Archeology 1 Timothy
AUTHOR, PLACE AND DATE OF WRITING
Paul wrote this letter to his disciple Timothy, whom he had left in Ephesus to oversee the work there. Today many scholars deny Pauline authorship of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, but much evidence supports the traditional view that Paul did indeed write these letters (see "The Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles" on p. 1957).
First Timothy was written after Paul's release from Roman imprisonment (Ac 28:16-31), in about 63-65 and possibly from Macedonia.
Paul wrote to Timothy, whom he had sent to the church in Ephesus to combat the false teaching that had arisen there. Timothy occupied a special place in Paul's heart as his coworker, emissary, traveling companion and "true son in the faith" (1:2).
CULTURAL FACTS AND HIGHLIGHTS
First Timothy is essentially a letter of encouragement to Paul's aide, Timothy. This is not to say, however, that it is entirely personal. Paul seems to have used the occasion to construct a letter on the nature of Christian ministry in the face of opposition and heresy. Paul viewed the opposition his younger protégé was enduring from a prophetic perspective, pointing out that the Spirit had foretold such apostasy (4:1). Paul instructed Timothy to refute false teachers and to promote good order and godliness in the church.
AS YOU READ
Note the types of problems about which Paul aleted Timothy. Are there modern correlation? Identify Paul's advice for dealing with leadership responsibilities and combating heresy.
DO YOU KNOW?
First Timothy includes the following themes:
1. Sound doctrine. False teachers who showed an unhealthy fascination with myths and genealogies (1:4; 4:7) and a preoccupation with the law (1:7) had infiltrated the church in Ephesus. They prohibited marriage and the eating of certain foods (4:3) and taught that the final resurrection had already taken place (1:20; see 2Ti 2:18). In contrast, Timothy was to teach only what was trustworthy, sound and good (1Ti 1:9-11; 3:9; 4:6; 6:3-4).
2. Right living. The false teachers were intent on stirring up controversy and prone to speculation (1:4,6; 6:4,20), deception (4:1-2) and greed (6:5). Paul instructed Timothy to "set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity" (4:12).
3. Evangelism. Paul's concern for the church's successful evangelism lay at the heart of his commands. The conduct of Christians is to be above reproach because it has a direct effect on the success of their evangelistic efforts.
4. Church leaders. Church leaders need to reach for even higher standards than what is expected of persons holding similarly important positions in contemporary society. Warnings against immoral practices and materialism, however, apply to all members (6:7-10,17-19).
II. Warning Against False Teachers (1:3-11)
III. The Lord's Grace to Paul (1:12-17)
IV. The Purpose of Paul's Instructions to Timothy (1:18-20)
V. Instructions Concerning the Church (2:1-4:5)
VI. Timothy's Responsibilities (4:6-6:19)
VII. Conclusion (6:20-21)
1 TIMOTHY 1 First and Second Timothy and Titus, the Pastoral epistles,' claim Paul as their author (1Ti 1:1; 2Ti 1:1; Tit 1:1). These unique letters include biographical material (2Ti 1:8,15-18), as well as personal requests (2Ti 4:9-13,19 —21;Tit 3:12) appropriate to Paul. Nonetheless, many scholars maintain that the Pastorals are pseudepigraphical —falsely written in Paul's name. Several arguments are commonly made in defense of this viewpoint: