Category: New Testament (Page 2 of 5)

Genade, “Life in the Pastoral Epistles”

Aldred A. Genade, “Life in the Pauline Letters (3): Life in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 109–27 in Biblical Theology of Life in the New Testament. Edited by Francois P. Viljoen and Albert J. Coetsee. Reformed Theology in Africa Series 6. Cape Town: AOSIS, 2021.

Aldred Genade has contributed a chapter on the Pastorals to a volume presenting a NT theology of life. The volume is open-source and is available in full here.

Genade’s other contributions to Pastorals literature include:

Aldred A. Genade. “The Letter to Titus in Recent Scholarship: A Critical Overview.” Currents in Biblical Research 9.1 (2010): 48–62.

________. Persuading the Cretans: A Text-Generated Persuasion Analysis of the Letter to Titus. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2011.

________. “Titus 3:3 as selfvilifikasie: ‘n Retoriese opsie [Titus 3:3 as Self-vilification: A Rhetorical Option].” Verbum et Ecclesia 31 (2010), article 346.

Budiselić, “The Church as a Court: the Requirement for ‘Two or Three Witnesses’”

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.

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).

The Pastorals in Interpretation 75.4

Every so often, a scholarly journal will devote an entire issue to the Pastorals. The current issue of Interpretation does so (TOC), and contains the following articles:

MacDonald, Margaret Y. “Education and the Household in the Pastoral Epistles.” Interpretation 75.4 (2021): 283–93. ( Abstract: “The article examines the convergence of studies on the Pastoral Epistles, with greater attention to the theme of education as a key to the purpose of the documents. The close association between the household and education is considered in an effort to shed light on the presentations of Timothy and Titus, emerging leadership roles, intergenerational instruction, and constructions of gender.”

Huizenga, Annette. “Idealized Motherhood: Examples of the Gendered Worldview of the Pastoral Letters.” Interpretation 75.4 (2021): 294–304. ( Abstract: “In the Pastoral Letters, the roles and practices of mothering in a domestic household serve as benchmarks for the general instructions on how ‘one ought to behave in the household of God’ (1 Tim 3:15). This article examines several passages in 1–2 Timothy and Titus in which the author employs an idealized and stereotypical view of motherhood in order to persuade female believers to fulfill this socially-appropriate condition and to restrict them from leadership positions in the community.”

Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “The ‘Believing Woman’ and Her ekklēsia: Rethinking Intersectional Households and Manuscript Variations in the Widows’ Tale (1 Tim 5:3–16).” Interpretation 75.4 (2021): 305–16. ( Abstract: “The widows of the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim 5:3–16) have been a puzzle for interpreters for generations. In the ‘Widows’ Tale’ different categories of women are given a whole set of instructions, including how they shall be organized and with whom to live. In this article, I will highlight the interpretative potential of the very last verse of the paragraph, where ‘a believing woman who has widows’ is mentioned. In some important manuscripts, scribes have added ‘believing man’ in v. 16, while others have left out the woman altogether. What can these disagreements and changes tell? I will argue that not enough scholarly attention has been directed to this verse. There is huge potential for a new understanding of the whole paragraph hidden here. Attention to alternative housing arrangements and manuscript variations will be employed as interpretative tools. I will use the disagreement among scribes to rethink variety and difference, and to reimagine ekklēsia within intersectional early Christian households.”

Fortune, Marie M. “Is Nothing Sacred? I Timothy and Clergy Sexual Abuse.” Interpretation 75.4 (2021): 317–27. ( Abstract: “1 Timothy and the Pastoral Letters appear to be efforts to codify structure and roles in the early church. These efforts largely reflected the patriarchal social structures of the time and as such are not relevant to the twenty-first-century church. But some of the concerns identified herein, for example expectations of church leaders, are useful for a current discussion. What is missing is any acknowledgement of the potential for identified church leaders to take advantage of vulnerable congregants, particularly women and children. How might the writer of 1 Timothy have addressed this serious problem in the churches?”

