Forthcoming Publications on the Pastoral Epistles

In a recent post, we looked back at the last year’s publications on the Pastorals. Here, we’ll take a look at some forthcoming titles — expected publications whose date of release ranges from less than a month away to over a decade in the future. Most are monograph-length publications, with a few others sprinkled in for good measure. My deep thanks goes to a number of 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.

The list given below is provided in pdf format (hyperlinks included) here.

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Beale, Gregory K., and Christopher Beetham. Volume on the Pastorals in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, forthcoming 2022. From the author: “The contribution of the commentary will be in the area of the use of the OT in the Pastoral Epistles.”

Cover image for The Law’s Universal Condemning and Enslaving Power: Reading Paul, the Old Testament, and Second Temple Jewish Literature By Bryan Blazosky

Blazosky, Bryan. The Law’s Universal Condemning and Enslaving Power. BBRSup 24. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, forthcoming [June] 2019. Publisher’s synopsis. From the author: “In spite of the wealth of literature on Paul’s view of the Mosaic law’s relationship to Gentile Christians, little has been written about how the law relates to Gentile unbelievers. This book examines whether Paul teaches that Gentiles are condemned by and enslaved under the law. Furthermore, this study explores the logic of Paul’s approach and compares his view on this issue to views found in the Old Testament and Second Temple Jewish literature. As far as the contribution of this book to the Pastoral Epistles, on the one hand, I only cover one section of the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy 1:8–11) in part of one chapter (the chapter on Pauline writings outside of Galatians and Romans). On the other hand, I intentionally address 1 Timothy 1:8–11 because it is so relevant to the topic of Gentile condemnation and the law of Moses and also because this text is so often overlooked in Paul and the law studies simply because it’s in the Pastoral Epistles. In my treatment of this text, I examine what Paul means by νομίμως in 1 Timothy 1:8, Paul’s extensive allusion to the Decalogue in 1 Timothy 1:9–10, and Paul’s argument that one of the proper uses of the Mosaic law is to use it to expose and condemn the lawless.”

Bray, Gerald. Bray’s work on the Pastorals will appear in the International Theological Commentary, a newer series produced as a sort of companion series to the International Critical Commentary. ITC series webpage.

Brown, Michael I. 2 Timothy. Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament. Dallas, GA: Tolle Lege, forthcoming.

Dodson, Joseph R. “Paul, the Pastor, and the Gift.” In Christian Origins and the Formation of the Early Church. Edited by Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitts. TENTS/ECHC 5. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2019 or 2020. From the author: “This essay is a modified version of a paper I delivered in San Antonio at ETS in 2016. It is a response to John M. G. Barclay’s Paul and the Gift. In that monograph, Barclay admits that his conclusions might be different if he included all of the letters ascribed to Paul, and perhaps Barclay’s promised sequel will include these other epistles. Until then, I offer this essay as an initial attempt to apply Barclay’s heuristic model beyond the undisputed letters. Therefore, I select the most relevant passages from the Pastoral Epistles regarding God’s grace-gift (1 Tim 1:12–17; 2 Tim 1:8–12; and Titus 2:11–3:8) and investigate them in view of Barclay’s six perfections on the one hand and in light of Barclay’s conclusions on the other.” 

Ebojo, Edgar Battad. “A Scribe and His Manuscript: An Investigation into the Scribal Habits of Papyrus 46 (p. Chester Beatty ii – p. Mich. Inv. 6238).” PhD thesis, University of Birmingham, 2014. The question of whether the LTT could have been part of P46 receives extended attention on pp. 204–35.
The author plans to publish the work, though no immediate plans have been made for publication; the quality of the work, however, suggests there will be no problem in finding a publisher. In the meantime, the thesis is publicly available here and supplemental information here.

