The Meaning of 1 Timothy 1:15 Explained

1 Timothy 1:15

KJV: This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

YLT: stedfast is the word, and of all acceptation worthy, that Christ Jesus came to the world to save sinners -- first of whom I am;

Darby: Faithful is the word, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first.

ASV: Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief:

What does 1 Timothy 1:15 Mean?

Study Notes

save (See Scofield " Romans 1:16 ") .
sinners Grace (in salvation). 2 Timothy 1:14 ; 2 Timothy 1:15 ; 2 Timothy 1:9 ; Romans 3:24
grace
Grace. Summary:
(1) Grace is "the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man.. . not by works of righteousness which we have done" Titus 3:4 ; Titus 3:5 .
It is, therefore, constantly set in contrast to law, under which God demands righteousness from man, as, under grace, he gives righteousness to man Romans 3:21 ; Romans 3:22 ; Romans 8:4 ; Philippians 3:9 . Law is connected with Moses and works; grace with Christ and faith; John 1:17 ; Romans 10:4-10 . Law blesses the good; grace saves the bad; Exodus 19:5 ; Ephesians 2:1-9 . Law demands that blessings be earned; grace is a free gift; Deuteronomy 28:1-6 ; Ephesians 2:8 ; Romans 4:4 ; Romans 4:5 .
(2) As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ Romans 3:24-26 , Romans 4:24 ; Romans 4:25 . The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ, with good works as a fruit of salvation,; John 1:12 ; John 1:13 ; John 3:36 ; Matthew 21:37 ; Matthew 22:24 ; John 15:22 ; John 15:25 ; Hebrews 1:2 ; 1 John 5:10-12 . The immediate result of this testing was the rejection of Christ by the Jews, and His crucifixion by Jew and Gentile Acts 4:27 . The predicted end of the testing of man under grace is the apostasy of the professing church: See "Apostasy" (See Scofield " 2 Timothy 3:1 ") 2 Timothy 3:1-8 and the resultant apocalyptic judgments.
(3) Grace has a twofold manifestation: in salvation Romans 3:24 and in the walk and service of the saved Romans 6:15 .
See, for the other six dispensations:
Innocence, (See Scofield " Genesis 1:28 ")
Conscience, (See Scofield " Genesis 3:23 ")
Human Government, (See Scofield " Genesis 8:21 ")
Promise, (See Scofield " Genesis 12:1 ")
Law, (See Scofield " Exodus 19:8 ")
Kingdom, (See Scofield " Ephesians 1:10 ") .
world kosmos = mankind. (See Scofield " Matthew 4:8 ") .
save .
sinners Grace (in salvation). 2 Timothy 1:14 ; 2 Timothy 1:15 ; 2 Timothy 1:9 ; Romans 3:24
salvation
The Heb. and (Greek - ἀλεκτοροφωνία , safety, preservation, healing, and soundness). Salvation is the great inclusive word of the Gospel, gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes: as justification, redemption, grace, propitiation, imputation, forgiveness, sanctification, and glorification. Salvation is in three tenses:
(1) The believer has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin Luke 7:50 ; 1 Corinthians 1:18 ; 2 Corinthians 2:15 ; Ephesians 2:5 ; Ephesians 2:8 ; 2 Timothy 1:9 and is safe.
(2) the believer is being saved from the habit and dominion of sin Romans 6:14 ; Philippians 1:19 ; Philippians 2:12 ; Philippians 2:13 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 ; Romans 8:2 ; Galatians 2:19 ; Galatians 2:20 ; 2 Corinthians 3:18 .
(3) The believer is to be saved in the sense of entire conformity to Christ. Romans 13:11 ; Hebrews 10:36 ; 1 Peter 1:5 ; 1 John 3:2 . Salvation is by grace through faith, is a free gift, and wholly without works; Romans 3:27 ; Romans 3:28 ; Romans 4:1-8 ; Romans 6:23 ; Ephesians 2:8 . The divine order is: first salvation, then works; Ephesians 2:9 ; Ephesians 2:10 ; Titus 3:5-8 .
grace
Grace. Summary:
(1) Grace is "the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man.. . not by works of righteousness which we have done" Titus 3:4 ; Titus 3:5 .
It is, therefore, constantly set in contrast to law, under which God demands righteousness from man, as, under grace, he gives righteousness to man Romans 3:21 ; Romans 3:22 ; Romans 8:4 ; Philippians 3:9 . Law is connected with Moses and works; grace with Christ and faith; John 1:17 ; Romans 10:4-10 . Law blesses the good; grace saves the bad; Exodus 19:5 ; Ephesians 2:1-9 . Law demands that blessings be earned; grace is a free gift; Deuteronomy 28:1-6 ; Ephesians 2:8 ; Romans 4:4 ; Romans 4:5 .
(2) As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ Romans 3:24-26 , Romans 4:24 ; Romans 4:25 . The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ, with good works as a fruit of salvation,; John 1:12 ; John 1:13 ; John 3:36 ; Matthew 21:37 ; Matthew 22:24 ; John 15:22 ; John 15:25 ; Hebrews 1:2 ; 1 John 5:10-12 . The immediate result of this testing was the rejection of Christ by the Jews, and His crucifixion by Jew and Gentile Acts 4:27 . The predicted end of the testing of man under grace is the apostasy of the professing church: See "Apostasy" (See Scofield " 2 Timothy 3:1 ") 2 Timothy 3:1-8 and the resultant apocalyptic judgments.
(3) Grace has a twofold manifestation: in salvation Romans 3:24 and in the walk and service of the saved Romans 6:15 .
See, for the other six dispensations:
Innocence, (See Scofield " Genesis 1:28 ")
Conscience, (See Scofield " Genesis 3:23 ")
Human Government, (See Scofield " Genesis 8:21 ")
Promise, (See Scofield " Genesis 12:1 ")
Law, (See Scofield " Exodus 19:8 ")
Kingdom, (See Scofield " Ephesians 1:10 ") .

Verse Meaning

Seven times in the Pastorals Paul evidently alluded to statements that had become proverbial in the early church. They may have been parts of early Christian hymns or catechisms (manuals for the training of new Christians; cf. 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:9-10; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Titus 2:11-14; Titus 3:3-7). [1] They may be restatements of what Jesus said about Himself (cf. Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32; Luke 19:10; John 12:46-47; John 16:28; John 18:37). [2] Paul probably alluded to one of these classic statements here, as seems likely from his use of the introductory, "It is a trustworthy statement." Here the great truth affirmed is that the purpose of Christ"s incarnation was the salvation of sinners.
"The repeated formula is always attached to a maxim (relating either to doctrine or practice) on which full reliance can be placed." [3]
Was Paul really the worst sinner of all time (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 3:8)? Obviously many people have lived longer in a more depraved condition than Paul did. He became a Christian relatively early in his adult life. Perhaps the apostle meant that he was the "foremost" sinner in the sense that his sin of aggressively tearing down the work that God was building up was the worst kind of sin. It was much worse than simply ignoring God and going one"s own way.
Note, too, that Paul still regarded himself as a sinner, though a forgiven one: "...I am foremost." [4]
"The fact is that it is always the characteristic of a true saint to feel himself a real sinner. The air in a room seems to be clear, but when it is penetrated by the sunlight it is seen to be full of dust and other impurities: and so as men draw nearer to God, and are penetrated by the light of God (1John i5), they see more clearly their own infirmities, and begin to feel for sin something of the hatred which God feels for it." [5]

