The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part IV

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


Ign. Smyrn. 4.2 || 1Ti 1.12 (cf. 2Ti 2.1; 4.17)



(2) εἰ γὰρ τὸ δοκεῖν ταῦτα ἐπράχθη ὑπὸ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν, κἀγὼ τὸ δοκεῖν δέδεμαι. τί δὲ καὶ ἑαυτὸν ἔκδοτον δέδωκα τῷ θανάτῳ, πρὸς πῦρ, πρὸς μάχαιραν, πρὸς θηρία; ἀλλʼ ὁ ἐγγὺς μαχαίρας, ἐγγὺς θεοῦ· μεταξὺ θηρίων, μεταξὺ θεοῦ· μόνον ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, εἰς τὸ συμπαθεῖν αὐτῷ. πάντα ὑπομένω, αὐτοῦ με ἐνδυναμοῦντος τοῦ τελείου ἀνθρώπου. (Ign. Smyrn. 4.2)
(2) For if these things were done by our Lord in appearance only, then I am in chains in appearance only. Why, moreover, have I surrendered myself to death, to fire, to sword, to beasts? But in any case, “near the sword” means “near to God” “with the beasts” means “with God.” Only let it be in the name of Jesus Christ, that I may suffer together with him! I endure everything because he himself, who is perfect man, empowers me.
 (Ign. Smyrn. 4.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (186, 187). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


12 Χάριν ἔχω τῷ ἐνδυναμώσαντί με Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν, ὅτι πιστόν με ἡγήσατο θέμενος εἰς διακονίαν (1Ti 1.12, NA27)
12 I am thankful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He considered me faithful, appointing me into His service. (1Ti 1.12, my own translation)


1 Σὺ οὖν, τέκνον μου, ἐνδυναμοῦ ἐν τῇ χάριτι τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, (2Ti 2.1, NA27)
1 And so you, my child, be empowered in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, (2Ti 2.1, my own translation)


17 ὁ δὲ κύριός μοι παρέστη καὶ ἐνεδυνάμωσέν με, ἵνα διʼ ἐμοῦ τὸ κήρυγμα πληροφορηθῇ καὶ ἀκούσωσιν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, καὶ ἐρρύσθην ἐκ στόματος λέοντος. (2Ti 4.17, NA27)
17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the preaching might be fully presented and all the nations might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. (2Ti 4.17, my own translation)


The common idea here is that of Christ as the source of strength/power for the believer. The similarity is lexical with the point of contact being participle forms of the word ἐνδυναμόω. And, as the additional citations of 2Ti 2.1 (an imperative) and 4.17 (again a participle) show, the idea is one that is found in the Pastorals.


However, the idea of being strengthened by Christ is essentially Pauline. The more likely point of contact for Ignatius in this instance is Php 4.13:



13 πάντα ἰσχύω ἐν τῷ ἐνδυναμοῦντί με. (Php 4.13, NA27)
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Php 4.13, ESV)


Compared to:



πάντα ὑπομένω, αὐτοῦ με ἐνδυναμοῦντος τοῦ τελείου ἀνθρώπου. (Ign. Smyrn. 4.2, end)
I endure everything because he himself, who is perfect man, empowers me. (Ign. Smyrn. 4.2, end)


The larger contexts are roughly the same (Ignatius on his way to martyrdom, Paul in prison) and the sentiments are the same (whatever comes, it can be borne because Christ is the source of strength). The same sentiment is present in 1 & 2 Timothy; and Paul is even in prison again in 2 Timothy.


So Pauline influence here doesn’t seem to be a stretch, particularly since Paul is the primary source using ἐνδυναμόω. Paul uses the term 6 times: Ro 4.20; Eph 6.10; Php 4.13; 1Ti 1.12; 2Ti 2.1; 4.17. The only other NT instance is from Luke, in Ac 9.22 — where he uses the term to describe how Paul “increased all the more in strength”.


But I don’t think influence can be narrowed to First Timothy. The examples in Php 4.13 and also Eph 6.10 (“Be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might”, right before the passage on the armor of God) may have more influence. If one passage must be selected as inspiration for Ignatius, then Php 4.13 is likely it as it has the idea of enduring/doing all things (πάντα) because Christ empowers (ἐνδυναμόω).


