Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation - Lesson 22

Pastoral Epistles (Part 2)

Paul instructs Timothy about how to pastor a church and turn it away from heresy.

Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation
Lesson 22
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Pastoral Epistles (Part 2)


A. General Background

1. Letters to apostolic delegates

2. Stylistic differences from the rest of Paul

3. Uncertain setting in Pauline chronology

4. Doctrinal distinctives

B. Book by Book

1. Titus

a. Paul is free again

b. To Titus on Crete

c. Similar to heresy in Ephesus

2. 1 Timothy

a. Same as above but to Timothy in Ephesus

b. Hellenistic/Gnostic? issues clearer

3. 2 Timothy

a. Paul imprisoned again

b. Now almost certainly in Rome

C. Pseudonymity and the Pastorals

1. The Jewish world

2. The post-first-century Christian World

3. I. H. Marshall (ICC) and Allonymity

D. Titus: by Rachel Blomberg

1. Titus was a good guy

2. You should read Titus – it's short and sweet

3. Rachel likes Titus

4. Paul was smart

E. Titus Outline and Notes

1. Greetings – later abbreviated in 1 Timothy?

2. Instructions for various groups in the church (1:5-2:15)

3. Concluding exhortations – do what is good (3:1-15)

F. Titus as a Mandate Letter

1. Language of commanding (especially chapter 1)

2. Instructions regarding office of elder (1:5-9)

a. Compare 1:5 and 1:7 (elder = overseer)

b. Compare Acts 14:23 (practice established early)

3. Epiphany language (see especially 2:13)

4. Warnings about the factious (especially 3:10)

G. What’s Wrong with These Interpretations?

1. Children of elders must be believers (1:6)

2. Drugs, sex, alcohol pure for those who are pure (1:15)

3. Women must stay at home (2:5)

4. Baptism is necessary for salvation (3:5)

H. Key Texts for Background to 1 Timothy

1. 1:3 and another mandate letter

2. 1:7-11 on Judaizing

3. 4:1-4, 6:20 on Gnosticizing

4. 6:3-19, especially vv. 17-18 on wealthy

I. 1 Timothy Outline - How to pastor a church and turn it away from heresy

1. The reason for the letter: Stand fast against false teaching (1:1-20)

2. First method: Careful control over church worship and leadership (2:1-3:16)

3. Second method: True Godliness vs. Asceticism (4:1-16)

4. Third method: Proper respect for various kinds of people in the church (5:1-6:2)

5. Concluding warnings (6:3-21)

J. What's Wrong with These Interpretations?

1. 1 Timothy 4:8 as a motto for physical conditioning for Christians

2. We don't implement the commands in chapter 5 regarding widows so why be so concerned about gender roles in chapter 2?

3. 5:8 teaches that the man must be the primary breadwinner

4. Can't apply 5:19 if no one saw what happened

5. Money is the root of all evil (6:10)

6. It is impossible to be a good steward and enjoy riches (6:17-19)

K. The five uses of malista in the Pastorals

1. 1 Timothy 5:8 – Providing for relatives, namely, family

2. 1 Timothy 5:17 – Elders, namely, those who preach and teach

3. 2 Timothy 4:13 – My scrolls, namely, the parchments

4. Titus 1:10 – The rebellious people, namely the circumcision group

L. The Chain of Christian Leadership: Four Key Stages of 2 Timothy 2:2

1. Paul

2. Timothy

3. Faithful teachers

4. Others also

5. Summary: Your ministry requires disciples who will train others to keep passing the torch.

M. 2 Timothy Outline: "Pass it on" (A personal parenetic letter)

1. Thanksgiving and encouragement for faithfulness (chapter 1)

2. The commitment which faith requires (chapter 2)

3. Godlessness described and opposed (chapter 3)

4. Final charge (chapter 4)

N. Exegetical Highlights of 2 Timothy

1. 1:5 – Lois, Eunice key links in teaching Judaism/Christianity

2. 2:3-7 – key metaphors for single-mindedness

3. 2:13 – God's faithfulness in our faithlessness

4. 2:15 – the need for good exegesis

5. 3:1-9 – the last days have begun (but note when!)

