Category: Pastoral Epistles|1 Timothy|1 Timothy 6 (Page 1 of 2)

Zamfir, “‘You, Man of God, Pursue Righteousness’: The Reception of 1 Timothy 6:11 in Some Third and Fourth Century Writers”

A new reception-historical study:

Zamfir, Korinna. “‘You, Man of God, Pursue Righteousness’: The Reception of 1 Timothy 6:11 in Some Third and Fourth Century Writers.” Pages 261–75 in Bibel und Patristik: Studien zur Exegese und Rezeption von Septuaginta und Neuem Testament. Festschrift für Martin Meiser. Biblische Zeitschrift Supplements 3. Leiden: Brill Schöningh, 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.30965/9783657793372_015

Reinhardt, “‘God, Who Giveth Us Richly’: Wealth, Authorship, and Audience in 1 Timothy 6”

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.”

A PDF of the article is freely available here.

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.

The Pastorals at ETS and SBL 2020

Due to the blog being down for several months, we were unable to post in anticipation of Pastorals-related sessions at ETS and SBL 2020. In retrospect, however, we provide that information here for the record.

ETS Annual Meeting 2020 (program)

The Pastoral Epistles study group sponsored three (virtual) presentations and fielded responses in a virtual session moderated by Greg Couser:

Stanley E. Porter, “Arguments For and Against Pauline Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles”

Mark Baker, A ‘Perfect’ Elder? Blamelessness in the Qualifications for Elders and Deacons in the Pastoral Epistles”

Ben Merkle, “The Authority of Deacons in Pauline Churches”

In addition, note:

Charlie Ray III, “A Lawful Use of the Law: The Use of the Law in 1 Timothy and Its Implications for the Church”

SBL Annual Meeting 2020 (abstracts available here)

Andrew R. Guffey, “Paul, the Pastorals, and Encratite Origins”

Gary G. Hoag, “Slaves and Masters, Diversity and Unity: Locating the Benefactor of 1 Timothy 6:1–2a”

Lyn Kidson, “Funding Widows in 1 Timothy 5: The Economy of Asia Minor and the Limits of Benefaction”

Mona Tokarek LaFosse, “Women and ‘the Faith’ in 1 Timothy 5: A Battle for Faith and Faithfulness”

Kelsi Morrison-Atkins. “Performing Piety: ‘Dress Codes’ and the Construction of Gender in 1 Timothy”

Angela Standhartinger, “The Pastoral Epistles among Ancient Letter Collections”

Note that there was a book review session focusing on Christopher Hutson’s volume on the Pastorals in the Paideia series; Daniel Darko presided over an invited panel consisting of Lyn Kidson, Michael Bird, and Thomas Hoklotubbe. Lyn Kidson has posted her review and Hoklotubbe’s review on her blog here. Mike Bird’s review can be found on his blog here.

“Jesus’s Testimony before Pilate in 1 Timothy 6:13” by Michel Gourgues

The latest issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature contains Michel Gourgues’s article, “Jesus’s Testimony before Pilate in 1 Timothy 6:13” (JBL 135:3 [2016]: 639-48)- the abstract can be viewed here. Gourgues notes the fact that outside of the Gospels and Acts, 1 Timothy is the only other place Pilate is mentioned. Arguing from the context and structure of the passage in 1 Timothy 6 and verbal parallels with the account of Jesus’s trial in John, Gourgues argues that 1 Timothy 6:13 draws from John’s gospel (or traditions behind John’s gospel). He sees this as confirming a later date for the composition of 1 Timothy.

I appreciated Gourgues’s attention to the context and structure of 1 Timothy 6. He mentions but dismisses (rightly, I think) those who explain this text as simply pre-formed material inserted into the letter. He notes that the pieces fit together reasonably so that if pre-formed material is used it has been shaped to fit the context.

