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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO

TIMOTHY

SOMETIMES THE MOST DIFFICULT PART of a teachers job is to let the students go, to let
them graduate and make their way in the world. One can sense this kind of anxiety in Pauls
first letter to Timothy. He affectionately calls Timothy a true son (1:2), charging him again
and again to remain faithful to what he had taught him (1:18; 4:1216; 5:21; 6:1113). The letter
concludes with Pauls heartfelt cry: O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust
(6:20).
Timothy had accompanied Paul for years (Acts 16:13; 17:15; 20:4), assisting him and acting
as his liaison to a number of churches. Paul had not only taught Timothy the essentials of the
Christian faith, he had modeled Christian leadership to him. Now Paul was leaving Timothy in
charge of the church at Ephesus. From Macedonia, Paul wrote to encourage his son in the
faith. In effect, this letter is Timothys commission, his orders from his concerned teacher, the
apostle Paul.
Author and DateThe letter names Paul as its author, and the authors statements about his life in 1:12, 13
are consistent with what is known of him. The early church fathers Clement of Rome and Polycarp accepted
the letter as one of Pauls, as did Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria.
Early in the nineteenth century, some scholars began to question Pauls authorship of the Pastoral Epistles
(1 and 2 Timothy and Titus). Critics claimed that these letters were pious forgeries written in the second
century. They leveled four different attacks on the integrity and authenticity of these letters. First is a historical
problem. Since the chronological references in these letters do not correspond with the Book of Acts, critics
assume that the letters were written at a much later time by an impostor. However, the letters could have been
written soon after the events described in the Book of Acts. Many scholars hold that Paul was acquitted and
released from the imprisonment described in Acts 28, and then traveled for several years in Asia Minor
and Macedonia. During this time he wrote the disputed letters. Eventually he was imprisoned in Rome again,
and then died in Neros persecution.
Second, critics argue that the Pastoral Epistles do not fit Pauls writing style. These letters contain a number
of words that occur only here in the New Testament but are common in the writings of the second century.
This is taken as evidence that the letters are from the second century. The weakness of this argument is that
there is a limited body of literature from the second century from which to draw such a dogmatic conclusion.
The third point relates to the form of church leadership described in the Pastoral Epistles. The structure
of authority, including elders and deacons, seems to represent a more developed, second-century church.
However, it is clear from Philippians 1:1 that the offices of bishop and deacon were already functioning during
Pauls ministry.
The fourth argument involves theology. Critics claim that the heresy combated in the Pastoral Epistles is
the full-grown Gnosticism of the second century. While it is true that Gnosticism was not fully developed until

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19441 Timothy INTRODUCTION

the second century, it is also certain that the heresy began slowly and evolved before it became a complete
theological system. Paul dealt with similar false teachings in Colosse (see Col. 1:915). The heresy in 1 Timothy
appears to be an early form of gnostic teaching that combined elements of Judaism (see 1:7), Persian thought,
and Christianity.
There is no reason, therefore, to conclude that 1 and 2 Timothy are not authentic Pauline Epistles. First
Timothy was probably composed shortly after Pauls release from his first Roman imprisonment. This means
the book was composed in Macedonia around a.d. 62.
Historical SettingTimothy was a native of Lystra in Phrygia (see Acts 16:13). His father was Greek, and
his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were godly Jewish women (see 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14, 15). It was through the
influence of these women that Timothy learned the Hebrew Scriptures as a child. Paul calls Timothy a true son
in the faith (1:2), suggesting that he was converted during Pauls first missionary visit to Lystra (see Acts 14:6, 19).
At the beginning of Pauls second missionary journey, Timothy was chosen by Paul to accompany him and
Silas (see Acts 16:3). Since they would be preaching to Jews, Paul had Timothy circumcised (Acts 16:3), and
evidently the leadership of the church laid hands on Timothy (4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6). He traveled with Paul and Silas
helping them in their evangelization of Philippi and Thessalonica. Apparently he remained in Thessalonica
(see Acts 17:10) and then joined Paul and Silas in Berea. In Corinth, Paul employed Timothy as a liaison between
himself and the church in Thessalonica (see the Introduction to 1 Thessalonians). Later he used Timothy as a
liaison again, this time to the church in Corinth, to teach the believers there (1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10). Acts does not
record Timothys travels during this period. He reappears in Ephesus (Acts 19:22), where Paul commissioned
Timothy and Erastus to prepare the churches in Macedonia for his arrival. Timothy remained in Macedonia and
accompanied Paul to Corinth, where presumably Paul wrote his letter to the Romans (see Rom. 16:21).
Then Timothy, along with six others, spearheaded Pauls journey to Troas (see Acts 20:4, 5). Later he comforted Paul in Rome during the apostles first imprisonment (a.d. 6062), sending greetings to the Colossians
(see Col. 1:1), Philemon (see Philem. 1), and the Philippians (see Phil. 1:1). During Pauls imprisonment, Timothy
traveled to Philippi to encourage the believers there and then report back to Paul in Rome (Phil. 2:19). After
Pauls release, Timothy traveled with him to Ephesus. Timothy stayed there to confront the false teachers who
were infiltrating the church, and Paul went on to Macedonia, where he wrote his first letter to Timothy (1:3). He
wrote his second letter to him from prison (2 Tim. 1:8), imploring Timothy to come quickly. This was probably
Pauls last letter, for he was soon to die. If Timothy did come quickly, he would have been with him as his true
son in the final days before his execution (see 2 Tim. 4:11, 21).

Unexcavated tell at Lystra, Timothys hometown. Paul visited Lystra during his first missionary journey. Timothy
joined his missionary team on the second journey (Acts 16:13).
Todd Bolen/www.BiblePlaces.com

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1 Timothy INTRODUCTION1945

ThemesThe central purpose of 1 Timothy is found in 3:15: I write so that you may
know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church
of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. The church is Gods primary
vehicle for accomplishing His work on earth (see Matt. 16:1820). The Lord has
ordained that men and women who have trusted Him as Savior should be involved
in working out His will in local assemblies around the world (see Heb. 10:24, 25).
Paul wrote 1 Timothy in order to instruct his young protg on how the church
should function and on how mature men and women of God should interact in
it (6:1116). Specifics are given on developing and recognizing godly leadership
and avoiding false doctrine in the church (3:113; 4:16). Paul insists that Christian
maturity should be expected in leadership, while it is developed in the lives of all
believers (4:610). Paul offers Timothy a whole list of extremely practical advice
for leading a church. As he faced the problems and hardships of ministry in a local
church, Timothy must have repeatedly read Pauls letter for the valuable insights
it offers (4:15).
Christ in the Scriptures
In this letter Paul presents Jesus as the one Mediator between God and men (2:5),
and reminds Timothy, his young apprentice, that God was manifested in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in
the world, received up in glory (3:16). Jesus came to earth to save sinners (1:15) by
giving Himself as a ransom for all (2:6). Paul wants Timothy to understand that this
One who is both God and Man not only has our salvation in mind but is also the
source of spiritual strength, faith, and love (1:12, 14). No wonder Paul wants Timothy
to focus on Jesus as he faces the challenges of ministry. Jesus is the Savior in every
and all circumstances (4:10).

1 Timothy Outline

c. a.d. 4749

Pauls first
missionary
journey

c. a.d. 50

The Jerusalem
council

c. a.d. 5053

Pauls second
missionary
journey

c. a.d. 50

Timothy joins Paul


and Silas in Lystra

c. a.d. 5357

Pauls third
missionary
journey

c. a.d. 54

Timothy again
joins Pauls
entourage

I. Reminders in ministry 1:120


A. Warnings concerning false doctrine 1:117

B. Warnings concerning good warfare 1:1820

II. Regulations in ministry 2:13:16


A. Women in worship 2:115

B. Leadership in the house of God 3:116

III. Responsibilities in ministry 4:16:21


A. Personal responsibility 4:116

B. Responsibilities to various groups in the church 5:125

C. Final responsibilities of Timothy 6:121

c. a.d. 58

Paul is arrested in
Jerusalem

c. a.d. 6062

Paul is imprisoned
in Rome

c. a.d. 62

Paul is released;
1 Timothy is written
c. a.d. 67

Peter and Paul are


executed

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1946|1 TIMOTHY 1:1

Greeting
aul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by
the commandment of God our
Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ,
our hope,
2To

Timothy, a atrue son in the faith:

bGrace, mercy, and peace from God our


Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

No Other Doctrine
3As I urged you cwhen I went into
Macedoniaremain in Ephesus that you
may 1charge some dthat they teach no
other doctrine, 4enor give heed to fables
and endless genealogies, which cause
disputes rather than godly edification

CHAPTER 1
2 aActs 16:1, 2;
Rom. 1:7; 2Tim. 1:2;
Titus 1:4 bGal. 1:3
3 cActs 20:1,3
dRom. 16:17;
2Cor. 11:4; Gal.
1:6, 7; 1Tim. 6:3
1command
4 e1Tim. 6:3, 4, 20;
Titus 1:14

5 fRom. 13:8-10;
Gal. 5:14 gEph. 6:24
2Lit. unhypocritical
6 h1Tim. 6:4, 20
8 iRom. 7:12, 16

which is in faith. 5Now fthe purpose of


the commandment is love gfrom a pure
heart, from a good conscience, and from
2sincere faith, 6from which some, having
strayed, have turned aside to hidle talk,
7desiring to be teachers of the law, un
derstanding neither what they say nor
the things which they affirm.
8But we know that the law is igood if
one uses it lawfully, 9knowing this: that
the law is not made for a righteous per
son, but for the lawless and insubordi
nate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for
the unholy and profane, for murderers
of fathers and murderers of mothers, for
manslayers, 10for fornicators, for sod
omites, for kidnappers, for liars, for per
jurers, and if there is any other thing that

1:1 Paul begins his first letter to Timothy by asserting his authority
as an apostle of Jesus Christ. The Greek word for apostle means
sent one. Thus Paul was declaring that he was an ambassador
sent by Christ. The commandment of God refers to Gods sovereign commissioning of Pauls ministry (see Acts 9). The authority of
Pauls ministry came from two sources: from God our Savior and
from the Lord Jesus Christ. The title Savior identifies God as the
source of our salvation, both our justification and sanctification.
Paul speaks of Christ as our hope because He is the reason we can
expectantly look forward to eternal life in glory.
1:2 Timothy was a young believer from Lystra who traveled with
Paul during his second and third missionary journeys (Acts 16:2, 3).

True son refers to a legitimate child who possessed all the rights
and privileges of membership in a family. Paul was indicating total
acceptance of Timothy as a believer.
1:3 It is not certain when Paul traveled to Macedonia. His request
for Timothy to remain in Ephesus, ministering to believers there,
demonstrates Pauls confidence in the young man.
1:4 The word fables is used in Titus 1:14 in connection with Jewish
fables. Genealogies is used in Titus 3:9 within the context of the
Law. The errors that Paul left Timothy to correct in Ephesus appear to
have been primarily Jewish in nature, involving unrestrained speculation about genealogies and allegorical interpretations of the Law
like those found in rabbinical literature. In Ephesus this could have
been combined with Gnostic speculation concerning a
number of spiritual beings. The Greek word for edification means stewardship and expresses the concept of
Practical Advice for the Ministry
orderly management of a household. Paul understands
the church as the house of God (see 3:14, 15). Disputes
Timothy was a young minister, appointed to lead the apparently condo not promote house order in the church. The focus
tentious church at Ephesus. He had already learned the essentials of
of a believers life should be the clear and sound doctrine found in the Word of God, not human speculation.
the gospel; now he had to learn how to lead. In this letter, Paul was
1:5 The purpose of Pauls command to Timothy is
passing on all the wisdom he had accumulated in his years of ministry.
the promotion of Gods love in the church (see John
His insights are extremely practical and valuable even today.
13:34, 35).
1:6 Idle talk means empty chatter. Gossip, specuExhortations: what to do
Warnings: what to avoid
lation, and criticism should not come from the lips of
believers.
Do not listen to fables or endless
Command others to teach no
1:7 teachers of the law: This phrase is derived from
genealogies, which cause disputes
other doctrine than the true docJudaism and is used in Luke 5:17; Acts 5:34 in connection
(1:4).
trine of Christ (1:3).
with the Pharisees. These were the individuals whom
Reject fables (4:7).
Teach the Good News that Christ
Timothy was to instruct and correct. Their errors came
saves sinners (1:1518).
Do not neglect your gift (4:14).
from their relation to the law. These men were loveless,
Pray and intercede for everyone
legalistic teachers with impure hearts and motives. In Do not rebuke older men, but
(2:1).
struction without love promotes legalism.
exhort them (5:1).
1:8 The proper function of the law is to make sinners
Choose church leaders who are
Do not receive an accusation
aware of their sinfulness (see Rom. 3:20).
worthy of the office (3:115).
against an elder unless there are
1:9 Pauls list of those who have violated the law aptwo witnesses (5:19).
Instruct others in sound doctrine
pears to parallel the order of the Ten Commandments
(4:6).
Do not govern the church with
(see Ex. 20:317). The first three pairs of violations recall
prejudice; be impartial (5:21).
Train oneself in godliness (4:7, 8).
the first four commands, which address a persons relationship with God: the lawless and insubordinate,
Do not hastily lay hands on any Be an example to the believers in
the ungodly and ... sinners, and the unholy and
one (5:22).
word, in conduct, in love, in spirit,
profane. Following these are eight violations that parin faith, and in purity (4:12).
Withdraw from those who reject
allel five of the last six commands of the Ten CommandPauls teaching and are constantly
Honor widows (5:3).
ments. Covetousness is not mentioned.
arguing over words (6:4, 5).
1:10 Fornicators are persons involved in sexual im Stay pure (5:22).
morality in general. Sodomites are specifically male
Flee from those who are greedy
Pursue righteousness, faith, love,
homosexuals (see 1 Cor. 6:9). But heterosexual and hoand want to become wealthy from
patience, and gentleness (6:11).
mosexual immorality are violations of the seventh comthe ministry (6:511).
mandment. kidnappers ... liars ... perjurers: These
Avoid profane and idle talk, which
are violations of commandments eight and nine. Sound
is falsely called knowledge (6:20).
doctrine may also be translated healthy teaching.

