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1 Timothy 6:16

    1 Timothy 6:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach to; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Who only has life for ever, living in light to which no man may come near; whom no man has seen or is able to see: to whom be honour and power for ever. So be it.

    Webster's Revision

    who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen.

    World English Bible

    who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power eternal. Amen.

    Definitions for 1 Timothy 6:16

    Amen - Dependable; faithful; certain.
    Immortality - Incorruption; an imperishable state.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:16

    Who only hath immortality - All beings that are not eternal must be mutable; but there can be only one eternal Being, that is God; and he only can have immortality.

    Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto - All this is said by the apostle in three words φως οικων απροσιτον, inhabiting unapproachable light. Such is the excessive glory of God, that neither angel nor man can approach it. It is indeed equally unapproachable to all created beings.

    Whom no man hath seen, nor can see - Moses himself could only see the symbol of the Divine presence; but the face of God no man could ever see. Because he is infinite and eternal, therefore he is incomprehensible; and if incomprehensible to the mind, consequently invisible to the eye.

    To whom - As the author of being, and the dispenser of all good, be ascribed honor and power - the sole authority of all-pervading, all-superintending, all-preserving, and everlasting might.

    The words of St. Paul are inimitably sublime. It is a doubt whether human language can be carried much higher, even under the influence of inspiration, in a description of the supreme Being. It is well known that St. Paul had read the Greek poets. He quotes Aratus, Epimenides, and Menander; this is allowed on all hands. But does he not quote, or refer to, Aeschylus and Sophocles too? Scarcely any person suspects this; and yet there is such a complete similarity between the following quotations from the above poets and the apostle's words, that we are almost persuaded he had them in his eye. But if so, he extends the thought infinitely higher, by language incomparably more exalted. I shall introduce and compare with the text the passages I refer to.

    1 Timothy 6:16Ὁ μονος εχων αθανασιαν, φως οικων απροσιτον.

    In the Antigone of Sophocles there is a sublime address to Jove, of which the following is an extract:

    Αγηρως χρονῳ Δυναστας,

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Timothy 6:16

    Who only hath immortality - The word here - ἀθανασία athanasia - properly means "exemption from death," and seems to mean that God, in his own nature, enjoys a perfect and certain exemption from death. Creatures have immortality only as they derive it from him, and of course are dependent on him for it. He has it by his very nature, and it is in his case underived, and he cannot be deprived of it. It is one of the essential attributes of his being, that he will always exist, and that death cannot reach him; compare the expression in John 5:26, "The Father hath life in himself," and the notes on that passage.

    Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto - Greek, "Inhabiting inapproachable light." The light where he dwells is so brilliant and dazzling that mortal eyes could not endure it. This is a very common representation of the dwelling place of God. See examples quoted in Pricaeus, in loc. Heaven is constantly represented as a place of the most pure and brilliant light, needing not the light of the sun, or the moon, or the stars Revelation 21:23-24; Revelation 22:5, and God is represented as dwelling in that light, surrounded by amazing and inapproachable glory compare Revelation 4:6; Ezekiel 1:4; Hebrews 1:3.

    Whom no man hath seen nor can see - notes on John 1:18.

    To whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen - see the notes on Romans 11:36.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Timothy 6:16

    6:16 Who only hath underived, independent immortality. Dwelling in light unapproachable - To the highest angel. Whom no man hath seen, or can see - With bodily eyes. Yet we shall see him as he is.