Introduction to 1 Timothy

When leadership gets tough

Firm words to strengthen Timothy in his life and ministry

How to read 1 Timothy

While a solo performance can be amazing, there’s a unique richness expressed by a symphony of many artists and instruments flowing together under a master conductor. Each of us has an instrument to play. Together in the church we create an incredible expression of who God is when we play in harmony with one another! What you’re about to read is like a conductor’s handbook. It summarizes guidelines for running a church, offering practical help to believers in their relationships with each other, with church leaders, and with the world around them.

Paul is writing to a beloved friend who has accompanied him on many missionary ventures. His instructions for the church are interspersed with personal directives and encouragement to his protégé Timothy. This combination results in a fabulous manual for corporate and personal discipleship.

This practical, nitty-gritty wisdom must be understood within the specific situation Paul was addressing. You might repeatedly ask yourself, “I wonder what conditions in Ephesus prompted Paul to write that?” Look for the underlying principles. It might help to imagine you are eavesdropping on the conversation between an older minister and his younger colleague. Although the specific problems and answers might never be exactly duplicated, the principles of the gospel never change.

Who wrote this book and when?

Paul, the apostle, wrote it sometime shortly after he was released from imprisonment in Rome, probably around AD 63–65.

To whom was it written and why?

Paul wrote to Timothy with advice on how to guide the church at Ephesus. False teachers threatened to undermine Paul’s work there, and Timothy, one of Paul’s dear friends, was in a tough situation where he needed personal encouragement and advice on how to guide the church.

SourceView Insights

All the SourceView text is black because Paul’s letter contains only his side of this written conversation with Timothy. The letter is displayed with a cursive script to give it a handwritten feel and allow us to relive the experience of reading this divinely inspired letter.

World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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