# Sunday, June 14, 2009

[NB: Since I haven’t posted much recently, I thought I’d cross-post this post from PastoralEpistles.com here as well. —RB]

Our pastor has commenced working through Second Timothy (one of the reasons for my recent jaunt through Second Timothy) and today’s text was 2Ti 1.9-10 (he’d discussed the larger section, 2Ti 1.8-12, last week). But I really don’t see the rationale for splitting this out from the larger unit because it is all one sentence (in the Greek) with components building one upon the other to the crescendo of v. 12. Below is my translation of these verses:

And so do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me his prisoner, but suffer together with me for the gospel according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace, which has been granted to us in Christ Jesus from times eternal, and now has been revealed through the appearance of our Savior Christ Jesus, who indeed abolished death and brought to light life and immortality through the gospel into which I was appointed herald and apostle and teacher. For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is quite capable to guard my deposit until that day. (2Ti 1.8-12)

On my reading, Paul’s first bit about not being ashamed of the testimony or being ashamed of Paul is an attention-getter that is then immediately trumped. This isn’t about Timothy being ashamed, it is about Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to “suffer together” with him for the gospel. In the underlying Greek, the portion after this initial “but” corrects. Timothy is not to be ashamed of Paul’s suffering (or the gospel for that matter), he is instead to join with Paul in his suffering for the gospel.

From here, Paul gives further information on how Timothy can in his right mind sign up for such suffering: the power of God is what will enable him.

As if that’s not enough, Paul then describes what God has already done: he’s saved them (the start of v. 9). In addition to that, he has called them with a “holy calling”.

But what is the holy calling? Paul explains that too. The holy calling is not one given because they are worthy based on the merit of their own works, they are worthy because God has called them to it. God has his own purpose and his grace will enable him to meet that purpose to which he has called Timothy (and Paul).

But Paul isn’t done; he next has to get in some explanation of how this grace works to enable for the holy calling. The grace has been in place since the foundation of time, only recently revealed in Jesus Christ.

And again, Paul isn’t done.

Note how Paul doesn’t just refer to “Jesus Christ”, but to “our Savior Jesus Christ”. This as well is for a reason, it is so Paul can remind Timothy once again of what Christ did. He abolished death (by his grace saving from eternal death) and brought life. He is the life-bringer. And this was done “through the gospel” (remember that thing Paul initially exhorted Timothy to not be ashamed of?). (this is the end of v. 10)

Still, Paul has more.

This gospel, the accounting of how our Savior provided for our deliverance, is what Paul has been called to proclaim. He is a “herald” (a proclaimer), an apostle and a teacher of the gospel. He proclaims it, he advocates it, he practices it and he teaches it.

Paul continues, “For this reason …”. This is Paul’s justification of his suffering. Paul doesn’t hide his suffering, he embraces it. And he wants Timothy to embrace it too. Again, as when the section started, there is a contrastive “but”: “I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed …”. This as the same contrast as the beginning of the section, between suffering and being ashamed of the suffering. Paul offers himself as an example to Timothy: “I’m embracing the suffering, you should too.” (an aside: recall 2Ti 1.7, immediately previous to this whole section, where Paul reminds Timothy that “God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power and love and self-discipline”.)

Paul then gives reason for his embracing of the suffering he finds himself in: He knows that the one who saved him will bring him through it until “that day” (which is, in my opinion, an eschatological reference).

The whole section progresses, each clause or phrase expanding some portion of the previous one, making Paul’s case. And it ends up right where it started, advocating the embrace of suffering for the gospel over against being ashamed of the gospel.

From here, Paul will begin to contrast the gospel against the false teaching prevalent in Ephesus, holding up the standard of the gospel. But before then, Paul needs to make the reader aware that there is a choice between the hard way (holding to the gospel and undergoing the suffering which will come) and the easy way (letting go of the gospel and not challenging the false teachers). Paul makes Timothy aware of this choice, encouraging his embrace of the gospel and related suffering, before getting into the ramifications of it.

Also interesting (at least to me) is that throughout this section, Paul is exhorting Timothy to join together with him in this suffering for the gospel; he is not exhorting Timothy to take his place in this suffering. So many times Second Timothy is read as “Paul’s last will and testament” but, at least here, we see that Paul has no hint of wanting to let go of the reins. Timothy is joining together with Paul, he isn’t taking Paul’s place.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:58:41 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Sunday, May 10, 2009

If you’ve been following my series on Translating Second Timothy over at PastoralEpistles.com, you know that I’ve made it through the epistle. (In less than three months, not bad, huh?)

I’ve gathered all of the posts into one PDF file. Grab it if you’re interested. If you have further interest in the material (specifically in distributing it or publishing it in some way) please contact me for further information.

I’m very interested in any feedback you may have. Feel free to email me at rick at pastoral epistles dot com with any comments, encouragement, criticism or flat-out disagreement.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, May 10, 2009 8:15:14 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In the “what have I been doing lately” column:

First, I’ve been doing a lot of blogging at PastoralEpistles.com. I’ve done a lot of work translating and evaluating 2Ti 1.1-2.7 (at present) and will continue to work on it until I’ve worked through the whole letter. You may want to check out the posts.

Second, I’ve been doing a lot of reading in Peter Lampe’s From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries (amazon.com). This is an awesome book, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ve learned more about the cultural milieu of early Christians, and more about Christians in early Rome, than I knew was possible. Just the few pages on Priscilla and Aquila are worth it.

Third, my friend Bobby Koduvalil at Hendrickson Academic set me up with a few books. First is J. Harold Greenlee’s The Text of the New Testament: From Manuscript to Modern Edition. This is a thin volume and from what I can tell is geared toward the guy who realizes that his NASB New Testament is inexplicably different from his KJV New Testament and wants to figure out why. It is most certainly not an academic introduction to textual criticism, it is an introduction geared toward the laity. As such, it will make most text-critics cringe. But that’s good. From what I’ve read so far, Greenlee hits his audience, and most of what he says is defensible in that context. Introduction, TOC and Sample Chapter are all online at Hendrickson’s web site, hit the book page and scroll to the bottom for links to those bad boys. Second is Steve Mason’s Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories, which is a compilation of several other articles Mason has written over the years, organized and somewhat edited into a new volume. Mason is a top-notch scholar and a nice guy to boot, and I’m really looking forward to reading this one — though it’ll be after Lampe (amazon.com) & Greenlee. I’ll blog about both of these books as I read more.

Fourth, in the past month I’ve installed the following Logos Bible Software and have already received benefit from most of it:

Fifth, since it has been lighter later, I’ve been able to take a few walks with our nearly-two-year-old daughter Ella after getting home from work. It’s still cold, but we brave it for a little while. She like to pick up a rock right when we start, and hold onto it the whole way. She also likes to keep me informed of when she sees birds, dogs, cats, dirt, trucks, cars, and busses. All in all, a hoot of a time.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 7:19:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, February 27, 2009

New books are always a joyous thing; new books given to you by friends are even more joyous.

There are two books I've recently received that qualify as "even more joyous".

The first is a gift from a ricoblog and PastoralEpistles.com reader whom I won't name. Out of the kindness of his heart he sent along a copy of Perry L. Stepp and W. Hullitt Gloer's Reading Paul's Letters to Individuals: A Literary and Theological Commentary on Paul's Letters to Philemon, Titus and Timothy (amazon.com). This is awesome because I'm lucky enough to count Perry as a friend (though I've only met him in passing once, he does blog occasionally at PastoralEpistles.com) and Perry was kind enough to send along a few extended portions of the commentary while he was writing it for feedback. It's nice to see it in print. Perry has done an excellent job with the book, and I can highly recommend it as a readable yet substantive and stimulating commentary on the Pastorals. To the gentleman who sent this my way: Thank you, I really appreciate it!


The second was a gift from Michael Aubrey, who was cleaning off his bookshelf and ran across a volume that he knew I'd be interested in: George Weiland's The Significance of Salvation: A Study of Salvation Language in the Pastoral Epistles (amazon.com), part of Paternoster's Biblical Monographs series. Mike thinks he got the book just over two years ago when James Spinti (Eisenbrauns) had a book giveaway via RSS feed. I received a copy of John Eifion Morgan-Wynne's superb book Holy Spirit and Religious Experience in Christian Literature ca. AD 90-200 (amazon.com) during the same promo/giveaway. I can highly recommend Morgan-Wynne's book as excellent, and I have similar hope for Wieland's tome.

Post Author: rico
Friday, February 27, 2009 12:51:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, February 25, 2009

[NB: cross-posted from PastoralEpistles.com since I thought folks here might be interested too. I've written two posts already, Second Timothy 1.1-5 and Second Timothy 1.6-7. I will not update this thread, but will update the index post on PastoralEpistles.com as the work progresses. RB]

I think I'm going to begin something that I may or may not finish. I always hesitate announcing a new "series" because I may never finish the series. But, I find myself thinking about Second Timothy now, and thinking about an analysis and discussion of the text.

One initial step I take in thinking about a text is to translate it. But I don't just translate, I also think about the structure of the text. When I did this for the Didache awhile back, I ended up with what I called a "Phrasal Interlinear". I'm starting the same thing with Second Timothy. I may or may not finish. The good news is that I already translated Second Timothy five or six years ago, though it needs some work.

Consulted Resources

I'd be stupid not to consult existing resources for this sort of thing. And there are many. Here are a few of the best. Thankfully, I have all of these (except for Comfort's new textual commentary) in Logos Bible Software.


Runge, Steven. The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. Logos Bible Software. (Uses UBS4 text as primary, includes in-context glosses from the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament)

Porter, O'Donnell, Reed, Tan. The OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament: Clause Analysis. Logos Bible Software.


Knight, George. Pastoral Epistles (amazon.com) (NIGTC). Eerdmans.

Marshall, I. Howard. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (amazon.com). T&T Clark.

Mounce, William. Pastoral Epistles (amazon.com) (Word Biblical Commentary, Vol. 46). Thomas Nelson

Towner, Philip. The Letters to Timothy and Titus (amazon.com) (NICNT). Eerdmans


BDAG, LSJ, Louw Nida.


Van Neste, Ray. Structure and Cohesion in the Pastoral Epistles (amazon.com). Sheffield Academic.

Text-Critical Material

NA27 apparatus

Comfort, Philip W. New Testament Text and Translation Commentary (amazon.com). Tyndale.

Metzger, Bruce W. Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (amazon.com). United Bible Societies

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 7:30:08 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, February 13, 2009

[NB: cross-posted from PastoralEpistles.com since I thought folks here might be interested too. RB]

One of the catchword arguments that P.N. Harrison uses in his book The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles (amazon.com) has to do with how Paul usually expresses thanks. Here's Harrison:

In expressing his thankfulness to God, Paul consistently uses the word ευχαριστεω (Ro 1.8; 1Co 1.4; 2Co 1.11; Eph 1.16; 5.20; Php 1.3; Col 1.3; 1Th 1.2; 2Th 1.3; 2.13; Phm 4); this author never writes that word, but uses instead the Latinism χαριν εχω (= gratiam habeo) 1Ti 1.12; 2Ti 1.3. (Harrison, 28-29)

I've always been intrigued by this. First, because Harrison assumes his conclusion in the first sentence where he mentions what "Paul consistently uses"; second because he's right about the discrepancy (not Pauline authorship). The Pastorals don't use ευχαριστεω in thanksgiving sections, other Paulines do.

Why bring this up? This morning I began digging back into my translation of Second Timothy, and I ran into 2Ti 1.3, where χαριν εχω is used. And I have a few thoughts on this now.

Some of Harrison's cited instances (Eph 1.16; 5.20) use ευχαριστεω as a participle in a series of modifications, not as the primary verb. His 2Co 1.11 instance may implicitly refer to God as receiving the thanks, but is doesn't explicitly state it. And note that 2Th 1.3; 2.13 use ευχαριστεω as an infinitive, modifying the verb οφειλομεν. Again, not an exact syntactic parallel for the phenomenon under discussion. Note also that Harrison missed 1Co 14.18, which should be added to his list.

Of course, I'd suppose that Harrison (and others) would see these as evidence that Ephesians and Second Thessalonians aren't Pauline either. In any case, the are not direct examples of the phenomenon he is trumpeting, so they shouldn't be listed as evidence for or against his lexical/syntactic argument here.

In the non-Pastorals usage at the head of thanksgiving sections, ευχαριστεω always takes "God" as its complement: "I give thanks to God". More specifically, it is ευχαριστεω τω θεω. In 1Ti 1.12, it is not "God" that Paul thanks with χαριν εχω, it is "the one who has empowered me, Christ Jesus our Lord". Still in the dative, but not quite apples-to-apples.

But that still leaves 2Ti 1.3, which has χαριν εχω τω θεω (compare to ευχαριστεω τω θεω in Ro 1.8; 1Co 1.4; 14.18; Php 1.3; Col 1.3; 1Th 1.2; Phm 4). This is actually Harrison's stronger counterexample (though he doesn't mention it).

My thoughts? Well, εχω (present active indicative first-person) + dative is not unknown in Paul (Ro 12.4; 15.17; 1Co 2.16; 7.25; 8.1; 9.4, 5, 6, 17; 11.16; 12.21; 2Co 3.4; 4.7; Gal 6.10; Eph 1.7; 2.18; 3.12; Col 1.14; 2.1; 2Th 3.9), so it is a structure that Paul could've used. I haven't examined these instances so I don't know exactly what contexts they occur in, if they take references to the deity as complements, etc.

But one interesting item that comes up is Luke 12.50 (yes, Luke). I've always been enamored with the theory that Luke was Paul's amanuensis for the Pastorals, and that his role may have even been closer to co-author. Luke 12.50 is as follows:

NA27: βάπτισμα δὲ ἔχω βαπτισθῆναι καὶ πῶς συνέχομαι ἕως ὅτου τελεσθῇ
ESV: I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!

This is mildly interesting to me because the same thing could be said a different way. In fact, it is said a different way in Mark 10.38:

NA27: ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· οὐκ οἴδατε τί αἰτεῖσθε. δύνασθε πιεῖν τὸ ποτήριον ὃ ἐγὼ πίνω ἢ τὸ βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθῆναι;
ESV: Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”

In other words, in Luke's rewrite of this idea (sure, I think Luke used Mark as source (cf. Lu 1.1-2), but I also think Q is a load of hooey) he uses "I have a baptism" instead of "I am baptized". He uses an εχω construction instead of the plain verb.

I realize it's a reach built on next to nothing, but hey, this is a blog post so why not? Could Luke have done the same thing with Paul's words? Paul says ευχαριστεω τω θεω; Luke writes χαριν εχω τω θεω. Same idea, same stuff being communicated, just a different way of doing it. As Witherington posits, it's the voice of Paul but the hand of Luke.

I've always seen the amanuensis argument (whether it is Luke or not) as a strong one in favor of Pauline authorship/responsibility because we know that Paul uses an amanuensis in other letters. Many of the "style" arguments that seem so valid in challenging Paul's authorship can probably be seen (I'd say better seen) as pointing to different amanuensis situations, not to mention different roles of the amanuensis, influence of listed (and perhaps unlisted) co-authors, genre and the target of the letter.

Anyway, this is too long and I've gotta go. Perhaps more on this later (but perhaps not).

Post Author: rico
Friday, February 13, 2009 10:51:24 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, February 12, 2009

In a previous post, I threatened to do some comparisons between Comfort, Metzger, Omanson's rewrite of Metzger and (where applicable) Westcott & Hort's "Notes on Selected Passages". First, the list of books:

In this post, I'll provide a list of readings covered in the book of First Timothy. I may expand upon some of the readings in subsquent posts. In this list, the following abbreviations are used: C = Comfort; O = Omanson; M = Metzger; NET = NET Bible TC notes; WH = Westcott & Hort

  • 1Ti 1.1: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 1.4a: C O M
  • 1Ti 1.4b: C O M NET WH
  • 1Ti 1.12: C
  • 1Ti 1.15: O M
  • 1Ti 1.17a: C O M
  • 1Ti 1.17b: C M NET
  • 1Ti 2.1: C O M
  • 1Ti 2.7a: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 2.7b: C
  • 1Ti 3.1 segmentation: O
  • 1Ti 3.1: C M WH
  • 1Ti 3.3: C M
  • 1Ti 3.16 segmentation: O
  • 1Ti 3.16: C O M NET WH
  • 1Ti 4.3: WH
  • 1Ti 4.10: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 4.12: C M
  • 1Ti 5.4: C
  • 1Ti 5.5: C
  • 1Ti 5.16: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 5.18: C O M
  • 1Ti 5.19: M WH
  • 1Ti 5.21: C
  • 1Ti 6.3: C M
  • 1Ti 6.5: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 6.7: C O M NET WH
  • 1Ti 6.9: C O M
  • 1Ti 6.13: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 6.17: C O M
  • 1Ti 6.19: C O M
  • 1Ti 6.21a: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 6.21b: C O M
  • 1Ti subscription: C M

Interesting standouts: First, Comfort's coverage is most thorough in number of variations handled. Outside of the "segmentation" issues only noted by Omanson, Comfort misses 1Ti 1.15; 4.3; 5.19. These are areas that are of some text-critical interest, but not necessarily where differences arise in translation. Items that Comfort alone handles include 1Ti 1.12; 2.7b; 5.4, 5, 21.

Westcott and Hort don't intend to be comprehensive (they only have 140 pages for the whole NT), but it is interesting that in 2 of the 5 places they show up, Comfort is silent: 1Ti 4.3; 5.19. The discussion in 1Ti 5.19 is about how a phrase in the Greek text is not found in some extant Latin witnesses. In the case of 1Ti 4.3, it is simply difficult extant text. While these are issues, it is pretty obvious that these sorts of things don't really fit the target that Comfort (and Omanson) are trying to hit. W&H give text-critical information to text critics; Comfort and Omanson translate the text-critical information for a larger audience. Metzger sort of sits in the middle of both.

I may dig further into some of these, particularly those that have examples in every listed source (perhaps 1Ti 1.4b or 1Ti 6.7? 1Ti 3.16 is so well-known as to be over-analyzed), just to compare the level of discussion and style of notes each edition has. Let me know if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:28:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, December 02, 2008

No, I'm not positing dependence or anything like that. But I think that when similar sounding sorts of things occur in contemporary literature, examining both occurrences can aid our understanding of what is being discussed. Thus, when the similarities are between the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, our understanding of the NT may be aided by further examining the AF instance. I think too often people notice similarities and end up going down the quotation/allusion/echo rabbit trail to little or no profit.

So, I noticed the following awhile back. First is from the New Testament, 1Ti 1.3-7, pay particular attention to verses 6 and 7, and the description of the teachers in each example. Is our understanding of the portrayal of false teachers enhanced? Not that I'm saying the stuff in Hermas is transferable to the portrayal in First Timothy; I'm just looking at the idea of false teachers and how they are portrayed by those who think they are the true teachers.

With that said, here we go.

