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Who wrote the book of 2 Timothy? Who was the author of 2 Timothy?

author of 2 Timothy

Paul wrote the book of 2 Timothy, composed close to his death under Emperor Nero in AD 67. As its name suggests, the epistle is addressed to Timothy, a trusted co-worker and spiritual son of Paul. Timothy ministered in Ephesus during this period, sometime after Paul sent the first letter. Second Timothy is the second book of the Pastoral Epistles, alongside 1 Timothy and Titus. Paul’s impending demise is poignantly reflected in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” What a beautiful testimony from a man facing martyrdom!

As the apostolic age drew to a close and the apostles passed away, there emerged a pressing need to safeguard orthodoxy and uphold proper conduct among believers. Hence, Paul encouraged his protégé, emphasized sound doctrine, and passed the baton of faithful service. In 2 Timothy, Paul writes with the solemnity of a man drafting a last will and testament, yet instead of sharing assets, he passes down godly wisdom. The personal nature of this epistle is evident in Paul’s request for his cloak (2 Timothy 4:13) and his addressing of individuals who either supported or abandoned him (verses 9–16). All these are indications of Pauline authorship.

Despite the internal evidence that Paul wrote 2 Timothy, debates persist regarding its authorship. Critics point to differences in vocabulary and style compared to epistles that are undisputedly Pauline. Moreover, ancient figures like Marcion rejected the pastoral letters. Another argument is the ecclesiological difference between 2 Timothy and Paul’s other letters.

However, there are responses to these arguments. Marcion’s status as a heretic makes his dismissal of 2 Timothy unsurprising. More trustworthy church fathers like Irenaeus accepted the Pastoral Epistles, lending weight to the traditional attribution of the letter to Paul. Vocabulary differences are of little account, especially if Paul wrote the Pastoral Epistles himself, without the aid of a scribe. Furthermore, Paul wrote 2 Timothy close to his death, to the pastor of a more developed church facing different challenges than earlier churches. The objections to Pauline authorship are important and need to be addressed, but they don’t nullify the traditional view that Paul wrote 2 Timothy.

In conclusion, Paul wrote the second letter to Timothy close to his martyrdom at the hands of Emperor Nero to the pastor of the church of Ephesus, Timothy. Paul’s final letter, filled with instructions, reflections, and encouragement, remains relevant to us today.

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Who wrote the book of 2 Timothy? Who was the author of 2 Timothy?
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This page last updated: April 29, 2024