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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

The First Letter of Paul to Timothy - Introduction

First Timothy is the longest of the three Pastoral letters. It is concerned with worship in early Christian congregations, proper behavior, proper and improper worship practices, and the roles of the various ministers in the local church. It also combats some beliefs that the author regards as false teaching.

First Timothy asserts that it was written by Paul ( 1.1 ), but as noted in the sidebar on p. 323 , this is almost certainly not the case. It assumes that Paul left Timothy in Ephesus, a view that contrasts with the story in Acts. In Acts Paul sent Timothy and Erastus on to Macedonia (Greece) while he waited in Ephesus (Acts 19.22 ). The letter is written as if addressed to Timothy ( 1.2; 6.20 ), who elsewhere in the New Testament is a resident of Lystra (in Lycaonia, Acts 16.1 ), and one of Paul's companions (Acts 17.14–15; 18.5; 19.22; 20.4 ) and emissaries (1 Thess 3.2, 6; 1 Cor 4.17; 16.10; Phil 2.19, 23 ). Since Paul did not write the letter and it is addressed to a wider audience than just one man (see note a, p. 325 Verses 22 and 23 are transposed ), the address to “Timothy” may be symbolic rather than literal. In this reading, Timothy may stand for the faithful in Ephesus ( 1.3 ). It is not possible to date the letter with any certainty.

The letter opposes those who teach a different doctrine ( 1.3; 6.3 ). The letter combats these teachings because they promote socially unacceptable behavior ( 4.1–5 ) and cause dissension ( 6.4 ) and apostasy, or a renouncing of the faith ( 4.1 ).

Notes:

a Verses 22 and 23 are transposed

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