Saint Timothy

d. after 80 AD

"Timothy was one of the Seventy Apostles. He was born in Lystra in Lycaonia of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. The Apostle Paul praised his mother and grandmother because of their sincere faith. " I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that, I am confident, lives also in you" (II Timothy 1: 4-5). Timothy first met with the great apostle in Lystra and was himself a witness when Paul healed the one lame from birth. Later, Timothy was an almost constant traveling companion of Paul, traveling with him to Achaia, Macedonia, Italy and Spain. Sweet in soul, he was a great zealot for the Faith, and a superb preacher. Timothy contributed much to the spreading and establishing of the Christian Faith. Paul calls him "my own son in the faith." "Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus, Who is our hope, to Timothy, my own son in the Faith: grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord" (I Timothy 1: 1-2). After Paul's martyrdom, Timothy had St. John the Evangelist as his teacher. But when the Emperor Domitian banished John from Ephesus to the island of Patmos, Timothy remained in Ephesus to serve as bishop. During the time of an idolatrous feast called Katagogium, the pagans, resentful of the Christians, treacherously and in disguise, attacked Timothy and killed him about the year 93 A.D. Later his honorable relics were translated to Constantinople and interred in the Church of the Twelve Apostles along side of the grave of St. Luke the Evangelist and St. Andrew the First-called."

(According to Bishop Nikolai Velimirovch in The Prologue from Ohrid)

Saint Timothy (Greek: Τιμόθεος) was a first-century Christian bishop who died about AD 80. Evidence from the New Testament also has him functioning as an apostolic delegate or coadjutor. Saint Timotheos is venerated as a saint and martyr by the Eastern Orthodox Church and in addition as an apostle by the Greek Orthodox Church, with his feast day on January 22. In the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, as well as in the Traditional Catholic Calendar by Traditionalist Roman Catholics, St. Timothy is commemorated on January 24. On January 26, Timothy with the Apostle Titus and Silas are commemorated by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. For the majority of Roman Catholics, after the changes stemming from the Second Vatican Council, St. Timothy is venerated together with St. Titus on January 26.

Timothy is first mentioned in the Bible at the time of Paul's second visit to Lystra (16:2), where Timothy probably resided and where it seems he was converted during Paul's first visit to that place (1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 3:11). Paul, having been impressed by his "own son in the faith", arranged that he should become his companion (Acts 16:3), and personally circumcised him because his mother was of the Jewish faith, so that he might be accepted by the Jews. He was ordained (1 Tim 4:14) and went with Paul in his journey through Phrygia, Galatia and Mysia; also to Troas, Philippi, Berea (Acts 17) and Corinth (Acts 18:5). His mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, are noted as eminent for their piety and faith, which indicates that they may have also been Christians. Timothy is praised by Paul for his knowledge of the Scriptures, and is said to have been acquainted with the the Scriptures since childhood. The Bible gives little information about Timothy's father; however, does indicate that he was a Greek (Acts 16:1).

According to later tradition, Paul ordained Timothy as Bishop of Ephesus in the year 65, where he served for 15 years. In the year 80 (though some sources place the event during the year 97, with Timothy dying at age 80), Timothy tried to halt a pagan procession of idols, ceremonies and songs. In response to his preaching of the Gospel, the angry pagans beat him, dragged him through the streets and stoned him to death. In the 4th century, his relics were transferred to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.


St. Timothy has been regarded by some as the "angel of the church of Ephesus", Apoc., ii, 1-17. According to the ancient Roman martyrology he died Bishop of Ephesus. The Bollandists (24 Jan.) give two lives of St. Timothy, one ascribed to Polycrates (an early Bishop of Ephesus, and a contemporary of St. Irenæus) and the other by Metaphrastes, which is merely an expansion of the former. The first states that during the Neronian persecution St. John arrived at Ephesus, where he lived with St. Timothy until he was exiled to Patmos under Domitian. Timothy, who was unmarried, continued Bishop of Ephesus until, when he was over eighty years of age, he was mortally beaten by the pagans.

Epistles to Timothy and Titus

The Pauline authorship of the Pastorals was never doubted by Catholics in early times. Eusebius, with his complete knowledge of early Christian literature, states that they were among the books universally recognized in the Church ta para pasin homologoumena ("Hist. eccl.", II, xxii, III, iii; "Præp. evang.", II, xiv, 7; xvi, 3). They are found in the early Latin and Syriac Versions. St. Clement of Alexandria speaks of them (Strom., II, III), and Tertullian expresses his astonishment that they were rejected by Marcion (Adv. Marcion, V, xxi), and says they were written by St. Paul to Timothy and Titus; evidently their rejection was a thing hitherto unheard of. They are ascribed to St. Paul in the Muratorian Fragment, and Theophilus of Antioch (about 181) quotes from them and calls them the "Divine word" (theios logos). The Martyrs of Vienne and Lyons (about 180) were acquainted with them; and their bishop, Pothinus, who was born about A. D. 87 and martyred in 177 at the age of ninety, takes us back to a very early date. His successor, St. Irenæus, who was born in Asia Minor and had heard St. Polycarp preach, makes frequent use of the Epistles and quotes them as St. Paul's. He was arguing against heretics, so there could be no doubt on either side. The Epistles were also admitted by Heracleon (about 165), Hegesippus (about 170), St. Justin Martyr, and the writer of the "Second Epistle of Clement" (about 140). In the short letter which St. Polycarp wrote (about 117) he shows that he was thoroughly acquainted with them. Polycarp was born only a few years after the death of Saints Peter and Paul, and as Timothy and Titus, according to the most ancient traditions, lived to be very old, he was their contemporary for many years. He was Bishop of Smyrna. only forty miles from Ephesus, where Timothy resided. St. Ignatius, the second successor of St. Peter at Antioch, was acquainted with Apostles and disciples of the Apostles, and shows his knowledge of the Epistles in the letters which he wrote about A. D. 110. Critics now admit that Ignatius and Polycarp knew the Pastorals; and there is a very strong probability that they were known also to Clement of Rome, when he wrote to the Corinthians about A. D. 96.

In judging of the early evidence it should be borne in mind that all three Epistles claim to be by St. Paul. So when an early writer shows his familiarity with them, quotes them as authoritative and as evidently well known to his readers, it may be taken as a proof not only of the existence and widespread knowledge of the Epistles, but that the writer took them for what they claim to be, genuine Epistles of St. Paul; and if the writer lived in the time of Apostles, of Apostolic men, of disciples of Apostles, and of Timothy and Titus (as did Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement) we may be sure that he was correct in doing so. The evidence of these writers is, however, very unceremoniously brushed aside. The heretic Marcion, about A. D. 150, is held to be of much more weight than all of them put together. Marcion rejected the whole of the Old Testament, all the Gospels except St. Luke's, which he grossly mutilated, and all the rest of the New Testament, except ten Epistles of St. Paul, texts of which he changed to suit his purposes. Philemon escaped on account of its brevity and contents. If he crossed out all that was objectionable to him in the Pastorals there would be little left worth preserving. Again, the testimony of all these early writers is regarded as of no more value than the opinion of Aristotle on the authorship of the Homeric poems. But in the one case we have the chain of evidence going back to the times of the writer, of his disciples, and of the persons addressed; while Aristotle lived several hundred years after the time of Homer. The extreme care and hesitancy, in some quarters, about admitting the Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews when contrasted with the universal and undoubting acceptance of the Pastorals tells strongly in favour of the latter.

(from Catholic Encyclopedia)

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