In our first study of Paul’s pastoral epistles (1&2 Timothy and Titus), we reviewed the historical background of the letters. The letters are named for their recipients, two young pastors that had helped Paul on his missionary journeys. Paul addresses each of them as his “dear son,” and both young men are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible.
Timothy is mentioned by name in several other books, including Acts, Philippians, Thessalonians, Corinthians, Romans, and Colossians, and a fair amount can be found about his life and work. The son of a Greek father and Jewish mother, he became a Christian when Paul preached in Lystra and was recommended to him as a capable assistant. He traveled with Paul, was sent on missions with others, helped found congregations, and visited Paul in prison. Paul’s sent his first letter from Macedonia to Timothy in Ephesus, where he was working to keep the church true to the faith in the face of false teachers. Paul’s second letter to Timothy came from Nero’s dungeon in Rome, where Paul was awaiting martyrdom, and implores Timothy to come quickly to bring him comfort, both spiritual and physical (his cloak).
Titus is primarily mentioned in 2 Corinthians and probably delivered that letter to them. He is the Gentile Christian Paul refused to circumcise in Galatians 2 and went with Paul on his third missionary journey. Titus helped Paul found some congregations on the island of Crete, and Paul’s letter to him gives him instructions about selecting leaders to shepherd those churches before joining Paul in Nicopolis. Paul’s descriptions of whom to select to pastor the churches are still used today in our call process.
Our study continues next Sunday, January 13, at 9:30 with a close look at 1 Timothy chapter 1. Whether you have time to read it in advance or not, we welcome your participation as we seek to apply God’s Word to our daily lives.