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 1:15

Faithful is the saying [πιστος ο λογος]
Five times in the Pastorals (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; Titus 3:8; 2 Timothy 2:11). It will pay to note carefully πιστισ πιστευω πιστος — pistisπιστος — pisteuōλογος — pistos Same use of οτι — pistos (trustworthy) applied to αποδοχης — logos in Titus 1:9; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6. Here and probably in 2 Timothy 2:11 a definite saying seems to be referred to, possibly a quotation (αχιος — hoti) of a current saying quite like the Johannine type of teaching. This very phrase (Christ coming into the world) occurs in John 9:37; John 11:27; John 16:28; John 18:37. Paul, of course, had no access to the Johannine writings, but such “sayings” were current among the disciples. There is no formal quotation, but “the whole phrase implies a knowledge of Synoptic and Johannine language” (Lock) as in Luke 5:32; John 12:47. [source]
Acceptation [πρωτος]
Genitive case with ην — axios (worthy of). Late word (Polybius, Diod., Jos.) in N.T. only here and 1 Timothy 4:9. Chief (ειμι — prōtos). Not ελαχιστος των αποστολων — ēn (I was), but τωι ελαχιστοτερωι παντων αγιων — eimi (I am). “It is not easy to think of any one but St. Paul as penning these words” (White). In 1 Corinthians 15:9 he had called himself “the least of the apostles” (elachistos tōn apostolōn). In Ephesians 3:8 he refers to himself as “the less than the least of all saints” (tōi elachistoterōi pantōn hagiōn). On occasion Paul would defend himself as on a par with the twelve apostles (Galatians 2:6-10) and superior to the Judaizers (2 Corinthians 11:5.; 2 Corinthians 12:11). It is not mock humility here, but sincere appreciation of the sins of his life (cf. Romans 7:24) as a persecutor of the church of God (Galatians 1:13), of men and even women (Acts 22:4.; Acts 26:11). He had sad memories of those days. [source]
Chief [ειμι]
Not ελαχιστος των αποστολων — ēn (I was), but τωι ελαχιστοτερωι παντων αγιων — eimi (I am). “It is not easy to think of any one but St. Paul as penning these words” (White). In 1 Corinthians 15:9 he had called himself “the least of the apostles” In Ephesians 3:8 he refers to himself as “the less than the least of all saints” On occasion Paul would defend himself as on a par with the twelve apostles (Galatians 2:6-10) and superior to the Judaizers (2 Corinthians 11:5.; 2 Corinthians 12:11). It is not mock humility here, but sincere appreciation of the sins of his life (cf. Romans 7:24) as a persecutor of the church of God (Galatians 1:13), of men and even women (Acts 22:4.; Acts 26:11). He had sad memories of those days. [source]
This is a faithful saying [πιστὸς ὁ λόγος]
Better, faithful is the saying. A favorite phrase in these Epistles. oP. See 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11; Titus 3:8. [source]
Worthy of all acceptation [πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος]
The phrase only here and 1 Timothy 4:9. Ἁποδοχή Pastoolxx. Comp. Acts 2:41, ἀποδεξάμενοι τὸν λόγον receivedhis word. Πάσης all or every describes the reception of which the saying is worthy as complete and excluding all doubt. [source]
Came into the world [ἦλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον]
The phrase is unique in the Pastorals, and does not appear in Paul. It is Johannine. See John 1:9; John 3:19; John 11:27; John 12:46. [source]
To save sinners [ἁναρτωλοὺς σῶσαι]
The thought is Pauline, but not the phrase. See Luke 9:56; Luke 19:10. [source]
Chief [πρῶτος]
Or foremost. Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:9, and Ephesians 3:8. This expression is an advance on those. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for 1 Timothy 1:15

