1 Timothy 6New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Rules for Slaves.1 [a]Those who are under the yoke of slavery must regard their masters as worthy of full respect, so that the name of God and our teaching[b] may not suffer abuse. 2 Those whose masters are believers must not take advantage of them because they are brothers but must give better service because those who will profit from their work are believers and are beloved.
V. False Teaching and True Wealth
Teach and urge these things.[c]3 Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching 4 is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, 5 and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain. 6 [d]Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it. 8 If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that. 9 Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.
Exhortations to Timothy.[e]11 But you, man of God,[f] avoid all this. Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. 12 Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge [you] before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession, 14 to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ 15 that the blessed and only ruler will make manifest at the proper time, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.
Right Use of Wealth.[g]17 Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, 19 thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.
20 O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge. 21 By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith.
Grace be with all of you.
6:1–2Compare the tables for household duties, such as that of Col 3:18–4:1. Domestic relationships derive new meaning from the Christian faith.
6:1Our teaching: this refers to the teaching of the Christian community.
6:2b–10Timothy is exhorted to maintain steadfastly the position outlined in this letter, not allowing himself to be pressured into any other course. He must realize that false teachers can be discerned by their pride, envy, quarrelsomeness, and greed for material gain. 1 Tm 6:6 is rather obscure and is interpreted, and therefore translated, variously. The suggestion seems to be that the important gain that religion brings is spiritual, but that there is material gain, too, up to the point of what is needed for physical sustenance (cf. 1 Tm 6:17–19).
6:6Contentment: the word autarkeia is a technical Greek philosophical term for the virtue of independence from material goods (Aristotle, Cynics, Stoics).
6:11–16Timothy’s position demands total dedication to God and faultless witness to Christ (1 Tm 6:11–14) operating from an awareness, through faith, of the coming revelation in Jesus of the invisible God (1 Tm 6:15–16).
6:17–19Timothy is directed to instruct the rich, advising them to make good use of their wealth by aiding the poor.
6:20–21A final solemn warning against the heretical teachers, with what seems to be a specific reference to gnosticism, the great rival and enemy of the church for two centuries and more (the Greek word for “knowledge” is gnōsis). If gnosticism is being referred to here, it is probable that the warnings against “speculations” and “myths and genealogies” (cf. especially 1 Tm 1:4; Ti 3:9) involve allusions to that same kind of heresy. Characteristic of the various gnostic systems of speculation was an elaborate mythology of innumerable superhuman intermediaries, on a descending scale (“genealogies”), between God and the world. Thus would be explained the emphasis upon Christ’s being the one mediator (as in 1 Tm 2:5). Although fully developed gnosticism belonged to the second and later centuries, there are signs that incipient forms of it belonged to Paul’s own period.
1 Timothy 5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
IV. Duties Toward Others
1 [a]Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as a father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with complete purity.
Rules for Widows.3 Honor widows who are truly widows. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let these first learn to perform their religious duty to their own family and to make recompense to their parents, for this is pleasing to God. 5 The real widow, who is all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But the one who is self-indulgent is dead while she lives. 7 Command this, so that they may be irreproachable. 8 And whoever does not provide for relatives and especially family members has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years old, married only once, 10 with a reputation for good works, namely, that she has raised children, practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the holy ones, helped those in distress, involved herself in every good work. 11 But exclude younger widows, for when their sensuality estranges them from Christ, they want to marry 12 and will incur condemnation for breaking their first pledge. 13 And furthermore, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers but gossips and busybodies as well, talking about things that ought not to be mentioned.14 So I would like younger widows to marry, have children, and manage a home, so as to give the adversary no pretext for maligning us. 15 For some have already turned away to follow Satan. 16 If any woman believer[b] has widowed relatives, she must assist them; the church is not to be burdened, so that it will be able to help those who are truly widows.
