The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part III

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


Ign. Rom. 9.2 || 1Ti 1.13



(2) ἐγὼ δὲ αἰσχύνομαι ἐξ αὐτῶν λέγεσθαι· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἄξιός εἰμι, ὢν ἔσχατος αὐτῶν καὶ ἔκτρωμα· ἀλλʼ ἠλέημαί τις εἶναι, ἐὰν θεοῦ ἐπιτύχω.
(2) But I myself am ashamed to be counted among them, for I am not worthy, since I am the very last of them and an abnormality. But I have been granted the mercy to be someone, if I reach God.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (174, 175). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


13 τὸ πρότερον ὄντα βλάσφημον καὶ διώκτην καὶ ὑβριστήν, ἀλλὰ ἠλεήθην, ὅτι ἀγνοῶν ἐποίησα ἐν ἀπιστίᾳ· (1Ti 1.13, NA27)
13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent, insolent man. But I was shown mercy, because I acted unknowingly in unbelief. (1Ti 1.13, my own translation)


The contact in this instance is slight. A relatively common word (ελεεω, 24x in NT, 16x in AF)* in common syntactic context. The syntactic context is the contrasting use of ἀλλὰ. In both situations, “but I was shown/granted mercy” i used to explain the previous statement.


In Ign. Rom., the previous statement has to do with Ignatius’ unworthiness of Christ. In what is perhaps a bit of faux humility, Ignatius pleads that he is not worthy to be counted among the church in Syria because he is an ‘abnormality’. This actually has more similarity with another area of Paul’s writing (particularly in the use of ἔκτρωμα, an NT hapax that only occurs here in the AF), 1Co 15.8-10 where Paul uses the same word in the same sort of argument. After establishing his unworthiness, Ignatius proceeds to contrast his unworthiness with the statement that, in spite of his unworthiness, he has been given mercy.


This basic idea is very similar to what is happening in First Timothy. Paul establishes his unworthiness to be a servant of Christ by appealing to his former life, where he was a self-described blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent and insolent man. In Paul’s eyes these are disqualifications for the service of Christ. But, says Paul, he was provided mercy. The contrasting use of the provision of mercy in spite of professed unworthiness is what echoes back to First Timothy.


Based on the similar contexts and usage (these two instances are the only instances in NT and AF of κατα + ελεεω), it seems as if Ignatius betrays knowledge of this area of First Timothy (and also First Corinthians) in his argumentation. This is not a loose quotation or even really an allusion. It does, however, seem feasible that Ignatius is making loose references to a few different Pauline thoughts in this one statement.


Next up: Ign. Smyrn. 4.2 || 1Ti 1.12





*The NT is approximately 2.5-3x the size of the AF corpus, so we can see that ελεεω is actually more common in the AF corpus if one compares frequency (24/138019 in NT, 16/~55000 in AF). Ignatius uses the word 6x in his letters, but three of those instances are in prologues (Rom, Phld, Smyrn).

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part II

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


Ign. Poly 4.3 || 1Ti 6.2



(3) δούλους καὶ δούλας μὴ ὑπερηφάνει· ἀλλὰ μηδὲ αὐτοὶ φυσιούσθωσαν, ἀλλʼ εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ πλέον δουλευέτωσαν, ἵνα κρείττονος ἐλευθερίας ἀπὸ θεοῦ τύχωσιν. μὴ ἐράτωσαν ἀπὸ τοῦ κοινοῦ ἐλευθεροῦσθαι, ἵνα μὴ δοῦλοι εὑρεθῶσιν ἐπιθυμίας. (Ign. Poly. 4.3)
(3) Do not treat slaves, whether male or female, contemptuously, but neither let them become conceited; instead, let them serve all the more faithfully to the glory of God, that they may obtain from God a better freedom. They should not have a strong desire to be set free at the church’s expense, lest they be found to be slaves of lust. (Ign. Poly. 4.3)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (196, 197). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


2 οἱ δὲ πιστοὺς ἔχοντες δεσπότας μὴ καταφρονείτωσαν, ὅτι ἀδελφοί εἰσιν, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον δουλευέτωσαν, ὅτι πιστοί εἰσιν καὶ ἀγαπητοὶ οἱ τῆς εὐεργεσίας ἀντιλαμβανόμενοι. Ταῦτα δίδασκε καὶ παρακάλει. (1Ti 6.2, NA27)
2 But those having believers as masters must not be disrespectful because they are brothers, rather they must serve more, because the ones who benefit from their good work are believers and beloved. Command and teach these things. (1Ti 6.2, my own translation)


In both passages, the attitude of believing slaves toward their masters is dealt with. Slaves must serve their masters respectfully (that is, not conceitedly) to bring glory to God.


Contact in this passage is primarily topical, though some lexical similarity is present:



  • Ign. Poly. ἀλλὰ μηδὲ αὐτοὶ φυσιούσθωσαν // neither let them become conceited ==> 1Ti μὴ καταφρονείτωσαν // must not be disrespectful

Here the contact is topical. The warning to the slave is essentially the same; Ignatius urges Polycarp that slaves should not become conceited. That is, slaves are to not consider their equality in Christ to adversely affect their relationship with their masters. They are still in a relationship of submission to their master, to subvert that would be to subvert the station they are in. Paul urges Timothy in much the same way; slaves who are believers (and therefore equal in Christ’s eyes with their believing masters) are not to suddenly disrespect their masters because they are brothers in Christ. In both cases the underlying sentiment is similar though the words used to describe the sentiment are different.



