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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy


6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.


Verses six and seven show why love does not characterize false teachers. They strayed from the three qualities of verse 5. Their emphasis was to assert themselves through ego-oriented debate.


from which some, having strayed [wandered off[,

Some of the false teachers “strayed” from building believers with “love” (1 Tim 1:5). The idea of “strayed” is to come wide of the mark. False teachers missed the target of a pure heart, good conscience, and genuine faith. They deliberately sidetracked those involved in the church with fruitless debates.

have turned aside to idle [empty, useless, futile] talk,

“Idle talk” is fruitless or meaningless discussion. False teachers were in the process of pointless babble leading nowhere. Their debates do not lead to Christian maturity.


desiring to be teachers of the law,

“Teachers of the law” here attempt to interpret the Mosaic law. These people prioritize the prestige of being recognized as “teachers” rather than fulfilling the purpose of teaching, which is edification. Their underlying motive was recognition by men (Mt 23:5-7; 1 Tim 6:4). James warned about seeking ministry for the wrong reason (Jas 3:1).

understanding neither what they say

These teachers did not know what they were talking about. They loved to pontificate, but they did not understand the Scriptures.

nor the things which they affirm.

The false teachers did not understand the Mosaic law. The basis of their belief was groundless.


We must be careful whom we choose for leadership in the local church.


It is crucial to sort out leadership in the local church from those with integrity to those who serve out of ego. Ego makes it difficult for someone to admit he is wrong, making it challenging to sustain proper relationships, especially in the local church. Ego especially gets in the way of establishing sound doctrine.