Timothy is well-known from the Acts of the Apostles and Paul’s Epistles in the Bible. He was a fellow-labourer of the Apostle Paul in the Gospel of Christ (1 Thess. 3:2) and his brother in the Lord (2. Cor. 1:1; Col. 1:1), both of them being the servants of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:1). Timothy was more than a simple fellow-worker for Paul, he was his dearest disciple and his beloved and faithful son in the Lord (1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2). Timothy was Paul’s son in the sense that he was converted by Paul, therefore receiving the “gift of God” (2 Tim. 1:6) from him.
Timothy was born in Lystra. His mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were Jewish, but his father was a Greek (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim 1:5). The family was probably converted to Christianity when Paul preached in Lystra on his first missionary journey. When Paul returned there during his second journey, they were already believers (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim 1:5). Timothy must have been very young (1 Tim. 4:12), but strong in faith (Acts 16:2). Paul circumcised him because of the Jews (Acts 16:3), and took him on his second and third missionary journeys. Timothy was an assistant of Paul and he is mentioned many times in the Acts of the Apostles and Paul’s Epistles. Timothy faithfully carried out the missions Paul entrusted him with, though he was often ill (1 Tim. 5:23). He visited the churches where Paul sent him (1 Thess. 3:2; Acts 19:22; 1 Cor. 4:17) to preach the Gospel, strengthen and exhort the believers and rebuke the sinners.
Timothy accompanied the Apostle Paul for many years, striving together with him to convert the Gentiles and the Jews to Christianity. We know this since Paul wrote many of his Epistles in his and Timothy’s name, such as Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philemon and 2 Corinthians. It is evident from his Epistle to the Romans, that Timothy was with him when the letter was written. Out of Paul’s thirteen letters included in the New Testament, two were written to the beloved Timothy.
From the Epistle to the Hebrews 13:23 we learn that Timothy was imprisoned, most likely for the Word of God, but afterwards he was freed.
According to tradition, Timothy became bishop of Ephesus and was martyred there. During a pagan festival, when the heathen were marching on the streets and committing blasphemous, abominable deeds, Timothy tried to stop them by rebuking them. The pagans attacked him and beat him severely. Some Christians freed him and took him out of the city, but Timothy gave back his spirit to his Maker and became a glorious martyr of God.