Timothy, two letters of the New Testament. With Titus they comprise the Pastoral Epistles, in which St. Paul addresses his coworkers as the guardians and transmitters of his teaching. Modern scholars have regarded the letters as pseudepigraphical, written by a late 1st or early 2d cent. A.D. church leader in Paul's name and incorporating insights from Paul's letters. The vocabulary, mode of argument, and theology differ from the genuine Paulines. First Timothy regulates congregational life, while relaying qualifications for the clergy. Then come details on the admonitions of personal life and the behavior of widows and the clergy. The letter closes with personal exhortations. Second Timothy is a testament, i.e., the last words of Paul to Timothy. It emphasizes personal courage and fidelity to the Pauline legacy of teaching. In it are warnings of future suffering and allusions to Paul's own trials.
See studies by M. Dibelius and H. Conzelmann (1972), A. T. Hanson (1982), and G. W. Knight, III (1992).