3 Καθὼς παρεκάλεσά σε προσμεῖναι ἐν Ἐφέσῳ πορευόμενος εἰς Μακεδονίαν, ἵνα παραγγείλῃς τισὶν μὴ ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν 4 μηδὲ προσέχειν μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις ἀπεράντοις, αἵτινες ἐκζητήσεις παρέχουσιν μᾶλλον ἢ οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει. 5 τὸ δὲ τέλος τῆς παραγγελίας ἐστὶν ἀγάπη ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας καὶ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς καὶ πίστεως ἀνυποκρίτου, 6 ὧν τινες ἀστοχήσαντες ἐξετράπησαν εἰς ματαιολογίαν 7 θέλοντες εἶναι νομοδιδάσκαλοι, μὴ νοοῦντες μήτε ἃ λέγουσιν μήτε περὶ τίνων διαβεβαιοῦνται. (1Ti 1.3-7, NA27)

3 As I urged you while I was on my way to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach contrary doctrine, 4 nor to cling to myths and endless genealogies—which give rise to useless speculations rather than administration from God that is by faith. 5 The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned. 6 Some, having gone astray from these, have turned away into empty talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, not understanding either what they are saying or the matters about which they themselves make confident assertions. (1Ti 1.3-7, my own translation)

Now, here's Hermas Similitudes IX xxii.1-4 (99.1-4) in Holmes' edition:

99.1 Ἐκ δὲ τοῦ ὄρους τοῦ πέμπτου τοῦ ἔχοντος βοτάνας χλωρὰς καὶ τραχέος ὄντος οἱ πιστεύσαντες τοιοῦτοί εἰσι· πιστοὶ μέν, δυσμαθεῖς δὲ καὶ αὐθάδεις καὶ ἑαυτοῖς ἀρέσκοντες, θέλοντες πάντα γινώσκειν, καὶ οὐδὲν ὅλως γινώσκουσι. (2) διὰ τὴν αὐθάδειαν αὐτῶν ταύτην ἀπέστη ἀπʼ αὐτῶν ἡ σύνεσις καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς αὐτοὺς ἀφροσύνη μωρά. ἐπαινοῦσι δὲ ἑαυτοὺς ὡς σύνεσιν ἔχοντας καὶ θέλουσιν ἐθελοδιδάσκαλοι εἶναι, ἄφρονες ὄντες. (3) διὰ ταύτην οὖν τὴν ὑψηλοφροσύνην πολλοὶ ἐκενώθησαν ὑψοῦντες ἑαυτούς· μέγα γὰρ δαιμόνιόν ἐστιν ἡ αὐθάδεια καὶ ἡ κενὴ πεποίθησις· ἐκ τούτων οὖν πολλοὶ ἀπεβλήθησαν, τινὲς δὲ μετενόησαν καὶ ἐπίστευσαν καὶ ὑπέταξαν ἑαυτοὺς τοῖς ἔχουσι σύνεσιν, γνόντες τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀφροσύνην. (4) καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς δὲ τοῖς τοιούτοις κεῖται μετάνοια· οὐκ ἐγένοντο γὰρ πονηροί, μᾶλλον δὲ μωροὶ καὶ ἀσύνετοι. οὗτοι οὖν ἐὰν μετανοήσωσι, ζήσονται τῷ θεῷ· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ μετανοήσωσι, κατοικήσουσι μετὰ τῶν γυναικῶν τῶν πονηρευομένων εἰς αὐτούς.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (504). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

99. “And from the fifth mountain, the rugged one with the green grass, are believers such as these: they are faithful, but slow to learn, arrogant, and self-satisfied; though they want to know everything, they know nothing at all. (2) Because of this arrogance of theirs, understanding has left them and a foolish stupidity has taken possession of them. Yet they praise themselves for having wisdom and want to be volunteer teachers, foolish though they are. (3) So, because of this pride many people, while attempting to exalt themselves, have been ruined, for arrogance and overconfidence are a mighty demon. Many of these, therefore, were rejected, but some, comprehending their own foolishness, repented and believed, and submitted themselves to those with understanding. (4) And of the rest of these people repentance remains a possibility, for they were not really evil but rather stupid and short on understanding. So these will, if they repent, live for God, but if they do not repent they will dwell with the women who do harm to them.”
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (505). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, December 02, 2008 8:30:23 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, October 07, 2008

[crossposted from PastoralEpistles.com]

The good folks at Baker Academic have sent along a hot-off-the-presses copy of First and Second Timothy, Titus (amazon.com), from the newly-commenced commentary series Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. The text of the NAB (New American Bible) is provided in the commentary.

If you're unfamiliar with the series, a video overview is available on the series web site.

There are excerpts from the book on Baker Academic's web site (here, here and here); there is a 16-page discussion guide designed for "Personal Reflection or Small Group Study". This is cool stuff; Baker should be commended for putting together the whole package on the book's web page.

Most of the blurbs in the front matter and back cover are about the series, not the book. Here's the book blurb from BakerAcademic.com:

George Montague offers a Catholic pastoral commentary on the letters to Timothy and Titus in the second volume in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (CCSS). He presents sound exegesis followed by reflection on the pastoral, theological, and practical applications of the text.

Here's the blurb from Amazon.com (amazon.com):

In the second volume of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (CCSS), George Montague offers a Catholic pastoral commentary on the letters to Timothy and Titus, presenting sound exegesis followed by reflection on the pastoral, theological, and practical applications of the text. The CCSS offers readable, informative commentaries from the best of contemporary Catholic scholarship to help readers rediscover the Word of God as a living word in which God himself is present. Each commentary relates Scripture to life, is faithfully Catholic, and is supplemented by features designed to help readers understand the Bible more deeply and use it more effectively in teaching, preaching, evangelization, and other forms of ministry. This series is perfect for professional and lay leaders engaged in parish ministry, lay Catholics interested in serious Bible study, and Catholic students.

Yeah, pretty much the same thing though the Amazon.com blurb works in the series description as well.

Here's the table of contents:

Editor's Preface
Introduction to the Pastoral Letters

The First Letter to Timothy
Timothy's First Charge (1 Timothy 1)
Liturgy and Conduct (1 Timothy 2)
Qualifications of Ministers (1 Timothy 3)
False Teaching and Advice to Timothy (1 Timothy 4)
Rules for Different Groups (1 Timothy 5)
Final Directives: Slaves, Truth, Riches (1 Timothy 6)

The Second Letter to Timothy
Timothy's Gifts and Paul's Lot (2 Timothy 1)
Counsels to Timothy (2 Timothy 2)
Meeting the Challenges of the Last Days (2 Timothy 3)
Final Charge to Timothy and Paul's Faith amid His Loneliness (2 Timothy 4)

The Letter to Titus
Organizing the Church in Crete (Titus 1)
Virtues for Different States of Life (Titus 2)
How We Should Live—and Why (Titus 3)

Suggested Resources
Index of Pastoral Topics
Index of Sidebars

I have not had a chance to read the book yet. I will say it was designed well. And it is one of the few commentaries that I have seen that actually has pictures (black & white photos) of different areas or artifacts relevant to the discussion. That's pretty cool.

I couldn't contain myself, however, and peeked to see how 1Ti 1.20 is handled. You know:

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,  19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,  20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1Ti 1.18-20, ESV)

I've never checked an explicitly Catholic commentary on this verse and wanted to see how the verse was related to excommunication. Well, it is directly and equivalently related: "These two Paul handed over to Satan, a technical term for excommunication." (Montague 47, emphasis his). That doesn't surprise me, and it doesn't seem altogether wrong to me either. These guys were given the right boot of fellowship. It's just that 'protestant' commentaries rarely ever cross the line and call it excommunication. The goal isn't separation, the eventual goal is reconciliation, as Montague aptly concludes.

I'm looking forward to giving this one the once-over. Thanks, Baker Academic!

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, October 07, 2008 7:30:59 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Sunday, March 02, 2008

This one excerpt all at once shows my love-hate relationship with both the genitive and with Charles Ellicott's commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (amazon.com). Here he discusses επαγγελιαν .. ζωης in 1Ti 4.8:

'promise of life.' The genitival relation is not perfectly clear. If it be the gen. of identity or apposition (comp. Scheuerl. Synt. § 12.1, p. 82), ζωη, the import or rather object of the promise, would seem at first sight to involve two applications, quantitative ('long life,' Eph. 4.3, De W.) when in connexion with της νυν, qualitative ('holy, blessed life') when in connexion with της μελλουσης. If again it be the gen. of reference to (Huth., comp. Alf.), or the point of view (Scheuerl. Synt. § 18. 1, p. 129 sq.), ζωη retains its general meaning ('vital existence,' etc.), but επαγγελια becomes indefinite, and moreover is in a connexion with its dependent genitive not supported by any other passage in the NT. This last objection is so grave that it seems preferable to adopt the first form of gen., but in both members to give ζωη its higher and more definitely scriptural sense, and to regarded it as involving the idea, not of mere length, or of mere material blessings (contrast Mark 10.30, μετα διωγμων), but of spiritual happiness (ευδαιμονια, Coray) and holiness; in a word, as expressing 'the highest blessedness of the creature:' see Trench, Synon. § 27, whose philology however, in connecting ζωη with αω, is here doubtful; it is rather connected with Lat. 'vivere' (Sanscr. jîv); see esp. Pott, Etym. Forsch. Vol 1. p. 265, Donalds. Cratyl. § 112, Benfey, Wurzellex. vol. 1. p. 684. There is a good treatise on ζωη in Olsh. Opusc. p. 187 sq. (Ellicott, 61)

First, on genitives. Does anyone seriously treat genitives like this with regularity? Is anyone consumed with classifying genitives (let alone datives, accusatives and nominatives)? Does one really need to label it in order to think about what it does in the passage; to the point of letting the label determine what the genitive can and cannot do in the phrase in question? I don't. And I can't imagine myself attaining command of the nearly 100 types of genitives that Wallace alone isolates and identifies. Why doesn't one simply just look at what the genitive does in a case without feeling a need to put it in a box?

Second, on Ellicott. Can you see why I love him and hate him, all at the same time? The references are great, the discussion makes you think. But it's tough to read. His conclusion is that " ... it seems preferable to adopt the first form of gen." (what's the 'first form' again?) and then gives it his own little twist. That's the frustrating part—why go to the problem of classifying it if your classification is going to be unique? Why not just discuss the function the thing?? On the plus side, you see all sorts of references (to grammars and syntaxes, to commentators, and to other references); this one doesn't even begin to list classical references like many of his other comments do. But it's a pain to wade through.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, March 02, 2008 7:58:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, February 09, 2008

As I've mentioned a few times before, I'm (slowly) reading through Paul Trebilco's book, The Early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius (amazon.com).

I'd recommend just about anyone read the book. But that doesn't mean that I agree completely with what's going on in the book. Trebilco frequently has to read between the lines in order to recreate what's going on in Ephesus. He uses three different sources — the Pastoral Epistles, the Johannine Epistles, and the letter to the Ephesians in Revelation. He uses each of these as lenses to recreate Ephesus.

In so doing, he has to rely upon his reconstructions of the origin of these books, and that's where my primary beef is. Trebilco puts the Pastorals in 80-100 CE; with a follower of Paul who "clearly saw himself as standing in the Pauline tradition" (202). But Trebilco does see Ephesus as the letter's destination despite, according to his view, none of the named entities (Paul and Timothy) have anything whatever to do with the letter.

In later chapters (specifically chapter 8 section 2, pp 354-384) Trebilco posits that vocabulary unique to the Pastorals can be explained by "acculturation":

It also seems clear that the author presupposes that the language and concepts that he uses are familiar to his readers. For example, the Pastor does not explain the epiphany Christology that we will shortly discuss; rather he assumes that his readers are familiar with it and with the conceptual background that it presupposes. Similarly, concepts like ευσεβεια and σωφρων, which we will discuss, are not explained but are simply utilised. It seems clear then that the author presupposes that his readers are familiar with this language. It is therefore good evidence for the significant level of acculturation of the readers. (354, emphasis added)

Trebilco's poster child for this view is the Greek word επιφανεια, where he argues that the use of επιφανεια in First and Second Timothy more closely matches that of επιφανεια in the context of Greco-Roman religion; and that there is no real Jewish usage of the term (cf. 355).

My problem with reading all of this is that while Trebilco is consistent with his assumptions on authorship and audience, there are other ways to explain this that are more internally consistent with the content of First and Second Timothy.

First, if Paul really was the author of First Timothy, and if Timothy really was the recipient, then there is no need to come up with an explanation of "acculturation" for new concepts or things seemingly unexplained (like επιφανεια). Timothy would of course be familiar with that language; he was Paul's co-worker, likely for a span of over 10 years.

Second, Timothy's mother was Jewish, but his father was Greek. Isn't it possible that Timothy would've known how επιφανεια was used among pagan religion; and isn't it possible that Paul, widely traveled among Gentilies, would be familiar with it too? And why couldn't they have used this language in their dealings with the Ephesian church? After all, Ephesus had all sorts of pagan religion going on; doesn't it make sense — and even fit the Pauline mold of being a Jew to Jews, and a Gentile to Gentiles?

Third, we have examples of Paul using relatively non-Jewish concepts as metaphors for aspects of Christianity. One that comes immediately to mind is that of manumission; of slaves buying their freedom from their masters, via the temple, and then being owned by the god of the temple (cf. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 324-334, specifically p. 326). This is at least alluded to in 1Co 6.20; 7.23; Gal 5.1, 13. Why couldn't Paul use επιφανεια for Christian purposes too?

If the letter is from Paul to Timothy, then we have no need to come up with an explanation of how the church at Ephesus could possibly understand these references which seem to require some degree of acculturation.

Now, with all of that said, even though I bristle when I read some portions of Trebilco's book (like the portion on authorship/date/background of the Pastorals, and also this portion on acculturation) there really is good stuff in the book. If you're studying Paul and his letters at all; and particularly if your study has to do with Ephesus, then you can't ignore Trebilco. So break down and get the Eerdman's printing (amazon.com); it is actually in the realm of affordability.

Post Author: rico
Saturday, February 09, 2008 6:05:12 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It seems I've been busy since early November, what with ETS & SBL conferences, Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, and New Years. So I haven't had the chance to dig into Paul Trebilco's Early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius (amazon.com) as much as I would've liked to.

But today I did get some time (after getting the garage cleaned and reorganized) to read a bit. I finally finished "Part I", which has to do with evidence of Ephesus in Paul and his Letters (Trebilco sees both Ephesians and the Pastorals as non-Pauline, so he does not include them here) and the evidence of Ephesus in the book of Acts.

It was the two chapters on Acts that I was most impressed with. Having done some work on a portion of Acts 18 for my 2007 ETS paper, it was great to read what Trebilco has done, working through all of the Ephesian mentions in Acts. If you are into the Paulines or Acts or Ephesus, then you need to read these chapters.

One thing that stuck out to me, particularly in working through the footnotes as I read the text, was how much the work of Haenchen and Conzelmann are called into question. As I worked through commentaries on Acts 18 for my ETS paper, I was amazed and dumbfounded at some of the claims that Conzelmann (apparently following Haenchen) made concerning Lucan sources in Acts. Treblico carefully works through the passages and other relevant data and shows that many times the leaps made by Haenchen and Conzelmann are too large. Reading this after having read Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses really makes me think that the form-critical approach is dying (if not dead). It additionally makes me think that there needs to be a new Hermeneia volume on Acts (and the Pastoral Epistles, also by Conzelmann, for that matter).

That said, one thing that Trebilco does (that many others do) is frequently note "Lucan" or "Pauline" language, when what they really mean is that the content they attribute to a particular author uses the word in question, perhaps uniquely. I still think that any NT author sample, no matter what you think of authorship issues, is far too small to get a notion of what language quirks or vocabulary should be attributed to a particular author. But Trebilco doesn't do it much, and I realize that while this is a fairly blunt tool, it is a tool. So I'm not too offended by it. :)

All said, Trebilco's work is excellent and highly recommended. Do check it out (amazon.com). It's over 800 pages, and the Amazon price is really a steal (especially considering the Mohr-Siebeck edition, if you could actually find it, would probably cost you upwards of $300!)

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, January 01, 2008 4:16:05 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, November 02, 2007

I left the office early yesterday to attend the memorial service for my great aunt Jo, who passed away over the weekend after an extended illness. I came back to the office this morning to find a copy of Paul Treblico's The Early Christians In Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius (amazon.com) sitting on my desk, waiting for me; a review copy from the kind folks at Eerdmans.

I've been salivating upon mention of this book for years, since I read of the original printing by Mohr-Siebeck in 2004. In typical fashion, Mohr-Siebeck priced the 800 page book at something like $280 so I resolved myself to reading a library copy sometime down the road — if I ever found a library that stocked it. I did drool over a copy at the 2005 SBL, though.

Cheers, congratulations, and much appreciation then for the folks at Eerdmans. They are publishing the US edition of Treblico's work in paperback with a list price of $85.00. Amazon sells it as well — see current price in upper right corner of this post; it's probably discounted from list. And if you'll be at ETS and/or AAR/SBL in San Diego, I'd guess you'd be able to get a below-list price from Eerdmans as well. And if you do purchase it at SBL, make sure to tell the folks at Eerdmans that you really appreciate them republishing books like this!

My reading is piling up, but I've been waiting a long time for Treblico (longer than I've waited for Drobner!) so I'll be working it in to the top of the list. And as I read, I'll blog about it. So stay tuned. Until then, here is some material from the publisher's web site. First, the blurb:

The capital city of the province of Asia in the first century CE, Ephesus played a key role in the development of early Christianity. In this book Paul Trebilco examines the early Christians from Paul to Ignatius, seen in the context of our knowledge of the city as a whole.

Drawing on Paul's letters and the Acts of the Apostles, Trebilco looks at the foundations of the church, both before and during the Pauline mission. He shows that in the period from around 80 to 100 CE there were a number of different communities in Ephesus that regarded themselves as Christians — the Pauline and Johannine groups, Nicolaitans, and others — testifying to the diversity of that time and place. Including further discussions on the Ephesus addresses of the apostle John and Ignatius, this scholarly study of the early Ephesian Christians and their community is without peer.

And here's the table of contents from the Eerdmans catalog page. A brief and much abbreviated TOC is below:

Chapter 1: The Context

Part One: Beginnings in Ephesus
Chapter 2: Paul in Ephesus: The Evidence of His Letters
Chapter 3: Acts and the early Christians in Ephesus: Beginnings and Success
Chapter 4: Acts and the early Christians in Ephesus: Endings and Departure

Part Two: The Pastoral Epistles, Revelation and the Johannine Letters
Chapter 5: What do the Pastoral Epistles tell us about the early Christians in Ephesus?
Chapter 6: What do the Johannine Letters tell us about the early Christians in Ephesus?
Chapter 7: Revelation 2.1-7: The Proclamation to the Church in Ephesus and the Nicolaitans

Part Three: The Relationships Between the Readers of the Pastorals, the Johannine Letters and Revelation
Chapter 8: The Wider Culture and the Readers of the Pastorals, the Johannine Letters and Revelation: Acculturation, Assimilation and Accomodation
Chapter 9: Material Possessions and the readers of the Pastorals, the Johannine Letters and Revelation
Chapter 10: Leadership and Authority and the readers of the Pastoral Epistles, the Johannine Letters and Revelation
Chapter 11: The Role of Women Among the Readers of the Pastoral Epistles, the Johannine Letters and Revelation
Chapter 12: What Shall We Call Each Other? The Issue of Self-Designation in the Pastoral Epistles, the Johannine Letters and Revelation
Chapter 13: The Relationships between Traditions and Communities in Ephesus

Part Four: Ignatius' Letter to Ephesus
Chapter 14: Who Are the Addressees of Ignatius' Letter to Ephesus
Chapter 15: Ignatius and additional facets of the life of the Christians in Ephesus

Chapter 16: Conclusions


Post Author: rico
Friday, November 02, 2007 7:54:55 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, July 11, 2007

These are titles on Logos Bible Software's Community Pricing page. If you're interested in this sort of stuff, you should bid sooner rather than later to lock in your low, low price for the book(s) in question.

  • H.B. Swete's Patristic Study.

    The aim of Patristic Study is to draw the attention of the reader to the vast store of wisdom to be found in the writings of the Fathers of the ancient church. Monuments of Christian thought in the first generations of the Church's life, the writings of the Fathers are still of perennial interest and importance. As Henry Barclay Swete states, "The Fathers, in the stricter sense of the term, are the great champions of orthodox belief, whose writings became the standard of Catholic truth."

    by Henry Barclay Swete | Published 1902; Longmans, Green and Co. | 194 pages

  • The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers

    The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers is a classic work in Biblical scholarship, treasured by generations of scholars since its initial publication in 1905. Prepared by a committee of Biblical scholars upon appointment of the Society of Historical Theology in Oxford, this volume presents passages from the Apostolic Fathers which display – or are thought to display – the Fathers' acquaintance with New Testament literature. These include passages from Barnabas, Didache, I Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Hermas, and II Clement.

