2 Timothy

Introduction to NIV Study Bible | Go to 2 Timothy

Author, Date and Setting

Description and/or characterization of a person or a people.See essay, p. 2481. After Paul’s release from prison in Rome in a.d. 62 (Ac 28) and after his fourth missionary journey (see map, pp. 2486–2487), during which he wrote 1 Timothy and Titus, Paul was again imprisoned under Emperor Nero c. 66–67. It was during this time that he wrote 2 Timothy (see chart, p. 2261). In contrast to his first imprisonment, when he lived in a “rented house” (Ac 28:30; see note there), he now languished in a cold dungeon (see 4:13 and note), chained like a common criminal (1:16; 2:9). His friends even had a hard time finding out where he was being kept (1:17). Paul knew that his work was done and that his life was nearly at an end (4:6–8).

Reasons for Writing

Paul had three reasons for writing to Timothy at this time:

  1. Description and/or characterization of a person or a people.Paul was lonely. Phygelus and Hermogenes, “everyone in the province of Asia” (1:15), and Demas (4:10) had deserted him. Crescens, Titus and Tychicus were away (4:10–12), and only Luke was with him (4:11). Paul wanted very much for Timothy to join him also. Timothy was his “fellow worker” (Ro 16:21), who “as a son with his father” (Php 2:22 ; see note there) had served closely with Paul (see 1Co 4:17). Of him Paul could say, “I have no one else like him” (Php 2:20). Paul longed for Timothy (1:4) and twice asked him to come soon (4:9,21). For more information on Timothy see Introduction to 1 Timothy: Recipient.
  2. Paul was concerned about the welfare of the churches during this time of persecution under Nero, and he admonishes Timothy to guard the gospel (1:14), to persevere in it (3:14), to keep on preaching it (4:2) and, if necessary, to suffer for it (1:8; 2:3).
  3. Paul wanted to write to the Ephesian church through his letter to Timothy (see note on 4:22).


© Zondervan. From the Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Used with Permission.