5. The division of the Epistle, in which there is an assortment of admonitions, is only able to be organized according to chapers, an epitome of which is exhibited. Interpreters of the Epistle, Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic; and also a Synoptic Table.
This Epistle is a certain accumulation and συναθροισμὸς/collection of various precepts, which are to be observed in the ministry of the Church. In which you will in vain seek a meticulous order and method, for paternal admonitions are not subject to rules. For in these it is wont prudently to be done, that many things at the same time might be conjoined and connected together, the reins loosened to the affections, and the same admonitions repeated now and again. Therefore, it will be agreeable that, according to the number of chapters, just so many parts of the admonitions be fixed, with artificial method set aside.
I. An Admonition concerning the retaining of sound doctrine, concerning the use and abuse of the law, and the doctrine of the Gospel, Chapter 1.
With an inscription and prayer set down before (verses 1, 2), he repeats his counsel, that he might charge certain men, that they teach not otherwise, nor attend upon fables and genealogies, with the end of preaching shown, namely, sincere love (verses 3-6), then the use of the law (verses 7, 8), for which it was given (verses 9-11); he declares the sound doctrine of the Gospel, of which he, although unworthy, was made a minister (verses 12-14); he sets forth the foundation of the faith, even Christ, the Savior of sinners (verses 15-17); and he commends to Timothy a goo warfare (verses 18-20): chapter 1.
II. Precepts concerning prayers, and concerning the adorning of women and modesty, Chapter 2.
He commands to pray for all, because that is acceptable to the Lord, desiring to save all, since there is one Mediator sacrificing Himself for all (verses 1-7), and that men pray (verse 8), and women, in fitting adornment (verses 9, 10), learning with quietness, not teaching (verses 11-14), and to be saved, if they continue in the faith (verse 15): chapter 2.
III. Precepts concerning Bishops, deacons, and the Church, Chapter 3.
Commending the office of Bishop as good (verse 1), he prescribes standards for the same, to which he should compare himself in all of life (verses 2, 3), at home (verses 4, 5), that he be not a novice, and that he have a good testimony (verses 6, 7). He also sets obligations upon the deacons (verses 8, 9), and that they should be proved (verse 10), have proven wives (verse 11), as husbands of one wife, and good heads of household (verses 12, 13). Which things he writes, so the he might know, even with Paul absent, how he ought to conduct himself in the Church, the house of God, the pillar of the truth, the foundation of which he explicates (verses 14-16): chapter 3.
IV. A Prophecy concerning defection, and an exhortation to sound doctrine, Chapter 4.
He prophesies by the Spirit, that in the last days seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons, the characteristics of which he unfolds, are going to arise (verses 1-5). Whence he advises Timothy to inculcate these things in the brethren (verse 6), and, with fables refused, to give himself wholly to piety (verses 7, 8), inasmuch as this is faithful saying (verses 9-11), to make himself, although young, an example to the faithful, to attend upon reading, not to neglect his gifting, to make his progress manifest, to take heed to himself and to his doctrine (verses 12-16): chapter 4.
V. The Duty of the Bishop towards Elders, widows, Presbyters to be ordained, Chapter 5.
He commands that he entreat elders, as fathers, younger men as brethren (verses 1, 2); that he honor widows, that is, true widows, not those living in please (verses 3-8), of a set age and answerable behavior (verses 9-13); but that he command the younger woman to marry (verses 14, 15), and all to provide for widows (verse 16); that Presbyters be held in honor (verses 17, 18), and that no accusation be received against them, except when there are two or three witnesses (verses 19), with sinners being publicly charged (verse 20); that he keep these things without prejudice (verse 21); that he lay hands on no one suddently (verse 22); that he make use of a little wine (verse 23), showing that in the laying on of hands manifest and hidden sins and works must be distinguished (verses 24, 25): chapter 5.
VI. An admonition to servants and to teachers, the fruits of piety, the danger of avarice, the duty of the wealthy, a prohibition of vain questions, Chapter 6.
He charges servants to honor their masters, especially believing masters (verses 1, 2); he strips the pretenses of those teaching otherwise (verses 3-5); he sets forth the profit of piety (verses 6-8), and the punishment of those seeking riches and of avarice (verses 9, 10); he earnestly charges to Timothy righteousness, piety, the good fight of faith, the keeping of the commandment unto the appearing of Jesus Christ (verses 11-16); to the rich he prescribes their duty (verses 17-19); and, finally, entrusting the deposit to Timothy, he dissuades from profain vanities of words, and oppositions of false knowledge, and closes with a prayer (verses 20, 21): chapter 6.