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International Critical Commentary NT International Critical
- 1 Timothy
by S.R. Driver, A.A. Plummer and C.A. Briggs
A CRITICAL AND EXEGETICAL COMMENTARY
THE PASTORAL EPISTLES
(I & II TIMOTHY AND TITUS)
THE REV. WALTER LOCK, D.D.
LADY MARGARET PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AND CANON OF CHRIST CHURCH
T. & T. CLARK LTD., EDINBURGH
ISBN 0 567 05033 5
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of T. & T. Clark Ltd.
HERMANNO VON SODEN
harum epistolarum interpretibus locupletissimis
quod iis multum acceptum refert
The preparation of this volume was promised some years ago, but has been delayed by the many and multiform duties of practical life which have come to the author. If there are still occasional marks of the want of that concentration on one task which is so necessary for a Commentary, there is this compensating advantage: coming back again and again to these Epistles my mind has seemed to feel a truer sense of the proportion of the various parts to each other: I feel more able to “make the salient points salient,” to put the first things first.
The first purpose of the writer was, I am sure, ethical: he wanted to build up a high level of character in the Christian communities, such as would attract the outside world to Christ. “You have” (he says to his Churches) “to take your share in the life of the world around you and to attract it to Christ; you have to be good citizens, good neighbours; for this you must embody the natural virtues which the heathen world around you rates most highly, and must add to them the graces of faith, hope, and love: and this you can do, for you have the power of the Incarnate and Risen Christ to help you.” To emphasize the true features of that character and the spiritual dynamic which would make it possible was his first aim, and should be the first aim of his commentator.
Quite subordinate to this, though important for its efficiency, is the ecclesiastical organization. Very little is said about the duties of any grade in it; little about the method of ordination to any of them or about the relation of each grade to the rest; even the problem of the relation of the ἐπίσκοπος to the πρεσβύτερος only admits of a probable solution. Taking the references at their face value and assuming an early and Pauline date for the composition, it is practically certain that they are two different names for one and the same grade of ministry; but assuming a late date, say in the 2nd century, near the time of Ignatius, when the distinction between the two was clearly marked, no reader would then have any doubt that they represented distinct grades, any more than a modern reader would have.
Subordinate also to this is the problem of the authorship on which so much careful and meticulous scholarship has quite rightly been spent hitherto. I have tried to show (p. xxxi) how truly Pauline in spirit these letters are, whoever was the amanuensis who took them down and whoever the person who dictated them; but, apart from the special reasons which apply to these Epistles, I cannot but think that by this time in the history of Christianity the question of authorship of almost any book of the Bible has become of only secondary importance. Every century which has borne its witness to the intrinsic value of a book has so far diminished the apologetic importance of knowing its author, and a long line of witnesses, from Ignatius in his letter to Polycarp, through the many Church Orders, through Chrysostom and Gregory, through Calvin and George Herbert, down to the latest treatises on pastoral or missionary work1 or the last addresses to candidates for Holy Orders, bears witness that, as long as the Church endures, these Epistles will have an abiding value, and the careful study of them will repay the student with fresh insight into their meaning and fresh guidance for building up his own character, be he layman or be he an official minister of the Church.2
In conclusion, I have to express my warmest thanks to the Rev. Henry Austin Wilson, Fellow of St. Mary Magdalen College, Oxford, who corrected the proofs of the first half, and to the Rev. Edward Charles Everard Owen, formerly Fellow of New College, Oxford, who continued the work when Mr. Wilson was prevented by illness. To both I owe useful suggestions as well as most careful correction of the proofs.
Nor must I end without a special word of thanks to the patience and good nature of my publishers, and to the carefulness and suggestive thoughtfulness of their compositors.
Christ Church, January 1924.
The Christian Character
The Apostolic Teaching
Organization and Ministry
Date and Authorship
Unity of purpose. —This title well describes them, though in rather different degrees: 1 Ti is entirely pastoral, and perhaps intended to be of universal application; Titus is mainly pastoral, but also a letter of commendation and a letter of recall; 2 Ti is mainly personal, a letter of recall, and only incidentally pastoral; yet all may be for many purposes treated as a unity. For the main purpose of them all is the same; it may be summed up in the words of I 3:15, πῶς δεῖ ἐν οἴκῳ θεοῦ�Titus 2:11-13 (of the purpose of the Incarnation and Atonement), to enable men to live σωφρόνως καὶ δικαίως καὶ εὐσεβῶς: and the two instruments which are to achieve this aim are the same in all—a high standard of character and loyalty to the Apostolic teaching.
