“If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.”
1 Timothy 4:6-11 NKJV
reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness – I prefer how the NASB renders this, “But stay away from worthless stories that are typical of old women. Rather, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;”
Being over 40, I’m definitely getting on the old side and I’ve had my fair share of superstitious beliefs especially with my past involvement in Catholicism from having to wear scapulars to doing the sign of the cross for protection before undergoing a daunting task or just to ward off evil. I find it interesting that the apostle Paul worded it the way he did because it is pervasive in society regardless of what century it is, the nature of spreading rumors in women’s circles. I’m not saying men don’t gossip. What’s recorded in Scripture is reality and though it may be hard for some to accept, check out 1 Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:3.
Since the passage warns about apostasy, the old wives’ fables would have something to do with doctrine that cannot be backed up by Scripture. Most people will fall prey to old wives’ fables and myths if they will form their theology simply by agreeing with someone without looking at and examining the text for themselves. This can pretty much sum up the Catholic tradition. A main example of this is the Assumption of Mary to heaven.
966 asserts that Mary was sinless (contradicts Romans 3:23—for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) and “exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things” after she was taken up body and soul into heaven.
If this were an actual historical occurrence, this would have made it into Scripture, but it is nowhere to be found.
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
1 Timothy 4:12-16 NKJV
Sound doctrine can only be found in His Word. Do not be deceived!