The writer to Timothy also was the Apostle Paul, whom God used to write fourteen New Testament Books (see Notes on First Thessalonians, page 538).
The recipient is Timothy, a son of a Greek father and a godly Jewish mother, Eunice and grandmother, Lois (2 Tim. 1:5). It is assumed he was converted under Paul's ministry at Lústrah, Lukah-ohn-éeah in Asia minor on his first missionary journey (Acts 14:8-20). After arriving at Lústrah, Paul took him along on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:1-4). Timothy was at Ephesus with Paul during his three years there (Acts 20:31) on his third missionary journey (Acts 19:22). He was Paul's faithful, reliable companion and fellow-servant while Paul was in prison in Rome (Phil. 2:19-23). Timothy was still ministering at Ephesus where Paul left him late in A.D. 65 (1 Tim. 1:3). His name occurs in all four groups of Paul's Epistles.
Internal evidence to Paul's authorship is clear both by the accepted title that bears his name and the text. He identifies himself in his opening greeting (1:1), again in his identification as the one who begot Timothy, calling him his beloved son (child) (1:2), and in his testimony as to his appointment of herald, apostle, and teacher of Gentiles (1:11). To deny his authorship is to deny inerrant, infallible, plenary, verbal inspiration (see Introduction p. xiii).
External evidence comes from the writings of the "Church fathers" (patristic tradition of the early Church) and the Muratorian Canon which is dated A.D. 160-200 (see Notes on First Timothy, page 554). There is no contradictory evidence found in the early Church writings, but Paul's authorship was an accepted fact and never doubted until the 19th century.
Dating of 2 Timothy is determined by the fact that Paul was incarcerated again in A.D. 67 (1:8; 2:9 present tense) for at least a year. See Notes on 1 Timothy (page 554) concerning first incarceration. Timothy was still at Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3) where Paul left him to minister while he went back to Mahkehdohnée-ah in A.D. 65. Préeskeellah and Ahkúlahs were at Ephesus from A.D. 53-57, (Acts 18:18,19; 1 Cor. 16:19) but they went back to Rome by winter A.D. 58 (Rom. 16:3) and evidently returned to Ephesus by A.D. 68 (4:19). Paul was in bonds at Rome and anticipated his martyrdom (4:6,7) at the time of writing this Epistle in summer A.D. 68. He requested Timothy to diligently endeavor to come to Rome to visit him in prison before winter A.D. 68. It is not known whether Timothy arrived before Paul's death.
The Purpose of Paul in writing is to encourage Timothy to faithfully stand for the truth. Because all his friends and co-workers forsook him or had to leave Rome, he requested Timothy to come visit him in prison and bring his cloak to enable him to weather the cold winter, the scrolls and especially the parchments (Scriptures) to encourage him in his trial.
Characteristics personal and exhortational.
The Book may be outlined as follows:
I. Timothy Encouraged (The Past) (1:1-18).
II. Timothy Exhorted (The Present) (2:1-26).
III. Timothy Warned (The Future) (3:1-17).
IV. Timothy Charged (Present, Past, and Future) (4:1-22).