The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 1


1 2 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus,


to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.


I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscienceas my ancestors did, 3 as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.


4 I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy,


as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you.


For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God 5 that you have through the imposition of my hands.


For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.


So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, 6 nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.


7 He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,


but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,


8 for which I was appointed preacher and apostle and teacher.


9 On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.


Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.


Guard this rich trust with the help of the holy Spirit that dwells within us.


10 You know that everyone in Asia deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.


11 May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus because he often gave me new heart and was not ashamed of my chains.


But when he came to Rome, he promptly searched for me and found me.


May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord 12 on that day. And you know very well the services he rendered in Ephesus.



1 [1-2] For the formula of address and greeting, see the note on Romans 1:1-7.

2 [1] The promise of life in Christ Jesus: that God grants through union with Christ in faith and love; cf Col 3:4; 1 Tim 4:8.

3 [3] As my ancestors did: this emphasizes the continuity of Judaism and Christianity; for a similar view, see Romans 9:3-5; Philippians 3:4-6.

4 [4-5] Purportedly written from prison in Rome ( 2 Tim 1:8, 17; 4:6-8) shortly before the writer's death, the letter recalls the earlier sorrowful parting from Timothy, commending him for his faith and expressing the longing to see him again.

5 [6] The gift of God: the grace resulting from the conferral of an ecclesiastical office. The imposition of my hands: see the note on 1 Tim 4:14.

6 [8] Do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord: i.e., of preaching and suffering for the sake of the gospel.

7 [9-10] Redemption from sin and the call to holiness of life are not won by personal deeds but are freely and graciously bestowed according to God's eternal plan; cf Eph 1:4.

8 [11] Teacher: the overwhelming majority of manuscripts and Fathers read "teacher of the nations," undoubtedly a harmonization with 1 Tim 2:7.

9 [12] He is able to guard . . . until that day: the intervening words can also be translated "what I have entrusted to him" (i.e., the fruit of his ministry) as well as "what has been entrusted to me" (i.e., the faith). The same difficult term occurs in 2 Tim 1:14, where it is modified by the adjective "rich" and used without a possessive.

10 [15] Keen disappointment is expressed, here and later ( 2 Tim 4:16), that the Christians of the province of Asia, specially Phygelus and Hermogenes, should have abandoned the writer and done nothing to defend his case in court.

11 [16-18] The family of Onesiphorus because he . . . of my chains: Onesiphorus seems to have died before this letter was written. His family is mentioned twice (here and in 2 Tim 4:19), though it was Onesiphorus himself who was helpful to Paul in prison and rendered much service to the community of Ephesus. Because the apostle complains of abandonment by all in Asia during his second imprisonment and trial, the assistance of Onesiphorus seems to have been given to Paul during his first Roman imprisonment (A.D. 61-63).

12 [18] Lord . . . Lord: the first "Lord" here seems to refer to Christ, the second "Lord" to the Father.

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