Next up: Ign. Eph. 2.1; Ign. Smyrn. 10.2 || 2Ti 1.16

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part I

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


There are several points of contact between Ign. Eph. 14.1; 20.1; Magn. 8.1 and 1Ti 1.3-5.


Ign. Eph. 14.1; 20.1; Magn. 8.1 || 1Ti 1.3-5



14.1 Ὧν οὐδὲν λανθάνει ὑμᾶς, ἐὰν τελείως εἰς Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἔχητε τὴν πίστιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην· ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀρχὴ ζωῆς καὶ τέλος· ἀρχὴ μὲν πίστις, τέλος δὲ ἀγάπη· τὰ δὲ δύο ἐν ἑνότητι γενόμενα θεός ἐστιν, τὰ δὲ ἄλλα πάντα εἰς καλοκαγαθίαν ἀκόλουθά ἐστιν.
14.1 None of these things escapes your notice, if you have perfect faith and love toward Jesus Christ. For these are the beginning and end of life: faith is the beginning, and love is the end, and the two, when they exist in unity, are God. Everything else that contributes to excellence follows from them.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (144, 145). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


20.1 Ἐάν με καταξιώσῃ Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ ὑμῶν, καὶ θέλημα ᾖ, ἐν τῷ δευτέρῳ βιβλιδίῳ ὃ μέλλω γράφειν ὑμῖν, προσδηλώσω ὑμῖν ἧς ἠρξάμην οἰκονομίας εἰς τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωπον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ πίστει καὶ ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ ἀγάπῃ, ἐν πάθει αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀναστάσει,
20.1 If Jesus Christ, in response to your prayer, should reckon me worthy, and if it is his will, in a second letter which I intend to write to you I will further explain to you the subject about which I have begun to speak, namely, the divine plan with respect to the new man Jesus Christ, involving faith in him and love for him, his suffering and resurrection,
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (148, 149). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


8.1 Μὴ πλανᾶσθε ταῖς ἑτεροδοξίαις μηδὲ μυθεύμασιν τοῖς παλαιοῖς ἀνωφελέσιν οὖσιν· εἰ γὰρ μέχρι νῦν κατὰ Ἰουδαϊσμὸν ζῶμεν, ὁμολογοῦμεν χάριν μὴ εἰληφέναι.
8.1 Do not be deceived by strange doctrines or antiquated myths, since they are worthless. For if we continue to live in accordance with Judaism, we admit that we have not received grace.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (154, 155). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


3 Καθὼς παρεκάλεσά σε προσμεῖναι ἐν Ἐφέσῳ πορευόμενος εἰς Μακεδονίαν, ἵνα παραγγείλῃς τισὶν μὴ ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν 4 μηδὲ προσέχειν μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις ἀπεράντοις, αἵτινες ἐκζητήσεις παρέχουσιν μᾶλλον ἢ οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει. 5 τὸ δὲ τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας ἐστὶν ἀγάπη ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας καὶ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς καὶ πίστεως ἀνυποκρίτου, (1Ti 1.3-5, NA27)
3 As I urged you while I was on my way to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach contrary doctrine, 4 nor to cling to myths and endless genealogies—which give rise to useless speculations rather than administration from God that is by faith. 5 The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned. (1Ti 1.3-5, my own translation)


Three excerpts from Ignatius’ letters, each of which have differing points of contact with the opening verses (after the salutation) of First Timothy. I’ll handle each point of contact individually below, plus add one of my own.


Ign. Eph. 14.1 || 1Ti 1.5



14.1 … ἀρχὴ μὲν πίστις, τέλος δὲ ἀγάπη· …
14.1 … faith is the beginning, and love is the end, …


5 τὸ δὲ τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας ἐστὶν ἀγάπη ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας καὶ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς καὶ πίστεως ἀνυποκρίτου, (1Ti 1.3-5, NA27)
5 The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned. (1Ti 1.3-5, my own translation)


Here the similarity is based on a juxtaposition of terms: τελος (end/goal) and αγαπη (love), where love is the end or goal. These occuring with πιστις (faith) in such a close context, and where faith and love are tied together.


