2 Timothy

by Ken Cayce

Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


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2 Timothy Explained

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Book of 2 Timothy Explained

Title: This epistle is the second of two inspired letters Paul the apostle wrote to his son in the faith, Timothy (1:2; 2:1). For biographical information on Timothy (see Introduction to 1 Timothy: Title). It is titled, as are the other personal letters of Paul to individuals (1 Timothy, Titus and Philemon), with the name of the addressee (1:2).

Author and Date: The issue of Paul's authorship of the Pastoral Epistles is discussed in the (Introduction to 1 Timothy: Authorship). Paul wrote 2 Timothy, the last of his inspired letters, shortly before his martyrdom (ca. A.D. 67).

Background - Setting: Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment for a short period of ministry during which he wrote 1 Timothy and Titus. Second Timothy however, finds Paul once again in a Roman prison (1:16; 2:9), apparently rearrested as part of Nero's persecution of Christians. Unlike Paul's confident hope of release during his first imprisonment (Phil. 1:19, 25-26; 2:24; Philemon 22), this time he had no such hopes (4:6-8). In his first imprisonment in Rome before Nero had begun the persecution of Christians (A.D. 64), he was only under house arrest and had opportunity for much intersection with people and ministry (Acts 28:16-31).

Paul was freed from his house arrest in Rome in the spring of A.D. 63 and traveled to Macedonia (Phil. 2:24; Philemon 22), across the Adriatic Sea, visiting Philippi, Ephesus, Colossae, and Laodicea. The great Roman fire occurred in A.D. 64. Paul possibly went to Spain, probably by sea, in A.D. 64 and 65. In the summer of 66 he returned to Ephesus in Asia Minor and left Timothy in charge (1 Tim. 1:3). In the summer of 67 he wrote to Timothy from Macedonia and probably visited Philippi and Corinth. He went on to Crete and left Titus there (Titus 1:5). He wrote Titus from Ephesus in the autumn of A.D. 67, visited Miletus (4:20), Troas (4:13), Corinth from Ephesus in the autumn of A.D. 67, visited Miletus (4:20), Troas (4:13), Corinth (4:20), and spent some time at Nilopolis (Titus 3:12). He was imprisoned again in the spring of 68, having been free about five years. He may have been arrested in Corinth, because of an accusation made by Alexander (4:14, 20). Paul was tried by the city prefect, imprisoned, and sent to Rome where he was placed in a dungeon cell of the Mamertine Prison, from which he knew he would never be set free (4:6). His only contact with the outside world was a hole, about 18 inches square, in the ceiling of his cell. Through that opening passed everything that came to and from the apostle, including his second letter to Timothy, in the fall or winter of A.D. 67. He was beheaded in Rome in May or June of 68 A.D.

In this letter, Paul, aware the end was near, passed the non-apostolic mantle of ministry to Timothy (compare 2:2), and exhorted him to continue faithful in his duties (1:6), hold on to sound doctrine (1:13-14), avoid error (2:15-18), accept persecution for the gospel (2:3-4; 3:10-12), put his confidence in the Scripture, and preach it relentlessly (3:15 - 4:5).

Historical - Theological Themes : It seems that Paul may have had reason to fear that Timothy was in danger of weakening spiritually. This would have been a grave concern for Paul, since Timothy needed to carry on Paul's work (compare 2:2). While there are no historical indications elsewhere in the New Testament as to why Paul was so concerned, there is evidence in the epistle itself from what he wrote. This concern is evident, for example, in Paul's exhortation to "kindle afresh" his gift (1:6), to replace fear with power, love, and a sound mind (1:7), to not be ashamed of Paul and the Lord, but willingly suffer for the gospel (1:8), and to hold on to the truth (1:13-14). Summing up the potential problems of Timothy, who might be weakening under the pressure of the church and the persecution of the world, Paul calls him to;

(1) Generally, "be strong" (2:1), the key exhortation of the first part of the letter, and to;

(2) Continue to "preach the word" (4:2), the main admonition of the last part.

These final words to Timothy include few commendations but many admonitions, including about 25 imperatives.

Since Timothy was well versed in Paul's theology, the apostle did not instruct him further doctrinally. He did, however, allude to several important doctrines, including salvation by God's sovereign grace (1:9-10; 2:10), the person of Christ (2:8; 4:1, 8), and perseverance (2:11-13); plus Paul wrote the crucial text of the New Testament on the inspiration of Scripture (3:16-17).

Second Timothy is the latest of the Pauline letters. As such it is of special interest not only because of what it reveals concerning the last days of Paul's life, but also because of what it reveals about its recipient.

