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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

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2 Timothy

Carolyn Osiek

Before Beginning…

The same preoccupations appear here as we saw in 1 Timothy: warnings about false teachings, and Paul's exhortation to Timothy as a minister of the gospel like himself. Second Timothy is written in a warmer, more personal tone than 1 Timothy, and therefore its lack of formal structure is understandable. It is really a testament in the form of a letter. Like Moses in Deuteronomy 29–30 or Jesus in John 14–16, the elder Paul, imprisoned in Rome ( 1, 16–17 ), looks back on his life with the knowledge of his imminent death ( 4, 6–8 ) and gives the younger man the benefit of his experience. He begins and ends the letter with references to his own experiences and the vocation of Timothy, thus linking the two. Their ties of affection and of common vocation are deep and very significant for Paul. The elder apostle speaks of his own life, his loneliness, his lack of confidence in other human beings. Yet he is not discouraged. God is the source of strength for both Paul and Timothy. The deeply personal tone of this letter has led some recent commentators to reevaluate the question of Pauline authorship, and to suggest that while 1 Timothy and Titus are of a later era, perhaps 2 Timothy is not.

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