Second Timothy

The Pauline Epistles

 

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  AUTHOR AND TITLE:   

Because of their close relationship in thought and focus, the attestation and authorship of all three pastoral epistles will be dealt with here. It has also been pointed out that because all three are so closely connected in thought and style that they usually are either all accepted or all rejected as being written by Paul.

Though all three of these letters have been attacked more than any other of Paul’s epistles, both the external and internal evidence supports Paul as the author. Some early church fathers as Polycarp1)Polycarp: Polycarp (Greek: Πολύκαρπος, Polýkarpos; AD 69– 155-160’s) was a 2nd-century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him. [From Wikipedia] and Clement of Rome2)Clement of Rome: Saint Clement of Rome, is listed as Bishop of Rome from the late 2nd century He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church [From Wikipedia], allude to these epistles as Pauline. In addition, Irenaeus3)Irenaeus: was an early Church Father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology [From Wikipedia], Tertullian4)Tertullian: was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa [From Wikipedia], and Clement of Alexandria5)Clement of Alexander: Titus Flavius Clemens (Greek: Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; c. 150 – c. 215), known as Clement of Alexandria to distinguish him from the earlier Clement of Rome, was a Christian theologian who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. A convert to Christianity, he was an educated man who was familiar with classical Greek philosophy and literature. [From Wikipedia, and the Muratorian Canon6)Muratorian Canon: The Muratorian Canon is an ancient list of canonical books drawn up in Greek, ostensibly in the late second century due to the reference to Pope Pius, and surviving in a single copy in poor Latin discovered by Muratori. Some have redated the canon to the fourth century. [From earlychristianwritings.com] do as well. Moreover, the books declare Paul as the author (1 Tim. 1:1; 2 Tim. 1:1, Tit. 1:1). In addition, the doctrinal teaching and autobiographical details fit with the life of an aged Paul at the close of his ministry (see 1:12-17; 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:1-8; 4:9-22; Titus 1:5; 3:12-13).7)For a detailed discussion of the issues of authorship see Donald. Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, Tyndale Press, London, 1969, pp. 11-52; W. Hendricksen, A Commentary On 1 & II Timothy and Titus, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1957, pp. 4-33; and Henry Clarence Theissen, Introduction To The New Testament, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1943, pp. 253-60.

Those who question Paul’s authorship usually do so on the following grounds: … that

(1) Paul’s travels described in the pastorals do not fit anywhere into the historical account of the book of Acts,

(2) the church organization described in them is that of the second century, and

(3) the vocabulary and style are significantly different from that of the other Pauline letters.

Those who hold to the Pauline authorship reply:

(1) there is no compelling reason to believe that Acts contains the complete history of the life of Paul. Since his death is not recorded in Acts, he was apparently released from his first imprisonment in Rome, traveled over the empire for several years (perhaps even to Spain), was rearrested, imprisoned a second time in Rome, and martyred under Nero;

(2) nothing in the church organization reflected in the pastorals requires a later date (see Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1); and

(3) the question of authorship cannot be decided solely on the basis of vocabulary without considering how subject matter affects a writer’s choice of words.

Vocabulary used to describe church organization, for instance, would be expected to be different from that used to teach the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. There is no argument against Pauline authorship that does not have a reasonable answer. And, of course, the letters themselves claim to have been written by Paul.8)Ryrie, p. 1916.

The Greek titles for 1 and 2 Timothy are Pros Timotheon A and Pros Timotheon B, “First to Timothy” and “Second to Timothy.” Timothy’s name means, “honoring God.

  DATE: A.D. 67   

DATE: A.D. 63-66 It seems clear by comparing Acts with the epistles that 1 Timothy and Titus belong to the period after Paul’s first release and acquittal in Rome. Because of this, 1 Timothy must be dated after his first release, around the spring of A.D. 63, but before the outbreak of the Neronian persecutions in A.D. 64. First Timothy was probably written in A.D. 63 right after his first release. Titus was written around A.D. 65 and 2 Timothy in A.D. 66. Paul died in A.D. 67, according to the early church father, Eusebius9)Eusebius: Eusebius (/juːˈsiːbiəs/; Greek: Εὐσέβιος; 260/265 – 339/340 AD; also called Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius Pamphili), was a Roman historian, of Greek descent, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Early centers of Caesarea about the year 314 A.D. [From Wikipedia]. As a Roman citizen, he died by the sword (beheaded) rather than by crucifixion as did Peter.

