Bible Reading – Week 40

Overview: Neither of the two letters of Paul to Timothy are thought to have been written by St. Paul. Linguistic facts—such as short connectives, particles, and other syntactical peculiarities; use of different words for the same things; and repeated unusual phrases otherwise not used by Paul—offer fairly conclusive evidence against Pauline authorship and authenticity. Both epistles are usually considered “trito-Pauline,” meaning that they were probably written by members of the Pauline school a generation after his death, likely between 80 and 100 CE.

The authorship of the letter of Paul to Titus is disputed. Given many of the similarities in content and style to the two Letters of Paul to Timothy, it is possible that this work is also a trito-Pauline epistle, written a generation after the death of St. Paul. In fact, the three letters together are often called Pastoral Letters, as they were written to instruct and admonish the recipients in their pastoral office rather than to address the specific problems of congregations like many of the other Pauline epistles.

Timothy and Titus were two of Paul’s young associates in the ministry. The main purpose of the letters was to instruct them as pastors and teachers. Regardless of who wrote the letters, there is always something that we can learn from these writings. 

Day 1 – Timothy 3

1. What are some of the qualifications for overseers (pastors)?
2. What will deacons obtain if they have served well?  
3. Why did Paul write these things to Timothy?

Day 2 – Timothy 4

1. What did Paul want Timothy to command and teach?
2. In what ways did Paul want Timothy to be an example to the believers?

Day 3 – Timothy 5

1. What are Paul’s instructions for taking care of widows?
2. How might someone interpret verse 23?
3. Why is it important to learn more about the context and people whom these letters were originally written to?

Day 4 – Timothy 6

1. Name some things we are to avoid?
2. How should we think about worldly wealth?
3. If someone is rich, what do verses 13-21 say they should do?

Day 5 – Titus 1

1. How important does Paul view his preaching?
2. How are verses 10-13 problematic?