Phillip Jensen – 1-2 Timothy Commentary – Q & A

Phillip Jensen is the author of 1-2 Timothy in the For You commentary series. Mr. Jensen was the Dean of Sydney’s St Andrew’s Cathedral, and an outspoken leader of evangelicals in Australia and throughout the world.

He is married to Helen and they have three children and 13 grandchildren. Phillip is Founder of Two Ways Ministries and the author of many books, including By God’s Word, The Archer and the Arrow and the world-famous Two Ways to Live evangelistic resource.

timothy commentary cover

In 2003 Phillip became the Dean of Sydney at St Andrew’s Cathedral and Director of the Sydney Diocesan Ministry Training and Development (MT&D). As Dean he guided the Cathedral in its development as a thriving city church with the gospel clearly proclaimed as the Bible was taught.

He planted congregations to connect with the city dwellers, workers and players. He was Director of MT&D from 2003 – 2012 where he continued his lifelong passion for training people in ministry as he led the department in providing ongoing training for ministers in the Sydney Diocese.

In December 2014 Phillip resigned from parish ministry to commence work with Two Ways Ministries which is based at Moore Theological College.

Phillip leads the work of Two Ways Ministries, which seeks to serve people by proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus through teaching people the Bible; challenging and recruiting Christians into this great work by training a network of evangelistic leaders who apply their Biblical knowledge to their priorities and practice, to live boldly and single-mindedly for Christ.

Two Ways Ministries’ programs include Thursday and Friday night Forums, Trajectory weekends, Launch Camp, seminars for theological students and the Queen’s Birthday Conference.

Phillip currently accepts many invitations to preach on Sundays and to speak at national and international conferences where he continues to model preaching the gospel by teaching the Bible.

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7 Questions on 1-2 Timothy in For You Commentary Series

Recently, Mr. Jensen kindly answered my questions about his 1-2 Timothy commentary. Readers will learn how this commentary came to be, what is unique about it among 1-2 Timothy commentaries, and how the project edified him personally.

1. What previous research and/or personal interests led you to this project and helped prepare you to write this commentary on 1-2 Timothy?

A life time of expounding the Scriptures has given me a love for all 66 books. I wrote 1 and 2 Timothy because the publisher asked me to.

2. Who is the intended audience for this commentary? Would it benefit pastors? professors? students? lay Christians in the local church?

This commentary is written in accordance with the goals and pattern of the “For You” series.

“Each volume of the God’s Word For You series takes you to the heart of a book of the Bible, and applies its truths to your heart. The central aim of each title is to be:

  • Bible centered
  • Christ glorifying
  • Relevantly applied
  • Easily readable

You can use 1 & 2 Timothy For You: To read. You can simply read from cover to cover, as a book that explains and explores the themes, encouragements and challenges of this part of Scripture. To feed. You can work through this book as part of your own personal regular devotions, or use it alongside a sermon or Bible-study series at your church. Each chapter is divided into two (or occasionally three) shorter sections, with questions for reflection at the end of each. To lead. You can use this as a resource to help you teach God’s word to others, both in small-group and whole-church settings. You’ll find tricky verses or concepts explained using ordinary language, and helpful themes and illustrations along with suggested applications.

These books are not commentaries. They assume no understanding of the original Bible languages, nor a high level of biblical knowledge. Verse references are marked in bold so that you can refer to them easily. Any words that are used rarely or differently in everyday language outside the church are marked in grey when they first appear, and are explained in a glossary toward the back. There, you’ll also find details of resources you can use alongside this one, in both personal and church life. Our prayer is that as you read, you’ll be struck not by the contents of this book, but by the book it’s helping you open up; and that you’ll praise not the author of this book, but the One he is pointing you to.”

Carl Laferton,

Series Editor

3. What is unique about this commentary? What contribution does it make to studies of 1-2 Timothy?

I did not aim to make it a contribution to the studies of 1 and 2 Timothy but to look freshly at the text for itself. As an Anglican in the ecclesiastical structure of bishops, priests and deacons, as a Calvinist in the ecclesiastical structure of eldership it was striking to see how little these letters are about ecclesiastical structures and how much they encouraged my Evangelical passion for the gospel and world evangelism.

4. What section or passage of this commentary was particularly memorable to research and write? Why?

1 Timothy 3:16 is the key to understanding Paul and his relationship to Timothy as they worked together as partners in the gospel. That verse fills out what Paul means in 2 Timothy by preaching the word and doing the work of an evangelist.

5. What personally edified you in writing this commentary, increasing your affections for Christ?

Understanding the nature of godliness in terms of the gospel rather than morality.

6. Besides your commentary, what are your top recommended books (commentaries or otherwise) on 1-2 Timothy?

There are many standard commentaries on 1 and 2 Timothy. George W. Knight is a safe pair of hands, William D. Mounce is exhaustive if not exhausting.

7. What is next for you? What project are you currently working on? How can people follow your work and ministry?

I now work for Two Ways Ministries, encouraging young adults to live single mindedly for Christ. Two Ways Ministries has set up and administers which contains much of my preaching and writing and which will be relaunched in a new format soon. I am working on a book about the work of the Holy Spirit, and another on the work of evangelism. But who know whether they will see the light of day?

Own Phillip Jensen’s 1-2 Timothy commentary

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