Rules for Presbyters.[c]17 Presbyters who preside well deserve double honor, especially those who toil in preaching and teaching. 18 For the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is threshing,” and, “A worker deserves his pay.” 19 Do not accept an accusation against a presbyter unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. 20 Reprimand publicly those who do sin, so that the rest also will be afraid. 21 I charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels to keep these rules without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism. 22 Do not lay hands too readily on anyone, and do not share in another’s sins. Keep yourself pure. 23 Stop drinking only water, but have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
24 Some people’s sins are public, preceding them to judgment; but other people are followed by their sins. 25 Similarly, good works are also public; and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.
5:1–16After a few words of general advice based on common sense (1 Tm 5:1–2), the letter takes up, in its several aspects, the subject of widows. The first responsibility for their care belongs to the family circle, not to the Christian community as such (1 Tm 5:3–4, 16). The widow left without the aid of relatives may benefit the community by her prayer, and the community should consider her material sustenance its responsibility (1 Tm 5:5–8). Widows who wish to work directly for the Christian community should not be accepted unless they are well beyond the probability of marriage, i.e., sixty years of age, married only once, and with a reputation for good works (1 Tm 5:9–10). Younger widows are apt to be troublesome and should be encouraged to remarry (1 Tm 5:11–15).
5:16Woman believer: some early Latin manuscripts and Fathers have a masculine here, while most later manuscripts and patristic quotations conflate the two readings, perhaps to avoid unfair restriction to women.
5:17–25The function of presbyters is not exactly the same as that of the episkopos, “bishop” (1 Tm 3:1); in fact, the relation of the two at the time of this letter is obscure (but cf. note on Ti 1:5–9). The Pastorals seem to reflect a transitional stage that developed in many regions of the church into the monarchical episcopate of the second and third centuries. The presbyters possess the responsibility of preaching and teaching, for which functions they are supported by the community (1 Tm 5:17–18). The realization that their position subjects them to adverse criticism is implied in the direction to Timothy (1 Tm 5:19–20) to make sure of the truth of any accusation against them before public reproof is given. He must be as objective as possible in weighing charges against presbyters (1 Tm 5:21), learning from his experience to take care in selecting them (1 Tm 5:22). Some scholars take 1 Tm 5:22 as a reference not to ordination of presbyters but to reconciliation of public sinners. The letter now sounds an informal note of personal concern in its advice to Timothy not to be so ascetic that he even avoids wine (1 Tm 5:23). Judgment concerning the fitness of candidates to serve as presbyters is easy with persons of open conduct, more difficult and prolonged with those of greater reserve (1 Tm 5:24–25).
4 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.[a]
3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth.4 Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks.5 For we know it is made acceptable[b] by the word of God and prayer.
A Good Servant of Christ Jesus
6 If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters,[c] Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed.7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,[d] for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.
11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.
14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you.15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
1 Timothy 3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Qualifications of Various Ministers.1 [a]This saying is trustworthy:[b]whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. 2 Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity; 5 for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God? 6 He should not be a recent convert, so that he may not become conceited and thus incur the devil’s punishment.[c]7 He must also have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, the devil’s trap.
8 [d]Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful, not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain, 9 holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 Moreover, they should be tested first; then, if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. 11 Women,[e] similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers, but temperate and faithful in everything. 12 Deacons may be married only once and must manage their children and their households well. 13 Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.
The Mystery of Our Religion.[f]14 I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon. 15 But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth. 16 Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion,
Who[g] was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory.
3:1–7The passage begins by commending those who aspire to the office of bishop (episkopos; see note on Phil 1:1) within the community, but this first sentence (1 Tm 3:1) may also imply a warning about the great responsibilities involved. The writer proceeds to list the qualifications required: personal stability and graciousness; talent for teaching (1 Tm 3:2); moderation in habits and temperament (1 Tm 3:3); managerial ability (1 Tm 3:4); and experience in Christian living (1 Tm 3:5–6). Moreover, the candidate’s previous life should provide no grounds for the charge that he did not previously practice what he now preaches. No list of qualifications for presbyters appears in 1 Timothy. The presbyter-bishops here and in Titus (see note on Ti 1:5–9) lack certain functions reserved here for Paul and Timothy.
