MY son Timothy, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle (in faith), because we have our hope set on the living God, Who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. These are the things you must insist on and teach. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I arrive, give attention to reading the Scriptures (that is, reading aloud to others), to exhorting, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.
Who was Timothy?
Timothy was a convert to the Christian faith. His father was Greek (meaning pagan) and mother was Jewish. His mother and grandmother taught him Scriptures (what today we call the Old Testament). Timothy would eventually become Saint Paul's disciple, and would accompany him on missionary trips.
Timothy was ordained a priest (at that time there was no distinction between titles of priest and bishop, both meant a leader/overseer of a community) at a young age. The two letters that we currently have in the New Testament from Saint Paul to Timothy (who is also a saint, we celebrate his memory on Feb. 4) are personal letters from a teacher to his student on how the church should function and how mature men and women of God should interact in the church. In the first letter, Paul focus on developing and recognizing leadership and avoiding false doctrine. The leader should be mature in the Christian faith, while this same faith is developed in the life of the community. We see Paul offering extremely practical advice on facing problems and hardships of ministry in a local church.
Yours in Christ,