Tag: Pastoralbriefe

Herzer, Die Pastoralbriefe und das Vermächtnis des Paulus

An important volume of collected essays on the Pastorals is now available:

Jens Herzer, Die Pastoralbriefe und das Vermächtnis des Paulus: Studien zu den Briefen an Timotheus und Titus [The Pastoral Epistles and Paul’s Legacy: Studies on the Letters to Timothy and Titus]. Edited by Jan Quenstedt. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 476. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022.

Jens Herzer has been writing on the Pastorals for nearly twenty years. It is largely his work which has spurred the continuing discussion about reading the letters individually as opposed to corpus-reading them (Michaela Engelmann, Unzertrennliche Drillinge?, a published dissertation completed under Herzer, should also be mentioned here). As he puts it in the volume introduction, “In my view, a decisive methodological prerequisite for an adequate view of the Pastoral Epistles is to dissolve their all too close ‘relationship’ and to perceive them in their own profile” (“Eine entscheidende methodische Voraussetzung für eine angemessene Sicht auf die Pastoralbriefe besteht aus meiner Sicht darin, ihre allzu enge ‘Verwandtschaft’ aufzulösen und die Briefe in ihrem je eigenen Profil wahrzunehmen”) (3).

Herzer’s scholarly literary output vis-à-vis the Pastorals has brought him to the highest rank in terms of sheer number of publications, a circle which includes Raymond Collins, Giuseppe De Virgilio, Michael Gourgues, Luke Timothy Johnson, Abraham Malherbe, Cesare Marcheselli-Casale, I. Howard Marshall, Yann Redalié, Ceslas Spicq, Michael Theobald, Philip Towner, Manabu Tsuji, and Korinna Zamfir. Students of the Pastorals will recognize that most of these scholars have also built upon earlier publications with a commentary on one or more of the letters (Malherbe was working on the Pastorals volume in Hermeneia at the time of his passing, and Tsuji’s Bokkai Shokan should be available soon). Likewise, Herzer is at work on the Pastorals volume in the Theologischer Handkommentar zum Neuen Testament, replacing the volume by Gottfried Holtz (1965; 5th ed., 1992). Indeed, as Herzer notes in the volume introduction [English translation by DeepL], it was his commission to produce this THKNT volume over twenty years ago which led to his various publications on the Pastorals, which in turn will, of course, inform the commentary.

As will be seen from the table of contents at the end of this post, the twenty essays (with one exception) are in German; English-language abstracts are, however, provided at the end of the volume (523–30). All of the essays have been published previously except the last (“Ethik, Ethos und die Wahrheit”), which is slated for publication in the delayed WUNT volume gathering the proceedings of the 2019 “Ethics in Titus” conference. Because the essays have been slightly revised (though in non-substantive ways) for republication, scholarly work should now normally cite them from this volume if possible, not from their original published locations.

Krauter, “Genderrollen in den Pastoralbriefen: ein Experiment mit verschiedenen Lesestrategien”

A recent article approaches the question of gender roles in the Pastorals by circumventing the corpus approach to reading the letters:

Krauter, Stefan. “Genderrollen in den Pastoralbriefen: ein Experiment mit verschiedenen Lesestrategien.” Theologische Literaturzeitung 146.5 (2021): 375–88.

Abstract: Most recent studies on gender in the Pastoral Epistles assume that all three letters were written by the same author and are forgeries. This leads to the fact that the statements of 1 Timothy about women dominate the interpretation. The article shows that the Pastoral Epistles can also be examined for gender issues using other models about their origin, namely as letters by different authors and as parts of a fictional collection of letters. Then the different profile of the statements of the three letters about women and men becomes clearer.

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.

Abstract: In Titus 1:10–14, “Paul” describes his opponents as belonging to the notorious circumcision faction, infatuated with “Judean myths,” and as embodying the worst qualities of Cretans. Such invective, which would be considered racist according to modern sensibilities, is made more intelligible when contextualized among ancient ethnographic discourses. In this study, I interpret Titus 1:10–14 in conversation with sociologists and postcolonial theorists who have detailed how subjugated groups both are shaped by and (re)shape an implicit ethnic hierarchy established by the dominant society. For example, accounts like Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks introduce us to how ethnic minorities appropriate and denigrate the characteristics and practices of other ethnic groups in order to represent themselves as “civilized” before the colonial “gaze”—often at the expense of other ethnic groups with whom they are in competition for limited recognition and power. I also situate “Paul’s” attempt to represent Christ-followers as civilized possessors of paideia (in contrast to barbaric Cretans and superstitious Judeans) within the competitive cultural domain of the so-called Second Sophistic and imperial Roman representations of Christ-followers as barbaric, superstitious, and potentially seditious.


