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

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.

Translation of 2 Timothy 2.15

Nick Norelli responds to a query by someone named Brian about translation of $esv(2Ti 2.15).

Brian’s query asks:

  • parse and explain your translation for σπούδασον (why you chose the word you did).
  • parse and explain your translation for παραστῆσαι (why you chose the word you did).
  • parse and explain your translation for ὀρθοτομοῦντα (why you chose the word you did).

Nick translates thusly: "Make every effort to present yourself to God [as] an approved worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." See his post for further explanation.

I did a translation of the Pastoral Epistles four or five years ago. My translation of 2Ti 2.15 (actually, 2.14-18) is:

14 Remind them of these things, warning them before God not to fight about words, which is nothing useful and serves to ruin those who hear. 15 Take pains to present yourself approved of God, an unashamed worker, guiding the word of truth along a straight path. 16 But shun frivolous chatter and empty talk. These will lead to further ungodliness 17 and their word will spread like gangrene. Of whom are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who concerning the truth have strayed, saying the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.

On Brian’s questions, I actually have notes online. Here are my notes on verbs, nouns and adjectives in 2Ti 2.15. Note that I’ve revisited portions of the translation since I wrote the notes (one of the reasons for writing the notes).

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part VI

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

Apologies for the pause in this series of posts. With the arrival of my new daughter, Ella Kathleen, my schedule has been rightly upended. I hope to re-start working through potential citations/allusions/references of the Pastorals in the Apostolic Fathers as I get used to the new demands at home. RWB

Ign. Poly. 6.2 || 2Ti 2.4

(2) ἀρέσκετε ᾧ στρατεύεσθε, ἀφʼ οὗ καὶ τὰ ὀψώνια κομίζεσθε. μήτις ὑμῶν δεσέρτωρ εὑρεθῇ. τὸ βάπτισμα ὑμῶν μενέτω ὡς ὅπλα, ἡ πίστις ὡς περικεφαλαία, ἡ ἀγάπη ὡς δόρυ, ἡ ὑπομονὴ ὡς πανοπλία· τὰ δεπόσιτα ὑμῶν τὰ ἔργα ὑμῶν, ἵνα τὰ ἄκκεπτα ὑμῶν ἄξια κομίσησθε. μακροθυμήσατε οὖν μετʼ ἀλλήλων ἐν πραΰτητι, ὡς ὁ θεὸς μεθʼ ὑμῶν. ὀναίμην ὑμῶν διὰ παντός. (Ign. Poly. 6.2)
(2) Please him whom you serve as soldiers, from whom you receive your wages. Let none of you be found a deserter. Let your baptism serve as a shield, faith as a helmet, love as a spear, endurance as armor. Let your deeds be your deposits, in order that you may eventually receive the savings that are due you. Be, therefore, patient and gentle with one another, as God is with you. May I always have joy in you. (Ign. Poly. 6.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (198, 199). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

4 οὐδεὶς στρατευόμενος ἐμπλέκεται ταῖς τοῦ βίου πραγματείαις, ἵνα τῷ στρατολογήσαντι ἀρέσῃ. (2Ti 2.4, NA27)
4 No soldier on active duty involves himself in civilian pursuits, so that he may please the one who enlisted him. (2Ti 2.4, my own translation)

This parallel is based on co-occurrence of similar lexical forms promoting similar concept. Note that the portions specified by the Oxford committee (in bold above) do not share στρατ- verbs. Ign. Poly. 6.2 uses στρατευω while the highlighted portion of 2Ti 2.4 uses the NT hapax στρατολογεω (though στρατευω occurs earlier in the verse). Both instances, however, share some form of the word αρεσκω.

While these two instances contain the only co-occurrence of words (something to do with soldering and also some sort of ‘pleasing’), the idea of Christian-as-soldier is not localized to 2Ti 2.4. Second Corinthians 10 speaks of the warfare Christians are to take part in. Ephesians 6 speaks of the armor that a Christian is to gird himself up with; the second part of Ign. Poly. 6.2 may have some allusion to this. The concept of Christian-as-soldier also occurs in First Clement (1Cl 37.1).

What is unique about the current references, however, is notion of soldiering to please the one who as called or enlisted the soldier. This could be Ignatius’ own innovation, or he could be reliant upon 2Ti 2.4. Given other affinities between Ignatius’ writings and the Pastorals, it seems to be within the realm of possibility that Ignatius is influenced by 2Ti 2.3-4 in this portion (as well as perhaps by Eph 6).

