Recently, I have heard some wild (fear based) doctrines and theories centered about the following passage of scripture:

"Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure." (1 Timothy 5:22 KJV)

After much research, the clearest understanding of this passage that I have been able to find [the translation of the passage that best lines up with the context of the scripture and makes the most sense] is from The Complete Jewish Bible. Here it is:

"Do not be hasty in granting s’mikhah to anyone, and do not share in other people’s sins — keep yourself pure." (1 Timothy 5:22 CJB)

Okay, what is s’mikhah?

According to The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 1917, page 552: The Hebrew word "s’mikhah" means "ordination."

According to Webster's Dictionary: "Ordain" means "to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority."

So, in other words, Paul is simply instructing Timothy not to be in a hurry to ordain people into an office of the Church.

This makes perfect sense yesterday, today, and forever. Without controversy, these are simple and plain instructions that anyone of faith can and should put into practice.

In context, here is the larger section of scripture in the Complete Jewish Bible which deals with the handling and appointing of leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ [text in brackets added by me]:

"Never listen to any accusation against a leader unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. Rebuke before the whole assembly those leaders who continue sinning, as a warning to the others. Before God, the Messiah Yeshua [Christ Jesus] and the chosen angels, I solemnly charge you to observe these instructions, not pre-judging and not doing anything out of favoritism. Do not be hasty in granting s’mikhah [ordination] to anyone, and do not share in other people’s sins — keep yourself pure." (1 Timothy 5:19-22 CJB)

REMEMBER: "...the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated [easy to put into practice], full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:17-18 KJV)

God bless you!

Image source:  Art For Jesus

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