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.
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?”
We have not yet provided notice of a recent addition to the literature by Regis Burnet. The article engages the conversation on pseudepigrapha, focusing on the example of personalia in 2 Tim 4:13 and commenting on the prominent attention given to the φαιλόνης when the fathers discuss the passage.
Burnet, Régis. “Petit fait vrai et construction du personnage: Réflexions sur 2Tm 4,13.” Pages 331–42 in La contribution du discours a la caracterisation des personnages bibliques: Neuvieme colloque international due RRENAB, Louvain-la-Neuve, 31 mai – 2 juin 2018. Edited by André Wénin. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium 311. Leuven: Peeters, 2020.
The essay is available on Academia.
Philip Towner has published an article of interest to Pastorals researchers:
Philip H. Towner, “2 Tim 1,7, Cowardice, and the Specter of Betrayal: The Intersection of Intertextuality and Paronomasia.” Biblica 101.4 (2020): 577–601.
Abstract: This article explores the opening exhortation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1, with a particular focus on 1,7 as an admonition whose gravity has been missed. Close examination of 2 Tim 1,7 reveals it to be an intertextual rewriting of Rom 8,15 intentionally complicated by an instance of wordplay (paronomasia). The subtle wordplay produces a second stage of intertextuality that leads to the tradition of Joshua’s succession of Moses (Deuteronomy 31) and the formulaic language of commissioning. But the resonance reaches beyond this tradition to another web of texts that, especially when translated into Greek (LXX), form a dark topos taken up with the relation between cowardice and unbelief (the cowardice topos). Once the intertextual ground has been covered and the cowardice topos observed, the admonitory nature of 2 Tim 1,7 can be seen: the intertextual remembrance, which of course includes the heroic figure of Joshua and his faithfulness, nonetheless issues a dire warning, calling to mind the consequences of unbelief and cowardice as it raises the specter of betrayal.
To my knowledge, this is the Towner’s first publication on the Pastorals since the release of his 2006 NICNT commentary, and his 2007 treatment of the use of the OT in the Pastorals in Carson and Beale, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament.
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.
A new article of potential interest to Pastorals scholars:
Philippe van den Heede, “La participation à la mort du Christ par le baptême (Rm 6,3–11: Une conception pré-paulinienne (Rm 6,8; 2 Tm 2,11).” Revue Biblique 128.1 (2021): 99–115.
Abstract: “Several scholars are of the opinion that the notion of participation in the death and resurrection of Christ through baptism does not appear before the letter to the Romans (Rom 6:3-11). It would therefore be an original theological creation of Paul. However, comparison of Rom 6:8 with 2 Tim 2:11, which is found in a traditional hymn, shows that this baptismal conception is pre-Paulinian (it is also found in Eph 5:14). Paul therefore inherited this tradition which he integrated and developed in his theological reflection.”
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.”
A brief technical article:
Harmai, Gábor. “‘That . . . the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom’: Δωη in Ephesians 1.17 and 2 Timothy 2.25.” Bible Translator 71.2 (2020): 231–35.
Abstract: The spelling of δώῃ in NA28 in Eph 1.17 and 2 Tim 2.25 is wrong. The correct form is δῴη, as in Westcott and Hort (WH), and a number of other old editions. An additional difficulty is that the NA apparatus does not illuminate the problem for the reader as the WH editions do. The problem is not serious in the translation of 2 Tim 2.25, where the real problem is the translation of μήποτε. In any case, if the verb is an optative, expressing a wish, we can understand better the irony of the author. Translations of Eph 1.17 that read δωη as subjunctive (expressing possibility) rather than optative are erroneous: The verb is in fact optative, as earlier translations correctly reflect.
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.
While articles and monographs which focus specifically on the Letters to Timothy and Titus are easily found, some aspect of the letters may be helpfully treated as a distinct subsection in a larger work, and the larger work is such that one might not suspect work on the Pastorals exists in it. A list of over sixty works of that nature are provided at the link below. Works where the title or topic would make it almost inevitable that significant engagement with the Pastorals would be involved — say, church offices in the NT, widows in the NT, or the role of women in the church according to the NT — are largely excluded. For purposes of this post, we’ve limited ourselves to listing English-language scholarship.
The list is accessible here.