A new article on 2 Timothy has been published in Revue Biblique:
Michel Quesnel, “Identifier les parties pauliniennes de la 2ème lettre à Timothee,” Revue Biblique 129.2 (2022): 199–212.
The article is in French, but an English-language abstract is provided: “While the 1st letter to Timothy and the letter to Titus are pseudepigrapha, the 2nd epistle to Timothy is not entirely so. A precise analysis of the vocabulary used and the relationship of the authors to time enables us to distinguish parts of which Paul is certainly the author (2 Tm 1:1–2:13 and 4:6–22) from an addition composed by an editor at the end of the 1st century, giving instructions regarding behaviour to leaders of local churches (2 Tm 2:14–3:9). With less certainty we must probably also attribute to Paul 2 Tm 3:10–4:5.”
A recent article of interest to Pastorals researchers:
Van Nes, Jermo. “Second-Century Vocabulary in the Pastoral Epistles? A Reassessment.” Filología Neotestamentaria 34 (2021): 41–67.
Abstract: “Many contemporary New Testament scholars consider 1–2 Timothy and Titus, collectively known as the Pastoral Epistles (PE), to be pseudonymous. Some of them do so on the basis of the PE’s comparatively large number of hapax legomena (hapaxes), which they believe is closer to writings of the second century AD. The aim of this study is to reconsider this influential thesis as advocated by P.N. Harrison over the course of the twentieth century. It will be argued that the (statistical) evidence presented by Harrison is flawed as he gives no proper definition of hapaxes, unevenly compares the PE collectively to individual writings, and does not use any criteria to show how his results are statistically significant. By way of alternative, this paper will (1) provide a proper definition of hapaxes, (2) count how many of these hapaxes recur in all Greek second-century writings classified as such in the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae database, and (3) by means of (simple) linear regression analysis determine whether or not 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and/or Titus in comparison to each of the other undisputed Pauline letters share significantly more hapaxes with these second-century writings.”
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.”
A recent dissertation may be of interest to students of the Pastorals, especially those interested in questions of the authorship of the letters:
James Fickenscher, “A Rank-Based Analysis of Word Order and Codification in the Greek of the Pastoral Epistles.” PhD diss., Concordia Seminary, 2022.
The dissertation was completed under the direction of James Voelz. Voelz is not a specialist in the Pastorals, but I have used his 2-volume commentary on Mark (Concordia Commentaries; 2013, 2019) with profit. Here is the abstract:
“The relationship of word order and clausal structures with meaning, literary style, and authorial considerations in New Testament Greek is an often underdeveloped yet important field for reading, understanding, and interpreting the New Testament text. Navigating between a grammatical-historical and historical-critical reading of the New Testament, this dissertation analyzes the phenomena of word order and clausal structures afresh through the lens of systemic functional grammar, following the work of Michael Halliday. This project contributes a preliminary step forward in constructing a method that can account for and understand the purpose of word order patterns and variance from those patterns within New Testament Greek without presuming that variations are simply for emphasis or that they arise from a priori assumptions of an historical or authorial nature behind the text. As an initial test case, this dissertation explores the Pastoral Epistles, chosen due to their similarity in content, genre, and register, constructing a linguistic profile for each work that includes the codified patterns of word order and structure on the ranks of larger sections of text, individual clauses, and word groups within each clause that have a discrete, syntactical function. It is shown that a fuller understanding of word order, especially where variations or marked syntax occurs, both contributes to an overall analysis of the text, including issues of textual criticism and interpretation, as well as identifies multiple causes for changes in word order beyond simple emphasis. The phenomenon of rank shift, where a clause functions as a single, syntactical element within another clause, also impacts expected patterns of word order and clausal structure. This study then compares the linguistic profiles of Pastoral Epistles to one another and to other select texts of the New Testament, demonstrating both areas of general consistency and difference between the works. This suggests that some patterns under investigation are likely not significant for inter-textual discussions of literary style, provenance, or register, but many areas of word order do have potential import for larger analysis of literary or historical considerations as they are manifested within each work on a strictly linguistic basis.”
The entire dissertation is available here.
A just-published WUNT volume contains two essays on dating the Pastoral Epistles:
Korinna Zamfir, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed: Dating the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 313–54 in Die Datierung neutestamentlicher Pseudepigraphen: Herausforderungen und neuere Lösungsansätze. Edited by Wolfgang Grünstäudl and Karl Matthias Schmidt. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 470. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021.
Michael Theobald, “Zur Datierung der Pastoralbriefe: Parameter zur Ausmessung ihres Entstehungskorridors.” Pages 355–84 in Die Datierung neutestamentlicher Pseudepigraphen: Herausforderungen und neuere Lösungsansätze. Edited by Wolfgang Grünstäudl and Karl Matthias Schmidt. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 470. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021.
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.
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.
Two presentations on the Pastorals are slated for the New Testament Study Group at the 2021 Tyndale Fellowship Conference (to be held virtually), provided here with abstracts. They are scheduled for June 25.
