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.

JSPL 9.1-2 (2019): “Special Issue: The Pastoral Epistles”

The most recent issue of Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters contains presentations on the Pastorals from a specialist conference held in Leuven in November 2018. The theme of the conference was “The Pastoral Epistles: Common Themes, Individual Compositions?” (program).

The JSPL issue contains an editor’s introduction, and another introduction to the special issue. An opening essay by Jermo van Nes sets the stage, followed by four sets of essays and responses, and “concluding reflections” by editor Stanley Porter. You can view the contents here, and I’ve compiled the abstracts here.

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.

Solevåg, “Perspectives from Disability Studies in the Pastoral Epistles”

In a new Brill volume, Anna Rebecca Solevåg has produced a chapter that examines children in the Pastorals from the perspectives of intersectionality and disability studies. Because of its focus on the Pastorals, we are highlighting it here as an addition to the scholarly literature on the letters.

Solevåg, Anna Rebecca. “Perspectives from Disability Studies in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 177–95 in Children and Methods: Listening To and Learning From Children in the Biblical World. Edited by Kristine Henriksen Garroway and John W. Martens. Brill’s Series in Jewish Studies 67. Leiden: Brill, 2020.

Abstract: “The article introduces intersectionality and disability studies as tools for the study of children in the Bible, and applies these tools to a reading of the Pastoral Epistles. The framework of intersectionality shows that the place(s) of children in a society must be seen in relation to other identity categories, such as race, class, gender, etc. Hierarchical relations should be studied in their complexity and also their particularity. The concept of kyriarchy is useful for studying the particularities of intersectional identity in the New Testament, as is the method of “asking the other question.” Concerning disability studies, three insights are introduced that overlap with theoretical reflections from childhood studies. The first concerns questions of agency and voice, the second points to the fluctuality of identity categories, and the third is about metaphorical uses of identity categories.

“The chapter then applies these tools to the Pastorals. In these letters, children are never addressed directly. Nevertheless, they are the object of instructions, and the recipients are framed as metaphorical children. The chapter argues that this approach on the one hand reveals structures of power and silences in the text, and on the other supports the childist quest for children’s active role through a creative imagination of the lived experiences and blurred boundaries of everyday life.”

Couser, “The Believer’s Judgment in 2 Timothy”

Greg Couser has produced a two-part article of interest for students of the Pastorals:

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

________. “The Believer’s Judgment in 2 Timothy, Part 2.” Bibliotheca Sacra 176.704 (2019): 444–58.

Abstract: Paul’s discussion with Timothy in 2 Tim makes multiple references to the eschatological assize (1:12, 15-18; 2:11, 15; 4:1-5, 8, 14, 18).   Along with the frequency of Paul’s references, its importance is emphasized by the central role it plays in motivating and shaping Timothy’s response to the dynamics of the Ephesian situation.   This suggests that the letter has the potential to offer significant insights on Paul’s understanding of the nature of the believer’s future judgment and, thus, on his understanding of the nature of the Christian life in the present.  My investigation attempts to set out the prominent contemporary options on the significance of the believer’s judgment for Paul and then work through the passages in 2 Tim in order to eventually compare and contrast Paul’s extensive treatment of the topic here with the contemporary scholarly options.  In the end, we hope to demonstrate that Paul clearly intimates that the believer’s judgment has more complexity and texture than merely confirming their status as a believer and clearing their way for a full enjoyment of the full consummation of their salvation.  Paul also expects to be recompensed by the Lord in a manner corresponding to his service to him. Paul confidently looks forward to standing before God unashamed having kept his charge (4:17).  However, the potential to maximize one’s faithfulness to Christ as Paul also leaves space for standing before the judge with shame at not doing so, something clearly implied by 2:15.  There is certainly some impact on the believer’s experience of their final salvation in the consummated Kingdom that arises from the character of their service in this life.  There seems to be something to lose should Timothy not fulfill his service to Christ, even as there is something to gain.

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.