Merkle, “The Authority of Deacons in Pauline Churches”

Benjamin L. Merkle has made another contribution to the literature on the Pastorals:

Merkle, Benjamin L. “The Authority of Deacons in Pauline Churches.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 64.2 (2021): 309–25.

Abstract: The New Testament office of deacon is disputed primarily because of the paucity of information. Consequently, many look to the following in order to determine the role of deacons in the church: (1) the lexical meaning of διάκονος and its cognates (διακονέω and διακονία); (2) the function of the Seven in Acts 6:1–6; and (3) the qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8–13. Additionally, one’s view of the role of women in ministry can influence how one perceives the function and authority of deacons. This essay argues that deacons held an official and authoritative, yet nonessential and subordinate, position in the Pauline churches. I support this thesis by considering: (1) the official title of deacons; (2) the official function of deacons; (3) the official qualifications of deacons; and (4) the official period of testing and honorable standing of deacons.

I took a class on the Greek text of the Pastorals with Dr. Merkle and benefitted greatly from it. I’m thankful for his commitment to thinking through issues in these letters and publishing the results for the benefit of both church and academy, as well as his work behind the scenes in the ETS Pastorals study group. Other publications of his on the Pastorals include:

“Are the Qualifications for Elders or Overseers Negotiable?” Bibliotheca Sacra 171.682 (2014): 172–88.

“Ecclesiology in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 173–98 in Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles. Edited by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Terry L. Wilder. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2010.

The Elder and Overseer: One Office in the Early Church. Studies in Biblical Literature 57. New York: Lang, 2003.

“Hierarchy in the Church? Instruction from the Pastoral Epistles regarding Elders and Overseers.” The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 7 (2003): 32–43. Reprinted as “Hierarchy in the Church? Instruction from the Pastoral Epistles concerning Elders and Overseers.” Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry 2.1 (2004): 45–62.

“Paul’s Arguments from Creation in 1 Corinthians 11:8–9 and 1 Timothy 2:13–14: An Apparent Inconsistency Answered.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 49 (2006): 527–48.

The Pastorals in NTA 65.1

The current issue of New Testament Abstracts lists the following entries which substantively engage the Letters to Timothy and Titus:

226. Hoag, Gary G. “Demystifying Gender Issues in 1 Timothy 2:9–15, with Help from Artemis.” Evangelical Review of Theology 44.3 (2020): 242–49.

227. Kidson, Lyn. “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3–15.” Early Christianity 11.2 (2020): 191–205.

(p. 120) Theobald, Michael. “Von ‘Menchlichen Satzungen’ (Jes 29,13) Befreit: Eine nachpaulinische Tradition (Kol 2,20–23; Tit 1,14f) im Licht von Jesus-Worden (Mk 7).” Pages 95–120 in Bestimmte Freiheit: Festschrift für Christof Landmesser zum 60. Geburtstag. Edited by Martin Bauspieß, Johannes U. Beck, and Friederike Portenhauser. Arbeiten zur Bibel und ihrer Geschichte. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2020.

(pp. 120–21) Wall, Robert W., and W. D. Shiell. Introduction and commentary for 1-2 Timothy in Baylor Annotated Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Edited by W. H. Bellinger and T. D. Still. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019.

(pp. 120-21) Wall, Robert W., and D. Brooks. Introduction and commentary for Titus in Baylor Annotated Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Edited by W. H. Bellinger and T. D. Still. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019.

(p. 132) Dettwiler, Andreas. “Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 19–26 in The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries, vol. 2: From Thomas to Tatian: Christian Literary Receptions of Jesus in the Second and Third Centuries CE. Edited by Jens Schröter and Christine Jacobi. New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2020.

(pp. 141–42) Kidson, Lyn M. Persuading Shipwrecked Men: Rhetorical Strategies in 1 Timothy. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/526. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020.

