2 Timothy

4 Chapters, 83 verses, 1,703 words.

Vital Statistics

 Purpose: To give final instruction and encouragement to Timothy, pastor of the church at Ephesus
 Original audience:  Timothy
 Author:  Paul 
 Date written:  Approximately A.D. 66 or 67, from prison in Rome. After a year or two of freedom. Paul was arrested again and executed under Emperor Nero
 Setting:  Paul was virtually alone in prison; only Luke was with him Paul wrote this letter to pass the torch to the new generation of church leaders. He also asked for visits from his friends and for his books, especially the papers – possibly parts of the Old Testament, the Gospels, and other biblical manuscripts  
 Key verse:  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2:15)
 Key people:  Paul, Timothy, Luke, Mark, and others 
 Special features:  Because this is Paul's last letter, it reveals his heart and his priorities – sound doctrine, steadfast faith, confident endurance, and lasting love 


Author, Date and Setting

    After Paul's release from prison in Rome in A.D. 62 (Ac 28) and after his fourth missionary journey, during which he wrote 1 Timothy and Titus, Paul was again imprisoned under Emperor Nero c. 66-67. It was during this time that he wrote 2 Timothy. In contrast to his first imprisonment, when he lived in a "rented house" (Ac 28:30), he how languished in a cold dungeon, chained like a common criminal (1:16; 2:9). His friends even had a hard time finding out where he was being kept (1:17). Paul knew that his work was done and that his life was nearly at an end (4:6-8). 

Reasons for Writing

    Paul had three reasons for writing to Timothy at this time:
    1. Paul was lonely. Phygelus and Hermogenes, "everyone in the province of Asia" (1:15), and Demas (4:10) had deserted him. Crescens, Titus and Tychicus were away (4:10-12), and only Luke was with him (4:11). Paul wanted very much for Timothy to join also. Timothy was his "fellow worker" (Ro 16:21), who "as a son with his father" (Php 2:22) had served closely with Paul (1Co 4:17). Of him Paul could say, "I have no one else like him" (Php 2:20). Paul longed for Timothy (1:4) and twice asked him to come soon (4:9,21). For more information on Timothy see introduction to 1 Timothy: Recipient.    
    2. Paul was concerned about the welfare of the churches during this time of persecution under Nero, and he admonishes Timothy to guard the gospel (1:14), to persevere in ti (3:14), to keep on preaching it (4:2) and, if necessary, to suffer for it (1:8; 2:3).
    3. Paul wanted to write to the Ephesian church through his letter to Timothy (4:22).


I. Introduction (1:1-4)

II. Paul’s Concern for Timothy (1:5-14)

III. Paul’s Situation (1:15-18)

IV. Special Instructions to Timothy (ch.2)

A. Call for Endurance (2:1-13)

B. Warning about Foolish Controversies (2:14-26)

V. Warning about the Last Days (ch.3)

A. Terrible Times (3:1-9)

B. Means of Combating (3:10-17)

VI. Paul’s Departing Remarks (4:1-8)

A. Charge to Preach the Word (4:1-5)

B. Paul’s Victorious Prospect (4:6-8)

VII. Final Request, Greetings and Benediction 4:9-22)