Titus and the Shaping of Early Christian Identity

I have just read a helpful essay recently published by Jermo Van Nes, titled “Doing Good Deeds: Titus and the Shaping of Early Christian Identity.” The essay appears in the recent book, Drawing and Transcending Boundaries in the New Testament and Early Christianity, ed. Jacobus Kok, Martin Webber, Jermo van Nes (Lit Verlag, 2019). My review of Van Nes’s monograph was recently posted here, and this essay is further helpful work from him.

In this essay Van Nes examines vocabulary in the letter to Titus which denotes insider and outsider status arguing for more variety of groups than in Trebilco’s work. He helpfully points out that the sharp language used for distinguishing the church from outsiders does not sit well with the common idea that the letter presents an accomodationist ethic which intends to alleviate social tensions and make the church more at home in the Greco-Roman world. Rather, the letter marks a sharp division between Cretan believers and the false teachers and unbelievers. The aim of the letter, then, is “to further God’s mission by shaping the Cretan Christian community into a people who in word and deed expose Cretan society to genuine Christian witness” (43).

Reviews

Available to review:

Students of the Pastorals who are members of SBL may be interested in four volumes on the letters currently available for review at RBL:

  • Gerald Bray, The Pastoral Epistles (ITC; London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2019).
  • Nathan Nzyoka Joshua, Benefaction and Patronage in Leadership: A Socio-Historical Exegesis of the Pastoral Epistles (Carlisle, Cumbria, UK: Langham, 2018).
  • Jermo van Nes, Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles: A Study of Linguistic Variation in the Corpus Paulinum (Linguistic Biblical Studies 16; Leiden: Brill, 2018).
  • Robert Yarbrough, The Letters to Timothy and Titus (PNTC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018).

Published reviews:

Andreas J. Köstenberger’s Commentary on 1‒2 Timothy & Titus (Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation; Nashville, TN: Holman, 2017) has been reviewed by Michael Scott Robertson at RBL (SBL member access only).

Larry J. Perkins, The Pastoral Letters: A Handbook on the Greek Text (BHGNT; Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017), has been reviewed by Paul Foster in ExpTim 130.9 (2019): 426.

Dillon Thornton’s Hostility in the House of God: An Investigation of the Opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy (BBRSup 15; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2016) has been reviewed by Craig D. Saunders, Religious Studies Review 45.1 (2019), 78.

Jermo van Nes’s Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles: A Study of Linguistic Variation in the Corpus Paulinum (Linguistic Biblical Studies 16; Leiden: Brill, 2018) has garnered a couple of reviews:

  • Ray van Neste in JETS 62.2 (2019): 411-12. (pdf)
  • Benjamin Laird in WTJ 81.1 (2019): 167-69.

Robert Yarbrough, The Letters to Timothy and Titus (PNTC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018), has been reviewed by Mi Young Sydney Park, Presbyterion 45.1 (2019): 172-73.