Category: Pastoral Epistles (Page 1 of 22)

A Half-Century of Pastorals Scholarship

I’ve made a first attempt at compiling a chronological list of relatively recent Pastorals scholarship. This first edition provides a year-by-year accounting of scholarly monographs and commentaries on the Pastorals from 1970 to the present (and future!), in any language. The table is available via the “Scholarship Timeline” tab at the top of the page. The full presentation is available here, and includes, in addition to the table, a full bibliography of all the works listed in the table.

I put together an early version of this table to help me to see what scholarship a given author had to draw upon at any given time in the last fifty years, and thought this sort of thing might be useful for others involved in Pastorals research.

Tsuji, Bokkai Shokan [Pastoral Epistles]

As a service to researchers in the Pastorals, we regularly note new publications that have been added to the secondary literature, and (especially through our annual bibliographies) we try to surface scholarly work in the letters that is in languages other than the relatively standard research languages of English, German, and French. My own accounting suggests there is easily as much secondary literature on the Pastorals in Italian as in French, and Polish and Dutch works are not lacking.

As many differences as there may be among, say, English, German, French, Dutch, Polish, and Italian, they are all spoken in Europe and share many similarities, not least of which is the same basic alphabet. At the time I began searching for works on the Pastorals written in Asian languages, I realized I was in a very different linguistic world. This post provides an unusual opportunity in that regard, allowing me to acknowledge a new major commentary:

Manabu Tsuji, Bokkai Shokan (Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles). Tokyo: Shinkyô Shuppansha, 2023. [Japanese]

Tsuji is Professor of Religious Studies at Hiroshima University. He holds his doctorate from the University of Berne; his dissertation was published as Glaube zwischen Vollkommenheit und Verweltlichung: Eine Untersuchung zur literarischen Gestalt und zur inhaltlichen Kohärenz des Jakobusbriefes, WUNT 2/93 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1997). A few years back, he contributed to a list of Japanese-language scholarly articles on the Pastorals, which we posted here at pastoralepistles.com.

At 759 pages, Bokkai Shokan is a major work. Comparing page count to English works isn’t necessarily an apples-to-apples proposition, but one might think of Mounce’s 778-page WBC volume as similar in heft. Tsuji provided this summary of his work, which will give readers of the blog a good sense of where the commentary is located in the realm of Pastorals scholarship:

“This commentary consists of an approximately 60-page introduction that discusses the name ‘Pastoral Epistles,’ problems of authorship, opponents, and theological and literary characteristics, followed by nearly 700 pages of detailed exegesis and bibliography. According to the author, the three letters were written by a single author as the Corpus Pastorale, a collection of Pauline letters to individuals (Timothy and Titus) modeled after the Corpus Paulinum and intended to be read in the order of 1 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Timothy. Titus serves as a ‘spatial extension’ of the content of 1 Timothy, showing that the content of 1 Timothy is equally applicable to churches in other regions, while II Timothy serves as a ‘temporal extension,’ showing that the issue of confronting false doctrine (the main theme of 1 Timothy) remained an important concern for Paul until the end of his life. This Corpus Pastorale was written against the backdrop of conflicts over Paul’s understanding: The role of these letters is to let Paul himself speak about the ‘final correct answer’ to the questions he left unresolved or ambiguous, such as the autonomy of women and the understanding of the resurrection. The author criticizes as ‘false doctrine’ an ascetic understanding of Paul (which prohibits marriage and the consumption of certain foods). The Pastoral Epistles were written in the first half of the second century AD. Their theological characteristics (e.g., God, Christ, faith, etc.) reflect how Pauline Christianity was preached and received in the post-Pauline Hellenistic pagan world.”

Tsuji’s previous publications on the letters include the following:

“1 Tim 5:17–25: Its Context and Structure.” Shin’yakugaku Kenkyu [New Testament Studies] (Japan Society of New Testament Studies) 25 (1997): 13–24.「Ⅰテモテ 5:17–25 の文脈と構成」、『新約学研究』(日本新約学会)25 号 (1997 年)13–24 頁。[Japanese]

“II Timothy 1:6: Laying on of Hands by Paul for Ordination?” Annual of the Japanese Biblical Institute 39 (2013): 65‒76.