The Christian Character. —The secret of the character is a personal relation to Christ as one who had lived a human life, and is now a Risen and Ascended Lord (I 3:16), a constant remembrance of Him as a Risen Lord able to help (II 2:8): a constant expectation, nay, a whole-hearted desire �Titus 2:13, II 4:8, I 6:14): for He is the mediator between man and a God of life (I 4:10), a God who has made all creation good (I 4:4), and who wishes all men to be saved (I 2:4); who of His grace saves the worst sinners from sin (I 1:15), and brings them back to share His own glory (I 1:11). Man’s attitude towards God is expressed in the Pauline triad, faith (I 1:4, 14, 2:15, 4:12, Titus 3:15), love (I 1:5, 14), and hope (I 1:1, 4:10, 5:5, 6:17, II 4:8, Titus 1:2, Titus 3:7). His ideal is to live a quiet and peaceable life in a religious and serious spirit (I 2:2, cf. II 2:22): his essential characteristics are sincerity, a good conscience, a pure heart; he models himself on the Divine qualities of goodness and loving-kindness (Titus 3:4); he receives power from Christ: hence he holds himself well in hand (ἐγκράτης): he has his passions under control (σώφρων): he is content with little (I 6:7, 8): he is sober-minded (νηφάλιος: cf. νήφειν, II 4:5;�Titus 2:2; cf. I 6:4): he avoids profitless discussion and speculations (I 1:4, 6:3). Hence he is prepared for every good work, ready to be used by his Master at a moment’s notice (εὔχρηστος): he lives a life useful to his fellow-men (ὠφέλιμος, I 4:8, Titus 3:8; cf. Titus 3:14 note): he is generous, if he has wealth (I 6:17-19): he is careful of justice to others (δικαιοσύνη), gentle and forbearing in the face of opposition: he is not content with merely good works, he aims at excellence (κάλα ἔργα: cf. special note, p. 22). Hence there is an orderly beauty about all his actions (κόσμιος): they adorn the teaching he has received (Titus 2:10): nay, there is a religious dignity (σεμνότης) that marks him out: he moves through life as though it were a great religious service (cf. ἱεροπρεπεῖς, Titus 2:3) conducted in the sight of God and of Christ (I 5:21, 6:13, II 2:15, 4:1), with the hope that his life may attract outsiders to share the joy of the procession. This type of character is to be exhibited in family life (for the family is the type of the Church, I 3:5, 5:1): in a high conception of marriage (I 2:15, 4:3, 5:14), in fidelity of husband to wife and wife to husband, in the control of and provision for children by parents, and in the obedience of children to parents, in the training of the young by the old, in the care for widowed relations, in the kindness of master to slave and faithfulness of slave to master, in a more willing service to Christian masters: it is to be exhibited in civic life, for the Christian is to pray for his rulers (I 2:2), to be obedient to authority (Titus 3:1), to join in any good civic work, to be occupied in any trade that is respectable, and not to incur the charge of being a useless citizen (Titus 3:1, Titus 3:8, Titus 3:14 notes). It is to be exhibited in Church life: for the character of the ministers is to be the model for all, and their life is to be under supervision and discipline, their work duly rewarded, their sins duly punished. The whole life is being disciplined, educated in righteousness, under the grace of God (παιδεύουσα, Titus 2:12; cf. II 2:25, 3:16).
Two things may be noted about this type of character: (a) it denotes a second stage in the Christian life; that life has passed through the excitement of conversion; there is none of the restlessness which St. Paul had to rebuke in the Corinthian Church; none of the upsettal of ordinary duties and family life which resulted from the expectation of a speedy coming of the Returning Lord; there are only slight hints of the controversy between law and grace (I 1:8, Titus 3:5): the true purpose of law is seen in due proportion, and the “sound teaching” of the Christian Church is felt to incorporate, while it transcends, the commands of the decalogue (I 1:8-11 notes). Another cause operated to effect the same result. The sense of the speedy Parousia of the Lord had passed away: we have no longer a “crisis-ethic”; the more abiding relation of the Church to this world is being defined. In a sense Christian Teachers are necessarily falling back on the Rabbinic effort to regulate exactly the duties of daily life, but the teaching is quite free from meticulous scrupulousness; the central religious motives are kept central. The ideal is the same as that described in Clement of Rome (c. 1) and Justin, as that which Tertullian pointed to as realized in his time as marked by “gravitas honesta,” and Eusebius as τὸ σεμνὸν καὶ εἰλικρινὲς καὶ ἐλευθέριον τό τε σῶφρον καὶ καθαρὸν τῆς ἐνθέου πολιτείας.1 Hence missionaries have turned to these Epistles for guidance in dealing with a second generation of converted heathen.2 (b) While it stands in striking contrast to the past heathen life of the converts and to the general standard around them (Titus 3:1-5), yet it shows how close the Christian character cones to the best ideal found in Greek and especially in Stoic Ethics. St. Paul had bidden the Philippians note well, wherever they might be found, all things�Philippians 4:8), and all these words are embodied in these Epistles: the writer gives a warning against falling short of a heathen standard (I 5:8): σωφροσυνή and ἐγκρατεία are as central in Plato and Epictetus as here: εὐσεβεία (I 2:2 note) and θεοσεβεία (I 2:10) are common terms in Greek religion: αὐταρκεία is a special note of Stoicism: many of the qualities required for Christian men and women are found already on Pagan Inscriptions; the illustrations quoted in the notes of Wetstein and Dibelius are illuminating in this respect; the qualities required for a ruler in the Church have many points of contact with those of the Stoic wise man or those of a Greek general (I 3:2 note); the ideal of Marcus Aurelius is very similar: for him man acts as priest and servant of the gods (3:4), his conduct is serious and dignified (σεμνός, 1:9, 2:5): with him goodness is beautiful (2:1): man—even an emperor—should be αὐταρκής and need little for happiness (1:16, 2:5, 3:4, 6:30, ὀλίγοις�
The writer wishes to say to his churches: You are settling down to join in the life of the Empire, to hold your own with your Pagan neighbours; therefore you must not fall short of their moral standard: your life must incorporate the highest virtues on which their teachers lay stress; nay more, it must aim at a standard of excellence which shall adorn the doctrine of your Saviour, because the Christian life is one of the chief means which will attract Pagans to Christ (I 6:1, Titus 2:5, Titus 2:8, Titus 2:10, and cf. 1 P 2:12, 3:12, 2).
