Some people think he was a child or a teenager, others believe he was a young man when he converted to Christianity.

Is there any Biblical evidence to support any of these assumptions?


How old was Timothy when he became a Christian ? The question?

when he converted to Christianity?

Some people think he was a child?

Some people think he was a teen?

Some people think he was a young man.?

Is there any Biblical evidence, to support any of these assumptions?

2Ti 1:2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (Not here...)

He has grandmother Lois, and mother Eunice; who were in the faith first, cause.....it say so here.

2Ti 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. (Nope, not here either...)

We could speculate, but they frown on that here. I'm pretty much outta ideas.

So, no, there is no biblical evidence to prove any of these assumptions; which is really odd, 'cause you have a whole bunch of people that you cited there that think he was a child, a teenager, and a young man. That covers nearly half his life. And yet with all of these questions, and several speculative witnesses I can find no evidence of any of it. At least nothing substantial with respect to his age, or when he became a Christian.

We do, however, have him narrowly pegged; anywhere from a child to a young man, over a period of approximately twenty years. We can't really say any of that though; we must try to be precise when answering questions here, so as strange as it may seem there is absolutely no evidence for any of these assumptions. I'm surprised, I thought I would be able to find more.

I'm also surprised that no one else has answered this question yet. I almost never make it to a post before the moderators do; and this one is only seven months old. Weird.


By curtesy of Bruised Reed, we do also have this verse:

1Ti 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

This is good evidence that Timothy was a youth at the time Paul wrote 1 Timothy.

Also from Bruised Reed, I should have let him answer this one, we have incontrovertible evidence that: Timothy was familiar with the Holy scriptures from infancy. That's pretty close to a definitive answer there, if it weren't for that pesky doubt about whether or not Paul was speaking in the context of Judaism. Hek with it, I am going to change my answer in light of this new evidence.

Answer: Timothy was an infant when he became a Christian; there is plenty of evidence to support that assumption.

Thank you Bruised Reed.

2 Timothy 3:14-15New International Version 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

  • 1 Tim 4:12 gives us a tiny bit of info - he was "young" when Paul wrote 1 Timothy. Jan 14 '17 at 15:16
  • Darn, I missed that, do you mind if I borrow it for my answer? It could use a little more support for some of my assertions. I would of course give you full credit @BruisedReed. Jan 14 '17 at 15:21
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    you're welcome, but as for "actually I think you really did all of the footwork": nonsense - you got in there and had a go, well done. Jan 14 '17 at 15:59
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    Knowing the Scriptures from childhood is not an evidence for conversion to Christianity. It does not make one a Christian. The Devil knew the Word of God from creation, that does not make him a follower of Jesus. Matthew 4:5-6 5 Then the devil *took Him into (G)the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘(H)He will command His angels concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jan 25 '17 at 22:21
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    "Answer: Timothy was an infant when he became a Christian; there is plenty of evidence to support that assumption." Where does this come from? You know that the "Scriptures" he knew were the Old Testament, right? Beyond this, "infants" (brephos/βρέφος) means babies or maybe toddlers at the oldest. Infants don't "know" the Scriptures in any profound manner. MUCH speculation here, and data coming in after an opinion is expressed! If a person hasn't really dug deep into a subject, perhaps it's better not to publish on that subject.
    – Gary
    Nov 18 '20 at 18:45

(Sorry, but some of the following is "tradition," and some is speculative.) Paul may have known about Timothy when he visited Lystra on his first missionary journey, but Paul actually met Timothy sometime about AD 48/49, while on his second missionary journey, when he revisited Lystra. Now, all of the commentators , I read, (too many to list here), referenced "tradition" when referring to the date of Timothy's death, which is put at AD 97..., and they add that Timothy was 80 at that time. So, speculatively speaking, if "tradition" is just even close, when you do the math and back up from AD 97 to (let's say) AD 49, that's 47 years; and, if you subtract 47 from Timothy's speculative age at death, (80), you get 33. So, even though these dates are speculative, it "could be concluded" that Timothy might have been in his late 20's or even early 30's when he was actually converted.

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    Welcome to C-SX. Many thanks for this good answer. It would be greatly improved with some references.
    – user43409
    Jan 31 '19 at 2:31

How old was Timothy when he became a Christian?

Timothy was between 49 and 52 years old when he was converted to Christianity by the preaching of St. Paul. He died around the year 97 A.D. at the age of 80. He became a Christian in either 48 A.D. or 51 A.D.

St. Timothy was an early Christian evangelist and the first Christian bishop of Ephesus, who tradition relates died around the year AD 97.

Timothy was from the Lycaonian city of Lystra in Asia Minor, born of a Jewish mother who had become a Christian believer, and a Greek father. The Apostle Paul met him during his second missionary journey and he became Paul’s companion and missionary partner along with Silas. The New Testament indicates that Timothy traveled with Paul the Apostle, who was also his mentor. Paul entrusted him with important assignments. He is addressed as the recipient of the First and Second Epistles to Timothy.


Timothy was a native of Lystra in Lycaonia (Anatolia). When Paul and Barnabas first visited Lystra, Paul healed a person crippled from birth, leading many of the inhabitants to accept his teaching. When he returned a few years later with Silas, Timothy was already a respected member of the Christian congregation, as were his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, both Jews. In 2 Timothy 1:5, his mother and grandmother are noted as eminent for their piety and faith. Timothy is said to have been acquainted with the Scriptures since childhood. In 1 Corinthians 16:10 there is a suggestion that he was by nature reserved and timid: "When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord".

