Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Timothy 2:6

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Who gave himself a ransom - The word λυτρον signifies a ransom paid for the redemption of a captive; and αντιλυτρον, the word used here, and applied to the death of Christ, signifies that ransom which consists in the exchange of one person for another, or the redemption of life by life; or, as Schleusner has expressed it in his translation of these words, Qui morte sua omnes liberavit a vitiositatis vi et poenis, a servitute quassi et miseria peccatorum. "He who by his death has redeemed all from the power and punishment of vice, from the slavery and misery of sinners." As God is the God and father of all, (for there is but one God, 1 Timothy 2:5;), and Jesus Christ the mediator of all, so he gave himself a ransom for all; i.e., for all that God made, consequently for every human soul; unless we could suppose that there are human souls of which God is not the Creator; for the argument of the apostle is plainly this:

  1. There is one God;
  • This God is the Creator of all;
  • He has made a revelation of his kindness to all;
  • He will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth; and
  • He has provided a mediator for all, who has given himself a ransom for all. As surely as God has created all men, so surely has Jesus Christ died for all men. This is a truth which the nature and revelation of God unequivocally proclaim.
  • To be testified in due time -

    The original words, το μαρτυριον καιροις ιδιοις, are not very clear, and have been understood variously. The most authentic copies of the printed Vulgate have simply, Testimonium temporibus suis; which Calmet translates: Rendant ainsi temoignage au tems marqué; "Thus rendering testimony at the appointed time." Dr. Macknight thus: Of which the testimony is in its proper season. Wakefield thus: "That testimony reserved to its proper time" Rosenmullen: Haec est doctrina, temporibus suis reservata. "This is the doctrine which is reserved for its own times;" that is, adds he, quoe suo tempore in omni terrarum orbe tradetur, "the doctrine which in its own time shall be delivered to all the inhabitants of the earth." Here he translates μαρτυριον, doctrine; and contends that this, not testimony, is its meaning, not only in this passage, but in 1 Corinthians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 2:1, etc. Instead of μαρτυριον, testimony, one MS., Cod. Kk., vi. 4, in the public library, Cambridge, has, μυστηριον, mystery; but this is not acknowledged by any other MS., nor by any version. In D*FG the whole clause is read thus: οὑ το μαρτυριον καιροις ιδιοις εδοθη· The testimony of which was given in its own times. This is nearly the reading which was adopted in the first printed copies of the Vulgate. One of them now before me reads the passage thus: Cujus testimonium temporibus suis confirmatum est. "The testimony of which is confirmed in its own times." This reading was adopted by Pope Sixtus V., in the famous edition published by him; but was corrected to the reading above, by Pope Clement VIII. And this was rendered literally by our first translator: Whos witnessinge is confermyd in his timis. This appears to be the apostle's meaning: Christ gave himself a ransom for all. This, in the times which seemed best to the Divine wisdom, was to be testified to every nation, and people, and tongue. The apostles had begun this testimony; and, in the course of the Divine economy, it has ever since been gradually promulgated; and at present runs with a more rapid course than ever.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    Who gave himself a ransom for all - This also is stated as a reason why prayer should be offered for all, and a proof that God desires the salvation of all. The argument is, that as Christ died for all, it is proper to pray for all, and that the fact that he died for all is proof that God desired the salvation of all. Whatever proof of his desire for their salvation can be derived from this in relation to any of the race, is proof in relation to all. On the meaning of the phrase “he gave himself a ransom,” see the Matthew 20:28 note; Romans 3:25 note; on the fact that it was for “all,” see the notes on 2 Corinthians 5:14.

    See also the Supp. note on the same passage.

    To be testified in due time - Margin, “a testimony.” The Greek is, “the testimony in its own times,” or in proper times - τὸ μαρτύριον καιροῖς ἰδίοις to marturion kairois idioisThere have been very different explanations of this phrase. The common interpretation, and that which seems to me to be correct, is, that “the testimony of this will be furnished in the proper time; that is, in the proper time it shall be made known through all the world;” see Rosenmuller. Paul affirms it as a great and important truth that Christ gave himself a ransom for all mankind - for Jews and Gentiles; for all classes and conditions of people alike. This truth had not always been understood. The Jews had supposed that salvation was designed exclusively for their nation, and denied that it could be extended to others, unless they became Jews. According to them, salvation was not provided for, or offered to pagans as such, but only on condition that they became Jews. In opposition to this, Paul says that it was a doctrine of revelation that redemption was to be provided for all people, and that it was intended that the testimony to this should be afforded at the proper time. It was not fully made known under the ancient dispensation, but now the period had come when it should be communicated to all; compare Romans 5:6 note, and Galatians 4:4 note.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    The disciples of Christ must be praying people; all, without distinction of nation, sect, rank, or party. Our duty as Christians, is summed up in two words; godliness, that is, the right worshipping of God; and honesty, that is, good conduct toward all men. These must go together: we are not truly honest, if we are not godly, and do not render to God his due; and we are not truly godly, if not honest. What is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, we should abound in. There is one Mediator, and that Mediator gave himself a ransom for all. And this appointment has been made for the benefit of the Jews and the Gentiles of every nation; that all who are willing may come in this way, to the mercy-seat of a pardoning God, to seek reconciliation with him. Sin had made a quarrel between us and God; Jesus Christ is the Mediator who makes peace. He is a ransom that was to be known in due time. In the Old Testament times, his sufferings, and the glory that should follow, were spoken of as things to be revealed in the last times. Those who are saved must come to the knowledge of the truth, for that is God's appointed way to save sinners: if we do not know the truth, we cannot be ruled by it.
    Ellen G. White
    The Great Controversy, 262

    In answer to the claim that at the death of Christ the precepts of the Decalogue had been abolished with the ceremonial law, Wesley said: “The moral law, contained in the Ten Commandments and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken, which ‘stands fast as the faithful witness in heaven.’ ... This was from the beginning of the world, being ‘written not on tables of stone,’ but on the hearts of all the children of men, when they came out of the hands of the Creator. And however the letters once wrote by the finger of God are now in a great measure defaced by sin, yet can they not wholly be blotted out, while we have any consciousness of good and evil. Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God, and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other. GC 262.1

    “‘I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.’ ... Without question, His meaning in this place is (consistently with all that goes before and follows after),—I am come to establish it in its fullness, in spite of all the glosses of men: I am come to place in a full and clear view whatsoever was dark or obscure therein: I am come to declare the true and full import of every part of it; to show the length and breadth, the entire extent, of every commandment contained therein, and the height and depth, the inconceivable purity and spirituality of it in all its branches.”—Wesley, sermon 25. GC 262.2

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    Ellen G. White
    God's Amazing Grace, 177.1

    For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all. 1 Timothy 2:5, 6. AG 177.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Lift Him Up, 24.1

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ; who gave himself a ransom for all. 1 Timothy 2:5, 6. LHU 24.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Lift Him Up, 48.4

    The Lord gave His only begotten Son to ransom us from sin. We are His workmanship, we are His representatives in the world, and He expects that we shall reveal the true value of man by our purity of life, and the earnest efforts put forth to recover the pearl of great price. Our character is to be modeled after the divine similitude, and to be reformed by that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The grace of God will beautify, ennoble, and sanctify the character. The servant of the Lord who works intelligently will be successful. Our Saviour said, “Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” LHU 48.4

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