Category: Apostolic Fathers (Page 1 of 3)

Saving Yourself and Your Hearers (1Ti 4.16)

I’ve blogged about the phrasing found in this reference before, on ricoblog (here, here, here and here) and on the previous incarnation of (here).

It’s the phrasing that intrigues me, “you will save both yourself and your hearers” because similar phrasing turns up in other writings ($af(2Cl 15.1), $af(IEph 16.1-2)) as well.

Here’s what I found in Hermas, Mandates 2.2 (27.2):

First, speak evil of no one, and do not enjoy listening to someone who does. Otherwise you, the listener, will be responsible for the sin of the one speaking evil, if you believe the slander which you have heard, for by believing it you yourself will hold a grudge against your brother. In this way you will become responsible for the sin of the one who speaks the evil.

Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (377). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

Similar, but not quite the same. But still interesting as it tries to explain how the listener falls under guilt of the speaker. Blogged here for posterity so I can find it again when I look into it next.

Second Clement and First Timothy

So, I’ve been reading Second Clement lately. Today, while looking at 2Cl 3 in $amz(080103468X Holmes’ Apostolic Fathers), and I noticed an interesting—in light of 1Ti 2.4—variant. Convienently, we only have Second Clement extant in two Greek editions (and one Syriac). So I’m assuming that Holmes has been exhaustive in his variants (outside of orthographical issues) between Codex Alexandrinus (5th century) and Codex Heirosolymitanus (9th century).

Here’s Holmes’ text (with interesting section in bold):

Τοσοῦτον οὖν ἔλεος ποιήσαντος αὐτοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς—πρῶτον μέν, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες τοῖς νεκροῖς θεοῖς οὐ θύομεν καὶ οὐ προσκυνοῦμεν αὐτοῖς, ἀλλὰ ἔγνωμεν διʼ αὐτοῦ τὸν πατέρα τῆς ἀληθείας—τίς ἡ γνῶσις ἡ πρὸς αὐτόν, ἢ τὸ μὴ ἀρνεῖσθαι διʼ οὗ ἔγνωμεν αὐτόν; (2Cl 3.1, Holmes Greek)
Seeing, then, that he has shown us such mercy—first of all, that we who are living do not sacrifice to dead gods, nor do we worship them, but through him have come to know the Father of truth—what else is knowledge with respect to him if it is not refusing to deny him through whom we have come to know him? (2Cl 3.1, Holmes English)

Holmes follows Alexandrinus (which is usually, apart from orthography, a smart idea, according to none other than J.B. Lightfoot). But note Heirosolymitanus’ reading:

Τοσοῦτον οὖν ἔλεος ποιήσαντος αὐτοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς—πρῶτον μέν, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες τοῖς νεκροῖς θεοῖς οὐ θύομεν καὶ οὐ προσκυνοῦμεν αὐτοῖς, ἀλλὰ ἔγνωμεν διʼ αὐτοῦ τὸν πατέρα τῆς ἀληθείας—τίς ἡ γνῶσις της αληθειας, ἢ τὸ μὴ  αὐτόν διʼ οὗ ἔγνωμεν; (2Cl 3.1, Heirosolymitanus)

Haven’t thought much about the deletion/pronoun shift at the end of the verse, but note how “knowledge concerning him” in Alexandrinus is “knowledge concerning the truth” in Heirosolymitanus. That evokes 1Ti 2.4:

ὃς πάντας ἀνθρώπους θέλει σωθῆναι καὶ εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν. (1Ti 2.4, NA27)
who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.(1 Ti 2:4, ESV)

Of course, there are some explanations for the Heirosolymitanus reading. της αληθειας echoes the earlier phrase, “father of the truth”; it could be a scribe’s errant duplication of that phrase. But that doesn’t necessarily account for the balance of changes, does it? The balance of the changes in this verse, I’d guess, force consideration of a deliberate change, not an errant one. That is, it seems to me the balance of the changes make the first change work. In that light, who knows which one is the better reading? In this case, we have the “majority rules” trump card — the Syriac witness supports Holmes’ reading.

 I scanned the rest of the variants to see if there might be some gnostic vibe to the differences in Greek editions, but didn’t see any. My guess is that Holmes (and Lake, and Lightfoot) is right.

But still interesting to think about nonetheless. It also goes to show why familiarity with period texts (in this case, Apostolic Fathers and the New Testament) helps so much when thinking about text-critical issues.

New book by James Aageson

James W. Aageson, Paul, the Pastoral Epistles, and the Early Church (Hendrickson, 2008)


Although the publication date on this book is January 2008, I have just received my copy.  I have looked over it briefly, and it appears to be a very interesting, thorough book.  One might question whether or not it could be a good book since the bibliography fails to mention Lloyd, Perry or myself. J Nonetheless, this will likely be a significant volume in the study of the Pastorals.


Aageson contends that the Pastorals were written after Paul but before Ignatius of Antioch wrote his letters (shortly after AD 100).  The book seeks to trace how certain theological themes are handled in the Pastorals in comparison to Paul and the early church.  I differ from Aageson in many respects, but I think this book will be important and useful.  I look forward to reading it.

Locating Potential Quotes, Allusions, or References

I’ve blogged a bit (and still have more to blog) about linkages (be they quotes, allusions, or references) between the Pastorals and the Apostolic Fathers.

My purpose is twofold: First, obviously, is to explore areas where potential dependence of the AF on the NT has been posited. But second is to try to understand the criteria by which these dependencies are posited.

One thing you may have noticed (if you’ve actually read the posts) is that dependence seems posited on the basis of a catchword or two combined with general topical/contextual agreement.

I’ve recently become interested in locating potential areas of dependence without having to read and comprehensively know both corpora, and I’m not interested in poring over the details of concordances. Running all sorts of searches is also a bit of a downer. So I figured I’d experiment a bit with writing a script or two to do some comparisons en masse.

My initial comparisons have been between the Pastorals and First Clement. This is because I have several data points already for First Clement: The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers; as well as Hagner’s work on the Old and New Testament in First Clement; and also Lightfoot’s two volumes on First Clement. This means I can at least check what I find against a super-set of data where others have already posited linkages.

The script I wrote is currently fairly simple: find references where both corpora share four-consecutive-word lemma strings, with the lemmas in any order. There are problems with this, but initial results were interesting. They are listed in brief below. I have some other ideas on how to sharpen and expand results; as I experiment I may post more info here.

Cruddy Matches

  • 1Ti 2.2 => 1Cl 27.4.
  • 1Ti 6.1 => 1Cl 42.2; 56.1. The phrase can be loosely translated “of God and the”.
  • 1Ti 6.17 => 1Cl 13.1.
  • 2Ti 1.3 => 1Cl 50.3. Dueling senses of χαρις; NT “I thank God” vs AF according to “the grace of God they have”.
  • 2Ti 3.17 => 1Cl 33.5. NT “the man of God” to AF “God [created] man”.
  • 2Ti 4.18 => 1Cl 17.2. NT “to him be the glory” to AF “at the glory [of God]”
  • 2Ti 4.8 => 1Cl 49.6.

Decent Matches

  • 1Ti 1.14 => 1Cl 65.2. “the grace of our Lord” as something that is possessed or given.
  • 1Ti 1.17; 2Ti 4.18 => 2Cl 20.12; 32.4; 38.4; 43.6; 45.7; 45.8; 50.7; 58.2; 61.3; 64.1; 65.2. This is a general benediction “… forever and ever, amen”. Some have the addition, “to him be the glory, forever and ever, amen”; but not all.
  • 1Ti 3.13; 2Ti 3.15 => 1Cl 22.1. “faith in Christ”; a unique and perhaps Pauline concept? Maybe not to these points in the Pastorals, but I’d guess it does go back to Paul.
  • 1Ti 5.18 => 1Cl 34.6; 35.7. This is a variant of the quotation formula, “For the Scripture says:”. Clement quotes OT frequently, so it is not surprising to see this formula appear — certainly no direct reference to the Pastorals here.
  • 1Ti 6.3 => 1Cl 13.1. “words of the/our Lord Jesus”. The PE use this as the basis of sound doctrine (does it agree with Jesus? It’s sound); Clement urges rememberance of “the words of the Lord Jesus” for similar reasons.
  • 2Ti 1.14 => 1Cl 63.2. Prepositional phrase “through the Holy Spirit” matches, but the context is different, and the phrase is generic enough to not need source.
  • 2Ti 2.9; Tt 2.5 => 1Cl 42.3. “the word of God” used with similar import.
  • 2Ti 4.14 => 1Cl 34.3. The phrase is somewhat stereotypical, “according to his works”, but here NT speaks of punishment and AF speaks of reward. Perhaps the better NT reference is Re 22.12.
  • Tt 3.6 => 1Cl 50.7; 59.3. “though Jesus Christ” is a generic phrase; so the match is not surprising.
  • Tt 2.11 => 1Cl 8.1; 50.3; 55.3. “the grace of God”, though the phrase is common and the words occur in differing orders and cases.

