“…and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:10).
The importance of “sound doctrine” is a recurrent theme within Paul’s New Testament letters to Titus and Timothy. When used in this context, the word “sound” means, “to be uncorrupted” (1) while “doctrine” refers to “a body of beliefs about God, man, Christ, the church, and other related concepts considered authoritative and thus worthy of acceptance by all members of the community of faith.” (2)
As mentioned earlier, we can associate “sound doctrine” with an assertion or belief that corresponds with genuine Biblical teaching. Thus, this reference to “… any other thing” is important to the context of this passage for it extends the Law’s reach beyond the list of behaviors given to us here in 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
For instance, a person who has not engaged in any of the inappropriate behaviors discussed here in 1 Timothy 1:9-10 is not necessarily free of guilt. In the words of one source, “The word ‘sound’ implies that true doctrine preserves and promotes spiritual health, unlike false doctrine, which destroys spiritual vitality and spreads infection ‘like gangrene’ (2 Tim. 2:17).” (3)
A strong commitment to sound doctrine is also important in light of a warning given to us in the Biblical book of 2 Timothy…
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage– with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:2-3 NIV).
So unlike “… legends (fables, myths) and endless genealogies, which foster and promote useless speculations and questionings” (1 Timothy 1:4 AMPC), sound doctrine supports “…godly edification which is in faith.” This is not only important for Biblical speakers, authors, or teachers; it is important for anyone who seeks to accurately represent Christ at school, at home, in the workplace, or anywhere else.
Unfortunately, it can be quite easy to drift away from sound doctrine if we are not diligent to remain close to the Scriptures. As one commentary observes…
“In contrast to foolish controversies, sound teaching stirs God’s people to good works. For this reason, teachers must make sound teaching their focus, knowing that some will oppose it (1 Tim 1:10; 2 Tim 4:3).” (3)
(1) G5198 hugiaino, Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g5198
(2) Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers
(3) Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Ti 1:10). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.