Category: Pastoral Epistles|1 Timothy|1 Timothy 2 (Page 4 of 4)

Pastoral Epistles at the 2007 ETS Meeting

I was perusing the printed ETS 2007 program the other day and noted the following sessions having to do with the Pastoral Epistles. If you’re going to be at the ETS meeting in San Diego this November, maybe you should try to catch one of these papers.

Wednesday Morning (Nov 14)

Garden Salon Two
New Testament
Theme: Paul

9:20-10:00 AM
Greg MaGee (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
Paul’s Response to the Shame and Pain of Imprisonment in 2 Timothy

11:00-11:40 AM
L. Timothy Swinson (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
“Faithful Sayings” or One Faithful Word? Another View of πιστος ο λογος in the Pastoral Epistles

Thursday Morning (Nov 15)

Literature of the Bible Study Group
Theme: Familiar Biblical Texts Through a Literary Lens

8:30-11:40 AM
[note that there are three papers plus a planning meeting in this time frame, Ray’s paper is second]
Ray Van Neste (Union University)
Looking Through a Literary Lens at a Pastoral Epistle

Thursday Afternoon (Nov 15)

Garden Salon Two
Patristics Study Group
Theme: Early Christianity in Africa

2:10-5:20 PM
[note that there are four papers in this time frame, the below paper is listed fourth]
Francis X. Gumerlock (Providence Theological Seminary)
When ‘All’ meant ‘Some’: Fulgentius of Ruspe on $esv(1Ti 2.4)
Respondent: Paul Hartog (Faith Baptist Theological Seminary)

Friday Morning (Nov 16)

Royal Palm Salon Three
New Testament

[this isn’t specifically on the Pastorals, but 1Co 14.33 always comes up when you’re discussing $esv(1Ti 2.11-15)]
William Warren (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary)
Orderly Worship or Silent Women: A Study of $esv(1 Corinthians 14.33)

Unfortunately, I’ll have to miss most of these sessions. I don’t arrive until early Wednesday afternoon so I’ll miss the Wednesday AM papers (Swinson’s sounds good; I heard him present on a text-critical issue in the Pastorals last year). I present a non-Pastoral-Epistles paper on Wednesday afternoon (at 4:10 in Garden Salon Two). On Friday morning, I moderate a section on the Gospel of John (from 9:00 to 12:10 in Royal Palm Salon Five, do stop by and say ‘hello’ if you’d like).

The Pastoral Epistles in First Clement, Part IV

[This post is part of a series on The Pastoral Epistles in the Apostolic Fathers. RWB]

There are some affinities between 1Cl 29.1 and 1Ti 2.8.

1Cl 29.1 || 1Ti 2.8

29.1 Προσέλθωμεν οὖν αὐτῷ ἐν ὁσιότητι ψυχῆς, ἁγνὰς καὶ ἀμιάντους χεῖρας αἴροντες πρὸς αὐτόν, ἀγαπῶντες τὸν ἐπιεικῆ καὶ εὔσπλαγχνον πατέρα ἡμῶν ὃς ἐκλογῆς μέρος ἡμᾶς ἐποίησεν ἑαυτῷ.
29. Let us, therefore, approach him in holiness of soul, lifting up to him pure and undefiled hands, loving our gentle and compassionate Father who made us his chosen portion.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (60, 61). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

8 Βούλομαι οὖν προσεύχεσθαι τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ ἐπαίροντας ὁσίους χεῖρας χωρὶς ὀργῆς καὶ διαλογισμοῦ. (1Ti 2.8, NA27)
8 Therefore I want men everywhere to pray, lifting holy hands without anger or dispute. (1Ti 2.8, my own translation)

The concepts here are parallel, but dependence is not likely. The image of lifting hands in prayer and/or blessing is known elsewhere in the NT as well as in the LXX and the deuterocanonical books. Four examples will suffice:

50 Ἐξήγαγεν δὲ αὐτοὺς [ἔξω] ἕως πρὸς Βηθανίαν, καὶ ἐπάρας τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ εὐλόγησεν αὐτούς. 51 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εὐλογεῖν αὐτὸν αὐτοὺς διέστη ἀπʼ αὐτῶν καὶ ἀνεφέρετο εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν. (Lu 24.50-51, ESV)
50 Then [Jesus] led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. (Lu 24.50-51, ESV)