6. 3:12 – key text on suffering as normal!

7. 3:16-17 – key text for inspiration (and relevance!) of Scripture

8. 4:7 – the need for perseverance

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.


  • Correlation of the accounts in Galatians and Acts on Paul's trip to Jerusalem. 

  • Galatians as a model of apologetics supporting Christianity.

  • Comparing faith and works in Judaism and Christianity. 

  • Paul faced persecution when he preached in Thessalonica. The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • One aspect of the subject of biblical eschatology is the timing and nature of the tribulation. 

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Divisions in the Corinthian church were caused by both theology and lifestyle.

  • Whether or not believers should eat food that had been offered to idols was an issue in the Corinthian church. The importance and role of spiritual gifts was a major topic of discussion.

  • Paul updates the people in the church in Corinth about his travels. He also follows up on relationships and defends his apostolic ministry.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Knowing the key places as backgrounds for Romans, the timeline and the outline of the book are helpful to understanding the context and message.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.


  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • Paul addresses how to live in different roles: husbands and wives, masters and slaves, elders and others in the church.

  • Paul describes the blessings of salvation and encourages believers to live in unity that transcends cultural and racial barriers. 

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul contrasts the condescention and the exaltation of Christ, and addresses specific situations in the Philippian church.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors. It is important for Titus to identify and train elders and deal effectively with factious people. 

  • Paul instructs Timothy about how to pastor a church and turn it away from heresy.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church. Some of them address conduct when gathering for corporate worship.

  • 1 Timothy 2:11-15 gives some direction for gender roles in a worship service.

  • Key themes and catchwords in James include trials, wisdom, temptation, speech, doubt and perseverance.

  • James discusses the roles of faith and works in a believers life and the importance of prayer.

  • A prominent theme in Hebrews chapters 1-5 is the superiority of Christ to the angels and to Moses.

  • Hebrews 6:4-8 is a key warning passage. Christ's priesthood is superior to both the Levitical priesthood and also to Melchizedek. Chapter 11 remembers the heroes of the faith.

  • A major theme of 1 Peter is perseverance despite persecution.

  • The outline of 1 Peter has similarities to other letters of the first century that emphasize a high view of Christology.

  • Jude and 2 Peter both emphasize refuting false teachers.

  • In his epistles, John emphasizes themes that refute gnostic doctrines. He outlines the tests of life as keeping God’s commandments, loving one another and believing in Jesus as the God-man.

  • As you study and preach from the epistles of John, note the passages that Dr. Blomberg describes as, “gems from John.”

  • Revelation was written by the apostle John in the late first century using apocalyptic, prophetic and epistolary genres. A possible structure by time line would be the past (chapter 1), the present (chapters 2-5) and the future (chapters 6-22). 

  • In addition to the framework of eschatology, Revelation chapters 1-6 develops themes of Christology including a description of Jesus as the lion who is a lamb, as well as the spiritual condition of some of the churches in the first century. 

  • In both of the possible scenarios for the tribulation, believers are exempt from God’s wrath but they are not exempt from Satan’s attacks.

  • Revelation chapters 12-22 cover themes of salvation and judgment of nations, Armageddon, the millennium and the new heavens and new earth.

Using the English New Testament, this course surveys the New Testament epistles and the apocalypse. Issues of introduction and content receive emphasis as well as a continual focus on the theology of evangelism and on the contemporary relevance of the variety of issues these documents raise for contemporary life.


Dr. Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation
Pastoral Epistles (Part 2)
Lesson Transcript

This is the 22nd lecture in the online series of lectures on understanding the Epistles and Revelation, in complement with the textbook by Craig Blomberg’s Book, Acts through Revelation, An Introduction and Survey. 


