The Pastoral Epistles

1Timothy & 2 Timothy & Titus

The New Covenant Explained

Pastoral Epistles

These three Epistles have so much in common in type, doctrine and historical situation that they have always been treated as a single group.

It was not until 1703 that D.N. Berdot, followed later by Paul Anton in 1726, who popularized it, used the term “Pastoral” to describe them.

While the title is not technically quite correct in that the Epistles do not deal with pastoral duties in the sense of the cure of souls, yet it is  popularly appropriate as denoting the essentially practical nature of the subject matter as distinguished from the other Epistles attributed to Paul.

Author, Paul

We believe that the letters ascribed to Paul were written by him in the course of the ministry as described in Acts or in the course of events which followed his imprisonment..

In History

Testimony of the church until 1800’s

Polycarp was the earliest certain user of these Epistles.

Quoted or alluded to by a host of early writers/teachers, including:

Justin Martyr & Irenaeus.

Included in all the collections.

This uniform acceptance by the Church of the contents of these epistles as Pauline “can only be dismissed on the lofty presumption that until this late age they were never studied with any real insight or intelligence.”

Historical Issues

After Acts 28:31

Unable to coordinate with the Book of Acts

Assumes a 2nd Rome imprisonment

Order:         1 Timothy - Titus - 2 Timothy

1 Timothy:        written from Macedonia -1:4

                        Imprisonment not mentioned

                        written while free 1:3

Titus:                 written from Macedonia? Or ???

                        Imprisonment not mentioned

                        written while free 1:5

2Timothy         written from prison in Rome - 1:17

                        expectation of death - 4:6-8

                        imprisonment and trial - 4:16


1Timothy – 62-63 AD

Titus – 62-63 AD

2 Timothy – 65-67 AD

Timothy & Titus

notes re: Timothy:

Since children of Jewish mothers are reckoned as Jews, Timothy could have been a full Jew. No doubt his gentile neighbors regarded him so, and his mother raised him to know the Jewish Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15). But Timothy’s father was a Greek, and because of him Timothy had never been circumcised (Acts 16:1-3). Thus, despite his mother’s lineage and his training in the Scriptures, Timothy was a Gentile in the eyes of Jews. His may have been a hard childhood for a sensitive boy, excluded by Gentiles for his Jewishness and by Jews for his uncircumcision.

But when he, his mother, and his grandmother became Christians, Timothy suddenly belonged to a group of people who didn’t care whether or not he was a Jew. He belonged to people who shared together their neighbors’ rejection and their Lord’s promises. Timothy apparently flourished in his new identity, so that even Christians in Iconium, eighteen miles away, “spoke well of him” (Acts 16:2). When Paul returned to the churches he had planted in Galatia two years later, he resolved to take this impressive young disciple with him.

Timothy Commissioned

Paul had another young man with him named Titus, a full Greek. Paul had not even considered circumcising Titus, for he felt strongly that the Jewish ritual law was not binding upon gentile Christians (Galatians 2:3-5). But because Timothy was neither Jew nor Gentile, Paul decided that Timothy would be a more effective evangelist as a full Jew (Acts 16:3). Since circumcision was neither good nor bad to Paul (1 Cor. 7:17-20), he chose to do what seemed most expedient for the gospel (1 Cor. 9:19-23) and circumcised Timothy. Before Paul left Timothy’s home town, he also had the local elders lay hands on the young man to set him apart for his new ministry (1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6).


Timothy accompanied Paul through Asia to Macedonia and Achaia (Acts 16:6-19:21), surviving riots, prison, and a criminal trial. During six years of traveling, Timothy learned enough to be trusted with a delicate mission to Corinth, where factions and immorality were splitting the church (1 Cor. 4:17).

Paul rejoined Timothy in Macedonia and traveled to Jerusalem, where Paul was arrested. As a Roman citizen, he appealed for a trial before the emperor, probably hoping to have Christianity officially declared a legal religion. At this point, Timothy ceases to appear in the book of Acts; he may have gone on to strengthen the churches Paul’s group had founded. When Paul wrote 1 Timothy, the young man was in Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3). Paul launched his fourth missionary journey after his imprisonment in Rome (about AD 60-62). He left Timothy in charge of the community in Ephesus while he went on to Philippi. From there he wrote 1 Timothy with instructions for how Timothy should handle various issues in the church. This letter gave Timothy Paul’s authority in black and white to back up his actions in Ephesus.

A. T. Robertson, “Paul, the Apostle,” THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1956), page 2276.

F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977), pages 41-43.

Titus: Ministry in Crete 1:5


Titus of Antioch Gal. 2:1-3

Titus to Corinth - 2 Cor. 7:6-16; 8:6,16, 19, 23

Not mentioned by name in Acts

2 Tim. 4:10 – in Dalmatia

First Timothy


        Struggles? Conflicts? Attacks? Insecurities?

        Direction - 1:3        Problems - 1:4

This is what makes the pastorals so applicable to those in ministry today


Acts 20:29-30 - wolves

To encourage Timothy in dealing with savage wolves - 4:1-5; 6:3-4

Furnish a credential: Bonafied – legitimate. “I’ve got your back”


Purpose: Encourage a strong stand

1 Timothy 1:18-19 - This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.


Built around 5 “charges”

1:18-20 – the good fight

3:14-16 – conduct in the church

4:11-16 – your gift

5:21-25 – maintain w/o prejudice

6:20-21 – Guard the trust


1:5 – The Goal of Instruction

2:1-8 – I want the men to pray

4:3-5 – All foods clean

4:12 – Be an example

4:13-16 – Pay attention

6:11-12 – Flee, Pursue & Fight


Island of Crete – Acts 27:7-12

Three cities: Benware 143


                Lasea (Fair Havens)


Cretans @ Jerusalem – Acts 2:11

Occasion & Intent

Paul’s recent visit/ministry? - 1:5

Moral laxity, disorganization

Prepare future assignment - 3:12 w/ 2 Timothy 4:10

Prepare the way for Apollos & Zenas - 3:13-14

Occasion & Intent

Up Titus credibility

Resolves authority issue

Augment previous instruction - 1:4-5

Exhort to the work

Send Artemas or Tychicus to replace Titus

Purpose: To exhort and equip Titus to set the church in order & appoint elders – 1:5

Key Verses: 2:11-14


More compact but like 1 Timothy

More emphasis on worthy conduct (Good Deeds)

1:6,16; 2:7,14; 3:1,5,8,14

Opponents are Judaizers


1:5-9 – Christian Standards

1:16 – evidence of disbelief

2:11-14 – Grace appeared

3:1-7 – Remind them

3:10-11 – That’s 2

Second Timothy

Origin:          Rome - prison - 1:17

                Paul’s last defense

Destination: To Ephesus  - 1:16-18; 4:19

Tychicus - 4:12 - Brings letter to Ephesus


Rome burned 64

Nero declares Christianity         “religio illicitas”


Paul’s hardship - 1:8; 4:6

Timothy’s hardship - 2:3; 4:5

Engender boldness

Final Instructions

Summon Timothy 1:4; 4:9,21

Comfort - 4:6-8,18

Purpose: To pass missionary mantle to next generation

2 Timothy 4:2 - preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

2 Timothy 2:2 - The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.


Discipleship 2:1-2

Doctrine of Scripture 3:16-17

Fought the good fight 4:6-8