Timothy's father was a Greek Gentile. Thus Timothy had not been circumcised and Paul now ensured that this was done, according to Acts 16:1–3, to ensure Timothy's acceptability to the Jews whom they would be evangelizing. According to John William McGarvey: "Yet we see him in the case before us, circumcising Timothy with his own hand, and this 'on account of certain Jews who were in those quarters'". This did not compromise the decision made at the Council of Jerusalem, that gentile believers were not required to be circumcised.

Timothy became St Paul’s disciple, and later his constant companion and co-worker in preaching. In the year 52, Paul and Silas took Timothy along with them on their journey to Macedonia. Augustine extols his zeal and disinterestedness in immediately forsaking his country, his house, and his parents, to follow the apostle, to share in his poverty and sufferings. Timothy may have been subject to ill health or "frequent ailments", and Paul encouraged him to "use a little wine for your stomach's sake".

When Paul went on to Athens, Silas and Timothy stayed for some time at Beroea and Thessalonica before joining Paul at Corinth. Timothy next appears in Acts during Paul's stay in Ephesus (54–57), and in late 56 or early 57 Paul sent him forth to Macedonia with the aim that he would eventually arrive at Corinth. Timothy arrived at Corinth just after Paul's letter, 1 Corinthians reached that city.

Timothy was with Paul in Corinth during the winter of 57–58 when Paul dispatched his Letter to the Romans (Romans 16:21). According to Acts 20:3–6, Timothy was with Paul in Macedonia just before Passover in 58; he left the city before Paul, going ahead of him to await Paul in Troas (Acts 20:4–5). "That is the last mention of Timothy in Acts", Raymond Brown notes. In the year 64, Paul left Timothy at Ephesus, to govern that church.

His relationship with Paul was close and Paul entrusted him with missions of great importance. Timothy's name appears as the co-author on 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Paul wrote to the Philippians about Timothy, "I have no one like him" (Philippians 2:19–23). When Paul was in prison and awaiting martyrdom, he summoned his faithful friend Timothy for a last farewell.[10]

That Timothy was jailed at least once during the period of the writing of the New Testament is implied by the writer of Hebrews mentioning Timothy's release at the end of the epistle.

Although not stated in the bible, other sources have records of the apostle's death. The apocryphal Acts of Timothy states that in the year 97 AD, the 80-year-old bishop tried to halt a procession in honor of the goddess Diana by preaching the gospel. The angry pagans beat him, dragged him through the streets, and stoned him to death.

We know St. Paul first visited Lystra in 48 A.D. and then in 51 A.D. as well as four other times. Timothy was certainly converted to the faith on one of St. Paul’s first two visits to Lystra.


Paul the Apostle visited here to preach the Christian gospel in 48 AD and again in 51 AD on his first and second missionary journeys, initially coming after persecution drove him away from Iconium.

Paul visited this city again on his second missionary tour. Timothy, a young disciple there,[13] was probably among those who on the previous occasion at Lystra witnessed Paul's persecution and courage. Timothy left Lystra to become the companion of Paul and Silas on the rest of the Second Missionary Journey. It is also possible that Paul revisited Lystra near the beginning of his Third Missionary Journey.

  • 1timothy 4:12 at least ten years after his being circumcised Paul tells Timothy let no one look down on your youth. Are you telling me that this was said to a 60+ year old man?
    – Kris
    Nov 20 '20 at 3:22

Paul circumcised Timothy. This might be a clue that Timothy was younger than 16. Then Paul refers to him for his "youth"(1 Timothy 4-12). Jesus was around 30 when he started his ministry and no one said he was "young". This give us a clue that Timothy was around 25 when Paul ordained him as Bishop or overseer of a church at that young age.

A second consideration: Timothy must have been born around the time Jesus died and resurrected. This give us a clue that Christianity was expanding by the time he was 10 years old or around the year 40 A.D. Some tradition states his birth on A.D. 17 which puts him at an age that should not be considered "young" or "cirscumsidable" by 40 A.D. Timothy was a child when Christianity was expanding greatly in Asia Minor. So "young" seems to be younger than Jesus when He started his ministry. Timothy was around 25-26 when he was in charge of a congregation ordained by Paul.

Timothy had a mother and a grandmother alive and very active. This give us a clue that they were healthy and young, and by age comparison and analysis we can get to the conclusion that Timothy was younger than 16 when Paul met him. Timothy was about the same age the Apostole John was when Jesus called him(16).

I hope this contribution doesn't gets flagged. Thanks. Great topic!

  • This answer makes a lot of assumptions that you haven't justified. Like for example, that because Paul circumcised Timothy, that he was younger than 16. Why do you think that? You also haven't given any logical reason for saying that Timothy was around 25 when Paul ordained him, or why you think he was born around the time of Jesus's death/resurrection. Why if Timothy was 23 in AD 40 would that not be considered "young"??? You need to edit this to explain it all in detail.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 8 at 2:42
  • You need to back up your claims, else this will remain just a speculative narrative. Apr 8 at 4:45

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