Classen on Titus

At SBL I finally managed to find a reasonably priced copy of Carl Joachim Classen’s Rhetorical Criticism of the New Testament (Brill, 2000).  This book is a collection of papers and articles previously given and published.  His first two essays are useful on the question of the legitimacy of using categories of classical rhetoric in analyzing Paul’s letters.  Classen is a classicist rather than a biblical scholar so he brings a valuable perspective to the question.


 


The third essay is the one that directly concerns the Pastoral Epistles and is entitled, “A Rhetorical Reading of the Epistle to Titus.”  Though I differ from Classen on the structure of the letter, I benefitted from reading his analysis while working on my own.  He does conclude that the letter is carefully written (in contrast to many) and that the author did not follow the directions of any of the classical handbooks on rhetoric.  Any examination of the structure of Titus ought to interact with Classen.


 


(You can see my differences with Classen either by comparing his work with my monograph or a brief article, “Structure and Cohesion in Titus,” published in The Bible Translator 53:1 (Jan 2002):118-33.)


ETS/SBL

I was able to catch a couple of Pastoral Epistles related papers at ETS and to meet some readers of this blog.  Particularly good, I thought, was Tim Swinson’s paper ” ‘Faithful Sayings’ or One Faithful Word? Another View of πιστος ο λογος in the Pastoral Epistles.”  Swinson argued that this phrase in the Pastorals should be translated “The word [i.e. the gospel message] is faithful,” and I found the argument quite convincing.  I want to look into the issue further.  I won’t mention more of is argument here since I assume it is part of his dissertation which is in progress, but if the paper is made available (the audio is available, I assume specific sessions will eventually be available), I commend it to you.  I also eagerly anticipate the completion of the dissertation.