Was Timothy’s father a non-believer?


One passage I'm having a problem with is Acts 16:1. In time past I have heard a couple of different preachers on different occasions say some that Timothy's father was a "non-believer".

I am not confident in teaching that Timothy's father was/was not a believer.  While it is true the text does not say that the father was not a believer, I believe that it does give some clues.  The emphasis in the New Testament is that Timothy was taught, was a believer, had a Greek father, had a Greek name, was not circumcised.  Therefore, Timothy did not worship as a Jew.

  1. He learned the scriptures from his mother and grandmother - II Timothy 1:5
  2. His mother was a Jewish woman who believed - but his father was a Greek. It is implied that his father was not a believer.

Can you shed some light on this for me?  If there is scriptural support to prove that his father was a non-believer I would like to know where it is found.


In case I missed something, I checked numerous commentaries. None assume that Timothy's father was a non-believer. Quite the opposite actually, some wonder if he might have been a believer because Timothy's name means "dear to God" in Greek. Most reject the idea that he could have been a Jewish proselyte since Timothy had not been circumcised and because all in the local Jewish community knew Timothy had not been circumcised because of his father (Acts 16:3). Some also wonder if Timothy's mother was a widow since so much is said of her and her mother and nothing is said about Timothy's father.

In the end, I think all you can state is that Timothy's father was of Greek nationality.

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