Paul (1.1) writes around AD 63, to one person, from Macedonia (probably Philippi or Thessalonica), although many have casted doubts due to variance in vocabulary and style. Many questions arise because this book is written in a time after the Acts account of Paul’s life (Philippians 1.13 & 2.23-24 anticipated his release from imprisonment in Rome – an event the proceeded Acts). This is the first of three Pastoral Epistles.
Timothy was left in Ephesus to lead the church after Paul made an excommunication visit to false teachers. Paul writes regarding the continued presence of false teachers. We assume that these false teachers were unique to other settings Paul has wrote to being that they are insiders. We assume the false teachers were elders because 1) they are not mentioned as outsiders, 2)Paul has already excommunicated two “inside” elders (1.19-20, II Tim2.17-18). This explains why Paul writes to Timothy instead of the church.
Paul gets down to business – no customary thanks and prayer reports that normally accompany his letters.
Guide Timothy and the rest of the Church of Ephesus in cleaning house on the elders delivering false teaching.
How to Read it
Place yourself in young Timothy’s shoes as he is given the task of cleaning up a church that is run by a handful of corrupt elders on the inside. Use background information on the audience to understand the particular qualifications on elders, as well as why this is written to one man instead of the church. This is the best list of church leadership qualifications.
I. Warning Timothy Against False Teachers (1.3-20) – read 1.18-20 charges & excommunication
II. Church Worship and Order (2-3)
a. Public Worship (Prayer &Women) (2) – read 2.12 women’s roles
b. Church Officers (Elders & Deacons) (3) – character of competency
III. Methods for Dealing with False Teachers (4) – read 2.11-12,14 empowering Timothy
IV. Methods for Dealing with Various Church Members (5.1-6.2)
a. Old vs. Young (5.1-2)
b. Widows (5.3-16)
c. Elders (5.17-25)
d. Slaves (6.1-2)
V. Final Charge Against False Teacher (6.3-10)
VI. Final Charge to Timothy (6.11-20)
Authorship: Paul (1.1) writes around AD 64, to Timothy and the Church of Ephesus, from Rome, although many have casted doubts due to variance in vocabulary and style. Many questions arise because this book is written in a time after the Acts account of Paul’s life Philippians 1.13 & 2.23-24 anticipated his release from imprisonment in Rome – an event the proceeded Acts).
Timothy is Paul’s most loved apprentice. He serves as leader f the Church of Ephesus in a time of false teaching elders and dissenting parties.
Paul is in Roman prison for a second time. The first time he wrote in anticipation of his release. This time he writes anticipating execution. However, most believe he was delivered and traveled on to Spain.
The primary purpose is to have Timothy leave his position in Ephesus to be with Paul. Tychicus will replace Timothy. Paul urges loyalty to himself and the gospel. It also serves as another effort to fight the opposition of false teachers and dissenting parties.
How to Read it
This is the final preserved letter from Paul. Read it somberly as his final words.
I. Concern & Update (1)
II. Appeal for Timothy’s Loyalty to the Gospel and Paul (2) – read 2.23-25 conflict
III. Warning about the Last Days (3) – read 3.12 anticipating persecution
IV. Paul’s Final Words (4) – read 4.6-8 finished race
Great for mentoring relationships and understanding necessary character of a Christian leader.