Tomczyk, “Wealth as Generosity in Giving: Linguistic and Theological Study of 1Tim 6:17–19”

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.

Allen, Discourse Analysis of the Pastoral Epistles

Isaiah Allen, “Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 467–519 in Discourse Analysis of the New Testament Writings. Edited by Todd A. Scacewater and Cliff Kvidahl. Dallas: Fontes, 2020.

Recently, Fontes Press released Discourse Analysis of the New Testament Writings. The edited volume provides a discourse analysis of each book of the NT, with each author explaining his or her methodology before putting it to work. The Pastorals are covered in a chapter of about fifty pages by Isaiah Allen, assistant professor of New Testament at Booth University College in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Allen’s discourse analysis of the three Pastoral Epistles goes down to the paragraph level, focusing strongly on the text with minimal interaction with secondary literature. His aim is twofold: to “describe how each paragraph relates to the whole and to its surrounding discursive context” and to “identify logical-semantic structures that have significance for interpretation” (469)—although his presentation seeks to be “interpretively non-committal” (471). His analysis engages relevance theory, which “emphasizes the context-dependency of meaning, which requires an appreciation of discourse structure” (471). Several helpful charts provide visual representation of each letter’s organization.

Wedgeworth, “Good and Proper: Paul’s Use of Nature, Custom, and Decorum in Pastoral Theology”

An interesting article which could be considered a “hidden contribution to Pastorals scholarship“:

Wedgeworth, Steven. “Good and Proper: Paul’s Use of Nature, Custom, and Decorum in Pastoral Theology.” Eikon: A Journal for Biblical Anthropology 2.2 (2020): 88–97.

Eikon is the journal of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, formally known as the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Wedgeworth’s article uses 1 Tim 2:8-15 as its primary text, thus contributing to the ever-increasing literature on that passage.

The essay does not have an abstract, but an excerpt from the beginning will serve to summarize: “This essay will investigate to what extent the Apostle Paul uses a sort of natural-law reasoning in his argument against women teaching or holding an office of authority in the church. The primary textual subject will be 1 Timothy 2:8–15, but parallel New Testament passages will be considered insofar as they provide additional support for understanding the logic of Paul’s argument. I will argue that Paul is making a kind of natural law argument, by way of custom and decorum. This is not a simple appeal to human intuition, neither is it a generalized observation of empirical data taken from nature. It is, however, an argument based on the concepts of basic honor to authority figures, an element of the natural law, and the social power of decorum, of what is proper or fitting for social relationships between men and women. These are concepts grounded in a particular philosophy of nature and the morally formative role of custom. While appropriately using language and categories from the creation order, Paul is indeed employing a particular kind of natural-law application of this biblical account in order to prescribe customary social relations between men and women in the church.”

The full issue of Eikon which includes Wedgeworth’s article is here, and an online version of the full article is here.


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)

Keener, “Greek vs. Jewish Conceptions of Inspiration and 2 Timothy 3:16”

Craig Keener has an article in the current issue of JETS which will be of interest to students of the Letters to Timothy and Titus:

Keener, Craig S. “Greek Versus Jewish Conceptions of Inspiration and 2 Timothy 3:16.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 63.2 (2020): 217–31.

Abstract: Second Timothy 3:16 speaks of Scripture as θεόπνευστος, “God-breathed,” “inspired.” What would ancient audiences who heard such a claim assume that it entailed regarding accuracy? For many Greek hearers, inspiration entailed divine authority, including on basic historical matters, although some Greek thinkers allowed poetic inspiration without such accuracy. Jewish application of inspiration language to Scripture, however, apparently always entailed its authority and accuracy. Although Jewish interpreters applied various approaches to reconcile or even sidestep apparent conflicts in biblical narratives, their understanding of its inspired authority entailed reliance on Scripture’s truthfulness on all matters that it addressed.

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