Timothy was Paul's companion in many of his journeyings. His mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, are mentioned as eminent for their piety (2 Timothy 1:5). We know nothing of his father but that he was a Greek (Acts 16:1). He is first brought into notice at the time of Paul's second visit to Lystra (16:2), where he probably resided, and where it seems he was converted during Paul's first visit to that place (1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 3:11). The apostle having formed a high opinion of his "own son in the faith," arranged that he should become his companion (Acts 16:3), and took and circumcised him, so that he might conciliate the Jews. He was designated to the office of an evangelist (1 Tim. 4:14), and went with Paul in his journey through Phrygia, Galatia, and Mysia; also to Troas and Philippi and Berea (Acts 17:14). Thence he followed Paul to Athens, and was sent by him with Silas on a mission to Thessalonica (17:15; 1 Thessalonians 3:2). We next find him at Corinth (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) with Paul. He passes now out of sight for a few years, and is again noticed as being with Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19:22), whence he is sent on a mission into Macedonia. He accompanied Paul afterwards into Asia (20:4), where he was with him for some time. When the apostle was a prisoner at Rome, Timothy joined him (Philemon 1:1), where it appears he also suffered imprisonment (Hebrews 13:23). During the apostle's second imprisonment he wrote to Timothy, asking him to rejoin him as soon as possible, and to bring with him certain things which he had left at Troas, his cloak and parchments (2 Timothy 4:13).
According to tradition, Paul ordained Timothy Bishop of Ephesus in AD 65, where he served for 15 years. In 80, Timothy tried to halt a pagan procession of idols, ceremonies and songs. In response to his preaching of the Gospel, the angry pagans beat him, dragged him through the streets and stoned him to death. In the 4th century, his relics were transferred to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. The Church also numbers Timothy among the 70 apostles sent out by Jesus to preach the Gospel.
Two books of the New Testament bear his name: I Timothy and II Timothy. These are traditionally believed to have been written by the Apostle Paul to the Apostle Timothy.
Timothy, in Greek, means to fear or honor God.
- [Icon of Saint Timothy by the hand of Nicholas Papas]
- [goarch page for St. Timothy] with apolytikion, kontakion, and reading
- [oca page for St. Timothy] with troparion and kontakion