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The historical setting:  It was written some time after Paul's imprisonment that is described for us at the very end of the book of Acts.  So, what is written about in I Timothy describes Church life in a time period that is later than that which is recorded in the book of Acts.

We can tell from I Timothy 1:3 and 3:14 that Paul was no longer in prison when he wrote this letter.  From these verses we learn that he had just gone to Macedonia and he also hoped to come to Timothy soon.  Also, in his two letters to Timothy and his one letter to Titus (another of his disciples), Paul describes travels that are not described in book of Acts and that came after Paul's imprisonment in Rome (TITUS - to Crete, Titus 1:5, and to Troas, Titus 3:12; I TIMOTHY - to Ephesus and Macedonia, I Timothy 1:3; and II TIMOTHY - to Troas, II Timothy 4:13, and to Miletus, II Timothy 4:20).  Paul wrote Philippians while he was in prison at Rome.  In Philippians he wrote that he expected to be freed from his imprisonment so that he could come and see the Christians at Philippi. See Philippians 2:24

What happened in Paul's life after the book of Acts?  As is recorded in I and II Timothy and Titus, he traveled back through Asia (our modern-day Turkey) and through Greece where he visited the churches in these regions (He may have traveled through these areas more than once.)…After Paul left Timothy at Ephesus (in Asia), he went to Macedonia (in Europe).  He wrote this letter to Timothy after he left Ephesus, but before he returned to Ephesus again (I Timothy 1:3, 3:14).  The purpose of Paul's letter is to instruction Timothy about how to lead the Church at Ephesus while he is gone.


The period in Paul's life when the book was written:  It is believed that the book of Titus was written after Paul's imprisonment in Rome that is described in Acts 28 and before his final imprisonment that resulted in his death.

He wrote II Timothy during his final imprisonment and just before his death.  See II Timothy 1:12,16  It is believed that he died during his second imprisonment in Rome.  Tradition says that he was killed in Rome during Nero's reign.

In I Timothy, II Timothy, and Titus, Paul mentions travels that are not described in the book of Acts.  It appears, then, that these travels by Paul took place after his imprisonment that is described in the final chapters of the book of Acts.  During these final journeys he visited the Macedonians, including Philippi (I Timothy 1:3), Troas (II Timothy 4:13), Miletus  (Timothy 4:20), Ephesus (I Timothy 1:3), Corinth (II Timothy 4:20), as well as Crete (Titus 1:5).