1 Timothy 2:5-6[ESV] "...Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time."

1 Timothy 2:6 [Young's Literal Translation] "who did give himself a ransom for all-the testimony in its own times." .

If one asks what is "the testimony" one possibly might expect the answer to be a single event if "time" is singular as in the ESV.

It appears to me that since the Greek is kairois/plural/times, the testimony might refer to two or more events.

Does it matter to the meaning of "the testimony" whether it is "time" or "times"?

3 Answers 3


John tells us twice about this "testimony" concerning the Son and His sacrifice in 1 John 5 -

9 Even if we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony that God has given about His Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him; whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given about His Son.

11 And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

The author of Hebrews also speaks about God's testimony about the Son in Heb 1:1, 2 -

On many past occasions and in many different ways, God spoke to our fathers through the prophets. But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son,a whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.

In his remarks on 1 Tim 2:6, Ellicott says this:

To be testified in due time.—Better rendered, “witness of which was to be borne in its own times. The meaning of the words is,” Jesus Christ in the eternal counsels, gave Himself to death as the price of the redemption of fallen man; at the appointed and fitting season He endured this death—this death was the witness to the truth of the tremendous offering made in the counsels of the eternal and ever-blessed Trinity. So St. Chrysostom, who asserts that “the witness to be borne” was given in the death and suffering of the Lord.

  • Such helpful cross references! Thanks! Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 17:44

1 Timothy 2:6 Young's Literal Translation.

"who did give himself a ransom for all-the testimony in its own times."

who did give himself a ransom for        all [people]     
    the testimony in its                 own times

The singular testimony refers to Jesus' giving himself as a ransom.

The plural times refer to different people experiencing the testimony at different times/occasions.

Does it matter to the meaning of "the testimony" whether it is "time" or "times"?

Yes, it does; "time" or "times" carry slightly different meanings.


Testimony is a legal term. In the Septuagint, the Greek word μαρτύριον is first used in Genesis 21:30: He said, “These seven ewe lambs you will take from my hand, that this[fn] may be a witness for me that I dug this well.” In this instance,the Greek word for testimony, μαρτύριον, is used for the Hebrew word for Witness. In the prior verse 1 Timothy 2:5, we have Jesus as a Mediator as well.

Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death..." This is the ransom that Jesus paid. For those that belong to Jesus, those wages per paid for. For those that don't belong to Jesus, you must pay for those wages yourself.

As for "given at the proper time", this is in relation to the "ransom, which is the testimony..". This is the time in which the ransom is paid. What is the proper time? Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement. The Hebrew word for Kippur(H3725) is the same Hebrew word that means "price of a life, ransom..." (H3724). The Day of Atonement is the day in which we must all give an account of our lives. Either one receives the free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23) associated with the ransom Jesus paid (testimony), or not.

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