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1 TIMOTHY 2:3|1947
3contrary

11accord

is
to sound doctrine,
ing to the glorious gospel of the jbless
ed God which was kcommitted to my
trust.
Glory to God for His Grace
12And I thank Christ Je
sus our Lord
who has lena bled me, mbec ause He
counted me faithful, nputting me into the
ministry, 13although oI was formerly a
blasphemer, a persecutor, and an 4inso
lent man; but I obtained mercy because
pI did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14qAnd
the grace of our Lord was exceedingly
abundant, rwith faith and love which
are in Christ Jesus. 15sThis is a faithful
saying and worthy of all acceptance, that
tChrist Jesus came into the world to save
sinners, of whom I am chief. 16However,
for this reason I obtained mercy, that in
me first Jesus Christ might show all long
suffering, as a pattern to those who are
going to believe on Him for everlasting
life. 17Now to uthe King eternal, vim
mortal, winvisible, to 5God xwho alone

10 3opposed
11 j1Tim. 6:15
k1Cor. 9:17
12 l1Cor. 15:10
m1Cor. 7:25 nCol.
1:25
13 oActs 8:3; 1Cor.
15:9 pJohn 4:21
4violently arrogant
14 qRom. 5:20;
1Cor. 3:10; 2Cor.
4:15; Gal. 1:13-16
r1Thess. 1:3; 1Tim.
2:15; 4:12; 6:11;
2Tim. 1:13; 2:22;
Titus 2:2
15 s1Tim. 3:1; 4:9;
2Tim. 2:11; Titus 3:8
tIs. 53:5; 61:1; Hos.
6:1-3; Matt. 1:21;
9:13
17 uPs. 10:16
vRom. 1:23 wHeb.
11:27 xRom. 16:27
y1Chr. 29:11 5NU
the only God,
18 6command
20 z2Tim. 2:17, 18
a2Tim. 4:14 bActs
13:45
CHAPTER 2
1 1encourage
2 aEzra 6:10

Sound is derived from the Greek for in good health. Doctrine is a


key theme in 1 Tim. (see also 4:1, 6, 13, 16; 5:17; 6:1).
1:11 according to the glorious gospel: This phrase should be
interpreted in its immediate context, a discussion about the purpose of the law. The proper use of the law is to demonstrate human
sinfulness and our need for the Good News that Christ has saved us
from bondage to the law and our own sins.
1:13 Before Paul trusted in Christ as Savior, he was a blasphemer, speaking against God; a persecutor, pursuing Christians like
a hunter pursuing his prey (see Acts 8:3; 9:15); and an insolent
man, a violent person acting out of personal pride. but I obtained
mercy: If the apostle Paul could find mercy after the terrible things
he did against Christ, then God surely offers salvation with open
arms to all people (see 2:4).
1:14 Grace is Gods undeserved, unearned, freely given favor. The
grace given to Paul was exceedingly abundant, overflowing beyond all expectations.
1:15 Paul summarized the heart of the gospel (v.11): Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners. World refers to all humanity.
Save means to deliver or rescue. Christ came to die for the sins of
humanity. of whom I am chief: Paul saw the degradation of sin
and understood the sinfulness of human beings. Because of this,
he placed himself first among sinners.
1:16 believe on Him: Over 185 times in the NT the sole condition
given for salvation is belief, having faith or trust in Jesus Christ. The
gospel is that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose on the
third day. All those who place their trust in Jesus for salvation will
be saved from the coming judgment. To add any other condition
to faith for salvation is to make justification a matter of works (see
Rom. 11:6; Gal. 2:16).
1:18 Apparently earlier in his ministry prophecies had been made
about Timothy and his future role in the church. Paul urges Timothy
to wage the good warfare. According to this powerful imagery,
Christian ministry is spiritual warfare directed against Gods enemies.
1:20 Hymenaeus and Alexander: Paul offered examples of two
men (see also 2 Tim. 2:17, 18; 4:14) who were failing to fight the good
fight (v. 18, 19). The phrase delivered to Satan is similar to 1 Cor.
5:5. The authority to deliver over was apostolic in nature. Paul did
not deliver the two men because they were unbelievers, but so that
they would learn not to blaspheme. In the NT the word translated learn is used only of Gods discipline of believers (see 1 Cor.

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ybe

honor and glory forever and


is wise,
ever. Amen.
Fight the Good Fight
18This 6charge I commit to you, son
Tim
othy, according to the prophecies
previously made concerning you, that by
them you may wage the good warfare,
19hav
ing faith and a good conscience,
which some having rejected, concerning
the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20of
whom are zHymenaeus and aAlexander,
whom I delivered to Satan that they may
learn not to bblaspheme.
Pray for All Men
Therefore I 1exhort first of all that
supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and giving of thanks be made for all men,
2afor kings and ball who are in 2author
ity, that we may lead a quiet and peace
able life in all godliness and 3reverence.
3For this is cgood and accepta
ble in the

b[Rom. 13:1] 2a prominent place 3dignity3 cRom. 12:2

11:32; Heb. 12:6, 7, 10). Paul was indicating that these men should
be excluded from the church so that they might abandon their evil
ways (1 Cor. 5:15).
2:1, 2 Therefore: Here Paul elaborates on what will build up the
church (see 1:4). In these verses, Paul uses four of the seven NT terms
for prayer. Supplications emphasizes personal need. The verb from
which the noun is derived has the idea of petition. Prayers is the
general word for prayer. The term is always directed toward God
with reverence or worship. Intercessions means approaching with
confidence, suggesting free access to God. Giving of thanks is an
attitude of gratitude, the act of praising God for what He has done
for us. Each of these aspects of prayer should be included in the
prayer life of a church. For all men is the first object of prayer. This
generic expression for male and female alike cannot be restricted
to believers; it also includes nonbelievers, such as kings and all
who are in authority. Peaceable refers to internal composure
or an amiable attitude. The idea of praying for kings has a twofold
emphasis. First, it is a specific way to pray for all men, because the actions of a king affect society as a whole. Second, it reminds believers

intercession
(Gk. enteuxis, entugchan) (2:1; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25)
Strongs #1783; 1793
Intercession is the act of petitioning God or praying on
behalf of another person or group. The sinful nature of
this world separates human beings from God. It has always
been necessary, therefore, for righteous individuals to go
before God to seek reconciliation between Him and His
fallen creation. The sacrifices and prayers of OT priests (Ex.
29:42; 30:7) were acts of intercession that point forward to
the work of Christ. Christ is, of course, the greatest intercessor. He prayed on behalf of Peter (Luke 22:32) and His
disciples (John 17). Then in the most selfless intercession
of all, He petitioned God on behalf of those who crucified
Him (Luke 23:34). In heaven He intercedes for His church
(Heb. 7:25). Finally, because of their unique relationship to
God through Christ, Christians are urged to intercede for
all people (1 Tim. 2:1).

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1948|1 TIMOTHY 2:4

sight dof God our Savior, 4ewho desires


all men to be saved fand to come to the
knowledge of the truth. 5gFor there is one
God and hone Mediator between God and
men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6iwho gave
Himself a ransom for all, to be testified
in due time, 7jfor which I was appointed

3 d2Tim. 1:9
4 eEzek. 18:23, 32;
John 3:17; 1Tim.
4:10; Titus 2:11;
2Pet. 3:9 f[John
17:3]
5 g1Cor. 8:6; Gal.
3:20 h[Heb. 9:15]

that God is the ultimate Sovereign. He is in control, and our prayers


affect decisions at the highest level.
2:4 Who desires all men to be saved does not mean that God
has willed that everyone should come to salvation, for elsewhere
Paul clearly teaches that only those who believe in Christ will receive salvation (see Rom. 1:16, 17; 3:2126; 5:17). This is also the clear
teaching of Jesus (John 3:1518). Thus universal salvation is not the
determinative will of God by which He sovereignly rules the world.
Instead what Paul might be saying here is that the Savior God extends the offer of salvation to all. Christ died for the sins of all, but

ransom
(Gk. antilutron) (2:6) Strongs #487
The word ransom in Greek is antilutron made up of anti
(signifying substitution) and lutron (the word used for the
ransom of a slave or prisoner). The antilutron is a payment
given instead of a slave or prisonerthat is, in substitution for him or her. The person holding the slave accepts
the payment as a substitute. According to Gal. 3:13, Christ
redeemed us from the curse of the law. The law held us
captive in its condemnation, and no one but Christ could
pay the price to release us from this bondage.

a preacher and an apostleI am speak


ing the truth 4in Christ and not lyingka
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and
truth.
6 iMark 10:45 7 jEph. 3:7, 8; 1Tim. 1:11; 2Tim. 1:11 k[Gal.
1:15, 16] 4NU omits in Christ

only those who believe receive the benefits of that sacrifice (see
John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15). The knowledge of the truth refers to
Christian growth after being saved. Gods desire is not only our salvation (justification) but also our growth in the truth (sanctification),
so that we will not be led astray by false teachers (1:3, 4).
2:5 One God is a central truth of the Hebrew Scriptures. The only
living God desires all to be saved. He is the only One to whom our
prayers should be addressed. Mediator is a concept derived from
the ceremonial worship prescribed in the OT. In the tabernacle and
later in the temple, the priests meditated between God and the
Israelites by offering animal sacrifices to atone for the sins of the
people and by interceding to God for the nation. In their position as
mediators, the priests were the only ones eligible to enter the Holy
Place, the place where God had made His presence known. The one
Mediator is the Man Christ Jesus (see Heb. 9:1115). There is one
God from whom salvation is available. There is only one way to Him,
through the Mediator, Christ Jesus, who has the full nature of God
and the full nature of man.
2:6 The work of the Mediator (v. 5) is described as giving Himself
a ransom for all. The Greek word translated ransom is found only
here in the NT. It specifically refers to a ransom paid for a slave. In
Greek it is formed with a prefix that reinforces the idea of substitution (see Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45). In other words, Christ substituted
His life for ours. Our sins had separated us from God. Christ paid the
penalty for our sins so that we could be reconciled to our Father.
2:7 Teacher of the Gentiles describes the ministry to which Paul

A New Way to Worship


What is the proper way to worship God? For those who had grown up in the religious climate of Ephesus before the gospel,
Christian worship called for altogether different behavior than they were used to practicing. So Paul offered guidelines
for worship to the men and women in the Ephesian church (1 Tim. 2:815).
Ephesus was world-renowned for its magnificent temple of
Diana (Artemis). Pagan cults flourished there, along with occult
practices. In fact, books with magic recipes came to be known as
Ephesian books.
Nevertheless, the gospel bore great fruit there and the community of believers grew rapidly. Yet some of the new converts brought
their old way of life into the church and began teaching other doctrines (1:37). When it came to worship, many were used to wild rites
and festivals. Ephesian women were particularly unacquainted with
public behavior, having been excluded for the most part from public
gatherings, except pagan rituals.
So Paul described the correct way of worship. Men, who were
apparently given to anger and doubts, needed to stop wrangling
and start praying (2:8). Likewise, women needed to focus on godliness and good works rather than clothing, jewelry, and hairstyles
(2:9, 10). And because some were apparently disruptive, they needed
to practice restraint (2:11)not necessarily complete silence, but
quietness (as the word is translated in 2 Thess. 3:12), since they
likely participated in the prayers and other expressive parts of the
worship gatherings (compare 1 Cor. 11:5; Eph. 5:19).
Today the message of Christ continues to attract people from a
Palmyra funerary relief, third century a.d. Paul
variety of backgrounds. Some, like the Ephesians, need to learn for instructs the women to dress modestly (2:9,
the first time about worshiping God. Others bring cultural norms 10) rather than focusing on their fancy clothing,
and expectations that are worth using in the worship experience, jewelry, and hairstyles.
so long as they preserve biblical guidelines such as those that Paul Baker Photo Archive. Muse du Louvre; Autorisation de
photographer et de filmerL OUVRE
gave to the Ephesians.

9780529114389_int_06b_1tim_rev_nkjv_study_APPROVED.indd 1948

5/20/14 2:06 PM

1 TIMOTHY 3:2|1949

Men and Women in the Church


8I desire therefore that the men pray
leverywhere, mlift
ing up holy hands,
without wrath and doubting; 9in like
manner also, that the nwomen adorn
themselves in modest apparel, with pro
priety and 5moderation, not with braided
hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,
10obut, which is proper for women pro
fessing godliness, with good works. 11Let
a woman learn in silence with all submis
sion. 12And pI do not permit a woman to
teach or to have authority over a man,

8 lLuke 23:34 mPs.


134:2
9 n1Pet. 3:3
5discretion
10 o1Pet. 3:4
12 p1Cor. 14:34;
Titus 2:5

CHAPTER 3
1 1Lit. overseer

had been commissioned (see Acts 9:15; Rom. 11:13). Faith refers
to ones initial salvation (justification); truth relates to the believers growth in salvation (sanctification). Paul was called not only to
preach the gospel to the Gentiles but also to guide their growth in
the truth. This is why he left Timothy at Ephesus. Timothy was to
charge the Ephesians not to teach other doctrines, fables, or endless
genealogies (1:4).
2:8 The men refers to those involved in leading public worship.
Leadership in public worship is not restricted to elders or those
with specific gifts. Prayer is one of the central features of Christian
worship. The Greek word translated men in this verse refers to males
distinguished from females. Some have insisted that this means that
males are to be the only leaders in public worship. On the other
hand, Paul describes women as praying in public in some of his other
letters (see v. 9; 1 Cor. 11:5). Lifting up holy hands is a Hebrew
way of praying (see 1 Kin. 8:22; Ps. 141:2). Holy means morally and
spiritually clean. Biblical prayer must be done with a clean heart
and life (see Heb. 10:22). without wrath and doubting: Wrath
is a slow, boiling type of anger. Doubting literally means to think
backward and forward. It carries the idea of disputing. Prayer is to
be offered without resentment or disputing among those in the
church. If believers do not have good relations with others in the
church, they should not lead in public worship.
2:9 in like manner also: This expression probably continues the
discussion of prayer begun in v. 8. In other words, when men pray
they are to possess sincere and holy attitudes; when women pray,
they should be modest. modest apparel: The emphasis is that
women should dress appropriately when at worship, and not put on
extravagant clothes that draw attention to themselves. Propriety
means reverence and respect, shrinking away from what is inappropriate. Moderation may also be translated sound judgment
or self-control.
2:10 Paul exhorts the women at Ephesus to be concerned about
clothing themselves with godly character instead of wearing inappropriate and lavish clothes. with good works: A Christian womans beauty is found in her godly character and her love for the Lord
as demonstrated in all types of good works.
2:11 Let a woman learn is a command. Paul ignored popular myths
about women being incapable of learning and urged Timothy to
provide opportunities for women to be educated. In silence refers
to the womans attitude or manner while learning, as should be true
of all believers. Paul was not saying that a woman could not speak
in the local assembly (see 1 Cor. 11:216). He was simply cautioning
women to learn with an attitude of all submission and not in a
unruly manner.
2:12 to teach: Paul uses a Greek word that indicates the type of
teaching that was found in the Jewish communities and synagogues from which he had come. Such teaching was built on the
revelation of God and assumed that there would be some sort of
oversight, like that exercised in the early church by the elders (see
4:11; 4:165:2; 2Tim. 3:17; 4:14; Titus 2:15; 3:811). Generally those
who exercised this responsibility in the early church had the spiritual
gift of teaching (see Rom. 12:7; 1 Cor. 12:28), but not every gift of
teaching (by men or women) was necessarily to be exercised over
the entire congregation. The word or seems to indicate that teach
is defined by the phrase have authority over a man. It seems best

