Why was Timothy put in prison in Rome?


I was researching the web for any clues I might gain as to the author of Hebrews, when it was written, etc. and I found your web page.

As you know, there are many theories. I tend to believe that it was Paul, possibly Luke — translating Paul’s Hebrew into Greek, while Paul was in prison in Rome. But the question that remains unanswered for me is: Hebrews refers to Timothy being released. Why was Timothy put in prison in Rome? He was obviously with Paul there when he wrote Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon, but for what and why was he imprisoned — and by the implication at the end of Hebrews, then released? (Almost, as it were, after Paul’s release).

If you have any plausible theory or explanation, I would be most grateful. Thanks.


As you note, Timothy was with Paul during Paul's imprisonment. The letters were written by Paul while he was a prisoner (Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon) mention Timothy. From Philippians 2:19-24, I would say that Timothy was released before Paul. And while "Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly" (Hebrews 13:23) indicates Timothy is already free, Hebrews 10:34 and Hebrews 13:19 indicates that the author was still in prison.

Albert Barnes argues that the writer is saying that Timothy was released from obligations to Paul while in prison to see congregations that Paul was concerned about, such as Philippi. But we know that Paul wasn't the only prisoner. Aristarchus (Colossians 4:10) and Epaphras (Philemon 23) were both in prison with Paul, so it isn't hard to imagine that Timothy was also arrested for a period of time.

As to why Timothy was in prison, we don't know. The most likely is that it had something to do with teaching the gospel.


Thank you so much for your response. It was very helpful.

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