The last words of people are particularly treasured by their loved ones. In 2 Timothy, we have the last known words to flow from the apostle's pen. In a very real way, this epistle represents Paul's last will and testament. If ever there was a time to set the record straight, it was then. If Paul was going to make any complaints, he would have to make them then, for he was at the end of his life. However, in this letter, there is not one word of apology, explanation, caution, or complaint. Paul used his last letter to deliver five exhortations to his son in the faith, which in summary tell Timothy to "keep on keeping on" just as he had told him all along.

Second Timothy claims to have come from the pen of "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ" (1:1). Though widely contested, both internal and external evidence support this claim. The style, vocabulary, and contents of the epistle are in keeping with what would be expected of the apostle when he knew he was near the end of his life (4:6). He had four purposes in writing:

(1) To exhort Timothy in his ministry at Ephesus;

(2) To warn Timothy of trouble both inside and outside the church;

(3) To request Timothy to come to Rome to visit him in prison and bring certain personal effects to him (4:5-13; 21); and

(4) To instruct all the churches in Timothy's territory.


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2 Timothy 1
2 Timothy 2
2 Timothy 3
2 Timothy 4

2 Timothy 1

2 Timothy Chapter 1

2 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,"

2 Timothy 1:2 "To Timothy, [my] dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."

2 Timothy 1:3 "I thank God, whom I serve from [my] forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;"

2 Timothy 1:4 "Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;"

2 Timothy 1:5 "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."

2 Timothy 1:6 "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands."

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

2 Timothy 1:8 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;"

2 Timothy 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called [us] with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"

2 Timothy 1:10 "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:"

2 Timothy 1:11 "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."

2 Timothy 1:12 "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

2 Timothy 1:13 "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."

2 Timothy 1:14 "That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us."

2 Timothy 1:15 "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes."

2 Timothy 1:16 "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:"

2 Timothy 1:17 "But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me]."

2 Timothy 1:18 "The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well."

2 Timothy 2

2 Timothy Chapter 2

2 Timothy 2:1 "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."

2 Timothy 2:2 "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."

2 Timothy 2:3 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

2 Timothy 2:4 "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

2 Timothy 2:5 "And if a man also strive for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully."

2 Timothy 2:6 "The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits."

2 Timothy 2:7 "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things."

2 Timothy 2:8 "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:"

2 Timothy 2:9 "Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, [even] unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound."

2 Timothy 2:10 "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."

2 Timothy 2:11 "[It is] a faithful saying: For if we be dead with [him], we shall also live with [him]:"

2 Timothy 2:12 "If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:"

2 Timothy 2:13 "If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."

2 Timothy 2:14 "Of these things put [them] in remembrance, charging [them] before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, [but] to the subverting of the hearers."

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

2 Timothy 2:16 "But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness."

2 Timothy 2:17 "And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;"

2 Timothy 2:18 "Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some."

2 Timothy 2:19 "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."

2 Timothy 2:20 "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor."

2 Timothy 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every good work.

2 Timothy 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

2 Timothy 2:23 "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes."

2 Timothy 2:24 "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,"

2 Timothy 2:25 "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;"

2 Timothy 2:26 "And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."

2 Timothy 3

2 Timothy Chapter 3

2 Timothy 3:1 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."

2 Timothy 3:2 "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"

2 Timothy 3:3 "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,"

2 Timothy 3:4 "Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;"

2 Timothy 3:5 "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

2 Timothy 3:6 "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,"

2 Timothy 3:7 "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

2 Timothy 3:8 "Now as Janna's and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith."

2 Timothy 3:9 "But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was."

2 Timothy 3:10 "But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,"

2 Timothy 3:11 "Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me."

2 Timothy 3:12 "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

2 Timothy 3:13 "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."

2 Timothy 3:14 "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];"

2 Timothy 3:15 "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

2 Timothy 3:17 "That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

2 Timothy 4

2 Timothy Chapter 4

2 Timothy 4:1 "I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;"

2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"

2 Timothy 4:4 "And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

2 Timothy 4:5 "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

2 Timothy 4:6 "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand."

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:"

2 Timothy 4:8 "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

2 Timothy 4:9 "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:"

2 Timothy 4:10 "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia."

2 Timothy 4:11 "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry."

2 Timothy 4:12 "And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus."

2 Timothy 4:13 "The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring [with thee], and the books, [but] especially the parchments."

2 Timothy 4:14 "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:"

2 Timothy 4:15 "Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words."

2 Timothy 4:16 "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all [men] forsook me: [I pray God] that it may not be laid to their charge."

2 Timothy 4:17 "Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion."

2 Timothy 4:18 "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen."

2 Timothy 4:19 "Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus."

2 Timothy 4:20 "Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletus sick."

2 Timothy 4:21 "Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren."

2 Timothy 4:22 "The Lord Jesus Christ [be] with thy spirit. Grace [be] with you. Amen."