6 καὶ ηὐλόγησεν Εσδρας κύριον τὸν θεὸν τὸν μέγαν, καὶ ἀπεκρίθη πᾶς ὁ λαὸς καὶ εἶπαν Αμην ἐπάραντες χεῖρας αὐτῶν καὶ ἔκυψαν καὶ προσεκύνησαν τῷ κυρίῳ ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν. (Ne 8.6, LXX)
6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God; and all the people answered and said “Amen”; they lifted up their hands and bowed, and worshipped the Lord with their faces toward the ground. (Ne 8.6, my own translation)

1 Ἰδοὺ δὴ εὐλογεῖτε τὸν κύριον, πάντες οἱ δοῦλοι κυρίου οἱ ἑστῶτες ἐν οἴκῳ κυρίου, ἐν αὐλαῖς οἴκου θεοῦ ἡμῶν. 2 ἐν ταῖς νυξὶν ἐπάρατε τὰς χεῖρας ὑμῶν εἰς τὰ ἅγια καὶ εὐλογεῖτε τὸν κύριον. (Ps 133.1-2[134.1-2 English])
1 Behold, now bless the Lord, all bond-servants of the Lord who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. 2 In the night, lift up your hands unto the holy place and bless the Lord! (Ps 134.1-2[133.1-2 LXX], my own translation)

20 τότε καταβὰς ἐπῆρεν χεῖρας αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἐκκλησίαν υἱῶν Ισραηλ δοῦναι εὐλογίαν κυρίου ἐκ χειλέων αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ καυχήσασθαι, (Sir 50.20, LXX)
20 While he was descending, he lifted up his hands over the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, to give a blessing of the Lord from his lips and to glory in his name. (Sir 50.20, my own translation)

One difference between these examples and the 1Cl/1Ti example is that the hands are not further qualified with some sense of “pure” or “holy”. But that is not to say such examples do not exist; they’re just not in the canonical literature. Lightfoot compounds these with additional quotations from Athenagoras (Suppl. 13), επαιρωμεν οσιους χειρας αυτω, and Heliodorus the tragedian in Galen. de Antid. ii. 7 (XIV. p. 145, ed. Kuhn), αλλʼ οσιας μεν χειρας ες ηερα λαμπρον αειρας, commenting further “The expression describes the attitude of the ancients (as of the Orientals at the present day) when engaged in prayer, with extended arms and uplifted palms”. (Lightfoot, vol 2 p. 93)

On top of that, note similar imagery of “stretching” (ἐκτείνω) out one’s hands in 4Ma 4.11; Jos. Apion 1.209; 1Cl 2.3 and Ep.Barn. 12.2 (L.T. Johnson, p. 198) though these contexts are slightly different than our primary example passages(s). Johnson also lists Seneca, Natural Questions 3, Preface 14; Jos. Wars 5.380; and the Athenagoras citation also listed by Lightfoot as examples of the picture.

On the whole, the concept of lifting hands in prayer to the Lord or in the act of bestowing blessing from the Lord seems well documented across different corpora. There is no reason to think the image used in First Clement comes directly from the use in First Timothy.

Next up: Ign Eph. 14.1; 20.2; Magn. 8.1 || 1Ti 1.3-5

Good Friday Thoughts from the Pastorals

Here are a few selections that point to Christ as our Saviour. These seem appropriate to meditate and consider today. The translation is my own.

1Ti 2.1-7

1 First of all, then, I encourage supplications, prayers, petitions, and praises to be made on behalf of all men, 2 on behalf of kings and all in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, 4 who desires all people to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who sacrificed himself as a ransom on behalf of all, the witness at the proper time. 7 Into this I was appointed herald and apostle—I speak the truth, I do not lie—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Titus 2.11-15

11 For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men; 12 instructing us, after we renounce impiety and worldly desires, to live self-controlled, justly and godly in this present age; 13 looking forward to the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and deliverer of us, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself on behalf of us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for himself a chosen people, zealous for good works. 15 These things speak and exhort and set forth with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Titus 3.1-7

1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be prepared for all good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all courtesy to all men. 3 For we too were foolish, disobedient, deluded, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our lives in malice and envy, loathsome, hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and benevolence of God our Saviour appeared, 5 not out of works in righteousness which we did but according to His mercy He saved us through washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7 so that being justified in His grace we become heirs according to the hope of life eternal.

Irenaeus, Eve, Mary and Childbearing

I’m reading through Irenaeus’ $amz(0809102641 Proof of the Apostolic Preaching) (translated by Joseph Smith) in the evenings before going to bed. It’s a pretty quick read and will familiarize you with Irenaeus before digging into his $amz(0809104547 Against Heresies) (translated by Dominic J.Unger, and my next evening reading target).

