(tihm' oh thee) Personal name meaning, “honoring God.” Friend and trusted coworker of Paul. When Timothy was a child, his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois taught him the Scriptures (2 Timothy 1:5;
2 Timothy 3:15). A native of Lystra, he may have been converted on Paul's first missionary journey (Acts 14:6-23). Paul referred to Timothy as his child in the faith (1 Corinthians 4:17;
1 Timothy 1:2;
2 Timothy 1:2). This probably means that Paul was instrumental in Timothy's conversion. When Paul came to Lystra on his second journey, Timothy was a disciple who was well-respected by the believers (Acts 16:1-2). Paul asked Timothy to accompany him. Timothy's father was a Greek, and Timothy had not been circumcised. Because they would be ministering to many Jews and because Timothy's mother was Jewish, Paul had Timothy circumcised (Acts 16:3).
Timothy not only accompanied Paul but also was sent on many crucial missions by Paul (Acts 17:14-15;
1 Corinthians 16:10;
2 Corinthians 1:19;
1 Thessalonians 3:2,1 Thessalonians 3:6). For example, when Paul was unable to go to Corinth, he sent Timothy to represent Paul and his teachings (1 Corinthians 4:17). Later when Paul was in prison, he sent Timothy to Philippi (Philippians 2:19).
Paul felt that no one had any more compassion and commitment than Timothy (Philippians 2:20-22).
So close were Paul and Timothy that both names are listed as the authors of six of Paul's letters (2 Corinthians 1:1;
1 Thessalonians 1:1;
2 Thessalonians 1:1;
Philemon 1:1). In addition, Paul wrote two letters to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:2;
2 Timothy 1:2). As Paul's ministry neared the end, he challenged Timothy to remain true to his calling (1 Timothy 1:18). As Paul faced death, he asked Timothy to come to be with him (2 Timothy 4:9). At some point in his life, Timothy was imprisoned; but he was released (Hebrews 13:23). See Paul; 1 Timothy; 2 Timothy.
Robert J. Dean