Saint Timothy

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Timothy
Saint Timothy.jpg
Icon of Saint Timothy
Bishop, Martyr
Bornc. AD 17
Lystra
Diedc. AD 97 (aged 79/80)
Macedonia
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodoxy
Anglican Communion
Lutheran Church
Feast January 22 (Eastern Christianity)
January 26 (Roman Catholic Church, Lutheranism)
January 24 (some local calendars and pre-1970 General Roman Calendar)
23 Tobi (Coptic Christianity) [1]
27 Tobi (Relocation of Relics - Coptic Christianity) [2]
Attributes pastoral staff [3]
Patronage invoked against stomach and intestinal disorders

Timothy (Greek: Τιμόθεος; Timótheos, meaning "honouring God" [4] or "honoured by God" [5] ) was an early Christian evangelist and the first Christian bishop of Ephesus, [6] who tradition relates died around the year AD 97.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Evangelism spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of conversion or a rapprochement with Christianity

In Christianity, evangelism is the commitment to or act of publicly preaching (ministry) of the Gospel with the intention of spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.

Contents

Timothy was from the Lycaonian city of Lystra in Asia Minor, born of a Jewish mother who had become a Christian believer, and a Greek father. The Apostle Paul met him during his second missionary journey and he became Paul’s companion and co-worker along with Silas. [7] The New Testament indicates that Timothy traveled with Paul the Apostle, who was also his mentor. Paul entrusted him with important assignments. He is addressed as the recipient of the First and Second Epistles to Timothy.

Lycaonia

Lycaonia was a large region in the interior of Asia Minor, north of the Taurus Mountains. It was bounded on the east by Cappadocia, on the north by Galatia, on the west by Phrygia and Pisidia, while to the south it extended to the chain of Mount Taurus, where it bordered on the country popularly called in earlier times Cilicia and in the Byzantine period Isauria; but its boundaries varied greatly at different times. The name is not found in Herodotus, but Lycaonia is mentioned by Xenophon as traversed by Cyrus the Younger on his march through Asia. That author describes Iconium as the last city of Phrygia; and in Acts 14:6 Paul, after leaving Iconium, crossed the frontier and came to Lystra in Lycaonia. Ptolemy, on the other hand, includes Lycaonia as a part of the province of Cappadocia, with which it was associated by the Romans for administrative purposes; but the two countries are clearly distinguished both by Strabo and Xenophon and by authorities generally.

Lystra Place in Central Anatolia, Turkey

Lystra was a city in central Anatolia, now part of present-day Turkey. It is mentioned five times in the New Testament. Lystra was visited several times by the Paul the Apostle, along with Barnabas or Silas. There Paul met a young disciple, Timothy.

Paul the Apostle Early Christian apostle and missionary

Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

Life

Timothy was a native of Lystra in Lycaonia (Anatolia). [8] When Paul and Barnabas first visited Lystra, Paul healed a person crippled from birth, leading many of the inhabitants to accept his teaching. When he returned a few years later with Silas, Timothy was already a respected member of the Christian congregation, as were his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, both Jews. In 2 Timothy 1:5, his mother and grandmother are noted as eminent for their piety and faith. Timothy is said to have been acquainted with the Scriptures since childhood. In 1 Corinthians 16:10 there is a suggestion that he was by nature reserved and timid: "When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord". [9]

Barnabas one of the earliest Christian disciples

Barnabas, born Joseph, was according to tradition an early Christian, one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem. According to Acts 4:36, Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers. They traveled together making more converts, and participated in the Council of Jerusalem. Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" Gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of Anatolia.

Lois Name list

Lois is a common English name from the New Testament. Paul the Apostle mentions Lois, the pious grandmother of Saint Timothy in the Second Epistle to Timothy. The name was first used by English Christians after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular, particularly in North America, during the first half of the 20th century.

Timothy's father was a Greek Gentile. Thus Timothy had not been circumcised and Paul now ensured that this was done, according to the text Acts 16:1–3, to ensure Timothy's acceptability to the Jews whom they would be evangelizing. According to McGarvey: [10] "Yet we see him in the case before us, circumcising Timothy with his own hand, and this 'on account of certain Jews who were in those quarters'". This did not compromise the decision made at the Council of Jerusalem, that gentile believers were not required to be circumcised.

John William McGarvey American minister

John William McGarvey was a minister, author, and religious educator in the American Restoration Movement. He was particularly associated with the College of the Bible in Lexington, Kentucky where he taught for 46 years, serving as president from 1895 to 1911. He was noted for his opposition to theological liberalism and higher criticism. His writings are still influential among the heirs of the conservative wing of the Restoration Movement, the Churches of Christ and Christian churches and churches of Christ.

Council of Jerusalem synod

The Council of Jerusalem or Apostolic Council was held in Jerusalem around AD 50. It is unique among the ancient pre-ecumenical councils in that it is considered by Catholics and Orthodox to be a prototype and forerunner of the later ecumenical councils and a key part of Christian ethics. The council decided that Gentile converts to Christianity were not obligated to keep most of the Law of Moses, including the rules concerning circumcision of males. The Council did, however, retain the prohibitions on eating blood, meat containing blood, and meat of animals not properly slain, and on fornication and idolatry, sometimes referred to as the Apostolic Decree or Jerusalem Quadrilateral.

