Nijay Gupta on Pastorals Commentaries

Over at the Logos Academic Blog, Nijay Gupta has been posting a series titled “Best Commentaries on Paul.” In his latest installation, he discusses what he finds to be the best modern technical (*Johnson, Marshall, Towner), semi-technical (*Dunn, Kelly, Spencer, Wall/Steele), and non-technical (*Fee, Oden, Towner) commentaries on the Pastorals, adding Trebilco’s Asia Bible Commentary contribution on 1 Timothy as a “hidden gem.”

Japanese-Language Resources on the Pastorals

As challenging as it is for monolingual English speakers to learn of secondary literature on the Pastorals in other languages which look something like English, it is considerably more challenging to discover works published in languages which look nothing like English!

I provide here a list of Japanese-language resources on the Pastorals compiled by Manabu Tsuji (Academia page), Professor of Religious Studies at Hiroshima University, who has published extensively on the letters. Dr. Tsuji, who is producing a Japanese-language commentary on the letters — Bokkai Shokan [The Pastoral Epistles] (Tokyo: Shinkyo Shuppansha, forthcoming 2022) — graciously interacted about the list, provided English-language translations for the titles of the works, and indicated his willingness to share the Japanese-language articles with those interested. If you should happen to want one of the Japanese-language essays listed, please contact me at chuckbumgardner (at) gmail.com.

Click here to view the list.

Titus and the Shaping of Early Christian Identity

I have just read a helpful essay recently published by Jermo Van Nes, titled “Doing Good Deeds: Titus and the Shaping of Early Christian Identity.” The essay appears in the recent book, Drawing and Transcending Boundaries in the New Testament and Early Christianity, ed. Jacobus Kok, Martin Webber, Jermo van Nes (Lit Verlag, 2019). My review of Van Nes’s monograph was recently posted here, and this essay is further helpful work from him.

In this essay Van Nes examines vocabulary in the letter to Titus which denotes insider and outsider status arguing for more variety of groups than in Trebilco’s work. He helpfully points out that the sharp language used for distinguishing the church from outsiders does not sit well with the common idea that the letter presents an accomodationist ethic which intends to alleviate social tensions and make the church more at home in the Greco-Roman world. Rather, the letter marks a sharp division between Cretan believers and the false teachers and unbelievers. The aim of the letter, then, is “to further God’s mission by shaping the Cretan Christian community into a people who in word and deed expose Cretan society to genuine Christian witness” (43).

The Pastorals at ETS 2019

The annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society will be held on Nov 20-22 in San Diego. We’ve collected here sessions that may be of interest to researchers in the Pastorals.

The section devoted to the study of the Pastorals has four sessions scheduled on Nov 20, 9 AM to 12:10 PM:

  • David I. Yoon, “The Register of Paul in 1 Timothy: Why the Pastorals May Differ in ‘Style’ than the Hauptbrief.”
  • Stanley E. Porter: “Arguments for and against Pauline Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles: Recent Proposals.”
  • Ran Van Neste, “Ethics in Titus.”
  • John Percival: “Salvation History in Six Lines: Reading 1 Timothy 3:16b as an Interconnected Whole.”

Note also:

  • Craig Keener, “Greek versus Jewish Conceptions of Inspiration, with Attendant Implications for Authority, and 2 Timothy 3:16.” (Nov 21, 5:30 PM)
  • David Warren, “A Husband of One Wife” (1 Tim 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6): What Does It Mean?” (Nov 22, 3:30 PM)

The Pastorals at SBL 2019

The program book for the 2019 SBL Annual Meeting reveals a robust selection of sessions related to the Pastorals, whether directly or indirectly. We’ve listed below pertinent sessions (alphabetically by presenter last name), with links to abstracts where available. Sessions which very directly engage the Pastorals are listed first, then a few sessions which have some pertinence for the letters but are not said to directly engage them.

Presentations directly related to the Pastorals

Jens Herzer, Universität Leipzig.
“Epicurus, Plutarch and Paul: The Philosophical Discourse on Public Life and the Transformation of Pauline Ethics in 1 Timothy.” (abstract)
Herzer has published prolifically on the Pastorals.

Christopher Hutson, Abilene Christian University
“Lifting the Yoke of Slavery: Infrapolitics and Advice to Enslaved Persons in the Pastoral Epistles.” (abstract)
Hutson’s Yale dissertation focused on the rhetoric of youth in the Pastorals; his roughly half-dozen essays on the letters have culminated this year in the volume on the Pastorals in the Paideia commentary series.

Donghyun Jeong, Emory University
“Ambiguous Prayers in 1 Timothy 2:1–2.” (abstract)

Lyn Kidson, Alphacrucis College
“Saving the Woman in 1 Timothy 2: Childbirth, Women’s Bodies, and the ‘Other Instruction.’” (abstract)
Kidson’s Macquarie dissertation focused on rhetorical strategies in 1 Timothy 1, and she has published other work on 1 Timothy. This session builds on her 2018 SBL presentation.

