The Pastoral Epistles: Paul’s Final Epistles (A Brief Comparison)
1 Timothy (A.D. 64)
Titus (A.D. 65-66)
2 Timothy (A.D. 67)
Protect the gospel (6:20)
Practice the gospel (3:8)
Preach the gospel (4:2)
“Conduct and Doctrine for the Church of God” Introduction to the Epistle of 1 Timothy
• • • • •
Written by Paul to Timothy Possibly from Macedonia About A.D. 64
Paul’s Manual on the Life of the Church
Fight the Good Fight of Faith
Know how to Conduct Yourself in the House of God
Key Verses • 1 Timothy 1:15 • 1 Timothy 3:15-16 • 1 Timothy 6:12
False Doctrine The Church’s People False Teachers The Church’s Ministry The Man of God
“Protecting the Church which Propagates the Truth”
1:1-2 3-7 8-11 12-17 18-20 2:1-8 9-15 3:1-13 14-16 4:1-5
11-16 5:1-2 3-16
More Instruction for the Rich
The Truth About Money
Respect for Masters
Treatment of Elders
Support for Widows
Old and Young: Like Family
Work Hard at Your Ministry
A Trustworthy Saying: “He’s the Savior”
The Pain and Gain of Godliness
False Teaching: Predicted, Portrayed, Corrected
PROPER CONDUCT IN IN THE CHURCH
Requirements for Church Officers
The Role of Women in Worship
PRAY! Propriety in Prayer
DON’T STRAY from the Faith
Paul: A Trophy of Grace
Proper Use of the Law
STAY! Fight False Teaching
17-25 6:1-2 3-10 11-16 17-19 20-21
Guarding: • The Faith
Guarding: • Worship • Leadership
HYMN #1 1:17 “To the King Eternal” Glory and Honor
Guarding: • Your Life • Your Doctrine
HYMN #2 3:16 “To the Son of God” “Manifested… Justified… Seen… Preached… Believed… Received”
Guarding: • Relationships
Guarding: • Motivations • Faithfulness HYMN #3 6:15 “To the Sovereign Lord” Honor and Might
Subject/Purpose Statement: Paul, the aged apostle, wrote to Timothy, his young apostolic representative in Ephesus, telling him to (1) remain in Ephesus, (2) stay faithful to his ministry, (3) fight false teaching, and (4) administer and organize the affairs of the church. 3
The Pastoral Epistles (1 & 2 Timothy, Titus) 1.
Authenticity – Virtually all agree the authorship of the Pastorals stand together. Modern scholarship casts more doubt on the authenticity of these epistles than on any of the other Pauline letters. Arguments against Pauline authorship include the following: a.
Vocabulary and Style Problem i. A large number of words not found in other Pauline books are present in the Pastorals. ii. 175 different words that appear in the Pastorals appear nowhere else in the New Testament. iii. Significant stylistic differences exist between the Pastorals and other Pauline books.
The Ecclesiastical Problem i. Some believe that the church government of the Pastorals is too advanced for the time of Paul. ii. The Pastorals, it is said, belong to a later period when the organization of the churches was more developed and hierarchical.
The Doctrinal Problem i. The Pastorals do not emphasize characteristic Pauline doctrines (e.g., the Fatherhood of God, the work of the Holy Spirit) ii. The emphasis on passing on the Christian tradition (e.g., 2 Tim. 2:2) reflects second-century Christianity.
The Historical Problem i. All three of the Pastorals contain historical allusions to the life of Paul and his associates. For example: (1) 1 Tim. 1:3—Paul has been with Timothy and left him in Ephesus while he went on to Macedonia. (2) Titus 1:5—Paul has left Titus in Crete. (3) 2 Tim. 1:16—Paul refers to Onesiphorus seeking him in Rome.
2 Tim. 1:8, 16, etc.—Paul is a prisoner and anticipating execution (2 Tim. 4:6-8).
These events cannot be located within the Book of Acts or the other Pauline literature.
Conclusion—Some scholars argue that the Pastorals were written after the time of Paul by a fiction writer who used Paul’s name to strengthen the authority of these letters. In a somewhat similar vein, others suggest that these books are the work of a Pauline admirer (Luke, Timothy?) who included some notes from Paul in his material, but who still chose to write under Paul’s name. 2.
