Category: Pastoral Epistles|2 Timothy (Page 1 of 5)

Quesnel, “Identifier les parties pauliniennes de la 2ème lettre à Timothee”

A new article on 2 Timothy has been published in Revue Biblique:

Michel Quesnel, “Identifier les parties pauliniennes de la 2ème lettre à Timothee,” Revue Biblique 129.2 (2022): 199–212.

The article is in French, but an English-language abstract is provided: “While the 1st letter to Timothy and the letter to Titus are pseudepigrapha, the 2nd epistle to Timothy is not entirely so. A precise analysis of the vocabulary used and the relationship of the authors to time enables us to distinguish parts of which Paul is certainly the author (2 Tm 1:1–2:13 and 4:6–22) from an addition composed by an editor at the end of the 1st century, giving instructions regarding behaviour to leaders of local churches (2 Tm 2:14–3:9). With less certainty we must probably also attribute to Paul 2 Tm 3:10–4:5.”

Annual Bibliographies on the Pastorals

For some few years now, we have been producing annual bibliographies for researchers in the Letters to Timothy and Titus. These bibliographies are meant to help students of these letters keep up with the secondary literature, and give some idea of research trends. We compile this list each year by contacting academic publishers and Pastorals scholars who have published previously on the letters. Our thanks to all who contributed!

Our annual bibliography of recent publications on the Letters to Timothy and Titus covers contributions from all of 2021 and early 2022. Over 170 items long and international in scope, the list contains monographs, journal articles, and commentaries, as well as lists of conference presentations and dissertations on the letters. It is available for viewing and downloading here.

Our annual bibliography of forthcoming publications on the Letters to Timothy and Titus is wide-ranging and academically oriented, containing over 60 forthcoming works on the Pastoral Epistles, including essays, monographs, and commentaries. In some cases, authors have provided a brief synopsis of their work. This bibliography is available for viewing and downloading here.

Van Nes, “Second-Century Vocabulary in the Pastoral Epistles? A Reassessment”

A recent article of interest to Pastorals researchers:

Van Nes, Jermo. “Second-Century Vocabulary in the Pastoral Epistles? A Reassessment.” Filología Neotestamentaria 34 (2021): 41–67.

Abstract: “Many contemporary New Testament scholars consider 1–2 Timothy and Titus, collectively known as the Pastoral Epistles (PE), to be pseudonymous. Some of them do so on the basis of the PE’s comparatively large number of hapax legomena (hapaxes), which they believe is closer to writings of the second century AD. The aim of this study is to reconsider this influential thesis as advocated by P.N. Harrison over the course of the twentieth century. It will be argued that the (statistical) evidence presented by Harrison is flawed as he gives no proper definition of hapaxes, unevenly compares the PE collectively to individual writings, and does not use any criteria to show how his results are statistically significant. By way of alternative, this paper will (1) provide a proper definition of hapaxes, (2) count how many of these hapaxes recur in all Greek second-century writings classified as such in the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae database, and (3) by means of (simple) linear regression analysis determine whether or not 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and/or Titus in comparison to each of the other undisputed Pauline letters share significantly more hapaxes with these second-century writings.”

Bulundwe, “Un évangile subversif”

Students of the Pastorals will be interested in a recent essay by Luc Bulundwe:

Luc Bulundwe, “Un évangile subversif: 2 Timothée au prisme d’une analyse sociologique du récit de soi [A subversive gospel: 2 Timothy through a sociological analysis of the self-narrative].” Pages 211–46 in Approches et méthodes en sciences bibliques. Quoi de neuf? Edited by Luc Bulundwe and Chen Dandelot, in collaboration with Simon Butticaz. Cahiers de la Revue de théologie et de philosophie 25. Genève: Droz, 2021.

The article is in French, but Bulundwe has provided me with a summary in English: “This paper applies a sociological analysis of the literary and rhetorical mechanisms of 2 Tim 1. This analysis highlights 2 Tim author’s intent. In a situation where the temptation is to be ashamed of the Gospel, mainly because of Paul’s suffering and imprisonment, the epistle shows, on the contrary, that this is an honor. To convince his addressees, the author uses memories of Christ and Paul as well as witnesses and symbolic places. The sociological analysis thus leads to the same observation as a majority of historical-critical exegeses according to which the author of 2 Tim could be part of the third generation of Christianity. On the other hand, by upsetting the anthropological categories of shame and honor linked to the consequences of the proclamation of the Gospel, it allows us to question the idea that the three pastoral letters are operating a form of inculturation of Christianity.”