Fitzgerald, John T. The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress, forthcoming. Fitzgerald’s work will replace the important Dibelius/Conzelmann volume in Hermeneia, and is slated for release in the late 2020s, over 50 years after its predecessor’s publication. Anyone familiar with Fitzgerald’s previous publications will rightly expect his Pastorals commentary to give special attention to the letters as distinctly Christian documents within the broader context of the Greco-Roman world.

Gatiss, Lee, and Bradley G. Green. These two scholars are preparing the volume on the Pastorals in the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, forthcoming 2019.

Hall, David W. 1 Timothy. Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament. Dallas, GA: Tolle Lege, forthcoming.

Epiphanies of the Divine in the Septuagint and the New Testament

Herzer, Jens. “The Epiphany of God and the Coming of the Messiah: Reading the Septuagint with the Pastoral Epistles.” In Epiphanies of the Divine in the Septuagint and the New Testament: V. International Symposium of the Corpus Judaeo-Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti, 14–17 May 2015, Nottingham. Edited by Roland Deines and Mark Wreford. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming 2019. Publisher volume description.

Houwelingen, P. H. R. (Rob) van. “Power, Powerlessness, and Authorised Power in 1 Timothy 2:8–15.” Forthcoming in Power in the New Testament. Edited by A. B. Merz and P. G. R. de Villiers. Leuven: Peeters, 2019 or 2020 projected. This essay is presently available here, along with a summary of its contents.

Hultgren, Arland J. “The Pastoral Epistles and the Scriptures of Israel.” In Paul and Scripture. Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Land. Pauline Studies 10. Leiden: Brill, [February] 2019.

Hutson, Christopher R. The Pastoral Epistles. Paideia Commentaries. Grand Rapids: Baker, forthcoming [November] 2019. Publisher’s description: “Among commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles, this one is distinctive for its emphasis on ministerial formation. While considering the particular features of each individual letter, Hutson reads these three letters collectively as an epistolary handbook for young ministers. The ‘Theological Issues’ sections often discuss how aspects of these letters inform Christian ministry.
“Hutson’s exegetical analysis explores how the letters reflect an early Christian community still close to its Jewish roots and living in a Greco-Roman society that is always uncomprehending and often hostile. He applies James Scott’s ‘hidden transcript’ theory to show how Pastoral Paul’s advice helped Christian communities deflect suspicion and establish positive engagement with the wider society. Hutson’s approach is fruitful for understanding ethical issues in these letters, including teachings about slavery, women, and the ethical expectations of Christian leaders. At the same time, Hutson resists a hermeneutic of suspicion that views these letters as hopelessly patriarchal and written to inculcate Roman domestic values as normative for Christian churches. Hutson mounts robust arguments against discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, or social class, but he does so from the Christological and eschatological warrants that he finds to be driving the letters.
“Theological reflections are broadly ecumenical, drawing insights from Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Reformed, Pietist, Pentecostal, and other traditions to show how Christians from various periods and contexts have understood and applied these letters. The goal is to open up a deep well of resources from which ministers can draw as they seek to engage new challenges in the twenty-first century.”

Jeon, Paul. 2 Timothy. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2020 projected.

