Timothy was the immediate recipient of the letter. He is linked to Paul in Acts 16:3, and though it is not clear that he was the apostle's convert, it is apparent that he became Paul's trusted assistant (1 Thess 3:2), so that Paul could say that Timothy served with him "as a son with his father" (Phil 2:22). Paul here injects a note of intimacy and fatherly love in calling him my true son in the faith. But this is also a pronouncement of Timothy's genuine faith in Christ. For Timothy this undoubtedly came as a vote of confidence for the difficult task ahead. The church was to recognize this as the apostle's stamp of approval on Timothy's doctrine, particularly in the light of the current doctrinal controversy.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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