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Bible Commentaries
2 Timothy 1

Gray's Concise Bible CommentaryGray's Concise Commentary

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Verses 1-18


When Paul addressed his earlier letter to Timothy, the latter was in Ephesus, and there are reasons to believe he was still there.

Paul was now a prisoner in Rome for a second time, awaiting a hearing before the Emperor, and he was not being treated with the consideration shown him on the earlier occasion (Acts 28:0 ), but like a common prisoner. The immediate occasion for this letter grew out of this, for he is anxious to have Timothy and Mark as his companions (2 Timothy 1:4 ; 2 Timothy 4:9 , etc.). He is conscious that his death by martyrdom could not long be delayed, for these were the days of wicked Nero, and not knowing whether he should see Timothy again, or not, he was desirous of adding still further to the instructions he had given him.

There is reason to believe that Timothy required these encouragements in a marked degree. His character was not of the stuff that Paul’s was made of. He suggests the diffidence of Jeremiah in the Old Testament, without some of the redeeming qualities he possessed. For references to the lack of courage of Timothy, see 1:5, 7; 3:10.

SALUTATION (2 Timothy 1:1-2 ) AND THANKSGIVING (2 Timothy 1:3-5 )

In this thanksgiving on Timothy’s behalf, there is a reference to his spiritual history which seems to have come down in his mother’s line.

EXHORTATION (2 Timothy 1:6-14 )

The exhortation which follows, and which has grown out of the remembrance of Timothy’s past life and the piety of his ancestors, contains three of four natural divisions.

1. An exhortation to firmness in the faith (2 Timothy 1:6-8 ). This can be cultivated, stirred up. It is inherent in the spiritual gift he received from God at the time he was set apart to the ministry, and is not consonant with fearfulness, the moral cowardice to which he seems to have been addicted, but is evinced rather in the exercise of suitable discipline in the spirit of love (RV), and in boldness of testimony even to the point of suffering.

2. This exhortation enforced by the character of the Gospel and the mercy of God (2 Timothy 1:9-11 ).

3. Finally, the apostle cites his own example (2 Timothy 1:12-14 ). He suffers for his testimony, and is not ashamed of it; he is willing to suffer, he counts it worth while, in the light of his faith. Let Timothy profit in word and deed by what he sees in him.


This exhortation to Timothy gathers force from the circumstance that some who professed fealty to Christ have been guilty of defection, if one may judge by their desertion of Christ’s servant in his trial (2 Timothy 1:15 ). Their action, however, serves to bring out the stronger the love of another brother for whom he prays (2 Timothy 1:16-18 ).


1. Locate both Paul and Timothy at this time.

2. State the possible reason for this epistle.

3. Analyze Timothy’s character and temperament.

4. Divide the chapter into four parts.

5. Analyze the exhortation in the chapter.

Bibliographical Information
Gray, James. "Commentary on 2 Timothy 1". Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jgc/2-timothy-1.html. 1897-1910.
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