Timothy (1 Tim. 1:2)

“To Timothy,

My loyal child

In the faith,

Grace,

Mercy,

And peace

From God

The Father

And Jesus Christ

Our Lord.”

Τιμοθέῳ γνησίῳ τέκνῳ ἐν πίστει· χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν.

Paul said, “To Timothy (Τιμοθέῳ), my loyal child (γνησίῳ τέκνῳ) in the faith (ἐν πίστει), grace (χάρις), mercy (ἔλεος) and peace (εἰρήνη) from God (ἀπὸ Θεοῦ) the Father (πατρὸς) and Jesus Christ (καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ), our Lord (τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word γνησίῳ, that means lawfully begotten, genuine, real, or true.  Paul addressed this letter to Timothy.  He called him his loyal or true spiritual child in the faith of Jesus Christ.  Timothy was listed as the co-author in six epistles, nearly half of the other Pauline letters, 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon.  Timothy was a native of Lystra in Lycaonia, a respected member of the Christian congregation, as mentioned in Acts, chapter 16:1-3.  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.  Timothy was also with Paul in Ephesus.  Paul left Timothy at Ephesus, to govern that church.  He was also involved with the founding of the church community in Philippi.  His relationship with Paul was close, so that Paul entrusted him with missions of great importance.  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.  Thus, Timothy was an important figure in the early growing Christian gentile church in the second half of the first century.  This greeting is similar to all the other epistles of Paul, where Paul offered peace and grace.  However, here there was an addition of mercy.  This is the first letter addressed to an individual person, Timothy, instead of a Christian church community as all the other Pauline epistles up to this point.  What do you know about Timothy?

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