Acts 16:1

Timothy Joins Paul and Silas

1 Paul[a] came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named 1Timothy, 2the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek.

Acts 16:1 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 16:1

Then came he to Derbe and Lystra
Which were cities of Lycaonia, ( Acts 14:6 ) after Paul had gone through Syria and Cilicia; in the last of these places, he had been stoned, and yet goes thither again; none of these things moved him from the preaching of the Gospel, and from the care of the churches, such zeal, courage, and intrepidity was he possessed of:

and behold a certain disciple was there:
a converted person, a believer in Christ, one that had learned to know and deny himself, and understood the way of salvation by Christ, and was a follower of him; whether the apostle was an instrument of his conversion, when he was before in these parts, is not certain, though probable, since he often calls him his son; nor is it so evident whether he was at Derbe or at Lystra, though the latter seems most likely, since a report was given of him by the brethren there, and at Iconium, when no mention is made of Derbe, in the following verse:

named Timotheus;
or Timothy, the same person to whom afterwards the apostle wrote two epistles: it is a name much used among the Greeks, and his father was a Greek; one of this name, who was an historian among the Greeks, is frequently mentioned by Laertius F18; and there was another of this name, the son of Conon, an Athenian general F19; and another that was a captain or general of Antiochus,

``Afterward he passed over to the children of Ammon, where he found a mighty power, and much people, with Timotheus their captain.'' (1 Maccabees 5:6)

``Now Timotheus, whom the Jews had overcome before, when he had gathered a great multitude of foreign forces, and horses out of Asia not a few, came as though he would take Jewry by force of arms.'' (2 Maccabees 10:24)

the name signifies one that honoured God, or was honoured by God; both were true in this disciple of Christ:

the son of a certain woman which was a Jewess, and believed;
his mother was a Jewish woman, but a believer in Christ, her name was Eunice, ( 2 Timothy 1:5 )

but his father was a Greek;
a Gentile, an uncircumcised one, and so he seems to have remained, by his sons not being circumcised.


F18 De Vit. Philosoph. l. 3. in Vit. Platon. & l. 4. Vit. Speusippi, & l. 5. Vit. Aristotel.
F19 Aelian. Hist. Var. l. 2. c. 10, 18. & l. 3. c. 16, 47.

Acts 16:1 In-Context

1 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek.
2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium.
3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem.
5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Acts 17:14; Acts 18:5; Acts 19:22; Acts 20:4; Romans 16:21; 1 Corinthians 4:17; Philippians 2:19; Colossians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:2, 18; 2 Timothy 1:2
  • 2. 2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:15

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.