Author: Paul of
Date Written: c. 62-64 AD
Paul writes to Timothy from
Timothy was from Lystra (Acts 16:1). His father was a Greek and his mother was a Jew. Paul met him in Lystra and he became Paul's foremost disciple. Paul circumcised Timothy so that his ministry would be more effective among the Jews (Acts 16:3). Timothy accompanied Paul on his second and third missionary journeys and remained close to Paul when he was imprisioned in
In 1 Tim, Paul focuses on the effectiveness of the law of God to bring sinful people to repentence so that they can receive the salvation offered in the gospel (1:8-11). He encourages Timothy to persevere in faith and hold onto his own particular calling (1:18-19). The letter switches back and forth between pastoral and personal advice. Timothy must balance training himself for godliness (4:7) with teaching the people (4:11).
Paul gives Timothy specific instructions about what the people of the church should pray for (2:1-2) and how they are to pray (2:8-15). He enumerates the qualifications needed for bishops and deacons, showing that Timothy had a great degree of authority in the early Church (3:1-13). Timothy is responsible for picking men for such offices and ordaining them (5:22).
Though the household of God is a pillar of truth (3:15), some will depart from the faith and take up wrong doctrines (4:1-3). Yet good servants of Christ Jesus are not to be discouraged, but should continue devoting themselves to Scripture and teaching (4:6-16).
As a pastor, Timothy ought to relate to different kinds of people in different manners (5:1-2). The church is to care for widows if they are older and have no family, but younger widows should remarry (5:3-16). Timothy is responsible for overseeing and ordaining the community's presbyters, who are different from the bishops and deacons (5:17-22).
Paul exhorts Timothy to teach the right doctrines (6:2) and to reprove those who have inordinate desires for theological controversy or for money (6:4; 6:10). Timothy is called to be a man of God who pursues righteousness, godliness and purity (6:11-16). Paul gives a few last instructions about rich Christians. They are to set their hopes on God, not on money and they are to do good with their wealth (6:17-19). Paul ends his letter with a brief command to avoid false teachings (6:20-21).
1 Tim is a window into the workings of the
By Mark Giszczak