1 Timothy in P133

I hadn’t realized it until I stumbled across this online, but a few years back, one of the Oxyrhynchus papyri was published as containing text from 1 Tim 3:13-4:8, and as Peter Gurry noted, P.Oxy. 5259 became P133 as well. Here’s the editio princeps:

Shao, J. “5259. I Timothy 3:13–4:8.” Pages 3–8 in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Volume LXXXI. Edited and translated by J. H. Brusuelas and C. Meccariello. Graeco-Roman Memoirs 102. London: The Egypt Exploration Society, 2016.

You can read Shao’s work here (originally posted here). Gurry notes that with its 3rd-century dating, P133 has become the “earliest copy of 1 Timothy.”

You can view the actual papyrus here.

Sample Syllabi for Teaching the Pastorals

This post provides a number of sample syllabi used to teach the Letters to Timothy and Titus at various levels, listed chronologically. All of these examples were either available online (where we link to a pdf of the syllabus, not the online location) or provided by the professor. We will update this post over time as we come across other syllabi. (On a related note, class notes from Michael Theobald, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (2010) are available here).

Please drop me a note on my Academia page if you would like to contribute your syllabus for posting here as well.

Christopher Cone, Tyndale Theological Seminary (2020?)

John Himes and Paul Himes, Baptist College of Ministry (2020)

Liberty University (2020)

Benjamin Merkle, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (2020)

Sean du Toit, Alphacrucis College (2020)

William Barcley, Reformed Theological Seminary (2019)

Andrew Hudson, Maranatha Baptist Seminary (2019)

Carl Hinderager, Briercrest Seminary (2018)

Frank Kovacs, Tyndale University (2017)

George Wieland, Carey Baptist College (2016)

Aída Besançon Spencer, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (2008)

Daniel Leyrer, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (2016)

Bud Talbert, Foundation Baptist College (2015)

Johnny Miller, Columbia International University (2014)

Gary Hendrix, Reformed Baptist Seminary (2013-2014)

Osvaldo Vena, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (2011)

Oral Roberts University (2002)

Bruce Terry, Ohio Valley College (2002)

Becker, Ekklesiologie der sanften Macht. Der 1. Timotheusbrief und die antike Fürstenspiegel-Literatur

Matthias Becker has just published an article of interest to students of 1 Timothy:

Becker, Matthias. “Ekklesiologie der sanften Macht. Der 1. Timotheusbrief und die antike Fürstenspiegel-Literatur.” Biblische Zeitschrift 64.2 (2020): 277–305.

Here’s the abstract: “Did early Christian church leaders and political rulers share common characteristics? By reading the First Epistle to Timothy through the lens of Greek and Roman “mirrors for princes” (specula principum) written in the first and early second centuries AD, this article intends to make a new contribution to this issue. The study’s interpretative focus lies on the idealized depiction of Timothy as a role model for early Christian officeholders as well as on the qualifications for bishops and deacons (1 Tim 3:1–13). The comparison of the features of the ideal ruler with those of ideal church leaders shows that central elements of the ecclesiology of First Timothy tap into the Greco-Roman discourse concerning ideal rulership. Yet not only that, it also helps to understand that the power that is undeniably attributed to officeholders is ultimately meant to be a soft power that serves the cause of “preservation” and “salvation” (σωτηρία).”

A Bibliography of the Letters to Timothy and Titus in Africa

We have produced a bibliography which aims to list (without summary or evaluation) all scholarly studies on the Letters to Timothy and Titus with a rather direct African connection. Specifically, it includes both (1) works by authors with roots in Africa, even if publishing outside Africa; and (2) anything published in Africa (i.e., theses, dissertations, and journals, most commonly Acta Patristica et ByzantinaHTS Teologiese StudiesIn die Skriflig,and Neotestamentica), even if by someone with roots outside Africa (e.g., international students at African schools). The net has been cast quite widely, and works on the Pastorals have been included from a variety of perspectives, approaches, languages, and geographical locations. Works included in the list do not necessarily make reference to the African context; the common denominator is simply that each of the works has both significant interaction with the Letters to Timothy and Titus, and a connection to Africa.

The bibliography may be accessed here.

Kidson, “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3–15”

Lyn Kidson, whose dissertation on 1 Timothy 1 is forthcoming in WUNT as Persuading Shipwrecked Men: Rhetorical Strategies in 1 Timothy, has produced an article on the widows of 1 Timothy 5:

Lyn Kidson, “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3–15.” Early Christianity 11.2 (2020): 191–205. (Mohr Siebeck)

Here’s the abstract: “In his essay, “Medical Imagery in the Pastoral Epistles,” Abraham Malherbe argued that medical terminology was a conventional polemic used to describe the opponents of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. His identification of this medical schema is the starting point in this article to explore the relationship between the opponents’ commands not to marry and to abstain from foods (1 Tim 4: 2–3)  with “Paul’s” instruction to younger “widows” to marry in 1 Timothy 5: 3–15. This exploration will begin by noting that the writer’s purpose in 1 Timothy is to dissuade certain men and women from teaching the other instruction (1 Tim 1: 3–4), which is the command not to marry. It will then consider the link between fasting and sexual continence in the texts of the contemporary physicians, early Christian writers, and Philo of Alexandria, and make the case that the other instruction is about controlling the desire for marriage through diet. However, it will be demonstrated that contemporary physicians were skeptical about women maintaining control of their sexual desires because of the weakness of their bodies. This suggests that the rhetorical scheme used against the opponents is not only conventional, but is a rhetorical play against the medical advice given by the ascetics in their efforts to comply with the command not to marry.”