  • Ign. Poly. ἀλλʼ … πλέον δουλευέτωσαν // let them serve all the more faithfully ==> 1Ti ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον δουλευέτωσαν // rather they must serve more.

Here the contact is both syntactic and lexical. Both clauses use the conjunction ἀλλὰ to provide a logical contrast with what precedes. Instead of being disrespectful, Ignatius writes, slaves are to serve even more faithfully. Equality in Christ is no reason to serve less and to disrespect one’s master; it is instead a powerful argument to serve one’s master even better than before. In both Ign. Poly. and 1Ti, the verb is δουλεύω occurring in the present active imperative 3d plural δουλευέτωσαν. Both texts make the same contrast with roughly the same language.


However, one aspect that may argue against Ignatius’ alluding to First Timothy is the context of the passage. In Ign. Poly., the text is directed to the masters of the slaves. But First Timothy is directed to the slaves themselves.


One further interesting item in this context, however, is Ignatius’ displayed knowledge of the book of Ephesians in his next sentences. In Ign. Poly. 5.1, we find:



Flee from wicked practices; better yet, preach sermons about them. Tell my sisters to love the Lord and to be content with their husbands physically and spiritually. In the same way command my brothers in the name of Jesus Christ to love their wives, as the Lord loves the church.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (197). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


This language mirrors that of Eph 5.25, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church”. In some way, Ignatius had knowledge of Ephesians.* This knowledge is displayed in close proximity to our passage which has affinity with First Timothy.


Based on the lexical and syntactic similarity of the contrasting phrase and the somewhat radical idea that slaves should serve their masters more as a result of being brothers in order to properly honor and glorify God, I think it possible that Ignatius displays knowledge of this passage in First Timothy.


Next up: Ign. Rom. 9.2 || 1Ti 1.13





* Understandably knowledge of Ephesians does not prove knowledge of any of the Pastoral Epistles. But there are several possible points of contact between Ignatius’ writings and Paul’s epistles (9+ pages of links in the Oxford Committee’s work). Logic dictates that they can’t all be chance, coincidence, or based on some Q-like earlier common source material.

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part I

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


There are several points of contact between Ign. Eph. 14.1; 20.1; Magn. 8.1 and 1Ti 1.3-5.


Ign. Eph. 14.1; 20.1; Magn. 8.1 || 1Ti 1.3-5



14.1 Ὧν οὐδὲν λανθάνει ὑμᾶς, ἐὰν τελείως εἰς Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἔχητε τὴν πίστιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην· ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀρχὴ ζωῆς καὶ τέλος· ἀρχὴ μὲν πίστις, τέλος δὲ ἀγάπη· τὰ δὲ δύο ἐν ἑνότητι γενόμενα θεός ἐστιν, τὰ δὲ ἄλλα πάντα εἰς καλοκαγαθίαν ἀκόλουθά ἐστιν.
14.1 None of these things escapes your notice, if you have perfect faith and love toward Jesus Christ. For these are the beginning and end of life: faith is the beginning, and love is the end, and the two, when they exist in unity, are God. Everything else that contributes to excellence follows from them.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (144, 145). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


20.1 Ἐάν με καταξιώσῃ Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ ὑμῶν, καὶ θέλημα ᾖ, ἐν τῷ δευτέρῳ βιβλιδίῳ ὃ μέλλω γράφειν ὑμῖν, προσδηλώσω ὑμῖν ἧς ἠρξάμην οἰκονομίας εἰς τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωπον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ πίστει καὶ ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ ἀγάπῃ, ἐν πάθει αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀναστάσει,
20.1 If Jesus Christ, in response to your prayer, should reckon me worthy, and if it is his will, in a second letter which I intend to write to you I will further explain to you the subject about which I have begun to speak, namely, the divine plan with respect to the new man Jesus Christ, involving faith in him and love for him, his suffering and resurrection,
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (148, 149). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


8.1 Μὴ πλανᾶσθε ταῖς ἑτεροδοξίαις μηδὲ μυθεύμασιν τοῖς παλαιοῖς ἀνωφελέσιν οὖσιν· εἰ γὰρ μέχρι νῦν κατὰ Ἰουδαϊσμὸν ζῶμεν, ὁμολογοῦμεν χάριν μὴ εἰληφέναι.
8.1 Do not be deceived by strange doctrines or antiquated myths, since they are worthless. For if we continue to live in accordance with Judaism, we admit that we have not received grace.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (154, 155). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


3 Καθὼς παρεκάλεσά σε προσμεῖναι ἐν Ἐφέσῳ πορευόμενος εἰς Μακεδονίαν, ἵνα παραγγείλῃς τισὶν μὴ ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν 4 μηδὲ προσέχειν μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις ἀπεράντοις, αἵτινες ἐκζητήσεις παρέχουσιν μᾶλλον ἢ οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει. 5 τὸ δὲ τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας ἐστὶν ἀγάπη ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας καὶ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς καὶ πίστεως ἀνυποκρίτου, (1Ti 1.3-5, NA27)
3 As I urged you while I was on my way to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach contrary doctrine, 4 nor to cling to myths and endless genealogies—which give rise to useless speculations rather than administration from God that is by faith. 5 The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned. (1Ti 1.3-5, my own translation)


Three excerpts from Ignatius’ letters, each of which have differing points of contact with the opening verses (after the salutation) of First Timothy. I’ll handle each point of contact individually below, plus add one of my own.


Ign. Eph. 14.1 || 1Ti 1.5



14.1 … ἀρχὴ μὲν πίστις, τέλος δὲ ἀγάπη· …
14.1 … faith is the beginning, and love is the end, …


5 τὸ δὲ τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας ἐστὶν ἀγάπη ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας καὶ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς καὶ πίστεως ἀνυποκρίτου, (1Ti 1.3-5, NA27)
5 The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned. (1Ti 1.3-5, my own translation)


Here the similarity is based on a juxtaposition of terms: τελος (end/goal) and αγαπη (love), where love is the end or goal. These occuring with πιστις (faith) in such a close context, and where faith and love are tied together.


The differences, however, are notable. In Ign. Eph., faith and love are a spectrum, with faith at the beginning and love at the end. The same word is used for end (τελος) but is the semantic sense the same? In Ign. Eph. the logical translation is end due to the contrast with beginning. But there is no such order implied in 1Ti 1.5. And there are three items in a list, not two things forming a spectrum.  And the two items that the passages share are in a different order (faith … love in Ign., love … faith in 1Ti).


All the same, the lexical correlation, particularly that of τελος and αγαπη, are interesting. Ignatius could be influenced in his construction by First Timothy, but it could just be coincidence.


Ign. Eph. 20.1 || 1Ti 1.4



20.1 … προσδηλώσω ὑμῖν ἧς ἠρξάμην οἰκονομίας …
20.1 … I will further explain to you the subject about which I have begun to speak, namely, the divine plan …


… οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει. 
4 … administration from God that is by faith.


Here it seems as if the similarity is based on the one word, οικονομια, in both instances having to do with divine guidance or plan. But it seems to me as if Ign. Eph. 18.2 would be the better passage to posit similarity here:



(2) ὁ γὰρ θεὸς ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς ὁ Χριστὸς ἐκυοφορήθη ὑπὸ Μαρίας κατʼ οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ, ἐκ σπέρματος μὲν Δαυίδ πνεύματος δὲ ἁγίου· ὃς ἐγεννήθη καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη ἵνα τῷ πάθει τὸ ὕδωρ καθαρίσῃ. (Ign. Eph. 18.2)
(2) For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit. He was born and was baptized in order that by his suffering he might cleanse the water. (Ign. Eph. 18.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (148, 149). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


In Ign. Eph. 18.2, the lexical similarity is exact: οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ. It may even be that οἰκονομίας in 20.1 is a reference back to 18.2, where the discussion of “God’s plan” began. (NB: I would need to re-read Ign. Eph. to confirm that suggestion; note οικονομια is also used in 6.2). Note Col. 1.25, which uses the same terminology:



25 ἧς ἐγενόμην ἐγὼ διάκονος κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, (Col 1.25, NA27)
25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, (Col 1.25, ESV)


As regards NT writings, only Paul juxtaposes these two words (cf. also 1Co 9.17). In the AF, only Ignatius does it. I think it is possible that Paul’s writings, particularly 1Ti, may have influenced Ignatius here.


Ign. Magn. 8.1 || 1Ti 1.4



8.1 Μὴ πλανᾶσθε ταῖς ἑτεροδοξίαις μηδὲ μυθεύμασιν τοῖς παλαιοῖς ἀνωφελέσιν οὖσιν· εἰ γὰρ μέχρι νῦν κατὰ Ἰουδαϊσμὸν ζῶμεν, ὁμολογοῦμεν χάριν μὴ εἰληφέναι.
8.1 Do not be deceived by strange doctrines or antiquated myths, since they are worthless. For if we continue to live in accordance with Judaism, we admit that we have not received grace.


4 μηδὲ προσέχειν μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις ἀπεράντοις, αἵτινες ἐκζητήσεις παρέχουσιν μᾶλλον ἢ οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει.
4 nor to cling to myths and endless genealogies—which give rise to useless speculations rather than administration from God that is by faith.


Here the similarity is topical, on the futility of “myths”; the similarity is not lexical. It appears that Ign. Magn. is dealing with Judaizers (cf. Ign. Magn. 9 as well as the end of 8.1) though the same cannot be as easily said about the myths in First Timothy, where the myths are vague and could be in reference to a few different practices. Perhaps the better influence for Ignatius in this instance is Titus 1.14, which explicilty notes “Jewish myths” (Ἰουδαϊκοῖς μύθοις).


Conclusion


That so many different portions of Ignatius (indeed, more than have been listed by the committee, as the above shows) have some lexical or topical contact with this one portion of First Timothy is curious. Actually, it is more than curious, particularly because the lexical points of contact (apart from αγαπη and πιστις in the first example) are not frequently-occurring words in either writer’s letters. Dependence cannot be proven, but the frequency centered on this one area leads me to lean toward the notion that Ignatius knew of First Timothy. Perhaps other possible points of contact (there are several more) will strengthen or weaken my views.

Papyrus Evidence of First Timothy?

J.K. Elliott, in his The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, writes the following about the MS support for the Pastorals:



Two papyri, about 24 uncials and over 500 cursives read part or the whole of the Pastorals. (Elliott 13)


He further notes the Papyri are P32 (Titus 1.11-15, 2.3-8) and P61 (Titus 3.1-5, 8-11, 14-15). This is all well and good; we know all about these.


