OVERVIEW OF 1 , 2 TIMOTHY & TITUS
Author: The Book of 1 Timothy was written by the apostle Paul (1 Timothy 1:1).
Date of Writing: The Book of 1 Timothy was written in A.D. 62-66.
Purpose of Writing: Paul wrote to Timothy to encourage him in his responsibility for overseeing the work of the Ephesian church and possibly the other churches in the province of Asia (1 Timothy 1:3). This letter lays the foundation for ordaining elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7), and provides guidance for ordaining people into offices of the church (1 Timothy 3:8-13). In essence, 1 Timothy is a leadership manual for church organization and administration.
Brief Summary: This is the first letter Paul wrote to Timothy, a young pastor who had been a help to Paul in his work. Timothy was a Greek. His mother was a Jewess and his father was Greek. Paul was more than just a mentor and leader to Timothy, he was like a father to him, and Timothy was like a son to Paul (1 Timothy 1:2). Paul begins the letter by urging Timothy to be on guard for false teachers and false doctrine. However, much of the letter deals with pastoral conduct. Paul instructs Timothy in worship (chapter 2) and developing mature leaders for the church (chapter 3). Most of the letter deals with pastoral conduct, warnings about false teachers, and the church's responsibility toward single members, widows, elders, and slaves. All throughout the letter, Paul encourages Timothy to stand firm, to persevere, and to remain true to his calling.
Connections: An interesting link to the Old Testament in the book of 1 Timothy is Paul's citation of the basis for considering church elders to be worthy of "double honor," and deserving of respect when it comes to being accused of wrongdoing (1 Timothy 5:17-19). Deuteronomy 24:15; 25:4; and Leviticus 19:13 all speak of the necessity to pay a worker what he has earned and to do it in a timely manner. Part of the Mosaic Law demanded that two or three witnesses were necessary to bring an accusation against a man (Deuteronomy 19:15). The Jewish Christians in the churches Timothy pastored would have been well aware of these Old Testament connections.
Practical Application: Jesus Christ is presented by Paul as the mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the Savior to all who believe in Him. He is Lord of the church, and Timothy serves Him by pastoring His church. Thus, we find the main application of Paul's first letter to his "son in the faith." Paul instructs Timothy on matters of church doctrine, church leadership, and church administration. We can use those same instructions in governing our local assembly today. Likewise, the work and ministry of a pastor, the qualifications for an elder, and the qualifications of a deacon are just as important and pertinent today as they were in Timothy's day. Paul's first letter to Timothy amounts to an instruction book on leading, administrating, and pastoring the local church. The instructions in this letter apply to any leader or prospective leader of Christ's church and are equally relevant today as they were in Paul's day. For those not called into leadership roles in their church, the book is still practical. Every follower must contend for the faith and avoid false teaching. Every follower must stand firm and persevere.
Author: 2 Timothy 1:1 identifies the author of the Book of 2 Timothy as the apostle Paul.
Date of Writing: The Book of 2 Timothy was written in approximately A.D. 67, shortly before the apostle Paul was put to death.
Purpose of Writing: Imprisoned in Rome yet again, the apostle Paul felt lonely and abandoned. Paul recognized that his earthly life was likely coming to an end soon. The Book of 2 Timothy is essentially Paul's "last words." Paul looked past his own circumstances to express concern for the churches and specifically for Timothy. Paul wanted to use his last words to encourage Timothy, and all other believers, to persevere in faith (2 Timothy 3:14) and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:2).
Brief Summary: Paul encourages Timothy to remain passionate for Christ and to remain firm in sound doctrine (2 Timothy 1:1-2, 13-14). Paul reminds Timothy to avoid ungodly beliefs and practices and to flee from anything immoral (2 Timothy 2:14-26). In the end times there will be both intense persecution and apostasy from the Christian faith (2 Timothy 3:1-17). Paul closes with an intense plea for believers to stand firm in the faith and to finish the race strong (2 Timothy 4:1-8).
Connections: So concerned was Paul to warn Timothy and those he pastored of the dangers of false teachers that he invoked the story of the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses (Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18, 19; 9:11). Although their names are not mentioned in the Old Testament, tradition has it that these men instigated the building of the golden calf and were killed with the rest of the idolaters (Exodus 32). Paul predicts the same fate for those who resist the truth of Christ, their folly eventually being made "clear to everyone" (2 Timothy 3:9).
Practical Application: It is easy to get side-tracked in the Christian life. We have to keep our eyes on the prize-being rewarded in heaven by Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:8). We must strive to avoid both false doctrine and ungodly practices. This can only be accomplished by being grounded in our knowledge of God's Word and firm in our refusal to accept anything that is unbiblical.
Author: Titus 1:1 identifies the apostle Paul as the author of the Book of Titus.
Date of Writing: The Epistle to Titus was written in approximately A.D. 66 Paul's many journeys are well documented and show that he wrote to Titus from Nicopolis in Epirus. In some Bibles a subscription to the epistle may show that Paul wrote from Nicopolis in Macedonia. However, there is no such place known and subscriptions have no authority as they are not authentic.
Purpose of Writing: The Epistle to Titus is known as one of the Pastoral Epistles as are the two letters to Timothy. This epistle was written by the apostle Paul to encourage his brother in the faith, Titus, whom he had left in Crete to lead the church which Paul had established on one of his missionary journeys (Titus 1:5). This letter advises Titus regarding what qualifications to look for in leaders for the church. He also warns Titus of the reputations of those living on the island of Crete (Titus 1:12). In addition to instructing Titus in what to look for in a leader of the church, Paul also encouraged Titus to return to Nicopolis for a visit. In other words, Paul continued to disciple Titus and others as they grew in the grace of the Lord (Titus 3:13).
Brief Summary: How wonderful it must have been when Titus received a letter from his mentor, the apostle Paul. Paul was a much-honored man, and rightly so, after establishing several churches throughout the eastern world. This famous introduction from the apostle would have been read by Titus: "To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior" (Titus 1:4).
The island of Crete where Titus was left by Paul to lead the church was inhabited by natives of the island and Jews who did not know the truth of Jesus Christ (Titus 1:12-14). Paul felt it to be his responsibility to follow through with Titus to instruct and encourage him in developing leaders within the church at Crete. As the apostle Paul directed Titus in his search for leaders, Paul also suggested how Titus would instruct the leaders so that they could grow in their faith in Christ. His instructions included those for both men and women of all ages (Titus 2:1-8).
To help Titus continue in his faith in Christ, Paul suggested Titus come to Nicopolis and bring with him two other members of the church (Titus 3:12-13).
Connections: Once again, Paul finds it necessary to instruct the leaders of the church to be on guard against the Judaizers, those who sought to add works to the gift of grace which produces salvation. He warns against those who are rebellious deceivers, especially those who continued to claim circumcision and adherence to the rituals and ceremonies of the Mosaic Law were still necessary (Titus 1:10-11). This is a recurring theme throughout the epistles of Paul, and in the book of Titus, he goes so far as to say their mouths must be stopped.
Practical Application: The apostle Paul deserves our attention as we look to the Bible for instruction on how to live a life pleasing to our Lord. We can learn what we should avoid as well as that which we are to strive to imitate. Paul suggests we seek to be pure as we avoid the things which will defile our minds and consciences. And then Paul makes a statement which should never be forgotten: "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good" (Titus 1:16). As Christians, we must examine ourselves to be sure our lives line up with our profession of faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 13:5). Along with this warning, Paul also tells us how to avoid denying God: "He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:5b-6). By seeking a daily renewal of our minds by the Holy Spirit we can develop into Christians that honor God by the way we live.