Impressive Matches

  • 1Ti 2.7 => 1Cl 60.4. Though this could also be somewhat related to Ps 145.18[LXX 144.18]. Holmes notes 1Ti 2.7 as an xref in his edition.
  • 2Ti 2.21 => 1Cl 2.7. Though most note the parallel is more likely to Titus 3.1 (both Holmes and Lightfoot note this), which differs in preposition).


There is also a group of parallels sharing words like lord/jesus/christ along with pronouns, articles and prepositions:

  • NT: 1Ti 1.1, 2, 12, 14; 5.21; 6.3, 14, 15; 2Ti 1.2, 3; 2.2; 4.1; Tt 1.4; 2.14
  • AF: 1Cl 12.5; 16.2; 20.11, 12; 21.6; 24.1; 36.1; 38.1; 42.1; 42.3; 44.1; 46.7; 49.6; 50.7; 58.2; 59.4; 64.1; 65.2;


The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part IX

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]

Ign. Rom 2.2 || 2Ti 4.6

(2) πλέον δέ μοι μὴ παράσχησθε τοῦ σπονδισθῆναι θεῷ, ὡς ἔτι θυσιαστήριον ἕτοιμόν ἐστιν, ἵνα ἐν ἀγάπῃ χορὸς γενόμενοι ᾄσητε τῷ πατρὶ ἐν Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ, ὅτι τὸν ἐπίσκοπον Συρίας κατηξίωσεν ὁ θεὸς εὑρεθῆναι εἰς δύσιν ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς μεταπεμψάμενος. καλὸν τὸ δῦναι ἀπὸ κόσμου πρὸς θεόν, ἵνα εἰς αὐτὸν ἀνατείλω. (Ign. Rom 2.2)
(2) Grant me nothing more than to be poured out as an offering to God while there is still an altar ready, so that in love you may form a chorus and sing to the Father in Jesus Christ, because God has judged the bishop from Syria worthy to be found in the West, having summoned him from the East. It is good to be setting from the world to God, in order that I may rise to him. (Ign. Rom 2.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (168, 169). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

6 Ἐγὼ γὰρ ἤδη σπένδομαι, καὶ ὁ καιρὸς τῆς ἀναλύσεώς μου ἐφέστηκεν. (2Ti 4.6, NA27)
6 For I am already poured out as a drink offering, and the season of my departure is imminent. (2Ti 4.6, my own translation)

The concept of “pouring out” (σπονδίζω / σπένδω) is clearly similar, but the same word is not used. BDAG clears this up with its note on the entry for σπονδίζω regarding their relationship, “derivative of σπονδή; =earlier Gk. σπένδω” (BDAG 939).

These instances of “poured out” language, while similar, refer to slightly different things. Ignatius is clearly referring to his impending martyr’s death. Paul, still alive, considers himself already poured out. He is at the end of his earthly pilgrimage referring to his ministry.

Perhaps the more clear NT parallel to Ignatius is Php 2.17:

17 Ἀλλὰ εἰ καὶ σπένδομαι ἐπὶ τῇ θυσίᾳ καὶ λειτουργίᾳ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν, χαίρω καὶ συγχαίρω πᾶσιν ὑμῖν· (Php 2.17, NA27)
17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. (Php 2.17, ESV)

Here Paul is referring to his future death, not to his work as an apostle. It aligns more clearly with the intent of Ignatius’ remark and should be considered the more likely NT parallel.

But is this sort of language common? BDAG cites a few other sources that speak of being “poured out like a drink offering”. One is in Philo, On Drunkenness, 152, which speaks of the mind being an offering (σπονδὴν) offered and consecrated (σπένδεσθαι) to God:

(152) And from this it results that the mind which is filled with unmixed sobriety is of itself a complete and entire libation, and is offered as such to and consecrated (σπένδεσθαι) to God. For what is the meaning of the expression, “I will pour out my soul before the Lord,” but “I will consecrate it entirely to him?” Having broken all the chains by which it was formerly bound, which all the empty anxieties of mortal life fastened around it, and having led it forth and emancipated it from them, he has stretched, and extended, and diffused it to such a degree that it reaches even the extreme boundaries of the universe, and is borne onwards to the beautiful and glorious sight of the uncreate God.
Philo, o. A., & Yonge, C. D. (1996, c1993). The works of Philo : Complete and unabridged (220). Peabody: Hendrickson.

