These small group study notes contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, lessons to learn, and applications. Feel free to print them, copy them, or share them. I only ask that you remember these are are personal study notes and are only meant as a supplement to your own study, not a replacement. I hope you can find some helpful information inside. Visit our inductive Bible study main page for more studies on this and other books of the Bible.

1 Timothy 5:1-16 Inductive Bible Study Notes, Cross References, Outline, and Discussion Questions

Paraphrase and Cross References


  1. Do not sharply correct a man older than you. Instead plead with him as you would your father and speak to the younger men as you would your brother. (2 Tim 2:24-25)
  2. Address the older women as mothers and the younger women as sisters, with complete purity.
  3. Honor the true widows. (James 1:27)
  4. If any widow has descendants these are to first learn to practice goodness towards their own family to give a return to their parents. This is good in God’s sight.
  5. A true widow indeed is one who is alone and fixing her hope on God continues to take her requests to God through prayer night and day.
  6. But she who gives herself to unrestrained pleasure is dead even while she is alive.
  7. Teach the people to do these things so that they may have a good testimony.
  8. But if anyone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially his immediate family, he has rejected the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (2 Cor 12:14)
  9. To put a widow on the list she must be at least sixty years old and faithful to her husband.
  10. She must have a reputation of good works, brought up children, shown hospitality to strangers, washed the saints’ feet, helped those in trouble, and devoted herself to good deeds.
  11. Do not put younger widows on the list, for they may feel sexual desires and ignoring Christ want to get remarried.
  12. In doing so they will be judged because they have not kept their previous commitment.
  13. The younger widows also learn to be idle, going from house to house being busybodies and gossiping, talking about things not proper to discuss. (2 Thess 3:10-11, Titus 2:3-5)
  14. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and not give the enemy any reason to blame them. (1 Cor 7)
  15. Some have already turned away to follow Satan.
  16. If any woman believer has widows dependant on her she should help them. The church should not be burdened with this so that it will be free to help the widows indeed.




I.                   How to treat various groups in the church (1-16)

a.      Older men (1)

b.     Younger men (1)

c.      Older women (2)

d.     Younger women (2)

e.      Widows (3-16)

                                                              i.     Requirements to be put on list (3-10)

                                                            ii.     Younger widows (11-15)

                                                           iii.     Dependant widows (16)





If you disagreed with your father how would you speak to him?

What is God’s view of widows? (Psalms 68:5)

How should we treat widows (Job 22:9-11)

Can you think of any widows in the Bible that God shows His care for? (Naomi, Shulamite?)

What does it mean to be a widow indeed?

What is the list that is referred to?

What are the requirements for being put on the list?

What does this passage teach us about how older Christians are supposed to live, and run the race?

What does it mean in verse 8 to be worse than an unbeliever?

What are some of the common temptations for older women? Older men?

Explain verses 11 and 12. Especially what it means that they felt these desires in disregard of Christ.

What can older widows do in the church? Anything useful? (Titus 2:3-5)

What did Paul advise younger widows to do and why?

What does verse 16 mean?

Can we make any applications from this passage?






A word usually defined as religious devotion and reverence to God. In its only occurrence in the NKJV, however, it means faithfulness in performing one's responsibilities to the family, especially to parents (1 Tim 5:4).

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)


Widows indeed/true widows – In this context it refers to a specific category of widows who had not family to provide for them and would be provided for by the church.


Appeal/correct/exhort – Paracletes, related to a title for the Holy Spirit. To come alongside and help. Strengthen.


Honor – To show respect or care, to support, or to treat graciously.


Left alone- the form of this Greek word shows a permanent condition of being forsaken and left without resources. She is “really” a widow since there is no family to support her.




Teaching Points:


Families were obligated to financially care for widows within their family, especially immediate family. If a widow was not cared for by her family and met the other standards the church was to take on financial responsibility for her. However, she was not to just lead an idle life. Her work was to be a spiritual work. See Titus 2.


Verse 6. Spiritually dead.


Verse 8. Even most unbelievers will care for their parents. In China this is very traditional. In America, children will at the very least put their parents in a nursing home. Pagans will not generally let their parents starve. Shouldn’t the standard be at least as high for Christians? If we neglect our parents we are worse than pagans. (2 Cor 12:14)


Verse 9. Sixty was considered retirement age in that culture. This list was not a list of widows who were to be provided for by the church. That would be all widows who had no other means of support. Instead it was a list of widows who would eligible for specially recognized church ministry.


Verses 10-11 – Godly wife, godly mother, servant, hospitable.


Verses 12-15 – Some younger widows who in the heat of the moment or hastily may have made a commitment to remain single might be tempted to break that commitment and get married again. Therefore Paul suggests that they never make this commitment and be included in the list, encouraging them to marry again.


My Application:


Many times I don’t have as much as a heart for widows, orphans, and other needy people as I should. Sometimes I blame needy people for their situation or say they should work harder, etc. But these people are clearly on God’s heart. His character compels Him to reach out to the lowly and oppressed. These were whom Jesus largely focused His ministry on. Therefore I will pray for God to give me more of a heart for needy people and for Him to open up opportunities for me to reach out to them.


1 Timothy Notes Chapter by Chapter

1 Timothy 1:1-11 1 Timothy 1:12-20
1 Timothy 2
1 Timothy 3
1 Timothy 4:1-8
1 Timothy 4:9-16
1 Timothy 5:1-16
1 Timothy 5:17-25
1 Timothy 6:1-10 1 Timothy 6:11-21


If you found these study notes helpful feel free to check out my library of inductive Bible study notes, topical Bible studies, and character studies chapter by chapter.



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