The Seriousness of the Charge
1 Therefore I solemnly charge you . . .
An Emphatic Declaration. The word “charge” (v. 1) is from the verb, diamarturomai, which denotes, to “testify (unto), witness.”114 It is a legal term used when a witness gives testimony under oath.115 The verb is “a strengthened form of marturomai (dia, ‘through,’ intensive). . . [and] signifies to testify through and through, bear a solemn witness; hence, ‘to charge earnestly,’ 1 Tim. 5:21; 2 Tim. 2:14; 4:1.”116 It means “’to declare emphatically’ (in admonition).”117 Albert Barnes defined it, “To affirm with solemn attestations; and then to admonish solemnly, to urge upon earnestly.”118
The verb form of “charge” is present indicative. The present indicative asserts continuing action in the present time. The voice is middle/passive deponent.119 Deponent verbs are passive in form, but active in meaning.120 It shows the subject as performing the action. Thus, Paul was saying, “I testify, declare, and urge continually.”
A Directive to Follow. MacArthur notes that the Greek “has the idea of issuing a forceful order or directive (cf. 2:14; 1 Tim. 1:18; 5:21).”121 Thus, the charge is not merely a suggestion to discuss or an option to consider. Rather, it is a directive to follow.
It indicates the full weight of apostolic authority of such a charge122—“I charge you.” It concerns a subject matter of great importance.123 Paul wants young Timothy to see the seriousness of his ministry, not just for himself, but also for his hearers, and most of all, to God Himself. Hence, every preacher of the Word must follow it, if he will be a faithful man of God.
114 Strong, Strong’s Greek Dictionary in Power Bible CD. See 1 Thess. 4:6 and 1 Tim. 5:21 for the same Greek word.
115 Gadiel T. Isidro, Isidro Annotated New Testament (Cebu: n.p., 2005), 388.
116 Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, 96.
117 TDNT, s. v. “martyromai, dia-, promartyromai” by H. Strathmann.
118 Albert Barnes, Albert Barnes’ New Testament Commentary in Power BibleCD.
119 Friberg and Friberg, Analytical in Bible Windows CD.
120 Gadiel T. Isidro, “Greek I,” (Class Notes, El Theological Seminary, Cebu City, n. d.), 12.
121 MacArthur, MacArthur, 1880.
122 William Burkitt, William Burkitt’s Notes on the New Testament in Power Bible CD.
123 Barnes, Barnes’ Commentary in Power Bible CD.