Author: Chuck Bumgardner (Page 2 of 15)

I recently earned a Ph.D. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, with a New Testament concentration. My research focus is the Pastoral Epistles.

Krauter, “Die Kirche—Pfeiler und Fundament der Wahrheit?”

A recent article on 1 Tim 3:15:

Stefan Krauter, “Die Kirche—Pfeiler und Fundament der Wahrheit? Zur Übersetzung und Auslegung von I Tim 3,15f.” Theologische Zeitschrift 77.1 (2021): 45–59.

The article is in German, but an English-language abstract is provided: “I Tim 3:14–16 is considered the theological centre of the Pastoral Epistles. The text combines the Pauline image of the church as a temple with the image of the church as house of God, which is characteristic of the Pastoral Epistles. In this way, the church is portrayed as a firm institution that passes on the truth unadulterated. The paper questions this interpretation in three steps: lt examines whether there is [a] temple metaphor in the background of l Tim 3:15. The idea that an institution carries the truth of faith is examined. An alternative translation and interpretation of the passage is proposed.”

The article is available here.

Solevåg, “Birthing, Nursing and Mothering Salvation: Metapher und Realität in den Pastoralbriefen”

A new contribution to secondary literature on the Pastorals in ZNW:

Anna Rebecca Solevåg, “Birthing, Nursing and Mothering Salvation: Metapher und Realität in den Pastoralbriefen.” Zeitschrift für Neues Testament 24.48 (2021): 45–60.

The article is in German. No abstract is included, so I provide the section headings:

(1) Einleitung
(2) Die kognitive Metapherntheorie als theoretisches Instrument für die neutestamentliche Forschung
(3) Die Metapher des „Hauses Gottes” in den Pastoralbriefen
(4) „Gerettet durch das Gebären von Kindern” als soziale Realität
(5) Gebären und Nähren der Erlösung als Realität und Metapher
(6) Fazit: Spielt die Metapher eine Rolle?

Merz, “Gendered Power and the Power of Genre” and Van Houwelingen, “Power, Powerlessness, and Authorised Power in 1 Timothy 2:8–15”

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.”

Bulundwe, “Un évangile subversif”

Students of the Pastorals will be interested in a recent essay by Luc Bulundwe:

Luc Bulundwe, “Un évangile subversif: 2 Timothée au prisme d’une analyse sociologique du récit de soi [A subversive gospel: 2 Timothy through a sociological analysis of the self-narrative].” Pages 211–46 in Approches et méthodes en sciences bibliques. Quoi de neuf? Edited by Luc Bulundwe and Chen Dandelot, in collaboration with Simon Butticaz. Cahiers de la Revue de théologie et de philosophie 25. Genève: Droz, 2021.

The article is in French, but Bulundwe has provided me with a summary in English: “This paper applies a sociological analysis of the literary and rhetorical mechanisms of 2 Tim 1. This analysis highlights 2 Tim author’s intent. In a situation where the temptation is to be ashamed of the Gospel, mainly because of Paul’s suffering and imprisonment, the epistle shows, on the contrary, that this is an honor. To convince his addressees, the author uses memories of Christ and Paul as well as witnesses and symbolic places. The sociological analysis thus leads to the same observation as a majority of historical-critical exegeses according to which the author of 2 Tim could be part of the third generation of Christianity. On the other hand, by upsetting the anthropological categories of shame and honor linked to the consequences of the proclamation of the Gospel, it allows us to question the idea that the three pastoral letters are operating a form of inculturation of Christianity.”

Those doing research in authorship of 2 Timothy, sociological analysis, and the question of the connection between the Pastorals and the surrounding culture may find interaction with this essay helpful. Methodologically, the article effects its sociological analysis, first, with a structural analysis, in which Bulundwe engages sequence analysis, actor analysis, and argument analysis, synthesizing the results to highlight the internal logic of the narrative. Second is an examination of opposing pairs within this synthesis (today vs. yesterday/tomorrow; loyalty vs. cowardice; suffering together vs. turning away).

