Hidden Contributions to Pastorals Scholarship

While articles and monographs which focus specifically on the Letters to Timothy and Titus are easily found, some aspect of the letters may be helpfully treated as a distinct subsection in a larger work, and the larger work is such that one might not suspect work on the Pastorals exists in it. A list of over sixty works of that nature are provided at the link below. Works where the title or topic would make it almost inevitable that significant engagement with the Pastorals would be involved — say, church offices in the NT, widows in the NT, or the role of women in the church according to the NT — are largely excluded. For purposes of this post, we’ve limited ourselves to listing English-language scholarship.

The list is accessible here.

Keener, “Greek vs. Jewish Conceptions of Inspiration and 2 Timothy 3:16”

Craig Keener has an article in the current issue of JETS which will be of interest to students of the Letters to Timothy and Titus:

Keener, Craig S. “Greek Versus Jewish Conceptions of Inspiration and 2 Timothy 3:16.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 63.2 (2020): 217–31.

Abstract: Second Timothy 3:16 speaks of Scripture as θεόπνευστος, “God-breathed,” “inspired.” What would ancient audiences who heard such a claim assume that it entailed regarding accuracy? For many Greek hearers, inspiration entailed divine authority, including on basic historical matters, although some Greek thinkers allowed poetic inspiration without such accuracy. Jewish application of inspiration language to Scripture, however, apparently always entailed its authority and accuracy. Although Jewish interpreters applied various approaches to reconcile or even sidestep apparent conflicts in biblical narratives, their understanding of its inspired authority entailed reliance on Scripture’s truthfulness on all matters that it addressed.

Additions to “2019 Publications” and “Forthcoming Publications [2020]”

We recently posted our annual list of publications on the Pastorals from the previous year, and those which are known to be forthcoming. We have a few additions to make to each list.

Published in 2019 and early 2020:

Falcetta, Alessandro. Early Christian Teachers: The ‘Didaskaloi’ from Their Origins to the Middle of the Second Century. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/516. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020. [note the section on the Pastorals, pp. 145–76]

Herzer, Jens. “Goethes Quark und Holtzmanns Drillinge: Die Pastoralbriefe in Geschichte und Gegenwart.” Pages 125–135 in Update-Exegese 2.0: Grundfragen gegenwärtiger Bibelwissenschaft. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2019.

Herzer, Jens. “Haben die Magier den Verstand verloren? Jannes und Jambres im 2. Timotheusbrief.” Pages 129–41 in Religion als Imagination: Phänomene des Menschseins in den Horizonten theologischer Lebensdeutung. Edited by Lena Seehausen, Paulus Enke, and Jens Herzer. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2020.

Постернак, Андрей (Posternak, Andrey). “Статус Вдов в Первом Послании Апостола Павла к Тимофею (1 Тим 5. 3–16). [The Status of Widows in the First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy (1 Tim 5:3–16)].” Вестник Екатеринбургской духовной семинарии 29.1 (2020): 13–36. DOI: 10.24411/2224-5391-2020-10101 [Russian]

Roberts, Daniel Wayne. “Reading the Pastoral Epistles from a Canonical Perspective in Light of the New Perspective on Paul.” PhD diss., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2020.


Herzer, Jens. Die Pastoralbriefe. Theologischer Handkommentar zum Neuen Testament 13. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, forthcoming 2021 or 2022.

Herzer, Jens. Die Pastoralbriefe in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming 2020 or 2021. [collected essays]

Karaman, Elif. “Widows, the Ephesian Inscriptions, and 1 Timothy 5.” In New Documents Illustrating the History of Early Christianity, Volume 11: Ephesus. Edited by James R. Harrison. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming 2020. [this item was listed among the “forthcoming” works, but here is given with more bibliographic data]

Forthcoming Publications on the Pastorals

We attempt each year to provide a list of forthcoming publications on the Letters to Timothy and Titus. This year, we have compiled a list of a few dozen items, ranging from articles to monographs and commentaries, whose expected dates of release range from less than a month away to close to a decade in the future. Deep thanks goes to various authors who helpfully were able to provide a short description of their work, and publishers who responded to inquiries about forthcoming titles! If you are aware of other forthcoming academic work on the Pastorals, please leave a comment.

Those who work in the Pastorals will know that a spate of commentaries on the letters in various multi-author series was produced around the turn of the millennium, with volumes appearing in the ICC (Marshall, 1999), WBC (Mounce, 2000), ECC (Quinn/Wacker, 2000), AB (Johnson, 2001; Quinn, 2005), NTL (Collins, 2002), and NICNT (Towner, 2006) series. There was a bit of a lull in larger English-language commentaries on the letters in the late 2000s and early 2010s (though note new arrivals in the SP (Fiore, 2007) and THNTC (Wall and Steele, 2012)), but we’re just getting into another period of commentary productivity: the BTCP (Kostenberger, 2017), Pillar (Yarbrough, 2018), ITC (Bray, 2019), and Paideia (Hutson, 2019) volumes are available, and soon to come (as noted in the list linked below) are volumes in the Brill Exegetical Commentary (Pao), TNTC (Padilla, 2021 or 2022 projected), ZECNT (Beale and Beetham, 2022 projected), and BECNT (Porter).