In Philo, the offering is clearly not one’s death but instead one’s mental activity. Other instances in other literature (e.g. Josephus, Ant. 6.22) involve the normal use of the word, as making a drink offering. However, the sense of offering up one’s life as a sacrifice to one’s God is not completely foreign; a 2nd century AD reference is noted in BDAG’s entry for σπένδω:

In the Apollonaretal., Berl. Gr. Pap. 11 517 [II a.d.]: Her 55, 1920, 188–95 ln. 26, the putting to death of a prophet of Apollo who was true to his god appears as a σπονδή. (BDAG 937)

If Ignatius gets his equation of death and martyrdom as “being poured out as a drink offering” from anywhere, he likely gets it from Paul. But he likely gets it from Php 2.17 and perhaps some supplemental force from 2Ti 4.6; but he likely did not get it only from influence of 2Ti 4.6.

Next up: Ign. Magn. 8.1 || Titus 1.14, 3.9

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part VIII

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]

Ign. Trall. 7.2 || 2Ti 1.3

(2) ὁ ἐντὸς θυσιαστηρίου ὢν καθαρός ἐστιν, ὁ δὲ ἐκτὸς θυσιαστηρίου ὢν οὐ καθαρός ἐστιν· τοῦτʼ ἔστιν, ὁ χωρὶς ἐπισκόπου καὶ πρεσβυτερίου καὶ διακόνων πράσσων τι, οὗτος οὐ καθαρός ἐστιν τῇ συνειδήσει. (Ign. Trall. 7.2)
(2) The one who is within the sanctuary is clean, but the one who is outside the sanctuary is not clean. That is, whoever does anything without bishop and presbytery and deacons does not have a clean conscience. (Ign. Trall. 7.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (162, 163). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

3 Χάριν ἔχω τῷ θεῷ, ᾧ λατρεύω ἀπὸ προγόνων ἐν καθαρᾷ συνειδήσει, ὡς ἀδιάλειπτον ἔχω τὴν περὶ σοῦ μνείαν ἐν ταῖς δεήσεσίν μου νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας, (2Ti 1.3, NA27)
3 I thank God, whom I serve (as did my forbears) in pure conscience, as I have unceasingly remembered you in my prayers night and day, (2Ti 1.3, my own translation)

The concept of a “clean” or “pure” conscience is the link between these two passages. This concept is formed by lexical co-occurrence of the words καθαρός (pure, clean) and συνείδησις (conscience). If the simple presence of these two words in relationship with each other is enough to posit a link, then 1Ti 3.9 (speaking of deacons) should be included as well: “holding to the mystery of faith in clear conscience“.

But any link between Ign. Trall. 7.2 and 2Ti 1.3 is stretched. Ignatius uses “the bishop and presbytery and deacons” as a check against conscience; if one goes against that triad, then one cannot have a “clean conscience” in what he does. This isn’t what 2Ti 1.3 is about. In Second Timothy, the idea is that Paul serves God just like his progenitors (i.e. Jews) did, with a clean or pure conscience. He isn’t falling back on them for authority, he is identifying with his ancestors so his comments in verse 5 — about Timothy’s faithful mother and grandmother — is more effective.

While the line “clear conscience” is definitely used in both Ignatius and 2Ti (and 1Ti, as seen above) there is no reason to think the concept originated with Paul and influenced Ignatius.

Next up: Ign. Rom. 2.2 || 2Ti 4.6

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part VII

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]

Ign. Eph. 17.1 || 2Ti 3.6

17.1 Διὰ τοῦτο μύρον ἔλαβεν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ ὁ κύριος, ἵνα πνέῃ τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀφθαρσίαν. μὴ ἀλείφεσθε δυσωδίαν τῆς διδασκαλίας τοῦ ἄρχοντος τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου, μὴ αἰχμαλωτίσῃ ὑμᾶς ἐκ τοῦ προκειμένου ζῆν. (Ign. Eph. 17.1)
17. The Lord accepted the ointment upon his head for this reason: that he might breathe incorruptibility upon the church. Do not be anointed with the stench of the teaching of the ruler of this age, lest he take you captive and rob you of the life set before you. (Ign. Eph. 17.1)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (146, 147). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