The differences, however, are notable. In Ign. Eph., faith and love are a spectrum, with faith at the beginning and love at the end. The same word is used for end (τελος) but is the semantic sense the same? In Ign. Eph. the logical translation is end due to the contrast with beginning. But there is no such order implied in 1Ti 1.5. And there are three items in a list, not two things forming a spectrum.  And the two items that the passages share are in a different order (faith … love in Ign., love … faith in 1Ti).


All the same, the lexical correlation, particularly that of τελος and αγαπη, are interesting. Ignatius could be influenced in his construction by First Timothy, but it could just be coincidence.


Ign. Eph. 20.1 || 1Ti 1.4



20.1 … προσδηλώσω ὑμῖν ἧς ἠρξάμην οἰκονομίας …
20.1 … I will further explain to you the subject about which I have begun to speak, namely, the divine plan …


… οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει. 
4 … administration from God that is by faith.


Here it seems as if the similarity is based on the one word, οικονομια, in both instances having to do with divine guidance or plan. But it seems to me as if Ign. Eph. 18.2 would be the better passage to posit similarity here:



(2) ὁ γὰρ θεὸς ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς ὁ Χριστὸς ἐκυοφορήθη ὑπὸ Μαρίας κατʼ οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ, ἐκ σπέρματος μὲν Δαυίδ πνεύματος δὲ ἁγίου· ὃς ἐγεννήθη καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη ἵνα τῷ πάθει τὸ ὕδωρ καθαρίσῃ. (Ign. Eph. 18.2)
(2) For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit. He was born and was baptized in order that by his suffering he might cleanse the water. (Ign. Eph. 18.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (148, 149). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


In Ign. Eph. 18.2, the lexical similarity is exact: οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ. It may even be that οἰκονομίας in 20.1 is a reference back to 18.2, where the discussion of “God’s plan” began. (NB: I would need to re-read Ign. Eph. to confirm that suggestion; note οικονομια is also used in 6.2). Note Col. 1.25, which uses the same terminology:



25 ἧς ἐγενόμην ἐγὼ διάκονος κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, (Col 1.25, NA27)
25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, (Col 1.25, ESV)


As regards NT writings, only Paul juxtaposes these two words (cf. also 1Co 9.17). In the AF, only Ignatius does it. I think it is possible that Paul’s writings, particularly 1Ti, may have influenced Ignatius here.


Ign. Magn. 8.1 || 1Ti 1.4



8.1 Μὴ πλανᾶσθε ταῖς ἑτεροδοξίαις μηδὲ μυθεύμασιν τοῖς παλαιοῖς ἀνωφελέσιν οὖσιν· εἰ γὰρ μέχρι νῦν κατὰ Ἰουδαϊσμὸν ζῶμεν, ὁμολογοῦμεν χάριν μὴ εἰληφέναι.
8.1 Do not be deceived by strange doctrines or antiquated myths, since they are worthless. For if we continue to live in accordance with Judaism, we admit that we have not received grace.


4 μηδὲ προσέχειν μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις ἀπεράντοις, αἵτινες ἐκζητήσεις παρέχουσιν μᾶλλον ἢ οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει.
4 nor to cling to myths and endless genealogies—which give rise to useless speculations rather than administration from God that is by faith.


Here the similarity is topical, on the futility of “myths”; the similarity is not lexical. It appears that Ign. Magn. is dealing with Judaizers (cf. Ign. Magn. 9 as well as the end of 8.1) though the same cannot be as easily said about the myths in First Timothy, where the myths are vague and could be in reference to a few different practices. Perhaps the better influence for Ignatius in this instance is Titus 1.14, which explicilty notes “Jewish myths” (Ἰουδαϊκοῖς μύθοις).


Conclusion


That so many different portions of Ignatius (indeed, more than have been listed by the committee, as the above shows) have some lexical or topical contact with this one portion of First Timothy is curious. Actually, it is more than curious, particularly because the lexical points of contact (apart from αγαπη and πιστις in the first example) are not frequently-occurring words in either writer’s letters. Dependence cannot be proven, but the frequency centered on this one area leads me to lean toward the notion that Ignatius knew of First Timothy. Perhaps other possible points of contact (there are several more) will strengthen or weaken my views.