A number of points in Bulundwe’s analysis of the text (which I acknowledge I read in machine translation) were intriguing to me.

(1) In the sequential analysis, where Bulundwe details a number of chronological points able to be observed in the text in 2 Tim 1:1–18 (p. 223), I found it interesting that so many distinct points could be noted. I give them here in the order provided by Bulundwe:
(a) Salvation and call before eternal times (v. 9)
(b) The manifestation of Christ (v. 10)
(c) The service of the ancestors (v. 3)
(d) The faith of Lois and Eunice (v. 5)
(e) Paul’s establishment as “herald, apostle, and teacher” (v. 11)
(f) Paul’s suffering in prison, the abandonment of some, and the faithfulness of another (vv. 15–17)
(g) The exhortation to Timothy “today”
(h) The prospect of God’s reward on that day (v. 18)

(2) In line with the article title, Bulundwe examines the ancient notion of honor in connection with the passage, and argues that though Paul’s imprisonment and suffering did not accrue to any status of honor so far as the culture was concerned, Timothy was being called to suffer alongside Paul without shame because this involved them in collaboration with God himself and the suffering of Christ. “The ancient code of honor is thus well and truly subverted [le code antique de l’honneur est donc bien subverti]” (p. 229).

(3) As an extension of the last point–and here is my biggest takeaway from the article–Paul’s subversion of the ancient notion of honor evident in the text pushes back against the theory that the Pastorals promote a sort of acculturated Christianity in tune with its times, à la Dibelius’s christliche Bürgerlichkeit (pp. 236–37). 

The author is unable to post the article for public access, but will provide a copy privately upon request, which can be made via email to

Zamfir, “‘You, Man of God, Pursue Righteousness’: The Reception of 1 Timothy 6:11 in Some Third and Fourth Century Writers”

A new reception-historical study:

Zamfir, Korinna. “‘You, Man of God, Pursue Righteousness’: The Reception of 1 Timothy 6:11 in Some Third and Fourth Century Writers.” Pages 261–75 in Bibel und Patristik: Studien zur Exegese und Rezeption von Septuaginta und Neuem Testament. Festschrift für Martin Meiser. Biblische Zeitschrift Supplements 3. Leiden: Brill Schöningh, 2022. DOI:

The Pastorals at SNTS 2021

I recently came across Todd Still’s report (NTS 68 [2022]: 231–37) of the 2021 SNTS General Meeting, held virtually and hosted by KU Leuven. When I checked the program, I found an unusual number of Pastorals presentations — two of the six main papers and one of the twelve short papers.

Jean-Bosco Matand Bulembat. “Et la femme sera sauvée grâce à la progéniture? Approche contextuelle d’une relecture de Gn 2–3 en 1 Tm 2, 11–15” (main paper)

Simon Butticaz, “De la parenté d’auteurs à la ‘mémoire générationelle’ (P. Nora): L’oeuvre de Luc et les Lettres pastorales en relation” (main paper)

Matthew E. Gordley, “The Role of Hymnic and Epainetic Discourse in First Timothy” (short paper)

Genade, “Life in the Pastoral Epistles”

Aldred A. Genade, “Life in the Pauline Letters (3): Life in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 109–27 in Biblical Theology of Life in the New Testament. Edited by Francois P. Viljoen and Albert J. Coetsee. Reformed Theology in Africa Series 6. Cape Town: AOSIS, 2021.

Aldred Genade has contributed a chapter on the Pastorals to a volume presenting a NT theology of life. The volume is open-source and is available in full here.

Genade’s other contributions to Pastorals literature include:

Aldred A. Genade. “The Letter to Titus in Recent Scholarship: A Critical Overview.” Currents in Biblical Research 9.1 (2010): 48–62.

________. Persuading the Cretans: A Text-Generated Persuasion Analysis of the Letter to Titus. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2011.

