“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith”
(1 Timothy 1:3-4, ESV)
When I first read 1 and 2 Timothy, I thought that Timothy was a senior pastor. I was wrong. Timothy is not to be thought of in the same capacity as modern-day pastor. The church at Ephesus already had elders who were in charge of the work there (read Acts 19:17-38). Timothy was rather Paul’s personal representative to give direction and instruction to the church at Ephesus and surrounding churches (when I read the New Testament, it seems like there are at least two churches at Ephesus). So, one of the main reasons the apostle Paul wanted Timothy to stay in Ephesus was to counteract the teaching of those who were teaching “different doctrine” or “other doctrine.” These individuals are not named as are in 1 Timothy 1:20 but are simply referred to as “certain persons.”
In Acts 20:18-31, Paul had warned the Ephesian elders: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.” So here, Timothy is to warn them again that they are to stop these false teachers (“fierce wolves”) to “not to teach any different doctrine” (same words used in Galatians 1:6-7). Warn and stop them Timothy!
For the child of God – especially, Bible teachers – faithfulness to the doctrine of the Word of God is not optional. This “different doctrine” didn’t and won’t bring sinners to salvation or edify the believers. It only sparkled curiosity and people pursue for “myths” and “endless genealogies.” Historically, the Jews have been guilty of allegorizing much of the Old Testament, adding stories and taking some of the genealogical lists in the Old Testament and adding names with symbolic meanings (Google Jewish Mythology). I have a Good News Bible with Deuterocanonical or Apocrypha books in it such as the story of the prophet Daniel, Bel and the Dragon! A bunch of myths! How many false cults and heresies have been started in our day by exactly the same means (the Bible taught God the Mother? Lucifer is Jesus’s brother? Muhammad is the seal of the Old and New Testament prophets?). People are fascinated by some new, wild speculations and yet remain ignorant of the Gospel of the saving grace of God.
All such nonsenses only lead people to more and more questions and devotions. Distracted and majoring in minor things. They do not result in the “stewardship from God that is by faith” or “godly edifying which is in faith” (KJV). Rather than being occupied with Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word, they are occupied with various side issues. Paul says that we have been made stewards of the mysteries of God and we are required to be found faithful to that stewardship (read 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, I remember Steve Green’s song Find Us Faithful). The “different doctrine” in Ephesus and the curious myths of the Bible today must be put to stop!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.