Thing 1, Thing 2

To quote the great theologian Dr. Seuss:

Thing 1: have we adequately thought through the fact that, even under the current consensus (deceptive pseudonymity a generation or more after Paul’s death), the PE were received by the original audience as genuinely Pauline? 

Whatever the case with authorship–and I don’t buy the standard arguments–when we posit some kind of deceptive pseudonymity, we are a. acting as resistant readers, and b. marginalizing or ignoring the way the letters were heard by the original audience(s).

Thing 2: when the PE mention houses or families (e.g., OIKOS in Titus 1.11, “misleading whole families“, what is the possibility that this is a reference to HOUSE CHURCHES (a home-based congregation within the network of house churches) rather than a nuclear or extended family, whatever constituted such in that day and culture?


  1. Rick Brannan says:

    On Thing 2 — Would you be saying that in, for example, Titus 1.6, family language might be read as references to churches that meet in houses? That the "his children are believers/faithful" (see also Ray’s previous post) is a reference to the ones meeting at the house? If so, what does "husband of one wife" mean in this context?

    My initial thought is that since family relationships in earlier verses (Titus 1.6) seem to point to actual families and their mechanics/dynamics, then Titus 1.11 would be referencing households, and not house churches.

    Are there other potiential references or instances of word-groups outside of OIKOS that you’re thinking of? The idea is intriguing, but I don’t know that it works in Titus 1.11.

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