9780529114389_int_06b_1tim_rev_nkjv_study_APPROVED.indd 1949

but to be in silence. 13For Adam was


formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was
not deceived, but the woman being de
ceived, fell into transgression. 15Never
theless she will be saved in childbearing
if they continue in faith, love, and holi
ness, with self-control.
Qualifications of Overseers
This is a faithful saying: If a man de
sires the position of a 1bishop, he de
sires a good work. 2A bishop then must
be blameless, the husband of one wife,

to understand this passage as teaching that women may exercise


their spiritual gifts in a variety of ministries in a local assembly (see
2Tim. 3:14; Titus 2:3, 4), as long as those gifts are exercised under the
appropriate leadership of men. Other commentators have viewed
this verse as an example of Paul using his apostolic authority to curb
the spread in Ephesus of false teaching (see 1:37) that apparently
was becoming popular among some women who had not been
properly instructed (see v. 11).
2:13, 14 For: Paul offers reasons for the directives of vv. 912. Adam
was formed first refers to Gen. 2:725. In Gods order of creation
(see 1 Cor. 11:9), Adam was made before Eve. This is an implied reference to the privileges that a firstborn received in ancient society.
These privileges were not given on the basis of inherent superiority
but instead on being born first, something controlled by God Himself. The second reason for the prohibitions in vv. 912 is related to
the Fall. Adam was not deceived points to the fact that Adam
sinned with his eyes open; he knew what he was doing (see Rom.
5:12). woman being deceived: The verb indicates that Eve was
completely deceived. Pauls argument from creation and the Fall
in these verses seems to indicate that the prohibitions in vv.912
are permanent. (Some have argued that Paul was drawing an analogy between creation and the Fall and the present situation in the
Ephesian church, where men were teaching and some women were
being misled by false teachers.)
2:15 saved in childbearing: Some believe this verse refers to the
birth of Christ and that the woman is Mary. However, it may refer to
the womans special task of bearing children (see Titus 2:35). The
salvation referred to here is not justification, but daily sanctification.
Most likely, Paul is referring to being delivered from the desire to
dominate by recognizing ones appropriate place in Gods creation
order. If they continue suggests that this salvation (that is, sanctification) is conditioned upon womens continued walk in the faith,
in love, in holiness, and in self-control.
3:1 bishop: This Greek word refers to a person who oversees a congregation. In many NT passages, the Greek words for bishop and
elder are used interchangeably for the same office (see Titus 1:57).
3:2 Blameless means not laid hold of. The idea is not that a bishop
is sinless but that he displays mature, consistent Christian conduct
that gives no reason for anyone to accuse him of anything. Husband of one wife literally means a one-woman kind of man. This

bishop
(Gk. episkopos) (3:2; Acts 20:28; Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:7) Strongs
#1985
The Greek term episkopos means one who oversees. In the
NT, elders are described as overseeing a congregation. See
Acts 20:17; 20:28, where the elders of the church at Ephesus
are called overseers. Elders were responsible for the internal
affairs of the church; and there seem to have been several
elders in positions of responsibility in any given congregation (see Acts 14:23; Titus 1:57). After NT times, it became
the custom to appoint one elder as the presiding elder and
to give him the title of bishop.

5/20/14 2:06 PM

1950|1 TIMOTHY 3:3

temperate, sober-minded, of good behav


ior, hospitable, able to teach; 3not 2given
to wine, not violent, 3not greedy for
money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not
4covetous; 4one who rules his own house
well, having his children in submission

3 2addicted 3NU
omits not greedy
for money 4loving
money
6 5new convert

expression has been interpreted as a general exclusion from office


of all who are sexually immoral or of polygamists, or as referring
specifically to those who have remarried after divorce. This is also a
qualification of deacons (v. 12). Temperate means without wine,
sober or clear-headed. Sober-minded means that an overseer
must have control of his body and mind. It is a balanced state of
mind arising out of self-restraint. Of good behavior means orderly. Hospitable means loving strangers. An overseers home
should be open for purposes of ministry. Able to teach could also
be translated qualified to teach, or teachable. Since the passage
is about character, it seems best to understand this qualification as
being teachable, a necessity for a man of God (see 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:24;
Titus 1:9 for the requirement that an elder should be able to teach).
3:3 Not given to wine means not addicted to wine. Not violent
means not a striker. An elder should not be prone to violence or to
striking others. not greedy for money: An overseer is not to have
a materialistic attitude toward money or possessions. Part of this
qualification is a warning to those in church leadership concerning

with all reverence 5(for if a man does not


know how to rule his own house, how
will he take care of the church of God?);
6not a 5novice, lest being puffed up with
pride he fall into the same condemnation
as the devil. 7Moreover he must have a

proper management of Gods finances. Not quarrelsome means


without fighting. This is the quality of being peaceable. A bishop
or overseer should contend for the faith without being contentious.
Not covetous means not a lover of silver (6:9). Note that this is a
second warning about money. Certain Ephesian elders were receiving financial support from the ministry (5:17, 18). Paul exhorted them
not to allow their desire for money to become a priority.
3:4 Rules means stands before or manages. his own house: An
elder must manage his own family well. His children must submit to
his leadership with reverence or respect.
3:6 Novice means newly planted. An elder is not to be a new
believer. Being a new convert could put him in danger of being
puffed up with pride. Such pride is described as the condemnation of the devil (see Ezek. 28:1119).
3:7 good testimony: An elder must have a good reputation in the
community (see Acts 6:3). A non-Christian should not be able to
reproach or insult an elder. The elders good testimony avoids the
snare of the devil, the traps or pitfalls of Satan (see 2 Tim. 2:26).

map_55_03_paul4
map_55_03_paul4

Pauls Fourth Missionary Journey c. a .d. 6268


It is clear from Acts 13:121:17 that Paul went on three
missionary journeys. There is also reason to believe that he
made a fourth journey after his release from the Roman
imprisonment recorded in Acts 28. The conclusion that
such a journey did indeed take place is based on: (1) Pauls
declared intention to go to Spain (Rom. 15:24, 28), (2) Eusebiuss implication that Paul was released following his first
Roman imprisonment (Ecclesiastical History, 2.22.23), and
(3) statements in early Christian literature that he took
the gospel as far as Spain (Clement of Rome, Epistle to the
Corinthians, ch. 5; Actus Petri Vercellenses, chs. 13; Muratorian
Canon, lines 3439).
The places Paul may have visited after his release from
prison are indicated by statements of intention in his earlier
writings and by subsequent mention in the Pastoral Letters.
The order of his travel cannot be determined with certainty,
but the itinerary below seems likely.

1. Rome
released from prison in a .d. 62
2. Spain
6264 (Rom. 15:24, 28)
3. Crete
6465 (Titus 1:5)
4. Miletus
65 (2 Tim. 4:20)
5. Colosse
66 (Philem. 22)
6. Ephesus66 (1 Tim. 1:3)
7. Philippi66 (Phil. 2:23, 24; 1 Tim. 1:3)
8. Nicopolis6667 (Titus 3:12)
9. Rome
67 (2 Tim. 1:17)
10. Martyrdom67/68 (2 Tim. 4:6)

9780529114389_int_06b_1tim_rev_nkjv_study_APPROVED.indd 1950

A tAl talnatni tc i c O O
c ecaena n

GG
AA
LL L
I AI A

Massilia
Massilia

HH
I SI P
SP
AA
NN
I AI A

Tarraco
Tarraco

Toletum
Toletum

Cor
Cor
sica
sicaR

N
SaSa
rdrd
inin
iai

Carthage
Carthage
Nova
Nova

Gades
Gades
Tingis
Tingis

Carthag
Cartha

0 0
0 0

200
200
km.
km.
200
200
miles
miles

5/20/14 2:06 PM

1 TIMOTHY 3:13|1951

good testimony among those who are


outside, lest he fall into reproach and the
asnare of the devil.

10But

conscience.
let these also first be
tested; then let them serve as deacons,
being found blameless. 11Likewise, their
wives must be reverent, not 7slanderers,
temperate, faithful in all things. 12Let
deacons be the husbands of one wife, rul
ing their children and their own houses
well. 13For those who have served well
as deacons cobtain for themselves a good

7 a1Tim. 6:9;
2Tim. 2:26
8 bEzek. 44:21
9 6hidden truth

Qualifications of Deacons
8Likewise deacons must be reverent,
not double-tongued, bnot given to much
wine, not greedy for money, 9holding
the 6mystery of the faith with a pure

11 7malicious
gossips
13 cMatt. 25:21

3:8 Deacons fill a second leadership position in the local assembly.


The Greek word for deacon means servant. Although the word
itself is not used in Acts 6, the seven godly men selected there to
distribute food to widows appear to be the forerunners of this office and ministry. This verse and Phil. 1:1 indicate that the office
of deacon was an established office in the early church. not double-tongued: This phrase speaks of the dangers of gossip, specifically saying one thing to one person and another to someone else.
3:9 The mystery of the faith is the doctrine clarified in v. 16 as the
incarnation of God in the flesh. The Son of God becoming flesh to
serve humanity (see Mark 10:4345) is the embodiment of service.
3:10 tested: Deacons are to be evaluated, observed, and approved
before being appointed to office. Their character in this approval
process is to be blameless or without accusation.

3:11 Likewise, their wives: The similar phrasing of v. 8 seems to


indicate that Paul was speaking of another office in the local body,
the deaconess. These women, like deacons (vv. 810, 12, 13), served
under the leadership of the elders. However some interpret this
verse as referring to the wives of deacons and not to an office.
3:13 A twofold encouragement is given to deacons who serve well.
First, they will receive a good standing, or respect. This relates primarily to their standing in the congregation, but also to their greater
rewards for service at the judgment seat of Christ (see Rom. 14:10;
1 Cor. 3:1015; 2 Cor. 5:10). Second, they develop boldness in the
faith. Faithful servants develop confidence and assurance in their
Christian walk.

~100%
~100%

LL
I AI A

I AI A
AA

Nicopolis
Nicopolis

Syracuse
Syracuse

Sea
ean Sea
Aegean
Aeg

Carthage
Carthage

Nicomedia
Nicomedia
DD
AN
I AI AA N
Byzantium
Byzantium
Y NY N
SU S
U
H
H
T T N TN T
Philippi
Philippi
OO
Troas
Troas

NN
I AI A
OO
ED
ED
C
C
A
A
MM

Athens
Athens

Pergamos
Pergamos
Ephesus
Ephesus
Colosse
Colosse
Miletus
Miletus

I AI A
CC
OO
DD
AA

G A L AT
G A L AT I A
IA
C
CAP
APP
P

Neopolis
Neopolis
Sard
Sard
inia
inia
Brundisium
Brundisium

S ISCI C
I LY
ILY

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BlackSeSe
a a

TT
HH
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AC
AC
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BI
PB I
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ic ic
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a a

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Antioch
Antioch

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Cyrene

Jerusalem
Jerusalem

Alexandria
Alexandria

Phoenix
Phoenix

Knossos
Knossos Salmone
Salmone

C CR RE ET TE E

EE
GG
YY
PP
TT

0 0

50 50
miles
miles

NN

Thebes
Thebes

9780529114389_int_06b_1tim_rev_nkjv_study_APPROVED.indd 1951

ea
dS a
Red Se
Re

50 50
km.km.

R.
e .
ile R
il

Lasea
Gortyna
Gortyna Lasea
Fair
Fair
Cauda
Cauda Havens
Havens 0 0

Memphis
Memphis

5/20/14 2:06 PM

1952|1 TIMOTHY 3:14

standing and great boldness in the faith


which is in Christ Jesus.
The Great Mystery
14These things I write to you, though
I hope to come to you shortly; 15but if I
am delayed, I write so that you may know
how you ought to conduct yourself in the
house of God, which is the church of
the living God, the pillar and 8ground of
the truth. 16And without controversy
great is the 9mystery of godliness:





d God1

was manifested in the flesh,


in the Spirit,
f Seen by angels,
g Preached among the Gentiles,
h Believed on in the world,
i Received up in glory.
e Justified

The Great Apostasy


Now the Spirit 1expressly says that
in latter times some will depart from
the faith, giving heed ato deceiving spir
its and doctrines of demons, 2bspeaking
lies in hypocrisy, having their own con
science cseared with a hot iron, 3for
bidding to marry, and commanding to
abstain from foods which God created to
be received with thanksgiving by those

15 8foundation,
mainstay
16 d[John 1:14;
1Pet. 1:20; 1John
1:2; 3:5, 8] e[Matt.
3:16; Rom. 1:4]
fMatt. 28:2 gActs
10:34; Rom. 10:18
hRom. 16:26;
2Cor. 1:19; Col. 1:6,
23 iLuke 24:51
9hidden truth 1NU
Who
CHAPTER 4
1 a2Tim. 3:13; Rev.
16:14 1explicitly
2 bMatt. 7:15 cEph.
4:19

5 2set apart
6 d2Tim. 3:14
7 e2Tim. 2:16; Titus
1:14 fHeb. 5:14
8 g1Cor. 8:8 hPs.
37:9
10 iPs. 36:6 3NU
we labor and strive,
12 jPhil. 3:17; Titus
2:7; 1Pet. 5:3 4look
down on your
youthfulness 5NU
omits in spirit

3:15 Pauls purpose in writing his first letter to Timothy was to


give him instructions on how a local assembly and its leadership
should function. church of the living God: The church universal
is manifested in local assemblies around the world. the pillar and
ground of the truth: Misconduct and disorder in the local church
weaken the support of Gods truth in the world. Godly men and
women gathering together in local assemblies to worship the Lord
produce an orderly church, a church that testifies to others of the
truth of God.
3:16 This verse contains an early hymn of the church. The hymn is
three couplets. Manifested in the flesh refers to Christs incarnation, the fact that Jesus became man (see John 1:14). Justified in
the Spirit refers to the Holy Spirits work in Jesus ministry and resurrection (see Matt. 3:1517; John 16:7, 10; Rom. 1:4). Seen by angels
refers to the angelic witness of Christs ministry and resurrection.
Preached among the Gentiles refers to the proclamation of Christ
to the nations (see Col. 1:23). Believed on in the world refers to the
response of individuals to Gods plan of salvation (see 1 Cor. 1:1825).
Received up in glory refers to the Ascension; Christ is seated in
Gods presence in heaven (see Acts 1:9; Heb. 1:3, 4).
4:1 Paul begins a series of instructions specifically for Timothy. the
Spirit expressly says: Paul may be referring to various prophecies
inspired by the Holy Spirit concerning defection from Gods truth
(see Dan. 7:25; 8:23; Matt. 24:412), or he might be speaking of a
revelation the Spirit had given to him. Depart here means literally
to stand away from. There will be various seasons in which some
people will depart from their faith (1:19, 20). The reference here is
not to a loss of salvation but to a failure to walk obediently (see John
19:2527; 1 Cor. 3:13; 11:29, 30). The impact of satanic attack and
influence is described in vv. 13. Doctrines of demons refers to
following occult practices.
4:3, 4 The false teachers at Ephesus evidently disparaged the ma
terial world as evil, which became a central doctrine of the fullgrown Gnosticism of the second century. In Gen. 1:31, Gods creation
is called very good. Believers are to enjoy the good things God
creates and gives them to manage.