“The true ecclesiastical life and the true Christian life and the true human life are all one and the same;”1 but there lies behind the two former a motive in the relation to a personal Saviour from sin, which enabled Christianity to win its way to all classes of men to a degree which Stoic Ethics never touched.2
The Apostolic Teaching. —One means for securing this high level of character is loyalty to the Apostolic teaching. This is based upon “the words of the Lord Jesus Christ” (I 6:3, cf. 5:18), on the Gospel of St. Paul (I 2:7, II 1:13, 2:8, 3:10), on the inspired Scriptures of the O.T. (I 5:18, II 3:16). It is expressed in stereotyped phrases: it is ἡ διδασκαλία (I 6:1): ἡ καλὴ δίδ. (I 4:6): ἡ ὑγιαίνουσα (I 1:10, II 4:3, Titus 1:9, Titus 2:1): ἡ κατʼ εὐσεβείαν (I 6:3, Tit_1:l): ἡ τοῦ σωτῆρος (Titus 2:10): ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ (II 2:9, Titus 2:5): τῆς�Titus 1:14): cf. ἐπίγνωσις�Titus 1:13, Titus 2:2 (?)): τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς δόξης τοῦ μακαρίου θεοῦ (I 1:11). ἡ παραγγελία (I 1:5). It is already embodied in hymns (I 3:16), in faithful sayings (I 1:15, 3:1, 4:9, II 2:11, Titus 3:8), and the germs of a creed seem to be implied in I 6:13, II 4:1.
In contrast to this there are false teachers and false teaching, but the allusions to their exact doctrines are not clear. They are teachers within the Church (cf. Acts 20:30, Revelation 2:2, which both show the existence of false teachers at Ephesus), some of whom have already been handed over to Satan (I 1:19, 20, II 2:17, cf. Titus 3:10); they lay great stress on the importance of their teaching (I 1:7, διαβεβαιοῦνται), and make great efforts to attract followers (II 3:6, Titus 1:11). Some of them are Jews, others are not (Titus 1:10): there is no reason for supposing all the allusions to be to one set; there were many varieties of false teaching in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-4, Acts 19:9, Acts 19:13 and 20:29, 30), and there seem two distinct tendencies.
(i) Jewish. —This is clearly marked in Titus (1:10 οἱ ἐκ τῆς περιτομῆς, 1:14 Ἰουδαϊκοῖς μύθοις, 3:9 μάχας νομικάς): the references to“myths and genealogies” in I 1:4-7 (where the teachers claim to be νομοδιδάσκαλοι) 4:7, II 4:4 would most naturally be explained by the passages in Titus and probably do refer to Jewish Haggada, though they certainly are capable of adaptation to the Gnostic æons and genealogies and the Gnostic stress on knowledge as the method of salvation (vid. notes ad loc.). The falsely-called knowledge (I 6:20) will in this case refer to Rabbinical pride in knowledge of the law.
(ii) Gnostic. —Springing out of a belief in the evil of matter: this is the probable reference of I 4:1-5, where the reference to the prohibition of marriage and ascription of the source of the teaching to “devils” make it almost impossible to trace that source to Judaism. With this may be classed the denial of the literal Resurrection (II 2:17) and the possible allusion to magic (I 3:8, 13). These are forms which 2nd century Gnosticism took (vid. notes ad loc.); but similar tendencies were in existence in the 1st century (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:12, Colossians 2:8, Rom_14, Hebrews 13:4).
