The Meaning of 1 Timothy 1:12 Explained

1 Timothy 1:12

KJV: And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

YLT: And I give thanks to him who enabled me -- Christ Jesus our Lord -- that he did reckon me stedfast, having put me to the ministration,

Darby: And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me power, that he has counted me faithful, appointing to ministry him

ASV: I thank him that enabled me, even Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he counted me faithful, appointing me to his'service;

What does 1 Timothy 1:12 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Timothy 1:12-20 - An Example Of Christ's Long-Suffering
The Apostle breaks off into expressions of heartfelt thanks to God for the abounding grace which had overcome his former obstinacy and blindness. Only his ignorance could palliate his outrage and insult toward Christ, who was now the beloved object of his entire surrender. He had been a blasphemer against God, Acts 26:9-11; a persecutor towards his fellow-men, Galatians 1:13; injurious, insolent, full of overweening pride. He felt that he had been the chief of sinners, because he had sinned against more knowledge and opportunity than others. It is only when we see God, that we know ourselves and repent in dust and ashes. The Apostle, however, comforted himself in this at least, that through coming time the most hopeless and abandoned sinners would take heart as they considered his case. He was a sample of mercy, a specimen of what Christ could do, an outline sketch to be filled in. Believe on Christ. Faith rests on Christ as foundation. Peter and John use another preposition, toward, or into, i.e., they conceive of union with him, to which all else is preliminary. War the good warfare, that against sin. When men thrust away faith and a good conscience, they stab their pilot and make shipwreck. See 2 Timothy 2:17-18; 2 Timothy 4:14-15. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Timothy 1

1  Paul declares Timothy is faithful to the charge which was given him at his going to Macedonia
5  The right use and end of the law
11  Paul's calling to be an apostle;
20  and the disobedience or Hymenaeus and Alexander

Greek Commentary for 1 Timothy 1:12

I thank [χαριν εχω]
“I have gratitude to.” Common phrase (Luke 17:9), not elsewhere in Paul. [source]
That enabled me [τωι ενδυναμωσαντι με]
First aorist active articular participle of ενδυναμοω — endunamoō Late verb, but regular Pauline idiom (Romans 4:20; Philemon 4:13; Ephesians 6:10; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:17). Appointing me to his service (τεμενος εις διακονιαν — themenos eis diakonian). Second aorist middle participle. Pauline phrase and atmosphere (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:18, 1 Corinthians 12:28; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Colossians 1:23; Ephesians 3:7; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 4:5, 2 Timothy 4:11). [source]
Appointing me to his service [τεμενος εις διακονιαν]
Second aorist middle participle. Pauline phrase and atmosphere (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:18, 1 Corinthians 12:28; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Colossians 1:23; Ephesians 3:7; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 4:5, 2 Timothy 4:11). [source]
Hath enabled [ἐνδυναμώσαντι]
An unclassical word, found in Paul and Acts. See Acts 9:22; Philippians 4:13. Three times in the Pastorals. [source]
Counted [ἡγήσατο]
A common Pauline word. [source]
Putting [θέμενος]
Better appointing. The participle defines counted me faithful. He counted me faithful in that he appointed, etc. [source]
Into the ministry [εἰς διακονίαν]
Better, appointing me to his service. The conventional phrase “the ministry” gives a wrong impression. The term is general, covering every mode of service, either to God or to men. Διάκονοι ministersis used of the secular ruler, Romans 13:4. See also 1 Corinthians 12:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15; 2 Corinthians 3:7, 2 Corinthians 3:8; Ephesians 4:12, and on minister, Matthew 20:26. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for 1 Timothy 1:12