9780529114389_int_06b_1tim_rev_nkjv_study_APPROVED.indd 1952

who believe and know the truth. 4For


every creature of God is good, and noth
ing is to be refused if it is received with
thanksgiving; 5for it is 2sanctified by the
word of God and prayer.
A Good Servant of Jesus Christ
6If you instruct the brethren in these
things, you will be a good minister of
Jesus Christ, dnourished in the words of
faith and of the good doctrine which you
have carefully followed. 7But ereject pro
fane and old wives fables, and fexercise
yourself toward godliness. 8For gbodily
exercise profits a little, but godliness is
profitable for all things, hhaving promise
of the life that now is and of that which
is to come. 9This is a faithful saying and
worthy of all acceptance. 10For to this end
3we both labor and suffer reproach, be
cause we trust in the living God, iwho is
the Savior of all men, especially of those
who believe. 11These things command
and teach.
Take Heed to Your Ministry
12Let no one 4despise your youth, but
be an jexample to the believers in word,
in conduct, in love, 5in spirit, in faith,
in purity. 13Till I come, give attention

4:5 Sanctified means set apart. Marriage, eating, and possessions


are, in reality, spiritual issues. They are to be enjoyed as the believer
recognizes their proper purposes before God.
4:6 Continued growth in the church occurs through words of faith
and instruction in good doctrine. Sound doctrine is the basis of a
healthy ministry and correct practice.
4:7 Exercise is the normal term for the physical training of Greek
athletes. True spirituality requires one to train at godliness in ones
walk with the Lord.
4:8 Profits a little contrasts the short-term value of physical exercise with the long-term benefits of godliness for all things.
Discipline in godliness affects both the present and future life of
the believer. The present aspect includes obedience and a life of
purpose (see John 10:10). The future aspect involves greater rewards
in the coming reign of Christ (see 1 Cor. 3:1015; 2 Cor. 5:9, 10).
4:10 Savior of all men describes God as the One who gives life,
breath, and existence to all. Especially of those who believe
draws a contrast between Gods common grace to all and His special
saving grace to those who trust Him as their Savior.
4:12 Youth was a term applied to men until they were 40. Timothy
might have been between 35 and 40 years old at this time. The
antidote for his youth was his life. He was to set an example in six
areas: (1) in word, meaning conversation; (2) in conduct, or behavior; (3) in love, which is the love of God; (4) in spirit, the attitude
or power of the Holy Spirit; (5) in faith, meaning trust in God; and
(6) in purity, both in sexual matters and in thoughts (5:2). These
godly elements are not only for the young, but should be desired
and practiced by all. These qualities should be developed early in
a Christians life.
4:13 Reading is a command for public reading of the Scriptures (see
Acts 13:15). Exhortation is an encouragement to obey the Scriptures. Doctrine is formal teaching and instruction in the Word of
God (2:12).

5/20/14 2:06 PM

1 TIMOTHY 5:7|1953

Bible Times & Culture Notes

Greek and Roman Schools


Ancient Greek and Roman schools were not compulsory, nor were they run by the government. In the Greek system, boys
were sent to school at age six. Their education had three main divisions: music, gymnastics, writing. All Greek children
were taught to play the lyre. Greek girls were taught to read and write by their mothers, who also taught them to weave,
dance, and play a musical instrument. Greek boys could attend school until they were 16. After that, they were expected
to train in sports.
Unlike the Greeks, the Romans used people of other nationalities to teach their children. Boys and girls entered formal
school at age seven. At 13, if they had done well, children went to high school; there were 20 such schools in Rome in
a.d. 30. Even Roman secondary education was taught in Greek, and the teachers were generally Greek slaves or freedmen.

A second-century a.d. Roman school scene


Relief depicting a school scene, from Neumagen, Gallo-Roman/Rheinisches
Landesmuseum, Trier, Germany/Giraudon/The Bridgeman Art Library

to reading, to exhortation, to 6doctrine.


14kDo not neglect the gift that is in you,
which was given to you by prophecy
lwith the laying on of the hands of the el
dership. 15Meditate on these things; give
yourself entirely to them, that your prog
ress may be evident to all. 16Take heed to
yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in
them, for in doing this you will save both
yourself and those who hear you.
Treatment of Church Members
Do not rebuke an older man, but ex
hort him as a father, younger men
as brothers, 2older women as mothers,

13 6teaching
14 k2Tim. 1:6
lActs 6:6; 1Tim.
5:22

CHAPTER 5
4 aGen. 45:10 1NU,
M omit good and
5 bActs 26:7
6 2indulgence

4:14 Paul encourages Timothy to be diligent. The gift is the spiritual


gift Timothy received from Christ (see Eph. 4:7, 8). by prophecy:
Timothys gift was given through a prophetic message (1:18) and
with the laying on of ... hands, probably at Lystra (see Acts 16:1).
The laying on of hands signified the elders commission and recognition of Gods work in Timothys life. Paul himself was part of the
group that laid their hands on Timothy (see 2 Tim. 1:6).
4:15 Pauls care for Timothy, his son in the faith (see 1:2), is evident.
He was instructing Timothy so that his progress would be evident
to everyone in the church.
4:16 Save ... yourself is not a reference to justification by works
but to sanctification, the Christians daily walk of faith (see Mark
8:3438; John 12:25, 26). Those who hear you refers to the members in the church to whom Timothy was reading, exhorting, and
teaching.
5:2 All purity is a word of caution to young men. They must respect
the purity of the younger women as the purity of a sister.

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younger women as sisters, with all pu


rity.
Honor True Widows
3Honor widows who are really wid
ows. 4But if any widow has children
or grandchildren, let them first learn to
show piety at home and ato repay their
parents; for this is 1good and acceptable
before God. 5Now she who is really a
widow, and left alone, trusts in God and
continues in supplications and prayers
bnight and day. 6But she who lives in
2plea
sure is dead while she lives. 7And
these things command, that they may be

5:3 Honor is a command to show respect, a respect demonstrated


by ones attitude and through financial support (vv. 4, 8). Widows
are those who have family to help support them (vv. 4, 16); the one
who is really a widow is one without family support.
5:4 Family members are instructed to care for widows. Piety is
respect, reverence, or obligation. repay: Honoring our parents
includes caring for them physically and financially as they grow
older. In effect, we are returning the time and energy they gave to
us while we were young.
5:5 Trusts means to have hope or confidence in God.
5:6 This verse identifies widows living ungodly lives, who are not
to be supported by the church. Lives in pleasure refers to a life of
comfort focused on ones own desires. Dead means separated from
fellowship (see James 2:26). Widows in the church who choose to
live for themselves are separating themselves from fellowship with
God and the church.

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1954|1 TIMOTHY 5:8

blameless. 8But if anyone does not pro


vide for his own, cand especially for those
of his household, dhe has denied the faith
eand is worse than an unbeliever.
9Do not let a widow under sixty years
old be taken into the number, and not
unless she has been the wife of one man,
10well reported for good works: if she has
brought up children, if she has lodged
strangers, if she has washed the saints
feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if
she has diligently followed every good
work.
11But 3ref use the younger widows;
for when they have begun to grow wan
ton against Christ, they desire to marry,
12hav
ing condemna
tion because they
have cast off their first 4faith. 13And
besides they learn to be idle, wander
ing about from house to house, and not
only idle but also gossips and busybod
ies, saying things which they ought not.
14There
fore I desire that the younger
widows marry, bear children, manage the
house, give no opportunity to the adver
sary to speak reproachfully. 15For some
have already turned aside after Satan.
16If any believing 5man or woman has
widows, let them 6relieve them, and do
not let the church be burdened, that it
may relieve those who are really widows.

8 cIs. 58:7; 2Cor.


12:14 d2Tim. 3:5
eMatt. 18:17
11 3Refuse to
enroll
12 4Or solemn
promise
16 5NU omits man
or 6give aid to

18 fDeut. 25:4;
1Cor. 9:7-9 gLev.
19:13; Deut. 24:15;
Matt. 10:10; Luke
10:7; 1Cor. 9:14
19 hDeut. 17:6;
19:15; Matt. 18:16
21 iDeut. 1:17
7chosen
22 jEph. 5:6, 7;
2John 11
23 8illnesses
24 kGal. 5:19-21
CHAPTER 6
1 aEph. 6:5; Titus
2:9; 1Pet. 2:18

5:8 A believer is to provide for his own (his near relatives) and
his household (his immediate family). Failure to provide for ones
family is equal to denial of the faith (see Ex. 20:12; Mark 7:912; Eph.
6:2). If a Christian cannot even care for his or her own family, how
can that person sincerely love and care for others? worse than an
unbeliever: Some unbelievers take better care of their families
than believers do.
5:9 Taken into the number means to write down on a list. The list
referred to here was most likely a list of widows whom the church
was to assist. Widows who were enrolled on the list were to be at
least sixty years old and the wife of one man. Some have maintained that this list was an official order of widows. These widows
were to pray for the church (v. 5) and practice works of charity (v. 10).
5:10 Children refers either to the widows own children or possibly
to orphans. Lodged strangers indicates an attitude of hospitality.
Washed the saints feet demonstrates a servants heart. Relieved
the afflicted suggests giving aid to those facing adversity. Followed every good work indicates a commitment to serving.
5:11, 12 Refuse is a command to not put younger widows, those
less than 60 years old, on the list of widows to be supported by the
church. The reason for this refusal is that younger widows may grow
wanton, which means to experience sexual desire, and thus desire
to marry, presumably an unbeliever, since the marriage is said to
be outside their first faith.
5:13, 14 It is best for those younger widows to remarry (see 1 Cor.
7:39, 40). Otherwise, they might become idle, without work. gossips and busybodies: Paul was concerned that younger widows
would not have enough to do, and thus would bother everyone else
with worthless talk or even harmful and divisive words.
5:17 The primary function of elders is to rule well. The word honor
was used in ancient writings outside the Bible to refer to financial
remuneration. Double refers to two types of honor: (1) respect for
ruling well and (2) adequate pay for their diligent care of the church
(see 1 Cor. 9:114). Those who labor in the word and doctrine
are those elders who preach and teach the Scriptures.

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Honor the Elders


17Let the elders who rule well be
counted worthy of double honor, espe
cially those who labor in the word and
doctrine. 18For the Scripture says, fYou
shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out
the grain, and, gThe laborer is worthy
of his wages. 19Do not receive an accu
sation against an elder except hfrom two
or three witnesses. 20Those who are sin
ning rebuke in the presence of all, that
the rest also may fear.
21I charge you before God and the Lord
Jesus Christ and the 7elect angels that you
observe these things without iprejudice,
doing nothing with partiality. 22Do not
lay hands on anyone hastily, nor jshare
in other peoples sins; keep yourself pure.
23No longer drink only water, but use
a little wine for your stomachs sake and
your frequent 8infirmities.
24Some mens sins are kclearly evident,
preceding them to judgment, but those of
some men follow later. 25Likewise, the
good works of some are clearly evident,
and those that are otherwise cannot be
hidden.
Honor Masters
Let as many abondservants as are
under the yoke count their own mas
ters worthy of all honor, so that the name

5:18 For the Scripture says: With two quotations, one from Deut.
25:4 and the other from the words of Christ in Luke 10:7, Paul provides proof for the principle of providing adequate financial care for
elders. The Luke passage is especially noteworthy because it shows
that that Gospel was considered by Paul to be Scripture along with
the Book of Deuteronomy.
5:19 An elder is protected against malicious attacks by the command not to receive an accusation, a charge or legal accusation,
except when it comes from two or three witnesses (see Deut.
19:15; Matt. 18:16). Charges against elders are to be factual, not based
on a single opinion or rumor.
5:20 Those who are sinning refers to elders who fail in their leadership, whether in the local church, in their social life, or in their
home life. Rebuke is a command to bring a sin to light, to expose
it before all, including other elders and the church body. the rest
also may fear: The public rebuke of a sinning elder is to serve as
a warning to other believers. Gods discipline is consistent from
leadership to laity. Sin is a serious matter in the lives of believers,
especially those in leadership (see 1 Pet. 4:17). When leaders sin with
impunity, church members might erroneously start justifying their
own sins.
5:22 This verse warns against too hastily restoring a leader who
has fallen. Correction in love and restoration to fellowship should
occur as soon as possible, but restoration to leadership should not
be made without time and biblical evaluation. Another interpretation of this verse suggests that it is a command to evaluate carefully
anyone being considered for leadership, not just former leaders
who want to be restored (3:114). Keep yourself pure is a caution
for Timothy not to share responsibility for another persons sins by
restoring or appointing someone who is not qualified.
5:25 cannot be hidden: Unnoticed good works will become evident, if not in this life then at the judgment seat of Christ (see 1Cor.
3:1015).
6:1 Bondservants ... under the yoke refers to believers who are
slaves. Believing slaves were to give their unbelieving masters all

5/20/14 2:06 PM

1 TIMOTHY 6:12|1955

of God and His doctrine may not be blas


phemed. 2And those who have believing
masters, let them not despise them be
cause they are brethren, but rather serve
them because those who are benefited are
believers and beloved. Teach and exhort
these things.
Error and Greed
3If anyone teaches otherwise and does
not consent to bwholesome words, even
the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, cand
to the 1doctrine which accords with god
liness, 4he is proud, knowing nothing,
but is obsessed with disputes and ar
guments over words, from which come
envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,
52use
less wranglings of men of corrupt
minds and destitute of the truth, who
suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
3From dsuch withdraw yourself.

