Tuesday, 21 November 2017
…for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 1 Timothy 2:2
Paul now especially identifies those who are to be included in “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks.” In the previous verse, he said, “for all men.” It is an all-inclusive statement, but now he continues by making special note. It is “for kings and all who are in authority.” Paul understood that in praying for those in authority, he was praying for those who would be able to protect and bring peace to those under them.
This doesn’t mean that prayers for salvation for such people were more important than for those who were commoners. Rather, high positions could affect commoners, whether they were held by believers or not. In praying for them, there would be a natural, positive result if the prayers were responded to. That is then stated in his words, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.”
It is certainly preferable that those in high positions be saved believers, but whether they are or not, if they are favorably disposed towards believers, then it would naturally follow that a quiet and peaceable life was possible. And if this was available, then it would be a life lived “in all godliness and reverence.” The older KJV uses the term “honesty.” What that meant in 1611 is completely different than what it means today. Reading such an outdated version leaves a wholly wrong impression of what is intended.
The word semnotés gives the sense of gravity and dignity, not in honesty or fair dealings. It refers to that which is august. It beckons for reverence from others, and it is intended to exalt what is noble and morally refined. Achieving “godliness and reverence” is the anticipated benefit of leading a quiet and peaceful life. This then is the purpose of praying for “kings and all who are in authority.”
Life application: Better to read multiple translations of the Bible, looking for differences which will then highlight where inaccuracy lies. From there, one can go to the original and determine which is correct. When captivated by a single version, a complete misunderstanding of what is being said is the expected result. Don’t allow this narrow mindset to affect your study of Scripture.
Lord God, it is so wonderful to live in an age where we have multiple versions of the Bible which allows us to find the mistakes which riddle older versions. By seeing the differences between the two, we can then go to the original and determine which is correct and which is wrong. Words change, languages evolve, and we must return to the fountain from time to time to update what is passe. Thank You for how easy this has become in our lifetime. We are blessed with such access! Your word stands, and we can appreciate it in our modern tongue! Thank You. Amen.