Month: February 2008

First Pass on First Timothy Complete

Since Perry has been giving some updates on his writing endeavors, I figured I’d update too since I recently hit a milestone.

If you know me, you know I’ve been working on my writing project, in my free time, for (I think) five years now. The working title, as of right now, is Word Studies in Context: First Timothy. Read more

Progress

We’ve been on Winter Break (Thursday and Friday off, no school), so I’ve been able to do some writing. 

When I started on the project in January, I tried to work my way through Philemon.  I thought I could get that letter finished and then move on to the PE.  I rewrote / restructured / supplemented all the materials on slavery in the NT world, but got really bogged down when I reached the materials dealing with classical rhetoric–NOT my area. Read more

I’m Back!!

After some time away, I’m working in the Pastorals again.  Here’s a rather disjointed series of thoughts on what I’m doing.

The time away: last spring, I was named the Dean of the Sack School of Bible and Ministry at Kentucky Christian University, the school where I’ve taught for five years.  Administration has left me with almost no time to write, especially since our Youth and Family Ministries professor left without warning in June. Read more

Merkle on Elders and Overseers

On my way back from Nepal I finally read Ben Merkle’s book, $amz(0820462349 The Elder and Overseer: One Office in the Early Church) (Peter Lang, 2003). It is a revision of his doctoral dissertation. Merkle provides a good overview of the scholarly discussion and of the relevant background material. He makes a good case for the use of the term ‘elder’ referring to an office and not simply to age. I agree with his thesis—that elder and overseer refer to the same office—and thought he did a good job defending it. He also deals with the idea that Paul’s churches had no structure/authority but were loosely led by ‘charismatics.’ This view shows up not only in more critical schools of thought but can be found in evangelical settings as well. Merkle clearly shows that concern for official leadership is clear in Paul and Acts. There is no aversion to ‘office’ in Paul and there is more concern with authority than is sometimes acknowledged (for example see Robert Banks, “Church Order and Government” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters). Merkle rightly demonstrates that this view is rooted in an approach which prioritizes 1 Corinthians to the exclusion of Paul’s other letters.

I had been thinking for some time that a rebuttal of these ‘no structure, no authority’ views need to be written. Now I know Merkle has done it and done it well.