1 Timothy 4:7
But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
a. NLT: Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.
b. NIV: Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.
c. YLT: And the profane and old women's fables reject thou, and exercise thyself unto piety,
d. Amplified Bible Classic: But refuse and avoid irreverent legends (profane and impure and godless fictions, mere grandmothers’ tales) and silly myths, and express your disapproval of them. Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit].
1. “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables…”
a. But [Strong: 1161. de deh a primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.:--also, and, but, moreover, now (often unexpressed in English).]
b. refuse [Strong: 3868. paraiteomai par-ahee-teh'-om-ahee from 3844 and the middle voice of 154; to beg off, i.e. deprecate, decline, shun:--avoid, (make) excuse, intreat, refuse, reject.] [Zodhiates: In the N.T., to decline or refuse, avoid.]
c. profane [Strong: 952. bebelos beb'-ay-los from the base of 939 and belos (a threshold); accessible (as by crossing the door-way), i.e. (by implication, of Jewish notions) heathenish, wicked:--profane (person).] [Zodhiates: …bebelos properly denoted one who either was or ought to have been debarred from the threshold or entrance of a temple. Unhallowed, profane, void of religion, lacks all relationship or affinity to God.]
1). According to Dictionary.com it is used as an adjective and a verb. The two usages are as follows: Adjective: characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious. not devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated; secular (opposed to sacred); unholy; heathen; pagan: profane rites; not initiated into religious rites or mysteries, as persons; common or vulgar. As a verb it is used as follows: Verb (used with object), profaned, profaning; to misuse (anything that should be held in reverence or respect); defile; debase; employ basely or unworthily; to treat (anything sacred) with irreverence or contempt; violate the sanctity of: to profane a shrine.
2). I believe the use of “secular” throws very interesting light on this word.
d. and [Strong: 2532. kai kahee apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words:--and, also, both, but, even, for, if, or, so, that, then, therefore, when, yet.]
e. old wives [Strong: 1126. graodes grah-o'-dace from graus (an old woman) and 1491; crone-like, i.e. silly:--old wives'.] [Zodhiates: silly, old wives tales.]
f. fables [Strong: 3454. muthos moo'-thos perhaps from the same as 3453 (through the idea of tuition); a tale, i.e. fiction ("myth"):--fable.] [Zodhiates: English: mythology. In the N.T. the word myth does not have the meaning of being a vehicle of some lofty truth as in the early use of the word…it denotes a fable full of falsehoods…Thus in 1 Timothy 4:7 described as godless or profane and belonging to old women.]
2. “…and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”
a. and [Strong: 1161. de deh a primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.:--also, and, but, moreover, now (often unexpressed in English).]
b. exercise [Strong: 1128. gumnazo goom-nad'-zo from 1131; to practise naked (in the games), i.e. train (figuratively):--exercise.] [Zodhiates: naked, to train naked, generally, to train to exercise.]
1). Rick Renner Daily Devotionals 11/16/16: The word “exercise” is the Greek word gumnadzo, and it literally meant to exercise while stark naked or to exercise in the nude. It is a word that was developed from the word gumnos, the Greek word that is literally translated naked. It is from these words that the English words gym or gymnasium are derived…These combat sports were so ferocious that when each competition ended, one of the competitors was usually dead. Knowing that a stiff, life-or-death battle awaited them, these athletes exercised and exercised and exercised to get themselves into the best possible physical condition. This included submitting themselves to self-imposed hardships in order to make themselves tougher.
2). A couple of other uses of this word in the New Testament shed light on its meaning.
a). Hebrews 5:14 “…even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
(1) use [1838 * hexis] [Zodhiates: Habit. Used usually of life or body, therefore, practice or exercise.]
(2) The senses he is speaking of are not our 5 physical senses. In verse 11 the sense of hearing he was referring to was spiritual. The spiritual senses of taste, hearing, seeing, touch, and smell are what he is referring to. We cannot sense good or evil with our physical senses.
b). To understand the phrase “senses exercised” we need to look at a couple of verses.
(1) 2 Peter 2:14 “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart have they exercised with coveteous practices; cursed children:”
(2) To exercise the heart with coveteous practices would be to as Ephesians 2:3 says: “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind…”, to act out those desires.