This is a continuation of the Pastoral Epistles where we examine four particularly interesting texts. Here, we first discuss the perplexing problem often for church leadership when the children of otherwise Godly mature Christian leaders at the age of accountability and full understanding of the Gospel, perhaps in adolescence or young adulthood, who simply turn their back on the faith that their parents have attempted to raise them in? Some translations read something like in Titus 1:6 ‘An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion.’ And in Greek, instead of faithful children, he should read, with children who are faithful and further refers to those who should have respect and decorum and obedience, that is, not being wild and disobedient. The issue is not whether parents have all their children to become Christians as no human being has that power over another but rather can their children in such a way create standards as seen by their culture is seen as a respectful environment, not open to the charges again and damage the Gospel in that if you are a Christian leader, your children are out of control. 


From chapter 1:15 of Titus: ‘All is pure to those who are pure. But to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their minds and consciences are corrupted.’ So as long as a person is Godly, have a relationship with Jesus Christ and stay close to Him, follow spiritual discipline, serve him and basically do anything else such as sex, drugs, etc. etc. As long as your heart is in the right place! Again, as we have had time to reflect on how to respond to that, as Paul does in 1st Corinthians 8-10  and Roman 14-15 refers to morally neutral matters, the context is one of Jewish myths or merely human commands, not the Christian truth or fully divine commands of the Gospel. 


What about Titus 2:5? ‘To be self-controlled, pure, fulfilling their duties at home, kind, being subject to their won husbands, so that the message of God may not be discredited;’ this involves to older women encouraging the younger women in regards to the life at home. The only way to be busy at home is to stay at home, not form part of the work force; even from very pragmatic reasons until there is zero percent unemployment, never has there been enough jobs to go around and with a larger number of women entering the work force, this has exacerbated that problem. If the student has read the accompanying printed material, they will know that this is not the meaning of word, simply be or exist, or stay at home but it’s the word to work hard at home, hence the NIV says, ‘to be busy at home.’ And in the ancient world women general had occupations, at the very least, small crafts on the side and sometimes entire vocations which took place at home as the sewing or crafting or cooking or creating things to sell to others either in the market place or out of their homes to further their families income. That can still happen today but in many cultures, it requires working outside of the home and in completely in the spirit of Paul’s teaching here. In fact, what is apparently ruled out are partners or individuals whether in marriage or other situation who are not willing to work whether or not for money but to make full use of their time for that which is profitable in the broadest, but not merely economical sense of that term; and certainly with an eye to their spiritual gifts and God’s Kingdom purposes. 


Finally then, what is the approach that takes 3:5 and particular 5b, ‘he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.’ This is used for baptism regeneration insisting that baptism is a pre-requisite for salvation and or indeed guaranteed salvation.  At this point, the one needs to only back up to the previous verse at the beginning of 5 to 5a in which God in Christ saved us not because of righteousness; like baptism which we have but because it implications are solely due to his mercy. The salvation through the washing of rebirth may refer to baptism in which case, as in Romans 6, we have a metonymy, recall our comments there or more likely the washing, itself is a metaphor and the washing of rebirth or it is epexegetically, the washing is the rebirth and thinking of the new life in Christ as an opportunity for a clean start. 


We now return to the twin epistle of 1st Timothy, again with T. Johnson, Phil Towner and others who have shown reasons for also believing that it is a mandate letter which again explains why immediately after the introduction comes commands rather than a thanksgiving as (1st Timothy 1:3) ‘I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to spread false teachings, nor to occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies.’ At least here Paul gets around to a thanksgiving as shown in 1:12-17. So perhaps the situation isn’t as serious as first thought, though it is interesting that thanksgiving is not particular about Timothy. Although in 2nd Timothy there will be such words of thanksgiving; it’s certainly not about the church in Ephesus, or perhaps the situation is as serious; it’s hard to be sure. A Judaizing dimension to the false teaching is again clear, where references to the law, its use and abuse appear in 1:7-11. And perhaps even more clearly than in Titus, references to the ascetic wing of Hellenistic dualism if not already the beginnings of Gnosticism emerge in 4:1-4 where marriage is forbidden altogether and total abstinence is required from certain apparently impure foods and as we mentioned already, the letter concludes with the command to turn away from Godless chatter and opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge. 


