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   


    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).


    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.


    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) 


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



1:2b - Grace and peace



1:3 - Different doctrine


1:8 - Law is good


1:12 - I thank him


1:18 - Timothy, my son

2:1 - Prayers be made

How to


2:8 - Men/women



3:1 - Office of bishop



3:8 - Deacons


3:14 - I hope to come


4:1 - Some will depart


False Teaching

4:6 - Put instructions before brethren


4:11 - Command and teach these things


5:1 - Older man/woman

5:3 - Honor widows

How to


5:9 - Let widow be enrolled

treat others


5:17 - Elders who rule well

in the


5:23 - Water/wine


5:26 - SIns of some men

6:1 - Under slavery

6:2b - Teach these duties


6:11 - As for you


6:17 - As for the rich


6:20 - Timothy

6:21b - Grace be with you