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NT Survey 111 Seminar 15 Pastoral Philemon

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Andrew Hodge                                                                                                       13th July 2007

New Testament Survey NTES 111

Seminar 15

The Pastoral Epistles and Philemon

1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon

Irving L. Jensen Jensen’s Survey of the New Testament 1981, Moody Press, Chicago Ch 18

Libronix DLS

Guthrie, Donald  New Testament Introduction  Apollos, Leicester, England 4th Ed  1990 Ch 17

Thompson Chain Reference Bible  Fifth Improved Edition B.B.Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana 1988

Examine the authenticity, purpose and dates of these epistles:

            It is not difficult to appreciate that these letters are “messages from one heart to another” (Jensen p 371). And “because human nature does not change from generation to generation, we can easily see why these letters are so contemporary in their message to us” (ibid).

            These letters are ‘Pastoral’ not because they are particularly addressed to Pastors but because they are Paul’s counsel to the ‘shepherds’ responsible for the ‘feeding, guiding and superintending’ of a church flock (ibid p372). Also in the Greek, “pastor” is poimen meaning ‘shepherd’, a Church office equal to “bishop” (episkopos or ‘overseer’) and “elder” (presbuteros or ‘mature senior’) which are used specifically but interchangeably in the NT (see below).

            Guthrie’s wet blanket is: “The epistles to Timothy and Titus have long been known as the pastoral epistles,1 but this designation is not strictly correct because they cannot be called manuals of pastoral theology.”[1]

            “The Pauline authorship of these epistles has been challenged by liberal critics, but external and internal evidence strongly supports it” (Jensen p 372). Guthrie: “These epistles have been more assailed than any of Paul’s other letters and it will therefore be necessary to discuss in some detail the question of their authenticity.”[2] Guthrie allows: “Before examining the case against the Pauline authorship the testimony of the early church will be considered in order to show clearly that attacks against the authenticity were unheard of until the modern period.”[3] I am perfectly happy to accept the verdict of the early Church over modern so-called scholarship any day. I accept these letters in their entirety as the inspired Word of God, and having read Guthrie’s arguments against Pauline authorship, have no reason to change my view.

            Paul spent about three years in Ephesus (Acts 20:31) mostly on his third missionary journey, with Timothy for part of this time (Acts 19:22). It was in the region of Ephesus that Timothy was ministering when Paul wrote 1 Timothy about seven years later (62 AD Jensen p 374, Chart 61 p 241) ie after the first Roman imprisonment (assumed - see Jensen Chart 100 p 393), on Paul’s repeat journey into Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3) when Timothy was having trouble coping with the demands of his regional ‘bishopric’ (assumed - see Jensen p 375).

            These demands are listed in Jensen (p 377) as spread of false doctrine, spiritual coldness, personnel problems, problems of the worship services, problems related to the offices of the church and the care of widows. Paul urges Timothy to stay on at Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3), perhaps longing to be there himself to lend a hand, and gives instruction to the churches to continue propagating and preserving the truth of the gospel (eg 1 Timothy 1:11).

            Jensen states (p 384) that “Soon after Paul wrote 1 Timothy to his closest friend, he wrote a letter to another co-worker and fellow-servant, Titus. This letter has been called “a priceless and unrivalled manual of pastoral advice.”” According to Jensen (p 387) the purposes for writing this letter (to Titus in Crete where Paul, as far as Scripture is concerned, had seconded him but had never visited) were:

  • To advise Titus in his task of superintending the circuit of Cretan Churches as Paul’s representative (Titus 1:5 - this must have been particularly difficult without the prior presence and preaching of Paul himself. Timothy at least had had the ground broken for him. Is this an argument for a visit to Crete by Paul? Discuss)
  • To instruct and exhort both Titus and the Churches regarding Christian behaviour consistent with Christian doctrine (Titus Chh 1-3)
  • To instruct Titus concerning personal matters (Titus 3:12-13)

When Paul wrote 2 Timothy (in the year of his death 67 AD from a dungeon during his second Roman imprisonment - see Jensen Appendix B pp 518-9) he was anticipating execution (2 Timothy 4:16) and is expressing his ‘dying wish’.

