1 Timothy

Reading 0,16 - 6 Chapters - 113 verses - 2,269 words

    

Vital Statistics 


 Purpose: To give encouragement and instruction to Timothy, a young leader 
 Author:  Paul 
 Original audience:  Timothy, Paul's son in the faith 
 Date written:  Approximately A.D. 64, from Rome or Macedonia (possibly Philippi), probably just prior to Paul's final imprisonment in Rome  
 Setting:  Timothy was one of Paul's closest companions. Paul had sent Timothy to the church at Ephesus to counter the false teaching that had arisen there (1:3, 4). TImothy probably served for a time as a leader in the church at Ephesus. Paul hoped to visit Timothy (3:14, 15; 4:13), but in the meantime, he wrote this letter to give TImothy practical advice about the ministry
 Key verse:   Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (4:12)
 Key people:  Ephesus 
 Special features:  First TImothy is a personal letter and a handbook of church administration and discipline   


Author


    Both early tradition and the salutations of the Pastoral Letter (1, 2 Timothy; Titus) themselves claim Paul as their author (1:1; 2 Ti 1:1; Tit 1:1). Some objections have been raised in recent years on the basis of an alleged uncharacteristic vocabulary and style, but other evidence still convincingly supports Paul's authorship. 



Background and Purpose


    During his fourth missionary journey, Paul had instructed Timothy to care for the church at Ephesus (1:3) while he went on to Macedonia. When he realized that he might not return to Ephesus in the near future (3:14-15), he wrote this first letter to Timothy to develop the charge he had given his young assistant (1:3,18), to refuge false teachings (1:3-7; 4:1-8; 6:3-5,20-21) and to supervise the affairs of the growing Ephesian church (church worship, ch. 2; the appointment of qualified church leaders, 3:1-13; 5:17-25).
    A major problem in the Ephesian church was a heresy that combined Gnosticism, decadent judaism (1:3-7) and false asceticism (4:1-5).


Date


    1 Timothy was written sometime after the events of Ac 28 (c. 63-65), at least eight years after Paul's three-year stay in Ephesus.




Recipient


    As the salutation indicates (1:2), Paul is writing to Timothy, a native of Lystra (in modern Turkey). Timothy's father was Greek, while his mother was a Jewish Christian (Ac 16:1). From childhood he had been taught the OT ( 2Ti 1:5; 3:15). Paul called him "my true son in the faith" (1:2), perhaps having led him to faith in Christ during his first visit to Lystra. At the time of his second visit Paul invited Timothy to join him on his missionary travels, circumcising him so that his Greek ancestry would not be a liability in working with the Jews (Ac 16:3). Timothy helped Paul evangelize Macedonia and Achaia (Ac 17:14-15; 18:5) and was with him during much of his long preaching ministry at Ephesus (Ac 19:22). He traveled with him from Ephesus to Macedonia, to Corinth (Ac 20:3), back to Macedonia, and Asia Minor (Ac 20:1-6). He may even have accompanied him all the way to Jerusalem. He was with Paul during the apostle's first imprisonment (Php 1:1; Col 1:1; Phm 1). 

    Following Paul's release (after Ac 28), Timothy again traveled with him but eventually stayed at Ephesus to deal with the problems there, while Paul went on to Macedonia. Paul's closeness to and admiration of Timothy are seen in Paul's naming him as the co-sender of six of his letters (2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1,2 Thessalonians and Philemon) and in his speaking highly of him to the Philippians (Php 2:19-22). At the end of Paul's life he requested Timothy to join him at Rome (2Ti 4:9,21). According to Heb 13:23, Timothy himself was imprisoned and subsequently released - whether at Rome or elsewhere, we do not know.

    Timothy was not an apostle. It may be best to regard him as an apostolic representative, delegated to carry out special work (Tit 1:5) 



How to read 1 Timothy

    While a solo performance can be amazing, there’s a unique richness expressed by a symphony of many artists and instruments flowing together under a master conductor. Each of us has an instrument to play. Together in the church we create an incredible expression of who God is when we play in harmony with one another! What you’re about to read is like a conductor’s handbook. It summarizes guidelines for running a church, offering practical help to believers in their relationships with each other, with church leaders, and with the world around them.


    Paul is writing to a beloved friend who has accompanied him on many missionary ventures. His instructions for the church are interspersed with personal directives and encouragement to his protégé Timothy. This combination results in a fabulous manual for corporate and personal discipleship.


