Timothy, the recipient of this letter, was known for his early piety and familiarity with the sacred Scriptures. His mother was Jewish and his father was Greek, which is why he wasn't circumcised as a baby. In the second letter to Timothy, his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois are mentioned as believers, and Timothy's knowledge of Scripture from childhood is highlighted.
The apostle Paul encountered Timothy in Lystra, where he had a good reputation among the local brethren. Paul chose Timothy as his companion for traveling and spreading the Gospel. Knowing that the Jewish audience might find it difficult to accept the message from an uncircumcised person, Paul circumcised Timothy, adapting to different circumstances to connect with various people.
Together, they traveled to different places, with Timothy actively involved in preaching, establishing churches, and writing letters. Paul sent Timothy on various missions to cities like Corinth, Philippi, and Thessalonica. At the time of writing, Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus for a period. Although Timothy wasn't the permanent bishop or overseer of the Ephesian church, he was entrusted with certain responsibilities and acted under Paul's guidance.
Timothy's presence in Ephesus aimed to counter emerging errors and heresies and uphold the church's discipline. The purpose of this letter was to provide Timothy with guidance on his conduct in the church. Paul emphasized the importance of Timothy's teaching and behavior, offered criteria for selecting bishops and deacons, discussed the care of widows, advised on church discipline, and outlined appropriate behavior for individuals in various roles within the church.