He wants to see Timothy and Mark again (2 Timothy 4:9, 11, 21) and to have Timothy bring him his cloak, books and parchments which had been left at Troas (where Paul may have been arrested consequent on Nero’s persecution of Christians after the burning of Rome on July 19th, 64 AD).

In the midst of describing disappointments and every good reason for despair, the tone of this last letter “is triumph, and glory, and deep gratitude” (Jensen p 394).

Philemon is the shortest of Paul’s canonical writings, from Rome during the first imprisonment, 61 AD. Jensen describes it as “a masterpiece of graceful, tactful and delicate pleading for a forgiving spirit” (p 400).

Jensen accepts the likelihood of a second Roman imprisonment on the basis of 2 Timothy 1:16-17, 2:3, 9-13, 4:6-8 and 16. Chart 100 (p 393) compares and contrasts these two postulated imprisonments. In my view this approach makes sense of the scripture.

Guthrie: “Many scholars reject this solution because there is no hint of it in Acts and because it has inadequate support in early Christian history. It is therefore regarded as a desperate expedient designed to maintain at all costs the authenticity of the epistles.”[4] I do not agree with this. Guthrie takes 42 pages to discuss authenticity, and while ultimately accepting Pauline authorship, does not accept the second Roman imprisonment as a means of explaining what I believe to be the scriptural timeline.

Guthrie also has trouble in assigning a purpose to the writing of 1 Timothy and Titus, [5] seemingly being unable to project himself into Paul’s situation and taking the Word literally. He does better with 2 Timothy.[6]


Discuss Paul and Timothy’s relationship 1 Timothy 1:1-20:

            It is generally assumed that Timothy - in his late teens - is converted to Christianity under the ministry of Paul on his first missionary journey when he went through Timothy’s native region of Lycaonia. If so, Timothy had only been saved for three years or less when he again met Paul and began his own missionary experiences.

Described by Paul as his most important and effective assistant, Paul goes as far as to call Timothy a “man of God” (1 Timothy 6:11) which from the lips of the church’s greatest missionary, is praise indeed, and an indication of Timothy’s spiritual capacity. Paul may have received special assurances for accepting Timothy (1 Timothy 1:18; 4:14. Which presbytery? Acceptance confirmed by Paul by the laying on of his hands 2 Timothy 1:6 When would this have occurred?).

            Timothy (of Derbe) is highly recommended to Paul as his assistant by the new Christians in the nearby cities of Lystra and Iconium on the second missionary journey (Acts 16:1-2). Perhaps the Christians in Derbe were reluctant to put one of their own forward - a not uncommon occurrence.

            Paul accepts their recommendation and Timothy must have agreed, for Paul circumcised him “because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek” (Acts 16:3). Wood states that this was done “To allay any needless opposition from local Jews, ……. before setting out on his journeys.”[7] It might be argued that although the local Jews knew Timothy was half Greek by birth (father, who presumably vetoed circumcision on the eighth day), the Gentiles would come to know that he was half Jew by birth (mother).

As Paul’s missionary endeavour had already been established as being preferentially to the Gentiles, leaving Timothy uncircumcised might have made a better testimony ie it is not necessary for a Gentile to be made artificially into a Jew (by late circumcision into the Abrahamic Covenant) so that you can then be saved. Both Paul and Timothy may have had a difficult situation to resolve in terms of local witnessing - this apparently cannot be a win-win situation - but adult circumcision as a way out seems highly artificial.

Perhaps they thought that witnessing to any Jew anywhere by someone known to be uncircumcised would never have borne fruit, whereas the Gentiles could not have cared less. Against this is the observation that both Luke and Titus, Gentiles, appear to effectively evangelise Jews. Discuss

In the end, after salvation when the middle wall of partition is broken down between Jew and Gentile in the local Churches, the whole question becomes irrelevant, and Timothy is perfectly acceptable to both camps.

From the beginning in Derbe, Timothy serves as (Jensen pp 373-4):

·         Paul’s aide on the missionary journeys including ministering the word of God

·         Paul’s representative to groups of Christians young in the faith while Paul was ministering elsewhere:

1.      left behind at Troas Acts 17:14

2.      sent to Thessalonica 1 Thess 3:1, 2, 6

3.      preached to the Corinthians 2 Cor 1:19

4.      sent into Macedonia Acts 19:22

5.      sent to Corinth 1 Cor 4:17

6.      with Paul in Rome Phil 1:1, 2:19, 23

7.      left at Ephesus 1 Tim 1:3

·         Paul’s companion in prison Phil 1:1; Col 1:1; Philem 1; Heb 13:23

A scriptural picture of Timothy can be visualised (Kent, quoted in Jensen p 374):

1.      tender, affectionate (1 Corinthians 4:17; Philippians 2:20-21)

2.      timid, tactful (1 Corinthians 16:10-11; 1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Timothy 1:6-7)

3.      faithful, loyal (1 Corinthians 4:17)

4.      conscientious (Philippians 2:19-23)

5.      devoted to God (1 Timothy 6:11)

6.      with a physical infirmity (1 Timothy 5:23)

Utilising the marginal notes in the Thompson Chain Reference and attempting to keep only to the topic of the question:


Discuss Paul and Timothy’s relationship 1 Timothy 1:1-20:

            1:1-3 Paul’s counsel to Timothy Paul wishes this letter to carry a good deal of weight with Timothy. Hence his up-front designation of himself as “an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God”. Although Paul calls Timothy “my own son in the faith”, this letter is more than just “family news on a spiritual level”.

            Being “a son in the faith” implies a strong spiritual bond (Paul also uses this of Titus), and may indicate that Timothy was saved under Paul’s direct ministry (see above). But for Paul and Timothy it is more than this.

Pastorally speaking Timothy is Paul’s most accomplished protégé, and the person to whom Paul delegates sensitive and spiritually challenging tasks. Their working relationship was “as one” and I suspect was closer than the relationship Paul ever had with Barnabas, Silas, John Mark or any of his other co-labourers. It would have been a joy to see the two evangelising together.

In spite of their close ties with each other, both know the source of their strength. Paul blesses Timothy with “Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord”.

One possible conclusion from “I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus” of v 3 is Paul’s awareness of Timothy’s potential timidity in the face of the need to confront heretics. Paul is not addressing a faceless congregation, but an individual that he knows very well so he cuts to the chase immediately. He is also so secure in his relationship with Timothy that he knows that his potential criticism will not cause offence, but result in a bolstering of courage.

1:4-8 Unsound doctrine condemned Paul details the specifics of what Timothy is to be on the lookout for. V 8 suggests that Timothy knows this already (use of “we”), so what is Paul’s point?

1:9-11 Purpose of Law I cannot assume from v 11 that “the glorious Gospel of the blessed God” was only given to Paul in trust; but it does make me wonder about how much of the Gospel Timothy really appreciated. For all his spiritual aptitude, Timothy seems ignorant, or at the least unsure, of some of the basics.

1:12 Paul’s experience related Perhaps this verse puts Timothy’s situation into perspective - Paul was in a similar situation when he was young in the faith too; but Paul’s advantage was in having Jesus Himself as a tutor for three years (Galatians 1:18). Close as their relationship was, Paul cannot expect to do exactly for Timothy what Jesus had done for him, and in a sense this “drop-off” in the quality of transmission of spiritual knowledge and experience has continued down to our present day, notwithstanding the source of all wisdom and knowledge being external to this process. Discuss

1:13-14 Unworthiness felt Paul exposes his heart and his past - presumably not knowing that millions of people would be reading about this

1:15 Riches of Grace Timothy could not have been unimpressed by Paul calling himself “the chief of sinners”. Perhaps Paul knew that Timothy was yet unaware of his true spiritual state. This does not seem likely, as Timothy had presumably had access to hours of close spiritual companionship and to Paul’s previous writings in Galatians, Romans, Corinthians, etc which have addressed these issues already. Discuss

1:16-17 Paul’s example Paul obtained mercy - Timothy and all other believers can too

1:18-20 Solemn charges The word translated as “charge” has the sense of being a ‘command’. Paul feels the need to remind Timothy to live up to the earlier prophecies concerning him, “holding faith” so that he does not fall into “shipwreck” as have others.


Argue the importance of public prayer 1 Timothy 2:1-8:

            Transliterating v 8: “I will therefore the men to pray in every place” suggests that public prayer should be the norm for “men”, which in context can only apply to saved men who are willing to pray in public. It is Paul’s opinion (“I will”) that they should, not God’s command.

