top of page

Getting to Know the Bible: 2 Timothy Overview

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.

Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on 2 Timothy. But before we get to 2 Timothy 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of 2 Timothy. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.

And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of 2 Timothy, as we prepare to behold and discern 2 Timothy, beginning with 2 Timothy 1 in our next installment of this series.

Book Type: Pastoral Epistle, 16th book of the New Testament

Authors: Paul

Date of Writing: ~A.D. 67

Audience: Timothy

Theme: Warning; Encouragement; Endurance/Steadfastness

Original Language: Greek

Genre: Letter

Purpose of Writing: Imprisoned in Rome yet again, the apostle Paul felt lonely and abandoned. Paul recognized that his earthly life was likely coming to an end soon. The Book of 2 Timothy is essentially Paul’s last words. Paul looked past his own circumstances to express concern for the churches and specifically for Timothy. Paul wanted to use his last words to encourage Timothy, and all other believers, to persevere in faith (2 Timothy 3:14) and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:2).

Summary: Paul wrote this letter as he awaited execution. Despite all that Paul was facing-death, the end of his ministry, abandonment by most of his friends for fear of persecution-he faithfully directed his spiritual son Timothy to the hope that is in Christ. As he exhorted Timothy to boldness, endurance, and faithfulness in the face of false teaching, Paul showed his customary concern for sound doctrine. Scripture, said Paul, is breathed out by God and is sufficient in all things pertaining to the faith and practice of Christians (3:16-17). Older believers, therefore, should be eager to pass on their knowledge of Scripture to those who are younger in the faith (2:2).

Overview: This four-chapter letter focuses on Paul's final words to Timothy, emphasizing the need to persevere in the faith. Timothy was to be faithful in his work (2 Timothy 1:6), continue in sound doctrine (2 Timothy 1:13–14), and preach the Word (2 Timothy 3:15—4:5). Then, he was to pass on what he had learned to others (2 Timothy 2:2).

Chapter 1 includes a greeting (2 Timothy 1:1–2) and encouragement to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:3–5). Paul longed to see him, reminding Timothy of his faith that began with his grandmother to his mother and then to him. Timothy was to serve as a soldier of Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:3).

Chapter 2 focuses on the character of the person who serves Christ. Several characteristics are given, mostly through examples and symbols. These include the example of Paul (2 Timothy 2:1–2), a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3–4), an athlete (2 Timothy 2:5), a farmer (2 Timothy 2:6–7), Jesus (2 Timothy 2:8–13), a worker (2 Timothy 2:14–19), a vessel (2 Timothy 2:20–23), and a servant (2 Timothy 2:24–26).

Chapter 3 offers various cautions to Timothy. The first alert includes apostasy (2 Timothy 3:1–9), which Timothy is strongly warned against. The second caution relates to ways to defeat or overcome apostasy and false teaching (2 Timothy 3:10–17).

Chapter 4 develops the importance of preaching the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:1–5) and then offers concluding thoughts (2 Timothy 4:6–22). Paul speaks about his perspective on the end of his life (2 Timothy 4:6–7), his future with Christ (2 Timothy 4:8), and his friends in this world (2 Timothy 4:9–18). This is followed by closing words, asking for Timothy to come to him (2 Timothy 4:21).

Application: In the end times there will be both intense persecution and apostasy from the Christian faith (2 Timothy 3:1-17). Paul closes with an intense plea for believers to stand firm in the faith and to finish the race strong (2 Timothy 4:1-8). We must strive to avoid both false doctrine and ungodly practices.

Key Verses (ESV):

2 Timothy 1:7: For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 2:15: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 4:2: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Timothy 4:7-8: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

*Note: 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 (1:82:3).

I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.

May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.

Love you much.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!

-Humble Servant

P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.


bottom of page