Of our Epistles, 2 Ti is the least determinate and gives little guidance as to the nature of the teaching: Titus is markedly anti-Jewish; 1 Ti. has the most definite statements, yet they are ambiguous and are capable of reference either to Jewish or Gnostic teaching; if it was written after Titus and was intended as a general direction to all the Pauline churches, it may have intentionally widened the allusions in Titus, so as to make the warning applicable in different directions. But the main reason of this ambiguity is that the writer is not so much concerned with the doctrines as with the moral tendency of the rival teachings. On the one hand, the Apostolic teaching tends to produce excellence of character (καλή): it is sound and healthy (ὑγιαίνουσα), it is adapted to a religious standard (κατʼ εὐσεβείαν), its one aim is “love out of a pure heart” (I 1:5), the Lord has placed His own stamp upon it (II 2:19). To remain loyal to it appeals to the deep instinct which regards the care of a deposit as a solemn trust (cf. note on παραθήκη, II 1:12). On the other hand, the false teaching is aimless (I 1:6), empty of real substance (I 6:20), useless (Titus 3:9), ruinous to character (II 2:14); it springs out of failure to keep a good conscience (I 1:19), and leads to quibbling argumentation, to discord and ill-will (I 1:4, 6:4). The writer’s feeling is closely akin to that of Socrates towards the Sophists, of St. Paul towards the Corinthians who placed knowledge before love (1Co_8, Col_2), Of Marcus Aurelius, who was grateful to Rusticus that he had first learnt from him the need of moral correction and amendment, and renounced sophistic ambitions (1:7).
Church Organization and Ministry. —The Church addressed is one organized community, an ecclesia of a God of life, God’s family (I 3:5, 15); its members are of οἱ�Titus 3:14).
There are meetings for worship both evening and morning (I 5:5 ταῖς προσευχαῖς νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας); at them prayers and thanksgiving are combined (I 2:1); there is reading of Scripture, exhortation, teaching (I 4:13); men and women worship together and the desire of women to teach is checked by the writer: it is not clear whether any man present might lead the prayers, or whether this was confined to a minister (I 2:8 note).
Baptism is the method of salvation and new birth (Titus 3:5), and an allusion to a baptismal profession of faith in God and in Christ Jesus is probable in I 6:12.
There are also meetings for discipline (ἐνώπιον πάντων, I 5:20), though it is not clear whether these would be meetings of the whole Church or only of the presbyters.
Ministry. —(a) The Apostle. —The Apostle, as receiving his commission from Jesus Christ, and as in the service of God (Titus 1:1, I 1:1, II 1:l), has the supreme authority. He lays stress on his own Gospel (I 1:11, 2:7, II 1:10-13, 3:14, Titus 1:3), solemnly entrusts it to his delegates (I 1:18), hands over false teachers to Satan (I 1:20), and, though contemplating a speedy return, sends to his delegate exact instructions and wishes about his teaching, the details of common worship, the choice of and discipline over the ministers.
(b) The Prophets are referred to as having in the past pointed out Timothy to St. Paul for his work I 1:18, 4:14, but there is no reference to any present action by them.
(c) The Apostle’s delegates, Timothy and Titus. —No official title is given to them: Timothy is called an “Evangelist” (II 4:5), a man of God (I 6:11), the Lord’s servant (II 2:24); his task is one of ministry (διακονίαν, II 4:5). No title is given to Titus. They both have power given them to teach themselves, to hand on the Apostle’s Gospel, to control the teaching of others (I 1:3, II 2:14); to ordain ministers, to exercise discipline over them “with all authority” (I 5:17-25, II 4:2, Titus 2:15, Titus 3:10), both for reward and for punishment; to remit penalties once inflicted (?) (I 5:22); to regulate the roll of widows (I 5:9). Each is to be a model of character as well as of teaching (I 4:12, Titus 2:7).
But it is not clear whether they received special consecration for this task. No allusion is made to this in the case of Titus: in the case of Timothy it is probably implied in I 1:18, 4:14, II 1:6: he has had hands laid upon him by the Apostle and by presbyters at some time, but all these allusions may refer to some earlier event in his life. Nor is it clear what was their exact status. They may have been only temporary delegates sent to deal with temporary emergencies, as they had been sent before to the Church at Corinth, and 1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 1:3:14, 1 Timothy 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:4:13, Titus 1:5, Titus 3:12 point this way (cf. II 4:10 where Titus is sent to Dalmatia): or they may have received some permanent commission and consecration to act as the Apostle’s delegate at any place to which from time to time he might send them: and II 4:12, Titus 3:12 may imply that, when they were recalled, someone else was put in their places; or, lastly, it is possible that they had received permanent commission with permanent localization at Ephesus and Crete, their recall being only temporary. II 4:5, 6 seems to imply that Timothy would remain at his task after the Apostle’s death, though not necessarily at Ephesus. 1 Timothy and Titus favour the first of these views, 2 Timothy the last, and a change may have been made in Timothy’s position when Paul returned to Ephesus; but in any case they are “the instruments of an absent rather than the wielders of an inherent authority” (Moberly), and it is ordination at some point in their lives which gives them grace and power, to the fact of which the Apostle can appeal. They are Vicars Apostolic rather than monarchical bishops, but they form the transition to the monarchical Episcopate of the 2nd century.
