Free Commentary on Titus

Aldred Genade’s book, The Letter To Titus: The Qualified Pastor: How to Lead and Manage God’s Church the Right Wayis free on Kindle through tomorrow (July 18). Genade did his doctoral work on rhetorical strategies in the letter to Titus under the supervision of D. F. Tolmie at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

I have not yet read this new work by Genade, but wanted to pass on this opportunity to get a free copy.

New Edition of Calvin’s Sermons on 1 Timothy

Calvin sermons coverI have finally published the new edition of Calvin’s sermons on 1 Timothy which Brian Denker and I worked on for so long. Due to its size (330,000+ words) the digital format seemed a good way to go, so it is published through Amazon for Kindle. The cost is only $2.99 for all 54 sermons.

These sermons reveal Calvin’s pastoral heart, his evangelistic fervor, and his devotion to the word of God. I have posted my introduction and a sample sermon for free so you can get a feel for the book.

I have pasted in below the commendations for the book which I have received. Howard Marshall has enthusiastically responded to my email saying he wanted to write a commendation, but sadly he passed away before being able to write it. Howard commented on how Andrew Walls read from these sermons (directly from the French original) at one of the early InterVarsity meetings he attended as a student.

I hope these sermons can encourage, challenge, and bless others as they have me.

“In this new edition of Calvin’s sermons on the Pastoral Epistles we meet the Reformer at his liveliest and most compelling. The subject matter lends itself to practical application, and here we see Calvin at the height of his pastoral powers. This new edition brings the original to life for our generation and we must hope that it will be widely read and used by preachers everywhere.”

  • Gerald Bray, Research Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“So many think of John Calvin as a theologian, as one who lived separate from the people writing theological books in splendid isolation. But Calvin was a pastor who was involved in the rough and tumble of everyday life. Above all else, he was a preacher, one who proclaimed the word of God to the people of God. We see in these sermons the heart of a preacher as he exhorts and instructs his congregation. Calvin’s theology was not abstract to him; it was meant to be believed and lived out in the home and in the market place. In these sermons on 1 Timothy we see Calvin the pastor at work as he proclaims God’s word for the church of Jesus Christ. Read and be instructed, challenged, encouraged, convicted, and changed.”

  • Tom Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Ray Van Neste has done English readers a great service by making John Calvin’s sermons on 1 Timothy readily accessible. The 1579 English translation is simply too intimidating for many modern readers to tackle leaving the theological and pastoral wisdom of the reformer in these sermons virtually locked away. This edition is completely retyped using modern words and phrases to maintain the original English meaning. Where serious questions remained these then were checked against the original French in which the sermons first appeared. A helpful introduction which includes a suggested approach to reading the sermons makes this work all the more valuable. Those who know Calvin only as a theologian will discover in these sermons that he was a first and foremost a tender, compassionate and evangelist pastor. I hope this book gains a wide reading.”

  • Tom Ascol, Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, FL

“Today’s preachers have much to gain by reading and studying sermons from past masters of the pulpit. Unfortunately, some great preachers of the past are relatively inaccessible because of differences of language. Thus, Ray Van Neste and Brian Denker have done us a great service by editing and updating the 1579 English edition of Calvin’s Sermons on 1 Timothy, making them accessible to 21st century readers. In these 54 sermons, Calvin is revealed not to be the austere theologian of modern caricatures, but a loving, caring pastor who wanted his people to understand the truth of God’s Word. This significant collection will be of interest not only to students of Calvin but to any reader interested in better understanding Paul’s inspired first letter to his protégé Timothy.”

  •   Michael Duduit, Executive Editor, Preaching magazine, and Dean of the College of Christian Studies & Clamp Divinity School, Anderson University, Anderson, SC

 

Second Timothy: Notes on Grammar, Syntax, & Structure

Rick Brannan has written a new book, Second Timothy: Notes on Grammar, Syntax, & Structure, which is soon to be published with Appian Way Press. The book provides a block-style outline and translation, treats major structures in the text, and comments on grammatical and syntactical issues phrase by phrase through the letter.