    From the The American Journal of Theology:

    "The Oxford Society of Historical Theology has, through a committee of six scholars, done a real service to all students of early Christian literature in the volume on The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers… This enterprise… is designed to make the more important patristic writings accessible and intelligible to a wider circle of students and clergy."

    by the Oxford Society of Historical Theology | Published 1905 | 144 pages

Honorable Mention: Ellicott on the Pastorals. This is a handy one to have and has a lot of classical references in it as well as some dialog with Latin, Syriac and Gothic versions of the Pastorals (where else will you find that?!). What does it have to do with patristics? Not a whole lot. But hey, it's my blog, and I like this book. You should make sure it's in your library if you're doing any work with/on the Pastoral Epistles.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, July 11, 2007 9:06:22 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Donald Alfred Hagner, The Use of the Old and New Testaments in Clement of Rome. (Series: Supplements to Novum Testamentum, 34). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1973.

The possible allusions to 1 Timothy in Clement's epistle are numerous. Individually they are not very convincing; taken together, however, they establish a probability that Clement knew and was influenced by 1 Timothy. (Hagner, 232)

This is followed later by:

... A common ethical catechesis may well account for a number of the parallels. However, even when allowance is made for such agreement, it seems improbable that all the allusions are to be explained in this way. Thus on the basis of the evidence cited, our conclusion is that Clement probably knew and made use of 1 Timothy and Titus; for Clement's knowledge of 2 Timothy, however, the evidence is less convincing and justifies not more than a conclusion of possible dependence. (Hagner, 236)

I deal with a limited set of possible allusions to the Pastorals in First Clement over on PastoralEpistles.com; though I should obviously sift through Hagner's work (and Lightfoot, of course, though I'm guessing Hagner has already mined that work) and supplement that list.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, June 26, 2007 5:12:01 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, April 18, 2007

[This is part of a series of posts looking at "thorough-going eclecticism" as practiced by J.K. Elliott in his book The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. See the introductory post for more information. --RWB]

As a part of Elliott's first principle, line omission is pretty much the same as homoiteleuton (though not necessarily with the same start/same end type thing) only on a grander scale. Instead of skipping letters or words of an exemplar, one or more lines are skipped. Elliott writes:

Another cause of omission is line-omission. Clark in his Acts of the Apostles (38) shows how the shorter text of Acts was frequently the result of line omission. ... This cause of omission is less demonstrable in the Pastoral epistles, (Elliott 6-7).

There are not many examples; I will list two here.

  • 1Ti 1.14. Elliott uses line omission to explain what happened in MS 1518 (a XIV/XV cent. MS in Jerusalem) at this verse. The NA27 has the following:

14 ὑπερεπλεόνασεν δὲ ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν μετὰ πίστεως καὶ ἀγάπης τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. (1Ti 1.14, NA27)

MS 1518, according to Elliott, has this:

14 ὑπερεπλεόνασεν δὲ ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ. (1Ti 1.14, MS 1518)

The difference is obvious; instead of being about "the over-abundant grace of our Lord with faith and love in Christ Jesus" it is now about "the over-abundant grace of our Lord Jesus Christ". Elliott posits the following:

The omission may represent one or two lines of an exemplar. The scribe's eye passed from του κυ ημων to the divine names, which he inverts and alters to ιυ χω to follow του κυ ημων.

That's one way to explain 1518's variant. I'm skeptical, though. If it is simple line omission, why would the further change in word order be made except to make sense of the verse with the omission? And wouldn't that imply knowledge of the omission by the scribe?

  • 1Ti 6.5. In this case Elliott accepts a longer text that has some decent testimony against the shorter text of Siniaticus and Alexandrinus. NA27 has the following:

5 διαπαρατριβαὶ διεφθαρμένων ἀνθρώπων τὸν νοῦν καὶ ἀπεστερημένων τῆς ἀληθείας, νομιζόντων πορισμὸν εἶναι τὴν εὐσέβειαν. (NA27)

5 διαπαρατριβαὶ διεφθαρμένων ἀνθρώπων τὸν νοῦν καὶ ἀπεστερημένων τῆς ἀληθείας, νομιζόντων πορισμὸν εἶναι τὴν εὐσέβειαν [αφιστασο απο των τοιουτων]. (Elliott's reading)

Elliott's longer text is the Byzantine reading (translated by the NKJV as "from such withdraw yourself"). He notes the following support: Dc K L Ψ P 061. T.R. and most minuscules. Lect. Byz. L (vg DLT). Arm. Goth. EthPP. L (vt mon. m.) and a host of Fathers to boot. He appeals to the validity of the omitted text on the basis of style and further posits its omission due to line omission.

If original, the omission could be accounted for, by the careless omission of one line of the exemplar. If secondary, the longer reading would be a gloss introduced to the text. In view of the above comments on the language [the previous paragraph discussed style] the former is more likely. Accept the longer reading. (Elliott 94)

So in this case Elliott uses line omission to explain the omission. He does this only after he has justified that the text is worthy of including on the basis of style.

So, line omission can be a way to argue for the inclusion of the longer text (yes, the rule of brevior lectio potior isn't always right; it is a guideline and not a rule) when the longer text makes sense based on author style or when the vast majority of quality witnesses include the text. At least, that's the way I'd apply it; I'd guess Elliott would not necessarily qualify the statement as I do.

Next up: Author's Style and Usage

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 8:29:51 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, March 24, 2007

[This is part of a series of posts looking at "thorough-going eclecticism" as practiced by J.K. Elliott in his book The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. See the introductory post for more information. --RWB]

NB: In this post, I abbreviate "homoioteleuton" with "hom." (as Elliott does in his book). I've also posted on homoioteleuton before.

The first basic principle Elliott lists is that of hom. In his introduction, he uses 1Ti 5.16 as an example, where a shorter text (πιστος η πιστη) is explained by an instance of hom. from the longer text (ΠΙCΤοςηΠΙCΤη). Elliott writes:

... the scribes eye has passed from the first ΠΙCΤ to the second, and he has omitted the intervening letters. Hom. seems to have been a frequent cause of error in the Pastoral Epistles ...

Elliott provides several examples from the first chapter of First Timothy where hom. may be appealed to to explain a variant and, therefore, argue for the longer text. These instances include:

  • 1Ti 1.9: MS 1874, 623, and 1836 omit καὶ μητρολῴαις from πατρολῴαις καὶ μητρολῴαις. This as well can be explained by hom.: παΤΡΟΛΩΑΙCιακμηΤΡΟΛΩΑΙC. After writing the first word, the scribe's eyes skipped to the same ending on the second word, and progressed from there.
  • 1Ti 1.10: MS 915 and 917 omit πόρνοις. The word that ends v. 9 has the same ending (ἀνδροφόνοις πόρνοις) , so hom. can be used to explain the omission: ανδροφοΝΟΙCπορΝΟΙC
  • 1Ti 1.14: MS 1908 and 489 have καὶ ἀγάπης ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ (omitting the article) while NA27 have καὶ ἀγάπης τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. Elliott notes that hom. may be a contributing factor to 1908 and 489 omitting τῆς: αγαΠΗCΤΗCεν
  • 1Ti 1.17: Uncials Sc Dbc K L P H along with TR (hence KJV) and most minuscules have μονῳ σοφῳ θῳ (only wise God) while UBS/NA have μόνῳ θεῷ (only God). Hom. can explain the longer reading as being shortened; the scribe's eyes wandered from omega to omega: μονΩσοφΩΘΩ. The scribe, I'd guess, would be less likely to omit θῳ; perhaps he could've even missed σοφῳ in his anxiousness to not miss θῳ. Metzger, in his Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament provides the flip side of the coin:
    After μόνῳ the Textus Receptus inserts σοφῷ, with אc Dc K L P most minuscules syrh goth. The word is no doubt a scribal gloss derived from Ro 16.27; the shorter reading is strongly supported by good representatives of both the Alexandrian and the Western types of text (א* A D* F G H* 33 1739 itd, g vg syrp copsa, bo arm eth arab).
    Metzger, B. M., & United Bible Societies. (1994). A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, second edition a companion volume to the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament (4th rev. ed.) (572). London; New York: United Bible Societies.
    I'd never really considered hom. as responsible for the omission of σοφῷ; I'll have to think about this a little more.

You'll note that one consequence of a thorough-going eclecticism is that of disregarding documentary evidence. Surely one can't tell everything from textual provenance and the general quality of readings in a MS. It is possible for the better MSS to be wrong, and the less trustworthy MSS to be correct. But I'd think the better road is in the middle, not on the edges. Even so, there are some decent real-world examples above where hom. may be at play in the readings. Seeing these examples and working through them helps me know what to look for in the future when considering variants listed in various apparatuses.

Next up: Line omission.

Post Author: rico
Saturday, March 24, 2007 7:10:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, March 12, 2007

I've recently been able to finally examine J.K. Elliott's The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus (vol. 36 in the Studies and Documents series published by the University of Utah Press, published in 1968). It is out of print and tough to come by. I'd link to Amazon, but there's only a stub there that says it isn't available. LibraryThing has no listing either. If you're interested in this book, get thee to a theological library!

In the volume, which forms some portion of Elliott's doctoral dissertation from Oxford, Elliott argues against Westcott & Hort's geneaological methodology. Here's what he has to say about the geneaological method:

But it is not only the disintegration of the theory of local text types which has made W. and H.'s (and Streeter's) genealogical method impractical. Mixture makes it impossible to confine a text to a certain geographical area or text grouping. Similarly, a full genealogical plan cannot be constructed to work back to an archetype. The genealogical method is possible in only a restricted way, such as in the building up of family 1, family 13, and family pi. F.H. Tinnefeld works back from D E F G to an archetype.  But such a genealogical method is limited, and even in these family groups, variants, corruption and conflate readings occur. They have to be explained, and as a result the term 'family' can be applied only in a loose way. (Elliott, 3-4).

This volume presents Elliott's application of "thoroughgoing eclecticism" to the Pastoral Epistles. The introduction necessarily defines this methodology, and does so rather succinctly. He derives five primary "principles for use in a thoroughgoing eclectic study of the N.T. text" (Elliott, 6). These are:

  • Homoioteleuton and line-omission
  • Author's style and usage
  • Atticism
  • Deliberate alterations
    • Theological or liturgical alterations
    • Grammatical and linguistic alterations
    • Assimilation or harmonization of parallel passages
  • Accidental errors

Notably absent in Elliott's principles are any mention as to manuscript quality or provenance. That is, no given MS is preferred over another. Indeed, Elliott takes some readings that by documentary evidence alone are incredibly weak—but Elliott's criteria render more appealing. What his methodology ends up requiring is thinking about each variant from a number of angles, doing research on variants, and—ultimately—really getting to know the text. It speaks volumes against the "cult of the best MS" (Elliott, 4):

The increase of Biblical and textual studies since the time of W. and H. has done much to dispel the 'cult of the best ms.' Some critics still try to clutch at the remnants of W. and H.'s methods. But, with the distrust of the superiority of any given ms. or text type, with the disintegration of closely-knit family units, and with the recognition that the genealogical method is impractical, it is difficult to justify the use of these methods. A more rational system of textual criticism is obviously necessary to replace the old, and it is possible using new knowledge. For example, there is much greater knowledge of Koine Greek due to papyrological studies, more grammars of N.T. Greek are available, the readings of fathers, versions and papyri are accessible. Past methods have been disproved, new knowledge is available: the way is clear for an eclectic study of the N.T. text. (Elliott, 4)

How easy is it for us to say, "yeah, that reading is in B and aleph, so it's gotta be the best"? Pretty easy. How easy is it to actually look at the variants and consider if some form Elliott's principles may have happened? That requires thought, it requires familiarity with the language and the manuscripts, it requires familiarity with syntax and grammar, it requires familiarity with author style. It requires a whole lot more than simply looking to see which MS are earliest and from a provenance we happen to like.

In a series of posts, I hope to go over these main principles of Elliott's methodology, provide examples from his work in the Pastorals, and discuss them just a bit. At least, that's what I hope to do. My intent is simply to sharpen my own understanding of textual criticism and specifically to see what I think of Elliott's methodology as applied here. We'll see if it actually happens.

Lastly, if I may be so bold, another angle that an eclectic methodology may profit from is an examination of prominence and word order along the lines of Stephen Levinsohn (amazon.com). A colleague of mine is doing some really fascinating work in this area, and Jenny Read-Hiemerdinger has done some good work (in JSNTSup volumes here (amazon.com) and here (amazon.com)) in applying this perspective to textual criticism; specifically in examining readings in Acts of codex Bezae. Fun stuff.

Update I (2007-03-24): The series has begun.

Post Author: rico
Monday, March 12, 2007 8:00:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, February 05, 2007

Chris Brady (Targuman) notes an article in Christianity Today regarding a C.S. Lewis story called The Dark Tower (amazon.com). The authorship of this story has been disputed, but the CT article has the skinny on whether or not the work is authentic Lewis.

Why mention it? Because stylometric analysis plays a role in the story -- but perhaps not the role you think.

I discuss this in more detail over on PastoralEpistles.com. Do check it out!

Post Author: rico
Monday, February 05, 2007 8:07:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, December 04, 2006

Apologies again for the quiet. I haven't stopped blogging, really.

I have been working on getting the all-new PastoralEpistles.com up and running, though. The good news is that the blog is now a "team blog". Participants at present include:

  • me
  • Perry L. Stepp
  • Lloyd Pietersen
  • Ray Van Neste

More info has been posted at PastoralEpistles.com. So check it out. And at least be sure to update your feed reader to the new address of the feed, http://pastoralepistles.com/SyndicationService.asmx/GetRss.

Post Author: rico
Monday, December 04, 2006 11:19:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, November 08, 2006

If you're going to be at the AAR/SBL annual meeting in Washington DC, perhaps you'd like to come hear my paper. I have to warn you, though, I've only got 10 minutes and the paper doesn't lend itself to a 10 minute presentation. I've had the song "The Entertainer" by Billy Joel running through my mind all day as I've considered this:

I am the entertainer
    I come to do my show
You heard my latest record
    It's been on the radio
It took me years to write it
    They were the best years of my life
There was a beautiful song
    But it ran too long
If you're gonna have a hit
    You've gotta make it fit
So they cut it down to 3:05

Anyway, I figured I'd post the paper today. I'll post the handout after the conference. Here are the details:

Section: S19-105: Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics
Date: Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006
Time: 4:00-6:30. I'm #2 on the list, so that means I'd start around 4:10-4:15.
Location: 204C-CC

Paper Title: Modifiers in the Pastoral Epistles: Insight for Questions of Style? (PDF)


The OpenText.org group have completed a preliminary syntactic analysis of the Greek New Testament. One level of their analysis is the Word Group level. A word group is a group of words that consists of, at minimum, a head term. It also contains any terms that modify the head term and additionally specifies the type of modification as that of definer, qualifier, relator or specifier.

Stylistic analysis has been largely bound to examining criteria such as word usage and morphology along with perhaps sentence length or co-occurring words. The OpenText.org Word Group Analysis allows for stylistic analysis of the corpus at a different level. Does modifier usage offer any insight for comparative studies of the Pastoral Epistles and the generally accepted Paulines?

This paper briefly examines modifier usage inside of epistolary prescripts in epistles traditionally attributed to Paul. The goal is to show that components of epistolary prescripts use modification for different purposes. This conclusion is well known, but by reaching the conclusion using only the OpenText.org Word Group Analysis, the subsequent value of the OpenText.org annotation for the analysis of style becomes evident.

I should also take a moment and say that initially I'd planned on doing something much more in the realms of statistics and stylometry. I have all sorts of data, but further number crunching and helpful insight from others (you know who you are, thanks for your comments again) forced me to conclude I didn't have enough data to do the sorts of things that I'd wanted to. So this paper is actually scaled back a bit, and takes a different track than I'd originally planned. C'est la vie.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, November 08, 2006 2:22:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I just received this one last week after pre-ordering it well over a year ago:

Craig A. Smith. Timothy's Task, Paul's Prospect: A New Reading of 2 Timothy. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press. 2006.

Overall, it looks good. Smith gets into epistolary form criticism to examine the "charge" 2Ti 4.1-8:

1 I solemnly urge in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, the one who will judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His Kingdom. 2 Preach the word, be persistent in season and out of season, correct, rebuke, encourage, with complete patience and instruction. 3 For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound doctrine but according to their own desires they themselves will accumulate a great many teachers to tickle their ears 4 and indeed they will turn their ears away from the truth, and turn aside toward myths. 5 But you be self-controlled in all things, suffering misfortune, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already poured out as a drink offering, and the season of my departure is imminent.

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth the crown of righteousness is reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only me but all those who have loved His appearing.

That's from my own translation of Second Timothy. Here's the blurb from Sheffield Phoenix Press:

In this challenging book, Craig Smith propounds the novel thesis that the famous lines in 2 Timothy 4 where 'Paul' announces that the time of his departure has come have been misunderstood. This is no farewell speech, Smith avers, and Paul is not intending to pass on the baton to his younger colleague, Timothy.

Deploying epistolary analysis and rhetorical criticism, Smith shows that these verses (4:1-8) do not have the literary structure or the vocabulary of a testament or a farewell; rather, they are a 'charge', an authoritative command, comprised of five specific formal elements. This charge form is found also in the exorcism command and in some magical texts, Christian and non-Christian.

From this perspective, Paul's being poured out as a libation is his experience of preaching to the Gentiles at his first trial, his 'departure' is the imminent release from prison that he is expecting, the fight he has fought and the race he has finished are his trial that he has withstood. Far from appointing Timothy as his successor, he is contemplating a continued companionship and collegiality as they continue their ministry together.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, October 24, 2006 5:14:30 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, September 28, 2006

Just thinking out loud here. The following are the adscriptions in the Pastoral Epistles:

1Ti 1.2: To Timothy, my true child in the faith

2Ti 1.2: To Timothy, my beloved child

Titus 1.4: To Titus, my true child in a common faith

Paul is bolstering the rep of the recipient to those who hear the letter. "I'm writing to Timothy (you know, the one whom I consider my son?) ... "

I'm wondering if there is some allusion here to the parable of the wicked tenants (Mk 12.1-12 || Mt 21.33-46 || Lu 20.9-19), specifically Mk 12.6 || Mt 21.37 || Lu 20.13:

He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' (Mk 12.6)

Does Paul's specification of Timothy (and Titus) as his true/beloved son have similar force, the sort of "Timothy (and Titus) represent me and my interests" vibe of the parable?

Just thinkin' out loud. I have some other thoughts on prescipts in the Pastorals that I need to mull over a bit before posting them.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, September 28, 2006 9:46:31 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Friday, September 01, 2006

As I gather data to form/bolster/destroy opinions and hypotheses for the paper I'll present at the SBL in November, I'm continually reminded of a few different things.

