This is the last letter
written by the apostle Paul. He explains to Timothy
his personal condition just before his death. All
his companions had forsaken him except Dr. Luke.
Paul is in a cold damp dungeon. He longs for his
cloak, his books, and most of all for Timothy. If
Paul didn't see Timothy before this winter he would
never see him again.
"Make every effort to
come to me soon . . . . Only Luke is with me. Pick
up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to
me for service. . . When you come bring the cloak
which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books,
especially the parchments. . . . At my first defense
no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not
be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me,
and strengthened me, in order that through me the
proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that
the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of
the lion's mouth. The Lord will deliver me from
every evil deed, and bring me safely to His heavenly
kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
. . . Make every effort to come before winter. . .
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you." (2
Timothy 4:9-22, et passim).
Paul the apostle (1:1). No works of Paul are more
attested as genuine than the Pastoral Epistles, with
the exception of Romans and I Corinthians. External
evidence supports Pauline authorship of these
personal letters. Polycarp, Clement of Rome allude
to them and Irenaeus and Tertullian identify them as
coming from Paul. The diversity of subjects would
produce some linguistic differences as would the use
of a different amanuensis.
Paul writes to his close missionary associate
DATE AND PLACE:
The difficulty of dating this letter is that we know
nothing about Paul after the conclusion of Acts 28.
We can only hint at the order of events during the
last years of his life. From Philippians 1:19, 25,
26; 2:24 we assume he was released from his first
Roman imprisonment about A.D. 63. Paul wrote I
Timothy c. A. D. 63, from Macedonia, perhaps
Philippi (I Tim. 3:14, 15). Then he left Titus to
continue the work on Crete (Titus 1:5). From Corinth
he wrote to Titus (c. A.D. 63; Titus 3:12-13). Early
church tradition says Paul went to Spain (Rom.
15:24, 28), and may have been arrested later at
Troas (II Tim. 2:9; 4:13, 15, 20). We know that
Emperor Nero died in June, A.D. 68 so the letter
needs to be dated prior to that like at Paul’s
"second" Roman imprisonment in A.D. 66 or 67, just
before his execution. Most scholars think Paul was
taken back to Rome and beheaded at his second
arrest. Many believe he was made the chief scapegoat
for Nero's burning of Rome. Since Nero was suspected
of starting the blaze, he blamed the Christians and
ordered them executed. At his second imprisonment
Paul was charged as a criminal (2 Tim. 2:9). He
writes expecting his execution, yet triumphant: "For
I am already being poured out as a drink offering,
and the time of my departure has come. I have fought
a good fight, I have finished the course, I have
kept the faith; in the future there is laid u for me
the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and
not only to me, but also to all who have loved His
appearing" (2 Tim. 4:6-8).
Paul wrote from solitary
confinement in a prison cell at the famous Roman
Mamertine Prison during his "second" imprisonment
(1:8). The only entrance to his cell was through a
hole in the ceiling which was 6.5 feet high. Most
scholars believe Paul was acquitted at this "first"
trial. Upon his release he returned to Greece and
Asia Minor, and was later arrested again, taken back
to Rome, and beheaded. (See introduction to I
Timothy). Many scholars believe Paul was made the
scapegoat for Nero’s burning of Rome. Nero set fire
to Rome in order to rebuild it to his own designs.
Since Nero was suspected of starting the blaze, he
blamed the Christians for it and ordered them all to
be executed. Paul was charged as a criminal.
The time has come for Paul’s departure, and there is
in store for him a "crown of righteousness." The
climax comes in 4:6-8.
Paul writes a word of encouragement and warning as
he says a genuine and warm "good–bye" to perhaps his
closest friend. He also writes to encourage Timothy
to "come before winter."
The letter is genuine, warm, tender, loving,
expression of the feelings of an old man living out
his final hours before his execution in a cold,
dark, damp Roman dungeon. It is a spiritual last
will and testament of sorts, the "dying wish" of the
faithful old apostle to the Gentiles saying
"farewell" to a beloved traveling companion and
friend. It is clear from this moving letter that he
expects to be killed (4:6). It is filled with
tenderness and sadness, yet triumph, glory and deep
thankfulness similar to that expressed in his letter
to the Philippians. Paul anticipates his "crown of
righteousness" (4:8). His heart is full of love for
Leon Morris writes: "This
is a very moving document as we see the aged apostle
facing death, looking back at his service for God,
and taking tender concern for his son in the faith
that he be strong in the task to which God has
Title: Introduction to 2
Series: Introduction to