Paul’s missionary journeys occupied approximately the years A.D. 48-56. From 56-60 Paul was slowly making his way through the Roman courts, arriving ultimately at Rome. For two years, 61-62, Paul was held under house arrest in Rome, at the end of which time, it can be surmised, he was released. From 62-67 Paul traveled more or less freely, leaving Timothy10)Timothy: Timothy (Greek: Τιμόθεος; Timótheos, meaning “honouring God” or “honored by God”) was the first first-century Christian bishop of Ephesus, whom tradition relates died around the year AD 97. He was from the Lycaonian city of Lystra in Asia Minor, became Paul’s disciple, and later his companion and co-worker. The New Testament indicates that Timothy traveled with Saint Paul, who was also his mentor. [From Wikipedia] in Ephesus and Titus11)Titus: Titus was an early Christian leader, a companion and disciple of Paul the Apostle, mentioned in several of the Pauline epistles including the Epistle to Titus. He is believed to be a gentile converted by Paul to Christianity and, according to tradition, was consecrated by him as Bishop of the Island of Crete. Titus brought a fundraising letter from Paul to Corinth, to collect for the poor in Jerusalem. Later, on Crete, Titus appointed presbyters in every city and remained there into his old age, dying in the city of Candia (modern Heraklion) [From Wikipedia] in Crete, and then subsequently writing each of them a letter. Thus the approximate dates for 1 Timothy and Titus are perhaps 63-66. After being recaptured and once again imprisoned, Paul wrote Timothy a second letter, 2 Timothy. Thus 2 Timothy, dated approximately A.D. 67, represents the last Pauline Epistle.12)Walvoord/Zuck, electronic media

  THEME AND PURPOSE:   

When we turn to 2 Timothy we find a very different atmosphere. In 1 Timothy and Titus, Paul was free and able to travel, but here he is a prisoner in a cold dungeon and facing death. In this letter Paul had two major purposes in mind.

He wrote

(1) to urge Timothy to come to Rome as soon as possible in view of his impending death (cf. 2Ti 4:9, 21 with 2Ti 4:6-8), and

(2) to admonish Timothy to keep holding on to sound doctrine, to defend it against all error, to endure hardship as a good soldier, and to realize we are living in days of growing apostasy.

As with 1 Timothy, there is a personal and a corporate aspect in the themes of the book:

• For the individual, the theme is “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you(2Ti 1:6), though there are several other verses that could form the theme both individually and corporately (cf. 2Ti 1:14;2Ti 2:1, 2; 2Ti 2:15; 2Ti 4:5).

• For the church, the theme could be entrust sound teaching to faithful men who will be able to teach others also by suffering and serving as a good soldier of Christ (2:2-4) or perhaps fighting the good fight and finishing the course (2Ti 4:6-7).

  KEY WORD(S):   

In view of the challenge of chapter 2 and the model of chapter 4, “endurance in ministry” is a fitting key concept of this letter.

  KEY VERSES:   

v.7 For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2Ti 1:7

v.1 So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. v.2 And what you heard me say in the presence of many others as witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well. v.3 Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. v.4 No one in military service gets entangled in matters of everyday life; otherwise he will not please the one who recruited him.

2Ti 2:1-4

v.14 You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you v.15 and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, that are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. v.16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, v.17 that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.

2Ti 3:14-17

  KEY CHAPTERS:   

I am convinced that Wilkinson13)Bruce H. Wilkinson: Bruce Wilkinson is a Christian teacher and author. He was born (ca. 1940) in New Jersey and graduated from Northeastern Bible College (B.A. and Th. B.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th. M.) and Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (D.D.). He served as a college professor at Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon, until resigning to launch Walk Thru the Bible in June 1976. [From Wikipedia] and Boa14)Kenneth Boa: Dr. Boa is the President of Reflections Ministries and Trinity House Publishers. Kenneth Boa is engaged in a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a B.S. from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. [Author by bible.org] are on target when they write:
The second chapter of Second Timothy ought to be required daily reading for every pastor and full-time Christian worker. Paul lists the keys to an enduring successful ministry:

A Reproducing Ministry (2Ti 1:1-2:26);

An Enduring Ministry (2Ti 2:3-13);

A Studying Ministry (2Ti 2:14-18); and

A Holy Ministry (2Ti 2:19-26).”15)Wilkinson/Boa, p. 435.

Since, in reality, all believers are called to full-time ministry in one way or another, this chapter would be more than beneficial for all Christians.

  CHRIST AS SEEN IN 2 TIMOTHY:   

At the heart of all ministry and our ability to endure in ministry is the doctrine of the person and work of Christ. It is not surprising, therefore, that even in a book stressing endurance in ministry, the doctrine of Christ is prominent. Here, He is described:

As the One who “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2Ti 1:10),

As the One who rose from the dead (2Ti 2:8),

As the One who gives salvation and eternal glory (2Ti 2:10),

As the One with whom all believers have died, with whom they will live, and from whom they will be rewarded for faithful service (as in the crown of righteousness) and in the privilege of reigning with Him (2Ti 2:11-13; 2Ti 4:8).

