Tag: First Timothy (Page 1 of 2)

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.

The Pastorals in Interpretation 75.4

Every so often, a scholarly journal will devote an entire issue to the Pastorals. The current issue of Interpretation does so (TOC), and contains the following articles:

MacDonald, Margaret Y. “Education and the Household in the Pastoral Epistles.” Interpretation 75.4 (2021): 283–93. (https://doi.org/10.1177/00209643211027768) Abstract: “The article examines the convergence of studies on the Pastoral Epistles, with greater attention to the theme of education as a key to the purpose of the documents. The close association between the household and education is considered in an effort to shed light on the presentations of Timothy and Titus, emerging leadership roles, intergenerational instruction, and constructions of gender.”

Huizenga, Annette. “Idealized Motherhood: Examples of the Gendered Worldview of the Pastoral Letters.” Interpretation 75.4 (2021): 294–304. (https://doi.org/10.1177%2F00209643211027765) Abstract: “In the Pastoral Letters, the roles and practices of mothering in a domestic household serve as benchmarks for the general instructions on how ‘one ought to behave in the household of God’ (1 Tim 3:15). This article examines several passages in 1–2 Timothy and Titus in which the author employs an idealized and stereotypical view of motherhood in order to persuade female believers to fulfill this socially-appropriate condition and to restrict them from leadership positions in the community.”

Kartzow, Marianne Bjelland. “The ‘Believing Woman’ and Her ekklēsia: Rethinking Intersectional Households and Manuscript Variations in the Widows’ Tale (1 Tim 5:3–16).” Interpretation 75.4 (2021): 305–16. (https://doi.org/10.1177/00209643211027767) Abstract: “The widows of the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim 5:3–16) have been a puzzle for interpreters for generations. In the ‘Widows’ Tale’ different categories of women are given a whole set of instructions, including how they shall be organized and with whom to live. In this article, I will highlight the interpretative potential of the very last verse of the paragraph, where ‘a believing woman who has widows’ is mentioned. In some important manuscripts, scribes have added ‘believing man’ in v. 16, while others have left out the woman altogether. What can these disagreements and changes tell? I will argue that not enough scholarly attention has been directed to this verse. There is huge potential for a new understanding of the whole paragraph hidden here. Attention to alternative housing arrangements and manuscript variations will be employed as interpretative tools. I will use the disagreement among scribes to rethink variety and difference, and to reimagine ekklēsia within intersectional early Christian households.”

Fortune, Marie M. “Is Nothing Sacred? I Timothy and Clergy Sexual Abuse.” Interpretation 75.4 (2021): 317–27. (https://doi.org/10.1177/00209643211027764) Abstract: “1 Timothy and the Pastoral Letters appear to be efforts to codify structure and roles in the early church. These efforts largely reflected the patriarchal social structures of the time and as such are not relevant to the twenty-first-century church. But some of the concerns identified herein, for example expectations of church leaders, are useful for a current discussion. What is missing is any acknowledgement of the potential for identified church leaders to take advantage of vulnerable congregants, particularly women and children. How might the writer of 1 Timothy have addressed this serious problem in the churches?”

Merkle, “The Authority of Deacons in Pauline Churches”

Benjamin L. Merkle has made another contribution to the literature on the Pastorals:

Merkle, Benjamin L. “The Authority of Deacons in Pauline Churches.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 64.2 (2021): 309–25.

Abstract: The New Testament office of deacon is disputed primarily because of the paucity of information. Consequently, many look to the following in order to determine the role of deacons in the church: (1) the lexical meaning of διάκονος and its cognates (διακονέω and διακονία); (2) the function of the Seven in Acts 6:1–6; and (3) the qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8–13. Additionally, one’s view of the role of women in ministry can influence how one perceives the function and authority of deacons. This essay argues that deacons held an official and authoritative, yet nonessential and subordinate, position in the Pauline churches. I support this thesis by considering: (1) the official title of deacons; (2) the official function of deacons; (3) the official qualifications of deacons; and (4) the official period of testing and honorable standing of deacons.

I took a class on the Greek text of the Pastorals with Dr. Merkle and benefitted greatly from it. I’m thankful for his commitment to thinking through issues in these letters and publishing the results for the benefit of both church and academy, as well as his work behind the scenes in the ETS Pastorals study group. Other publications of his on the Pastorals include:

“Are the Qualifications for Elders or Overseers Negotiable?” Bibliotheca Sacra 171.682 (2014): 172–88.

“Ecclesiology in the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 173–98 in Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles. Edited by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Terry L. Wilder. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2010.

The Elder and Overseer: One Office in the Early Church. Studies in Biblical Literature 57. New York: Lang, 2003.

“Hierarchy in the Church? Instruction from the Pastoral Epistles regarding Elders and Overseers.” The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 7 (2003): 32–43. Reprinted as “Hierarchy in the Church? Instruction from the Pastoral Epistles concerning Elders and Overseers.” Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry 2.1 (2004): 45–62.

“Paul’s Arguments from Creation in 1 Corinthians 11:8–9 and 1 Timothy 2:13–14: An Apparent Inconsistency Answered.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 49 (2006): 527–48.

Heringer, “Beginning with the End: 1 Timothy 1:3–6 and Formative Theological Education”

Researchers in the Pastorals may be interested in a new article on moral formation as an integral part of Christian higher education. This is, to my knowledge, the first article in the five-year-old Journal of Theological Interpretation specifically focusing on a passage from the Pastorals:

Seth Heringer. “Beginning with the End: 1 Timothy 1:3–6 and Formative Theological Education.” Journal of Theological Interpretation 15.2 (2021): 365–80. https://doi.org/10.5325/jtheointe.15.2.0365

Abstract: Institutions of Christian higher education are currently facing numerous and substantial challenges pressuring them to direct resources into training students in professional skills and away from religious and moral formation. Contrary to this prevailing movement, Joel Green has emphasized that Christian education should be orientated toward the church with the goal of forming students to love God with their whole being. This article will argue that Green’s position is rooted in 1 Tim 1:3–6, where Paul juxtaposes heterodox and orthodox instruction. Heterodox instruction seeks “myths” and “genealogies,” leading to worthless arguments and the destruction of relationships. Orthodox instruction teaches about God’s ordering of the world according to his plan as revealed in the gospel. The telos of orthodox instruction is love brought about by three penultimate ends: “a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” If these ends are to be sought by Christian institutions, then formative instruction is a biblically mandated, essential aim that must be sought through institution-wide efforts and measured like other educational outcomes.

Tomczyk, “Wealth as Generosity in Giving: Linguistic and Theological Study of 1Tim 6:17–19”

I gratefully acknowledge the help of Dominik Tomczyk for his assistance in all things Pastorals-related in the Polish language (and there are many!). He has recently published an article on 1 Timothy 6:17–19 (which happens to connect topically with this year’s ETS theme):

Tomczyk, Dominik. “Bogactwo jako hojność dawania. Analiza lingwistyczno-teologiczna 1Tm 6,17–19 / Wealth as Generosity in Giving: Linguistic and Theological Study of 1Tm 6:17–19.” Wrocławski Przegląd Teologiczny [Wrocław Theological Review] 29.1 (2021): 71–93.

The article is in Polish, but has an English-language abstract (reproduced below), and I found that the pdf translated reasonably well using Google Translate — enough to get the gist of the article. Note also that in the first footnote there is a good bibliography of earlier treatments of the article’s passage of interest. The article is available at Academia.

Abstract: The author of the article provides a linguistic and theological study of
the text from 1Tm 6:17-19, which is a sort of “instruction” offered by the author of the Letter on the Christian attitude towards wealth. Each one of these three verses is analysed separately. The paper draws the reader’s attention to the fact that the material riches owned by a man is a gift from God and brings with itself a threefold accountability: to man, to society and to God. The text under study underlines two main components of wealth which are captured by the adjectives εὐμετάδοτος (generosity beyond measure) and κοινωνικός (the social dimension of wealth). God’s intention for providing men with tangible assets (wealth) is, primarily, doing good to others, also by generous sharing of their possessions. We should perceive wealth from the eschatological point of view which ought to influence the present attitude of wealthy people. A rich man should put his trust not in ephemeral and temporary things but in God who is everlasting and eternal. He is the source of all abundance and wealth. Rich Christians should imitate God in His universal attitude of sharing with everybody.

Forthcoming Publications on the Pastorals (as of April 2021)

We have produced our annual list of forthcoming publications on the Letters to Timothy and Titus. This bibliography is wide-ranging and academically oriented, containing 50 forthcoming works on the Pastoral Epistles including essays, monographs, and commentaries. We compile this list each year by contacting academic publishers and Pastorals scholars who have published previously on the letters, with the aim of helping researchers in the Pastorals to see current trends. In some cases, authors provided a brief synopsis of their work specifically for this project. Our thanks to all who contributed!

The list is available here.

Newell, “Biblical Veganism: An Examination of 1 Timothy 4:1–8”

In a journal not known for its extended treatments of the biblical text, a new article on 1 Timothy has appeared:

Marcello Newall, “Biblical Veganism: An Examination of 1 Timothy 4:1–8.” Journal of Animal Ethics 11.1 (2021): 11–35.

Abstract: “1 Timothy 4:1-8 is often used as a proof text against veganism; this is especially true among certain fundamentalist Christian groups and conspiracy theorists. This article argues that a closer look at its linguistic, historical, and theological context reveals that Paul is in reality seeking to uphold the goodness of creation, as described in the first chapters of Genesis, against the dualistic proto-Gnostic creation story that saw the material world as evil. In this sense, 1 Timothy 4:1-8 appears to be a point-by-point rebuttal of the proto-Gnostic view of creation, which is contrasted with the account in Genesis. In particular, the apostle is denouncing a harsh asceticism, and food restriction/deprivation, described as ‘bodily exercise,’ which by severely mortifying the body sought deliverance from the material world. The article goes on to analyze ancient forms of asceticism as well as dietary patterns in the ancient Mediterranean in order to show how contemporary veganism differs sharply from the kind of mortification that is being condemned. 1 Timothy 4:1-8 highlights how food, generally understood, and creation should be received with thanksgiving as they are both gifts from God, which were pronounced good. Furthermore, 1 Timothy underlines that true Christian holiness does not consist in the harsh mortification of the body but in an inner holiness based on love and faith in the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ. Ultimately, veganism, far from being anti-Christian, as God’s original ideal, can be seen as a sign of hope pointing to the coming of the Kingdom of God and the restoration of creation beyond all violence, suffering, and death.”

Learning of this article reminded me of another in the same journal, broader in scope, but having the Pastorals in its ambit: Carl Frayne, “On Imitating the Regimen of Immortality or Facing the Diet of Mortal Reality: A Brief History of Abstinence from Flesh-Eating in Christianity,” Journal of Animal Ethics 6.2 (2016): 188–212.

A significant amount of scholarly attention has been given to 1 Tim 4:1-5 in the last twenty years, not least because of the juxtaposition of rising environmental concerns and the passage’s emphasis on the goodness of creation. Italian scholarship has made significant contributions: see Roberto Amici, “Tutto ciò che Dio ha creato è buono” (1Tm 4,4). Il rapporto con le realtà terrene nelle Lettere pastorali, RivBSup 48 (Bologna: Dehoniane, 2007); Giuseppe de Virgilio, “Πᾶν κτίσμα θεοῦ καλόν (1Tm 4,4). La positività della creasione e la sua dimensione salvifica nelle Lettere Pastorali,” in Creation and Salvation in the Bible, ed. M. V. Fabbri and M. Tábet (Rome: EDUSC, 2009), 361–76. As well, note Boudewijn Dehandschutter, “The History-of-Religions Background of 1 Timothy 4:4: ‘Everything that God Has Created Is Good,’” in The Creation of Heaven and Earth: Re-interpretations of Genesis 1 in the Context of Judaism, Ancient Philosophy, Christianity, and Modern Physics, ed. Geurt Hendrik van Kooten, Themes in Biblical Narrative: Jewish and Christian Traditions 8 (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 211–21; Jeremy Mann, “A Consecrated Cosmos? First Timothy 4:1–5 in Exegetical and Theological Perspective,” Bulletin of Ecclesial Theology 4.2 (2017): 79–88; Dillon T. Thornton, “Consecrated Creation: First Timothy 4:1–5 as an Underused Remedy for the Cosmological Dualism Prevalent in the Church,” Bulletin of Ecclesial Theology 4.1 (2017): 15–25; Paul R. Trebilco, “The Goodness and Holiness of the Earth and the Whole Creation (1 Timothy 4.1‒5),” in Readings from the Perspective of Earth, ed. Norman C. Habel (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000), 204‒20.

The Pastorals at the 2021 Tyndale Fellowship Conference

Two presentations on the Pastorals are slated for the New Testament Study Group at the 2021 Tyndale Fellowship Conference (to be held virtually), provided here with abstracts. They are scheduled for June 25.

Jermo van Nes, “The Letters to Timothy and Titus: Second-Century Writings?” Abstract: “Many contemporary New Testament scholars consider 1-2 Timothy and Titus, collectively known as the Pastoral Epistles (PE), to be pseudonymous writings. Some of them do so on the basis of the PE’s comparatively large number of hapaxes, which they believe is closer to the writings of the Apostolic Fathers and early Apologists dating from the second century AD. The aim of this presentation is to reconsider this influential thesis as once advocated by P.N. Harrison (1921). It will be argued that the (statistical) evidence presented by Harrison is flawed as he gives no proper definition of hapaxes and early Apologists, 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 presentation will (1) provide a proper definition of hapaxes, (2) count how many of these hapaxes recur in all Greek religious second-century writings listed 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 Pauline letters share significantly more hapaxes with these second-century writings.”

John Percival, “Rhetorical and Theological Strategy in the Narrative Substructure of 2 Timothy.” Abstract: “This paper demonstrates that an examination of the narrative substructure of 2 Timothy sheds light on its rhetorical and theological strategy. Narrative approaches to Pauline literature and theology have borne much fruit over the last 35 years, but the letters to Timothy and Titus have, as is often the case, been largely overlooked. Rather than looking at the Pastoral Epistles as a homogenous corpus, in this paper we will consider the distinctive contribution of 2 Timothy. Focus falls on four areas: God’s pre-temporal action, the time of ‘the Scriptures,’ the first appearing of Christ, and the second, eschatological appearing of Christ. By analysing the way these areas are presented, and how they fit together into a coherent, salvation-historical whole, we illuminate the rhetorical and theological strategy employed in 2 Timothy. Addressed to a church leader dealing with false teaching and opposition, the narrative of God’s plan of salvation offers unique resources affirming God’s eternal commitment to his people, culminating in them sharing Christ’s eschatological reign. Problems occur when narrative elements become dislocated, for example, by claiming the resurrection has already occurred.”

Beck, Witwen und Bibel in Tansania: Eine leserinnenorientierte Lektüre von 1 Tim 5,3-16

A new volume in the Bible in Africa Studies series provides a study of the passage on widows in 1 Timothy 5.

Beck, Stefanie. Witwen und Bibel in Tansania: Eine leserinnenorientierte Lektüre von 1 Tim 5,3-16. Bible in Africa Studies 27. Bamberg: University of Bamberg Press, 2020.

The volume is the published version of a dissertation completed under Joachim Kügler at the University of Bamberg (Otto-Friedrich-Universität). The table of contents is available here. The entire volume is available online here. The following description is provided:

“After the death of their husbands African women, who are living in patriarchal societies, experience cruel mourning and purification rituals, which they have to undergo and they are often stigmatized and accused of being witches. In this fatal situation, God is often their only anchor, God, who already appears in the Bible as the protector and father of widows and orphan. In the Old Testament, two book are named after widows, the Book of Ruth and Judith, and in the New Testament there are numerous widow stories, primarily in Luke, which are all characterized by a special relationship with God. However, the reality in the ancient world was as follows: there was a large number of widows, working in the churches, which displeased the officials of the communities. They didn’t only take over charitable activities, but they missionized and were even paid for it. 1Tim 5:3–16, which categorizes widows, was read and interpreted by widows in Tanzania. It is demonstrated how they deal with a text, which was written for them as widows. They didn’t allow themselves to be influenced by restrictions, in fact they drew out positive results. It is also highlighted how the widows interpret 1Tim on their cultural background, how they position themselves and see themselves as brides of Christ.”

As a final note, the fact that the dissertation was completed under the direction of Joachim Kügler, and the reference to Tanzanian widows seeing themselves as “brides of Christ” brought to mind the following essay by Kügler:

Kügler, Joachim. “Junge ‘Witwen’ als Bräute Christi (1 Tim 5,11f.). Der Gender-Impuls der Jesus-Tradition und seine Umsetzung in paulinischen Gemeinden vor dem religionsgeschichtlichen Hintergrund religiös motivierter Ehelosigkeit von Frauen.” Pages 483–97 in Erinnerungen an Jesus: Kontinuität und Diskontinuität in der neutestamentlichen Überlieferung. Festschrift für Rudolf Hoppe zum 65. Geburtstag. Edited by Ulrich Busse, Michael Reichardt, and Michael Theobald. Bonner Biblische Beiträge 166. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011.

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