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August 9, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for 1 Timothy 1-3

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Author: Paul, an Apostle

Date: AD 62

 

Context: Although addressed to Timothy, this letter was expected to be shared with the entire church at Ephesus.  Paul began his letter by addressing Timothy as his true son.  This lent credence to Timothy’s words, as well as provided encouragement for Timothy.  Paul announces why Timothy is in Ephesus: there are false teachers and leaders in the church poisoning the true message, love and salvation through faith.  Paul offers his personal testimony as an example of the extent of the salvation of Christ.  Paul actively worked to persecute Christians, yet now he is saved and working to promote the Gospel of Christ.  Over the next two chapters, Paul provides instructions on worship and requirements for leadership within the church.  Paul’s description of woman has caused numerous debates. Paul is not writing a fashion guide for women, rather his advice should be taken in context of our own society. Paul’s goal was for the church to establish an orderly worship, just as God has established an orderly universe, not to exclude woman.  In controversial and confusing passages such as this, we must also look and consider Paul’s other references to woman in his writings.

World History: Paul established the Ephesian church during his second missionary journey and also visited for an extended period of time during his third missionary journey.  Paul wrote this letter to Timothy after leaving Timothy with the Ephesians to confront the false teachers in Ephesus.  The city of Ephesus was a major trading city and seaport within the Roman Empire.  The city was also known as a center for the learning and practicing of magical arts.

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