Timothy, a young Christian from Asia Minor, was the son of a Jewish mother and a Greek father. He became a companion and assistant to Paul in his missionary work. Paul's First Letter to Timothy deals with three main concerns.
The letter is first of all a warning against false teaching in the church. This teaching, a mixture of Jewish and non-Jewish ideas, was based on the belief that the physical world is evil and that one can attain salvation only by special secret knowledge and by practices such as avoiding certain foods and not marrying. The letter also contains instructions about church administration and worship, with a description of the kind of character that church leaders and helpers should have. Finally, Timothy is advised how to be a good servant of Jesus Christ and about the responsibilities that he has toward various groups of believers.
Outline of Contents
Instructions concerning the church and its officers (1.3—3.16)
Instructions to Timothy about his work (4.1—6.21)
First Timothy, like 2 Timothy and Titus, has been called a “Pastoral Letter,” because it gives advice about what local church leaders should do to look after the spiritual needs of the people in their care.