Myriam Klinker-De Klerck, Theologische Universiteit Kampen voor de Gereformeerde Kerken
“Lois, Eunice and Timothy. The Rhetorical Strategy in 2 Timothy in the Light of Social Exclusion of the First Christians.” (abstract)
Klinker-De Klerck’s published dissertation addressed ethics in 1 Timothy and Titus.

Andrew M. Langford, University of Oregon
“‘They pierced themselves with many pains’: Pain Experience and the Rhetoric of Self-Harm in 1 Timothy.” (abstract)
Langford’s recent University of Chicago dissertation examines the polemical use of contemporary philosophical and medical discourses in the Pastorals to stigmatize the opponents in the letters. He has previously presented on 1 Timothy at SBL.

Anna C. Miller, Xavier University
“The ‘Real Widow’ in the City: Widows, Public Space and Speech in 1 Timothy and the Acts of Thecla.” (abstract)
Miller has presented previously on the Pastorals at SBL.

W. Andrew Smith, Shepherds Theological Seminary and Steve Young, Shepherds Theological Seminary
“Great Expectations: Teststellen Efficacy for Byzantine Manuscripts of 1 Timothy.” (abstract)
Smith is presently working on the Pastorals in the Editio Critica Maior project.

Nebeyou Almeu Terefe, Wycliffe Ethiopia
“Some Notes on the Ge’ez/Ethiopic Manuscripts of 1 and 2 Timothy.” (abstract)
Terefe’s Addis Ababa University Ph.D. thesis is titled “Critical Edition of Pastoral Epistles with Their Andemta Tradition” and contributes to the textual history of Ethiopic biblical material.

James Buchanan Wallace, Christian Brothers University
“1 Timothy and Universal Salvation.” (abstract)

Tommy Wasserman, Ansgar Teologiske Høgskole and Conrad Thorup Elmelund, Københavns Universitet
“Second Timothy – When and Where? Text and Traditions in the Subscriptions.” (abstract)

Presentations indirectly related to the Pastorals

Jon-Paul Lapeña, Harvard Divinity School
“Contextualizing Paul’s Rhetoric of the μέθυσος: Attitudes Toward Drunkenness and its Stigma in the Early Imperial Period.” (abstract)
Though μέθυσος is not used in the Pastorals, this presentation likely has implications for the use of πάροινος in 1 Tim 3:3; Titus 1:7.

Troy W. Martin, Saint Xavier University
“Translating ὑποτάσσειν in the Petrine Station Code as Fitting In instead of Submission.” (abstract)
Martin has published on rhetoric in 1 Timothy and Titus. This presentation would have implications for the use of ὑποτάσσω in Titus 2:5, 9; 3:1.

Larry Perkins, Northwest Baptist Seminary, Langley, B.C. and Mr. Spencer Elliott, Trinity Western University.
“The Use of οἰκία/οἶκος in Greek Exodus: An Attempt to Understand Principles of Lexical Variation in Greek Exodus.” (abstract)
Perkins recently published the volume on the Pastorals in the BHGNT series. This presentation is pertinent to the Pastorals’ variance between οἶκος and οἰκία.

Richard A Rhodes, University of California-Berkeley
“Oikos, oikia and the Problem of Metonymy.” (abstract)
This presentation is pertinent to the Pastorals’ variance between οἶκος and οἰκία.

Tyler M. Schwaller, Wesleyan College (Macon, GA)
“White Fragility and Biblical Interpretation: The Case of Reading Paul on Slavery.” (abstract)
This presentation may have implications for reception history of 1 Tim 6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10.


Coming soon: Gerald Bray, The Pastoral Epistles, ITC

Media of The Pastoral Epistles: An International Theological Commentary

In an earlier post, we briefly mentioned Gerald Bray’s forthcoming volume on the Pastoral Epistles in the recently-begun International Theological Commentary (ITC) series. As the cover reveals, the ITC is a companion series to the well-known International Critical Commentary series, and like the ICC will cover both Old and New Testaments. Students of the Pastoral Epistles may rejoice that
the volume on these letters is one of the inaugural volumes in the ITC.

The publisher’s description page gives the release date as July 25, and Dr. Bray has confirmed this. He also provided a paragraph describing the volume, as follows:

“This commentary offers a verse-by-verse theological interpretation of the First and Second Epistles to Timothy and Titus. Bray reads the letters as authoritative Scripture, moving beyond questions of whether they are pseudonymous, and of whether or not they are post-Apostolic, looking closely at how they have been understood in the life of the Church. Bray engages with the history of commentary surrounding these letters, ranging from the Fathers of the Church to contemporary theology and exegesis. He reads the Epistles as the authoritative word from God to his people, and through his engagement with the history of interpretation shows the constant thread of witness and confession that unites believers across the ages. In so doing, Bray shows why the Pastoral Epistles have survived the passage of time and have retained the canonical authority that they have always enjoyed.”

Free online Pastorals monographs

Several significant German-language monographs are available online (for non-commercial use) as part of the Digi20 project. They may be read and searched online or downloaded in pdf:

Hermann von Lips. Glaube—Gemeinde—Amt: Zum Verständnis der Ordination in den Pastoralbriefen. Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 122. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979. (94MB pdf)

Annette Merz. Die fiktive Selbstauslegung des Paulus: intertextuelle Studien zur Intention und Rezeption der Pastoralbriefe. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 52. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2004. (120MB pdf)

Michael Wolter. Die Pastoralbriefe als Paulustradition. Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 146. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1988. (92MB pdf)

Marshall’s Commentary Free!

I still think the single best all-around commentary on the Pastoral Epistles in English is Howard Marshall’s volume in the ICC. So, I was excited to see that the free book of the month from Logos is this commentary!

This is an amazing opportunity. If you aren’t signed up to get the alerts for the free book of the month each month from Logos, I encourage you to look into it. It is a great way to expand your electronic library.

Reviews

Linda Maloney has served English-speaking students of the Pastorals by providing in CBQ a summary and review of Michael Theobald, Israel-Vergessenheit in den Pastoralbriefen: Ein neuer Vorschlag zu ihrer historisch-theologischen Verortung im 2. Jahrhundert. n. Chr. unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Ignatius-Briefe (Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 229. Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 2016). For Maloney, “this book is a mine of precious information and analysis.” You can find the first page of the review here.

Within the last year, Mark Harding has posted a positive review at RBL of T. Christopher Hoklotubbe, Civilized Piety: The Rhetoric of Pietas in the Pastoral Epistles and the Roman Empire (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017). (full review available to SBL members only)

On RBL’s site, I note there are four volumes of interest up for review by SBL members:
(1) The just-published dissertation by Nathan Nzyoka Joshua, Benefaction and Patronage in Leadership: A Socio-Historical Exegesis of the Pastoral Epistles (Carlisle, Cumbria, UK: Langham, 2018).
(2) Jermo van Nes’s recent dissertation, Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles: A Study of Linguistic Variation in the Corpus Paulinum (Linguistic Biblical Studies 16; Leiden: Brill, 2018).
(3) Larry J. Perkins, The Pastoral Letters: A Handbook on the Greek Text (Baylor Handbook on the Greek New Testament; Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017).
(4) Robert W. Yarbrough, The Letters to Timothy and Titus. Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018).

Recent Resources on 1 Timothy 2:9-15

This most contentious of passages in the Pastorals has generated a secondary literature all out of proportion to its length. A recent comprehensive bibliography of modern works on the passage through 2014 may be found in Andreas J. Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner, eds., Women in the Church: An Interpretation and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9–15 (3rd ed.; Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016). The following works — all produced in the last five years! — may now be added (note that commentaries are not listed, as every commentary will self-evidently discuss this passage):

Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “Reproductive Salvation and Slavery: Reading 1 Timothy 2:15 with Hagar and Mary,” Neot 50.1 (2016): 71–87.

Marjorie J. Cooper, “The Prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12 in Light of Eve’s Having Been Deceived (1 Tim. 2:14‒15),” Presb 44.1 (2018): 115‒25.

Marjorie J. Cooper and Jay G. Caballero, “Reasoning through Creation Order as a Basis for the Prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12,” Presb 43.1 (2017): 30‒38.

José Aristides Da Silva Gamito, “Violência e gênero no texto bíblico: O silenciamento das mulheres na Primeira Epístola a Timóteo 2, 9‒15,” Unitas—Revista Eletrônica de Teologia e Ciências das Religiões 6.1 (2018): 1–12.

John P. Dickson, “‘Teaching’ as Traditioning in 1 Timothy 2:12: An Historical Observation,” in The Gender Conversation: Evangelical Perspectives on Gender, Scripture, and the Christian Life, ed. Edwina Murphy and David Starling (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2016), 109‒19.

Frances Taylor Gench, Encountering God in Tyrannical Texts: Reflections on Paul, Women, and the Authority of Scripture (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2015), 1–18.

Kevin Giles, What the Bible Actually Teaches on Women. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2018. [note esp. pp. 118-29; 130-34; 144-51]

Timothy W. Fisher, “Reimagining Paul’s Infamous Words toward Women: 1 Timothy 2:8–15 as Performance Literature,” PhD diss., Trinity Theological Seminary (Evansville, IN), 2018.

Timothy D. Foster, “1 Timothy 2:13–15 as Analogy,” JSPL 7.1–2 (2017): 53–67.

Godfrey Harold, “Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation: A Multi-dimensional Hermeneutical Approach to 1 Timothy 2:1–15,” South African Baptist Journal of Theology 25 (2016): 50–63.

Gary G. Hoag, Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus, BBRSup 11 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015), 61–99.

Jamin Hübner, “Revisiting the Clarity of Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:12,” JETS 59 (2016): 99‒117.

Christopher R. Hutson, “‘Saved through Childbearing”: The Jewish Context of 1 Timothy 2:15,” NovT 56 (2014): 392‒410.

Maretha M. Jacobs, “On Fairness and Accuracy in the Academy: A Brief Response to Wim Vergeer’s Use of Terminologies, and Some Simplifications, in the Article ‘The Redeemer in an “Irredeemable Text” (1 Timothy 2:9‒15),’” Neot 51.2 (2017): 359–65.

Hefin Jones, “Women, Teaching, and Authority: A Case for Understanding the Nature of Congregational Oversight as Underlying 1 Timothy 2:11‒12,” in The Gender Conversation: Evangelical Perspectives on Gender, Scripture, and the Christian Life, ed. Edwina Murphy and David Starling (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2016), 143–54.

Lyn Kidson, “‘Teaching’ and Other Persuasions: The Interpretation of didaskein ‘To Teach’ in 1 Timothy 2:12,” in The Gender Conversation: Evangelical Perspectives on Gender, Scripture, and the Christian Life, ed. Edwina Murphy and David Starling (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2016), 125–37.

Heinz Külling, Mann und Frau, Eltern und Kindern als Bewohner ihres Hauses in den Pastoralbriefen (Zurich: Theologischer Verlag Zurich, 2017), 19–62.

Benjamin Marx, “‘Wifely Submission’ and ‘Husbandly Authority’ in Plutarch’s Moralia and the Corpus Paulinum: A Comparison,” JGRChJ 14 (2018): 56–88.

Jeff Miller, “Saved through Childbearing? 1 Timothy 2:15 as a Hermeneutical Caveat,” Stone Campbell Journal 20.2 (2017): 215‒25.

Elna Mouton, “Mothering Salvation? Gender and Class in Early Christian Household Discourse,” Neot 50.1 (2016): 1–8.

Emiola Nihinlola, “Saved through Childbearing: An African Feminist Interpretation and Theology,” ERT 40.4 (2016): 314–26.

Jeremy Punt, “Gender Studies and Biblical Interpretation: (How) Does Theory Matter?,” The African Journal of Gender and Religion 24.2 (2018): 68–94.

Dillon T. Thornton, Hostility in the House of God: An Investigation of the Opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy, BBRSup 15 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2016), 99–130.

Rob van Houwelingen, “Meaning and Significance of the Instruction about Women in 1 Timothy 2:12‒15,” Sárospataki Füzetek 19.4 (2015): 59‒71.

Wim C. Vergeer, “The Redeemer in an ‘Irredeemable Text’ (1 Timothy 2:9–15),” Neot 50.1 (2016): 71–87.

Annette Weissenrieder. “Of Childbirth and Salvation: 1 Timothy 2:15 in Light of Ancient Medicine and the Artemis Cult in Ephesus.” Pages 347–80 in Gender and Social Norms in Ancient Israel, Early Judaism and Early Christianity: Texts and Material Culture. Edited by Michaela Bauks, Katharina Galor, and Judith Hartenstein. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019.

Annette Weissenrieder, “What Does σωθήσεθαι [sic] δὲ διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας ‘To Be Saved by Childbearing’ Mean (1 Timothy 2:15)? Insights from Ancient Medical and Philosophical Texts,” EC 5 (2014): 313‒36.

Johannes M. Wessels, “Changing the Feminine Face of Poverty: Reading 1 Timothy 2:15 from a Socio-Economic Perspective,” Neot 50.1 (2016): 105–22.

Cynthia L. Westfall, Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle’s Vision for Men and Women in Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2016), 279–312.

Thomas M. Winger, “‘Saved through Child-bearing’? Theology and Hermeneutics in Reading 1 Timothy 2:15,” in The Press of the Text: Biblical Studies in Honor of James W. Voelz, ed. Andrew H. Bartelt, Jeffrey J. Kloha, and Paul R. Raabe (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2017), 283–300.

Korinna Zamfir, “Women Teaching—Spiritually Washing the Feet of the Saints? The Early Christian Reception of 1 Timothy 2:11‒12,” ASE 32 (2015): 352‒79.

Benno Zuiddam, “Southern African Perspectives on the Role of Womanhood in 1 Timothy 2:11‒15,” Journal for Christian Scholarship 52:1–2 (2016): 279–96.