I take vv 1-7 to apply to the individual Christian’s prayer life whether in public or private.

Based on this passage, there is no particular importance attached to public prayer.


Discuss the status and demeanour of women 1 Timothy 2:9-15:

            In v 9, the women are exhorted to behave “in like manner” to the men; that is, based on the preceding v 8, they are to “lift up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” and with this attitude “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety (ie reverence, respect, self control)”, if they wish to profess godliness. Good works are evidence of the right attitude (as it is with men).

            Vv 11 and 12 express the importance of the hierarchy of responsibility and therefore authority of men over women - who are equals - in the Church and in marriage. The woman’s place is to be taught by listening and she should not be placed in a position where she is teaching men, for that would put her in the inappropriate position of authority over the man. Paul takes us back to Eden to establish this point.

            Pragmatically, this passage does not prohibit a lady from teaching other women or children.

            V 15 is not easy. It may be that Paul is making it up to the female sex by his assurance that ‘she shall be restored to health by having children’ “if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety”. Some comfort. Wilmington suggests:

•     That though pain in childbirth was one result of humanity’s original sin (2:14; see Gen. 3:16), God gives special protection in that ordeal to Christian women.

•     That by being homemakers, women will be saved from the corruption of society.

•     That by being homemakers instead of church leaders, they will avoid being judged as teachers of heresy.

•     Since the original Greek reads “the childbearing,” some suggest Paul was referring to the birth of Christ.[8]



Distinguish the qualifications of Church Officers 1 Timothy 3:1-13:

            1 Peter 5:1-4 demonstrates that elder=bishop=pastor.

This office:

·         May be desired

·         Is a good work [v 1]

He should be:

·         Blameless ie beyond reproach

·         Currently the husband of one wife. (? Strong suggests that this means no one who has been divorced - see below. If so, would it also apply to a man whose first wife had died and he remarried? Discuss) In any case, not female.

·         Vigilant (an interesting word. It implies either abstinence from alchohol or strictly controlled use [Strong’s] see below),

·         sober (self-controlled, sane),

·         of good behaviour,

·         given to hospitality,

·         apt to teach (ie good as a teacher although good teachers are always ready to be taught)[v 2],

·         not given to wine (ie does not tend to get drunk. This is not a prohibition according to Strong’s concordance),

·         no striker (ie not pugnacious, quarrelsome),

·         not greedy of filthy lucre (ie not in the ministry for the money),

·         patient (fair, gentle),

·         not a brawler (ie not contentious)

·         not covetous (not avaricious)[ v 3]

·         one that ruleth well his own house, having his own children in subjection (obedient) with all gravity (respect, honour). Most of today’s pastors have allowed the world to demean these requirements [v 4], noticeable because it shows in how he takes care of the church of God [v 5]

·         not a novice ie a new convert for he will fall all the more easily into the sin of pride and the jurisdiction of the devil [v 6]

·         have a good reputation amongst the unsaved (not so that he might be able to effectively witness to them, but because otherwise he may fall into reproach or another of Satan’s traps. Discuss) [v 7].

The deacons must be likewise, although the qualifications are less rigorous. He should be:

  • grave (venerable, honourable)
  • not doubletongued (a hypocrite)
  • not given to much (ie large amounts of) wine
  • not greedy of filthy lucre [v 8]
  • holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience (ie “holding the revealed truth of the Christian faith” and “seeking to live according to the ethical demands of the revealed faith that he holds fast” [9] [v 9]
  • he must “first be proved” ie demonstrate that he is fitted to the office before being appointed to it, blameless on all counts [v 10]
  • the husband of one wife (at a time? Strong suggests ‘only one’ ie no men who have been divorced Discuss)
  • ruling their children and their own houses well [ v 12]
  • the proper fulfilment of all the qualities of deacon should result in “a good degree, and great boldness in the faith” [v 13]
  • a deacon’s wife must also fulfil the criteria of gravity, not a slanderer, sobriety, faithful in her duties [v 11]. It is of interest that there are no qualifications for pastor’s wife to fulfil. Pauline says this is because the Pastor and his whole circumstance is called to a church; a deacon is elected as an individual, but with taking his family circumstances into account. This seems a subtle difference but Paul clearly intends for it not to be. Discuss


Examine the character of the Church 1 Timothy 3:14-16:

            The church, rather than the individual, is the “pillar and ground of the truth”. Paul’s instructions to Timothy are regarding his conduct within the structure of the Church; the Church is never to be mistaken for the Pastor.

