BibleProject New Testament Series - Lesson 21

1 Timothy - BibleProject

In this lesson, you will learn about the book of 1 Timothy. The lesson provides an overview of the book's background information, authorship and date, audience, and purpose. It also discusses the themes and message of the book, such as sound doctrine, godly living, the role of women in the church, and the relationship between masters and slaves. Additionally, the lesson highlights the significance of 1 Timothy in the New Testament, including its contribution to the understanding of church leadership and worship, the historical context of the early church, and its application for modern church life.


Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject New Testament Series
Lesson 21
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1 Timothy - BibleProject

Lesson Outline: 1 Timothy

I. Introduction

A. Background Information

B. Authorship and Date

C. Audience and Purpose

II. Overview of 1 Timothy

A. Chapter 1: The Charge to Timothy

B. Chapter 2: Instructions for Public Worship

C. Chapter 3: Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

D. Chapter 4: False Teaching and True Godliness

E. Chapter 5: Instructions for Church Life and Relationships

F. Chapter 6: Final Instructions and Warnings

III. Themes and Message of 1 Timothy

A. Sound Doctrine and Godly Living

B. The Role of Women in the Church

C. The Relationship Between Masters and Slaves

IV. Significance of 1 Timothy in the New Testament

A. Contribution to the Understanding of Church Leadership and Worship

B. Historical Context of the Early Church

C. Application for Modern Church Life

  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the literary design, purpose, themes, and messages of each book in the New Testament, including the four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, epistles of Paul, general epistles, and the book of Revelation.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Matthew 1-13 through this lesson, including the literary design of the book, the flow of thought in each chapter, and the key themes and events. The lesson highlights the importance of Jesus' role in bringing God's kingdom to earth and inviting his disciples into a new way of life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the Gospel book of Matthew through an overview of the first 13 chapters. You will learn how Matthew presents Jesus as the king who brings God's kingdom to earth, and how his disciples are invited to participate in this new way of life through his death and resurrection. You will also discover the central theme of the kingdom of God in Matthew, its relationship with the Church, and the call to discipleship and obedience.
  • Gain insight into the book of Mark's literary design and flow of thought, as well as Jesus' role as Israel's Messiah, inaugurating God's kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
  • By studying the Gospel of Luke, you will gain knowledge of the authorship, purpose, themes, and literary features of the Gospel, as well as a deep understanding of Luke 1-2, which narrates the miraculous births of John the Baptist and Jesus and provides models of faith and obedience. You will discover how Luke emphasizes the universality of God's love and the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering Jesus and his followers.
  • Luke's Gospel portrays Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises told in the Old Testament, bringing the good news of God's kingdom to the poor, teaching his disciples about prayer, trust, and generosity, continuing his mission to the poor and social outsiders, celebrating God's mercy for the lost and the tragic resistance of Israel's leaders, and ultimately dying on the cross as an embodiment of God's love and mercy.
  • In the Gospel of John, the first half of the book tells stories of Jesus performing miraculous signs that lead to controversy, culminating in the raising of Lazarus and his rejection by Israel's leaders, all of which prepare us to understand Jesus as the Messiah, teacher of Israel, and Son of God who offers a new quality of life through belief in Him.
  • You will gain insights into Jesus' ministry and teachings, including the seven signs of Jesus' public ministry and his private ministry, which include the washing of the disciples' feet, farewell discourse, and high priestly prayer.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insight into the introduction and context of the book of Acts, the early church in Jerusalem, and the gospel going to the Gentiles.
  • You will learn about the book of Acts, covering chapters 13-28, which includes Paul's missionary journeys, the Jerusalem Council, and his journey to Rome, and learn about the debates and decisions made by the apostles and elders, as well as gain insights into Paul's ministry and travels.
  • In Paul's Letter to the Romans, he explains how the gospel reveals God's righteousness, creates a new humanity fulfilling God's promise to Israel, and unifies the church, with chapters one through four laying the foundation for understanding the rest of the letter, which emphasizes that all humanity is hopelessly trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through faith in Jesus.
  • In Paul's letter to the Romans, he explores the idea that all humanity is trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through Jesus' death and resurrection, and that being in the family of Abraham means being a part of a new humanity that God is creating through Jesus and the Spirit, with the purpose of rescuing and renewing all of creation.