(d) Local ministry. —There are grades in the ministry: the ἐπισκοπή is already an object of desire: the deacon, if he serves well, may pass to a higher grade (I 3:1, 13). But it is not clear whether there are two or three grades. Three titles are given, ἐπίσκοπος, πρεσβύτερος, διάκονος, but the first two may be different titles for one office. This is probable, as the duties assigned to each, and the requisite character of each, are almost identical; cf. I 3:2-7 with Titus 1:6-9; and this is confirmed by the absence of any reference to πρεσβύτεροι in I 3:2-13, and to ἐπίσκοποι in I 5:17-21. On the other hand, it is noticeable that the bishop is always referred to in the singular with the definite article prefixed (τὸν ἐπίσκοπον, I 3:2, Titus 1:7).
The Bishop’s relation to the Church is like that of a father to a family: his duty is προΐστασθαι, ἐπιμελεῖσθαι, I 3:4, 5, to preside at meetings, to keep discipline, to take forethought for the whole, to teach (διδακτικόν), to exhort, to rebuke (Titus 1:9): he represents the Church to the outside world (I 3:7), and has to welcome Christians coming from elsewhere (φιλόξενον). His is a task, and a noble task (καλοῦ ἔργου, I 3:1).
The Presbyters are a group of elders in each city (Titus 1:5, Titus 1:2 Ti 2:2, cf. τὸ πρεσβυτέριον, I 4:14): they are formally appointed (Titus 1:5, 1 Timothy 5:22 (?)) and tested before appointment (1 Timothy 3:10 καὶ οὗτοι): their duty is to “preside” and to teach (1 Timothy 5:17): they receive some honorarium, which is increased if their work is well done: they are liable to censure and formal judgment before the whole body (ib. 19-22). They also take their part in laying hands on other ministers (1 Timothy 4:14).
It is then quite possible that these are two different titles for one status; and if so, “presbyters” would be the title, springing out of the analogy of the Jewish synagogue, a small group of leading men chosen by the founder of each church to manage its affairs after he had gone: and “bishops” would be a description of their function as taking oversight. This is strongly supported by Acts 20:17 and 28; cf. Php_1:l. But it would be frequently necessary for the church to be represented by some one officer, whether to manage the finances and exercise hospitality to strangers, or to preside at a meeting for exercising discipline, or more frequently still for presiding at the Eucharist (cf. ὁ προεστώς, Justin M. Apol. i. 67), and the title “the overseer” would naturally be applied to the presbyter so acting, without implying any difference of grade or permanent status. This would explain the constant use of the singular.
Deacons. —The existence of the office at Ephesus is assumed, and their duties are not defined. Stress is laid upon their character, both as fitting them for their own work of assisting in church service and administration of charity, and as preparing them for the higher office of the presbyterate to which they may aspire. Their character, perhaps also their soundness in the faith, has to be formally tested before they can enter upon their office. They are not mentioned at all in the churches of Crete.
(e) Ministry of women. —(i) The ministry of deaconesses is almost certainly referred to in 1 Timothy 3:11, but no definition of their duties or of the method of their appointment is given.
(ii) Widows. —There is already in existence an order of Church Widows whose names are kept on a regular list. The writer’s aim is to limit this list. It is possible that those on the list were used for deeds of kindness to others, but this is not clearly stated. The main purpose of the order was eleemosynary. No one is to be placed on it who is under sixty years of age, or who can be supported by her own relations: only excellence of character qualifies for admission.
For fuller details cf. the notes on each passage. The following books should be consulted: Bp. Lightfoot, The Christian Ministry; Hort, The Christian Ecclesia, cc. xi, xii.; Hatch, The Bampton Lectures, 1880; Lindsay, The Church and the Ministry in the Early Centuries, 1903; Lowrie, The Church and its Organisation (based on Sohm’s Kirchenrecht), 1904; Harnack, Constitution and Law of the Church, Eng. tr., 1910; Swete, The Early History of the Church and Ministry, Essay II., 1918; Gore, The Church and the Ministry, c. v., 1919; Headlam, The Bampton Lectures, c. ., 1920.
For the previous use of the words ἐπίσκοπος and πρεσβύτεροι in connexion with religious officials, cf. Deissmann, B.S. s.vv., MM. s.vv.; Gore, ubi sup., Exo_2, Note K.
