1 Timothy Background & Introduction

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  1. 1 Timothy
  • 6 chapters, 113 verses, and 2244 words (KJV).
  • 1 of the 3 epistles written to local Church leaders. These are considered the “Pastoral Epistles”. They include 1 and 2 Timothy along with Titus. 
  • This is the longest epistle to an individual person: Timothy. 

Broad outline:

  • Salutation (1:1-2)
  • A charge (Task) to Timothy (1:3-20)
  • Exhortation and instruction (2:1-6:10)
  • Benediction (6:11-21)

Conceptual outline:

  • 1 Timothy 1
    • Teach no other doctrine
  • 1 Timothy 2
    • Prayer and authority
  • 1 Timothy 3
    • Positional qualifications in the Body
  • 1 Timothy 4
    • Good and bad ministry
  • 1 Timothy 5
    • Additional instruction (e.g. widows, elders, servants)
  • 1 Timothy 6 
    • Healthy teaching and final charge

     2.    Notes regarding the nature of 1 Timothy

  • 1 Timothy is a reliable source in shaping sound doctrine. Sound doctrine is discussed in the face of heretical doctrine. These heretical doctrines derived from the Hellenistic and Gnostic doctrines of Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3).   
  • By nature, 1 Timothy’s purpose comes in application. Timothy was given doctrine in order to apply it. The instruction within this epistle is practical and reduces excuses for staleness. We are good ministers if the words of this letter are remembered and taught (1 Timothy 3:6). 
  • This letter also shows the frailty of members within the Church and the need for the redeeming grace and divine power of Jesus Christ by which the Church was designed. Because of the practicality, encouragement is a strong proponent that shines through. 
  • Another important function is the clarification of church order and qualifications. God is a God of order (1 Corinthians 14:33-40). Not only does order please God, it assists in maximizing the effectiveness of His ambassadors. 
  • Finally, 1 and 2 Timothy alike are important as they are preparatory for passing the mantle of ministry on to a younger generation of Christians by teaching healthy doctrine. 

     3.     Notes on Timothy

  • Native to Lystra (City in what is present-day Turkey) (Acts 16:1). 
  • Believed in the Gospel, possibly through the ministry of Paul.
  • First joined Paul on Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16:1-4)
  • Before joining Paul’s ministry, Timothy was circumcised to be able to better minister to Jewish populations. 
  • Was dispatched to preach in Thessalonica, Corinth, Macedonia, and Ephesus.

    4.      Date: A.D. 63-66 (According to Thomas D. Lea)

  • It is presumed by many to be written in between Paul’s release from his first Roman imprisonment and his execution.

    5.      Title: To Timothy (1:2)

    6.      Ephesus background:

  • Great commercial center in Asia Minor (In now modern-day Turkey)
  • Situated on the Cayster River, which comes out on the Aegean Sea
  • Notable for the temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the wonders of the world (Acts 19:27)

    7.       Author: The Apostle Paul

  • Note* Liberal scholarship argues this 

    8.     Written from: Possibly written from Macedonia (1:3) 

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