He then mentions in passing: “Treu knows papyri which include 1Ti 1.4-7, 15-16.” (Elliott 13). The note to Treu refers back to the following:



K. Treu, ‘Archiv fur Papyrusforshung’, vol. 18, 1966.


He then lists the following in his bibliography:



K. TREU: “Neue Neutestamentliche Fragmente der Berliner Papyrussammlung” in ‘Archiv fur Papyrusforschung’ Vol. 18. Leipzig (1966).


Elliott then goes on to cite “Pap. 3605 published by Treu” in the apparatus on 1Ti 1.4, but that appears to be the only citation of Treu in the apparatus (after a quick survey of Elliott’s notes on 1.4-7, 15-16). He gives no info on date or provenance of the papyrus.


I find the content of this mystery papyrus (mystery papyri?) interesting. 1Ti 1.5 is fairly important in the scope of First Timothy. And 1Ti 1.15 is the first “trustworthy saying” (is it πιστος or ανθρωπινος?) and v. 16 follows this with Paul’s explanation of its importance. I’d love to see earlier witnesses of these verses (if, of course, the mystery papyri prove to be early, which is not a sure thing).


Anyone know anything about these mystery ‘papyri’? Date and/or provenance? And are there transcriptions or photos of it anywhere?

Patrologia Graeca Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles

One of the cool things about Luke Timothy Johnson’s Anchor Bible commentary on 1 & 2 Timothy is his inclusion of volume/column references to Patrologia Graeca where commentary on the Pastorals is discussed. This list is his (as are the dates associated with each commentator) though I’ve added volume/column references to include commentary on Titus.


Each of these commentaries is in Greek; many have a parallel Latin column. Most importantly for my purposes, each contains the text of the epistles commented upon.


Patristic Commentaries


Chrysostom (347-407)



  • First Timothy: PG 62:501-599
  • Second Timothy: PG 62:599-662
  • Titus: PG 663-700

Theodoret of Cyr (393-466)



  • First Timothy: PG 82:787-830
  • Second Timothy: PG 82:831-858
  • Titus: PG 82:858-871

John of Damascus (675-749)



  • First Timothy: PG 95:997-1016
  • Second Timothy: PG 95:1016-1026
  • Titus: 95:1026-1030

Medieval Commentaries


Oecomenius of Tricca (10th century)



  • First Timothy: PG 119:133-196
  • Second Timothy: PG 119:195-240
  • Titus: PG 119:242-261

Theophylact of Bulgaria (11th century)



  • First Timothy: PG 125:9-87
  • Second Timothy: PG 125:87-140
  • Titus: PG 125:142-170

If you’re not near a library where you can access PG’s 161 volumes, you may be interested in RelTech’s image edition of Migne’s Patrologia Graeca.

The Pastoral Epistles in First Clement, Part IV

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


There are some affinities between 1Cl 29.1 and 1Ti 2.8.


1Cl 29.1 || 1Ti 2.8



29.1 Προσέλθωμεν οὖν αὐτῷ ἐν ὁσιότητι ψυχῆς, ἁγνὰς καὶ ἀμιάντους χεῖρας αἴροντες πρὸς αὐτόν, ἀγαπῶντες τὸν ἐπιεικῆ καὶ εὔσπλαγχνον πατέρα ἡμῶν ὃς ἐκλογῆς μέρος ἡμᾶς ἐποίησεν ἑαυτῷ.
29. Let us, therefore, approach him in holiness of soul, lifting up to him pure and undefiled hands, loving our gentle and compassionate Father who made us his chosen portion.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (60, 61). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


8 Βούλομαι οὖν προσεύχεσθαι τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ ἐπαίροντας ὁσίους χεῖρας χωρὶς ὀργῆς καὶ διαλογισμοῦ. (1Ti 2.8, NA27)
8 Therefore I want men everywhere to pray, lifting holy hands without anger or dispute. (1Ti 2.8, my own translation)


The concepts here are parallel, but dependence is not likely. The image of lifting hands in prayer and/or blessing is known elsewhere in the NT as well as in the LXX and the deuterocanonical books. Four examples will suffice:



50 Ἐξήγαγεν δὲ αὐτοὺς [ἔξω] ἕως πρὸς Βηθανίαν, καὶ ἐπάρας τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ εὐλόγησεν αὐτούς. 51 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εὐλογεῖν αὐτὸν αὐτοὺς διέστη ἀπʼ αὐτῶν καὶ ἀνεφέρετο εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν. (Lu 24.50-51, ESV)
50 Then [Jesus] led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. (Lu 24.50-51, ESV)


6 καὶ ηὐλόγησεν Εσδρας κύριον τὸν θεὸν τὸν μέγαν, καὶ ἀπεκρίθη πᾶς ὁ λαὸς καὶ εἶπαν Αμην ἐπάραντες χεῖρας αὐτῶν καὶ ἔκυψαν καὶ προσεκύνησαν τῷ κυρίῳ ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν. (Ne 8.6, LXX)
6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered and said “Amen”; they lifted up their hands and bowed, and worshipped the Lord with their faces toward the ground. (Ne 8.6, my own translation)