First, one we all know (or should know): Correlation does not prove causation. This is patently obvious if you stop to think about it. In terms of style and authorship studies in the Greek New Testament, this may be reflected with thoughts like "Because things are similar it doesn't mean they have the same source." Thus some commentators have posited that even though Colossians and Ephesians are similar, they're different enough that they likely don't have the same source, or that one is an edited version of the other.*

Second, one we all easily forget (shame on me too): Lack of correlation does not prove disunion. That is, if I've shown that two things are not correlated as highly as other things all I've really done is show that they're different in some way. The reasons for difference, at least as regards authorship of NT epistles, cannot automatically be assumed to evidence itself in different authorship.  P.N. Harrison,** in my opinion, fell prey to this one because his work only verified that the degree of infrequent words in the Pastorals was higher than in other Paulines.*** He posited (but I don't think he proved) that differences in vocab meant different authorship. Since he, to his mind, proved a difference in vocabulary the difference in authorship came with the package. But he didn't, really. He only proved that the Pastorals, as a group, have a higher percentage of infrequent words ("Pastoral hapaxes", in Harrison-speak). The lack of correlation (infrequent words) does not automatically lead to disunion (different authors for the Pastorals).

Because of all of this, I feel a bit doomed. I'm gathering data on how words are modified in the Pauline epistles and doing a bunch of statistical mumbo-jumbo (that I actually understand, mind you!) to see how things correlate and compare.

But no matter what, at the end of the day, all that can absolutely be said is that particular feature usage between epistles is similar or different. Exploring the reasons for similarity and difference is, of course, where the rubber meets the road. That is the art of scholarship/academia. And that's where I end up needing to remember the above two provisos.

And then, after all of that, I remember that the Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics session I'm presenting in allows 10 minutes for presentation, with an informal half-hour follow-up for Q&A. And I'll barely be able to get through the stats in 10 minutes, let alone think about what statistical similarites and differences I find might mean.

* For the record, I think that's a horrible argument, which is why my blithe statement of the argument is biased and, likely, inaccurate. But why couldn't Paul have cribbed his own work? Chances are he kept copies of his letters ...

** Harrison, P.N. The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1921.

*** Actually, Harrison's work had other methodological problems, but I'll grant that the Pastorals have more infrequently-occuring words than other books in the NT corpus where the NT itself provides the word frequency measure. See O'Donnell's Corpus Linguistics and the Greek of the New Testament for further discussion on Harrison's methodology.

Post Author: rico
Friday, September 01, 2006 4:57:38 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, July 10, 2006

As my beloved fiancé Amy was otherwise occupied working on some issues for our upcoming wedding (!), I spent Sunday afternoon with my good friend Roberto. As usual, we discussed the Pastoral Epistles. Roberto just can't understand my view of the authorship of the Pastorals and begged me to give him a platform by which to espouse his views.

I've always had as soft spot for Roberto, and he caught me in a moment of weakness. I told him to go home and send his missive to me in an email, and I'd make sure to post it here. I regret that now; Roberto can sometimes lack tact and precision in his presentation. But, alas, I am a man of my word, so here is Roberto's diatribe ... er, uh, cogently and well-thought-out position to provide some "balance" on the issue of authorship and style of the Pastoral Epistles.

Rico, first thanks for giving me this platform to reach the two people who regularly read your blog-thingie, whatever it is. I'm sure they'll find this refreshing from your normal, long-winded, over-wordy drivel.

Let's get right into it, shall we? Your position on the authorship of the Pastorals (you attribute them to Paul) is flat-out wrong. And while you camp out in areas of stylometry and syntax because you find it interesting, you're missing the forest for the trees. Open your eyes and see the forest.

First, you're one to always stress the internal evidence. By this, let's be frank: You mean that the epistles themselves say that Paul was their author. And there you stop, saying it's good enough for you. But have you ever read the Pastorals in comparison with the undisputed Paulines? Let me sum it up in four words: It's the ecclesiology, stupid! Can't you get it through your thick skull that the ecclesiology "Paul" describes in the Pastorals is radically different than that alluded to in the undisputed Paulines? The Pastorals have it so much more formal ... so much more, how shall I put it ... Ignatian. Yeah, that's the word. I mean c'mon, Rico, you read the Fathers. Can't you see that the ecclesiology described in the Pastorals — even in Ephesus, the city where "Timothy" is supposed to be ministering in 1 & 2 Timothy — is much more reflective of that described by Ignatius (who wrote in the early 100's ... at least 35 years after Paul's death)?

Second, let's look at this in terms of other canonical books, particularly the Acts of the Apostles. Where, pray tell, do the Pastorals fit in the scope of the history presented in the Acts? There is absolutely no room for them. You (the one who says we need to stick to "internal evidence"?) need to jump through hoops to posit more missionary journeys and prison stays for Paul in order to make room for the composition of the Pastoral Epistles. How is that sticking to the text? You're making it up and you know it.

Third, you blather on about how unique vocabulary doesn't really show anything in regards to authorship. Again, this is a forest and trees issue. It is circumstantial evidence that only serves to reinforce the primary reasons for thinking the Pastorals are non-Pauline. Have you read the Pastorals? And the undisputed Paulines? I mean, at least Acts sounds like Luke when you read it. The Pastorals are all whacked. Some concepts are the same, but the underlying language has changed. Other ideas and concepts not mentioned in the undisputed Paulines are prominent in the Pastorals, and vice-versa. I mean, please, just look into the usage of the following words in the undisputed and deutero-Paulines and compare them with the Pastorals, and report back to me when you've seen the light:

  • εὐαγγελίζω/εὐαγγέλιον: Over 100 times in Paul & Pastorals, but only five times in Pastorals. Wasn't "Paul" preaching the gospel?
  • εὐχαριστέω: Paul "has thanks" for most everyone he writes to. But why does he write it differently in the Pastorals (e.g. 1Ti 1.12)? Hmmmm? Hint: The answer doesn't have to do with Luke as amanuensis ...
  • ἐχουσία: So, 37 times in Paul & Pastorals, but only once in the Pastorals — and that in Titus? I mean, c'mon.
  • ἐκκλησία: This is a vital concept in the Pastorals, since they're all about church order, right? So why is the word so relatively infrequent in the Pastorals? Four times in the Pastorals, but 99 times in the undisputed and deutero-Paulines. Really? If "Paul" were writing about the church, wouldn't "Paul" be using the word a little more frequently?
  • μυστήριον: Paul uses this concept a lot too. But only four times in the Pastorals (36 times in "Paulines"), and those four are only in First Timothy?
  • νόμος: Anyone who's read Romans knows Paul talks about the law. Frequently. Yet the Pastorals only have the word twice (and those within one verse of each other, 1Ti 1.8-9?) out of the 137 times they occur in Paul and the Pastorals? Riiiiiight.
  • παρουσία: You mean, "Paul" doesn't mention the return of Christ; or at least not using the same terminology he has elsewhere (e.g. 1 Thess?) And this is supposed to be Paul?
  • περιτομή: Only once in the Pastorals, and then only in reference to "Paul" himself? In a letter to, of all people, Timothy? Seems weird to me, especially when it happens frequently (30+ times) in the undisputed and deutero-Paulines. Are you sure this is the same Paul?

I'll spare you other instances, but know that I could go on. (Remember, you've got me reading that paper you're writing for the SBL this November — the one that if you're lucky they'll just laugh you out of the place?) Vocabulary is not the primary reason for thinking Paul didn't write the Pastorals, but it is secondary and somewhat confirming of other problems in dealing with the authorship of the Pastorals.

Finally, let's just look at the whole picture. The setting of the Pastorals, according to their own internal evidence, just doesn't fit what we know about Paul's journeys from Acts and from his other epistles. The content of the Pastorals doesn't jive with what we read from Paul in his other epistles either. The big tip-off is the issue of ecclesiology, it is radically different than anything else we know in Paul or the rest of the NT for that matter. But it fits incredibly well in the early second century (I'll even grant late first century, 80s or 90s ... well after Paul's death). Plug in vocabulary differences and other stylistic discrepancies (look, even your beloved Anthony Kenny's A Stylometric Study of the New Testament finds that Titus is a statistical outlier in the "Pauline" corpus) and if your eyes are open, and your presuppositions laid aside, you'll have to admit that there is a strong case Paul didn't write the Pastorals. Some Pauline ideas, that is to be sure. But the Paul of Romans and First Thessalonians? I don't think so. And if you look at it honestly, you won't think so either.

Rico, thanks again for posting this. I know you don't want to, but it's for your own good. Really. Now swallow the pill and get on with life, my friend. We'll do lunch soon and you can tell me how all your little blog-friends (both of 'em!) reacted to my wisdom.

Blessings, Roberto.

Well, there you go. Now you know what Roberto thinks. I was hoping he'd get into canon lists and text-critical issues, but c'est la vie. Maybe next time!

Post Author: rico
Monday, July 10, 2006 11:28:31 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, March 18, 2006

I'd like to invite readers of ricoblog to check out my other blog that specifically deals with the Pastoral Epistles, PastoralEpistles.com. I post there less frequently, but it does remain focused on the Pastoral Epistles.

I'm planning on a series of five posts (plus introductory post) on 1Ti 5. The five posts will each simply reference a PDF file that covers a portion of chapter 5. I'm specifically looking for feedback on what I've written.

I hope to post one PDF file every other week, so the five posts will take 10 weeks to get through. The introductory post and first sample post are up.

Thanks in advance to those who read and offer feedback!

Post Author: rico
Saturday, March 18, 2006 10:02:49 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, November 25, 2005

First, it's back to business. Enough biblioblog navel-gazing; let's do some work! In an effort to move the conversation from existential queries and criticisms, I point you to PastoralEpistles.com and some non-canonical citations relevant to 1Ti 4.16 that I've compiled since the conference. There's a seven page PDF file. The phrase "you will save both yourself and your hearers" is the subject. Similar phrasing/concepts occur in other early documents. So what does it mean? What does it point to? How should this be exegeted? That's what I'm looking into. Check out the citations; if you have further items to add please send along the citations.

How's that for "open scholarship"?

Now, since I was at the biblioblogger session at SBL, I feel I need to weigh in on the latest conversation regarding male and female in the biblioblogosphere. I'm not planning to say more on this, so here it goes:

I think I'm proof that what has been called "biblioblogdom" isn't an exclusive club of some sort. I'm not a professor or instructor at a university, college or seminary. I hold no graduate degrees. I am not currently purusing a graduate degree.

I'm just a guy interested in this stuff who likes to write, who finds value in blogging as a method to work out thoughts. The "biblioblogosphere" is a bonus for me in that folks who have degrees, and who teach, and who know much more than I do actually read what I write, offer feedback, and gently guide me along if I'm off the track -- or that I can interact with if I think I'm right and they're wrong.

I think that to "make it" in the biblioblogosphere, one has to have some shameless self-promotion going. I really don't think it is a male/female thing.

When ricoblog had just started, nobody but friends of mine read it. Every now and then, however, I'd write something that I thought would fit in the discussion on other blogs. So, I'd (hesitantly) send an email to that blog's author pointing them to what I'd written. If they linked, great. If not, that was fine too. At least they'd check it out.

Stephen C. Carlson (Hypotyposeis) linked to some early stuff of mine on the Apostolic Fathers after I sent him an email. I notified Mark Goodacre of some later posts, and then later Jim Davila found me from there, I think. It wasn't anything magical, it was just making folks aware of work I'd done that I thought was relevant to what they were doing.

Also, if you read biblioblogs and have a blog -- don't be afraid to comment and leave a link to your own blog in the comment. If someone likes your comment, they'll check out your stuff. If I think a commenter adds something to the conversation, I like to update the post to point folks to the comments, when I do this I typically link directly to the person's blog in question.

Additionally, keep a blogroll. Use a service like Bloglines (or whatever) to manage it. List the blogs you like to read. Many bloggers also list blogs that they know have linked to them. That's what I try to do. If you've linked to me or would like to have your blog listed in my generic blog roll, please send an email. I zap through the list a few times a week to see what's going on and to see if blogs I don't regularly read have any interesting posts. Getting in these blogrolls increases your chance of traffic stumbling upon your site (not to mention higher Technorati rankings ... )

In short, there's a lot of information and links floating around out there. If you're blogging and lamenting the fact that your posts aren't magically picked up by other blogs, try either emailing the blog author or commenting or trackbacking. Announce your blog via email to bloggers you like to read and ask to be placed on their blogrolls if they see fit. They may ignore you, but most (that I know) will check out the link and see what's up.

A final caveat: when commenting on a blog post, be sure to add something to the discussion. If you just say, "yeah, and see my blog too, it's really good!" you will probably not be mentioned further or highlighted for further linking.

Ok, that's it. Now, let's get to work. Who's doing what? And when do we have to have abstracts submitted for SBL International and for the 2006 meeting in DC?

Update (2005-11-28): Rick Mansfield (This Lamp) adds a comment on the 1Ti 4.16 bit above. Additionally, Eric Sowell (The Coding Humanist) blogs some thoughts. Thanks for the input, guys. I should say, however, that I'm less interested in the Greek grammar/syntax and more interested in the phrase itself as similar phrases are found in other writings, both before and after the Pastorals. I'm curious as to use of the "both to yourself and to your hearers/readers" and similar sorts of things. Was this common? Was Paul using a catch-phrase of some sort to score rhetorical points? Or did later writers (e.g. homilist of 2Clement) pick up on Paul and use similar phrasing for similar reasons? (Don't mind me, just thinking aloud ... )

Post Author: rico
Friday, November 25, 2005 1:43:10 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hi folks.

I've posted a copy of the paper I'll present on Sunday, Nov. 20 at the CARG session during the SBL meeting.

See PastoralEpistles.com for more information and the download link. Since the paper deals with that site specifically, it makes sense to post the information there.

My presentation will not be simply reading the paper; I'll instead use the paper as a rough outline and work through some screen captures illustrating major points of the paper, and have a short Q&A at the end. Unless I go long (Mark, please stop me if I do!)

Update (2005-11-12): Thanks to all who have emailed, linked to this post or otherwise mentioned the paper.* I've been a bit apprehensive as this is my first bit of (somewhat) formal writing for an academic audience. The welcome and encouragement I've received from y'all is, hopefully, reflective of the arena of Biblical Scholarship as a whole.

Update (2005-11-13): Ed Cook (Ralph the Sacred River), leaves an encouraging comment that also notes I should abridge the paper in order to fit my 20 minutes. True, true. I have already prepared a one-page handout for the session. That, plus the screen shots I took that I'll project via PowerPoint should be enough to guide me through my 20 alloted minutes. I plan on reviewing the slides one more time prior to the presentation to pull a few, just to be sure.

* Jim Davila (PaleoJudaica.com)Jim West (Biblical Theology), Rubén Gómez (Bible Software Review Weblog), Mark Goodacre (NT Gateway Weblog), Loren Rosson (in the comments below); at least that I've seen. Let me know if you've mentioned it and I'll add a link here.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, November 10, 2005 6:31:40 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, October 23, 2005

I've written a rather lengthy post over on PastoralEpistles.com about 1Ti 4.10:

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1Ti 4.10, ESV)

I'm still thinking through it, but if you have ideas, thoughts or if you just want to tell me I'm wrong (please do the favor of explaining why you think I'm wrong) then hop over there and let me know what you think.

Also, a question: Does anyone else out there ever notice your writing takes on the dialect of the stuff you're reading? I just re-read the post I refer to above, and I can tell I've been reading books published in the UK. Stuff like "Saviour" and "criticises" sticks out. Anyone else notice such things?

Post Author: rico
Sunday, October 23, 2005 1:37:27 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hi folks.

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I've finally installed comments and trackbacks over at PastoralEpistles.com. You can read this post for more info.

If you haven't checked out the site in awhile, head on over. Particularly fun are the subject indexes and the reference indexes.

If you're new to PastoralEpistles.com, you may want to check out some of the Site Documents, particularly Introducing PastoralEpistles.com.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 11:18:02 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tonight I'm doing some revision of some stuff I've written on 1Ti 3.14-16:

I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory. (1Ti 3.14-16, ESV)

In my reading of First Timothy, this section is the central focus. The letter has to do with false teaching infiltrating the church; false teaching that is both seemingly innocuous and deadly serious. The letter warns the church to get back on track; and to do that they need to know the truth. The false teaching -- all aspects of it -- must be expunged; the church must reclaim the truth and preach it anew, with vigor and haste.

This piece of Scripture clues the recipients in to what that truth is. While this is seen as the "mystery of godliness", it really isn't a mystery. It is pretty clear. The hymnic/creedal section describes Christ, and it describes what he has done.

Anyway, as I'm going through this, I start to ponder: What is the difference between belief and intellectual assent? That is, there are things that I can, logically, admit to being possible. But in my mind, that is somewhat removed from belief. If something is believed, it implies (to me, anyway) that one's actions will change to fit one's beliefs. Mere intellectual assent doesn't.*

Believing something does not necessarily imply that the substance of the belief can be logically proven. I can fervently believe something without being able to prove it. This is what faith is all about, and why it is so vital and necessary in the life of a Christian.

So I ask myself: These essentials listed in 1Ti 3.16 -- do I believe them, or do I only assent to them intellectually? That is, is this information that changes my life and causes me to act differently from those who are not Christian? Or do I simply say, "yeah, that sounds about right" and then go on in life with no resultant change?

This truth about Jesus Christ must be believed. It cannot exist only in the intellectual realm of one's mind. Belief is reflected in action. Jesus was God incarnate on this earth; He was crucified. He rose from the dead, and he sits at the right hand of God Almighty. Easy letters to type; but do I believe it? Is my life different as a result? Is this truth foundational to my way of living?

I like to think so, and I like to think that I do my best. But I know I fall short. I need to do better at believing what I believe I believe. (got it?). Praise be to God for the gift of His Son, my Savior and Mediator; for the gift of the Holy Spirit, my Comforter and Helper; and for his never-failing mercy and grace. I would be lost -- in every sense of the word -- without them.

* For example, I'll assent that you could determine an eight-case noun system in Greek. But when I'm reading Greek and declining nouns ... I'll use five-case every time. I'd say that while I'd "intellectually assent" to an eight-case system; I "believe" in the five-case.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, October 04, 2005 11:18:58 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, September 10, 2005

This morning, I was looking into 1Ti 4.14:

Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. (1Ti 4.14, ESV)

Specifically, I was looking into the word "neglect". The Greek word here is ἀμέλει, present imperative 2nd person singular of ἀμελέω. One cross reference (among many) led me to Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians:

The presbyters also should be compassionate, merciful to all, turning back those who have gone astray, caring for all who are sick, not neglecting the widow, the orphan, or the poor, but always taking thought for what is good before both God and others, abstaining from all anger, prejudice, and unfair judgment, avoiding all love of money, not quick to believe a rumor against anyone, not severe in judgment, knowing that we are all in debt because of sin. (Poly 6.1, Ehrman)

This, of course, led me to the Greek text, and a further question. Here's the Greek text, indentation is mine (I'll explain in a bit, and no, I'm not gettin' all chiastic here):

Καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι δὲ εὔσπλαγχνοι,
  εἰς πάντας ἐλεήμονες,
  ἐπιστρέφοντες τὰ ἀποπεπλανημένα,
  ἐπισκεπτόμενοι πάντας ἀσθενεῖς,
  μὴ ἀμελοῦντες χήρας ἢ ὀρφανοῦ ἢ πένητος·
    ἀλλὰ προνοοῦτες ἀεὶ τοῦ καλοῦ ἐνώπιον θεοῦ κ̓αὶ ἀνθρώπων,
  ἀπεχόμενοι πάσης ὀργῆς, προσωποληψίας, κρίσεως ἀδίκου,
  μακρὰν ὂντες πάσης φιλαργυρίας,
  μὴ ταχέως πιστεύοντες κατά τινος,
  μὴ ἀπότομοι ἐν κρίσει,
εἰδότες ὅτι πάντες ὀφειλέται ἐσμὲν ἁμαρτίας.

This was interesting to me because I immediately had a question upon evaluation of the Greek: What are the parts of the sentence? The above is what I concluded, but I saw a few viable options. The primary thing I had to understand had to do with the lines having to do with widows and orphans, and what the ἀλλὰ line was contrasting. Was the ἀλλὰ acting as a hinge for the whole sentence? Or was it only contrasting widows/orphans/poor?

