I learned a good deal by reading Luke Timothy Johnson’s recently published memoir, The Mind in Another Place: My Life as a Scholar (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2022), from both his interesting and detailed account of his scholarly preparation and career, and his incisive treatment of the intellectual and moral virtues of a scholar. Researchers in the Pastorals are, of course, familiar with his work in the letters, most notably his volume on the letters to Timothy in the Anchor Bible series. That volume is remarkable not least for its robust disagreement with the position that the Pastorals are pseudonymous, but also for its extensive treatment of history of research in the letters. On the former point regarding authorship, he notes, “Of particular importance was my demonstrating how the ‘consensus’ view of scholarship was based not on the power of argument but on the weight of custom” (165).
Johnson’s oeuvre is far broader than his work on the Pastorals, and his specific remarks about his work in those letters are actually fairly brief. I have pulled three pertinent excerpts, thinking they might be of interest to students of the letters. They may be read here.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”