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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy

Alford's Greek Testament Critical Exegetical CommentaryAlford's Greek Testament Commentary

- 1 Timothy

by Henry Alford





1. THERE never was the slightest doubt in the ancient Church, that the Epistles to Timothy and Titus were canonical, and written by St. Paul.

( α ) They are contained in the Peschito Syriac version, which was made in the second century.

( β ) In the fragment on the Canon of Scripture first edited by Muratori and thence known by his name, generally ascribed to the end of the second century or the beginning of the third (see Routh, Reliq. Sacr. i. pp. 397 ff.), we read, among the Epistles of St. Paul “verum ad Philemonem una, et ad Timotheum duas (duæ?) pro affectu et dilectione, in honore tamen Ecclesiæ catholicæ, in ordinatione ecclesiasticæ disciplinæ, sanctificatæ sunt.”

( γ ) Irenæus begins his preface, p. 1, with a citation of 1 Timothy 1:4 , adding καθὼς ὁ ἀπόστολός φησιν : in iv. 16. 3, p. 246, cites 1 Timothy 1:9 ; in ii. 14. 7, p. 135, 1 Timothy 6:20 ; in iii. 14. 1, p. 201, quotes 2 Timothy 4:9-11 :

“Lucas … quoniam non solum prosecutor, sed et co-operarius fuerit apostolorum, maxime autem Pauli, et ipse autem Paulus manifestavit in epistolis, dicens: Demas me dereliquit et abiit Thessalonicam, Crescens in Galatiam, Titus in Dalmatiam: Lucas est mecum solus:”

In i. 16. 3, p. 83, quotes Titus 3:10 :

οὓς ὁ Παῦλος ἐγκελεύεται ἡμῖν μετὰ μίαν καὶ δευτέραν νουθεσίαν παραιτεῖσθαι .

And again, with ὡς καὶ Παῦλος ἔφησεν , iii. 3. 4, p. 177. In iii. 2. 3, p. 176, he says, τούτου τοῦ Λίνου Παῡλος ἐν ταῖς πρὸς Τιμόθεον ἐπιστολαῖς μέμνηται .

( δ ) Clement of Alexandria, Strom, ii. 11 (52), p. 457 P.:

περὶ ἧς ὁ ἀπόστολος γράφων , ὦ Τιμόθεέ , φησιν , τὴν παρακαταθήκην φύλαξον ἐκτρεπόμενος τὰς βεβήλους κενοφωνίας κ . τ . λ . 1 Timothy 6:20 .

Strom. iii. 6 (51), p. 534 P.:

αὐτίκα περὶ τῶν βδελυσσομένων τὸν γάμον Παῦλος ὁ μακάριος λέγει … 1 Timothy 4:1 .

Ib. (53), p. 536 P.:

ἴσμεν γὰρ καὶ ὅσα περὶ διακόνων γυναικῶν ἐν τῇ ἑτέρᾳ πρὸς Τιμόθεον ἐπιστολῇ ὁ γενναῖος διατάσσεται Παῦλος .

Strom. i. 14 (59), p. 350 P.:

τὸν δὲ ἕβδομον οἱ μὲν … οἱ δὲ Ἐπιμενίδην τὸν Κρῆτα … οὗ μέμνηται ὁ ἀπόστολος Παῦλος ἐν τῇ πρὸς Τίτον ἐπιστολῇ λέγων οὕτως Κρῆτες ἀεὶ κ . τ . λ . ( Tit 1:12 ).

These are only a few of the direct quotations in Clement.


De præscript. hæret. c. 25, vol. ii. p. 37: “Et hoc verbo usus est Paulus ad Timotheum: O Timothee, depositum custodi ( 1Ti 6:20 ). Et rursum: Bonum depositum serva” ( 2Ti 1:14 ). And he further proceeds to quote 1Ti 1:18 ; 1 Timothy 6:13 ff.; 2 Timothy 2:2 (twice).

Ib. c. 6, p. 18: “Nec diutius de isto, si idem est Paulus, qui et alibi hæreses inter carnalia crimina enumerat scribens ad Galatas, et qui Tito [81] suggerit, hominem hæreticum post primam correptionem recusandum, quod perversus sit ejusmodi et delinquat, ut a semetipso damnatus.” (Titus 3:10-11 .)

[81] Dr. Davidson, Introd. iii. 109, omits the word ‘Tito,’ as it would appear, from inadvertency.

Adv. Marcion.v. 21, p. 524, speaking of the Epistle to Philemon: “Soli huic epistolæ brevitas sua profuit, ut falsarias manus Marcionis evaderet. Miror tamen, cum ad unum hominem literas factas receperit, quod ad Timotheum duas et unam ad Titum de ecclesiastico statu compositas recusaverit.”

( ζ ) Eusebius includes all three Epistles among the universally confessed canonical writings ( ὁμολογούμενα ), H. E. iii. 25.

It is useless to cite further testimonies, for they are found every where, and in abundance.

2. But we must notice various allusions, more or less clear, to these Epistles, which occur in the earlier Fathers.

( η ) CLEMENT OF ROME (end of Cent. I.): Ephesians 1:0 ad Cor. ch. 29, p. 269: προσέλθωμεν οὖν αὐτῷ ἐν ὁσιότητι ψυχῆς , ἁγνὰς καὶ ἀμιάντους χεῖρας αἴροντες πρὸς αὐτόν . See 1Ti 2:8 [82] .

[82] Two other supposed references may be seen in Lardner, ii. p. 39, and Davidson, iii. p. 101; but they are too slight to authorize their introduction here.

( θ ) IGNATIUS (beginning of Cent. II.): Ep. to Polycarp, § 6, p. 724: ἀρέσκετε ᾧ στρατεύεσθε . See 2 Timothy 2:4 .

( ι ) POLYCARP (beginning of Cent. II.): Ep. ad Philipp. ch. 4, p. 1008: ἀρχὴ δὲ πάντων χαλεπῶν φιλαργυρία · εἰδότες οὖν ὅτι οὐδὲν εἰσηνέγκαμεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον , ἀλλ ʼ οὐδὲ ἐξενεγκεῖν τι ἔχομεν , ὁπλισώμεθα τοῖς ὅπλοις τῆς δικαιοσύνης : 1 Timothy 6:7 ; 1 Timothy 6:10 .

Ib. ch. 9, p. 1013: οὐ γὰρ τὸν νῦν ἠγάπησαν αἰῶνα . See 2Ti 4:10 [83] .

[83] See other slighter parallels in Lardner and Davidson, ubi supra. The μέγα τῆς θεοσεβείας μνστήριον , commonly adduced from Justin (in Eus. H. E. iii. 27), is not his, but forms part of the text of Eusebius. See Huther, Einl. p. 35.

( κ ) HEGESIPPUS (end of Cent. II.), as cited by Eusebius (H. E. iii. 32s), says that, while the ἱερὸς τῶν ἀποστόλων χορός remained, the Church παρθένος καθαρὰ καὶ ἀδιάφθορος ἔμεινεν : but that, after their withdrawal, and that of those who had been ear-witnesses of inspired wisdom, ἡ σύστασις τῆς ἀθέου πλάνης began, διὰ τῆς τῶν ἑτεροδιδασκάλων ἀπάτης : who, as no apostle was left, γυμνῇ λοιπὸν ἤδη τῇ κεφαλῇ τῷ τῆς ἀληθείας κηρύγατι τὴν ψευδώνυμον γνῶαιν ἀντικηρύττειν ἐπεχείρουν . See 1 Timothy 6:3 ; 1Ti 6:20 [84] .

[84] See on Baur’s attempt to meet this, below, par. 14 note.

( λ ) ATHENAGORAS (end of Cent. II.): Legat. pro Christianis 16, p. 291: πάντα γὰρ ὁ θεός ἐστιν αὐτὸς αὑτῷ , φῶς ἀπεόσιτον : 1 Timothy 6:16 .

( μ ) THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH (end of Cent. II.). ad Autolyc. iii. 14, p. 389: ἔτι μὴν καὶ περὶ τοῦ ὑποτάσσεσθαι ἀρχαῖς καὶ ἐξουσίαις , καὶ εὔχεσθσι περὶ αὐτῶν , κελεύει ἡμᾶς θεῖος λόγος ὅπως ἤρεμον καὶ ἡσύχιον βίον διάγωμεν . 1 Timothy 2:1-2 . Tit 3:1 [85] .

[85] Lardner gives ὃς διδάσκει ἡμᾶς δικαιοπραγεῖν , καὶ εὐσεβεῖν καὶ καλοποιεῖν , as an allusion to Titus 2:11-12 ; but it is far too slight.

ii. p. 95 (Lardner): διὰ ὕδατος καὶ λουτροῦ παλιγγενεσίας πάντας τοὺς προσιόντας τῇ ἀληθείᾳ .

( ν ) To these may be added Justin Martyr (middle of Cent. II.), Dial. c. Tryph. c. 47, p. 143: ἡ χρηστότης καὶ ἡ φιλανθρωπία τοῦ θεοῦ . Titus 3:4 .

3. Thus the Pastoral Epistles seem to have been from the earliest times known, and continuously quoted, in the Church. It is hardly possible to suppose that the above coincidences are all fortuitous. The only other hypothesis on which they can be accounted for, will be treated farther on.

4. Among the Gnostic heretics, however, they did not meet with such universal acceptance. Clement of Alexandria, Strom. ii. 11 (p. 457 P.), after having quoted 1 Timothy 6:20 ff., adds: ὑπὸ ταύτης ἐλεγχόμενοι τῆς φωνῆς , οἱ ἀπὸ τῶν αἱρέσεων τὰς πρὸς Τιμόθεον ἀθετοῦσιν ἐπιστολάς . Tertullian (see above, under ε ) states that Marcion rejected from his canon (recusaverit) the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. And Jerome, Prol. ad Titum, vol. vii. p. 685, says: “Licet non sint digni fide qui fidem primam irritam fecerunt, Marcionem loquor et Basilidem et omnes hæreticos qui vetus laniant testamentum: tamen eos aliqua ex parte ferremus, si saltem in novo continerent manus suas, et non auderent Christ: (ut ipsi jactitant) boni Dei Filii, vol Evangelistas violare, vel Apostolos … ut enim de cæteris Epistolis taceam, de quibus quicquid contrarium suo dogmati viderant, eraserunt, nonnullas integras repudiandas crediderunt, ad Timotheum videlicet utramque, ad Hebræos, et ad Titum, quam nunc conamur exponere.… Sed Tatianus, Encratitarum patriarches, qui et ipse nonnullas Pauli Epistolas repudiavit, hanc vel maxime, id est, ad Titum, Apostoli pronunciandam credidit, parvipendens Marcionis et aliorum, qui cum eo in hac parte consentiunt, assertionem.” This last fact, Tatian’s acceptance of the Epistle to Titus, Huther thinks may be accounted for by the false teachers in that Epistle being more expressly designated as Jews , ch. 1 Timothy 1:10 ; 1 Timothy 1:14 ; 1 Timothy 3:9 .

5. From their time to the beginning of the present century, the authenticity of the Pastoral Epistles remained unquestioned. At that time, Schmidt (J. E. C.) first, and afterwards Schleiermacher (in his Letters to Gass, 1807) attacked the genuineness of the first Epistle to Timothy: which on the other hand, was defended by Planck, Wegscheider , and Beckhaus . It soon began however to be seen, that from the close relation of the three Epistles, the arguments which Schleiermacher had used against one, would apply to all: and accordingly first Eichhorn , and then not so decidedly De Wette , denied the genuineness of all three.

