“Ethics in Titus”: Upcoming Conference in Mainz, September 12-14, 2019

This important gathering of students of the Epistle to Titus will be well worth attending. The lineup of presenters includes many well-known Pastorals scholars. The brochure reproduced below may be accessed online.

2018 Publications on the Pastorals

Below is our annual list of publications on 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus from the previous calendar year. It was a robust year for new publications on the letters in 2018, with over fifty items in this list, and doubtless some we missed! If you are aware of any others, could you please leave a comment?

(Thanks to John Percival for contributing to this list.)


Adams, Edward. “The Shape of the Pauline Churches.” Pages 119–46 in The Oxford Handbook of Ecclesiology. Edited by Paul Avis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Beck, David R. “The Linguistic Features of Second Timothy and Its Purpose.” Pages 159‒75 in New Testament Philology: Essays in Honor of David Alan Black. Edited by Melton Bennett Winstead. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2018. W&S volume description.

Bieringer, Reimund, ed. 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered: Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018. Peeters volume description // TOC.

Bieringer, Reimund. “Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in der Diskussion.” Pages 5–16 in 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered: Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht. Edited by Reimund Bieringer. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018.

Blomberg, Craig L. A New Testament Theology. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2018. [note chap. 8, “The Pastoral Epistles,” pp. 455–95]

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

Cosgrove, Charles H. “The Syntax of Early Christian Hymns and Prayers: Revisiting Relative and Participial Styles for Making Assertions about a Deity.” Early Christianity 9.2 (2018): 158‒80. German abstract online // Translate. [addresses 1 Tim 3:16]

Da Silva Gamito, José Aristides. “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. Online. [English-language abstract included]

Dulk, Matthijs Den. “No More Itch (2 Tim 4.3).” New Testament Studies 64.1 (2018): 81–93. Abstract online.

Edsall, Benjamin A. “Hermogenes the Smith and Narrative Characterisation in The Acts of Paul: A Note on the Reception of 2 Timothy.” New Testament Studies 64.1 (2018): 108–21. Abstract online.

Ehrensperger, Kathy. “Διδάσκαλος ἐθνῶν—Pauline Trajectories According to 1 Timothy.” Pages 88–104 in The Early Reception of Paul the Second Temple Jew: Text, Narrative and Reception History. Edited by Isaac W. Oliver and Gabriele Boccaccini with Joshua Scott. Library of Second Temple Studies 92. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2019. [e-book version released in 2018] Online publisher description. From the volume forward: “Ehrensperger examines the depiction of Paul in 1 Timothy as the
διδάσκαλος ἐθνῶν, which, she contends, stands in clear succession of Paul’s self-presentation in the undisputed letters as the ἀπόστολος ἐθνῶν. By remembering Paul as the διδάσκαλος ἐθνῶν, 1 Timothy can develop a number of issues that Paul addressed to the ἔθνη in Christ. Similarly to the undisputed Pauline letters, the guidance provided in 1 Timothy is clearly envisioned as rooted in Jewish traditions in as much as these are applied to ἔθνη. The advice provided, in other words, is specific rather than universally addressed to all who are in Christ. With this framework in mind, Ehrensperger discusses those passages in 1 Timothy that deal with widows. She argues that the concern for widows in 1 Timothy is seen as part of the obligation to ‘remember the poor’ in analogy to contemporary Jewish practice based on traditional notions of social justice (צדקה), which are applied to the ἐκκλησίαι ἐθνῶν.”

Elengabecka, Elvis. “La rhétorique de la temporalité dans les épîtres pastorales.” Pages 377–95 in Perceptions du temps dans la Bible. Edited by M. Staszak and M. Leroy. Etudes Bibliques 77. Leuven: Peeters, 2018. (Abstract: “The present study wishes to highlight the concept of time that one finds in the language and argumentation of the Pastoral Epistles. We will do this by studying a number of texts, especially Titus 2:11-14; 3:3-7, as well as certain expressions such as ‘καιρός’, ‘πνεῦμα’. In any case, whether situated in their contexts or internal coherence, the literary entities that we are going to study, present time as a reality which unifies the different aspects of human existence, which are normally distinct from each other.”)

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

Flichy, Odile. “Une lecture de Tite 1,1–2,15.” Pages 111–31 in 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered: Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht . Edited by Reimund Bieringer. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018.

Glancy, Jennifer A. “‘To Serve Them All the More’: Christian Slaveholders and Christian Slaves in Antiquity.” Pages 23–49 in Slaving Zones: Cultural Identities, Ideologies, and Institutions in the Evolution of Global Slavery. Edited by Jeff Fynn-Paul and Damian Alan Pargas. Studies in Global Slavery 4. Leiden: Brill, 2018. Brill description. [briefly interacts with 1 Tim 6:1-2]

Gordley, Matthew E. New Testament Christological Hymns: Exploring Texts, Contexts, and Significance. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2018. IVP description. [1 Tim 3:16 covered on pp. 183-190]

Gourgues, Michel. “2 Timothée 2,1–26, ou le lieu de fracture.” Pages 39–62 in 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered: Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht. Edited by Reimund Bieringer. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018.  

Gourgues, Michel. “Le mystère du Christ Jésus dans les deux lettres à Timothée et la lettre à Tite : Tantôt en amont, tantôt en aval, tantôt en coïncidence.” Pages 257–90 in Paul et son Seigneur: Trajectoires christologiques des épîtres paulinienne: XXVIe congrès de l’Association catholique française pour l’étude de la Bible (Angiers, 2016). Edited by Christophe Raimbault. Paris: Cerf, 2018. Cerf volume description.

Gourgues, Michel. “Temps court et temps long, temps urgent et temps courant: une tension interne dans la seconde lettre à Timothée.” Pages 396–418 in Perceptions du temps dans la Bible. Edited by M. Staszak and M. Leroy. Etudes Bibliques 77. Leuven: Peeters, 2018. (Abstract: “Both those who claim and those who deny that 2 Tim is authentic can find, in the letter itself, reasons to justify their position. However, one may wonder if these take sufficiently into account some differences and tensions within this letter. The reading of 2 Tim proposed here reveals two sections, distinct and separable from various points of view, notably the use of two different ways of representing time. Thus detecting two different sections within the letter results in a new way of addressing the question of the authenticity of 2 Tim.”)

Gourgues, Michel. “Second Timothy.” Pages 1465–71 in The Paulist Bible Commentary. Edited by José Enrique Aguilar Chiu et al. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2018.

Graham, Brett Martin. “Echoes of Scripture and the Jewish Pseudepigrapha in the Pastoral Epistles: Including a Method of Identifying High-interest Parallels.” PhD thesis, University of Sydney, 2018. Online.

Hagner, Donald A. How New Is the New Testament? First-Century Judaism and the Emergence of Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2018. Baker description. [distinct PE treatment on 132–35]

Henson, Joshua D. “The Role of Biblical Values in the Development of the Mission and Vision of Ethical Organizations: An Examination of the Epistle to Titus.” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 8.1 (2018): 186–201. Online.

Herzer, Jens. “Paulustradition Und Paulusrezeption In Den Pastoralbriefen.” In Receptions of Paul in Early Christianity: The Person of Paul and His Writings Through the Eyes of His Early Interpreters. Edited by Jens Schröter, Simon Butticaz, and Andreas Dettwiler. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 234. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2018. De Gruyter volume description. Abstract: “The place of the Pastoral Epistles within the collection of Pauline letters depends decisively on two aspects: the assessment of their relation to Paul himself as well as to the other letters, and the evaluation of their literary character. Depending on these variables, the concepts of tradition, transmission, transformation, and reception are no longer sharply defined but instead represent aspects of a complex discourse. Within this discourse, each of the Pastorals has its own character: 1 Timothy reveals a relation to Paul and the Pauline tradition that is different to those in Titus and 2 Timothy. Therefore, each of these three letters shows a specific profile with regard to both the reception of Paul (or Pauline ideas) and the definition of Pauline tradition.”

Herzer, Jens. “Titus 3,1–15: Gottes Menschenfreundlichkeit und die ethische Relevanz christlicher Hoffnung.” Pages 133–79 in 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered: Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht. Edited by Reimund Bieringer. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018.

Jere, Qeko, and Vhumani Magezi. “Pastoral Letters and the Church in the Public Square: An Assessment of the Role of Pastoral Letters in Influencing Democratic Processes in Malawi.” Verbum et Ecclesia 39.1 (2018): 1‒9. Online.

Joshua, Nathan Nzyoka. Benefaction and Patronage in Leadership: A Socio-Historical Exegesis of the Pastoral Epistles. Carlisle, Cumbria, UK: Langham, 2018. Publisher’s description.

Kaiser, Ursula Ulrike. Die Rede von “Wiedergeburt” im Neuen Testament: Ein metapherntheoretisch orientierter Neuansatz nach 100 Jahren Forschungsgeschichte. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 413. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. [Significant discussions of Titus 3:5] Publisher volume description.

Kamphuis, Bart L. F. New Testament Conjectural Emendation in the Nineteenth Century: Jan Handrik Holwerda as a Pioneer of Method. NTTSD 56. Leiden: Brill, 2018. Brill volume description. [Kamphuis discusses Holwerda’s proposed emendations of 1 Tim 2:15 and 5:13.]

Karakolis, Christos. “Drawing Authority and Exerting Power in the Second Letter to Timothy: Some Initial Remarks and the Example of 2 Timothy 3,1–17.” Pages 63–86 in 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered: Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht. Edited by Reimund Bieringer. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018.

Karaman, Elif Hilal. Ephesian Women in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Perspective. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/474. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. Publisher volume description.

Köstenberger, Andreas J. “The Practice of Biblical Theology: How Is Biblical Theology Done?” Midwestern Journal of Theology 17.1 (2018): 14–27. Online.
[uses as a case study the theology of the Pastorals, pp. 15–21]

LaFosse, Mona Tokarek. “Those Who Hear: The Power of Learners in 1 Timothy.” Pages 147–70 in Religions and Education in Antiquity: Studies in Honour of Michel Desjardins. Edited by Alex Damm. Numen: Studies in the History of Religions 160. Leiden: Brill, 2018. Brill volume description.