I concluded that it was directly contrasting the previous line. Instrumental in making this conclusion was some reading/examination I've been doing in section 5 of the Epistle to Diognetus. Here are the verses in question:

6 γαμοῦσιν ὡς πάντες, τεκνογονοῦσιν· ἀλλ ̓ οὐ ῥίπτουσι τὰ γεννώμενα.
7 τράπεζαν κοινὴν παρατίθενται, ἀλλ ̓ οὐ κοίτην.
8 ἐν σαρκὶ τυγχάνουσιν, ἀλλ ̓ οὐ κατὰ σάρκα ζῶσιν. (EpDiog 5.6-8)

Here we have similar goings-on, though not quite the same. In Diognetus, the pattern is [something] but not [alternate thing]. In Polycarp, the pattern seems to be not [something] but [alternate thing]. Or, with Greek words in the templates, [something] ἀλλ ̓ οὐ [alternate thing] or μὴ [something] ἀλλὰ [alternate thing].

But that brings up a further question: Do  [something] ἀλλ ̓ οὐ [alternate thing] and μὴ [something] ἀλλὰ [alternate thing] really indicate the same sort of contrast despite different negative particles used? In English, "this but not that" or "not this, but that" are logically similar; the difference in phrasing would be due to the content of the comparison and/or the speaker/writer's prerogative. Is the same thing basically true in Hellenistic Greek depsite the use of a different negative particle?*

FWIW, I searched the NT for "μὴ [before] ἀλλὰ" (in the same verse) and retrieved 100 hits, many of which seem appropriate (e.g. Mt 6.13 and 1Ti 5.1).** The kicker for me (as far as similar structure goes) is in 1Ti 3.3:

 ... not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

Here, the structure is the same, and contrast is in the immediate context. That is, ἀλλὰ doesn't hinge the whole sentence, but just contrasts the previous phrase. I think the same thing happens in Poly 6.1.

Thus — back to my original inquiry about "neglect" — I think Poly 6.1 helps us understand what is expected in place of neglect. That is, the contrast in Polycarp offers us a picture of what is to counter "neglect" (ἀμελέω), and we don't get this contrast from NT examples.*** From Polycarp's perspective, attending to the needs of widows, orphans and the poor involves "always taking thought for what is good before both God and others" and then doing it.

Working back to the text in First Timothy, perhaps Timothy attends to his particular gift(s) by considering how to properly utilize his gifts before God and others, and then making sure that this is what he does. This is why Timothy is urged to exhort (preach, encourage) and to teach the Ephesians (v. 13) and why Timothy is again reminded to practice and be devoted to being an example (v. 12), using his gifts (v. 15) as he ministers to the Ephesians.

* (added later): I remembered some stuff I read in BDF about the use of these two negative particles in Greek, but my BDF is at the office, and I'm at home. Consulting the ever-wonderful BDAG, I find:

negative particle, ‘not’: ‘μή is the negative of will, wish, doubt. If οὐ denies the fact, μή denies the idea’ (Rob. 1167). For the Koine of the NT the usage is simplified to such a degree that οὐ is generally the neg. used w. the indicative, and μή is used w. the other moods (B-D-F §426; Rob. 1167). (BDAG, p. 642)

** For a complete picture, the words ἀλλὰ οὐ occur together 30 times in the NT, but ἀλλὰ μὴ does not occur at all in the NT. These were phrase searches, so I was searching for adjacent words. In the LDLS, this means I put the Greek lexical forms in double-quotes. This effectively searched for where lexical forms (lemmas) were adjacent, not only for where specific inflected forms were adjacent.

*** The only NT instances are Mt 22.5; 1Ti 4.13; Heb 2.3; Heb 8.9.

Post Author: rico
Saturday, September 10, 2005 12:38:25 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, July 02, 2005

Hi folks.

Just a little cross-pollination between my projects I thought y'all might be interested in.

I've spent the afternoon thinking through the generation of reference indexes for PastoralEpistles.com. Since I started the site, some posts have been associated with particular Bible references. Those references have not been utilized to date; they've just been sitting within post metadata invisible to the user/reader. Additionally, several posts contain clickable Bible references. On top of that, I also cite Apostolic Fathers references (using a groovy tool I wrote last year ... which you're welcome to use too).

So I wrote code today to gather those sorts of things and generate a reference index. That way, when someone arrives at PastoralEpistles.com, they can check out indexes of Bible references or Apostolic Fathers references just by clicking a link on the sidebar. So if someone wants to know if the site has content regarding, say, 1Ti 3.15, by using the Bible Index, you end up at this post (and this post too) which you may not have found otherwise.

At least, that's the hope. Sometimes I think I'm weird and that not too many other folks actually use reference indexes or subject indexes, or that they don't miss them when they're not available. And maybe I am weird. But I like to think of it as a good sort of weird.

Anyway, this will probably be one of the last major features implemented on PastoralEpistles.com, at least for awhile. Hope y'all find it useful!

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, July 02, 2005 4:31:53 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, June 18, 2005

Once again, partaking in some shameless self-promotion, I thought I'd mention a rather significant (from my point of view) update I've made to PastoralEpistles.com.

(For the benefit of newer ricoblog readers, PastoralEpistles.com is a second blog that I run that focuses on the Pastoral Epistles)

I've added a new feature that lets one browse through archived posts based on:

  • Subjects/Topics/Key Words that I've assigned (including but not limited to post categories).
  • People mentioned in the post or somehow associated (e.g. authors of books or journal articles discussed).
  • Greek words or phrases that occur within posts.
  • Latin words or phrases that occur within posts.

You can read more about it in this article.

If you haven't been to PastoralEpistles.com for awhile, be sure to check out new bibliography view feature (showcased by the Site Map) as well!

Please let me know if you find this sort of thing helpful in your biblioblog-browsin'. Thanks!

Note for Geeks: The above-mentioned "indexes" over on PastoralEpistles.com are probably one of the few places where you'll see HTML's "descriptive list" elements used as (I'm guessing) intended. That's right, I'm using the DL, DT and DD tags to make those babies! I almost forgot they existed, but when the time came to convert to HTML, the light-bulb went off in my head. It's so cool to use the right tag for the right thing.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, June 18, 2005 4:12:26 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Regular ricoblog readers already know that I have a strange fascination with the Pastoral Epistles.

Anyway, I was reading a bit of the Cambridge Greek Testament: Epistles of St. John, published in 1916. The discussion on the authorship of Second John states the following regarding the internal evidence (I took the liberty of changing the formatting a bit, the quote is from p. lxxi):

The internal [evidence] is hardly less strong than the external evidence in favour of the Apostolic authorship of the Second, and therefore of the Third Epistle: for no one can reasonably doubt that the writer of the one is the writer of the other. The argument is parallel to that respecting the Pastoral Epistles:

  • There is much in these Epistles that cannot reasonably be ascribed to anyone but S. Paul
  • These portions cannot be severed from the rest
  • Therefore those portions which are not in his usual style were nevertheless written by him.

So here [with the Johannines]:

  • The Second Epistle has so much that is similar to the First, that common authorship is highly probable.
  • The Third Epistle has so much that is similar to the Second, that common authorship is practically certain
  • Therefore the Third Epistle, though not like the First, is nevertheless by the same hand.

I don't know that I've ever heard of the distributive property applied to authorship studies (A = B; B = C; so A = C), so this is a new approach, at least to me. I can't say that the argument is appealing or convincing to me, but I'm not too concerned about the argument (at least with this post). What got my mind going was that the author compared the authorship situation of the Pastoral Epistles to the authorship situation of the Johannine Epistles.

So I immediately began to wonder: Has anyone ever posited (and seriously defended) a fragmentary hypothesis of the Johannines similar to what Harrison (and others) have suggested for the Pastorals?

I know that Anthony Kenny's book (Stylometric Study of the New Testament) uses his stylometric analysis to compare the Johannine Epistles to the Gospel of John in an effort to deduce authorship. I've also been told that Beale, in his NIGTC volume on Revelation, would discuss this sort of thing if anyone does. I'll check that volume out shortly (a friend of mine has it in his personal library) but I still have the question: Has anyone posited a "fragmentary" hypothesis for the Johannines? You know, 'genuine' Johannine fragments collected and expanded by either a (to follow Harrison's flavor) "dedicated Johannist" or (to follow Miller's flavor) a "Johannine Community"?

Just curious. If so, I'd like to compare the approaches/methods of each with the way folks have approached the Pastorals. If not ... it could be a fun (yes, my idea of fun is a little wacky these days) sort of approach to try to apply to the Johannines. 

Update (2005-06-08): I checked Beale, he doesn't really have anything. His section on authorship is only two pages, though. He basically says that not to many people today take the community of redactors hypothesis (pertaining to authorship of Revelation) seriously and therefore doesn't treat it.

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, June 08, 2005 5:10:38 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, May 30, 2005

Hi folks.

I'm back. I was going to wait to post until tomorrow (Tuesday). But then I got up to date on Mark Goodacre's NT Gateway Weblog ... and notice that he announced that he's coming to America! I'm sure those in the blogosphere are already aware of this, but I just had to express my congratulations here. Apparently Duke is lucky in more than basketball.

Congratulations, Mark!

As for me, it was a good time away with family, friends and (of course) books. I was able to read a chunk of stuff, including:

  • Chrisoph Unger. An Introduction to Relevance Theory. Available from: Bible translation files. Scroll to the bottom of the page, available in PDF, HTML or RTF.
  • Kevin Gary Smith. Bible Translation and Relevance Theory: The Translation of Titus. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa). 2000. 260pp. I was able to read the first 100 pages of the dissertation, which works through relevance theory as applied to translation, to be applied to the book of Titus. I have not read the actual translation/notes on Titus. But I know a whole lot more about relevance theory now, and it seems to make sense. The application, however, is a different question. I'll need to work through some areas of Titus to grok that part.
  • Stanley E. Porter and Matthew Brook O'Donnell. The Greek Verbal Network Viewed from a Probabilistic Standpoint: An Exercise in Hallidayan Linguistics, in Filologia Neotestamentaria vol XIV, pp. 3-41. 2001. Finished this one up. I'll need to read it again, though.
  • Stanley E. Porter. Studies in the Greek New Testament: Theory and Practice. (New York: Peter Lang). 1996. 290pp. I read the first two essays: Greek Language and Linguistics and In Defense of Verbal Aspect. I'm itchin' to get to the lexicography article, but all good things will come in time.
  • Stanley E. Porter (ed). The Pauline Canon. (Leiden: Brill). 2005. 254pp. I read a few articles in this one, including:
    • James W. Aageson. The Pastoral Epistles, Apostolic Authority, and the Development of the Pauline Scriptures.
    • Robert W. Wall. The Function of the Pastoral Letters within the Pauline Canon of the New Testament: A Canonical Approach.
    • Detlev Dormeyer. The Hellenistic Letter-formula and the Pauline Letter-scheme.
    • Mark Harding. Disputed and Undisputed Letters of Paul.

In Porter's Pauline Canon, nobody argued for Pauline authorship of the Pastorals (the seven genuine / six disputed perspective seemed dominant in what I read). I can't say that I'm surprised. But Wall's article was notable in that he specifically mentioned that one cannot simply brush aside the Pastoral Epistles when they are tough to interpret/exegete. Actually, his exact words are:

Sharply put with the particular interest of the present essay in view, the interpreter must steadfastly avoid the current practice of setting aside the three-letter collection of Pauline Pastorals as 'inauthentic' and accept their teaching as complimentary for a holist Pauline theology that is, in fact, authorized by the church's Scriptures. (Wall, in Porter, Pauline Canon, 37).

Harding's article takes a similar line, noting that even if the six disputed Paulines are not "genuine", they should stay in the canon and continue to be authoritative. Harding writes:

It would be fruitless, I believe, for the church to re-draw its canon today on the basis that had the early church known it was dealing with documents many scholars today regard as pseudepigrapha it would have rejected them. Pseudepigrapha were accepted because they bore a confirmin testimony to the significance of the Christ-event as that was interpreted, and as such were believed to be authentic. Anonymous books were erroneously attributed lest thier witness be lost to the church. These books enhanced the apostolic witness to the tradition articulated in the church form early times. That tradition had been accepted unquestionably as apostolic and was now inscripturated and in the process of being canonized. (Harding in Porter, Pauline Canon, 167)

Anyway, as I have time over the next few days (heh ... if I have time, that is ... things are going to be busy this week) I'll probably blog about some of these articles both here and on PastoralEpistles.com as I mull over them and think about them some more.

Post Author: Rico
Monday, May 30, 2005 4:05:30 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In the Shamless Self-Promotion department, I have a post over at PastoralEpistles.com about the meaning of the word ἀπωθέω. If you have any comments, feedback or pointers I'm happy to receive them. You can even use this thread for comments if you'd like.


Post Author: Rico
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 11:16:51 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, March 16, 2005

For those who are unaware or new to ricoblog, I also occassionally post information that has to do specifically with the Pastoral Epistles over at a different site: PastoralEpistles.com.

On that site, I've just posted a link to an article titled Distribution of Semantic Domain by Section in the Pastoral Epistles. This is a table of information that shows the frequency of occurrence of each semantic domain in each section (sections are based on the NA27 section boundaries) of the Pastoral Epistles.

I thought some folks might be interested in this, hence the cross-post. That, and I think the data is just plain cool, but my opinion may be biased.

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 6:58:48 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, February 13, 2005

Folks --

I've posted a sample draft of my notes/writing on 1Ti 3.1-7 over at PastoralEpistles.com.

If you are interested and have time to peruse it, I'd appreciate any comments. You can email comments to pe | pastoralepistles | com, or you can use the comment thread on this post.

I'm interested in any feedback, positive or negative. If you think it sucks eggs, please tell me why. If you think it is the grooviest thing since sliced bread, please tell me why. I'm particularly interested if you're a pastor or preacher who prepares sermons with regularity -- is the sort of stuff in the sample draft helpful to you? Why or why not?

Thanks in advance. Again, please feel free to leave comments if you've at least perused the PDF file.

Update: I forgot to mention -- I've assumed Pauline authorship and have stated no rationale for this in the document (as of yet). I'll concede that the PE use some different words that aren't found elsewhere in the NT, but much of the language and content of the PE, to me, sounds like Paul. Even P.N. Harrison's edition of the Greek of the PE makes this point, though he used the info to posit a "dedicated Paulinist" as the author.

So, I've chosen to go with Paul. I realize there are debates here and that many in the scholarly community take non-Pauline authorship for granted. I don't think it is that easy to determine, especially with samples as small as the epistles. If that is an impediment to your reading of the document, I apologize for it -- but I really think it is the best way to approach the problem, so that's what I've done.

Post Author: Rico
Sunday, February 13, 2005 1:12:57 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, February 07, 2005

Hi folks.

I think I've got the RSS Feed at PastoralEpistles.com up and running.

Please let me know if you run into any problems.

Post Author: Rico
Monday, February 07, 2005 8:35:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, February 06, 2005

I'd like to thank folks for mentioning and publicizing PastoralEpistles.com on their blogs and on email lists. It's always neat when an idea of your own gets an entusiastic reception. So, thanks to those who posted links for me. I do appreciate it.

Regarding an RSS feed: That's next on the to-do list. I'd thought I might get to it next weekend, but based on the response received today, I may end up trying to whip one up on Monday night. I'll post information here if I'm able to get that done.

Thanks again to Hypotyposeis, the NT Gateway Weblog, the Biblical Theology weblog, a few email lists and whomever else posted announcements and links.

Post Author: Rico
Sunday, February 06, 2005 9:35:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, February 05, 2005

Over the past few weekends, I've been spending my time working on yet another little side project: PastoralEpistles.com.

The site is a bit of a mutt. It is part blog, part wiki, and part something else that I'm not sure how to describe. What it allows me to do is to post information about the Pastoral Epistles in a few different formats:

  • Blog-style: So, the posts I've been making here that touch on the Pastorals will probably move over to the Pastoral Epistles.com blog.
  • Bibliography-style: One thing I really want to do is develop an annotated bibliography for the Pastoral Epistles. And not just books, but journal articles and web sites too. This will probably be the primary type of content, at least in the short term, for the site.
  • Articles: I may write longer articles, or post sample PDF files of the stuff I'm writing as I work my way through the Pastorals.
  • Site Documents: There's a certain amount of site overhead and communication that needs to go on.

The setup is extensible so I can create new "post types" by popping a new XML file in the right spot on the server. Rather than typing in HTML, the syntax is based on some very simple wiki-style codes. I can add different codes and such fairly easily. (I do still need to support dumping in raw HTML and ignoring it, though ... )

I'm sure James Tauber is thinking right now, "Gee, sounds like Leonardo." It may be. But writing the code is the fun part, isn't it? And why should someone else have all the fun?

The site still has a decent amount of work left to be done. Consider the current incarnation a beta. I haven't written the component that generates an RSS file yet, and there are some management tools I've yet to write, plus a few other things. I hope to get to the RSS file bit next weekend. I also don't have any support for comments (I still haven't decided if I want to support comments). But the mechanics of posting and browsing are supported, so I figured I'd make it live and get some folks banging on it so I can see what I haven't anticipated and what I need to fix.

Please check it out. Poke around. Click on stuff. I'm interested to know what you think about it. I've viewed the site in FireFox, IE 6.0, and Opera (all on WinXP) and it looks fine, so it should fly just about anywhere, I'd think. It looks the worst in IE (the login and password boxes not lining up is the problem; they do in other browsers. I'll have to work on that).

The login, BTW, is for "authors" to post links. If you're interested in being an author for some reason, contact me at: articles | pastoralepistles | com. Point me to stuff you've written online and plead your case.

Also, if you know of sites that I should include in the URL Bibliography, please drop a line to me at: articles | pastoralepistles | com. I'm guessing you'll know how to munge that into an email address.

Update: James Tauber writes in the comments:

It's also made me wonder if you, me and Zach Hubert should put together some kind of hosted site where people get a blog and a bunch of collaborative tools suited specifically to serious biblical study.

As for me: It sounds interesting. I've already learned a few lessons in writing the code for PastoralEpistles.com, and I'm sure I'll learn many more before things in the weeks to come. I'll warn you all, though -- I'm more of a data hound than an actual, bona-fide programmer, but it could at least be fun to talk about. If Zach chimes in and thinks it's a good idea, perhaps James can drop us both an email with some more details of what he's thinking?

Tech Geeks: It's all server-side JScript that munges/writes XML for posts and views of posts. This is the thing that I wrote the Beta Code to Unicode converter for a few weeks back. It lets me key the Greek in according to Greek Beta Code in the wiki-syntax, but it munges it into normalized unicode for the display. For the record, I'm not interested in releasing the code to the public. It's a big byzantine ball o' spaghetti-fied crud that nobody but me should be penalized with having to grok.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, February 05, 2005 9:20:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, February 03, 2005

First, Marc Goodacre has posted a copy of the Greek of the Apocalypse of Peter (Akhmim Fragment) online. It's a word doc, and it's unicode. If you read my li'l backwoods of a blog, you surely read Dr. Goodacre's, so you probably already know about this. But I mention it just in case you don't. (In which case — add the NT Gateway Weblog to your aggregator now.)

So, I had to grab the transcription and give it a look-see. I can futz may way through the Greek, but I still have problems getting sentences together, so I did a search and (of course) ran into Early Christian Writings' English edition of the Apocalypse of Peter. So, I'm scanning down them both, trying to make sense of it all.

Then I come across the first part of § 24 (English from M.R. James edition):

Ἦσαν δὲ καὶ ἄλλοι· γυν[αῖ]κες [τ]ῶν πλοκάμων ἐξηρτημέναι ἀνωτέρω τοῦ βορβόρο[υ] ἐκείν[ου] τοῦ ἀναπαφλάζοντος· αὗτ[αι δ]ὲ ἦσαν αἱ πρὸς μοιχείαν κοσμηθεῖσαι·

And there were also others, women, hanged by their hair above that mire which boiled up; and these were they that adorned themselves for adultery.

