[TIM uh thih] (honored of God)- Paul's friend and chief associate, who is mentioned as joint sender in six of Paul's epistles <2 Cor. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:1; 1 Thes. 1:1; 2 Thes. 1:1; Philem. 1>.

Timothy first appears in the second missionary journey when Paul revisited Lystra . Timothy was the son of a Gentile father and a Jewish-Christian mother named Eunice, and the grandson of Lois . Timothy may have been converted under Paul's ministry, because the apostle refers to him as his "beloved and faithful son in the Lord" <1 Cor. 4:17> and as his "true son in the faith" <1 Tim. 1:2>. Timothy was held in high regard in Lystra and Iconium, and Paul desired to take him along as a traveling companion .

Timothy played a prominent role in the remainder of the second missionary journey. When Paul was forced to leave Berea because of an uproar started by Jews from Thessalonica, Silas and Timothy were left behind to strengthen the work in Macedonia . After they rejoined Paul in Athens , Paul sent Timothy back to the believers in Thessalonica to establish them and to encourage them to maintain the faith <1 Thes. 3:1-9>. Timothy's report of the faith and love of the Thessalonians greatly encouraged Paul.

During Paul's third missionary journey, Timothy was active in the evangelizing of Corinth, although he had little success. When news of disturbances at Corinth reached Paul at Ephesus, he sent Timothy, perhaps along with Erastus , to resolve the difficulties. The mission failed, perhaps because of fear on Timothy's part <1 Cor. 16:10-11>. Paul then sent the more forceful Titus, who was able to calm the situation at Corinth <2 Cor. 7>. Later in the third journey, Timothy is listed as one of the group that accompanied Paul along the coast of Asia Minor on his way to Jerusalem .

Timothy also appears as a companion of Paul during his imprisonment in Rome . From Rome, Paul sent Timothy to Philippi to bring back word of the congregation that had supported the apostle so faithfully over the years.

Timothy's strongest traits were his sensitivity, affection, and loyalty. Paul commends him to the Philippians, for example, as one of proven character, faithful to Paul like a son to a father, and without rival in his concern for the Philippians ; (also <2 Tim. 1:4; 3:10>). Paul's warnings, however, to "be strong" <2 Tim. 2:1> suggests that Timothy suffered from fearfulness <1 Cor. 16:10-11; 2 Tim. 1:7> and perhaps youthful lusts <2 Tim. 2:22>. But in spite of his weaknesses, Paul was closer to Timothy than to any other associate.

Writing about A. D. 325, Eusebius reported that Timothy was the first bishop of Ephesus. In 356 Constantius transferred what was thought to be Timothy's remains from Ephesus to Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and buried them in the Church of the Apostles, which had been built by his father Constantine.

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

(Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

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