A bit more precariously but nevertheless, seemingly and reasonably the wealthy, a handful of early Christians who were among the ‘well to do’ in the church, just as in Corinth; perhaps contributed to a disproportionate percentage of influence as to the problems, perhaps getting caught up in the false teachings so that 3-19 deals in some detail with the right attitude, particularly among teachers with a view toward the false teachers perhaps, and towards the whole area of money and material processions. An outstanding balance appears in 6:17-18. In fact, a sandwich pattern, an ‘A B A - Structure’ appears in which first Paul, still commanding as in a mandate letter, commands those who are rich in this present world not be arrogant nor put their hope in wealth which is so uncertain. There is the implicit and explicit warning of what wealth can do to a person negatively. Likewise, verse 18 begins with a command, commanding them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, perhaps with their stewardship of their material processions most prominently in view. And to be generous and willing to share which almost certainly refers to material processions. But in between these two commands of generosity and then not putting ones trust in riches is the balancing principle that keeps Paul from becoming an ascetic with respect to money, the way the false teachers had become ascetic in other respects and apparently become too greedy for money. Here in 17b, Paul writes, ‘but to put their hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.’ When we have seriously done business with the Lord and determined as discussed in 2nd Corinthians 8 & 9, what it would mean for us to have an ongoing lifestyle of generosity, indeed even sacrificial giving with God and accountability of partners as our witness. And when we have been faithful to those pledges and are known by others who can attest to that by looking at our checkbooks and credit cards statements that we are indeed generous. Then we may enjoy the remains of what God has given us; of course we have bills to pay but we do not have to band ourselves from all enjoyment from some surplus of comforts. 


With this background and the features of this mandate letter with the implied exegesis of the text, we have already looked at in setting the stage for the letter, it’s not difficult says Gordon Fee and his commentary to see the epistle breaking down into five main topical sections, in addition to the portions that reflect the conventions of Hellenistic letter writing; such that the mentioned heresy itself is introduced both in terms of its nature but also in terms of its insidious work among the Ephesian Christians thus requiring Paul to urge Timothy to help his followers to stand fast against it. And then the remaining five chapters unpack four different approaches to accomplish this careful control over church worship and leadership, true Godliness verses the asceticism of the false teachers, proper respect for various kinds of people not just leaders in the church, though including them and the concluding warnings with their disproportionate amount of attention to the issue of money matters. 


With no further ado we now ask another series of questions in regards to what is wrong with these interpretations, such as coming from chapter 4:8. A favorite proof text of many Christian’s sport organizations, ‘for physical exercise has some value, but godliness is valuable in every way. It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.’ Is this a model for physical conditioning of Christians? In context, most likely not; the focus on physical conditioning is instead that which the ascetic false teachers are appealing to. And while Paul grants that physical training has some value, his hope that Godliness, not merely self-control of the physical body is what is to be the Christian focus. On the other hand, this is not a call for Christians to be poor stewards of the body which they have been given. But simply not addressing the issue or at least not nearly to the degree that many have often thought. We will come back to chapter two of 1st Timothy in the next lecture and particularly verses 8 to 15. However, anticipating that, we may site an argument that has at times been put forward, also by the author, Gordon Fee, in his commentary of chapter five and lengthy discussion of the office of the widow. We don’t, so the argument goes, readily identify as to who qualifies to be on a special enrolled list of widows in our churches today. Why then, should we become so pre-occupied with the commands regarding the offices of church leadership, or teaching and of having authority of men, over other people in chapter two and as a result to bar women from various leadership roles. 


