Were Apostle Paul and
Timothy good friends?
Q. Were Timothy and Apostle Paul good friends?
(Submitted by: J. P.)
A. Paul and Timothy good friends? I don't think so, at least not at the beginning. Paul (called Saul before his conversion), by his own admission, persecuted Christians:
"Then he (Paul) said: 'I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city (Jerusalem) at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers' law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. I persecuted this Way (those who believed in Jesus) to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women . . . ' " (Acts 22:2-4, NKJV throughout)
"'Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.' " (Acts 26:9-11, see also 1Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13)
When Stephen was martyred Saul held the garments of those who murdered him:
"Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him (Stephen) with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen . . . " (Acts 7:57-59)
Whether Timothy was a Christian at this time we don't know, but if he was it's obvious there wouldn't have been any friendship between them.
Paul, soon after he started on his second missionary journey in late Autumn 49 A.D., met Timothy in Lystra (likely in his home). Tim's father was a Greek (a Gentile). Although born Jews, both his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were converted believers (2Timothy 1:5).
Timothy traveled with Paul on most of his second journey, served him in Ephesus (Acts 19:22) and was with him during his imprisonment in Rome (Philemon 1:1). The two grew so close that Paul considered him "a true son in the faith " (1Timothy 1:2).
Just a few months before his martyrdom, while a prisoner in Rome, Paul writes his last epistle. It is dedicated to his friend Timothy. In it he expresses his love for his fellow evangelist and traveling companion:
"To Timothy, a beloved son: . . . I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day; greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy; when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also." (2Timothy 1:2-5)