I Timothy



·         Some scholars believe Paul did not write I Timothy and some scholars do believe he did write the letter.


Place & Time of Writing

·         Unknown place

·         After he was released from house arrest from Rome, so around 63

·         Note:  the New Testament does not say that Paul was released from house arrest.  Several early church leaders do state that Paul left Rome after the two years under house arrest, with some indicating that he traveled as far as Spain.  Nevertheless, that is why the place is unknown.


Unique Characteristic

·         One of the Pastoral Epistles.  The next two letters are also Pastoral Epistles.

·         These are letters written in the style from a more experienced pastor to a less experienced pastor. 



·         Timothy, Paul’s handpicked successor to himself.

·         Paul had sent Timothy to Ephesus to learn how to be a pastor.



·         Leadership manual during Paul’s absence  (3:14-15) and to encourage Timothy to be an example to others.


Opening I Timothy Up


Why did Paul write I Timothy?

After Paul was released from house arrest he traveled to . . . well we don’t know where he traveled to.  But at some point he sent Timothy to Ephesus.  Timothy had traveled much with Paul, and Paul came to look on Timothy almost as the son that he never had.  He also discipled or mentored Timothy.  He then sent Timothy to Ephesus to be a pastor for the first time.  While he was there, Paul decided to write a letter to Timothy in order to encourage him and to give him basic instructions for being a pastor.  Therefore, this letter has advice for handling different situations as a pastor of a church.


Instructions for choosing deacons

3:8-13:  “Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.  They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.  They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.  IN the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.  A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.  Those who have served will gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.”

     The vast majority of churches today use one of four different leadership styles.  Go here to learn about these four. 




1:1-2:  Greeting

1:3-11:  Warns Timothy against false teachers

1:12-20:  Paul describes his earlier life and comments on Timothy’s establishment as a pastor

2:  Instructions on worship

3:  Instructions on choosing elders and bishops, and a description of the responsibilities of both

4:  General instructions on how to be a leader for Timothy

5-6:2:  Advice about widows, older men, slaves, etc.

6:3-10:  Beware of the love of money

6:11-21:  Paul’s charge or commissioning of Timothy


Timeline so far      Additions are boldfaced     All dates are approximate



Rome Empire conquered Israel without fighting


Julius Caesar assassinated by Brutus, Cassius, and others.  Mark Antony tries to seize power, and he and Octavian (Caesar’s nephew) fight for power.


The Roman Empire made Herod the Great king of Israel


Antony married Cleopatra in Egypt


Octavian’s forces defeated Antony and Cleopatra’s forces; they committed suicide the next year.


Octavian is given name of Augustus, becomes Augustus Caesar.  This is the beginning of Pax Romana

4 BC

Jesus born

4 BC

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus flee to Egypt because Herod the Great wanted to kill Jesus

4 BC

Herod the Great died

4 BC

After Herod the Great died, the kingdom of the Jews was divided and given to Herod’s three sons:

The northern part, north of Nazareth, went to Philip.

The middle part called Galilee, north of Jerusalem but where Nazareth was located, went to Herod Antipas.  (He is referred to as “Herod” in the Gospels and so this can be confusing.)

The southern part called Judea, where Jerusalem and Bethlehem was located, went to Herod Archelaus. 


All years after this point are AD



Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to Nazareth instead of moving to Bethlehem


Archelaus was removed from power because he was so brutal

6 and after

The Romans did not choose another of Herod’s descendants to control Judea (southern Israel) but instead appointed Roman governors


Jesus lost in Jerusalem at age 12; Joseph and Mary found him in the Temple; possible Bar Mitzvah


Jesus probably worked as a carpenter


The Roman governor in charge of southern Israel was Pilate


Jesus baptized by John the Baptist


Jesus traveled in Israel and preached, taught, and performed miracles


1.  Jesus was crucified under the Roman governor Pilate, raises from the dead three days later and ascends out of sight about a month-and-a-half later

2.  The Apostles return to Jerusalem and pick a replacement for Judas

3.  Day of Pentecost

4.  Over 3000 people become Christian

5.  Christianity spreads outside of Israel


Peter was the leader of the Christian movement


Paul became a Christian


Paul went on his First Missionary Trip


Council of Jerusalem


We do not know what John did during this time period


Paul went on his Second Missionary Trip

·         Paul wrote Galatians, I Thessalonians, and II Thessalonians


Nero was Roman emperor


Paul went on his Third Missionary Trip

·         Paul wrote Romans, and I & II Corinthians


Paul arrested in Jerusalem, taken to Rome, and lived under house arrest

·         Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians


Paul released from prison and travelled; he may have gone to Spain

  • Paul wrote I Timothy


Fire in Rome.  The emperor Nero blamed, persecuted, and killed many Christians.  This was the first Roman persecution of Christians. 


1.  Paul back in Rome

2.  Peter and Paul martyred around this year in Rome


Some of the Jews got tired of the Roman rule and killed many Roman soldiers.  They thus took back the land of Israel for the Jews.


The Romans counter-attacked.  The Romans lost one battle, but won the war.


Mark written around this year


The Romans captured Jerusalem and burned the Temple. 


Matthew and Luke written around this year


Domitian is Roman emperor


John and Acts written around this year


1.  Persecution of Christians

2.  John was placed on the island of Patmos as a prisoner of Domitian


1.  Domitian died

2.  John was probably released from Patmos; he probably traveled to Ephesus where he stayed for the rest of his life


John died


First listing of the 27 books in a letter written by an Egyptian bishop


Two councils “closed” the NT canon to those 27 books


NT divided into chapters


NT divided into verses



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 Questions/comments, contact Mark at marknickens@gmail.com