Langford, Andrew Mark. “Diagnosing Deviance: Pathology and Polemic in the Pastoral Epistles.” PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2018.

Lévy, Luc Bulundwe. “Ethics and Pseudepigraphy—Do the Ends Always Justify the Means?” Athens Journal of Humanities and the Arts x.y (2018). Online. [focus on 2 Timothy]

MacDonald, Margaret Y. “Always Be Steady and Endure Suffering (2 Timothy 4,1‒22): Advising the Teacher in the Roman Imperial World.” Pages 87–109 in 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered: Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht. Edited by Reimund Bieringer. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018.

Maier, Harry O. “Marcion the Circumcizer.” Pages 97–108 in Marcion of Sinope as Religious Entrepreneur. Edited by Markus Vinzent. Studia Patristica 99. Leuven: Peeters, 2018. Online volume description. Abstract: “A chief element against the view that the pseudonymous Pastorals (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) polemicize against Marcion is the association of opponents with Judaism. The essay addresses this apparent contradiction through an analysis of Tit. 1:10, where the author represents the opposition as ‘of the circumcision.’ The article argues that the reference is a rhetorical charge against Marcion as guilty of promoting community discord. Paul’s report of Gal. 1:18-2:14 was important to Marcion as an account of the apostle’s dedication to his revealed Gospel against opponents in/from Jerusalem. Acts, perhaps motivated by an anti-Marcionite polemic, represents an alternative account, not of Paul opposed by Jerusalem Christ followers, but endorsed by them. The essay observes how Irenaeus and Tertullian in opposition to Marcion seek to harmonize the report from Acts and the confrontation of Paul with Peter in Gal. 2:10-14, to show how Paul never separated from the other disciples, but was instructed by them. The Pastorals polemicize against Marcion in a different way by turning the tables on him and associating him with ‘false brethren’ (Gal. 2:4) and the ‘circumcision party’ (Gal. 2:12; Acts 11:2; 15:2) opposed to Paul’s Gospel. As such they pillory their opponent as a factionalist and thus use the unique accounts reported in Galatians, so important to Marcion, against him.”

Marx, Benjamin. “‘Wifely Submission’ and ‘Husbandly Authority’ in Plutarch’s Moralia and the Corpus Paulinum: A Comparison.” Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 14 (2018): 56–88. Online. [CP texts examined include 1 Tim 2:8–15; Tit 2:4-5]

McKnight, W. Shawn. Understanding the Diaconate: Historical, Theological, and Sociological Foundations. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2018. Online volume description. [discussion of 1 Tim 3:8–13 on pp. 24–26]

Müller, Karl. Paulus’ Gefangenshaften das Ende der Apostelgeschichte und die Pastoralbriefe. Bibelstudien 19. Munster: LIT, 2018. LIT description. TOC online.

Neudorfer, Heinz-Werner. Der erste Brief des Paulus an Timotheus. 3rd edition. Historisch-Theologische Auslegung. Wuppertal: R. Brockhaus, 2018. Publisher description.

O’Donovan, Oliver. “Neither Sober nor of Sound Mind: Timothy’s Spirit of sōphronismos.” Pages 346–62 in One God, One People, One Future: Essays in Honor of N. T. Wright. Edited by John Anthony Dunne and Eric Lewellen. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2018. (From the volume’s forward, pp. 10-11: “Oliver O’Donovan … focuses directly on the pastoral injunction in 2 Timothy 1.7. … English translations oscillate between ‘soberness’ and ‘sound mind’ as the interpretation for sōphronismos. After an analysis of 140 uses of sōphronismos in pagan and Christian texts from the end of the first century BCE to the end of the fifth century CE, O’Donovan makes two observations on the term’s semantic spectrum: (1) in most occurrences the term refers to an event that makes a moral difference to one who experiences or perceives it; (2) most uses from the first two centuries speak of moral direction, warning and restraint. This evidence suggests a different interpretation of 2 Timothy 1.7: the spirit given to the Church is one ‘of power, love, and moral instruction.’”)

Olson, Jon C. “Intertextuality, Paul within Judaism, and the Biblical Witness against Same-Sex Practice.” Evangelical Quarterly 89.3 (2018): 222–239. [engages 1 Tim 1:10] (Abstract: “In attempting to overturn the biblical witness against same-sex practice, several scholars and ecclesial bodies neglect intertextuality. Attention to where one Scripture interprets another helps to establish meaning and authorial intent. The Genesis creation story is used in Leviticus, the Gospels, and Romans, and Leviticus used in Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy. Paul was Jewish in his teaching against same-sex practice and in appealing to the Septuagint. The biblical witness against same-sex practice is rooted in creation, and the practice of reading the biblical witness against such behavior in a canonic synthesis reflects the intentions of the writers. The context of the passages, and the dynamic interplay between them, bring themes of God’s creative intentions, guidance, wrath, and redeeming righteousness together.”)

Penna, Romano. “Philanthropy of God and Human Works in Titus 3,4-7 and in 2 Timothy 1,9-10.” Pages 181–92 in 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered: Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht. Edited by Reimund Bieringer. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018.  

Powell, Mark Allan, “The Pastoral Letters: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus.” Pages 413‒29 in Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2018. Baker volume description.

