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English Bible Dictionary

Epistles of Paul to Timothy

 

The Epistles to Timothy and Titus are called the Pastoral Epistles, because they are principally devoted to directions about the work of the pastor of a church. The First Epistle was probably written from Macedonia, A.D. 65, in the interval between St. Paul's first and second imprisonments at Rome. The absence of any local reference but that in (1 Timothy 1:3) suggests Macedonia or some neighboring district. In some MSS. and versions Laodicea is named in the inscription as the place from which it was sent. The Second Epistle appears to have been written A.D. 67 or 68, and in all probability at Rome. The following are the characteristic features of these epistles:-- (1) The ever-deepening sense in St. Paul's heart of the divine mercy of which he was the object, as shown in the insertion of the "mercy" in the salutations of both epistles, and in the "obtained mercy" of (1 Timothy 1:13) (2) The greater abruptness of the Second Epistle. From first to last there is no plan, no treatment of subjects carefully thought out. All speaks of strong overflowing emotion memories of the past, anxieties about the future. (3) The absence, as compared with St. Paul other epistles, of Old Testament references. This may connect itself with the fact just noticed, that these epistles are not argumentative, possibly also with the request for the "books and parchments" which had been left behind. (2 Timothy 4:13) (4) The conspicuous position of the "faithful sayings" as taking the place occupied in other epistles by the Old Testament Scriptures, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The way in which these are cited as authoritative, the variety of subjects which they cover, suggests the thought that in them we have specimens of the prophecies of the apostolic Church which had most impressed themselves on the mind of the apostle and of the disciples generally. (1 Corinthians 14:1)... shows how deep a reverence he was likely to feel for spiritual utterances. In (1 Timothy 4:1) we have a distinct reference to them. (5) The tendency of the apostle's mind to dwell more on the universality of the redemptive work of Christ, (1 Timothy 2:3-6; 4:10) and his strong desire that all the teaching of his disciples should be "sound." (6) The importance attached by him to the practical details of administration. The gathered experience of a long life had taught him that the life and well being of the Church required these for its safeguards. (7) The recurrence of doxologies, (1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15,16; 2 Timothy 4:18) as from one living perpetually in the presence of God, to whom the language of adoration was as his natural speech.

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