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1 Timothy 6:4

    1 Timothy 6:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    he is puffed up, knowing nothing, but doting about questionings and disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    He has an over-high opinion of himself; being without knowledge, having only an unhealthy love of questionings and wars of words, from which come envy, fighting, cruel words, evil thoughts,

    Webster's Revision

    he is puffed up, knowing nothing, but doting about questionings and disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

    World English Bible

    he is conceited, knowing nothing, but obsessed with arguments, disputes, and word battles, from which come envy, strife, insulting, evil suspicions,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    he is puffed up, knowing nothing, but doting about questionings and disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

    Definitions for 1 Timothy 6:4

    Doting - To appear to be ill, or sick over.
    Surmisings - Suspicions.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:4

    He is proud - Τετυφωται· He is blown up, or inflated with a vain opinion of his own knowledge; whereas his knowledge is foolishness, for he knows nothing.

    Doting about questions - He is sick, distempered, about these questions relative to the Mosaic law and the traditions of the elders; for it is most evident that the apostle has the Judaizing teachers in view, who were ever, in questions of theology, straining out a gnat, and swallowing a camel.

    Strifes of words - Λογομαχιας· Logomachies; verbal contentions; splitting hairs; producing Hillel against Shammai, and Shammai against Hillel, relative to the particular mode in which the punctilios of some rites should be performed. In this sort of sublime nonsense the works of the Jewish rabbins abound.

    Whereof cometh envy, strife, etc. - How little good have religious disputes ever done to mankind, or to the cause of truth! Most controversialists have succeeded in getting their own tempers soured, and in irritating their opponents. Indeed, truth seems rarely to be the object of their pursuit; they labor to accredit their own party by abusing and defaming others; from generals they often descend to particulars; and then personal abuse is the order of the day. Is it not strange that Christians either cannot or will not see this? Cannot any man support his own opinions, and give his own views of the religion of Christ, without abusing and calumniating his neighbor? I know not whether such controversialists should not be deemed disturbers of the public peace, and come under the notice of the civil magistrate. Should not all Christians know that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of the Lord?

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Timothy 6:4

    He is proud - That is, he is lifted up with his fancied superior acquaintance with the nature of religion. The Greek verb means, properly, "to smoke, to fume;" and then to be inflated, to "be conceited, etc." The idea is, that he has no proper knowledge of the nature of the gospel, and yet he values himself on a fancied superior acquaintance with its principles.

    Knowing nothing - Margin, "a fool." That is, that he does not understand the nature of religion as he supposes he does. His views in regard to the relation of masters and servants, and to the bearing of religion on that relation, show that he does not understand the genius of Christianity. The apostle expresses this in strong language; by saying that he knows nothing; see the notes on 1 Corinthians 8:2.

    But doting - Margin, "sick." The Greek word - νοσέω noseō - means properly to be sick; then to languish, to pine after. The meaning here is, that such persons had a sickly or morbid desire for debates of this kind. They had not a sound and healthy state of mind on the subject of religion. They were like a sickly man, who has no desire for solid and healthful food, but for that which will gratify a diseased appetite. They desired not sound doctrine, but controversies about unimportant and unsubstantial matters - things that bore the same relation to important doctrines which the things that a sick man pines after do to substantial food.

    Questions and strifes of words - The Jews abounded much in disputes of this sort, and it would seem probable that the persons here referred to were Jewish teachers; compare 1 Timothy 1:6-7 notes, and Acts 18:15 note.

    Whereof cometh envy - The only fruit of which is to produce envy. That is, the appearance of superior knowledge; the boast of being profoundly acquainted with religion, and the show of an ability for subtle argumentation, would produce in a certain class envy. Envy is uneasiness, pain, mortification, or discontent, excited by another's prosperity, or by his superior knowledge or possessions; see the notes on Romans 1:29.

    Strife - Or contentions with those who will not readily yield to their opinions.

    Railings - Harsh and abusive language toward those who will not concede a point - a common effect of disputes, and more commonly of disputes about small and unimportant matters, than of these which are of magnitude. Such railings often attend disputes that arise out of nice and subtle distinctions.

    Evil surmisings - Suspicions that they are led to hold their views, not by the love of the truth, but from sordid or worldly motives. Such suspicions are very apt to attend an angry debate of any kind. It might be expected especially to exist on such a question as the apostle refers to here - the relation of a master and a slave. It is always very hard to do justice to the motives of one who seems to us to be living in sin, or to believe it to be possible that he acts from right motives.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Timothy 6:4

    6:4 He is puffed up - Which is the cause of his not consenting to the doctrine which is after inward, practical religion. By this mark we may know them. Knowing nothing - As he ought to know. Sick of questions - Doatinglyy fond of dispute; an evil, but common, disease; especially where practice is forgotten. Such, indeed, contend earnestly for singular phrases, and favourite points of their own. Everything else, however, like the preaching of Christ and his apostles, is all law, and bondage, and carnal reasoning. Strifes of words - Merely verbal controversies. Whereof cometh envy - Of the gifts and success of others. Contention - For the pre - eminence. Such disputants seldom like the prosperity of others, or to be less esteemed themselves. Evil surmisings - It not being their way to think well of those that differ from themselves in opinion.