6. The latter Commentator, in his Introduction (1826), combined the view of Schleiermacher, that 1 Tim. was a compilation from the other two, with that of Eichhorn, that all three were not the genuine productions of St. Paul: but at the same time allowed to the consent of the Church in all ages so much weight, that his view influenced only the historical origin of the Epistles, not their credit and authority.

7. This mere negative ground was felt to be unsatisfactory: and Eichhorn soon put forth a positive hypothesis, that the Epistles were written by some disciple of St. Paul, with a view of collecting together his oral injunctions respecting the constitution of the Church. This was adopted by Schott, with the further conjecture that St. Luke was the author.

8. The defenders of the Epistles [86] found it not difficult to attack such a position as this, which was raised on mere conjecture after all: and Baur, on the other hand, remarked [87] , “We have no sufficient resting-place for our critical judgment, as long as we only lay down that the Epistles are not Pauline: we must have established some positive data which transfer them from the Apostle’s time into another age.” Accordingly, he himself has laboured to prove them to have been written in the time of the Marcionite heresy; and their author to have been one who, not having the ability himself to attack the Gnostic positions, thought to uphold the Pauline party by putting his denunciations of it into the mouth of the Apostle.

[86] Hug, Bertholdt, Feilmoser, Guerike, Böhl, Curtius, Klug, Heydenreich, Mack. See Huther, Einleitung, p. 38, from which many of the particulars in the text are taken.

[87] Die sogenn. Pastoralbriefe des Apostel Paulus aufs neue kritisch untersucht, 1835.

9. This view of Baur’s has been, however, very far from meeting with general adoption, even among the impugners of the genuineness of our Epistles. The new school of Tübingen have alone accepted it with favour. De Wette himself, in the later editions of his Handbuch (I quote from that of 1847), though he is stronger than ever against the three Epistles, does not feel satisfied with the supposed settling of the question by Baur. He remarks, “According to Baur, the Epistles were written after the middle of the second century, subsequently to the appearance of Marcion and other Gnostics. But, inasmuch as the allusions to Marcion, on which he builds this hypothesis, are by no means certain, and the testimonies of the existence of the Pastoral Epistles stand in the way (for it is hardly probable that the passage in Polycarp, c. 4 (see above, par. 2), can have been the original of 1 Timothy 6:7 ; 1Ti 6:10 ): it seems that we must assume an earlier date for the Epistles, somewhere about the end of the first century [88] .”

[88] Handbuch: Allgemeine Bemerkungen über die Pastoralbriefe, p. 121.

10. With this last dictum of De Wette’s, adverse criticism has resumed its former uncertain footing, and is reduced to the mere negative complexion which distinguished it before the appearance of Baur’s first work. We have then merely to consider it as a negation of the Pauline origin of the Epistles, and to examine the grounds on which that negation rests. These may be generally stated under the three following heads:

I. The historical difficulty of finding a place for the writing of the three Epistles during the lifetime of St. Paul:

II. The apparent contact with various matters and persons who belong to a later age than that of the Apostles: and

III. The peculiarity of expressions and modes of thought, both of which diverge from those in St. Paul’s recognized Epistles.

11. Of the first of these I shall treat below, in the section “On the times and places of writing.” It may suffice here to anticipate merely the general conclusion to which I have there come, viz. that they belong to the latest period of our Apostle’s life, after his liberation from the imprisonment of Acts 28:0 . Thus much was necessary in order to our discussion of the two remaining grounds of objection.

12. As regards objection II., three subordinate points require notice:

(a) The heretics, whose views and conduct are opposed in all three Epistles .

It is urged that these belonged to later times, and their tenets to systems undeveloped in the apostolic age. In treating of the various places where they are mentioned, I have endeavoured to shew that the tenets and practices predicated of them will best find their explanation by regarding them as the marks of a state of transition between Judaism, through its ascetic form, and Gnosticism proper, as we afterwards find it developed [89] .

[89] See 1 Timothy 1:3-4 ; 1 Timothy 1:6-7 ; 1 Timothy 1:19 ; 1 Timothy 4:1-7 ; 1 Timothy 6:3 ff.; 2Ti 2:16-23 ; 2 Timothy 3:6-9 ; 2 Timothy 3:13 ; 2 Timothy 4:4 ; Titus 1:10-11 ; Titus 1:14 ; Titus 1:16 ; Titus 3:9-10 , and notes.

13. The traces of Judaism in the heretics of the Pastoral Epistles are numerous and unmistakable. They professed to be νομοδιδάσκαλοι ( 1Ti 1:7 ): commanded ἀπέχεσθαι βρωμάτων ( 1Ti 4:3 ): are expressly stated to consist of οἱ ἐκ περιτομῆς ( Tit 1:10 ): caused men προσέχειν Ἰουδαϊκοῖς μύθοις ( 1Ti 4:14 ): brought in μάχας νομικάς ( 1Ti 3:9 ).

14. At the same time, the traces of incipient Gnosticism are equally apparent. It has been thought best, in the notes on 1 Timothy 1:4 , to take that acceptation of γενεαλογίαι , which makes it point to those lists of Gnostic emanations, so familiar to us in their riper forms in after history: in ch. 1 Timothy 4:3 ff., we find the seeds of Gnostic dualism; and though that passage is prophetic, we may fairly conceive that it points to the future development of symptoms already present. In 1 Timothy 6:20 , we read of ψευδώνυμος γνῶσις , an expression which has furnished Baur with one of his strongest objections, as betraying a post-apostolic origin [90] . But, granted the reference to gnosis , Gnostically so called, neither Baur nor any one else has presumed to say, when the term began to be so used. For our present purpose, the reference is clear. Again in 2 Timothy 2:17-18 , we read of some of them explaining away the resurrection of the body, saying that it has passed already, a well-known error of the Gnostics (see note in loc.).

[90] Baur makes much of the passage of Hegesippus quoted above, par. 2, κ , in which he says that this ψευδών . γνῶσις first became prevalent after the Apostles were removed from the Church. On this he founds an argument that our Epistle could not have appeared till that time. But the passage as compared with the Epistle proves the very reverse. The ψευδών . γν . was secretly working in the Apostles’ time, and for that reason this caution was given: but after their time it began to be openly professed, and came forth, as Hegesippus says, with uncovered head.

15. It remains that we should shew two important facts, which may influence the reader’s mind concerning both the nature of these heretics, and date of our Epistles. First, they are not the Judaizers of the Apostle’s earlier Epistles. These his former opponents were strong upholders of the law and its requirements: identify themselves plainly with the ‘certain men from Judæa’ of Acts 15:1 , in spirit and tenets: uphold circumcision, and would join it with the faith in Christ. Then as we proceed, we find them retaining indeed some of their former features, but having passed into a new phase, in the Epistle to the Colossians. There, they have added to their Judaizing tenets, various, excrescences of will-worship and superstition: are described no longer as persons who would be under the law and Christ together, but as vain, puffed up in their carnal mind, not holding the Head (see Prolegg. to Col., § ii. 10 ff.).

16. The same character, or even a further step in their course, seems pointed out in the Epistle to the Philippians. There, they are not only Judaizers, not only that which we have already seen them, but κύνες , κακοὶ ἐργάται , ἡ κατατομή : and those who serve God in the power of His Spirit are contrasted with them. And here ( Php 3:13 ), we seem to find the first traces becoming perceptible of the heresy respecting the resurrection in 2 Timothy 2:18 , just as the preliminary symptoms of unsoundness on this vital point were evident in 1 Corinthians 15:0 .

17. If now we pass on to our Epistles, we shall find the same progress from legality to superstition, from superstition to godlessness, in a further and riper stage. Here we have more decided prominence given to the abandonment of the foundations of life and manners displayed by these false teachers. They had lost all true understanding of the law itself ( 1Ti 1:7 ): had repudiated a good conscience ( 1Ti 1:19 ): are hypocrites and liars ( 1Ti 4:2 ), branded with the foul marks of moral crime (ib.): are of corrupt minds, using religion as a means of bettering themselves in this world (1 Timothy 6:5 ; Tit 1:11 ): insidious and deadly in their advances, and overturning the faith ( 2Ti 2:17 ): proselytizing and victimizing foolish persons to their ruin (ib. 1 Timothy 3:6 ff.): polluted and unbelieving, with their very mind and conscience defiled ( Tit 1:15 ): confessing God with their mouths, but denying Him in their works, abominable and disobedient, and for every good work worthless ( Tit 1:16 ).

18. I may point out to the reader, how well such advanced description of these persons suits the character which we find drawn of those who are so held up to abhorrence in the later of the Catholic Epistles, and in the Epistle to the Hebrews: how we become convinced, as we pass down the apostolic age, that all its heresies and false teachings must be thought of as gradually converging to one point, and that point, godlessness of life and morals. Into this, Judaism, once so rigid, legality, once so apparently conscientious, broke and crumbled down. I may state my own conviction, from this phænomenon in our Pastoral Epistles, corroborated indeed by all their other phænomena, that we are, in reading them, necessarily placed at a point of later and further development than in reading any other of the works of St. Paul.

19. The second important point as regards these heretics is this: as they are not the Judaizers of former days, so neither are they the Gnostics of later days . Many minor points of difference might be insisted on, which will be easily traced out by any student of church history: I will only lay stress on one, which is in my mind fundamental and decisive.

20. The Gnosticism of later days was eminently anti-judaistic . The Jewish Creator, the Jewish law and system, were studiously held in contempt and abhorrence. The whole system had migrated, so to speak, from its Jewish standing-point, and stood now entirely over against it. And there can be little doubt, whatever other causes may have cooperated to bring about this change, that the great cause of it was the break-up of the Jewish hierarchy and national system with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. The heretical speculations had, so to speak, no longer any mooring-place in the permanence of the old law, and thus, rapidly drifting away from it, soon lost sight of it altogether, and learned to despise it as a thing gone by. Then the oriental and Grecian elements, which had before been in a state of forced and unnatural fusion with Judaism, cast it out altogether, retaining only those traces of it which involved no recognition of its peculiar tenets.

21. The false teachers then of our Epistles seem to hold a position intermediate to the Apostle’s former Judaizing adversaries and the subsequent Gnostic heretics, distinct from both, and just at that point in the progress from the one form of error to the other, which would suit the period subsequent to the Epistle to the Philippians, and prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. There is therefore nothing in them and their characteristics, which can cast a doubt upon the genuineness of the Epistles.

22 (b) (See above, par. 12), the ecclesiastical order subsisting when they were written . Baur and De Wette charge the author of these Epistles with hierarchical tendencies. They hold that the strengthening and developing of the hierarchy, as we find it aimed at in the directions here given, could not have been an object with St. Paul. De Wette confines himself to this general remark: Baur goes farther into detail. In his earlier work, on the Pastoral Epistles, he asserts, that in the genuine Pauline Epistles there is found no trace of any official leaders of the Churches (it must be remembered that with Baur, the genuine Epistles are only those to the Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans): whereas here those Churches are found in such a state of organization, that ἐπίσκοποι , πρεσβύτεροι , and διάκονοι are significantly put forward: πρεσβύτεροι according to him being the name for the collective body of church-rulers, and ἐπίσκοπος for that one of them who was singly entrusted with the government. In his later work (‘Paulus’ u.s.w.), he maintains that the Gnostics, as the first heretics proper, gave the first occasion for the foundation of the episcopal government of the Churches. But even granting this, the very assumption would prove the earlier origin of our Epistles: for in them there is not the slightest trace of episcopal government, in the later sense. Baur’s own explanation of ἐπίσκοπος differs entirely from that later sense.

23. The fact is, that the form of Church government disclosed in our Epistles is of the simplest kind possible. The diaconate was certainly, in some shape or other, coæval with the very infancy of the Church: and the presbyterate was almost a necessity for every congregation. No Church could subsist without a government of some kind: and it would be natural that such an one as that implied in the presbyterate should arise out of the circumstances in every case.

24. The directions also which are here given, are altogether of an ethical, not of an hierarchical kind. They refer to the selection of men, whose previous lives and relations in society afford good promise that they will discharge faithfully the trust committed to them, and work faithfully and successfully in their office. The fact that no such directions are found in the other Epistles, is easily accounted for: partly from the nature of the case, seeing that he is here addressing persons who were entrusted with this selection, whereas in those others no such matter is in question: partly also from the late date of these letters, the Apostle being now at the end of his own course, seeing dangerous heresies growing up around the Church, and therefore anxious to give those who were to succeed him in its management, direction how to consolidate and secure it.

25. Besides which, it is a pure assumption that St. Paul could not, from his known character, have been anxious in this matter. In the Acts, we find him ever most careful respecting the consolidation and security of the churches which he had founded: witness his journeys to inspect and confirm his converts (Acts 15:36 ; Act 18:23 ), and that speech uttered from the very depth of his personal feeling and desire, to the presbytery of the Ephesian Church ( Act 20:18-38 ).

26. We must infer then, that there is nothing in the hints respecting Church-government which these Epistles contain, to make it improbable that they were written by St. Paul towards the close of his life.

27 (c) (See above, par. 12.) The institution of widows , referred to 1 Timothy 5:9 ff., is supposed to be an indication of a later date. I have discussed, in the note there, the description and standing of these widows: holding them to be not, as Schleiermacher and Baur, deaconesses, among whom in later times were virgins also, known by the name of χῆραι ( τὰς παρθένους τὰς λεγομένας χήρας , Ign. ad Smyrn. c. 13, p. 717), but as De W., al., an especial band of real widows, set apart, but not yet formally and finally, for the service of God and the Church. In conceiving such a class to have existed thus early, there is no difficulty: indeed nothing could be more natural: we already find traces of such a class in Acts 9:41 ; and it would grow up and require regulating in every portion of the Church. On the ἑνὸς ἀνδρὸς γυνή , which is supposed to make another difficulty, see note, 1 Timothy 3:2 .

28. Other details belonging to this objection II. are noticed and replied to in treating of the passages to which they refer. They are founded for the most part in unwarranted assumptions regarding the apostolic age and that which followed it: in forgetting that there must have been a blending of the one age into the other during that later section of the former and earlier section of the latter, of both of which we know so little from primitive history: that the forms of error which we find prevalent in the second century, must have had their origin and their infancy in an age previous: and that here as elsewhere, ‘the child is father of the man:’ the same characteristics, which we meet full-grown both in the heretics and in the Church of the second century, must be expected to occur in their initiative and less consolidated form in the latter days of the Apostles and their Church [91] .

[91] See the objection regarding the youth of Timotheus assumed in these Epistles, treated below in § ii., ‘On the places and times of writing.’

29. We come now to treat of objection III., the peculiarity of expressions and modes of thought, both of which diverge from those in St. Paul’s recognized Epistles . There is no denying that the Pastoral Epistles do contain very many peculiar words and phrases, and that the process of thought is not that which the earlier Epistles present. Still, our experience of men in general, and of St. Paul himself, should make us cautious how we pronounce hastily on a phænomenon of this kind. Men’s method of expression changes with the circumstances among which they are writing, and the persons whom they are addressing. Assuming the late date for our Epistles which we have already mentioned, the circumstances both of believers and false teachers had materially changed since most of those other Epistles were written. And if it be said that on any hypothesis it cannot have been many years since the Epistles of the imprisonment, we may allege on the other hand the very great difference in subject, the fact that these three are addressed to his companions in the ministry, and contain directions for Church management, whereas none of the others contain any passages so addressed or of such character.

30. Another circumstance here comes to our notice, which may have modified the diction and style at least of these Epistles. Most of those others were written by the hand of an amanuensis; and not only so, but probably with the co-operation, as to form of expression and putting out of the material, of either that amanuensis or some other of his fellow-helpers. The peculiar character of these Pastoral Epistles forbids us from imagining that they were so written. Addressed to dear friends and valued colleagues in the ministry, it was not probable that he should have written them by the agency of others. Have we then, assuming that he wrote them with his own hand, any points of comparison in the other Epistles? Can we trace any resemblance to their peculiar diction in portions of those other Epistles which were undoubtedly or probably also autographic?

31. The first unquestionably autographic Epistle which occurs to us is that to Philemon: which has also this advantage for comparison, that it is written to an individual, and in the later portion of St. Paul’s life. And it must be confessed, that we do not find here the resemblance of which we are in search. The single word εὔχρηστος is the only point of contact between the unusual expressions of the two. It is true that the occasion and subject of the Epistle to Philemon were totally distinct from those of any of the Pastoral Epistles: almost all their ἅπαξ λεγόμενα are from the very nature of things excluded from it. Still I must admit that the dissimilarity is striking and not easily accounted for. I would not disguise the difficulty which besets this portion of our subject: I would only endeavour to point out in what direction it ought to guide our inference from the phænomena.

32. We have found reason to believe (see note on Gal 6:11 ) that the Epistle to the Galatians was of this same autographic character. Allowing for the difference of date and circumstances, we may expect to find here some points of peculiarity in common. In both, false teachers are impugned: in both, the Apostle is eager and fervent, abrupt in expression, and giving vent to his own individual feelings. And here we do not seek in vain [92] . We find several unusual words and phrases common only to the two or principally occurring in them. Here again, however, the total difference of subject throughout a great portion of the Epistle to the Galatians prevents any very great community of expression.

[92] I set down a list of the principal similarities which I have observed between the diction of the Gal. and the Pastoral Epp.:

1. τοῦ δόντος ἑαυτὸν περὶ κ . τ . λ ., Galatians 1:4 ; compare ὁ δοὺς ἑαυτὸν ἀντίλυτρον ὑπὲρ κ . τ . λ ., 1 Timothy 2:6 ; ὃς ἔδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν , Titus 2:14 . These are the only places where this expression is used for our Lord.

2. εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων , Galatians 1:5 ; compare the same expression in 1 Timothy 1:17 , 2 Timothy 4:18 . The only other place where it occurs is in the last Epistle of the imprisonment Philippians 4:20 .

3. προέκοπτον , Galatians 1:14 , found in 2 Timothy 2:16 ; 2 Timothy 3:9 ; 2 Timothy 3:13 , and Rom 13:12 only in St. Paul.

4. ἰδοὺ ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ , Galatians 1:20 ; the expression ἐν . τ . θ . occurs elsewhere frequently in St. Paul, but in this asseverative sense is found only in the Past. Epp.: 1 Timothy 5:21 ; 1 Timothy 6:13 , 2 Timothy 2:14 ( κυρίου ), 1 Timothy 4:1 .

5. στύλος , Galatians 2:9 ; in St. Paul, 1Ti 3:15 only.

6. ἀνόητοι , Galatians 3:1 ; in St. Paul ( Rom 1:14 ), 1 Timothy 6:9 , Tit 3:3 only.

7. μεσίτης , Galatians 3:20 ; in St. Paul (three times in Hebrews), 1Ti 2:5 only.

8. ἐλπίς , objective, Galatians 5:5 ; compare Titus 2:13 .

9. πνεύματι ἄγεσθε , Galatians 5:18 ; construction, with ἄγομαι ( Rom 8:14 ), 2Ti 3:6 only.

10. καιρῷ ἰδίῳ , Galatians 6:9 ; found 1 Timothy 2:6 ; 1 Timothy 6:15 , Tit 1:3 only.

33. We have a very remarkable addition to the Epistle to the Romans in the doxology, ch. Romans 16:25-26 ; appended to it, as we have there inferred, in later times by the Apostle himself, as a thankful effusion of his fervent mind. That addition is in singular accordance with the general style of these Epistles. We may almost conceive him to have taken his pen off from writing one of them, and to have written it under the same impulse [93] .

[93] The actual verbal accordances are frequent, but even less striking than the general similarity:

Romans 16:25 . εὐαγγέλιόν μου : ( Rom 2:16 ) 2Ti 2:8 only.

κήρυγμα (1 Corinthians 1:21 ; 1 Corinthians 2:4 ; 1Co 15:14 ): 2 Timothy 4:17 , Tit 1:3 only.

χρόνοις αἰωνίοις 2 Timothy 1:9 , Tit 1:2 only.

Tit 1:26 . φανερωθέντος in this sense, St. Paul elsewhere, but also 1Ti 3:16 , 2 Timothy 1:10 , Titus 1:3 .

κατ ʼ ἐπιταγὴν … θεοῦ , (1 Corinthians 7:6 , 2 Corinthians 8:8 ,) 1 Timothy 1:1 , Tit 1:3 only.

μόνῳ σοφῷ θεῷ : 1 Timothy 1:17 , var. readd.

I may add to these instances, those of accordance between the Pastoral Epistles and the speech of St. Paul in Acts 20:0 ; viz.

δρόμος , found only Acts 13:25 ; Acts 20:24 , 2 Timothy 4:7 .

περιποιεῖσθαι , Paul, only Acts 20:28 , 1 Timothy 3:13 .

ἱματισμός , Paul, only Acts 20:33 , 1 Timothy 2:9 .

ἐπιθυμέω , with a gen., only Acts 20:33 , 1 Timothy 3:1 .

λόγοι τοῦ κυρίου , Acts 20:35 , 1 Timothy 6:3 .

ἀντιλαμβάνεσθαι , Paul, only Acts 20:35 , 1 Timothy 6:2 .

for προσέχειν , with a dative, see next paragraph.

34. There remain, however, many expressions and ideas not elsewhere found. Such are πιστὸς ὁ λόγος , 1 Timothy 1:15 ; 1 Timothy 3:1 ; 1 Timothy 4:9 ; 2 Timothy 2:11 ; Titus 3:8 , a phrase dwelling much at this time on the mind of the writer, but finding its parallel at other times in his favourite πιστὸς ὁ θεός , and the like: cf. 1 Corinthians 1:9 ; 1 Corinthians 10:13 ; 2 Corinthians 1:18 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:3 : εὐσέβεια , εὐσεβῶς , 1 Timothy 2:2 ; 1 Timothy 3:16 ; 1 Timothy 4:7 ; 1 Timothy 6:11 ; 2 Timothy 3:5 ; 2 Timothy 3:12 ; Titus 1:1 ; Titus 2:12 , of which we can only say that occurring as it does in this peculiar sense only here and in 2 Peter, we should be disposed to ascribe its use to the fact of the word having at the time become prevalent in the Church as a compendious term for the religion of Christians: σώφρων and its derivatives, 1 Timothy 2:9 ; 1 Timothy 2:15 ; 1 Timothy 3:2 ; 2 Timothy 1:7 ; Titus 1:8 ; Titus 2:2 ; Titus 2:4 ff., Titus 1:12 , a term by no means strange to the Apostle’s other writings, cf. Romans 12:3 ; 2 Corinthians 5:13 , but probably coming into more frequent use as the necessity for the quality itself became more and more apparent in the settlement of the Church (cf. also 1Pe 4:7 ): ὑγιής , ὑγιαίνειν , of right doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:10 ; 1 Timothy 6:3 ; 2 Timothy 1:13 ; 2 Timothy 4:3 ; Titus 1:9 ; Titus 1:13 ; Titus 2:1 f., Titus 2:8 , one of the most curious peculiarities of our Epistles, and only to be ascribed to the prevalence of the image in the writer’s mind at the time, arising probably from the now apparent tendency of the growing heresies to corrupt the springs of moral action: μῦθοι , 1 Timothy 1:4 ; 1 Timothy 4:7 ; 2 Timothy 4:4 ; Titus 1:14 , to be accounted for by the fact of the heretical legends having now assumed such definite shape as to deserve this name, cf. also 2 Peter 1:16 : ζητήσεις , 1 Timothy 1:4 ; 1 Timothy 6:4 ; 2 Timothy 2:23 ; Titus 3:9 , which expression, if not exactly applied to erroneous speculations, is yet used elsewhere of disputes about theological questions; cf. Acts 15:2 ; Acts 25:20 ( Joh 3:25 ); the difference of usage is easily accounted for by the circumstances: ἐπιφάνεια , instead of παρουσία , 1 Timothy 6:14 ; 2 Timothy 4:1 ; 2 Timothy 4:8 ; Titus 2:13 , which has a link uniting it to 2 Thessalonians 2:8 , and may have been, as indeed many others in this list, a word in familiar use among the Apostle and his companions, and so used in writing to them: δεσπότης , for κύριος , in the secular sense of master , 1 Timothy 6:1-2 ; 2 Timothy 2:21 ; Titus 2:9 , which is certainly remarkable, St. Paul’s word being κύριος , Ephesians 6:5 ; Ephesians 6:9 ; Colossians 3:22 ; Colossians 4:1 , and of which I know no explanation but this possible one, that the Eph. and Col. being written simultaneously, and these three also near together, there would be no reason why he might not use one expression at one time and the other at another, seeing that the idea never occurs again in his writings: ἀρνεῖσθαι , 1 Timothy 5:8 ; 2 Timothy 2:12 f.; 1 Timothy 3:5 ; Titus 1:16 ; Titus 2:12 , common to our Epistles with 2 Pet., 1 John, and Jude, but never found in the other Pauline writings; and of which the only account that can be given is, that it must have been a word which came into use late as expressing apostasy, when the fact itself became usual, being taken from our Lord’s own declarations, Matthew 10:33 , &c.: παραιτεῖσθαι , 1 Timothy 4:7 ; 1Ti 5:11 ; 2 Timothy 2:23 ; Titus 3:10 , a word the links of whose usage are curious. It is confined to St. Luke and St. Paul and the Epistle to the Hebrews. We have it thrice in the parable of the great supper, Luke 14:18-19 ; then in the answer of Paul to Festus, in all probability made by himself in Greek, Acts 25:11 ; and Hebrews 12:19 ; Heb 12:25 bis. We may well say of it, that the thing introduced the word: had the Apostle had occasion for it in other Epistles, he would have used it: but he has not (the same may be said of γενεαλογίαι , 1 Timothy 1:4 ; Titus 3:9 ; ματαιόλογος , - γία , 1 Timothy 1:6 ; Titus 1:10 ; κενοφωνίαι , 1 Timothy 6:20 ; 2 Timothy 2:16 ; λογομαχίαι , - εῖν , 1 Timothy 6:4 ; 2 Timothy 2:14 ; παραθήκη , 1 Timothy 6:20 ; 2 Timothy 1:12 ; 2Ti 1:14 ): σώτηρ , spoken of God, 1 Timothy 1:1 ; 1 Timothy 2:3 ; 1 Timothy 4:10 ; Titus 1:3 ; Titus 2:10 ; Titus 3:4 , common also to Luke ( Luk 1:47 ) and Jude 1:25 ; the account of which seems to be, that it was a purely Jewish devotional expression, as we have it in the Magnificat, and not thus absolutely used by the Apostles, in their special proclamation of the Son of God in this character; we may observe that St. Jude introduces it with the limitation διὰ Ἰησοῦ χρ . τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν ; but in familiar writing one to another, when there was no danger of the mediatorship of Jesus being forgotten, this true and noble expression seems still to have been usual: βέβηλος , 1 Timothy 1:9 ; 1 Timothy 4:7 ; 1 Timothy 6:20 ; 2 Timothy 2:16 , common only to Heb. ( Heb 12:16 ), an epithet interesting, as bringing with it the fact of the progress of heresy from doctrine to practice, as also does ἀνόσιος , 1 Timothy 1:9 ; 2 Timothy 3:2 : διαβεβαιοῦσθαι , 1 Timothy 1:7 ; Titus 3:8 , a word but slightly differing in meaning, and in its composition with διὰ (a natural addition in later times), from βεβαιοῦν , which is a common expression with our Apostle, Romans 15:8 ; 1 Corinthians 1:6 ; 1Co 1:8 ; 2 Corinthians 1:21 ; Colossians 2:7 (Hebrews 2:3 ; Heb 13:9 ): προσέχειν , with a dat., 1 Timothy 1:4 ; 1Ti 3:8 ; 1 Timothy 4:1 ; 1 Timothy 4:13 ; Titus 1:14 , found also frequently in St. Luke, Luke 12:1 ; Luke 17:3 ; Luke 21:34 ; Acts 5:35 ; Acts 8:6 ; Acts 8:10-11 ; Acts 16:14 ; Acts 20:28 (Paul), and Hebrews 2:1 ; Hebrews 7:13 ; 2 Peter 1:19 ; a word testifying perhaps to the influence on the Apostle’s style of the expressions of one who was so constantly and faithfully his companion: ὑπομιμνήσκειν , 2 Timothy 2:14 ; Titus 3:1 (2 Peter 1:12 ; 3 John 1:10 ; Jud 1:5 ): a word naturally coming into use rather as time drew on, than “in the beginning of the Gospel:” ἀποτρέπεσθαι , ἐκτρ . , 2 Timothy 3:5 ; 1 Timothy 1:6 ; 1 Timothy 5:15 ; 1 Timothy 6:20 ; 2 Timothy 4:4 ( Heb 12:13 ), words owing their use to the progress of heresy; which may be said also of ἀστοχεῖν , 1 Timothy 1:6 ; 1 Timothy 6:21 ; 2 Timothy 2:18 , and of τυφοῦσθαι , 1 Timothy 3:6 ; 1Ti 6:4 ; 2 Timothy 3:4 : &c. &c.

35. There seems no reason why any of the above peculiarities of diction should be considered as imperilling the authenticity of our Epistles. The preceding paragraph will have shewn, that of many of them, some account at least may be given: and when we reflect how very little we know of the circumstances under which they were used, it appears far more the part of sound criticism to let such difficulties stand unsolved, under a sense that we have not the clue to them, than at once and rashly to pronounce on them, as indicative of a spurious origin.

36. Another objection brought by De Wette against our Epistles seems to me to make so strikingly and decisively for them, that I cannot forbear giving it in his own words before commenting upon it: “In the composition of all three Epistles we have this common peculiarity, that from that which belongs to the object of the Epistle, and is besides for the most part of general import, the writer is ever given to digress to general truths, or so-called common-places (1 Timothy 1:15 ; 1 Timothy 2:4-6 ; 1 Timothy 3:16 ; 1 Timothy 4:8-10 ; 2 Timothy 1:9 f.; 2 Timothy 2:11-13 ; 2 Timothy 2:19-21 ; 2 Timothy 3:12-16 ; Titus 2:11-14 ; Tit 3:3-7 ), and that even that which is said by way of contradiction or enforcing attention, appears in this form (1 Timothy 1:8-10 ; 1 Timothy 4:4 f.; 1 Timothy 6:6-10 ; 2 Timothy 2:4-6 ; Tit 1:15 ). With this is combined another peculiarity common to them, that after such digressions or general instructions, the writer’s practice is to recur, or finally to appeal to and fall back on previous exhortations or instructions given to his correspondent (1 Timothy 3:14 f.; 1 Timothy 4:6 ; 1 Timothy 4:11 ; 1 Timothy 6:2 ; 1 Timothy 6:5 (rec.): 2Ti 2:7 ; 2 Timothy 2:14 ; 2 Timothy 3:5 ; Titus 2:15 ; Tit 3:8 ).” In commenting on this, I would ask, what could be more natural than both these phænomena, under the circumstances, supposing St. Paul their author? Is it not the tendency of an instructor writing to his pupil to make these compendious references to truths well known and established between them? Would not this especially be the case, as age drew on, and affectionate remembrance took the place of present and watchful instruction? We have hardly a stronger evidence for the authenticity of our Epistles, than our finding them so exactly corresponding with what we might expect from Paul the aged towards his own sons in the faith. His restless energies are still at work: we see that the ἐνδυνάμωσις will keep him toiling to the end in his οἰκονομία : but those energies have changed their complexion: they have passed from the dialectic character of his former Epistles, from the wonderful capacity of intricate combined ratiocination of his subsequent Epistles, to the urging, and repeating, and dilating upon truths which have been the food of his life: there is a resting on former conclusions, a stating of great truths in concentrated and almost rhythmical antithesis, a constant citation of the ‘ temporis acti ,’ which lets us into a most interesting phase of the character of the great Apostle. We see here rather the succession of brilliant sparks, than the steady flame: burning words indeed and deep pathos, but not the flower of his firmness, as in his discipline of the Galatians, not the noon of his bright warm eloquence, as in the inimitable Psalm of Love (1 Corinthians 13:0 ).

37. We may also notice, as I have pointed out in the notes on 1 Timothy 1:11 ff., a habit of going off, not only at a word, or into some collateral subject, as we find him doing in all his writings, but on the mention of any thing which reminds him of God’s mercies to himself, or of his own sufferings on behalf of the Gospel, into a digression on his own history, or feelings, or hopes. See 1 Timothy 1:11 ff; 1 Timothy 2:7 ; 2 Timothy 1:11 ff., 2 Timothy 1:15 ff.; 2 Timothy 2:9-10 ; 2 Timothy 3:10 f.; 2 Timothy 4:6 ff. These digressions do not occur in the Epistle to Titus, perhaps on account of the less intimate relation which subsisted between him and the Apostle. I cannot help considering them also as deeply interesting, betokening, as I have there expressed it in the note, advancing age, and that faster hold of individual habits of thought, and mannerisms, which characterizes the decline of life.

38. De Wette brings another objection against our Epistles, which seems to me just as easily to bear urging on the other side as the last. It is, the constant moral reference of all that is here said respecting the faith: the idea that error is ever combined with evil conscience, the true faith with good conscience. From what has been already said, it will be seen how naturally such a treatment of the subject sprung out of the progress of heresy into ethical corruption which we have traced through the later part of the apostolic age: how true all this was, and how necessary it was thus to mark broadly the line between that faith, which was the only guarantee for purity of life, and those perversions of it, which led downwards to destruction of the moral sense and of practical virtue.

39. When however in his same paragraph (Allgem. Bemerkungen üb. die Pastoralbriefe, p. 117 c) he assumes that the writer gives a validity to moral desert , which stands almost in contradiction to the Pauline doctrines of grace, and cites 1 Timothy 2:15 ; 1 Timothy 3:13 ; 1 Timothy 4:8 ; 1 Timothy 6:18 ff.: 2 Timothy 4:8 , to confirm this, I own I am quite unable to see any inconsistency in these passages with the doctrine of grace as laid down, or assumed, in the other Epistles. See Romans 2:6-10 ; 1Co 3:14 ; 1 Corinthians 9:17 ; 1 Corinthians 9:25 ; 1 Corinthians 15:58 ; Philippians 1:19 , and many other places, in which the foundation being already laid of union with Christ by faith, and salvation by His grace, the carrying on and building up of the man of God in good works, and reward according to the measure of the fruits of the Spirit, are quite as plainly insisted on as any where in these Epistles.

40. De Wette also finds what he calls, ‘an apology for the law , and an admission of its possessing an ethical use,’ in 1 Timothy 1:8 . In my notes on that passage, I have seen reason to give it altogether a different bearing: but even admitting the fact, I do not see how it should be any more inconsistent with St. Paul’s measure of the law, than that which he says of it in Romans 7:0 . And when he objects that the universalism of these Epistles (1 Timothy 2:4 ; 1 Timothy 4:10 ; Tit 2:11 ), although in itself Pauline, does not appear in the same polemical contrast, as e.g. in Romans 3:29 , this seems very trifling in fault-finding: nothing on the contrary can be more finely and delicately in accordance with his former maintenance against all impugners of God’s universal purpose of salvation to all mankind, than that he should, even while writing to one who did not doubt of that great truth, be constant to his own habit of asserting it.

41. There are many considerations pressed by the opponents of the Pauline authorship, which we can only mention and pass by. Some of them will be found incidentally dealt with in the notes: with others the student who has hitherto followed the course of these remarks will know how himself to deal. As usual, the similarities to, as well as discrepancies from, the other Epistles, are adduced as signs of spuriousness [94] . The three Epistles, and especially the first to Timothy, are charged with poverty of sentiment, with want of connexion, with unworthiness of the Apostle as author. On this point no champion of the Epistles could so effectually defeat the opponents, as they have defeated themselves. Schleiermacher, holding 1 Tim. to be compiled out of the other two, finds it in all these respects objectionable and below the mark: Baur will not concede this latter estimate, and De Wette charges Schleiermacher with having failed to penetrate the sense of the writer, and found faults, where a more thorough exposition must pronounce a more favourable judgment. These differences may well serve to strike out the argument, and indeed all such purely subjective estimates, from the realms of biblical criticism.

[94] Huther gives a list of parallels against which this objection has been brought, and I transcribe it, that the reader may judge and refute for himself: 1 Timothy 1:12-14 , as compared with 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 ; 1 Timothy 2:11-12 , with 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 ; 2 Timothy 1:3-5 , with Romans 1:8 ff. Romans 2:5 , with 1 Corinthians 9:24 ; 1 Corinthians 2:6 , with 1 Corinthians 9:7 ff. 1 Corinthians 2:8 , with Romans 1:3 ; Romans 2:11 , with Romans 6:8 ; Romans 2:20 , with Romans 9:21 ; Romans 3:2 ff., with Romans 1:29 ff.; Romans 4:6 , with Philippians 2:17 ; Titus 1:1-4 , with Romans 1:1 ff.

42. A word should be said on the smaller, but not less striking indications of genuineness, which we here find. Such small, and even trifling individual notices, as we here meet with, can hardly have proceeded from a forger. Of course a careful falsarius may have taken care to insert such, as would fall in with the known or supposed state of the Apostle himself and his companions at the time: a shrewd and skilful one would invent such as might further any views of his own, or of the Churches with which he was connected: but I must say I do not covet the judgment of that critic, who can ascribe such a notice as that of 2 Timothy 4:13 , τὸν φελόνην ὃν ἀπέλιπον ἐν Τρωάδι παρὰ Κάρπῳ ἐρχόμενος φέρε , καὶ τὰ βιβλία , μάλιστα τὰς μεμβράνας , to either the caution or the skill of a forger. What possible motive there could be for inserting such minute particulars, unexampled in the Apostle’s other letters, founded on no incident in history, tending to no result, might well baffle the acutest observer of the phænomena of falsification to declare.

43. A concession by Baur himself should not be altogether passed over. St. Paul in his farewell discourse, Acts 20:29-30 , speaks thus: ἐγὼ οἶδα ὅτι εἰσελεύσονται μετὰ τὴν ἄφιξίν μου λύκοι βαρεῖς εἰς ὑμᾶς μὴ φειδόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου , καὶ ἐξ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν ἀναστήσονται ἄνδρες λαλοῦντες διεστραμμένα τοῦ ἀποσπᾷν τοὺς μαθητὰς ὀπίσω ἑαυτῶν . Baur confesses that here the defenders of the Epistles have firm ground to stand on. “Here we see,” he continues, “the Apostle anticipating just what we find more in detail in the Pastoral Epistles.” But then he proceeds to set aside the validity of the inference, by quietly disposing of the farewell discourse, as written “post eventum.” For those who look on that discourse very differently, his concession has considerable value.

44. I would state then the general result to which I have come from all these considerations:

1. External testimony in favour of the genuineness of our Epistles is so satisfactory, as to suggest no doubt on the point of their universal reception in the earliest times.

2. The objections brought against the genuineness by its opponents, on internal grounds, are not adequate to set it aside, or even to raise a doubt on the subject in a fair-judging mind.

45. I therefore rest in the profession of the Epistles themselves, and the universal belief of Christians, that they were VERITABLY WRITTEN BY ST. PAUL [95] .

[95] I have preferred in this section giving those considerations which influence most my own mind, to entering at full length on all the bearings of the subject. The reader will find a very good and terse compendium of the objections and their answers in Conybeare and Howson, vol. ii. pp. 657 660, edn. 2: and a full and elaborate discussion of both in Dr. Davidson’s Introduction to the N. T. vol. iii. pp. 100 153. That portion of Dr. Davidson’s work is very well and thoroughly done, in which he shews the insuperable difficulties which beset the hypothesis of a scholar of St. Paul having forged the Epistles at the end of the first century, as De Wette supposes. Huther’s and Wiesinger’s Einleitungen also contain full and able discussions of the whole question; especially the latter.



1. A difficult problem yet remains: to assign, during the life of the Apostle, a time for the writing, which will suit the phænomena of these Epistles.

2. It will have been abundantly seen by what has preceded, that I cannot consent to place them in any portion of St. Paul’s apostolic labours recorded in the Acts. All the data with which they themselves furnish us, are against such a supposition. And most of all is the state of heresy and false teaching, as indicated by their common evidence. No amount of ingenuity will suffice to persuade us, that there could have been during the long sojourn of the Apostle at Ephesus in Acts 19:0 , such false teachers as those whose characters have been examined in the last section. No amount of ingenuity again will enable us to conceive a state of the Church like that which these Epistles disclose to us, at any time of that period, extending from the year 54 to 63, during which the other Epistles were written. Those who have attempted to place the Pastoral Epistles, or any of them, in that period, have been obliged to overlook all internal evidence, and satisfy themselves with fulfilling the requirements of external circumstances.

3. It will also be seen, that I cannot consent to separate these Epistles widely from one another, so as to set one in the earlier, and the others in the later years of the Apostle’s ministry. On every account, they must stand together. Their style and diction, the motives which they furnish, the state of the Church and of heresy which they describe, are the same in all three: and to one and the same period must we assign them.

4. This being so, they necessarily belong to the latest period of the Apostle’s life. The concluding notices of the Second Epistle to Timotheus forbid us from giving an earlier date to that, and consequently to the rest. And no writer, as far as I know, has attempted to place that Epistle, supposing it St. Paul’s, at any date except the end of his life [96] .

[96] De Wette has fallen into a curious blunder in carrying out his own hypothesis. He argues that 1 Tim. must have been written after 2 Tim., because we find Hymenæus, who is mentioned with reprobation, apparently for the first time, in 2 Timothy 2:17 f., in a further stage of reprobation, judged and condemned, in 1 Timothy 1:20 . He forgets that, the two Epistles being according to him forgeries, with no real circumstances whatever as their basis, such reasoning is good for nothing. He is in fact arguing from their genuineness to their spuriousness.

5. The question then for us is, What was that latest period of his life? Is it to be placed at the end of the first Roman imprisonment, or are we to conceive of him as liberated from that, and resuming his apostolic labours?

6. Let us first try the former of these hypotheses. It has been adopted by chronologers of considerable note: lately, by Wieseler and Dr. Davidson. We approach it, laden as it is with the weight of (to us) the insuperable objection on internal grounds, stated above. We feel that no amount of chronological suitableness will induce us complacently to put these Epistles in the same age of the Church with those to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians. But we would judge the hypothesis here on its own merely external grounds.

7. In order for it to stand, we must find some occasion, previous to the imprisonment , when St. Paul may have left Timotheus at Ephesus, himself proceeding to Macedonia. And this time must of course be subsequent to St. Paul’s first visit to Ephesus, Acts 18:20-21 , when the Church there was founded, if indeed it can be said to have been then founded. On his departure then, he did not go into Macedonia, but to Jerusalem; which alone, independently of all other considerations, excludes that occasion [97] .

[97] This was however supposed by Calvin to have been the time of writing 1 Tim.: on ch. 1 Timothy 3:14 , “omnino enim sperabat se venturum: ut venisse probabile est, si hanc epistolam scripsit quo tempore Phrygiam peragrabat: sicuti refert Lucas Acts 18:23 .”

8. His second visit to Ephesus was that long one related in Acts 19:0 ., the τριετία of Acts 20:31 , the ἔτη δύο of Acts 19:10 , which latter, however, need not include the whole time. When he left Ephesus at the end of this time, after the tumult, ἐξῆλθε πορευθῆναι εἰς τὴν Μακεδονίαν , which seems at first sight to have a certain relation to πορευόμενος εἰς Μακεδονίαν of 1 Timothy 1:3 . But on examination, this relation vanishes: for in Acts 19:22 , we read that, intending to go to Jerusalem by way of Macedonia and Achaia, he sent off from Ephesus, before his own departure, Timotheus and Erastus: so that he could not have left Timotheus behind in Ephesus. Again, in 1 Timothy 3:14 , he hopes to return to Ephesus shortly. But we find no trace of such an intention, and no attempt to put it in force, in the history. And besides, even if Timotheus, as has sometimes been thought from 1 Corinthians 16:11 , did return to Ephesus before the Apostle left it, and in this sense might have been left there on his departure, we must then suppose him to have almost immediately deserted the charge entrusted to him; for he is again, in the autumn of 57, with St. Paul in Macedonia in 2 Corinthians 1:1 , and in Corinth in the winter ( Rom 16:21 ), and returned to Asia thence with him, Acts 20:4 ; and thus, as Wieseler remarks, the whole scope of our Epistle, the ruling and ordering of the Ephesian Church during the Apostle’s absence, would be defeated. Grotius suggested, and Bertholdt adopted, a theory that the Epistle might have been sent on St. Paul’s return from Achaia to Asia, Acts 20:4 , and that Timotheus may, instead of remaining in Troas on that occasion, as related Acts 20:5 , have gone direct to Ephesus, and there received the Epistle. But, apart from all other difficulties [98] , how exceedingly improbable, that such an Epistle should have preceded only by a few weeks the farewell discourse of Acts 20:18-35 , and that he should have sent for the elders to Miletus, though he himself had expressed, and continually alluded to in the Epistle, an intention of visiting Ephesus shortly!

[98] See Wieseler, Chronologie, vol. ii. p. 291 ff.

9. These difficulties have led to a hypothesis that the journey from Ephesus is one unrecorded in the Acts, occurring during the long visit of Acts 19:0 . That during that time a journey to Corinth did take place, we have inferred from the data furnished in the Epistles to the Corinthians: see Prolegg. to Vol. 2 Chronicles 3:0 § v. During that journey, Timotheus may have been left there. This conjecture is at least worthy of full discussion: for it seems to fulfil most of the external requirements of the first Epistle.

10. Mosheim, who was its originator, held the journey to Greece to have taken place very early in the three years’ visit to Ephesus, and to have lasted nine months, thus accounting for the difference between the two years and three months of Acts 19:8 ; Acts 19:10 , and the three years of Acts 20:31 . Wieseler [99] , however, has so far regarded the phænomena of the Epistle itself, as to shew that it would be very unlikely that the false teachers had early in that visit assumed such consistency and acquired such influence: and besides, we must assume, from the intimation in 1 Timothy 1:3 ff., that the false teachers had already gained some notoriety, and were busy in mischief, before the Apostle’s departure.

[99] Ib. p. 296 f.

11. Schrader [100] , the next upholder of the hypothesis, makes the Apostle remain in Ephesus up to Acts 19:21 , and then undertake the journey there hinted at, through Macedonia to Corinth, thence to Crete (where he founded the Cretan Churches and left Titus), to Nicopolis in Cilicia (see below, in the Prolegg. to Titus: sending from thence the first Epistle to Timotheus and that to Titus), Antioch, and so through Galatia back to Ephesus. The great and fatal objection to this hypothesis is, the insertion in Act 19:21-23 of so long a journey, lasting, according to Schrader himself [101] , two years (from Easter 54 to Easter 56), not only without any intimation from St. Luke, but certainly against any reasonable view of his text, in which it is implied, that the intention of Act 19:21 was not then carried out, but afterwards, as related in ch. Acts 20:1 ff.

[100] Der Apostel Paulus, vol. i. pp. 100 ff.

[101] See his Chronological Table at the end of his Apostel Paulus, vol. i.

12. Wieseler himself has adopted, and supported with considerable ingenuity, a modified form of Schrader’s hypothesis. After two years’ teaching at Ephesus, the Apostle, he thinks, went, leaving Timotheus there, on a visitation tour to Macedonia, thence to Corinth, returning by Crete, where he left Titus, to Ephesus. During this journey, either in Macedonia or Achaia, he wrote 1 Tim., and after his return to Ephesus, the Epistle to Titus: 2 Tim. falling towards the end of his Roman imprisonment, with which, according to Wieseler, his life terminated. This same hypothesis Dr. Davidson adopts, rejecting however the unrecorded visit to Corinth, which Wieseler inweaves into it: and placing the voyage to Crete during the same Ephesian visit, but separate from this to Macedonia.

13. It may perhaps be thought that some form of this hypothesis would be unobjectionable, if we had only the first Epistle to Timotheus to deal with. But even thus, it will not bear the test of thorough examination. In the first place, as held by Davidson, in its simplest form, it inserts into the Apostle’s visit to Ephesus, a journey to Macedonia and back entirely for the sake of this Epistle [102] . Wieseler’s form of the hypothesis avoids, it is true, this gratuitous supposition, by connecting the journey with the unrecorded visit to Corinth: but is itself liable to these serious objections (mentioned by Huther, p. 17), that 1) it makes St. Paul write the first Epistle to the Corinthians a very short time after the unrecorded visit to Corinth, which is on all accounts improbable. And this is necessary to his plan, in order to give time for the false teachers to have grown up at Ephesus: 2) that we find the Apostle, in his farewell discourse, prophetically anticipating the arising of evil men and seducers among the Ephesians: whereas by any placing of this Epistle during the three years’ visit, such must have already arisen, and drawn away many [103] . 3) The whole character of the first Epistle shews that it belongs, not to a very brief and casual absence of this kind, but to one originally intended to last some time, and not unlikely to be prolonged beyond expectation. The hope of returning very soon ( 1Ti 3:14 ) is faint: the provision made, is for a longer absence. Had the Apostle intended to return in a few weeks to Ephesus and resume the government of the Church there, we may safely say that the Epistle would have presented very different features. The hope expressed in ch. 1 Timothy 3:14 , quite parenthetically, must not be set against the whole character of the Epistle [104] , which any unbiassed reader will see provides for a lengthened superintendence on the part of Timothy as the more probable contingency.

[102] “ Why the Apostle went into Macedonia from Ephesus, cannot be discovered.” Davidson, vol. iii. p. 13.

[103] Dr. Davidson (iii. p. 14) refers for a refutation of this objection, to his subsequent remarks (pp. 32 f.) on the state of the Ephesian Church. But no sufficient refutation is there found. Granting the whole account of the Ephesian Church there given, it would be quite impossible to conceive that subsequently the Apostle should have spoken of the λύκοι βαρεῖς as altogether future.

[104] See Davidson, ib. vol. iii. p. 14.

14. Thus we see that, independently of graver objections, independently also of the connexion of the three Epistles, the hypothesis of Wieseler and Davidson does not suit the requirements of this first Epistle to Timotheus. When those other considerations come to be brought again into view, the necessarily later age of all three Epistles, from the heresies of which they treat, from the Church development implied by them, from the very diction and form of thought apparent in them, the impossibility, on any probable psychological view of St. Paul’s character, of placing writings, so altogether diverse from the Epistles to the Corinthians, in the same period of his life with them, I am persuaded that very few students of Scripture will be found, whose mature view will approve any form of the above hypothesis.

15. It will not be necessary to enter on the various other sub-hypotheses which have been made, such as that of Paulus, that the first Epistle was written from Cæsarea; &c. &c. They will be found dealt with in Wieseler and Davidson, and in other introductions.

16. Further details must be sought in the following Prolegomena to each individual Epistle. I will mention however two decisive notices in 2 Tim., which no advocate of the above theory, or of any of its modifications, has been able to reconcile with his view. According to that view, the Epistle was written at the end of the first (and only) Roman imprisonment. In ch. 2 Timothy 4:13 , we have directions to Timotheus to bring a cloak and books which the Apostle left at Troas. In 2Ti 4:20 we read “ Erastus remained in Corinth, but Trophimus left I in Miletus sick .” To what these notices point, I shall consider farther on: I would now only call the reader’s attention to the following facts. Assuming as above, and allowing only the two years for the Roman imprisonment, the last time he was at Troas and Miletus was six years before (Acts 20:6 ; Act 20:17 ); on that occasion Timotheus was with him : and he had repeatedly seen Timotheus since: and, what is insuperable, even supposing these difficulties overcome, Trophimus did not remain there , for he was at Jerusalem with St. Paul at the time of his apprehension, Acts 21:29 . It will be easily seen by reference to any of the supporters of the one imprisonment, how this point presses them. Dr. Davidson tries to account for it by supposing Trophimus to have sailed with St. Paul from Cæsarea in Acts 27:0 , and to have been left at Myra, with the understanding that he should go forward to Miletus , and that under this impression, the Apostle could say Trophimus I left at Miletus ( ἀπέλιπον ἐν Μιλήτῳ ) sick. Any thing lamer, or more self-refuting, can hardly be conceived: not to mention, that thus also some years had since elapsed, and that the above insuperable objection, that Timotheus had been with him since, and that Trophimus the Ephesian must have been talked of by them, remains in full force.

17. The whole force then of the above considerations, as well of the internal character of the Epistles, as of their external notices and requirements, compels us to look, for the time of their writing, to a period subsequent to the conclusion of the history in the Acts, and consequently, since we find in them the Apostle at liberty, subsequent to his liberation from the imprisonment with which that history concludes . If there were no other reason for believing that he was thus liberated, and undertook further apostolic journeyings, the existence and phænomena of these Epistles would enforce such a conclusion upon us. I had myself, some years since, on a superficial view of the Pauline chronology, adopted and vindicated the one-imprisonment theory [105] : but the further study of these Epistles has altogether broken down my former fabric. We have in them, as I feel satisfied any student who undertakes the comparison will not fail to discover, a link uniting St. Paul’s writings with the Second Epistle of Peter and with that of Jude, and the Epistles of St. John: in other words, with the later apostolic age. There are two ways only of solving the problem which they present: one of these is, by believing them to be spurious; the other, by ascribing them to a period of St. Paul’s apostolic agency subsequent to his liberation from the Roman imprisonment of Acts 28:0 ultt.

[105] In pp. 5 7 of the Prælectio referred to above, ch. ii. § 1.11 note.

18. The whole discussion and literature of this view, of a liberation and second imprisonment of our Apostle, would exceed both the scope and the limits of these Prolegomena. It may suffice to remind the reader, that it is supported by an ancient tradition by no means to be lightly set aside: and to put before him the principal passages of early ecclesiastical writers in which that tradition is mentioned.

19. Eusebius, H. E. ii. 22, relates thus:

καὶ Λουκᾶς δὲ ὁ τὰς πράξεις τῶν ἀποστόλων γραφῇ παραδούς , ἐν τούτοις κατέλυσε τὴν ἱστορίαν , διετίαν ὅλην ἐπὶ τῆς Ῥώμης τὸν Παῦλον ἄνετον διατρίψαι , καὶ τὸν τοῦ θεοῦ λόγον ἀκωλύτως κηρύξαι ἐπισημῃνάμενος . τότε μὲν οὖν ἀπολογησάμενον , αὖθις ἐπὶ τὴν τοῦ κηρύγματος διακονίαν λόγος ἔχει στείλασθαι τὸν ἀπόστολον , δεύτερον δ ʼ ἐπιβάντα τῇ αὐτῇ πόλει , τῷ κατ ʼ αὐτὸν τελειωθῆναι μαρτυρίῳ . ἐν ᾧ δεσμοῖς ἐχόμενος τὴν πρὸς Τιμόθεον δευτέραν ἐπιστολὴν συντάττει κ . τ . λ .

20. Clement of Rome, Ep. i. ad Corinth. c. 5, p. 17 ff. (the lacunæ in the text are conjecturally filled in as in Hefele’s edition):

διὰ ζῆλον ( καὶ ὁ ) Παῦλος ὑπομονῆς βραβεῖον ὑ ( πέσχ ) εν , ἑπτάκις δεσμὰ φορέσας , φ ( υγα ) δ ευθείς , λιθασθείς . κῆρυξ γ ( ενό ) μενος ἔν τε τῇ ἀνατολῇ καὶ ἐν ( τῇ ) δύσει , τὸ γενναῖον τῆς πίστεως αὐτοῦ κλέος ἔλαβεν , δικαιοσύνην διδάξας ὅλῳ τῷ κόσμῳ , κα ( ὶ ἐπὶ ) τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως ἐλθών , καὶ μαρτυρήσας ἐπὶ τῶν ἡγουμένων . οὕτως ἀπηλλάγη τοῦ κόσμου , καὶ εἰς τὸν ἅγιον τόπον ἐπορεύθη , ὑπομονῆς γενόμενος μέγιστος ὑπογραμμός [106] .

[106] By some of those who deny a second imprisonment, τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως is interpreted as if the gen. were one of apposition, ‘ his τέρμα , which was ἡ δύσις ;’ by others it is rendered the goal or centre of the West: by others, the Eastern boundary of the West: and by all it is taken to mean Rome . By those who hold a second imprisonment, it is taken to mean Spain or even Britain .

21. The fragment of Muratori on the canon contains the following passage [107] :

[107] See Routh, Reliq. Sacr. iv. p. 4.

“Lucas optime Theophile comprehendit quia sub præsentia ejus singula gerebantur, sicuti et semote passionem Petri evidenter declarat, sed profectionem Pauli ab urbe ad Spaniam proficiscentis …”

This passage is enigmatical, and far from easy to interpret. But all that we need dwell on is, that the journey of St. Paul into Spain is taken as a fact ; and in all probability, the word ‘omittit’ being supplied, the writer means to say, that St. Luke in the Acts does not relate that journey.

22. This liberation and second imprisonment being assumed, it will naturally follow that the First Epistle to Timotheus and that to Titus were written during the interval between the two imprisonments; the second to Timotheus during the second imprisonment. We shall now proceed to enquire into the probable assignment and date of each of the three Epistles.

23. The last notice which we possess of the first Roman imprisonment, is the Epistle to the Philippians. There ( Php 1:26 ) the Apostle evidently intends to come and see them, and ( Php 2:24 ) is confident that it will be before long. The same anticipation occurred before in his Epistle to Philemon ( Phm 1:22 ). We may safely then ascribe to him the intention, in case he should be liberated, of visiting the Asiatic and the Macedonian Churches.

24. We suppose him then, on his hearing and liberation, which cannot have taken place before the spring of A.D. 63 (see chronological table in Prolegg. to Acts), to have journeyed Eastward: visiting perhaps Philippi, which lay on the great Egnatian road to the East, and passing into Asia. There, in accordance with his former desires and intentions, he would give Colossæ, and Laodicea, and Hierapolis, the benefit of his apostolic counsel, and confirm the brethren in the faith. And there perhaps, as before, he would fix his head-quarters at Ephesus. I would not however lay much stress on this, considering that there might well have been a reason for his not spending much time there, considering the cause which had driven him thence before (Acts 19:0 ). But that he did visit Ephesus, must on our present hypothesis be assumed as a certain fact, notwithstanding his confident anticipation expressed in Act 20:25 that he should never see it again. It was not the first time that such anticipations had been modified by the event [108] .

[108] Compare 2 Corinthians 5:4-5 , with Philippians 1:23 . Dr. Davidson (iii. pp. 16 ff.) lays great stress on the οἶδα of Acts 20:25 , as implying certain apostolic foresight in the power of the Spirit, and argues thence that a subsequent visit to Ephesus cannot have taken place. For argument’s sake, let it be so, and let us turn to Philippians 1:25 , written, according to Dr. Davidson, at the close of the Roman imprisonment, from which he was not liberated but by death. There we read, οἶδα ὅτι μενῶ καὶ παραμενῶ πᾶσιν ὑμῖν εἰς τὴν ὑμῶν προκοπὴν καὶ χαρὰν τῆς πίστεως , ἵνα τὸ καύχημα ὑμῶν περισσεύῃ ἐν χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἐν ἐμοὶ διὰ τῆς ἐμῆς παρουσίας πάλιν πρὸς ὑμᾶς . Surely what is good on one side is good on the other: and I do not see how Dr. Davidson can escape the force of his own argument. He must take his choice, and give up one οἶδα or the other. He has surrendered the latter: why may not we the former?

25. It would be unprofitable further to assign, except by the most distant indications, his course during this journey, or his employment between this time and that of the writing of our present Epistles. One important consideration, coming in aid of ancient testimony, may serve as our guide in the uncertainty. The contents of our Epistles absolutely require as late a date as possible to be assigned them. The same internal evidence forbids us from separating them by any considerable interval, either from one another, or from the event which furnished their occasion.

26. Now we have traditional evidence well worthy of note, that our Apostle suffered martyrdom in the last year, or the last but one, of Nero. Euseb., Chron. anno 2083 (commencing October A.D. 67) says, “Neronis 13°. Nero ad cætera scelera persecutionem Christianorum primus adjunxit: sub quo Petrus et Paulus apostoli martyrium Romæ consummaverunt.”

And Jerome, Catalog. Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum (c. 5, vol. ii. p. 838), under Paulus, “Hic ergo, decimo quarto Neronis anno, eodem die quo Petrus, Romæ pro Christo capite truncatus, sepultusque est in via Ostiensi, anno post passionem Domini tricesimo septimo.”

27. I should be disposed then to agree with Conybeare and Howson in postponing both the occasions and the writing of the Pastoral Epistles to very near this date. The interval may possibly have been filled up, agreeably to the promise of Romans 15:24 ; Romans 15:28 , and the tradition of Clement of Rome (quoted above, par. 20), by a journey to Spain, the τέρμα τῆς δύσεως : or it may have been spent in Greece and Asia and the interjacent islands.

As we approach the confines of the known ground again furnished by our Epistles, we find our Apostle again at Ephesus. However the intervening years had been spent, much had happened which had wrought changes on the Church, and on himself, since his last visit. Those heresies which were then in the bud, had borne bitter fruit. He had, in his own weak and shattered frame, borne about, for four or five more years of declining age, the dying of the Lord Jesus. Alienation from himself had been spreading wider among the Churches, and was embittering his life. Supposing this to have been in A.D. 66 or 67, and the ‘young man Saul’ to have been 34 or 35 at his conversion, he would not now be more than 64 or 65: but a premature old age would be every way consistent with what we know of his physical and mental constitution. Four years before this he had affectionately pleaded his advancing years in urging a request on his friend Philemon ( Phm 1:9 ).

28. From Ephesus, leaving Timotheus there, he went into Macedonia ( 1Ti 1:3 ). It has been generally assumed, that the first Epistle was written from that country. It may have been so; but the words παρεκάλεσά σε προσμεῖναι ἐν Ἐφέσῳ πορευόμενος εἰς Μακεδονίαν , rather convey to my mind the impression that he was not in Macedonia as he was writing. He seems to speak of the whole occurrence as one past by, and succeeded by other circumstances. If this impression be correct, it is quite impossible to assign with any certainty the place of its being written. Wherever it was, he seems to have been in some field of labour where he was likely to be detained beyond his expectations ( 1Ti 3:14-15 ): and this circumstance united with others to induce him to write a letter full of warning and exhortation and direction to his son in the faith, whom he had left to care for the Ephesian Church.

29. Agreeably with the necessity of bringing the three Epistles as near as may be together, we must here place a visit to Crete in company with Titus, whom he left there to complete the organization of the Cretan Churches. From the indications furnished by that Epistle, it is hardly probable that those Churches were now founded for the first time. We find in them the same development of heresy as at Ephesus, though not the same ecclesiastical organization (cf. Titus 1:10-11 ; Titus 1:15-16 ; Titus 3:9 ; Titus 3:11 , with Tit 1:5 ). Nor is the former circumstance at all unaccountable, even as combined with the latter. The heresy, being a noxious excrescence on Judaism, was flourishing independently of Christianity, or at least required not a Christian Church for its place of sustenance. When such Church began, it was at once infected by the error. So that the Cretan Churches need not have been long in existence. From Titus 1:5 , they seem to have sprung up σποράδην , and to have been on this occasion included by the Apostle in his tour of visitation: who seeing how much needed supplying and arranging, left Titus there for that purpose (see further in Prolegg. to Titus, § ii.).

30. The Epistle to Titus, evidently written very soon after St. Paul left Crete, will most naturally be dated from Asia Minor. Its own notices agree with this, for we find that he was on his way to winter at Nicopolis (ch. 1Ti 3:12 ), by which it is most natural to understand the well-known city of that name in Epirus [109] . And the notices of 2 Tim. equally well agree with such an hypothesis: for there we find that the Apostle had, since he last communicated with Timotheus, been at Miletus and at Troas, probably also at Corinth (2 Timothy 4:13 ; 2Ti 4:20 ). That he again visited Ephesus, is on every account likely: indeed, the natural inference from 2Ti 1:18 is, that he had spent some time (possibly of weakness or sickness from the expression ὅσα διηκόνησεν : but this inference is not necessary, see note there) at that city in the companionship of Timotheus, to whom he appeals to confirm what he there says of Onesiphorus.

[109] See a complete account of Nicopolis in Wordsworth’s Pictorial Greece, pp. 310 312; Conybeare and Howson, vol. ii. p. 572, edn. 2; Smith’s Dict. of Geography, sub voce.

It is very improbable that any of the comparatively insignificant places elsewhere called by this name is here intended. An enumeration of them will be found in Smith’s Dict. of Geogr. as above. The only two which require mention are, 1) Nicopolis in Thrace , on the Nessus ( Νικόπολις ἡ περὶ Νέσσον , Ptol. iii. 11, 13), supposed by Chrysostom and Theodoret ( ἡ δὲ Ν . τῆς Θρᾴκης ἐστί , Chrys.: τῆς Θρᾴκης ἐστὶν ἡ Ν ., τῇ δὲ Μακεδονίᾳ πελάζει , Thdrt.) to be here intended. This certainly may have been, for this Nicopolis is not, as some have objected, the one founded by Trajan, see Schrader, vol. i. p. 117: but it is hardly likely to have been indicated by the word thus absolutely put: 2) Nicopolis in Cilicia , which Schrader holds to be the place, to suit his theory of the Apostle having been (at a totally different time, see above, par. 11) on his way to Jerusalem.

I may mention that both Winer (RWB.) and Dr. Smith (Dict. of Geogr. as above: not in Bibl. Dict.) fall into the mistake of saying that St. Paul dates the Epistle from Nicopolis . No such inference can fairly be drawn from ch. 1 Timothy 3:12 .

31. We may venture then to trace out this his last journey as having been from Crete by Miletus, Ephesus, Troas, to Corinth (?): and thence (or perhaps direct by Philippi without passing up through Greece: or he may have gone to Corinth from Crete, and thence to Asia) to Nicopolis, where he had determined to winter ( Tit 3:12 ). Nicopolis was a Roman colony (Plin. iv. 1 or 2: Tacit. Ann. Tit 3:10 ), where he would be more sure against tumultuary violence, but at the same time more open to direct hostile action from parties plotting against him in the metropolis. The supposition of Mr. Conybeare (C. and H. ii. 573, edn. 2), that being known in Rome as the leader of the Christians, he would be likely, at any time after the fire in 64, to be arrested as implicated in causing it, is not at all improbable. In this case, as the crime was alleged to have been committed at Rome, he would be sent thither for trial (C. and H. ib. note) by the duumviri of Nicopolis.

32. Arrived at the metropolis, he is thrown into prison, and treated no longer as a person charged with matters of the Jewish law, but as a common criminal: κακοπαθῶ μέχρι δεσμῶν ὡς κακοῦργος , 2 Timothy 2:9 . All his Asiatic friends avoided him, except Onesiphorus, who sought him out, and was not ashamed of his chain ( 2Ti 1:16 ). Demas, Crescens, and Titus had, for various reasons, left him. Tychicus he had sent to Ephesus. Of his usual companions, only the faithful Luke remained with him. Under these circumstances he writes to Timotheus a second Epistle, most likely to Ephesus (2 Timothy 2:17 ; 2Ti 4:13 ), and perhaps by Tychicus, earnestly begging him to come to him before winter ( 2Ti 4:21 ). If this be the winter of the same year as that current in Titus 3:12 , he must have been arrested immediately on, or perhaps even before, his arrival at Nicopolis. And he writes from this his prison, expecting his execution ( ἐγὼ γὰρ ἤδη σπένδομαι , καὶ ὁ καιρὸς τῆς ἐμῆς ἀναλύσεως ἐφέστηκεν , 2Ti 4:6 ).

33. We hear, 2 Timothy 4:16-17 , of his being brought up before the authorities, and making his defence. If in the last year of Nero, the Emperor was absent in Greece, and did not try him in person. To this may perhaps point the μαρτυρήσας ἐπὶ τῶν ἡγουμένων of Clement of Rome (see above, par. 20): but it would be manifestly unwise to press an expression in so rhetorical a passage. At this his hearing, none of his friends was bold enough to appear with or for him: but his Christian boldness was sustained by Him in whom he trusted.

34. The second Epistle to Timotheus dates after this his first apology. How long after, we cannot say: probably some little time, for the expression does not seem to allude to a very recent occurrence.

35. After this, all is obscurity. That he underwent execution by the sword, is the constant tradition of antiquity, and would agree with the fact of his Roman citizenship, which would exempt him from death by torture. We have seen reason (above, par. 26) to place his death in the last year of Nero, i.e. late in A.D. 67, or A.D. 68. And we may well place the Second Epistle to Timotheus a few months at most before his death [110] .

[110] One objection which is brought against the view taken above of the date of the Pastoral Epistles, is drawn from 1 Timothy 4:12 , μηδείς σον τῆς νεότητος καταφρονείτω . It is argued (recently by Dr. Davidson, vol. iii. p. 30 f.) that supposing Timotheus to have been twenty when the Apostle first took him for his companion, at the date which we have assigned to the first Epistle, he would not be less than thirty-four or thirty-five when the Epistle was written; “an age,” adds Dr. Davidson, “at which it was not likely he should be despised for his youth.” But surely such an age would be a very early one at which to be set over such a Church as that of Ephesus: and at such an age, an ecclesiastical officer whose duty was to rebuke elders, unless he comported himself with irreproachable modesty and gravity, would be exceedingly liable to be slighted and set aside for his youth. The caution seems to me quite to stand in its place, and to furnish no valid objection whatever to our view.



THE AUTHORSHIP, and TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING, have been already discussed: and much has been said on the style and diction of this in common with the other Pastoral Epistles. It only remains to consider, 1. The person to whom the Epistle was written: 2. Its especial occasion and object.



1. TIMOTHEUS is first mentioned Acts 16:1 ff. as dwelling either in Derbe or Lystra ( ἐκεῖ , after both places have been mentioned), but probably in the latter (see on Acts 20:4 , where Δερβαῖος cannot be applied to Timotheus): at St. Paul’s second visit to those parts (Acts ib. cf. Acts 14:6 ff.). He was of a Jewish mother (Euniké, 2Ti 1:5 ) and a Gentile father (Acts 16:1 ; Act 16:3 ): and had probably been converted by the Apostle on his former visit, for he calls him his γνησίον τέκνον ἐν πίστει ( 1Ti 1:2 ). His mother, and his grandmother (Lois, 2Ti 1:5 ), were both Christians, probably also converts, from having been pious Jewesses ( 2Ti 3:14-15 ), during that former visit.

2. Though as yet young, Timotheus was well reported of by the brethren in Lystra and Iconium ( Act 16:2 ), and hence, forming as he did by his birth a link between Jews and Greeks, and thus especially fitted for the exigencies of the time ( Act 16:4 ), St. Paul took him with him as a helper in the missionary work. He first circumcised him ( Act 16:3 ), to remove the obstacle to his access to the Jews.

3. The next time we hear of him is in Acts 17:14 ff., where he with Silas remained behind in Beræa on occasion of the Apostle being sent away to Athens by sea. From this we infer that he had accompanied him in the progress through Macedonia. His youth would furnish quite a sufficient reason why he should not be mentioned throughout the occurrences at Philippi and Thessalonica. That he had been at this latter place, is almost certain: for he was sent back by St. Paul (from Beroca, see Prolegg. to 1 Thess. § ii. 5 f.) to ascertain the state of the Thessalonian Church ( 1Th 3:2 ), and we find him rejoining the Apostle, with Silas, at Corinth, having brought intelligence from Thessalonica ( 1Th 3:6 ).

4. He remained with the Apostle at Corinth, and his name, together with that of Silas (Silvanus), appears in the addresses of both the Epistles to the Thessalonians, written (see Prolegg. to 1 Thess. § iii.) at Corinth. We have no express mention of him from this time till we find him “ministering” to St. Paul during the long stay at Ephesus ( Act 19:22 ): but we may fairly presume that he travelled with him from Corinth to Ephesus ( Act 18:18-19 ), either remaining there with Priscilla and Aquila, or (which is hardly so probable) going with the Apostle to Jerusalem, and by Antioch through Galatia and Phrygia. From Ephesus ( Act 19:22 ) we find him sent forward with Erastus to Macedonia and Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:17 ; 1 Corinthians 16:10 ; see on this whole visit, Vol. II. Prolegg. to 2 Cor. § ii. 4). He was again with St. Paul in Macedonia when he wrote the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:1 ; Vol. II. Prolegg. ibid.). Again, in the winter following we find him in his company in Corinth, where he wrote the Epistle to the Romans ( Rom 16:21 ): and among the number of those who, on his return to Asia through Macedonia ( Act 20:3-4 ), went forward and waited for the Apostle and St. Luke at Troas.

5. The next notice of him occurs in three of the Epistles of the first Roman imprisonment. He was with St. Paul when he wrote to the Colossians ( Col 1:1 ), to Philemon ( Phm 1:1 ), and to the Philippians ( Php 1:1 ). How he came to Rome, whether with the Apostle or after him, we cannot say. If the former, we can only account for no mention of him being made in the narrative of the voyage (Acts 27:28 ) by remembering similar omissions elsewhere when we know him to have been in company, and supposing that his companionship was almost a matter of course.

6. From this time we know no more, till we come to the Pastoral Epistles 1 [111] . There we find him left by the Apostle at Ephesus to take care of the Church during his absence: and the last notice which we have in 2 Tim. makes it probable that he would set out (in the autumn of A.D. 67?), shortly after receiving the Epistle, to visit St. Paul at Rome.

[111] 1 On the notice of him in Hebrews 13:23 , see Proleg. to Vol. IV. ch i. § i. 160; ii. 34.

7. Henceforward, we are dependent on tradition for further notices. In Eus. H. E. iii. 42, we read Τιμόθεός γε μὴν τῆς ἐν Ἐφέσῳ παροικίας ἱστορεῖται πρῶτος τὴν ἐπισκοπὴν εἰληχέναι : an idea which may well have originated with the Pastoral Epistles, and seems inconsistent with the very general tradition, hardly to be set aside (see Prolegg. Vol. I. ch. v. § i. 9 ff.), of the residence and death of St. John in that city. Nicephorus (H. E. iii. 11) and the ancient martyrologies make him die by martyrdom under Domitian. See Winer, sub voce: Butler’s Lives or the Saints, Jan. 24.

8. We learn that he was set apart for the ministry in a solemn manner by St. Paul, with laying on of his own hands and those of the presbytery (1 Timothy 4:14 ; 2Ti 1:6 ), in accordance with prophetic utterances of the Spirit (1 Tim. ib. and 1Ti 1:18 ): but at what time this took place, we are not informed: whether early in his course, or in Ephesus itself, as a consecration for his particular office there. This latter seems to me far the more probable view.

9. The character of Timotheus appears to have been earnest and self-denying. We may infer this from his leaving his home to accompany the Apostle, and submitting to the rite of circumcision at his hands (Acts 16:1 ff.), and from the notice in 1 Timothy 5:23 , that he usually drank only water. At the same time it is impossible not to perceive in the notices of him, signs of backwardness and timidity in dealing with the difficulties of his ministerial work. In 1 Corinthians 16:10 f., the Corinthians are charged, ἐὰν δὲ ἔλθῃ Τιμόθεος , βλέπετε ἵνα ἀφόβως γένηται πρὸς ὑμᾶς · τὸ γὰρ ἔργον κυρίου ἐργάζεται ὡς κἀγώ · μήτις οὖν αὐτὸν ἐξουθενήσῃ , προπέμψατε δὲ αὐτὸν ἐν εἰρήνῃ . And in the notes to the two Epistles the student will find several cases, in which the same traits seem to be referred to [112] . They appear to have increased, in the second Epistle [113] , where the Apostle speaks earnestly, and even severely, on the necessity of Christian boldness in dealing with the difficulties and the errors of the day.

[112] See notes on 1 Timothy 5:23 ; 2 Timothy 1:5 ; 2 Timothy 1:7 ; 2 Timothy 3:10 ; and cf. besides 1 Timothy 4:12 .

[113] It is possible that there may have been a connexion between these indications and the tone of the message in Revelation 2:1-6 ; see note there.

10. I subjoin a chronological table of the above notices in the course of Timotheus, arranging them according to that already given in the Prolegg. to Acts, and to the positions taken in the preceding chapter:

A.D. 45. Converted by St. Paul, during the first missionary journey, at Lystra. 51. Autumn. Taken to be St. Paul’s companion and circumcised (Acts 16:1 ff.). 52. Sent from Berœa to Thessalonica (Acts 17:14 ; 1Th 3:2 ). With Silas, joins St. Paul at Corinth (Acts 18:5 ; 1Th 3:6 ). Winter, see above, ch. v. § iii. With St. Paul (1 Thessalonians 1:1 ; 2Th 1:1 ). 57. Spring. With St. Paul at Ephesus ( Act 19:22 ): sent thence into Macedonia and to Corinth (Acts ib.; 1 Corinthians 4:17 ; 1Co 16:10 ). Winter. With St. Paul ( 2Co 1:1 ). 58, beginning. With St. Paul ( Rom 16:21 ). Spring. Journeying with St. Paul from Corinth to Asia ( Act 20:4 ). 62 or 63. With St. Paul in Rome (Colossians 1:1 ; Philemon 1:1 ; Php 1:1 ). 63 66. Uncertain. 66 or 67. Left by St. Paul in charge of the Church at Ephesus. ( First Epistle .) 67 or 68. ( Second Epistle .) Sets out to join St. Paul at Rome. Afterwards. Uncertain. SECTION II


1. The Epistle declares its own occasion. The Apostle had left the Ephesian Church in charge to Timotheus: and though he hoped soon to return, was apprehensive that he might be detained longer than he expected ( 1Ti 3:14-15 ). He therefore despatched to him these written instructions.

2. The main object must be described as personal: to encourage and inform Timotheus in his superintendence at Ephesus. But this information and precept regarded two very different branches of his ecclesiastical duty.

3. The first was, the making head against and keeping down the growing heresies of the day. These are continually referred to: again and again the Apostle recurs to their mention: they evidently dwelt much on his mind, and caused him, in reference to Timotheus, the most lively anxiety. On their nature and characteristics I have treated in the preceding chapter.

4. The other object was, the giving directions respecting the government of the Church itself: as regarded the appointing to sacred offices, the selection of widows to receive the charity of the Church, and do service for it, and the punishment of offenders.

5. For a compendium of the Epistle, and other details connected with it, see Davidson, vol. iii.

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