Adebayo, “The Politics of the Term γραφή in the Pastoral Epistles”

Oluwarotimi Paul Adebayo has produced an article addressing the referent of γραφή in its two occurrences in the Letters to Timothy:

Adebayo, Oluwarotimi Paul. “The Politics of the Term γραφή in the Pastoral Epistles.” Scriptura 119.2 (2020): 1–11.

The article may be found online here.

Abstract: “The understanding of the term Scripture in early Christianity is best described as an evolving concept that can be categorised into various stages. This can best be seen in the most popular Greek term the NT uses in designating Scripture, γραφή and its cognates. Γραφή was used 50 times in the NT to represent Scripture, and in each of these instances, it refers to more than just a mere writing which is what the term originally meant in Greek prior to the NT’s consistent use of it as a technical term for sacred writing.
“This study attempts to reflect briefly on (part of) the evolution γραφή underwent on the pages of the NT especially within the Pastoral Epistles (PE) – a product of the early second century CE. This study bears in mind that the recognition of books as Scripture is not a series of clearly defined steps, but rather a long and complicated process involving creativity and powerplay. This study therefore serves to enhance a more accurate understanding of the transition the concept of Scripture in the PE, most especially pertaining to the use of the term γραφή.
“The question regarding the scope of the term γραφή in the NT and especially in the PE is open to debate – especially the use of the two different words, ἱερὰ γράμματα and γραφή for Scripture in 2 Tim. 3:15–16. So is the reference to Jesus’ words as Scripture in 1 Tim. 5:18. These have raised questions of a possible shift in the PE’s understanding of γραφή. “Findings from this research include the extensive use of γραφή in the PE to accommodate more than just the Jewish Scripture, as it has evolved to include emerging earlier writings of the NT; the author of the PE was creative in adopting and adapting to a new understanding of sacred writings which serves the context of his time.
“This unveils the influence a community exerts on recognition of authoritative Scripture while teasing out the politics intertwined in the recognition of Scripture and the identity of a people, as this later became the path to canonicity of Scripture.”

The Pastorals in NTA 64.1

Following are items pertinent to Pastorals studies in New Testament Abstracts 64.1 (2020). We’ve noted a number of them previously, and have provided links to posts with abstracts where possible. Note that NTA has chosen not to abstract the responses to the articles in JSPL 9.1–2 noted below.

(231) Jens Herzer. “Narration, Genre, and Pseudonymity: Reconsidering the Individuality and the Literary Relationship of the Pastoral Epistles.” Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters 9.1–2 (2019): 30–51. [link]

(232) Rob van Houwelingen. “The Meaning of ἐπιφάνεια in the Pastoral Epistles.” Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters 9.1–2 (2019): 89–108. [link]

(233) Jermo van Nes. “The Pastoral Epistles: Common Themes, Individual Compositions? An Introduction to the Quest for the Origin(s) of the Letters to Timothy and Titus.” Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters 9:1–2 (2019): 6–29. [link]

(234) George Kudilil. “Paul’s ‘Pressure of Anxiety for All the Churches’ (2 Cor 11:28) and His Exhortation to Timothy in 2 Tim 4:2.” Bible Bhashyam 45.3 (2019): 81–99.

(235) Greg A. Couser. “The Believer’s Judgment in 2 Timothy, Part 2.” Bibliotheca Sacra 176.704 (2019): 444–58. [link]

(236) Janusz Wilk. “Personalia w drugim liście do Tymoteusza 4,9–15 [References to Persons in 2 Timothy 4:9–15].” Collectanea Theologica 87.1 (2017): 49–74. [Polish; English-language abstract at end]

(237) D. I. Manomi. “Towards an African Biblical Virtue Ethics? Reflections on the Letter to Titus through a Progressive-Negotiated-Ethics.” Acta Theologica 39.2 (2019): 114–29.

(238) Peter-Ben Smit. “Supermen and Sissies: Masculinities in Titus and 1 Timothy.” Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters 9:1–2 (2019): 62–79. [link]

(239) Jermo van Nes. “Who are ‘Our People’ (οἱ ἡμέτεροι) in Titus 3,14?” Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 95.4 (2019): 661–65. [link]

(p. 127) Deborah Krause, “1 Timothy,” “2 Timothy,” and “Titus.” Pages 311–22 in The Preacher’s Bible Handbook. Edited by O. Wesley Allen. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2019.

(p. 130) Suzanne W. Henderson, New Testament Conversations: A Literary, Historical, and Pluralistic Introduction. Nashville: Abingdon, 2019. [Pastorals treated on pp. 339–44]

(p. 132) Jens Herzer. “Goethes Quark und Holtzmanns Drillinge: Die Pastoralbriefe in Geschichte und Gegenwart.” Pages 125–135 in Update-Exegese 2.2: Grundfragen gegenwärtiger Bibelwissenschaft. Edited by Wolfgang Kraus and Martin Rösel. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2019.

(p. 133) Lucy Peppiatt. Rediscovering Scripture’s Vision for Women: Fresh Perspectives on Disputed Texts. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2019. [note esp. chap. 8, “A Final Barrier: 1 Timothy 2:8–15, pp. 140–157]

(p. 135) N. T. Wright and Michael F. Bird. The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019. [Chapter 22: “The Pastoral Epistles,” pp. 528–50]

(p. 146) Robert J. Banks. Paul’s Idea of Community: The Early House Churches in Their Cultural Setting. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2020. [note “Appendix 1: The Drift of the Pastorals,” pp. 167–72).

(p. 146) Reimund Bieringer, ed. 2 Timothy and Titus Reconsidered / Der 2. Timotheus- und der Titusbrief in neuem Licht. Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum 20. Leuven: Peeters, 2018.

(p. 146) Bryan Blazosky. The Law’s Universal Condemning and Enslaving Power. BBR Supplement Series 24. University Park, PA: Eisenbrauns, 2019. [note chap 6, “1 Corinthians and the Disputed Pauline Epistles,” esp. pp. 180–85]

(p. 147) David J. Downs and Benjamin J. Lappenga. The Faithfulness of the Risen Christ: Pistis and the Exalted Lord in the Pauline Letters. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019. [Introduction focuses on 2 Tim 2:8–13]

(p. 151) Lee Gatiss and Bradley G. Green. 1–2 Thessalonians, 1–2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon. Reformation Commentary on Scripture 12. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2019. [1 Timothy, pp. 110–211; 2 Timothy, 212–264; Titus, 265–306] [review]

(p. 153) Christopher R. Hutson. First and Second Timothy and Titus. Paideia. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2019. [review]

(p. 156) Marcos Aceituno Donoso. “Déu, el nostre Soter, a primera Tiemoteu. Teologia sobre la sobirania de Déu.” Pages 235–70 in Salvació i salvacions en els escrits bíblivcs i postbiblics. Scripta Biblica 17. Tarragona: Associació Biblica de Catalunya—Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 2018. [Catalan; English-language summary]

(p. 158) Christiane Zimmermann. “Gott, unser Retter—Christus, unsere Hoffnung: Soteriologische Aspekte des 1. Timotheusbriefs.“ Pages 405­–426 in Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity. Festschrift in Honour of Cilliers Breytenbach on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday. Edited by David S. du Toit, Christine Gerber, and Christiane Zimmermann. Leiden: Brill, 2019.

(p. 160) Andreas J. Köstenberger. “Faithful Stewardship in God’s Household: Discipleship in the Letters to Timothy and Titus.” Pages 193–212 in Following Jesus Christ: The New Testament Message of Discipleship for Today. Edited by John K. Goodrich. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2019.

Bibliography on Wealth and Poverty in the Pastorals

The theme for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society is “Wealth and Poverty.” I have compiled a selected bibliography on wealth and poverty vis-a-vis the Letters to Timothy and Titus which may be accessed here.

Wieland, “Re-Ordering the Household: Misalignment and Realignment to God’s οἰκονομία in 1 Timothy”

Students of 1 Timothy will be interested in a newly available essay on “sin and its remedy” in 1 Timothy written by a well-known student of the Pastorals:

George M. Wieland, “Re-Ordering the Household: Misalignment and Realignment to God’s οἰκονομία in 1 Timothy.” Pages 147–60 in Sin and Its Remedy in Paul. Contours of Pauline Theology. Edited by Nijay K. Gupta and John K. Goodrich. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2020.

Wieland has made this biblical theological essay available on his Academia page (click here), where he gives this brief description: “An investigation of references to sin in 1 Timothy suggests that in this letter sin is whatever opposes or steps out of alignment with God’s oikonomia, as expressed both in the Law and in the gospel. The remedy is a realignment to God’s saving rule over creation, the world, and the church, and in that enterprise faithful, health-giving teaching is crucial.”

Hoag, “Demystifying Gender Issues in 1 Timothy 2:9–15, with Help from Artemis”

I received notice today of a new article on that most controversial of Pastorals passages in 1 Timothy 2:

Gary G. Hoag, “Demystifying Gender Issues in 1 Timothy 2:9–15, with Help from Artemis.” Evangelical Review of Theology 44.3 (2020): 242–49.

Abstract: “1 Timothy 2:9-15 is a source of considerable debate over women’s role in the church. Many aspects of the passage have long mystified interpreters. This article shows how a little-noticed contemporary love story from Ephesus may enable us to unlock this influential and often troublesome text. “

I have not seen the article yet, but it apparently draws upon Hoag’s work on the passage in his dissertation-turned-monograph, Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus (BBRSup 11; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015), in which he engages the socio-rhetorical methodology of Vernon Robbins in conjunction with 1 Timothy and an ancient novel.

