The Pastoral Epistles Study Group was active in the Evangelical Theological Society for eleven years, from 2011–2021. In its final year, the Steering Committee was chaired by Greg Couser, with Greg MaGee, Ben Merkle, Tim Swinson, and Ray Van Neste also serving on the committee. The study group articulated its purpose as follows:
“An exploration of the implications of recent scholarship in the Pastoral Epistles for contemporary Pauline Theology. We intend to pursue questions such as: What effect would a robust integration of the theology of the Pastoral Epistles have on contemporary understandings of Paul? And, conversely, what effect has the general dismissal of the Pastoral Epistles had on contemporary understandings of Paul? What has recent scholarship in the Pastoral Epistles offered to the question of their authorship and theology?
“Though many evangelicals are committed to the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles most contemporary summaries of Paul’s thought virtually leave them out. Even despite the many recent developments in the study of the Pastoral Epistles, little has been done to consider what this now offers for the issue of authorship and for our understanding of Pauline Theology. It appears to be an opportune moment to re-open the issue of the place and importance of the Pastoral Epistles for our understanding of Paul.”
Below, we list the presentations connected with the study group sessions at the Annual Meeting of the ETS. As noted below, papers from the group have been published in Bibliotheca Sacra, Bulletin for Biblical Research, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and Tyndale Bulletin.
Gary L. Shultz Jr., “Wealth, Contentment, and Union with Christ in the Pastorals.”
Martin Sheldon, “Generous Giving as a Means of Storing Up Treasure for the Coming Age (1 Tim 6:17–18).”
Timothy Swinson, “Covetousness or Charity: One Face of the ‘Lawful’ Use of the Law in 1 Timothy.”
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.”
Benjamin L. Merkle, “The Authority of Deacons in Pauline Churches.” See “The Authority of Deacons in Pauline Churches,” JETS 64.2 (2021): 309–25.
Ray Van Neste, “‘Household of God’ or ‘House of God’? OT Background in 1 Tim 3:15 and Its Implications.”
David I. Yoon, “The Register of Paul in 1 Timothy: Why the Pastorals May Differ in ‘Style’ than the Hauptbriefe.”
Ray Van Neste, “Ethics in Titus.” See in Ethics in Titus, ed. Ruben Zimmermann and Dogara Ishaya Manomi (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming).
John Percival, “Salvation History in Six Lines: Reading 1 Timothy 3:16b as an Interconnected Whole.”
Terry Wilder, “A Pauline Theology of the Holy Spirit in the Letters to Timothy and Titus.”
Jeff Cockrill, “The Good Deposit in 2 Timothy: Its Content and Trust.”
L. Timothy Swinson, “1 Timothy as a Matrix for the ‘Lawful’ Use of the Law.”
David Chapman, “The Pastoral Epistles and the Legacy of the Hauptbriefe Discussion.”
Fred Sanders, “Grace the Civilizer: Paul Undomesticated in the Pastoral Epistles.”
Eckhard Schnabel, “Paul and the Next Generation of Christian Leaders: The Contribution of the Pastoral Epistles to New Testament Ecclesiology.”
Greg Couser, “The Judgment of Believers in 2 Timothy: What Is Judged and What Is the Outcome?” See “The Believer’s Judgment in 2 Timothy, Part 1,” BSac 176.703 (2019): 312–26; “The Believer’s Judgment in 2 Timothy, Part 2,” BSac 176.704 (2019): 444–58.
Marty Feltham, “Carefully Crafted or a Clumsy Imitation? Assessing the Argument of 1 Timothy 2:1–7.”
Ardel Caneday, “Save Yourself and the People Who Hear You: An Authentic Pauline Exhortation.”
Jermo Van Nes, “Motif-Semantic Differences in Paul? A Question to Advocates of the Pastorals’ Plural Authorship.” See Jermo Van Nes and Harro Koning, “Motif-Semantic Differences in Paul? A Question to Advocates of the Pastorals’ Plural Authorship in Dialogue with Michaela Engelmann,” TynBul 68.1 (2017): 73–94.
Andreas Köstenberger, “An Investigation of the Mission Motif in the Letters to Timothy and Titus with Implications for Pauline Authorship.” See “An Investigation of the Mission Motif in the Letters to Timothy and Titus with Implications for Pauline Authorship,” BBR 29.1 (2019): 49–64.
Gordon Franz, “The Archaeological Background to the Epistle of Titus and the First-Century Church on the Island of Crete.”
Charles Bumgardner, “Kinship, Fictive Kinship, and the Letters to Timothy and Titus.” See “Kinship, Christian Kinship, and the Letters to Timothy and Titus,” Southeastern Theological Review 7.2 (2016): 3–18.
Dillon Thornton, “‘Saying What They Should Not Say’: Reassessing the Gravity of the Problem of the Younger Widows (1 Tim 5:9–16).” See “‘Saying What They Should Not Say’: Reassessing the Gravity of the Problem of the Younger Widows (1 Tim 5:11–15),” JETS 59.1 (2016): 119–29.
Greg A. Couser, “The Church as Family: The Nature of the Household of God in 1 Timothy.” See “Divergent, Insurgent or Allegiant? 1 Timothy 5:1–2 and the Nature of God’s Household.” Southeastern Theological Review 7.2 (2016): 19–34.
Peter Walker, “1 Timothy & Titus Relocated: Reimagining the Connections.”
David W. Pao, “Let No One Despise Your Youth: Church and the World in the Pastoral Epistles.” See “Let No One Despise Your Youth: Church and World in the Pastoral Epistles.” JETS 57.4 (2014): 743‒55.
Greg Beale, “The Origin of the Office of Elder and Its Relationship to the Inaugurated Eschatological Tribulation”
Dillon Thornton, “Satan as Adversary and Ally in the Process of Ecclesial Discipline: The Use of the Prologue to Job in 1 Cor 5:5 and 1 Tim 1:20.” See “Satan as Adversary and Ally in the Process of Ecclesial Discipline: The Use of the Prologue to Job in 1 Corinthians 5:5 and 1 Timothy 1:20,” TynBul 66.1 (2015): 137–51.
Mark Overstreet, “Διδακτικόν: Rethinking the Qualification of Elders after Years in the Bush: Theological Education Among Peoples Who Have No Access to the Written Scriptures.”
Randy Richards, “Ancient Authorship Models and the Pastoral Epistles.”
L. Timothy Swinson, “Paul’s use of ‘Graphe’ in 1 Cor 15:3–4 and 1 Tim 5:18.” See in What Is Scripture? Paul’s Use of Graphe in the Letters to Timothy (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2014).
Ray Van Neste, “Coherence and Authorship in 1 Timothy.”
Benjamin L. Merkle, “Are the Qualifications for Elders or Overseers Negotiable?” See “Are the Qualifications for Elders or Overseers Negotiable?,” BSac 171.682 (2014): 172–88.
L. Timothy Swinson, “‘Saved by Means of Childbearing’: 1 Tim 2:15 as a Reflection of Paul’s Reading of Gen 3–4.”
Gregory S. MaGee, “Anchored in Israel’s Faith: Paul and the Old Testament in 2 Timothy.”
Gregory A. Couser, “Paul and the Conscience.”
Robert W. Yarbrough, “The Theology of the Pastorals in NT Theologies.”
L. Timothy Swinson, “The Pastoral Epistles and Perspectives Old and New.”
Gregory A. Couser, “‘Life on Life‘: Explorations in Paul‘s Understanding of
Frank Thielman, “The Pedagogy of Grace: Soteriology, Ethics, and Mission
in Titus 2:11–14.”