Hidden Contributions to Pastorals Scholarship

While articles and monographs which focus specifically on the Letters to Timothy and Titus are easily found, some aspect of the letters may be helpfully treated as a distinct subsection in a larger work, and the larger work is such that one might not suspect work on the Pastorals exists in it. A list of over sixty works of that nature are provided at the link below. Works where the title or topic would make it almost inevitable that significant engagement with the Pastorals would be involved — say, church offices in the NT, widows in the NT, or the role of women in the church according to the NT — are largely excluded. For purposes of this post, we’ve limited ourselves to listing English-language scholarship.

The list is accessible here.

Keener, “Greek vs. Jewish Conceptions of Inspiration and 2 Timothy 3:16”

Craig Keener has an article in the current issue of JETS which will be of interest to students of the Letters to Timothy and Titus:

Keener, Craig S. “Greek Versus Jewish Conceptions of Inspiration and 2 Timothy 3:16.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 63.2 (2020): 217–31.

Abstract: Second Timothy 3:16 speaks of Scripture as θεόπνευστος, “God-breathed,” “inspired.” What would ancient audiences who heard such a claim assume that it entailed regarding accuracy? For many Greek hearers, inspiration entailed divine authority, including on basic historical matters, although some Greek thinkers allowed poetic inspiration without such accuracy. Jewish application of inspiration language to Scripture, however, apparently always entailed its authority and accuracy. Although Jewish interpreters applied various approaches to reconcile or even sidestep apparent conflicts in biblical narratives, their understanding of its inspired authority entailed reliance on Scripture’s truthfulness on all matters that it addressed.

Additions to “2019 Publications” and “Forthcoming Publications [2020]”

We recently posted our annual list of publications on the Pastorals from the previous year, and those which are known to be forthcoming. We have a few additions to make to each list.

Published in 2019 and early 2020:

Falcetta, Alessandro. Early Christian Teachers: The ‘Didaskaloi’ from Their Origins to the Middle of the Second Century. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/516. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020. [note the section on the Pastorals, pp. 145–76]

Herzer, Jens. “Goethes Quark und Holtzmanns Drillinge: Die Pastoralbriefe in Geschichte und Gegenwart.” Pages 125–135 in Update-Exegese 2.0: Grundfragen gegenwärtiger Bibelwissenschaft. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2019.

Herzer, Jens. “Haben die Magier den Verstand verloren? Jannes und Jambres im 2. Timotheusbrief.” Pages 129–41 in Religion als Imagination: Phänomene des Menschseins in den Horizonten theologischer Lebensdeutung. Edited by Lena Seehausen, Paulus Enke, and Jens Herzer. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2020.

Постернак, Андрей (Posternak, Andrey). “Статус Вдов в Первом Послании Апостола Павла к Тимофею (1 Тим 5. 3–16). [The Status of Widows in the First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy (1 Tim 5:3–16)].” Вестник Екатеринбургской духовной семинарии 29.1 (2020): 13–36. DOI: 10.24411/2224-5391-2020-10101 [Russian]

Roberts, Daniel Wayne. “Reading the Pastoral Epistles from a Canonical Perspective in Light of the New Perspective on Paul.” PhD diss., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2020.


Herzer, Jens. Die Pastoralbriefe. Theologischer Handkommentar zum Neuen Testament 13. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, forthcoming 2021 or 2022.

Herzer, Jens. Die Pastoralbriefe in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming 2020 or 2021. [collected essays]

Karaman, Elif. “Widows, the Ephesian Inscriptions, and 1 Timothy 5.” In New Documents Illustrating the History of Early Christianity, Volume 11: Ephesus. Edited by James R. Harrison. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming 2020. [this item was listed among the “forthcoming” works, but here is given with more bibliographic data]

Forthcoming Publications on the Pastorals

We attempt each year to provide a list of forthcoming publications on the Letters to Timothy and Titus. This year, we have compiled a list of a few dozen items, ranging from articles to monographs and commentaries, whose expected dates of release range from less than a month away to close to a decade in the future. Deep thanks goes to various authors who helpfully were able to provide a short description of their work, and publishers who responded to inquiries about forthcoming titles! If you are aware of other forthcoming academic work on the Pastorals, please leave a comment.

Those who work in the Pastorals will know that a spate of commentaries on the letters in various multi-author series was produced around the turn of the millennium, with volumes appearing in the ICC (Marshall, 1999), WBC (Mounce, 2000), ECC (Quinn/Wacker, 2000), AB (Johnson, 2001; Quinn, 2005), NTL (Collins, 2002), and NICNT (Towner, 2006) series. There was a bit of a lull in larger English-language commentaries on the letters in the late 2000s and early 2010s (though note new arrivals in the SP (Fiore, 2007) and THNTC (Wall and Steele, 2012)), but we’re just getting into another period of commentary productivity: the BTCP (Kostenberger, 2017), Pillar (Yarbrough, 2018), ITC (Bray, 2019), and Paideia (Hutson, 2019) volumes are available, and soon to come (as noted in the list linked below) are volumes in the Brill Exegetical Commentary (Pao), TNTC (Padilla, 2021 or 2022 projected), ZECNT (Beale and Beetham, 2022 projected), and BECNT (Porter).

The list of forthcoming publications on the Pastorals may be accessed by clicking here.

JSPL 9.1-2 (2019): “Special Issue: The Pastoral Epistles”

The most recent issue of Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters contains presentations on the Pastorals from a specialist conference held in Leuven in November 2018. The theme of the conference was “The Pastoral Epistles: Common Themes, Individual Compositions?” (program).

The JSPL issue contains an editor’s introduction, and another introduction to the special issue. An opening essay by Jermo van Nes sets the stage, followed by four sets of essays and responses, and “concluding reflections” by editor Stanley Porter. You can view the contents here, and I’ve compiled the abstracts here.