Introduction to 2 Timothy
The book of 2nd Timothy is a Pastoral Epistle (letter from Paul to a church leader). The author is the Apostle Paul who wrote it approximately 67 A.D. and is probably his last letter. After Paul’s release from his first imprisonment in Rome in AD 61 or 62, and after his final missionary journey (probably into Spain), he was again imprisoned under Emperor Nero c. 66-67. The key personalities are Paul, Timothy, Luke, Mark, and many others.
Its purpose was to give direction to Timothy and urge him to visit one final time. From the somber nature of this letter, it is apparent that Paul knew that his work was done and that his life was nearly at an end (4:6-8).
• In chapters 1-2, Paul begins with thanksgivings and an announcement to remain faithful, strong, and to“Join with me in suffering for the Gospel” (1:8). In contrast to his first imprisonment (where he lived in a rented house), he now languished in a cold dungeon (4:13) chained like a common criminal (1:16; 2:9). He also reiterates the important work of “entrusting the faithful men who will be able to teach others” (2:2). Paul’s desire was to equip the saints with the knowledge of how to teach others.
• In chapters 3-4, Paul tells Timothy to remain faithful and “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (4:2), because difficult times would be in the future. He challenges him to endure reminding him that endurance is one of the main quality essentials for a successful preacher of the Gospel. Men would become just as they were in the time of Moses. He writes that, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (3:12).
• At the end of chapter 4, Paul writes about personal concerns asking that some of his personal items be brought to him. It appears that his imprisonment was completely unexpected. Soon after this letter, probably the spring of 68 A.D., it is likely that Paul was beheaded as a Roman citizen.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (4:7).