            “pillar” is a prop or stay, “ground” is similar. This is an important concept. The Church is in fact not the basis or foundation of truth; Christianity is centred in Christ Who is the Head of the Church. The Church is His body to control as He will ie when viewed from a human point of view, the Church’s task is to uphold the truth which is given her by Christ, generated by God, carried through by His grace with Christ as the focus. There is no fundamental emphasis on the Church per se in this work.

            Godly behaviour (v 16) is (or as of Paul’s writing, was) a mystery, now revealed, exemplified in the life of Christ. In context, this Godliness is to be displayed in the Church (on account of the Godly individuals within it).


Classify what are threats to the safety of the Church  1 Timothy 4:1-16:

            Paul confines these threats to “the latter times”. Strong defines “times” as [2540:] ‘a definitely limited portion of time with the added notion of suitableness’,[10] and “latter” as ‘later, afterward’. In theory the context should decide which times these threats apply to, but I can find no specific pointer.

I have assumed that this applies to the current Dispensation of Grace on the ground of Jesus’ warnings to the disciples that it would occur within their lifetimes (Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:10; Mark 13:22) and similar warnings in Acts (20:28-31) and 2 Timothy (3:1ff, 4:3,4). If my assumption is correct, then these threats do apply to the Church.

The ground on which Paul writes that these threats will come is the authority of the Holy Spirit.

They are:

·         some shall depart from the faith because they believe the lies of seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils (are these unsaved in the first place or backsliders? Sometimes it seems very difficult to tell Discuss)[v 1]

·         threateners become hypocrites, speaking lies, their consciences numbed to the truth [v 2]

·         they want to impose Laws (reconstructionism?) which were originally designed to be received with thanksgiving from those who know the truth [vv 3-4]

·         they spread profane old wives’ fables [v 7]

·         there is the threat of being disregarded on account of age [v 12]

·         and the threat of the consequences of not being diligent [vv 14-16]



Summarise what is meant by discipline in the Church 1 Timothy 5:1-25:

            First, spiritual maturity should be respected (vv 1-3). Second there are rules for the widow, with strict definitions of who qualifies as one (vv 4-16). Third there are rules for providing for the Pastor - double honour for those who “rule well”; if a pastor is accused, all the standard procedures (Matthew 18:15-18) for any brother should apply (vv 19-20) without partiality (vv 21-22).



Amplify miscellaneous instructions 1 Timothy 6:1-20:

            6:1-2 Servant’s duty to so work for their masters in a spirit of honour “that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed”. And for a situation where both master and servant are saved, no despising by one of the other.

            6:3-5 False teachers describes much of our modern hermeneutic in detail, fulfilled for many commentators today

            6:6-8 Contentment Godliness with the knowledge that all our needs are supplied by God as He promised (eg Matthew 6:28-34)

            6:9-10 the peril of riches which cause a seeker to “err from the faith, and pierce themselves through with many sorrows”

            6:11-12 a warning to ministers Paul admonishes Timothy to flee these traps and express the fruit of the Holy Spirit, with a similar tone of command as he used in 1:3, 18, 5:7, 6:13, 17 (but interestingly different from 5:21)

            6:13-16 solemn charges Paul gives Timothy an impossible target, but still one worth aiming for (v 14)

            6:17-19 a charge to the rich which is not to think that they are anything special just because of their possessions, that there is no eternal benefit in accumulating wealth, and that they share their plenty so “that they may lay hold on eternal life”

            6:20-21 Stewardship of the gospel  “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:”[11] specifically applicable today to the theory of evolution.

            Redactor’s postscript: if really written from Laodicea in Phrygia, then this must have been one of the cities Paul travelled to after his release from his first imprisonment in Rome.