3:1This saying is trustworthy: the saying introduced is so unlike others after this phrase that some later Western manuscripts read, “This saying is popular.” It is understood by some interpreters as concluding the preceding section (1 Tm 2:8–15). Bishop: literally, “overseer”; see note on Phil 1:1.
3:6The devil’s punishment: this phrase could mean the punishment once incurred by the devil (objective genitive) or a punishment brought about by the devil (subjective genitive).
3:8–13Deacons, besides possessing the virtue of moderation (1 Tm 3:8), are to be outstanding for their faith (1 Tm 3:9) and well respected within the community (1 Tm 3:10). Women in the same role, although some interpreters take them to mean wives of deacons, must be dignified, temperate, dedicated, and not given to malicious talebearing (1 Tm 3:11). Deacons must have shown stability in marriage and have a good record with their families (1 Tm 3:12), for such experience prepares them well for the exercise of their ministry on behalf of the community (1 Tm 3:13). See further the note on Phil 1:1.
3:11Women: this seems to refer to women deacons but may possibly mean wives of deacons. The former is preferred because the word is used absolutely; if deacons’ wives were meant, a possessive “their” would be expected. Moreover, they are also introduced by the word “similarly,” as in 1 Tm 3:8; this parallel suggests that they too exercised ecclesiastical functions.
3:14–16In case there is some delay in the visit to Timothy at Ephesus planned for the near future, the present letter is being sent on ahead to arm and enlighten him in his task of preserving sound Christian conduct in the Ephesian church. The care he must exercise over this community is required by the profound nature of Christianity. It centers in Christ, appearing in human flesh, vindicated by the holy Spirit; the mystery of his person was revealed to the angels, announced to the Gentiles, and accepted by them in faith. He himself was taken up (through his resurrection and ascension) to the divine glory (1 Tm 3:16). This passage apparently includes part of a liturgical hymn used among the Christian communities in and around Ephesus. It consists of three couplets in typical Hebrew balance: flesh-spirit (contrast), seen-proclaimed (complementary), world-glory (contrast).
3:16Who: the reference is to Christ, who is himself “the mystery of our devotion.” Some predominantly Western manuscripts read “which,” harmonizing the gender of the pronoun with that of the Greek word for mystery; many later (eighth/ninth century on), predominantly Byzantine manuscripts read “God,” possibly for theological reasons.
1 Timothy 2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
III. Problems of Discipline
Prayer and Conduct.1 [a]First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, 2 for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. 3 This is good and pleasing to God our savior, 4 who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, 6 who gave himself as ransom for all.
This was the testimony[b] at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed preacher and apostle (I am speaking the truth, I am not lying), teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8 [c]It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument. 9 Similarly, [too,] women should adorn themselves with proper conduct, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hairstyles and gold ornaments, or pearls, or expensive clothes, 10 but rather, as befits women who profess reverence for God, with good deeds. 11 A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man.[d] She must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. 15 But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
2:1–7This marked insistence that the liturgical prayer of the community concern itself with the needs of all, whether Christian or not, and especially of those in authority, may imply that a disposition existed at Ephesus to refuse prayer for pagans. In actuality, such prayer aids the community to achieve peaceful relationships with non-Christians (1 Tm 2:2) and contributes to salvation, since it derives its value from the presence within the community of Christ, who is the one and only savior of all (1 Tm 2:3–6). The vital apostolic mission to the Gentiles (1 Tm 2:7) reflects Christ’s purpose of universal salvation. 1 Tm 2:5 contains what may well have been a very primitive creed. Some interpreters have called it a Christian version of the Jewish shema: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord alone…” (Dt 6:4–5). The assertion in 1 Tm 2:7, “I am speaking the truth, I am not lying,” reminds one of similar affirmations in Rom 9:1; 2 Cor 11:31; and Gal 1:20.
2:6The testimony: to make sense of this overly concise phrase, many manuscripts supply “to which” (or “to whom”); two others add “was given.” The translation has supplied “this was.”
