Tag Archives: Timothy

First Timothy

The Book of First Timothy in the BibleThe book of First Timothy was written by the Apostle Paul (who wrote about half of the New Testament). It’s a letter, or epistle, to the young pastor Timothy. It, along with Second Timothy and Titus are often called Paul’s pastoral letters, because their focus is on instructing young ministers. As such, they are often considered to be church manuals, more than personal letters. However, since all followers of Jesus are called to minister to others, these three books are applicable to church members everywhere

First Timothy, along with Titus, appear more as manuals for church administration, nevertheless it provides instruction that is both practical and unifying.

Second Timothy

The Book of Second Timothy in the bibleThe book of Second Timothy was written by the Apostle Paul (who wrote about half of the New Testament). It’s a letter, or epistle, to the young pastor Timothy. It, along with Second Timothy and Titus are often called Paul’s pastoral letters, because their focus is on instructing young ministers. As such, they are often considered to be church manuals, more than personal letters. However, since all followers of Jesus are called to minister to others, these three books are applicable to church members everywhere

Whereas Paul’s first letter to Timothy is essentially a manual for church administration, his second letter reads more like a last will and testament. As such it gives final instructions to Timothy, encouraging him to persevere after Paul’s death, as well as how to deal with false teaching (heresy).

Biblical References in Jude

As covered a few weeks ago, the book of Jude contains three cryptic references to ancient non-biblical texts.  In addition, Jude also includes references to biblical accounts.

The first is in verse 6, where Jude mentions angels who abandoned their role and their home.  This is likely a nod to Genesis 6:1-4, which talks about the son’s of God marrying the daughters of man.  That is a bit perplexing itself, but at least it is the Bible.  (Alternately, some scholars think Jude is referring to an ancient non-biblical text, The Book of Enoch.  I opt for Genesis 6.)

Another non-biblical reference is found in verse 17-18.  Here Jude cites other apostles who warn that in the last days there will be scoffers who follow ungodly desires.  Although the New Testament of the Bible did not exist at the time of Jude’s writing, he may have been privy to Paul’s and Peter’s letters or more likely, he simply heard them — or heard of them — issuing this warning.  Jude’s words are recorded almost verbatim by Peter in 2 Peter 3:3, as well as being alluded to in 2 Peter 2:1-3.  Likewise, Paul, in his letters to Timothy, covers this theme in 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, and 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

Last, and perhaps most significant, is references to CainBalaam, and, Korah, which I will address in future posts.

Jude was certainly well read and well-informed, peppering his letters with many references and illustrations.  Though they would have been helpful to his audience then, that is not so much the case today.  Even so, Jude’s central warning to guard against ungodly people in the church is well founded — and timeless.

[Jude 1:6, Genesis 6:1-4, Jude 1:17-18, 2 Peter 3:32 Peter 2:1-3, Timothy references]

Timothy Proved Himself

I earlier stated that Paul is the author of the letter to Philemon.  This is correct, but not exclusively so.  Timothy is also listed in the opening credits.  While we don’t know Timothy’s degree of involvement, the letter does state that it is from Paul and Timothy.

This isn’t an isolated occurrence either.  Check out the opening verse in 2 Corinthians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and 2 Thessalonians, as well as Philemon.  In each case, Timothy is listed as a partner in the correspondence.  We don’t know if he was a co-author, a collaborator, or played some other role, but it is clear the letter is also from him.

There are many other references to Timothy in the Bible, including in two letters from Paul to him.  From these we develop a composite picture of Timothy as a disciple, a helper, a co-worker, Paul’s son in the faith, a brother, and a servant.  We also know that he told others about Jesus and was thrown in jail as a result.

Paul goes on to affirm that Timothy “proved himself.”  While Timothy didn’t need to earn his salvation or do something to garner God’s attention or favor, it is noteworthy that he proved himself in the work he was called to do.

Our challenge as we follow Jesus is to likewise prove ourselves as worthy.

[Philippians 2:22]

Training for the Best

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he contrasts physical training (which is good) to spiritual training (which is better).

I wonder, how often do we pursue things that are good, while pushing aside God’s things that are better?

That’s something to think about next time we’re working out or pursuing some leisure time activity.  After all, I don’t want to live a good life, but the best life possible.

[1 Timothy 4:8]

Living in the Prophetic

In Paul’s letter to Timothy he talks about a prophecy that he made regarding Timothy.  (A prophecy is a God-inspired foretelling of the future.)

Often we think of a prophecy as being about some grand, distantly future event — like the end of the world or major catastrophe — but that is not always the case.

A prophecy can also be given for a specific person that will occur in the near future.  So it was when God gave prophetic words to Paul for Timothy.

What is interesting is that Paul says the prophecy is to inspire Timothy and aid him.

This seems to suggest that we shouldn’t just passively accept a prophetic word that may be given for us, but need to intentionally move in that direction.  That doesn’t mean that by our own efforts we accomplish what was predicted, but merely that we expectantly allow God to do in us, or for us, what he said.

That, too, is living in the prophetic.

[1 Timothy 1:18]