Langford, Andrew M. Langford’s 2018 University of Chicago dissertation, “Diagnosing Deviance: Pathology and Polemic in the Pastoral Epistles,” was supervised by Margaret M. Mitchell. Several factors suggest its eventual publication, so I include here the abstract provided at ProQuest: “This dissertation argues that the single, post-Pauline author of the Pastoral Epistles crafts a stigmatizing depiction of his theological opponents by spatializing, demonizing, and pathologizing their alleged deviance in order to provide an authoritative model for how to address unwanted diversity in teaching, community norms, church governance, and the interpretation of Paul’s letters in the post-Pauline era. It demonstrates that the Pastor creatively synthesizes diverse sources, pursuing his agenda both through creative acts of authorial fiction that draw upon key themes and terms from the Pauline homologoumena and through the appropriation of language and ideas from contemporary philosophical and medical discourses. This dissertation contributes new insights on the traditional problem of opponents in the Pastorals by 1) identifying and interpreting hitherto under-appreciated narrative devices like the spatializing of deviance and obedience, 2) demonstrating through research in ancient medical literature that the Pastor’s use of medical imagery is more pervasive and cohesive than previously thought, 3) arguing for the necessity of interpreting the Pastor’s pathologizing of deviance in light of ancient disease etiologies and models of corporeality, 4) demonstrating the pervasiveness and function of the rhetoric of mental illness (itself a culturally constructed category drawn upon polemically by the Pastor) with insights from disability studies, and 5) drawing upon recent interpretive insights about the function of authorial fiction and “corrective composition” to demonstrate that the Pastor is self-consciously appropriating particular moments in the Pauline epistolary in order to craft a backwards and forward-looking approach to the problem of opponents per se in the Pastoral Epistles. This dissertation constitutes another contributing argument for the unified composition of these letters as a mini-corpus designed to supplement an emerging corpus of Paul’s letters.”

Lappenga, Benjamin, and David Downs. These authors have a chapter-length treatment of 2 Timothy in a forthcoming [September] 2019 volume on pistis in connection with the exalted Christ in Paul’s writings. From Lappenga: “The opening chapter on 2 Timothy introduces the volume by showing the overwhelming consensus among interpreters who hold to a subjective element of the phrase pistis Christou that Jesus’s pistis is demonstrated principally, if not exclusively, in his suffering and death on the cross. We establish the first challenge to this consensus through a close reading of 2 Tim 2:8-13. Here we demonstrate that to speak of the faithfulness of Christ in 2 Timothy is primarily to speak of the fidelity of the risen Lord, who will ensure the eschatological salvation of those who are ‘in Christ.'”

MacLean, Malcolm. Titus and Philemon. Lectio Continua Expository Commentary on the New Testament. Dallas, GA: Tolle Lege, forthcoming.

Maier, Harry. “The Entrepreneurial Widows of 1 Timothy.” In Women, Christianity, and Judaism. Edited by Ilaria Ramelli and Joan Taylor. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020 projected. An early draft of the essay may be found here, along with a summary description. From the author: “This essay revisits the instructions in 1 Timothy concerning the exhortations for widows (a term in Greek that designates both previously married and unmarried women) younger than 65 to (re)marry. It locates the instruction in the Roman economy in which women were artisans who controlled their assets and it argues that the Pastor’s concern is that women not function as patrons of meetings. Consideration of laws of inheritance and control of property in marriage helps in understanding the instruction single and widowed women to (re)marry. The pastor wants to assure that the control of property be ceded to husbands, in this case to Christian men whom the Pastor entrusts with sole authority to lead Christ assemblies. The essay thus seeks to understand the rule concerning (re)marriage through consideration of the creation of social agency the economy of the Roman Empire offered businesswomen.”

Frauen im antiken Judentum und frühen Christentum

Merz, Annette. “‘New’ Woman? Bruce W. Winters These und ihre Rezeption in der exegetischen Diskussion kritisch beleuchtet.” Pages 209-34 in Frauen im antiken Judentum und frühen Christentum. Edited by Jörg Frey and Nicole Rupschus. WUNT 2. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming [May] 2019. Publisher volume description.

Merz, Annette. Merz is preparing for publication an expanded English-language version of her article “Gen(de)red power: Die Macht des Genres im Streit um die Frauenrolle in Pastoralbriefen und Paulusakten.” HTS Teologiese Studies 68.1 (2012): 71–80.

Nel, Marius. 1–2 Timothy, Titus. The Story of God Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, forthcoming.

Pao, David W. Volume on the Pastorals in the Brill Exegetical Commentary Series. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2020 or 2021. According to Brill, this new commentary series is projected to launch at the end of 2019, so Pao’s volume should be one of the first published in the series. From the author: “There will be five major sections for each paragraph of biblical text: translation, text-critical analysis, grammatical analysis, historical analysis, and theological analysis. Unique to this series is close interaction with the Greek text, informed by recent developments in the study of the Greek language.”

