1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, & Titus (“The Pastoral Epistles”

Audience • These letters are addressed to Timothy and Titus, two of Paul’s trusted missionary companions. • Timothy was the son of a Jewish mother and a Gentile father who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:1–5) and was his emissary in Berea (Acts 17:14) and Macedonia (Acts 19:22). He is mentioned as Paul’s representative and co-author of many of his epistles (1 Corinthians 4:17; 16:10–11; Philippians 2:19–22; 1 Thessalonians 3:1– 6). • Titus was a Gentile convert to Christianity whom Paul used to great advantage at the Jerusalem Council (Galatians 2:1–10). He was a leader in the collection for the church in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:6, 16–17, 23; 12:18) and helped reconcile Paul and the contentious Corinthian saints (2 Corinthians 2:13; 7:6–7, 13–16). Occasion • The letters to Timothy describe Timothy as the leader of the church in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3). 1 Timothy contrasts true and false teachers and gives instructions for order in the church. 2 Timothy is more personal, imploring Timothy to follow Paul’s example of suffering for the gospel. • The epistle to Titus indicates that Titus is on the island of Crete, where he has been left by Paul to establish churches (Titus 1:5). Like 1 Timothy, this letter includes instructions to Titus to set the church in order and exhort the faithful in sound teaching. Authorship • While a small number of conservative scholars still argue for Pauline authorship of these three letters, the wide majority of scholarly opinion is that they were written by someone else in Paul’s name long after the apostle’s death. Date • These three letters are traditionally considered to be among Paul’s last correspondence, written from Rome during his second imprisonment there, just prior to his execution in the mid-60s A.D. • If Paul was not the author of the Pastorals, then they were probably written in the late 1st or early 2nd century. Themes • Putting the church in order. Paul instructs Timothy and Titus on putting down heresies and instructing church members how to live righteous lives. • Ordaining leaders. Instruction is given on the calling of bishops, deacons, and elders, and finding individuals who lead lives worthy of these callings. • Enduring suffering for Christ’s sake. If we suffer persecution, we will reign with Christ. Structure 1 Timothy Salutation (1:1–2). Warning against false teachers (1:3–20). • The charge to Timothy (1:3). • Their wrong use of the Law (1:4–7). • The right use of the Law (1:8–11). • Paul’s experience of grace (1:12–17). • The charge to Timothy repeated (1:18–20). Conduct in the church (2:1–3:16). • Public worship (2:1–15). • Prayer (2:1–7). • The role of men and women (2:8–15). • Qualifications of bishops (3:1–7). • Qualifications of deacons (3:8–13). • Conduct of the church (3:14–15). • The Christ hymn (3:16). Guarding the truth in the church (4:1–16). • In the face of apostasy (4:1–5). • Timothy’s personal responsibilities (4:6– 16).

Dealing with groups in the church (5:1–6:10). • Men and women, young and old (5:1–2). • Widows, young and old (5:3–16). • Elders (5:17–25). • Slaves (6:1–2). • False teachers (6:3–10). Personal instructions: pursue godliness (6:11– 21). • Fight the good fight (6:11–16). • A final word to the wealthy (6:17–19). • Guard what has been entrusted (6:20–21). 2 Timothy Introduction (1:1–5). • Salutation (1:1–2). • Thanksgiving (1:3–5). Stand strong in the present (1:6–2:26). • Rekindle the gift of God which is in you (1:6–7). • Trust in God in the face of suffering (1:8– 14). • Mention of unfaithful and faithful individuals (1:15–18). • Timothy's charge to suffer for the gospel (2:1–13). • Strategies for combat with false teachers (2:14–26).

Stand strong in the future (3:1–4:5). • The apostasy of the last days is upon us (3:1–9). • Continue in what you have learned and in the Scriptures (3:10–17). • Preach the gospel (4:1–5). Paul's personal example (4:6–22). • His reflections on his impending death (4:6–8). • His situation in prison (4:9–18). • Closing greetings (4:19–22). Titus Salutation (1:1–4). Instructions on appointing elders and bishops (1:5–9). Setting Things in Order (1:10–3:14). • Judaizers and false teachers (1:10–16). • Proper conduct among various groups in the church (2:1–10). • The theological basis for proper conduct (2:11–15). • Submission to good works are the marks of the saved (3:1–11). Closing (3:12–15). • Travel plans (3:12–14). • Benediction (3:15).
Adapted from outlines by Daniel B. Wallace and David Meyer at Bible.org and footnotes in The New Oxford Annotated Bible (3rd ed., 2007).

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