This recent, brief essay by D. A. Carson in Themelios is helpful for unpacking what “the work of an evangelist” means in 2 Timothy 4:5 in practical terms. Very useful.
In J. I. Packer’s recent book, Finishing Our Course with Joy: Guidance from God for Engaging with Our Aging, he turns to the Pastorals frequently. In the following quote he gives a helpful, practical picture of the church in the PE
The Pastoral Letters in the New Testament all indicate, one way or another, that the church must expect to be constantly infected by misbelief as well as misbehavior. And congregations in every age must see themselves as learning communities in which gospel truth has to be taught, defended, and vindicated against corruptions of it and alternatives to it. Being alert to all aspects of the difference between true and false teaching, and of behavior that expresses the truth as distinct from obscuring it, is vital to the church’s health.
This definition is useful to all of us regardless of age (as his book is also useful in many ways, regardless of age).
Korinna Zamfir Men and Women in the Household of God: A Contextual Approach to Roles and Ministries in the Pastoral Epistles (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013)
Korinna Zamfir is Associate Professor at the faculty of Roman Catholic Theology of the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj in Romania, and she has published several works on the Pastoral Epistles. This is a very thorough monograph which will demand attention from those doing future work in the Pastorals. By “contextual” Zamfir means the social and cultural context from which the text emerged, and by “roles and ministries’ she means the authorization of people to serve in various ways and the roles expected of various groups, particularly men and women. Zamfir draws from Abraham Malherbe regarding social and cultural context.
The book assumes non-Pauline authorship written in the third generation of Christianity and that the NT preserves perspectives from competing strands of Christianity. This is not uncommon in more critical work, though the assumption of competing strands of Christianity seems, to me, to be too readily accepted with slim basis. Zamfir also sees the Pastorals as documents which are attempting to move a community towards a more culturally conservative perspective. She stresses the directives of the letters do not represent what is really happening in these churches but what the author wants to happen- which is probably different from the current reality.
Although I do not share many of the basic assumptions with which Zamfir works, this book is worthy of careful attention. She develops the idea of the church as oikos, noting that although this has often been thought of as a private family the metaphor is also used of larger public groups like the polis. The key texts on gender roles also receive significant attention.
In the most recent Journal of Biblical Literature, Brice C. Jones has published an article on three new Coptic papyrus fragments that witness text of the Pastoral Epistles.
Brice C. Jones, “Three New Coptic Papyrus Fragments of 2 Timothy and Titus (P.Mich. inv. 3535b)”. Journal of Biblical Literature, no 2 (2014): 389–397.
The article provides discussion and transcriptions of the fragments. Text on the fragments are:
- Fragment 1: 2 Tim 2:14–18; 2:26–3:3
- Fragment 2: 2 Tim 1:6–11; 1:18–2:6
- Fragment 3: 2 Tim 4:18–20; Titus 1:7–9
Jones hesitates to provide dates any more specific than “sometime between the fourth and sixth centuries” (392).
I have yet to really read the article, but any time fragments of NT text are located, it is an important thing. Thanks to Brice C. Jones (see his blog) for his work in publishing these fragments.
Keeping up with new publications on a certain topic can be quite a challenge. Howard Marshall once told me that when he began teaching it was possible to read everything that came out on the New Testament. He went on to comment on how hard it is now just to keep up with one specific area.
Chuck Bumgardner has helpfully passed along the following bibliography of items which deal specifically at some length with the Pastorals which have been published in 2013 or so far in 2014. I found it to be a thorough list, adding only a few items myself. If you know of others please mention it by emailing us at pastoralepistles at gmail dot com.
Broer, Ingo. “Täuschungsabsicht in den kanonischen Schriften? Ein Problembericht.” Pages 233-52 in Lukas—Paulus—Pastoralbriefe: Festschrift für Alfons Weiser zum 80. Geburtstag. Edited by Rudolfe Hoppe and Michael Reichardt. Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 230. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2014.
