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New Testament Survey
Lesson Fourteen

I Timothy

Timothy  was a young man who was a companion of the apostle Paul. The expressions in the letters to and references to him in the Acts indicate he was comparatively young. At the time of the writing of the epistles to him he was the pastor of the church of Ephesus.  He was an outstanding man with admirable personality traits, so he was deeply loved by Paul.

Timothy was born in Lystra, his father was Greek and his mother a Jew.    He was raised in Judaism and had been taught the Scriptures from early childhood.  It is thought that Paul, on his first missionary journey was the instrument of his conversion.  He consequently could refer to him as his son or child. On the second missionary journey Paul discipled him (Acts 16:1-3) and Timothy remained a part of Paul's team thereafter.  He shared with Paul in the evangelization of Macedonia and Achaia.  He was an assistant to Paul in Ephesus where Paul ministered for 3 years. During that time Timothy became very familiar with the city and the needs of the local church. He was appointed as one of the delegates to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4) and probably went with Paul to that city.  His name appears in the headings of Colossians (1:1) and Philemon (1) so he was with Paul in Rome during his first imprisonment.  Paul was released and Timothy travelled with him and apparently was left at Ephesus to untangle the confusion that had developed there.  Paul went on to visit the churches of Macedonia.  Near the end of Paul's life Timothy rejoined him at Rome (2 Tim. 4:11,12).  He himself suffered imprisonment (Heb. 13:23) but was later released.

Timothy was a trustworthy but not a forceful character.  He gave the impression that he was immature but he must have been at least thirty years old when he became pastor at Ephesus (1Tim. 4:12).  He was apparently timid (2 Tim. 1:6-7) and had reoccurring stomach trouble (1 Tim. 5:23).  The epistle was intended to encourage and strengthen him for the great task that he had been given at Ephesus.

1. The book contains 6 chapters consisting of 113 verses.

2. The author of 1 Timothy is the apostle Paul.  His signature appears in 1:1.  The style is different than his other epistles; nevertheless, the style of Paul does appear at different points in the book.  

3. Timothy had been left at Ephesus while Paul continued on to Macedonia. He then wrote this letter to Timothy.  It was written probably about A.D. 64.  The date assumes that Paul was acquitted in A.D. 60 or 61 after appealing to the Emperor.

4. The book, as we have indicated was written from Macedonia, after Paul had been released from his first Roman imprisonment.


The theme of the book is proper order in the church.  There must be soundness of faith and ecclesiastical discipline.


Christ is seen as the enabler and one who chooses His ministers.  He is also seen as the Saviour, the Mediator, God in the flesh, the coming one and the King of kings.

Key Words

The key words are faith(ful), mercy, godliness and righteousness.

Key Verse

1 Tim. 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.


1. A purpose for the book was to give instructions concerning the churches.

2. There is a warning against error.

3. It was also written to given instruction and example to young pastors.

4. It was given to encourage Timothy in his work.

5. It was written to lay out the qualifications for the leaders in the church.

6. Paul wrote to give instructions about the care of those in need.


Events and Characters

Paul warns against the concern about fables and genealogies.  Love and purity of heart are more important.  He reminds them that he once was a persecutor but, by God's grace and mercy, he has been put into the ministry.  He encourages Timothy to continue in prayer for all types of people, that the church might have peace.  He gives instruction regarding worship, men lifting up holy hands and women dressed modestly.

The desire to serve in leadership is very good but one must meet the strict qualifications.  A leader is to be chosen by qualification rather than charisma.  Leadership is needed because there are those who depart from the faith and establish all kinds of rules that undermine our liberty in Christ.  The gifts we have received are not to be neglected but used for the benefit of the body.