I think most would agree with his point that the confession of Jesus in 6:13 parallels the confession called for from Timothy in 6:12. I agree and think that the historical appeal to the example of Jesus is meant to bolster Timothy in an analogous situation. Gourgues argues that this confession of Timothy’s was most likely a baptismal confession. This is reasonable, though I’m not sure it can be proven. The idea of this being a baptismal confession is then the basis for looking for traditional material which could provide the basis for the language in 6:13. Gourgues then notes several verbal parallels between 1 Timothy and John’s gospel. These are interesting and potentially significant parallels, but the article ends abruptly stating that these parallels “suggest” 1 Timothy 6:13 alludes to “the Johannine version of Jesus’s appearance before Pilate” (648). This then “suggests” a late date for 1 Timothy.

I find the conclusion of the article disappointing. There is some interesting information here, but he hurries to a conclusion where I thought it needed more reflection and reasoning. I am not convinced that enough evidence was marshalled to make a strong case for literary borrowing from John’s gospel. Furthermore, though he briefly acknowledges the possibility of drawing from traditions pre-dating the writing of John’s gospel, he does not adequately consider that this could undo his thesis.

So, this is an interesting article worth reading, though I am unconvinced of his thesis in the end. Hopefully Gourgues will show us elsewhere some more of his thinking on this data.

Abraham Malherbe and the Pastoral Epistles (Guest Post)

This is a guest post from Chuck Bumgardner, who is currently working on a PhD in New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

At the time of his passing in 2012, Abraham Malherbe was working on a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles that was to replace Dibelius/Conzelmann in the Hermeneia series (as of last August when I checked, Fortress had not chosen a new author). His contribution to the literature would have been most welcome, given his scholarly acumen and his previous Pastorals research. I wanted to note here that most of his already-published engagement with the Pastorals, which was scattered rather widely, has been gathered into the first volume of a just-published collection of his essays:
Light from the Gentiles: Hellenistic Philosophy and Early Christianity. Collected Essays, 1959-2012, by Abraham J. Malherbe. Edited by Carl R. Holladay, John T. Fitzgerald, Gregory E. Sterling, and James W. Thompson. 2 volumes. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 150. Leiden: Brill, 2014. (ISBN 978-90-04-25339-1)
The following essays are in Light from the Gentiles. I’ve provided original publication data.

“‘Christ Jesus Came into the World to Save Sinners’: Soteriology in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 331-58 in Salvation in the New Testament: Perspectives on Soteriology. Edited by Jan G. van der Watt. Novum Testamentum Supplements 121. Leiden: Brill, 2005.

“Godliness, Self-Sufficiency, Greed, and the Enjoyment of Wealth. 1 Timothy 6:3-19: Part I.” Novum Testamentum 52 (2010): 376-405.

“Godliness, Self-Sufficiency, Greed, and the Enjoyment of Wealth. 1 Timothy 6:3-19: Part II.” Novum Testamentum 53 (2011): 73-96.

“How to Treat Old Women and Old Men: The Use of Philosophical Traditions and Scripture in 1 Timothy 5.” Pages 263-90 in Scripture and Traditions: Essays on Early Judaism and Christianity in Honor of Carl R. Holladay. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 129. Leiden: Brill, 2008.

“‘In Season and Out of Season’: 2 Timothy 4:2.” Journal of Biblical Literature 103 (1982): 23-41.

“Medical Imagery in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 19-35 in Texts and Testaments: Critical Essays on the Bible and Early Church Fathers. Edited by W. E. March. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1980.

“Overseers as Household Managers in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 72-88 in Text, Image, and Christians in the Graeco-Roman World: A Festschrift in Honor of David Lee Balch. Edited by Aliou Cissé Niang and Carolyn Osiek. Princeton Theological Monograph Series 176. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2012.

“Paraenesis in the Epistle to Titus.” Pages 297-317 in Early Christian Paraenesis in Context. Edited by James Starr and Troels Engberg-Pederson. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 125. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004.

Paulus Senex.” Restoration Quarterly 36 (1994): 197-207.

“The Virtus Feminarum in 1 Timothy 2:9-15.” Pages 45-65 in Renewing Tradition: Studies in Texts and Contexts in Honor of James W. Thompson. Edited by Mark W. Hamilton, Thomas H. Olbricht, and Jeffrey Peterson. Princeton Theological Monograph Series 65. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2007.

