The two letters to Timothy and the one to Titus, commonly known as the Pastoral Epistles, belong to the period at the very close of Paul's life. They provide very valuable information about the great missionary's thoughts as he prepared to delegate his tasks to others. It is generally believed that 1 Timothy was written about 63 A.D.

Timothy was the son of a mixed marriage; his mother, who evidently instructed him in the Scriptures, was a Jewess, and his father was a Greek (Ac.16v1; 2Tim.1v5). He was a native of Lystra (Ac.16v1) and was highly esteemed by his Christian brethren both there and in Iconium (Ac.16v2). Timothy came to know the Lord on Paul's first missionary journey which included Lystra in its itinerary. When Paul took his second missionary tour, Timothy's mother was also a Christian. # Paul added Timothy to his group as he traveled with Silas (who had replaced Barnabas). Timothy probably replaced John Mark whom Paul had refused to take along (Ac.15v36ff). To avoid criticism from local Jews, Timothy was circumcised before setting out on Paul's trips.

Timothy was first assigned to minister to the believers in Thessalonica. He was associated with Paul and Silvanus (Silas) in the greetings of both epistles directed to the congregation and was present with Paul during his preachings at Corinth (2Cor.1v19). Timothy was next heard of during the apostle Paul's Ephesian ministry when he was sent with Erastus on another important mission to Macedonia. From there he was to proceed to Corinth (1Cor.4v17). Apparently, Timothy was of a timid nature; hence, the admonition of Paul to encourage him (1Cor.16v10-11, compare 2Tim.4v17ff).

Timothy also went with Paul on the journey to Jerusalem with the collected funds (Ac.20:4-5) and was next mentioned when Paul (then a prisoner) wrote Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians from a prison in Rome. When Paul was released from imprisonment and engaged in further activity in the East, as the Pastoral Epistles indicate, it would seem that Paul left Timothy at Ephesus (1Tim.1v3) and commissioned him to deal with certain false teachers and to help supervise public worship and the appointment of some Christian leaders. Although Paul evidently hoped to rejoin Timothy, the fear that he might be delayed occasioned the writing of this first letter to him. This was followed by another when Paul was not only re-arrested, but put on trial for his life. We have no indication as to whether Timothy was able to come to Paul in Rome as he had been urged to do. Later, Timothy himself became a prisoner (as Heb.13v23 shows), but no details are given. No further information about Timothy is given after that.

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