FIRST TIMOTHY

  1. THE TITLE
  2. This epistle gets its name from the fact that it is the first of two letters by the writer to Timothy

  3. THE WRITER
  4. The first verse names Paul as the writer.

  5. THE ADDRESSEE
  6. The letter is addressed "unto Timothy, my true child in faith" (1:2). Timothy was an inhabitant of Lystra (Acts 16:1,2), and was probably converted by Paul on his first mission tour (Acts 14:1-7). Timothy's father was a Greek, but his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice were devout Jewesses (Acts 16:1, II Timothy 1:3-5). He had been carefully taught the Jewish scriptures (II Timothy 3:14,15). Timothy joined Paul on the apostle's second mission tour (Acts 16:3,4), and is everywhere spoken of in terms of high praise (I Thessalonians 3:2; Philippians 2:19-23). He was left by Paul at Ephesus to work with the church there (I Timothy 1:3). Paul longed to have Timothy with him as death approached the aged apostle (II Timothy 4:9,13,21).

  7. TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING
  8. Although the time and place of writing are indefinite, the letter was probably written between A.D. 64 and 66 from some place in Macedonia (Philippians 2:24; Philemon 22). Some commentators believe the letter was written between Paul's first and second imprisonment in Rome.

  9. PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE LETTER
  10. The purpose of the letter is two-fold:

    1. To offset the false doctrines of Jewish teachers (4:7-10; 6:3-5, 20, 21).
    2. To guide and encourage Timothy in his evangelistic duties.
      1. Concerning public devotions (2:1-8).
      2. Concerning the duties and behavior of Christian women (2:9-15).
      3. Concerning church officers (3:1-13).
      4. Concerning Timothy's teaching (3:14-16; 4:1-10).
      5. Concerning Timothy's personal holiness (4:11-16).
      6. Concerning the treatment of offenders, of widows, of elders, of slaves, of the rich; and the duties of these several classes of persons (Chs. 5,6). This letter has been compared to "pearls of various sizes and colors, loosely strung on one thread."

  11. KEY-WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
  12. Characteristic key-words and expressions are: "faithful is the saying;" "godliness"; "fables"; "genealogies"; "profane babblings"; "sound doctrines."

  13. EXERCISES FOR STUDENT ACTIVITY
    1. Summarize the life of Timothy (Acts 14:6-20; 16:1-3; 17:14,15; 18:5; 20:4; Romans 16:21; I Corinthians 4:17; 16:10; II Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; 2:19-23; Colossians 1:1; I Timothy 1:3-5; 3:14,15; 4:14; II Timothy 1:3-6; 4:9,13,21).
    2. With I Timothy as a text, describe the kind of a man a preacher should be.
    3. Summarize the teaching of I Timothy concerning the nature of God and His sovereignty.
    4. Discuss the attitude which the church should have toward elders (5:1,17,19).
    5. What directions does Paul give concerning widows? (5:3-16).
    6. What does Paul say about money, covetousness, etc.? (6:6-10, 17-19).
    7. Under what conditions did Paul tell Timothy to "use a little wine?" (5:23).
    8. With I Timothy 6:3-16 as a scriptural source, prepare a sermon outline on the subject: Flee, Follow, Fight.
    9. Explain "the mystery of godliness" described in I Timothy 3:16.
    10. List all the words used to designate the church in I Timothy.
    11. In what connections does Paul use the statement, "Faithful is the saying?"
    12. Note all the athletic, military, and other figures in I Timothy.
    13. What warnings does Paul give regarding false doctrines and apostasy?

  14. A STUDY OF CHURCH LEADERSHIP
    1. Qualifications of elders
    2. There are three words in the Greek New Testament which are used to designate the men in charge of a local congregation of Christians. The words are not synonymous, but they are used interchangeably with reference to the same group of persons. Each word represents some particular phase of the elders' office, work or duties. There is no distinction in rank or office suggested by these words, for they are all applied to the same persons. Each of these Greek words is translated by a pair of English words. Thus, in the English New Testament we find six words used to designate the ones charged with the oversight of the local congregation.

      1. Presbuteros: Translated by two English words, elder and presbyter. The word suggests an older man, hence refers to age and experience (Acts 14:23; I Timothy 5:1,17; Titus 1:5; I Peter 5:1).
      2. Episkopos. Translated by two English words, bishop and overseer. The word suggests supervision, direction and oversight, hence refers to function (Acts 20:28; Titus 1:7; I Timothy 3:1, Philippians 1:1).
      3. Poimain: Translated by two English words, pastor and shepherd. The word suggests nurture, feeding, and teaching, hence refers to tender care and compassion (Ephesians 4:11; I Peter 2:25; 5:2).

      An elder must have each of the following qualifications:

      I Timothy 3:1-7

      1. Without reproach
      2. Husband of one wife
      3. Temperate
      4. Sober-minded
      5. Orderly
      6. Given to hospitality
      7. Apt to teach
      8. No brawler
      9. No striker
      10. Gentle
      11. Not contentious
      12. No lover of money
      13. Rules well his own house
      14. Not a novice
      15. Good testimony from without

      Titus 1:5-9

      1. Blameless
      2. Husband of one wife
      3. Having children that believe
      4. Not self-willed
      5. Not soon angry
      6. No brawler
      7. No striker
      8. Not greedy of filthy lucre
      9. Given to hospitality
      10. Lover of good
      11. Sober-minded
      12. Just
      13. Holy
      14. Self-controlled
      15. Sound in the faith

      A man must possess these qualifications before his appointment to the eldership.

    3. Qualifications of deacons (I Timothy 3:8-13)
        1. They must be grave, or sober-minded.
        2. They must not be double-tongued, or two-faced.
        3. They must not be given to much wine.
        4. They must not be lovers of money.
        5. They must hold the mystery of faith in a pure conscience.
        6. They must be proved.
        7. They must be blameless.
        8. They must be husbands of one wife.
        9. They must rule their children and their own houses well.
        10. They must serve well.

      A man must possess these qualifications before his appointment to the diaconate.

    Published in The Old Paths Archive
    (http://www.oldpaths.com)


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