Biblical People

Biblical People: Timothy

Paul mentors many leaders in the church, and Timothy is one of them. Timothy later becomes a pastor, and Paul writes two letters of encouragement and instruction to him.

But we first encounter Timothy in the city of Lystra. He is a disciple of Jesus. And he has a mixed heritage. His mother, a Jew, is also a believer, but his father is Greek.

Paul affirms Timothy’s sincere faith, which started with his grandma Lois, moved to his mother Eunice, and now lives in him. What a godly legacy. The church in Lystra also speaks well of him. 

Paul develops a real affinity for Timothy, referring to him as “a true son in the faith.” Since there’s nothing to indicate that Timothy’s Greek father shares his faith, it’s not surprising that Paul emerges as a father figure for the young man.

Throughout the book of Acts, we often see Timothy working in a key role as part of Paul’s ministry. Paul calls him a coworker. Sometimes Timothy travels with Paul and other times Paul sends Timothy on special missions.

Timothy’s name also pops up in Paul’s two letters to the churches in Corinth and Thessalonica, as well as his letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.

Timothy’s inclusion in each of these letters confirm his role in helping the church grow and advance the cause of Jesus.

Is there someone we can mentor, just like Paul mentored Timothy?

[Discover more about Timothy in Acts 16:1–2, Acts 17:14–15, Acts 18:5, Acts 19:22, Romans 16:21, 1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Timothy 1:1–5, and 2 Timothy 1:5.]

Read more about other biblical characters in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at