Formulate the greeting and encouragement to Timothy from Paul’s personal experience 2 Timothy 1:1-18:

            1:1-4 Paul’s love for and exhortation to Timothy Paul has the ‘promise of life in Christ Jesus’ (v 1). Paul is able to claim that he serves God “with pure conscience” and has remembered Timothy night and day in his prayers (v 3).

1:5-8 Maternal influence Paul is persuaded that the unfeigned faith which was in Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, was in Timothy also (v 5). Paul is sure that Christians have not been given the “spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (v 7). Paul encourages Timothy to endure the afflictions that accompany preaching of the Gospel, just as he is doing (v 8).

1:9-14 salvation through Christ Paul testifies to Timothy of the power that is to be had from a full understanding of the Gospel and trust in the Risen Christ.

1:15-18 Paul deserted by his Asiatic friends but succoured by one - Onesiphorus - in spite of Paul’s outwardly degraded circumstances



Scrutinise the directions given to Timothy 2 Timothy 2:1-26:

            2:1-8 Marks of a good soldier of the Cross

  • strong in grace
  • transmit Paul’s teaching and testimony to other faithful men who will do likewise
  • endure hardness
  • do not become entangled in the world so that one may please God
  • strive lawfully ie the end should be worthy of the means
  • righteous effort gives a right to partake of the fruit that comes from it
  • seek understanding from the Lord

2:9-14 suffering for Christ one might be mistaken for an evildoer in the

suffering that may follow on being Christ’s soldier, although the Word itself cannot be bound. There is the certain hope of life with Christ, reigning with Christ, and even if we deny Him (eg on account of persecution) He will never deny us.

            2:15 Holy ambition enjoined  “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”[12]

            2:16-19 unsound doctrine condemned for it results in ungodliness, eating like a cancer - as Hymaeneus and Philetus preached that the rapture had already occurred (shades of Thessalonica), resulting in some losing their faith. Timothy should remember that even though some should fall away from the faith, “the Lord knoweth them that are His” although we cannot always be certain.

            2:20-23 vessels unto honour and dishonour  - purging oneself of the preachers of heresy allows one to “be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work”. Timothy is also exhorted to “flee youthful lusts”, “foolish and unlearned questions” and to pursue “righteousness, faith, charity, peace” in close Christian fellowship.

            2:24-26 ministerial patience a reiteration of some of Paul’s advice in 1 Timothy - no striving with others, gentleness, good teaching with meekness - so that men may be saved.



Assess the challenge of the Last Days and Exhortations 2 Timothy 3:1-4:22:

            3:1-9 marks of the latter days again there is the same difficulty of determining exactly which time period is being referred to. I have assumed the Church age but this may be eisegetic.

There will be:

  • perilous times, because:
  • men (humanity) will love themselves and be covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers (unable to come to a binding agreement), false accusers (eg acting like the devil), incontinent (no self control), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady (reckless), highminded (blind with conceit), lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof
  • men who “creep into houses”, contemptuous of women carried away by sin
  • men who are “never able to come to the truth”, as some men have always resisted the truth

In most of the ages of history Godly men have complained about, and suffered at the hands of the ungodly. No less in the present day, which appears to be fully satisfying the criteria for the last days in this list.

            3:10-14 Paul’s example and experiences Paul claims that Timothy:

“10…. hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured:”[13] which to my mind is inconsistent with his perceived need to write to Timothy about these very things. I have the distinct impression from 1 and 2 Timothy that Timothy is adequate in faith and weak in knowledge and its application. Today, we are the reverse - weak in faith and strong in knowledge, but even weaker in application  Discuss

            Paul prophesies that from his time “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” and “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse”

            3:15-17 the value of the scriptures Timothy has the advantage of knowing the scriptures “from a child” and those scriptures are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect (spiritually mature), throughly furnished unto all good works”.

            4:1-2 solemn charge given. Another one. Preach the word, be instant (ie ready to preach) at any time, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine

            4:3-5 evil times foretold the history of the creation and God’s plan will inevitably roll forward, until men actively turn away from the truth and seek lies (as in the times of Noah).

            4:7-8 Paul’s last testimony he is able to claim faithfulness in completing what the Lord had planned for him, and knowing that he is to die soon, he comforts Timothy with the revelation of what awaits him afterward.

