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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

1 Timothy

Book Overview - 1 Timothy

by Matthew Poole

THE ARGUMENT

Timothy is thought to have been a native of Lystra in Lycaonia, Acts 16:1. His mother, Eunice, was a Jewess, Acts 16:1; a believer, 2 Timothy 1:5. His father a Greek, Acts 16:1, but (possibly) proselyted to the Jewish religion. They gave Timothy his name, signifying thereby their pious desire that their son should fear and honour God, and be put in mind of his duty by his name. They bred him up in the knowledge of the Scriptures from a child. When it was he first became a disciple to Paul doth not appear; but it appears from 2 Timothy 3:11, that he was with Paul at Antioch and Iconium, which was before he came to Lystra, Acts 16:1, where Paul circumcised him. After this Paul made him his companion, and sent him upon several messages. He was a sickly person, 1 Timothy 5:23, but eminent in gifts and graces, 2 Timothy 1:5, 2 Timothy 3:15, 1 Corinthians 4:17. After this he was ordained a minister by Paul and the presbytery, 2 Timothy 1:6. He became very dear to Paul for his faithfulness, Philippians 2:19-21; so as he calls him his beloved son, and faithful, 1 Corinthians 4:17, his son in the faith, 1 Timothy 1:2, his dearly beloved son, his fellow worker, fellow labourer, & c. Paul left him a time at Thessalonica and Berea, Acts 17:13-14; then sent for him to Athens, Acts 17:15. He came to him at Corinth, Acts 18:5. Thence he sent him into Macedonia, Acts 19:22. From thence he came to Corinth, and goes with Paul into Asia. Acts 20:4; where Paul entreats him to stay some time at Ephesus, as an evangelist, to settle the churches there, 2 Timothy 4:5. From thence he sends for him to Rome, 2 Timothy 4:9, and sends Tychicus in his room to Ephesus, 2 Timothy 4:12 . Paul having left Timothy, a young man, in this great trust, being himself to be absent, writes this Epistle to him, to encourage him against all dangers, and to direct him in the management of his office. The scope of the Epistle is to direct Timothy in the first place, and then all ministers of the gospel, how to behave themselves in the ministerial work, as to preaching, praying, government, opposing gainsayers, &c.; so as it is the most perfect direction we have in all Scripture for the discharge of the ministerial office. The time when Paul wrote this Epistle is uncertainly judged, but guessed to be the one and twentieth year after Christ's death, and about the nineteenth after Paul's conversion; it is certain it was when he was in Macedonia, and before he returned to Ephesus, Acts 19:1.