Category: Pastoral Epistles|Titus|Titus 1 (Page 1 of 2)

Hoklotubbe, “Civilized Christ-Followers among Barbaric Cretans and Superstitious Judeans: Negotiating Ethnic Hierarchies in Titus 1:10–14”

Chris Hoklotubbe has recently added to the literature on the Pastorals with a contribution to JBL:

Hoklotubbe, T. Christopher. “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. Read more

The Pastorals at ETS 2019

The annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society will be held on Nov 20-22 in San Diego. We’ve collected here sessions that may be of interest to researchers in the Pastorals.

The section devoted to the study of the Pastorals has four sessions scheduled on Nov 20, 9 AM to 12:10 PM: Read more

New Coptic Fragments of 2 Timothy & Titus

In the most recent Journal of Biblical Literature, Brice C. Jones has published an article on three new Coptic papyrus fragments that witness text of the Pastoral Epistles.

Brice C. Jones, “Three New Coptic Papyrus Fragments of 2 Timothy and Titus (P.Mich. inv. 3535b)”. Journal of Biblical Literature, no 2 (2014): 389–397.

The article provides discussion and transcriptions of the fragments. Text on the fragments are:

  • Fragment 1: 2 Tim 2:14–18; 2:26–3:3
  • Fragment 2: 2 Tim 1:6–11; 1:18–2:6
  • Fragment 3: 2 Tim 4:18–20; Titus 1:7–9

Jones hesitates to provide dates any more specific than “sometime between the fourth and sixth centuries” (392).

I have yet to really read the article, but any time fragments of NT text are located, it is an important thing. Thanks to Brice C. Jones (see his blog) for his work in publishing these fragments.

History of Baptist Interpretation of Titus

After about a 5 year hiatus, the Journal of Baptist Studies has relaunched with a new website and an issue devoted entirely to the history of interpretation of the letter to Titus among Baptists. The Journal of Baptist studies is a peer-reviewed journal, published electronically and edited by Anthony Chute and Matthew Emerson. There is no charge for accessing the journal.

Here is the table of contents for the current issue (not including the book reviews):

Baptists, Pastors, and Titus 1: A History of Interpretation

By Ray Van Neste……………………………………………………………4


The Legality of Slavery in the Sight of God: Baptists and Their Use of Titus 2 to Defend Slavery

By Jeff Straub………………………………………………………………36


Reception History of Titus 3 in Baptist Life

By Anthony Chute………………………………………………………….64


Selected Baptist Bibliography on Titus

By Matthew Y. Emerson ……………………………………………………91


I think this issue will be of interest to scholars working on the Pastorals even if they are not Baptists. The essays trace the way one group of Christians have interpreted and applied this letter over the years. The focus is not simply on academic writing but how the texts were applied in the life of the church.

In my essay I was intrigued to find shifts in the way Baptist leaders interpreted references to plurality of pastors/elders, the use of alcohol, and the ‘believing” or “faithful” children in Titus 1:6.

I am interested in any thoughts readers have on these essays. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments.

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.=&0=&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.

Eternal Life and the Pastoral Epistles

In studying $esv(1Ti 6.12), I was looking further into the phrase “eternal life” (here ‘τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς‘). I’m sure this is noted in commentaries (which I haven’t checked yet) but has anyone else noticed that there may be inclusios using ‘eternal life’ in both First Timothy and Titus?
First Timothy:

1.16 ἀλλὰ διὰ τοῦτο ἠλεήθην, ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ πρώτῳ ἐνδείξηται Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς τὴν ἅπασαν μακροθυμίαν πρὸς ὑποτύπωσιν τῶν μελλόντων πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον. (1Ti 1.16, NA27)1.16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (1Ti 1.16, ESV)
6.12 ἀγωνίζου τὸν καλὸν ἀγῶνα τῆς πίστεως, ἐπιλαβοῦ τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς, εἰς ἣν ἐκλήθης καὶ ὡμολόγησας τὴν καλὴν ὁμολογίαν ἐνώπιον πολλῶν μαρτύρων. (1Ti 6.12, NA27)6.12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1Ti 6.12, ESV)

1.2 ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι ζωῆς αἰωνίου, ἣν ἐπηγγείλατο ὁ ἀψευδὴς θεὸς πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων, (Tt 1.2, NA27)1.2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began (Tt 1.2, ESV)
3.7 ἵνα δικαιωθέντες τῇ ἐκείνου χάριτι κληρονόμοι γενηθῶμεν κατʼ ἐλπίδα ζωῆς αἰωνίου.3.7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
The phrase is not super-frequent in the Pastorals. And, at least in First Timothy, I’ve noticed a few other things that seem to tie the benediction at the end of chapter 1 and the end of chapter 6 together, perhaps as an inclusio for the whole thing (which would speak toward the unity and cohesion of the whole letter). The most obvious is the shared metaphor “wage the good warfare” (1Ti 1.18) and “fight the good fight” (1Ti 6.11), but there may be others.
I know inclusios should have more going for them than shared words, but has anyone else noticed this going on? I’ll have to check some commentaries later and see if they say anything.
Bonus Question: For you word order / discourse grammar folks out there, is there any significance to the change in word order for the phrase “eternal life” between 1Ti 1.16 (πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον) and 6.12 (ἐπιλαβοῦ τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς)? The 1Ti 6.12 instance seems to be the only time in the NT that αιωνιος occurs first in the phrase.

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 ἀγαθόνTt 3.1: πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἑτοίμους εἶναι2Ti 2.21: εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἡτοιμασμένον2Ti 3.17: πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐξηρτισμένος2Co 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).

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