First Timothy – Church Handbook

The Apostle Paul wrote First Timothy in about A.D. 64, probably just prior to his final Roman imprisonment. Because he had appealed to Caesar, Paul was sent as a prisoner to Rome. Most scholars believe that Paul was released in about A.D. 62 (possibly because the “statute of limitations” had expired), and that during the next few years he was able to travel. During this time he wrote First Timothy and Titus. Soon, however, Emperor Nero began his campaign to eliminate Christianity. It is believed that during this time Paul was imprisoned again and eventually executed. During this second Roman imprisonment, Paul wrote Second Timothy. Titus and the two letters to Timothy comprise what are called the “Pastoral Letters.”

Paul advised Timothy on such practical topics as qualifications for church leaders, public worship, confronting false teaching, and how to treat various groups of people within the church. Right belief and right behavior are critical for anyone who desires to lead or serve effectively in the church. We should all believe rightly, participate in the church actively, and minister to one another lovingly.

First Timothy holds many lessons. If you are a church leader, take note of Paul’s relationship with his young disciple – his careful counsel and guidance. Measure yourself against the qualification that Paul gives for overseers and deacons. If you are young in the faith, follow the example of godly Christian leaders like Timothy, who imitated Paul’s life. If you are a parent, remind yourself of the profound effects a Christian home can have on family members – a faithful mother and grandfather led Timothy to Christ, and Timothy’s ministry helped change the world.

Written by Paul, “an apostle of Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 1:1).

Date Written:
During Paul’s post-Acts ministry (between A. D. 63-66). Written from Macedonia.

To Whom Written:
To Timothy, “my own son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2).

The purpose of the book of First Timothy was to outline Paul’s charge to Timothy regarding his responsibilities in Ephesus. Paul instructed Timothy how to deal with the “savage wolves” who had entered in among the Ephesian ekklesia (Acts 20:29), as well as the men from among the ekklesia who had started speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves (Acts 20:30). Paul issued directives as to teaching the believers in Ephesus (mostly ancestral Israelite who had believed during the Acts period) how they should live in the dispensation of grace. Paul also instructed Timothy how to choose over-watchers (episkopos) and servants (diakonos) for the community. He beseeched Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” as an example to the community in Ephesus. In 1 Timothy 2:5, the apostle made the astounding statement, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” absolutely allowing any mediation of angels or men in this present dispensation.

Complete Outline:
To download a PDF outline of First Timothy click here.

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