2 Timothy written in Philippi?

At his Patheos blog, Michael Bird recently cited a lengthy portion from Helmut Koester’s History and Literature of Early Christianity where Koester argues that 2 Timothy (which he takes as pseudonymous) was written from Philippi. After mentioning the various locations Paul refers to in the latter part of the letter, Koester states, “Any glance at a map will show that he thought of Paul as imprisoned in Philippi.” He is not mildly suggesting. See the full section at Bird’s blog.

This depends on the pseudonymity of the letter, of which I am not convinced, but it is intriguing to see this argument. It would be interesting to connect this with the work of Peter Walker who has made fresh arguments for placing the PE within the chronology.

Papers from ETS Group Published in Journal

img_3602We had a great session at the Pastoral Epistles study group at ETS last week with four strong papers. I was pleased to announce in our session that the latest issue of the Southeastern Theological Review has been released and is devoted to the Pastoral Epistles. Most of the articles came from papers previously presented in our study group. Editor, Ben Merkle, has done a wonderful job bringing these together. Here are the contents:

“Kinship, Christian Kinship, and the Letters to Timothy and Titus,” Charles J. Bumgardner

“Divergent, Insurgent or Allegiant? 1 Timothy 5:1-2 and the Nature of God’s Household,” Gregory A. Couser

“Paul’s Family of God: What Familial Language in the Pastorals Can and Cannot Tell Us about the Church,” Gregory J. Stiekes

“Πιστος ὁ λόγος: An Alternative Analysis,” L. Timothy Swinson

“Paul’s Letters to Timothy and Titus: A Literature Review (2009-2015),” Charles J. Bumgardner

“Interview with Ray Van Neste of Union University”

Several of the papers deal with the household and family language of the Pastorals, and I found them particularly helpful. Tim Swinson challenges the typical way of understanding Paul’s use of the phrase “πιστoς ὁ λόγος.” If you’ve been reading this site, you are already aware of Bumgardner’s bibliographic grasp, and his literature review here is quite helpful.

I had the privilege of doing an interview on how the Pastoral Epistles discussing how they have impacted my life, noting some ongoing work and pointing to various ways the church needs the Pastorals specifically today.

Southeastern posts the full journal free online, so I expect it will appear at their website soon.

 

Pastoral Epistles ETS Study Group, Next Week

If you are coming to ETS next week in San Antonio, I hope you will join us for our study group on the Pastorals. We have a great line up of papers again this year as you can see from the schedule below. I have included the room, date, time, speakers and titles. Jermo Van Nes will not be able to join us, but he has sent me his paper and I will read it in his stead.

SESSION INFORMATION
11/16/2016

8:30 AM-11:40 AM
Hyatt — Bowie C

Moderator
Ray Van Neste, Union University

8:30 AM—9:10 AM
Ardel Caneday, University of Northwestern- St. Paul
“Save Yourself and the People Who Hear You: An Authentic Pauline Exhortation”

9:20 AM—10:00 AM
Jermo Van Nes, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit
“Motif-Semantic Differences in Paul? A Question to Advocates of the Pastorals’ Plural Authorship”

10:10 AM—10:50 AM
Andreas Köstenberger, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“An Investigation of the Mission Motif in the Letters to Timothy and Titus with Implications for Pauline Authorship”

11:00 AM—11:40 AM
Gordon Franz, Christian Information Ministries
“The Archaeological Background to the Epistle of Titus and the First-Century church on the Island of Crete”

“Jesus’s Testimony before Pilate in 1 Timothy 6:13” by Michel Gourgues

The latest issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature contains Michel Gourgues’s article, “Jesus’s Testimony before Pilate in 1 Timothy 6:13” (JBL 135:3 [2016]: 639-48)- the abstract can be viewed here. Gourgues notes the fact that outside of the Gospels and Acts, 1 Timothy is the only other place Pilate is mentioned. Arguing from the context and structure of the passage in 1 Timothy 6 and verbal parallels with the account of Jesus’s trial in John, Gourgues argues that 1 Timothy 6:13 draws from John’s gospel (or traditions behind John’s gospel). He sees this as confirming a later date for the composition of 1 Timothy.