“Beyond the Original Context: Reception of the Pauline Letters in the First Century.” Pages 5–21 in Scrinium: Revue de patrologie, d’hagiographie critique et d’histoire ecclésiastique, vol. 6: Patrogia Pacifica Secunda: Selected Papers Presented to the Asia-Pacific Early Christian Studies Society Fifth Annual Conference (Sendai, Japan, September 10–12, 2009) and Other Patristic Studies. Edited by Vladimir Baranov, Kazuhiko Demura, and Basil Lourié. Piscataway, NJ: Georgias, 2010. = 「元の文脈を超えて――紀元一世紀におけるパウロ書簡の受容史」、『ペディラヴィウム』65号(2010年)38–56頁。[Japanese]

“‘Different teachings’ and ‘Rich Women’: On the Structure and Background of 1 Timothy 6:3–21.” Shingaku Kenkyu [Theological Studies] (Society of Theological Studies of Kwansei Gakuin University) 43 (1996): 17–38.「『異なる教え』と『富める女性』――1テモテ6,3–21の構成とその背景――」、『神学研究』 43号(1996年)17–38頁。[Japanese]

“Die Intertextualität von 1 Tim 2,1–3/Tit 3,1–2.” Pages 99–110 in Neutestamentliche Exegese im Dialog: Hermeneutik—Wirkungsgeschichte—Matthäusevangelium. Festschrift für Ulrich Luz zum 70. Geburtstag. Edited by Peter Lampe, Moises Mayordomo, and Migaku Sato. Neukirchener-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 2008. = 「Ⅰテモテ2,1–3/テトス3,1–2の間テクスト性」、『人間文化研究』第3号(2011年3月)36-48頁。[Japanese]

“Laying on of Hands by the Elders (1 Timothy 4:14) and by Paul (2 Timothy 1:6),” in: Shingaku Kenkyu [Theological Studies] (Society of Theological Studies of Kwansei Gakuin University) 51 (2004): 63–75.「長老団の按手(Ⅰテモテ4:14)とパウロの按手(Ⅱテモテ1:6)」、『神学研究』 51号(2004年)63–75頁。 [Japanese]

“On the Enrollment of ‘Widows’ (1 Timothy 5:3–16).” Shin’yakugaku Kenkyu [New Testament Studies] (Japan Society of New Testament Studies) 26 (1998): 17–29.「『やもめ』の登録 (1 テモテ 5:3–16) をめぐって」、『新約学研究』26 号 (1998年) 17–29 頁。 [Japanese]

“The Pastoral Epistles: On the Advocates of their Authenticity.” Shogaku Ronkyu [Journal of Business Administration of Kwansei Gakuin University] 50.4 (2003): 135–152.「牧会書簡――真筆性擁護の動きをめぐって」、『商学論究』 50巻4号(2003年)135–52頁。[Japanese]

“Persönliche Korrespondenz des Paulus: Zur Strategie der Pastoralbriefe als Pseudepigrapha.” New Testament Studies 56.2 (2010): 253–72. = 「パウロの個人宛書簡――偽名文書としての牧会書簡の戦略――」、『聖書学論集』43号(2011年4月)71–96頁。[Japanese]

“Saved through Childbearing: Context and Background of 1 Timothy 2:15.” Seishogaku Ronshu 41 (“Bible as Experience. Festschrift for Prof. ONUKI Takashi”) (2009): 463–79.「子を産むことによって救われる――1テモテ2:15の文脈と背景――」、日本聖書学研究所編『経験としての聖書:大貫隆教授献呈論文集』(聖書学論集41)リトン社、2009年3月、463–79頁。 [Japanese]

“Der zweite Timotheus als letzter Gefangenschaftsbrief.” Kwansei Gakuin University Humanities Review 11 (2006): 1–11. = “2 Timothy as the Last Captivity Letter.” 「獄中書簡としてのⅡテモテ書」、『新約学研究』 31号(2003年)42–55頁。 [Japanese]

“Zwischen Ideal und Realität: Zu den Witwen in 1 Tim 5.3–16.” New Testament Studies 47.1 (2001): 92–104.

Beale, “The Greco-Roman Background to ‘Fighting the Good Fight’ in the Pastoral Epistles and the Spiritual Life of the Christian”

G. K. Beale has generously mediated his recent ZNW article through a light rewriting of it in Themelios:

G. K. Beale, “The Background to ‘Fight the Good Fight’ in 1 Timothy 1:18, 6:12, and 2 Timothy 4:7.” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 113.2 (2022): 202–30.

G. K. Beale, “The Greco-Roman Background to ‘Fighting the Good Fight’ in the Pastoral Epistles and the Spiritual Life of the Christian.” Themelios 48.3 (2023): 541–51.

