1 Timothy
Willmington's Bible at a Glance

1 Timothy at a Glance

This book was written to instruct Timothy on how to effectively relate to and deal with the various groups of people in his church including himself, church officers, false teachers, etc. In addition, Paul also reviews his own ministry and aptly summarizes the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Bottom Line Introduction


Surely no young pastor in all of church history enjoyed such a mentor (Paul) than did this one (Timothy).

Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? Paul. He was also known as Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:11). This relentless enemy of Christians (Acts 8:3; 22:5, 19; 26:11; Gal. 1:13) would, following his conversion (Acts 9:3-9), become the greatest missionary, church planter, soul winner, and theologian in church history, authoring nearly half of the New Testament books!

2. What? The books of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon.

3. When and where? Written in 62 A.D. from Macedonia.

4. Why and to whom? To overview the duties of both leaders and laity in a local church. Addressed to the church at Ephesus.

Key Events

1. Warnings against false teachers

2. Proper worship of God

3. Qualifications for pastors and deacons

4. Contrasting godless shepherds with godly ones

5. Advice regarding specific church members (part one)

6. Advice regarding specific church members (part two)

Key Individuals

1. Paul, author of 1 Timothy and at least 12 other New Testament books, church planter, evangelist, missionary, and perhaps the greatest of all the apostles

2. Timothy, Paul’s young associate, ministering in Ephesus and the recipient of two apostolic letters, First and Second Timothy

3. Hymenaeus and Alexander, two heretics, given over to Satan by Paul because of blasphemy

Key Places

1. Ephesus: capital city of the Roman province of Asia. Paul established a church in Ephesus during his third missionary trip and had assigned Timothy to serve as its pastor.

Unique Features

1. The book of 1 Timothy is the first of three New Testament letters written especially to pastors. The other two are 2 Timothy and Titus. Paul probably wrote both this epistle and Titus between his first and second imprisonments.

2. The New Testament has much to say concerning Timothy.

3. His name appears some 24 times.

4. He was from Lystra and probably was saved during Paul’s first missionary trip (Acts 14:19-20; 16:1-2).

5. His mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois) were godly Jewish women, but his father was a pagan Greek (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim. 1:5).

6. He is invited by Paul to “join the team” during the apostle’s second trip (Acts 16:3).

7. This team would consist of Silas, Paul, and Luke.

8. Timothy may have been chosen to take John Mark’s place. (See Acts 13:5.)

9. He is circumcised by Paul that he might have freedom to preach the gospel in the various Jewish synagogues (Acts 16:3; see also 1 Cor. 9:20).

10. Timothy is formally ordained by Paul and the presbytery (1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6).

11. He also accompanies Paul during the third missionary trip (Acts 19:22; 20:4; 2 Cor. 1:1, 19).

12. He becomes Paul’s close companion during the apostle’s first imprisonment. (See Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:1; Philem. 1)

13. Like Paul, Timothy also suffers imprisonment. (See Heb. 13:23.)

14. He performs a ministry in at least five New Testament churches:

Thessalonica (1 Thess. 3:2, 6)

Corinth (1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10; 2 Cor. 1:19)

Philippi (Phil. 2:19-23)

Berea (Acts 17:14)

Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3)

15. Timothy may have been a somewhat reserved individual and one who did not always enjoy robust health (1 Tim. 4:12, 14-16).

16. He was, nevertheless, a man of God (see 1 Tim. 6:11).

17. On two occasions Paul reminds Timothy in regards to his spiritual gift. He writes:

Neglect not your gift (1 Tim. 4:14)

Stir up your gift (2 Tim. 1:6)

18. This epistle provides the most extended list explaining the needed qualifications for pastors and deacons in the New Testament. (See 3:1-13.)

19. It also includes the first of three passages in Paul’s writings where he predicts last day conditions. (Compare 1 Tim. 4:1-4 with 2 Tim. 3:1-9; 4:1-4.)

20. The reason for man’s headship over the woman is also given in this epistle. (See 2:9-15.)

21. It emphasizes the importance of doctrine on eight occasions, more than can be found in any other Pauline epistles.

22. It records the second of two occasions when a sinning believer was delivered to Satan (1:20). See also 1 Cor. 5:5.

23. Paul probably spent more time with the church in Ephesus pastored by Timothy than he did regarding any other, for a total of three years (Acts 20:31).

24. It is believed that the words in 3:16 and 6:15, 16 constituted an early church hymn (or hymns).

25. This epistle is the only one of all the epistles referring to Pontius Pilate (6:13).

26. Paul sadly records the fulfillment of his Acts 20:29, 30 prophecy in this epistle:

The prophecy: “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30).

The fulfillment: “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:19, 20). See also 2 Tim. 2:16-18.

27. For its size this epistle has more separate names for Jesus (17) than any other epistle.

28. The apostle gives us more information on the following subjects in this book than can be found in any other epistle:

Pastors and deacons (3:1-15)

The role of women in the church (2:9-15)

Widows (5:3-16)

Riches (6:6-10, 17-19)

Elders (5:1, 17-19)

Comparison with Other Bible Books

1. Colossians and 1 John:

All deal with the Gnostic heresy.

2. Titus:

Both books provide information on pastors and deacons.

3. Second Timothy:

Each epistle has much to say about last day conditions.

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. Jesus Christ (1:1a)

2. The Lord Jesus Christ (1:1b)

3. Jesus Christ our Lord (1:2)

4. The blessed God (1:11)

5. Christ Jesus (1:15)

6. The eternal, immortal, and invisible King (1:17a)

7. The only wise God (1:17b)

8. God our Savior (2:3)

9. The mediator (2:5a)

10. The man (2:5b)

11. The ransom (2:6)

12. The incarnate God man (3:16)

13. The living God (4:10a)

14. The Savior of all men (4:10b)

15. The only potentate (6:15a)

16. King of Kings (6:15b)

17. Lord of Lords (6:15c)

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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