I have had an opportunity to see the manuscript and found it useful. Here is the blurb I have written for it:

“This is a fascinating study as Brannan comments on grammatical and syntactical relationships throughout 2 Timothy with comments on the implications for flow of thought and meaning. I am not aware of anything quite like this available anywhere else. This will be a great resource for anyone working through the Greek text of 2 Timothy.”

You can find information about the book and a couple of sample portions here.

Wansbrough on the Pastoral Epistles

By Chuck Bumgardner

wansbrough intro ntHenry Wansbrough, a Roman Catholic biblical scholar, is notable for his work as the general editor of the New Jerusalem Bible (1985). Having published over twenty books throughout his scholarly career, he has now produced Introducing the New Testament (London: Bloomsbury, 2015). In roughly 400 pages, Wansbrough covers the NT in five sections: Preliminaries, Gospels and Acts, Paul’s Life and Letters, Catholic/Universal Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. Wansbrough’s scholarly acumen clearly underlies his work, but the volume seems to be aimed toward a lay or college level; there are frequent sidebars, but no footnotes/endnotes. My purpose here is to summarize Wansbrough’s work on the PE in this recent volume.

Wansbrough’s discussion of the three PE under “Paul’s Life and Letters” spans a mere eight pages, and is organized into three sections: authorship, situation, and order in the community. His discussion of authorship does not explicitly stake out his position, but he seems to agree with the scholarly majority which doubts Pauline authorship, though 2 Timothy may perhaps “stem from Paul” (303). If authentic, the PE could only fit Paul’s ministry after Acts, and must reflect Paul as a “broken,” “fearful” “old man,” “unable any longer to think through his magnificent old doctrinal formations” (304). Wansbrough connects the testamentary character of 2 Timothy with “the genre of farewell speech of a great leader” and such examples as The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and provides a brief comparison of 2 Timothy with Paul’s farewell speech to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20. Regarding challenges to authenticity, Wansbrough highlights the “elementary advice” which Paul provides to Timothy and Titus, and the non-mention of “so many distinctive Pauline interests” (305).

The situation of the PE is characterized by false teaching, which Wansbrough uses all three letters to describe (not distinguishing between that in Ephesus and that in Crete). The “myths and genealogies” might involve pagan myths, Jewish haggadoth, or proto-Gnostic demiurges. In the end, little can be known about the false teaching. On the other hand, various hints point to what the writer considers “sound doctrine”; this usually involves “salvation and the way to salvation” (306), and is often contained in trustworthy sayings. The letters must be read against the background of mystery religions and/or the imperial cult, where the Emperor was “Savior” and “Lord,” and language of “epiphany” was used.

As to order in the community, Wansbrough finds the PE to enjoin conventional Hellenistic morality, “the virtues of public and private life stressed by Greek and Roman contemporary writers on morals, centered on moderation and restraint, piety and godliness” (308). In 1 Timothy 2, “institutional morality is re-affirmed, in that a woman should not have authority over a man,” which must be understood “against the background of the position of women in the societies of the time” (308); in a related sidebar, Wansbrough does not make the typical appeal to Gal 3:28 against 1 Timothy 2:9-15, but instead highlights 1 Cor 11:11-12 in this role. There is an “incipient institutionalization” in the PE, and Wansbrough discusses in turn overseers, widows (who are enrolled for alms; nothing is specified about an office), elders (Wansbrough distinguishes episkopoi from presbyteroi), and deacons (“no argument for or against the ordination of women to the diaconate in the early Church can be based” on 1 Tim 3:11) (310).

In sum, Wansbrough has set forth a fairly standard critical take on the PE. His “further reading” list, oddly, gives only a single volume: Frances Young, The Theology of the Pastoral Letters.

