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You will find an introduction and outline here.

A prayer from Gregory of Nazianus [ (329-389) an early Church father] for your use before reading.

Lord, as I read the psalms let me hear you singing. As I read your words, let me hear you speaking. As I reflect on each page, let me see your image. And as I seek to put your precepts into practice, let my heart be filled with joy. Amen.

I. 1:1-2 Salutation

II. 1:3-20 Preface: The defense of Truth

III. 2:1-6:19 Body of Letter

A.  2:1-3:16 Instructions for Congregations

2:1-7 Prayers

2:8-15 Gender defined Roles

3:1-13 Qualifications for Church Leaders: The author is not creating these offices and is not outlining the duties of office or the relationships between offices. He does write about qualifications. Notice verses 4-5 and 12 assume the Greco-Roman value of patriarchy. Verse 11  suggests that women were deacons also. Verse 12 may be a response to those who rejected marriage (4:3).

3:14-16 The Household of God: The purpose of the letter. “Household” in the ancient world implied patriarchy, authority, order and submission. This household structure was the model for how other social structures in the world ought to be ordered.  Verse 16, from the colon on, is probably a fragment of an early Christian hymn.

      B.  4:1-6:19 Instructions for Timothy

4:1-5 Warning about Ascetic Doctrine: The goodness of creation contrasted with false teachings.

4:6-16 Instructions to Timothy: Instructions to Timothy in his role as leader. What is required of Timothy?

5:1-2 Groups by Age: How to speak to others

5:3-16 Widows: Three groups of widows are mentioned. One significant issue seems to have been the financial burden of providing for widows. Families ought to provide for widowed members. Criteria are set for placing a widow “on the list” for church support.

5:17-25 Elders: More instructions concerning elders.  It is unclear is there was a specific problem the author was addressing. Verse 17, a “double honor” refers to financial support. Verses 20-25 it is unclear if these verses refer specifically to elders or are more general.

6:1-2 Slaves: notice the tensions produced when Christianity with it’s more egalitarian worldview intersects with the Roman hierarchical view which assumed slavery.

6:3-16 Opposing Teachers: Again, false teachers contrasted with Timothy – a good teacher. Notice the charge to Timothy which uses formal liturgical language.

6:17-19 Proper Use of Wealth: instructions for the wealthy.

IV. 6:20-21 Conclusion: Final advice to Timothy.

Read More About It

Bassler, Jouette M. “1,2 Timothy and Titus” in HarperCollins Bible Commentary, rev. ed.James L Mays, ed. (New York: Society of Bible Literature) 2000.

Johnson, Luke Timothy, The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, rev. ed. (Minneapolis:Fortress Press) 1999. Chapter 19 “The Pastoral Letters:1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus.

Quanbeck, Warren,Beardslee, William A. “1 Timothy”  in The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Bruce M. Metzger, Roland E. Murphy eds. (New York: Oxford University Press) 1994.

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