Category: Books (Page 3 of 13)

Beck, Witwen und Bibel in Tansania: Eine leserinnenorientierte Lektüre von 1 Tim 5,3-16

A new volume in the Bible in Africa Studies series provides a study of the passage on widows in 1 Timothy 5.

Beck, Stefanie. Witwen und Bibel in Tansania: Eine leserinnenorientierte Lektüre von 1 Tim 5,3-16. Bible in Africa Studies 27. Bamberg: University of Bamberg Press, 2020.

The volume is the published version of a dissertation completed under Joachim Kügler at the University of Bamberg (Otto-Friedrich-Universität). The table of contents is available here. The entire volume is available online here. The following description is provided:

“After the death of their husbands African women, who are living in patriarchal societies, experience cruel mourning and purification rituals, which they have to undergo and they are often stigmatized and accused of being witches. In this fatal situation, God is often their only anchor, God, who already appears in the Bible as the protector and father of widows and orphan. In the Old Testament, two book are named after widows, the Book of Ruth and Judith, and in the New Testament there are numerous widow stories, primarily in Luke, which are all characterized by a special relationship with God. However, the reality in the ancient world was as follows: there was a large number of widows, working in the churches, which displeased the officials of the communities. They didn’t only take over charitable activities, but they missionized and were even paid for it. 1Tim 5:3–16, which categorizes widows, was read and interpreted by widows in Tanzania. It is demonstrated how they deal with a text, which was written for them as widows. They didn’t allow themselves to be influenced by restrictions, in fact they drew out positive results. It is also highlighted how the widows interpret 1Tim on their cultural background, how they position themselves and see themselves as brides of Christ.”

As a final note, the fact that the dissertation was completed under the direction of Joachim Kügler, and the reference to Tanzanian widows seeing themselves as “brides of Christ” brought to mind the following essay by Kügler:

Kügler, Joachim. “Junge ‘Witwen’ als Bräute Christi (1 Tim 5,11f.). Der Gender-Impuls der Jesus-Tradition und seine Umsetzung in paulinischen Gemeinden vor dem religionsgeschichtlichen Hintergrund religiös motivierter Ehelosigkeit von Frauen.” Pages 483–97 in Erinnerungen an Jesus: Kontinuität und Diskontinuität in der neutestamentlichen Überlieferung. Festschrift für Rudolf Hoppe zum 65. Geburtstag. Edited by Ulrich Busse, Michael Reichardt, and Michael Theobald. Bonner Biblische Beiträge 166. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011.

Kidson, Persuading Shipwrecked Men

Lyn Kidson, lecturer in NT at Alphacrucis College in Sydney, Australia, recently saw her dissertation published with Mohr Siebeck:

Kidson, Lyn. Persuading Shipwrecked Men: Rhetorical Strategies in 1 Timothy. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/526. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020.

From the publisher’s website: “The plain-spoken rhetorical style of 1 Timothy belies a tension that simmers beneath the surface of the letter. This tension had already erupted in the removal of Hymenaeus and Alexander. Those who are addressed in the letter are warned that they may be heading toward the same catastrophic failure, shipwrecking their faith. This, according to Lyn M. Kidson, is the primary purpose of 1 Timothy. With particular focus on 1 Timothy 1, the author moves away from seeing the letter as a church manual; instead, she argues that its purpose is to command »certain men (and women)« not to teach the other educational program promoted by Hymenaeus and Alexander. This fresh approach to the interpretation of 1 Timothy 1 identifies the use of an ethical digression, which holds the seemingly divergent materials of the letter together.”


It’s been some time since we’ve noted reviews, so there are quite a few to highlight. Over at RBL, Robert Yarbrough’s Pillar commentary on the Pastorals is still available for review by SBL members.

In Expository Times 131.3 (2019): 128-29, Paul Foster provides a positive review of Gerald Bray’s ITC volume, The Pastoral Epistles.

Jermo van Nes’s Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles: A Study of Linguistic Variation in the Corpus Paulinum (Linguistic Biblical Studies 16; Leiden: Brill, 2018) has been recently reviewed or summarized in: (1) Journal of Theological Studies 70.2 (2019): 817-19, by Christopher Hutson; (2) Svensk exegetisk årsbok 84 (2019): 257-60, by Tobias Hägerland (the review is in English); (3) Theologische Literaturzeitung 144:7-8 (2019): 768-69 by Bernhard Mutschler; (4) Journal for the Study of the New Testament 41.5 (2019): 84, by Dirk Jongkind.