3 b2Tim.
1:13 cTitus 1:1
1teaching
5 d2Tim. 3:5 2NU,
M constant friction
3NU omits the rest
of v. 5.

6 ePhil. 4:11; Heb.


13:5
7 fJob 1:21; Ps.
49:17; Eccl. 5:15
4NU omits and it is
certain
8 gProv. 30:8, 9

honor or respect. The life and actions of a Christian slave were to


represent the Christian faith and Christ Himself. In the same way we
should watch how we act at work. It is extremely important, for our
actions testify to the reality of Christs power in our lives.
6:2 Teach: Paul moves to the conclusion with a final warning for
Timothy to instruct his congregation in order to combat the false
teachings that were infiltrating that church (see v. 4, 5). The Greek
word for teach means the formal presentation of doctrine (see 2:12),
while the Greek word for exhort implies less formal instruction, a
coming alongside to guide. These things is probably best understood as the contents of this letter.
6:3, 4 If anyone teaches otherwise: Here Paul refers to false
teachers. He contrasts their sick teaching with the wholesome
words (see sound doctrine in 1:10) of the Lord Jesus Christ.
These false teachers were more interested in theory and debate
than putting the truth into practice. They had a morbid desire to
argue over words.
6:5 Destitute of the truth describes the uselessness of speculative
religious arguments. These false teachers were using religion for
their own financial gain. Probably they were hoping that their debates on religion would gain them a following and financial support.
6:9 Two types of people are described in relation to wealth (see
v. 17). The first type are those who desire to be rich. An inner lack

6Now

godliness with econtentment


is great gain. 7For we brought nothing
into this world, 4and it is fcertain we can
carry nothing out. 8And having food and
clothing, with these we shall be gcontent.
9But those who desire to be rich fall into
temptation and a snare, and into many
foolish and harmful lusts which drown
men in destruction and perdition. 10For
the love of money is a root of all kinds of
evil, for which some have strayed from
the faith in their greediness, and pierced
themselves through with many sorrows.
The Good Confession
11But you, O man of God, flee these
things and pursue righteousness, god
liness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
12Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on
eternal life, to which you were also called
and have confessed the good c onfession

of godliness and contentment leaves a vacuum filled with greed.


This greed drives people into temptation, snares, and foolish and
harmful lusts. Drown literally means to drag to the bottom. Paul
was painting a graphic word picture of a greedy person drowning
under the tremendous weight of material desires. Destruction and
perdition are synonymous with ruin and irretrievable loss. This loss
may be experienced in this life, as through a wrong purpose for
living, or it may be experienced in the afterlife if material desires lead
a person away from Christ (see 1:16; 2:4; Luke 16:114).
6:10 Money in and of itself is not a problem, but the love of money
is. Love of money is a root, though not the root, of evil. The love
of money can drive a person into all types of evil. Greediness may
cause a believer even to stray from the faith. Christians may be
blinded by greed and materialism to such a degree that they break
away from their faith. many sorrows: A life focused on material
things produces only pain.
6:11 Paul issues a powerful warning against materialism. Flee is
a strong command. Pursue is a command to hunt or chase after
some object. Righteousness, godliness, and faith are character
qualities. Love, patience, and gentleness are fruit of the Spirit-
controlled life (see Gal. 5:22). Men and women of God should pursue
godliness, not materialism, with all of their being.
6:12 lay hold on eternal life: Eternal life is viewed as a free gift

The Challenge of Contentment


Pauls young disciple Timothy had his hands full in Ephesus. The apostle had left Timothy in that city to oversee the
organization of the church. Timothy was to provide consistent teaching, help the church choose leaders, and model
personal integrity as a leader.
Pauls first letter to Timothy contains both direction and encouragement for Timothy. Among his memorable objectives Paul included the following: Now godliness with contentment is great gain (6:6). Obviously, the absence of both
godliness and contentment would indicate great loss, especially in the Christian life. Godliness without contentment
would be a joyless and legalistic righteousness. Contentment without godliness describes a person sadly disconnected
from Gods truth.
What kind of life was Paul describing when he speaks of godly contentment? Paul describes such a person as having a
firm understanding of the passing nature of life. The things of this world are here when we arrive and are left behind when
we leave. Neither godliness nor contentment can be found in accumulating them. Things beyond Gods provision of our
basic needs (food and clothing, 6:8) can be enjoyed without becoming a necessity. Paul understood that if godliness
(our desire to see Gods character reproduced in us) and contentment (our acceptance of Gods will in our lives) depend
on our environment or circumstances, both will always be unstable.
Elsewhere, Paul indicates that godly contentment must be a learned response (see Phil. 4:1113). Developing godly
contentment lies well beyond our abilities. That is why along with Paul we must appeal to the right source for such a
character trait: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).

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5/20/14 2:06 PM

1956|1 TIMOTHY 6:13

in the presence of many witnesses. 13I


urge you in the sight of God who gives
life to all things, and before Christ Jesus
hwho witnessed the good confession be
fore Pontius Pilate, 14that you keep this
commandment without spot, blameless
until our Lord Jesus Christs appearing,
15which He will manifest in His own
time, He who is the blessed and only
5Po
tentate, the King of kings and Lord
of lords, 16who alone has immortali
ty, dwelling in iunapproachable light,
jwhom no man has seen or can see, to
whom be honor and everlasting power.
Amen.
Instructions to the Rich
17Com
mand those who are rich in

13 hMatt. 27:2;
John 18:36, 37
15 5Sovereign
16 iDan. 2:22
jJohn 6:46

17 kJer. 9:23; 48:7

lEccl. 5:18, 19

19 m[Matt. 6:20, 21;


19:21]
20 n[2Tim. 1:12, 14]
oTitus 1:14 6empty
chatter

(see John 3:16; Eph. 2:810), a present experience (see John 10:10),
and a reward (see Mark 10:29, 30; Luke 18:29, 30). Here Paul is not
speaking of Timothys salvation, but instead of his fruitfulness in this
life and his rewards in the next. The good confession is Timothys
call and ministry. Paul was urging Timothy to continue his ministry
of preaching the Word of God.
6:14 commandment: In the immediate context, Paul was exhorting Timothy to avoid empty religious argumentation (6:35) and
the greed of materialism (6:610). Timothy was to remain faithful
to Christ until He appeared again. Thus Paul was encouraging Timothy to focus on the return of Christ, not on temporal gain. The
imminent return of Christ should be a motive for godly living (see
2 Pet. 3:1016; 1 John 2:28).
6:15, 16 God will manifest the return of Christ in His own time.

idle babblings
(Gk. kenophnia) (6:20; 2 Tim. 2:16) Strongs #2757
This Greek word literally means empty words. In Pauls
writings, the Greek word kenos expresses the ultimate
emptiness of all that is not filled with spiritual meaning.
In other words, human achievement amounts to nothing
if it does not come from the will of God. Nothing comes
from this nothingness; it is futility. Paul uses a derivative
of this word to describe the hollow words (see 6:20; 2 Tim.
2:16) spoken by Judaizers trying to entice the believers with
their foolish philosophies (see Eph. 5:6; Col. 2:8). But the
teaching committed to Paul and the apostles was not futile;
it would last throughout eternity because it originated in
Gods unchanging will (Matt. 5:18; 1 Cor. 15:1215).

9780529114389_int_06b_1tim_rev_nkjv_study_APPROVED.indd 1956

this present age not to be haughty, nor


to trust in uncertain kriches but in the
living God, who gives us richly all things
lto enjoy. 18Let them do good, that they
be rich in good works, ready to give,
willing to share, 19mstoring up for them
selves a good foundation for the time to
come, that they may lay hold on eternal
life.
Guard the Faith
20O Timothy! nGuard what was com
mitted to your trust, oavoiding the profane
and 6idle babblings and contradictions of
what is falsely called knowledge 21by
professing it some have strayed concern
ing the faith.
Grace be with you. Amen.

This will happen at a specific point in time that Jesus declared was
known only to the Father (see Acts 1:6, 7). The last half of v. 15 and
all of v. 16 form a doxology of praise to the Lord Jesus. Immortality
may also be translated without death. Jesus is God and therefore
can never die.
6:17 those who are rich: Paul has already condemned those who
are attempting to become rich through the ministry (vv. 610). The
second group of people Paul addresses in regard to wealth (see also
v. 9) are those who are already wealthy. Paul encourages Timothy
to tell the rich not to be high-minded or proud and not to trust
in uncertain riches. Only the living God can provide for all of
our needs.
6:18 Those with wealth are commanded to recognize God as the
true source of their wealth and to be generous with their riches.
The material blessings of God are to be enjoyed and used for the
advancement of His Kingdom, not for self-centered living.
6:19 Storing up may also be translated treasuring up, a phrase
similar to Jesus challenge in Matt. 6:1921 to lay up treasure in heaven. A believers daily obedience to God builds a good foundation
for the time to come. The Scriptures teach that a believers works
will be evaluated to see what his or her life in Christ has produced
(see 1 Cor. 3:1015).
6:20 The Greek term for committed is found only here and in
2Tim. 1:12, 14. The deposit that Timothy had to guard was the truth
revealed in this letter. Knowledge is the Greek word gnosis, from
which the word Gnosticism is derived. Evidently an early form of
Gnosticism had infiltrated the Ephesian church. This heresy taught
that salvation came through the knowledge of spiritual mysteries.
In unequivocal terms, Paul warns Timothy not to be caught up in
this false teaching (see 1:3, 4; 6:35).
6:21 First Timothy closes as it begins (1:2), with an emphasis on
Gods grace. The Greek word for you is plural, perhaps indicating
that this letter was to be read to the church in Ephesus.

5/20/14 2:06 PM

THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO

TIMOTHY

WHEN DEATH NEARS, priorities change. In light of mortality, what used to seem significant
may dim in comparison to ones ultimate fate. That is why we listen to a persons last words.
When all is said and done, everyone wants to know what gave that person hope in the face
of death. Second Timothy is Pauls last words. From a cold, lonely Roman prison, the aged
apostle Paul wrote his final instructions to his protg Timothy. Paul knew that this letter
might well be his final contact with Timothy; his execution was most likely imminent. He
implored Timothy to come quickly to his side. But in case he did not make it, Paul imparted
his last words of encouragement to his son in the faith.
Author and DateThe author of 2 Timothy identifies himself as Paul (1:1). Other remarks in the book are characteristic of Pauls ministry (see 3:10, 11; 4:10, 11, 19, 20). Many of the early church fathers such as Polycarp, Justin
Martyr, and Irenaeus support Pauline authorship. For an explanation of the challenges to Pauline authorship of
2 Timothy, see the Introduction to 1 Timothy. Most of these challenges are based on the erroneous assumption
that the theology and Greek style of this letter can only fit the context of the second century.
Many scholars believe that 2 Timothy was written during a second imprisonment of Paul in Rome (see 1:8,
16, 17; 4:613). According to the fourth-century church historian Eusebius, Paul was martyred during Neros
regime, sometime before A.D. 68. Since this letter was written immediately before Pauls death, it was probably
written around A.D. 67.
SettingThe Book of Acts ends with Paul under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28). But many scholars believe that
Paul was acquitted, as he had expected (Phil. 1:19). From sporadic evidence in the Pastoral Epistles, we can trace
Pauls travels after his imprisonment. He probably visited Crete (Titus 1:5), Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3), Macedonia, and
perhaps Colosse (Philem. 22) and Spain (see Rom. 15:24). Timothy traveled with Paul to Ephesus and was left
there to confront the false teachers that were infiltrating the church in that city (1 Tim. 1:3).
Many believe that Paul was put in prison when Nero began his campaign of persecution, shortly after Rome
burned down in A.D. 64. Nero blamed the Christians for starting the fire, and executed many of them with
extreme cruelty. Soon afterward, the apostle Peter died for his faith by being crucified upside down, according
to the church father Origen. As Paul penned his second letter to Timothy, he was aware of his coming death
(4:68). A number of believers had deserted him (4:16), and only Luke was with him at the writing of this letter
(4:11). At the end of the letter, one can sense Pauls concern. He implores Timothy: Be diligent to come to me
quickly (4:9). Paul did not want to leave this earth without seeing Timothy and Mark to give them some final
words of wisdom (4:913).
Pauls concern for Timothy arose out of their long relationship with each other. Ever since the beginning of
the second missionary journey Timothy had been close to Paul, assisting him in his ministry, acting as his liaison,
and learning from his godly example. Timothys devout mother Eunice and grandmother Lois had provided
him with a grounding in the Hebrew Scriptures on which Paul could build (see 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14, 15). Although
evidently Timothy was slightly timid because of his young age (1:7; 1 Tim. 4:12), Paul developed his son in the

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5/20/14 5:32 PM

19582 Timothy INTRODUCTION

Temple of Hadrian (second century a.d.) at Ephesus. Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, who was serving in Ephesus.
William D. Mounce

faith by placing more and more responsibility on his shoulders. Timothy had functioned as Pauls representative
to Thessalonica (1 Thess. 3:2) and Corinth (1 Cor. 4:17). But leaving Timothy at Ephesus was a major step for Paul;
as a concerned mentor, he wrote a letter to Timothy repeatedly charging him to remain faithful to the essentials
of the Christian faith (1 Tim. 1:18; 4:1216; 5:21; 6:1113). Paul had served as Timothys spiritual mentor throughout
his life. Now as he neared his death Paul wanted to see him one last time. And if that could not be, he wanted
at least to give Timothy some final words of encouragement.
PurposePauls primary purpose for writing this letter was to offer final instructions to Timothy regarding the
Christian life. Second Timothy has an intensely personal nature and tone. One senses Pauls strong love and
concern for Timothy. Paul encourages his close friend to use his spiritual gifts. He writes to strengthen Timothys
loyalty to Christ in the face of the suffering and persecution that would come. The apostle challenges Timothy
to handle the Word of God accurately, faithfully instructing others in the truths of the faith. Warnings and
instructions are given concerning how a believer should relate to the world in times of apostasy. In the closing
chapter, Paul offers Timothy his final word of advice: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.
This was Pauls own mission, to preach the gospel to the Gentiles; now he was passing it on to his beloved son
in the faith, Timothy.
Pauls second purpose for writing this letter was to urge Timothy to join him in Rome. Paul knew that he was
soon to die. He longed to see and have fellowship with his child in the faith one last time.
TheologyPaul was well aware that hardships and conflict are a part of Christian ministry. One of the essential
characteristics of a faithful servant of Christ is endurance in the midst of difficulties. To encourage Timothy in
this virtue, the apostle reminds him that Jesus Christ is of the seed of David and was raised from the dead
(2:8). Mention of the seed of David links Christ with the Davidic covenant (see 2 Sam. 7:1116), which states that
a Son of David will rule on his throne forever. Furthermore, Christ has been resurrected; He is alive. The promise
of ruling and reigning with Him (see 2:1113) is set before Timothy as a motive for faithful endurance in ministry.
A special crown will be given to those who faithfully serve the Lord and wait for His return (4:8).
Chapter 3 develops the theme of apostasy in the latter days. Paul warns Timothy that difficulties are coming
for believers, and he instructs him about how Christians are to respond and behave. Jesus had predicted that
such times would come (John 15:1825; 16:33; 17:1518), and Paul himself had referred previously to these times
(1 Thess. 3:18). Although he would not live to see these dreadful days, Paul still cared enough to urge Timothy
to be bold in the work of the Lord, even in the midst of troubling times.

