is estimated that Paul wrote this letter in AD 68, the last year
of his life. He had been released from prison in about AD 63 and
had gone back to some of the places he had visited earlier. Towards
the end of AD 67 he was arrested again and placed in prison back
in Rome. This time, because of the increasing persecution of Christians,
he was put into a dungeon and was barely able to write the letter.
There can be no doubt that God was at work in ensuring that such
an important letter was not only written, but was delivered and
kept safe for many years until it was placed in the canon of Scripture.
Paul, the letter was somewhat sad. He had earlier warned Timothy
of the troubled times that would eventuate and he was now seeing
the results. The sadness was evident in 1:15-18. Everyone in Asia
had deserted him, even Phygelus and Hermogenes. They were obviously
two people he had respected and had thought were strong in faith.
He was surprised that they had left. Paul had high praise for
Onesephorus because of the way he searched until he found Paul
in prison. Onesephorus would not have been given much help by
the Romans authorities to find such a lowly person
again, however, even in his own parlous state, Paul was concerned
for the welfare of his associates in Christ. Right until the last
minute (almost literally) of his life, Paul was doing his best
to help strengthen Timothy, knowing that he would take the main
responsibility of continuing with the work of preaching the gospel.
(It is suggested that Paul died not long after the letter was
are some marvellous little insights into Paul and his warmth in
this letter. He was obviously touched by Timothys upset
at their previous departure (1:4) and wanted to see him again
because that would bring him great happiness. Paul had so much
affection for Timothy.
see in the same few verses (1:4-7) the importance of family values
in the bringing up of children. Paul refers to Timothys
mother and grandmother and their sincere faith. Paul obviously
endorsed the principle of a good example in the upbringing of
encouraging Timothy to be "strong in the faith" (2:1)
Paul draws attention to the fact that earthly bondage is only
temporary. While he was chained like a common criminal for the
hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ, "Gods word is not
chained. Therefore I endure everything
". Paul had
before him the hope that "If we endure, we will also reign
always, Paul gave a lot of practical advice to Timothy. In the
last half of Chapter 2 he
drew attention to the disruption of quarelling and idle chatter
warned against false teaching and "stupid arguments",
and reminded Timothy of Gods sure foundation;
advocated the need for each person to be "a workman approved
provided, again, the alternative of truth and righteousness to
last two chapters Paul again refers to the troubled times that will
continue. He ends where he began, expressing sorrow at the way in
which his friends deserted him. He shows the true characteristic
of Christianity by pleading that they not be punished for this.
He finishes with an absolute certainty that in the face of
trouble "the Lord stood at my side", surely a great comfort
to all who follow Jesus.