Defense of Pauline Authorship – In light of these arguments, can Pauline authorship be defended? It most certainly can. Response to these arguments include the following: a. Church Tradition The church was unanimous in its affirmation of the authenticity of the Pastoral epistles until the modern era. There was no dissenting voice. b. Vocabulary and Style i. The difference in subject matter, purpose, and destination may account for many of these. ii. The stylistic arguments against Pauline authorship tend to be very subjective; there are differences within the other Pauline epistles that are as extensive as those between these epistles and the Pastorals. c. The Ecclesiastical Problem i. The fact that Paul appointed elders at the very outset of his missionary work is strong evidence of his interest in orderly church government (cf. Acts 14:23). ii. The instructions regarding bishops in 1 Timothy and Titus do not reflect the monarchical government that began to develop in the second century. This is a forced and unnecessary reading.
d. The Doctrinal Problem i. The alleged absence of typical Pauline themes is overstated. For example, the shortage of references to the Holy Spirit (only 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:14; Titus 3:5) is only a surface problem. Colossians as well as 2 Thessalonians only mention the Spirit once. This is an inadequate criteria for authenticity. ii. The emphasis on Christian tradition does not require a secondcentury date. Tradition is also stressed in 1 Cor. 11:2; furthermore, Paul employs creedal sayings and hymns throughout his epistles (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:3ff; Phil. 2:6ff; Col. 1:15ff; etc.) e. The Historical Problem i. There are many aspects of Paul’s life that Acts does not record (cf. 2 Cor. 11). Consequently, it should not be surprising that Acts does not record a second Pauline imprisonment (in Rome). If Acts was written in the early 60s (A.D. 61-63), it could have been written before the historical references described in the Pastorals happened. ii. If Paul was martyred at the end of his imprisonment recorded in Acts 28, it is difficult to imagine that Luke would have concluded the book without mentioning this event. Thus, the ending of Acts is compatible with the suggestion that Paul has a subsequent release, mission journey, and imprisonment, which is not recorded in Luke’s work. iii. Paul’s expectation of being released in Philippians (1:19, 25; 2:24) favors the hypothesis of two separate Roman imprisonments. In contrast to these references in Philippians, Paul does not anticipate freedom from prison in 2 Tim. 4:6-8. 3.
Historical Reconstruction – Since the historical allusions in the Pastorals do not fit into the narrative of Acts, it can be argued that Paul was released after two years in Rome (Acts 28:30-31) and spent a period of time in the eastern Mediterranean/Macedonia (1 Tim. 1:3), Crete (Titus 1:5), Troas (2 Tim. 4:13), and Nicopolis (Titus 3:12). a. 1 Timothy is written from Macedonia to Timothy at Ephesus (1:3). b. Titus is written as Paul is moving toward Nicopolis (western Greece). He has previously left Titus in Crete.
c. 2 Timothy shows that Paul is once again imprisoned in Rome (1:17), anticipating that his death is not far off (4:6). (For a more extensive discussion of these issues, cf. Guthrie, Introduction to the New Testament, 584-622).
1 Timothy Introduction I.
The nature of the Pastoral Epistles These three epistles—1 and 2 Timothy and Titus—were not called pastorals until the eighteenth century when they were given this title by D. N. Berdot in 1703. The name was popularized by Paul Anton in 1726. The epistles are not precisely pastoral but are more like church administrative handbooks. Furthermore, in the strictest sense Timothy and Titus were not serving as pastors but as official missionary delegates of Paul to assist the churches in planting, policies, polity, and practice. Although the letters are written to individuals, they are not only personal but official in character. They were clearly intended to be read by a wider audience.
The ministry of Paul following his first Roman imprisonment 1. Evidence for Paul’s release. a. Important evidence is Acts 28:30. If Paul were put to death at the conclusion of this bondage, Luke would be guilty of an incredible omission in history. b. In Paul’s prison epistles he seems to anticipate his release (Phil. 1:23-25; 2:24; Philemon 22). 2. Paul’s desire to minister in Spain. In Rom. 15:22-24, 28, the Apostle reveals his plans to preach in Spain. There is some evidence from the Church Fathers that such a visit to Spain occurred. Clement of Rome, writing about A.D. 95 in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, states, “After preaching both in the east and west, he [Paul] gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects.”
