November 25, 2007
1 and 2 Timothy; Titus
Considered the Pastoral Epistles, Timothy and Titus were authored by Paul sometime after the events of Acts 28, at least eight years after Paul’s three-year stay in Ephesus. You might consider Ephesus to have been “church headquarters,” aside from Jerusalem. When Paul foresaw that he might not return to Ephesus, he gave instruction through these letters on how his assistant, Timonthy, should shepherd the flock. Timothy is a native of Lystra (modern Turkey). His father was Greek, while his mother was a Jewish Christian (Act. 16:1). From childhood he had been taught the Old Testament. Paul called him “my true son in the faith”, perhaps having led him to faith in Christ during his first visit to Lystra. At the time of his second visit, Paul invited Timonthy to join him on his missionary travels, circumcising him so that his Greek ancestry would not be an issue and was with him during much of his long preaching ministry at Ephesus (Act. 19:22). He traveled with him from Ephesus to Macedonia, to Corinth, back to Macedonia, and to Asia Minor. He may heven have accompanied him all the way to Jerusalem. He was with Paul during the apostle’s first imprisonment.
This chapter is a handbook for men, bishops or not. Ahhh, and looking at verse 11, to whom else do these admonitions apply?
v. 2: “Consciences are seared:” The precise meaning of this phrase is somewhat debated. Three primary interpretations are (1) the consciences of these false teachers are “branded” with Satan’s mark to indicate ownership, (2) their consciences are “branded” with a penal mark to show they are lawbreakers, or (3) their consciences have been “seared” (i.e., totally burnt and desensitized) so that they are unable to notice the difference between right and wrong. Which interpretation do you prefer and why?
As an illustrative exercise, I invite you to begin a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” as Paul instructs Timothy. This list may be helpful in discerning what we must do to save ourselves and others, as mentioned in v. 16.
v. 11: What things is Timothy to command & teach? Are we given this same admonition?
v. 14: What is the gift spoken of here? What must Timothy do in order NOT to neglect his gift? What gift do you have? What must you do in order NOT to neglect it?
v. 15-16: In what way will Timothy profit? See the GR here in the footnotes. In what way does Timonthy’s profiting become manifest in everyone? How do we save others as we save ourselves?
2 Timonthy Chapter 1:
“LOIS – lo’-is (Lois (2 Tim 1:5)): The grandmother of Timothy, and evidently the mother of Eunice, Timothy’s mother. The family lived at Lystra (Acts 16:1). It was on the occasion of Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 14) that Eunice and Timothy were converted to Christ, and it was, in all likelihood, on the same occasion that Lois also became a Christian. Paul speaks of the unfeigned faith that there was in Timothy, and he adds that this faith dwelt at the first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice. This is the only passage where Lois is mentioned; but by comparing 2 Tim 1:5 with 2 Tim 3:15 (the King James Version), where Paul refers to Timothy’s having “from a child known the holy scriptures,” it would appear that Lois was associated with Eunice, both in a reverent faith in God and in the careful instruction in the Old Testament which was given to Timothy.
EUNICE – u-ni’-se, u’-nis (Eunike, is the correct reading, and not Euneike, which is read by the Textus Receptus of the New Testament of Stephen, three syllables: Eu-ni-ke, literally, “conquering well”; 2 Tim 1:5): The mother of Timothy.
1. Eunice’s Home:
Her name is Greek and this might lead to the inference that she was a Gentile by birth, but such a conclusion would be wrong, for we read in Acts 16:1 that she was a Jewess. Her husband however was a heathen Greek She was in all probability a daughter of Lois, the grandmother of Timothy, for both of those Christian women are spoken of, in one breath, by Paul, and this in high terms of commendation.
2. How She Trained Her Son:
Timothy had not been circumcised in childhood, probably because of his father’s being a Gentile; but the mother and the grandmother did all that lay in their power to train Timothy in the fear of God and in the knowledge of the Scriptures of the Old Testament. “From a child” Eunice had taught her boy to “know the holy scriptures” (2 Tim 3:15 the King James Version). It is right therefore to connect this home training of Timothy in the fear of God, with his and his mother’s conversion to the gospel. His name Timothy–chosen evidently not by the father, but by Eunice–signifies “one who fears God.” The “wisdom” of the Hebrews consisted not in worldly prudence or in speculative philosophy, but in the fear of the Lord, as is shown in such passages as Ps 111:10, and in Job 28, and in Proverbs throughout. His name, as well as his careful home training, shows how he was prepared to give a welcome both to Paul and to the gospel proclaimed by him, when the apostle in his first great missionary journey came to Lystra, one of the cities of Lycaonia or Southern (?) Galatia, where Eunice and her family lived. This is implied in the account of Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16:1), where we read that he came to Lystra, and found there a certain disciple named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman who was a Jewess, who believed.
