The Second Letter of Paul to Timothy - Τιμόθεον Β - is preceded by First Timothy and followed by his Letter to Titus in the New Testament of the Bible. The two letters to Timothy and the one to Titus comprise the Pastoral Letters of Paul, for they are concerned with the work of a pastor in caring for his community. Paul wrote this letter from prison (1:16-17) - thus Second Timothy is also considered one of the 5 Captivity Epistles, along with Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.

Timothy was one of St. Paul's early converts and disciples. Timothy is first mentioned in Acts 16:1, when Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra in Asia Minor. Timothy accompanied Paul on both his second and third missionary journeys to Europe. Judging by the text, St. Paul wrote this to Timothy as a prisoner in Rome (1:16-17), and was soon to meet his fate (4:6). This is his last writing, as he suffered martyrdom shortly thereafter in Rome. As such, the tone of this letter is quite emotional and personal in character, as Paul is writing last instructions to his chosen successor, Timothy.

Second Timothy 2:11-13, the heart of the Letter, speaks of the faithfulness of Christ, and may be an early liturgical hymn. Paul employs the rare Greek word ὀρθοτομéω or orthotomew, which means "to cut a straight path," in advising Timothy in 2:15 to "Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, a worker having no need to be ashamed, guiding the word of truth along a straight path."

Second Timothy 3:1-9 notes the poor character of people in the Last Days. 3:5 reports to avoid those "who make a pretense of religion but deny its power." Paul comments in First Corinthians 5:9-13 the impossibility of avoiding contact with sinners in society, but enjoins them to preserve the inner purity of their own community, noting Deuteronomy 13:6 - "Purge the evil person from your midst." A similar phrase is found in Second Corinthians 6:14 - "Do not associate with unbelievers. For what basis can there be for a partnership between righteousness and lawlessness? What do light and darkness have in common?" And Second Thessalonians 3:14-15 reads: "If anyone refuses to obey our instructions in this letter, take note of him and have nothing to do with him so that he may be put to shame. However, do not treat him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."

St. Paul speaks of living in Christ in Second Timothy 3:12 - "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." A highly quoted passage is Second Timothy 3:16-17, recognizing the Divine inspiration of the Bible and extolling its virtue: "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work."

The Final Greeting mentions Luke, Mark, Titus, and also Linus, likely the one that followed Peter as Bishop of Rome. And 4:13 is the only mention of parchment in the Bible, suggesting a period of transition with commonly used papyrus.

The following Scripture is from the Douay-Rheims Bible, now in the public domain. The Douay-Rheims Bible was the standard English Bible for Catholics for over 300 years, and still remains in use today. The Douay-Rheims Bible was the first approved English translation of St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate Bible. The Old Testament translation was completed at the English College of Douai, France in 1609, and the New Testament at the English College of Rheims, France in 1582. The Douay-Rheims Bible was revised by Bishop Challoner in England from 1749 to 1752. The Haydock Douay-Rheims Bible of 1814 was the one upon which President John F. Kennedy took the oath of office on January 20, 1961 to become the 35th President of the United States.



1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, according to the promise of life, which is in Christ Jesus. 2 To Timothy my dearly beloved son, grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I give thanks to God, whom I serve from my forefathers with a pure conscience, that without ceasing, I have a remembrance of thee in my prayers, night and day. 4 Desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 Calling to mind that faith which is in thee unfeigned, which also dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice, and I am certain that in thee also.

Instructions to Timothy

6 For which cause I admonish thee, that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee, by the imposition of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of sobriety. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but labour with the gospel, according to the power of God, 9 Who hath delivered us and called us by his holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the times of the world. 10 But is now made manifest by the illumination of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath destroyed death, and hath brought to light life and incorruption by the gospel:

11 Wherein I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For which cause I also suffer these things: but I am not ashamed. For I know whom I have believed, and I am certain that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him, against that day. 13 Hold the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith, and in the love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 Keep the good thing committed to thy trust by the Holy Ghost, who dwelleth in us. 15 Thou knowest this, that all they who are in Asia, are turned away from me: of whom are Phigellus and Hermogenes.

16 The Lord give mercy to the house of Onesiphorus: because he hath often refreshed me, and hath not been ashamed of my chain: 17 But when he was come to Rome, he carefully sought me, and found me. 18 The Lord grant unto him to find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou very well knowest.


1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus: 2 And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also. 3 Labour as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No man, being a soldier to God, entangleth himself with secular businesses; that he may please him to whom he hath engaged himself. 5 For he also that striveth for the mastery, is not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 6 The husbandman, that laboureth, must first partake of the fruits. 7 Understand what I say: for the Lord will give thee in all things understanding.

8 Be mindful that the Lord Jesus Christ is risen again from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my gospel.

9 Wherein I labour even unto bands, as an evildoer; but the word of God is not bound. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with heavenly glory.

11 A faithful saying: for if we be dead with him, we shall live also with him.
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us.
13 If we believe not, he continueth faithful, he can not deny himself.

A Workman Approved by God

14 Of these things put them in mind, charging them before the Lord. Contend not in words, for it is to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

15 Carefully study to present thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they grow much towards ungodliness. 17 And their speech spreadeth like a canker: of whom are Hymeneus and Philetus: 18 Who have erred from the truth, saying, that the resurrection is past already, and have subverted the faith of some. 19 But the sure foundation of God standeth firm, having this seal: the Lord knoweth who are his; and let every one depart from iniquity who nameth the name of the Lord. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and earth: and some indeed unto honour, but some unto dishonour. 21 If any man therefore shall cleanse himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and profitable to the Lord, prepared unto every good work.

22 But flee thou youthful desires, and pursue justice, faith, charity, and peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 And avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they beget strifes. 24 But the servant of the Lord must not wrangle: but be mild towards all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 With modesty admonishing them that resist the truth: if peradventure God may give them repentance to know the truth, 26 And they may recover themselves from the snares of the devil, by whom they are held captive at his will.


The Last Days

1 Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. 2 Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, 3 Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, 4 Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God:

5 Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.

6 For of these sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, who are led away with divers desires: 7 Ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no farther; for their folly shall be manifest to all men, as theirs also was.

Paul's Example and Teaching

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions: such as came upon me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra: what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me.

12 And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.

13 But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse: erring, and driving into error. 14 But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned, and which have been committed to thee: knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,
17 That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.


1 I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: 2 Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. 3 For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: 4 And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. 5 But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober.

6 For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
8 As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day:
and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming. Make haste to come to me quickly.

Final Requests and Greetings

9 For Demas hath left me, loving this world, and is gone to Thessalonica: 10 Crescens into Galatia, Titus into Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. 12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 The cloak that I left at Troas, with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the coppersmith hath done me much evil: the Lord will reward him according to his works: 15 Whom do thou also avoid, for he hath greatly withstood our words. 16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their charge.

17 But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me, that by me the preaching may be accomplished, and that all the Gentiles may hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 The Lord hath delivered me from every evil work: and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth. And Trophimus I left sick at Miletus. 21 Make haste to come before winter. Eubulus and Pudens, and Linus and Claudia, and all the brethren, salute thee.
22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.