Powell on the Pastoral Epistles

By Chuck Bumgardner

Mark Allan Powell is the Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Columbus, OH), having taught New Testament at TLS since 1987. A prolific author, Powell has crafted his Introduction to the New Testament (Baker, 2009) (INT) as a college textbook. This work is atypical in that it “urges engagement of ideas but does not attempt to resolve disputes,” with its goal being “engagement, not indoctrination” (11), and so Powell tries not to tip his hand as to his own position on various issues. Also of note, his INT also includes over 75 pieces of Christian artwork scattered throughout the book. Powell, to my knowledge, has not published anything specifically on the Pastoral Epistles; his published works major more on the Gospels and Acts. Strikingly, a book that he edited with David R. Bauer, Who Do You Say that I Am? Essays on Christology (WJK 1999), walks through the New Testament via various essays (including the Christology of . . . Matthew, Mark, Luke-Acts, Johannine Writings, Pauline Epistles, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, Jude/2 Peter, Revelation) but does not include the christological contribution of the Pastoral Epistles in the chapter by M. L. Soards on “Christology of the Pauline Epistles”—and only in passing in two other places in the volume.

In INT, after a brief introduction to the PE which (in keeping with his overarching methodology) leaves the question of authorship open, Powell provides a very brief overview of each of the three epistles. Addressing historical background, he presents standard possibilities of the PE being (1) authentically written (1a) during or (1b) just after the events of Acts, (2) pseudonymously written in their entirety shortly after Paul’s death, (3) pseudonymous expansions of embedded authentic Pauline notes, or (4) an authentic 2 Timothy providing the template for pseudonymous 1 Timothy and Titus. Several sidebars liven up the chapter: biographical sketches of Timothy and Titus, a chart of proposed historical situations for the PE, a brief list of reasons scholars reject the authenticity of the PE, the office of widows (Powell doesn’t mention the possibility that the widows of 1 Tim 5 don’t actually occupy a formal church office), concern for social respectability in the PE, the meaning of “the husband of one wife”

The major themes Powell finds in the letters include church government, false teaching and sound doctrine, women and ministry, and suffering and shame. In the end, he understands the PE to have been written to engage two threats to the church, external persecution and internal heresy. Powell finds the purpose of the letters to be the preservation of the Pauline tradition and appropriate conduct in the church. His own view seems to be that the PE come “from a difficult but necessary stage in the development of the Christian religion: the church is becoming more institutionalized and more authoritarian in an effort to forestall revision of the faith for which Paul was willing to suffer and die” (413). A brief “further reading” list concludes the chapter.

Material supplemental to the chapter is found online at the companion website www.introducingNT.com (freely available to the public). This material on the main PE page refers to Powell in the third person and doesn’t seem to have been written by him. The site provides discussion prompts, pedagogical suggestions (the notion of widows as occupying a specific church office is brought into question), and PDFs of the sidebars included in the chapter. In addition are other PDFs of sidebar-like discussions that were not included in the chapter: authorship (with arguments for and against pseudepigraphy and a helpful bibliography of works categorized by view on authorship), church leaders in the NT (including both “deacons” and “widows” as “church leaders”), the nature of the false teaching (doesn’t distinguish between that in the epistles to Timothy and that in the epistle to Titus), polemic in the PE (doesn’t seem to treat polemic in the PE as merely stock), genre of the PE, distinctive vocabulary in the PE, the PE in the Revised Common Lectionary, women and ministry in the PE (the PE teach that “there is an office in the church for aged widows”; “some women may also serve as deacons”; “women should not be permitted to teach or to have authority over men . . . they are . . . more easily deceived than men”) with brief bibliography; and an expanded English-language bibliography with 78 entries in nine categories: overview (including less technical commentaries), critical commentaries, authorship, linguistic distinctiveness, parenetic character, church government, women and ministry, household codes, other studies. Although INT was published in 2009, the online bibliography has works as late as 2010. The bibliography is a bit uneven, but excellent overall.