The list of forthcoming publications on the Pastorals may be accessed by clicking here.

Porter on the Pastorals in T&T Clark Social Identity Commentary on the NT

Christopher Porter has produced individual treatments of each of the Letters to Timothy and Titus from a social identity perspective:

Porter, Christopher A. “1 Timothy.” Pages 445–60 in T&T Clark Social Identity Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by J. Brian Tucker and Aaron Kuecker. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2020.

________. “2 Timothy.” Pages 461–68 in T&T Clark Social Identity Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by J. Brian Tucker and Aaron Kuecker. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2020.

________. “Titus.” Pages 469–73 in T&T Clark Social Identity Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by J. Brian Tucker and Aaron Kuecker. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2020.

Porter makes the front matter for the volume available on his Academia page.

Barclay, “Household Networks and Early Christian Economics: A Fresh Study of 1 Timothy 5:3–16”

John M. G. Barclay has produced a treatment of the widows passage in 1 Timothy 5:

Barclay, John M. G. “Household Networks and Early Christian Economics: A Fresh Study of 1 Timothy 5:3–16.” New Testament Studies 66.2 (2020): 268–87.

Here’s the abstract:

“1 Tim 5.3–16 defines which women may be registered for financial support at church expense. It is integrated around four ‘household rules’, but is not concerned to regulate an ‘order’ or ‘office’ of widows. Rather, it clarifies that the church should not supplant households in financial matters, and should be responsible only for destitute widows who have no other network support. Since χήρα can mean ‘woman without a man’, the instructions in 5.3–16 are best interpreted as directed against young women who have chosen celibacy. By contrast, the author conceives of the church as a network of Christian households connected by mutual economic support.”

Roberts on the Pastorals and the New Perspective

Daniel Roberts has produced a PhD dissertation on the Letters to Timothy and Titus and the New Perspective on Paul; the full-text work is available in ProQuest.

Roberts, Daniel Wayne. “Reading the Pastoral Epistles from a Canonical Perspective in Light of the New Perspective on Paul.” PhD diss., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2020.

Abstract: “The ‘New Perspective on Paul,’ as primarily articulated by E. P. Sanders, James D. G. Dunn, and N. T. Wright, has become a provocative way of understanding Judaism as a pattern of religion characterized by ‘covenantal nomism,’ which stands in contrast to the traditional, Lutheran position that argues the Judaism against which Paul responded was ‘legalistic.’ This ‘new perspective’ of first-century Judaism has remarkably changed the landscape of Pauline studies, but it has done so in isolation from the Pastoral Epistles, which are considered by most critical scholarship to be pseudonymous. Because of the lack of interaction with the Pastoral Epistles by the New Perspective on Paul, this study seeks to test the hermeneutic of the New Perspective on Paul from a canonical perspective, as defined by Brevard Childs, in order to bypass some of the contentious issues of Pauline authorship. The specific passages within the Pastoral Epistles studied in this dissertation were chosen via four tenets of the New Perspective on Paul: Justification and Salvation, Law and Works, Paul’s View of Judaism, and his Opponents. Based on these tenets, the passages studied are 1 Tim 1:6–16, 2:3–7, 2 Tim 1:3, 8–12, and Titus 3:3–7. In consideration of these passages, this dissertation will consider to what degree the New Perspective on Paul’s hermeneutic can find resonance outside ‘undisputed’ Paul. This study is not an attempt to validate or invalidate the New Perspective on Paul, but to test the New Perspective on Paul’s hermeneutic within the Pastoral Epistles.”

August, “What Must She Do to Be Saved? A Theological Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:15”

The notorious exegetical crux of 1 Timothy 2:15 has received attention in Themelios by means of the following treatment:

August, Jared M. “What Must She Do to Be Saved? A Theological Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:15.” Themelios 45.1 (2020): 84–97.

Here’s the abstract: “In 1 Timothy 2:15, Paul asserts ‘the woman will be saved through the childbirth.’ This essay asserts that this ‘woman’ is Eve and that this ‘childbirth’ is the birth of the Messiah. Although this interpretation is by no means new, the contribution of this essay rests in its proposal of the evidence for this view, namely, Paul’s use of the Adam/Christ contrast. This essay first analyzes the grammar and context of 1 Timothy 2:15 to assert that a messianic reading of this passage is an exegetically viable option. Subsequently, each instance in which Adam is mentioned by name in the NT is examined (Luke 3:38; Rom 5:14 [x2]; 1 Cor 15:22, 45 [x2]; 1 Tim 2:13, 14; Jude 14), thereby proposing a pattern for when to expect Paul to develop the Adam/Christ contrast.”

The article is available here.

