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contents have also been accounted for. In some respects, however, these peculiarities are positively in favour of the Pauline authorship. How unlikely that a forger should have inserted the word "mercy "1 (i. 2) in the usual Pauline greeting "grace and peace," or have omitted to make frequent use of the connecting particles "therefore," "wherefore," "then," "as," etc., which are so common in Paul's writings.
Objection has been taken to the expression "let no man despise thy youth" (iv. 12), as if the apostle could not have applied that language to Timothy when he may have been a man of thirty-five years of age. But we have here rather a token of genuineness. For youth is relative; and in Paul's eyes Timothy, being so much his junior, and having been known to him as a lad, would naturally seem young,-especially in view of his great responsibilities in being set over so many elders.2
1 This remark applies also to 2 Tim. (i. 2) and Titus (i. 4).
2 Equally groundless is the objection that Paul had predicted to the Ephesian elders that "he should see their face no more (Acts xx. 25), whereas this epistle implies that he had recently paid them another visit. For the words quoted contain the expression of a presentiment or at most of a conviction, not of an inspired prophecy, on the part of the apostle; and, besides, the language of the epistle, as I exhorted thee to tarry at Ephesus when I was going into Macedonia," does not necessarily imply that the writer himself had been at Ephesus. It is quite possible he may have exhorted Timothy by a message from a distance, or have met him at Miletus as he had met the Ephesian elders several years before.
Again it has been argued that the instructions contained in this epistle might have been more easily given by the apostle in person during his recent visit to Ephesus, or on the subsequent visit to which he was still looking forward (iii. 14). But this latter visit was regarded by the apostle as very uncertain (iii. 15); while the former one, as we have seen, is a very doubtful inference from i. 3. Even if it be true, however, that the apostle had recently been at Ephesus, there is nothing improbable in the supposition that it was in consequence of what he then learned of the condition of the Church, and as the result of subsequent reflection, that he was led to furnish Timothy with these rules and directions in a written form, which could be of permanent service, and if necessary might be referred to in the hearing of the congregation.
2. The Reader.—"Unto Timothy, my true child in faith." The disciple thus addressed was one of the apostle's converts, and became his dearest friend and coadjutor in the closing years of his life. Of a pious Jewish family by the mother's side-his father was a Greek-he received a strict religious training in the scriptures of the Old Testament (Acts xvi. 1; 2 Tim. i. 1-5; iii. 14, 15). He seems to have been converted to Christianity during Paul's first visit to Lystra and Derbe; for, on the apostle's second visit to that quarter about three years afterwards, Timothy was a disciple so well reported of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium as to be deemed worthy of being associated with Paul as a labourer in the Gospel (Acts xvi. 1, 2; 1 Tim. i. 2; 2 Tim. iii. 10, 11, cf. Acts xiv. 9-21). To this position he was duly ordained by the laying on of hands, after being circumcised to render him more acceptable to the Jews (Acts xvi. 3; 1 Tim. vi. 12; iv. 14; 2 Tim. i. 6). Thereafter we find him constantly associated with the apostle either as his companion or as his delegate to Churches at a distance -although his influence seems to have been somewhat weakened by a certain timidity and softness of disposition. He was with the apostle during his first imprisonment at Rome, being associated with him in three of the four epistles which Paul then wrote (Phil., Col., and Philemon). From this epistle we gather that after the apostle's release Timothy was left for a time in charge of the Church at Ephesus; and it was while in this trying and responsible position that he received the two epistles that bear his name.
3. Date and Place of Composition. --The first epistle seems to have been sent to Timothy from Macedonia under the circumstances referred to in i. 3; but whether before or after Paul's intended visits to Philippi (Phil. ii. 24), Colossæ (Philemon, ver. 22), and Spain-which,
according to an ancient tradition originating in the first century, he did visit (Rom. xv. 24)—it is quite impossible to say. Various routes have been sketched by which Paul may have travelled after his release from Rome, comprising visits to the places just mentioned and also to Ephesus, Crete (Tit. i. 5), Nicopolis (Tit. iii. 12), and Troas (2 Tim. iv. 13); but they are all more or less conjectural. While it is impossible to ascertain the precise movements of the apostle after his release, or the exact year in which this epistle was written, we may safely place its composition between 64 A.D., the year after Paul's release, and 67 A.D., shortly before his death,
-the date usually assigned to the latter being 68 A.D., the last year of Nero, under whom, according to the general tradition, Paul suffered martyrdom. The most probable date is 67 A.D., which gives an interval of several years to account for the change in the apostle's style and in the condition of the Church, and makes the three pastoral epistles very nearly contemporaneous.
4. Character and Contents.—These have been already indicated in the general remarks at pp. 132, 133. The epistle is partly official, partly personal. While addressed to Timothy individually, it contains Paul's apostolic instructions to guide him in the work of supervision assigned to him at Ephesus (i. 1-4). The anticipations of evil which Paul had expressed to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Acts. xx. 29, 30) had already in some measure been realised, and there was great need for wisdom in the rulers of the Church. It is not easy to trace any regular sequence in the topics discussed; but the contents of the epistle may be summarised as follows:
The folly and danger of the Judaic fancies with which false teachers were overlaying the Gospel (i.); exhortations to catholicity of spirit as well as to reverence and decorum in acts of worship (ii.); the qualifications re
quisite in the office-bearers of the Church (bishops and deacons), and the need for fidelity and care on their part in view of the increasing corruption (iii.); counsels regarding Timothy's treatment of the elders and other classes in the congregation (iv.-v.); cautions against covetousness, and exhortations to the rich to make a good use of their means,—concluding with an appeal to Timothy to guard that which was committed to his trust, and to avoid "profane babblings, and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called " (vi.).
Although in some respects on a humbler level intellect ually than most of Paul's writings, and bearing traces of the writer's advancing years, this epistle contains not a few golden texts to be held in everlasting remembrance. 1 1i. 5, 15; ii. 3-6; iii. 16; vi. 6, 10, 12.
1. Authorship.—To the general remarks at pp. 132, 133 we may add the following notes of genuineness :—
(1) The quotation made from Epimenides in i. 12 is in accordance with the manner of St. Paul, who is the only New Testament writer that quotes heathen authors (Acts xvii. 28; 1 Cor. xv. 33). At the same time the use of the word "prophet" in this passage, as compared with "poet" in the quotation reported in Acts xvii. 28, is against the supposition of imitation.
(2) The introduction of such unknown names as Artemas and Zenas, as well as of Nicopolis (iii. 12, 13), which are mentioned nowhere else in the New Testament, and the unique designation of the apostle himself (i. 1), are at variance with the idea of forgery.
2. The Reader.-"To Titus, my true child after a common faith" (i. 4). Judging from the allusions to Titus in Paul's epistles 1 he seems to have been the ablest and most reliable of all the friends and coadjutors whom the apostle had about him in his later years. As an uncircumcised Gentile who had been converted by Paul, he
1 In the Book of Acts Titus is never mentioned.