Paul's first letter to Timothy
When Paul was telling people about Jesus Christ, Timothy helped him. He and Paul were good friends. Paul wrote to Timothy to tell him how to be a good disciple of Jesus Christ and how to help God's people. He also told Timothy about leaders in the church and how they should live.
1 I, Paul, am writing to you, Timothy. God and Jesus Christ chose me as an apostle of Jesus Christ. They told me to spread Jesus' teaching everywhere. God has saved us, and Jesus Christ is the one who will take us to heaven. 2 You are like my son, because I was the first to tell you about Jesus Christ. So now you believe in him.
May God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord be kind to you and have pity on you and give you peace.
About wrong teaching
3 When I was on my way to Macedonia, I saw you at Ephesus, and I said to you, “Stay here at Ephesus.” I persuaded you and so you stayed, and I want you to go on staying there, because some of the people have been teaching lies. That is very wrong. So say to them, “Don't teach people wrong things, 4 and don't take any notice of stories that aren't true and don't spend all your time thinking about the names of your ancestors. When you keep thinking about those things, you argue. Those kinds of things won't help us to know what God wants. But when we trust him we know what he wants us to do.”
5 You must tell them that so that they will love each other. If they have good clean minds and if they do what they know is good and if they trust God, they will have real love. 6 But some people aren't doing those kinds of things any more. They keep on arguing with silly words. They are like people who are lost and who have forgotten where they are. 7 They want to teach God's laws to others, but they don't know what they are talking about. They speak boldly like wise people but they don't know anything. 8 We know that God's laws are good if we follow them properly. 9 We know that those laws were only made for people who do wrong and not for good people. They were made for those who don't obey God and don't obey other people either. Those people turn their backs on God. They hate him and they live as they like. They keep on doing wrong. Some murder people, even killing their fathers and mothers. 10 They take other people's wives or husbands. Those sort of men and women do all kinds of bad things with their bodies. They steal people and take them away. They tell lies and they tell people lies about each other. They are always doing wrong things like that. But God has taught us to do what is good. 11 And he has given me the good news to tell others. God is very great and we must praise him.
About Paul praising God for his kindness
12 I thank Jesus Christ our Lord, the one who has made me strong to work for him. And I thank him because he has trusted me and chosen me to do his work. 13 I used to speak badly about him and I hated him and made trouble for God's people. I was a proud and cruel man. But God had pity on me, because I didn't know his Son Jesus then, and so I didn't know I was doing wrong. 14 And our God was very kind to me. He helped me to trust in Jesus Christ and to love other people because all of us have fellowship with Jesus Christ.
15 Jesus Christ came down from heaven into the world to save us sinners. That is very true and we should believe it. And I am the very worst sinner. 16 But God had pity on me so that Jesus Christ could show other people that he would keep on waiting for them. Jesus Christ kept on waiting for me, even though I was so bad, until I trusted him. He wanted other people to know he would wait for them too, in the same way he waited for me. He will wait for them until they believe in him and he makes them alive forever.
17 Let us praise God our King who rules forever. He cannot die, he will live forever. We can't see him, but he is the only God. So let us honour him forever because he is so great. Amen.
18 You are like my son, and you must do what I tell you, because I am following the words God gave some people when they spoke before about you. When you fight against Satan, think carefully about the words they spoke. 19 And keep trusting in Jesus Christ and doing what you know is right.
Some people know the right thing to do but they haven't done it, they have done wrong and they don't believe in God any more. 20 Two men, Hymenaeus and Alexander, have kept on doing wrong, and I have given them to Satan, so that he can control them. Because of that they will know that they have done wrong and stop speaking badly about God.