Beginning Monday, February 27 we begin reading 1 Timothy. Below is my brief introduction to 1 Timothy that I wrote for the Nexus Seminary training in Uganda:
1 Timothy was written to Paul’s longtime companion and co-worker in the Gospel, Timothy. Timothy was from Lystra in southern Asia Minor (modern day Turkey.) Paul trusted him with many difficult assignments including a trip to Corinth when Paul learned of the troubles there. Scholars have noted that the writing style and language are very different from Paul’s other letters, and based on this, question Paul’s authorship. The scholars who question Paul’s authorship often assign this letter to a time toward the end of the first Christian century. However, Paul’s authorship was not questioned by the early church, and there are equally excellent arguments for Paul’s authorship. Internal evidence does not give many clues as to the date it was written.
1 Timothy, along with 2 Timothy and Titus, are called the “Pastoral Epistles” because they deal with pastoral matters such as the organization of the church and how to function within the role of the pastoral office. Among other things, Paul sets out the requirements for leadership in the church. One other matter worth noting is the establishment of the church offices of Bishop (overseer) and Elder.
Key Learning: 1 Timothy contains vital lessons in pastoral leadership, especially for those who are young in their leadership.