Book of the Week 55: II Timothy


Human Author: Paul                                               

OT or NT: New Testament

Number of Chapters: 4

Basic Facts

  1. II Timothy is the fifty-fifth book of the Bible.

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

  3. The Greek Name for the book of II Timothy is PROS TIMOTHEON B, which means, “to Timothy – Two” or “for the benefit of Timothy – Two.”

  4. II Timothy was written by Paul when Paul was in prison.

  5. Chronologically, II Timothy was one of the last letters Paul wrote before his death.

Story of the Book

In II Timothy, Paul is giving Timothy final instructions because he believes that he (Paul) is not going to live much longer in this world (II Timothy 4:6). Paul knows that his death, and possibly even martyrdom, is drawing near. Paul begins his second letter to Timothy with a simple greeting, treating Timothy as his child in the Lord (II Timothy 1:1-2). He thanks God for Timothy and calls him to fan into flame the gift of God (II Timothy 1:3-7). Paul instructs Timothy not to be ashamed of the gospel, but to proclaim it boldly, using several examples from his own ministry to demonstrate the importance of boldness and faithfulness (II Timothy 1:8-18). He encourages Timothy to be a good and faithful soldier of Christ who is willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel (II Timothy 2:1-13), and to be willing to patiently teach others to do the same in a spirit of brotherly love and unity (II Timothy 2:14-26). Paul teaches that in the last days people will abandon sound teaching and sound doctrine (II Timothy 3:1-9), but charges Timothy to remain steadfast in the things that he has learned from the Lord through Paul and through Scripture in order to be an effective worker for the kingdom (II Timothy 3:10-17). Paul charges Timothy by God, Christ, and the appearing of Christ to preach the word and to faithfully fulfill his ministry (II Timothy 4:1-8). Paul asks Timothy to visit him in person, but warns Timothy against several troublemakers by name (II Timothy 4:9-18), and closes the letter with a final personal farewell (II Timothy 4:19-22).

Jesus Revealed in II Timothy

Jesus is revealed in II Timothy is the one through whom God grants eternal life to believers. In II Timothy, Paul is contemplating his own death. He consistently tells Timothy to remain strong in faith in Christ Jesus, trusting that Jesus will grant eternal life both to himself and to Timothy if he perseveres. Therefore, Paul personally charges Timothy by Jesus Christ and His appearing to preach the Word and to faithfully fulfill his ministry (II Timothy 4:1-8). Paul knows that his martyrdom is drawing near, and he charges Timothy to remain faithful to Christ because it is Christ alone who will sustain Timothy in his ministry, especially after Paul is gone.

Paul urges Timothy to trust in Jesus throughout his entire life, believing that Jesus is the one through whom God the Father will grant salvation, eternal life, and immortality to all who trust in Jesus through the gospel (II Timothy 1:8-10). Just as Paul entrusted his eternity to Jesus and encouraged Timothy to do the same, we too can and must entrust ourselves to Jesus in order to obtain salvation, eternal life, and immortality. Every believer is called to entrust his or her eternity solely into the hands of Jesus. Just as Paul faced his own death for the cause of Christ with faith, we are to proclaim Christ boldly to the end of our days.