The Themelios article is freely available here. Here’s the abstract:

“What does Paul mean by the expression “fight the fight” in 1 Timothy 1:18 (NASB)? The Greek verb στρατεύω with the noun στρατεία can be also rendered “battle the battle,” or more generally “perform military service” or “serve in a military campaign.” This expression occurs often in Greco-Roman literature as a patriotic warfare idiom for good character revealed by persevering through warfare or military campaigns. It also occurs in legal contexts to affirm someone’s innocence and good reputation before the court. This idiom is applied to Timothy to demonstrate his good Christian character and reputation over against the false teachers’ bad character. Paul similarly exhorts Timothy to “struggle the struggle” (ἀγωνίζου τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα) in 1 Tim 6:12, which most commentators recognize to be synonymous with “fight the good fight” in 1:18 (cf. 2 Tim 4:7).”

Robertson, “1 Timothy 1:3–4 in the Memory of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Athanasius, and Chrysostom”

Michael Scott Robertson has added a article in reception history to the secondary literature on the Pastorals:

Michael Scott Robertson, “1 Timothy 1:3–4 in the Memory of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Athanasius, and Chrysostom.” Religions 14.9 (2023), article 1123.

The article is open access, and is available here.

Abstract: In this article, I discuss reception history, its place within the history of historical critical methods, and social memory theory. I apply a reception historical lens buttressed by social memory theory to 1 Timothy 1:3–4. I show that the historical circumstances of this passage’s reception problematize using early understandings of it to reconstruct the referent behind “myths and endless genealogies”. I first show how the phrase “myths and endless genealogies” is ambiguous in the historical setting of the author. Then, I demonstrate that Irenaeus, Tertullian, Athanasius, and Chrysostom use this phrase against very different groups; however, all of these authors use 1 Timothy 1:4 for a (perceived) problem against their present group.

Bulundwe, 2 Timothée dans le corpus paulinien: Analyse mémorielle

Mohr Siebeck’s WUNT series continues to produce monographs on the Pastorals, with two coming out nearly back-to-back near the end of 2023. Mark Langford’s Diagnosing Deviance: Pathology and Polemic in the Pastoral Epistles was WUNT 2/592, released a short while ago, and WUNT 2/598 is now available:

Kampotela Luc Bulundwe, 2 Timothée dans le corpus paulinien: Analyse mémorielle [2 Timothy in the Pauline Corpus: Memory Analysis]. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/598. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2023.

Even at a first glance, two acts of generosity stand out. First, Bulundwe has released the work in open-access form. Those who do not wish to pay the typically steep price for a physical copy of an academic monograph can work through a well-organized electronic facsimile here. Second, though Bulundwe’s work is in French, he has thoughtfully provided a detailed ten-page summary in English at the close of the book (pp. 429–38). I reproduce the opening of that summary here for convenience:

“This monograph examines the role of 2 Timothy (2 Tim) within the Pauline corpus through the lens of social memory. It aims to show that the letter’s literary genre — an epistolary farewell address — and content make it a hermeneutic key that guides the reading and transmission of a first collection of Paul’s letters. This collection includes the seven undisputed Pauline letters … and Colossians, and is considered to be Paul’s legacy. The main originality of the monograph lies in the specific consideration of 2 Tim in the Pauline literature and not only in the corpus of the so-called ‘Pastorals,’ the letters to Timothy and Titus (LTT).

“The first part describes the historical and methodological framework of the analysis. The second part consists of a reading of the whole letter through the lens of memory, while the third assesses the relationship between 2 Tim and the above-mentioned collection of Paul’s letters. Three realms of memory (lieux de mémoire) guide the assessment: the characters, the geographical locations, and the literary points of contact between 2 Tim and each letter.” (429)

Fein, “From Pain to Redemption: 1 Timothy 2:15 in Its Jewish Context”

Sarah E. G. Fein. “From Pain to Redemption: 1 Timothy 2:15 in its Jewish Context.” Pages 85–100 in Gender and Second-Temple Judaism. Edited by Kathy Ehrensperger and Shayna Sheinfeld. Lanham, MD: Lexington Fortress, 2020.

Students of the Pastorals might be interested in this treatment of 1 Timothy 2:15, which I was unaware of until recently. The author has made the chapter available at Academia.

Persig, “The Language of Imperial Cult and Roman Religion in the Latin New Testament: The Latin Renderings of ‘Saviour’”

Anna Persig, “The Language of Imperial Cult and Roman Religion in the Latin New Testament: The Latin Renderings of ‘Saviour.’” New Testament Studies 69.1 (2023): 21–34.

