1 Timothy 1

12 Nov

Have you ever wondered, ‘What’s the point in this bit of scripture?’ Exegesis is essentially trying to answer that question.

My most recent college paper was a return to more arduous academia (after the refreshing excursion through pop-culture critiquing of The Prestige and Mute Math) with the exciting title, “Write a critical, exegetical and contextual analysis of 1 Timothy 1:1-20, with special attention to the function of 1:12-17.” Yeah, that’s what I thought.

As far as I could deduce 1 Tim 1 serves three functions as a whole. Firstly, it is written to encourage Timothy. All the way through we have little pointers to the sovereignty and power of God, Christ and the Gospel. Timothy is facing some serious opposition and so needs to be reminded of certain fundamental truths and encouraged to get stuck in!

Secondly, it is written to kick Timothy up the bum and to get on with the task at hand, refuting false teachers and encouraging sound doctrine. There’s a hint in verse 3 that Timothy is thinking about quitting so Paul writes to him to remind him of the job he has to do.

Thirdly, it’s written to explore Paul’s theology that belief and behaviour, confession and conduct, go hand in hand. ‘Different doctrine’ results in vanity, speculation and a list of terrible sins, but sound doctrine, genuine faith results in love.

1 Timothy 1 is definitely an introduction to the rest of the letter but it’s also so much more.

It’s also an incredibly relevant chapter because those three points are still extremely valuable to the church. We still need encouraging and reminding of God’s sovereignty/the power of the Gospel, we still need a kick up the bum to get on with what we’re suppose to be doing and we still need to learn that actions and words go hand in hand.

Read my exegesis in full here (warning: it’s a 5,000 worder!)


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