2019 Publications on the Letters to Timothy and Titus

Each year, we provide a list of scholarly publications from the previous year on the Pastorals. We’re a bit later than usual this year, but on the bright side, the list is therefore somewhat more complete! We’ve included several 2020 publications in the list as well, though only those which have already been published, and not those which are yet forthcoming.

Over 100 items long, the list casts its net rather broadly, and one of the aims of the exercise is to highlight research on the Pastorals in languages which are not typically engaged in English-language scholarship.

You can access the list by clicking here.

The Pastorals in NTA 63.3

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A bit belatedly, here are the Pastorals-related items I noted in New Testament Abstracts (63.3 [2019]). Quite a few pertinent items!

(1187) Majtán, L’ubomír. “Timotej—Pavlov delegát v komunitách: Osoba delegáta v Pavlov‎‎ých listoch vo svelte grécko-rimskej korešpondencie a rabínskej halachickej literatúry” [“Timothy—Paul’s Agent in the Communities: The Status of Agent in the Pauline Epistles in the View of Greco-Roman Diplomatic Correspondence and Rabbinic Halachic Literature”]. Studia Biblica Slovaca (Bratislava) 11.1 (2019): 42–56. [Slovak]

(1243) Köstenberger, Andreas J. “An Investigation of the Mission Motif in the Letters to Timothy and Titus with Implications for Pauline Authorship.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 29.1 (2019): 49–64.

(1244) Belleville, Linda L. “Lexical Fallacies in Rendering αὐθεντεῖν in 1 Timothy 2:12: BDAG in Light of Greek Literary and Nonliterary Usage.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 29.3 (2019): 317–41.

(1245) Hylen, Susan E. “Women διάκονοι and Gendered Norms of Leadership.” Journal of Biblical Literature 138.3 (2019): 687–702.

(1246) Sommer, Michael, and Elisabeth Hernitscheck. “Ideen, stereotypen und klischees: Ein kulturgeschichtlich-diskursiver zugang zu witwen in 1 Tim 5.” Revue Biblique 125.4 (2018): 576–97.

(1247) Couser, Gregory A. “The Believer’s Judgment in 2 Timothy, Part 1.” Bibliotheca Sacra 176.703 (2019): 312–26.

(1291) Naselli, Andrew David. “What the New Testament Teaches about Divorce and Remarriage.” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 24 (2019): 3–44. [note “1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6 (also 1 Timothy 3:12),” pp. 37–44]

(1406) Decousu, Laurence. “L’origine de l’imposition des mains épiclétique comme tradition dans les liturgies des ordinations et du baptême.” Questions Liturgiques [Leuven] 99.2–3 (2018–2019): 81–194.

(p. 513) Lambrecht, Jan. In Search of Meaning III: More Notes on the New Testament (2018–2019). Beau Bassin, Mauritius: Scholars’ Press, 2019. (note “49. Grammar and Logic in 2 Timothy 2,11–13 (2018),” pp. 383–88)

(p. 514) Landry, David T., with John W. Martens. Inquiry into the New Testament: Ancient Context to Contemporary Significance. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic, 2019. [Note chapter on Deutero-Pauline and Pastorals]

(p. 514) Merkle, Benjamin L. Exegetical Gems from Biblical Greek: A Refreshing Guide to Grammar and Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2019. [note treatments of 1 Tim 3:6; Titus 2:13; 1 Tim 6:10]

(p. 529) Davey, Wesley T. Suffering as Participation with Christ in the Pauline Corpus. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2019. [note “The Place of SPC [suffering as participation with Christ] in 2 Timothy 2:1–13”]

(p. 536) Romanello, Stefano. Paolo: La vita, le lettere, il pensiero teologico. Milan: Edizioni San Paolo, 2018.

(p. 539) Murray, Timothy J. Restricted Generosity in the New Testament. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/480. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. [note chap. 8: “Restricted Generosity in 1 Timothy 5.3–16,” pp. 196¬¬–222, as well as pertinent discussion of “oikos language” in chapter 6]

(p. 548) Karaman, Elif Hilal. Ephesian Women in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Perspective. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/474. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. [discussion on widows in 1 Tim, pp. 119–23; women and teaching, pp. 157–68]

(pp. 548–49) Koet, Bart J., Edwina Murphy, and Esko Ryökäs, eds. Deacons and Diakonia in Early Christianity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/479. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. [note Lauri Thurén, “Divine Headhunting? The Function of the Qualifications of Deacons in 1 Tim 3:8–13,” pp. 117–30]

(p. 558‒59) Wright, Brian J. Communal Reading in the Time of Jesus: A Window into Early Christian Reading Practices. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2017. (note pp. 173‒82 on the PE, and the implications the broader work has for 1 Tim 4:13)

(p. 559) Zeichmann, Christopher B. The Roman Army and the New Testament. Lanham, MD: Lexington / London: Fortress Academic, 2018. (note section on the Pastorals, pp. 120–22, which highlights “Soldiers of Christ—1 Tim 1:18; 2 Tim 2:3–4”)