Luke 17:9 Does he thank? [μη εχει χαριν]
Μη — Mē expects the negative answer. Εχω χαριν — Echō charin to have gratitude toward one, is an old Greek idiom (1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:3; Hebrews 12:28). [source]
John 15:16 Ordained [ἔθηκα]
Rev., appointed is better, because it divests the word of its conventional meaning. Ordain is from the Latin ordinare, and means to set in order. Thus, Robert of Gloucester's “Chronicle:” “He began to ordain his folk,” i.e., set his people in order. Hakluyt, “Voyages:” “He ordained a boat made of one tree.” The Greek verb means to set, put, or place. Hence of appointing one to service. See 1 Timothy 1:12. Wyc., Matthew 24:47: “Upon all his goods he shall ordain him.” [source]
Acts 9:22 Increased the more [μαλλον ενεδυναμουτο]
Imperfect passive indicative of ενδυναμοω — endunamoō to receive power (late verb), progressive increase in strength as opposition grew. Saul‘s recantation stirred controversy and Saul grew in power. See also Paul in Philemon 4:13; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:1; 2 Timothy 4:17; Romans 4:20. Christ, the dynamo of spiritual energy, was now pouring power (Acts 1:8) into Paul who is already filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17). [source]
Romans 12:7 Ministering [διακονίᾳ]
Let us wait on is supplied. Lit., or ministry in our ministry. The word appears in the New Testament always in connection with the service of the Christian Church, except Luke 10:40, of Martha's serving; Hebrews 1:14, of the ministry of angels, and 2 Corinthians 3:7, of the ministry of Moses. Within this limit it is used, 1. Of service in general, including all forms of christian ministration tending to the good of the christian body (1 Corinthians 12:5; Ephesians 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:11). Hence, 2. Of the apostolic office and its administration; (a) generally (Acts 20:24; 2 Corinthians 4:1; 1 Timothy 1:12); or (b) defined as a ministry of reconciliation, of the word, of the Spirit, of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:18; Acts 6:4; 2 Corinthians 3:8, 2 Corinthians 3:9). It is not used of the specific office of a deacon; but the kindred word διάκονος occurs in that sense (Philemon 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8, 1 Timothy 3:12). As the word is employed in connection with both the higher and lower ministrations in the Church (see Acts 6:1, Acts 6:4), it is difficult to fix its precise meaning here; yet as it is distinguished here from prophecy, exhortation, and teaching, it may refer to some more practical, and, possibly, minor form of ministry. Moule says: “Almost any work other than that of inspired utterance or miracle-working may be included in it here.” So Godet: “An activity of a practical nature exerted in action, not in word.” Some limit it to the office of deacon. [source]
1 Corinthians 12:4 Administrations [διακονιῶν]
Rev., better, ministrations. Compare Ephesians 4:12. In the New Testament commonly of spiritual service of an official character. See Acts 1:25; Acts 6:4; Acts 20:24; Romans 11:13; 1 Timothy 1:12; and on minister, Matthew 20:26. [source]
2 Corinthians 3:6 Hath made us able ministers [ἱκάνωσεν ἡμᾶς διακόνους]
An unfortunate translation, especially in view of the conventional sense of able. The verb ἱκανόω from ἱκανός sufficient(see on Romans 15:23), means to make sufficient or fit. It occurs only here and Colossians 1:12. The correct sense is given by Rev., hath made us sufficient as ministers. Compare enabled ( ἐνδυναμώσαντι ), 1 Timothy 1:12. [source]
Ephesians 4:12 For the work of the ministry [εἰς ἔργον διακονίας]
Rev., much better, unto the work of ministering. Εἰς untomarks the immediate purpose of the gift. He gave apostles, etc., unto the work of ministering and building, for the perfecting, etc. The prevailing sense of διακονία ministryin the New Testament, is spiritual service of an official character. See Acts 1:25; Acts 6:4; Acts 20:24; Romans 11:13; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:5. [source]
Philippians 4:13 In him that strengtheneth me [εν τωι ενδυναμουντι με]
Late and rare verb (in lxx) from adjective ενδυναμος — endunamos Causative verb to empower, to pour power into one. See same phrase in 1 Timothy 1:12 δυναμις — tōi endunamōsanti me (aorist tense here). Paul has such strength so long as Jesus keeps on putting power (dunamis) into him. [source]
Colossians 1:11 Strengthened [δυναμούμενοι]
Only here in the New Testament, but found in Septuagint. The compound ( ἐνδυναμόω to make strong ) is frequent in Paul, Romans 4:20; Ephesians 6:10; Philemon 4:13; 1 Timothy 1:12. [source]
1 Timothy 1:12 That enabled me [τωι ενδυναμωσαντι με]
First aorist active articular participle of ενδυναμοω — endunamoō Late verb, but regular Pauline idiom (Romans 4:20; Philemon 4:13; Ephesians 6:10; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:17). Appointing me to his service (τεμενος εις διακονιαν — themenos eis diakonian). Second aorist middle participle. Pauline phrase and atmosphere (Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:18, 1 Corinthians 12:28; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Colossians 1:23; Ephesians 3:7; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 4:5, 2 Timothy 4:11). [source]
2 Timothy 4:5 Make full proof of thy ministry [τὴν διακονίαν σου πληροφόρησον]
Better, fulfill or fully perform. In Pastorals only here and 2 Timothy 4:17. See on Luke 1:1. In lxx once, Ecclesiastes 8:11, is fully persuaded. Only in this passage in the active voice. Comp. πληρώσαντες τὴν διακονίαν havingfulfilled their ministration, Acts 12:25: ἐπλήρου τὸν δρόμον wasfulfilling his course, Acts 13:25, and τὸν δρόμον Ihave finished the course, 2 Timothy 4:7. For διακονίαν ministrysee on 1 Timothy 1:12. [source]
2 Timothy 4:17 Strengthened [ἐνεδυνάμωσεν]
See on 1 Timothy 1:12. [source]
2 Timothy 4:11 Profitable for the ministry [εὔχρηστος εἰς διακονίαν]
Ἑύχρηστος profitableonly here, 2 Timothy 2:21, Philemon 1:11. For for the ministry rend. for ministering or for service, and see on 1 Timothy 1:12. [source]
2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God [χάριν ἔχω τῷ θεῷ]
Lit. I have thanks to God. The phrase in Luke 17:9; Acts 2:47; oP. unless 2 Corinthians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 12:28; 3 John 1:4. Paul uses εὐχαριστῶ Igive thanks (not in Pastorals) or εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεός blessedbe God (not in Pastorals). The phrase χάριν ἔχω is a Latinism, habere gratiam, of which several are found in Pastorals. [source]
2 Timothy 1:3 I thank [χαριν εχω]
“I have gratitude.” As in 1 Timothy 1:12. Robinson cites examples of this phrase from the papyri. It occurs also in Luke 17:9; Acts 2:47. Χαρις — Charis in doxologies Paul uses (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 8:16; 2 Corinthians 9:15; Romans 6:17; Romans 7:25). His usual idiom is ευχαριστω — eucharistō (1 Corinthians 1:4; Romans 1:8; Philemon 1:4; Philemon 1:3) or ευχαριστουμεν — eucharistoumen (1 Thessalonians 1:2; Colossians 1:3) or ου παυομαι ευχαριστων — ou pauomai eucharistōn (Ephesians 1:16) or ευχαριστειν οπειλομεν — eucharistein opheilomen (2 Thessalonians 1:3). [source]
2 Timothy 2:1 Be strengthened [ενδυναμου]
Present passive imperative of ενδυναμοω — endunamoō See already 1 Timothy 1:12; Romans 4:20; Philemon 4:13; Ephesians 6:10. “Keep on being empowered,” “keep in touch with the power.” [source]
2 Timothy 2:2 Among many witnesses [δια πολλων μαρτυρων]
Plutarch has δια — dia in this sense and Field (Ot. Norv.) suggests that it is a legal phrase “supported by many witnesses.” Not mere spectators, but testifiers. See Paul‘s use of δια — dia 1 Thessalonians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 2:4; Romans 2:27; Romans 14:20. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 gives many witnesses of the resurrection of Christ. Commit thou (παρατου — parathou). Second aorist middle imperative of παρατιτημι — paratithēmi (1 Timothy 1:18) to deposit, same metaphor as παρατηκη — parathēkē in 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:14. “Deposit thou.” Faithful “Trustworthy,” “reliable,” as in 1 Timothy 1:12 of Paul himself. Able (ικανοι — hikanoi). Capable, qualified, as in 1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:5. Others also Not necessarily “different,” but “others in addition.” This is the way to pass on the torch of the light of the knowledge of God in Christ. Paul taught Timothy who will teach others who will teach still others, an endless chain of teacher-training and gospel propaganda. [source]
2 Timothy 2:2 Faithful [πιστοις]
“Trustworthy,” “reliable,” as in 1 Timothy 1:12 of Paul himself. Able (ικανοι — hikanoi). Capable, qualified, as in 1 Corinthians 15:9; 2 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:5. Others also Not necessarily “different,” but “others in addition.” This is the way to pass on the torch of the light of the knowledge of God in Christ. Paul taught Timothy who will teach others who will teach still others, an endless chain of teacher-training and gospel propaganda. [source]
Hebrews 12:28 Let us have grace [ἔχωμεν χάριν]
For grace rend. thankfulness. See Luke 17:9; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:3. Comp. Psalm 50:23. [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Timothy 1:12 mean?