Those doing research in authorship of 2 Timothy, sociological analysis, and the question of the connection between the Pastorals and the surrounding culture may find interaction with this essay helpful. Methodologically, the article effects its sociological analysis, first, with a structural analysis, in which Bulundwe engages sequence analysis, actor analysis, and argument analysis, synthesizing the results to highlight the internal logic of the narrative. Second is an examination of opposing pairs within this synthesis (today vs. yesterday/tomorrow; loyalty vs. cowardice; suffering together vs. turning away).

A number of points in Bulundwe’s analysis of the text (which I acknowledge I read in machine translation) were intriguing to me.

(1) In the sequential analysis, where Bulundwe details a number of chronological points able to be observed in the text in 2 Tim 1:1–18 (p. 223), I found it interesting that so many distinct points could be noted. I give them here in the order provided by Bulundwe:
(a) Salvation and call before eternal times (v. 9)
(b) The manifestation of Christ (v. 10)
(c) The service of the ancestors (v. 3)
(d) The faith of Lois and Eunice (v. 5)
(e) Paul’s establishment as “herald, apostle, and teacher” (v. 11)
(f) Paul’s suffering in prison, the abandonment of some, and the faithfulness of another (vv. 15–17)
(g) The exhortation to Timothy “today”
(h) The prospect of God’s reward on that day (v. 18)

(2) In line with the article title, Bulundwe examines the ancient notion of honor in connection with the passage, and argues that though Paul’s imprisonment and suffering did not accrue to any status of honor so far as the culture was concerned, Timothy was being called to suffer alongside Paul without shame because this involved them in collaboration with God himself and the suffering of Christ. “The ancient code of honor is thus well and truly subverted [le code antique de l’honneur est donc bien subverti]” (p. 229).

(3) As an extension of the last point–and here is my biggest takeaway from the article–Paul’s subversion of the ancient notion of honor evident in the text pushes back against the theory that the Pastorals promote a sort of acculturated Christianity in tune with its times, à la Dibelius’s christliche Bürgerlichkeit (pp. 236–37). 

The author is unable to post the article for public access, but will provide a copy privately upon request, which can be made via email to

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.

Schmidt, “Drei aus zweiter Hand: Die Pastoralbriefe und ihre Autoren”

A lengthy piece has recently been published on the authorship of the Pastoral Epistles:

Schmidt, Karl Matthias. “Drei aus zweiter Hand: Die Pastoralbriefe und ihre Autoren.” Studien zum Neuen Testament and seiner Umwelt A 46 (2021): 71–151.

Abstract: “Within a discussion on the literary form of the Pastoral Epistles becoming more complex this essay gets in line with those interpretations, which assume three pseudepigrapha, written by three different authors. Form and contents suggest that the letter to Titus is based on the Second Letter to Timothy and that the First Letter to Timothy is depending on both predecessors.”

The Pastorals in New Testament Abstracts 65.3

The following entries in New Testament Abstracts 65.3 may be of interest to researchers in the Pastorals.

1002. Philippe Van den Heede. “La participation à la mort du Christ par le baptême (Rm 6,3–11): Une conception pré-paulinienne (Rm 6,8; 2 Tm 2,11).” Revue Biblique 128.1 (2021): 99–115. (notice)

1035. Raymond F. Collins. “Paul in the Pastoral Epistles: A Life Well Lived.” The Bible Today 59.5 (2021): 308–15.

1036. Mary Ann Getty. “Elders and Widows.” The Bible Today 59.5 (2021): 301–7.

1037. Romeo Popa. “Ethic als Vermittlung zwischen Generationen in den Pastoralbriefen.” Sacra Scripta 18.1 (2020): 70–96.

1038. Mary Schieferstein. “Formation, Deception, and Childbearing: Reading 1 Timothy 2:13–3:1a in Light of Genesis 2–4.” Presbyterion 47.1 (2021): 112–20.