Porter, Stanley E. Pastoral Epistles. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Baker: forthcoming. From the author: “This commentary approaches the Pastoral Epistles as letters written by the apostle Paul. Several of the distinctives are consideration of issues surrounding time and place of authorship, appraisal of the influence of context upon interpretation of what Paul writes, and a fuller consideration of issues of language than contained in most commentaries. As a result of such considerations, there are a number of new readings of passages offered that attempt to break out of some interpretations that are grounded more in tradition than they are in the language of the text.”

Smith, Andrew. Smith is working on the Pastorals in the Editio Critica Maior project. He contributed this information about his work: “I estimate the editorial work for the ECM edition of the Pastoral Epistles should take 3-5 years. However, there are a number of factors that make an estimate difficult: (1) we are using a larger data set than the other ECM project teams (~300 manuscripts), at least for the collation step (i.e., not all of these manuscripts will make it to the apparatus); (2) the schedules for the versionists’ work may not align well with this project (that may cause a delay); and (3) we’re the first project team that has no central meeting place for an editorial board (such as the INTF).”

Stanley, Steve. 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus. Evangelical Exegetical Commentary.

Van Neste, Ray. Van Neste is working on the Pastorals volume in the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series. Nashville: B&H Academic, forthcoming.

Wieland, George. “Sin and Its Remedy in the Pastoral Epistles.” Wieland will be contributing this chapter to a publication (edited by John Goodrich and Nijay Gupta) which collects and supplements the work of a recent IBR study group on Sin and Its Remedy in Paul. Projected publication date: 2019.

Zamfir, Korinna. “Eusebeia, Sōtēria and Civic Loyalty in the Pastoral Epistles.” In “Make Disciples of All Nations”: The Appeal and Authority of Christian Faith in Hellenistic-Roman Times. Edited by Loren T. Stuckenbruck, Beth Langstaff, and Michael Tilly. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/482. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming [March] 2019. Publisher volume description.

In addition to the above publications, Jermo van Nes is editing the presentations from the recent conference held in Leuven, Belgium (program) titled “The Pastoral Epistles: Common Themes, Individual Compositions?” They are forthcoming in an issue of Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters.

Additionally, the proceedings of the Mainz “Ethics in Titus” conference, organized by Ruben Zimmermann and Dogara Ishaya Manomi, are planned for publication in the WUNT series.

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.

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.

The Church as Learning Community

In J. I. Packer’s recent book, Finishing Our Course with Joy: Guidance from God for Engaging with Our Aging, he turns to the Pastorals frequently. In the following quote he gives a helpful, practical picture of the church in the PE

The Pastoral Letters in the New Testament all indicate, one way or another, that the church must expect to be constantly infected by misbelief as well as misbehavior. And congregations in every age must see themselves as learning communities in which gospel truth has to be taught, defended, and vindicated against corruptions of it and alternatives to it. Being alert to all aspects of the difference between true and false teaching, and of behavior that expresses the truth as distinct from obscuring it, is vital to the church’s health.

This definition is useful to all of us regardless of age (as his book is also useful in many ways, regardless of age).

The Marginalization of the Pastoral Epistles

I have found 1 Timothy Reconsidered (edited by K. P. Donfried; Peeters, 2008) to be a very helpful resource in Pastoral Epistles studies. I drew from it quite a bit for our recent ETS session on 1 Timothy. The book contains “the presentations and deliberations of the nineteenth meeting of the Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum, a distinguished group of some thirty-five international and ecumenical Pauline scholars, held at the Abbey of Saint Paul in Rome during September, 2006” (drawn from Peeters’ website). You can see the table of contents here. The book contains one essay devoted to each chapter of 1 Timothy as well as a few essays on the letter as a whole.

