Chapters 1:1-18

Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Chapters 2:1-3:9

Present Yourself as God’s Approved Worker

Chapters 3:10-4:22

Carry Out Your Ministry Fully


Author: Paul the Apostle

Original Reader: Timothy, in Asia

Date Written: c. AD 67-68

Written From: Prison in Rome

Key Verse: 4:5

Major Themes: Endure suffering; Faithfulness




What does the text say?

There’s no better way to understand the literary context than carefully observing what is said.


 What does the text mean?

In light of both the literary and historical context, what was the original intended meaning of this passage?


How do I apply what the text means?

In order for us to grow and mature more into Christ’s likeness, we must apply the truths we discover in our lives.

Chapter 1:1-18 — Not Ashamed of the Gospel


  • 1:7 — What did God give us as believers?
  • 1:8 — What is Paul’s command to Timothy?
  • 1:9-10 — What has the power of God done?
  • 1:11-12 — How does Paul live out his faith in these verses?
  • 1:13-14 — What are Paul’s instructions for Timothy?
  • 1:15-18 — How does Onesiphorus’ character stand out from the rest?


  • 1:15-18 — In light of his current circumstances, why do you think Paul highlights the character of Onesiphorus to Timothy?


  • 1:8, 16-18 — Are there times when I am ashamed of the testimony of Christ, and of those who are faithful to Him?

Chapter 2:1-3:9 — Present Yourself as God’s Approved Worker


  • 2:1-3 — What are Paul’s commands to Timothy?
  • 2:4-7 — What are the illustrations that Paul uses that Timothy is to imitate?
  • 2:10-13 — How is Paul able to endure suffering?
  • 2:14-17 — What are Paul’s commands to Timothy?
  • 2:17-18 — What is the false teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus?
  • 2:22-23 — What are Paul’s commands to Timothy?
  • 2:24-26 — What qualities is the Lord’s servant to have?


  • 2:4-7 — How do these illustrations apply to Timothy? What lessons does Paul want him to apply from each one?
  • 2:17-18 — Why would this teaching be something that is so destructive?
  • 2:22-26 — Why are these qualities so important for Timothy to have?


  • 1:8, 16-18 — Are there times when I am ashamed of the testimony of Christ, and of those who are faithful to Him?


  • 2:5 — Athletes at the Olympic Games at this time were required to train for at least ten months before they were allowed to participate.
  • 2:8 — This is the most succinct Gospel message in the whole Bible!
  • 2:19 — These two passages are quoted from Numbers 16:5 and possibly a paraphrase of Numbers 16:26.

Chapter 3:10-4:22 — Carry Out Your Ministry Fully


  • *3:1-7 — How does Paul describe ‘the last days’?
  • 3:10-11 — What does Paul list as his life’s accomplishments to Timothy?
  • 3:12-13 — What are Paul’s warnings to Timothy?
  • 3:14-4:5 — What is Paul’s commission for Timothy?
  • 3:16-17 — What does Paul say about Scripture, and its uses? 
  • 4:3-4 — What is Pau’s warning to Timothy?
  • 4:9-16 — How does Paul describe his current circumstances? What does he value most in his time of difficulty?
  • 4:17-18 — What has the Lord done for Paul? What does Paul trust that the Lord will do?


  • 3:10-11 — Why does Paul list these as his accomplishments, rather than all of the people he preached the gospel to, and churches he planted?
  • 3:10-17 — How does Paul want Timothy to lead and “take over” for Paul?
  • 4:2 — How is Timothy to do this effectively (see 3:16-17)?
  • 4:3-4 — Why does Paul give Timothy this warning? How is Timothy’s response to be in light of this?
  • 4:18 — What does Paul mean when he says that the Lord will rescue him from every evil attack?


  • 4:3-4 — What areas might we find teachers to suit our own passions/desires? How can we guard ourselves so that we do not “turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths”?


  • 3:1 — “the last days” — There are some scholars who understand the last days to refer to the whole time period between Christ’s ascension and His return. Other scholars understand the last days to refer to the time period immediately preceding the return of Christ.
  • 3:8-9 — “Jannes and Jambres” — These are two non-biblical characters, from a popular Jewish tradition at the time. According to this tradition, these were two Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses and his message, while trying to undo his works, in Exodus 7:11ff. 
  • 4:14 — “Alexander the Coppersmith” — There are two prior Alexanders mentioned in Scripture. In Acts 19:33-34 there is an Alexander who tried to give a speech at a riot in Ephesus, and there is an Alexander in 1 Timothy 1:19-20 where Paul says that he “handed (Alexander) over to Satan”. While scholars have theorized how either one of these could be associated with the Alexander mentioned here, in the end nothing is conclusive. The fact is we know little about this person named “Alexander the Coppersmith” beyond him doing great harm to Paul.

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