Again, one way to resolve any discrepancy as to the nature of not paying attention to text A, where A and B are parallel in some respects; so why make a big deal out of text B or pay little or no attention to both of these texts. The more Biblical solution as given by 2nd Timothy 3:16 speaks of all Scripture as being inspired by God and profitable for rebut, correction, training and righteousness and to solve the problem we must pay close attention to the valid application of both texts and again the textbook provides some additional suggestions in recreating a category of widows or other of the more dis-processed people in our contemporary congregations to whom we should give attention in various ways. 


What about the long held claim of 1st Timothy 5:8? In citing older translations, ‘if any man does not provide for his family, for his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.’ Thus the man should be the primary bread winner of the family, the argument goes.  Part of an appropriate reply is that the word, ‘man’ does not appear in the Greek, it is merely someone in a generic sense and that in context, providing for a person’s family has to do with those who, like the widow, are elderly, we recall also 5:4, a family caring for parents and grandparents where such family exists. Compare verse 9 where the widow worthy of special help must have been faithful to her family and not be in a position to remarry as younger widows are. This is all about adult children making sure that their aging parents are provided for, not about either the man or woman being the primary bread winners. 


Another verse which people often ask about is ‘do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses (5:19).’ So if no one says what happened, if evidence is merely hearsay or if there is only one witness such as the violated partner, for example, in improper sexual act, then no discipline can be taken against an elder? Clearer, this is one place where we must understand how an English word is being using, not in light of the range of meanings found in a modern dictionary but in light of what the underling word in the Biblical language means. The word, ‘witness’ here refers aboue all to someone who gives testimony, who witnesses to an action, not necessarily saw or witnessed an action. The application here is almost certainly parallel to Mathew 18:15; so that these are witnesses that testify to a private or semipublic attempt at reconciliation, not witnesses in the sense of someone who saw an improper action with whom an individual is charged. 


Now the most famous misinterpretation of any text in all the pastorals states, ‘money is the root of all evil.’ This is not what the text says in its entirety in any translation. The love of money is what Paul is talking about but modern translations, in this case the NIV make improvements from the original Greek that money is a root of all evil, not necessary the only one and it is a root of all kinds of evil. There are many different forms of manners or evil, not necessarily every conceivable manifestation of evil. We have already commented on an appropriate response to the claim that it is impossible to be a good steward of God’s wealth and simultaneously to enjoy some of those riches. 


We move on then to a much more controversial topic, one which comes up often enough in church life. So it merits at least some treatment from at least one possible perspective. There are five usages of the Greek word, malista in 1st & 2nd Timothy and Titus. All of which yield at best uncertain and worse, implausible meanings when translated along the lines that nalista normally produces in ancient Greek, namely the word, ‘especially.’ The clearest example of that is when Paul writes in 1st Timothy 4:10 that we put our hope in the living God who is the Savior of all people and malista of those who believe. The difficulty in understanding what it means that God’s saves those who believes but in what sense can those who believe be a subset of all people who are also saved. This is short of calling Paula Universalist in countless texts, even in the Pastoral Epistles themselves which attributes exclusiveness or uniqueness to salvation and the work of God in Jesus Christ. But if we translate malista as T.C.Skeet former curator of British museum library and renowned international linguist argued decades ago; if we follow the minority meaning of malista as namely in this text, we would argue the remaining text would all make perfect sense. Paul dictates to his emanuances that we put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and whether he then realizes it or realized all along yet wants to emphasize the universal offer of salvation, realizes that all people need to understand and so declares namely that is, ‘those who believe.’ The all here reflects all ethnic groups in all geographical parts of the world, all nations, tongues and people groups, but not in the sense of all the people that has ever lived in the world. 