What I found most interesting at this time was Luke Timothy Johnson’s challenging of the marginalization of 1 Timothy and Donfried’s agreement that 1 Timothy has been marginalized. Johnson has, of course been making this point, but his essay here is a good condensing of the issue. Johnson writes, “If not Pauline, then the letters were not considered authoritative, and were increasingly moved to the edge or even out of the canon of Scripture” (p. 22). Noting how modern interpreters of Paul commonly give no attention to the Pastorals although they do interact with Gnostic writings and apocryphal writings, Johnson quips, “Out of Paul means out of canon, and even out of mind!”(p. 22, n. 11). It was particularly interesting to see Karl Donfried, not a supporter of Pauline authorship, affirm Johnson’s point. Donfried noted that the Pastorals have been “disenfranchised” in much of mainline Protestantism and suggested this process has been “facilitated by much feminist biblical scholarship” (p. 154). Donfried even pointed to Brevard Childs who said attempts to interpret the PE in light of a fictitious setting “rendered mute” the “kerygmatic witness of the text.”[1]

In his concluding essay Donfried wrote, “As one today looks at the literature dealing with the so-called ‘pastoral epistles’ one finds a state of utter disarray” (p. 179). He continues saying “their [the Pastorals’] alleged ideological bias has for many undermined their credibility and their canonical function has virtually ceased” (p. 179-180). This is a significant issue for a broad range of Christians, and I am glad to see it addressed in such a significant setting. The functional removal of a portion of the canon is serious and is an issue evangelicals and Catholics should both be concerned about.

Lastly, Donfried went further suggesting this was part of a larger problem in biblical studies.

too much biblical scholarship is performed in an individualistic and non-collaborative manner, thus leading to a situation where many theses emerge that have not been properly tested, sifted and critically discussed with a wider group of diversely competent scholars. This leads to publications with perspectives that not only sharply contradict each other, often in the name of a historiography that masks tendentious superficiality, and that are published with such rapidity that scholars and students are often more busy keeping up with the “latest” in biblical scholarship than in wrestling with the texts and their respective contexts (p. 180).

 

Donfried goes on to call for more collaboration, centering our efforts on properly understanding the texts rather than simply producing more publications. Accomplishing this will be difficult, but as Donfried suggests the way forward is probably to start on the small scale in developing communities of scholarly collaboration.

This is a valuable volume with stirring challenges and humble suggestions as we move forward with biblical studies and study of the PE specifically.



[1] Brevard Childs, The New Testament as Canon: An Introduction (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984), 383.

ETS Study Group

I am pleased to announce that the Program Unit on the Pastoral Epistles at the Evangelical Theological Society has been renewed and upgraded to a Study Group. This means we are renewed for six more years of investiagting the Pastoral Epistles together.

With this site operational again, one use of the site will be as a clearing house for information on the ETS Study Group. Further information about this year’s meeting is forthcoming. I invite you to plan on joining us if you are at ETS. Here is the time and place for this year’s session:

11/20/2013
08:30 AM-11:40 AM
Hilton — Johnson A
Pastoral Epistles: Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles

If you are interested in participating in our dialogue and/or presenting a paper for the study group in the future drop me a line through this site.

Calvin: 2 Timothy the most Profitable Book of Scripture

John_CalvinI am working through Calvin’s sermons on the Pastoral Epistles in preparation for the Reformation Commentary on Scripture volume on the PE and editing a new edition of the English translation of these sermons. Today I came across this strong statement in Calvin’s first sermon on 2 Timothy.

As no doubt, if a man reads this epistle diligently he shall find the spirit of God shown to him in this way, and in such majesty and virtue, that whether he wants to or not, he will be as it were ravished with it. As for me, I know I have profited and do daily profit more by this epistle than by any book of the scripture, and if every man will look into it diligently, I doubt not but that he will find the same.