Theology—(i) The conception of God is mainly that of the O.T., with the sense of His Fatherhood deepened by the revelation of Christ, and with more abstract qualities emphasized, perhaps through the influence of Greek philosophy upon Jewish thought. In essence He is One only (I 2:5, 6:15): a God of life (I 3:15, 4:10): the Happy God (I 1:11): immortal, invisible (I 6:15, 16). In manifestation He is creator of all things (I 4:4), holding them in life (I 6:13), giving them bountifully for man’s enjoyment (I 6:17). He is father of men, willing all to be saved (I 2:4): true to His promises (Titus 1:2): the King of all the ages (I 1:17, 6:16): revealing Himself at His own times (ἰδίοις καιροῖς, Titus 1:3): Christians are His elect (II 2:10, Titus 1:1): He is their saviour in the fullest sense (I 4:10): the Church is His family (I 3:5, 15, II 2:15, 19): its ministers are His slaves (II 2:24), His stewards (Titus 1:7, I 1:4), His “men” (I 6:11, II 3:17?): He issues His commands to them (κατʼ ἐπιταγήν, I 1:1, Titus 1:3): He gives them His gifts (II 1:6, 7): He is the source of grace, mercy, and peace (I 1:2, II 1:2, Titus 1:4): the giver of repentance to those who have gone astray (II 2:25): the object of hope (I 5:5): the future judge (cf. I 5:21).
(ii) The conception of Christ is primarily that of the Jewish Messiah—Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς almost always, Ἰησοῦς Χριστός rarely, never Ἰησοῦς alone or Χριστός alone (cf. Harrison, p. 57)—but the Messiah as one with God in His universal love and work; perhaps also modified by an intentional contrast with the deified Roman Emperor (Titus 2:13 note). He is thought of as existing before all time (II 1:9): His earthly life was a manifestation (I 3:16), a coming into the world (I 1:15); yet He was truly man, able to represent all mankind before God (I 2:5). His teaching is perhaps referred to (I 6:3): His true confession before Pontius Pilate (I 6:13): His self-sacrifice (I 2:6): His atoning death (Titus 2:14). But He is mainly thought of as the Risen Lord; the mediator between God and man (I 2:5); the saviour, the source with the Father of grace, mercy, and peace: the giver of wisdom (II 2:7): the source of life itself (II 1:10): the inspirer of courage (II 2:8): the object of our faith (I 1:16) and of our hope (I 1:1): for whose final appearing Christians long (II 4:8), because He guards safely our deposit (II 1:12), and with the Father will be the righteous Judge, giving the crown of righteousness to the righteous and rewarding the wicked according to their deeds (II 1:18, 4:8, 14). He is called “the glory of our great God and Saviour,” or perhaps “our great God and Saviour” (Titus 2:13 note).
(iii) To the Holy Spirit there is little allusion; He may be referred to in I 3:16 as the inspirer of Christ’s perfect life. He is the source of the inspiration of Christian prophets (I 4:1): to all Christians He is the source of the renewal given in Baptism (Titus 3:5), and the indwelling power which enables them to be loyal to their trust (II 1:14).
Date—On the assumption of the Pauline authorship the date must be subsequent to St. Paul’s imprisonment at Rome and before his death, and will fall between a.d. 60 and 64. But deferring this problem, the evidence is very uncertain. Any date between 60 and 115 is possible; between 60 and 90 probable.
External evidence—The surest starting-point is the rejection of their Pauline authorship by Marcion. This implies their existence and their attribution to St. Paul by others before a.d. 140. About the same date they were included in Syriac and Latin versions. Further, there are striking coincidences with their language to be found in the Epistles of Ignatius and Polycarp, which make it probable that they were well known before a.d. 115. There are again possible reminiscences of their language and a real sympathy of tone between them and the Epistle of Clement, a.d. 95. (For reference, cf. von Soden, Hdc., p. 151; The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, p. 137; Harrison, pp. 177, 178; Von der Goltz, T. und U. xii. iii., pp. 107-18, 186-94.)
Internal evidence—(a) Church organization.—A regular ministry of at least two grades is already in existence: the presbyters are salaried: they are liable to discipline: they form a higher grade to which deacons may be advanced: the position of ἐπίσκοπος is already an object of desire; only those who are not newly-converted may be appointed to office. There are many widows, some of more than sixty years of age; some have already been untrue to their profession. This implies a Church of some years’ standing, but is possibly consistent with a period of twelve years, which may have elapsed between the first foundation of the Ephesian Church by St. Paul and his imprisonment at Rome. On the other hand, the uncertainty of the exact position held by Timothy and Titus, and the uncertainty of the relation of the ἐπίσκοπος to the πρεσβύτεροι, and the need of regulating the worship of men and women, are quite different from the situation implied in the letters of Ignatius, and point to a date not later than the 1st century. The need of the enforcement of prayer for the Empire points to a time before Clement’s letter.
