The Apostle Timothy, A.D. 50

The Apostle Timothy (the First Bishop of Ephesus; c. A.D. 17 to c. A.D. 97):

Icon of Timothy the Apostle

Timothy was from the Lycaonian city of Lystra. Lycaonia was a large region in the interior of Asia Minor, north of the Taurus Mountains. He was born of a Jewish mother (who had become a Christian believer), and a Greek father. When the apostle Paul and Barnabas first visited Lystra (on their first missionary journey, in A.D. 48), Paul had healed one crippled from birth, leading many of the inhabitants to accept his teaching.

Paul met Timothy when he returned to Lystra in A.D. 50 with Silas. By then Timothy was already a respected member of the Christian congregation, as were his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, both were Jewish converts. 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. Timothy became Paul’s companion and co-worker along with Silas. Timothy traveled with and was discipled by Paul. Paul entrusted Timothy with important assignments.

Timothy became St Paul’s disciple, and later his constant companion and co-worker in preaching. Later in A.D. 50, 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. When Paul went south to Athens, Silas and Timothy stayed behind ministering to the new Christians in Berea and Thessalonica before they re-joined the apostle Paul at Corinth. Timothy next appears in Acts during Paul’s stay in Ephesus (A.D. 54-56). Paul sent Timothy forth to Macedonia with the aim that he would continue on to Corinth. Timothy arrived at Corinth just after Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians had reached that city. The letter was not well received, and Timothy quickly returned to Ephesus to report this to Paul.

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (from the Holman Bible Atlas)

Timothy is thought to have been jailed at least once during the period of the writing of the New Testament as the writer of Hebrews mentions Timothy’s release at the end of the epistle.

The non-canonical Acts of Timothy states that in A.D. 97, the then 80-year-old Bishop Timothy tried to halt a procession which was being performed to honor of the pagan, Roman, Goddess Diana by preaching the gospel. The angry pagans beat him, dragged him through the streets, and stoned him to death.