And if we desire to have witness of God’s truth pierce through our hearts, we may well keep ourselves here.  For a man must be very heavy on sleep, and more than a block if God does not work in him when he hears the doctrine that is drawn out from here.

Luther seems almost to say that whatever book of the Bible he is working on is the most important. Calvin though is typically more careful and deliberate with such praise, so this is quite striking.

Update on Pastorals Section at ETS

The draft of the schedule for the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society has now been posted. I have previously announced the presenters and titles for the new section on the Pastoral Epistles, but now I can post the date, times and location. I am excited about this beginning of our conversation about how the avoidance of the Pastorals has impacted our view of Paul.

I hope to see you there.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

3:00-6:10pm

MARRIOTT—PACIFIC J

PASTORAL EPISTLES

The Place of the Pastoral Epistles in Pauline Theology

Moderator: Ray Van Neste

(Union University)

3:00-3:40pm

Robert W. Yarbrough

(Covenant Theological Seminary)

The Theology of the Pastorals in NT Theologies

3:50-4:30pm

L. Timothy Swinson

(Liberty University)

The Pastoral Epistles and Perspectives Old and New

4:40-5:20pm

Greg A. Couser

(Cedarville University)

‘Life on Life‘: Explorations in Paul‘s Understanding of Eschatological Life

5:30-6:10pm

Frank Thielman

(Beeson Divinity School)

The Pedagogy of Grace: Soteriology, Ethics, and Mission in Titus 2:11-14

Pastoral Epistles Consultation at ETS, paper titles

I previously announced the creation of a new consultation of the Pastorals at the Evangelical Theological Society to begin meeting this Fall. As stated before, the overall goal of this consultation is to explore the ways that the exclusion of the Pastoral Epistles has impacted the work of Pauline theology and how the inclusion of the Pastorals would inform the same work.

Now, I am pleased to announce the presenters and paper titles for this inaugural session. Here are the details of the session:

Session Title: “The Place of the Pastoral Epistles in Pauline Theology”

Moderator: Ray Van Neste

Robert Yarbrough: “The Pastoral Epistles in New Testament Theologies from Tübingen to Thielman”

Timothy Swinson: “The Pastoral Epistles and Perspectives, Old and New”

Greg Couser: “Life on Life”: Explorations in Paul’s Understanding of Eschatological Life

Frank Thielman: The Pedagogy of Grace: Soteriology, Ethics, and Mission in Titus 2:11-14

We are pleased to have each of these scholars participating. Bob Yarbrough’s paper will open the discussion by surveying how the Pastorals have been treated or ignored. Tim Swinson’s paper will examine what the Pastorals might contribute to one of the major discussions in Pauline theology, the New Perspective. Greg Couser will examine “life” terminology in 1 Timothy in comparison with the wider Pauline usage seeking to discern how 1 Timothy would contribute to Pauline theology in this area. Frank Thielman will investigate soteriological themes in Titus 2-3 in comparison with those themes elsewhere in Paul.

This promises to be a very beneficial discussion. I hope to see you there.

Recent Commentary Reviews

The latest issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (53:2, June 2010) contains two reviews of commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles. My positive review of George Montague’s commentary (initial volume of the new Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture) appears in this issue. I have mentioned this book positively on this blog before.

Bob Yarbrough provides a very helpful and thorough review of Samuel Ngewa’s 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, the inaugural volume of the Africa Bible Commentary Series. Yarbrough notes strengths of the commentary in pastoral reflection but points out significant weaknesses in the actual exegetical work. Yarbrough stated that the book has “more of a Christian education feel and less the heft of a work of NT exegesis and scholarship proper” (418).

Review of Biblical Literature also contains a recent review of Ngewa’s volume, written by Teresa Okure who is in Nigeria. This reviewer provides a view of the commentary from Africa. She notes many helpful points about the commentary but registers some critiques similar to Yarbrough’s.

These two reviews of Ngewa’s work will be helpful to those engaging this commentary.