________. “Titus 3:3 as selfvilifikasie: ‘n Retoriese opsie [Titus 3:3 as Self-vilification: A Rhetorical Option].” Verbum et Ecclesia 31 (2010), article 346.

Burdukov, “Common Doctrines in the Acts of Paul and the Pastoral Epistles”

For those trying to plumb the depths of research examining the Acts of Paul and Thecla in relation to the Pastoral Epistles, I note a recent article from a Russian theological journal:

Burdukov, Ilya (Илья Бурдуков). “Общее в учении в Деяниях Павла и Пастырских посланиях [Common Doctrines in the Acts of Paul and the Pastoral Epistles].” Теологический вестник Смоленской православной духовной семинарии [Theological Herald, Smolensk Orthodox Theological Seminary] 4 (2021): 95–107.

An English-language abstract is provided: “This article will cover topics concerning common positions for the apocrypha “Acts of Paul” and the Pastoral Epistles. This work is a logical continuation of the research on the relationship between the apocrypha and the canonical books of the New Testament. Since it was previously shown that the “Acts of Paul” are most closely related to the Pastoral Epistles of apostle Paul, it was decided to elaborate on this matter in more detail. As a result, due to the comparative analysis, it became possible to identify six thematic blocks, which demonstrate the concurrence of two groups of works. The conducted research gives a greater reason to consider the “Acts of Paul” from the point of view of Orthodox and canonical ideas, to which this apocrypha corresponds to a larger extent than it was previously believed. In this regard, the common ideas and the common language testify to the time and context in which the apocryphal “Deeds” [i.e., “Acts”] were created.”

The six themes found to be common to both works are the Christian as a soldier of Christ, the relationship to civil authority, wealth, false teachers, church officers, and widows and attitudes toward celibacy.

You can view the article here. A rough translation via Google Translate is available here.

The previous article mentioned in the abstract (“it was previously shown …”) appears to be Ilya Burdukov, “Апокриф ‘Деяния Павла’ в Контексте Новозаветной Литературы [The Apocryphal ‘Acts of Paul’ in the Context of New Testament Literature],” in Материалы VII Международной Студенческой Научно-Богословской Конференции Санкт-Петербургской Православной Духовной Академии [Proceedings of the Seventh International Student Theological Conference of the St. Petersburg Orthodox Theological Academy] (St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Theological Academy of the Russian Orthodox Church, 2015).

Schmidt, “Drei aus zweiter Hand: Die Pastoralbriefe und ihre Autoren”

A lengthy piece has recently been published on the authorship of the Pastoral Epistles:

Schmidt, Karl Matthias. “Drei aus zweiter Hand: Die Pastoralbriefe und ihre Autoren.” Studien zum Neuen Testament and seiner Umwelt A 46 (2021): 71–151.

Abstract: “Within a discussion on the literary form of the Pastoral Epistles becoming more complex this essay gets in line with those interpretations, which assume three pseudepigrapha, written by three different authors. Form and contents suggest that the letter to Titus is based on the Second Letter to Timothy and that the First Letter to Timothy is depending on both predecessors.”

Popa, “Ethic als Vermittlung zwischen Generationen in den Pastoralbriefen”

Romeo Popa. “Ethic als Vermittlung zwischen Generationen in den Pastoralbriefen [Ethics as Mediation between Generations in the Pastoral Epistles.]” Sacra Scripta 18.1 (2020): 70–96.

Abstract: “In the Pastoral Letters the problem of the relationship between age groups is most clearly expressed in early Christian literature. In the course of the reorganization of church structures resistance against younger leaders is attested (1Tim 4:12–15). New “false doctrines” further fuel the tension between generations because especially “young widows” (1Tim 5:11–15; 2Tim 3,6) show interest in such theological offers. Consequently, they are also given special attention in the paraenesis, whereby the paternalistic tendencies are radicalized. The theological confrontation with the opponents and the development of age-appropriate ethic discourses are illuminated on the background of the relations between generations.”

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