A new essay on the widows of 1 Timothy has recently appeared:
Harry O. Maier, “The Entrepreneurial Widows of 1 Timothy.” Pages 59–73 in Patterns of Women’s Leadership in Early Christianity. Edited by Ilaria Ramelli and Joan Taylor. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198867067.003.0004
An earlier version of this essay is available on Academia, and includes this abstract: “This essay argues that the exhortations and admonitions voiced in 1 Timothy, a highly rhetorical pseudonymous letter written in Paul’s name, that widows (i.e. unmarried) women attests to a concern with single women’s patronage of Christ assemblies, which the writing seeks to address by having them marry. The argument seeks to move beyond a common explanation that the epistle was occasioned by ascetical teachings in which women discovered in sexual continence freedom from traditional gender roles. It seeks to furnish a broader economic concern with widows through an historical exploration of the socio-economic status of women who were artisans in the imperial urban economy. It identifies the means by which women gained skill in trades, the roles they played in the ‘adaptive family’ in which tradespeople plied their trade often at economic levels of subsistence. New Testament texts point to artisan women, some of them probably widows, who played important roles of patronage and leadership in assemblies of Christ believers. By attending to levels of poverty in the urban empire, traditional views of the widows of 1 Timothy as wealthier women assigned to gender roles are seen in a new light through consideration of spouses accustomed to working alongside their husbands taking on businesses after they died. While the lives of these women are largely invisible, attention to benefactions of wealthy women to synagogues and associations gives insight into the lives of women acting independently in various kinds of social gatherings.”
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.
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).
A new article by Ervin Budiselić does not focus heavily on the Pastorals, but I mention it here because of its obvious relevance for 1 Timothy 5:19, which is discussed on pp. 189–90. The article is available in its entirety at the address cited.
Budiselić, Ervin. “The Church as a Court: the Requirement for ‘Two or Three Witnesses.’” Kairos: Evangelical Journal of Theology 15.2 (2021): 179–94. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.32862/k.15.2.3
Abstract: “The Church in the New Testament is described with various images, and this article argues that one image that is implicitly present in the New Testament is the Church as a “court” or a “community of trial.” First, this can be argued because the God of the Bible – YHWH – is Creator, King, and Judge. That means that YHWH’s community is responsible, per YHWH’s revelation, to maintain the purity of its members in all aspects of life. Second, in the New Testament, we find examples where the Church functions as a court. However, the question is, does the biblical requirement for “two or three witnesses” also support the claim that the Church should function as a court? The purpose of this article is to identify places where the biblical command about “two or three witnesses appear,” to trace its development and to see what role and place it plays in the Church. By doing so, we would demonstrate that the presence of this stipulation in the New Testament is additional proof that we should sometimes view the Church as a “court.” The first part of the article explains that the context for the concept of witness is the Mosaic covenant and underlying assumption that governs the command about “two and three witnesses.” The second part analyzes the appearance of “two or three witnesses” in the Old Testament. In the third part, we will argue that the Church is truly a community of trial. We will so argue by observing selected examples from the New Testament where the Church functions as a court, and by tracking the development of the requirement about “two or three witnesses” in the New Testament. Based on this research, we will end by offering a reflection and a conclusion.”
I might mention that in addition to the literature cited in the article, one might add (though somewhat dated) an early monograph on the topic: H. van Vliet, No Single Testimony: A Study on the Adaptation of the Law of Deut. 19:15 Par. into the New Testament, Studia Theologica Rheno-Traiectina 4 (Utrecht: Kreminck en Zoon, 1958).
A recent article engages the topic of wealth in the context of the Pastorals, a topic which happens to be pertinent to the upcoming presentations in the ETS Pastorals study group.
Jackson Reinhardt. “‘God, Who Giveth Us Richly’: Wealth, Authorship, and Audience in 1 Timothy 6.” Journal of the Oxford Graduate Theological Society 2.1 (2021): 101–14.
Abstract: “While prior biblical scholarship has firmly rejected the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles (1–2 Timothy and Titus), rarely has analysis focused on socio-economic context. I argue that examining the economic conditions and theology of 1 Timothy provides additional reasons to rejects the letter’s authenticity. While Paul’s audience was primarily impoverished urbanites, the author of 1 Timothy (i.e., the Pastor) was writing to a prosperous congregation who needed instruction on the proper handling of their wealth. Paul’s theology of wealth, in turn, reflects the context of his audience: he supported inter-ecclesial programs of mutual interdependence and a rejection of the prevailing modes of economic exploitation that existed in first-century Palestine. The Pastor does not promote any similar alternative economy among believers. He contends that wealthy believers should be charitable so as to build up a heavenly treasure and secure posthumous favor.”
A PDF of the article is freely available here.
Phil Towner has added an essay to the voluminous literature on 1 Tim 2:8–15:
Philip H. Towner. “Resonance, Dissonance, Resistance and 1 Timothy 2.8–15: The Eschatological Obsolescence and ‘Rewriting’ of a Proscriptive Text.” Między Oryginałem a Przekładem 53.3 (2021): 67–84.
A PDF of the article (which is in English) may be obtained at https://journals.akademicka.pl/moap/article/view/3861 .
The article is a reworked version of Towner’s 2010 ETS presentation of nearly the same title. According to the introductory article in the journal, the essay was presented “in the Workshop on Contemporary Theory and Practice of Bible Translation, an interconfessional seminar which takes place at the Pontifical Urbaniana University at the beginning of every academic year.”
