1 Timothy · Book Overviews

1 Timothy Overview

Why are these called the Prison Epistles ?

1 Timothy was one of only four letters in the New Testament written by Paul to individuals. The others are 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

  • Timothy was the only person to receive two individual letters from Paul in the New Testament.
  • Timothy was from Lystra (modern-day Turkey).
  • He was the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, were also believers (it will be mentioned in his 2nd letter).
  • They had raised him to know the Old Testament.
  • He was converted to Christianity by Paul in Acts 16:1–5.
  • We learn that believers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy.
  • Paul wanted to take him on his missionary journey, but Timothy was not circumcised. Paul circumcised him and they traveled together on Paul’s second missionary journey.

Timothy would be with Paul during his first Roman imprisonment. When 1 Timothy was written, however, Timothy was in Ephesus, serving as a leader among the various house churches that existed then.  Paul wrote to him, to encourage his faithful service to Christ. Timothy will serve some time in jail for his faith but will be released (Hebrews 13:23).

This letter will read differently since it is written to an individual.

  1. Written to a co-worker instead of a Church
  2. The letter will be easier to read (less complicated)
  3. He will use strong Greek terminology since it was his native language
  4. It will describe ‘overseers’ and ‘bishops’- the character needed to serve as a leader
  5. Reminders of basic truths about dealing with false teachings.
  6. Most of the scriptures will be an amplified or clarified version that was already spoken.

The name Timothy means “one who Honors God”

Outline:

  • Law and Grace (Ch 1)
  • Prayer and Worship (Ch 2)
  • Leadership (Ch 3:1-13)
  • True and False Religeion (Ch 3:14-5:2)
  • Widows, Elders, and Slaves (Ch 5:3-6:2_
  • Money and Wealth (Ch 6)

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