(b) Relation to the outside world. —The chief danger of false teaching comes from Judaism; there are also traces of Gnosticism, but in an incipient form, not nearly so developed as in Marcion. The Church is settling down to play an active part in the world: it prays for the Empire; its members are encouraged to loyalty and active service as citizens; the characteristic of Christian life embodies all the virtues of Stoicism: “The writer is a type of the time when the ethical voice of a noble Hellenism and the Roman instinct for organization are uniting themselves with the Christianity which had sprung as religion out of Judaism” (von Soden): the notes of the Christian character already found in the Corinthian Church in the time of Clement of Rome (c. 1) recall those of these Epistles. Some of the best illustrations of the writer’s meaning are to be found in Ignatius or Tertullian or Cyprian (cf. notes on I 2:15, 5:22, Titus 3:8): but there is no indication that those imply customs which had arisen in the 2nd century. Tertullian often adds cautions to guard against dangers which might arise from the language of the Epistles; cf. Tert. de Idol. c. 8: “cavere debemus ne quid scientibus nobis ab aliquibus de manibus nostris in rem idolorum postuletur.” Ib. 12: “ut non usque ad idololatriæ affinitates necessitatibus largiamur.” Ib. 15: “subditos magistratibus … sed intra limites disciplinæ, quousque ab idololatria separamur.” In the same way a comparison of the advice to slaves in I 6:1, 2 as compared with that in Ignatius and Polycarp points to an earlier date.
(c) Literary dependence.—
(a) The Gospels. —There is no reference to the existence of written Gospels: in I 5:18 a saying recorded in St. Luke’s Gospel is quoted; possibly as Scripture, though probably not (vid. note): I 6:3 possibly implies a collection of the Lord’s discourses, and Q may have been known to the writer; but the coincidences with the Gospel sayings are quite explicable as due to oral tradition. The more striking are I 2:6 ( = Mark 10:45), 4:8 ( = Luke 18:30), 5:5 ( = Luke 2:37), 5:18 ( = Luke 10:7; Lk agrees verbally, Mt differs), 6:17-19 ( = Luke 12:20, Luke 12:21), II 2:19 ( = Matthew 7:23), II 4:18 ( = Matthew 6:13), Titus 1:15 ( = Mark 7:19, Luke 11:41), 3:5 ( = John 3:5). The Johannine phrases ἦλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον, I 1:15: ἐφανρώθη ἐν σαρκί, I 3:16, are found in quotations from “faithful sayings” or “hymns.”
(b) The Epistles. —There are many coincidences of thought and language with St. Paul’s Epistles, especially with Ro., 1 Co., Eph., Phil. Nearly all the reminiscences of the O.T. are of passages quoted by St. Paul: I 2:13, cf. 1 Corinthians 11:8: I 2:14, cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3: I 5:19, cf. 2 Corinthians 13:1: I 6:1, cf. Romans 2:24. II 2:20, cf. Romans 9:21: Tit 1:14, cf. Colossians 2:22: Tit 2:5, cf. Romans 2:24. Frequent coincidences occur with St. Paul’s own language:
with Ro.: I 1:1, 17 = Romans 16:26: 1:5 = Romans 13:10: 1:8 = Romans 7:16: 2:5 = Romans 3:30: 2:7 = Romans 9:1.
II 1:3 = Romans 1:8: 1:7 = Romans 8:15: 1:8, Romans 1:16: 1:9 = Romans 16:26: 1:14 = Romans 8:11-13 = Romans 6:8, Romans 8:17.
Titus 1:1-4 = Romans 16:26: 1:15 = Romans 14:20: 3:1 = Romans 13:1.
with 1 Co.: I 1:12, 13 = 1 Corinthians 7:25, 1 Corinthians 7:15:10 : 2:11, 1 Corinthians 7:12 = 1 Corinthians 14:34 : 4:4 = 1 Corinthians 10:30 : 5:18 = 1 Corinthians 9:9: 5:17 = 1 Corinthians 9:14.
II 2:4-6 = 1 Corinthians 9:7: Titus 3:3 = 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
with 2 Co.: I 1:11 = 2 Corinthians 4:4,
with Eph.: II 1:8 = Ephesians 4:1: II 1:9 = Ephesians 1:4, Ephesians 2:8 : Titus 3:3 = Ephesians 2:3: Titus 3:5 = Ephesians 2:8, Ephesians 5:26.
with Phil.: II 4:6 = Philippians 1:23, Philippians 2:17.
Of these, one or two passages (I 2:7, II 4:6, Titus 1:2, Titus 1:3, Titus 1:3:5) suggest the possibility of conscious literary imitation; but they, like the rest, are consistent with a general acquaintance with the Pauline language. They certainly imply a date when these Epistles were well known, and in II 2:11-13 we have a faithful saying formed out of Pauline phrases. For a fuller list of coincidences, cf. Harrison, pp. 167-175; but many are included by him which are probably accidental.
The relation to 1 Peter is less clear. 1 Ti and Tit both deal like 1 P with the duties of family life and of obedience to government; I, like 1 P, deals with the dress of women with some linguistic similarity, but not sufficient to suggest dependence. Tit has also many points in common with 1 P: “the peculiar people” (Titus 2:14, Titus 2:1 P 2:9): salvation by baptism (Titus 3:5, Titus 3:1 P 1:3, 3:21): the stress on hope, on redemption from lawlessness (Titus 2:14, Titus 2:1 P 1:18). Cf. Dr. Bigg, I.C.C., p. 21, who believes in a conscious connexion between Tit and 1 P; von Soden, Handc., p. 174, who thinks this also true of 1 Ti; and Harrison, pp. 175-6. But it is doubtful whether there is more than the use of current Christian language; there may be a common dependence of each on some earlier Christian manual of duties; and as between the two, there is no clear mark of priority. The only certain indication of date from literary dependence is that the Epistles are later than the second and third groups of Pauline letters.