6 Ἐκ τούτων γάρ εἰσιν οἱ ἐνδύνοντες εἰς τὰς οἰκίας καὶ αἰχμαλωτίζοντες γυναικάρια σεσωρευμένα ἁμαρτίαις, ἀγόμενα ἐπιθυμίαις ποικίλαις, (2Ti 3.6, NA27)
6 For from these are the ones who sneak into the houses and capture idle women overwhelmed by their sin, led on by various desires, (2Ti 3.7, my own translation)

The similarity here appears to be primarily lexical, and that only based on one word, αἰχμαλωτίζω. The contexts, while similar, are not complete matches. Even BDAG categorizes these instances differently with Ign. Eph. 17.1 as a citation of sense 1b and 2Ti 3.6 as a citation of sense 2 (cf.  BDAG p. 31).

While each instance involves the capturing and destruction of someone, the capturer is different. In Ignatius the capturer is the “ruler of this age” while in 2Ti it is the self-serving non-believers (adequately described in vv. 2-5).

There doesn’t seem to be much to recommend this as an Ignatian reminiscing of Second Timothy.

Next up: Ign. Trall. 7.2 || 2Ti 1.3

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part VI

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]

Apologies for the pause in this series of posts. With the arrival of my new daughter, Ella Kathleen, my schedule has been rightly upended. I hope to re-start working through potential citations/allusions/references of the Pastorals in the Apostolic Fathers as I get used to the new demands at home. RWB

Ign. Poly. 6.2 || 2Ti 2.4

(2) ἀρέσκετε ᾧ στρατεύεσθε, ἀφʼ οὗ καὶ τὰ ὀψώνια κομίζεσθε. μήτις ὑμῶν δεσέρτωρ εὑρεθῇ. τὸ βάπτισμα ὑμῶν μενέτω ὡς ὅπλα, ἡ πίστις ὡς περικεφαλαία, ἡ ἀγάπη ὡς δόρυ, ἡ ὑπομονὴ ὡς πανοπλία· τὰ δεπόσιτα ὑμῶν τὰ ἔργα ὑμῶν, ἵνα τὰ ἄκκεπτα ὑμῶν ἄξια κομίσησθε. μακροθυμήσατε οὖν μετʼ ἀλλήλων ἐν πραΰτητι, ὡς ὁ θεὸς μεθʼ ὑμῶν. ὀναίμην ὑμῶν διὰ παντός. (Ign. Poly. 6.2)
(2) Please him whom you serve as soldiers, from whom you receive your wages. Let none of you be found a deserter. Let your baptism serve as a shield, faith as a helmet, love as a spear, endurance as armor. Let your deeds be your deposits, in order that you may eventually receive the savings that are due you. Be, therefore, patient and gentle with one another, as God is with you. May I always have joy in you. (Ign. Poly. 6.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (198, 199). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

4 οὐδεὶς στρατευόμενος ἐμπλέκεται ταῖς τοῦ βίου πραγματείαις, ἵνα τῷ στρατολογήσαντι ἀρέσῃ. (2Ti 2.4, NA27)
4 No soldier on active duty involves himself in civilian pursuits, so that he may please the one who enlisted him. (2Ti 2.4, my own translation)

This parallel is based on co-occurrence of similar lexical forms promoting similar concept. Note that the portions specified by the Oxford committee (in bold above) do not share στρατ- verbs. Ign. Poly. 6.2 uses στρατευω while the highlighted portion of 2Ti 2.4 uses the NT hapax στρατολογεω (though στρατευω occurs earlier in the verse). Both instances, however, share some form of the word αρεσκω.

While these two instances contain the only co-occurrence of words (something to do with soldering and also some sort of ‘pleasing’), the idea of Christian-as-soldier is not localized to 2Ti 2.4. Second Corinthians 10 speaks of the warfare Christians are to take part in. Ephesians 6 speaks of the armor that a Christian is to gird himself up with; the second part of Ign. Poly. 6.2 may have some allusion to this. The concept of Christian-as-soldier also occurs in First Clement (1Cl 37.1).

What is unique about the current references, however, is notion of soldiering to please the one who as called or enlisted the soldier. This could be Ignatius’ own innovation, or he could be reliant upon 2Ti 2.4. Given other affinities between Ignatius’ writings and the Pastorals, it seems to be within the realm of possibility that Ignatius is influenced by 2Ti 2.3-4 in this portion (as well as perhaps by Eph 6).

Next up: Ign. Eph. 17.1 || 2Ti 3.6

« Older posts

© 2024 Pastoral Epistles

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