1 Ἰδοὺ δὴ εὐλογεῖτε τὸν κύριον, πάντες οἱ δοῦλοι κυρίου οἱ ἑστῶτες ἐν οἴκῳ κυρίου, ἐν αὐλαῖς οἴκου θεοῦ ἡμῶν. 2 ἐν ταῖς νυξὶν ἐπάρατε τὰς χεῖρας ὑμῶν εἰς τὰ ἅγια καὶ εὐλογεῖτε τὸν κύριον. (Ps 133.1-2[134.1-2 English])
1 Behold, now bless the Lord, all bond-servants of the Lord who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. 2 In the night, lift up your hands unto the holy place and bless the Lord! (Ps 134.1-2[133.1-2 LXX], my own translation)


20 τότε καταβὰς ἐπῆρεν χεῖρας αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἐκκλησίαν υἱῶν Ισραηλ δοῦναι εὐλογίαν κυρίου ἐκ χειλέων αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ καυχήσασθαι, (Sir 50.20, LXX)
20 While he was descending, he lifted up his hands over the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, to give a blessing of the Lord from his lips and to glory in his name. (Sir 50.20, my own translation)


One difference between these examples and the 1Cl/1Ti example is that the hands are not further qualified with some sense of “pure” or “holy”. But that is not to say such examples do not exist; they’re just not in the canonical literature. Lightfoot compounds these with additional quotations from Athenagoras (Suppl. 13), επαιρωμεν οσιους χειρας αυτω, and Heliodorus the tragedian in Galen. de Antid. ii. 7 (XIV. p. 145, ed. Kuhn), αλλʼ οσιας μεν χειρας ες ηερα λαμπρον αειρας, commenting further “The expression describes the attitude of the ancients (as of the Orientals at the present day) when engaged in prayer, with extended arms and uplifted palms”. (Lightfoot, vol 2 p. 93)


On top of that, note similar imagery of “stretching” (ἐκτείνω) out one’s hands in 4Ma 4.11; Jos. Apion 1.209; 1Cl 2.3 and Ep.Barn. 12.2 (L.T. Johnson, p. 198) though these contexts are slightly different than our primary example passages(s). Johnson also lists Seneca, Natural Questions 3, Preface 14; Jos. Wars 5.380; and the Athenagoras citation also listed by Lightfoot as examples of the picture.


On the whole, the concept of lifting hands in prayer to the Lord or in the act of bestowing blessing from the Lord seems well documented across different corpora. There is no reason to think the image used in First Clement comes directly from the use in First Timothy.


Next up: Ign Eph. 14.1; 20.2; Magn. 8.1 || 1Ti 1.3-5

The Pastoral Epistles in First Clement, Part III

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


There are some affinities between 1Cl 61.2 and 1Ti 1.17.


1Cl 61.2 || 1Ti 1.17



(2) σὺ γάρ, δέσποτα ἐπουράνιε, βασιλεῦ τῶν αἰώνων, δίδως τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων δόξαν καὶ τιμὴν καὶ ἐξουσίαν τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ὑπαρχόντων· σύ, κύριε, διεύθυνον τὴν βουλὴν αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸ καλὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον ἐνώπιόν σου, ὅπως διέποντες ἐν εἰρήνῃ καὶ πραΰτητι εὐσεβῶς τὴν ὑπὸ σοῦ αὐτοῖς δεδομένην ἐξουσίαν ἵλεώ σου τυγχάνωσιν. (1Cl 61.2)
(2) For you, heavenly Master, King of the ages, give to the sons of men glory and honor and authority over those upon the earth. Lord, direct their plans according to what is good and pleasing in your sight, so that by devoutly administering in peace and gentleness the authority which you have given them they may experience your mercy. (1Cl 61.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (98, 99). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


17 Τῷ δὲ βασιλεῖ τῶν αἰώνων, ἀφθάρτῳ ἀοράτῳ μόνῳ θεῷ, τιμὴ καὶ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, ἀμήν. (1Ti 1.17, NA27)
17 To the King of eternity, impervious to death, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever, amen. (1Ti 1.17, my own translation)


The phrase under discussion is βασιλεῦ τῶν αἰώνων, “King of the ages/eternity”. It is a striking phrase and grabs one’s attention. However, the phrase does occur in Tob 13.6, 10a [LXX 13.7, 11] (also in a variant of Rev 15.3). Here’s the Tobit 13.10a/11 instance:



11 ἐξομολογοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἀγαθῶς
     καὶ εὐλόγει τὸν βασιλέα τῶν αἰώνων,
ἵνα πάλιν ἡ σκηνὴ αὐτοῦ οἰκοδομηθῇ σοι μετὰ χαρᾶς.
(Tob 13.11 LXX)
10a Acknowledge the Lord, for he is good,
     and bless the King of the ages,
so that his tent may be rebuilt in you in joy. (Tob 13.10a NRSV)


The 1Cl and 1Ti instances, however, have a little more in common as they each have alternate formulations describing God in close context. In 1Cl “heavenly Master” and “King of the ages” are both, surprisingly, in the vocative case; working together to describe the same God of whom Clement is making requests. In 1Ti 1.17, the dative case is used in a list of attributes; God is the King of the ages, he is also “impervious to death”, “invisible” and “the only God”. Tobit, on the other hand, has no immediately preceding or following appositional statements. God is referred to as King or Father of eternity a few times (Tob 13.1, 4, 6 NRSV), but that’s it.


