the First Week of Advent
Click here to join the effort!
Timothy Epistles to
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature
The authenticity of these epistles is proved by the testimony of the earliest ecclesiastical writers, Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Ignatius, and many others; and though modern German critics have attempted to set aside this weighty mass of external evidence by minute and carping critical objections, they have completely failed. With regard to the time when they were composed, it is clear that the first epistle was written not long after Paul had left Ephesus for Macedonia (), and in all probability after the departure from Ephesus mentioned . With respect to the second epistle, it is certain that it was written at Rome, and while Paul was a prisoner there (;;; ). Whether this was during his first or second imprisonment has been matter of dispute, and, though not without difficulties, the opinion that this epistle was written during his second imprisonment seems upon the whole the preferable.
The design of the first epistle is partly to instruct Timothy in the duties of that office with which he had been entrusted, partly to supply him with credentials to the churches which he might visit, and partly to furnish through him guidance to the churches themselves. It may be divided into three parts, exclusive of the introduction (), and the conclusion (). In the first of these parts () the apostle reminds Timothy generally of his functions, and especially of the duties he had to discharge in reference to certain false teachers, who were anxious to bring the believers under the yoke of the law. In the second ( to ) he gives Timothy particular instructions concerning the orderly conducting of divine worship, the qualifications of bishops and deacons, and the proper mode of behaving himself in a church. In the third () the apostle discourses against some vices to which the Christians at Ephesus seem to have been prone.
The design of the second epistle is partly to inform Timothy of the apostle's trying circumstances at Rome, and partly to utter a last warning voice against the errors and delusions which were corrupting and disturbing the churches. It consists of an inscription (); of a series of exhortations to Timothy, to be faithful in his zeal for sound doctrine, patient under affliction and persecution, careful to maintain a deportment becoming his office, and diligent in his endeavors to counteract the unhallowed efforts of the false teachers (; ); and a conclusion in which Paul requests Timothy to visit him, and sends the salutations of certain Christians at Rome to Timothy, and those of the apostle himself to some believers in Asia Minor.
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Timothy Epistles to'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​kbe/​t/timothy-epistles-to.html.