Older men, young men, older women and young people are all to be treated properly.  Widows are to be honoured.  They are to be supported by the church if they meet the qualifications.  Younger widows should remarry and raise families. Elders who take oversight in the flock are to be highly honoured. Employees are to honour their employer especially those who are believers.  We are to withdraw from those who teach contrary to these things.  Godliness with contentment is the greatest gain.  Wealth can bring heartache.  The servant of God is flee all these things and lay hold on eternal things.  He is given the responsibility to challenge the rich and others that they live with a generous attitude and proper spirit.  They then have a good foundation for eternity.

Lessons to Remember

1. If we are to teach truth we must first understand it.

2. We are not to minister things that simply bring questions but serve with a pure heart and in faith.

3. We are to take what God has spoken to us and be faithful in the spiritual battles in which we are engaged.

4. We are to pray for those in governmental authority.

5. There is a proper decorum for both men and women when we come into the house of God.

6. If we desire to serve in a leadership capacity in the house of the Lord we must meet the qualifications.

7. We are to refuse legalism and false teaching and by reading and exhortation, paying attention to good doctrine continue in our service to Him.

8. The poor are to be remembered but  it is not a free handout.  There are qualifications to receiving help.

9. We are to honour those God has placed over us in the body.

10. We are to separate ourselves from those who do not come into obedience of the Word.

11. Riches can be a trap.



I  Sound Doctrine in the Church        1

    A. Introduction and False Doctrine Rebuked        1 - 11
    B. Gospel and Paul's charge to Timothy        12 - 20

II Public Worship in the Church        2

    A. Prayer for all        1 - 7
    B. Place of women        8 -  5

III  Officers in the Church    3

    A.  Qualifications of elders        1  -  7
    B.  Qualifications of deacons        8 - 13
    C.  Reasons for these regulations        14 - 16

IV  A Good Minister in the Church    4

    A.  His attitude to various people        1  -  3
    B.  His care of widows        4 - 16
    C.  How to treat elders        17 - 21
    D.  Personal instructions        22 -  5

V  Concluding Instructions    5

    A.  Servants and masters        1  -  2
    B.  False teachers        3 -  10
    C. The Course of a True man of God        11 - 16
    D.  Instruction for the rich        17 - 19
    E.  Closing charge to Timothy        20 - 21

Outline (Alternative)

I  Salutation    1:1 - 2

II  Preamble    1:3 - 7

    A. The emergence at Ephesus    1:3 -11
    B. The experience of Paul    1:12-17

III  The Official Commission    1:18- 4:5

    A.  Its purpose    1:18 - 20
    B.  Concerning prayer    2:1 - 8
    C. Concerning worship by women    2:9 - 15
    D. Concerning the office of bishop    3:1 - 7
    E. Concerning the office of deacon    3:8- 13
    F.  Parenthesis    3:14 - 16
    G. Concerning apostasy    4:1 - 5

IV The Personal Admonition    4:6 - 4:19

    A. Concerning personal conduct    4:6 - 16
    B. Concerning relations with groups    5:1 - 6:2
        1.  Widows    5:1 - 16
        2.  Elders    5:17 - 19
        3.  Backsliders    5:20  -  25
        4.  Bondslaves        6:1 - 6:2
        5.  False teachers     6:3  -  8
        6.  Avaricious person    6:9  -  10
    C. Concerning use wealth        6:17  -  19

V  Concluding Salutation    6:20  -  21



The main emphasis of this second letter is like that of the first, related to the ministry within the local church.  The letter was written soon after the first letter. This letter to Timothy is the last writing of Paul that we have.  We see in it Paul's final attitudes. His passion for the work of God has not diminished as he approaches the end of his life.

Timothy was a man who was amiable and faithful, and it seems he had a natural timidity.  His personality traits  were admired by Paul and he loved his son in the faith.  Paul could trust Timothy as one like-minded with him and one who would care for the flock. He was a faithful servant for the benefit of the church (Phil.2:19-22).

Timothy was a man who was unwavering in his faithfulness and readiness for the sake of the gospel. He was ready to sacrifice his own immediate interests for the benefit of the gospel.  We see this from the passage referred from Philippians and from the fact that of all of Paul's companions, Timothy is mentioned the most often and was constantly with him.  Paul knew he could depend on Timothy.