Students of the Pastorals may benefit from Persig’s work on σωτήρ reflected in this article, given the significance of the term in the letters. Here’s the abstract:

The title σωτήρ, ‘saviour’, is bestowed on Christ and God in the New Testament and rendered in the Latin translations by conseruator, saluificator, salutificator, salutaris and saluator. Although these terms convey the same meaning, they are not interchangeable: this study argues that conseruator, which is the most frequent word for saviour on imperial coins, is rarely attested in the Latin versions because of its association with the imperial cult. The predominant translation, saluator, was coined as an alternative rendering to the other words which had religious and political connotations.

The article is open access and is available here.

McKnight, The Pastoral Epistles (NCBC)

Scot McKnight, The Pastoral Epistles. New Cambridge Bible Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023.

Cambridge has just released Scot McKnight’s revision of the Pastorals volume in the New Cambridge Bible Commentary series. The NCBC series replaces — no surprise — the Cambridge Bible Commentary series produced in the 1960s and 1970s.

The CBC volume on the Pastorals was produced by Anthony Tyrrell Hanson in 1966. In a day when publications were not nearly as prevalent, A. T. Hanson would have been considered well-published in the Pastorals, having produced Studies in the Pastoral Epistles (London: SPCK, 1968), a collection of essays expanding on what he was able to include in the CBC volume; “The Theology of Suffering in the Pastoral Epistles and Ignatius of Antioch,” in Studia Patristica 17/2, ed. Elizabeth A. Livingstone (Oxford: Pergamon, 1982), 694‒96; and the final fruit of his Pastorals work, The Pastoral Epistles, New Century Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982). The staying power of Hanson’s scholarship is suggested by Wipf & Stock’s 2015 reprint of Hanson’s 1968 Studies.

McKnight is a well-known name in New Testament scholarship, and is bringing his wide range of expertise to the Pastorals. His previous publication specifically targeting the Pastorals, to my knowledge, consists of his “Eusebeia as Social Respectability: The Public Life of the Christian Pastor,” in Rhetoric, History, and Theology: Interpreting the New Testament, ed. Todd D. Still and Jason A. Myers (Lanham, MD: Lexington/Fortress, 2022), 161–77 (material which will be presented at the inaugural meeting of the IBR Pastoral Epistles Research Group). Note also his “From Timely Exegesis to Contemporary Ecclesiology: Relevant Hermeneutics and Provocative Embodiment of Faith in a Corona-Defined World – Generosity During a Pandemic,” HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 77.4 (2021): a6426.

The publisher gives this summary: “In the church tradition three letters, now known as the Pastoral Epistles, are attributed to the apostle Paul. They are unlike any other letters by Paul. They are written to two of his closest companions, Timothy and Titus, and they instruct those two leaders how to lead gathered Christians in Ephesus and in Crete. The letters contain plenty of instruction for how church leaders at that time, and in those places, were to function. In this commentary, Scot McKnight seeks to explain the major themes of the Pastoral Epistles – church order, false teaching, and failing Christians – and their foundational vision for how Christians could make a good impression in public life. These three brief letters express a view of how Christians were to live in the Roman empire in a way that does not offend public sensibilities. They prescribe a way of public behavior best translated as ‘civilized religion.'”

Contents and the first six pages of the introduction were available to me at Amazon; they suggest robust engagement with scholarship, including recent work by Hoklotubbe, Van Nes, and Kidson. What interests me immediately in the table of contents are the excurses scattered throughout.

Pao, 1–2 Timothy, Titus

David Pao, 1-2 Timothy, Titus. Brill Exegetical Commentary 1. Leiden: Brill, 2023.

David Pao, Dean and Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has produced 1–2 Timothy, Titus as the inaugural volume of the Brill Exegetical Commentary. The cheerful-looking cover may not immediately suggest the heft of this volume, which at over 825 pages is a massive tome, and beats Mounce’s WBC contribution for page count. I’m looking forward to receiving a review copy of this volume.

I love the first paragraph of the preface:

“Those expecting an apologia here for burdening modern readers with yet
another commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (PE) will be disappointed. Previous works have not exhausted either the meaning or the nuances of the PE,
nor will this one. While the textual data argue against limiting the PE to either
an abstract manual of ecclesiastic order or a narrow contextual response to the
false teachings of the time, a consensus appears to have developed in certain
circles where the author is considered to be a follower of Paul who reinvents
Christianity into a faith that accommodates itself to the wider mainstream
society. A reexamination of linguistic and conceptual patterns often seen as
reflecting such an accommodating stance may, however, point in a different
direction. Perhaps the subversive voice of the Pauline gospel can be heard
afresh with the renewed appreciation of not only the rhetorical strategies of
the author but also the theological significance of such strategies. And so the
journey continues. It is my prayer that with this and subsequent commentaries,
the complexity and richness of the PE will be further appreciated by those who
may find this gospel equally relevant and urgent in the contexts they find themselves.”

