1 Tim. 3:15 KJV (With Strong’s)

de (Greek #1161)
but, and, etc.
KJV usage: also, and, but, moreover, now (often unexpressed in English).
Pronounce: deh
Origin: a primary particle (adversative or continuative)
ean (Greek #1437)
a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty
KJV usage: before, but, except, (and) if, (if) so, (what-, whither-)soever, though, when (-soever), whether (or), to whom, (who-)so(-ever). See 3361.
Pronounce: eh-an'
Origin: from 1487 and 302
I tarry long
braduno (Greek #1019)
to delay
KJV usage: be slack, tarry.
Pronounce: brad-oo'-no
Origin: from 1021
, that
hina (Greek #2443)
in order that (denoting the purpose or the result)
KJV usage: albeit, because, to the intent (that), lest, so as, (so) that, (for) to. Compare 3363.
Pronounce: hin'-ah
Origin: probably from the same as the former part of 1438 (through the demonstrative idea; compare 3588)
thou mayest know
eido (Greek #1492)
used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent 3700 and 3708; properly, to see (literally or figuratively); by implication, (in the perfect tense only) to know
KJV usage: be aware, behold, X can (+ not tell), consider, (have) know(-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wish, wot. Compare 3700.
Pronounce: i'-do
Origin: a primary verb
pos (Greek #4459)
an interrogative particle of manner; in what way? (sometimes the question is indirect, how?); also as exclamation, how much!
KJV usage: how, after (by) what manner (means), that. (Occasionally unexpressed in English).
Pronounce: poce
Origin: adverb from the base of 4226
thou oughtest
dei (Greek #1163)
also δέον (deh-on'); neuter active participle of the same; both used impersonally; it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding)
KJV usage: behoved, be meet, must (needs), (be) need(-ful), ought, should.
Pronounce: die
Origin: 3d person singular active present of 1210
to behave thyself
anastrepho (Greek #390)
to overturn; also to return; by implication, to busy oneself, i.e. remain, live
KJV usage: abide, behave self, have conversation, live, overthrow, pass, return, be used.
Pronounce: an-as-tref'-o
Origin: from 303 and 4762
en (Greek #1722)
"in," at, (up-)on, by, etc.
KJV usage: about, after, against, + almost, X altogether, among, X as, at, before, between, (here-)by (+ all means), for (... sake of), + give self wholly to, (here-)in(-to, -wardly), X mightily, (because) of, (up-)on, (open-)ly, X outwardly, one, X quickly, X shortly, (speedi-)ly, X that, X there(-in, -on), through(-out), (un-)to(-ward), under, when, where(-with), while, with(-in). Often used in compounds, with substantially the same import; rarely with verbs of motion, and then not to indicate direction, except (elliptically) by a separate (and different) preposition.
Pronounce: en
Origin: a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between 1519 and 1537)
the house
oikos (Greek #3624)
a dwelling (more or less extensive, literal or figurative); by implication, a family (more or less related, literally or figuratively)
KJV usage: home, house(-hold), temple.
Pronounce: oy'-kos
Origin: of uncertain affinity
w of God
theos (Greek #2316)
a deity, especially (with 3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very
KJV usage: X exceeding, God, god(-ly, -ward).
Pronounce: theh'-os
Origin: of uncertain affinity
, which
hostis (Greek #3748)
which some, i.e. any that; also (definite) which same
KJV usage: X and (they), (such) as, (they) that, in that they, what(-soever), whereas ye, (they) which, who(-soever). Compare 3754.
Pronounce: hos'-tis
Origin: ἥτις (hay'-tis), and the neuter ὅτι (hot'-ee) from 3739 and 5100
esti (Greek #2076)
he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are
KJV usage: are, be(-long), call, X can(-not), come, consisteth, X dure for a while, + follow, X have, (that) is (to say), make, meaneth, X must needs, + profit, + remaineth, + wrestle.
Pronounce: es-tee'
Origin: third person singular present indicative of 1510
the church
ekklesia (Greek #1577)
a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both)
KJV usage: assembly, church.
Pronounce: ek-klay-see'-ah
Origin: from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564
of the living
zao (Greek #2198)
to live (literally or figuratively)
KJV usage: life(-time), (a-)live(-ly), quick.
Pronounce: dzah'-o
Origin: a primary verb
theos (Greek #2316)
a deity, especially (with 3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very
KJV usage: X exceeding, God, god(-ly, -ward).
Pronounce: theh'-os
Origin: of uncertain affinity
, the pillar
stulos (Greek #4769)
a post ("style"), i.e. (figuratively) support
KJV usage: pillar.
Pronounce: stoo'-los
Origin: from στύω (to stiffen; properly akin to the base of 2476)
kai (Greek #2532)
and, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words
KJV usage: and, also, both, but, even, for, if, or, so, that, then, therefore, when, yet.
Pronounce: kahee
Origin: apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force
hedraioma (Greek #1477)
a support, i.e. (figuratively) basis
KJV usage: ground.
Pronounce: hed-rah'-yo-mah
Origin: from a derivative of 1476
of the truth
ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
aletheia (Greek #225)
KJV usage: true, X truly, truth, verity.
Pronounce: al-ay'-thi-a
Origin: from 227

