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).

Marshall’s Commentary Free!

I still think the single best all-around commentary on the Pastoral Epistles in English is Howard Marshall’s volume in the ICC. So, I was excited to see that the free book of the month from Logos is this commentary!

This is an amazing opportunity. If you aren’t signed up to get the alerts for the free book of the month each month from Logos, I encourage you to look into it. It is a great way to expand your electronic library.

Bob Yarbrough: 5 Big Surprises in the PE

At the Eerdmans blog, there is a recent post where Bob Yarbrough, author of the recent Pillar Commentary on the Pastorals, answers the question, “As you worked through the biblical text, what surprised you?”

I resonate with Bob’s answers. The points aren’t particularly surprising to many (including Bob, I suppose) who have worked with the Pastorals for years, but they are contradictory to prevailing opinions about these valuable letters. This is a great little piece, and I encourage you to read it.

Thanks to Chuck Bumgardner for the heads up on this piece.

Free Commentary

The free book of the month this month from Logos is Aída Spencer’s New Covenant Commentary: 2 Timothy and Titus

Conference on the Pastorals in Belgium

There is an upcoming conference on the Pastorals in Belgium that looks very interesting. Here is the description:

The Center of Excellence in Reformed and Evangelical Theology (CERET) hosted by the Theologische Universiteit Kampen and the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven (ETF Leuven) organizes a thematic seminar sponsored by NOSTER on the origin of the so-called Pastoral Epistles (1-2 Timothy and Titus). Joining an ongoing debate, a team of international scholars and respondents from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives will gather to discuss the question whether these New Testament writings were written as individual letters or composed as an intentional letter corpus. Scholars, students, and all who are involved in the academic study of the Pastoral Epistles are warmly invited.

You can see the press release here and view the program for the event here.

It looks very promising, and I am told they aim to publish the papers in a theme volume of the Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters in the near future. It is encouraging to see such interest in the Pastorals.

Interview with Bob Yarbrough about His New Commentary

Mike Bird has posted an interview with Bob Yarbrough about his new commentary on the Pastoral Epistles which has just recently been released. It is well worth reading, imbued with the verve and insight we’ve come to expect from Yarbrough.

Here is just one example:

Paul talks a lot about guarding the faith (1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:14). How do we “guard” the faith that has been entrusted to us today?

Assuming we have come into a saving relationship with God through repentance and faith in Christ who died for us and rose, we have to know and be growing in the faith. I’m not talking about the experience of faith but the articles of true Christian belief. The Apostles’ Creed is a good summary. Western Christianity has notoriously often gutted Christian belief of its pillars, like Jesus’ divinity and resurrection. We don’t guard the faith when we alter it to satisfy the demands of its cultured despisers, or when we make it more about human experience than the divine verities that give religious experience its validity.

Do yourself a favor and read this brief interview.

New Commentary by Bob Yarbrough

I have been eagerly anticipating Bob Yarbrough’s Pillar commentary on the Pastorals, so I was pleased to hear from Chuck Bumgardner that it is due out next week (release date 8/28). Yarbrough’s 1-3 John is one of the best commentaries I’ve read, and I’ve had the opportunity to hear he present some of his Pastorals research, so this promises to be a great volume.

It is available for pre-order at Amazon, but as Chuck pointed out the book is actually available for a much chepaer price at Target!

PE Related Papers at Upcoming Conferences

Thanks to Chuck Bumgardner, we have a list of papers related to the Pastorals slated for upcoming academic conferences.

ETS 2018 (in addition to the Pastoral Epistles Study Group)

 

Mary L. Conway (McMaster Divinity College): “Gender in Genesis 1-3 in Conversation with 1 Timothy 2”

Marjorie J. Cooper (Baylor University): “Analysis and Conclusions Regarding 1 Tim 2:8‒3:1a”

P. Sweeney (Winebrenner Theological Seminary): “The Spirit’s Warning of Apostasy in 1 Tim. 4:1‒3: A Pressing Concern in 1 Timothy”

Brian H. Tung (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School): “’Savior of All People’: Distinguishing Universality from Universalism in the Pastoral Epistles”