John 4:37 For herein [εν γαρ τουτωι]
In this relation between the sower and the reaper. The saying Like 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1, etc. Probably a proverb that is particularly true “One is the sower and another the reaper.” It is sad when the sower misses the joy of reaping (Job 31:8) and has only the sowing in tears (Psalm 126:5.). This may be the punishment for sin (Deuteronomy 28:30; Micah 6:15). Sometimes one reaps where he has not sown (Deuteronomy 6:11; Joshua 24:13). It is the prerogative of the Master to reap (Matthew 25:26.), but Jesus here lets the disciples share his joy. [source]
Acts 22:4 I who []
, literally. This Way (ταυτην την οδον — tautēn tēn hodon). The very term used for Christianity by Luke concerning Paul‘s persecution (Acts 9:2), which see. Here it “avoids any irritating name for the Christian body” (Furneaux) by using this Jewish terminology. Unto the death Unto death, actual death of many as Acts 26:10 shows. Both men and women (ανδρας τε και γυναικας — andras te kai gunaikas). Paul felt ashamed of this fact and it was undoubtedly in his mind when he pictured his former state as “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious (1 Timothy 1:13), the first of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). But it showed the lengths to which Paul went in his zeal for Judaism. [source]
Acts 22:4 Unto the death [αχρι τανατου]
Unto death, actual death of many as Acts 26:10 shows. Both men and women (ανδρας τε και γυναικας — andras te kai gunaikas). Paul felt ashamed of this fact and it was undoubtedly in his mind when he pictured his former state as “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious (1 Timothy 1:13), the first of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). But it showed the lengths to which Paul went in his zeal for Judaism. [source]
Acts 22:4 Both men and women [ανδρας τε και γυναικας]
Paul felt ashamed of this fact and it was undoubtedly in his mind when he pictured his former state as “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious (1 Timothy 1:13), the first of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). But it showed the lengths to which Paul went in his zeal for Judaism. [source]
Acts 9:2 That he might bring them bound [οπως δεδεμενους αγαγηι]
Final clause with οπως — hopōs (less common than ινα — hina) and aorist (effective) subjunctive (αγαγηι — agagēi reduplicated aorist of αγω — agō common verb) and perfect passive participle (δεδεμενους — dedemenous) of δεω — deō in a state of sheer helplessness like his other victims both men and women. Three times (Acts 8:3; Acts 9:2; Acts 22:4) this fact of persecuting women is mentioned as a special blot in Paul‘s cruelty (the third time by Paul himself) and one of the items in his being chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). [source]
Acts 9:2 Letters [επιστολας]
Julius Ceasar and Augustus had granted the high priest and Sanhedrin jurisdiction over Jews in foreign cities, but this central ecclesiastical authority was not always recognized in every local community outside of Judea. Paul says that he received his authority to go to Damascus from the priests (Acts 26:10) and “the estate of the elders” (Acts 22:5), that is the Sanhedrin. To Damascus (εις Δαμασκον — eis Damaskon). As if no disciples of importance (outside the apostles in Jerusalem) were left in Judea. Damascus at this time may have been under the rule of Aretas of Arabia (tributary to Rome) as it certainly was a couple of years later when Saul escaped in a basket (2 Corinthians 11:32). This old city is the most enduring in the history of the world (Knowling). It is some 150 miles Northeast from Jerusalem and watered by the river Abana from Anti-Lebanon. Here the Jews were strong in numbers (10,000 butchered by Nero later) and here some disciples had found refuge from Saul‘s persecution in Judea and still worshipped in the synagogues. Paul‘s language in Acts 26:11 seems to mean that Damascus is merely one of other “foreign cities” to which he carried the persecution. If he found Third class condition with aorist subjunctive retained after secondary tense (asked). The Way (της οδου — tēs hodou). A common method in the Acts for describing Christianity as the Way of life, absolutely as also in Acts 19:9, Acts 19:23; Acts 22:4; Acts 24:14, Acts 24:22 or the way of salvation (Acts 16:17) or the way of the Lord (Acts 18:25). It is a Jewish definition of life as in Isaiah 40:3 “the way of the Lord,” Psalm 1:6 “the way of the righteous,” “the way of the wicked.” Jesus called himself “the way” (John 14:6), the only way to the Father. The so-called Epistle of Barnabas presents the Two Ways. The North American Indians call Christianity the Jesus Road. That he might bring them bound Final clause with οπως — hopōs (less common than ινα — hina) and aorist (effective) subjunctive (αγαγηι — agagēi reduplicated aorist of αγω — agō common verb) and perfect passive participle (δεδεμενους — dedemenous) of δεω — deō in a state of sheer helplessness like his other victims both men and women. Three times (Acts 8:3; Acts 9:2; Acts 22:4) this fact of persecuting women is mentioned as a special blot in Paul‘s cruelty (the third time by Paul himself) and one of the items in his being chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). [source]
Acts 9:2 If he found [εαν ευρηι]
Third class condition with aorist subjunctive retained after secondary tense (asked). The Way (της οδου — tēs hodou). A common method in the Acts for describing Christianity as the Way of life, absolutely as also in Acts 19:9, Acts 19:23; Acts 22:4; Acts 24:14, Acts 24:22 or the way of salvation (Acts 16:17) or the way of the Lord (Acts 18:25). It is a Jewish definition of life as in Isaiah 40:3 “the way of the Lord,” Psalm 1:6 “the way of the righteous,” “the way of the wicked.” Jesus called himself “the way” (John 14:6), the only way to the Father. The so-called Epistle of Barnabas presents the Two Ways. The North American Indians call Christianity the Jesus Road. That he might bring them bound Final clause with οπως — hopōs (less common than ινα — hina) and aorist (effective) subjunctive (αγαγηι — agagēi reduplicated aorist of αγω — agō common verb) and perfect passive participle (δεδεμενους — dedemenous) of δεω — deō in a state of sheer helplessness like his other victims both men and women. Three times (Acts 8:3; Acts 9:2; Acts 22:4) this fact of persecuting women is mentioned as a special blot in Paul‘s cruelty (the third time by Paul himself) and one of the items in his being chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). [source]
