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1 Timothy Epistle

“Charge to the Timid Timothy” The author of this letter is Paul, as
stated in the salutation (1:1). The evidence in the writing also supports the
belief Paul as the author; especially in the way he greets the receiver in his
letters, and the close relationship between Paul and Timothy. One of the
supporting sources in the church history is found in Theophilus of Antioch,
which dates back to 180 A.D. which confirms Paul is the author. The letter was
written to Timothy, Paul’s “true son in faith” (1:2,18). We first
learn about Timothy in (Ac 16:1-3), where we find out that his mother was Jewish
and his father was Greek. In 1 Timothy Paul desired that the disciple travel
with him and therefore Paul circumcised him to fit in with the Jews they were
going to preach to. This began a long relationship together where they worked
with the Lord, where Timothy treated Paul as he would his father (Ph 2:19-24).


This treatment would mean traveling with Paul, and remaining with the new
congregations when Paul would have to leave suddenly (Ac 17:13-14). Timothy
would also to go back to encourage the congregations (1 Th 3:1-3). Timothy also
had the honor to sit with Paul as he wrote several epistles, and from these
epistles we learn that Timothy had been with Paul during his imprisonment in
Rome. Because of his faithfulness in his service helps us learn why Paul would
leave him in Ephesus (1:3). Many people believe that Paul may have written 1
Timothy after his long stay at Ephesus and departure for Macedonia on his third
missionary journey (Ac 19:1-41). This would make 1 Timothy written around 53-67
(The NIV Study Bible, 1835). Most of the people thought that Paul wrote this
epistle from Macedonia, following his first imprisonment in Rome (Ac 28:16).


Paul was released and allowed to travel for several years before being finally
arrested again and finally put to death by Nero. If 1st Timothy were indeed
written during this period, the date would be around 63-64 AD The purpose of
this epistle was for Timothy to stay behind in Ephesus with a great
responsibility: he was there to protect the community from false teachers and
spread the correct word to the town. It was hard to keep this responsibility
because of his youth and he was naturally shy and timid (4:11-12). This letter
is addressed to Timothy full of responsibility of working with a congregation
and guiding them in the right way. Everything that was written was to help to
direct the congregation in doctrine and in conduct. In the first chapter Paul
begins by urging his “true son in the faith” to remain in Ephesus and
tell the people not to teach false doctrines, or to believe in them, because
they mess with your belief in the faith. The goal of this chapter is love from a
pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith, from which some of the
people of Ephesis have strayed from because of the false teachers of the law.


While the law is good when used properly, it is not designed for the righteous
person, but for those whose actions are bad according to the doctrine, which is
according to the gospel, committed to Paul’s trust (1:1-11). Paul speaks of
thanksgiving and praise to Christ for counting on him faithful and letting him
be part of spreading the word of God. He is even more thankful when he remembers
that he used to be against the word until he found God, and God even forgave him
for persecuting the believers. Paul knew that Jesus came into the world to save
sinners, and Paul was a great sinner. Paul shows an example of Jesus’
longsuffering life to those who believe in him and everlasting life (1:12-17).


Paul then charges Timothy to carry out his responsibility in keeping with
stories that Paul preached concerning Jesus. The charge is to having faith and a
good conscience. In chapter two Paul is once again encouraged to stay in Ephesus
and spread the good word and battle the blaspheme. Paul now introduces to
Timothy the matters that are concerning the church. He starts with a prayer,
where he tells who we should pray for and the reasons why we should pray for
them. His thought is that men should pray everywhere they are, lifting up their
prayers without doubting (2:1-8). Women are to treat themselves properly
according to Paul. This means apparel worn with moderation, but it also includes
good works, as in it is proper for women professing godliness. Also women should
learn their faith in silence with all respect for the men. Basing this
restriction in the relationship of Adam and Eve and that the man came before the
woman. Paul reminds the women they are childbearing and they should continue in
faith, love, and holiness with self-control (2:9-15). In chapter three we find
that the qualifications necessary for those who would like to serve as bishops
in the local churches (3:1-7). A similar list is included for those who would
like to be deacons (3:8-13). Paul then explains the purpose of writing this
epistle. Even though Paul hopes to come soon, he writes to Timothy so that
Timothy will be able to instruct himself in the church as the leader in the
truth (3:14-15). Paul also brings up the “great mystery of God” which
is where he is manifested in the flesh, or also know as the coming of Jesus
(3:16). Chapter four begins with describing how the spirit will be revealed in
times when some people are straying from faith. This falling away would come
about as people gave into the false stories. In regards to the letter Paul makes
it clear that all foods are acceptable if they are received with thanksgiving,
because God said to Paul in a vision they are alright to consume (4:1-5). In the
last half of this chapter we find Paul instructing Timothy how he could become a
good Minister of Jesus Christ by instructing the breathen in matters pertaining
to doctrine. Now Timothy should be careful to avoid foolish fables, and rather
exercise himself to godliness (4:6-10). Though Timothy is young he shouldn’t let
anyone despise him for that. Instead he must demonstrate the proper example of
how a believer should speak and live. Paul assures Timothy that if he follows
these instructions his progress will show, and that he will save himself and
those he saves (4:11-16). This chapter is describing the church and various
members. Chapter five starts out with all of the members in general, telling to
consider them as family (5:1-2). A major section is then devoted to the widows
of the church, it says to honor the “widows indeed”(5:3). Younger
widows are expected to remarry and have children, while widows with children and
grandchildren are to be supported by their own family rather than burden the
church (5:3-16). Several remarks are made regarding elders. Elders who have good
intentions are to be worthy of financial support, especially if they are
spreading the word. Accusations against an elder are not to be taken seriously
unless there are two or three witnesses. Those elders who are sinning need to be
publicly forgiven so they are free of fear (5:17-20). The final chapter begins
with instructions concerning servants and their duties toward their masters,
especially toward those masters who believe (6:1-2). A description then follows
of those who might teach the false word of the Lord and his doctrine. (6:3-5).


Paul mentions the people who are caught up in material possessions such as food
and clothing, and those facing the desire to be rich (6:6-10). Now Paul gives
his final instructions to Timothy, he tells him to forget all of the other
things not concerning to God and to fully depend on God (6:11-16). The epistle
ends with the Christians who are rich in the world, and with a plea for Timothy
to stay committed to his trust, avoiding profane and false doctrines that have
led others away from faith (6:17-21). The final summary of this epistle is that
Paul was worried that Ephesus and the people in it would fall away from the
faith because of false doctrines that existed in the town. He wrote Timothy to
warn of this happening and to teach and to encourage him.


Bibliography
Erdman, Charles R. The Pastoral Epistles. Philadelphia: Westminster
Press,1929. Gurthie, Donald The Pastoral Epistles. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing Company, 1964. The NIV Study Bible Grand Rapids: Zondervan Corp.


1985. Stedman, Ray C. “1Timothy: Pastor’s Primer” March 1968, On-line
internet. 12/14/99. Available wwsiwy://15/http:/www.pbc.org/dp/stedman/adventure/0255.html.


“Timothy Honored of God” On-line internet. 12/03/99. Available http://azstarnet.com/~fbarnes/btim.htm.