Monday, 8 September 2014
Paul's letters to Timothy differ from most of his other letters in that they were written to an individual, rather than a church. The only other Pauline epistle written to an individual is the book of Titus. Therefore, 1 and 2 Timothy, along with Titus, are often referred to as the "Pastoral Epistles."
This gives 1 and 2 Timothy a more personal touch than some of his other letters and provides us with an intimate glimpse into the life of Paul. Couple this with the fact that these are among some of the last letters Paul wrote, and their significance grows. The maturity that comes only with time flavors these letters.
Timothy was ordained as the first bishop of the church at Ephesus (see the subscript at 2Ti 4:22 [found in some Bibles]). This apparently took place when Paul had to flee Ephesus . Therefore, these letters have special significance to ministers. Paul gave Timothy instructions on how to run the church at Ephesus and also how to manage himself in order to be as effective as possible. There are exhortations to boldness (2Ti 1:7), and instructions on how a young minister can operate in authority despite his youth (1Ti 4:12).
In 2Ti 4, Paul made a somewhat impassioned plea for Timothy to come to him quickly and bring Mark and certain items such as a cloak and his parchments. Everyone but Luke had left Paul, and he desired his "son in the faith" to be with him at the end.