Papyrus Evidence of First Timothy?

J.K. Elliott, in his The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, writes the following about the MS support for the Pastorals:



Two papyri, about 24 uncials and over 500 cursives read part or the whole of the Pastorals. (Elliott 13)


He further notes the Papyri are P32 (Titus 1.11-15, 2.3-8) and P61 (Titus 3.1-5, 8-11, 14-15). This is all well and good; we know all about these.


He then mentions in passing: “Treu knows papyri which include 1Ti 1.4-7, 15-16.” (Elliott 13). The note to Treu refers back to the following:



K. Treu, ‘Archiv fur Papyrusforshung’, vol. 18, 1966.


He then lists the following in his bibliography:



K. TREU: “Neue Neutestamentliche Fragmente der Berliner Papyrussammlung” in ‘Archiv fur Papyrusforschung’ Vol. 18. Leipzig (1966).


Elliott then goes on to cite “Pap. 3605 published by Treu” in the apparatus on 1Ti 1.4, but that appears to be the only citation of Treu in the apparatus (after a quick survey of Elliott’s notes on 1.4-7, 15-16). He gives no info on date or provenance of the papyrus.


I find the content of this mystery papyrus (mystery papyri?) interesting. 1Ti 1.5 is fairly important in the scope of First Timothy. And 1Ti 1.15 is the first “trustworthy saying” (is it πιστος or ανθρωπινος?) and v. 16 follows this with Paul’s explanation of its importance. I’d love to see earlier witnesses of these verses (if, of course, the mystery papyri prove to be early, which is not a sure thing).


Anyone know anything about these mystery ‘papyri’? Date and/or provenance? And are there transcriptions or photos of it anywhere?

The Pastoral Epistles in First Clement, Part III

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


There are some affinities between 1Cl 61.2 and 1Ti 1.17.


1Cl 61.2 || 1Ti 1.17



(2) σὺ γάρ, δέσποτα ἐπουράνιε, βασιλεῦ τῶν αἰώνων, δίδως τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων δόξαν καὶ τιμὴν καὶ ἐξουσίαν τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ὑπαρχόντων· σύ, κύριε, διεύθυνον τὴν βουλὴν αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸ καλὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον ἐνώπιόν σου, ὅπως διέποντες ἐν εἰρήνῃ καὶ πραΰτητι εὐσεβῶς τὴν ὑπὸ σοῦ αὐτοῖς δεδομένην ἐξουσίαν ἵλεώ σου τυγχάνωσιν. (1Cl 61.2)
(2) For you, heavenly Master, King of the ages, give to the sons of men glory and honor and authority over those upon the earth. Lord, direct their plans according to what is good and pleasing in your sight, so that by devoutly administering in peace and gentleness the authority which you have given them they may experience your mercy. (1Cl 61.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (98, 99). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


17 Τῷ δὲ βασιλεῖ τῶν αἰώνων, ἀφθάρτῳ ἀοράτῳ μόνῳ θεῷ, τιμὴ καὶ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, ἀμήν. (1Ti 1.17, NA27)
17 To the King of eternity, impervious to death, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever, amen. (1Ti 1.17, my own translation)


The phrase under discussion is βασιλεῦ τῶν αἰώνων, “King of the ages/eternity”. It is a striking phrase and grabs one’s attention. However, the phrase does occur in Tob 13.6, 10a [LXX 13.7, 11] (also in a variant of Rev 15.3). Here’s the Tobit 13.10a/11 instance:



11 ἐξομολογοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἀγαθῶς
     καὶ εὐλόγει τὸν βασιλέα τῶν αἰώνων,
ἵνα πάλιν ἡ σκηνὴ αὐτοῦ οἰκοδομηθῇ σοι μετὰ χαρᾶς.
(Tob 13.11 LXX)
10a Acknowledge the Lord, for he is good,
     and bless the King of the ages,
so that his tent may be rebuilt in you in joy. (Tob 13.10a NRSV)


The 1Cl and 1Ti instances, however, have a little more in common as they each have alternate formulations describing God in close context. In 1Cl “heavenly Master” and “King of the ages” are both, surprisingly, in the vocative case; working together to describe the same God of whom Clement is making requests. In 1Ti 1.17, the dative case is used in a list of attributes; God is the King of the ages, he is also “impervious to death”, “invisible” and “the only God”. Tobit, on the other hand, has no immediately preceding or following appositional statements. God is referred to as King or Father of eternity a few times (Tob 13.1, 4, 6 NRSV), but that’s it.


Still, there seems little to commend any direct influence of 1Ti 1.17 (or Tob 13) on 1Cl 61.2. Lightfoot notes Clement’s earlier use of πατηρ των αιωνων (§35) and Θεος των αιωνων (§55); in light of that βασιλεῦ τῶν αἰώνων does not seem out of place for the author. According to the Oxford Committee, Lightfoot also notes similarity with this phrase and Jewish liturgical form:



The phrase is striking, but Dr. Lightfoot has pointed out in his notes on the passage, that it is probably based upon Jewish liturgical forms … (54-55).


The direct notes on the passage in Lightfoot’s 2-volume work on Clement do not mention anything about Jewish liturgical forms, but Lightfoot probably does mention this elsewhere in the work. I have foggy memories of such a statement in general but no specific reference handy to cite.


All in all, this seems like a phrase that could arise in 1Cl based on other phrases in 1Cl. It is also a phrase that has been used in thanksgivings to the Lord (cf. Tob 13). There seems to be no compelling reason to attribute Clement’s usage directly to the Pauline benediction in 1Ti 1.17.


Next up: 1Cl 29.1 || 1Ti 2.8

The Pastoral Epistles in the Epistle of Barnabas, Part I

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]


The discussion of the Epistle of Barnabas in The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers lists seven potential references to the Pastoral Epistles. The editors rate each of the Pastoral Epistles with a ‘D’, and each of the readings have a ‘d’ mark as well. This means the editors see some affinity between the two books in these seven instances, but no clear case for dependence can be made.


Ep. Barn 5.9 || 1Ti 1.15f.



(9) ὅτε δὲ τοὺς ἰδίους ἀποστόλους τοὺς μέλλοντας κηρύσσειν τὸ εὐαγγέλιον αὐτοῦ ἐξελέξατο, ὄντας ὑπὲρ πᾶσαν ἁμαρτίαν ἀνομωτέρους ἵνα δείξῃ ὅτι οὐκ ἦλθεν καλέσαι δικαίους ἀλλὰ ἁμαρτωλούς, τότε ἐφανέρωσεν ἑαυτὸν εἶναι υἱὸν θεοῦ. (Ep. Barn. 5.9)
(9) And when he chose his own apostles who were destined to preach his gospel (who were sinful beyond all measure in order that he might demonstrate that “he did not come to call the righteous, but sinners”), then he revealed himself to be God’s Son.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (284). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.


15 πιστὸς ὁ λόγος καὶ πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος, ὅτι Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς ἦλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἁμαρτωλοὺς σῶσαι, ὧν πρῶτός εἰμι ἐγώ. 16 ἀλλὰ διὰ τοῦτο ἠλεήθην, ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ πρώτῳ ἐνδείξηται Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς τὴν ἅπασαν μακροθυμίαν πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν τῶν μελλόντων πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον. (1Ti 1.15-16, NA27)
Aland, B., Aland, K., Black, M., Martini, C. M., Metzger, B. M., & Wikgren, A. (1993, c1979). Novum Testamentum Graece (27th ed.) (543). Federal Republic of Germany: United Bible Societies.
15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (1Ti 1.15-16, ESV)


There is affinity between the two, but the likelier influence is that of Mt 9.13: “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Holmes provides a footnote linking to this verse in his edition as justification for the quote marks in his text. And the Oxford committee also lists Mt 9.13 as a parallel (along with the synoptic parallels to this passage). But that’s only part of the story.


Unique in relation to 1Ti 1.15-16 is the idea that Paul was a vile sinner, and his calling to apostle served as an object lesson of the extent to which God’s grace can reach. Key to this is the use of the same word group (Barn: δείξῃ, NA27: ἐνδείξηται) for the verb that has Christ (either explicitly or via verb person/number reference) as subject.