Punt, Jeremy. “Gender Studies and Biblical Interpretation: (How) Does Theory Matter?” The African Journal of Gender and Religion 24.2 (2018): 68–94. Online. [1 Tim 2:8–15]

Rambiert-Kwasniewska, Anna. “Mąż jednej żony? [Husband of one wife?] (1 Tm 3,2).” Nowe Życie 35 (2018): 6/518, 12-13.

Rolle, Sarah. “Titus 2:1–10: Trait Theory of Followership.” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 8.1 (2018): 168–85. Online.

Schreiner, Thomas R. “Paul and Gender: A Review Article.” Themelios 43.2 (2018): 178‒92. Online.

Schweitzer, Don. “The Role of Human Response in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Toronto Journal of Theology 34.1 (2018): 63–77. Abstract and related video online. [Engages 1 Tim 3:16]

Shaner, Katherine Ann. Enslaved Leadership in Early Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. OUP volume description. [note chap. 5, “Power in the Ekklēsia: Contesting Enslaved Leadership in 1 Timothy and Ignatius”]

Skinner, Matthew L. “The Pastoral Letters (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus).” Chapter 13 in A Companion to the New Testament: Paul and the Pauline Letters. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2018. BUP volume description.

Smith, Mitzi J., and Yung Suk Kim. “1–2 Timothy and Titus.” Pages 285–92 in Toward Decentering the New Testament: A Reintroduction. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2018. W&S volume description.

Söding, Thomas. “1 Timothy.“ In The Paulist Bible Commentary. Edited by José Enrique Aguilar Chiu et al. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2018.

Stuhlmacher, Peter. Biblical Theology of the New Testament. Translated by Daniel P. Bailey. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018. Eerdmans description. [considerable passim treatment of the PE in “The Proclamation in the Period after Paul,” pp. 431-87]

Theobald, Michael. “Titus.“ In The Paulist Bible Commentary. Edited by José Enrique Aguilar Chiu et al. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2018.

Thurén, Lauri. “Divine Headhunting? The Function of the Qualifications of Deacons in 1 Tim 3:8–13.” Pages 117–30 in Deacons and Diakonia in Early Christianity. Edited by Bart J. Koet, Edwina Murphy, and Esko Ryökäs. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/479. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. Publisher volume description.

Van Nes, Jermo. “Hapax legomena in Disputed Pauline Letters: A Reassessment.” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 109.1 (2018): 118–37. Abstract online.

Van Nes, Jermo. “Missing ‘Particles’ in Disputed Pauline Letters? A Question of Method.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 40.3 (2018): 383–98. Abstract online.

Van Nes, Jermo. Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles: A Study of Linguistic Variation in the Corpus Paulinum. Linguistic Biblical Studies 16. Leiden: Brill, 2018. Brill description.

Veiss, Suzana Dobric. “Follower Development: Paul’s Charge to Timothy.” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 8.1 (2018): 150–67. Online.

Walter, Katherine Clark. The Profession of Widowhood: Widows, Pastoral Care, and Medieval Models of Holiness. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2018. Online volume description. [note the treatment of 1 Tim 5 in chap. 1, “Creating the Widow in the Early Church,” pp. 24–76]

Wilson, Beth L. “Authentic Leadership: Paul’s Instructions to Titus.” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 8.1 (2018): 202–12. Online.

Wolter, Michael. “Der Apostel und sein Schüler: 2 Timotheus 1,1–18.” Pages 17–37 in 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered: Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht. Edited by Reimund Bieringer. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018.

Wright, Tom. Paul: A Biography. London: SPCK, 2018. [PE discussed on pp. 394–97]

Yarbrough, Robert W. The Letters to Timothy and Titus. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018. Eerdmans description. (previous posts on this volume)

The Pastorals in NTA 62.3 (2018)

The Letters to Timothy and Titus are usually fairly well represented in New Testament Abstracts, but the present volume has fairly slim pickings.

We find in the “Epistles-Revelation” section only a single entry for the LTT, an article which engages 1 Tim 3:16:

Cosgrove, Charles H. “The Syntax of Early Christian Hymns and Prayers: Revisiting Relative and Participial Styles for Making Assertions about a Deity.” Early Christianity 9.2 (2018): 158‒80.

Elsewhere in the issue, we find several items which connect with the letters:

Che R. Seabourne, “New Directions in Redaction Criticism and Women: A Discussion Based on Fiorenza’s In Memory of Her and Other Sources,” Theology 119.5 (2016): 335-41. (Seabourne engages “the contrast between 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy”)

Jon C. Olson, “Intertextuality, Paul within Judaism, and the Biblical Witness against Same-Sex Practice,” Evangelical Quarterly 89.3 (2018): 222-39. (engages 1 Tim 1:10)

Preston C. Massey, “Dress Codes at Roman Corinth and Two Hellenic Sites: What Do the Inscriptions at Andania and Lycosura Tell Us about 1 Corinthians 11.2–16?” Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 11 (2015): 51-81. http://www.jgrchj.net/volume11/JGRChJ11-4_Massey.pdf. (Massey connects his research in 1 Cor 11 with 1 Tim 2:9 and 1 Pet 3:3 [pp. 74-78], arguing that “Whenever braiding or the plaiting of hair is mentioned in ancient Greek texts, the context focuses upon both ostentatious and risqué behavior.”)

