The 1st letter that Paul wrote to Timothy
(The book in the Holy Bible called 1 Timothy)
About this letter
Paul wrote this letter to Timothy about 2,000 years ago, about 30 years after Jesus went back to heaven, and it is now in the Holy Bible.
God sent Paul to lots of countries to tell people about Jesus. Timothy was a young man in one of those countries. He heard what Paul said, and he believed in Jesus. After that, he went with Paul and helped him do his work (see Acts 16:1-3). At a town called Ephesus, Paul told Timothy to stay there and look after the church, while Paul went to other places. So Timothy was the pastor of the church in Ephesus.
At that time, the Roman people were the bosses over a lot of other nations. They didn’t like Paul telling people about Jesus, so they grabbed him and put him in jail. Paul wrote this letter while he was in jail in the big city called Rome.
This is the 1st letter that Paul wrote to Timothy, and it has important messages for us Christians today, especially for ministers and pastors. It can help church leaders work out how to properly look after the people in their churches.
1-2 Dear Timothy,
I am Paul, and this letter is from me. God picked me to be Jesus Christ’s special worker. Those 2, God and Jesus, they told me to do this work. God is the one that will save us, and we can be sure that Jesus will always look after us. They gave me this job, to tell everybody this message about them.
Timothy, I told you about Jesus, and you really believed in him, so now I love you like you are my own son. I pray to God our father, and to Jesus Christ our leader, that they will show you that they love you. I am asking them to be good to you, and to make you feel happy and quiet inside yourself.*
Some people teach the wrong message
3-4 Remember when we were in Ephesus, and I left that town to go to Macedonia country. At that time, I told you to stay there in Ephesus. There were some people there that were teaching the wrong message, and I wanted you to stay there and straighten them out. Those people think a lot about old time stories that are not true, and they think about the lists of names of people in their families, and then they use those stories and lists of names to teach lies to people. Anybody that listens to them just gets into useless arguments. People shouldn’t do that, but instead they have to learn about God, and the way he works. They have to learn to believe in God and to do whatever he wants. So I want you to tell those lying teachers to stop teaching those lies.
You see, you have to teach people to do what is right, and to believe in God properly, and to never do bad things. Then they will properly love each other all the time. We want people to follow the things that we teach, so that they live that way. But those lying teachers don’t do that. They go all wrong. They just talk about useless things all the time. They reckon they teach the law that God gave to Moses, and they want everybody to respect them. They talk strongly, like they know all about that law, and they think they are always right. But really, they are all mixed up. They don’t understand that law properly, and they don’t know what they are talking about.
We all know that the law that God gave to Moses is good, so long as people teach it the right way. We have to remember that God gave that law to punish the people that do bad things, not the people that do good things. That law is there to stop bad people, and cheeky people, and people that forget about God and everything that belongs to God. It is there to stop people that want to kill their own father or mother, and people that want to murder other people. 10 That law is there to stop those people that just want to sleep with anybody, and do with them what married people do together. It is there to stop men that want to sleep with other men, as if they are women. It is there to stop people that grab other people to make them prisoners and force them to work for no pay. It is there to stop those people that trick other people by lying to them. That law is there to stop all those sorts of bad things that people do if they don’t listen to God’s word. 11 They do all sorts of bad things. But if we think about that good story about Jesus, we know all those things are wrong. And I go and tell that good story about Jesus to everybody. That’s my job. Our wonderful God gave me this job.
Jesus picked Paul to be an example
12 I really want to thank our leader Jesus Christ. He makes me strong enough to do this job. He thought I will do this work properly, so he picked me out to do it for him, and I thank him for that. 13-14 I used to be really cheeky to Jesus Christ before I ever believed in him. I used to say bad things about Jesus, and I used to make trouble for anybody that believed in Jesus. I didn’t know the true story about Jesus at that time, so I didn’t believe in him. But God felt sorry for me, and he was really good to me. He let me turn around and join up with Jesus Christ, and now Jesus helps me to trust God, and he helps me to love everybody.*
15 You sometimes hear people say this, “Jesus Christ came into this world to save bad people, to make them into better people.” That is very true, and everybody has to believe it. And it tells the story about me too. I was really bad. I was worse than anybody else. 16 But Jesus wanted to show everybody that he will wait for people, and he will save anyone that believes in him, even really bad people. So he picked me to be an example. I was really bad, but he felt sorry for me, and he waited for me to believe in him. So now everybody can know that Jesus is waiting, and he wants everybody to believe in him, no matter if they are really bad. If they believe in him, he will save them, and they will live with him for ever.
17 That shows that God is really great. He is the biggest boss, and he lives for ever, even though nobody can see him. He is the only one that is God. Everybody has to really praise him and say he is great, and they have to do that for ever and ever. That’s right.
18 Timothy, you are like a son to me, so I’m telling you to do these things. Remember that the Holy Spirit told the Christians there a message about you, some time ago. Well, you have to think about that message, so that you can stand up against things that are wrong, like a soldier that stands up and fights against an enemy. 19 You have to keep on believing Gods word and keep on doing the right thing, so that you will never feel bad about the things you do. Some people heard about God, but they didn’t try to go the right way, and now they don’t believe in God any more. 20 Those 2 men, Hymenayus and Alexander, they are like that. So I asked God to let Satan punish those 2 men. Satan is the boss over the bad spirits, and I asked God to let him punish those 2 men so that they will learn not to tell lies about God.
* 1:1-2 Acts 16:1 * 1:13-14 Acts 8:3; 9:4-5