Last week, we finished up the book of 1 Timothy. Today, we’re doing our preliminary background work on the book of 2 Timothy before diving into the text. You might want to review lesson 1 (link above) and compare the background information on 1 Timothy to the background information on 2 Timothy. How are they similar? How are they different?
Introduction to 2 Timothy
Before we begin studying a book of the Bible, it’s very important that we understand some things about that book. We need to know…
Who the author was and anything we might be able to find out about him or his background.
Who the audience of the book is: Jews or Gentiles? Old Testament Israelites or New Testament Christians? This will help us understand the author’s purpose and approach to what he’s writing.
What kind of biblical literature we’re looking at. We approach books of history differently than books of wisdom, books of wisdom differently than books of prophecy, etc.
What the purpose of the book is. Was it written to encourage? Rebuke? Warn?
What the historical backdrop is for the book. Is Israel at war? At peace? In exile? Under a bad king? Good king? Understanding the historical events surrounding a piece of writing help us understand what was written and why it was written.
When the book was written. Where does the book fall on the timeline of biblical history? This is especially important for Old Testament books which are not always arranged in chronological order.
So this week, before we start studying the actual text of the book of 2 Timothy, we need to lay the foundation to understanding the book by finding the answers to these questions.
Read the following overviews of the book of 2 Timothy, taking notes on anything that might aid your understanding of the book, and answer the questions below:
Bible Introductions: 2 Timothy at Grace to You
Overview of the Book of 2 Timothy at Reformed Answers
Book of 2 Timothy at Got Questions
1. Who wrote the book of 2 Timothy? How do we know this?
2. Approximately when was 2 Timothy written? What is the geographical setting of the book of 2 Timothy? Here are some maps (scroll down to “2 Timothy”) that may be helpful as you study through the book of 2 Timothy.
3. Who is the original, intended audience of the book of 2 Timothy? Describe the historical setting (historic events, politics, sociology of the time, etc.) of 2 Timothy.
4. Which genre of biblical literature is the book of 2 Timothy: law, history, wisdom, poetry, narrative, epistles, or prophecy/apocalyptic? What does this tell us about the approach we should take when studying this book versus our approach to books of other genres?
5. What is the theme or purpose of the book of 2 Timothy?
6. What are some of the major topics of instruction in the book of 2 Timothy? How do these topics relate to the theme of 2 Timothy?
7. What are some ways 2 Timothy points to and connects to Jesus?
8. What else did you learn about 2 Timothy or the setting of this book that might help you understand the text of the book better?
Take some time in prayer this week to begin preparing your heart to study 2 Timothy. What are some ways your pastor and church could be encouraged by the instruction of 2 Timothy? What might you learn that could make you a healthier church member? Do you have any areas that need improvement when it comes to the way you serve God or your brothers and sisters in Christ? Ask God to grow you in those areas as we continue to study 1 & 2 Timothy: The Structure and Spirit of the Church.