Romans 7:24 Out of the body of this death [εκ του σωματος του τανατου τουτου]
So the order of words demands. See Romans 7:13 for “death” which finds a lodgment in the body (Lightfoot). If one feels that Paul has exaggerated his own condition, he has only to recall 1 Timothy 1:15 when he describes himself a chief of sinners. He dealt too honestly with himself for Pharisaic complacency to live long. [source]
1 Corinthians 15:9 The least [ο ελαχιστος]
True superlative, not elative. Explanation of the strong word εκτρωμα — ektrōma just used. See note on Ephesians 3:8 where he calls himself “less than the least of all saints” and 1 Timothy 1:15 the “chief” (πρωτος — prōtos) of sinners. Yet under attack from the Judaizers Paul stood up for his rank as equal to any apostle (2 Corinthians 11:5., 2 Corinthians 11:23). [source]
2 Corinthians 12:11 For I ought to have been commended by you [εγω γαρ ωπειλον υπ υμων συνιστασται]
Explanation of “ye compelled me.” Imperfect active ωπειλον — ōpheilon of οπειλω — opheilō to be under obligation, and the tense here expresses an unfulfilled obligation about the present. But συνιστασται — sunistasthai is present passive infinitive, not aorist or perfect passive. He literally means, “I ought now to be commended by you” instead of having to glorify myself. He repeats his boast already made (2 Corinthians 11:5.), that he is no whit behind “the super-extra apostles” (the Judaizers), “though I am nothing” Even boasting himself against those false apostles causes a reaction of feeling that he has to express (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:9; 1 Timothy 1:15.). [source]
1 Timothy 3:16 Lit. confessedly . N.T.o The mystery of godliness [τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον]
(a) The connection of thought is with the truth (1 Timothy 3:15), and the words mystery of godliness are a paraphrase of that word. The church is the pillar and stay of the truth, and the truth constitutes the mystery of godliness. (b) The contents of this truth or mystery is Christ, revealed in the gospel as the Savior from ungodliness, the norm and inspiration of godliness, the divine life in man, causing him to live unto God as Christ did and does (Romans 6:10). See 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 2:5; Colossians 1:26, Colossians 1:27. According to the Fourth Gospel, Christ is himself the truth (John 14:6). The mystery of godliness is the substance of piety = mystery of the faith (1 Timothy 3:9). (c) The truth is called a mystery because it was, historically, hidden, until revealed in the person and work of Christ; also because it is concealed from human wisdom, and apprehended only by faith in the revelation of God through Christ. (d) The genitive, of godliness, is possessive. The mystery of godliness is the truth which pertains or belongs to godliness. It is not the property of worldly wisdom. Great ( μέγα ) means important, weighty, as Ephesians 5:32. [source]
1 Timothy 3:16 Without controversy [ὁμολογουμένως]
Lit. confessedly. N.T.oThe mystery of godliness ( τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον )(a) The connection of thought is with the truth (1 Timothy 3:15), and the words mystery of godliness are a paraphrase of that word. The church is the pillar and stay of the truth, and the truth constitutes the mystery of godliness. (b) The contents of this truth or mystery is Christ, revealed in the gospel as the Savior from ungodliness, the norm and inspiration of godliness, the divine life in man, causing him to live unto God as Christ did and does (Romans 6:10). See 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 2:5; Colossians 1:26, Colossians 1:27. According to the Fourth Gospel, Christ is himself the truth (John 14:6). The mystery of godliness is the substance of piety = mystery of the faith (1 Timothy 3:9). (c) The truth is called a mystery because it was, historically, hidden, until revealed in the person and work of Christ; also because it is concealed from human wisdom, and apprehended only by faith in the revelation of God through Christ. (d) The genitive, of godliness, is possessive. The mystery of godliness is the truth which pertains or belongs to godliness. It is not the property of worldly wisdom. Great ( μέγα ) means important, weighty, as Ephesians 5:32. [source]
1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying [πιστὸς ὁ λόγος]
Better, faithful is the saying. See on 1 Timothy 1:15. [source]
1 Timothy 2:3 Acceptable [ἀπόδεκτον]
PastoCompare ἀποδοχή acceptation 1 Timothy 1:15, and Paul's εὐρόσδεκτος acceptable Romans 15:16, Romans 15:31; 2 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Corinthians 7:12. [source]
1 Timothy 1:1 Our Savior [σωτῆρος ἡμῶν]
Comp. Luke 1:47; Judges 1:25. oP. Six times in the Pastorals. Used of both God and Christ (see Titus 1:3, Titus 1:4; Titus 2:10, Titus 2:13; Titus 3:4, Titus 3:6). The saving of men appears as God's direct will and act, 1 Timothy 2:4; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9as Christ's work, 1 Timothy 1:15, comp. 2 Timothy 2:10. In lxx σωτὴρ occurs twenty times, and in all but two instances, of God. [source]
1 Timothy 1:15 Faithful is the saying [πιστος ο λογος]
