Category: Articles/Essays (Page 1 of 4)

Darko, “Kinship and Leadership in 1 Timothy”

A new article of potential interest to students of 1 Timothy:

Daniel K. Darko. “Kinship and Leadership in 1 Timothy: A Study of Filial Framework and Model for Early Christian Communities in Asia Minor.” Religions 14.2 (2023): 1–14, article 169. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14020169

Abstract: “This essay examines the kinship framework and lexemes in the directives for leadership in 1 Timothy, aiming to curb the influence of false teachers and to bolster internal cohesion in the communities. It explores the author’s appeal to household conduct, natural and fictive kinship, and group dynamics couched in filial parlance vis-à-vis the undisputed Pauline letters. The study sheds light on the authorial framework, and suggests that the notion of a departure from ‘love-patriarchalism’ or egalitarian Paul developing later into hierarchical kinship framework in 1 Timothy may be misleading. It becomes apparent that the letter’s kinship lexemes are consistent with what we find in the undisputed letters. Thus, the pseudonymous author, an associate of Paul, does not appeal to or use kinship lexemes any differently from the undisputed letters or elsewhere in Greco-Roman discourse. This does not establish Pauline authorship, but suggest that the notion that the kinship lexemes reflect an elevated hierarchical institutional development in a post-Pauline era, that is uncharacteristic of Paul in the authorship debate, may need to be reconsidered if not revised.”

The article is open access.

Jodamus, “(Con)texturing Ideologies of Modesty, Authority, and Childbearing in 1 Timothy 2:8–15”

Another addition to the literature on 1 Timothy 2 has appeared:

Jonathan Jodamus. “(Con)texturing Ideologies of Modesty, Authority, and Childbearing in 1 Timothy 2:8–15.” Journal of Early Christian History 12.3 (2022): 59–78. https://doi.org/10.1080/2222582X.2022.2146520

Abstract: “Feminist and gender critical biblical scholarship has shown how texts ideologically function as products of their ancient social and cultural norms. In my dissertation work on Pauline texts, through isolating the ideological component of socio-rhetorical-interpretation, I demonstrated how these texts are “ideologically textured” within their ancient social context. In this article, I bring a combination of approaches from ideological criticism and theoretical insights from feminist criticism to bear on both the biblical text of 1 Timothy 2:8–15 and contemporary interpretations of this text. The latter is exemplified by the conservative Christian blogger, “The Transformed Wife.” Beginning with an examination of how both Paul and the blogger establish authority amongst believing communities, I then interrogate three areas of focus within their ideological purview: modesty, authority, and childbearing. I conclude that (con)texturing (a taxonomy of approaches that I propose which reads for ideological texture within text and context) provides a productive way to engage with the enduring influence of biblical texts and their harmful interpretations for wo/men.”

Kohl festschrift articles

A recently published festschrift for Manfred Kohl contains two articles on the Pastorals:

Paul Sanders, “Lifelong Learners in the School of Grace: The Pedagogy of Grace.” Pages 411–24 in “Be Focused … Use Common Sense … Overcome Excuses and Stupidity”: Festschrift in Honor of Dr. Manfred Waldemar Kohl on the Occasion of His 80th Birthday; Essays on Holistic Biblical Ministries. Edited by Reuben van Rensburg, Zoltan Erdey, and Thomas Schirrmacher. Bonn: Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft, 2022.

Kevin G. Smith, “Faithful Ministry: An Exposition of 2 Timothy.” Pages 279–93 in “Be Focused … Use Common Sense … Overcome Excuses and Stupidity”: Festschrift in Honor of Dr. Manfred Waldemar Kohl on the Occasion of His 80th Birthday; Essays on Holistic Biblical Ministries. Edited by Reuben van Rensburg, Zoltan Erdey, and Thomas Schirrmacher. Bonn: Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft, 2022.

A PDF of the entire volume can be found here.

White, “Setting the Boundaries”

A new article on 1 Timothy and Titus may be of interest to Pastorals scholars:

Adam G. White, “Setting the Boundaries: Reading 1 Timothy and Titus as Community Charters.” Biblical Theology Bulletin 52.4 (2022): 242–52. https://doi.org/10.1177/01461079221133447

This is the published version of research presented at the 2021 SBL meeting. White recently published Paul, Community, and Discipline: Establishing Boundaries and Dealing with the Disorderly, Paul in Critical Context (Minneapolis: Lexington/Fortress Academic, 2021), which has a chapter on the Pastorals (“Establishing Traditions: Discipline and Expulsion in the Pastoral Epistles,” pp. 217–32).

