New book by James Aageson

James W. Aageson, Paul, the Pastoral Epistles, and the Early Church (Hendrickson, 2008)


Although the publication date on this book is January 2008, I have just received my copy.  I have looked over it briefly, and it appears to be a very interesting, thorough book.  One might question whether or not it could be a good book since the bibliography fails to mention Lloyd, Perry or myself. J Nonetheless, this will likely be a significant volume in the study of the Pastorals.


Aageson contends that the Pastorals were written after Paul but before Ignatius of Antioch wrote his letters (shortly after AD 100).  The book seeks to trace how certain theological themes are handled in the Pastorals in comparison to Paul and the early church.  I differ from Aageson in many respects, but I think this book will be important and useful.  I look forward to reading it.


  1. Rick Brannan says:

    Hi Ray.

    Sounds like the development of the office(s) of elder/overseer/deacon/etc. plays a role in Aageson’s dating. The argument sounds similar to that of R. Alastair Campbell in The Elders: Seniority within Earliest Christianity — that there is a continuum here, and the scant details of the Pastorals precede the state described/assumed by Ignatius. Campbell contends (if I recall correctly) that the Pastorals were written to precipitate the change in structure and Ignatius reveals the changes were successful.

    Does Aageson place the Pastorals before or after First Clement (circa 93 AD)? Or does he not mention Clement in his chronology? I think there’s something going on between 1Cl 2.7 and 2Ti 2.21/Titus 3.1; which means (at least to me) that the Pastorals had to pre-date Clement’s letter to the Corinthians long enough for Clement to have access to them and for them to influence him in this way.

    The book sounds awesome, but I guess I’ll have to wait until January to start working through it (that’s OK, I have a few others queued up that will likely take awhile to get through).

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