Dorothee Dettinger’s Neues Leben in der alten Welt: Der Beitrag frühchristlicher Schriften des späten ersten Jahrhunderts zum Diskursüber familiäre Strukturen in der griechisch-römischen Welt (Arbeiten zur Bibel und ihrer Geschichte 59. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2017), which has a significant Pastorals component, was reviewed by Martin Stowasser at Biblische Bücherschau (5/2019).

Christopher Hoklotubbe’s Civilized Piety: The Rhetoric of Pietas in the Pastoral Epistles and the Roman Empire (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017) was reviewed by Raymond Collins in Interpretation 73.3 (2019): 313-14.

Cynthia Long Westfall’s Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle’s Vision for Men and Women in Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2016), which engages the Pastorals at some length, is reviewed by Guy Prentiss Waters in Reformed Theological Review 78.3 (2019): 233-35.

Christoph Stenschke reviews Friedemann Krumbiegel, Erziehung in den Pastoralbriefen: Ein Konzept zur Konsolidierung der Gemeinden (Arbeiten zur Bibel und ihrer Geschichte 44; Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2013), appears in Filologia Neotestamentaria 52.32 (2019): 177-79. The review is in English, which is a boon for English-speaking Pastorals students; other reviews are in German: one by Lorenz Oberlinner in Biblische Zeitschrift 59.2 (2015): 300-4; and one by Karl-Heinrich Ostmeyer in Theologische Literaturzeitung 139.7-8 (2014): 891-93.

Robert Yarbrough’s commentary, The Letters to Timothy and Titus (Pillar New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018), was reviewed by Benjamin Laird in JETS 62.4 (2019): 844-47; by James P. Sweeney in BBR 30.1 (2020): 158-161; and by Philip J. Long at Reading Acts (2018)

A Bibliography of the Letters to Timothy and Titus in Africa

We have produced a bibliography which aims to list (without summary or evaluation) all scholarly studies on the Letters to Timothy and Titus with a rather direct African connection. Specifically, it includes both (1) works by authors with roots in Africa, even if publishing outside Africa; and (2) anything published in Africa (i.e., theses, dissertations, and journals, most commonly Acta Patristica et ByzantinaHTS Teologiese StudiesIn die Skriflig,and Neotestamentica), even if by someone with roots outside Africa (e.g., international students at African schools). The net has been cast quite widely, and works on the Pastorals have been included from a variety of perspectives, approaches, languages, and geographical locations. Works included in the list do not necessarily make reference to the African context; the common denominator is simply that each of the works has both significant interaction with the Letters to Timothy and Titus, and a connection to Africa.

The bibliography may be accessed here.

Hidden Contributions to Pastorals Scholarship

While articles and monographs which focus specifically on the Letters to Timothy and Titus are easily found, some aspect of the letters may be helpfully treated as a distinct subsection in a larger work, and the larger work is such that one might not suspect work on the Pastorals exists in it. A list of over sixty works of that nature are provided at the link below. Works where the title or topic would make it almost inevitable that significant engagement with the Pastorals would be involved — say, church offices in the NT, widows in the NT, or the role of women in the church according to the NT — are largely excluded. For purposes of this post, we’ve limited ourselves to listing English-language scholarship.

The list is accessible here.

Additions to “2019 Publications” and “Forthcoming Publications [2020]”

We recently posted our annual list of publications on the Pastorals from the previous year, and those which are known to be forthcoming. We have a few additions to make to each list.

Published in 2019 and early 2020:

Falcetta, Alessandro. Early Christian Teachers: The ‘Didaskaloi’ from Their Origins to the Middle of the Second Century. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/516. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020. [note the section on the Pastorals, pp. 145–76]

Herzer, Jens. “Goethes Quark und Holtzmanns Drillinge: Die Pastoralbriefe in Geschichte und Gegenwart.” Pages 125–135 in Update-Exegese 2.0: Grundfragen gegenwärtiger Bibelwissenschaft. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2019.

Herzer, Jens. “Haben die Magier den Verstand verloren? Jannes und Jambres im 2. Timotheusbrief.” Pages 129–41 in Religion als Imagination: Phänomene des Menschseins in den Horizonten theologischer Lebensdeutung. Edited by Lena Seehausen, Paulus Enke, and Jens Herzer. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2020.

