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Strolling Through the Book of Second Timothy September 11, 2013

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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I’ve recently started reading through the Second Epistle to Timothy with the aid of a commentary by John Calvin. I should note that I’ve previously read through 2 Timothy. As in my recent stroll through the book of 1 Timothy, I hope to comprehend 2 Timothy as a whole. In particular, I would like to compare and contrast 1 and 2 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 2 Timothy 1:1-2.

Summary: In this passage, Paul addresses Timothy (and those who are not completely convinced of the validity of his claims); he represents Christ Himself, and God is the source and guarantee of his apostleship. God has appointed him as an apostle to lead people to Christ that they might find life in Him. Paul concludes by expressing his affection for Timothy and securing a place of authority for him – since he had given birth to him in Christ; he wishes Timothy God’s unmerited favor, which stems from the fact that He is merciful.

Thoughts: My NIV Study Bible and Calvin’s commentary concur on the following point: when Paul wrote this letter, he knew that he faced imminent martyrdom. This fact lends extra weight to this letter; perhaps a modern (secular) analogy would be the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. In light of this, I plan to look for phrases in this letter that could have been written by someone who knew that his days were numbered. In this passage, I took note of “promise of life that is in Christ Jesus” and “my dear son”; as far as I know, the former phrase does not appear in the opening remarks in Paul’s other epistles. Now that Paul was about to face the most difficult challenge of his life, he clung to the hope that had fueled him ever since his conversion on the road to Damascus – the hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus.

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