  OUTLINE:   

I. The Salutation (2Ti 1:1-2)

II. The Expression of Thanks for Timothy (2Ti 1:3-7)

III. The Call to Remember Timothy’s Responsibilities (2Ti 1:8-18)

IV. The Character of a Faithful Servant (2Ti 2:1-26)

A. He Is Strong in Grace (2Ti 2:1)

B. He Is a Multiplier of Disciples (2Ti 2:2)

C. He Is Single-Minded Like a Soldier (2Ti 2:3-4)

D. He Is Strict Like an Athlete and Enduring Like a Farmer (2Ti 2:5-13)

E. He Is a Diligent Workman (2Ti 2:14-19)

F. He Is Sanctified Vessel (2Ti 2:20-23)

G. He Is a Gentle Servant (2Ti 2:24-26)

V. The Caution for a Faithful Servant (2Ti 3:1-17)

A. The Peril of Apostasy (2Ti 3:1-9)

B. The Protection From Apostasy (2Ti 3:10-17)

VI. The Charge to Preach the Word (2Ti 4:1-5)

VII. The Comfort of a Faithful Servant (2Ti 4:6-18)

A. A Good Finish to Life (2Ti 4:6-7)

B. A Good Future After Life (2Ti 4:8)

C. Good Friends in Life (2Ti 4:9-18)

VIII. Concluding Greetings (2Ti 4:19-22)

References   [ + ]

1. Polycarp: Polycarp (Greek: Πολύκαρπος, Polýkarpos; AD 69– 155-160’s) was a 2nd-century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him. [From Wikipedia]
2. Clement of Rome: Saint Clement of Rome, is listed as Bishop of Rome from the late 2nd century He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church [From Wikipedia]
3. Irenaeus: was an early Church Father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology [From Wikipedia]
4. Tertullian: was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa [From Wikipedia]
5. Clement of Alexander: Titus Flavius Clemens (Greek: Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; c. 150 – c. 215), known as Clement of Alexandria to distinguish him from the earlier Clement of Rome, was a Christian theologian who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. A convert to Christianity, he was an educated man who was familiar with classical Greek philosophy and literature. [From Wikipedia
6. Muratorian Canon: The Muratorian Canon is an ancient list of canonical books drawn up in Greek, ostensibly in the late second century due to the reference to Pope Pius, and surviving in a single copy in poor Latin discovered by Muratori. Some have redated the canon to the fourth century. [From earlychristianwritings.com]
7. For a detailed discussion of the issues of authorship see Donald. Guthrie, The Pastoral Epistles, Tyndale Press, London, 1969, pp. 11-52; W. Hendricksen, A Commentary On 1 & II Timothy and Titus, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1957, pp. 4-33; and Henry Clarence Theissen, Introduction To The New Testament, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1943, pp. 253-60.
8. Ryrie, p. 1916.
9. Eusebius: Eusebius (/juːˈsiːbiəs/; Greek: Εὐσέβιος; 260/265 – 339/340 AD; also called Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius Pamphili), was a Roman historian, of Greek descent, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Early centers of Caesarea about the year 314 A.D. [From Wikipedia]
10. Timothy: Timothy (Greek: Τιμόθεος; Timótheos, meaning “honouring God” or “honored by God”) was the first first-century Christian bishop of Ephesus, whom tradition relates died around the year AD 97. He was from the Lycaonian city of Lystra in Asia Minor, became Paul’s disciple, and later his companion and co-worker. The New Testament indicates that Timothy traveled with Saint Paul, who was also his mentor. [From Wikipedia]
11. Titus: Titus was an early Christian leader, a companion and disciple of Paul the Apostle, mentioned in several of the Pauline epistles including the Epistle to Titus. He is believed to be a gentile converted by Paul to Christianity and, according to tradition, was consecrated by him as Bishop of the Island of Crete. Titus brought a fundraising letter from Paul to Corinth, to collect for the poor in Jerusalem. Later, on Crete, Titus appointed presbyters in every city and remained there into his old age, dying in the city of Candia (modern Heraklion) [From Wikipedia]
12. Walvoord/Zuck, electronic media
13. Bruce H. Wilkinson: Bruce Wilkinson is a Christian teacher and author. He was born (ca. 1940) in New Jersey and graduated from Northeastern Bible College (B.A. and Th. B.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th. M.) and Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (D.D.). He served as a college professor at Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon, until resigning to launch Walk Thru the Bible in June 1976. [From Wikipedia]
14. Kenneth Boa: Dr. Boa is the President of Reflections Ministries and Trinity House Publishers. Kenneth Boa is engaged in a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a B.S. from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. [Author by bible.org]
15. Wilkinson/Boa, p. 435.

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