Next up: Ign. Eph. 17.1 || 2Ti 3.6

The Pastoral Epistles in Ignatius, Part IV

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

Ign. Smyrn. 4.2 || 1Ti 1.12 (cf. 2Ti 2.1; 4.17)

(2) εἰ γὰρ τὸ δοκεῖν ταῦτα ἐπράχθη ὑπὸ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν, κἀγὼ τὸ δοκεῖν δέδεμαι. τί δὲ καὶ ἑαυτὸν ἔκδοτον δέδωκα τῷ θανάτῳ, πρὸς πῦρ, πρὸς μάχαιραν, πρὸς θηρία; ἀλλʼ ὁ ἐγγὺς μαχαίρας, ἐγγὺς θεοῦ· μεταξὺ θηρίων, μεταξὺ θεοῦ· μόνον ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, εἰς τὸ συμπαθεῖν αὐτῷ. πάντα ὑπομένω, αὐτοῦ με ἐνδυναμοῦντος τοῦ τελείου ἀνθρώπου. (Ign. Smyrn. 4.2)
(2) For if these things were done by our Lord in appearance only, then I am in chains in appearance only. Why, moreover, have I surrendered myself to death, to fire, to sword, to beasts? But in any case, “near the sword” means “near to God” “with the beasts” means “with God.” Only let it be in the name of Jesus Christ, that I may suffer together with him! I endure everything because he himself, who is perfect man, empowers me.
 (Ign. Smyrn. 4.2)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (186, 187). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

12 Χάριν ἔχω τῷ ἐνδυναμώσαντί με Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν, ὅτι πιστόν με ἡγήσατο θέμενος εἰς διακονίαν (1Ti 1.12, NA27)
12 I am thankful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He considered me faithful, appointing me into His service. (1Ti 1.12, my own translation)

1 Σὺ οὖν, τέκνον μου, ἐνδυναμοῦ ἐν τῇ χάριτι τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, (2Ti 2.1, NA27)
1 And so you, my child, be empowered in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, (2Ti 2.1, my own translation)

17 ὁ δὲ κύριός μοι παρέστη καὶ ἐνεδυνάμωσέν με, ἵνα διʼ ἐμοῦ τὸ κήρυγμα πληροφορηθῇ καὶ ἀκούσωσιν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, καὶ ἐρρύσθην ἐκ στόματος λέοντος. (2Ti 4.17, NA27)
17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the preaching might be fully presented and all the nations might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. (2Ti 4.17, my own translation)

The common idea here is that of Christ as the source of strength/power for the believer. The similarity is lexical with the point of contact being participle forms of the word ἐνδυναμόω. And, as the additional citations of 2Ti 2.1 (an imperative) and 4.17 (again a participle) show, the idea is one that is found in the Pastorals.

However, the idea of being strengthened by Christ is essentially Pauline. The more likely point of contact for Ignatius in this instance is Php 4.13:

13 πάντα ἰσχύω ἐν τῷ ἐνδυναμοῦντί με. (Php 4.13, NA27)
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Php 4.13, ESV)

Compared to:

πάντα ὑπομένω, αὐτοῦ με ἐνδυναμοῦντος τοῦ τελείου ἀνθρώπου. (Ign. Smyrn. 4.2, end)
I endure everything because he himself, who is perfect man, empowers me. (Ign. Smyrn. 4.2, end)

The larger contexts are roughly the same (Ignatius on his way to martyrdom, Paul in prison) and the sentiments are the same (whatever comes, it can be borne because Christ is the source of strength). The same sentiment is present in 1 & 2 Timothy; and Paul is even in prison again in 2 Timothy.

So Pauline influence here doesn’t seem to be a stretch, particularly since Paul is the primary source using ἐνδυναμόω. Paul uses the term 6 times: Ro 4.20; Eph 6.10; Php 4.13; 1Ti 1.12; 2Ti 2.1; 4.17. The only other NT instance is from Luke, in Ac 9.22 — where he uses the term to describe how Paul “increased all the more in strength”.

But I don’t think influence can be narrowed to First Timothy. The examples in Php 4.13 and also Eph 6.10 (“Be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might”, right before the passage on the armor of God) may have more influence. If one passage must be selected as inspiration for Ignatius, then Php 4.13 is likely it as it has the idea of enduring/doing all things (πάντα) because Christ empowers (ἐνδυναμόω).

Next up: Ign. Eph. 2.1; Ign. Smyrn. 10.2 || 2Ti 1.16

The Pastoral Epistles in First Clement, Part II

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

1Cl 2.7 || Titus 3.1; 2Ti 2.21; 3.17; 2Co 9.8

(7) ἀμεταμέλητοι ἦτε ἐπὶ πάσῃ ἀγαθοποιΐᾳ, ἕτοιμοι εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν. (1Cl 2.7)
(7) You never once regretted doing good, but were “ready for every good work.” (1Cl 2.7)
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (30, 31). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

3.1 Ὑπομίμνῃσκε αὐτοὺς ἀρχαῖς ἐξουσίαις ὑποτάσσεσθαι, πειθαρχεῖν, πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἑτοίμους εἶναι, (Tt 3.1, NA27)
3.1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be prepared for all good work, (Tt 3.1, my own translation)
21 ἐὰν οὖν τις ἐκκαθάρῃ ἑαυτὸν ἀπὸ τούτων, ἔσται σκεῦος εἰς τιμήν, ἡγιασμένον, εὔχρηστον τῷ δεσπότῃ, εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἡτοιμασμένον. (2Ti 2.21, NA27)
21 If then anyone might cleanse himself from these, he will be a pot for honor, having been made holy, useful to the master, having been prepared for every good work. (2Ti 2.21, my own translation)
17 ἵνα ἄρτιος ᾖ ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος, πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐξηρτισμένος. (2Ti 3.17, NA27)
17 so that the man of God might be capable, having been equipped for all good work. (2Ti 3.17, my own translation)
8 δυνατεῖ δὲ ὁ θεὸς πᾶσαν χάριν περισσεῦσαι εἰς ὑμᾶς, ἵνα ἐν παντὶ πάντοτε πᾶσαν αὐτάρκειαν ἔχοντες περισσεύητε εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν, (2Co 9.8, NA27)
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2Co 9.8, ESV)

The repeated concept is, obviously, that of “all good work” and the idea of being prepared/equipped for it. I hadn’t really noticed the repetition of the phase in Titus and 2Ti before; this does well to bring that repetition out.

