An Introduction to 1 Timothy

December 28, 2019

Church life is messy. Anyone who has worked in a church or served as a volunteer knows things don’t run smoothly.

One of Paul’s closest friends was Timothy. Later in Paul’s life he writes a brief “manual” about how this young church leader, Timothy, should conduct himself and lead the church. Let’s dive into this vibrant letter written to Timothy, to your church, and to my church.

An Introduction to 1 TimothyChart of 1 Timothy


Paul tells Timothy how rich and poor, leaders and slaves, and widows and couples should conduct themselves in the church community.


“But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11-12, New Living Translation)


Paul the apostle wrote 1 Timothy (see 1 Timothy 1:1, 12-14, 15-16; 2:7).


Paul wrote this letter to Timothy in the early A.D. 60s. 1 Timothy was written near the same time Titus.


Timothy had joined Paul and Silas on their second missionary journey (Acts 16:1-5). Timothy was in Ephesus (1:3) and is addressed directly in the letter (1:12, 18; 4:6, 6:11, 20).


  • GENERAL TEACHING (chapter 1)
    • On God’s Call to Timothy (1)
  • SPECIFIC TEACHING (chapters 2-5)
    • On Women in the Church (2)
    • On Leaders in the Church (3)
    • On Conduct in the Church (4)
    • On Widows in the Church (5)
  • GENERAL TEACHING (chapter 6)
    • On God’s Command to Timothy (6)



The word “faith” is mentioned in every chapter (1:2, 4, 5, 14, 19; 2:7, 15; 3:9, 13, 16; 4:1, 6, 12; 5:8; 6:10, 11, 12, 21).

The Trinity

This short letter mentions all three members of the trinity. God the father (1:2, 13, 16; 3:21; 6:13, 15), Jesus Christ the son (1:2, 12, 13, 15, 16, 19; 2:5; 3:16; 4:6; 5:11, 21; 6:3, 13, 14, 15), and the Holy Spirit (3:16; 4:1).


Paul tells Timothy to stop false/poor teaching (1:3-4, 6-11) and gives him some “trustworthy sayings” (1:15; 3:1; 4:8-9). Paul tells Timothy there are certain things that Timothy needs to “teach” to others (4:11-16; 6:2-5, 17-19). Paul also gave Timothy direction on how women should act in church (2:9-15), counsel on church leaders (3:1-13; 5:17-20, 22), and on the conduct of old and young men (5:1), old and young women (5:2), widows (5:3-16), and slaves (6:1-2).


Watch what you say.

Christians should say nice things and not argue over pointless things (1:3-4; 4:7; 6:3-5, 20).

Watch how you live.

Paul describes the proper conduct of Timothy (1:18-19; 4:12-16; 5:21-22; 6:11-12, 14, 18-19), women (2:9-15), church elders/leaders (3:1-7), deacons (3:8-13), widows (5:3-16), and slaves (6:1-2). 

Learn and teach Scripture.

Paul told Timothy that Timothy should be teaching Scripture (1:3-4, 18; 4:13; 6:2, 14, 17).

Care for widows.

Paul describes which widows should be cared for by the church (5:3-7, 9-10) and which ones should not be cared for by the church (5:11-16).

Here Are Some Books I Recommend for Further Study of 1 Timothy

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher L. Scott serves as senior pastor at Lakeview Missionary Church in Moses Lake, Washington and is the host of The Daily Sermon Podcast. Learn more at

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I also may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."