I ran across κοσμηθεῖσαι and I thought to myself, “I know that word!”; as in, I've looked into it before. It's also found in 1Ti 2.9:

Ὡσαύτως [καὶ] γυναῖκας ἐν καταστολῇ κοσμίῳ μετὰ αἰδοῦς καὶ σωφροσύνης κοσμεῖν ἑαυτάς, μὴ ἐν πλέγμασιν καὶ χρυσίῳ ἢ μαργαρίταις ἢ ἱματισμῷ πολυτελεῖ,

likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

Knowing I'd written on this before, while at home for lunch I went back to my notes on 1Ti 2.9. Here are some other citations (English only):

  • 1Pe 3.5-6: “For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.” (ESV)
  • Re 21.2: “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (ESV)
  • Testament of Judah 12.1: “And after these things, while Tamar was a widow, she heard after two years that I was going up to shear my sheep, and adorned herself in bridal array, and sat in the city Enaim by the gate.” (from R.H. Charles' edition. cf. Ge 38)
  • Josephus, Wars 2.444: “ ... for he went up thither to worship in a pompous manner, and adorned with royal garments, and had his followers with him in their armor.” (Whiston translation)
  • MPoly 13.2: “When the pyre was prepared, Polycarp laid aside all his garments and loosened his belt. He was also trying to undo his sandals, even though he was not accustomed to do so, since each of the faithful was always eager to do it, to see who could touch his skin most quickly. For he was adorned with every good thing because of his exemplary way of life, even before he bore his testimony unto death.” (Ehrman translation)
  • 1Cl 33.7: “We should realize that all those who are upright have been adorned with good works, and even the Lord himself, when he adorned himself with good works, rejoiced.” (Ehrman translation)

All in all, κοσμέω is a fun little word. Notably, the passage in 1Ti 2.9-10 uses the word in both its literal and figurative senses at the same time. According to this passage, women are to “adorn themselves” with “respectable apparel” — things like modesty, self control, and good works. They are not to “adorn themselves” in an ostentatious show of wealth and pride by wearing gold, pearls, and super-fancy hairstyles.

Now I have another citation to add to my list: Apocalypse of Peter 24. Thanks, Dr. Goodacre.

Update: I knew I'd seen something else on this before. H.B. Swete published an edition on the Gospel of Peter from Ahkmim Fragment. The Life and Works of Henry Barclay Swete has Swete's translation of the Gospel of Peter fragment up, along with (somewhat smallish) graphics of the fragment itself. The site setup makes direct linking impossible, so from the front page click on the "Antique Texts" item in the sidebar. Then scroll down to the section "Editions of Antique Texts". You should see the link in that section.

Post Author: Rico
Thursday, February 03, 2005 1:04:12 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, January 29, 2005

In the past, I blogged on the use of a particular idiom that occurs in 1Ti 4.16:

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

I blogged about this in three previous posts (that I can find) where I'd noticed the same idiom appearing in some of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers:

Well, I've been poking through my latest acquisition, and I came across a document entitled The Life of Polycarp. I've heard of this but never had the opportunity to read it. Lightfoot doesn't consider it genuine by any stretch. He thinks it was written in the middle of the fourth century and as such is a witness to ecclesiastical stuff a-goin' on back then. He included a transcription of the Greek, with apparatus and notes and also an English translation.*

And there it was. §XXV.

Thus speaking in this way from time to time, and being persistent in his teaching, he edified and saved both himself and his hearers.

Τοιαῦτα μὲν δὴ ἀεὶ λέγων, ἐπιμένων τε τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ, ᾠκοδόμει τε καὶ ἔσωζεν ἑαυτόν τε καὶ τοὺς ἀκούοντας αὐτοῦ.

The Greek and the translation are from Lightfoot (Part II, Vol. II, §2, pp. 1038 [Greek] and 1080 [English]), any typos are mine.

* It's almost superfluous to mention, but Lightfoot was a stud.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, January 29, 2005 10:05:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, January 23, 2005

I don't use the Graphical Query capability in the LDLS often. But I was looking at 1Ti 3.7 tonight. The last part of the verse goes like this:

ἵνα μὴ εἰς ὀνειδισμὸν ἐμπέσῃ καὶ παγίδα τοῦ διαβόλου.

The English (from the ESV) is “... so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” Now, my question in looking at this has to do with the the second half. Is παγίδα τοῦ διαβόλου epexegetical? That is, does “into a snare of the devil” explain the disgrace being fallen into, or are these two seperate things? Or something else altogether? As the ESV repeats “into”, it's a safe bet that they see these as two seperate things. But I want to understand it, not just take someone else's word for it. 

I thought it might be enlightening to search for patterns based on morphology instead of patterns based on words. So I whipped out my Grapical Query Editor in the LDLS and pointed and clicked my way to:

Graphical Query 01

A preposition, followed by a noun in the accusative case, followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood, followed by a conjunction, followed by a noun in the accusative case — the whole thing occurring, in that order, in the space of nine words or less.

I didn't find much. So I went back to the drawing board:

Graphical Query 02

Here I used the super-groovy agreement operator to specify that I wanted my nouns to agree in case and number. I also got rid of the preposition part and changed the conjunction reference to an explicit καὶ. I ran the search again, and still didn't find much. What I did find wasn't applicable as there were articles and such before the second noun. I could've tweaked it further to account for that, but I was returning under 10 hits and none of them were helping me; tweaking wouldn't accomplish anything. Blast. So I don't have any more results to evaluate. Widening the field didn't help either.

Thankfully, I still have commentaries to look at. Knight (NIGTC on Pastorals) mentions:

The first aspect of this concern is that he will fall into “reproach” (ὀνειδισμός). From whom will the reproach come? That is to say, is ὀνειδισμός qualified by the genitive τοῦ διαβόλου or is it used absolutely? For the former, it is argued that the preposition εἰς is not repeated before παγίδα. For the latter, it is argued that the reproach follows from the potential bishop not having a good testimony from those outside and so is not restricted exclusively to the διάβολος. That consideration is more in line with the context. (Knight, 165)

Compare that to Ellicott, writing in the 1860's:

... the absence of the article before παγίδα being perhaps due to the preposition; comp. Winer, Gr. 19.2, p. 114. The exact connexion is somewhat doubtful, as the gen. may depend (a) on both, or (b) only on the last of the two substantives. The omission of the prep. before παγίδα (De W.) is an argument in favour of (a); the isolated position however of ὀνειδισμός and the connexion of thought in ch. 5.14, 15, seem to preponderate in favour of (b), ὀνειδισμός being thus absolute, and referring to 'the reproachful comments and judgment,' whether of those without (Chrys.) or within the Church. ... The expression παγίδα τοῦ διαβόλου ('snare laid by the devil;' apparently gen. originis, contrast ver. 6), occurs again in 2Ti 2.26; so similarly in 1Ti 6.9. It is here added to ὀνειδισμός, not epexegetically ... but rather as marking the temptations that will be sure to follow the loss of character; 'quid spei restat ubi nullus est peccandi pudor?' Calv. (Ellicott, 45).

If I knew half of what either of these two dudes have (had) forgotten, I'd be in incredible shape. However ... I do feel kind of good that it seems I actually asked the right question. That's a step up for me.

Conclusion: not epexegetical. Further question, though — does the “fronting” (hope I'm using that term correctly) of εἰς ὀνειδισμὸν before the verb have anything to do with the conclusion? In other words, could the position of these words before the verb provide any indication that the “trap of the devil” is not the same thing as the “disgrace”, but that it is (if I've understood all of this correctly) subsequent to the disgrace?

Post Author: Rico
Sunday, January 23, 2005 10:03:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, January 21, 2005

[Note: the term 'bleg' is a combination of the words “blog” and “beg”, typically used when blog authors make requests of readers.]

As regular ricoblog readers know, I've been working on writing some stuff on the Pastoral Epistles.

I'm still not sure how to label what it is that I'm doing. It isn't a commentary in the traditional sense, though it does share the same basic structure (verse-by-verse organization). Some have suggested the label “Word Studies”, but I dislike that term and don't think it applies to what I'm doing either. I'd thought “exegetical notes” and that's the alternative I'm sticking with at present, though I still don't think it is really descriptive.

At this point, I'm working through the text at the word/phrase level and examining word/phrase occurrences in the NT and also in the LXX, Pseudepigrapha, Apostolic Fathers, Josephus, Philo or whatever other place I can find (either cited or through searching) where it seems the citation helps with understanding the word as it is used in the Pastoral Epistles. A later project, after these notes are complete, will be to use this data while examining the text at a higher level. I'd say 'discourse' level, but I don't plan on doing full-on discourse analysis.

So, I've decided to upload a sample and ask y'all what you think about it. Please feel free to contact me via email at textgeek (at) gmail (dot) com if you have suggestions for a label that I can use to describe this stuff succinctly, or if you have general feedback be it good or bad or in between somewhere. I'm not looking for an editor or nitpicks; there will be plenty of future opportunity in those areas.

This is a PDF doc with notes on 1Ti 3.5. It's 2.5 pages. The English NT translation is that of the ESV.

1 Timothy 3.5 Rough Draft Sample.pdf (53.6 KB)

I post this with the typical author apprehension about others reading his stuff. It's a rough draft and hasn't been edited at all. The first half is a bit more solid than the second half (which needs some work; I threw that part together pretty quickly). And the translations of the LXX need to be checked again. I'll be editing it in a few weeks. But it's a nice little passage that gives some idea of what I'm doing. Hopefully the conventions (bold, italics, single vs. double quotes) will be clear.

Thanks in advance if you're able to give it a look-see and offer some feedback.

Post Author: Rico
Friday, January 21, 2005 9:51:11 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, January 08, 2005

I'm working through 1Ti 3.1-7. I'm at the end of verse 2, specifically dealing with the term “hospitable” (φιλόξενος). In looking at non-Biblical citations of φιλόξενος, I came across Josephus, Life 1.141-142:

When, therefore, silence was made by the whole multitude, I spake thus to them:—“O my countrymen! I refuse not to die, if justice so require. However, I am desirous to tell you the truth of this matter before I die; for as I know that this city of yours [Taricheae] was a city of great hospitality, and filled with abundance of such men as have left their own countries, and are come hither to be partakers of your fortune, whatever it be, I had a mind to build walls about it, out of this money, for which you are so angry with me, while yet it was to be expended in building your own walls.” (Life 1.141-142, Whiston translation)

I got a chuckle because Josephus notes that Taricheae “was a city of great hospitality” and then essentially begs for them to spare his life, hoping their hospitality will kick in and save his skin.

Anyway, that's beside the point. After thinking about the above for a bit, and looking at the other occurrences of φιλόξενος in the NT (1Ti 3.2; Titus 1.8; 1Pe 4.9) and some instances in the Apostolic Fathers (1Cl 12.3, Hermas Mandates VIII.10, Similitudes IX.xxvii.2), I started to think about φιλόξενος in terms of citizenship; that it has to do with showing kindness of some degree to foreigners sojourning among a native population, at least in some sense. I don't want to narrow it to a citizenship context (as it does obviously mean “hospitable” or “hospitality” in a general sense in some of the above citations), but many of the above instances (particularly Josephus and 1Clement) are in that context.

Then I started thinking about the sense of citizenship of Heaven that occurs in the NT. There are two references in particular:

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Eph 2.19-22)

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Php 3.20-21)

This perspective also occurs in the Apostolic Fathers, particularly in the Epistle to Diognetus:  

But while they dwell in cities of Greeks and barbarians as the lot of each is cast, and follow the native customs in dress and food and the other arrangements of life, yet the constitution of their own citizenship, which they set forth, is marvelous, and confessedly contradicts expectation.  They dwell in their own countries, but only as sojourners; they bear their share in all things as citizens, and they endure all hardships as strangers. Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and every fatherland is foreign. (EpDiog 5.4-5, Lightfoot)

So, my question is: When Paul includes φιλόξενος in lists of virtues describing qualities that should be evident in “overseers” (1Ti 3.2; Titus 1.8), could he, as he considers Christians to be citizens of the Kingdom, be desirous of overseers who show hospitality to all non-citizens of the Kingdom?

I realize the context in both 1Ti 3.2 and Titus 1.8 is general, so we have to interpret it generally in the sense of “hospitality” since that's as specific as the context gets. But I'd never considered this in light of heavenly citizenship espoused elsewhere in the NT. Does Paul simply require the overseers to be kind to strangers; or does this requirement have roots in a desire for the overseer to extend kindness to those who are not fellow-citizens of the Kingdom?

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, January 08, 2005 10:37:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, January 07, 2005

I noticed an unread comment in an earlier post of mine on Galaxie's Theological Journals (post dated 2004-11-28). The post noted how helpful the journals are in searching for recently written material having to do with a particular verse or issue. In the comment, John Kendall helpfully notes:

You might also find Al Wolters' paper helpful.

He then provides an URL to a PDF file that is, unfortunately, no longer valid. In poking around, the paper Mr. Kendall referred me to is an article in the 2000 edition of the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism titled “A Semantic Study of αὐθέντης and its Derivatives”. I was previously unaware of this resource (I'm sure Marc Goodacre / et. al. have mentioned it, but I missed it anyway). It looks like my slackitude in checking for unread comments (I don't have any comment notification set up at present) strikes big-time. The 2000 edition of this journal is now in print (hardcover) at Sheffield Phoenix, but it is $70 for “Scholars Price” and $140 “List Price”. The PDF is no longer on the web site.

Blast. But the current volume (three articles thus far) does have PDF files online, so y'all might want to check it out.

Mr. Kendall — thanks for the recommendation anyway. I'll keep the bibliographic info and maybe I'll be able to consult it at some point in the future.

Update: Marc Goodacre did mention the journal, and not even a month ago (Dec. 14, 2004). Don't mind me folks, just keep movin' along.

Post Author: Rico
Friday, January 07, 2005 12:21:53 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I just read an excellent post on Lu 2.2 and the census over at Hypotyposeis. You should go read it, really.

One point that Dr. Carlson made immediately caught my attention. He writes:

Nevertheless, the standard interpretion still leaves me cold with a number of problems, the chief among them is why would Luke specify that it was πρώτη ("first"). If Luke merely wanted to tell when the registration happened, presumably under Quirinius (c. AD 6), there is little need to use πρώτη. What does that word do for the text? Of course, the census under Quirinius was hugely important. Josephus had recognized it as as a major factor ultimately leading to the Jewish War in the 60s. In fact, this census is so important that Luke could merely refer to it in Acts 5:37 as "the census" τῆς ἀπογραφῆς.

Dr. Carlson later works through the different major senses of the word πρῶτος:

Danker identifies two major senses for this adjective: (1) being first in sequence, time, number, or space, and (2) being first in prominence or importance. Many examples of the second sense can be found in Luke's writings, e.g. Luke 15:22 "[my] best robe"; Luke 13:30 (first vs. last); Acts 17:4 "quite a few prominent women" (NET); Acts 13:50 "the prominent men in the city"; Luke 19:47 "the prominent leaders of the people" etc.

All of this reminded me of 1Ti 1.15. You know, the part where Paul (assuming Pauline authorship, of course) says he is “the greatest” or “the foremost” of sinners? Here's what I've got in my current draft of notes (emphasizing the word draft) on v. 15. Single ‘quotes’ indicate glosses quoted from a lexicon (BDAG/others, cited in the note); bold text represents the ESV text.

After establishing the general principle that Christ Jesus had come to save sinners, Paul offers that he is the foremost of sinners. While the word translated “foremost” (πρῶτος) literally means ‘first’,38 Paul is not claiming to be the first or primary sinner. The sense is that of ‘most prominent’ or perhaps ‘worst’ of the sinners.39 This is less of a boast and more of an effort to establish a very high bar that all can pass under.
38 BDAG, p. 893. Occurs 155x in NT; 10x in PE.
39 “ … and I am the worst of them!” is the NET Bible translation of this verse.

Just another instance where πρῶτος doesn't necessarily mean 'first'. (This also happens in 1Ti 1.16, but the eight other occurrences in the PE all seem to be along the lines of ‘first’.) Of course, to relate this back fully to Dr. Carlson's post, I'd have to ask if this use of πρῶτος fits the pattern of use in Luke/Acts, and if that has any merit whatsoever in advancing the argument of Luke as Paul's amanuensis for the Pastoral Epistles.

Addendum: It occurs to me that I should say why I think the original post is so “excellent”. I'm not one who could say one way or the other what the proper translation of Lu 2.2 is. It is a difficult verse for the very reasons mentioned in the original post. What I like about the post, though, is the exploration. Not just dismissing something because it hasn't been looked at recently; but working through it to see if it has merit.

I think sometimes I take a “majority rules” approach to working with the Greek text. My skills aren't the best and I'm still working through issues (particularly syntax). If I'm stumped (which happens more often than I'd like to admit) and if most of the modern translations treat a verse or phrase or word in a similar way, then it must be right. Right? Well, not necessarily.

What I appreciated about Dr. Carlson's post was that he examined an alternative to the typical approach and worked through it, and then posted his stuff for other folks to check out. Dr. Carlson's thoughts could stimulate someone else's thinking on the issue, and who knows where that will lead.

All in all this is fun stuff. This is what “biblioblogging” (or whatever the label ends up being) should be like.

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 8:37:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, December 11, 2004

I wrote some more code today to compare “tri-logs” (a set of three adjoining words) in the Pastoral Epistles with tri-logs that appear in the Pauline Epistles.

One thing I noticed is that I forgot Philemon; so I need to regenerate some data. But I thought I'd post sans-Philemon anyway. Here's the link:

A Concordance of Tri-Logs Held in Common Between the “Genuine” Paulines and Pastorals.

The interesting bit: Out of 27,166 unique tri-logs in the combined corpus, 2408 occur more than once. Of those 2408, 280 are found in both the Pastoral Epistles and in the “genuine” Pauline epistles. So, right around 1% of tri-logs repeat across corpora. The Pastoral Epistles themselves, remember, have 3270 tri-logs with 141 occuring more than once.

(this, of course, assumes I don't have any nasty bugs like I had before)

How'd we get 280 in common? Apparently, many of the tri-logs that occur only once in the Pastorals also occur in the Paulines. That's only to be expected.

Math is not my strong suit, so I haven't done any actual statistical analysis beyond just looking at numbers and comparing. Maybe later.

Update: I should note that some of the more interesting areas of the data involve common words. If you examine the tri-logs that begin with a conjunction or a preposition like διὰ or ἐν or καί, you can see some interesting things.

Update II: Data has been updated to include Philemon. 27,422 tri-logs, 2436 occur more than once. The Pastorals and “genuine” Paulines have 280 in common.

Update III: In response to Eli's question, I must've mis-communicated. My basic process to compare the “genuine” Paulines to the Pastorals has been, in brief:

  1. Start with entire listing of tri-logs in the “genuine” Paulines.
  2. Compare Pauline tri-log to the entire Pastoral tri-log list.
  3. If there is a match, then it is recorded and the reference lists for the Paulines and Pastorals are merged. The resultant node is dumped into a new document (linked to above).

This includes the “non-repeaters”. If a tri-log only occurred once in the Paulines, it is evaluated against all of the Pastoral tri-logs. If a tri-log only occurred once in the Pastorals and wasn't found in the mass comparison, then it must not occur in the Paulines. For example, the very first hit in the comparison concordance is αἰών ἀμήν ἀσπάζομαι. This occurs once in the Paulines (Php 4.21) and once in the Pastorals (2Ti 4.19).

Unless I'm missing something blindingly obvious (which is quite possible).

