I’m gearing up to do a home-group Bible study on First Timothy in the “winter” quarter (so, Jan-March/April 2008) for my church. I intend to use it as an excuse to look at First Timothy from the perspective of discourse analysis. I think too often home-group studies of NT epistles devolve into “word study” sessions (“The Greek word means … “) and the larger perspective of the actual message of the letters is lost. I’m hoping to stay away from that. There are places where studies on words are useful, but my goal will be to come to a better understanding of First Timothy as a letter; not an understanding of pieces of it.
I should say straight up that anyone interested in discourse and the Pastoral Epistles needs to read, learn and love Ray Van Neste’s $amz(0567083373 Cohesion and Structure in the Pastoral Epistles). I’m not just saying that because Ray blogs for PastoralEpistles.com—I’m saying it because it’s that good. Get ye to the library and checketh it out (unless you want to drop $150 on the book). I’ll probably use Ray’s sections and units as the basis of segmentation of the books for my study.
Apart from that, there’s a bunch of other stuff to read. Most of these I’ve read at least once, but I plan on reading them again before I dig in on formal preparation/writing.
There is one article that has proven difficult for me to locate:
Reed, Jeffrey T. “Discourse Features in New Testament Letters, with Special Reference to the structure of 1 Timothy”, Journal of Translation and Textlinguistics 6: 228-52. 1993.
I know that an index for the Journal of Translation and Textlinguistics is on the web (at SIL’s site), but the article itself isn’t. If anyone can point me to the article, or knows a library that actually carries the periodical, I’d appreciate the info.
Here’s the short list of stuff I’ll be re-examining:Articles / Essays
Reed, Jeffrey T. “To Timothy or Not? A Discourse Analysis of 1 Timothy” in S.E. Porter and D.A. Carson (eds.) Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics: Open Questions in Current Research (JSNTSup 80; Sheffield: JSOT Press): 90-118. 1993.
—– “Cohesive Ties in 1 Timothy: In Defense of the Epistle’s Unity”, Neotestamentica 26/1: 192-213. 1992.
—– “The Cohesiveness of Discourse: Towards a Model of Linguistic Criteria for Analyzing New Testament Discourse” in S.E. Porter and J.T. Reed (eds.), Discourse Analysis and the New Testament: Approaches and Results (JSNTSup 170; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press): 28-46. 1999.
—– “Identifying Theme in the New Testament: Insights from Discourse Analysis” in S.E. Porter and D.A. Carson (eds.), Discourse Analysis and Other Topics in Biblical Greek (JSNTSup 113; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press): 75-101. 1995.
—– “Discourse Features in New Testament Letters, with Special Reference to the structure of 1 Timothy”, Journal of Translation and Textlinguistics 6: 228-52. 1993.
Levinsohn, Stephen H. “Some Constraints on Discourse Development in the Pastoral Epistles” in S.E. Porter and J.T. Reed (eds.), Discourse Analysis and the New Testament: Approaches and Results (JSNTSup 170; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press): 316-333. 1999.
—– “A Discourse Study of Constituent Order and the Article in Philippians” in S.E. Porter and D.A. Carson (eds.), Discourse Analysis and Other Topics in Biblical Greek (JSNTSup 113; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press): 60-74. 1995.
Wendland, Ernst R. “‘Let No One Disregard You!’ (Titus 2.15): Church Discipline and the Construction of Discourse in a Personal, ‘Pastoral’ Epistle” in S.E. Porter and J.T. Reed (eds.), Discourse Analysis and the New Testament: Approaches and Results (JSNTSup 170; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press): 334-351. 1999.
Guthrie, George. The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-Linguistic Analysis (NovT Sup 73; Leiden: Brill). (also reprinted by Baker Books, which is the copy I have, though I don’t have the citation handy)
Miller, J.D. The Pastoral Letters as Composite Documents (SNTSMS 93; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). 1997.
Reed, Jeffrey T. A Discourse Analysis of Philippians, Method and Rhetoric in the Debate over Literary Integrity (JSNTSUp 137; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press). 1997.
Van Neste, Ray. Cohesion and Structure in the Pastoral Epistles (JSNTSup 280; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press). 2004.
That oughta do it. Note Miller’s book is (at least for me) frustrating to read because I absolutely don’t agree with it. Ray responds directly to many of the issues raised by Miller; which is why it is helpful to examine both books. If you can only choose one, go with Ray.
There are some specialized studies I’ll probably also read and work through (e.g. Heckert on $amz(1556710410 Discourse Function of Conjoiners in the Pastoral Epistles)), but don’t appear on the list. I’m not trying to be comprehensive with the above list; think of it more like a shotgun approach: maximum info in minimum reading. Do you have another article or book to add to the list? Let me know via the comments.
I will likely blog sporadically about this study, hopefully to work through an approach to discourse. But I may not — it all depends on how I feel while I’m in the process.
Update (2007-09-17): I’ve had a few folks offer to send me the article. Y’all are incredible! Thanks very much!