By Larry Fyffe
The song lyrics of Bob Dylan contain mulitudes of biblical characters; one of them being Timothy (though he’s not mentioned by name).
As if biblical Christian Timothy, half-Jewish, half-Greek, in his travels, doesn’t have enough problems with the Roman authorities, and orthodox Hebrews, he also has to contend with followers of Greek beliefs akin to those of the later Persian Mani; ie, that light and dark forces in the Cosmos tangle with one another.
Gnostic-like Encratism holds on to the mythological depiction of the moon goddess Diana as a virgin.
Sexual desire be a dark force that needs to be held in check:
Forbidding to marry And commanding to abstain from meats Which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them Which believe and know the truth (I Timothy 4:3)
The dogma that ‘original sin’ is transferred through Adam’s seed becomes a hallmark of particular Christian churches; Saint Augustine, influenced by Mani, leads the charge.
In the song lyrics below, it can be construed that the Timothy of old would not be pleased about that:
I dreamed I saw St, Augustine Alive with fiery breath And I dreamed I was amongst the ones That put him out to death (Bob Dylan: I Dreamed I St. Augustine)
Saint Paul, a Greek-speaking Jew, urges his Christian followers to protect Timothy:
Now if Timotheus come See that he may be with you without fear For he worketh the work of the Lord As I do also (I Corinthians 16: 10)
A modern Saint Paul is not happy with the view of a virginal Moon Goddess either:
I'm so young, and you're so old This my darling, I've been told I don't care just what they say 'Cause forever I will pray You and I will be as free As the birds up in the trees Oh please stay by me, Diana (Paul Anka: Diana)
Overall, however, biblical Paul and Timothy advance a rather negative view of sexual desire.