WRITER: The Apostle Paul ( 2 Timothy 1:1 )
DATE: The touching letter was written by Paul to his "dearly beloved son" shortly before his martyrdom ( 2 Timothy 4:6-8 ), and contains the last words of the great apostle which inspiration has preserved.
THEME: Second Timothy (in common with Second Peter, Jude, and Second and Third John) has to do with the personal walk and testimony of a true servant of Christ in a day of apostasy and declension. The key-phrases are, "All they which are in Asia be turned away from me" ( 2 Timothy 1:15 ); and, "A good soldier of Jesus Christ" ( 2 Timothy 2:3 ). The Asian churches had not disbanded, nor ceased to call themselves Christian, but they had turned away from the doctrines of grace distinctively revealed through the Apostle Paul (see Introduction, p. 1189). This was the proof that already the apostasy had set in its first form, legalism.
The natural divisions are four:
- The Apostle's greeting, 1:1-18
- The pathway of an approved servant in a day of apostasy2:1-26
- Apostasy and the Word, 3:1-17
- A faithful servant and his faithful Lord, 4:1-22