Timothy (Acts 16:2)

“Timothy

Was well spoken of

By the believing brothers

At Lystra

And Iconium.”

ὃς ἐμαρτυρεῖτο ὑπὸ τῶν ἐν Λύστροις καὶ Ἰκονίῳ ἀδελφῶν.

The author of Acts indicated that Timothy was well spoken of (ὃς ἐμαρτυρεῖτο) by the believing brothers (ἀδελφῶν) at Lystra (ὑπὸ τῶν ἐν Λύστροις) and Iconium (καὶ Ἰκονίῳ).  Both the believing Christian brothers in Lystra and Iconium thought highly of Timothy, since both of these towns were only about 20 miles apart from each other.  Thus, Timothy had a fine reputation among the believing brothers in that area.  Timothy was a native of Lystra in Lycaonia, already a respected member of the Christian congregation, as were his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, both Jews.  In 2 Timothy 1:5, his mother and grandmother are noted as eminent for their piety and faith.  In 1 Corinthians 16:10 there was a suggestion that he was by nature reserved and timid.  Timothy became Paul’s disciple, and later his constant companion and co-worker in preaching, as a close traveling companion of Paul.  Paul and Silas took Timothy along with them on their journey to Macedonia.  When Paul went on to Athens, Silas and Timothy stayed for some time at Beroea and Thessalonica before joining Paul at Corinth.  Timothy was also with Paul in Ephesus.  Timothy arrived at Corinth just after Paul’s letter, 1 Corinthians reached that city.  Paul left Timothy at Ephesus, to govern that church.  His relationship with Paul was close and Paul entrusted him with missions of great importance. Timothy’s name also appears as the co-author on 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon.  Paul wrote to the Philippians about Timothy, saying that he had no one like him (Philippians 2:19–23).  When Paul was in prison and awaiting martyrdom, he summoned his faithful friend Timothy for a last farewell.  Timothy was jailed at least once during the period of the writings of the New Testament since the writer of Hebrews mentioning Timothy’s release at the end of the epistle.  In fact, two biblical letters were addressed to Timothy, 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy.  Thus, Timothy was an important figure in the early growing Christian gentile church in the second half of the first century.  How much do you rely on a person’s reputation?

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