Here’s the abstract: “Those attempting to interpret 1 Timothy and Titus face a myriad of uncertainties. No less amongst these is determining the type of the literature that they are. While they are clearly framed as epistles, they do not resemble anything that is known from the Hellenistic literary theorists. What is generally agreed, however, is that the purpose of the two letters is community formation. That is, 1 Timothy and Titus were written to instruct the recipients on various matters of community structure and organisation. Building on this assumption, it is my contention that the two letters share many of the same characteristics as community charters found in similar, contemporary groups. In what follows, 1 Timothy and Titus will be compared side by side with formal charters found in associations as well as in the Essene community, noting the many similarities between them.”

Aich, “Allusive Echoes Between Jeremiah 36 LXX and 1 Timothy 2:1–2”

Benjamin Aich has produced an article which will be of interest to researchers in 1 Timothy, especially those who are interested in the use of the OT in the Pastorals.

Benjamin Aich. “Allusive Echoes Between Jeremiah 36 LXX and 1 Timothy 2:1–2: An Inner-Biblical Study.” Restoration Quarterly 65.1 (2023): 1–15.

“Since Thomas Aquinas, many commentators on the Pastoral Epistles have noted some sort of echo or allusion to Jer 29:7 (36:7 LXX) in the paraenesis of 1 Tim 2:1–2 . But before Aquinas, Augustine brought the literary, theological, and exilic context of Jer 36 LXX to bear on his discussion of 1 Tim 2:1–2 (Catech. 21.37; cf. Faust. 12.36). Exploring such features, as Augustine did, is only the natural result of noting a reference or an allusion to one verse in a specific context. However, Augustine’s example of broad engagement has been severely neglected. Combating this trend, I investigate the allusion to Jer 36:7 LXX in 1 Tim 2:1–2 in order to understand the broader interplay between the texts, so that students, scholars, and clergy would grasp how Jer 36 LXX might serve and illumine 1 Timothy’s discourse.”

Aich has made his article available at his Academia page.

Kidson, “Naming 1 Timothy 3.16b”

Lyn Kidson has added to the considerable amount of secondary literature on 1 Timothy 3:16:

Lyn Kidson, “Naming 1 Timothy 3:16b: A ‘Hymn’ by Another Name?” New Testament Studies 69.1 (2023): 46–56. https://doi.org/10.1017/S002868852200025X

Abstract: Most scholars assume that 1 Timothy 3.16b is a hymn, or a fragment of a hymn, belonging to another context. However, Furley (1995) points out that even the ancients had difficulty categorising their poetic materials. 1 Timothy 3.16b has no metre and neither praises God nor asks him for benefits, which are the usual indicators of a hymn. This article argues that 1 Timothy 3.16b was written by the writer for insertion into the letter, and it was intended to be used in his congregation as a bulwark (1 Tim 3.15) against his opponents. 1 Timothy 3.16b more closely resembles an epigram, normally written to accompany an epiphany of a god.

For earlier literature on 1 Timothy 3:16, see this earlier post.

Kidson, “Real Widows, Young Widows, and the Limits of Benefaction in 1 Timothy 5:3–16”

Lyn Kidson has produced another contribution to the discussion of widows in 1 Timothy 5. (See also her “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3–15,” Early Christianity 11.2 (2020): 191–205 [DOI: 10.1628/ec-2020-0016])

Lyn Kidson, “Real Widows, Young Widows, and the Limits of Benefaction in 1 Timothy 5:3–16.” Australian Biblical Review 70 (2022): 83–100.

Abstract: John Barclay, in his 2020 article, “Household Networks and Early Christian Economics,” outlines the puzzles that “abound” in 1 Timothy 5:3–16. Among his list of puzzles, he asks, “Is it inconsistent to say that a χήρα can be registered only if she has brought up children (5.10), but to deny her support in 5:4–8 if she has children to look after? Who are the younger χῆραι that the Pastor is evidently so anxious about (5:11–15) …?” Barclay’s article has gone a long way to resolving these puzzles. The “younger χῆραι” he identifies as “virgins.” This was an anomaly in the social world of the early Christians, which forced them to adapt terms for the woman beyond puberty but was without a man. This was a χήρα. While in agreement with Barclay, this article probes a little more deeply into the problem of the younger χήρα and her dowry. It makes the proposal that if the younger χήρα is a virgin, then the issue in 1 Timothy 5 is not her ongoing support, which seems manageable for the “real widow,” but the support for the virgin who wishes to marry after she has been assigned as a qualifying χήρα.