First, to set the scene, let me quote 1Ti 2.13-15:

13 For Adam was created first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not misled, but the woman, being deceived, has become a transgressor. 15 But she will be saved through childbearing, if they remain in faith and love and holiness with good judgment. (my own translation)

Ok, now, here’s Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, §33:

33. And just as it was through a virgin who disobeyed that man was stricken and fell and died, so too it was through the Virgin, who obeyed the word of God, that man resuscitated by life received life. For the Lord came to seek back the lost sheep, and it was man who was lost; and therefore He did not become some other formation, but He likewise, of her that was descended from Adam, preserved the likeness of formation: for Adam had necessarily to be restored in Christ, that mortality be absorbed in immortality, and Eve in Mary, that a virgin, become the advocate of a virgin, should undo and destroy virginal disobedience by virginal obedience. (Smith, 69. emphasis added)

Now I’m not sure what to think of this passage from Irenaeus; I certainly think Christ died once for all, male and female alike. So I don’t know quite what to think about Eve being “restored” in Mary. But this passage links Eve and Mary in a sense of restoration. More importantly, because of Mary’s obedience, man received life. Eve disobeyed, her disobedience was made right again with Christ’s birth to a virgin mother and the resultant salvation through Christ. At least, on the surface, that’s what I sense Irenaeus to be saying.

Irenaeus is early, likely the generation after the Apostolic Fathers. Polycarp, whom Irenaeus heard teach and was likely a pupil of, was martyred in 155 or 156. Irenaeus became Bishop of Lyons in 177 or 178 and, according to Smith, likely died in the early third century (Smith 6). Irenaeus also likely knew of at least First Timothy; consider the start of his preface to Against Heresies:

Certain people are discarding the Truth and introducing deceitful myths and endless geneaologies, which, as the Apostle says, promote speculations rather than the divine training that is in faith. (Unger, 21)

That’s the very first sentence of the preface, explicitly quoting $esv(1Ti 1.4) and attributing it to Paul (the “Apostle”). So Irenaeus is mid/late 2nd century, he knew of First Timothy (as did Polycarp, who in Poly. Phil. 4.1 may have quoted $esv(1Ti 6.10)) and he had this view of Eve being restored in Mary.

Realizing all of this —  how does Irenaeus in Proof of the Apostolic Preaching square with 1Ti 2.13-15? Most commentaries these days discount the ‘childbearing’ in v. 15 as having anything to do with the arrival of Christ through being born to Mary. But isn’t that pretty much what Irenaeus is saying here?

Postscript: Please note, this is all just me “thinking out loud” (i.e. blogging). I read the passage in Irenaeus last night and it’s been simmering on the back burners of my brain since. I checked Marshall’s ICC volume, Knight’s NIGTC volume, and Dibelius & Conzelmann in Hermeneia. No mention of this reference, though D&C refer to Irenaeus Adv. Haer. 1.24.2 (which attributes marriage and childbirth to Satan). I’d check Towner’s NICNT and Witherington, but I’ve loaned the volumes to a friend and don’t have them handy. I haven’t checked elsewhere to see if this passage of Irenaeus has ever been associated with these verses.

Scot McKnight on 1Ti 2.8-15

Scot McKnight, author of several books and a blogger to boot (see his blog Jesus Creed) posts about that one passage in the Pastorals that everyone seems to gravitate toward: 1Ti 2.8-15.

McKnight reviews a few chapters from a book by Sarah Sumner called Men and Women in the Church. But what you really want to read through is the comment thread on the post — all sorts of opinions are being aired there.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, you may want to check out the post and the comments.

Update: I realize I’ve blogged somewhat on this topic before; mostly thinking-out-loud sorts of posts. The posts go together; the second post really needs to be read after the first one. Check ’em out in the old blog for more info:


Bourgeois Christianity?

This is my first post and I am honoured to be involved in this blog with Rick and Perry.  I echo the comments made by Perry in his first post.  I would like to offer some thoughts that I hope will generate some discussion.  As a first post I will restrict my comments to very general ones.  I am sure the discussion will lead us to more specific deliberations.

The (previous) scholarly consensus on the Pastoral Epistles (PE) is that they are late documents reflecting Pauline communities which had become institutionalised and had come to terms with the delay of the Parousia by settling down into a form of accommodation with the wider society.  My work disputes a number of aspects of this consensus and remains in dialogue with the Hermeneia commentary on the PE by Martin Dibelius and Hans Conzelmann in which Dibelius famously argued that the PE promote the ideal of good christian citizenship (christliche Bürgerlichkeit) – a form of bourgeois christianity.