1st Timothy 5:8, the next usage of malista in the economical sequence of the text of Pastoral Epistles is similarly clarified. Paul writes, ‘anyone who does not provide for their relatives and especially for their own household.’ Of course today, we can all imagine the nuclear family being represented by the later term and the extended family by the former term but in a culture where extended families typical lived together particularly in rural locations where enough land was available that the extended family farmed the land together. These two terms would more often be synonymous than not. In what sense then is Paul using the malista if he means providing for one’s relatives, a fairly vague term of people related by blood? But then says namely the members of your household, the ones there with you, the ones you have immediate and quick access to and certainly including the nuclear family, biological parents and children but often a larger group as indicated by a geographical proximity. Then the text makes perfect sense. In1st Timothy 5:17, we see that the Elders who direct the affairs of the church are worthy of double honors, especially those who are preaching and teaching. So are there some Elders who do preach and teach and others who still direct the affairs of the church, the way preachers and teachers do but not simultaneously have a preaching or teaching responsibility? But this goes against of the very list of criteria for the overseer who we saw in Titus one, which was equated with the Elders. Back we see in 1st Timothy 3:1 where the one distinctive quality or criterion studying the overseer office from the office of deacon, was able to teach suggesting not just the ability but if not a constant but consistent teaching ministry. But again, if malista means namely, then which Paul is doing in 5:17 is describing what an Elder was, making it clear that he is, in this letter no less than in Titus, no less than in Acts 20 and his speech to the Ephesian Elders in Miletus equating the role of Elder with an overseer, with a pastor, with one who is primary responsible for the primary teaching and preaching of the church. 


Passing on to 2nd Timothy in Chronological sequence, one reads in 2nd Timothy 4:13, ‘When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus at Troas and my Scrolls, malista the parchments. But parchment was in this day a standard writing device for scrolls, as was papyrus. Parchment was often used for valuable documents such as copies of the Hebrew Scriptures. It has often been imagined that whatever scrolls Paul ask Timothy to bring, he would want his scriptures in which case, they would have been rolled up for preservation and would have been written on parchment. No need for a subset here and the translation erases all ambiguity, the scrolls, namely the parchments. 


In Titus 1:10, the least clear of the five, but in light of the pattern emerging, it’s certainly one that fits the proposed pattern quite well. When in Titus 1:10, we read, there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. If that’s a statement about people in the world, it makes sense to single out the circumcision group as the group that is particularly troubling Titus’ congregation on Crete. By contrast, Paul wants the people to pay no attention to the Jewish myths which he sees fueling this group (1:14). On the other hand, if malista means ‘namely’, then Paul is talking just about the many rebellious people full of meaningless talk and deception that are troubling the Cretan church. And then there appears to be only this one group of false teachers promoting circumcision and Jewish myths. Even though, in light of the other parallels between Titus and 1st Timothy; it has often been postulated that there may have been other more Hellenistic dimensions to the false teaching. 


We return finally to 2nd Timothy, because our time is short and as always we must be selective to move immediately to what has been understood as the central theme of this short letter. We come to 2nd Timothy 2:2 in which giving his farewell charge to his young disciple, ‘And entrust what you heard me say in the presence of many others as witnesses to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well.’ This has been called the chain of Christian leadership with four Christian generations present in this one verse. Paul passing on to Timothy the charge to teach other faithful people who will in turn is able to hand it on to still others after them. 


