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Pastoral Epistles

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LETTERS TO YOUNG PASTORS

The apostle Paul was getting older and realized that his disciples must now pick up where he left off to carry on the great commis­sion of spreading the Gospel in all the world. He had very wisely chosen young men to accompany him in his missionary travels, training or discipling them. One by one he left them as pastors in different cities where he had established churches.

As a prisoner, he was no longer able to minister in the churches but through his disciples he could carry out his mission. The two letters to Timothy and one to Titus were not manuals for church government or organiza­tion, but rather very personal letters to men he thought of as his sons, disciples, and co-workers. He was passing on to them what he had learned and received from God.

Sometimes it seems that every new generation must learn old lessons for themselves by experience only. But it is better if we can learn from other peoples experience rather than make mistakes trying to learn for ourselves. As we study this letter to Timothy let us try to learn from Paul's experience and Godly wisdom on how we should carry out our ministries.

It is not known from where or when the first letter to Timothy was written. Some have even cast doubt upon Paul's authorship for scholastic reasons, but the church has always accepted it as an authentic and inspired book.

Second Timothy was Paul's last letter, written from prison while he awaited his own death. Some Bible historians believe that Paul was released from prison for a short time and may even have made another missionary trip to Spain. There is no backing for that except that it seems that this first Timothy was not written from the prison cell.

We do know that Philippians was written from prison and that he then expected to be freed. See Philippians 2:24. So it is possible that there was a period of more freedom at some time. By the time the second letter is sent, about 67 AD, he writes that he is awaiting death. II Timothy 4:6‑8

 

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