Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read the entire book.
Orientation 2 Timothy is book #16 of 27 in the New Testament, and and is one of Paul's letters. For more information see the Bible Overview page.
Synopsis Paul is chained (2:9) and in prison, awaiting trial; anticipating that his death will come soon as he writes his last known letter. (The letters do not necessarily appear in chronological order in the Bible).
Paul expresses thankfulness for Timothy's genuine faith (1:5) and encourages endurance in his witness for the Lord (1:8). Many have deserted Paul (1:15) but some strong friends remain. Serve Jesus professionally, in the manner of a soldier, athlete, or farmer (2:3). Teach correctly (2:15), staying away from popular, but false ideas (2:18). Make yourself special (2:20) and ready to be used for good deeds.
Paul describes and warns about difficult times in the last days (3:1). Evil imposters will continue (3:13). Trust the holy scriptures, for they are the inspired words of God (3:16).
Paul believes the time of his death is near (4:6). He has run the race and kept the faith (4:7). He asks Timothy to get Mark and come to him (4:9) bringing his coat and his favorite books (4:13).
Activity List the descriptions of end times (3:1). Where are we today when you consider these descriptions? Better, worse, close to the end? Are there specific examples in the news today?
List the general uses of the holy scriptures (3:16). Now, in what specific ways can we make use of them? How can we be 'fully qualified and equipped'?
Discussion points Read Paul's summary of his life in 4:7-8. How do his accomplishments tally with what the prophet Micah lists as God's requirements, in Micah 6:8?
Review Paul's appeal for Timothy's visit in 4:9-13. Read 'between the lines' Do you sense a hidden message here? What special books could he hinting about (4:13)? Why the emphasis to arrive before winter (4:21)?
Connections 2 Timothy is the second of three books called the 'pastoral letters'. Taken together, they provide a manual for church leadership and organization. The other two are 1 Timothy and Titus.
For source citations see the home page. Revised April 11 2014
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