2:8–15The prayer of the community should be unmarred by internal dissension (1 Tm 2:8); cf. Mt 5:21–26; 6:14; Mk 11:25. At the liturgical assembly the dress of women should be appropriate to the occasion (1 Tm 2:9); their chief adornment is to be reputation for good works (1 Tm 2:10). Women are not to take part in the charismatic activity of the assembly (1 Tm 2:11–12; cf. 1 Cor 14:34) or exercise authority; their conduct there should reflect the role of man’s helpmate (1 Tm 2:13; cf. Gn 2:18) and not the later relationship of Eve to Adam (1 Tm 2:14; cf. Gn 3:6–7). As long as women perform their role as wives and mothers in faith and love, their salvation is assured (1 Tm 2:15).
1 Timothy 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Greeting.[a]1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, 2 to Timothy, my true child in faith: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
II. Sound Teaching
Warning Against False Doctrine.3 [b]I repeat the request I made of you when I was on my way to Macedonia, that you stay in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to teach false doctrines 4 [c]or to concern themselves with myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the plan of God that is to be received by faith.5 The aim of this instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 6 Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, 7 wanting to be teachers of the law, but without understanding either what they are saying or what they assert with such assurance.
8 [d]We know that the law is good, provided that one uses it as law, 9 with the understanding that law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, 10 the unchaste, sodomites,[e] kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
Gratitude for God’s Mercy.[f]12 I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. 13 I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief. 14 Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is trustworthy[g] and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. 16 But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life. 17 To the king of ages,[h] incorruptible, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Responsibility of Timothy.[i]18 I entrust this charge to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophetic words once spoken about you.[j] Through them may you fight a good fight 19 by having faith and a good conscience. Some, by rejecting conscience, have made a shipwreck of their faith, 20 among them Hymenaeus[k] and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
1:1–2For the Pauline use of the conventional epistolary form, see note on Rom 1:1–7.
1:3–7Here Timothy’s initial task in Ephesus (cf. Acts 20:17–35) is outlined: to suppress the idle religious speculations, probably about Old Testament figures (1 Tm 1:3–4, but see note on 1 Tm 6:20–21), which do not contribute to the development of love within the community (1 Tm 1:5) but rather encourage similar useless conjectures (1 Tm 1:6–7).
1:4The plan of God that is to be received by faith: the Greek may also possibly mean “God’s trustworthy plan” or “the training in faith that God requires.”
1:8–11Those responsible for the speculations that are to be suppressed by Timothy do not present the Old Testament from the Christian viewpoint. The Christian values the Old Testament not as a system of law but as the first stage in God’s revelation of his saving plan, which is brought to fulfillment in the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
1:12–17Present gratitude for the Christian apostleship leads Paul to recall an earlier time when he had been a fierce persecutor of the Christian communities (cf. Acts 26:9–11) until his conversion by intervention of divine mercy through the appearance of Jesus. This and his subsequent apostolic experience testify to the saving purpose of Jesus’ incarnation. The fact of his former ignorance of the truth has not kept the apostle from regarding himself as having been the worst of sinners (1 Tm 1:15). Yet he was chosen to be an apostle, that God might manifest his firm will to save sinful humanity through Jesus Christ (1 Tm 1:16). The recounting of so great a mystery leads to a spontaneous outpouring of adoration (1 Tm 1:17).
1:15This saying is trustworthy: this phrase regularly introduces in the Pastorals a basic truth of early Christian faith; cf. 1 Tm 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tm 2:11; Ti 3:8.
1:17King of ages: through Semitic influence, the Greek expression could mean “everlasting king”; it could also mean “king of the universe.”
1:18–20Timothy is to be mindful of his calling, which is here compared to the way Barnabas and Saul were designated by Christ as prophets for missionary service; cf. Acts 13:1–3. Such is probably the sense of the allusion to the prophetic words (1 Tm 1:18). His task is not to yield, whether in doctrine or in conduct, to erroneous opinions, taking warning from what has already happened at Ephesus in the case of Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tm 1:19–20).