“Almsgiving and ‘the Commandment’ in 1 Timothy 6:14”

Last year in New Testament Studies Nathan Eubank provided what is, I believe, a new interpretation of “the commandment” (η εντολη) in 1 Timothy 6:14. His article is titled “Almsgiving is ‘the Commandment’: A Note on 1 Timothy 6.6–19.”

Eubank argues that “the commandment” was a common idiom in Rabbinic Judaism for almsgiving. He provides several supportive texts, though the dates of some are uncertain. This, it is suggested, solves the problem of 1 Timothy 6:11-16 (an exhortation to Timothy) protruding between two paragraphs which deal with money issues (6:6-10 & 6:17-19). On this reading the exhortation to Timothy is also about money. 6:6-10 urges contentment and warns against the love of money. In 6:11-16 Timothy is told to flee this love of money, pursue righteousness and to give alms (v. 14). Then, those who already have money are warned not to look to wealth as their security.

This is a well-argued article and worthy of attention from anyone working on 1 Timothy. I appreciate Eubank’s interest in finding cohesion in the argument and flow of thought in the letter. However, I am not yet convinced. I am not concerned here to give a full rebuttal but simply to note a few things.

Eubank notes some possible difficulties with some of his rabbinic examples if you have an early date for 1 Timothy (which is my position). Beyond that, I am not sure that a reference to almsgiving in 6:14 solves the perceived problem with 6:11-16. Those who see disunity are likely still to wonder about these six verses “interrupting” the flow. If we recognize the regular movement back and forth from focus on Timothy to focus on opponents and/or the congregation in the letter, then we are not surprised to see it in chapter 6 as well. 6:11-16, then, does not need to address wealth in order to cohere. The flow of thought would then be something like this: Timothy is to teach truth (6:2-3) unlike the opponents who are caught up in greed (6:4-10). In contrast to these opponents Timothy is to pursue righteousness as he awaits Christ’s return (6:11-16). Then Timothy is to warn the rich in the congregation not to follow the ways of the opponents but to pursue eternal things as they also await the “future” (6:17-19).

Eubank is to be thanked for raising this possibility, pointing out this rabbinic background and making a plausible argument. His argument is more involved than what would be summarized here. I commend the article to you and welcome your thoughts in the comments.

First Timothy 6.7, Job 1.21, and Palladas

This morning Michael Gilleland, at Laudator Temporis Acti, had a post called “Born Bare, Buried Bare”, reviewing several different translations of Palladas’ statement, “Naked I alighted on the earth, and naked I shall go beneath it” (Palladas, Greek Anthology 10.58, tr. W.R. Patton).

He (of course) ties it to Job 1.21, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return thither.”

I immediately thought of 1Ti 6.7, “for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” (ESV)

The manuscript . . .

The manuscript for my commentary, Reading Paul’s Letters to Individuals: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Letters to Philemon, Titus, and Timothy, is officially in the mail to Smyth and Helwys.

S&H expects the commentary to be available in October, just in time for SBL. Maybe I’ll need to go to Boston after all.

This is the commentary that Glenn Hinson was supposed to write, then Marty Soards. Both ended up not filling the contract. Then Hulitt Gloer wrote a manuscript, but was not able to finish it for health reasons.

So in January–you may recall–the editor of the series, Charles Talbert (who was my doctorfather at Baylor) asked if I could finish Gloer’s manuscript.  And I’ve spent the last few months doing so.

I’d originally hoped to have 300 – 325 double spaced pages, and ended up with 425: OUCH! Did I type all that stuff?

What’s innovative or fresh about the commentary? Two things, off the top of my head:

First, it is a scholarly commentary, interacting extensively with primary sources (Philo and Josephus, especially) and cutting-edge secondary sources (e.g., Bruce Winter’s work on the new Roman woman), BUT the exposition is aimed at preachers and teachers. This would be the first commentary I would recommend for people who want to preach these letters.

Second, this is the first commentary on the Pastorals to take into account the role that succession plays in these letters.

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