What Did Paul Really Care About in the Pastorals?

This summer I have submitted two chapters (1 Tim/Titus & 2 Tim) to a forthcoming NT Survey textbook (Kregel) which is to be titled, What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their Writings.  While there are numerous NT Survey’s on the market this one aims to be brief and particularly targeted at undergraduate students.  Most surveys are written by seminary professors for that level.  This one is written entirely by people teaching undergraduates.  It is also very focused and brief.  The goal is to summarize the chief concerns of each book in a readable format. 


My point here, though, is to submit to readers what I did with the Pastorals.  I was to distill the letters into what I understood to be Paul’s chief concerns in the letters.


For 1 Timothy and Titus I argued that Paul’s chief concern was corporate and personal godliness.  I wrote:

Paul’s central concern both in 1 Timothy and Titus was the godliness of Timothy and Titus as individuals and of the congregations in which they ministered.  The concern for godliness governed everything Paul wrote in these letters.  Paul explicitly stated that his purpose in writing to Timothy was to urge godly behavior among believers.  In 1 Timothy 3:14-15 he stated, “I am writing you these instructions so that … you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household.”

I also listed church health and right teaching as key concerns in these two letters.


Fro 2 Timothy I suggest perseverance is the major burden of the letter with concern for passing on the pure gospel being a key, related issue.


What do you think?

An Article and A Review

A few items of note, particularly because they involve some gents who occassionally post at PastoralEpistles.com.

First, Lloyd Pietersen has an article in this week’s Expository Times. I don’t have access to the journal, so I’ve not read the article, but since it is on the Pastorals it does bear mentioning here. That is, I’m guessing it is an article and not a book review because of the way the title is listed in the Expository Times table of contents. (Lloyd, if you could provide a little more info that would be great!)

Lloyd K. Pietersen. “Salvation Language in the Pastoral Epistles: George M. Wieland, The Significance of Salvation: A Study of Salvation Language in the Pastoral Epistles (Paternoster Biblical Monographs; Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006. £24.99. pp. xxii + 344. ISBN 1—84227—257—8)”. The Expository Times 2007 118: 487. (PDF, though you need to have SAGE access)

Next, the June 2007 issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society published Ray Van Neste’s review of Perry Stepp’s $amz(1905048734 Leadership Succession in the World of the Pauline Circle). If you have the print, the review is on page 405. I don’t believe this issue of the journal is online yet, though with the new ETS web site the promise is that issues will be available online, so … maybe in a few months.

Congrats Lloyd, Ray and Perry!