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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Timothy

(tihm' oh thee) Personal name meaning, “honoring God.” Friend and trusted coworker of Paul. When Timothy was a child, his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois taught him the Scriptures (2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:15 ). A native of Lystra, he may have been converted on Paul's first missionary journey (Acts 14:6-23 ). Paul referred to Timothy as his child in the faith (1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2 ). This probably means that Paul was instrumental in Timothy's conversion. When Paul came to Lystra on his second journey, Timothy was a disciple who was well-respected by the believers (Acts 16:1-2 ). Paul asked Timothy to accompany him. Timothy's father was a Greek, and Timothy had not been circumcised. Because they would be ministering to many Jews and because Timothy's mother was Jewish, Paul had Timothy circumcised (Acts 16:3 ).

Timothy not only accompanied Paul but also was sent on many crucial missions by Paul (Acts 17:14-15; Acts 18:5; Acts 19:22; Acts 20:4; Romans 16:21; 1 Corinthians 16:10; 2 Corinthians 1:19; 1Thessalonians 3:2,1 Thessalonians 3:6 ). For example, when Paul was unable to go to Corinth, he sent Timothy to represent Paul and his teachings (1 Corinthians 4:17 ). Later when Paul was in prison, he sent Timothy to Philippi (Philippians 2:19 ).

Paul felt that no one had any more compassion and commitment than Timothy (Philippians 2:20-22 ).

So close were Paul and Timothy that both names are listed as the authors of six of Paul's letters (2 Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; Philippians 1:1 ). In addition, Paul wrote two letters to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2 ). As Paul's ministry neared the end, he challenged Timothy to remain true to his calling (1 Timothy 1:18 ). As Paul faced death, he asked Timothy to come to be with him (2 Timothy 4:9 ). At some point in his life, Timothy was imprisoned; but he was released (Hebrews 13:23 ). See Paul; 1Timothy; 2Timothy .

Robert J. Dean

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Timothy'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/t/timothy.html. 1991.

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