Five times in the Pastorals (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; Titus 3:8; 2 Timothy 2:11). It will pay to note carefully πιστισ πιστευω πιστος — pistisπιστος — pisteuōλογος — pistos Same use of οτι — pistos (trustworthy) applied to αποδοχης — logos in Titus 1:9; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6. Here and probably in 2 Timothy 2:11 a definite saying seems to be referred to, possibly a quotation (αχιος — hoti) of a current saying quite like the Johannine type of teaching. This very phrase (Christ coming into the world) occurs in John 9:37; John 11:27; John 16:28; John 18:37. Paul, of course, had no access to the Johannine writings, but such “sayings” were current among the disciples. There is no formal quotation, but “the whole phrase implies a knowledge of Synoptic and Johannine language” (Lock) as in Luke 5:32; John 12:47. [source]
1 Timothy 1:16 In me as chief [εν εμοι πρωτωι]
Probably starts with the same sense of πρωτος — prōtos as in 1 Timothy 1:15 (rank), but turns to order (first in line). Paul becomes the “specimen” sinner as an encouragement to all who come after him. [source]
1 Timothy 3:1 Faithful is the saying [πιστος ο λογος]
Here the phrase points to the preceding words (not like 1 Timothy 1:15) and should close the preceding paragraph. [source]
1 Timothy 3:16 Believed on in the world [επιστευτη εν κοσμωι]
First aorist indicative passive again of πιστευω — pisteuō to believe (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Cf. 1 Timothy 1:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19. [source]
1 Timothy 4:9  []
See note on 1 Timothy 1:15 for these very words, but here the phrase points to the preceding words, not to the following as there. [source]
1 Timothy 3:16 Great [μεγα]
See note on Ephesians 5:32. “A great mystery.” The mystery of godliness (το της ευσεβειας μυστηριον — to tēs eusebeias mustērion). See 1 Timothy 3:9 “the mystery of the faith,” and 1 Timothy 2:2 for ευσεβεια — eusebeia Here the phrase explains “a pillar and stay of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). See in particular 1 Corinthians 1:27. “The revealed secret of true religion, the mystery of Christianity, the Person of Christ” (Lock). He who The correct text, not τεος — theos (God) the reading of the Textus Receptus (Syrian text) nor ο — ho (neuter relative, agreeing with μυστηριον — mustērion) the reading of the Western documents. Westcott and Hort print this relative clause as a fragment of a Christian hymn (like Ephesians 5:14) in six strophes. That is probably correct. At any rate ος — hos (who) is correct and there is asyndeton (no connective) in the verbs. Christ, to whom ος — hos refers, is the mystery (Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:2). Was manifested (επανερωτη — ephanerōthē). First aorist passive indicative of πανεροω — phaneroō to manifest. Here used to describe the incarnation (εν σαρκι — en sarki) of Christ (an answer also to the Docetic Gnostics). The verb is used by Paul elsewhere of the incarnation (Romans 16:26; Colossians 1:26) as well as of the second coming (Colossians 3:4). Justified in the spirit First aorist passive indicative of δικαιοω — dikaioō to declare righteous, to vindicate. Christ was vindicated in his own spirit (Hebrews 9:14) before men by overcoming death and rising from the dead (Romans 1:3.). Seen of angels (ωπτη αγγελοις — ōphthē aggelois). First aorist passive indicative of οραω — horaō to see, with either the instrumental or the dative case of angels (αγγελοις — aggelois). The words were probably suggested by the appearance of Jesus (ωπτη — ōphthē the usual form for the resurrection appearances of Christ) of the angels at the tomb and at the ascension of Christ. See note on Philemon 2:10; 1 Peter 3:22 for the appearance of Jesus to the angels in heaven at the ascension. Some would take “angels” here to be “messengers” (the women). Preached among the nations First aorist passive indicative of κηρυσσω — kērussō to proclaim. The word ετνος — ethnos may mean “all creation” (Colossians 1:23) and not just Gentiles as distinct from Jews. Paul had done more of this heralding of Christ among the Gentiles than any one else. It was his glory (Ephesians 3:1, Ephesians 3:8). Cf. 1 Timothy 2:7. Believed on in the world (επιστευτη εν κοσμωι — episteuthē en kosmōi). First aorist indicative passive again of πιστευω — pisteuō to believe (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Cf. 1 Timothy 1:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19. Received up in glory First aorist passive again (six verbs in the same voice and tense in succession, a rhythmic arrangement like a hymn). Cf. Romans 8:29. This time the verb is αναλαμβανω — analambanō the verb used of the ascension (Acts 1:11, Acts 1:22, which see). In a wonderful way this stanza of a hymn presents the outline of the life of Christ. [source]
1 Timothy 3:16 He who [ος]
The correct text, not τεος — theos (God) the reading of the Textus Receptus (Syrian text) nor ο — ho (neuter relative, agreeing with μυστηριον — mustērion) the reading of the Western documents. Westcott and Hort print this relative clause as a fragment of a Christian hymn (like Ephesians 5:14) in six strophes. That is probably correct. At any rate ος — hos (who) is correct and there is asyndeton (no connective) in the verbs. Christ, to whom ος — hos refers, is the mystery (Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:2). Was manifested (επανερωτη — ephanerōthē). First aorist passive indicative of πανεροω — phaneroō to manifest. Here used to describe the incarnation (εν σαρκι — en sarki) of Christ (an answer also to the Docetic Gnostics). The verb is used by Paul elsewhere of the incarnation (Romans 16:26; Colossians 1:26) as well as of the second coming (Colossians 3:4). Justified in the spirit First aorist passive indicative of δικαιοω — dikaioō to declare righteous, to vindicate. Christ was vindicated in his own spirit (Hebrews 9:14) before men by overcoming death and rising from the dead (Romans 1:3.). Seen of angels (ωπτη αγγελοις — ōphthē aggelois). First aorist passive indicative of οραω — horaō to see, with either the instrumental or the dative case of angels (αγγελοις — aggelois). The words were probably suggested by the appearance