Jermo van Nes, “The Letters to Timothy and Titus: Second-Century Writings?” Abstract: “Many contemporary New Testament scholars consider 1-2 Timothy and Titus, collectively known as the Pastoral Epistles (PE), to be pseudonymous writings. Some of them do so on the basis of the PE’s comparatively large number of hapaxes, which they believe is closer to the writings of the Apostolic Fathers and early Apologists dating from the second century AD. The aim of this presentation is to reconsider this influential thesis as once advocated by P.N. Harrison (1921). It will be argued that the (statistical) evidence presented by Harrison is flawed as he gives no proper definition of hapaxes and early Apologists, unevenly compares the PE collectively to individual writings, and does not use any criteria to show how his results are statistically significant. By way of alternative, this presentation will (1) provide a proper definition of hapaxes, (2) count how many of these hapaxes recur in all Greek religious second-century writings listed as such in the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae database, and (3) by means of (simple) linear regression analysis determine whether or not 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and/or Titus in comparison to each of the other Pauline letters share significantly more hapaxes with these second-century writings.”
John Percival, “Rhetorical and Theological Strategy in the Narrative Substructure of 2 Timothy.” Abstract: “This paper demonstrates that an examination of the narrative substructure of 2 Timothy sheds light on its rhetorical and theological strategy. Narrative approaches to Pauline literature and theology have borne much fruit over the last 35 years, but the letters to Timothy and Titus have, as is often the case, been largely overlooked. Rather than looking at the Pastoral Epistles as a homogenous corpus, in this paper we will consider the distinctive contribution of 2 Timothy. Focus falls on four areas: God’s pre-temporal action, the time of ‘the Scriptures,’ the first appearing of Christ, and the second, eschatological appearing of Christ. By analysing the way these areas are presented, and how they fit together into a coherent, salvation-historical whole, we illuminate the rhetorical and theological strategy employed in 2 Timothy. Addressed to a church leader dealing with false teaching and opposition, the narrative of God’s plan of salvation offers unique resources affirming God’s eternal commitment to his people, culminating in them sharing Christ’s eschatological reign. Problems occur when narrative elements become dislocated, for example, by claiming the resurrection has already occurred.”
Christian Schramm has produced an article of potential interest to students of the Pastorals:
Schramm, Christian. “Der ‘Mantel des Paulus’ (2 Tim 4,13): vergessen, zurückgelassen, deponiert? Eine Notiz mit Autorisierungspotenzial.” Biblische Zeitschrift 65.1 (2021): 86‒110.
Abstract: “The short demand to bring Paul’s coat in 2 Timothy 4:13 has been a part of exegetical discussion for a long time. Especially the intention, the text pragmatics and the meaning of this verse are a matter of academic dispute. The point is: The interpretation of this verse has an important impact on the question of the authentic or pseudepigraphic character of 2 Tim. The following article focusses on an aspect that hasn’t been looked at much so far: the legal business of depositum as a possible historical backdrop. A third person’s (i.e. Timothy’s) mandate to pick up something deposited tells us much about his legitimacy as an authorized representative of the person who made the depositum (i.e. Paul). And possibly we also learn something about 2 Tim: 2 Tim as a letter could function as an authorizing document for the person sent out to pick up the coat – then 2 Tim 4:13 would work as a kind of certificate of authenticity of 2 Tim as an allegedly original Pauline letter.”
We had a good meeting of the Pastoral Epistles Study Group at ETS last week. Stan Porter was unable to attend due to health issues, so we missed his paper. We were glad to hear, though, that he is on the mend.
David Yoon presented his paper, “The Register of Paul in 1
Timothy: Why the Pastorals May Differ in ‘Style’ than the Hauptbrief,”
which summarized the linguistic category of “register” which covers what people
generally refer to as “style” when they say that the style of the PE differ so
much from the accepted Pauline epistles. In the end, Yoon argued there is not
enough evidence to establish what an acceptable variance would be, and thus
that difference in register is slim basis for any argument concerning authorship.
Yoon’s analysis then agrees with the significant recent monograph by Jermo Van
Nes, Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles: A Study of Linguistic
Variation in the Corpus Paulinum (Linguistic Biblical Studies 16;
Leiden: Brill, 2018).
My paper came second and was a revision of the paper I
presented at the Mainz conference a couple of months earlier. My central
contention was that according to the text of Titus, the ethical admonitions in
the letter are not culturally driven but are rooted in the gospel itself. The
ethical instruction is presented as necessary entailments of the gospel, such
that to reject them is to show that one does not know God (1:16). A final
version is to be published in a volume with the other essays from the Mainz
Our last paper, “Salvation History in Six Lines: Reading 1 Timothy 3:16b as an Interconnected Whole,” was by John Percival who is working on a PhD at Cambridge under the supervision of Simon Gathercole. Percival noted the long-standing debate about how to read the six lines of this verse and argued that they should be read in order as following chronologically. Key to such an argument is arguing that the last line “taken up in glory” refers not to the ascension (as is often thought) but to the final enthronement of Christ. I found the argument quite persuasive. This will be part of his completed thesis, and hopefully will be published on its own as an article soon.
We are planning for next year, so if you are interested in presenting
a paper next year or some time feel free to contact me at rayvanneste at gmail.com