    This practical, nitty-gritty wisdom must be understood within the specific situation Paul was addressing. You might repeatedly ask yourself, “I wonder what conditions in Ephesus prompted Paul to write that?” Look for the underlying principles. It might help to imagine you are eavesdropping on the conversation between an older minister and his younger colleague. Although the specific problems and answers might never be exactly duplicated, the principles of the gospel never change.




1 Timothy Interpretive Challenges


There is disagreement over the identity of the false teachers (1:3) and the genealogies (1:4) involved in their teaching. What it means to be “handed over to Satan” (1:20) has also been a source of debate. The letter contains key passages in the debate over the extent of the atonement (2:4-6; 4:10). Paul’s teaching on the role of women (2:9-15) has generated much discussion, particularly his declaration that they are not to assume leadership roles in the church (2:11, 12).


How women can be saved by bearing children (2:15) has also confused many. Whether the fact that an elder must be “faithful to [one] wife” (3:2) excludes divorced or unmarried men  has been disputed, as well as whether paul refers to deacons’ wives or deaconesses (3:11). Those who believe Christians can lose their salvation cite 4:1 as support for their view. There is a question about the identity of the widows in 5:3-16 — are they needy women ministered to by the church, or an order of older women ministering to the church?. Does “double honor” accorded to elders who rule well (5:17, 18) refer to respect or money?   




Outline



I. Greeting (1:1-2)


II. Warning against False Teachers (1:3-11)

A. The Nature of the Heresy (1:3-7)

B. The Purpose of the Law (1:8-11)

III. The LOrd’s Grace to Paul (1:12-17)


IV. The Purpose of Paul’s Instructions to TImothy (1:18-20)


V. Instruction concerning Church Administration (chs.2-3)

A. Public Worship (ch.2)

  1. Prayer in public worship (2:1-8)

  2. Women in public worship (2:9-15)

B. Qualification for Church Officers (3:1-13)

  1. Overseers (3:1-7)

  2. Deacons (3:8-13)

C. Purpose of These Instructions (3:14-16)

VI. Instruction concerning False Teaching (ch.4)

A. False Teaching Described (4:1-5)

B. Methods Dealing with It Explained (4:6-16)

VII. Instructions concerning Different Groups in the Church (5:1-6:2)

A. The Older and Younger (5:1-2)

B. Widows (5:3-16)

C. Elders (5:17-25)

D. Slaves (6:1-2)

VIII. Miscellaneous Matters (6:3-19)

A. False Teachers (6:3-5)

B. Love of Money (6:6-10)

C. Charge to Timothy (6:11-16)

D. The Rich (6:17-19)

IX. Concluding Appeal and Benediction (6:20-21)




1 Timothy Horizontal




1:1 - Paul, apostle by command



1:2 - To Timothy, my child

False

False

1:2b - Grace and peace

Doctrine

Teaching

1:3 - Different doctrine

VS.


1:8 - Law is good

Sound


1:12 - I thank him

Doctrine


1:18 - Timothy, my son



2:1 - Prayers be made

How to

Paul

2:8 - Men/women

Worship

to

3:1 - Office of bishop

Bishops

Timothy

3:8 - Deacons

and


3:14 - I hope to come

Deacons


4:1 - Some will depart

Those

False Teaching

4:6 - Put instructions before brethren

Falling


4:11 - Command and teach these things

Away


5:1 - Older man/woman



5:3 - Honor widows

How to

Paul

5:9 - Let widow be enrolled

treat others

to

5:17 - Elders who rule well

in the

Timothy

5:23 - Water/wine

Church


5:26 - SIns of some men



6:1 - Under slavery



6:2b - Teach these duties


False

6:11 - As for you


Teaching

6:17 - As for the rich

Godliness


6:20 - Timothy



6:21b - Grace be with you





God's character in 1 Timothy


  1. God is eternal - 1:17
  2. God is immortal - 1:17; 6:16
  3. God is invisible - 1:17
  4. God is long-suffering - 1:16
  5. God is merciful - 1:2, 13
  6. God is promise keeper -  4:8
  7. God is unified - 2:5
  8. God is wise - 1:17

Christ in 1 Timothy


    Paul's letter to Timothy describes the person of Christ as "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). Paul also speaks of the actions of Christ as the ransom and Savior of humanity (2:6; 4:10). Paul reminds Timothy to keep faith in Christ (1:14) and to "fight the good fight of faith" (6:12). 




Notes