Clement wrote this only thirty years after the Pastorals were written. Furthermore, he wrote it from Rome. He would hardly consider himself to be at the extreme western point of the Roman Empire when he was at Rome. The Romans considered Rome to be the proud center of the empire. Spain was seen as the western terminus of the empire. The Muratorian Canon (A.D. 170) in commenting on Luke’s writings affirms Luke, “. . . omits the journey of St. Paul to Spain.” 3. Historical and geographical data in the Pastorals This information cannot be fitted into the three missionary journeys of Paul in Acts. The data must be discussed in the context of Paul’s post-Roman imprisonment ministry. a. 1 Timothy 1:3. Paul departs for Macedonia with instructions for Timothy’s work at Ephesus. b. 1 Timothy 3:14-15. While Paul hopes to come to Ephesus soon, he probably will be delayed. c. Titus 1:5. Paul here refers to a recent trip to Crete. d. Titus 3:12. Paul intends to spend the winter in Nicopolis, which is probably located in the province of Achaia. e.
2 Timothy 4:13-20. Paul had recently visited Troas, Miletus, and probably Corinth.
2 Timothy 1:16-17; 2:9. When Paul wrote 2 Timothy he was imprisoned in Rome.
4. A suggested sequence. a.
After his release from the first Roman imprisonment Paul returned to the east at least as far as Asia Minor.
While in the east he may have written 1 Timothy and Titus. This means he first would have visited Crete, Ephesus, Colosse, and Macedonia (c. A.D. 64). Paul later would have returned to Ephesus. Possibly Titus was written from here. b.
Paul next may have ministered in Spain. On his way to the west, Paul could have spent the winter at Nicopolis.
Paul would have returned to the east before his final imprisonment. Here he visited Miletus, Troas, and Corinth. Finally he was imprisoned in Rome where he wrote 2 Timothy just before his death.
The Occasion and Date of 1 Timothy Paul wrote 1 Timothy because of a possible delay in his arrival at Ephesus (3:14). Certain matters needed to be addressed such as false doctrine in the church and leadership and administrative policies and practices. He possibly penned the letter around A.D. 64 from Macedonia.
The Heresy confronted in the Pastorals Evidently it was a system taught by Judaizing teachers who were influenced by pagan philosophical ideas. These extra-biblical doctrines seem to be a form of incipient Gnosticism. 1 Timothy 1:7 discusses those who desire to be teachers of the law and Titus 1:4 refers to Jewish myths. This philosophical paganism is seen in such passages as 1 Timothy 1:4; 4:3; 6:20.
Recipient 1. Timothy was a much younger colleague of Paul’s who has become his frequent traveling companion and close friend. Timothy was from 10
Lystra (Acts 16:1-3), and he probably met Paul during the apostle’s first missionary journey. It is likely that Timothy, his mother, and grandmother became converts at this time. Timothy accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey (Acts 16). 2. During Paul’s missionary journeys, he entrusted Timothy with assignments to the churches at Thessalonica (1 Thess. 3:1-10); Corinth (1 Cor. 4:16-17); and Philippi (Phil. 2:19-24). He also assisted in six of Paul’s extant letters (1 and 2 Thessalonians, 2 Corinthians, Colossians, Philippians, Philemon). Timothy was a highly trusted associated of Paul.
A Simple Outline 1. Introduction 2. Warning against heresy, with personal reminiscences 3. The organization of the church 4. The administration of the church 5. Conclusion
1:1-2 1:3-20 2:1–3:13 3:14–6:19 6:20-21
The Life of the Man of God 1 Timothy 6:11-16 I.
Know What to Flee From
1. 2. 3. 4.
6:3-4 6:4-5 6:6-8 6:9-10
Know What to Focus On 1. 2. 3.
Pursue righteousness and godliness. Pursue faith and love. Pursue patience and gentleness.
Know What to Fight For 1. 2.
Run from pride. Run from anger. Run from ambition. Run from greed.
Find strength in your calling. Find strength in your confession.
Know What to be Faithful To
1. 2. 3. 4.
6:13 6:14 6:14-15 6:15-16
Be faithful to the charge of the Lord. Be faithful to the commandment of the Lord. Be faithful until the coming of the Lord. Be faithful to your confession of the Lord.