Two pertinent essays are listed in Lois K. Fuller Dow, Craig A. Evans, and Andrew W. Pitts, eds., The Language and Literature of the New Testament: Essays in Honor of Stanley E. Porter’s 60th Birthday (BIS 150; Leiden: Brill, 2017):
Andrew W. Pitts and Joshua D. Tyra, “Exploring Linguistic Variation in an Ancient Greek Single-Author Corpus: A Register Design Analysis of Josephus and Pauline Pseudonymity” (pp. 257–83)
Michael J. Kruger, “First Timothy 5:18 and Early Canon Consciousness: Reconsidering a Problematic Text” (pp. 680–700)

Bart L. F. Kamphuis, New Testament Conjectural Emendation in the Nineteenth Century: Jan Handrik Holwerda as a Pioneer of Method (NTTSD 56; Leiden: Brill, 2018). Kamphuis discusses Holwerda’s proposed emendations of 1 Tim 2:15 and 5:13.

Frances Young’s essay “The Pastoral Epistles and the Ethics of Reading” (JSNT 45 [1992]: 105-20) is now included in a collection of her essays: Ways of Reading Scripture: Collected Papers (WUNT 369; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018), 291-304.

Robert W. Yarbrough, The Letters to Timothy and Titus. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018. (see this blog’s earlier three posts on the volume)

Two pertinent essays are listed in Brian S. Rosner, Andrew S. Malone, and Trevor J. Burke, Paul as Pastor (New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017):
Tim Patrick, “The Pastoral Offices in the Pastoral Epistles and the Church of England’s First Ordinal” (pp. 159–82)
Robert W. Yarbrough, “Paul as Working Pastor: Exposing an Open Ethical Secret” (pp. 143–58; the essay is incorporated into the introduction of Yarbrough’s Pillar commentary)

1 Tim 3:16 is discussed in Matthew E. Gordley, New Testament Christological Hymns: Exploring Texts, Contexts, and Significance (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2018), pp. 183-190.

And the LTT are, of course, discussed in the freshly translated Peter Stuhlmacher, Biblical Theology of the New Testament (trans. and ed. Daniel Bailey; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018), making more accessible the original Biblische Theologie des Neuen Testaments. Stuhlmacher’s discussion of the letters may be found throughout the section entitled “The Proclamation in the Period after Paul,” pp. 431-87.

Conference on the Pastorals in Belgium

There is an upcoming conference on the Pastorals in Belgium that looks very interesting. Here is the description:

The Center of Excellence in Reformed and Evangelical Theology (CERET) hosted by the Theologische Universiteit Kampen and the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven (ETF Leuven) organizes a thematic seminar sponsored by NOSTER on the origin of the so-called Pastoral Epistles (1-2 Timothy and Titus). Joining an ongoing debate, a team of international scholars and respondents from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives will gather to discuss the question whether these New Testament writings were written as individual letters or composed as an intentional letter corpus. Scholars, students, and all who are involved in the academic study of the Pastoral Epistles are warmly invited.

You can see the press release here and view the program for the event here.

It looks very promising, and I am told they aim to publish the papers in a theme volume of the Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters in the near future. It is encouraging to see such interest in the Pastorals.

New Commentary by Bob Yarbrough

I have been eagerly anticipating Bob Yarbrough’s Pillar commentary on the Pastorals, so I was pleased to hear from Chuck Bumgardner that it is due out next week (release date 8/28). Yarbrough’s 1-3 John is one of the best commentaries I’ve read, and I’ve had the opportunity to hear he present some of his Pastorals research, so this promises to be a great volume.

It is available for pre-order at Amazon, but as Chuck pointed out the book is actually available for a much chepaer price at Target!

PE Related Papers at Upcoming Conferences

Thanks to Chuck Bumgardner, we have a list of papers related to the Pastorals slated for upcoming academic conferences.

ETS 2018 (in addition to the Pastoral Epistles Study Group)


Mary L. Conway (McMaster Divinity College): “Gender in Genesis 1-3 in Conversation with 1 Timothy 2”

Marjorie J. Cooper (Baylor University): “Analysis and Conclusions Regarding 1 Tim 2:8‒3:1a”

P. Sweeney (Winebrenner Theological Seminary): “The Spirit’s Warning of Apostasy in 1 Tim. 4:1‒3: A Pressing Concern in 1 Timothy”

Brian H. Tung (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School): “’Savior of All People’: Distinguishing Universality from Universalism in the Pastoral Epistles”


SBL 2018

Adam Booth (Duke University): “Paul among the Physicians: 1 Tim 2:15 and Salvation in a Context of Contested Health Claims”

Meira Z. Kensky (Coe College): “‘Thus a Teacher Must Be’: Pedagogical Formation in John Chrysostom’s Homilies on 1 and 2 Timothy”

Lyn Kidson (Macquarie University): “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3‒15”

