A new monograph on 1 Timothy is scheduled for release in early 2024:
Mona Tokarek LaFosse, Honouring Age: The Social Dynamics of Age Structure in 1 Timothy. Studies in Christianity and Judaism. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, forthcoming 2024.
From the publisher’s website:
“We all age. But how we understand age and aging depends on cultural context. The early followers of Jesus experienced growing up and growing old in a world where more than a third of children never reached adulthood, married women could expect to become widows, and, above all, elders were to be honoured. In the ancient Mediterranean, expectations associated with one’s age could be a source of social power, as well as a source of tension within families and communities, and between generations.
“Honouring Age positions age as an essential aspect of communal identity and familial roles in the early Christian experience by examining one of the most contentious and perplexing texts in the New Testament: the first letter to Timothy. First Timothy reflects a one-sided conversation between an older Paul and a younger Timothy, in which the author hopes to influence both the old and young in fulfilling their traditional roles in the “household of God.” It was a time of tumult, and relations were fraught, with potential consequences for the reputation of the nascent Christian community: some children were neglecting their aging parents, which was culturally unacceptable behaviour; older women who should have been encouraging young widows to remarry were discouraging them, exposing them to ridicule; young men who should have been respectful to their elders were shamefully turning on them. In recognizing the responsibilities of young and old to each other, and the reputational damage they otherwise risked, this study demonstrates that age is integral to understanding the complexities of 1 Timothy.
“Drawing on modern ethnographies corroborated by ancient evidence to interpret social aspects of 1 Timothy, Honouring Age shows convincingly that, in emerging Christian communities in the ancient Mediterranean world, age mattered.”
I will read this monograph with interest. LaFosse’s volume will mediate her dissertation work and related publications to a wider audience. Following is a brief bibliography of her other pertinent works and conference presentations:
LaFosse, Mona Tokarek. “Age Hierarchy and Social Networks among Urban Women in the Roman East.” Pages 204–20 in Mediterranean Families in Antiquity: Households, Extended Families, and Domestic Space. Edited by Sabine R. Huebner and Geoffrey Nathan. Chicester, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.
________. “Age Hierarchy, Honourable Reputation, and Widows in 1 Timothy 5:3–16.” Presentation at the SBL Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 21 November 2011. Abstract: https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/abstract.aspx?id=19640 = “Age Hierarchy and Widows in 1 Timothy 5:3–16.” Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Montreal, QC, 29 May 2010.
________. “Age Matters: Age, Aging and Intergenerational Relationships in Early Christian Communities, with a Focus on 1 Timothy 5.” PhD diss., University of Toronto, 2011.
________. “Honour Your Elders: An Anthropological View of Aging and 1 Timothy 5:17–25.” Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Saskatoon, SK, 28 May 2007. Abstract: https://www.csbs-sceb.ca/2007_programme_abstracts.pdf
________. “Inspiring Intergenerational Relationships: Aging and the New Testament from One Historian’s Perspective.” Religions 13 (2022): 1–10, article 628. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070628.
________. “‘Like a Father’: Age Hierarchy and the Meaning of Parakaleo in 1 Tim 5:1–2.” Presentation at the SBL Annual Meeting, Baltimore, 24 November 2013. Abstract: https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/abstract.aspx?id=28327. = Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Waterloo, ON, 29 May 2012. Abstract: https://www.csbs-sceb.ca/CSBS-2012-Long-Programme.pdf
________. “Pauline Language in 2 Timothy.” Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Toronto, 26 May 2002. Abstract: https://www.csbs-sceb.ca/2002Abstracts.htm
________. “Situating 2 Timothy in Early Christian History.” M.A. thesis, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2001.
________. “Those Who Hear: The Power of Learners in 1 Timothy.” Pages 147–70 in Religions and Education in Antiquity: Studies in Honour of Michel Desjardins. Edited by Alex Damm. Numen: Studies in the History of Religions 160. Leiden: Brill, 2018.
________. “Why Sixty? A Question of Age and Reputation in 1 Timothy 5:9.” Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, Fredricton, NB, 30 May 2011. Abstract: https://www.csbs-sceb.ca/2011_Programme.htm
________. “Women and ‘the Faith’ in 1 Timothy 5: A Battle for Faith and Faithfulness.” Presentation at the SBL Annual Meeting, 30 November 2020.
________. “Women, Children and House Churches.” Pages 385–405 in The Early Christian World. Edited by Philip Esler. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2017.
________. “Women’s Roles in the Letters to Timothy and Titus.” Christian Reflection [Center for Christian Ethics, Baylor University] (2013): 30–39.