Acts 16:2
Which was well reported of by the brothers that were at Lystra and Iconium.
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16:1-5 Well may the church look for much service from youthful ministers who set out in the same spirit as Timothy. But when men will submit in nothing, and oblige in nothing, the first elements of the Christian temper seem to be wanting; and there is great reason to believe that the doctrines and precepts of the gospel will not be successfully taught. The design of the decree being to set aside the ceremonial law, and its carnal ordinances, believers were confirmed in the Christian faith, because it set up a spiritual way of serving God, as suited to the nature both of God and man. Thus the church increased in numbers daily.Which - That is, Timothy. The connection requires us to understand this of him. Of the character of his father nothing is known.

Was well reported of - Was esteemed highly as a young man of piety and promise. Compare the notes on Acts 6:3. Compare 1 Timothy 5:10. Timothy had been religiously educated. He was carefully trained in the knowledge of the holy Scriptures, and was therefore the better qualified for his work, 2 Timothy 3:15.



1-5. Then came he to Derbe and Lystra; and, behold, a certain disciple was there—that is, at Lystra (not Derbe, as some conclude from Ac 20:4).

named Timotheus—(See on [2032]Ac 14:20). As Paul styles him "his own son in the faith" (1Ti 1:2), he must have been gained to Christ at the apostle's first visit; and as Paul says he "had fully known his persecutions which came on him at Lystra" (2Ti 3:10, 11), he may have been in that group of disciples that surrounded the apparently lifeless body of the apostle outside the walls of Lystra, and that at a time of life when the mind receives its deepest impressions from the spectacle of innocent suffering and undaunted courage [Howson]. His would be one of "the souls of the disciples confirmed" at the apostle's second visit, "exhorted to continue in the faith, and" warned "that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Ac 14:21, 22).

the son of a certain … Jewess—"The unfeigned faith which dwelt first in his grandmother Lois" descended to "his mother Eunice," and thence it passed to this youth (2Ti 1:5), who "from a child knew the Holy Scriptures" (2Ti 3:15). His gifts and destination to the ministry of Christ had already been attested (1Ti 1:18; 4:14); and though some ten years after this Paul speaks of him as still young (1Ti 4:12), "he was already well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium" (Ac 16:2), and consequently must have been well known through all that quarter.

but his father was a Greek—Such mixed marriages, though little practiced, and disliked by the stricter Jews in Palestine, must have been very frequent among the Jews of the dispersion, especially in remote districts, where but few of the scattered people were settled [Howson].

Though Timothy was well known unto Paul, yet he would not ordain him without the testimony of others concerning him, of his holy life, and knowledge in the Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:15, which he did excel in. Which was well reported of,.... Not the father of Timothy, but Timothy himself; to whose piety, virtue, and good conversation witness was borne,

by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium; the members of the churches which were in these places, and which were not far from one another; and as it is necessary that ministers of the Gospel should have a good report of them that are without, so likewise of them that are within; and the testimony of the latter is preferable to that of the former.

Which was {b} well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

(b) Both for his godliness and honesty.

Acts 16:2. ἐμαρτυρεῖτο, cf. Acts 6:3, Acts 10:22, Acts 22:12. The good report which may well have been formed to some extent by the aptitude and fitness which Timothy had shown in the Church during St. Paul’s absence may also have helped the Apostle in the selection of his future companion. The union of Lystra and Iconium is quite natural for common intercourse, Ramsay, St. Paul, p. 178. There is no reason to suppose with Rendall that Iconium would be the home of Eunice, as the synagogue and principal Jewish colony were there, see Edersheim, u. s.2. well reported of] The same expression is used of Cornelius (Acts 10:22) and by Paul of Ananias (Acts 22:12).

by the brethren] i.e. the members of the Christian churches. Five or six years had elapsed since the previous visit of St Paul, so that the congregations had become somewhat formed, and the characters of their more earnest members well known.

at Lystra and Iconium] Thus we can see that there was an interchange of kindly offices between the newly-founded churches.Verse 2. - The same for which, A.V. This is an improvement, as making it plain that it was Timothy, not his father, who was well reported of. For the phrase, ὅς ἐμαρτυοεῖτο see Acts 6:3; Acts 10:22; Luke 4:22. At Lystra and Iconium; coupled together, as in 2 Timothy 3:11. It appears, too, from Acts 14:19, that there was close communication between Icouium and Lystra. The brethren at Iconium would, therefore, naturally know all about young Timothy (comp. 1 Timothy 3:7).
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