The combination is [adj or participle] modified by [εἰς or πρὸς] + πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν. Here are the instances laid out a bit more clearly with the preposition in red and the balance of the prepositional phrase in blue:

1Cl 2.7: ἕτοιμοι εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν
Tt 3.1: πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἑτοίμους εἶναι
2Ti 2.21: εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἡτοιμασμένον
2Ti 3.17: πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐξηρτισμένος
2Co 9.8: περισσεύητε εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν

As such, one word group stands out in 1Cl 2.7, Tt 3.1 and 2Ti 2.21: ἕτοιμος/ἑτοιμάζω. 2Ti 3.17 and 2Co 9.8, while sharing the prepositional phrase, do not share the modified portion.

Despite the different pronoun in Tt 3.1, it is the reading that 1Cl 2.7 is closest to. Lightfoot (Clement vol. II, p. 18) notes regarding 2Cl 2.7 “The latter clause ἕτοιμοι κ.τ.λ. is from Titus 3.1, πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἑτοίμους εἶναι“. In his edition, Lightfoot even puts the Greek in smallcaps, denoting that he sees it as a quotation or allusion. Holmes similarly in his English translation puts “ready for every good work” in quotes and provides a citation of Titus 3.1 as the source. Jerome Quinn, in his Anchor Bible volume on Titus, deals with the discrepancy in pronoun:

The PE do not otherwise use hetoimos, though the cognate verb occurs when 2Ti 2.21 takes up this phrase again. Construing hetoimos with pros, literally “ready for,” instead of eis, is rare in biblical Greek (1Pe 3.15; Tob 5.17) and is not found in the Apostolic Fathers. A variation between pros and eis may pertain to current Greek idiomatic style (Moule, Idiom, p. 68) and may thus be conceptually of no consequence. … The Apostolic Fathers employ hetoimos fewer than a dozen times, principally Ignatius, but 1Cl 2.7 may be quoting Titus (or the list that served as a source at this point) when he writes nostalgically to the troubled Corinthian church, “you were without misgiving in doing every kind of good, ready for every good work.” (Quinn 180)

I don’t notice any variants at the preposition in Tt 3.1 (Elliott has none listed). But searching for other substantive-modifying prepositional phrases that contained πας, I came across Tt 1.16 which should probably also be added to our list. (Quinn associates 1.16 with 3.1 as well, p. 180)

16 θεὸν ὁμολογοῦσιν εἰδέναι, τοῖς δὲ ἔργοις ἀρνοῦνται, βδελυκτοὶ ὄντες καὶ ἀπειθεῖς καὶ πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἀδόκιμοι. (Tt 1.16, NA27)
16 They claim to know God, but they deny Him with their works; being detestable and disobedient and unfit for any good work. (Tt 1.16, my own translation)

This is very relevant to the current examination not only because it also uses πρὸς but because it occurs in a list, much like Tt 3.1 does. Comparing Tt 1.16 to Tt 3.1, it is evident that one list (1.16) is a negative list, the other (3.1) is a positive list.

16 They claim to know God,
    but they deny Him with their works;
    being detestable and disobedient
    and unfit for any good work. (Tt 1.16, my own translation)

3 Remind them
    to be subject to rulers and authorities,
    to obey,
    to be prepared for all good work, (Tt 3.1, my own translation)

The last two items on each list contrast each other directly. In 1.16, the target is unbelievers, those described in 1.10-14. They are unfit for any good work. In 3.1, the target is believers, those to whom the glorious salvation in 2.11-14 applies. And the context of 1Cl 2.7 is much the same; it is written with believers in mind.

Due to the contextual similarity, the lexical similarity, and the work of Lightfoot, Quinn and Holmes, I’m inclined to think that Clement here does reflect knowledge of Titus and perhaps even the balance of the Pastoral Epistles.

If that is true, and if First Clement does date to the 90’s* then Titus has been established enough by the 90s to be known by the author of First Clement. This argues against a second-century dating of at least Titus; since most concur that the Pastorals were composed around the same time (either together or over a space of 1-2 years) this puts all of the PE before the second century in the late first century at the latest. It will be interesting to see what can be made of other affinities between First Clement and the Pastoral Epistles.

* Lightfoot strongly argues for this. Holmes also notes “There is widespread agreement in dating this letter about a.d. 95–97, in the last year of the emperor Domitian or the first of his successor, Nerva.” (Holmes 23).

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.

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