1:18The prophetic words once spoken about you: the Greek may also be translated, “the prophecies that led (me) to you.” It probably refers to testimonies given by charismatic figures in the Christian communities. Fight a good fight: this translation preserves the play on words in Greek. The Greek terms imply a lengthy engagement in battle and might well be translated “wage a good campaign.”
1:20Hymenaeus: mentioned in 2 Tm 2:17 as saying that the resurrection has already taken place (in baptism). Alexander: probably the Alexander mentioned in 2 Tm 4:14 as the coppersmith who “did me a great deal of harm.” Whom I have handed over to Satan: the same terms are used in the condemnation of the incestuous man in 1 Cor 5:5.
First Letter to Timothy: Introduction
(Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 729)
First Letter of Paul to TIMOTHY or simply 1 Timothy
abbreviated as 1 Tim.
Timothy was born in the City of Lystra of a Greek Father and a
Jewish mother. He was reared in Jewish Faith and was taught the
scriptures by his mother and grandmother from warly childhood (2
DATE OF WRITING
1 Timothy was written sometime after the events of Ac 28 (c. 63–
65; at least eight years after Paul’s three-year stay in Ephesus
(see Ac 19:10).
The 15th Book of the New Testament.
Is a Pauline epistle and the Fifteenth book of the New Testament
of the Bible.
1 Timothy was written by Paul to Timothy sometime after his
release from Roman imprisonment as described at the end of Acts,
and written from Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3).
PURPOSE of Writing:
The letter instructs Timothy on his duty to restrain false and
useless teaching (1 Tm 1:3–11; 4:1–5; 6:3–16) and proposes
principles pertaining to his relationship with the older members
of the community (1 Tm 5:1–2) and with the presbyters (5:17–22).
It gives rules for aid to widows (1 Tm 5:3–8) and their selection
for charitable ministrations (1 Tm 5:9–16) and also deals with
liturgical celebrations (1 Tm 2:1–15), selections for the offices
of bishop and deacon (1 Tm 3:1–13), relation of slaves with their
masters (1 Tm 6:1–2), and obligations of the wealthier members of
the community (1 Tm 6:17–19). This letter also reminds Timothy of
the prophetic character of his office (1 Tm 1:12–20) and
encourages him in his exercise of it (1 Tm 4:6–16). The central
passage of the letter (1 Tm 3:14–16) expresses the principal
motive that should guide the conduct of Timothy—preservation of
the purity of the church’s doctrine against false teaching. On
this same note the letter concludes (1 Tm 6:20–21).
The record in the book of Acts ends with the apostle Paul in
prison in Rome. That was about AD 60 and he was there for two
years. It seems that after that he was free for a time.
After he came out of prison, he asked Timothy to stay in Ephesus
(1 Timothy 1:3). He then went to Macedonia. While he was there,
he wrote this first letter to Timothy. We do not know whether
Paul visited Ephesus at this time.
Timothy was the son of a Gentile father and a Jewish mother. His
mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, both believed the Gospel
of Christ (2 Timothy 1:5). They and Timothy probably became
Christians when Paul first went to the town called Lystra (Acts
14). All the Christians in Lystra and in the church in the town
called Iconium spoke well about Timothy.
When Paul came the second time to Lystra, he asked Timothy to
join his team (Acts 16:1-3). Timothy became a close friend and
helper of Paul. He went with Paul as he travelled to many places.
Paul spoke about him as his own son in the faith.
Now he was the leader of the church in Ephesus. Paul writes this
letter to him to encourage him in the task of leading that
church. He gives Timothy a lot of advice both for the Christians
in the church and for himself.
There were some problems there, with some people who were
teaching wrong things. Paul told Timothy to sort out that problem
(1 Timothy 1:3). He must stop these people from doing it.
Paul tells Timothy how to select the elders and deacons. He
writes about the roles of men and women. He speaks about the care
of widows. He tells Timothy how slaves ought to serve. He speaks
to the rich persons. And he warns them about the dangers that
come with wealth. He tells Timothy how he should take care of
himself. And he tells him how to be a good leader.