Andrew M. Langford (University of Chicago): “A New Solution to the Riddle of Timothy’s ‘Stomach and Frequent Ailments’ (1 Timothy 5:23): Sins, Signs, and Stigma in Ancient Philosophical and Medical Diagnosis”

Dogara Ishaya Manomi (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz): “Towards an African Biblical Virtue Ethics? Hermeneutical and Methodological Reflections with Insights from the Letter to Titus”

Anna C. Miller (Xavier University): “‘Not with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes’: Wealthy Women, Speech, and Citizenship in 1 Timothy and the Democratic Polis”

Dan Nässelqvist (Lund University): “Christological Hymns in an Ancient Perspective: What We Can Learn from Embedded Prose Hymns in Non-Christian Sources” [engages 1 Tim 3:16]

W. Andrew Smith (Shepherds Theological Seminary): “Moving Forward on the Pastoral Epistles ECM [Editio Critica Maior]”

David Trobisch (Museum of the Bible): “Listening to Paul: Letter Collections as a Narrative Genre” [special attention given to the Pastorals]

Cynthia Long Westfall (McMaster Divinity College): “Texts and Social Contexts: Sets of Possibilities for Pauline Texts Concerning Gender”


International SBL 2018

Sharon Jacob (Pacific School of Religion): “Under the Guise of Modesty! Women’s Bodies, Cultural Purity, and the Politics of Dress in 1 Timothy 2:8‒15: A Contextual, Feminist, and Postcolonial Reading”

Cory B. Louie (University of Notre Dame): “Imitating Paul in His Many Contests: Life, Death, and the Ambiguous Metaphors of 2 Tim 4:6‒8”

Kwang Meng Low (National University of Singapore): “Paul Beyond Piety: A Reading of Paul’s Injunction to Prayer (1 Timothy 2:1‒7)”

Dogara Ishaya Manomi (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz): “Virtue in the Letter to Titus”

Richard K. Min (University of Texas at Dallas): “The Liar Paradox in Titus 1:12”

Jermo van Nes (Evangelische Theologische Faculteit): “Peculiar Language in the Pastoral Epistles? A Reassessment of Register Variation as an Explanatory Model”



Pastoral Epistles Study Group this week at ETS

If you are coming to ETS this week, I hope you will plan to come to our Pastoral Epistles session. We have a great slate of papers once again this year.

Here is the information on our session.

8:30 AM-11:40 AM
Convention Center — Room 550 A

Pastoral Epistles
Impact of the Pastorals on our View of Paul

Ray Van Neste, Union University

8:30 AM—9:10 AM
Fred Sanders, Biola University
“Grace the Civilizer: Paul Undomesticated in the Pastoral Epistles”

9:20 AM—10:00 AM
Eckhard Schnabel, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
“Paul and the Next Generation of Christian Leaders: The Contribution of the Pastoral Epistles to New Testament Ecclesiology”

10:10 AM—10:50 AM
Greg Couser, Cedarville University
“The Judgment of Believers in 2 Timothy: What is Judged and What is the Outcome?”

11:00 AM—11:40 AM
Marty Feltham, Macquarie University (in Sydney)
“Carefully Crafted or a Clumsy Imitation? Assessing the Argument of 1 Timothy 2:1-7”


Boring on the Pastoral Epistles

By Chuck Bumgardner

Before his retirement, M. Eugene Boring was the I. Wylie and Elizabeth M. Briscoe Professor of New Testament at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, a school affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I am most familiar with Boring’s work as a translator (especially of Udo Schnelle’s writings), but he is also a prolific author with commentaries on Mark (NTL), 1 Peter (ANTC), Revelation (Interpretation) to his credit. To my knowledge, he has not written any standalone essays or monographs focusing on the PE; however, the PE are introduced and commented upon in The People’s New Testament Commentary (WJK, 2009), written by Boring and his onetime teacher Fred Craddock. Recently, Boring produced his monumental An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology (WJK, 2012) in which he discusses the PE under the heading “The Pastorals and the Struggle for Paul” (pp. 371-99). In the introduction to the volume, he highlights the influence on his life and thinking of men such as Leander Keck, Craddock, Russell Pregeant, Udo Schnelle, David Balch, and William Baird. My purpose here is simply to summarize Boring’s work on the PE.

Boring discusses the issue of authorship at great length, finding it to be “a watershed for the critical approach to the New Testament” (371). If a scholar holds that Paul wrote the PE, he or she will almost certainly hold that all the books attributed to Paul are authentic; conversely, if Paul is not believed to have written one or more of the PE, the door for pseudonymous authorship in the NT is open. For Boring, the question of authorship “should not be resolved on the basis of dogma from right, left, or center” (371). Boring briefly presents the arguments of those who support authenticity: the claim of the letters themselves, their canonical status (the church wouldn’t have accepted pseudonymous writings, and inspiration is incompatible with pseudonymity), church tradition, and the lack of any single compelling argument for pseudonymous authorship of the letters.