I appreciated Gourgues’s attention to the context and structure of 1 Timothy 6. He mentions but dismisses (rightly, I think) those who explain this text as simply pre-formed material inserted into the letter. He notes that the pieces fit together reasonably so that if pre-formed material is used it has been shaped to fit the context.

I think most would agree with his point that the confession of Jesus in 6:13 parallels the confession called for from Timothy in 6:12. I agree and think that the historical appeal to the example of Jesus is meant to bolster Timothy in an analogous situation. Gourgues argues that this confession of Timothy’s was most likely a baptismal confession. This is reasonable, though I’m not sure it can be proven. The idea of this being a baptismal confession is then the basis for looking for traditional material which could provide the basis for the language in 6:13. Gourgues then notes several verbal parallels between 1 Timothy and John’s gospel. These are interesting and potentially significant parallels, but the article ends abruptly stating that these parallels “suggest” 1 Timothy 6:13 alludes to “the Johannine version of Jesus’s appearance before Pilate” (648). This then “suggests” a late date for 1 Timothy.

I find the conclusion of the article disappointing. There is some interesting information here, but he hurries to a conclusion where I thought it needed more reflection and reasoning. I am not convinced that enough evidence was marshalled to make a strong case for literary borrowing from John’s gospel. Furthermore, though he briefly acknowledges the possibility of drawing from traditions pre-dating the writing of John’s gospel, he does not adequately consider that this could undo his thesis.

So, this is an interesting article worth reading, though I am unconvinced of his thesis in the end. Hopefully Gourgues will show us elsewhere some more of his thinking on this data.

Free Commentary on Titus

Aldred Genade’s book, The Letter To Titus: The Qualified Pastor: How to Lead and Manage God’s Church the Right Wayis free on Kindle through tomorrow (July 18). Genade did his doctoral work on rhetorical strategies in the letter to Titus under the supervision of D. F. Tolmie at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

I have not yet read this new work by Genade, but wanted to pass on this opportunity to get a free copy.

Southeastern Theological Review on the Pastorals

Heads up: The forthcoming issue of the Southeastern Theological Review, edited by Ben Merkle, will be devoted to studies on the Pastoral Epistles. I have had the opportunity to read some of the essays and look forward to them being made available to a wider audience.

Southeastern Theological Review is a peer reviewed journal and posts full issues online for free. You can access the journal at their website or sign up to receive a free pdf of the journal when each issue is published.

The Impact of the Incoherence & Inauthenticity Argument

I just discovered that my article, “Authorship and Coherence in 1 Timothy,” was published in December in the Global Journal of Classic Theology. The article is a version of a paper originally delivered at the Pastoral Epistles study group at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting. It is a brief examination of some of theological convictions behind the turn in academia against 1 Timothy (and the Pastorals in general). Here is the abstract:

Abstract: This brief essay surveys the move away from confidence in the Pauline authorship towards increasing marginalization of all the Pastoral Epistles today. Critics of Schleiermacher in the 1800’s warned that his arguments against 1 Timothy would lead to further drift from orthodoxy. Though those critiques were derided at the time, the warnings have proven true. We need a renewed evaluation of what has been missed in evangelical scholarship by too easily leaving the Pastoral Epistles out of our conversations on Paul.

New Article on 1 Tim 5:9-16 by Dillon Thornton

I have previously mentioned the excellent paper by Dillon Thornton presented at our meeting of the Pastoral Epistles group at ETS last year. The paper, titled ” ‘Saying What They Should Not Say’: Reassessing the Gravity of the Problem of the Younger Widows (1 Tim 5:9-16)” has just been published in the most recent issue of JETS. You can see the paper here.

