2 Timothy — Introduction

Second Timothy is Paul’s final letter. He wrote it from prison in Rome in A.D. 66 or 67. During his first imprisonment, he lived in a rented home under house arrest and received many visitors (Acts 28:30). This time he was in confinement and alone except for Luke (2 Timothy 4:11). Tradition has it that Paul was put to death, probably in A.D. 67, during Nero’s persecution of Christians after the great fire in Rome in A.D. 64.

During Paul’s period of freedom between his two imprisonments, he visited Troas, Corinth and Miletus (2 Timothy 4:13, 20). Some believe that he also traveled to Spain, as he stated that he wanted to do (in Romans 15:24), but there is no biblical evidence that he did. He may also have visited Philemon (Philemon 1:22) and Titus in Crete (Titus 1:5). He probably spent his final period of freedom in Nicopolis in Greece (Titus 3:12) and may have been arrested there. There is more on this in my introduction to 1 Timothy.

Paul realized his end was near. He was alone except for Luke. Demas had left the faith. Those he ministered to in Asia had turned away from him and many who had heard his message were being turned away from the truth. Through it all, his faith never wavered and he encouraged Timothy to stay strong and steadfast.

In 1 Timothy Paul had called the professing Church “the house of God,” but now he describes it as “a great house,” but does not call it the house of God. Moreover, he describes this “great house” as containing some vessels which bring honor to it and others which bring it dishonor (2 Timothy 2:20-21).

This is doubtless why the epistle has so much to say about standing and suffering for Christ and for the glorious message He had committed to Paul, and now to Timothy, for the present dispensation. It is also, evidently, why he so earnestly exhorts Timothy as to his conduct in the midst of the deepening decline of the Church. — Stam, pages 143-144.

The resources I am using for this study are:

Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles of Paul the Apostle, by Cornelius R. Stam (1983) Berean Bible Society, Germantown, Wisconsin

1 Timothy, by W.E. Vine, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee

Complete Bible Commentary, by George Williams

The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament for the English Reader, by Kenneth S. Wuest (1952) Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan.

King James Bible Commentary (1983) Thomas Nelson, Nashville, Tennessee

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