Powell has chosen to include representations of three pieces of artwork as part of the chapter on the PE. First is “Window of St. Timothy with the martyr’s palm, removed from Neuwiller Abbey, studio of Lorin de Chartres (12th c.),” although Powell opines that Timothy is holding a “rod or bat”, not a martyr’s palm (a cudgel was traditionally the instrument of Timothy’s death); unfortunately, the image available to Powell presents the title in the window (S.TIMOTHEUS.MARTYR) backwards. Second is a 17th-c. Melkite icon, “The Council of Nicaea I,” depicting church leaders flanking Constantine; the use of this painting reflects a later understanding of a “bishop” than a Pauline reading of the PE permits. Third is German realist Wilhelm Leibl’s best-known work, “Three Women in Church” (1882); Powell connects the quiet demeanor of these women with that enjoined in the PE. I was slightly disappointed that Rembrandt’s “Timothy and His Grandmother” wasn’t chosen for inclusion, but then, I’m particularly partial to Rembrandt.

New Monograph, Wealth in Ancient Ephesus

Earlier this year I saw advertisements for this new monograph on 1 Timothy by Gary Hoag, Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus published by Eisenbrauns. I have kept my eye on it but have not yet obtained a copy. So, I was quite interested to see this review of the book by Lucy Peppiat, and thought our readers would like to know of the review as well.

I will hope soon to provide our own review of the book.

Pastoral Epistles Publications in 2015

Chuck Bumgardner has once again done us the wonderful service of compiling a list of publications from the year. This is an excellent resource for anyone trying to stay abreast of scholarship on the Pastorals. Notice at the end the brief list of dissertations and reprints. If you know of an item that should be added to the list please let us know by sending us an email at pastoralepistles at gmail dot com.

 

Ackerman, David Allen. “Atonement and Community Reconciliation in Paul’s Letters: The Shame of the Cross as the Means for Restoration.” Wesleyan Theological Journal 50/1 (2015): 83-99. (addresses 1 Tim 1:18-20; 2 Tim 2:25-26; Titus 3:9-10)

Dionson, Herman. “1 Timothy 4:6-16: Towards a Theology of Encouragement.” Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 18/2 (2015): 7-21.

Dragutinović, Predrag. “Die Schrift im Dienst der gesunden Lehre. Text-pragmatische Erwägungen zu 2 Tim 3,14-17.” Annali di Storia dell’Esegesi 32 (2015): 309-24.

Emerson, Matthew Y. “Paul’s Eschatological Outlook in the Pastoral Epistles.” Criswell Theological Review n.s. 12 (2015): 83-98.

Glahn, Sandra L. “The First-Century Ephesian Artemis: Ramifications of Her Identity.” Bibliotheca Sacra 172.688 (2015): 450-69.

Hoag, Gary G. Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus. BBR Supplement Series. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015.

Houwelingen, Rob van. “Meaning and Significance of the Instruction about Women in 1 Timothy 2:12-15.” Sárospataki Füzetek 19:4 (2015): 59-71.

Hübner, Jamin. “Revisiting αὐθεντέω in 1 Timothy 2:12: What Does the Extant Data Really Show?” The Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters 4 (2015): 41-70.

________. “Translating αὐθεντέω (authenteō) in 1 Timothy 2:12.” Priscilla Papers 29.2 (2015): 16-26.

Hunter, David G. ” ‘A Man of One Wife:’ Patristic Interpretations of 1 Timothy 3:2, 3:12, and Titus 1:6 and the Making of Christian Priesthood.” Annali di storia dell’esegesi 32 (2015): 333-52.

Hylen, Susan E. A Modest Apostle: Thecla and the History of Women in the Early Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Long, Frederick J. “A Wife in Relation to a Husband: Greek Discourse Pragmatic and Cultural Evidence for Interpreting 1 Tim 2:11-15.“ The Journal of Inductive Bible Studies 2/2 (2015): 6-43. Online: http://issuu.com/asburytheologicalseminary/docs/snyder_version_2_watermarked?e=4513495/31292055

Meiser, Martin. “Timothy in Acts: Patristic Reception.” Annali di Storia dell’Esegesi 32 (2015): 325-32.

