Saint Timothy
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Basic Information

Saint Timothy was a young man who became a pupil of the Apostle Paul and who accompanied him on many of his missionary journeys. He originally came from the city of Lystra in Lycaonia in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). His father was Greek, but his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, were Jewish and taught him the Jewish Scriptures.

Paul met Timothy on his second visit to Lystra and invited Timothy to join his party. Since his father was Greek, Timothy had not been circumcised. Although on other occasions, Paul had said that Gentile converts did not require circumcision to become Christian, in Timothy's case he decided it might be a good idea; possibly because Timothy was a Jew, just an uncircumcised one; possibly because Paul wanted to rebut the claim that he was totally opposed to circumcision; very likely because he figured it would prevent some hostility from some of the Jewish communities they would be visiting. The text suggests that Paul did the procedure himself.

From that point on, Timothy was a constant companion in most of Paul's travels. He acted as Paul's secretary and is mentioned in many of Paul's epistles as having helped to write them. On a few occasions, Paul sent Timothy as a messenger, bearing his letters. Eventually, Paul left Timothy in the city of Ephesus, to lead the Christian community there. According to Tradition, Timothy became Bishop of Ephesus.

We don't know much about Timothy's personality. There's a hint that he was shy and self-conscious, because Paul tells the church in Corinth "When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 16:10). He also may have suffered from stomach problems, because in another place, Paul advises him to "use a little wine for thy stomach's sake" (1 Timothy 5:23)

Two of Paul's pastoral Epistles, First and Second Timothy, are addressed to Timothy and give advice on how to handle pastoral duties. Many modern scholars believe that these letters were written by later disciples of Paul, and not by the apostle himself.

The apocryphal Acts of Timothy, believed to have been written in the 5th Century, tells of Timothy's deeds as Bishop of Ephesus. According to that work, he died in the year AD 97 at the age of 80, beaten to death while trying to stop a wild pagan festival


Game and Story Use

  • In a historical or time travel campaign set during the 1st century, Timothy might be an interesting character to meet.
  • He could also serve as the model for a character who is either the disciple of a religious leader, or a second-generation leader of a church.
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