2 Timothy 1

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2 Timothy 1
Uncial 015 (1 Tm 2.2-6).jpg
Fragments showing 1 Timothy 2:2–6 on Codex Coislinianus, from ca. AD 550.
BookSecond Epistle to Timothy
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part16

2 Timothy 1 is the first chapter of the Second Epistle to Timothy in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The letter is traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle, the last one written in Rome before his death (c. 64 or 67), addressed to Timothy.[1][2] There are charges that it is the work of an anonymous follower, after Paul's death in the first century AD.[3][4] This chapter contains an opening greeting, a personal story of Paul and Timothy, a description of the opponents they are facing.[5]


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 18 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Parts of Codex Freerianus (~AD 450): A. Hebrews 13:16–18; B. 2 Timothy 1:10–12

Opening Greeting and Warnings (1:1–2)[edit]

The format of the opening greeting is familiar and follows the few first-century letter-writing conventions, comprising the name of the sender(s) and the recipient(s) with a salutation, similar to the one in the earlier epistle to Timothy.[6][7]

Verse 1[edit]

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,[8]
  • "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus": refers to the converted Pharisee and apostle to the Gentiles; the same person who authored all the undisputed Pauline letters.[9]. The term "apostle" invokes the concept of his calling to minstry and appeals to authority.[10]

Verse 2[edit]

To Timothy, my dear son:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.[11]
  • "Timothy": a Paul's convert, originally of Lystra (Acts 16:1) with a Jewess mother, Eunice, an unnamed Greek father and a grandmother named Lois (2 Timothy 1:5).[12]
  • "My dear son" (NKJV; KJV: "my dearly beloved son"; Greek: ἀγαπητῷ τέκνῳ, agapētō teknō): In 1 Timothy 1:2, and Titus 1:4, written at an earlier period than this Epistle, the expression used is in the Greek, "my genuine son" (Greek: γνησίῳ τέκνῳ, gnēsiō teknō). Alford sees in the change of expression an intimation of an altered tone to Timothy, more of affection, and less of confidence, to indicate that Paul saw a lack of firmness in him, so he needs to stir up afresh the faith and grace in Christ (2 Timothy 1:6), but this seems not justified by the Greek word "agapetos", which implies the attachment of reasoning in the one "beloved," not of solely instinctive love.[13]
  • "Grace, mercy, and peace" (Greek: χάρις ἔλεος εἰρήνη; charis, eleos, eirēnē): This varies from the blessing at the beginning of the Epistles to the Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1 Thessalonians, by the addition of the word "mercy," as in 1 Timothy 1:2 and Titus 1:4, and also in 2 John 1:3 and Jude 1:2.[14]

Thanksgiving for Timothy's Faith (1:3–5)[edit]

The portion of thanksgiving-prayer is typical of the Hellenistic or Hellenistic-Jewish letters and included in most of Pauline letters, but the tone in this epistle is more for encouragement and forms a basis of Paul's appeal to Timothy.[15]

Verse 5[edit]

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.[16]
  • "Eunice" was a Jewish woman who "believed" in Christ, married to a Greek man and have a son, Timothy (Acts 16:1).[12]
  • "The unfeigned faith": how Paul describes the faith and heritage of Timothy, which Paul is thankful for.[17] Philip Towner summarized Paul's intention in this part is to confirm with Timothy that "in terms of our faith and spiritual heritage, we are cut from the same cloth. The obligations and call to duty that this implies for me also implies for you."[18]

The Renewed Call to Boldness and Faithfulness in Ministry (1:6–14)[edit]

Based on Paul's confidence in Timothy's faith as expressed in the previous section, Paul gives his instructions to Timothy, more like handing over his ministry to his successor.[19]

Verse 6[edit]

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.[20]

Verse 9[edit]

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,[21]

Philip Towner sees this and the next verse present "a carefully constructed unit of theology that emphasizes a traditional understanding of salvation."[22]