3. Her Conversion to Christ:
It is therefore certain that Eunice and Timothy were not brought to a knowledge of the gospel at this time, but that they were already Christians; she, “a believer”; he, “a disciple.” This evidently means that Eunice, Lois and Timothy had been converted on Paul’s former visit to Lystra. This conclusion is confirmed in 2 Tim 3:11, where Paul recalls to Timothy the fact that he had fully known the persecutions and afflictions which came to him at Lystra. The apostle repeats it, that Timothy knew what persecutions he then endured. Now this persecution occurred on Paul’s first visit to that city. Eunice was therefore one of those who on that occasion became “disciples.” And her faith in Christ, and her son’s faith too, were genuine, and stood the test of the “much tribulation” of which Paul warned them (Acts 14:22 the King James Version); and on Paul’s next visit to Lystra, Eunice had the great joy and satisfaction of seeing how the apostle made choice of her son to be his companion in his missionary work. Eunice is not afterward mentioned in the New Testament; though it is a possible thing that there may be reference to her in what is said about widows and the children of widows in 1 Tim 5:4,5.” –John Rutherfurd
v. 5: What do you know about Timothy’s family origins? Where are you in this chain of family legacy? Are you Lois, Eunice or Timothy? Or are you Timothy’s father? Who do you WANT to be? What can you assume about Timonthy’s father and the other unmentioned men in this family chain? What can you expect about Timothy’s posterity? See 2 Tim. 3:15-17. What else do you know about Timothy and his family from this verse? Who are your children in this scene? What could Paul say of your children’s knowledge of the scriptures? Who’s responsibility is it to learn/teach the scriptures? According to Paul, what can the scriptures teach us and how might such a “text” profit parents? What do you, as a parent, learn from this?
v. 6: Why would Paul ask Timonthy to “revive” his gift? What is this gift? What might be happening in Timonthy’s life at the time of the letter? Do we ever need to “rekindle” our gift? How do we “stir up the gift?”
2 Timothy Chapter 3:
v. 1-7: Does our day fit this description?
v. 8: Jannes and Jambres were the traditional names of two of Pharaoh’s magicians who opposed Moses at the time of the Exodus.
It’s at this point that I finally know the approach I will take–unless moved upon by the Spirit to do otherwise–in Sunday School today. Let’s begin in Titus Chapter 2. Here Paul speaks to each adult member of the church, beginning with the old men and ending with the slaves. This chapter outlines the desired behavior of these people. However, children are not addressed here. How, then, do these adults “evolve” the qualities outlined? It is difficult to suddenly change than to slowly “become,” of course. So, I’ve decided to approach today’s lesson as a handbook for parenting. Now, let’s work our way backwards by going to 2 Timothy 3:15-17. Clearly scripture is THE text for educating our children in the ways of godliness. See Mosiah 1:4; D&C 28:25,28; Moses 6:57-58; Deut. 6:7 for support from every book of the cannon.
Where did Timothy gain his gospel knowledge and the foundation of testimony preparring him to be a servant of God, taking up the torch of Paul after his departure? See 1 Tim. 1:5. Clearly Paul is reminding Timothy of things he has learned in the past. How valuable were these teachings of his youth? Is learning them in the “MTC” good enough?
As an example of scriptural education, let’s turn to 1 Tim. 4:12 and study, in depth, each word in the list of Paul’s desired qualities for Timothy. See the NET Bible for Greek word study assistance. We will be studying the words “example of the believers,” “word,” “conversation,” “charity,” “faith,” and “purity,” with the KJV being the springboard to study. Because the word “spirit” is not found in the original Greek I have chosen not to include that in the list.
If you were to take a week with each word and study it, then teaching it to your children, what would you gain? This is what I suggest you do. I am going to give it a try, in this systematic approach as outlined in this verse. It should be enlightening and fun! Tally Ho!