Bible Commentaries

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

2 Timothy

Book Overview - 2 Timothy

by Joseph Parker


(Rome, a.d65 or66)

[Note.—"This Epistle was apparently written when Paul was a prisoner at Rome (see chap. 2 Timothy 1:8, 2 Timothy 1:16; 2 Timothy 4:6); and probably during his second captivity, not long before his martyrdom. That it was not written during his first imprisonment may be gathered in part from the absence of several who were with him then (see Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; Philemon 1:1; Hebrews 13:23; compare also chap. Hebrews 4:10-11, with Colossians 4:10, Colossians 4:14); and from the difference in the Apostle"s expectations, which were now fixed upon a speedy decease (compare chap. 2 Timothy 4:6, with Philippians 1:25; Philippians 2:24; Philemon 1:22; Hebrews 13:23); as well as from his circumstances of increased restriction and greater solitude (compare chap. 2 Timothy 1:17-18, with Acts 28:30-31, and Philippians 1:13). But more decisive evidence is afforded by several incidental allusions to events which had clearly occurred not long before this letter was written. Mention is made of a cloak and books left at Troas ( 2 Timothy 4:13), which Paul had not visited for five years before his first imprisonment at Rome; of Trophimus, who had been left sick at Miletus ( 2 Timothy 4:20), but who had been with the Apostle at Jerusalem at the time of his first apprehension, Acts 21:29 : of Erastus, as having stayed at Corinth ( 2 Timothy 4:20), where Paul had not been since his visit there five years before, accompanied by Timothy, Acts 20:4. All these circumstances seem to show that this Epistle must have had a later date, probably about the year65 or66; two years later than his First Epistle. The interval between his two imprisonments he seems to have spent in Asia, Philemon 1:22 : Philippians 2:24; Philippians 1:25; Macedonia, 1 Timothy 1:3; wintering in Nicopolis, Titus 3:12. Why he returned to Rome we are not told, but he was soon imprisoned as an evil-doer, 2 Timothy 2:9; and among his accusers was Alexander the Judaising teacher of Ephesus, "who did him much evil," ( 2 Timothy 4:14).

"If this view be correct, and this Epistle was the last which the Apostle wrote before his martyrdom, it is invested with peculiar interest, as containing the dying counsels of one who was not "behind the chiefest of the Apostles.""—Angus"s Bible Handbook.]