The Pastorals at ETS 2019

The annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society will be held on Nov 20-22 in San Diego. We’ve collected here sessions that may be of interest to researchers in the Pastorals.

The section devoted to the study of the Pastorals has four sessions scheduled on Nov 20, 9 AM to 12:10 PM:

  • David I. Yoon, “The Register of Paul in 1 Timothy: Why the Pastorals May Differ in ‘Style’ than the Hauptbrief.”
  • Stanley E. Porter: “Arguments for and against Pauline Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles: Recent Proposals.”
  • Ran Van Neste, “Ethics in Titus.”
  • John Percival: “Salvation History in Six Lines: Reading 1 Timothy 3:16b as an Interconnected Whole.”

Note also:

  • Craig Keener, “Greek versus Jewish Conceptions of Inspiration, with Attendant Implications for Authority, and 2 Timothy 3:16.” (Nov 21, 5:30 PM)
  • David Warren, “A Husband of One Wife” (1 Tim 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6): What Does It Mean?” (Nov 22, 3:30 PM)

Van Nes, Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles

Cover Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles

Van Neste reviews van Nes. In the current issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Ray Van Neste provides a 1000-word evaluation of the recent and important 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. [Brill description; N.B.! The very valuable appendices — over 250 pages worth of data — are open access through the Brill page: “Hapax Legomena in the Corpus Paulinum“; “Lexical Richness in the Corpus Paulinum“; “Missing Indeclinables in the Corpus Paulinum“; “Interclausal Relations in the Corpus Paulinum“; “Structure Irregularities in the Corpus Paulinum.” Not to mention van Nes’s extensive bibliography.]

“It would be difficult to overstate the significance of this contribution to the study of the Pastoral Epistles.”

Read the entire review here.

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.

2 Timothy written in Philippi?

At his Patheos blog, Michael Bird recently cited a lengthy portion from Helmut Koester’s History and Literature of Early Christianity where Koester argues that 2 Timothy (which he takes as pseudonymous) was written from Philippi. After mentioning the various locations Paul refers to in the latter part of the letter, Koester states, “Any glance at a map will show that he thought of Paul as imprisoned in Philippi.” He is not mildly suggesting. See the full section at Bird’s blog.

This depends on the pseudonymity of the letter, of which I am not convinced, but it is intriguing to see this argument. It would be interesting to connect this with the work of Peter Walker who has made fresh arguments for placing the PE within the chronology.

Pastoral Epistles ETS Study Group, Next Week

If you are coming to ETS next week in San Antonio, I hope you will join us for our study group on the Pastorals. We have a great line up of papers again this year as you can see from the schedule below. I have included the room, date, time, speakers and titles. Jermo Van Nes will not be able to join us, but he has sent me his paper and I will read it in his stead.

SESSION INFORMATION
11/16/2016

8:30 AM-11:40 AM
Hyatt — Bowie C

Moderator
Ray Van Neste, Union University

8:30 AM—9:10 AM
Ardel Caneday, University of Northwestern- St. Paul
“Save Yourself and the People Who Hear You: An Authentic Pauline Exhortation”

9:20 AM—10:00 AM
Jermo Van Nes, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit
“Motif-Semantic Differences in Paul? A Question to Advocates of the Pastorals’ Plural Authorship”

10:10 AM—10:50 AM
Andreas Köstenberger, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“An Investigation of the Mission Motif in the Letters to Timothy and Titus with Implications for Pauline Authorship”

11:00 AM—11:40 AM
Gordon Franz, Christian Information Ministries
“The Archaeological Background to the Epistle of Titus and the First-Century church on the Island of Crete”

The Impact of the Incoherence & Inauthenticity Argument

I just discovered that my article, “Authorship and Coherence in 1 Timothy,” was published in December in the Global Journal of Classic Theology. The article is a version of a paper originally delivered at the Pastoral Epistles study group at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting. It is a brief examination of some of theological convictions behind the turn in academia against 1 Timothy (and the Pastorals in general). Here is the abstract:

Abstract: This brief essay surveys the move away from confidence in the Pauline authorship towards increasing marginalization of all the Pastoral Epistles today. Critics of Schleiermacher in the 1800’s warned that his arguments against 1 Timothy would lead to further drift from orthodoxy. Though those critiques were derided at the time, the warnings have proven true. We need a renewed evaluation of what has been missed in evangelical scholarship by too easily leaving the Pastoral Epistles out of our conversations on Paul.