            4:9-15 Paul is lonely in prison (see above) He names those who have left him and warns Timothy about troublemakers

            4:16-18 deserted by friends “all men forsook me” but the Lord remained with him (even delivering him from lions) and he praises God for it all.

            4:19-22 Last salutation names four individuals “and all the brethren” who send their greeting to Timothy - it seems Paul was not entirely alone after all.

Redactor’s postscript indicates that Timothy was the first bishop at Ephesus, that the letter was written from Rome when Paul was imprisoned by Nero for the second time. Supportive evidence for a second Roman imprisonment.


Discuss and apply the qualifications of Church Leadership Titus 1:1-9:

            Elders are to be ordained ie appointed by another elder, in this case Titus who is acting as Paul’s representative (v 5).

      The qualities of elder in Titus Ch1 are very similar to those in 1 Timothy 3 (one would not expect major differences). Macarthur summarises: “These church leaders are to have unblemished public reputations (v. 6a) and must qualify in four specific areas: sexual morality (v. 6b), family leadership (v. 6c), general character (vv. 7–8), and teaching skill (v. 9). A man who is not qualified in all of those ways is not permitted to be an elder.”[14]


Determine what are false teachers and the need to refute them Titus 2:1-15:

            False teaching is described directly or by implication as:

  • unsound doctrine (v 1)
  • spiritual immaturity in those who should know better (vv 2-5)
  • neglecting the exhortation to the young to exercise self control (v 6)
  • failing to be a good example (vv 7-8)
  • failing to exhort servants to be Godly in their service (vv 9-10)
  • failing to appreciate the grace of God in salvation (vv 11-15)

otherwise it will not allow God to “purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works”.



Prioritise the regulations on Christian behaviour Titus 3:1-9:

            A Christian has a duty to obey the laws of his government at all levels, to maintain a peaceful environment in the midst of unsaved people, but now by the grace of God He has saved us and are made His heirs, and by our lives we should be a testimony to that so that others may come to Him.



Qualify Christian doctrine and the Christian life Titus 3:10-15:

            Heretics should be warned and then shunned if they persist. Paul intends to send Artemas or Tychicus to relieve Titus in Crete for he would like to winter with Titus in Nicopolis. “maintain good works” according to Strong is ‘profess honest trades’.



Trace the occasion, content and teachings of the book of Philemon:

            Philemon is a church member at Colossae, the meetings being held in his house. Paul has not been to Colossae so must have met Philemon elsewhere, possibly Ephesus, where Philemon was converted under Paul’s ministry (v 19).

            Philemon owned a slave, Onesimus, who apparently stole from his master and fled to Rome, where he meets Paul and is also converted (v 10). Onesimus becomes a fervent Christian (Colossians 4:9) and Paul would have liked to have kept him in Rome as a helper (Philemon 13), but without having Philemon’s consent to do this, he is constrained to send him back to his master.

            Paul writes this letter, to be taken by Onesimus to Philemon, as an intercessory plea for Philemon’s forgiveness and restoration of his former slave, now his brother in Christ.

            This letter teaches sympathy for the ‘lower classes’, the duty of obedience to the law, and the fact that Christian brotherhood obliterates all social and class distinctions.15



1 First used by D. N. Berdot (1703) and popularized by Paul Anton (1726).

[1]Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, Series taken from jacket., 4th rev. ed., The master reference collection, 607 (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996, c1990).



[4]Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, Series taken from jacket., 4th rev. ed., The master reference collection, 613 (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996, c1990).

[5]Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, Series taken from jacket., 4th rev. ed., The master reference collection, 649 (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1996, c1990).


[7]D. R. W. Wood, New Bible Dictionary, 1189 (InterVarsity Press, 1996, c1982, c1962).

[8]H. L. Willmington, Willmington's Bible Handbook, 733 (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1997).

[9]George W. Knight, The Pastoral Epistles : A Commentary on the Greek Text, 169 (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Carlisle, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1992).

[10]James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order., electronic ed., G5853 (Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996).

[11]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995.

[12]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995.

[13]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995.

[14]John MacArthur, Titus, 21 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996).

15adapted from Thompson Chain Reference Bible  Fifth Improved Edition B.B.Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana 1988 # 4279

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