1 LET ALL who are under the yoke as bond servants esteem their own [personal] masters worthy of honor and fullest respect, so that the name of God and the teaching [about Him] may not be brought into disrepute and blasphemed.
2 Let those who have believing masters not be disrespectful or scornful [to them] on the grounds that they are brothers [in Christ]; rather, they should serve [them all the better] because those who benefit by their kindly service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties.
3 But if anyone teaches otherwise and does not assent to the sound and wholesome messages of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and the teaching which is in agreement with godliness (piety toward God),
4 He is puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit, [although he is] woefully ignorant. He has a morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which result in (produce) envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults and slander, and base suspicions,
5 And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw.
6 [And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world;
8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied).
9 But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing.
10 For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs.
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart.
12 Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses.
13 In the presence of God, Who preserves alive all living things, and of Christ Jesus, Who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I [solemnly] charge you
14 To keep all His precepts unsullied and flawless, irreproachable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Anointed One),
15 Which [appearing] will be shown forth in His own proper time by the blessed, only Sovereign (Ruler), the King of kings and the Lord of lords,
16 Who alone has immortality [in the sense of exemption from every kind of death] and lives in unapproachable light, Whom no man has ever seen or can see. Unto Him be honor and everlasting power and dominion. Amen (so be it).
17 As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be proud and arrogant and contemptuous of others, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches, but on God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment.
18 [Charge them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others],
19 In this way laying up for themselves [the riches that endure forever as] a good foundation for the future, so that they may grasp that which is life indeed.
20 O Timothy, guard and keep the deposit entrusted [to you]! Turn away from the irreverent babble and godless chatter, with the vain and empty and worldly phrases, and the subtleties and the contradictions in what is falsely called knowledge and spiritual illumination.
21 [For] by making such profession some have erred (missed the mark) as regards the faith. Grace (divine favor and blessing) be with you all! Amen (so be it).
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation