Porter on the Pastorals in T&T Clark Social Identity Commentary on the NT

Christopher Porter has produced individual treatments of each of the Letters to Timothy and Titus from a social identity perspective:

Porter, Christopher A. “1 Timothy.” Pages 445–60 in T&T Clark Social Identity Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by J. Brian Tucker and Aaron Kuecker. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2020.

________. “2 Timothy.” Pages 461–68 in T&T Clark Social Identity Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by J. Brian Tucker and Aaron Kuecker. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2020.

________. “Titus.” Pages 469–73 in T&T Clark Social Identity Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by J. Brian Tucker and Aaron Kuecker. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2020.

Porter makes the front matter for the volume available on his Academia page.

Barclay, “Household Networks and Early Christian Economics: A Fresh Study of 1 Timothy 5:3–16”

John M. G. Barclay has produced a treatment of the widows passage in 1 Timothy 5:

Barclay, John M. G. “Household Networks and Early Christian Economics: A Fresh Study of 1 Timothy 5:3–16.” New Testament Studies 66.2 (2020): 268–87.

Here’s the abstract:

“1 Tim 5.3–16 defines which women may be registered for financial support at church expense. It is integrated around four ‘household rules’, but is not concerned to regulate an ‘order’ or ‘office’ of widows. Rather, it clarifies that the church should not supplant households in financial matters, and should be responsible only for destitute widows who have no other network support. Since χήρα can mean ‘woman without a man’, the instructions in 5.3–16 are best interpreted as directed against young women who have chosen celibacy. By contrast, the author conceives of the church as a network of Christian households connected by mutual economic support.”

Roberts on the Pastorals and the New Perspective

Daniel Roberts has produced a PhD dissertation on the Letters to Timothy and Titus and the New Perspective on Paul; the full-text work is available in ProQuest.

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.

Abstract: “The ‘New Perspective on Paul,’ as primarily articulated by E. P. Sanders, James D. G. Dunn, and N. T. Wright, has become a provocative way of understanding Judaism as a pattern of religion characterized by ‘covenantal nomism,’ which stands in contrast to the traditional, Lutheran position that argues the Judaism against which Paul responded was ‘legalistic.’ This ‘new perspective’ of first-century Judaism has remarkably changed the landscape of Pauline studies, but it has done so in isolation from the Pastoral Epistles, which are considered by most critical scholarship to be pseudonymous. Because of the lack of interaction with the Pastoral Epistles by the New Perspective on Paul, this study seeks to test the hermeneutic of the New Perspective on Paul from a canonical perspective, as defined by Brevard Childs, in order to bypass some of the contentious issues of Pauline authorship. The specific passages within the Pastoral Epistles studied in this dissertation were chosen via four tenets of the New Perspective on Paul: Justification and Salvation, Law and Works, Paul’s View of Judaism, and his Opponents. Based on these tenets, the passages studied are 1 Tim 1:6–16, 2:3–7, 2 Tim 1:3, 8–12, and Titus 3:3–7. In consideration of these passages, this dissertation will consider to what degree the New Perspective on Paul’s hermeneutic can find resonance outside ‘undisputed’ Paul. This study is not an attempt to validate or invalidate the New Perspective on Paul, but to test the New Perspective on Paul’s hermeneutic within the Pastoral Epistles.”

August, “What Must She Do to Be Saved? A Theological Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:15”

The notorious exegetical crux of 1 Timothy 2:15 has received attention in Themelios by means of the following treatment:

August, Jared M. “What Must She Do to Be Saved? A Theological Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:15.” Themelios 45.1 (2020): 84–97.

Here’s the abstract: “In 1 Timothy 2:15, Paul asserts ‘the woman will be saved through the childbirth.’ This essay asserts that this ‘woman’ is Eve and that this ‘childbirth’ is the birth of the Messiah. Although this interpretation is by no means new, the contribution of this essay rests in its proposal of the evidence for this view, namely, Paul’s use of the Adam/Christ contrast. This essay first analyzes the grammar and context of 1 Timothy 2:15 to assert that a messianic reading of this passage is an exegetically viable option. Subsequently, each instance in which Adam is mentioned by name in the NT is examined (Luke 3:38; Rom 5:14 [x2]; 1 Cor 15:22, 45 [x2]; 1 Tim 2:13, 14; Jude 14), thereby proposing a pattern for when to expect Paul to develop the Adam/Christ contrast.”

The article is available here.

2019 Publications on the Letters to Timothy and Titus

Each year, we provide a list of scholarly publications from the previous year on the Pastorals. We’re a bit later than usual this year, but on the bright side, the list is therefore somewhat more complete! We’ve included several 2020 publications in the list as well, though only those which have already been published, and not those which are yet forthcoming.

Over 100 items long, the list casts its net rather broadly, and one of the aims of the exercise is to highlight research on the Pastorals in languages which are not typically engaged in English-language scholarship.

You can access the list by clicking here.

The Pastorals in NTA 63.3

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A bit belatedly, here are the Pastorals-related items I noted in New Testament Abstracts (63.3 [2019]). Quite a few pertinent items!

(1187) Majtán, L’ubomír. “Timotej—Pavlov delegát v komunitách: Osoba delegáta v Pavlov‎‎ých listoch vo svelte grécko-rimskej korešpondencie a rabínskej halachickej literatúry” [“Timothy—Paul’s Agent in the Communities: The Status of Agent in the Pauline Epistles in the View of Greco-Roman Diplomatic Correspondence and Rabbinic Halachic Literature”]. Studia Biblica Slovaca (Bratislava) 11.1 (2019): 42–56. [Slovak]

(1243) Köstenberger, Andreas J. “An Investigation of the Mission Motif in the Letters to Timothy and Titus with Implications for Pauline Authorship.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 29.1 (2019): 49–64.

(1244) Belleville, Linda L. “Lexical Fallacies in Rendering αὐθεντεῖν in 1 Timothy 2:12: BDAG in Light of Greek Literary and Nonliterary Usage.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 29.3 (2019): 317–41.

(1245) Hylen, Susan E. “Women διάκονοι and Gendered Norms of Leadership.” Journal of Biblical Literature 138.3 (2019): 687–702.

(1246) Sommer, Michael, and Elisabeth Hernitscheck. “Ideen, stereotypen und klischees: Ein kulturgeschichtlich-diskursiver zugang zu witwen in 1 Tim 5.” Revue Biblique 125.4 (2018): 576–97.

(1247) Couser, Gregory A. “The Believer’s Judgment in 2 Timothy, Part 1.” Bibliotheca Sacra 176.703 (2019): 312–26.

(1291) Naselli, Andrew David. “What the New Testament Teaches about Divorce and Remarriage.” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 24 (2019): 3–44. [note “1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6 (also 1 Timothy 3:12),” pp. 37–44]

(1406) Decousu, Laurence. “L’origine de l’imposition des mains épiclétique comme tradition dans les liturgies des ordinations et du baptême.” Questions Liturgiques [Leuven] 99.2–3 (2018–2019): 81–194.

(p. 513) Lambrecht, Jan. In Search of Meaning III: More Notes on the New Testament (2018–2019). Beau Bassin, Mauritius: Scholars’ Press, 2019. (note “49. Grammar and Logic in 2 Timothy 2,11–13 (2018),” pp. 383–88)

(p. 514) Landry, David T., with John W. Martens. Inquiry into the New Testament: Ancient Context to Contemporary Significance. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic, 2019. [Note chapter on Deutero-Pauline and Pastorals]

(p. 514) Merkle, Benjamin L. Exegetical Gems from Biblical Greek: A Refreshing Guide to Grammar and Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2019. [note treatments of 1 Tim 3:6; Titus 2:13; 1 Tim 6:10]

(p. 529) Davey, Wesley T. Suffering as Participation with Christ in the Pauline Corpus. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2019. [note “The Place of SPC [suffering as participation with Christ] in 2 Timothy 2:1–13”]

(p. 536) Romanello, Stefano. Paolo: La vita, le lettere, il pensiero teologico. Milan: Edizioni San Paolo, 2018.

(p. 539) Murray, Timothy J. Restricted Generosity in the New Testament. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/480. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. [note chap. 8: “Restricted Generosity in 1 Timothy 5.3–16,” pp. 196¬¬–222, as well as pertinent discussion of “oikos language” in chapter 6]

(p. 548) Karaman, Elif Hilal. Ephesian Women in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Perspective. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/474. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. [discussion on widows in 1 Tim, pp. 119–23; women and teaching, pp. 157–68]

(pp. 548–49) Koet, Bart J., Edwina Murphy, and Esko Ryökäs, eds. Deacons and Diakonia in Early Christianity. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/479. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. [note Lauri Thurén, “Divine Headhunting? The Function of the Qualifications of Deacons in 1 Tim 3:8–13,” pp. 117–30]

(p. 558‒59) Wright, Brian J. Communal Reading in the Time of Jesus: A Window into Early Christian Reading Practices. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2017. (note pp. 173‒82 on the PE, and the implications the broader work has for 1 Tim 4:13)

(p. 559) Zeichmann, Christopher B. The Roman Army and the New Testament. Lanham, MD: Lexington / London: Fortress Academic, 2018. (note section on the Pastorals, pp. 120–22, which highlights “Soldiers of Christ—1 Tim 1:18; 2 Tim 2:3–4”)

Interview with Gerald Bray

Over at his blog, Psephizo, Ian Paul has a nice interview with Gerald Bray about his recent commentary on the Pastorals in the new International Theological Commentary series. I found the interview informative. Bray helpfully explains his understanding of and approach to theological interpretation and speaks to key lessons from the Pastoral Epistles for the church today.

Stettler, Die Christologie der Pastoralbriefe

On Academia, Hanna Stettler has uploaded in full her WUNT monograph Die Christologie der Pastoralbriefe. Students of the Pastorals will certainly want to download this scholarly tome.

Click here.

Soon-to-come 2019 Publications and 2020 Forthcoming Lists

Have you published something in a scholarly venue that engages the Pastoral Epistles in some significant manner? Or do you have such a publication forthcoming? We are compiling our 2019 list of scholarly publications on the Letters to Timothy and Titus (here’s last year’s), to be posted in about a month, and we’d love to hear from you if you have something that should be included. The list is up to 56 items, and we’re doubtless still missing some!

As well, if you have produced (or will be producing) a scholarly publication engaging the Pastorals due for publication in 2020, we’d love to hear from you as well as we compile our “forthcoming” list for 2020 (here’s last year’s).

In either case, you can email me at chuckbumgardner (at) gmail.com with information about your academic Pastorals-related publications.

Pastoral Epistles session at SBL 2019

I was quite pleased this year to see that the Disputed Paulines session at SBL would meet on Saturday this year since that meant I would be able to attend. I hope they continue in this slot.

Jens Herzer, “Epicurus, Plutarch, and Paul: The Philosophical Discourse on Public Life and the Transformation of Pauline Ethics in 1 Timothy”

I always appreciate hearing from Herzer. In this paper he argued that the “good citizenship” ethic in 1 Timothy bears striking resemblance to Epicurean ideas. He demonstrated several parallel texts, and suggested that the author (not Paul in Herzer’s mind) was developing a Christian view of life by appropriation of Epicurean ideals. It seemed that his point was that the use of these ideals lead to a perspective different from the accepted Pauline letters (the abstract refers to a “socially accommodated Christianity”), but in the discussion afterward this point was muted.

In the end, these are interesting parallels showing that similar ideas were in view outside the New Testament. However, it is not enough to convince me that the author was intentionally drawing on Epicurean ideas.

James Buchanan Wallace, “1 Timothy and Universal Salvation”

Wallace’s paper considered whether a universalist reading of 1 Timothy might be correct. He opened with interaction with David Bentley Hart, who in his recent translation of the NT argues for universalism pointing to 1 Timothy but without exegetical argumentation.

Wallace engaged patristic interpreters who argued for universalism and those who argued against noting how they used 1 Tim (if they did). Most significant I thought was his treatment of μάλιστα exegetically and how Greek fathers understood it. I am not convinced of a universalist reading, due at least partially to the fact that I still read these letters as a whole with Paul and expecting coherence of thought.

Lyn Kidson, “Saving the Woman in 1 Timothy 2: Childbirth, Women’s Bodies, and the ‘Other Instruction’”

Kidson’s paper built on her 2018 paper in this same section. She argued that 1 Timothy 2:15 should be understood as saying that a woman’s body will be “healed or kept safe through the normal processes of intercourse, pregnancy, and childbirth that the advocates of the other instruction oppose.” Thus, she argues that σώζω in 2:15 means “preserve” rather than referring to eschatological salvation.

Kidson does find a coherent argument for a challenging text, linking 2:15 with the forbidding of marriage in 4:1-5. I did not always follow the argument in the oral presentation.

Christopher Hutson, “Lifting the Yoke of Slavery: Infrapolitics and Advice to Enslaved Persons in the Pastoral Epistles”

Hutson was very engaging (even providing a song!) as he argued that the comments on slaves in 1 Timothy 6 and Titus 2 were intentionally framed to seem like they affirmed standard Greco-Roman views on the submission of slaves all the while actually hinting at a subversive sub-text. Some people write off these texts as hopelessly compromised and demeaning to slaves, but Huston sought in his line of argument to present them in a more positive light.

Myriam Klinker-De Klerck, “Lois, Eunice, and Timothy: The Rhetorical Strategy in 2 Timothy in the Light of Social Exclusion of the First Christians”

Klinker examined the role of honor/shame in 2 Timothy suggesting a rhetorical strategy in the letter that aims to encourage Timothy to endure possible negative social consequences of his belonging to the Christ group. This is connected to the reorientation the letter gives to the idea of suffering (as an honorable token of loyalty [πίστις] to Christ) and the family identity mentioned with Lois and Eunice. Her arguments suggest further ways the letter coheres and makes sense in its historical setting.