As we mentioned in the notes, it has been said that Christianity is never more than one generation away from extinction in any given setting or ministry in some para-church ministry involving a very limited slice of ages of people. That generation can be no longer or short at times as the length of time that any one individual spent qualifying for the group, thus the need for always passing the torch on to properly trained gifted leaders who match the criteria of the Pastoral Epistles requires constant vigilance. How does Paul accomplish this in this personal exhortation letter? One can see four main sections, one per chapter that fit within the thanksgiving, opening and closing; but again, like the mandate letters, though not in the precise mandate form. You can see the parenthesis or exhortation in the body of the letter. One may see one main approach how best under God with His help to ensure that the Gospel is properly passed on in Paul’s thanks giving for encouragement for continued faithfulness on a part of Timothy going all the way back to his Jewish roots and upbringing in the Hebrew Scriptures. We can then see it in the commitment which faith requires in Chapter two, not least with the metaphors of hard working people, a kind of single mindedness that the listener to these lectures should be taken seriously if they are signing up to any arduous full time Christian ministry in the broadest possible sense. For example, like a person who wants to become a concert musician, it means lots of extra hours of practice, lots of extra hours of preparation and in this case extra hours of prayer and as in all such analogies, with holding from oneself of a certain measure of the ‘normal’ ordinary diversions, interruptions, even wholesome recreational activities of life.


Chapter three predicts the arrival of false teachers in the last days, which in the New Testament begin with the 1st century and the coming of Christ and as Godlessness is described and unmasked and opposed in no uncertain terms and Paul’s final charge in a book that forms this final charge and then occupies chapter four.  


We will not revert back to some other exegetical highlights rather than what’s wrong with this teaching approach. We notice how Timothy’s mother and grand-mother were key links in teaching the Scripture first from a Jewish and then from a Christian perspective to Timothy and both Old and New Testament remain crucial for parents to teach their children today and for those who did not have the opportunity to learn it, to emerge themselves into the content and correct interpretation of Scripture, above and beyond any other more formal or specialized training. If this lecture series or any other formal educational opportunity you have in seminary or Bible College of institute doesn’t first of all throw you back to the actual reading for yourself of the Bible, itself, that creates greater mastery and knowledge of its content and how to apply it, then it has failed and we have failed and you have failed to do what God has called all of us to do in studying the Scriptures. This is so we might indeed divide the Word of truth; rightly interpret it as 2:15 will also point out. We mentioned already about the key metaphors for single mindedness in 2:3-7. That kind of faithfulness is matched only by and surpassed by God’s faithfulness to us, even when we are faithless, not when we utterly deny and reject or refuse to come to him but when remain believers but have those lapses in faith that bother us throughout our lives. He remains faithful (2:13) because He cannot dis-own himself. His spirit comes to live in true believers and therefore to dis-own us in those situations would be to disown himself. Praise the Lord. 


In the last days which have begun in 3:1-9, it’s not popular but it is there and we need to note 3:12, ‘everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.’ This is not a call to seek persecution if it is not currently happening to us though it might be a call to make sure that we are boldly and regularly testifying to our convictions, not unnecessarily tactlessly but neither hiding what we believe in situations where it would be appropriate to talk about, as long as will are doing this, sooner or later if the Lord and our deaths terry, we will receive persecution of one kind or another. 3:16-17 may be the most important text in the New Testament, about the inspiration and relevance of the Hebrew Scriptures and also reflects the kind of thing that the later Christian Canonizers of the New Testament implied about books that they chose for the inclusion in the Canon. 


Finally, 4:7 appeals to us and models for us, finishing well; Paul knows his time with greater certainty than he did in Philippians 2:17 that he is already being poured out as a drink offering, like the animals slaughters and sacrificed for Levitical offerings in Old Testament days, but he can say with good conscience that he has fought the fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, the Lord the righteous judge will award me on that day. That is to say, a life, not a reward above and beyond salvation itself because the verse closes that it will be given to all who have longed for His appearing. And what true Christian cannot long for his appearing. Perseverance is needed as long as the last dying breath remains within us to remain committed to our Lord who in turn guarantees that he will preserve us safe to the end. But it is worth it all; whatever it costs because of the grandeurs and glories of New Heavens and New Earth which will have only seen a foretaste of in the discussing the texts of Paul in 2nd Corinthians and even in greater detail by the end of the Book of Revelation of the glories of the life to come, never ending, far outweigh the very worse this life can throw at us to which we say amen and amen. Come! Lord Jesus.