A couple of decade-old Pastorals essays have recently been translated and revised for inclusion in a new volume.
Originally published in German in HTS Theological Studies in 2012, an English-language revision of Annette Merz’s “Gen(de)red power: Die Macht des Genres im Streit um die Frauenrolle in Pastoralbriefen und Paulusakten” is now available:
Annette B. Merz, “Gendered Power and the Power of Genre in the Debate about Women’s Roles in the Pastoral Letters and the Acts of Paul.” Pages 173–194 in Power in the New Testament. Edited by Annette B. Merz and Pieter G. R. de Villiers. Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 107. Leuven: Peeters, 2021.
Abstract from the original article: “Two texts that contributed to the discussion on gender roles in formative Christianity, 1 Timothy and the Acts of Paul, are investigated. In both cases the emphasis is on the much-disputed role of women. Power plays a role on different levels. On the one hand power relations between the sexes are depicted or directly addressed by the text (‘gendered’ power), while on the other hand the power of persuasion is brought to bear on both male and female readers to legitimize the patriarchal, videlicet the encratitic model of gender. This is done by rhetorical means that are text-specific, but also make use of genre-specific persuasion strategies. This ‘genred power’ is still mostly unchartered territory in exegetical discussions and is therefore the focus of my investigation. Especially important in both genres are intertextual allusions to authoritative texts. Fictive self-references which enable the author (’Paul’) to correct himself are one focus of interest. Narrative strategies (i.e. character and plot development) which also have an intertextual dimension are a second focal point. The take-over of the role of Peter who denies Jesus and repents by Paul in the Acts of Thecla turns out to be of major rhetorical significance.”
Originally published in Dutch in HTS Theological Studies in 2012, a English-language revision of Rob van Houwelingen’s “Macht, onmacht en volmacht in 1 Timoteüs 2:8−15” is in the same volume as Merz’s:
P. H. Rob van Houwelingen, “Power, Powerlessness, and Authorised Power in 1 Timothy 2:8–15.” Pages 195–222 in Power in the New Testament. Edited by Annette B. Merz and Pieter G. R. de Villiers. Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 107. Leuven: Peeters, 2021.
The essay is available on Academia, where a summary is given: “Exploring whether and in what respect the Pastoral Epistles demonstrate thinking in terms of ecclesiastical power, the present essay examines 1 Timothy 2:8–15. This passage is much debated when it comes to the role of women in the church. A close reading of the text within the corpus paulinum, including the self-attestation of 1 Timothy as a letter of the apostle Paul, shows three aspects. Under the heading Power, the underlying problem is discussed that Timothy faced: the male/female relationship within the congregation in Ephesus that threatened to degenerate into a power struggle. With Powerlessness, the creation account as referred to in verses 13–15 comes into view. Its focus is the woman God created, Eve. It tells the story of human weakness, which in 1 Timothy becomes a sort of triptych about Eve and creation, Eve and the fall, and Eve and redemption. From all this, Paul draws the conclusion that a woman is not allowed to teach in the church or to exercise authority over a man. Finally, Authorised power refers to speaking with another’s authority—in Paul’s case, as an ambassador of Jesus Christ. Paul wanted to regulate a problematic situation involving male/female relationships in Timothy’s congregation by giving his apostolic instructions. He did so, in order to create space for the trustworthy Word. Paul’s instructions could easily be considered a kind of misogynistic power play. However, the apostle should be interpreted on his own terms. This applies both to his social context and to his missionary drive, as is explained in a brief reflection.”