Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Timothy 5:22

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Lay hands suddenly on no man - Do not hastily appoint any person to the sacred ministry: let the person be well proved before he receives the imposition of hands. Some understand this of laying hands on the sick.

Neither be partaker of other men's sins - It is a sin for any improper person to thrust himself into the sacred office; and he partakes of that sin who introduces, helps him forward, or sanctions him in it. O, what an account will rash, undiscerning, and prejudiced bishops, presbyters, and others, have to render to God for their ordinations! Their laying rash or careless hands "on skulls that cannot teach, and will not learn;" while probably they refuse inducting others well qualified for the Christian ministry.

Keep thyself pure - From this and every other evil.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Lay hands suddenly on no man - Some have understood this of laying on hands to heal the sick (Koppe); others of the laying on of hands to absolve penitents, but the obvious meaning is to refer it to ordination. It was usual to lay the hands on the heads of those who were ordained to a sacred office, or appointed to perform an important duty; notes, 1 Timothy 4:14; compare Acts 6:6; Acts 8:17. The idea here is, that Timothy should not be hasty in an act so important as that of introducing people to the ministry. He should take time to give them a fair trial of their piety; he should have satisfactory evidence of their qualifications. He should not at once introduce a man to the ministry because he gave evidence of piety, or because he burned with an ardent zeal, or because he thought himself qualified for the work. It is clear from this that the apostle regarded Timothy as having the right to ordain to the ministry; but not that he was to ordain alone, or as a prelate. The injunction would be entirely proper on the supposition that others were to be associated with him in the act of ordaining. It is just such as a Presbyterian father in the ministry would give in a charge to his son now; it is in fact just the charge which is now given by Presbyterians and congregationalists to those who are set apart to the sacred office, in reference to ordaining others.

Neither be partaker of other men‘s sins - This is evidently to be interpreted in connection with the injunction “to lay hands suddenly on no man.” The meaning, in this connection, is, that Timothy was not to become a participant in the sins of another by introducing him to the sacred office. He was not to invest one with a holy office who was a wicked man or a heretic, for this would be to sanction his wickedness and error. If we ordain a man to the office of the ministry who is known to be living in sin, or to cherish dangerous error, we become the patrons of the sin and of the heresy. We lend to it the sanction of our approbation; and give to it whatever currency it may acquire from the reputation which we may have, or which it may acquire from the influence of the sacred office of the ministry. Hence, the importance of caution in investing anyone with the ministerial office. But while Paul meant, doubtless, that this should be applied particularly to ordination to the ministry, he has given it a general character. In no way are we to participate in the sins of other people. We are not to be engaged with them in doing wrong; we are not to patronize them in a wicked business; we are not to be known as their companions or friends; and we are not to partake of their unlawful gains. We are not to lend money, or a boat, or a horse, or a pistol, or a bowie-knife, for an unlawful business; we are not to furnish capital for the slave-trade, or for manufacturing intoxicating drinks, or for an enterprise that contemplates the violation of the Sabbath.

Keep thyself pure - Particularly, in regard to participation in the sins of others; generally, in all things - in heart, in word, in conduct.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Care must be taken that ministers are maintained. And those who are laborious in this work are worthy of double honour and esteem. It is their just due, as much as the reward of the labourer. The apostle charges Timothy solemnly to guard against partiality. We have great need to watch at all times, that we do not partake of other men's sins. Keep thyself pure, not only from doing the like thyself, but from countenancing it, or any way helping to it in others. The apostle also charges Timothy to take care of his health. As we are not to make our bodies masters, so neither slaves; but to use them so that they may be most helpful to us in the service of God. There are secret, and there are open sins: some men's sins are open before-hand, and going before unto judgment; some they follow after. God will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make known the counsels of all hearts. Looking forward to the judgment-day, let us all attend to our proper offices, whether in higher or lower stations, studying that the name and doctrine of God may never be blasphemed on our account.
Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 103

To know what constitutes purity of mind, soul, and body is an important part of education. Paul summed up the attainments possible for Timothy by saying, “Keep thyself pure.” 1 Timothy 5:22. Impurity of thought, word, or action will not be indulged by the child of God. Every encouragement and the richest blessings are held up before the overcomers of evil practices, but the most fearful penalties are laid upon those who profane the body and defile the soul. CT 103.1

Teachers, blessed are the pure in heart—now; not, Blessed will be the pure in heart. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8. Yes, as did Moses, they shall endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. They have the assurance of the richest blessings, both in this life and in the life that is to come. CT 103.2

Students, if you will watch and pray, and make earnest efforts in the right direction, you will be thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Christ. “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14. Be determined that you will make the school a success. If you will heed the instruction given in the word of God you may go forth with a development of intellectual and moral power that will cause even angels to rejoice, and God will joy over you with singing. Under such discipline you will secure the fullest development of your faculties. Let not the buoyancy and the lust of youth through manifold temptations make your day of opportunity and privilege a failure. Day by day put on Christ, and in the brief season of your test and trial here below maintain your dignity in the strength of God, as co-workers with the highest agencies of heaven. CT 103.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 257

In the past not all of our teachers have been clear and true and firm in this respect. They need to see things in an altogether different light regarding the relations that should exist between the teacher and the student. The life and character must be kept from every stain of evil. Every unholy passion must be kept under the control of sanctified reason through the grace abundantly bestowed of God. CT 257.1

We are living in an atmosphere of satanic witchery. The enemy will weave a spell of licentiousness around every soul that is not barricaded by the grace of Christ. Temptations will come; but if we watch against the enemy, and maintain the balance of self-control and purity, the seducing spirits will have no influence over us. Those who do nothing to encourage temptation will have strength to withstand it when it comes; but those who keep themselves in an atmosphere of evil will have only themselves to blame if they are overcome and fall from their steadfastness. In the future, good reasons will be seen for the warnings given regarding seducing spirits. Then will be seen the force of Christ's words, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48. CT 257.2

We are to be guided by true theology and common sense. Our souls are to be surrounded by the atmosphere of heaven. Men and women are to watch themselves; they are to be constantly on guard, allowing no word or act that would cause their good to be evil spoken of. He who professes to be a follower of Christ is to watch himself, keeping himself pure and undefiled in thought, word, and deed. His influence upon others is to be uplifting. His life is to reflect the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. CT 257.3

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 195.1

Keep thyself pure. 1 Timothy 5:22. HP 195.1

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 229.1

Keep thyself pure. 1 Timothy 5:22. Mar 229.1

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