Summary: An introduction to 2nd Timothy. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


Background of the letter

Purpose of the letter

Introduction to the letter

Four influences on Timothy:

*1st Influence: His Family (VS 5)

*2nd Influence: The Apostle Paul (VS 3-4)

*3rd Influence: A Gift From God (VS 6)

*4th Influence: Timothy’s Dedication (VS 7)


Background of the letter:

• Second Timothy was probably written a year or so after the first letter to Timothy;

• The background events to this letter;

• Are not recorded for us in the New Testament;

• If you do a little bit of detective work;

• You can trace Paul’s travels from the references given in the New Testament letters.

• i.e. Titus chapter 1 verse 5: He visited Crete.

• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 1 verses 3-4: He visited Ephesus.

• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 3: Macedonia

• It is also possible that he also Spain.

• So we get a glimpse from these references of where Paul went in his travels;

• What we do know is that the apostle Paul was rearrested,

• At the time when Nero had unleashed a wave of terrible persecution against Christians.

Note: This second imprisonment would be very different to his first.


• His first imprisonment was for two years he was under house arrest (Acts chapter 28);

• That means he had a measure of freedom;

• He was allowed to hold meetings in his home.

• And people could openly come and go whenever they wanted too.

• In his second imprisonment he is writing from a little circular Roman prison cell;

• About twenty feet in diameter.

• He is very limited in who he can see and what he can do!

• e.g. Chapter 1 verse 17 tells us he was imprisoned in such an out-of-the-way place;

• That Onesiphorus, a Christian friend,

• Had a great deal of difficulty in actually discovering where he was held.


• In his first imprisonment, we might say ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’:

• Paul knew one day he would be free,

• One day he would fulfil his desire, his ambition;

• To stand before Caser and share his faith.

• In this second letter he knows his time on earth is up;

• Only Luke was with him and he longs to see Timothy again before he dies,

• So in chapter 4 verses 9: his request is ‘Come quickly’ – while there is still time.

• We are not told in the New Testament;

• But scholars agree that Paul was most likely beheaded under Nero in A.D. 64.


• Even though his circumstances are tough;

• Even though his death is imminent.

• There is no hint of self-pity in this letter;

• There is no hint of regrets in this letter;

• His last word is one of encouragement to all who follow after.

• For Paul the race is over – ahead is his reward.

• Note: the description he uses in chapter 1 verse 8: “His Prisoner”

• Paul was a prisoner of Jesus Christ and not ‘a prisoner of Rome’.

• ‘A prisoner of Rome’ might describe his geographical position & his actual state;

• But Paul always saw the bigger picture – his times were in God’s hands.

• And his suffering and imprisonment was part of his ministry & service for God!

Purpose of the letter:

• Timothy is no longer the leader at Ephesus;

• He would appear to be doing a more itinerant ministry.

• Paul’s concern in writing this letter was not for himself but for Timothy

• Paul encourages him to be faithful when others were compromising and even defecting.

• To go on declaring God’s message, come what may.


• In the three Pastoral Epistles’ (1 & 2 Timothy & Titus;

• The Greek word ‘Pistos’ (‘Faithful’) is used at least 17 times;

• The them runs through each chapter.

• i.e. Be faithful to the Word,

• i.e. Be faithful to your task,

• i.e. Be faithful to the people to whom you minister

• i.e. Remember that God is faithful.

The apostle Paul reminds Timothy & the Church:

• To be on their watch against false doctrine & false teachers;

• And to guard faithfully the truth entrusted to him.


• Dr. Sidlow Baxter in ‘Explore The Book’,

• Points out that the ‘Some’ mentioned in the 1st letter to Timothy;

• Have now become the ‘All’ (‘Everyone’) in the 2nd letter to Timothy.

• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 6:

• “Some have wandered away”

• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 19:

• “Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith”

• i.e. 1 Timothy chapter 5 verse 15:

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