Verse 10[edit]

but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.[23]
  • "Now been revealed (NKJV; KJV: "made manifest") through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus": referring to the grace through which God's elect are saved and called; although it was given in Christ to them, before the world was, but lay hidden in God's heart, in Jesus Christ and in the promises of the Old Testament, is now made manifest clearly and abundantly through the appearance of the Savior, Christ, in human nature, full of grace and truth.[24]
  • "Who has destroyed (NKJV; KJV: "abolished") death": with it also the law of sin, which is the cause of death, and the devil; as he took away its sting and removed its curse, he has utterly abolished the second death, so they will never be hurt by it; all which Jesus did through dying, and rising again: triumphed over death, as having got the victory over it; now holding the keys of it in his hand.[24]
  • "Has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel": Christ was the first man who rose again from the dead to an immortal life; the first to be shown the path of life.[24] The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was already known in the Old Testament, but not as clearly revealed as in the Gospel and so fully attested as the resurrection of Christ, as well as of many saints in the general resurrection at the last day.[24] Moreover, the eternal life, which is a free gift from God, lay hidden in his purpose, promise, and covenant, now put into the hands of his Son Jesus Christ, and he has brought it to light in a more apparent manner than ever before, by appearing in human nature, his personal ministry, by his death and resurrection from the dead, and through the Gospel, as preached by his ministers; which gives an account and shows the way to it, pointing out and describing the persons that will enjoy it.[24]

Verse 13[edit]

Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.[25]
  • "Sound": here is in the sense of "healthy".[26]

Models of Shame and Courage (1:15–18)[edit]

Paul names Phygellus and Hermogenes who have turned away from him in Asia, in contrast to Onesiphorus, who remains faithful.[27] The first two characters illustrate for Timothy 'the shameful way of willful dissociation' from Paul and his ministry.[28]

Verses 16–18[edit]

The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.[29]

Paul greets "the household of Onesiphorus" (as Paul did again in 2 Timothy 4:19, without referring to the man himself) and mentions the loyal services he had done; after that Paul wishes him well (verse 18a). Roman Catholics consider these verses as an implication that Onesiphorus was already dead, as "the easiest and most natural hypothesis".[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ May, Herbert G.; Metzger, Bruce M. (1977), The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, pp. 1440, 1446–49.
  2. ^ Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, Paul: A Critical Life, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996, pp. 356–59.
  3. ^ Just, Felix, "New Testament Letter Structure", Catholic Resources.
  4. ^ Drury 2007, p. 1220.
  5. ^ Drury 2007, pp. 1221–1222.
  6. ^ Drury 2007, pp. 1222,1227.
  7. ^ Towner 2006, p. 439.
  8. ^ 2 Timothy 1:1 NKJV
  9. ^ Towner 2006, pp. 439–440.
  10. ^ Towner 2006, p. 440.
  11. ^ 2 Timothy 1:2 NKJV
  12. ^ a b Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook: an abbreviated Bible commentary. 24th edition. Zondervan Publishing House. 1965. p. 631
  13. ^ Faussett, A.R. (1882), "The Pastoral Epistles of Paul the Apostle to Timothy and Titus. Commentary", in Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, A.R.; Brown, David (eds.), A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments.
  14. ^ Spence, H.D.M.; Exell, Joseph S., eds. (1890), Pulpit Commentary.
  15. ^ Towner 2006, pp. 445–448.
  16. ^ 2 Timothy 1:5 KJV
  17. ^ Towner 2006, p. 453.
  18. ^ Towner 2006, p. 455.
  19. ^ Towner 2006, p. 456.
  20. ^ 2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV
  21. ^ 2 Timothy 1:9 NKJV
  22. ^ Towner 2006, p. 466.
  23. ^ 2 Timothy 1:10 NKJV
  24. ^ a b c d e John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible – 2 Timothy 1:10
  25. ^ 2 Timothy 1:13 NKJV
  26. ^ Note [a] on 2 Timothy 1:13 in ESV
  27. ^ Drury 2007, p. 1228.
  28. ^ Towner 2006, p. 482.
  29. ^ 2 Timothy 1:16–18 NKJV
  30. ^ Toner, Patrick (27 March 2013) [1908]. "Prayers for the Dead". The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Co. Retrieved 2013-09-03 – via New advent.


External links[edit]