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In the last 150 years 2 Timothy has been the object of much scholarly scrutiny, especially over the questions of its authorship and the historical situation it presupposes.
In the last 150 years 2 Timothy has been the object of much scholarly scrutiny, especially over the questions of its authorship and the historical situation it presupposes. Though a few scholars today accept Pauline authorship, most have supported the view that 2 Timothy is pseudonymous, written sometime after the death of Paul. In this commentary, Smith straddles the fine line between Pauline authorship and pseudonymity, proposing that Paul is the author but that Luke is a significant contributing amanuensis.
The most significant difference between this commentary and others is Smith’s rejection of the common supposition that 2 Timothy is Paul’s Farewell Speech or Last Testament. On the basis of his earlier work, Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect, Smith understands 2 Timothy as a paraenetic letter written to Timothy encouraging him in his Ephesian ministry and asking him to join Paul in Rome. Paul’s perspective in this letter is thus not one of resignation to death, nor does it express Paul’s sense of passing on the baton to his younger colleague; rather it envisages his expectation of release from prison and his hope of new opportunities for ministry with Timothy, Luke and Mark.
Smith understands the problem of false teaching in Ephesus to be a real problem that Timothy is facing and not a fictional situation of a subsequent time. Smith carefully elucidates the difficult situation in the church at Ephesus and its effect on Timothy, together with Paul’s kindly and thoughtful admonition given as a father to a son.
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2 Timothy 1.1-2: Opening Introductory Comment Author (1.1) Recipient (1.2a) Greeting (1.2b) Changes in the Opening of 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy 2 Timothy 1.3-5: Thanksgiving The Thanksgiving as a Distinct Literary Form Paul’s Attitude toward Ministry (1.3a) Frequency of Paul’s Prayers for Timothy (1.3b) Paul’s Desire to See Timothy (1.4-5) 2 Timothy 1.6-18: Paul’s First Request for Timothy: Suffer Shamelessly for the Gospel with Paul Overview Relationship between the Request and the Thanksgiving Fan into Flame the Gift of God (1.6) Paul’s Reason for Engaging the Struggle of Ministry: Character of the Spirit (1.7) Timothy Is Not to Be Ashamed (1.8a) Timothy Is to Be a Fellow Sufferer for the Gospel (1.8b) First Basis for Paul’s Request to Suffer: God’s Grace and Sovereignty (1.9-10) Second Basis for Paul’s Request to Suffer: Paul’s Testimony (1.11-12) Paul’s Appeal for Timothy (1.13-14) Paul’s Two Examples of Servants for Timothy to Consider (1.15-18) 4 2 Timothy 2.1-7: Paul’s Second Request: Suffer for the Ministry with Him (2.1-7) Threefold Exhortation (2.1-3) Three Metaphors (2.4-7) 2 Timothy 2.8-13: Paul’s Basis for Suffering for the Gospel Overview Call to Imitate Jesus the Paragon of Suffering (2.8) Timothy’s Invitation to Imitate Paul in Suffering (2.9-10) Faithful Saying: Support for Paul’s Thesis to Suffer (2.11-13) 2 Timothy 2.14–3.17: Paul’s Concern with the False Teachers Paul’s Charge to Timothy against False Teachers (2.14-26) Denunciation of the False Teachers (3.1-9) Paul’s Appeal to Timothy for his Commitment to Him and the Gospel (3.10-17) 2 Timothy 4.1-8: Paul’s Final Charge to Timothy The ‘Charge’ as a Distinct Literary Form Paul’s Charge to Timothy before God (4.1) 143 Content of the Charge (4.2) Reason for the Charge: It is a Time of Intolerance of Truth (4.3-4) Content of the Charge Continued (4.5) Paul’s Autobiographical Comments (4.6-7) Implications of the Charge (4.8) 2 Timothy 4.9-22: Closing Final Remarks (4.9-18) Final Greetings (4.19-22)
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