The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy

“The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Timothy,” New Testament Teacher Resource Manual (2002), 216–17


This Epistle written during this time

First missionary journey (Acts 13–14)

Second missionary journey (Acts 15:36–18:22)

Third missionary journey (Acts 18:23–21:15

Imprisonment in Caesarea and Rome (Acts 21:16–28:31)

Through second Roman imprisonment

About A.D.






Author and Audience: The book of 2 Timothy was addressed by Paul “to Timothy, my dearly beloved son” (2 Timothy 1:2; see v. 1).

Historical Background: Paul finished his ministry in Rome. Thirty years of strenuous service as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ had transformed Saul of Tarsus into Paul, the candidate for “a crown of righteousness” (see 2 Timothy 4:6–8). This second imprisonment was difficult (see 2 Timothy 2:9). Friends deserted him and others betrayed him; only Luke, Paul confided to Timothy, remained true (see 2 Timothy 4:10–11). Still, despite the encircling gloom, Paul remained faithful and courageous to the end. Facing certain conviction and execution, he declared, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). He wrote this letter shortly before his execution in about A.D. 65 (see Bible Dictionary, (“Pauline Epistles,” p. 743,).

Theme: Paul wrote 2 Timothy primarily to give his last instructions to a favorite son in the faith. The letter is positive despite Paul’s circumstances. He encourages Timothy to be faithful, reminds him of the eternal blessings that come to the “good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3), and once again warns of the encroaching evils of false doctrine. Paul wrote that we gain salvation through the grace of God and through applying the true doctrines taught both in the scriptures and by living prophets (see 2 Timothy 3:13–17; 4:1–2).