3). A good example of the phrase, “…exercise thyself rather unto godliness”, would be the very opposite of 2 Peter 2:14 & Ephesians 2:2, 3. Whereas in those examples one would think about and meditate and then act out the evil desires; the good example would be to examine what the word of God says, think about it meditate it and begin to confess it about me and obey it. It is this very discipline that the Apostle Paul was referring to in 1 Corinthians and Romans.
a). 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
b). Romans 12:1, 2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
4). It is also this spiritual discipline that the Apostle Peter was referring to also in his first epistle.
a). 1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
5). All of this spiritual exercise must be bathed in prayer to petition and thank God for the grace to obey His word. Without Him we can do nothing.
c. thyself [Strong: 4572. seautou seh-ow-too', genitive case from 4571 and 846, also dative case of the same, seautoi seh-ow-to', and accusative case seauton seh-ow-ton', likewise contracted sautou sow-too', sautoi sow-to', and sauton sow-ton', respectively of (with, to) thyself:--thee, thine own self, (thou) thy(-self).]
d. rather [Strong: 1161. de deh a primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.:--also, and, but, moreover, now (often unexpressed in English).]
e. unto [Strong: 4314. pros pros a strengthened form of 4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. toward (with the genitive case, the side of, i.e. pertaining to; with the dative case, by the side of, i.e. near to; usually with the accusative case, the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, i.e. whither or for which it is predicated):--about, according to , against, among, at, because of, before, between, (where-)by, for, X at thy house, in, for intent, nigh unto, of, which pertain to, that, to (the end that), X together, to (you) -ward, unto, with(-in). In the comparative case, it denotes essentially the same applications, namely, motion towards, accession to, or nearness at.]
f. godliness [Strong: 2150. eusebeia yoo-seb'-i-ah from 2152; piety; specially, the gospel scheme:--godliness, holiness.]
1). Rick Renner Daily Devotionals 11/16/16 The word “godliness” is the Greek word eusebeia, a Greek word that describes piety, godliness, or a radical, fanatical devotion. In other words, Paul was telling Timothy, “Don’t do just the average that others would do and get an average result. Put your whole heart and soul into developing yourself to the maximum level.” Our commitment to spiritual development is to be so intense that we literally exercise and exercise and exercise ourselves to the point of a radical, fanatical devotion to God. We must be as committed to our spiritual development as those professional Greek athletes were to their physical development.
1 Timothy 4:8
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
a. NLT: “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
b. NIV: For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
c. YLT: For the bodily exercise is unto little profit, and the piety is to all things profitable, a promise having of the life that now is, and of that which is coming;
d. Amplified Bible Classic: For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.
1. “For bodily exercise profiteth little…”
a. For [Strong: 1063. gar gar a primary particle; properly, assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles):--and, as, because (that), but, even, for, indeed, no doubt, seeing, then, therefore, verily, what, why, yet.]
b. bodily [Strong: 4984. somatikos so-mat-ee-kos' from 4983; corporeal or physical:--bodily.] [Thayer: corporeal, bodily, having a bodily form or nature, pertaining to the body.]
c. exercise [Strong: 1129. gumnasia goom-nas-ee'-ah from 1128; training, i.e. (figuratively) asceticism:--exercise.] [Thayer: the exercise of the body in a palaestra or school of athletics, any exercise whatever.]
d. profiteth [Strong: 5624. ophelimos o-fel'-ee-mos from a form of 3786; helpful or serviceable, i.e. advantageous:--profit(-able).] [Vines: useful, profitable.]
1). profit (n.) mid-13c., "income;" c. 1300, "benefit, advantage;"from Old French prufit, porfit "profit, gain" (mid-12c.), from Latin profectus "profit, advance, increase, success, progress," noun use of past participle of proficere "accomplish, make progress; be useful, do good; have success, profit," from pro "forward" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + combining form of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe-"to set, put"). As the opposite of loss, it replaced Old English gewinn. Profit margin attested from 1853. www.etymonline.com/word/profit
2). profit (v.) early 14c., "to advance, benefit, gain," from profit (n.) and from Old French prufiter, porfiter "to benefit," from prufit (see profit (n.)). Related: Profited; profiting. www.etymonline.com/word/profit
e. little [Strong: 3641. oligos ol-ee'-gos of uncertain affinity; puny (in extent, degree, number, duration or value); especially neuter (adverbially) somewhat:--+ almost, brief(-ly), few, (a) little, + long, a season, short, small, a while.]
