What does 1 Timothy 1:2 mean?
ESV: To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
NIV: To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
NASB: To Timothy, my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
CSB: To Timothy, my true son in the faith.Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
NLT: I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.
KJV: Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
NKJV: To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Verse Commentary:
Verse 2 completes the introduction, identifying the letter's recipient and offering a standard Pauline greeting. The letter was written to Timothy, one of four personal New Testament letters by Paul. The others are 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Timothy was the only person to receive two personal letters from Paul in the New Testament. Here, Timothy is called "my true child in the faith." This was a spiritual relationship, most likely meaning that Paul had led Timothy to faith in Christ. Timothy and Titus were the only two men called "true child" by Paul (Titus 1:4).

Paul's greetings frequently include the ideas of grace and peace. Paul will mention grace again in this letter in 1 Timothy 1:14, as well as in the letter's conclusion in 1 Timothy 6:21. Paul also makes a reference to mercy twice when describing his own testimony (1 Timothy 1:13, 16), emphasizing God as the reason for his salvation rather than his works (Ephesians 2:8–9). Paul will also refer to peace in 1 Timothy 2:2 in a mention of living a peaceful and quiet life.
Verse Context:
First Timothy 1:1–2 presents a greeting which is typical of the apostle Paul. This letter is written to Timothy, a younger man who has travelled and studied with Paul. In order to emphasize the importance of his words, Paul will focus on his role as an apostle in this introduction. At the same time, Paul is always aware of the role God's grace and mercy played in his conversion. Though he is an apostle of God, he and Timothy are still part of the same faith and serve the same Lord.
Chapter Summary:
Paul introduces himself and emphasizes the positive relationship he has with Timothy. The specific mission Timothy has in Ephesus is to oppose false teaching. Some of the Ephesians have rejected the importance of conscience and attempt to teach without having the required knowledge. As a result, they bicker over pointless issues and misuse the law given by God. Paul recognizes his own need for forgiveness and salvation, and encourages Timothy with a reminder that they share a common savior.
Chapter Context:
The first chapter of 1 Timothy frames the situation Paul is concerned about. In particular, he is worried about the false teachers plaguing the Ephesian church. These men are misusing the law, teaching false doctrines, and rejecting the importance of a clear conscience. Paul points out his own past sins and need for forgiveness, however. By anchoring his arguments in truth and in humility, Paul sets up the importance of the letter's instructions. These are not merely suggestions, they are vital strategies Timothy needs to understand.
Book Summary:
First Timothy is one of Paul's three ''Pastoral Epistles.'' Paul's other letters, such as Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians, are meant for a broader audience. First Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus are written to specific people whom Paul is advising on how to best lead their local churches. These three letters present a close look at the form and function of church leadership. First Timothy, like 2 Timothy and Titus, is less formal and systematic, and more personal. This gives great insight into the way pastors, deacons, and elders ought to prioritize their time and energy.
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