  • Explore 1 Corinthians to gain insights into complex problems faced by the church and how Paul responds through the gospel. Learn about unity, sexual integrity, love, worship order, and the resurrection as the foundation of hope in the future. Understand the gospel's application to all aspects of life.
  • In 2 Corinthians, you will learn about Paul's efforts to reconcile with the Corinthians, address their forgotten generosity, and confront the "super apostles" who undermine his authority, revealing the paradox of the cross and its implications for a transformed life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, context, and content of Galatians, including the false teaching that prompted Paul's letter, his defense of his gospel and authority, the role of the law in God's promise to Abraham, and the importance of living by the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Gain insights into the book of Ephesians, which emphasizes the creation of unified, ethnically diverse communities through devotion to Jesus and each other.
  • This lesson on Philippians will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, themes, literary features, detailed analysis of each chapter, and significance in Christian theology and impact on the church.
  • By studying Colossians, you will gain understanding of the book's authorship, background, and theological themes such as Christology, spiritual maturity, and the new humanity in Christ and how to practically apply the teachings of Colossians to the church and daily life.
  • By studying this lesson on the book of 1 Thessalonians, you will gain understanding of its background, themes, purpose, literary features, and application. You will learn about the historical and cultural relevance of the book and its personal and spiritual significance for us today.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, purpose, and themes of 2 Thessalonians, as well as an in-depth exegesis of the text. The application of the book to historical and cultural contexts, as well as its relevance for today, is also explored.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights into the book of 1 Timothy, including its background, themes, and significance in the New Testament, such as its contribution to understanding church leadership and worship, the historical context of the early church, and its application for modern church life.
  • In 2 Timothy, Paul writes to Timothy from prison, urging him to stay strong in the face of persecution and to confront corrupt teachers who are causing problems in the church in Ephesus.
  • This lesson on the book of Titus provides a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, purpose, structure, themes, and significance, enabling you to appreciate its contributions to the New Testament, its impact on the original audience, and its relevance to the Church today.
  • Gain insights into Paul's letter to Philemon about forgiveness and reconciliation with his runaway slave, challenging assumptions about social justice and inequality, and highlighting Paul's commitment to pastoral care and reconciliation.
  • This lesson on Hebrews covers the authorship, purpose, literary genre, Christology, eschatology, and theology of the book, providing insights into Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, and Perfect Sacrifice, the concept of Rest, Warning Passages, and the Superiority of Christ and the New Covenant, the Importance of Faith and Obedience, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
  • In the Book of James, you will explore the wisdom of Jesus' teachings and the Book of Proverbs, examining themes such as faith and works, the power of words, wealth, poverty, and wisdom, ultimately learning to live according to the "Perfect Torah of Freedom."
  • Through participating in this lesson, you will learn about 1 Peter, including information on its authorship and date, recipients and purpose, theological themes, literary features, and application. The lesson covers the book's historical and cultural context, as well as its contemporary relevance, and provides insights into how it speaks to topics such as suffering and glory, holiness and ethics, and Christology and salvation.
  • You will gain understanding of the book of 2 Peter, including its authorship, date, and literary context, as well as its theological themes, interpretation, and application. By studying 2 Peter, you will learn about false teachers and their destruction, the day of the Lord, the second coming of Christ, the certainty of God's promises, and the importance of godly living in contemporary Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the letters of John, including their historical and cultural context, authorship, purpose, literary features, themes, and messages, as well as their significance in the New Testament.
  • The book of Jude emphasizes the importance of contending for the Christian faith and exposes corrupt teachers, using both biblical and non-biblical Jewish texts as examples, ultimately highlighting that obedience to Jesus is the true indicator of genuine belief.
  • You will gain a deeper understanding of the book of Revelation, including its historical and literary context, authorship, purpose, and genre, as well as its structure, themes, and images. Additionally, you will be introduced to different interpretive approaches and learn how to apply the book to your personal life, the church, and culture.
  • This lesson provides an understanding of the book of Revelation, including its structure, content, symbolism, interpretive approaches, message, and relevance, helping you to gain insight into the nature of God, the victory of Christ, the role of the church, and the end of history.

