As for the phrase "life and doctrine" in 1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV), we traditionally interpret the first word to refer to how a person conducts his life, and the second to the beliefs that the person holds to. But I get a somewhat different impression when reading it in the Greek. It seems to me the first word is best translated "yourself," and that Paul is calling on Timothy to live his life in accordance with sound doctrine; the second word is best translated "teaching," and refers to Timothy's instruction of others. That way, v.16 parallels v.12-13. What do you think? -- Bill Golightly (Walnut Creek, California)

You are right. A number of versions do translate seautoi as yourself. And the doctrine (teaching) is not so much what Timothy believes as what he teaches to others.

This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2005. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.