1 Timothy 3:14-15 (The Pillar and Support of the Truth)

1Ti 3:14-15:
What plans did Paul have for the future at the time of his writing this epistle?  See 1Ti 3:14.  What sort of things might cause him to delay in his return to Asia?

What does Paul state as his purpose for writing in 1Ti 3:15?  Given the preceding and following contexts and his reason for leaving Timothy in Ephesus (see 1Ti 1:3), does it make more sense to translate an ambiguity in the Greek as does the NASB (“that you may know how one ought to conduct himself”) or as does the KJV (“that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself”)?

In what terms does Paul describe the church in 1Ti 3:15?  Why is our conception of the church as the household of God so important?  See 1Ti 3:4-5, 12, and 5:1-2.  In what ways is the governance of a household different from the governance of a business or some other institution?  How are the relationships that govern a household different from the relationships that govern other institutions?  Think permanence.  In what ways might many churches today be better described as a business or institution than the household of God?

What is the significance that our God is a living God?  See Jer 10:10, Dan 6:20, 26, Acts 14:15, 1 Thess 1:9.

Paul calls the Church the pillar and support (KJV = ground) of the truth; what is the purpose or function of a pillar, and what does this teach us about the purpose or function of the Church?  See also Rev 3:12.

The Greek word which the NASB translates as “support” (hedraioma) occurs only here in the Bible; it is cognate to the word translated by the NASB in 1 Cor 7:37 as stand firm, and in 1 Cor 15:58 and Col 1:23 as steadfast.  It is translated by the NIV and the Roman Catholic NAB here as “foundation”; why is “foundation” a bad translation in this context?  Note: a different Greek word (themelios) is used in every other NT instance for “foundation” with the sense of the foundation of a house (see for example Lk 6:48-49); another Greek word (katabole) is used for the “foundation” of the world (see for example Eph 1:4).  Is the Church the foundation of the truth?  What is the foundation of the truth?  See 1 Cor 3:10-12, Eph 2:19-20, Rev 21:14.  What does this teach us about where one is to find truth today: in the teachings of the Church, or in the teachings of Christ and His apostles?  Where are the teachings of Christ and His apostles found?  What does this teach us about the importance of Scripture as the final source of our authority and not Church tradition or dogma?

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