2 Timothy - Introduction

INTRODUCTION

OBJECT OF THE EPISTLE.--He was anxious to see his disciple Timothy, before his death, and that Timothy should bring Mark with him (2 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 4:9 2 Timothy 4:11 2 Timothy 4:21) should arrive in time, he felt it necessary, also, to give him by letter a last warning as to the heresies, the germs of which were then being scattered in the Churches. Hence he writes a series of exhortations to faithfulness, and zeal for sound doctrine, and patience amidst trials: a charge which Timothy seems to have needed, if we are to judge from the apostle's earnestness in urging him to boldness in Christ's cause, as though Paul thought he saw in him some signs of constitutional timidity (2 Timothy 2:2-8; 4:1-5; 1 Timothy 5:22 1 Timothy 5:23)

PAUL'S DEATH.--DIOYSIUS, bishop of Corinth (quoted in EUSEBIUS [Ecclesiastical History, 2.25]) about A.D. 170, is the earliest authority for the tradition that Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome "about the same time" as Paul, after having labored for some time there. He calls Peter and Paul "the founders of the Corinthian and Roman Churches." The Roman presbyter, CAIUS (about A.D. 200), mentions the tradition that Peter suffered martyrdom in the Vatican. But (1) Peter's work was among the Jews (Galatians 2:9) Gentile Church (Romans 1:13 1 Peter 1:1; 5:13) Mesopotamia. (3) The silence concerning Peter of Paul's Epistles written in Rome, negatives the tradition of his having founded, or labored long at Rome; though it is possible he may have endured martyrdom there. His martyrdom, certainly, was not, as JEROME says, "on the same day" with that of Paul, else Paul would have mentioned Peter's being at Rome in 2 Timothy 4:11 fear, was fleeing from Rome at early dawn by the Appian Way, when he met our Lord, and falling at His feet, asked, Lord, whither goest thou? to which the Lord replied, I go again to be crucified. The disciple returned penitent and ashamed, and was martyred. The Church of Domine quo vadis, on the Appian Way, commemorates the supposed fact. Paul, according to CAIUS (quoted in EUSEBIUS [Ecclesiastical History, 2.25]), suffered martyrdom on the Ostian Way. So also JEROME, who gives the date, the fourteenth year of Nero. It was common to send prisoners, whose death might attract too much notice at Rome, to some distance from the city, under a military escort, for execution; hence the soldier's sword, not the executioner's axe, was the instrument of his decapitation [OROSIUS, The Seven Books of History against the Pagans, 7.7]. Paul appears, from Philippians 1:12-30 palace, and certainly must have exercised such an influence as would excite sympathy in his behalf, to avoid which the execution was ordered outside the city. Compare TACITUS [Histories, 4.11]. The Basilica of St. Paul, first built by Constantine, now stands outside Rome on the road to Ostia: before the Reformation it was under the protection of the kings of England, and the emblem of the order of the Garter is still to be seen among its decorations. The traditional spot of the martyrdom is the Tre Fontane, not far from the Basilica [CONYBEARE and HOWSON].

2 Timothy 1:1-18 ADDRESS: THANKFUL EXPRESSION OF LOVE AND DESIRE TO SEE HIM: REMEMBRANCE OF HIS FAITH AND THAT OF HIS MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER. EXHORTATION TO STIR UP THE GIFT OF GOD IN HIM, AND NOT SHRINK FROM AFFLICTION, ENFORCED BY THE CONSIDERATION OF THE FREENESS OF GOD'S GRACE IN OUR GOSPEL CALLING, AND BY THE APOSTLE'S EXAMPLE. THE DEFECTION OF MANY: THE STEADFASTNESS OF ONESIPHORUS.

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