Compared to less than a page on arguments for authenticity, Boring devotes roughly 11½ pages (out of the chapter’s 29 pages) to directly setting forth the case for “the Pastorals as pseudepigraphical documents by a teacher in the Pauline school” (372). This is a thorough treatment for a New Testament introduction, and those concerned to defend the authenticity of the PE will find in Boring’s sixteen points a helpful collection of opposing arguments with which to interact:

  • The letters’ claim to be written by Paul can be dismissed without fear of a historical or theological misstep, since “the question for the ancient church . . . was not the historical issue of who actually composed [documents claiming apostolic authorship], but the theological issue of whether or not they represented the apostolic faith” (372).
  • The consistent acceptance of the Pauline authorship of the PE by the early church fathers is not proof positive of authenticity, because the fathers “were theologians first and historians second.” The PE were accepted by the fathers because they “represented the apostolic faith” and “found resonance within the wider community of faith” and on this basis, their claim to apostolic authorship was accepted (373).
  • “The chronology and personal allusions presupposed by the Pastorals do not fit into the lifetime of Paul as otherwise attested” (373).
  • Certain internal inconsistencies regarding Paul’s historical situation appear to be present in the PE, casting doubt on the letters’ historical accuracy (373-74).
  • The self-portrayal of Paul in the PE seems to be at variance with that in the undisputed Pauline letters (374).
  • “The content and tone of the Pastorals are simply not appropriate” when considering the recipients are veteran coworkers of Paul’s (374-76).
  • Various aspects of the letters connect them with the third generation of Christian leadership, when the succession of Paul’s leadership was being worked out after his death (376).
  • The sort of false teaching that seems to be present seems to reflect a later time than Paul, and the response to it in the letters seems unlike Paul’s response in the undisputed letters (376-77).
  • While the hypothesis of pseudonymous PE written specifically to combat Marcion is problematic, the PE’s insistence on the continuing value of the OT “could point to Marcionite tendencies the Pastor opposes” (377).
  • “Both a different vision of church leadership and a different church structure” (this includes the role of the Spirit) seem to be present in the PE, over against the undisputed Pauline letters (377). The PE seem to portray a church in the process of becoming institutionalized (377-79).
  • “The Pastor’s perspective on women’s role in the church reflects the period after Paul” (379-80).
  • There is a “dual temporal perspective” in the letters; while meaning to represent the time of Paul through various incidental references, the pseudonymous author of the letters portrays Paul as “predicting a later time” as a way of having Paul directly address the concerns of his own post-Pauline audience (380).
  • The PE make allusion to Paul’s undisputed letters which it is assumed the readers will recognize, which suggests the PE were written to supplement an already-existing Pauline collection (380).
  • The PE are clearly meant to be heard by churches, but are written to individuals. On the traditional view, this would mean that Timothy and Titus received and kept them, and some time later they were incorporated into the general life of the church, and eventually became part of the accepted NT canon. Boring finds the pseudepigraphical explanation simpler: they were written (falsely) to individuals but read to churches (380-81).
  • “The Pastorals reflect and interact with later New Testament movements and literature current after Paul’s time,” e.g., the “Johannine stream of tradition” and the hymns in Revelation (381).
  • “The style and vocabulary of the Pastorals point to a post-Pauline setting” (381-84). Boring provides a number of typical examples to support his contention.

In sum, “These considerations provide substantial reasons for the view that the Pastorals are post-Paul compositions emanating from the Pauline school” (383). Boring’s tour de force doesn’t end here however; he goes on to provide “incidental support” for this view in the rest of the chapter’s discussion.

Boring notes approvingly the critically accepted date of around 100 CE for the PE (his chart “Formation of NT Literature” [p. 6] actually places the PE after 1 Clement and the Didache and roughly parallel with Ignatius), and discusses the various uses (and non-use) of the PE in the NT writings and other early Christian writings, which in his view support this date. Provenance is likely Ephesus.

The theology of the PE (pp. 384-89) receives extended attention, particularly in relation to that of the undisputed Paulines. Boring views the theology of the PE as being in continuity with that of Paul, and argues that “the Pastorals do not simply repeat Paul but present him as adapting his theology to the post-Pauline situation” (385); the PE are concerned with “preserving the essential core of Pauline theology and reinterpreting it for a later generation.” So, e.g., Paul’s dynamic “faith” becomes “the faith” in the PE, a static body of orthodox doctrine; angels, about whom Paul “never had a good word,” are spoken of positively; the body of Christ has become the household of God. Paul’s expectation of an imminent parousia is absent in the PE. Boring finds the ethics of the PE to have a “different emphasis and perspective” than those of Paul.

Boring contends that “in equipping the church for its struggle with false teaching, the Pastor sees the church as grounded in three interrelated foundational elements: canon, clergy, and creed” (387). Thus, (1) while the undisputed Paul assumes the OT’s authority, the author of the PE insists on it; (2) “the Pastor is interested in promoting and furthering the development of established orders of ministry as a means of guaranteeing the transmission of the core Pauline tradition”; (3) the PE engage “firm traditional summary statements of the faith.”

Boring provides brief outlines and sets forth the essential argument section-by-section for each of the PE. He closes his treatment by appropriating Margaret MacDonald’s model for situating the PE in early Christian history; they reflect a later “community-protecting institutionalization,” following the “community building” of the undisputed Pauline letters and the “community stabilizing” of Colossians and Ephesians (398). He finds that while the post-Pauline church rejected extreme views such as Gnosticism, they accepted a “limited plurality” of “interpretations” of Paul reflected in various pseudonymous letters. Boring sees 2 Thessalonians as such a letter, reflecting a “centrist” view; Ephesians and Colossians as having been produced by “left wing” interpreters; and the PE as setting forth a “right wing” understanding of Paul (399).

