Recent Work on the Pastoral Epistles

I am aware of four books related to the Pastorals that have just come out, and thought it would be useful to mention them here.

First is the new volume on the PE in the Baylor Handbook series. The series as a whole has been very well done so I look forward to seeing this PE volume by Larry Perkins.

 

 

Second, is this new edition of Aquinas’s commentaries on the PE, Michael G Sirilla, The Ideal Bishop: Aquinas’s Commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press. 2017).

I have only glanced at it so far. Here is the table of contents:

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Theology of the Episcopacy in the Writings
  3. St. Thomas’s Lectures on the Pastoral Epistles
  4. Lectures on 1 Timothy: Ut gubernet populum
  5. Lectures on 2 Timothy: Ut pro populo subdito patiatur
  6. Lectures on Titus: Ut malos coerceat
  7. Conclusion

 

This will be fascinating in terms of the history of interpretation.

Third, Baylor has also published a new monograph on the Pastorals, Civilized Piety: The Rhetoric of Pietas in the Pastoral Epistles and the Roman Empire by T. Christopher Hoklotubbe. Here is the table of contents for this book:

Introduction: The Politics of Piety in the Pastoral Epistles

  1. Piety in Caesar’s House
  2. Piety in God’s House
  3. Honoring Piety in the City
  4. Honoring Piety in the Ekklēsia
  5. The Mystery of Philosophical Piety
  6. The Mystery of Pastoral Piety

Conclusion: A Pious and Civilized Christian in the Roman Empire

 

Fourth, the Pastorals are dealt within this interesting new book, Paul as Pastor, edited by Brian S. Rosner, Andrew S. Malone, and Trevor J. Burke (New York: Bloomsbury Publishing. 2018). The PE are dealt with by Bob Yarbrough in chapter 11 (which can be viewed at Amazon)

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  1. The Household Setting of Paul’s Pastoral Practice and its Biblical and Jewish Roots — Brian S. Rosner, Ridley College, Australia
    2. Paul as Pastor in Acts: Modelling and Teaching Perseverance in the Faith – Alan J. Thompson, Sydney Missionary and Bible College, Australia
    3. Paul as Pastor in Romans: Theological Foundations – Colin G. Kruse, Melbourne School of Theology, Australia
    4. Paul’s Pastoral Sensitivity in 1 Corinthians – Matthew R. Malcolm, Trinity Theological College, Australia
    5. Paul as Pastor in 2 Corinthians – Paul W. Barnett, Macquarie University, Australia
    6. Pastoring with a Big Stick: Paul as Pastor in Galatians – Michael F. Bird, Ridley College, Australia and John Anthony Dunne, St. Andrew’s University, UK
    7. Paul and Pastors in Ephesians: The Pastor as Teacher – Peter Orr, Moore Theological College, Australia
    8. Paul and Pastors in Philippians: When Staff teams Disagree – Sarah Harris, Carey Baptist College, New Zealand
    9. Paul as Pastor in Colossians? – Andrew S. Malone, Ridley College, Australia
    10. Mother, Father, Infant, Orphan, Brother: Paul’s Variegated Pastoral Strategy Towards His Thessalonian Church-Family – Trevor J. Burke, Cambridge Theological Federation, UK
    11. Paul as Working Pastor: Exposing an Open Ethical Secret – Robert W. Yarbrough, Covenant Theological Seminary, USA
    12. The Pastoral Offices in the Pastoral Epistles and the Church of England’s First Ordinal – Tim Patrick, Bible College SA, Australia
    13. Augustine of Hippo on Paul as Pastor – Andrew M. Bain, Queensland Theological College, Australia
    14. ‘He Followed Paul’ Whitefield’s Voice: Heroic, Apostolic, Prophetic – Rhys S. Bezzant, Ridley College, Australia

 

Lastly, I have also just received a copy of a recent article, “The Rhetorical Strategy of 1 Timothy,” by Tim O’Donnell published in Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 79:3 (July 2017): 455-475. I look forward to reading this soon.

 

These are encouraging signs for work on these important letters.

Merkle on Elders and Overseers

On my way back from Nepal I finally read Ben Merkle’s book, $amz(0820462349 The Elder and Overseer: One Office in the Early Church) (Peter Lang, 2003). It is a revision of his doctoral dissertation. Merkle provides a good overview of the scholarly discussion and of the relevant background material. He makes a good case for the use of the term ‘elder’ referring to an office and not simply to age. I agree with his thesis—that elder and overseer refer to the same office—and thought he did a good job defending it. He also deals with the idea that Paul’s churches had no structure/authority but were loosely led by ‘charismatics.’ This view shows up not only in more critical schools of thought but can be found in evangelical settings as well. Merkle clearly shows that concern for official leadership is clear in Paul and Acts. There is no aversion to ‘office’ in Paul and there is more concern with authority than is sometimes acknowledged (for example see Robert Banks, “Church Order and Government” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters). Merkle rightly demonstrates that this view is rooted in an approach which prioritizes 1 Corinthians to the exclusion of Paul’s other letters.

I had been thinking for some time that a rebuttal of these ‘no structure, no authority’ views need to be written. Now I know Merkle has done it and done it well.

What’s an “Elder”, Anyway?

In early February, Ray posted on $esv(Titus 1.6) and “believing/faithful children”. In that post, Ray linked to an article in the 9 Marks newsletter.


Regarding that link, an anonymous commenter asked me:



Rico: Have you read the book in footnote 2?: Alexander Strauch, Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership, revised & expanded (Littleton, Col.: Lewis & Roth Publishers, 1995), 229.


Please consider the concept of “elders” he presents in his research through the Acts and Epistles uses of the Greek words used.


I’ve not read Strauch’s book. But I have read with interest R. Alastair Campbell’s The Elders: Seniority within Earliest Christianity. Campbell gives a more complete view than just centering on practice in Acts and the Epistles; he traces the concept of “eldership” through through the Hebrew Bible, into the New Testament, and then through Apostolic Fathers (particularly Ignatius). I don’t agree with some of his presuppositions (he thinks the Pastorals are psuedepigraphal and contemporary with or immediately preceding Ignatius’ writings and this colors some of his conclusions regarding the role of elders in the Pastorals) but nonetheless he approaches the topic diachronically and does a good job of it.


Anyone else have thoughts on “eldership” as it is discussed in the Pastorals? Or on the topic of “church leadership” in general within the Pastorals?