BP150-21 - 1 Timothy

Paul's first letter to Timothy. Paul spent many years traveling about and starting new churches, and he developed a large team of coworkers in this mission. Timothy was one of these. Paul was once in the city of Lystra, and he met Timothy's faithful mother and grandmother, and he was impressed by Timothy's passion and devotion to Jesus. And so Paul mentored him for many years and eventually started sending him on missions to different churches. And so when Paul got word about a group of leaders who infiltrated the influential church in Ephesus, they were spreading incorrect views about Jesus and what it means to follow him. He sent Timothy to confront these leaders and restore order to this church. So after Timothy arrived there, Paul sent this letter to follow up and instruct him on how to fulfill this mission. The letter has a really cool design. There's an opening and closing commission to Timothy to go confront these leaders and their bad theology. And then these surround two large central sections that are full of really practical instructions about the problems that Timothy faced in the Ephesians Church. And then finally, all of these sections are linked together or concluded by a series of three poems that each exalt the risen Jesus as the king of the world. Let's dive in and you'll see how it works. Paul opens by recalling how he sent Timothy to Ephesus to confront these leaders who were spreading their strange teaching. And he describes how these guys are obsessed with speculating about the Torah, specifically the early stories and genealogies in the Book of Genesis. And as we'll see, they had developed all kinds of weird teachings about food and marriage and sex that weren't consistent with the teachings of Jesus or the apostles. He even names some of these people, Alexander and high manias. And he describes how their teaching has divided the church. It's generated controversy. And Paul says this is actually the first clear sign that their teaching is distorted when genuine Christian teaching is done. It's faithful to the way of Jesus, and it results in love and genuine faith. And he says the purpose of the Torah, anyway, isn't to fuel speculation. Rather, its purpose is to expose the truth about the human condition, as it did for Paul. Correct. Teaching about the Torah will lead people to see the grace of God revealed in the Messiah who came to save sinful, broken people. And so Paul closes here with a poem that honors King Jesus overall, and he calls Timothy to shut these men and their faults teaching down. He then addresses a very specific problems in this church caused by the false teachers. First of all, he calls Timothy to hold regular church prayer gatherings to pray for the governing leaders of Rome and for peace. Because peace in the land it creates is an ideal setting for Jesus followers to keep spreading their message about the God of peace who wants all people to be saved. The God who sent Jesus as the only mediator to give his life as a ransom for all. In contrast to the false teachers, Paul reminds Timothy that God wants to rescue the whole world and prayer is going to keep this at the forefront of their minds. Paul then addresses problems related to men and women who are being influenced by these corrupt leaders in Ephesus. So he first shuts down a group of men who are getting drawn into angry theological disputes started by the teachers. He says these guys should learn how to pray. Then he confronts a group of wealthy women in the church who were treating the Sunday gathering like a fashion show. They were dressing so upscale that they would shame most of the other people who couldn't afford such a wardrobe. And not only that, but some of these women were also usurping leadership positions in the church, and they were teaching others the bad theology of the corrupt teachers. And so Paul shuts these women down. He says they should not teach or lead in the church. And then he goes on to explore the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent from Genesis chapter three. Now, this is one of those sections in Paul's letters where, like Peter said, he's kind of hard to understand. There are many different views about what Paul meant here. Some think that Paul is prohibiting women from ever teaching or leading men in any church, and that his comments about Adam and Eve are about how God has ordered that only men should be leaders in the church. There are others who think that Paul is prohibiting women from having leadership authority over men in the church, but that once educated women should and can teach as leaders in a church under male leadership. And there are still others who think that Paul is only prohibiting these