Encountering the New Testament, 4th Edition

A Historical and Theological Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies


21. Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus

Chapter Intro Video

Chapter Objectives

  • List reasons for the city of Thessalonica’s importance
  • Outline the content of 1 and 2 Thessalonians
  • Identify the purpose for the writing of 1 and 2 Thessalonians
  • Compare the reasons for the writing of the Pastoral Epistles
  • Outline the content of 1 and 2 Timothy
  • Outline the content of Titus
  • Characterize the distinctive counsel of the Pastoral Epistles

Chapter Summary

  1. In spite of opposition, Paul founded a church in Thessalonica on his second missionary journey.

  2. Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians to encourage new believers by confirming that hard times are part of God’s plan for his people, by commending their faith and love, by giving further instructions, and by providing insight into the last things.

  3. In 1 Thessalonians Paul places the emphasis on God and not on self.

  4. In 2 Thessalonians Paul continues the encouragement he began in 1 Thessalonians as well as emphasizing that believers must not be misled, providing instruction on handling wayward brothers, and assuring believers of eventual victory, reward, and justice.

  5. First and Second Timothy and Titus are called Pastoral Epistles because they show pastoral concern for their recipients and deal with pastoral matters involving care of souls and orderly conduct in the church.

  6. Paul wrote 1 Timothy to encourage Timothy to persevere with the church at Ephesus in spite of opposition.

  7. In 1 Timothy Paul reminds Timothy to focus on prayer and worship, to hold high standards for filling church offices, to avoid heresy by maintaining sound teaching, to take proper care of widows, to have slaves show godly respect for their masters, to guard against false teachers, and to avoid love of money.

  8. In 2 Timothy Paul focuses on the hardship to be endured by the servant of God.

  9. The purpose of Paul’s Letter to Titus is to give him practical direction for his work on Crete until others can join him.

  10. In Titus special instructions are given for different groups, including older men, older and younger women, young men and Titus, and slaves.

Study Questions

  1. How does the God-centeredness of 1 Thessalonians relate to the issue of self-esteem?

  2. In what ways did suffering aid the Thessalonians in their Christian commitment?

  3. Why are 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus called the Pastoral Epistles?

  4. Describe Paul’s positive ethic.

  5. What are three features of the wisdom of the Pastoral Epistles?