Paul's Second Letter To Timothy Summary

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Paul’s second letter to Timothy was probably the last one he wrote. He had been rearrested and was in prison (4:6), knowing that the end was at hand. It is a letter filled with courage and strength, showing us what kind of person Paul was – or, better, what kind of person God can help us to be if we trust in Him. The letter consists basically of four charges directed to Timothy from the aged Paul.

At the time of writing, Paul was in prison and on trial for his life (1:8,15,17; see 4:6-8). Only Luke was with him (4:10), for everyone else had left for various reasons (4:10). Paul had already had his first defense from which he was delivered from a sentence of death (4:16,17). However,
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Paul wants Timothy to come to Rome as soon as possible (4:9, 21) for the apostle is now convinced that he will never be free again. He longs to see his young son in the faith once more before he dies. Yet with a full and rich life of service to the Lord behind him, Paul can look confidently in the face of death, whether Timothy arrives in time or not. This request, a dying request, and the letter in which it was contained must have had a devastating effect on Timothy. In the midst of Paul’s strength and encouragement comes the pathetic appeal for his cloak, left at Troas (perhaps at his arrest), the books, and especially the parchments (4:13). The only worldly possessions the great apostle has left are these, the friendship of the faithful brethren, and the certain knowledge that he has fought a good fight…show more content…
The epistle must be dated shortly before Paul’s death. If Paul was arrested somewhere in the East, upon his return from Spain, and from there was taken to prison, then the date of the epistle can be fixed in dependence on the date of his arrest. Since it appears that the apostle was released from his first Roman imprisonment about a.d. 63, and since he appears to have traveled immediately to the churches he had established and loved so much in Greece and Asia Minor, we must allow a year or more for traveling from Rome to the eastern Mediterranean world and visits to the beloved churches. But in addition to this, it is implied that he also accomplished his lifelong desire to preach the gospel where no man had laid a foundation, i.e., in Spain. Another year must be allowed for this task. Thus, with time given for a return to the East and a return voyage to Rome, the earliest conceivable date for the writing of II Timothy would have been sometime in a.d. 66. Navigation on the Mediterranean comes to a halt during the winter months and thus his arrival in Rome for a second imprisonment can be safely concluded to have taken place in late summer. The writing of this epistle must have then occurred in autumn of a.d.

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