1039. Edward Mazich. “Lois and Eunice: Faith of Our Mothers.” The Bible Today 59.4 (2021): 242–48.

1040. T. Christopher Hoklotubbe. “Civilized Christ-Followers among Barbaric Cretans and Superstitious Judeans: Negotiating Ethnic Hierarchies in Titus 1:10–14.” Journal of Biblical Literature 140.2 (2021): 369–90. (notice)

1068. Michael Theobald. “Kirche im Neuen Testament.” Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 117.4 (2020): 377–402. [note Pastorals on pp. 406–7]

(p. 437) Abraham M. Antony and Jose Varickasseril, eds. An Affable Pastor: A Commemorative Volume in Honour of Archbishop Dominic Jala SDB. Shillong, India: Vendrame Institute Publications, 2020. [note the article by Abraham M. Antony on the credentials of the episkopos in 1 Tim 3:1–7 in the context of the Pastoral Epistles]

(p. 438) Benjamin H. Dunning, ed. The Oxford Handbook of New Testament, Gender, and Sexuality. Oxford Handbooks. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. [note Jorunn Økland, “Pauline Letters,” pp. 315–32, with the Pastorals discussed on pp. 325–26]

(p. 444) Robert W. Wall. Studies in Canonical Criticism: Reading the New Testament as Scripture. Library of New Testament Studies 615. London: T&T Clark, 2020. [note “Reading the Pauline Pastorals in Canonical Context,” pp. 93–126, which is excerpted from Wall and Steele, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus]

(p. 454) Martin Wright. The Dividing Wall: Ephesians and the Integrity of the Corpus Paulinum. Library of New Testament Studies 646. London: T&T Clark, 2021.

(p. 455) Jaime Clark-Soles. Women in the Bible. Interpretation Resources for the Use of Scripture in the Church. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2020. [note chap. 10, “The Muting of Paul and His Female Coworkers: Women in the Deutero-Pauline Epistles,” pp. 281–306]

(p. 457) E. Elizabeth Johnson. Ecclesiology in the New Testament. Core Biblical Studies. Nashville: Abingdon, 2020.

(p. 457) Dorothy A. Lee. The Ministry of Women in the New Testament: Reclaiming the Biblical Vision. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021. [*Note the treatments of 1 Tim 2:11–15; 3:2–12 in chap. 6, “Paul’s Letters: Key Texts”]

(p. 458) William A. Simmons. The Holy Spirit in the New Testament: A Pentecostal Guide. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2021. [note chap. 13: “The Holy Spirit in the Pastoral Epistles: The Spirit of Power, Love and Self-Control,” 161–72]

(p. 467) Karl-Heinrich Ostmeyer and Adrian Wypadlo, eds. Das Ziel vor Augen: Sport und Wittkampf im Neuen Testament und seiner Umwelt. Beiträge zur Wissenschaft vom Alten und Neuen Testament 226. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2020. [note Thomas Söding, “Der Sport des Apostels: Die Dialektik von Kampf und Seig auf dem Weg von Phil 3 zu 2 Tim 4,” pp. 81–100]

Porter, Pastoral Epistles, forthcoming 2022

I’ve known of Stan Porter’s forthcoming commentary on the Pastorals, but noticed it “officially” in Baker’s academic catalog today. Here’s the webpage. Per Baker, hardcover will be available in August 2022, e-book in November. Amazon, though, says Kindle version will be available 8/16/22 and hardcover 11/15/22.

Publisher’s blurb:

“New Testament scholar Stanley Porter offers a comprehensive commentary on the Pastoral Epistles that features rigorous biblical scholarship and emphasizes Greek language and linguistics.

“This book breaks new ground in its interpretation of the Pastoral Epistles by focusing on the Greek text and utilizing a linguistically informed exegetical method that draws on various elements in contemporary language study. Porter pays attention to the overall argument of each book while also delving into the semantics and lexicogrammar to tease out the textual meaning. Attentive to the history of scholarship on these three controversial works, the commentary addresses the major exegetical issues that arise in numerous highly disputed passages and offers innovative answers to traditional exegetical problems. Professors, students, and scholars of the New Testament will value this substantive work.”

Herzer, Die Pastoralbriefe und das Vermächtnis des Paulus

An important volume of collected essays on the Pastorals is now available:

Jens Herzer, Die Pastoralbriefe und das Vermächtnis des Paulus: Studien zu den Briefen an Timotheus und Titus [The Pastoral Epistles and Paul’s Legacy: Studies on the Letters to Timothy and Titus]. Edited by Jan Quenstedt. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 476. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022.

