I Timothy is one of three pastoral epistles - I & II Timothy and Titus. They primarily contain principles for the pastoral care of churches and qualifications for ministers.


Timothy's father was a Greek Gentile who is nameless and his mother was Eunice - a devout Jewess. Timothy was closely associated with Paul from the time of Paul's second missionary journey (2 Tim. 1:5; Acts 16:1-3). When Paul wrote 1 Timothy, more than likely from Macedonia (1:3), he was on his way to Nicopolis (Titus 3:12), but Timothy had been left in charge of the work in Ephesus and Asia Minor. Though Paul desired to visit Timothy (3:14; 4:13), this letter, in the meantime, would serve to guide Timothy in his conduct of pastoral responsibilities.


 The theme "fighting the good fight" (1:18) has been has been suggested for the book. In regards to the church as a whole, the theme is behaving in the house of God (3:18). Important subjects in the epistle include the law (1:7-11), prayer (2:1-8), appearance and activity of women (2:9-15), qualifications for bishops or elders and for deacons (3:1-13), the last days (4:1-3), care of widows (5:3-16), and the use of money (6:6-19).


The suggested outline for our study is as follows:

I. Opening Greetings 1:1-2
II. Instructions Concerning Doctrine 1:3-20

A. Paul's Warning against False Doctrines 1:3-11
B. Paul's Testimony Concerning the Grace of God 1:12-17
C. Paul's Charge to Timothy 1:18-20

III. Instruction Concerning Worship 2:1-15

A. Prayer in the Church 2:1-8
B. Women in the Church 2:9-15

IV. Instruction Concerning Leaders 3:1-16

A. Bishops 3:1-7
B. Deacons 3:8-16

V.  Instruction Concerning Dangers 4:1-16

A. Description of the Dangers 4:1-5
B. Defenses against the Dangers 4:6-16

VI. Instruction Concerning Various Duties 5:1-6:21

A. Toward those Older and Younger 5:1-2
B. Toward Widows 5:3-16
C. Toward Elders 5:17-25
D. Toward Masters and Slaves 6:1-2
E. Toward False Teachers 6:3-5
F. Toward Money and Godliness 6:6-19
G. Toward One's Trust 6:20-21

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