2 Timothy

Like 1 Timothy, most scholars seriously dispute that Paul was the author. Much of the letter is an encouragement to Timothy to be faithful in his charge as a spiritual leader. He is not to be timid or ashamed, but remain bold and follow the pattern of sound teaching he learned. He is also to avoid youthful desires and pursue those things worthy of his responsibility: righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2:22).

Timothy is also to avoid “foolish and stupid arguments” (2:23) and warn others to avoid needless quarrelling and godless chatter. Especially troublesome are those who say the resurrection of believers has already taken place, which is leading many astray. Such godlessness is to be expected in the “last days” (3:1), which suggests that Christ’s coming was expected to happen in the relatively near future. As an illustration for refusal to listen to the truth, the author appeals to the story of “Jannes and Jambres” confronting Moses (3:8). These were the names of the magicians in Pharaoh’s court who duplicated the first of Moses’ signs (e.g., a staff turning into a snake). They are not mentioned in the Old Testament by name, however. These names are found in extra-biblical sources (Dead Sea Scrolls) and are part of common lore, much like Christians today who often give names to the three wise men even though their names do not appear in Matthew.

The letter ends with a charge to Timothy to be faithful and bold in his leadership, and a personal request for a visit for Timothy to come and visit Paul.

– Peter Enns