by Wayne Blank
Timothy was from Lystra (Acts 16:1) in Asia Minor, today in Turkey. His mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, were Jews, and were noted for their sincere faithfulness to God (2 Timothy 1:5). Nothing is written of his father, except that he was a Greek (Acts 16:1) (see Ancient Empires - Greece).
Timothy is first mentioned during Paul's second visit to Lystra (Acts 16:1-2), where he was apparently converted during Paul's earlier visit there (1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 3:11). Paul certainly thought highly of him, calling him "my true child in the faith" (1 Timothy 1:2 RSV).
After Timothy received his calling as a servant (what the word minister literally means) - "Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you" (1 Timothy 4:14 RSV) - he journeyed with Paul through Phrygia, Galatia, and Mysia, as well as Troas and Philippi and Berea (Acts 17:1-14). He later joined Paul in Athens, and was sent by him with Silas on a mission to Thessalonica (Acts 17:15, 1 Thessalonians 3:2), and later was with Paul at Corinth (1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1), and later still at Ephesus (Acts 19:22), where he was sent to Macedonia. He accompanied Paul afterwards to Asia (Acts 20:4).
After Paul was a prisoner at Rome, Timothy joined him (Philippians 1:1), where it seems he may also have been imprisoned (Hebrews 13:23). During Paul's second imprisonment, he wrote to Timothy and asked him to bring his cloak and parchments that had been left at Troas (2 Timothy 4:13).
According to one tradition, after Paul was killed, Timothy settled mainly in Ephesus, where, after more years of faithful witness, he too was martyred.
Fact Finder: What did Paul tell Timothy about world conditions in "the last days"?