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5/20/14 2:06 PM

2 Timothy INTRODUCTION1959

Christ in the Scriptures


In this follow-up correspondence, Paul identifies Christ Jesus as the One who
appeared on earth in order to abolish death and bring life and immortality to
light (1:10). But Paul is candid enough to move beyond the creedal affirmations
of faith to speak about the personal consequences of following the Son of God.
All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (3:12). Jesus is
nothing less than the source of our salvation, our faith, and the gospel we proclaim,
which will surely make waves in the world. No wonder Paul writes to Timothy to
inspire perseverance. Conflict and resistance come with the turf of discipleship.
But Paul looks to the end of the race and reminds his friend that all who love Jesus
appearing will receive the crown of righteousness (4:8). Even more, they will one
day reign with Christ (2:12).

2 Timothy Outline
I. Encouragement in ministry 1:118
A. Using spiritual gifts 1:17

B. Suffering for the gospel 1:818

II. Examples in ministry 2:126


A. Comparisons to a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer 2:113

B. Challenge to handle Gods Word accurately 2:1426

III. Exhortations in ministry 3:117


A. Warnings of apostasy 3:19

B. Ways to face apostasy 3:1017

IV. Encouragements in ministry 4:122


A. Preach the Word 4:15

B. Final exhortations and encouragements 4:622

c. a.d. 4749

Pauls first
missionary
journey

c. a.d. 50

The Jerusalem
council

c. a.d. 5053

Pauls second
missionary
journey

c. a.d. 50

Timothy joins Paul


and Silas in Lystra

c. a.d. 5357

Pauls third
missionary
journey

c. a.d. 54

Timothy again
joins Pauls
entourage

c. a.d. 58

Paul is arrested in
Jerusalem

c. a.d. 6062

Paul is imprisoned
in Rome

c. a.d. 62

Paul is released;
1 Timothy is written
c. a.d. 67

Paul is imprisoned
again in Rome;
2 Timothy is written
c. a.d. 67

Peter and Paul are


executed

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1960|2 TIMOTHY 1:1

Greeting
aul, an apostle of 1Jesus Christ by
the will of God, according to the
apromise of life which is in Christ
Jesus,
2To

CHAPTER 1
1 aTitus 1:2 1NU,
M Christ Jesus
2 b1Tim. 1:2; 2Tim.
2:1; Titus 1:4
3 cActs 24:14

Timothy, a bbeloved son:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the


Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Timothys Faith and Heritage
3 I thank God, whom I serve with
a pure conscience, as my cforefathers

5 d1Tim. 1:5; 4:6


eActs 16:1 2Lit.
unhypocritical
6 f1Tim. 4:14
7 gJohn 14:27;
Rom. 8:15; 1John
4:18 h[Acts 1:8]

1:1 Paul speaks of himself in 1 Tim. as an apostle by the commandment of God (see 1 Tim. 1:1). In 2 Timothy he calls himself
an apostle by the will of God (see also 2 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:1).
according to the promise of life: Paul considers himself a bearer
of a life-giving message. This message of life stands in ironic contrast to the fact that Paul was writing from a Roman prison, facing
his execution. The characteristic phrase in Christ, found in other
Pauline letters, also appears in this letter, further indicating that it
came from Paul.
1:2 beloved son: In his first letter to Timothy, Paul referred to him
as a true son in the faith (see 1 Tim. 1:2). Pauls deep love and concern for this younger man of God is shown throughout this letter.
1:3 I serve is a priestly phrase often associated with worship. Forefathers were the patriarchs of the faith: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Paul had a great love for Israel (see Rom. 9:15). The reason he connects himself with Israels forefathers may be to demonstrate that
he is not advocating a new religion but one of which the godly of
the past are also a part. remember you in my prayers: Although
he was most likely held in a cold and damp prison (4:13), the aged
apostle was still worshiping God and offering prayers on behalf of
Timothy. Christian service and worship go hand in hand in ministry.
No matter what their circumstances, believers should pray to their
heavenly Father, committing everything to His loving hands.

did, as without ceasing I remember you


in my prayers night and day, 4greatly
desiring to see you, being mindful of
your tears, that I may be filled with joy,
5when I call to remembrance dthe 2gen
uine faith that is in you, which dwelt
first in your grandmother Lois and eyour
mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in
you also. 6Therefore I remind you fto
stir up the gift of God which is in you
through the laying on of my hands. 7For
gGod has not given us a spirit of fear,
hbut of power and of love and of a sound
mind.

1:4 desiring to see you: Paul longed to see Timothy, possibly because the apostle realized his life would end soon (4:617).
1:5 The word translated genuine means unhypocritical. Paul rejoices when he recalls Timothys faithful grandmother Lois and
mother Eunice, whose name means Good Victory. The prayers,
witness, and faith of his godly mother and grandmother were central factors in the spiritual development of Timothy (see 1 Tim. 2:15).
1:6 stir up the gift: Timothy is urged to rekindle his spiritual gift
(this idea is expressed in the negative in 1 Tim. 4:14). The desire to
discover, develop, and deploy our specific spiritual gifts should be
like a fire blazing within us. The constant struggle of Christians is to
be diligent about our work for God and not to slacken our pace in
this spiritual race. We need to make a conscious effort to exercise
our gift for the common good of the body of Christ.
1:7 The Holy Spirit is the One who gives us spiritual gifts and empowers us to use them. Gods Spirit does not impart fear or cowardice, but power, love, and a sound mind, or self- control. The
Spirit imparts power for the various circumstances of ministry. The
love the Spirit gives to us should be directed toward other individuals. Furthermore, as we use our spiritual gifts to build up the
church, we should exercise self-control, using our abilities only at
the appropriate times.

The Handbook for a Lifes Work


In his final and intimate letter to his son in the faith, Paul reminded Timothy of the essentials of the faith, the basis of
Christian ministry. Paul did not want Timothy to drift away from the truth, as Phygellus and Hermogenes had done (1:15).
Therefore he passionately exhorted Timothy to hold on tightly to the faith and to the sound teaching that Paul had
entrusted to him (1:13).
Paul knew that consistency and personal integrity (2:2226) would be a significant factor in the young pastors effectiveness. So Paul warned Timothy about associations with others (3:15), encouraging him to reflect on their years together
as an example of ethical consistency in the midst of difficulty (3:1015). In fact, Paul wrote, all who desire to live godly
in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (3:12). Timothy certainly had vivid memories of trials in ministry to illustrate Pauls
point (see Acts 19:2120:6).
But Paul also made sure that whatever other counsel he gave his pupil, Timothy would find beneath it all a rock-solid
dependence on Gods Word. Timothys authority would not come from his own wisdom, Pauls endorsement, or the
acceptance of others. His teaching would stand only to the degree that it was based on Scripture.
Pauls ringing tribute to the authority and practicality of Gods Word (3:16, 17) completes a section which begins in 2:2
with his charge to Timothy to commit what he had learned to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. In 3:17,
Paul offered the central test for measuring whether the gospel torch had been successfully passed from one generation to
the next. The application of Gods Word in four distinct ways would insure that the next generation would become complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (3:17). Effective teaching would include (1) doctrine, the basic truths of
the faith; (2) reproof, or challenging and confronting each other with the Word of God; (3) correction, by providing guidance
from the truths in Scripture; and (4) instruction in righteousness, the personal and practical application of biblical truths.
Paul was encouraging Timothy not only to pass the truths of Scripture on to the next generation, but also to pass
on the basis of those truths, the Word of God itself. As we follow in Pauls footsteps, we too must make it clear that the
authority of our teaching comes from the Bible. If we teach the truth but do not teach the source of truth, we will not
succeed in passing on our faith. Our affirmations and actions have to be founded on Gods Word or they will be little
more than wishful thinking.

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2 TIMOTHY 2:7|1961

Not Ashamed of the Gospel


8iTherefore do not be ashamed of jthe
testimony of our Lord, nor of me kHis
prisoner, but share with me in the suf
ferings for the gospel according to the
power of God, 9who has saved us and
called us with a holy calling, lnot accord
ing to our works, but maccording to His
own purpose and grace which was given
to us in Christ Jesus nbefore time began,
10but ohas now been revealed by the ap
pearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who
has abolished death and brought life and
immortality to light through the gospel,
11pto which I was
appointed a preacher,
an apostle, and a teacher 3of the Gen
tiles. 12For this reason I also suffer these
things; nevertheless I am not ashamed,
qfor I know whom I have believed and am
persuaded that He is able to keep what I
have committed to Him until that Day.
Be Loyal to the Faith
13rHold fast sthe pattern of tsound
words which you have heard from me, in
faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
14That good thing which was commit
ted to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who
dwells inus.
15This you know, that all those in Asia

8 i[Mark 8:38; Luke


9:26; Rom. 1:16];
2Tim. 1:12, 16
j1Tim. 2:6 kEph.
3:1; 2Tim. 1:16
9 l[Rom. 3:20]; Eph.
2:8, 9 mRom. 8:28
nRom. 16:25; Eph.
1:4; Titus 1:2
10 oEph. 1:9
11 pActs 9:15
3NU omits of the
Gentiles
12 q1Pet. 4:19
13 r2Tim. 3:14;
Titus 1:9 sRom.
2:20; 6:17 t1Tim.
6:3
16 u2Tim. 4:19
18 vMatt. 6:4; Mark
9:41 w2Thess. 1:10
xHeb. 6:10 4to me
from Vg., a few
Gr. mss.
CHAPTER 2
1 a1Tim. 1:2 bEph.
6:10
3 c2Tim. 4:5
d1Cor. 9:7; 1Tim.
1:18 1NU You must
share
4 e[2Pet. 2:20]
5 f[1Cor. 9:25]
7 gProv. 2:6 2NU
the Lord will give
you

1:8 Timothy is encouraged not to be ashamed or shrink back from


the testimony of our Lord. Testimony is the witness of the Lord; the
Greek term is the source of the English word martyr. Church tradition
says that most of the apostles died as martyrs. Paul is concerned
that in the face of vehement opposition Timothy might be afraid to
witness. Share with me in the sufferings indicates that at times
a faithful witness for the Lord will involve adversity. Pauls call for
boldness in vv. 79 may indicate that Timothy was timid. Every once
in awhile he needed a gentle push to be bold.
1:9 Gods saving and calling of believers is not according to ...
works. It is impossible for people to earn their way into heaven.
Salvation is according to Gods own purpose or sovereign plan
(see Rom. 8:2830; Eph. 1:11). Grace is Gods unearned favor. The
Lord called us and saved us in Christ Jesus before time began.
1:10 The manifestation of Gods plan and grace has been revealed,
or brought to light, in the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ.
abolished death: Fear of dying might have caused believers to
shrink from testifying about their faith. The Greek term translated life is typically used of eternal life in the NT. Gods life, unlike
the life of humans, is immortal; He cannot die. Through their faith
in Christ, believers have inherited eternal life. We have nothing to
fear, not even death. Therefore we can proclaim with boldness our
trust in Christ.
1:12 Pauls confidence in the gospel and his Savior enabled him
to suffer without any shame. The phrase whom I have believed
expresses Pauls unshakable trust in his Savior. What I have committed does not refer to something Paul had done for Christ, but
to something he had entrusted to Him, like a deposit in a bank. This
speaks not of Pauls confidence in himself but of Christs trustworthiness. Paul was certain that God would keep his deposit, his life
and the eternal rewards of his ministry. The apostle was preparing
for imminent death, but in spite of this he was hopeful. He had spent
his time, resources, and even his life on proclaiming the gospel, and
this investment in Christs kingdom would bring him an abundant
reward in eternity (see Luke 19:15; 1 Cor. 3:1015; Rev. 11:15, 18). God
will protect us in life and in death. He will not forget a life of faithful
service to Him when He returns.

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have turned away from me, among whom


are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16The
Lord grant mercy to the uhousehold of
Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me,
and was not ashamed of my chain; 17but
when he arrived in Rome, he sought me
out very zealously and found me. 18The
Lord vgrant to him that he may find
mercy from the Lord win that Dayand
you know very well how many ways he
xministered 4to me at Ephesus.
Be Strong in Grace
You therefore, amy son, bbe strong
in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2And the things that you have heard
from me among many witnesses, com
mit these to faithful men who will be
able to teach others also. 3You therefore
must cendure1 hardship das a good sol
dier of J esus Christ. 4eNo one engaged in
warfare entangles himself with the affairs
of this life, that he may please him who
enlisted him as a soldier. 5And also fif
anyone competes in athletics, he is not
crowned unless he competes according to
the rules. 6The hardworking farmer must
be first to partake of the crops. 7Consider
what I say, and 2may the Lord ggive you
understanding in all things.