Munger, Scott. “Women, the Church, and Bible Translation: Key Passages, Issues, and Interpretive Options.” Priscilla Papers 29/2 (2015): 6-13.

Nicklas, Tobias. “The Pastoral Epistles and Their Reception.” Annali di Storia dell’Esegesi 32 (2015): 285-86.

Porter, Stanley E. “1 Timothy 2:8: Holy Hands or Holy Raising?” Pages 339-346 in Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament: Studies in Tools, Methods, and Practice. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2015.

Smit, Peter-Ben. “Back to the Future—Aspekte der Pseudepigraphie des Titusbriefes und ihre Bedeutung.” Pages 341–61 in Wie Geschichten Geschichte schreiben: Frühchristliche Literatur zwischen Faktualität und Fiktionalität: Eine Einführung. Edited by Susanne Luther, Jörg Röder, and Eckart D. Schmidt. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2:395. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015.

Sommer, Michael. “Witwen in 1 Tim 5. Eine subkulturelle Annäherung aus der Perspektive der Schriften Israels und ihrer Auswirkungen auf das frühe Christentum.” Annali di storia dell’esegesi 32 (2015): 287-307.

Theobald, Michael. “Vom Werden des Rechts in der Kirche: Beobachtungen zur Sprachform von Weisungen im Corpus Pastorale und bei Paulus.“ Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 106 (2015): 65-95.

Wenkel, David H. “Lexicography to the Aid of a Problematic Pastoral Proverb: With What Should Christians Be Content in 1 Timothy 6.8?” The Bible Translator 66 (2015): 73-90.

Zamfir, Korinna. “Women Teaching—Spiritually Washing the Feet of the Saints? The Early Christian Reception of 1 Timothy 2:11-12.” Annali di Storia dell’Esegesi 32 (2015): 352-79.

 

2015 PE-related dissertations:

Hoklotubbe, T. Christopher. “The Rhetoric of Pietas: The Pastoral Epistles and Claims to Piety in the Roman Empire.” Th.D. diss., Harvard Divinity School, 2015.

Thornton, Dillon. “Hostility in the House of God: An ‘Interested’ Investigation of the Opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy.” Ph.D. diss., University of Otago, 2015. Online: https://ourarchive.otago.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10523/5576/ThorntonDillonT2015PhD.pdf.

 

2015 reprints of important PE works:

Donelson, Lewis R. Pseudepigraphy and Ethical Arguments in the Pastorals. Hermeneutische Untersuchungen zur Theologie 22. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1986. Reprint, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2015.

Hanson, A. T. Studies in the Pastoral Epistles. London: S.P.C.K., 1968. Reprint, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2015.

Towner, Philip H. The Goal of Our Instruction: The Structure of Theology and Ethics in the Pastoral Epistles. Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 34. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1989. Reprint, Bloomsbury Academic Collections. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

 

Yet More Additions to the 2014 List

Chuck Bumgardner continues to put us in his debt gathering these bibliographical lists. Soon we will post his list of PE related publications for 2015, but first here are some additions to the 2014 list which he has just sent in. [these have now been added to the original 2014 list post]

Downs, David J. “Pauline Ecclesiology.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 41 (2014): 243-255. (Downs includes the Pastorals as Pauline)

Giambrone, Anthony. “‘According to the Commandment’ (Did. 1.5): Lexical Reflections on Almsgiving as ‘The Commandment.’” New Testament Studies 60 (2014): 448-465. (This builds on Nathan Eubank, “Almsgiving Is ‘the Commandment’: A Note on 1 Timothy 6.6–19,” NTS 58 [2012]: 144–150.)

