Month: September 2019

Abstracts for Ethics in Titus Conference

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of participating in the “Ethics in Titus” conference held at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. The conference was hosted by the Research Center for Ethics in Antiquity and Christianity, which is ably led by Prof. Dr. Ruben Zimmermann. In leading this conference Prof. Zimmermann was joined by Dogara Manomi, who has just submitted his doctoral thesis on Titus under Prof. Zimmermann’s supervision. They both were excellent hosts for a stimulating conversation with papers, wonderful meals and even a tour of the city.

They have graciously allowed us to post here the abstracts from the papers of the conference. The papers are to be published in a forthcoming volume in the Context and Norms of New Testament Ethics series within WUNT (Mohr Siebeck).

Japanese-Language Resources on the Pastorals

As challenging as it is for monolingual English speakers to learn of secondary literature on the Pastorals in other languages which look something like English, it is considerably more challenging to discover works published in languages which look nothing like English!

I provide here a list of Japanese-language resources on the Pastorals compiled by Manabu Tsuji (Academia page), Professor of Religious Studies at Hiroshima University, who has published extensively on the letters. Dr. Tsuji, who is producing a Japanese-language commentary on the letters — Bokkai Shokan [The Pastoral Epistles] (Tokyo: Shinkyo Shuppansha, forthcoming 2022) — graciously interacted about the list, provided English-language translations for the titles of the works, and indicated his willingness to share the Japanese-language articles with those interested. If you should happen to want one of the Japanese-language essays listed, please contact me at chuckbumgardner (at) gmail.com. Read more

Titus and the Shaping of Early Christian Identity

I have just read a helpful essay recently published by Jermo Van Nes, titled “Doing Good Deeds: Titus and the Shaping of Early Christian Identity.” The essay appears in the recent book, Drawing and Transcending Boundaries in the New Testament and Early Christianity, ed. Jacobus Kok, Martin Webber, Jermo van Nes (Lit Verlag, 2019). My review of Van Nes’s monograph was recently posted here, and this essay is further helpful work from him.

In this essay Van Nes examines vocabulary in the letter to Titus which denotes insider and outsider status arguing for more variety of groups than in Trebilco’s work. He helpfully points out that the sharp language used for distinguishing the church from outsiders does not sit well with the common idea that the letter presents an accomodationist ethic which intends to alleviate social tensions and make the church more at home in the Greco-Roman world. Rather, the letter marks a sharp division between Cretan believers and the false teachers and unbelievers. The aim of the letter, then, is “to further God’s mission by shaping the Cretan Christian community into a people who in word and deed expose Cretan society to genuine Christian witness” (43).