The 2nd letter that Paul wrote to Timothy
(The book in the Holy Bible called 2 Timothy)
About this letter
Paul wrote this letter to Timothy about 2,000 years ago, more than 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 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 and be the pastor of the church there.
At that time, the Roman people were the bosses over lots of nations. They didn’t like Paul telling people about Jesus, so they grabbed him, and they put him in jail, in Rome. Paul wrote this 2nd letter to Timothy from jail. Paul knew that the Roman bosses were going to kill him, and he wanted to see Timothy again before he died.
Paul wrote this 2nd letter to Timothy a few years after he wrote the 1st letter to Timothy.
This letter 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 out to be Jesus Christ’s special worker. He gave me this job, to tell other people that they can believe in Jesus, and then they will live with God for ever. God promises to do that for us.
Timothy, 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.
Keep using the power God gave you
I thank God for you, Timothy, and I pray for you all the time, in the day time and also at night. I work for God, and I really want to work properly for him so that I always feel good about it. (My father wanted to work for God properly too, and so did my grand-father, and my family that lived a long time ago.) I remember that you cried the last time we left each other, so now I really want to see you again so that I will be happy. I also remember that you really believe in Jesus. First your grand-mother Lois believed in him, then your mother Eunice believed in him. And I know that you believe in Jesus now too, just like they do.*
Remember the time that I laid my hands on you and prayed for you. God’s spirit gave you special power at that time. Well, now I want you to remember that, and you have to keep on using that power in your work for God. If you have not used it for a while, you need to start using it again. God’s spirit in us doesn’t make us frightened, but he helps us be strong so that we do great things, and he helps us love people, and he helps us control ourselves.
You have to tell people about our leader Jesus. Don’t feel shame about that. And don’t feel shame about me because I’m in jail. I’m here because I told people about Jesus. But don’t worry. Just go ahead anyway and tell people about our leader Jesus. And then maybe some people might make trouble for you, just like they made trouble for me. But God will make you strong, and you will not worry about that trouble. It is God that saved us, and he picked us to be his own specially good people. We didn’t do anything to get him to like us, but he was good to us anyway. He sent Jesus Christ to come and save us. God planned all that a long time ago, even before time started, 10 and now he makes it clear for us all to see. Jesus came to save people, so that if they believe the good news about him, they will not stay dead after they die, but they will live for ever.
11 And God gave me this job, to tell everyone that good story, and to teach everyone that Jesus can save them.* 12 So I tell everyone about him. Those people that don’t like Jesus, they make trouble for me. But I know God, and I believe in him, so I don’t feel shame when I get that trouble. I know that he will look after me right up until the day when Jesus will come back.
13-14 Whenever you teach people, you have to make sure that you tell them the same true message that I told you before. Don’t let anyone get you to change it into a wrong message. That message is something really special, and you really have to look after it properly. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and he will help you look after it properly. So you have to make sure you keep on believing in Jesus Christ, and keep on loving people just like he does. You are joined to him now, so you can do that.
15 You probably know about the people that came here from Asia. They all left me now. Even Figelus and Hermogenes left me. It is like they don’t want to know me any more. 16-18 But Onesiforus wasn’t like that. He came here to Rome and looked everywhere for me. And when he found me here in jail, he didn’t feel shame. He often came and cheered me up. So I pray that Jesus, our leader, will be really good to his family. And you already know about that time that he was over there in Ephesus with me, and he helped me in lots of ways. One day our leader will judge everyone, and I pray that he will be good to Onesiforus and his family on that day.
* 1:5 Acts 16:1 * 1:11 1 Timothy 2:7