In his work, Boring engages a limited range of literature specific to the PE. He refers to Trebilco’s Early Christians in Ephesus a number of times. His “further reading” list is brief, pointing only to four commentaries (no monographs): Bassler (ANTC), Collins (NTL), Johnson (AB), and Marshall (ICC). His take on the PE would be closest, I think, to that of Bassler and Collins.

3 Part Series on Titus


I recently taught through the letter to Titus in three sessions at my home church, First Baptist Church, Jackson, TN. These three messages are an attempt to teach the content of this letter and apply its truths to our current context. The audio of each session is available here.

Dunn on the Pastoral Epistles in Neither Jew nor Greek

By Chuck Bumgardner

James D. G. Dunn, well-known New Testament scholar and Lightfoot Professor Emeritus of Divinity at Durham University, has discussed the Pastoral Epistles in numerous places in his writings, with the most focused treatment being his commentary on the letters in the New Interpreter’s Bible (ed. L. E. Keck; Nashville: Abingdon, 2000), 11:773-800. My purpose here is to summarize his take on the PE in the recently released third volume of his substantial Christianity in the Making project: Neither Jew nor Greek: A Contested Identity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015); he discusses the letters in a focused manner in §39.3(b) (85-91) and §47.2(a) (678-82).

The simple fact that Dunn places his discussion of the PE in the third volume of his project, not the second (Beginning from Jerusalem) is enough to divine his general approach to the letters, as the second volume takes the reader through 70 AD, and the third volume picks up there. Anyone familiar with Dunn’s work will not be surprised to find that his major discussion of the PE in Neither Jew nor Greek is under the heading “Paul as Depicted in Second-Generation NT Documents.” Dunn finds the best explanation of pseudepigraphy in the canonical NT to be that of Meade, who contends that “attribution is primarily a claim to authoritative tradition, not a statement of literary origin” (Pseudonymity and Canon, 102; cf. further Dunn, “Pseudepigraphy,” Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments, 977-84). In this vein, Dunn understands the PE to contemporize and promote the authoritative Pauline tradition for the following generation, and to have been accepted by that generation as “sharing in the authority of the tradition’s originator” and thus “accepted as also authoritative under his name” (85).

As typical in critical scholarship, Dunn grounds his judgment of pseudonymity in certain features of the letters: distinctive language and style, historical circumstances thought to be difficult to square with Acts and other Pauline epistles, a false teaching with no parallel in pre-70 NT literature, increasing institutionalization, and “crystallization of the faith into set forms” (86-88). “It is most probable that we should attribute [the PE] to an unknown (conservative) disciple who thought he was doing what Paul would have approved of and whose further ‘letters of Paul’ were accepted in the same spirit” (89). Dunn suggests that, though pseudonymous, the PE might just possibly have been written to Timothy and Titus, and should be dated in the 80s or 90s.

Dunn finds the most striking and distinctive features of the PE to be “increasing institutionalization” and the “crystallization of faith into set forms,” both of which he discusses as some length. As to institutionalization, Dunn uses 1 Corinthians as a foil, arguing that there Paul does not “appeal to ‘elders’ or ‘overseers’ or ‘deacons’ to exercise authority and to bring order to the disorder” (678) (but does Paul actually do this in the PE? Certainly he straightforwardly sets forth the qualifications for these positions, but it is Timothy and Titus as Paul’s delegates who receive the bulk of Paul’s instructions to take care of the problems in the churches.). Dunn finds that Paul “has become Paul the good churchman, significantly different from Paul the innovative apostle” (679).

Similarly, as to “crystallization of faith into set forms,” the PE evidence “a dominant desire to consolidate and secure a more objectified identity” (679). The dynamic “faith” of the authentic Paul (“the living means by which individuals are in communication with God and by which they live”) has become “the faith” which is simply orthodox doctrine (679-80). As well, Dunn finds Jew/Gentile tensions to be fading and formulaic, references to false teaching to be vague and lacking content.

Christology, however, is developing fresh expression in the PE, Dunn observes. It is “the only detail about the faith which is clearly defined” (680). Though monotheism is emphasized in 1 Timothy, “the Pastorals’ Christology would seem to encroach to a substantial degree” upon it (681). Dunn doesn’t see Titus 2:13 as speaking of Christ directly as “God” but as “the glory of our great God and Savior.” Jesus is “the embodiment of God’s glory and decisive expression of his saving power” (681). This developing Christology suggests that “it was the growing reverence for Christ which most clearly marked out the second-generation churches (of the Aegean) as they moved into the second century” (682).

In sum, “this then is the Paul who is presented in the Pastoral Epistles—a Paul for whom the priority was to consolidate the faith, to guard it unflinchingly and to pass it on faithfully. This was Paul as his disciple(s) evidently him remembered—as equipping his churches for what would be a threatened and challenging future” (682).