The Biblical epistle of 1 Timothy was likely written between AD 63-65 by Paul the Apostle following his imprisonment in the city of Rome (Acts 28:16-31). As the title of this letter suggests, this message was addressed to a young leader named Timothy. Timothy served as an important figure within the early church as evidenced by the fact that his name appears at least two dozen times within the pages of the New Testament. Therefore, it is well worth our time to get to know him better.
The book of Acts tells us that Timothy was the son of a Greek father (Acts 16:1) while the book of 2 Timothy identifies his mother as Jewish woman named Eunice. It also seems that Timothy received a Godly upbringing for 2 Timothy 3:14-15 mentions how he had been instructed in the Scriptures from his youth, undoubtedly through the efforts of his mother and a grandmother named Lois (2 Timothy 1:5).
Based on what we read in Acts 14:5-6 and Acts 16:1-3, it appears that Timothy was a native of a town named Lystra, a place that was located in what is now the modern-day country of Turkey. It’s likely that Timothy became a Christian through Paul’s evangelistic efforts in Lystra and later accompanied him on his second missionary journey.
Even though Timothy held a leadership role within the church at Ephesus at the time of this letter, he also undertook several assignments for Paul at various stages of his ministry. For instance, Paul sent Timothy to work with the church in the town of Corinth with the following affirmation: “…I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17 NET).
Paul also sent Timothy to minister to the churches in the region of Macedonia (Acts 19:22), the church at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 3:1-2), and may have sent him to work with the Philippian church as well (Philippians 2:19). Unfortunately, it also appears that Timothy was someone who was relatively young, inexperienced, and/or fearful (1 Timothy 4:12, 2 Timothy 1:6-7). In addition, 1 Timothy 5:23 reveals that he also suffered from a number of physical infirmities.
These insights may help explain Paul’s cautionary message to the Corinthian church concerning Timothy: “If Timothy comes, see that he has nothing to fear from you, because he is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am” (HCSB).