Still, there seems little to commend any direct influence of 1Ti 1.17 (or Tob 13) on 1Cl 61.2. Lightfoot notes Clement’s earlier use of πατηρ των αιωνων (§35) and Θεος των αιωνων (§55); in light of that βασιλεῦ τῶν αἰώνων does not seem out of place for the author. According to the Oxford Committee, Lightfoot also notes similarity with this phrase and Jewish liturgical form:



The phrase is striking, but Dr. Lightfoot has pointed out in his notes on the passage, that it is probably based upon Jewish liturgical forms … (54-55).


The direct notes on the passage in Lightfoot’s 2-volume work on Clement do not mention anything about Jewish liturgical forms, but Lightfoot probably does mention this elsewhere in the work. I have foggy memories of such a statement in general but no specific reference handy to cite.


All in all, this seems like a phrase that could arise in 1Cl based on other phrases in 1Cl. It is also a phrase that has been used in thanksgivings to the Lord (cf. Tob 13). There seems to be no compelling reason to attribute Clement’s usage directly to the Pauline benediction in 1Ti 1.17.


Next up: 1Cl 29.1 || 1Ti 2.8

Good Friday Thoughts from the Pastorals

Here are a few selections that point to Christ as our Saviour. These seem appropriate to meditate and consider today. The translation is my own.


1Ti 2.1-7



1 First of all, then, I encourage supplications, prayers, petitions, and praises to be made on behalf of all men, 2 on behalf of kings and all in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, 4 who desires all people to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who sacrificed himself as a ransom on behalf of all, the witness at the proper time. 7 Into this I was appointed herald and apostle—I speak the truth, I do not lie—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.


Titus 2.11-15



11 For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men; 12 instructing us, after we renounce impiety and worldly desires, to live self-controlled, justly and godly in this present age; 13 looking forward to the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and deliverer of us, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself on behalf of us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for himself a chosen people, zealous for good works. 15 These things speak and exhort and set forth with all authority. Let no one disregard you.


Titus 3.1-7



1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be prepared for all good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all courtesy to all men. 3 For we too were foolish, disobedient, deluded, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our lives in malice and envy, loathsome, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and benevolence of God our Saviour appeared, 5 not out of works in righteousness which we did but according to His mercy He saved us through washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7 so that being justified in His grace we become heirs according to the hope of life eternal.

The Pastoral Epistles in First Clement, Part II

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


1Cl 2.7 || Titus 3.1; 2Ti 2.21; 3.17; 2Co 9.8



(7) ἀμεταμέλητοι ἦτε ἐπὶ πάσῃ ἀγαθοποιΐᾳ, ἕτοιμοι εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν. (1Cl 2.7)
(7) You never once regretted doing good, but were “ready for every good work.” (1Cl 2.7)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (30, 31). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


3.1 Ὑπομίμνῃσκε αὐτοὺς ἀρχαῖς ἐξουσίαις ὑποτάσσεσθαι, πειθαρχεῖν, πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἑτοίμους εἶναι, (Tt 3.1, NA27)
3.1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be prepared for all good work, (Tt 3.1, my own translation)
21 ἐὰν οὖν τις ἐκκαθάρῃ ἑαυτὸν ἀπὸ τούτων, ἔσται σκεῦος εἰς τιμήν, ἡγιασμένον, εὔχρηστον τῷ δεσπότῃ, εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἡτοιμασμένον. (2Ti 2.21, NA27)
21 If then anyone might cleanse himself from these, he will be a pot for honor, having been made holy, useful to the master, having been prepared for every good work. (2Ti 2.21, my own translation)
17 ἵνα ἄρτιος ᾖ ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος, πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐξηρτισμένος. (2Ti 3.17, NA27)
17 so that the man of God might be capable, having been equipped for all good work. (2Ti 3.17, my own translation)
8 δυνατεῖ δὲ ὁ θεὸς πᾶσαν χάριν περισσεῦσαι εἰς ὑμᾶς, ἵνα ἐν παντὶ πάντοτε πᾶσαν αὐτάρκειαν ἔχοντες περισσεύητε εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν, (2Co 9.8, NA27)
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2Co 9.8, ESV)


The repeated concept is, obviously, that of “all good work” and the idea of being prepared/equipped for it. I hadn’t really noticed the repetition of the phase in Titus and 2Ti before; this does well to bring that repetition out.


The combination is [adj or participle] modified by [εἰς or πρὸς] + πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν. Here are the instances laid out a bit more clearly with the preposition in red and the balance of the prepositional phrase in blue:



1Cl 2.7: ἕτοιμοι εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν
Tt 3.1: πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἑτοίμους εἶναι
2Ti 2.21: εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἡτοιμασμένον
2Ti 3.17: πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐξηρτισμένος
2Co 9.8: περισσεύητε εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν


As such, one word group stands out in 1Cl 2.7, Tt 3.1 and 2Ti 2.21: ἕτοιμος/ἑτοιμάζω. 2Ti 3.17 and 2Co 9.8, while sharing the prepositional phrase, do not share the modified portion.


