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[From] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our Hope.

The noun "command" is in the singular, not the plural. The Father and The Son have not issued separate commands. They are simultaneously the source of the one command. And this command was not mundane, as a governor or officer might give; the command was one of divine prerogative, involving someone's spiritual calling. Elsewhere, Paul describes this as the domain of The Father and The Son and The Spirit [1 Cor 12:4-7; 11-12; 28].


... Jesus came into the world to save sinners ...

Here is one of at least a dozen instances where Jesus is described as coming into the world. The meaning is literal. Jesus put it this way: "I came out from God" [John 8:42] and "descended from Heaven" [John 3:13].

→ See Otherworldly Movement


For there is One God, and one mediator between God and humanity: a man, Christ Jesus,

who gave Himself [as] a ransom for all the testimony in His own timing.

Jesus is clearly distinguished from God The Father. The Greek word ἄνθρωπος is often translated "man," but the word has quite a wide semantic range—the standard dictionary has 9 subheadings for it. In this verse, it means "human"; the NET Bible translates it this way for both iterations in v.5: "one mediator between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human...."


But something else is going on here, besides distinction. 

  • If someone declared, "Michael Smith is a human," the fact would probably be obvious. 

  • If someone declared, "There is only one mediator between God and humanity, the human Michael Smith," he would sound a little strange, especially if he had previously declared Michael Smith had been born in a dusty village, grew up, asked questions of people older than him, and then had a message for his fellow countrymen. 

  • To emphasize that this dude Jesus was human seems like a sort of disclaimer, aimed at people claiming He was some sort of angel, demiurge, or other divine being who only had the appearance of flesh. 

The reader familiar with history will recognize the application to Gnosticism, one of the earliest heresies of or involving Christianity, dating from around the second half of the 1st century when Paul was writing his letters.


And incontestably, this godly mystery is amazing: 

who was manifest in flesh, 
vindicated by The Spirit
seen by angels
proclaimed among the nations
believed on in the world
taken up in glory

Who is the "who"? The Greek relative pronoun is masculine and singular, so it must refer to a masculine and singular noun. In this small, self-contained section of Scripture, from verses 14 to 16, Jesus is not named. Instead we have "God" and "The Living God” from v.15. In other words, v.16 does not say, "[Jesus] was revealed in flesh," but "[The Living God] was revealed in flesh." Yes, it is ultimately referring to Jesus, who was "believed on in the world" and "taken up in glory." But Yahweh is in view, "manifesting" as God The Son. 


For more evidence, look at the odd phrase "seen by angels." What do angels not see? It implies that something or someone previously invisible is now visible. God is notably called "invisible" [1 Tim 1:17; 6:16], and Paul's identification of Jesus as "the image of the invisible God" [Col 1:15] rounds this answer off. But for those who are interested, there is even more in Isaiah 40:3-5.

This liturgy also contains two words which explicitly make up the source of the word "Incarnation": in + carne is the Latin translation of the Greek ἐν + σαρκί, the English "in flesh." 


... Now The Spirit expressly says that ...

The Spirit acts in conveying information. Paul did not say The Spirit somehow relayed the words of The Father, or that something had become known by The Spirit, but that The Spirit said it. Speaking or conveying information is an interpersonal act.


... we have put our hope in The Living God, who is the Savior of all men ...

In the New Testament, the ascription "God" usually refers to The Father. But, sometimes it refers to The Son or The Spirit, and sometimes to more than one of God's manifestations at once. The ascription "savior" can also refer to Yahweh in general, The Father specifically, The Son specifically, or The Father and Son jointly. Even within this short letter it has been both: The Father as "God our Savior" in 1:1, The Son as the one who came into the world in order to save sinners in 1:15, The Father as "God our Savior" a second time in 2:3, and The Son who gave Himself as a ransom for all in 2:6. Nor does the word "hope" help us in trying to distinguish a referent: in 1 Timothy, The Son is "our Hope" in 1:1; a widow sets her hope on God—probably The Father—in 5:5; and God [The Father] is the objection of hope again in 6:17. 

The conflation here is constant. There is so much overlap between these key words, that it seems like Paul has both The Father and The Son in mind as a referent. Otherwise, his letter was sloppily, even thoughtlessly edited; this is not the case. 


... the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in His own timing ...


Again we see both distinction and conflation. God The Father will bring about the Second Appearing of The Lord Jesus. That is the distinction. The conflations are that "our Lord" is a common ascription for God, and that in 1 Timothy 2:6, this same phrase of "His own timing" (Greek καιροῖς ἰδίοις) was used in relation to Jesus after Paul called Him "The Testimony." Paul also calls Jesus "The Testimony of God" elsewhere [1 Cor 2:1-2]. Thus, the second conflation is that The Father seems to be the one acting, and yet The Father's action is the appearance of The Son, who is the "Lord."

1 Timothy Summary

The Father and The Son jointly give a singular command [1:1]. There is only one mediator between God and humans: Jesus Christ [2:5], the only one who is both. Jesus is "The Living God, who manifested in flesh" [3:15-16]. The Father and The Son are simultaneously the Savior of all mankind [1:15; 4:10]. The Spirit speaks to humans [4:1]. God The Father, the blessed and Only Ruler, will bring about final judgment and the Eschaton via the appearance of The Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Tim 2:5
1 Tim 3:16
1 Tim 4:10
1 Tim 6:14
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