In my book, The Polemic of the Pastorals, I argued that the letters do not reflect communities in which Paul’s vision of the church as a charismatic community has faded through the process of institutionalisation.  My current work focuses on the communities’ wider relationship with society.  I am intrigued by the rhetorical function of 2 Tim 3:12.  This verse receives scant attention in the Hermeneia commentary.  Although sympathetic to the current emphasis on treating each letter separately and not taking the PE as a literary corpus, I personally remain convinced by the results of older scholarship that for reasons of style, vocabulary, etc. they should, with due sensitivity, be treated together.  If so, the presence of a text like 2 Tim 3:12 in this corpus means that it is problematic to read 1 Tim 2:1-2 as a straightforward indication that the communities have accommodated themselves to society.  For example, 16th century Anabaptists, who were persecuted by both Protestants and Catholics, regularly quoted 2 Tim 3:12 (it is one of the most cited texts in Martyrs Mirror, the Anabaptist martyrology first published in 1660), yet they also freely made use of 1 Tim 2:1-2.  For example, Article XXVII of the Mennonite Confession of Faith (dated around 1600) begins: “we confess: [t]hat the office of magistracy is an ordinance and institution of God who Himself willed and ordained that such a power should be over every country in order that thereby countries and cities might, through good policy and laws, for the punishment of the evil and the protection of the pious, be governed and maintained in quiet and peace, in a good civil life …” (my emphasis).  In this case persecuted Christians could echo the prayer expressed in 1 Tim 2:1-2 precisely because they were persecuted and marginalised in society.  It seems to me that the PE can be read as instructions to communities who recognise only too well that the subversive claims of the gospel (e.g. God, not Caesar, as saviour) could lead to persecution at any time.  If we take seriously Ephesus as the destination of 1 and 2 Timothy then is it illegitimate to view some of the vocabulary of at least these two letters in the PE as in conscious dialogue with the imperial cult?

I look forward to your comments!

Updates and News

As you’ve likely noticed, there have been several changes here at

The biggest change is that there is now more than one blogger. In addition to Rick Brannan (yours truly), Perry L. Stepp, Lloyd Pietersen and Ray Van Neste have agreed to begin posting to

Perry is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Kentucky Christian University. He’s recently had a book published by the Sheffield Phoenix Press, Leadership Succession in the World of the Pauline Circle. He’s also presented papers at SBL in the Disputed Paulines group. It’s great to have him aboard.

There will likely be at least one more blogger added to the team; more information on that in a future post.

Lloyd is a Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies  at the University of Bristol. Here’s some further information on Dr. Pietersen from his web site:

Dr Lloyd Pietersen obtained his PhD from the University of Sheffield. His thesis has been published as The Polemic of the Pastorals: A Sociological Examination of the Development of Pauline Christianity (JSNTSup 264; London/New York: T & T Clark International, 2004). He is currently a Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol and is co-chair of the Social World of the New Testament Seminar at the British New Testament Conference.

Ray is Assistant Professor of Christian Studies and Director of the R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies at Union University. He is also author of Cohesion and Structure in the Pastoral Epistles (JSNTSup 280; Lonon/New York: T&T Clark International, 2004). And he has his own personal blog too.

What is this site all about, then?

Well, it’s about the Pastoral Epistles. Folks who blog here have a more-than-average interest in the Pastorals. We’ll blog about stuff like:

  • Quick reviews of books, articles, chapters, etc. that we read that have to do with the Pastorals. The same book or article may be discussed by multiple authors on the site.
  • Extended reviews.
  • Reviews of or interaction with conference presentations or papers.
  • Interaction with other web sites, blog posts, etc. that mention things that primarily or tangentially refer to the Pastoral Epistles.
  • Thoughts, musings and whatnot. We’ll feel free to use the blog as a scratch pad of sorts as we think through topics or exegetical points having to do with the Pastoral Epistles.
  • Whatever else seems interesting to us, as long as we can relate it back to the Pastorals.

If you’re familiar with the older site, it is still available at Content may or may not migrate over to the new site.

Anyway, thanks for your support of the site. Please bear with us while we get the place set up. And please do update your RSS / Feed reader links. The new link is You can use this in any feedreader/aggregator or online tool such as BlogLines.

Tell your friends!

Newer posts »

© 2024 Pastoral Epistles

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