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It's pretty obvious to me that Paul was mentoring Timothy in the new testament, but what was Timothy's role within the church? Was he an assistant to Paul, Paul's representative, or was he actually a young church leader such as a pastor?

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Apparently Timothy was a traveling preacher like Paul, who Paul mentioned in several of his epistles, as well as writing two epistles directly to Timothy. Paul called Timothy his own "son in the faith" in both epistles to Timothy, and they did a lot of traveling together, (Acts 20: 4, 1 Thessalonians 1: 1, 2 Corinthians 1: 1), and he did a lot of traveling and preaching on his own. He was imprisoned and released at least once (we're not told why), and Paul considered him his most capable and most trusted assistant.

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