Keener on Acts & The Pastorals

In the third volume of Craig Keener’s massive Acts commentary, he has a long excursus on the relationship between Acts and the Pastorals (pp. 3023-3026). Probably the most significant part of the excursus is the thorough chart listing the itineraries (people, places and events) of the Pastorals, Acts and the earlier Pauline letters side by side. This is very helpful. In the end, Keener is convinced of a second imprisonment for Paul which is described in 2 Timothy- the traditional explanation.

Pauline Communities as ‘Scholastic Communities’: A Study of the Vocabulary of ‘Teaching’ in 1 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus

scholastic communitiesSteve Walton has written a helpful review of Claire Smith’s monograph, Pauline Communities as ‘Scholastic Communities’: A Study of the Vocabulary of ‘Teaching’ in 1 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, WUNT 2/335 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012). The monograph is a revision of her PhD thesis which was supervised by Peter Bolt.

It sounds like this book will be useful for PE studies. Her choice of the Pastorals along with 1 Corinthians is quite intriguing as is her defense. Apparently she does not take a position on the authorship issue but in the end suggests the similarities between the PE and 1 Corinthians which she finds should at least cause pause for those assuming non-Pauline authorship.

Additionally, with the significance of teaching in the PE, the amount of data gathered here (the book is 555 pages!) promises to be helpful for PE research.

Smith affirms the earlier evaluation of E. Judge that the earliest Christian communities were marked particularly by learning. In the end, while affirming the idea of Judge she says his phrase “scholastic communities” does not communicate as well (missing the relational aspects of teaching found in these letters, for example) and suggests a better phrase would be “learning communities.” Interestingly, this is the very phrase used by J I Packer, in a popular piece, which I mentioned previously.

Critique of P. N. Harrison

This is a guest post from Jermo van Nes (great name!), who is nearing completion of his PhD  at Evangelische Theologische Faculteit (Leuven) under the supervision of Armin Baum.

 

In a recent article, I questioned the ever-growing reliance of contemporary New Testament scholars on P.N. Harrison’s 1921 doctoral dissertation The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles (see http://www.brill.com/paul-and-pseudepigraphy or the pre-print version https://www.academia.edu/3614258/The_Problem_of_the_Pastoral_Epistles_An_Important_Hypothesis_Reconsidered). In this landmark study, Harrison argued by means of statistics that the Pastorals are based on some genuine Pauline fragments but in their final form are the product of a Paulinist living in the early years of the second century. The lasting impact of Harrison’s work is evidenced by the ongoing scholarly use of his statistical argument to support the Pastorals’ (semi-)pseudonymity.

In the article it is documented how scholars have criticized the statistical argument of Harrison as it appeared to be flawed by methodological problems. One scholar that pointed out some of these is James Gilchrist, of whom Howard Marshall says in his ICC commentary that his work “has been undeservedly ignored”. Accepted in 1966 as a doctoral dissertation supervised by professor F. F. Bruce of Manchester University, Gilchrist’s Authorship and Date of the Pastoral Epistles offers a detailed critique of Harrison’s statistical argument. According to Gilchrist, Harrison managed to produce such an impressive case against the Pastorals’ authenticity only because he was able to reuse his arguments in different forms. Also, he shows why some of Harrison’s comparisons are incorrect and/or unnecessary (see especially pages 27-61).

For those who would like to read Gilchrist’s dissertation in full, it is now freely available online at http://ethos.bl.uk/Home.do. The comments given by Gilchrist are a welcome addition to those presented by Harrison’s better-known critics like Hitchcock, Michaelis, Guthrie, Metzger, and Spicq, to name but a few.

Jack Barentsen’s Emerging Leadership in the Pauline Mission

Just judging from the title, one may not realize that Jack Barentsen’s Emerging Leadership in the Pauline Mission: A Social Identity Perspective on Local Leadership Development in Corinth and Ephesus (Pickwick, 2011) deals extensively with the Pastoral Epistles. In fact in the nine chapters one deals exclusively with 1 Timothy and another with 2 Timothy.

Bartensen is concerned to trace cultural leadership patterns through the Corinthian correspondence, Ephesians and 1-2 Timothy since in a fairly close proximity (between Corinth and Ephesus) you have this many letters written to churches over the span of Paul’s ministry. This reading, of course, depends on Pauline authorship of each of these letters and Bartensen provides a good brief defense of Pauline authorship of the 1-2 Timothy.

I cannot here summarize all of the implications of PE study, but Bartensen’s reading of the situation in 1 Timothy makes good sense of the letter as an example of mandata principis. Paul’s more formal address to Timothy is expected to be overheard by the church particularly the wealthy home owners who would presumably host the church.

This is a helpful contribution to the Pastoral Epistles literature, and I didn’t want anyone to miss it since the Pastorals aren’t mentioned in the title.