Almost three years ago now (yikes) I began blogging through the text of Second Timothy and created a “Phrasal Interlinear” with notes on grammar and syntax. Nothing comprehensive, just a high-level walk through the text, paying attention to grammar and syntax in the notes.

In that, however, I never actually had notes on verses 1-5.

I’m in the process of reviewing and editing those notes to work them into something else less bloggy and more suited to study. So I quickly wrote notes for vv. 1-5. They are below.

Question (for those actually still reading this blog): Are these kinds of notes useful? Do you like them?


Verses 1–2 are a relatively standard Pauline prescript. Ancient letters typically have a prescript consisting of superscription (sender’s name in nominative case), adscription (recipient’s name in dative case), and salutation (some expression of greeting). [[Letter component terminology (prescript, superscription, adscription, salutation, etc.) taken from Hans-Josef Klauck, Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Context and Exegesis. Waco: Baylor Press, 2006, pp. 17–27]]

Verse 1

Παῦλος] Sender’s name in nominative case.

ἀπόστολος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ] Appositional phrase, further describing Paul. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ.
διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ] Prepositional phrase adjectivally modifying ἀπόστολος, informing of the basis of Paul’s apostleship. Paul is an apostle of Jesus through the will of God.

κατʼ ἐπαγγελίαν ζωῆς] Prepositional phrase further  modifying ἀπόστολος, giving further information of the basis of Paul’s apostleship. Not only is it through the will of God, it is also according to the promise of life.

τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ] Here the article functions as a pronoun in a relative clause, providing clarification of the promise of life. The life is that which is had in Jesus.

Verse 2

Τιμοθέῳ] Recipient’s name in the dative case, beginning the adscription.

ἀγαπητῷ τέκνῳ] Appositional phrase further describing the relationship of the recipient to the sender. The sender considers Timothy to be his beloved son.

χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη] A new clause, the salutation. The subject of the salutation is threefold: grace, mercy and peace.

ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν] Prepositional phrase modifying an implied verb. The source of the grace, mercy and peace comes from both the God the Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Verse 3

Χάριν ἔχω τῷ θεῷ] A new clause beginning the thanksgiving portion of the letter introduction. Paul’s letters (apart from Galatians) contain a thanksgiving section after the prescript.

ᾧ λατρεύω ἀπὸ προγόνων ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει] A relative clause. The pronoun referent is God (τῷ θεῷ). Two prepositional phrases adverbially modify the verb λατρεύω (I serve); these detail the reason for service (Paul’s ‘forbears’ served God) and the manner of service (Paul serves with a clear conscience).

ὡς ἀδιάλειπτον ἔχω τὴν περὶ σοῦ μνείαν] This clause functions subordinately, modifying the main clause. It provides some further reason and explanation for Paul’s giving of thanks.

ἐν ταῖς δεήσεσίν μου νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας] A prepositional phrase adverbially modifying the previous subordinate clause. Paul said he “constantly” remembers Timothy; here he provides further detail to his constant rememberance, it is in his prayers both night and day.

Verse 4

ἐπιποθῶν σε ἰδεῖν] This participial clause also modifies the subordinate clause, reiterating Paul’s closeness to Timothy. Not only does Paul pray constantly for Timothy, he also longs to see Timothy.

μεμνημένος σου τῶν δακρύων] Another participial clause. With “remembering your tears,” Paul further indicates the closeness of his relationship with Timothy.

ἵνα χαρᾶς πληρωθῶ] Subordinate clause further modifying the participial clause at the beginning of the verse. Paul longs to see his friend Timothy so that he may be filled with joy.

Verse 5

ὑπόμνησιν λαβὼν τῆς ἐν σοὶ ἀνυποκρίτου πίστεως] This begins a complex participial structure that further modifies the subordinate clause that began in the middle of verse 3. This parallels a previous participial structure, “longing to see you.” It includes a prepositional phrase, “in you” embedded within a noun phrase, “the sincere/unhypocritical faith.”

ἥτις ἐνῴκησεν] A relative clause referring to the sincere faith.

πρῶτον ἐν τῇ μάμμῃ σου Λωΐδι καὶ τῇ μητρί σου Εὐνίκῃ] Paul is tracing Timothy’s spiritual lineage. This clause provides order using “first” then a prepositional phrase with compound object. The sincere faith that Timothy has first dwelt in his grandmother and his mother (Lois and Eunice).

πέπεισμαι δὲ] The δὲ here is developmental. Paul noticed Timothy’s faith first in his grandmother and mother, from there Paul confirms it in Timothy as well.

ὅτι καὶ ἐν σοί] Subordinate clause modifying previous. The καὶ is what would typically be called “adverbial” and is best translated as “also.” The faith Paul saw in Timothy’s mother and grandmother also dwells in Timothy.