of Jesus (ωπτη — ōphthē the usual form for the resurrection appearances of Christ) of the angels at the tomb and at the ascension of Christ. See note on Philemon 2:10; 1 Peter 3:22 for the appearance of Jesus to the angels in heaven at the ascension. Some would take “angels” here to be “messengers” (the women). Preached among the nations First aorist passive indicative of κηρυσσω — kērussō to proclaim. The word ετνος — ethnos may mean “all creation” (Colossians 1:23) and not just Gentiles as distinct from Jews. Paul had done more of this heralding of Christ among the Gentiles than any one else. It was his glory (Ephesians 3:1, Ephesians 3:8). Cf. 1 Timothy 2:7. Believed on in the world (επιστευτη εν κοσμωι — episteuthē en kosmōi). First aorist indicative passive again of πιστευω — pisteuō to believe (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Cf. 1 Timothy 1:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19. Received up in glory First aorist passive again (six verbs in the same voice and tense in succession, a rhythmic arrangement like a hymn). Cf. Romans 8:29. This time the verb is αναλαμβανω — analambanō the verb used of the ascension (Acts 1:11, Acts 1:22, which see). In a wonderful way this stanza of a hymn presents the outline of the life of Christ. [source]
1 Timothy 3:16 Justified in the spirit [εδικαιωτη εν πνευματι]
First aorist passive indicative of δικαιοω — dikaioō to declare righteous, to vindicate. Christ was vindicated in his own spirit (Hebrews 9:14) before men by overcoming death and rising from the dead (Romans 1:3.). Seen of angels (ωπτη αγγελοις — ōphthē aggelois). First aorist passive indicative of οραω — horaō to see, with either the instrumental or the dative case of angels (αγγελοις — aggelois). The words were probably suggested by the appearance of Jesus (ωπτη — ōphthē the usual form for the resurrection appearances of Christ) of the angels at the tomb and at the ascension of Christ. See note on Philemon 2:10; 1 Peter 3:22 for the appearance of Jesus to the angels in heaven at the ascension. Some would take “angels” here to be “messengers” (the women). Preached among the nations First aorist passive indicative of κηρυσσω — kērussō to proclaim. The word ετνος — ethnos may mean “all creation” (Colossians 1:23) and not just Gentiles as distinct from Jews. Paul had done more of this heralding of Christ among the Gentiles than any one else. It was his glory (Ephesians 3:1, Ephesians 3:8). Cf. 1 Timothy 2:7. Believed on in the world (επιστευτη εν κοσμωι — episteuthē en kosmōi). First aorist indicative passive again of πιστευω — pisteuō to believe (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Cf. 1 Timothy 1:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19. Received up in glory First aorist passive again (six verbs in the same voice and tense in succession, a rhythmic arrangement like a hymn). Cf. Romans 8:29. This time the verb is αναλαμβανω — analambanō the verb used of the ascension (Acts 1:11, Acts 1:22, which see). In a wonderful way this stanza of a hymn presents the outline of the life of Christ. [source]
1 Timothy 3:16 Preached among the nations [εκηρυχτη εν ετνεσιν]
First aorist passive indicative of κηρυσσω — kērussō to proclaim. The word ετνος — ethnos may mean “all creation” (Colossians 1:23) and not just Gentiles as distinct from Jews. Paul had done more of this heralding of Christ among the Gentiles than any one else. It was his glory (Ephesians 3:1, Ephesians 3:8). Cf. 1 Timothy 2:7. Believed on in the world (επιστευτη εν κοσμωι — episteuthē en kosmōi). First aorist indicative passive again of πιστευω — pisteuō to believe (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Cf. 1 Timothy 1:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19. Received up in glory First aorist passive again (six verbs in the same voice and tense in succession, a rhythmic arrangement like a hymn). Cf. Romans 8:29. This time the verb is αναλαμβανω — analambanō the verb used of the ascension (Acts 1:11, Acts 1:22, which see). In a wonderful way this stanza of a hymn presents the outline of the life of Christ. [source]
2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying []
Better, faithful is the saying. See on 1 Timothy 1:15. It refers to what precedes - the eternal glory of those who are raised with Christ (2 Timothy 2:8) which stimulates to endurance of sufferings for the gospel. [source]
2 Timothy 2:11 Faithful is the saying [πιστος ο λογος]
The saying which follows here though it can refer to the preceding as in 1 Timothy 4:9. See note on 1 Timothy 1:15. It is possible that from here to the end of 2 Timothy 2:13 we have the fragment of an early hymn. There are four conditions in these verses (2 Timothy 2:11), all of the first class, assumed to be true. Parallels to the ideas here expressed are found in 2 Thessalonians 1:5; Romans 6:3-8; 2 Corinthians 7:3; 1 Corinthians 4:8; Colossians 3:1-4. Note the compounds with συν — sun For υπομενομεν — hupomenomen (we endure) see note on 1 Corinthians 13:7 and for απιστουμεν — apistoumen (we are faithless) see note on Romans 3:3. The verb αρνεομαι — arneomai to deny Here in 2 Timothy 2:13 it has the notion of proving false to oneself, a thing that Christ “cannot” (ου δυναται — ou dunatai) do. [source]
Titus 1:9 The faithful word [του πιστου λογου]
See note on 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 6:3; Romans 16:17. Some would see a reference here to Christ as the Personal Logos. That he may be able (ινα δυνατος ηι — hina dunatos ēi). Final clause with present active subjunctive. Paul several times uses δυνατος ειμι — dunatos eimi in the sense of δυναμαι — dunamai with infinitive as here (Romans 4:21; Romans 11:23; 2 Timothy 1:12). The gainsayers Present active participle of αντιλεγω — antilegō old word, to answer back, as in Romans 10:21. “The talkers back.” [source]
Titus 1:9 The faithful word [τοῦ πιστοῦ λόγου]
The trustworthy, reliable word. Comp. 1 Timothy 1:15(note). [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Timothy 1:15 mean?

