Book of the Week 54: I Timothy

Greek Name: PROS TIMOTHEON A

Human Author: Paul                                               

OT or NT: New Testament

Number of Chapters: 6

Basic Facts

  1. I Timothy is the fifty-fourth book of the Bible.

  2. In terms of literary genre, I Timothy is classified as an epistle, or letter.

  3. The Greek name for the book of I Timothy is PROS TIMOTHEON A, which means “to Timothy - One,” or “for the benefit of Timothy – One.”

  4. I Timothy was written by Paul to Timothy as a personal letter, rather than a letter written to a whole group of believers.

  5. Paul is writing this letter to instruct Timothy as a child in the faith.

Story of the Book

Paul begins I Timothy with a greeting, urging Timothy to stay in Ephesus in order to teach and correct those who have deviated from sound doctrine (I Timothy 1:1-11). Paul shares his testimony in order to encourage Timothy and urge him to stay steadfast in the faith (I Timothy 1:12-20). He tells Timothy to pray for all people (I Timothy 2:1-7) and gives instructions for how women should conduct themselves with modesty and self-control (I Timothy 2:8-15). Paul gives Timothy a list of qualifications for overseers (I Timothy 3:1-7), and for deacons in the church (I Timothy 3:8-13). Paul tells Timothy of his plans to visit, stating that if he is delayed this letter will serve for his instruction (I Timothy 3:14-16). The focus of the letter shifts as Paul warns Timothy about false teachers which will arise in the last days. He charges Timothy to be a faithful teacher and follower of Christ who instills sound doctrine among believers (I Timothy 4:1-16). Timothy is then given instructions for how to rebuke others within the body of Christ in a spirit of purity, along with instructions for how to care for widows and women who are in need (I Timothy 5:1-16). Paul writes that Elders in the church who rule well should be treated with double honor as faithful ministers of God (I Timothy 5:17-25). He teaches that all who are believing bond-servants are to have good behavior in order to bring a good reputation to the church (I Timothy 6:1-2). Paul warns Timothy about the danger of false teachers and gives him advise about how to remain content (I Timothy 6:3-10). The letter closes as Paul admonishes Timothy to remain steadfast and to fight the good fight of faith in order to take hold of his salvation that is secure for him in Christ (I Timothy 6:11-21).

Jesus Revealed in I Timothy

I Timothy is written by Paul to instruct Timothy about how to teach sound doctrine, to refute false teachers, and to fulfill his calling by remaining steadfast in faith. Jesus is revealed by Paul as the one who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who will sustain Timothy throughout his life. God will bring all things under His dominion in good time (I Timothy 6:12-16). Paul urges Timothy to fight the good fight of faith. Just as Paul charged Timothy to fight the good fight of faith, all believers are also called to keep the faith and remain faithful to Jesus and to sound doctrine throughout life. God is the one who gives life to all things and He is the one who provides salvation through the finished work of Jesus. Just as God raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him life, so God will give eternal life to all who have faith in Jesus Christ. If we remain faithful to God in Christ through all circumstances, we have the same hope of an eternal inheritance in Christ that Paul called Timothy to pursue in I Timothy.