Despite the different pronoun in Tt 3.1, it is the reading that 1Cl 2.7 is closest to. Lightfoot (Clement vol. II, p. 18) notes regarding 2Cl 2.7 “The latter clause ἕτοιμοι κ.τ.λ. is from Titus 3.1, πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἑτοίμους εἶναι“. In his edition, Lightfoot even puts the Greek in smallcaps, denoting that he sees it as a quotation or allusion. Holmes similarly in his English translation puts “ready for every good work” in quotes and provides a citation of Titus 3.1 as the source. Jerome Quinn, in his Anchor Bible volume on Titus, deals with the discrepancy in pronoun:



The PE do not otherwise use hetoimos, though the cognate verb occurs when 2Ti 2.21 takes up this phrase again. Construing hetoimos with pros, literally “ready for,” instead of eis, is rare in biblical Greek (1Pe 3.15; Tob 5.17) and is not found in the Apostolic Fathers. A variation between pros and eis may pertain to current Greek idiomatic style (Moule, Idiom, p. 68) and may thus be conceptually of no consequence. … The Apostolic Fathers employ hetoimos fewer than a dozen times, principally Ignatius, but 1Cl 2.7 may be quoting Titus (or the list that served as a source at this point) when he writes nostalgically to the troubled Corinthian church, “you were without misgiving in doing every kind of good, ready for every good work.” (Quinn 180)


I don’t notice any variants at the preposition in Tt 3.1 (Elliott has none listed). But searching for other substantive-modifying prepositional phrases that contained πας, I came across Tt 1.16 which should probably also be added to our list. (Quinn associates 1.16 with 3.1 as well, p. 180)



16 θεὸν ὁμολογοῦσιν εἰδέναι, τοῖς δὲ ἔργοις ἀρνοῦνται, βδελυκτοὶ ὄντες καὶ ἀπειθεῖς καὶ πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἀδόκιμοι. (Tt 1.16, NA27)
16 They claim to know God, but they deny Him with their works; being detestable and disobedient and unfit for any good work. (Tt 1.16, my own translation)


This is very relevant to the current examination not only because it also uses πρὸς but because it occurs in a list, much like Tt 3.1 does. Comparing Tt 1.16 to Tt 3.1, it is evident that one list (1.16) is a negative list, the other (3.1) is a positive list.



16 They claim to know God,
    but they deny Him with their works;
    being detestable and disobedient
    and unfit for any good work. (Tt 1.16, my own translation)


3 Remind them
    to be subject to rulers and authorities,
    to obey,
    to be prepared for all good work, (Tt 3.1, my own translation)


The last two items on each list contrast each other directly. In 1.16, the target is unbelievers, those described in 1.10-14. They are unfit for any good work. In 3.1, the target is believers, those to whom the glorious salvation in 2.11-14 applies. And the context of 1Cl 2.7 is much the same; it is written with believers in mind.


Due to the contextual similarity, the lexical similarity, and the work of Lightfoot, Quinn and Holmes, I’m inclined to think that Clement here does reflect knowledge of Titus and perhaps even the balance of the Pastoral Epistles.


If that is true, and if First Clement does date to the 90’s* then Titus has been established enough by the 90s to be known by the author of First Clement. This argues against a second-century dating of at least Titus; since most concur that the Pastorals were composed around the same time (either together or over a space of 1-2 years) this puts all of the PE before the second century in the late first century at the latest. It will be interesting to see what can be made of other affinities between First Clement and the Pastoral Epistles.





* Lightfoot strongly argues for this. Holmes also notes “There is widespread agreement in dating this letter about a.d. 95–97, in the last year of the emperor Domitian or the first of his successor, Nerva.” (Holmes 23).

The Pastoral Epistles in First Clement, Part I

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


The discussion of First Clement in The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers lists four areas of potential reference to the Pastoral Epistles. The readings range from a ‘c’ rating to a ‘not classed’ rating.


The instance under discussion today is the ‘c’ rated reading.


1Cl 1.3 || Titus 2.4-5



(3) ἀπροσωπολήμπτως γὰρ πάντα ἐποιεῖτε, και τοῖς νομίμοις τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπορεύεσθε, ὑποτασσόμενοι τοῖς ἡγουμένοις ὑμῶν καὶ τιμὴν τὴν καθήκουσαν ἀπονέμοντες τοῖς παρʼ ὑμῖν πρεσβυτέροις· νέοις τε μέτρια καὶ σεμνὰ νοεῖν ἐπετρέπετε· γυναιξίν τε ἐν ἀμώμῳ καὶ σεμνῇ καὶ ἁγνῇ συνειδήσει πάντα ἐπιτελεῖν παρηγγέλλετε, στεργούσας καθηκόντως τοὺς ἄνδρας ἑαυτῶν· ἔν τε τῷ κανόνι τῆς ὑποταγῆς ὑπαρχούσας τὰ κατὰ τὸν οἶκον σεμνῶς οἰκουργεῖν ἐδιδάσκετε, πάνυ σωφρονούσας. (1Cl 1.3)
(3) For you did everything without partiality, and you lived in accordance with the laws of God, submitting yourselves to your leaders and giving to the older men among you the honor due them. You instructed the young to think temperate and proper thoughts; you charged the women to perform all their duties with a blameless, reverent, and pure conscience, cherishing their own husbands, as is right; and you taught them to abide by the rule of obedience, and to manage the affairs of their household with dignity and all discretion. (1Cl 1.3)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (28-29). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


4 ἵνα σωφρονίζωσιν τὰς νέας φιλάνδρους εἶναι, φιλοτέκνους 5 σώφρονας ἁγνὰς οἰκουργοὺς ἀγαθάς, ὑποτασσομένας τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν, ἵνα μὴ ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ βλασφημῆται. (Tt 2.4-5, NA27)
4 so that they might encourage the younger women to love their husbands, love their children, 5 to be sober minded, pure, fulfilling their household duties, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God is not blasphemed. (Tt 2.4-5, my own translation)


The surrounding context in Titus (Tt 2.1-8) also has similar concepts to those mentioned in the first portion of 1Cl 1.3, particularly the bits about older men and “the young”. Also note the similar idea of submitting to leaders; this idea is familiar in First Timothy, both to governmental leaders and also to overseers and elders.


