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An Exposition Of the Epistles Of Saint Paul And Of The Catholic Epistles Volumes 1&2

Introduction

TIMOTHY, the beloved disciple and faithful follower of St. Paul, was a native of Lystra, in Lycaonia. His father was a Gentile, and his mother, a converted Jewess. He was educated in the Christian faith, from his infancy, and well versed in the SS. Scriptures. The high repute in which he was held, and the great esteem entertained for him by his fellow-citizens, induced the Apostle, on the occasion of his visit to Lystra, after parting with Barnabas, to adopt him, as the companion of his travels, and as his colleague in preaching the Gospel.—(Acts, 16:3).

Wherever the Apostle refers to him in his sacred writings, he speaks of him in terms of the greatest affection and commendation. He styles him “his beloved (or genuine) son” (Chap. 1:2, of this Epistle); the “man of God,” (6:11). See also Chap. 2:20, 21, &c., to the Philippians. The Apostle’s confidence in him was unbounded. To him he entrusted commissions in the sacred ministry, requiring consummate zeal and fidelity; and finally created him Archbishop of Ephesus, and Primate of all Asia. To him the Apostle addressed two Pastoral Epistles.

THE CANONICITY AND LANGUAGE of this first Epistle were never a subject of controversy. It is universally admitted, that it is an inspired writing, written in the Greek language.

OBJECT AND OCCASION OF.—St. Paul, on leaving Ephesus, ordained Timothy Bishop of that city; and now writes to him this Epistle, as is generally supposed, from Macedonia, to instruct him in the discharge of his pastoral duties. The Epistle is principally devoted to doctrinal matters, in treating of which the Apostle cautions Timothy against the poisonous errors of the heretics, then, as well as at all subsequent periods of the Church, endeavouring to sap the immovable foundations of Catholic faith and morality. The heretics to whom he particularly alludes are the Judaizantes or Jewish zealots, and the Gnostics, or early illuminati, of whose errors an account has been given in some of the preceding Epistles. He dwells, at full length, on several of the Episcopal functions, and treats of some points of discipline and of Church Government, on which account, this, as well as the second Epistle to Timothy, and the Epistle to Titus, are called, HIERARCHICAL, having for object to instruct the members of the hierarchy in their respective duties. Hence it is, that St. Augustine recommends every ecclesiastic to keep these Epistles constantly before his eyes, to make them the subject of his constant reading and meditation, and to regard them as written for himself exclusively.—(De Doc. Christiana, lib. iv. c. 16).

TIME AND PLACE OF.—The subscription of the Greek copies asserts that this Epistle was written from Laodicea. The common opinion, however, is, that it was written from Macedonia.

The date of it is referred by some to the year, 57. The more common opinion refers it to the year, 64; while some, and among the rest, Mauduit say, that the year 66 was its probable date.








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