Also interesting, at least to me, is the language used to describe the apostles (Ep.Barn.) and Paul (1Ti). It is not complementary. Ep.Barn. calls them “sinful beyond all measure”; Paul calls himself the foremost of sinners. The picture in both of these passages is clear. The most sinful have been redeemed. The degree of change was massive — from the worst sinner to an apostle of Christ. And the reason is the same: That Christ might demonstrate his power to save by using the worst sinners as his primary ambassadors.


Next up: Ep. Barn. 5.6

Who were the Pastoral Epistles written to?

Of course we have the testimony of the epistles themselves along with the traditional titles proclaiming Timothy and Titus as recipients.


Some have taken issue with this on the basis of testimony within the epistles, particularly First Timothy.


After all, if Timothy had been with Paul for years (cf. Ac 16.1-5) and was beloved of Paul to the degree that Paul called him his “true child in the faith” (cf. 1Ti 1.2; 2Ti 2.2) why did Paul spend so much time on seemingly basic things? You know, like qualifications for overseers and deacons? Wouldn’t Timothy have known that stuff cold based on his previous experience?


And why the extended superscription with Paul justifying his apostleship with one of the longest such statements he uses (1Ti 1.1; 2Ti 1.1) for such purposes: “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope”.


Paul didn’t really need to justify his apostleship for Timothy (you know, co-sender of a bunch of Paul’s epistles?), did he?


Same stuff goes for Titus.


I have my own ideas, of course, and they’re relatively mainstream. But I’m curious as to what others might think about these things.


Who was intended to receive (or intended to hear, if you think there is a distinction) the letters to Timothy? And the letter to Titus? And what was their purpose?


Feel free to use the comments. If you blog about it on your own blog, drop me a note [pe | pastoralepistles | com] and I’ll add a link here. Thanks!

Updates and News

As you’ve likely noticed, there have been several changes here at PastoralEpistles.com.

The biggest change is that there is now more than one blogger. In addition to Rick Brannan (yours truly), Perry L. Stepp, Lloyd Pietersen and Ray Van Neste have agreed to begin posting to PastoralEpistles.com.

Perry is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Kentucky Christian University. He’s recently had a book published by the Sheffield Phoenix Press, Leadership Succession in the World of the Pauline Circle. He’s also presented papers at SBL in the Disputed Paulines group. It’s great to have him aboard.

There will likely be at least one more blogger added to the team; more information on that in a future post.

Lloyd is a Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies  at the University of Bristol. Here’s some further information on Dr. Pietersen from his web site:

Dr Lloyd Pietersen obtained his PhD from the University of Sheffield. His thesis has been published as The Polemic of the Pastorals: A Sociological Examination of the Development of Pauline Christianity (JSNTSup 264; London/New York: T & T Clark International, 2004). He is currently a Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol and is co-chair of the Social World of the New Testament Seminar at the British New Testament Conference.

Ray is Assistant Professor of Christian Studies and Director of the R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies at Union University. He is also author of Cohesion and Structure in the Pastoral Epistles (JSNTSup 280; Lonon/New York: T&T Clark International, 2004). And he has his own personal blog too.

What is this site all about, then?

Well, it’s about the Pastoral Epistles. Folks who blog here have a more-than-average interest in the Pastorals. We’ll blog about stuff like:

  • Quick reviews of books, articles, chapters, etc. that we read that have to do with the Pastorals. The same book or article may be discussed by multiple authors on the site.
  • Extended reviews.
  • Reviews of or interaction with conference presentations or papers.
  • Interaction with other web sites, blog posts, etc. that mention things that primarily or tangentially refer to the Pastoral Epistles.
  • Thoughts, musings and whatnot. We’ll feel free to use the blog as a scratch pad of sorts as we think through topics or exegetical points having to do with the Pastoral Epistles.
  • Whatever else seems interesting to us, as long as we can relate it back to the Pastorals.

If you’re familiar with the older PastoralEpistles.com site, it is still available at http://www.pastoralepistles.com/oldsite. Content may or may not migrate over to the new site.

Anyway, thanks for your support of the site. Please bear with us while we get the place set up. And please do update your RSS / Feed reader links. The new link is http://pastoralepistles.com/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss. You can use this in any feedreader/aggregator or online tool such as BlogLines.

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