Cross References


Ministry on This Verse

1 Tim. 3:2• 2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; (1 Tim. 3:2)
Deut. 31:23• 23And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee. (Deut. 31:23)
1 Kings 2:2,4• 2I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man;
4That the Lord may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
(1 Kings 2:2,4)
1 Chron. 22:13• 13Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed. (1 Chron. 22:13)
1 Chron. 28:9‑21• 9And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
10Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.
11Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlors thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
12And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
13Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the Lord.
14He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:
15Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.
16And by weight he gave gold for the tables of showbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
17Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basons he gave gold by weight for every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of silver:
18And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
19All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
20And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.
21And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.
(1 Chron. 28:9‑21)
Acts 1:2• 2Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: (Acts 1:2)
the house.
the church.
the living.
1 Tim. 4:10• 10For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. (1 Tim. 4:10)
1 Tim. 6:16• 16Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Tim. 6:16)
Deut. 5:26• 26For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? (Deut. 5:26)
Josh. 3:10• 10And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites. (Josh. 3:10)
1 Sam. 17:26,36• 26And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
36Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
(1 Sam. 17:26,36)
2 Kings 19:4• 4It may be the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left. (2 Kings 19:4)
Psa. 42:2• 2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Psa. 42:2)
Psa. 84:2• 2My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. (Psa. 84:2)
Jer. 10:10• 10But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. (Jer. 10:10)
Jer. 23:36• 36And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God. (Jer. 23:36)
Dan. 6:26• 26I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. (Dan. 6:26)
Hos. 1:10• 10Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. (Hos. 1:10)
Matt. 16:16• 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matt. 16:16)
John 6:69• 69And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:69)
Acts 14:15• 15And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: (Acts 14:15)
Rom. 9:26• 26And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. (Rom. 9:26)
2 Cor. 3:3• 3Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. (2 Cor. 3:3)
2 Cor. 6:16• 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Cor. 6:16)
1 Thess. 1:9• 9For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; (1 Thess. 1:9)
Heb. 3:12• 12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (Heb. 3:12)
Heb. 9:14• 14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb. 9:14)
Heb. 12:22• 22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (Heb. 12:22)
Rev. 7:2• 2And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, (Rev. 7:2)
the pillar.
or, stay.
the truth.
 "the pillar and base" As long as the Assembly is on earth, it is the witness to, and support of, the truth. (The Order of God's House by H. Smith)
 {The assembly} is the house of God. God dwells in it upon the earth (compare Ephesians 2:22). We understand that it is here viewed as on the earth, because the Apostle is speaking of how to behave in it. But this truth is important. It gives a character to the assembly of the highest importance for us with regard to our responsibility. (1 Timothy 3 by J.N. Darby)
 Truth exists before the assembly; it is faith in the truth which gathers the assembly together. But the assembly is that which maintains the truth on earth. But the assembly does not teach. Teachers teach the assembly, but by faithfulness in holding fast the truth taught, it sustains it in the world. When the assembly is gone, men will be given up to a strong delusion. (1 Timothy 3 by J.N. Darby)
 The assembly as planted by God on the earth is the pillar and support of the truth. Authority is not the question here, but the maintenance and presentation of the truth. (1 Timothy 3 by J.N. Darby)
 We are told that the House of God is "the Assembly of the living God". It is no longer a building of material stones, as in the Old Testament days, but a company of living stones-believers. It is formed of all believers living on earth at any given moment. No local Assembly is ever called the House of God. (The Order of God's House by H. Smith)
 The "pillar" presents the thought of witness; the "base" is that which supports. The House of God is not said to be the truth, but the "pillar" or witness of the truth. Christ on earth was "the truth" (John 14:6). (The Order of God's House by H. Smith)
 On what then is God's house based? On redemption. Hence as Exodus is pre-eminently the book of redemption, it is precisely that book of the Old Testament which first and most fully treats of God's house. (On 1 Timothy 3:14-15 by W. Kelly)
 But the apostle adds "which" (or "seeing that it") "is a living God's assembly." This description gives great force to God's house, and in direct contrast with a dead idol, the boast and shame of all Gentiles everywhere. (On 1 Timothy 3:14-15 by W. Kelly)
 But the point above all remains-not what they are, but what He is. It is His assembly: let them never forget it. (On 1 Timothy 3:14-15 by W. Kelly)
 Christ is the truth, and so is the written word, as well as the Spirit. They are the- truth, either objectively, or in power. But the assembly is the pillar on which the truth is inscribed and upheld before the world which believes not in Christ, receives not the word, and neither sees nor knows the Holy Spirit. (On 1 Timothy 3:14-15 by W. Kelly)
 The assembly, or church, of God then is in no way the truth, but its responsible witness and support on the earth before all men. Not the church but Christ is the standard and expression of what God is, and of man and all else, as revealed in Holy Writ, the one daily and perfect rule of faith, the word that abides forever. So far from being before the word, so as to formulate the truth, it was the word making known Christ which the Spirit of God used to quicken and fashion those who compose the church. Thus to the truth the church in God's grace owes its being; without the truth, or rather abandoning it (for, to be the church, the truth must have been possessed and maintained), the faithless church becomes not null only but the special object of divine judgment. (On 1 Timothy 3:16 by W. Kelly)