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, December 11, 2004 2:10:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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Last week, I posted a link to something I called a Concordance of Three-Word Phrases in the Pastoral Epistles.

Time to follow up.

First, I spent some time talking with some friends about this work. One friend suggested the term “tri-log” to describe what I had called a “three-word phrase”. I had struggled with a label because inserting the word “phrase” has problems. These really aren't phrases in a linguistic sense, they're just three words that happen to occur next to each other. The term “tri-log” reduces ambiguity, so that's the term I'm going to start using; at least until a better option presents itself.

Second, I revisited the code today and noticed a huge, gaping bug. My counts were off (by more than half!) due to a sloppy, sloppy bug that I'm ashamed of. I've fixed it and have new numbers for the Pastorals: Out of 3270 potential tri-logs in the Pastoral Epistles, 141 occur more than once.

The page with A Concordance of Tri-Logs in the Pastoral Epistles has been regenerated and updated with this new information. In addition, it is even alphabetically sorted.

Third, I realize this information isn't really that easy to consult. I may generate a few different indexes to the concordance (by verse and by word) but not any time soon.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, December 11, 2004 1:49:01 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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There's a bandwagon, so I figure I'd better jump on it.

Eric Sowell (of The Coding Humanist — hi Eric!) asked a question about what to study for New Testament background; specifically, if it was better to concentrate on OT Pseudepigrapha or Philo. It wasn't an either/or question, it was more (as I read it) a question about which corpus to examine first. One of the responses was from Jim Davila (ever-insightful author of PaleoJudaica). His response (as noted by Stephen C. Carlson from Hypotyposeis and Mark Goodacre from the NT Gateway, among others) is full of insight and well worth reading. Go do it now if you haven't yet. I'll wait.

Ok, you've read it? Good.

I'll be the first to admit that I need to do more study in the area of New Testament Background, though N.T. Wright's work (his "Christian Origins and the Question of God" series — New Testament and the People of God, Jesus and the Victory of God, still need to read The Resurrection and the Son of God) has been very helpful in introducing me to the literature and also in applying it to the New Testament situation.

That said, I'm going to head off on a tangent. Here's your opportunity to stop reading ...

Still here? Ok, here we go.

This whole discussion is somewhat parallel to what I've been doing as I've been working my way through the Pastoral Epistles. However, instead of focusing on background culture and setting, and on the larger and rather important picture of the development of the thinking/religion/culture that produced the New Testament (which is good and needed) I've been looking simply at word usage in these sorts of corpora.

One of the things that interests me is not only how words are used in the New Testament, but how other authors in other corpora use the same word. This is why BDAG is my favorite Greek Lexicon. I don't agree with it carte blanche, but what I so enjoy are the citations not only to New Testament references, but to references in the LXX, to Philo and Josephus, to the Apostolic Fathers and pseudepigraphal references. Don't forget references to papyri, or the treatment in Moulton & Milligan or even the work of Adolf Deissmann.

Have you ever stopped and actually looked up some of these citations when working through a verse?

I've been doing this in my (albeit slow) work through the text of the Pastoral Epistles. In working through a pericope, I'll break into logical units. Since my primary intended reader isn't a Greek scholar (because I am not a Greek scholar) these logical units are more like phrases based on the English translation (I'm using the ESV as the English base). For each of these phrases, I work through the interesting bits in the Greek; typically the verbs, nouns and adjectives, though I pay attention to the balance and mention it if it is significant. I work through the appropriate sense as defined in BDAG, looking up and examining the citations. I examine other lexical sources as well (LSJ, Louw-Nida, TDNT on occasion) to reduce reliance on a single resource.

I typically follow a pattern that extends in similarity of literature. I've convienently labeled these in terms all beginning with the letter "C":

  • Context: This would be occurrences of the same word in the same pericope, NT book and/or the same NT author.
  • Covenant: This would be occurrences of the same word within the same "testament" or "covenant" (thus, words in the New Testament for my purposes).
  • Canon: This would be occurrences of the same word in the LXX for the books in the Protestant canon.
  • Contemporaries: This is an amorphous blob of, essentially, everything else that was written (very roughly) in the same era as the Pastoral Epistles, but isn't in the Protestant canon. Stuff like Josephus, Philo, Apostolic Fathers, OT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, and any cited (and transcribed and translated) papyri I can get my hands on.

In these "C" categories, I also leave room for the aspects of Chronology and Culture, though those are less often explored (outside of whatever I end up writing as book background).

I realize these labels have problems, but the primary intended audience of what I'm working on (should it ever see the light of day — which is another question altogether) isn't the scholar, it is the student/pastor/interested layman who has perhaps had some Greek instruction in the past but may not remember much beyond the alphabet and how to sound out words. It's my own subversive effort to suck these sorts of folks into not just the Greek NT, but to introduce them to the other sources of that era. These labels have the advantage of being easy to remember and they describe the basics (albeit roughly). That, and they're concentric. That is, Covenant includes the group of Context, Canon includes the group of Covenant, and Contemporaries includes them all. Again it is imprecise and rough, I realize, but I think it is appropriate for the target audience. I like it so much I've included it in my current working title: Pastoral Epistles: Context and Contemporaries.

I do freely admit that I have a strong interest in the Apostolic Fathers so I tend to examine these writings with more frequency than other "Contemporary" sorts of literature. Josephus finds his way into the discussion a fair bit, as does the OT Apocrypha. When an infrequent word is encountered, these sorts of sources play much more of a role in the discussion.

My shtick, if you could call it that, is freely quoting from these sources, in translation, in the main body of the text. I italicize the English words within the extended quotations that relate to the Greek words under discussion. Folks who write good commentaries have examined much of this material and it has played a role in their work, but then they relegate it to a citation in a footnote and simply give their conclusion (if that). Including the actual text cited in a form that the reader can interact with brings them into familiarity with the material, and may even suck them into examining such material in the course of other related study.

A bit nefarious, I realize, but if it works, and more folks start to become aware of and interact with this "contemporary" literature — all the better.

I should also mention that my examination/quotation of such material isn't at the level of examining parallel concepts, establishing doctrinal practices, or recommending practice or application. I'm strictly interested in examining word usage to get a better grip on word meaning. I'm not appealing to these sources as canonical equivalents but instead simply examining word usage to see if any commonalities exist in usage among the instances.

Back to the original topic, Eric's question about NT background.

I see the sort of study that I've described above as tangential to the question. That is — and I know this isn't a unique insight, but I wanted to mention it anyway — in the same way that studying the background of the New Testament through literature like Josephus, Philo, the Dead Sea Scrolls, etc. is important to proper understanding of the New Testament setting; so too is the examination of the language of these documents in working through the written New Testament.

I know; I went through a whole lot to come to a short conclusion. But I saw a tangent and wanted to take it. As essay-type blog posts such as these typically do, at least for me, it has helped me think through this approach in a little more detail. If you have feedback on such methodology; be it encouragement, agreement or criticism, please feel free to drop a comment or zap me an email (address is in the right column of the page).


Post Author: Rico
Saturday, December 11, 2004 1:16:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, December 04, 2004

I've been playing around with Greek text this weekend. This is going to seem a bit geeky (a bit?) but I need to give some background.

I was talking with Bob Pritchett a few weeks back. For some reason, the subject of automatic language recognition came up. Apparently one of the methods used involves compiling all consecutive three-character combinations as they appear in a given text (so, “I drove.” would have the strings 'I d', ' dr', 'dro', 'rov', 'ove', 've.') and then examining the occurrences to known frequencies of three-letter combinations in known texts in the language in question. Apparently the success rate is fairly high for an automated procedure.

After thinking about it for awhile, I became curious about combinations of words and authorship or author style. For the Pastoral Epistles, many studies have been done examining word frequencies of the Pastoral Epistles and comparing them to so-called “genuine” Paulines, the Apostolic Fathers, and other things. P.N. Harrison did the definitive work in this area analyzing the Pastoral Epistles in 1922 or so (The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles, see my Bibliography).  Donald Guthrie responded to Harrison's work in a monograph published in 1956. But this all involved word frequencies. To my knowledge, nobody has really thought about phrase frequencies (NOTE: see Update III below). It would've been tough to do in the past, but with available electronic texts (see both James Tauber's site and Dr. Maurice Robinson's ByzTxt.com site (nb: byztxt.com no longer exists and now links to indecent and rude material)— I prefer Tauber's data as it has casing, breathing marks, accents and lexemes), high-power processors and some programming skill it seems like these sorts of things are coming into the realm of possibility.

So, I spent today writing some javascript (run via the Windows scripting host) to process James Tauber's MorphGNT data. Keeping track of all the possible combos takes a lot of memory and processing power, so for now I'm limiting myself to the Pastoral Epistles. I compared the three-word combinations on the basis of the lexeme (or “dictionary” form) not on the inflections. Each individual listing does have the actual inflected phrase provided seperately so that one can see exactly what the match is.

The outcome? Of 3269 possible three-word combinations of adjacent words in the Pastoral Epistles, there are 55 that occur more than once. Some of them are meaningful (e.g. πιστὸς ὁ λόγος, “Faithful is the word”), others aren't. Who knows if this is significant; I'll need to get data from other books and devise a methodology to compare before I'm able to even think about conclusions.

After generating the data (I munged it into XML, of course) I whipped out a quick stylesheet to render the concordance as HTML so I could post it as it seems like the sort of thing that might be handy for some folks. So, without further adeiu:

A Concordance of Three-Word Phrases in the Pastoral Epistles

There are some problems/caveats mentioned in introductory note; please read it over. Also, for some reason I've not yet figured out, Firefox doesn't like my CSS stylesheet but IE does. So it'll look better in IE, at least for now.

If you have any ideas or feedback on the data, on the idea of examining phrase frequencies, suggestions for methodology once the data is compiled, or anything else to do with this I'm very interested to hear from you. Please feel free to drop a comment, post about it in your blog & trackback here, or just drop me an email.

Update: I noticed another small bug; it seems I didn't clear my phrase cache at the end of each book. So the phrase μεθ' ὑμῶν Παῦλος really doesn't occur; μεθ' ὑμῶν is at the end of one book, Παῦλος is at the start of another. Whoops.

Update II: Thanks for the clarification on the trigram stuff, Bob. (Now corrected above.) I remember that now that you say it. I think it's obvious that I was thinking about adjacent words since about the time you told me about the concept.

Update III: Stephen Carlson of Hypotyposeis fame links to me with a recent blog post. Apparently he did some similar work 9-10 years ago, and has had his results posted for awhile in the form of a short article (complete with ASCII art!): Authorial Style in the New Testament. I'll have to go over his stuff and see if I can grok it, but I greatly appreciate the pointer — thanks!

Update IV: More background on previous phrase studies. I checked my copy of Harrison's book (it's been awhile since I read it) and note his appendices from pp. 166-178 list phrases held in common between the Pastorals and other groups of books ('genuine' Paulines, Petrines, 1 Clement). He discusses them from pp. 87-93, though it is in his typical dismissive style. And the method isn't nearly as systematic as his examination of words.

Post Author: rico
Saturday, December 04, 2004 7:50:02 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, November 29, 2004

In reading my RSS aggregator this morning, I found that I'd been linked to (favorably!) by the blog Blogos; specifically regarding my Concordance ordered by Semantic Domains of the Pastoral Epistles, part of my ongoing study of the Pastorals

Thanks for the mention and the addition to your blogroll. You've got some groovy stuff going on over there at SemanticBible.com as well.

The Concordance is a by-product of some Notes on Vocabulary on the Pastoral Epistles, the current object of my study. I assigned a LN domain/article number to each verb, noun, and adjective as I worked through the text. It's pretty rough and needs to be revisited. I may do that later when I (hopefully) do some sort of theme analysis to look for common domains in the corpus of the Pastoral Epistles.

The Concordance is generated from the Notes data set, which lives as XML on my hard drive. I've got a perl script that generates the form of the Notes for the web, another script that generates the Concordance for the web, and another script that generates an expanded form of the Notes for my own personal use.

Lastly, FWIW, James Tauber's blog might not support RSS, but he does offer syndication in the ATOM format, which most aggregators accept along with RSS (at least SharpReader, the aggregator I use, treats both as equal citizens). Check the “Atom Feed” in the navigation bar of Tauber's site for link info. He does a lot of post-tweaking, though, so watch out.

Post Author: Rico
Monday, November 29, 2004 7:57:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, November 28, 2004

I've mentioned this before in other circles (Logos Newsgroups), but I wanted to mention it again: Galaxie Software's Theological Journal Library (TJL) is one of the most useful complementary products I have installed as part of my LDLS library.

In my working through the Pastoral Epistles, I'm trying to not consult too many sources until I get my first pass of the text complete, proofed, and revised. A second pass is the point to add (or correct) based on other sources (commentaries, primarily).

However, some places are just plain tough. I've been working on 1Ti 2.8-15 for a bit now, and know what I think. But some of the terms (particularly αὐθεντέω in v. 12)* are tough with very few citations in secondary literature.

Working on αὐθεντέω, I simply searched TJL for the lexical form. I was pointed to an excellent article by Douglas J. Moo in the 1980 Trinity Journal. This had a response article by Philip Payne, and a further rejoinder by Moo. It helped in thinking about the word, how to translate it, and determining the function of the word in the clause. Fun stuff.

All this to say: TJL is a valuable compliment to any LDLS user's library.** The producer, Galaxie Software, is set up to release new “volumes” every year, it seems. The initial package is TJL vols 1-5, at a price of $99.95 — which is a bargain for the sheer volume of journals included. Two supplimentary packages have been released: TJL Volume 6 adds the 2002 volume for many existing journals, and adds a few new journals as well, for the very reasonable price of $49.95.

Even better news: TJL Volume 7 has just been released at the price of $49.95. 2003 editions of many journals, plus yet again more new journals (including 24 years of Review and Expositor).

OK, commercial over.

Update: Yikes! Rubén is right (sounds of keystrokes making corrections). I s'pose that's what I get for posting late at night (and thanks again to my 2nd grade teacher for getting me started on phonics early ... )

* Also incredibly helpful is H. Scott Baldwin's article “A Difficult Word: αὐθεντέω in 1 Timothy 2:12” in Kostenberger, Schreiner, and Baldwin's Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Baker Book House: Grand Rapids. 1995. Many thanks to Vincent Setterholm for letting me keep this on indefinite loan.

** I even think Mac users can get in on the TJL action; Galaxie has TJL vols. 1-5 and TJL vol. 6 in Accordance format as well.

Post Author: Rico
Sunday, November 28, 2004 10:48:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, November 13, 2004

Working through 1Ti 2.10 tonight, dealing with the word θεοσέβεια (theosebeia, an NT hapax) I came across a citation to 2Cl 20.4. The whole chapter, however, provokes thought. The below edition is Ehrman's:

(1) But neither should this thought disturb you, that we see the unjust becoming rich while the slaves of God suffer in dire straights. (2) We need to have faith, brothers and sisters! We are competing in the contest of the living God, training in the present life that we may be crowned in the one to come. (3) No one who is upright receives the fruit of his labor quickly; he instead waits for it. (4) For if God were to reward the upright immediately, we would straightaway be engaged in commerce rather than devotion to God. For we would appear to be upright not for the sake of piety but for a profit. And for this reason, a divine judgment harms the spirit that is not upright and burdens it with chains.

(5) To the only invisible God, the Father of truth, who sent us the savior and founder of incorruptibility, through whom he also revealed to us the truth and the heavenly life — to him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (2Cl 20, Ehrman)

Where to begin?! The whole thing is encouraging and challenging to me. This is, of course, not Scripture. But it is the reflection of a Christian upon the living of the Christian life from the very early Christian era (circa 140 AD) and as such is valuable to consider.

The bit about immediate rewards for those devoted to God implying commerce and not devotion is an interesting thought. And it is true. Pursuit of godliness should never be the means to an end (e.g. fire insurance); the only viable and proper end of the pursuit of godliness must be the honoring and worship of God Himself. We glorify God by serving Him and seeking to live according to His will.

There are also similarities with the Pastoral Epistles. Check out verse 2 in light of 2Ti 2.5. And verse 5 in light of 1Ti 1.17. Also, “slaves of God” is a thoroughly Pauline image.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, November 13, 2004 11:01:06 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, October 30, 2004

For better or worse, I have a strange affection for the Pastoral Epistles. Friends and regular readers already know this.

I've been working through the Pastorals in a slow and somewhat methodical manner for the past year or so, as the scattered work on the afore-referenced web site displays. In the past two months, I've actually started writing, trying to tie this stuff together.

With the insightful review and help of a few friends (thanks, guys!) I've got what I think is a fairly decent rough draft of First Timothy chapter 1 together. I've got a lot to do (even with the first chapter!) but if for some reason you'd like to review what I've written, drop me an email (address on right side of page). I'll send the PDF (which is approx .5 megs) your way. I'd love to know what others think about it.

I'm still working on a basic introduction/preface to explain how the thing is set up; I may pop up a link explaining that later this weekend. It is a little different than other “commentaries” in that, at this point, I'm focused on establishing the meanings of words and phrases using both canonical and secondary literature. As a matter of fact, I'd tend to call this “exegetical notes” or something like that instead of a traditional commentary that focuses on either application or exposition.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, October 30, 2004 8:27:03 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, October 21, 2004

In my study on the Pastoral Epistles, we recently went over 1Ti 2.1-3. We talked a bit about βασιλεύς and how it represents the highest ruler of a realm, what we would call an “emperor” or a “king”. Then we speculated on reason why the sub-group of “emperors and others in high positions” was included after the general mention of “all people” (after mostly determining that it was a sub-group and not a clarification or refinement of “all people”, and that “all people” really means all people, not some subgroup amongst the Ephesians).

Why were “kings” and “others in high positions” included? Who knows. We had some ideas, one of which was that the earthly rulers weren't being properly respected because, after all, God is King, why bother with those earthly rulers? This helps (me, at least) make sense of the end of 1Ti 2.2, that earthly subjection to and prayer for these rulers helps believers continue to live a peaceful and quiet life.

This morning I was going over 1Ti 1.12-17 in the NA27 (I'm currently doing massive edits on this section of my notes) and 1Ti 1.17 jumped out at me:

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

So, just a few sentences earlier, Paul had this benediction praising God as King. Then he reminds folks that they need to pray for those ruling over them on this earth. I'm wondering if there is any relationship between these two mentions of βασιλεύς in these verses. Looking at both instances, perhaps Paul really was, in the 1Ti 2.2 instance, reminding the folks of their current situation and how they needed to pray for those in positions of authority (kings and others) even though they were ultimately subject to God, the immortal, invisible and eternal King; and how following the will of the eternal King in praying for the temporal king/emperor would have benefits to the community.

And, of course, it makes me think of the Martyrdom of Polycarp:

The proconsul said; “Prevail upon the people.” But Polycarp said; “As for thyself, I should have held thee worthy of discourse; for we have been taught to render, as is meet, to princes and authorities appointed by God such honor as does us no harm; but as for these, I do not hold them worthy, that I should defend myself before them.” (MPoly 10.2)


Post Author: Rico
Thursday, October 21, 2004 9:22:29 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, September 27, 2004

I'm still pluggin' on the Pastorals, and will be for awhile. I'm through 1Ti 2.1-2. This means the next section I'm working through is 1Ti 2.3-7, which is one of my favorite sections of 1 Timothy:

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (1Ti 2.3-7, ESV)

As a fan of creeds and catechisms, and as a fan of the Pastorals, this kind of stuff gets me excited. It's a little daunting — there are some serious theological issues in the above excerpt — but fun nonetheless. Verses 5-6 are interesting because of the concept of Christ as the one standing between God and men; and also of Christ as a ransom. Some interpreters see vv 5-6 and see an excerpt of an early Christian statement of belief (creed? baptismal statement of belief?) and conclude that the Pastorals must be later in date, and therefore could not be authored by Paul. Others see this and attribute this statement to the Holy-Spirit-inspired genius of Paul and see it as confirmation of Pauline authorship. I think it's probably evidence that Paul knew a good argument when he heard it, and wasn't afraid to use good arguments if he knew them and if they would help his cause. He was a smart guy, that Paul.