The striking portion of 1Cl 1.3, compared to Tt 2.4-5, has to do with lexical similarity in the passage describing the charge to the women. The Oxford committee highlights several items. The following list has text from Clement on the left and text from Titus on the right; translations are on alternating lines.




  • ἁγνῇ συνειδήσει -> ἁγνὰς


  • pure conscience -> pure/good


  • στεργούσας καθηκόντως τοὺς ἄνδρας ἑαυτῶν -> φιλάνδρους


  • cherishing their own husbands -> love their own husbands


  • ἔν τε τῷ κανόνι τῆς ὑποταγῆς ὑπαρχούσας -> ὑποτασσομένας τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν


  • to abide in the rule of obedience -> being subject to their own husbands


  • οἰκουργεῖν -> οἰκουργοὺς


  • manage affairs of the household -> fulfilling household duties


  • πάνυ σωφρονούσας -> σώφρονας


  • all discretion -> to be sober minded

Between the two passages there is a concentration of similar ideas, particularly the concept of managing the house. The editors of the Oxford committee find this the strongest point:



The Committee is inclined to think that correspondence of phrases, and especially of οἰκουργεῖν and οἰκουργοὺς, cannot well be accounted for by chance, and makes it probable that the one writer is dependent on the other: they have, therefore, with some hesitation, decided to place the passage in Class C. (51).


This is followed by one committee member’s note that he posits a common source document between the two; some sort of “manual of directions for the moral life” (51). But the lists don’t read like other such lists. How is this known? There is a similar list in Philo De Execr.:



ὄψονται καὶ γυναῖκας, ἃς ἠγάγοντο κουριδίας ἐπὶ γνησίων παίδων σπορᾷ, σώφρονας καὶ οἰκουροὺς καὶ φιλάνδρους ἑταιρῶν τρόπον ὑβριζομένας (Philo, Rewards 139)
Borgen, P., Fuglseth, K., & Skarsten, R. (2005). The Works of Philo : Greek Text with Morphology (Rewards 139). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
They will also see their wives, whom they married in holy wedlock for the purpose of propagating legitimate children, their modest, domestic, affectionate wives, insulted like so many courtesans. (Philo, Rewards 139)
Philo, o. A., & Yonge, C. D. (1996, c1993). The works of Philo  : Complete and unabridged (Rewards 139, p.677). Peabody: Hendrickson.


Here there are some common elements with the lists in 1Cl and Titus. But the list in Philo is the result of evil (cf. De Execr. 138-142); listing the qualities of the wives to remind the men of what they are losing as a result of what they’ve done. The context in 1Cl and Titus is completely different in that it is positive. The agreements between 1Cl and Titus are greater in number, adding items like purity/conscience and being subject to their own husbands.


I think it is likely that the list in Philo is not related but coincidental. It is interesting that Titus uses vocabularly like that of Philo. Again, Philo listed first, Titus after:




  • σώφρονας -> σώφρονας


  • οἰκουροὺς -> οἰκουργοὺς


  • φιλάνδρους -> φιλάνδρους

The second listed similarity is a bit deceptive; read the words carefully. They are not the same. However, Philo’s οἰκουροὺς does show up in variant readings of this verse (Sc, D2, H, Byz) but οἰκουργοὺς is the better attested reading (cf. Jerome Quinn, The Letter to Titus, [Anchor Bible] p. 121; also J.K. Elliott Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, pp.181-182.).


Given that Philo pre-dates Titus and 1Cl, neither Titus nor 1Cl could have possibly influenced Philo. I have not seen any special studies on similarities between Philo and Paul (though if you have references, please leave them in the comments to this post) so I can’t make any judgment on if Paul could have been influenced by Philo, or if it was part of the first century Jewish mileu to use words and concepts like this in the description of women. And there’s always sheer coincidence.


My own dating of the Pastorals puts them in Paul’s lifetime (I think Paul is responsible for them via amanuensis); my dating of First Clement is to the 90’s. Thus, by dates alone, it is possible for Titus to have influenced First Clement given the 25-30 year span between the two of them. First Clement was written from Rome by the church at Rome. Given Pauline authorship, Titus was likely written from Rome. Paul died in Rome, so any copies of his letters he had at his death could very possibly end up in the hands of the church at Rome.


I think the concentration of ideas in Titus that show up here in First Clement may be more than coincedence. The little we know about the provenance of both letters makes it possible that Paul’s letters, even the pastoral letters, would be known to the church in Rome. But I’m not inclinded to rule out coincidence or even rule out appealing to a common mileu at present. I’m more interested in examining other potential parallels before making that call.


Next up: 1Cl 2.7; 24.4 || Titus 3.1; 2Ti 2.21; 3.17; 2Co 9.8.