J. N. Darby Translation

but if I delay, in order that thou mayest know how one ought to conduct oneself in God’s house, which is the assembly of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth.

W. Kelly Translation

abut if I should tarry, that thou mayest know how one ought to behave in God’s house, seeing it is a living God’s assembly, pillar and groundwork of the truth.

WK Translation Notes

one: All the English versions, from Wiclif to the Authorized refer the call to Timothy only and his personal duty. I cannot agree with the Revisers that the application is purposely left more general. Perhaps however "how men ought to behave themselves" is hardly so happy as "how one ought to behave oneself." It seems too vague, even as preceding English Versions are rather too limited. (Exp. of the Two Epist. to Timothy, p.66)
pillar and groundwork of the truth ^: There is not a single good reason to sever the last clause from the assembly, and to connect it with "the mystery of godliness," as is done chiefly by Germans of the 17th and 18th centuries (including even Bengel). Not only do I agree with Alford and Ellicott in their rejection of a dislocation so abrupt and artificial, but I maintain that it would strip the assembly of its essential place which is here defined, and that it would detract from, instead of adding to, the true dignity of the "mystery of godliness." It is a construction therefore burdened with almost every conceivable objection, without one genuine merit, and in my judgment the offspring of not ignorance only but deplorably low and wrong views of the church's place and duty here below. Scarcely better is the reference to Timothy as made by some ancients and moderns. To the assembly alone is the true application. (Exp. of the Two Epist. to Timothy, p.70)
pillar and groundwork of the truth ^: [Q.—1 Timothy 3:15-16. Is there any good ground from a critical point of view for the following reading of this passage?
"But if I delay, in order that thou mayest know how one ought to conduct oneself in God's house, which is a living God's assembly".
"Pillar and base of the truth and confessedly great is the mystery of godliness, the which was manifested in flesh, was justified in [the] Spirit, was seen of angels, was preached among Gentiles, was believed on in [the] world, was received up in glory." [The rendering has been made more exact to avoid repetition and discussion save at the beginning of ver. 16. Ed. B.T.]
It is contended by the adherents to this new rendering that the history of the church has proved that it has not abode in the truth, much less can it be said to be the pillar and base of the truth! and that it is a relief to find that the scripture does not say it is, as has been universally supposed... Th. R.]
A.—It is a mistake to consider this clumsy, crooked and wholly unjustifiable form of taking the first clause of ver. 16 as a "new rendering"; for so understood several Protestants, for the most part of dubious faith, as Er. Schmid, Limborch, LeClerc, Schöttgen, Rosenm.(the elder), Heinrich, etc., etc. I do not wonder at Dean Alford's saying "if any one imagines St. Paul... able to have indited such a sentence," it were useless to argue with him. "To say nothing of its abruptness and harshness, beyond all example even in these Epistles, how palpably does it betray the botching of modern conjectural arrangement in the wretched anticlimax!... If a sentence like this occurred in the Epistle, I should feel it a weightier argument against its genuineness than any which its opponents have yet adduced.”
Only less tenable is the absurdity of understanding Timothy (and behind him Paul and the other apostles) as "pillar and basement of the truth.”
There is no real difficulty in referring it to God's church, which is not the truth, but pillar and basement of the truth responsibly on the earth. Christ is the truth engraven as it were on that pillar here below.... Still less difficulty is there in applying the mystery of godliness to Christ's concrete person... So far is the notion of making the church part of the "mystery of godliness" that it would import wholesale and deadly error. It is "who," not "which" as the church is. (Bible Treasury N6:48)