New Edition of Calvin’s Sermons on 1 Timothy

Calvin sermons coverI have finally published the new edition of Calvin’s sermons on 1 Timothy which Brian Denker and I worked on for so long. Due to its size (330,000+ words) the digital format seemed a good way to go, so it is published through Amazon for Kindle. The cost is only $2.99 for all 54 sermons.

These sermons reveal Calvin’s pastoral heart, his evangelistic fervor, and his devotion to the word of God. I have posted my introduction and a sample sermon for free so you can get a feel for the book.

I have pasted in below the commendations for the book which I have received. Howard Marshall has enthusiastically responded to my email saying he wanted to write a commendation, but sadly he passed away before being able to write it. Howard commented on how Andrew Walls read from these sermons (directly from the French original) at one of the early InterVarsity meetings he attended as a student.

I hope these sermons can encourage, challenge, and bless others as they have me.

“In this new edition of Calvin’s sermons on the Pastoral Epistles we meet the Reformer at his liveliest and most compelling. The subject matter lends itself to practical application, and here we see Calvin at the height of his pastoral powers. This new edition brings the original to life for our generation and we must hope that it will be widely read and used by preachers everywhere.”

  • Gerald Bray, Research Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“So many think of John Calvin as a theologian, as one who lived separate from the people writing theological books in splendid isolation. But Calvin was a pastor who was involved in the rough and tumble of everyday life. Above all else, he was a preacher, one who proclaimed the word of God to the people of God. We see in these sermons the heart of a preacher as he exhorts and instructs his congregation. Calvin’s theology was not abstract to him; it was meant to be believed and lived out in the home and in the market place. In these sermons on 1 Timothy we see Calvin the pastor at work as he proclaims God’s word for the church of Jesus Christ. Read and be instructed, challenged, encouraged, convicted, and changed.”

  • Tom Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Ray Van Neste has done English readers a great service by making John Calvin’s sermons on 1 Timothy readily accessible. The 1579 English translation is simply too intimidating for many modern readers to tackle leaving the theological and pastoral wisdom of the reformer in these sermons virtually locked away. This edition is completely retyped using modern words and phrases to maintain the original English meaning. Where serious questions remained these then were checked against the original French in which the sermons first appeared. A helpful introduction which includes a suggested approach to reading the sermons makes this work all the more valuable. Those who know Calvin only as a theologian will discover in these sermons that he was a first and foremost a tender, compassionate and evangelist pastor. I hope this book gains a wide reading.”

  • Tom Ascol, Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, FL

“Today’s preachers have much to gain by reading and studying sermons from past masters of the pulpit. Unfortunately, some great preachers of the past are relatively inaccessible because of differences of language. Thus, Ray Van Neste and Brian Denker have done us a great service by editing and updating the 1579 English edition of Calvin’s Sermons on 1 Timothy, making them accessible to 21st century readers. In these 54 sermons, Calvin is revealed not to be the austere theologian of modern caricatures, but a loving, caring pastor who wanted his people to understand the truth of God’s Word. This significant collection will be of interest not only to students of Calvin but to any reader interested in better understanding Paul’s inspired first letter to his protégé Timothy.”

  •   Michael Duduit, Executive Editor, Preaching magazine, and Dean of the College of Christian Studies & Clamp Divinity School, Anderson University, Anderson, SC

 

Second Timothy: Notes on Grammar, Syntax, & Structure

Rick Brannan has written a new book, Second Timothy: Notes on Grammar, Syntax, & Structure, which is soon to be published with Appian Way Press. The book provides a block-style outline and translation, treats major structures in the text, and comments on grammatical and syntactical issues phrase by phrase through the letter.

I have had an opportunity to see the manuscript and found it useful. Here is the blurb I have written for it:

“This is a fascinating study as Brannan comments on grammatical and syntactical relationships throughout 2 Timothy with comments on the implications for flow of thought and meaning. I am not aware of anything quite like this available anywhere else. This will be a great resource for anyone working through the Greek text of 2 Timothy.”

You can find information about the book and a couple of sample portions here.