1 Timothy in P133

I hadn’t realized it until I stumbled across this online, but a few years back, one of the Oxyrhynchus papyri was published as containing text from 1 Tim 3:13-4:8, and as Peter Gurry noted, P.Oxy. 5259 became P133 as well. Here’s the editio princeps:

Shao, J. “5259. I Timothy 3:13–4:8.” Pages 3–8 in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Volume LXXXI. Edited and translated by J. H. Brusuelas and C. Meccariello. Graeco-Roman Memoirs 102. London: The Egypt Exploration Society, 2016.

You can read Shao’s work here (originally posted here). Gurry notes that with its 3rd-century dating, P133 has become the “earliest copy of 1 Timothy.”

You can view the actual papyrus here.

Weidemann, “Die Pastoralbriefe”

A relatively recent, and rather lengthy, status quaestionis article on the Pastorals is available online:

Weidemann, Hans-Ulrich. “Die Pastoralbriefe.” Theologische Rundschau 81.4 (2016): 353‒403.

Weidemann discusses recent research on the Pastorals under four headings: (1) Drillinge oder entfernte Verwandte? Die Corpus-These in der Diskussion; (2) Neue Diskussionen um Datierung und Bezeugung der Briefe im 2. Jahrhundert; (3) »Gender Trouble of a Pastor«: Geschlechtergeschichtliche Untersuchungen der Pastoralbriefe; (4) Glaube und Erziehung: Begriffsgeschichtliche und lexikalische Untersuchungen der Pastoralbriefe. (English)

Here is the online location, and if for some reason the link is broken, here is the article in pdf.

Becker, Ekklesiologie der sanften Macht. Der 1. Timotheusbrief und die antike Fürstenspiegel-Literatur

Matthias Becker has just published an article of interest to students of 1 Timothy:

Becker, Matthias. “Ekklesiologie der sanften Macht. Der 1. Timotheusbrief und die antike Fürstenspiegel-Literatur.” Biblische Zeitschrift 64.2 (2020): 277–305.

Here’s the abstract: “Did early Christian church leaders and political rulers share common characteristics? By reading the First Epistle to Timothy through the lens of Greek and Roman “mirrors for princes” (specula principum) written in the first and early second centuries AD, this article intends to make a new contribution to this issue. The study’s interpretative focus lies on the idealized depiction of Timothy as a role model for early Christian officeholders as well as on the qualifications for bishops and deacons (1 Tim 3:1–13). The comparison of the features of the ideal ruler with those of ideal church leaders shows that central elements of the ecclesiology of First Timothy tap into the Greco-Roman discourse concerning ideal rulership. Yet not only that, it also helps to understand that the power that is undeniably attributed to officeholders is ultimately meant to be a soft power that serves the cause of “preservation” and “salvation” (σωτηρία).”

A Bibliography of the Letters to Timothy and Titus in Africa

We have produced a bibliography which aims to list (without summary or evaluation) all scholarly studies on the Letters to Timothy and Titus with a rather direct African connection. Specifically, it includes both (1) works by authors with roots in Africa, even if publishing outside Africa; and (2) anything published in Africa (i.e., theses, dissertations, and journals, most commonly Acta Patristica et ByzantinaHTS Teologiese StudiesIn die Skriflig,and Neotestamentica), even if by someone with roots outside Africa (e.g., international students at African schools). The net has been cast quite widely, and works on the Pastorals have been included from a variety of perspectives, approaches, languages, and geographical locations. Works included in the list do not necessarily make reference to the African context; the common denominator is simply that each of the works has both significant interaction with the Letters to Timothy and Titus, and a connection to Africa.

The bibliography may be accessed here.

Kidson, “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3–15”

Lyn Kidson, whose dissertation on 1 Timothy 1 is forthcoming in WUNT as Persuading Shipwrecked Men: Rhetorical Strategies in 1 Timothy, has produced an article on the widows of 1 Timothy 5:

Lyn Kidson, “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3–15.” Early Christianity 11.2 (2020): 191–205. (Mohr Siebeck)

Here’s the abstract: “In his essay, “Medical Imagery in the Pastoral Epistles,” Abraham Malherbe argued that medical terminology was a conventional polemic used to describe the opponents of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. His identification of this medical schema is the starting point in this article to explore the relationship between the opponents’ commands not to marry and to abstain from foods (1 Tim 4: 2–3)  with “Paul’s” instruction to younger “widows” to marry in 1 Timothy 5: 3–15. This exploration will begin by noting that the writer’s purpose in 1 Timothy is to dissuade certain men and women from teaching the other instruction (1 Tim 1: 3–4), which is the command not to marry. It will then consider the link between fasting and sexual continence in the texts of the contemporary physicians, early Christian writers, and Philo of Alexandria, and make the case that the other instruction is about controlling the desire for marriage through diet. However, it will be demonstrated that contemporary physicians were skeptical about women maintaining control of their sexual desires because of the weakness of their bodies. This suggests that the rhetorical scheme used against the opponents is not only conventional, but is a rhetorical play against the medical advice given by the ascetics in their efforts to comply with the command not to marry.”

Hidden Contributions to Pastorals Scholarship

While articles and monographs which focus specifically on the Letters to Timothy and Titus are easily found, some aspect of the letters may be helpfully treated as a distinct subsection in a larger work, and the larger work is such that one might not suspect work on the Pastorals exists in it. A list of over sixty works of that nature are provided at the link below. Works where the title or topic would make it almost inevitable that significant engagement with the Pastorals would be involved — say, church offices in the NT, widows in the NT, or the role of women in the church according to the NT — are largely excluded. For purposes of this post, we’ve limited ourselves to listing English-language scholarship.

The list is accessible here.

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.”

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.