1). I exercise four to five times a week and have for the past eleven years (it is now 1/2/12). Ever since a surgeon told me in 2000 I would have to have surgery on my back. I rejected that opinion on the basis of faith in the Word of God that is in my heart and in my mouth. Along with that I began to exercise regularly, which I believe is a key component to staying physically fit. But in this verse I believe we are getting a proper perspective of physical exercise. Scripture says it profits little, but it does profit. I have to think he is using this term in a comparative way. Regular exercise is necessary in keeping a healthy body, but comparing it to spiritual maintenance, makes it appear “little” perhaps viewed as only benefiting the physical and mental, while the benefits of godliness are “unto all things.”
2. “…but godliness is profitable unto all things…”
a. but [Strong: 1161. de deh a primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.:--also, and, but, moreover, now (often unexpressed in English).]
b. godliness [Strong: 2150. eusebeia yoo-seb'-i-ah from 2152; piety; specially, the gospel scheme:--godliness, holiness.]
c. is [Strong: 2076. esti es-tee' third person singular present indicative of 1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are:--are, be(-long), call, X can(-not), come, consisteth, X dure for a while, + follow, X have, (that) is (to say), make, meaneth, X must needs, + profit, + remaineth, + wrestle.]
d. profitable [Strong: 5624. ophelimos o-fel'-ee-mos from a form of 3786; helpful or serviceable, i.e. advantageous:--profit(-able).] [Vine: useful, profitable.]
e. unto 4314. pros pros a strengthened form of 4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. toward (with the genitive case, the side of, i.e. pertaining to; with the dative case, by the side of, i.e. near to; usually with the accusative case, the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, i.e. whither or for which it is predicated):--about, according to , against, among, at, because of, before, between, (where-)by, for, X at thy house, in, for intent, nigh unto, of, which pertain to, that, to (the end that), X together, to (you) -ward, unto, with(-in). In the comparative case, it denotes essentially the same applications, namely, motion towards, accession to, or nearness at.]
f. all [things] [Strong: 3956. pas pas including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole:--all (manner of, means), alway(-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no(-thing), X thoroughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.]
1). “Unto all things” includes this life and the life to come. It includes all things physical, in the natural and spiritual. How many behaviors and habits destructive to our physical and mental and spiritual health is avoided because of godly living?
3. “…having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
a. having [Strong: 2192. echo ekh'-o, including an alternate form scheo skheh'-o; (used in certain tenses only) a primary verb; to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession; ability, contiuity, relation, or condition):--be (able, X hold, possessed with), accompany, + begin to amend, can(+ -not), X conceive, count, diseased, do + eat, + enjoy, + fear, following, have, hold, keep, + lack, + go to law, lie, + must needs, + of necessity, + need, next, + recover, + reign, + rest, + return, X sick, take for, + tremble, + uncircumcised, use.]
b. the promise [Strong: 1860. epaggelia ep-ang-el-ee'-ah from 1861; an announcement (for information, assent or pledge; especially a divine assurance of good):--message, promise.]
c. [of the] life [ Strong: 2222. zoe dzo-ay' from 2198; life (literally or figuratively):--life(-time).]
d. that now is [Strong: 3568. nun noon a primary particle of present time; "now" (as adverb of date, a transition or emphasis); also as noun or adjective present or immediate:--henceforth, + hereafter, of late, soon, present, this (time).]
1). The “promise of the life that now is”, is the abundant life that Jesus promised.
a). John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
2). We can lengthen or shorten our life on this earth through obedience or disobedience to the word of God.
a). Proverbs 9:10, 11The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
9:11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
b). Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
4:21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
4:22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
c). Proverbs 3:1, 2 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
3). It is our present life full of all the covenant blessings.
a). 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
4). But as the Scripture reveals, these promises are conditional upon our obedience to the Word.
a). 2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
b). 2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5). These promises must also be received by faith.
a). Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
b). Hebrews 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
e. and [Strong: 2532. kai kahee apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words:--and, also, both, but, even, for, if, or, so, that, then, therefore, when, yet.]
f. of that [Strong: 3588. ho ho, including the feminine he hay, and the neuter to to in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom):--the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.]
g. which is to come [Strong: 3195. mello mel'-lo a strengthened form of 3199 (through the idea of expectation); to intend, i.e. be about to be, do, or suffer something (of persons or things, especially events; in the sense of purpose, duty, necessity, probability, possibility, or hesitation):--about, after that, be (almost), (that which is, things, + which was for) to come, intend, was to (be), mean, mind, be at the point, (be) ready, + return, shall (begin), (which, that) should (after, afterwards, hereafter) tarry, which was for, will, would, be yet.]
1). The life which is to come is after death.