Collins, Raymond F. Accompanied by a Believing Wife: Ministry and Celibacy in the Earliest Christian Communities. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 2013.
Downs, David J. “The God Who Gives Life That Is Truly Life: Meritorious Almsgiving and the Divine Economy in 1 Timothy 6.” Pages 242-60 in The Unrelenting God: God’s Action in Scripture: Essays in Honor of Beverly Roberts Gaventa. Edited by David J. Downs and Matthew L. Skinner. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013.
Dragutinović, Predrag. “Bischofsamt und Ehe in 1 Tim 3,2.” Biblische Notizen 158 (2013): 119-34.
Ehrman, Bart G. Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Goodrich, John K. “Overseers as Stewards and the Qualifications for Leadership in the Pastoral Epistles.” Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der alteren Kirche 14 (2013): 77–97.
Harding, Mark. “The Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 328–52 in All Things to All Cultures: Paul among Jews, Greeks, and Romans. Edited by Mark Harding and Alanna Nobbs. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013.
Herzer, Jens. “Den guten Kampf gekämpft: Das Ende des Paulus im Spiegel des Zweiten timotheusbriefes und der frühchristlichen Überlieferung.” Pages 339-69 in Lukas—Paulus—Pastoralbriefe: Festschrift für Alfons Weiser zum 80. Geburtstag. Edited by Rudolfe Hoppe and Michael Reichardt. Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 230. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2014.
Jones, Brice C. “Three New Coptic Papyrus Fragments of 2 Timothy and Titus (P.Mich. inv. 3535b).” Journal of Biblical Literature 133 (2014): 389-97.
Krumbiegel, Friedemann. Erziehung in den Pastoralbriefen: Ein Konzept zur Konsolidierung der Gemeinden. Arbeiten zur Bibel und ihrer Geschichte 44. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2013.
Lappenga, Benjamin J. “‘Zealots for Good Works’: The Polemical Repercussions of the Word ζηλωτήςin Titus 2:14.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 75 (2013): 704-18.
Lips, Hermann von. “Paulus als ‘Erster’ in Sünde und Gnade: Überlegungen zu 1 Tim 1,15f.” Pages 303-14 in Lukas—Paulus—Pastoralbriefe: Festschrift für Alfons Weiser zum 80. Geburtstag. Edited by Rudolfe Hoppe and Michael Reichardt. Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 230. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2014.
Maier, Harry O. Picturing Paul in Empire: Imperial Image, Text and Persuasion in Colossians, Ephesians and the Pastoral Epistles. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013.
Malina, Bruce J. and John J. Pilch. Social-Science Commentary on the Deutero-Pauline Letters. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013
Martin, Brice. “1 Timothy 3:16—A New Perspective.” Evangelical Quarterly 85 (2013): 105–20.
Nullens, Patrick. “Theologia caritatis and the Moral Authority of Scripture: Approaching 2 Timothy 3:16-17 with a Hermeneutic of Love.” European Journal of Theology 22 (2013): 38-49.
Oberlinner, Lorenz. “Paulus als Garant der Kontinuität in der diskontinuität christlichen Glaubenslebens des 1. Jh.: Zum Anspruch des pseudepigraphischen Verfassers der Pastoralbriefe.” Pages 253-70 in Lukas—Paulus—Pastoralbriefe: Festschrift für Alfons Weiser zum 80. Geburtstag. Edited by Rudolfe Hoppe and Michael Reichardt. Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 230. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2014.
Pate, C. Marvin. “The Pastorals: Hellenistic Religion, the Imperial Cult, Philonic Mystical Exegesis, and Paul’s Inaugurated Eschatology.” Pages 257-292 in Apostle of the Last Days: The Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2013.
Pietersen, Lloyd K. “2 Timothy 3:10-17 and a Spirituality of Persecution.” Pages 233-52 in The Bible and Spirituality: Exploratory Essays in Reading Scripture Spiritually. Edited by Andrew T. Lincoln, J. Gordon McConville, and Lloyd K. Pietersen. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013.