Baum, “Saving Wealthy Ephesian Women from a Self-Centered Way of Life (1 Tim 2:15)”

A essay on the crux of 1 Tim 2:15 in a festschrift honoring Rob van Houwelingen on the occasion of his retirement:

Armin Baum, “Saving Wealthy Ephesian Women from a Self-Centered Way of Life (1 Tim 2:15): Salvation by Childbearing in the Context of Ancient Arguments against Sexual Intercourse, Pregnancy, and Child-rearing,” in Troubling Texts in the New Testament: Essays in Honour of Rob van Houwelingen, Contributions to Exegesis and Theology (Leuven: Peeters, 2022), 257–83.

Abstract: “Many Bible readers regard the statement in 1 Timothy 2: 15 (“She will be saved through childbearing … “) as very unfair. Why did Paul (or one of his disciples) lose sight of gender equality? And is this passage not irreconcilable with passages such as Galatians 3:28, where Paul advocated the soteriological equality of the sexes, and with 1 Corinthians 7:8, where Paul encouraged unmarried women and widows to remain single? 1 Timothy 2: 15 confronts us with two exegetical challenges. First, its telegraphic style was probably quite comprehensible for Paul’s protege Timothy; but for us who are much less familiar with Paul’s thoughts, it.is much more difficult to decipher. Secondly, while for Paul, Timothy and the women concerned the concrete situation in the church of Ephesus was crystal clear, for us who are not involved and look at it from a distance of 2000 years it is anything but easy to figure out what exactly Paul was talking about. But read against its literary and historical context, l Timothy 2:15 is not a misogynistic text but rather a statement against luxury-oriented selfishness which is in conflict with the law of love.”

Helpful in this essay is a taxonomy of views regarding τεκνογονία in 2:15 (p. 260):

Baum’s final interpretive translation reveals his take on the passage: “(The luxury-minded) women (in the church of Ephesus) will be saved (from their spiritually dangerous self-centered lifestyle) by bearing children (and thereby accepting the maternal role) and by holding fast to (the basic Christian virtues of) faith, love, holiness and (particularly) chastity” (p. 280).

Smit, “Gender Trouble in 1 Tim 2:8–15”

A new essay on 1 Timothy 2:8–15 in a festschrift honoring Rob van Houwelingen on the occasion of his retirement:

Peter-Ben Smit, “Gender Trouble in 1 Tim 2:8–15,” in Troubling Texts in the New Testament: Essays in Honour of Rob van Houwelingen, Contributions to Exegesis and Theology (Leuven: Peeters, 2022), 237–56.

Abstract: “This contribution takes as its point of departure the virtues as they are mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:8–15, in particular in verse 15. Analyzing how gender is constructed through the performance of virtues, and noting that certain virtues when performed by women contribute to their autonomy, the proposal is made that, however ‘conservatively’ the author of 1 Timothy may have intended his discourse on gender in these verses, the stress on female virtue may well foster greater autonomy for these women than would have been intended by the author. The question is asked whether this text does not cause its own kind of gender trouble and, in a way, give birth to women like Thecla.”

Church, “Separation from the Evil World”

An excursion into the theology of Darby which may be of interest to students of 2 Timothy:

Phillip Church, “Separation from the (Evil) World: 2 Timothy 2.19-21 and the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.” The Bible Translator 73.2 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1177/20516770221097930

Abstract: Separation from the (evil) world based on 2 Tim 2.19-21 is a defining characteristic of exclusive brethrenism, both in its most extreme form, the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, and in other exclusive brethren groups. I examine this text in its context and then critically assess John Nelson Darby’s reading of it, working from his translation and his comments elsewhere in his writings. Darby misread the text as separation from “evil people” rather than avoidance of wrongdoing, with disastrous consequences. I conclude with some reflections on how his reading of v. 19 arose and on the dangers associated with translation work undertaken by influential individuals working in isolation from other scholars.

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