The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible1 Timothy 3:15
But if I tarry long…
Or should long delay coming,
defer it longer than may be expected; let it be observed that these
things are written,
that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the
house of God;
that is, the church of God, as it is afterwards
explained; called a house, in allusion either to an edifice, it
being a spiritual house built of lively stories, or true believers,
upon the foundation Jesus Christ, and who also is the door into it;
the pillars of it are the ministers of the Gospel; and the windows
are the ordinances, and which also are the entertainment in it: or
else to a family, as this is sometimes called the household of God,
and of faith; the family named of Christ, of which he is the master;
and in which are fathers, young men and children; in which
ministers are stewards; and which is regulated by good and
wholesome laws: and it is called the house of God, because as an
edifice, it is of his building and repairing, and in which he
dwells; and as a family, is what he provides for. Now the above
things were written to Timothy, that he might know bow to order and
manage things in this house and family; what became him to do
himself, in the character he was; and what persons to direct in the
choice of to be officers in it. And of this house it is said,
which is the church of the living God;
in opposition to, and
distinction from the houses and temples of idols, which are
inanimate and senseless creatures; whereas the true God is the
living God, has life in himself, essentially, originally, and
independently, and is the author and giver of life to others. It is
the pillar and ground of the truth;
which holds forth the truth to be
seen and read of all, as pillars that bear inscriptions; and which
supports and maintains truth, as every true church of Christ does so
long as it remains so; though truth is the pillar and ground of the
church; for if once truth is gone, a church is no more so: rather
therefore Timothy himself is here designed; and the sense is, that
what was written to him was with this view, that he might the better
know how to conduct himself in the church of God, as a pillar and
ground of truth, to hold it forth and to secure it: ministers of the
Gospel are called pillars, (Galatians 2:9) and that with greater propriety
than the church itself, which is before called an house: though it
may be best of all to understand it of Christ as incarnate, the
great mystery of godliness; who as he is the ground and foundation
of the church, and all believers, so he is the foundation of all
true doctrine; and particularly the doctrine of his person, as truly
God and truly man, is the pillar and ground which supports all other
truths, and without which they fall to the ground: and so this
clause may be read in connection with the following words, thus;
"the pillar and ground of the truth, and without controversy, is the
great mystery of godliness, &c". And this way of speaking is used by
the Jews, both of persons and things; so Zebulun is said F3 to be
(hrwth dwme) , "the pillar of the law"; and it is said F4 of
``the great sanhedrim in Jerusalem, they are the root of the
oral law; and they are (harwhh ydwme) , "the pillars of
doctrine"; and from them go forth the statutes and judgments
and the same is said of things as of persons. Maimonides says F5,
``the foundation of foundations and the pillar of wisdom, is
to know that there is a first Being, that gives being to
and R. Sangari, another of their writers, says, F6
``there are two things which are (hrwth ydwme) , "the pillars
of the law"; the one is, that the law is from God; the
other is, that it is received with a faithful (or sincere)
heart, from the congregation:''
to which may be added, that it is said F7 that
``the mystery of faith is "(amwyqw arqe) , "the root and
ground" of the world";''
all which may serve to illustrate this passage.
F3 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 152. 1.
F4 Maimon. Hilchot Memarim, c. 1. sect. 1.
F5 Hilchot Yesode Hattora, c. 1. sect. 1.
F6 Cosri, par. 3. sect. 23. fol. 159. 2.
F7 Zohar in Gen. fol. 124. 1.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=1ti&chapter=003&verse=015>. 1999.