1 Timothy in P133

I hadn’t realized it until I stumbled across this online, but a few years back, one of the Oxyrhynchus papyri was published as containing text from 1 Tim 3:13-4:8, and as Peter Gurry noted, P.Oxy. 5259 became P133 as well. Here’s the editio princeps:

Shao, J. “5259. I Timothy 3:13–4:8.” Pages 3–8 in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Volume LXXXI. Edited and translated by J. H. Brusuelas and C. Meccariello. Graeco-Roman Memoirs 102. London: The Egypt Exploration Society, 2016.

You can read Shao’s work here (originally posted here). Gurry notes that with its 3rd-century dating, P133 has become the “earliest copy of 1 Timothy.”

You can view the actual papyrus here.

Weidemann, “Die Pastoralbriefe”

A relatively recent, and rather lengthy, status quaestionis article on the Pastorals is available online:

Weidemann, Hans-Ulrich. “Die Pastoralbriefe.” Theologische Rundschau 81.4 (2016): 353‒403.

Weidemann discusses recent research on the Pastorals under four headings: (1) Drillinge oder entfernte Verwandte? Die Corpus-These in der Diskussion; (2) Neue Diskussionen um Datierung und Bezeugung der Briefe im 2. Jahrhundert; (3) »Gender Trouble of a Pastor«: Geschlechtergeschichtliche Untersuchungen der Pastoralbriefe; (4) Glaube und Erziehung: Begriffsgeschichtliche und lexikalische Untersuchungen der Pastoralbriefe. (English)

Here is the online location, and if for some reason the link is broken, here is the article in pdf.

Becker, “Ekklesiologie der sanften Macht. Der 1. Timotheusbrief und die antike Fürstenspiegel-Literatur”

Matthias Becker has just published an article of interest to students of 1 Timothy:

Becker, Matthias. “Ekklesiologie der sanften Macht. Der 1. Timotheusbrief und die antike Fürstenspiegel-Literatur.” Biblische Zeitschrift 64.2 (2020): 277–305.

Here’s the abstract: “Did early Christian church leaders and political rulers share common characteristics? By reading the First Epistle to Timothy through the lens of Greek and Roman “mirrors for princes” (specula principum) written in the first and early second centuries AD, this article intends to make a new contribution to this issue. The study’s interpretative focus lies on the idealized depiction of Timothy as a role model for early Christian officeholders as well as on the qualifications for bishops and deacons (1 Tim 3:1–13). The comparison of the features of the ideal ruler with those of ideal church leaders shows that central elements of the ecclesiology of First Timothy tap into the Greco-Roman discourse concerning ideal rulership. Yet not only that, it also helps to understand that the power that is undeniably attributed to officeholders is ultimately meant to be a soft power that serves the cause of “preservation” and “salvation” (σωτηρία).”

A Bibliography of the Letters to Timothy and Titus in Africa

We have produced a bibliography which aims to list (without summary or evaluation) all scholarly studies on the Letters to Timothy and Titus with a rather direct African connection. Specifically, it includes both (1) works by authors with roots in Africa, even if publishing outside Africa; and (2) anything published in Africa (i.e., theses, dissertations, and journals, most commonly Acta Patristica et ByzantinaHTS Teologiese StudiesIn die Skriflig,and Neotestamentica), even if by someone with roots outside Africa (e.g., international students at African schools). The net has been cast quite widely, and works on the Pastorals have been included from a variety of perspectives, approaches, languages, and geographical locations. Works included in the list do not necessarily make reference to the African context; the common denominator is simply that each of the works has both significant interaction with the Letters to Timothy and Titus, and a connection to Africa.

The bibliography may be accessed here.

Kidson, “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3–15”

Lyn Kidson, whose dissertation on 1 Timothy 1 is forthcoming in WUNT as Persuading Shipwrecked Men: Rhetorical Strategies in 1 Timothy, has produced an article on the widows of 1 Timothy 5:

Lyn Kidson, “Fasting, Bodily Care, and the Widows of 1 Timothy 5:3–15.” Early Christianity 11.2 (2020): 191–205. (Mohr Siebeck)

Here’s the abstract: “In his essay, “Medical Imagery in the Pastoral Epistles,” Abraham Malherbe argued that medical terminology was a conventional polemic used to describe the opponents of 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. His identification of this medical schema is the starting point in this article to explore the relationship between the opponents’ commands not to marry and to abstain from foods (1 Tim 4: 2–3)  with “Paul’s” instruction to younger “widows” to marry in 1 Timothy 5: 3–15. This exploration will begin by noting that the writer’s purpose in 1 Timothy is to dissuade certain men and women from teaching the other instruction (1 Tim 1: 3–4), which is the command not to marry. It will then consider the link between fasting and sexual continence in the texts of the contemporary physicians, early Christian writers, and Philo of Alexandria, and make the case that the other instruction is about controlling the desire for marriage through diet. However, it will be demonstrated that contemporary physicians were skeptical about women maintaining control of their sexual desires because of the weakness of their bodies. This suggests that the rhetorical scheme used against the opponents is not only conventional, but is a rhetorical play against the medical advice given by the ascetics in their efforts to comply with the command not to marry.”