Abstract: “This study asks whether translation might be a valid mode of (literary)
criticism. It approaches a hortatory biblical text (1 Timothy 2.8-14 [3.1a]),
somewhat notoriously and rigidly applied in some quarters of the church
as containing timeless ethical instruction concerning women in the church,
from the standpoint of its intertextual network, listening for resonance and
dissonance as the relevant intertexts and precursor texts are explored. It
is ultimately diagnosed as a text that is eschatologically obsolescent, and
translated/rewritten, on the basis of its intertextual composition, to reflect
the openness inscribed by the authorial Other.”
Sidney Machado, of the Faculdades Claretianas in Brazil, and visiting professor at the Pontifical Ateneo Santo Anselmo in Rome, has added to the extensive literature on 1 Timothy 3:16 with a recent article in Revista Pistis Praxis.
Sidney Damasio Machado. “‘Manifestado na carne’ (1Tm 3,16): Considerações sobre a transmissão damensagem cristã na Igreja primitive // ‘Manifested in the flesh’ (1Tm 3,16): Considerations on the Transmission of the Christian Message in the Early Church.” Revista Pistis Praxis 13.2 (2021): 758–85. (full-text article available at https://doi.org/10.7213/2175-1838.13.02.DS05)
The article is in Portuguese, but the abstract in English will provide guidance:
Abstract: The theme of epiphany/vision unifies most religious and philosophical expressions in the early Greco-Roman world. The use of the expression “manifested in the flesh” (“ἐφανερωθη ἐν σαρκί” (1Tm 3,16)) in the Pastoral Letters [is indicative] of the efforts of early Christianity to dialogue with the culture and inculturate the content of the Christian faith in the Hellenistic environment. Seeing the commitment to inculturated evangelization in the early Church constitutes an incentive and a provocation in view of an inculturated evangelization.
Sławomir Torbus is “a graduate of the Institute of Classical Philology and Ancient Culture at the University of Wroclaw.… He received his doctorate from the University of Wroclaw in 2004. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Hellenic Studies Institute of Classical Studies, Mediterranean and Oriental at the University of Wroclaw. He is a specialist in the history and theory of rhetoric and especially the analysis of the rhetoric of the New Testament.” (source)
He has a previous article on 1 Tim 4:7 in Polish (with an English-language abstract): “‘Baśnie starych kobiet’ w 1 Tm 4,7: Wokół interpretacji przymiotnika γραώδης [“‘Old Women’s Fables’ in 1 Tim. 4,7: Interpretations of the Adjective γραώδης”],” Theologica Wratislaviensia 10 (2015): 139–49. He has just published a second article (in English) which builds upon the first one:
Torbus, Sławomir. “Oral Teachings of Old Women in 1 Timothy 4:7.” Quaestiones Oralitatis 5 (2020): 133–43.
Abstract: “The paper attempts to consider the possibility that the expression γραώδεις μῦθοι used in 1 Timothy 4:7 might refer to oral teachings conveyed by older women in Ephesus. It can be observed that in the Pastoral Epistles, the word μῦθοι denotes false teachings which stand in sharp contrast with the truth contained in the written Scriptures. The context of 1 Timothy may suggest the possibility that older women could convey such oral teachings in the space of the οἶκος, which was a natural ecclesiastical environment of the earliest Christian church.”
Both articles are available at Academia.
We have not yet provided notice of a recent addition to the literature by Regis Burnet. The article engages the conversation on pseudepigrapha, focusing on the example of personalia in 2 Tim 4:13 and commenting on the prominent attention given to the φαιλόνης when the fathers discuss the passage.
Burnet, Régis. “Petit fait vrai et construction du personnage: Réflexions sur 2Tm 4,13.” Pages 331–42 in La contribution du discours a la caracterisation des personnages bibliques: Neuvieme colloque international due RRENAB, Louvain-la-Neuve, 31 mai – 2 juin 2018. Edited by André Wénin. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium 311. Leuven: Peeters, 2020.
The essay is available on Academia.
I gratefully acknowledge the help of Dominik Tomczyk for his assistance in all things Pastorals-related in the Polish language (and there are many!). He has recently published an article on 1 Timothy 6:17–19 (which happens to connect topically with this year’s ETS theme):
Tomczyk, Dominik. “Bogactwo jako hojność dawania. Analiza lingwistyczno-teologiczna 1Tm 6,17–19 / Wealth as Generosity in Giving: Linguistic and Theological Study of 1Tm 6:17–19.” Wrocławski Przegląd Teologiczny [Wrocław Theological Review] 29.1 (2021): 71–93.
The article is in Polish, but has an English-language abstract (reproduced below), and I found that the pdf translated reasonably well using Google Translate — enough to get the gist of the article. Note also that in the first footnote there is a good bibliography of earlier treatments of the article’s passage of interest. The article is available at Academia.
Abstract: The author of the article provides a linguistic and theological study of
the text from 1Tm 6:17-19, which is a sort of “instruction” offered by the author of the Letter on the Christian attitude towards wealth. Each one of these three verses is analysed separately. The paper draws the reader’s attention to the fact that the material riches owned by a man is a gift from God and brings with itself a threefold accountability: to man, to society and to God. The text under study underlines two main components of wealth which are captured by the adjectives εὐμετάδοτος (generosity beyond measure) and κοινωνικός (the social dimension of wealth). God’s intention for providing men with tangible assets (wealth) is, primarily, doing good to others, also by generous sharing of their possessions. We should perceive wealth from the eschatological point of view which ought to influence the present attitude of wealthy people. A rich man should put his trust not in ephemeral and temporary things but in God who is everlasting and eternal. He is the source of all abundance and wealth. Rich Christians should imitate God in His universal attitude of sharing with everybody.