women in Ephesus and that his comments about Adam and Eve are a comparison of how these women have been deceived by the false teachers. Whichever view you take, Paul, is clear that these Ephesians women need to come under Timothy's leadership and get a proper theological education, and the goal is to help them grow so that they could one day become like the outstanding female ministers that Paul mentions in his other letters, like Phoebe or Junior or Priscilla. Paul continues to address this leadership crisis and he calls Timothy to appoint a small, healthy team of. Husbands and fathers who will act like elders or overseers for the church. These should be men of outstanding character and integrity, and they will work alongside a team of deacons. It's a Greek word that means servant. And these are men and women who actually lead and do the ministries of the church. And they are to have the same kind of character as the elders. And all together, these people should be known for healthy relationships and their families, because that will demonstrate their ability to lead in the church, which is God's family and the way of life that they live all together. It's consistent with the story about Jesus, which is explored in the closing poem about his incarnation, his death, his resurrection, his exaltation as king, and then the spread of his new family throughout the whole world. Paul Second body of instructions for Timothy are again very specific to the problems caused by these bad leaders. So he first corrects their bad theology. They've been telling people to stop eating certain kinds of foods, most likely meat, and to stop getting married, which Paul thinks is ridiculous. So he goes to Genesis one and he reminds Timothy that God's entire creation is very good, including food and marriage. It is all to be received with gratefulness by those who know and give thanks to the Creator. Paul then moves on to address problems about the church's care of widows. So this very important ministry was being taken advantage of by younger, wealthy widows, most likely the same troublemaking women from chapter two. They would sign up for the church's support, but then spend their days sleeping around, spreading gossip and damaging the church's reputation in the city. Paul is having none of it. He says that only older widows that have no other family support qualify. And for these, the church should show the love and generosity of Jesus. Paul then addresses problems among some older men in the church, and Timothy is to respect their age, but not their misbehavior, which seems to be alcohol related. They're damaging the church's reputation in Ephesus. And so Timothy is in love to confront them and have them step down if they're in leadership. And then Paul adds this interesting side note that this doesn't mean that Timothy himself should never drink. Given his stomach problems, he should probably have a glass of wine each night with dinner. Paul then addresses a problem among Christian slaves. Some of them were disrespecting their Christian masters. And so, yes, the gospel creates equality among Jesus followers. However, Paul thinks that equality needs to be implemented in a strategic way that doesn't compromise the mission and witness of the church. If Christians become associated with slave rebellions, they are compromised. The Christian transformation of the Roman household had to be implemented strategically so that their neighbors could be persuaded and not repulsed by this new vision of God's family. Finally, Paul closes the letter by calling Timothy again to confront the corrupt leaders. Paul here exposes their motives to make lots of money by accumulating followers and then charging them all high rates for their teaching. These teachers betrayed Jesus and his message of contentment and simple living. And so Paul instructs the wealthy Ephesians Christians to become rich in good works and generosity, to be people who submit all of their resources to King Jesus. And he's the one who inspires the final poem about how he is the true king above all other kings. First, Timothy is a really important letter. It helps us gain a holistic vision of the nature and mission of the church. So what a Jesus community believes will directly shape how that community lives and behaves in its city. And so its theology, its beliefs have to be constantly critiqued and formed by the Scriptures. And the good news about Jesus and how the church is perceived in public is also very important to Paul. Christians should be known as people who are full of integrity, known for good works, known for serving the poor and the most vulnerable, all out of devotion to the risen King Jesus. And that's what first Timothy is all about.