Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror

47. Timothy, Spiritual Son of the Apostle Paul

Timothy, The Spiritual Son Of The Apostle Apul, Stoned To Death By The Heathen Idolaters At Ephesus, About A. D. 98

Timothy was a native of Lystra in Lycaonia. His father was a Greek, but his mother and grandmother, though of Jewish descent, were Christian believers, the one named Eunice, the other Lois; by whom he was instructed from his youth in the holy Scriptures. Acts 16:1; 2 Tim. 1:5.

Timothy was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium; wherefore Paul received him as his companion in the ministry of the holy Gospel among the Gentiles. Acts 16:2, 3.

Paul loved him with a godly love, and called him his dearly beloved son in the Lord. 2 Tim. 1:2. He afterwards appointed him bishop or teacher of the church, and commended to him the flock of Jesus his Saviour, with the admonition, uprightly to feed and govern the same; to which end he wrote two special epistles to him.

“O Timothy,” he writes, “keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20).

Further: “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee…Through faith and a good conscience” (1:18).

In another place: “Thou, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:1, 2).

In this ministry Timothy acquitted himself as an upright evangelical preacher, until it pleased God, to let him finish his course, not by a common death, but by martyrdom; so that he, with his spiritual father Paul, who had steadfastly preceded him, and especially with his Lord Christ Jesus, who had gone through the conflict many years before, might enjoy the unfading crown of honor in the life of bliss. Thus it happened afterwards, according to history, that, having been bishop at Ephesus for fifteen years, he was there stoned to death by the heathen, whose idolatry he had reproved. This is stated to have taken place in the reign of Domitian, or about A. D. 98, though some have fixed it in the time of Nero. Joh, Gysii Hist. Mart., jol. 14, col. 4, also, Bybelsch Ncembock, letter T. on the name Timothy, jol. 925, col. VJB.

Thieleman J. Van Braght (1625-1664) was an Anabaptist who is best known for writing a history of the Christian witness throughout the centuries entitled “The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660” (1660).

Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror