During this session, we considered Paul’s Letters to Timothy and Titus.
Considering Paul’s Letters to Timothy and Titus
These three letters are generally viewed as a group and referred to as the Pastoral Letters.
Most Biblical scholars believe that the Apostle Paul wasn’t the author of these letters. They site the following:
- The vocabulary and style of the Pastors are unique.
- “Faith” seems to have been formalized into “the faith.”
- The threats to the truth seem to be different.
- The church seems more developed than in the other letters.
- 1 Timothy 3:1: The saying is sure: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
- 1 Timothy 3:8: Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not indulging in much wine, not greedy for money;
- Titus 1:5: I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you:
- There seems to be a greater accommodation with norms and structures of society.
- Titus 3:1: Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,
- 1 Timothy 5:5: Do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as to a father, to younger men as brothers, . . .
- 1 Timothy 2:11-15: Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
Those who believe Paul wrote it point to the personal notes in 2 Timothy and Titus.
If the letters weren’t written by the Apostle Paul, they probably date from the mid-60 to 110 to congregations.
- 1 Timothy 4:3: They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
- 1 Timothy 6:20: Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the profane chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge;
- 2 Timothy 2:18: who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some.
The letters emphasize four ideas.
- The importance of the Jewish heritage
- Centrality of Christ and of salvation as the goal
- The importance of faith clearly formulated and a well-ordered church
- Appreciation of Paul