First Epistle to Timothy
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|Gabbin' with God|
The First Epistle to Timothy is a New Testament book traditionally believed to have been written by Paul of Tarsus to Saint Timothy, who was a companion and assistant to Paul, and first bishop of Ephesus in western Anatolia. It contains instructions on how to organize the church and on Timothy's duties as a church leader.
Claims of Pauline authorship are widely challenged. Raymond F Collins, writing in his book "1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: A Commentary". (2004. ISBN 0-664-22247-1 p. 4) says: "By the end of the twentieth century New Testament scholarship was virtually unanimous in affirming that the Pastoral Epistles were written some time after Paul's death. ... As always some scholars dissent from the consensus view."
In addition, David E. Aune in "The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament" (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, page 9) says "While seven of the letters attributed to Paul are almost universally accepted as authentic (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon), four are just as widely judged to be pseudepigraphical, i.e., written by unknown authors under Paul's name: Ephesians and the Pastorals (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus)."
To balance these views, "MacArthur's Study Bible" points out that "it is unnecessary to dignify such unwarranted attacks by unbelievers with an answer" but also asks, "Why would he include warnings against deceivers (2 Tim. 3:13; Titus 1:10), if he himself were one?" Presumably a deceiver would want to avoid bringing up the idea that there might be a deceiver about, because that might prompt them to ask, "What if the person writing this is a deceiver himself?" That would be as foolish as a pickpocket warning his prey that there are vultures everywhere.