And what does that part in verse 3 about all people being saved mean?

And in verse 3, the phrase “God our Savior” crops up again. What's that all about?

Not only that, but Paul says that for “this” (v. 7) he was appointed an apostle & preacher. So, what is “this”? I know what I think, but I'll be quiet about it for now. 

The digression in verse 7 is also interesting. Why did Paul have to reiterate that he was telling the truth? Had he lied earlier? Was his audience untrusting for some reason? Or is the “this” so weird as to be unbelievable, thus requiring Paul's extra assurance to his readers?

All in all, an interesting section. Note that we see something similar to vv. 4-5 in 1Ti 3.16; which is also most likely some sort of early Christian hymn or statement of belief cited by Paul. 

Post Author: Rico
Monday, September 27, 2004 11:24:06 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, September 23, 2004

I've been working through the first chapter of First Timothy. Here are some thoughts on the phrase “Stewardship from God” in 1Ti 1.4. The bold text represents the text of the ESV. If you have any criticism/feedback for me, please send it along via email (address on sidebar to right) or drop me a note in the comment section below.

What should the Ephesian believers be focusing on instead of the speculations caused by their focus on endless myths and genealogies? Fairly simply, writes Paul, the stewardship from God that is by faith.

The concept of stewardship from God is an interesting one. The Greek phrase is οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ (oikonomian Theou), the interesting word being οἰκονομία (oikonomia). One lexicon (BDAG) notes that one of the senses of οἰκονομία (oikonomia) is “training in the way of salvation”. It then recommends this exact phrase be translated “divine training”. The NET Bible translates this phrase as “God’s redemptive plan”. These meanings are plausible but somewhat removed from the general meaning of οἰκονομία (oikonomia), which is the work or output of an οἰκονόμος (oikonomos). How is this seeming disparity reconciled?

An οἰκονόμος (oikonomos) is a household manager, one who allocates the resources of the household according to the owner’s wishes and ensures that all is done that needs to be done to ensure the smooth running of the household. The οἰκονομία (oikonomia) is that work or plan. The sense of stewardship (the οἰκονόμος (oikonomos), after all, is a steward of the owner of the household) is based on this. The phrase οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ (oikonomian Theou), then, refers to the stewardship of God’s own house. It refers to the plan by which the house runs; the “economy” of God’s house, so to speak. This is where the ideas of “training in the way of salvation”, “divine training” and “God’s redemptive plan” come from.

The word οἰκονομία (oikonomia) is used in the parable of the dishonest steward as recorded in Luke 16:

And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ (Lu 16.2-4, emphasis mine)

In these three verses, the word οἰκονομία (oikonomia) occurs three times. In each instance above, οἰκονομία (oikonomia) refers to the task of the manager. The manager's task is to ensure the proper management of his master's resources, to be a good steward of that with which he has been entrusted.

Further understanding of οἰκονομία (oikonomia) comes from examining its usage in the Letter to Diognetus. Speaking of Christians, the author of this letter writes “ … nor have they been entrusted with the stewardship of mere human mysteries.” (EpDiog 7.1) While the object of stewardship in this example is different than in 1Ti 1.4, the general syntax of the phrase is the same – with οἰκονομία (oikonomia) in the accusative and the surrounding nouns in the genitive case. Note Meecham’s discussion of the word:

The word οἰκονομία extends its meaning from ‘management of a household’ to management or provision in general (cf. EpDiog 7.1). It came to be used of the various operations of the divine will, particularly of God’s ‘dispensation’ effected in Christ for the salvation of men.

This stewardship from God is further qualified as being that which is by faith. God’s plan operates on the basis of faith. In other words, faith is the currency that is used in the economy of God.

Ok, there you go. It's a little rough around the edges. Go easy on me ...

Post Author: Rico
Thursday, September 23, 2004 10:07:06 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, September 16, 2004

Once again, a post about the Pastoral Epistles. I'm sure you're used to it by now.

I posted an introduction awhile back. That intro was more for myself — it isn't anything I'd ever think about formally publishing — but I thought I'd share it anyway. It was more about thinking on paper to give myself something to be accountable to. As I've thought about it and talked with other folks, I think I've arrived at a basic methodology to use to guide my study (writing) through the Pastoral Epistles.

There are four potential angles to make comments from; the order here is significant:

  • Immediate Context: Does the current author (e.g. Paul) use a similar word, phrase, or concept. This is multi-leveled; I'd guess I'd want to look to immediate context first (current book), then look to see if other Pastorals use it, then look outside yet again to other Paulines.
  • Larger Context: What about other NT writers? Do they use the term or phrase? Does it jive with PE usage?
  • Whole Bible: What about LXX/OT? And how does that compare with the others?
  • Contemporary Writers: What about other writers, like the Apostolic Fathers, Josephus, and Philo?

I don't want to do something like this everywhere with every word or phrase; or always work through every point at every spot where I choose to embark on an extended discussion. But where the term/phrase/concept is "important", "exegetically significant", or "infrequently used" (or any combo, as deemed by me) then the above could be used to guide the discussion on the term/phrase/concept.

My primary interest is in the last bit, Contemporary Writers. Thus I'll probably use examples from there more frequently than other authors would. But that's my prerogative; I'm the author. :)

In addition to working at the word/phrase/pericope level, sometimes there are other concepts to work with, like:

  • Chronology/Biography: An example is 1Ti 1.3. Where would Paul have been leaving from as he proceeded to Macedonia?
  • Cultural References: Are cultural references are appropriate? (e.g. emperor worship?) This will not be used frequently.

Later on, I may get into other things, but this is a long ways off, if at all. I don't view it as essential, but I do view it as interesting. I have a lot of work to do to get to this point.

  • Textual Variants: During a second or third pass, I'd like to provide some information on interesting variants; typically stuff in Metzger's Textual Commentary or perhaps Westcott & Hort's Intro volume. Some of this will be done in the first pass; but it won't be comprehensive or systematic in any way.
  • Early Versions: This is a bit of a pipe dream, but at some point I think it would be fun to look at the early versions (Syriac, Coptic, and perhaps others if suitable helper resources can be located) and see how significant the variants are.

So, whaddya think? Have I bitten off too much? Will I ever be able to pull it off?

Post Author: Rico
Thursday, September 16, 2004 5:01:04 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, September 15, 2004

In 1Ti 1.18-19, I've come across two figurative phrases used by Paul (assuming Pauline authorship) that are also found in the works of Philo.

I posted on one of these a few days ago, in 1Ti 1.18: “wage the good warfare” or “fight the good fight”. Here's the excerpt from Philo:

And he is thought worthy of grace, for having fought the good fight in behalf of virtue he never ceases from warring till he sees the pleasures overthrown and baulked of their object.(Philo, Alleg.Int. III. 14)

Tonight, I came across 1Ti 1.19: “... made shipwreck of their faith.” Here's an example of Philo using very similar nautical terminology in a figurative manner; though Philo carries the illustration much further than Paul:

At all events Jacob does not speak to Joseph more than the sacred scripture speaks to every one who is vigorous in his body, and who is seen to be immersed amid abundant treasures, and riches, and superfluities, and to be overcome by none of them, when he says, “For still thou livest,” uttering a most marvellous sentiment, and one which is quite beyond the daily life of us who, if we have fallen in with ever so slight a breeze which bears us towards the good fortune, immediately set all sail and became greatly elated, and being full of great and high spirits, hurry forward with all our speed to the indulgence of our passions, and never will check our unbridled and immoderately excited desires until we run ashore and are wrecked as to the whole vessel of our souls. (Philo, Mut.Nom. 215)

I don't think there's anything special here; common metaphors (warfare and nautical/maritime terminology) should be seen in different documents from the same general era. But I still think it's interesting to realize that Paul (again, assuming Pauline authorship) and Philo used similar language.

I also think it is interesting that Paul used a metaphor (shipwreck) that he'd personally experienced (cf. 2Co 11.25).

Are there any lists of common metaphors such as these (e.g., “fight the good fight”, “make shipwreck”) found in classical documents that you know about? If so, drop a comment below or send an email to textgeek@gmail.com to let me know about it.


Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, September 15, 2004 10:22:03 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, September 14, 2004

For the next few weeks I have a few folks meeting at my house on Tuesdays to go over some stuff in the Pastoral Epistles.

We went over 1Ti 1.3-5. The always-observant Eli Evans noted the following translational differences in 1Ti 1.3:

  • ESV: As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia ...
  • NASB: As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia ...  (NASB95 is the same)

And here are some more, just to get a fuller picture of the ways this particular area is handled:

  • NET: As I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia ...
  • NKJV: As I urged you when I went into Macedonia ...
  • My own: As I urged you while I was on my way to Macedonia ...
  • NA27: Καθὼς παρεκάλεσά σε προσμεῖναι ἐν Ἐφέσῳ πορευόμενος εἰς Μακεδονίαν, 

The italic text represents (more or less) the words in question. While, upon reflection, they all say pretty much the same thing — “going to Macedonia” is rather similar to “departure for” Macedonia — does the participle + preposition in this instance really have that sort of range? NA27 lists no variants for this verse, nothing in the variae lectiones minores, and nothing in the editionum differentiae. Westcott-Hort matches NA27, as does Byzantine (Robinson/Pierpont; I don't have Hodges/Farstad handy).

Admittedly, the Greek is tough to render into English, especially if you try to preserve some sort of word order. My own effort simply tried to very generally state that Paul was headed toward Macedonia; not that he was going to Macedonia, or leaving for Macedonia, or whatnot. I didn't think too much of it until I looked back at the already existing variation in the English.

Again, I don't know that it is that big of a deal; but the point is interesting. There are a number of ways to say pretty much the same thing. Is that range warranted, or is one approach better than another for some reason?

Just curious.

Post Author: Rico
Tuesday, September 14, 2004 10:42:30 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Sunday, September 12, 2004

The phrase “fight the good fight” or something akin to it occurs three times in the Pastoral Epistles:

  • 1Ti 1.18
  • 1Ti 6.12
  • 2Ti 4.7

In addition, the phrase (or something like it) also occurs in:

  • 4Macc 9.24 (not figurative)
  • 1Cl 37.1
  • Philo, Alleg.Interp. III.14

In addition, there are military metaphors in 2Ti 2.4. Paul uses military terms figuratively elsewhere (e.g. 1Co 9.7; 2Co 10.3-4). And, of course, Eph 6.

The Apostolic Fathers also have figurative usage of military terms: Poly 5.3; IgnPoly 6.2. The last reference is interesting when compared to Eph 6.

I'm unfamiliar with other literature. LSJ is little help; it is jam-packed with references to use of such words as στρατεύω because, well, Greeks wrote a whole lot about war. Anybody have any other references to point out with figurative use of military terminology? Or any insight on why it seems to be used so frequently?

My only thought is that such language is used frequently because folks would be familiar with it, but that's a deduction and not an authoritative opinion. I'm just curious as to how common such figurative usage is, and if there are established opinions on the reasons for such usage.

If you have any ideas, I'm all ears. Thanks!

Post Author: Rico
Sunday, September 12, 2004 11:25:02 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, September 09, 2004

At the recommendation of a friend, I'm reading Donald Hagner's New Testament Exegesis and Research: A Guide for Seminarians. Now, I'm not in seminary, but I figure it's ok for me to read anyway; it may help me in my study on the Pastoral Epistles. I haven't read too much of the book (it's short) beyond the first chapter, though I've skimmed through the whole thing.

In the first chapter, Hagner lays out his five-step exegetical method for the NT. For the most part, this is all sound, solid stuff -- I'm not questioning the method. But I do have some questions regarding implementation. First, the five steps:

  1. Grammar; Form/Structure
  2. Textual Criticism and Lexical Study
  3. Source Criticism; Form Criticism; Redactional Analysis
  4. Historical/Cultural Background
  5. Theological Synthesis and Implications

Ok, steps 1 & 2 are done; basically synthesized into the jumble that I've called “Lexical Notes”. Sweet. Step 4 is obvious and I've done some reading there, too. And I'm in the process of step 5.

Step 3 confuses me, though. I'm not quite sure what is meant by doing “Source Criticism”, “Form Criticism” or “Redactional Analysis” on Paulines. In the Gospels, sure, I have some conception of these things. But in the Pastorals? I'm lost.

I suppose Harrison's The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles deals with “Source Criticism” in that he posits external fragmentary sources for some parts of the Pastorals, and a “dedicated Paulinist” who composed the balance. I don't agree with Harrison's thesis, but I'm familiar with it. But beyond that, what does it mean to do “source criticism” in the Pastorals?

The same question for “Form Criticism”. There are a few things available on different “forms” of things in the Pastorals. For instance, the “Faithful Sayings” (George Knight & H.B. Swete have that covered); there are also some catalogues of virtue and vice in the Pastorals. I suppose I could also compare them with other similar Pauline catalogues. Does “Form Criticism” as applied to the Pastorals simply mean looking at that stuff? Again, I have a conception of what it means in the Gospels, but I just don't see an easy application outside of the Gospels.

The same goes for “Redaction Analysis”. I suppose Harrison may have some application here again, but that almost seems like a cop-out. And I'm disinterested because I've looked at Harrison's stuff and don't agree with him.

I guess it comes down to this: Unless there's a hypothetical Q-like source posited as the basis of the 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus (don't worry, I'm not going to propose one) and unless these three letters are really just re-hashing that hypothetical source ... I'm not quite sure how step 3 applies.

I want to be somewhat thorough in my approach, however, so I want to know what I'm missing. If you know, please clue me in and erase my ignorance.


Post Author: Rico
Thursday, September 09, 2004 8:24:31 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, September 01, 2004

As many of my personal friends who read this blog know, I've been studying the Pastoral Epistles for awhile.

It is time for me to focus on some sort of output from my study. For now, it looks like it will take the shape of some sort of commentary; but we'll see if that persists.

To this end, I've been working on an introduction of sorts. This is more for me to think about what I'm actually going to do. I sincerely doubt that anything like this would end up in whatever it is that I end up writing.

But getting thoughts on paper is a helpful step in the process.

Feedback is a helpful step too. So if you'd like to take some time to peruse my little introduction [PDF file, approx. 150kb] and offer me some thoughts on what I'm thinking about, I'd appreciate it.

Also: Is there any interest in folks reviewing what I write as I write it? That is, as I finish rough drafts of pericopes, is there any interest out there in reviewing my work? Should I post them as I have rough drafts done? I only want to do this if there is genuine interest, so please let me know — either via email or via comments below.


Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, September 01, 2004 9:20:15 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, August 28, 2004

I'm a fan of the Martyrdom of Polycarp. For those who don't know, this is an account of the capture, persecution, and killing of Polycarp. Polycarp (as a child) was, according to early sources, a disciple of the Apostle John.

He was arrested and then killed for sport in a stadium because he wouldn't “repent” for being a Christian. The account, particularly the conversations between Polycarp and the proconsul in the stadium, are the best part. Here are some excerpts, any emphasis provided is mine.

2 When then he [Polycarp] was brought before him, the proconsul enquired whether he were the man. And on his confessing that he was, he tried to persuade him to a denial saying, 'Have respect to thine age,' and other things in accordance therewith, as it is their wont to say; 'Swear by the genius of Caesar; repent and say, Away with the atheists.' Then Polycarp with solemn countenance looked upon the whole multitude of lawless heathen that were in the stadium, and waved his hand to them; and groaning and looking up to heaven he said, 'Away with the atheists.' (MPoly 9.2).

I so enjoy the irony here. The proconsul instructs Polycarp to “repent” by saying, “Away with the atheists!” (for reference: Christians were seen as atheists because they denounced all gods but the one God). Polycarp, then, waves his hand around the stadium, indicating he's turning the indictment back upon them, and says, “Away with the atheists”. Can't you just see it? This old man, sure of his faith, doing this?

3 But when the magistrate pressed him hard and said, 'Swear the oath, and I will release thee; revile the Christ,' Polycarp said, 'Fourscore and six years have I been His servant, and He hath done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who saved me?' (MPoly 9.3)

Polycarp's understanding and response is encouraging to me. Now, I'm sure you're wondering, what does this have to do with 1Ti 1.1? Well, consider that Scripture:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

I've been wondering about the term “savior” in contexts like this in the Pastoral Epistles. The concept of worship of those in power as gods or semi-divine beings did happen, and most likely was happening in Ephesus while Timothy was there. Early citations in LSJ dating back to the third century BC confirm that the Greek word σωτήρ was used in reference to rulers, provincial or otherwise.

Hang with me, I'm going somewhere here.

Could Paul be referring to “God our Savior” with this in mind? The proconsul who persecuted Polycarp could legitimately be seen as a savior of sorts. He was the one with the power to save the life of the one in the arena being persecuted. The proconsul, with a single decision, could stop the persecution and set the prisoner free. He was, in a real sense, a savior.

But in 1Ti 1.1, is Paul pointing back to the real Savior, God, the one with power to save from eternal damnation, to encourage his readers to be properly grounded in God? To recognize the one whom Polycarp later (say, 150 AD) would not deny and, indeed, even testified to while in the arena? Is Polycarp modeling the basic truth of “God our Savior” in 1Ti 1.1 & Titus 1.3? Here's some more from Polycarp:

1 But on his persisting again and saying, 'Swear by the genius of Caesar,' he answered, 'If thou supposest vainly that I will swear by the genius of Caesar, as thou sayest, and feignest that thou art ignorant who I am, hear thou plainly, I am a Christian. But if thou wouldest learn the doctrine of Christianity, assign a day and give me a hearing.' (MPoly 10.1)

Polycarp refuses to deny. He refuses to be “saved” by the proconsul, but Polycarp is willing to teach the proconsul the ways of the Christian. Hey, I suppose the chance was worth it. But the proconsul continues to be hardnosed:

2 The proconsul said; 'Prevail upon the people.' But Polycarp said; 'As for thyself, I should have held thee worthy of discourse; for we have been taught to render, as is meet, to princes and authorities appointed by God such honor as does us no harm; but as for these, I do not hold them worthy, that I should defend myself before them.' (MPoly 10.2)

Heh. Polycarp doesn't want to waste his time with the masses who only want to see him bleed. He realizes his time is up. Next is MPoly 11.1-2:

1 Whereupon the proconsul said; 'I have wild beasts here and I will throw thee to them, except thou repent' But he said, 'Call for them: for the repentance from better to worse is a change not permitted to us; but it is a noble thing to change from untowardness to righteousness'

2 Then he said to him again, 'I will cause thee to be consumed by fire, if thou despisest the wild beasts, unless thou repent.' But Polycarp said; 'Thou threatenest that fire which burneth for a season and after a little while is quenched: for thou art ignorant of the fire of the future judgment and eternal punishment, which is reserved for the ungodly. But why delayest thou? Come, do what thou wilt.' (MPoly 11.1-2)

Wow. Polycarp is sure of his status before God. He essentially tells the proconsul, “Bring it on!”

This is just a small part of the Martyrdom of Polycarp, but it reads quickly. The account of his death is sensational but fascinating. There are 22 chapters, all are about the size of the chapters above. Find it in a modern translation if you can.

But I'm curious as to what y'all think about the use of “Savior” in 1Ti 1.1, and whether Paul may, either directly or obliquely, be addressing a situation like this. That is, by reminding his readers that God is our Savior, could Paul also be reminding them that provincial governors, proconsuls, and the like — while they may claim to have some power to save temporally — have no power to save one from “the fire of the future judgment and eternal punishment”?

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, August 28, 2004 10:02:35 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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