Gonçaves, Ailton de Souza Gonçalves, Danilo Dourado Guerra, and Érika Rejane Rodrigues de Souza Fideles. “Hermenêuticas no Novo Testamento: olhares, experiências e temporalidades.” Caminhando 19/1 (2014): 27-40. Online: www.metodista.br/revistas/revistas-metodista/index.php/CA/article/view/4779/4261 (highlights 1 Tim 2:9-15)

Klein, Hans. “Paulus als Verkündiger, Apostel und Lehrer in den Pastoralbriefen.” Sacra Scripta 12 (2014): 43-63.

Mazzinghi, Luca. “Tempo de riforma: Leggere la Bibbia lungo i tempi. Il volto di Dio.” Rassenga di Teologia 55 (2014): 673-88.

Sorum, E. Allen. “Man or Servant in 2 Timothy 3:17?” Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly 111/2 (2014): 108-14.

Theobald, Michael. “Versöhnung im Gemeindebezug—Gnade durch Regeln? Biblisch-frühkirchliche Reminiszenzen.“ Theologische Quartalschrift 194 (2014): 171-89.

Free book

entrusted with the gospelB&H Academic is offering a free copy of Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles (edited by Andreas Köstenberger and Terry Wilder) to anyone who signs up for the updates at their blog.

 

Essays include:

I. Howard Marshall on Recent Study in the Pastoral Epistles
Andreas Köstenberger on Hermeneutical and Exegetical Challenges
Terry L. Wilder on Authorship
F. Alan Tomlinson on  Purpose/Stewardship
Greg Couser on Doctrine of God
Daniel L. Akin on  Christology
Ray Van Neste on Cohesion and Structure of the PE
B. Paul Wolfe on Use of Scripture
Ben Merkle on Ecclesiology
George Wieland on Soteriology
Thor Madsen on Ethics
Chiao Ek Ho on Missiology

Protection from the Pastorals

[Originally posted at my personal site]

The recently published Fortress Commentary on the Bible: New Testament contains 22 pages of commentary, written by Deborah Krause, devoted to each of the Pastoral Epistles. With Fortress one expects a more critical direction from the commentary. The introduction to the whole volume makes this explicit with its endorsement of feminist, liberation and queer interpretation.

Krause begins with the assumption of non-Pauline authorship, and then most often explains why the exhortations found in these letters are not binding. She wrongly asserts that these are not proper letters but are simply vehicles for enforcing a certain church structure. These letters fit well within the models of letter writing in the first century (scholarship here has been clear). Furthermore, as the last several decades of scholarship has noted, these letters cannot be reduced to concerns about church structure.

After briefly laying out the perspective of non-Pauline authorship, Krause acknowledges, “it is important to remember that for the vast majority of the church’s history, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus” were not seen as just one of various ways of appropriating the Pauline message. “Rather, the writings have been seen as authentic communication between Paul and his closest companions in ministry.” This is an important piece to remember, though it gives no pause to the author. She does acknowledge, though, that since the church has for so long believed these letters were actually from Paul, “these writings have been remarkably successful in achieving their original intent- to influence and direct the Pauline tradition as it has informed the life and ministry of the church” (590). Despite what we “know” now, Scripture has had its intended effect.

Of course, 1 Timothy 2 is of particular interest. While the prohibition on women teaching men “may sound antiquated, it is remarkable to see how broadly this text is cited as an authority in current manuals of church administration and polity” (595). What is remarkable to me is that one would think it remarkable for clear statements of Scripture (in keeping with the manner in which the Church has interpreted them through most of its history) to serve as authority in church polity. And, the apparent reason why this should amaze us is that this statement of Scripture sounds “antiquated.”

One might argue for a different interpretation of these letters in general and of 1 Timothy 2 in particular. But we ought not be surprised that Scripture serves as a norm for churches today no matter how “old” its teaching may sound. And we ought to be careful about so lightly and so completely disregarding the consistent witness of our forebears.

In the end, this commentary on the Pastorals seems to be concerned primarily with protecting readers from the actual message of these letters.