1:13 Hold fast is a command to Timothy to persist in the sound


words of healthy teaching (see 1 Tim. 1:310). Many who say they
speak for Christ proclaim false doctrine. Like Timothy, we need to
pursue sound teaching and avoid all teaching that does not conform
to the Scriptures, no matter how good certain teachers might sound
or how large their following might be.
1:14 That good thing may be rephrased as the good deposit.
Here the phrase refers to Pauls teachings to Timothy (see 1 Tim.
6:20). Keep means to guard or to protect. Who dwells in us
describes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers.
1:1517 These verses describe those who had abandoned Paul.
Yet even here, Paul recalls Onesiphorus (a name meaning Help
Bringer). This man from Ephesus had refreshed Paul as if by a cup
of cold water. We too should be a refreshment to other believers.
2:1 In light of the defections of others (1:15), Paul exhorts Timothy to be faithful. But Pauls call is for Timothy to be strong in the
grace that is in Christ Jesus. The emphasis is on the strength of
Christ, not on Timothys own power. If we trust in ourselves, we are
doomed to fail.
2:2 Timothy is commanded to commit Pauls teaching to faithful
men. Faithful men then have the responsibility of teaching others.
This would be the basis for an endless chain of Christian discipleship, the teaching of Christian teachers (see Matt. 28:1820). among
many witnesses: Discipleship may occur in large groups, small
groups, or one-on-one encounters. Here Paul emphasizes a group
setting.
2:36 Three illustrations are given for faithfulness. The first is a
soldier. The Christian walk is often presented as spiritual warfare. Effective service calls for singleness of purpose. The second
illustration comes from athletics. The Greek games were important
and demanded strenuous training (see 1 Cor. 9:25). No competitor
could be crowned unless he competed in accordance with the
rules. Here the reference is to a victors wreath given in an athletic contest. Faithful believers will receive a victors crown, not the
royal crown which belongs to Jesus. Paul is saying that spiritual
activity must be conducted within the directives of biblical faith
and doctrine. To defect from true doctrine is to lose our reward

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1962|2 TIMOTHY 2:8


8Remember that Jesus Christ, hof the
seed of David, iwas raised from the dead
jac
cording to my gospel, 9kfor which I
suffer trouble as an evildoer, leven to
the point of chains; mbut the word of
God is not chained. 10Therefore nI en
dure all things for the sake of the 3elect,
othat they also may obtain the salvation
which is in Christ Jesus with eternal
glory.

8 hRom. 1:3, 4
i1Cor. 15:4 jRom.
2:16
9 kActs 9:16 lEph.
3:1 mActs 28:31;
[2Tim. 4:17]
10 nEph. 3:13
o2Cor. 1:6; 1Thess.
5:9 3chosen ones
11 pRom. 6:5, 8;
1Thess. 5:10
12 q[Matt. 19:28];

(see 2 John 7, 8). The third illustration is that of a hardworking


farmer. Conscientious, hard labor is necessary before a farmer can
enjoy a bountiful harvest.
2:8 Timothy is commanded to remember Christs resurrection.
The seed of David emphasizes Jesus humanity and the fact that
He would fulfill all the promises God had given to David (see 2 Sam.
7:1116). Raised from the dead emphasizes that our Savior lives
today seated at the right hand of God the Father.
2:9 Human circumstances cannot confine the word of God.
Whether through a tract, a book, a Bible, or a simple statement,
God uses His word to accomplish His purposes. There are numerous
examples of people who were antagonistic to Gods truth but who
surrendered their lives to God when He kept after them (see Pauls
conversion in Acts 9:125). We must not hide the gospel, but instead
let it go forth unchained in spite of our own limitations.
2:10 Paul is able to endure his present difficult circumstances his

11This

is a faithful saying:

For pif we died with Him,


We shall also live with Him.
12 q If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
r If we deny Him,
He also will denyus.
Luke 22:29; [Rom. 5:17; 8:17] rMatt. 10:33; Luke 12:9; 1Tim. 5:8

own imprisonmentbecause he knows that Gods work is still progressing among the elect, Gods chosen ones. The final outcome of
their salvation will be the eternal glory of Gods coming kingdom.
2:1113 This section is possibly a hymn or confession of the early
church. The form resembles the parallelism of Hebrew poetry. The
hymn reflects the themes of Christs death and resurrection introduced by Paul in v. 8.
2:11 if we died ... We shall also live: Believers are united with
Christ in His death and resurrection (see Rom. 6:8), which become
our death to sin and our resurrection to eternal life.
2:12 If we endure: Persevering in the faith even in the face of
hardship or persecution will result in a reward when Christ returns
(see Luke 19:1127; Rom. 8:17; Rev. 3:21). He will also deny us:
If believers deny the enduring of persecution for Christ, He will deny
them the reward and reign that could have been theirs.

Descriptions of the Christian Life


In describing how Christians should live, Paul often resorts to analogies or metaphors. This chart lists some of the metaphors of
the Christian life found in the New Testament.
Christians are
called to be like

Text

Meaning

Soldiers

2 Tim. 2:3, 4

Like a single-minded soldier, we should respond to the orders of our commanding officer, the Lord Jesus, with unquestioning obedience.

Farmers

2 Tim. 2:6

Farmers labor strenuously and consistently in order to reap a fruitful harvest. We


also must work hard in serving the Lord.

Athletes

2 Tim. 2:5

Athletes follow strict training rules so as to avoid being disqualified from their
race; we must display a similar measure of self-control.

Workers

2 Tim. 2:15

Our work is to rightly divide or correctly handle Gods Word so as to avoid


shame.

Vessels

2 Tim. 2:20, 21

We must take care to keep ourselves pure, like a clean dish, so that we will be
useful for the Master.

Fishers of men

Matt. 4:19

As fishermen, we are called to catch men with the Good News of Christ.

Salt

Matt. 5:13

As salt, we act as a godly preservative in an evil society; moreover, we make people thirsty to know their Creator.

Light

Matt. 5:1416

As light, we point the way to reconciliation with God, and we reflect Gods character, for He is the Light (John 1:7).

Branches

John 15:5

As branches, we bear godly fruit as long as we are attached to the Vine, Christ.

Stewards

1 Cor. 4:1, 2

Like administrators, we have responsibilities to manage. God will evaluate how


we handled the resources He has given us.

Ambassadors

2 Cor. 5:20

We are representatives of Gods kingdom to the lost citizens of this world.

Living stones

1 Pet. 2:5

In former days, God dwelt in a physical temple; now He dwells in His people, the
church.

Priests

1 Pet. 2:5, 9, 10

Like priests, we have the privilege of approaching near to God, and the responsibility of helping others in reconciling themselves to Him.

Sojourners

1 Pet. 2:11

As children of God, we do not belong to the world. This world is not our home;
we are only passing through.

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2 TIMOTHY 3:5|1963
13 If

we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He scannot deny Himself.

Approved and Disapproved Workers


14Remind them of these things, tcharg
ing them before the Lord not to 4strive
about words to no profit, to the ruin of
the hearers. 15uBe diligent to present
yourself approved to God, a worker who
does not need to be ashamed, rightly
dividing the word of truth. 16But shun
profane and 5idle babblings, for they will
6in
crease to more ungodliness. 17And
their message will spread like cancer.
vHy
menaeus and Philetus are of this
sort, 18who have strayed concerning the
truth, wsaying that the resurrection is al
ready past; and they overthrow the faith
of some. 19Nevertheless xthe solid foun
dation of God stands, having this seal:
The Lord yknows those who are His,
and, Let everyone who names the name
of 7Christ depart from iniquity.
20But in a great house there are not
only zvessels of gold and silver, but also
of wood and clay, some for honor and
some for dishonor. 21Therefore if any
one cleanses himself from the latter, he
will be a vessel for honor, 8sanctified and

13 sNum. 23:19;
Titus 1:2
14 t1Tim. 5:21; 6:4;
2Tim. 2:23; Titus
3:9 4battle
15 u1Tim. 4:13;
2Pet. 1:10
16 5empty chatter
6lead
17 v1Tim. 1:20
18 w1Cor. 15:12
19 xMatt. 24:24;
[1Cor. 3:11] yNum.
16:5; [Nah. 1:7];
John 10:14, 27
7NU, M the Lord
20 zRom. 9:21
21 a2Cor. 9:8; [Eph.
2:10]; 2Tim. 3:17
8set apart
22 b1Tim. 6:11
24 cTitus 3:2
dTitus 1:9 e1Tim.
3:3; Titus 1:7
25 fGal. 6:1; Titus
3:2; 1Pet. 3:15
gActs 8:22 h1Tim.
2:4
26 i1Tim. 3:7
CHAPTER 3
1 a1Tim. 4:1; 2Pet.
3:3; 1John 2:18;
Jude 17, 18 1times
of stress
3 2irreconcilable
4 b2Pet. 2:10

2:13 Faithless describes the life of an immature believer who lives


for oneself and not for the Savior (see 1 Cor. 3:13, 15). He remains
faithful: Even when believers fail the Savior, He remains loyal. For
Christ to abandon us would be contrary to His faithful nature (see
John 10:2730; Heb. 10:23; 13:5). Christs relationship with Peter is a
great example of Gods faithfulness (see Luke 22:3134).
2:15 What is approved is what remains after testing, like metals that
have been refined by fire. Rightly dividing literally means cutting
straight. word of truth: Truth defines the nature of Scripture. It is a
beacon of truth in the darkness of all kinds of falsehoods. Teachers
of the Bible should make every effort to handle His truth accurately.
Failure to do so will lead to divine judgment (see James 3:1).
2:1618 Paul warns Timothy about two men, Hymenaeus and
Philetus, who taught that the resurrection of believers had already
occurred (see 1 Tim. 1:20). This was probably an early form of Gnosticism that emphasized a spiritual resurrection as opposed to the
Christian belief in a future bodily resurrection.
2:19 In spite of the unfaithful actions of some, the solid foundation
of God stands. The tense of the verb indicates that Paul saw Gods
truth as standing not only in the past but also in the present. Isaiah 40:8 reveals that Gods Word will also stand firmly in the future,
since it is eternal. The Lord knows those who are His: This is an
intimate, experiential knowledge that can only be obtained in a
relationship. depart from iniquity: Our sure relationship with our
Father in heaven should motivate us to a life of purity.
2:20, 21 The imagery of the house is used to describe two categories of believers. Gold and silver represent believers who are faithful and useful in serving Christ. Wood and clay represent believers
who fail to honor the Lord (see 1 Cor. 3:1215). Master is a strong
term for Gods authority over the lives of believers regardless of their
level of spiritual maturity. We choose to serve the Lord in the power
of the Holy Spirit in order to be useful to our Master.
2:22, 23 Flee ... pursue ... avoid: In these verses Paul describes in
practical terms how Timothy can be a useful vessel for Gods work.
2:24 Quarrel translates a military term for hand-to-hand combat.
The Lords servant must not battle with words, but instead must be
gentle and kind to all.

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useful for the Master, aprepared for every


good work. 22bFlee also youthful lusts;
but pursue righteousness, faith, love,
peace with those who call on the Lord
out of a pure heart. 23But avoid foolish
and ignorant disputes, knowing that they
generate strife. 24And ca servant of the
Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all,
dable to teach, epatient, 25fin humility
correcting those who are in opposition,
gif God perhaps will grant them repen
tance, hso that they may know the truth,
26and that they may come to their senses
and iescape the snare of the devil, having
been taken captive by him to do his will.
Perilous Times and Perilous Men
But know this, that ain the last days
1per
ilous times will come: 2For men
will be lovers of themselves, lovers of
money, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, unthankful, un
holy, 3unloving, 2unforgiving, slander
ers, without self-control, brutal, despisers
of good, 4btraitors, headstrong, haughty,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of
God, 5chaving a form of godliness but

5 cTitus 1:16

2:25, 26 Correcting means training or bringing to maturity.


Those who are in opposition are those who place themselves in
conflict with the preaching of Gods truth, such as Hymenaeus and
Philetus (v. 17). The aim of correction is repentance, or a change
of thinking. Paul exhorts Timothy to persevere in correcting his opponents because it is imperative that they should know the truth,
even though they might oppose the truth at present with their false
teachings about the resurrection (see v. 18). It was Pauls hope that
they would finally come to their senses, or become sober again.
False teaching has an intoxicating effect that dulls the mind to Gods
truth. Timothys persistence in correcting them might enable them
to escape the snare of the devil. The devil takes captive believers who teach false doctrine, leading others astray. One of Satans
tactics is to cause divisions in the church.
3:1 The exhortations of ch. 2 to endure hardship, be diligent, rightly
divide the Word, and be a vessel fit for the Masters use are given in
the context of difficult, even perilous times. Last days includes
the whole time from the writing of this letter until the return of
Christ.
3:5 A form of godliness is an outward appearance of reverence
for God. Denying its power describes religious activity that is not

rightly dividing
(Gk. orthotome) (2:15) Strongs #3718
This word, which occurs only here in the NT, means to
cut straight, as to cut a straight road or to keep a straight
course. The idea could also be that of plowing a straight
furrow or of squaring and cutting a stone to fit it in its
proper place. In the Greek OT, the word is used in Prov.
3:6; 11:5 to depict Gods provision of a straight path for the
righteous. Paul encouraged Timothy to handle the word
of truth in a straight way, like a road that goes straight to
its goal, without being turned aside by useless debates.

5/20/14 2:06 PM

1964|2 TIMOTHY 3:6


ddenying

its power. And efrom such peo


ple turn away! 6For fof this sort are those
who creep into households and make
captives of gullible women loaded down
with sins, led away by various lusts, 7al
ways learning and never able gto come
to the knowledge of the truth. 8hNow as
Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do
these also resist the truth: imen of cor
rupt minds, jdisapproved concerning the
faith; 9but they will progress no further,
for their folly will be manifest to all, kas
theirs also was.
The Man of God and the Word of God
10lBut you have carefully followed my
doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith,
longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11per
secutions, afflictions, which happened to
me mat Antioch, nat Iconium, oat Lystra
what persecutions I endured. And pout
of them all the Lord delivered me. 12Yes,
and qall who desire to live godly in Christ
Jesus will suffer persecution. 13rBut evil
men and impostors will grow worse and

5 d1Tim. 5:8
eMatt. 23:3;
2Thess. 3:6; 1Tim.
6:5
6 fMatt. 23:14;
Titus 1:11
7 g1Tim. 2:4
8 hEx. 7:11, 12, 22;
8:7; 9:11 i1Tim. 6:5
jRom. 1:28
9 kEx. 7:11, 12;
8:18; 9:11
10 lPhil. 2:20, 22;
1Tim. 4:6
11 mActs 13:44-52
nActs 14:1-6, 19
oActs 14:8-20 pPs.
34:19
12 q[Ps. 34:19]
13 r2Thess. 2:11
14 s2Tim. 1:13;
Titus 1:9
15 tPs. 119:97-104;
John 5:39
16 u[2Pet. 1:20]
vRom. 4:23; 15:4
3training, discipline
17 w1Tim. 6:11
x2Tim. 2:21; Heb.
13:21
CHAPTER 4
1 a1Tim. 5:21;

connected to a living relationship with Jesus Christ. As time progresses, people would begin to participate in religious activities
that are empty. Their activities have nothing to do with a true relationship with God or with individual faith in Jesus Christ. This kind
of religion provokes Gods anger (see Is. 1:1018; Matt. 23:2528).
Turn away is a command for Timothy to avoid the evil persons
described in vv. 25. We are not to link up in common cause with
them (see 1 Cor. 15:33).
3:6 creep into households: The empty religious individuals of
vv. 25 use deception to gain a hearing. Make captives is a military
term for taking prisoners in war. The imagery of spiritual combat is
clear in these verses. Gullible women are the target of attacks by
false teachers. Evidently the false teachers at Ephesus had made
significant inroads among a group of women in that church (1 Tim.
5:1315). Here is the danger of ignorance. Hence, Paul instructs Timothy to let a woman learn (1 Tim. 2:11).
3:8 Paul gives a specific example of two men who resisted truth in
Moses time. Jannes and Jambres are not named in the OT, but
according to Jewish tradition, they were two of the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses (Ex. 7:11). Men of corrupt minds resist
the truth because it unveils their shameful thinking and behavior.
3:9 their folly will be manifest: The character and empty religion
of false teachers will ultimately be exposed (see Num. 32:23).
3:10, 11 you have carefully followed: Paul draws a sharp contrast

inspiration of God
(Gk. theopneustos) (3:16) Strongs #2315
The Greek word means God-breathed, from theos (God)
and pne (to breathe). Although it is difficult to fully
recreate the thought of this Greek expression in English,
we are fairly sure that Paul meant to say that all Scripture
was breathed out from God. This is the primary meaning.
But the expression could also mean that the Word was
inbreathed, or inspired, by God. The first definition
affirms the Bibles divine origin; the second speaks of Gods
spiritual presence in the Word. Thus God not only inspired
the authors who wrote the words of the Bible, but He also
inspires those who read it with a heart of faith.

