Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. (1 Timothy 4:13, ESV)
1 Timothy 4:13
ESV - 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
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"The public reading of scripture refers to reading the scripture out loud in church services. In a context where many were illiterate and few could afford private copies of scripture, such public reading was especially important." bible.org I was raised in a fundamental Bible church, Scottsdale Bible Church, where the public scripture reading took priority. The pastor or whoever was leading the church service always asked the congregation, "Now, will you please stand for the public reading of Scripture?" I loved it! It was respectful where respect was due.
This book was written by Paul to His son, Timothy, in the faith. Luke 4:16 describes Jesus' practice when He went to any town. He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. He read from scripture (the law and the prophets), then an exposition was made on the reading. A sermon, If you will, tied the readings together. Evidently jewish fables and genealogies were used from the pulpit in connection with the law and the prophets. See 1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:23, and Titus 3:9. Paul obviously had been expected, and was delayed in his arrival to Timothy. It was up to Timothy to deliver the message. 1 Timothy 3:13 urges Timothy to be bold for Christ! The instruction given in 1:Timothy 3:14,15: "These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God." Timothy was to deliver "The Gospel." I believe that all followers are to do the same, and to be able to expound on it!
In the original Greek koine this reads, devote yourself to the "anagnosis." A "diagnosis" might be a more familiar term, or perhaps a "prognosis," both of which are medical terminology. The former is the 'deep knowledge' of a medical condition developed by a thorough examination and careful consideration. The latter is the medical prediction about the likely course of the condition and required treatments. The 'anagnosis' is knowledge we apply again and again because it is tried and true. A medical textbook has the 'anagnosis' that helps us reach a diagnosis and then a prognosis. The Bible is our 'textbook' and the 'public reading' mentioned here in 1 Timothy 4:13 is the set of Biblical narratives or passages of scripture that we choose based on the current spiritual 'condition' we are trying to diagnose and afterwards prognosticate upon for our fellow believers. This certainly requires the guidance of the Holy Spirit and is a vitally important function in any assembly of God's people. This choice of scriptures then becomes the inspired basis for the exhortation and teaching mentioned here as well. These gifts focus us in upon the 'diagnosis' which is what teaching does. It gives us the consolation of helping us to see the true nature of our current spiritual condition just as God sees it. The 'exhortation' is like the 'prognosis' which is associated with the inspired gift of prophecy. Prophecy is the holy gift that gave us the completed Bible. Today, it applies scripture to present times and explores predictive outcomes by using teaching as a basis to show us what God has done in similar circumstances and will likely do again for us based on His promises and the larger prophecies of holy scripture.
1 Timothy 4:13 is a base line for sermons: "Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching." Text (reading) Meaning (exhortation) Application (teaching/doctrine) But on the word that is used for "reading," it is a word that means to read publicly, but it's more like "reading to being to memory." Like hearing your favorite song come on and you know the next word as it is sung. This word alone is a call to personal Bible study to know the passage as it is being read in the congregation. Simply, it means for the pastor to read the Bible to the church, but then it says to explain and apply, so it's not referring to read like a book club, whole books at one time, but to read as much as can be explained at one time.
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