Постернак, Андрей (Posternak, Andrey). “Статус Вдов в Первом Послании Апостола Павла к Тимофею (1 Тим 5. 3–16). [The Status of Widows in the First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy (1 Tim 5:3–16)].” Вестник Екатеринбургской духовной семинарии 29.1 (2020): 13–36. DOI: 10.24411/2224-5391-2020-10101 [Russian]

Roberts, Daniel Wayne. “Reading the Pastoral Epistles from a Canonical Perspective in Light of the New Perspective on Paul.” PhD diss., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2020.


Herzer, Jens. Die Pastoralbriefe. Theologischer Handkommentar zum Neuen Testament 13. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, forthcoming 2021 or 2022.

Herzer, Jens. Die Pastoralbriefe in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming 2020 or 2021. [collected essays]

Karaman, Elif. “Widows, the Ephesian Inscriptions, and 1 Timothy 5.” In New Documents Illustrating the History of Early Christianity, Volume 11: Ephesus. Edited by James R. Harrison. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming 2020. [this item was listed among the “forthcoming” works, but here is given with more bibliographic data]

Forthcoming Publications on the Pastorals

We attempt each year to provide a list of forthcoming publications on the Letters to Timothy and Titus. This year, we have compiled a list of a few dozen items, ranging from articles to monographs and commentaries, whose expected dates of release range from less than a month away to close to a decade in the future. Deep thanks goes to various authors who helpfully were able to provide a short description of their work, and publishers who responded to inquiries about forthcoming titles! If you are aware of other forthcoming academic work on the Pastorals, please leave a comment.

Those who work in the Pastorals will know that a spate of commentaries on the letters in various multi-author series was produced around the turn of the millennium, with volumes appearing in the ICC (Marshall, 1999), WBC (Mounce, 2000), ECC (Quinn/Wacker, 2000), AB (Johnson, 2001; Quinn, 2005), NTL (Collins, 2002), and NICNT (Towner, 2006) series. There was a bit of a lull in larger English-language commentaries on the letters in the late 2000s and early 2010s (though note new arrivals in the SP (Fiore, 2007) and THNTC (Wall and Steele, 2012)), but we’re just getting into another period of commentary productivity: the BTCP (Kostenberger, 2017), Pillar (Yarbrough, 2018), ITC (Bray, 2019), and Paideia (Hutson, 2019) volumes are available, and soon to come (as noted in the list linked below) are volumes in the Brill Exegetical Commentary (Pao), TNTC (Padilla, 2021 or 2022 projected), ZECNT (Beale and Beetham, 2022 projected), and BECNT (Porter).

The list of forthcoming publications on the Pastorals may be accessed by clicking here.

Lookadoo reviews Theobald, Israel-Vergessenheit in den Pastoralbriefen

Michael Theobald is a German academic who published rather extensively on the Pastorals in his later career. To my knowledge, however, all of his work on the letters is in German (save for the just-published entry on Titus in The Paulist Bible Commentary), and so English-speaking students of the Pastorals may not be as familiar with his scholarship.

The single monograph Theobald produced on the Pastorals was published in 2016: Israel-Vergessenheit in den Pastoralbriefen: Ein neuer Vorschlag zu ihrer historisch-theologischen Verortung im 2. Jahrhundert. n. Chr. unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Ignatius-Briefe [Forgetting Israel in the Pastoral Letters: A New Proposal for Their Historical-Theological Location in the 2nd Century A.D. with Special Consideration of the Ignatius Letters]. In this work, he examines the origination of the Pastorals through the lens of the topic of Israel. He is particularly concerned to compare the engagement with Israel in Romans (another book in which he specializes) over against what he finds to be a lack of engagement with Israel in the Pastorals. He ends up dating the letters to c. 140 AD.

Jonathan Lookadoo has served English-speaking students of the Pastorals well by reviewing Theobald’s monograph for RBL, and has graciously agreed to upload the review to Academia, allowing general access. In his review, he notes Theobald’s valuable highlighting of connections between Romans and the Pastorals, and appreciates the case Theobald makes for reading Titus as the first of the Pastorals. Lookadoo notes, “Those who argue for authentically Pauline Pastoral Epistles or for another first-century date will likely take issue with some of Theobald’s arguments, but this does not take away from the value of his study. “

Use this link to read the entire review.

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