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worse, deceiving and being deceived.


14But you must scon
tinue in the things
which you have learned and been assured
of, knowing from whom you have learned
them, 15and that from childhood you
have known tthe Holy Scriptures, which
are able to make you wise for salvation
through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16uAll Scripture is given by inspiration
of God, vand is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for 3instruction
in righteousness, 17wthat the man of God
may be complete, xthoroughly equipped
for every good work.
Preach the Word
I acharge you 1therefore before God
and the Lord Jesus Christ, bwho will
judge the living and the dead 2at His ap
pearing and His kingdom: 2Preach the
word! Be ready in season and out of sea
son. cConvince, drebuke, eexhort, with

2Tim. 4:1 bActs 10:42 1NU omits therefore 2NU and by


2 cTitus 2:15 d1Tim. 5:20; Titus 1:13; 2:15 e1Tim. 4:13

between a Christian testimony and the way of the false teachers


(vv. 29). He notes ten different qualities of his own teaching and
life that Timothy had had opportunity to observe.
3:12 Those who want to live godly lives must be prepared for persecution, literally to be hunted. God does not promise us deliverance from persecution but deliverance through it. Persecution is
one of the means God uses to develop our capacity to reign with
Him in His kingdom (see 2:12; Matt. 5:1012; Rev. 2:10).
3:13 The Greek word translated impostors can also mean sorcerers
or swindlers. deceiving and being deceived: False teachers deceive themselves as well as others (see Matt. 15:1820).
3:15 from childhood: Paul emphasizes Timothys godly heritage
(1:5). His mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois had faithfully
taught him the Holy Scriptures. The truths of Gods Word directed
Timothy to Christ. Gods Word and the Spirit of God are both essential for our salvation. The Word of God without the Spirit of God is
lifeless; it has no power to act. But the Word of God empowered by
the Spirit of God becomes a living force in our lives.
3:16 Paul emphasizes the preeminence of all Scripture. Given by
inspiration is literally God-breathed. In this verse, Paul teaches
that God was actively involved in the revelation of His truth to the
apostles and prophets, who wrote it down. The Author of the Bible
is God Himself. Thus Scripture is true in all that it affirms and is completely authoritative (see 1 Pet. 1:20, 21). The study of the Bible is
profitable in at least four different ways. Doctrine is teaching. Paul
highlights correct teaching first; Luke also emphasizes the Jerusalem
churchs commitment to doctrine first (see Acts 2:42). Reproof is
conviction. This is not simply a rebuke; it is demonstrating some
truth beyond dispute. Correction refers to setting something
straight (2:15). Instruction refers to the process of training a child.
In this list, only one of these terms is oriented to knowledge and
informationthat is, doctrine (see 1 Pet. 2:2). The other three in the
list involve a change of life. Knowledge that does not change ones
life is useless.
3:17 The study of Scripture will make a believer complete, meaning capable or proficient. Thoroughly equipped means fully
prepared. The person who masters the Word of God will never lose
his or her way. every good work: Paul emphasizes the essential
link between knowing Gods Word and applying it to ones daily
life. Right doctrine should produce right practice.
4:1, 2 I charge: Paul underscores the importance of his command
to Timothy by calling on God and Jesus to be witnesses to it. He

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2 TIMOTHY 4:8|1965

Bible Times & Culture Notes

Books and Parchments


Paul requests of his friend Timothy that he bring with him the books,
especially the parchments (4:13). The word for books (biblion) is common in the NT, but the word for parchments (membrana) is used only
hereit is a word derived from Latin which means an animal skin used
for writing. The two words in this passage have been interpreted in three
different ways: (1) The books were copies of OT books, and the parchments were copies of various NT books; (2) the books were copies of
OT and NT books, and the parchments were blank writing material or
notebooks containing rough drafts; or (3) the two words signified the
same thing: the booksthat is, the parchment notebooks. If the third
interpretation is correct, it suggests that Paul was anxious to recover
some rough drafts he had left behind when he was arrested.

A page of the Gospel of Luke written


on parchment in Coptic
Baker Photo Archive. Muse du Louvre; Autorisation de
photographer et de filmerLOUVRE

all longsuffering and teaching. 3fFor the


time will come when they will not en
dure gsound doctrine, hbut according to
their own desires, because they have itch
ing ears, they will heap up for themselves
teachers; 4and they will turn their ears
away from the truth, and ibe turned aside
to fables. 5But you be watchful in all
things, jendure afflictions, do the work
of kan evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

3 f2Tim. 3:1
g1Tim. 1:10; 2Tim.
1:13 hIs. 30:9-11;
Jer. 5:30, 31; 2Tim.
3:6
4 i1Tim. 1:4
5 j2Tim. 1:8 kActs
21:8
6 lPhil. 2:17 m[Phil.
1:23]; 2Pet. 1:14
7 n1Cor. 9:24-27;
Phil. 3:13, 14

reminds Timothy that Jesus will return in judgment. Pauls charge


to Timothy is to preach the word. The foundation of any ministry
is Gods Word. Preaching Gods truth is a sacred and demanding
task, requiring perseverance and courage. Be ready means to take
a stand. Timothy was to be alert at all times to his responsibilities,
even when it was inconvenient. This type of ministry is not for a
novice (see James 3:1). longsuffering ... teaching: Patience and
instruction are two necessary components of an effective ministry.
True spiritual growth occurs over a period of time, through consistent teaching and application of Gods Word.
4:3 Timothy needs to be alert and ready to preach Gods Word.
Sound teaching is essential for spiritual maturity, but will not always be tolerated. There will come a time when people will seek
out teachers to tell them what they want to hear and what makes
them feel good.
4:4 People turn their ears to avoid truth. This is the sixth time that
Paul uses the word truth in this short letter (see also 2:15, 18, 25; 3:7,
8). He had used the word five times in the first letter to Timothy (see
1 Tim. 2:4, 7; 3:15; 4:3; 6:5). As Paul faced execution, he was evidently
concerned that his son in the faith would be tempted to depart from
truth, lured by deceptive false teachers.
4:5 Watchful means sober. Endure afflictions refers to the hard
toil of ministry, which will have its own reward (2:12). work of an
evangelist: Evangelist is one of five offices mentioned by Paul in
Eph. 4:11. An evangelist equips and encourages believers to share
the Good News.
4:6 Paul is aware that the time of his death is near. A drink offering
was an offering performed by pouring wine out on the ground or
altar (Num. 28:1131). Pauls life was already being poured out in
service to Jesus Christ, the Lamb (Rev. 5:46). my departure is at
hand: Paul was confident that no one could touch him until the

9780529114389_int_06b_1tim_rev_nkjv_study_APPROVED.indd 1965

Pauls Valedictory
6For lI am already being poured out
as a drink offering, and the time of mmy
departure is at hand. 7nI have fought
the good fight, I have finished the race, I
have kept the faith. 8Finally, there is laid
up for me othe crown of righteousness,
8 o[1Cor. 9:25; 2Tim. 2:5]; James 1:12

Heavenly Father ushered him into his eternal home with a victory
celebration.
4:7 Paul had been vigilant in his service to God. Note that Paul did
not make these comments until the end of his race, until he was
about to die. He did not presume or rely on his past service. Instead
he persevered, struggled, and served God until the end (see 1 Cor.
9:2427).
4:8 Paul understood the eternal potential of a lifetime of faithful
service to Christ. Jesus would return with rewards for those who
stick it out over the long haul. The crown of righteousness is a
special reward given to those who serve God faithfully on this earth
(see Matt. 5:1012). There will be as many crowns as there are runners
who finish the race well. All who have loved His appearing are
those believers in Christ who have lived faithfully in the hope of His
return (see Titus 2:1115; 1 John 2:28).

appearing
(Gk. epiphaneia) (1:10; 4:1, 8; 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; Titus
2:13) Strongs #2015
This word literally means a shining forth and was used in
Greek literature to denote a divine appearance. The English
word epiphany is a close equivalent. The NT writers use
the word to refer to Jesus first coming, the time when He
entered this world as a man (see 1:10). They also use the
word to speak of Jesus second coming, specifically to His
appearance to all the world (see Matt. 24:27).

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1966|2 TIMOTHY 4:9

which the Lord, the righteous pJudge,


will give to me qon that Day, and not to
me only but also to all who have loved
His appearing.
The Abandoned Apostle
9Be diligent to come to me quickly;
10for rDemas has forsaken me, shaving
loved this present world, and has depart
ed for ThessalonicaCrescens for Gala
tia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is
with me. Get tMark and bring him with
you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
12And uTychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
13Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus
at Troas when you comeand the books,
especially the parchments.
14vAl
exander the coppersmith did me
much harm. May the Lord repay him
according to his works. 15You also must
beware of him, for he has greatly resisted
our words.
16At my first defense no one stood
with me, but all forsook me. wMay it not
be charged against them.

8 pJohn 5:22
q2Tim. 1:12
10 rCol. 4:14;
Philem. 24 s1John
2:15
11 tActs 12:12, 25;
15:37-39; Col. 4:10
12 uActs 20:4; Eph.
6:21, 22; Col. 4:7;
Titus 3:12
14 vActs 19:33;
1Tim. 1:20
16 wActs 7:60;
[1Cor. 13:5]

17 xDeut. 31:6; Acts

23:11 yActs 9:15;


Phil. 1:12 z1Sam.
17:37; Ps. 22:21
18 aPs. 121:7;
[2Pet. 2:9] bRom.
11:36; Gal. 1:5; Heb.
13:21; 2Pet. 3:18
19 cActs 18:2; Rom.
16:3 d2Tim. 1:16
20 eActs 19:22;
Rom. 16:23 fActs
20:4; 21:29
22 3NU omits Jesus
Christ

4:9 Paul is in prison and sends a heartfelt plea to Timothy, asking his
young friend to come ... quickly. Paul desired Christian fellowship
and some words of encouragement from Timothy, the one he had
trained in the faith.
4:10 Demas, Pauls trusted coworker (see Col. 4:14, Philem. 24), had
fled because he loved this present world. He could not endure
the hardships of ministry and instead followed worldly pleasures
and comfort.
4:11, 12 Only Luke is with me: The value of a trusted friend in the
midst of hard times cannot be overstated. Pauls reference to Mark
as useful is a note of tender restoration. Marks desertion of Paul in
Pamphylia on his first missionary journey had led to the separation
of Paul and Barnabas at the beginning of Pauls second missionary
journey (see Acts 15:3640). But later Paul and Mark were reconciled,
and Mark served Paul in the ministry (Col. 4:10). Now at the end of his
life, Paul expresses his appreciation of Marks service. to Ephesus:
Paul was sending a faithful coworker Tychicus (see Acts 20:4; Eph.
6:21; Col. 4:7) to replace Timothy at Ephesus.
4:14, 15 Timothy is warned about Alexander. This is possibly the
person named in 1 Tim. 1:20 or Acts 19:33, who caused harm to
Pauls ministry in Ephesus. Jesus warned the apostles that they could
expect opposition (see John 15:1821).
4:16 Paul echoes the forgiving attitude of Christ. Although many
had abandoned him, he asked God not to hold them accountable
for their actions.

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The Lord Is Faithful


17xBut the Lord stood with me and
strengthened me, yso that the message
might be preached fully through me, and
that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I
was delivered zout of the mouth of the
lion. 18aAnd the Lord will deliver me
from every evil work and preserve me for
His heavenly kingdom. bTo Him be glory
forever and ever. Amen!
Come Before Winter
19Greet cPrisca and Aquila, and the
household of dOnesiphorus. 20eErastus
stayed in Corinth, but fTrophimus I have
left in Miletus sick.
21 Do your utmost to come before
winter.
Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens,
Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren.
Farewell
22The Lord 3Jesus Christ be with your
spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

4:17 In spite of the failure of his friends, Paul was supported by the
Lord, who always strengthens and empowers. Often people will
fail us in troublesome times. The Lord, however, never fails His children, no matter how difficult the circumstances are (see Luke 22:32;
Heb. 7:25). God had consistently empowered Paul during his life so
that he could continue to preach the truth to the Gentiles. Lion is
probably a reference to execution by lions. It is also possible that
Paul is using the word as a metaphor for the spiritual conflict from
which he was delivered.
4:18 Pauls expression of confidence in God builds to a crescendo
of praise, ending with Amen.
4:1921 Paul closes the epistle with a number of instructions
regarding various individuals in his ministry. Greet Prisca and
Aquila: Prisca is another name for Priscilla. Paul had met both Priscilla and Aquila in Corinth on his second missionary journey (Acts
18:13), and they had assisted in Gods work in Ephesus (Acts 18:18,
19). Onesiphorus: This greeting indicates that Timothy was probably still at Ephesus, for Onesiphorus was from there (see 1:1618;
1 Tim. 1:3). Trophimus, a member of the church of Ephesus (Acts
21:29), had traveled with Paul to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4).
4:22 The final note of this book and of Pauls ministry is grace, a
fitting conclusion for this man of God and his faithful service to the
Lord Jesus Christ. The fact that the pronoun you is plural may
indicate that Paul intended this letter to be read before the congregation.

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