gift - Of feeding the flock, of power, and love, and sobriety. Which was given thee by prophecy - By immediate direction from God. By the laying on of my hands - 2Tim 1:6; while the elders joined also in the solemnity. This presbytery probably consisted of some others, together with Paul and Silas.

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