Krauter, recent publications

I received word recently of two new Pastorals publications by Stefan Krauter and, given the volume of work he is producing, thought it might be helpful to provide a vignette of Krauter and his recent publications in the letters. One of the purposes of pastoralepistles.com is keeping researchers in the letters apprised of scholarly work being done in the Pastorals.

Stefan Krauter (PhD, University of Tübingen) serves as a professor of New Testament at the Univerisity of Zurich. His faculty page indicates that in addition to a research focus on the Pauline corpus, he devotes attention to the examination of the New Testament writings in their relationships to the Greek and Latin literature of the early imperial period and the interpretation of the Pauline letters in the 16th century.

Krauter has been commissioned to produce the commentary on the Pastoral Epistles in the Handbuch zum Neuen Testament to replace the hoary Die Pastoralbriefe of Martin Dibelius. Dibelius’s influential volume was originally published in 1913 as Die Briefe des Apostels Paulus. An Timotheus I, II an Titus, and saw its fourth edition in 1966, revised by Hans Conzelmann, then translated into English as The Pastoral Epistles in the Hermeneia series in 1972. Krauter’s replacement volume will thus come over a century after Dibelius’s first edition, and over fifty years after the Hermeneia volume.

Krauter’s research for this volume has produced a spate of recent publications, and more are forthcoming. At this point, I am aware of the following:

“‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’: La théologie de la création dans 1 Timothée.” Revue de théologie et de philosophie 155 (2023).

“Auf den zweiten Blick: Eine Hinführung zu den Pastoralbriefen.” Bibel und Kirche 78.2 (2023)

“Cretan Memories: Crete in the Letter to Titus and the Acts of Titus.” Early Christianity 13 (2022): 455–67.

“Exilliteratur und die Gattung des Zweiten Timotheusbriefes.” Revue Biblique 129 (2022): 183–98.

“Ein Geist der Besonnenheit? Σωφρονισμός in 2Tim 1,7.” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 114.1 (2023): 123–36.

“Geistlose Briefe? Πνεῦμα in den Timotheusbriefen und im Titusbrief.” In Geist | Ruach | Pneuma | Spiritus. Exegetische, theologische, religionsgeschichtliche und phänomenologische Perspektiven. Edited by R. Feldmeier, J. Frey, and B. Schliesser. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming.

“Genderrollen in den Pastoralbriefen: ein Experiment mit verschiedenen Lesestrategien.” Theologische Literaturzeitung 146.5 (2021): 375–88.

“Ich weiß, wem ich mein Depositum anvertraut habe (2 Tim 1,12).” Biblische Zeitschrift 68 (2024). 

“Die Kirche – Pfeiler und Fundament der Wahrheit? Zur Übersetzung und Auslegung von I Tim 3,15f.” Theologische Zeitschrift 77.1 (2021): 45–59.

“The Lord be with your spirit (2 Tim 4:22a).” Revue Biblique 130 (2023). 

“The Pastoral Epistles and the Jewish Paul.” Pages 139–156 in Reception of Paul during the First Two Centuries: Exploration of the Jewish Matrix of Early Christianity. Edited by František Ábel. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2023.

“Die Pastoralbriefe im Dienst reformatorischer und antireformatorischer Polemik bei Caspar Cruciger dem Älteren und Ambrosius Catharinus.” Pages 247–68 in Reformatorische Paulusauslegungen. Edited by Stefan Krauter and Manuel Nägele. History of Biblical Exegesis 5. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2023. 

“In Würde altern: Tit 2 und antike Vorstellungen vom Alter.” Theologische Zeitschrift 79.2 (2023): 146–65.

“Zwischen Oikos und Polis: Die Gemeinde und ihre Gemeindeversammlung in den Pastoralbriefen.” in Qahal und Ekklesia: Typen und Funktionen von Versammlungen im Alten und Neuen Testament und ihren Umwelten. Edited by Joachim J. Krauter, Stefan Krauter, and Wolfgang Oswald. Studies in Cultural Contexts of the Bible. Leiden: Brill, 2024.

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