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Literature / Epistles to Timothy

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Two of the Pauline Epistles that were written by Paul the apostle to Timothy that appear in the New Testament. The second one was believed to be the last epistle Paul had written before his death.


These books provide examples of:

  • Absurdly Bright Light: Paul tells Timothy near the end of the first epistle that God dwells in "unapproachable light" which no man can see or could ever see.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: In the second epistle, Paul tells Timothy that athletes that compete in a race do not win the prize unless they compete according to the rules, setting up an analogy for a spiritual law.
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  • Elective Mute: Paul's desired role for the women in the church, as addressed in his first epistle, is that they should be silent. Bible students are divided over whether that was intended as a cultural mandate or as a universal mandate for the body of Christ.
  • Evil Vegetarian: The first few verses of 1st Timothy chapter 4 in the King James Version tends to be interpreted as those who fall away from the faith that give heed to "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils" will also be commanded to "abstain from meats", meaning that those people will become vegetarians with evil intents and purposes in mind.
  • God Is Good: Paul says in 1st Timothy that God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, which is why Paul says that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that believers in Christ may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.
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  • Greed: Paul spoke against this in the sixth chapter of his first epistle, culminating in saying "the love of money is the root of all evil, for which some have fallen from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
  • The Hedonist: Paul says in first epistle that a widow who lives for pleasure is "dead while she lives." He also warns Timothy in his second epistle that there will be those who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Paul tells Timothy in his first epistle that he should drink a little wine to deal with his stomach and his frequent infirmities.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Paul in his first epistle speaks of those who desire to be teachers, but don't know what they're talking about nor what they strongly affirm, that they have turned aside to empty talk.
  • Listing The Forms Of Degenerates:
  • Polyamory: Discouraged in Paul's writing about the qualifications of a bishop (also translated elder or overseer) as well as for a deacon, saying that such men who seek those positions must be "the husband of one wife". The Scripture is also alternately interpreted to exclude divorced religious leaders from continuing in their ministry.
  • Satan: Paul mentions in 1st Timothy that he has handed Hymenaeus and Alexander, two men who by rejecting conscience have their made their faith shipwreck, over to Satan so that they may learn not to blaspheme.
  • Scam Religion: Paul in 1st Timothy warns Timothy and his readers to avoid such people who are depraved of mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
  • The Usurper: Paul in 1st Timothy 2:12 does say that he does not permit a woman to "usurp authority" over a man. Whether this is talking about specifically church authority or societal authority in general is debatable.note 
  • Widow Woman: Paul gives Timothy detailed instructions in his first letter on how the church ought to care for widows. Specifically, younger widows are encouraged to remarry so they will not be tempted to idleness, and that it's a family's responsibility to take care of their widowed relatives, but the church should fully support any pious widow who doesn't have a family to look after her.

Alternative Title(s): First Timothy, Second Timothy

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