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Paul wrote to Timothy in his first letter to him:

Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. -1 Timothy 4:14

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul says something similar:

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. -2 Timothy 1:6

My question is: What is Paul referring to in 1 Tim. 4:14?

There are three things I'd like the answer to address:

  • Is 2 Tim. 1:6 a parallel to 1 Tim. 4:14? That is, do they refer to the same "gift" and the same "laying on of hands" event? I ask because this could affect our interpretation of 1 Tim. 4:14.

  • What "spiritual gift" is Paul referring to in 1 Tim. 4:14?

  • What "laying on of hands" is Paul referring to in 1 Tim. 4:14? Is this just referring to the baptism in the Spirit and a gift that came as a result, or is there reason to believe this was a subsequent event to the initial impartation/baptism of the Spirit?

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Please note that I am asking this on BH.SE intentionally. I am looking for an explanation from exegesis -- not from church doctrine –  Jas 3.1 Jun 24 '13 at 18:32
    
The gift refers to the permanant mark on his soul each priest recieves on his ordination. Paul is ordaining Timothy with the sacrament of Holy Orders, making him part of the ministerial priesthood which is preserved today through the laying on of hands –  Paul Mar 4 at 0:50
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2 Answers

As to your first question:

Is 2 Tim. 1:6 a parallel to 1 Tim. 4:14? That is, do they refer to the same "gift" and the same "laying on of hands" event?

According to the several Bibles and commentaries I've examined, yes.


As to your second question:

What "spiritual gift" is Paul referring to in 1 Tim. 4:14?

Ignatius (Epistle to the Ephesians 13, ca. 107 CE) apparently believed that spiritual gift meant being:

  1. a follower of "the love of God towards man" and
  2. "stirring up yourselves by the blood of Christ".

Codices Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus, and Greek New Testaments (GNT's) N-A27, and N-A28 identify that spiritual gift as ΧΑΡΙΣΜΑΤΟΣ (χαρισματος / charismatos at 1 Tim. 4:14) and ΧΑΡΙΣΜΑ (χαρισμα / charisma at 2 Tim. 1:6) with both words referring to a divinely-conferred and free gift.

Zodhiates (Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible 1984) explains, in part:

"The gift is called charisma [and is] the result of grace, charis [and] is exactly the same word [seen] in I Cor. 12 where gifts (charismata) are enumerated.... The same gift is referred to in I Tim. 4:14."

The New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible also identifies the spiritual gift mentioned by Paul as charisma, and points out that it is:

"the Holy Spirit's enablement for ministry."


And as to your third question: "is Paul referring to ... the baptism in the Spirit and a gift that came as a result, or ... a subsequent event to the initial impartation/baptism of the Spirit?"

"In Act 13:2., when Barnabas and Saul were formally set apart to the mission campaign ..., there was the call of the Spirit and the laying on of hands with prayer. Here again meta does not express instrument or means, but merely accompaniment. In 2Tim 1:6 Paul speaks only of his own laying on of hands, but the rest of the presbytery no doubt did so at the same time and the reference is to this incident" (Robertson Word Pictures in the NT, where the laying on of hands by both Paul and the elders was apparently accompanied by prophecies uttered by the participating elders of the congregation; cp. Vincent Word Studies).

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Thanks. Some good stuff here. I'd like a bit more explanation on all three parts to the question, though. Part 1: you say "yes" but don't give me any reason other than "stuff you've seen"... Part 2: are we looking at a specific gift (e.g. from 1 Cor. 12) or not?... Part 3: I need some explanation, not just a quote. (Why is this commentator more credible than the next 50?) –  Jas 3.1 Jun 26 '13 at 18:18
    
PART 1: refer to your preferred biblical commentary(-ies) for more specific information. PART 2: I concur with Zodhiates (ibid. at 2 Tim. 1:6) that "[t]here is no complete list of all the gifts [however] this was the gift that came upon Timothy as a result of his ordination to the ministry .... The same gift is referred to in I Tim. 4:14." PART 3: there's little or no need for me to explain what someone else has said. I thought the comments, information, and explanatory quotes I used answered your questions satisfactorily. If not, then perhaps someone else will share their personal conclusion. –  Pat Ferguson Jun 27 '13 at 17:20
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Is 2 Tim. 1:6 a parallel to 1 Tim. 4:14? That is, do they refer to the same "gift" and the same "laying on of hands" event? I ask because this could affect our interpretation of 1 Tim. 4:14.

These verses are parallel for three reasons. First, the word for "gift" (χάρισμα) and "hands" (χειρῶν) is the same, and the entire construction looks similar. Second, the author is the same. Third, the recipient is the same. (Even if you question the authorship of one/both books, the authors would still be writing as the same person and directing their letter [at least rhetorically] to the same individual).

Thus if one were to argue that these are referring to different gifts, the burden of proof would be on the one showing how these are not the same.

What "spiritual gift" is Paul referring to in 1 Tim. 4:14?

This is traditionally interpreted as the office of overseer. The primary reason for this is because of the mention of "laying on of hands."

What "laying on of hands" is Paul referring to in 1 Tim. 4:14? Is this just referring to the baptism in the Spirit and a gift that came as a result, or is there reason to believe this was a subsequent event to the initial impartation/baptism of the Spirit?

This is traditionally interpreted as an ordination practice (which is still practiced by many denominations today). One clue to this is the broader context of the book. 1 and 2 Timothy are two of the three pastoral epistles, which talk much of offices of ministry.

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