|Light iron-age reading|
|Gabbin' with God|
Second Timothy was probably written at the end of Paul's period of house arrest in Rome (if it was written by him at all), because he writes with discernable resignation: "...for I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith..." Paul's confinement is sufficient to cause one Demas to abandon him, leaving only Luke, but his restrictions are not so overweening that Paul cannot call for Timothy to bring Mark to him, or a cloak and some books he left with Troas in Carpus. Had there been no fire in Rome, Emperor Nero would have probably never scapegoated the Christians and it is likely Paul (a Roman citizen) would have been released to evangelize Spain.
The epistle presents a dilemma to many conservative bibliolaters who believe doctrine should come straight out of the book and not "tradition" because in 2 Tim 2:2 Paul specifically orders Timothy: "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."
But Paul redeems himself a few verses later when he says "Study to shew thyself approved unto God...rightly dividing the word of truth." to the eternal bliss of the self-appointed bible interpreters who alone are capable of "rightly dividing" the Word.
In verse 3:16 Paul says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". The Bible worshipers have a brain fart here and interpret the word "profitable" as "sufficient" in order to further deprecate Paul's order to use oral tradition to commit the faith to following generations (an order which is reinforced in 2 Thessalonians 2:15).
Second Timothy is notable for containing the only mention in the New Testament of Linus. According to Catholic tradition it is this Linus who was the second pope, after Peter. This doctrine predates modern biblical scholarship, which is generally in agreement that Paul was not the author of Second Timothy, so it's a little unclear precisely whose authority backs this belief.