Rosner, Brian S. Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God. New Studies in Biblical Theology 31. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2013.
Schreiner, Thomas R. “‘Problematic Texts’ for Definite Atonement in the Pastoral and General Epistles.” Pages 375–97 in From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective. Edited by David Gibson and Jonathan Gibson. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013.
Spencer, Aida Besançon. 1 Timothy. New Covenant Commentary Series. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2013.
Spencer, Aida Besançon. 2 Timothy and Titus. New Covenant Commentary Series. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2014.
Spurgeon, Andrew B. “1 Timothy 2:13-15: Paul’s Retelling of Genesis 2:4-4:1.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 56:3 (September 2013): 543-556.
Stewart, Alistair. The Original Bishops: Office and Order in the First Christian Communities. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2014.
Stiekes, Gregory J. “Liturgy in the Pastoral Epistles.” Artistic Theologian 2 (2013): 37–50.
Theobald, Michael. “Eucharistische Anspielungen in der Weisung an die Reichen 1 Tim 6,17-19: Anfrage an ihre ‘individualethische’ Deutung.” Pages 315-38 in Lukas—Paulus—Pastoralbriefe: Festschrift für Alfons Weiser zum 80. Geburtstag. Edited by Rudolfe Hoppe and Michael Reichardt. Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 230. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2014.
________. “Israel- und Jerusalem-Vergessenheit im Corpus Pastorale? Zur Rezeption des Römerbriefs im Titus- sowie im 1. und 2. Timotheusbrief.” Pages 317-412 in Ancient Perspectives on Paul. Edited by Tobias Nicklas, Andreas Merkt, and Joseph Verheyden. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 102. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013.
________. “Von den Presbytern zum Episkopos (Tit 1,5–9): Vom umgang mit Spannungen und Widersprüchen im Corpus Pastorale.” Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 104 (2013): 208–237.
Twelftree, Graham. “The Remembered Paul.” Pages 272-303 in Paul and the Miraculous: A Historical Reconstruction. Grand Rapids, 2013.
Weidemann, Hans-Ulrich. “‘Jedoch, ich fand Erbarmen . . .’ (1Tim 1,13). Bekehrung und Indienstnahme des Paulus in den Pastoralbriefen.” Pages 59-95 in Ancient Perspectives on Paul. Edited by Tobias Nicklas, Andreas Merkt, and Joseph Verheyden. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 102. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013.
________. “Selbstbeherrschte Hausherren: Beobachtungen zur rhetorischen Funktion des Maskulinitätsideals in den Pastoralbriefen.” Pages 271-301 in Lukas—Paulus—Pastoralbriefe: Festschrift für Alfons Weiser zum 80. Geburtstag. Edited by Rudolfe Hoppe and Michael Reichardt. Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 230. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2014.
Wilder, Terry L. “Does the Bible Contain Forgeries?” Pages 166–181 in In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture. Edited by Steven B. Cowan and Terry L. Wilder. Nashville: B&H, 2013.
Zamfir, Korinna. Men and Women in the Household of God: A Contextual Approach to Roles and Ministries in the Pastoral Epistles. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus / Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments 103. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013.
Brice Jones has published an article titled, “Three New Coptic Papyrus Fragments of 2 Timothy and Titus (P.Mich. inv. 3535b),” [full text in pdf] in the latest issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature. The article publishes for the first time the extant remains of a Sahidic Coptic papyrus codex containing portions of 2 Timothy 1–4 and Titus 1 along with paleographical analysis and commentary.
John Stott’s exposition of 2 Timothy, published just over 40 years ago, remains one of the best pastoral expositions of this letter available. And, now you can get an ebook copy of this commentary for free from IVP! Go to this link, sign up and then you can download the commentary. Thanks to IVP for making such a wonderful resource available in this way.
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