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Strolling Through the Book of First Timothy July 20, 2013

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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I’ve recently started reading through the First Epistle to Timothy with the aid of a commentary by John Calvin. I should note that I’ve previously read through 1 Timothy. As in my recent stroll through the book of 2 Thessalonians, I hope to comprehend 1 Timothy as a whole. In particular, I would like to acquire a better understanding of Paul’s special relationship with Timothy.

I plan to blog about this experience as I read through both the epistle and Calvin’s commentary. Each post will correspond to a specific section in the NIV translation.

For starters, here are my thoughts on 1 Timothy 1:1-2.

Summary: In this passage, Paul highlights the fact that God has appointed him as an apostle; he then greets Timothy – as he is his spiritual father – and he prays that Timothy would receive God’s:

  • mercy
  • unmerited favor and all of its attendant blessings.

Thoughts: In this passage, we see that Paul addresses this letter to Timothy. Calvin offers some insights on this point in his commentary on verse 1:

Had Paul been only writing to Timothy, he would not have needed to set out his credentials and highlight his apostolic appointment, as he does in this verse. Had he just been writing to Timothy, it would have been enough to say his name…So Paul must be aiming at those who did not want to listen to him and were not prepared to embrace what he said.

Thus, this brief passage implies that in this letter, Paul will continue to rebuke and correct those members of the early church who are in error. One must wonder if Paul ever grew weary of defending the Gospel message against Satan’s devices; errors in terms of theory and practice were rampant in the early church and Paul ostensibly spent much time addressing these problems. Perhaps Paul viewed his battle against these errors as being inherent to his apostolic calling – allowing him to rest in the knowledge that God, who had called him in the first place, would sustain him during his quest for purity in the church.

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