Rembrandt's Timothy and his grandmother, 1648. Timothy-and-Lois.jpg
Rembrandt's Timothy and his grandmother, 1648.

Timothy became St Paul’s disciple, and later his constant companion and co-worker in preaching. [11] In the year 52, Paul and Silas took Timothy along with them on their journey to Macedonia. Augustine extols his zeal and disinterestedness in immediately forsaking his country, his house, and his parents, to follow the apostle, to share in his poverty and sufferings. [12] Timothy may have been subject to ill health or "frequent ailments", and Paul encouraged him to "use a little wine for your stomach's sake". [13]

Silas Ancient Roman saint and bishop

Silas or Silvanus was a leading member of the Early Christian community, who accompanied Paul the Apostle on parts of his first and second missionary journeys.

Macedonia (ancient kingdom) ancient kingdom

Macedonia, also called Macedon, was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and initially ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, which was followed by the Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties. Home to the ancient Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, and bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south.

Augustine of Hippo early Christian theologian and philosopher

Saint Augustine of Hippo was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of God, De doctrina Christiana, and Confessions.

When Paul went on to Athens, Silas and Timothy stayed for some time at Beroea and Thessalonica before joining Paul at Corinth. [12] Timothy next appears in Acts during Paul's stay in Ephesus (54–57), and in late 56 or early 57 Paul sent him forth to Macedonia with the aim that he would eventually arrive at Corinth. Timothy arrived at Corinth just after 1 Corinthians reached that city.

Corinth Place in Greece

Corinth is an ancient city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, which is located in south-central Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is the capital of Corinthia.

Timothy was with Paul in Corinth during the winter of 57–58 when Paul dispatched his Letter to the Romans (Romans 16:21). According to Acts 20:3–6, Timothy was with Paul in Macedonia just before Passover in 58; he left the city before Paul, going ahead of him to await Paul in Troas (Acts 20:4–5). "That is the last mention of Timothy in Acts", Raymond Brown notes. [14] In the year 64, Paul left Timothy at Ephesus, to govern that church. [12]

His relationship with Paul was close and Paul entrusted him with missions of great importance. Timothy's name appears as the co-author on 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Paul wrote to the Philippians about Timothy, "I have no one like him" (Philippians 2:19–23). When Paul was in prison and awaiting martyrdom, he summoned his faithful friend Timothy for a last farewell. [11]

That Timothy was jailed at least once during the period of the writing of the New Testament is implied by the writer of Hebrews mentioning Timothy's release at the end of the epistle.

The apocryphal Acts of Timothy states that in the year 97 AD, the 80-year-old bishop tried to halt a procession in honor of the goddess Diana by preaching the gospel. The angry pagans beat him, dragged him through the streets, and stoned him to death. [11]

Veneration

Timothy is venerated as an apostle, saint, and martyr by the Eastern Orthodox Church, with his feast day on 22 January. The General Roman Calendar venerates Timothy together with Titus by a memorial on 26 January, the day after the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. From the 13th century until 1969 the feast of Timothy (alone) was on 24 January, the day before that of the Conversion of Saint Paul. [15] Along with Titus and Silas, Timothy is commemorated by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church on 26 January. Timothy's feast is kept by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod on 24 January.

In the 4th century, the relics of Timothy were transferred from Ephesus to Constantinople and placed in the Church of the Holy Apostles near the tombs of St Andrew and St Luke. [11] Later on in the 13th century, the relics seem to have been taken to Italy by a count returning from the crusades, and buried around 1239 in the Termoli Cathedral. [16] The remains were re-discovered in 1945, during restoration works.

Patronage

Timothy is the patron invoked against stomach and intestinal disorders. [17]

See also

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References

  1. "The Martyrdom of St. Timothy, the Apostle.", Coptic Orthodox Church Network
  2. "The Relocation of the Relics of St. Timothy, the Apostle.", COCN
  3. Agasso, Domenico. "Saint Timothy, Bishop", Santi e Beati, February 1, 2001
  4. Katsev, Igor. "Meaning & Origin of Timothy". MF names. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  5. "Timothy". Finde. Zelo. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  6. Eusebius (1965), "3.4", Historia Ecclesiastica[The History of the Church], Williamson, G.A. transl., Harmonsworth: Penguin, p. 109.
  7. Acts 16:1–4
  8. "St. Timothy biography". St. Timothy ELCA. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  9. "Who Was Saint Timothy". Fort Worth, TX: St.Timothy's Episcopal Church. Archived from the original on 2014-11-14. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  10. "Commentary on Acts of the Apostles". Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  11. 1 2 3 4 "Apostle Timothy of the Seventy". Lives of the saints. OCA. 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  12. 1 2 3 Butler, Alban. Saint Timothy, Bishop and Martyr. The Lives of the Saints. I: January. Bartleby. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  13. "Saints Timothy and Titus", Franciscan Media
  14. Brown (1997), An Introduction to the New Testament, New York: Doubleday, p. 655.
  15. Calendarium Romanum (Vatican City, 1969), p. 86.
  16. Sanidopoulos, John (September 2011), Skull of apostle Timothy to travel to… .
  17. "St. Timothy – Why is He the Patron of Stomach Issues?". Bible saints. January 2017. Retrieved 2018-07-05.