 

SBL 2018

Adam Booth (Duke University): “Paul among the Physicians: 1 Tim 2:15 and Salvation in a Context of Contested Health Claims”

Meira Z. Kensky (Coe College): “‘Thus a Teacher Must Be’: Pedagogical Formation in John Chrysostom’s Homilies on 1 and 2 Timothy”

Lyn Kidson (Macquarie University): “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3‒15”

Andrew M. Langford (University of Chicago): “A New Solution to the Riddle of Timothy’s ‘Stomach and Frequent Ailments’ (1 Timothy 5:23): Sins, Signs, and Stigma in Ancient Philosophical and Medical Diagnosis”

Dogara Ishaya Manomi (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz): “Towards an African Biblical Virtue Ethics? Hermeneutical and Methodological Reflections with Insights from the Letter to Titus”

Anna C. Miller (Xavier University): “‘Not with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes’: Wealthy Women, Speech, and Citizenship in 1 Timothy and the Democratic Polis”

Dan Nässelqvist (Lund University): “Christological Hymns in an Ancient Perspective: What We Can Learn from Embedded Prose Hymns in Non-Christian Sources” [engages 1 Tim 3:16]

W. Andrew Smith (Shepherds Theological Seminary): “Moving Forward on the Pastoral Epistles ECM [Editio Critica Maior]”

David Trobisch (Museum of the Bible): “Listening to Paul: Letter Collections as a Narrative Genre” [special attention given to the Pastorals]

Cynthia Long Westfall (McMaster Divinity College): “Texts and Social Contexts: Sets of Possibilities for Pauline Texts Concerning Gender”

 

International SBL 2018

Sharon Jacob (Pacific School of Religion): “Under the Guise of Modesty! Women’s Bodies, Cultural Purity, and the Politics of Dress in 1 Timothy 2:8‒15: A Contextual, Feminist, and Postcolonial Reading”

Cory B. Louie (University of Notre Dame): “Imitating Paul in His Many Contests: Life, Death, and the Ambiguous Metaphors of 2 Tim 4:6‒8”

Kwang Meng Low (National University of Singapore): “Paul Beyond Piety: A Reading of Paul’s Injunction to Prayer (1 Timothy 2:1‒7)”

Dogara Ishaya Manomi (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz): “Virtue in the Letter to Titus”

Richard K. Min (University of Texas at Dallas): “The Liar Paradox in Titus 1:12”

Jermo van Nes (Evangelische Theologische Faculteit): “Peculiar Language in the Pastoral Epistles? A Reassessment of Register Variation as an Explanatory Model”

 

 

Papers for the 2018 ETS Annual Meeting

The draft for the schedule of the 2018 annual meeting of ETS has been released, including the slate of papers for the Pastoral Epistles session which will meet on Wednesday morning. I have pasted in the details below.

8:30 AM-11:40 AM

Moderator: Ray Van Neste (Union University)

8:30 AM—9:10 AM
Terry Wilder (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)
A Pauline Theology of the Holy Spirit in the Letters to Timothy and Titus

9:20 AM—10:00 AM
Jeff Cockrell (Welch College)
The Good Deposit in 2 Timothy: Its Content and Trust

10:10 AM—10:50 AM
L. Timothy Swinson (Liberty University)
1 Timothy as a Matrix for the ‘Lawful’ Use of the Law

11:00 AM—11:40 AM
David Chapman (Covenant Theological Seminary)
The Pastoral Epistles and the Legacy of the Hauptbriefe Discussion

Additions to the 2017 list

Here are three items which were not previously included in out list of 2017 publications on the Pastorals. (They have now been added)

Harding, Mark. “Apocalypticism in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 259ff in Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of New Testament Thought. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2017.

Miller, Jeff. “Saved through Childbearing? 1 Timothy 2:15 as a Hermeneutical Caveat.” Stone Campbell Journal 20.2 (2017): 215‒25.

Mounce, William D. “The Noble Task: Leadership in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 438‒51 in Biblical Leadership: Theology for the Everyday Leader. Edited by Benjamin K. Forrest and Chet Roden. Biblical Theology for the Church. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2017.