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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy

Lipscomb's Commentary on Selected New Testament BooksLipscomb's Commentary on Selected NT Books

- 2 Timothy

by David Lipscomb

 

A COMMENTARY

ON THE New Testament Epistles

BY

DAVID LIPSCOMB

EDITED, WITH ADDITIONAL NOTES,

BY

J. W. SHEPHERD

VOLUME V

I, II Thessalonians,

I, II Timothy,

Titus, and Philemon

 

GOSPEL ADVOCATE COMPANY

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

1942

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE

SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY.

TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING.

The internal evidence of the Epistle points to Rome as the place where it was written. It is generally believed that the following refers to Nero: “But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me; that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion” (2 Timothy 4:17), as indicating the place where he was at the time. The seat of judgment, the presence of the emperor, the concourse of the Gentiles, the names of the persons sending salutations, and the expressions of the near approach of death (2 Timothy 4:7-8) leave little doubt that Paul was now in Rome, and, if so, this certainly was the last of the three Epistles. This Epistle differs wholly from the first, caused by different circumstances. Its main purpose was to encourage Timothy under the new danger which had come upon the church through the persecution by Nero and Paul’s imprisonment under a capital charge. By his own example of faith and constancy, by cogent reasonings and exhortations, and by the strongest Christian motives, Paul strives to com­fort and sustain Timothy under the trying and perilous cir­cumstances in which he was placed, and adds some prophetic warnings concerning coming heresies and directions as to how Timothy was to meet them. A brief statement of the present conditions of affairs at Rome was a pressing entreaty twice repeated to hasten to him. (2 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 4:21) A.D. 68.

PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE.

After his first trial Paul was remanded to prison. The occasion of writing seems to have been his deep concern about Timothy. He was anxious that he should come to him at Rome, bringing with him Mark, at as early date as possible. (2 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 4:11.) But Paul was uncertain about his own condi­tion—whether he should live to see him or be executed before his arrival. He sends to him, therefore, not merely a message to come, but an Epistle full of fatherly exhortations and in­structions applicable to his present circumstances. And these seem to have been much needed. Many of Paul’s friends had forsaken him (2 Timothy 1:15; 2 Timothy 4:10), and Timothy needed much en­couragement. The Epistle, therefore, was calculated, in some measure, to apply what Paul by word of mouth would, if he were permitted to speak face to face, still more fervently urge upon him. And thus we possess an Epistle most important for the church in all ages. The affecting circumstances in which Paul himself was placed carry home to every devout heart his earnest and impassioned eloquence.

After his first trial, nothing is certainly known concerning him. But that he was executed by the sword is the constant tradition of antiquity and would agree with the fact of his Roman citizenship which would exempt him from death by torture. Of his last trial and death there is tradition, but no history.

 

 
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