The recent IVP Introduction to the Bible is a nicely done book with a great line up of contributors. The book provides a nice overview of both testaments including intertestamental history. The chapters take up issues of history, structure, and meaning. Such a project is always laudable.
However, the section on the Pastorals is disappointing. The coverage is of course brief in such a volume- about 3 full pages. In such space it is difficult to do much, but my disappointment has to do with the overall picture given of the letters. The book states that the PE “generally focus on the personal lives and activity of those leaders [Timothy & Titus] (or ‘pastors’- hence the title ‘pastoral’ letters).” While this opinion of the letters is commonly repeated it simply does not hold. Of course the letters are addressed to Timothy and Titus, but they are taken up far more with the behavior of others in the church. The letters address far more the ‘public’ activity of Timothy than their ‘personal’ lives.