Thankfulness I have for the [One] having strengthened me Christ Jesus the Lord of us that faithful He esteemed having appointed [me] to service
Χάριν ἔχω τῷ ἐνδυναμώσαντί με Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν ὅτι πιστόν ἡγήσατο θέμενος εἰς διακονίαν

Χάριν  Thankfulness 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: χάρις  
Sense: grace.
ἔχω  I  have 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: ἔχω  
Sense: to have, i.e. to hold.
τῷ  for  the  [One] 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐνδυναμώσαντί  having  strengthened 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: ἐνδυναμόω  
Sense: to be strong, endue with strength, strengthen.
με  me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
Χριστῷ  Christ 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: Χριστός  
Sense: Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God.
Ἰησοῦ  Jesus 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰησοῦς  
Sense: Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor.
Κυρίῳ  Lord 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: κύριος  
Sense: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.
ἡμῶν  of  us 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 1st Person Plural
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
ὅτι  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
πιστόν  faithful 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: πιστός  
Sense: trusty, faithful.
ἡγήσατο  He  esteemed 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐπιτροπεύω 
Sense: to lead.
θέμενος  having  appointed  [me] 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Middle, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: τίθημι  
Sense: to set, put, place.
διακονίαν  service 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: διακονία 
Sense: service, ministering, esp.