Timothy was several years younger than Paul, he was naturally reserved and timid and had frequent ailments (1 Tim. 5:23).  In spite of these handicaps he was willing to leave home to accompany Paul on dangerous missionary journeys.  He was willing to be sent on difficult and dangerous assignments.  He was to the very end a worthy servant of the Lord.

1. The book contains 4 chapters which consist of 83 verses.

2. The author of the book is clearly the apostle Paul.  His signature appears  in 1:1.  The style of the writing is that of Paul.

3. The book was written sometime after 1 Timothy somewhere between A.D. 65 and 67 with A.D. 67 probably being the closer date.

4. Paul was again in prison, most likely in a cold dark dungeon in Rome.  He did not expect to be freed again except by death.  This last writing of Paul is with his own departure in view, so we see Paul's final attitudes after a lifetime of sometimes turbulent ministry.   


The theme of the book is to endure and hold fast the truth of the gospel.


Christ is seen as the victor over death, the bringer of immortality and the appointer of His ministers. He is also seen as the resurrected seed of David.

Key Words

The key words are endure, Christ, committed and faith(ful).

Key Verse

2 Tim. 2:2,3 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.  (3) Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Tim.2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.


1. It was written to encourage Timothy and all pastors in their work.

2. Paul wrote so that Timothy would hurry to Rome and Paul could enjoy his companionship.

3. It was also given to strengthen Timothy for the future trials which he would face.

4. He wrote to encourage Timothy to be faithful in his study that he be able to withstand the false teachings that were assailing the church.

5. Timothy was reminded that there were deceivers who would attempt to draw away followers after themselves, he was to resist this.


Events and Characters

Timothy is challenged to fulfil the ministry God had given and the gifts that came as a result of the laying on of hands.  He was to rise above the fear and proclaim the risen Saviour who brought victory to light.  Paul reaffirms his calling and despite the circumstances he is not ashamed of the gospel he has preached throughout his life, since conversion.  He is rejected, has few who stand with him but he is not defeated.

Lessons to Remember

1. The giftings of God must be developed and stirred up in our lives.

2. We should never be ashamed of those who suffer for the sake of the gospel.

3. God is able to keep that which we have committed to His hands.

4. We have a responsibility to develop others who look to us for leadership.

5. To rightly understand and share the Word there is much study that is required.

6. Persecution is to be expected by those who follow Christ.

7. We are to be ready to share the truth of the gospel at all times whether it is convenient or not.

8. Those who are faithful will receive their reward in eternity.



I  Pride in the  Master    1:1 - 14

    A.  Introductions and thanksgiving        1  -  5
    B.  Stir up the gift        6 -  10
    C.  Strong in the gospel        11 - 12
    D.  Example and holding fast the truth         13 - 14

II  Good Soldier in Time of Declension    1:15- 2:26

    A.  The declension        15  -  18
    B.  Ministers course in this time        2:1 - 26

III  Warning of Apostasy    3:1 - 4:5

    A.  Perilous times        1  -  9
    B.  Example to follow        3:10 - 4:5
IV  Farewell of Paul    4:6 - 22

    A.  His departure and instructions        6 -  15
    B.  His testimony and benediction    16 - 22

Outline (Alternative)

I  Salutation    1:1  -  2

II  The Pastoral Pattern    1:3 -  3:17

    A. The precedents of the past        1:3 - 18
    B.  The problems of the present        2:1  -  26
        1.  Personal life        2:1  -  13
        2.  Public relations        2:14  -  26
    C.  the prospects of the future        3:1  -  17
        1.  Dangers of apostasy        3:1  -  9
        2.  Defence of the faith        3:10  -  17

III  The Final Charge    4:1  -  8

IV  Concluding Greetings    4:9  -  22

Feed Yourself Students:

Before the next lesson arrives
do the following:

1.  Read through the Books Of Titus and Philemon 2 times each.

2.  Do your own outline for each one.

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