Jens Herzer has been writing on the Pastorals for nearly twenty years. It is largely his work which has spurred the continuing discussion about reading the letters individually as opposed to corpus-reading them (Michaela Engelmann, Unzertrennliche Drillinge?, a published dissertation completed under Herzer, should also be mentioned here). As he puts it in the volume introduction, “In my view, a decisive methodological prerequisite for an adequate view of the Pastoral Epistles is to dissolve their all too close ‘relationship’ and to perceive them in their own profile” (“Eine entscheidende methodische Voraussetzung für eine angemessene Sicht auf die Pastoralbriefe besteht aus meiner Sicht darin, ihre allzu enge ‘Verwandtschaft’ aufzulösen und die Briefe in ihrem je eigenen Profil wahrzunehmen”) (3).

Herzer’s scholarly literary output vis-à-vis the Pastorals has brought him to the highest rank in terms of sheer number of publications, a circle which includes Raymond Collins, Giuseppe De Virgilio, Michael Gourgues, Luke Timothy Johnson, Abraham Malherbe, Cesare Marcheselli-Casale, I. Howard Marshall, Yann Redalié, Ceslas Spicq, Michael Theobald, Philip Towner, Manabu Tsuji, and Korinna Zamfir. Students of the Pastorals will recognize that most of these scholars have also built upon earlier publications with a commentary on one or more of the letters (Malherbe was working on the Pastorals volume in Hermeneia at the time of his passing, and Tsuji’s Bokkai Shokan should be available soon). Likewise, Herzer is at work on the Pastorals volume in the Theologischer Handkommentar zum Neuen Testament, replacing the volume by Gottfried Holtz (1965; 5th ed., 1992). Indeed, as Herzer notes in the volume introduction [English translation by DeepL], it was his commission to produce this THKNT volume over twenty years ago which led to his various publications on the Pastorals, which in turn will, of course, inform the commentary.

As will be seen from the table of contents at the end of this post, the twenty essays (with one exception) are in German; English-language abstracts are, however, provided at the end of the volume (523–30). All of the essays have been published previously except the last (“Ethik, Ethos und die Wahrheit”), which is slated for publication in the delayed WUNT volume gathering the proceedings of the 2019 “Ethics in Titus” conference. Because the essays have been slightly revised (though in non-substantive ways) for republication, scholarly work should now normally cite them from this volume if possible, not from their original published locations.

Fickenscher, “A Rank-Based Analysis of Word Order and Codification in the Greek of the Pastoral Epistles”

A recent dissertation may be of interest to students of the Pastorals, especially those interested in questions of the authorship of the letters:

James Fickenscher, “A Rank-Based Analysis of Word Order and Codification in the Greek of the Pastoral Epistles.” PhD diss., Concordia Seminary, 2022.

The dissertation was completed under the direction of James Voelz. Voelz is not a specialist in the Pastorals, but I have used his 2-volume commentary on Mark (Concordia Commentaries; 2013, 2019) with profit. Here is the abstract:

“The relationship of word order and clausal structures with meaning, literary style, and authorial considerations in New Testament Greek is an often underdeveloped yet important field for reading, understanding, and interpreting the New Testament text. Navigating between a grammatical-historical and historical-critical reading of the New Testament, this dissertation analyzes the phenomena of word order and clausal structures afresh through the lens of systemic functional grammar, following the work of Michael Halliday. This project contributes a preliminary step forward in constructing a method that can account for and understand the purpose of word order patterns and variance from those patterns within New Testament Greek without presuming that variations are simply for emphasis or that they arise from a priori assumptions of an historical or authorial nature behind the text. As an initial test case, this dissertation explores the Pastoral Epistles, chosen due to their similarity in content, genre, and register, constructing a linguistic profile for each work that includes the codified patterns of word order and structure on the ranks of larger sections of text, individual clauses, and word groups within each clause that have a discrete, syntactical function. It is shown that a fuller understanding of word order, especially where variations or marked syntax occurs, both contributes to an overall analysis of the text, including issues of textual criticism and interpretation, as well as identifies multiple causes for changes in word order beyond simple emphasis. The phenomenon of rank shift, where a clause functions as a single, syntactical element within another clause, also impacts expected patterns of word order and clausal structure. This study then compares the linguistic profiles of Pastoral Epistles to one another and to other select texts of the New Testament, demonstrating both areas of general consistency and difference between the works. This suggests that some patterns under investigation are likely not significant for inter-textual discussions of literary style, provenance, or register, but many areas of word order do have potential import for larger analysis of literary or historical considerations as they are manifested within each work on a strictly linguistic basis.”

The entire dissertation is available here.

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