The theme of the first of the pastoral letters (1 Timothy) might be summarized as an urgent charge to hold fast to God’s truth in the midst of the whirlwind of man’s falsehood. The entire letter serves as a deeply personal and pastoral commission from the apostle to his young pupil while he journeyed onward for Macedonia. Paul writes out of concern for Timothy because he knows firsthand the environment in which Timothy is ministering at Ephesus. “As I urged you before,” the apostle seems to say, “so I urge you now again.” (1 Tm 1:3) Timothy’s ministerial resolve was undoubtedly enduring severe testing as a cocktail of deplorable philosophies the likes of asceticism, intellectualism, and gnosticism were growing and seeping into the church’s traditions. Such is why Paul writes, aiming to affirm the resolute truth of God’s gospel. And he begins this resolve by contrasting the divergent doctrines being propagated — those of the true church and those of the false teachers.