It’s been some time since we’ve noted reviews, so there are quite a few to highlight. Over at RBL, Robert Yarbrough’s Pillar commentary on the Pastorals is still available for review by SBL members.

In Expository Times 131.3 (2019): 128-29, Paul Foster provides a positive review of Gerald Bray’s ITC volume, The Pastoral Epistles.

Jermo van Nes’s Pauline Language and the Pastoral Epistles: A Study of Linguistic Variation in the Corpus Paulinum (Linguistic Biblical Studies 16; Leiden: Brill, 2018) has been recently reviewed or summarized in: (1) Journal of Theological Studies 70.2 (2019): 817-19, by Christopher Hutson; (2) Svensk exegetisk årsbok 84 (2019): 257-60, by Tobias Hägerland (the review is in English); (3) Theologische Literaturzeitung 144:7-8 (2019): 768-69 by Bernhard Mutschler; (4) Journal for the Study of the New Testament 41.5 (2019): 84, by Dirk Jongkind.

Dorothee Dettinger’s Neues Leben in der alten Welt: Der Beitrag frühchristlicher Schriften des späten ersten Jahrhunderts zum Diskursüber familiäre Strukturen in der griechisch-römischen Welt (Arbeiten zur Bibel und ihrer Geschichte 59. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2017), which has a significant Pastorals component, was reviewed by Martin Stowasser at Biblische Bücherschau (5/2019).

Christopher Hoklotubbe’s Civilized Piety: The Rhetoric of Pietas in the Pastoral Epistles and the Roman Empire (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017) was reviewed by Raymond Collins in Interpretation 73.3 (2019): 313-14.

Cynthia Long Westfall’s Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle’s Vision for Men and Women in Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2016), which engages the Pastorals at some length, is reviewed by Guy Prentiss Waters in Reformed Theological Review 78.3 (2019): 233-35.

Christoph Stenschke reviews Friedemann Krumbiegel, Erziehung in den Pastoralbriefen: Ein Konzept zur Konsolidierung der Gemeinden (Arbeiten zur Bibel und ihrer Geschichte 44; Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2013), appears in Filologia Neotestamentaria 52.32 (2019): 177-79. The review is in English, which is a boon for English-speaking Pastorals students; other reviews are in German: one by Lorenz Oberlinner in Biblische Zeitschrift 59.2 (2015): 300-4; and one by Karl-Heinrich Ostmeyer in Theologische Literaturzeitung 139.7-8 (2014): 891-93.

Robert Yarbrough’s commentary, The Letters to Timothy and Titus (Pillar New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018), was reviewed by Benjamin Laird in JETS 62.4 (2019): 844-47; by James P. Sweeney in BBR 30.1 (2020): 158-161; and by Philip J. Long at Reading Acts (2018)

Lookadoo reviews Theobald, Israel-Vergessenheit in den Pastoralbriefen

Michael Theobald is a German academic who published rather extensively on the Pastorals in his later career. To my knowledge, however, all of his work on the letters is in German (save for the just-published entry on Titus in The Paulist Bible Commentary), and so English-speaking students of the Pastorals may not be as familiar with his scholarship.

The single monograph Theobald produced on the Pastorals was published in 2016: Israel-Vergessenheit in den Pastoralbriefen: Ein neuer Vorschlag zu ihrer historisch-theologischen Verortung im 2. Jahrhundert. n. Chr. unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Ignatius-Briefe [Forgetting Israel in the Pastoral Letters: A New Proposal for Their Historical-Theological Location in the 2nd Century A.D. with Special Consideration of the Ignatius Letters]. In this work, he examines the origination of the Pastorals through the lens of the topic of Israel. He is particularly concerned to compare the engagement with Israel in Romans (another book in which he specializes) over against what he finds to be a lack of engagement with Israel in the Pastorals. He ends up dating the letters to c. 140 AD.

Jonathan Lookadoo has served English-speaking students of the Pastorals well by reviewing Theobald’s monograph for RBL, and has graciously agreed to upload the review to Academia, allowing general access. In his review, he notes Theobald’s valuable highlighting of connections between Romans and the Pastorals, and appreciates the case Theobald makes for reading Titus as the first of the Pastorals. Lookadoo notes, “Those who argue for authentically Pauline Pastoral Epistles or for another first-century date will likely take issue with some of Theobald’s arguments, but this does not take away from the value of his study. “

Use this link to read the entire review.

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