Paul seems particularly concerned with his ministry legacy in 2 Timothy. He wants to ensure that Timothy will continue his ministry after he’s gone. Paul emphasizes the importance of imitation—urging Timothy to teach as he taught as an example for maintaining his credibility as a teacher.
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“The central theme of 2 Timothy is Paul’s charge to Timothy to carry on with his ministry.” (2 Timothy 1:6–14)
“The main themes of the letter relate to Paul’s goal of persuading Timothy in his ministry commitment. Johnson” (source)
“This charge is the central theme of 2 Timothy because Timothy was somehow failing to fulfill his ministry calling. The nature of his failure or weakness may be evident from 2 Tim 1:7, where Paul says, ‘God has not given us a spirit of cowardice.’ The inference is that Timothy was held back in ministry effectiveness because of a timid spirit. Perhaps he had not opposed the false teachers as boldly as Paul had expected after his first letter (see 1 Tim 1:3, 18; 4:6, 11–16). This rhetorical thesis statement leads directly into the first argument or proof in the letter, in which Paul continues to exhort Timothy toward more effective ministry (2 Tim 1:8–14).” (2 Timothy 1:6–14)
“He wants to inspire Timothy—and us—to the kind of commitment that will stand up to anything.” (2 Timothy 1:6)
“Many people are willing to endure almost any torment as long as they can find some purpose to give it meaning. Other people don’t face much suffering, but order their lives around trivial purposes. To Paul, the gospel—the ‘good news’—is the only purpose that he sees as worthwhile, and he is suffering great hardship to remain loyal to it. The gospel connects him to the central narrative of life: God’s mercy shown through Christ (2 Tim 1:9).” (2 Timothy 1:6)
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Douglas Mangum is an academic editor for Lexham Press. He holds a PhD in Hebrew from the University of Free State and holds an MA in Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is a Lexham English Bible and Lexham Research Commentary editor, a Faithlife Study Bible contributing editor, a Studies in Faithful Living co-author, a regular Bible Study Magazine contributor, and a frequently consulted specialist for the Lexham Bible Dictionary.
E. Tod Twist is a major contributor to the Faithlife Study Bible and a regular contributor to Bible Study Magazine. Tod holds an MA in theological studies and an MA in Hebrew.
Derek R. Brown is an academic editor for Lexham Press. He holds a PhD in New Testament Studies and Christian Origins from the University of Edinburgh, a MCS in New Testament Studies from Regent College, and a BSc in Religious Studies from the University of Oregon. He is a Faithlife Study Bible contributing editor, a Studies in Faithful Living co-author, a Lexham Research Commentary co-author, and a regular Bible Study Magazine and Lexham Bible Dictionary contributor.