Trustworthy [is] the saying and of full acceptance worthy that Christ Jesus came into the world sinners to save of whom [the] foremost am I
Πιστὸς λόγος καὶ πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος ὅτι Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς ἦλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἁμαρτωλοὺς σῶσαι ὧν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ

Πιστὸς  Trustworthy  [is] 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: πιστός  
Sense: trusty, faithful.
λόγος  saying 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: λόγος  
Sense: of speech.
πάσης  of  full 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: πᾶς  
Sense: individually.
ἀποδοχῆς  acceptance 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: ἀποδοχή  
Sense: reception, admission, acceptance, approbation.
ἄξιος  worthy 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἄξιος  
Sense: weighing, having weight, having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much.
ὅτι  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
Χριστὸς  Christ 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Χριστός  
Sense: Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God.
Ἰησοῦς  Jesus 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰησοῦς  
Sense: Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor.
ἦλθεν  came 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.
εἰς  into 
Parse: Preposition
Root: εἰς  
Sense: into, unto, to, towards, for, among.
κόσμον  world 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: κόσμος  
Sense: an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government.
ἁμαρτωλοὺς  sinners 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: ἁμαρτωλός  
Sense: devoted to sin, a sinner.
σῶσαι  to  save 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: ἐκσῴζω 
Sense: to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.
ὧν  of  whom 
Parse: Personal / Relative Pronoun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: ὅς 
Sense: who, which, what, that.
πρῶτός  [the]  foremost 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: πρῶτος  
Sense: first in time or place.