Authorship. —In face of the many points of connexion with the Pauline Epistles, the alternative theories of the authorship resolve themselves into two.
(a) They were written by St. Paul, after the other letters, all late in his life, 2 Ti in the face of death. “These are my last instructions to my most trusted sons.” This theory is consistent with the possibility of later additions to the original letter.
(b) They were written at the end of the 1st or beginning of the 2nd century by some Pauline Christian anxious to guard against false tendencies of teaching and a low standard of life; for this purpose writing in Paul’s name in order to strengthen his own authority, and perhaps incorporating genuine fragments of Paul’s letters. This would scarcely have been regarded as a forgery, but only as equivalent to saying, “This is what Paul would say to you, if he were now alive.”
The farewell address of St. Paul to the elders of Ephesus Acts 20:17-38, has many points of contact with the Past. Epp. They would be a natural sequel to it by St. Paul himself, or it might have been taken by an imitator as a model on which the Epistles were framed: cf. the appeal to his own past sufferings (Acts 20:19, Acts 20:23, 2 Timothy 3:11, 2 Timothy 4:7); his anticipation of future false teachers and apostasy (20:29, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 3:1); his eagerness to fulfil his course and his ministry (20:24, 1 Timothy 1:12 διακονίαν, 2 Timothy 4:7 δρόμον): his sense of his independence (20:33, 34, 1 Timothy 6:7): his stress on “the church of God,” “the peculiar people” (20:28, 1 Timothy 3:15, Titus 2:14): the interchange of πρεσβύτεροι and ἐπίσκοποι: his deposit with God (20:32, 2 Timothy 1:12): his stress on the true use of money (20:35, 1 Timothy 6:9, 1 Timothy 6:10, 1 Timothy 6:17-19).
Either they are genuine “letters” or artificial “Epistles” (like the Ars Poetica of Horace): the nearest analogy to their form is the letter of Ignatius to Polycarp, which strongly favours the first alternative.
External evidence. —The evidence of Church writers is the same as for the other letters of St. Paul. They are all quoted as St. Paul’s by Irenæus (c. Hœar. Prœf. ii. 14. 7, iv. 16. 3 (1 Timothy)): iii. 2. 3, iii. 14. I (2 Timothy); i. 16, 3 (Titus)). They were incorporated, with St. Paul’s name embodied in them, in Latin and Syriac Versions of the 2nd century: their existence is almost certainly implied by coincidences with their language in Barnabas, Ignatius, Polycarp (cf. N.T. in Apostolic Fathers, pp. 12-14, 71-73, 95-98), and probably in Clement (cf. Harrison, p. 177), so that it is probably carried back to a 1st century date, when a mistake about their authorship is unlikely. No other author’s name has ever been suggested.
On the other hand, there were doubts from early in the 2nd century. The Pauline authorship of all was denied by Basilides and Marcion (Tert. adv. Marc. v. 21); that of 1 and 2 Timothy by Tatian, who accepted Titus (Jerome, Prol. ad Titum), and by other heretics, οἱ�
Internal evidence. —The Pauline authorship is not only stated in the Salutation of each letter, but in 1 and 2 Timothy is implied in constant personal references either to St. Paul’s own life (I 1:11, 12-16, 2:7, II 1:3, 11, 12, 15-18, 3:10, 4:6-8, 9-18) or to his relations with Timothy (I 1:3, 18, 3:14, 4:6-16, 5:23, 6:12, 20, II 1:5, 13, 18, 2:1, 3:10, 11, 14). These references spring out of the situation; they are natural to an old man entrusting an important task to a younger; they correspond with the traits of St. Paul’s character as seen in the earlier letters. There is the same practical wisdom, the same sense of the dependence of character on doctrine, the same self-consciousness recalling his own unworthiness, asserting his own commission, bursting out into doxologies, dependent on the affection of others, trusting them with great tasks, very sensitive to any failure in loyalty to himself, very confident of Christ’s protecting grace, with loving eyes fixed on His appearing. The references are equally true to the character of Timothy as known elsewhere; he is young, not strong in health, timid, needing self-discipline, needing also encouragement and reminder of all that has prepared him for his task, of all his past training and loyalty, yet withal a “genuine” and “loved” son whom he can trust. Cf. Romans 16:12 ὁ συνεργός μου: 1 Corinthians 4:17 τέκνον�Philippians 2:20-22. The personal references to Titus are much slighter, 1:5, 3:12, 13: a comparison of 2:15 μνδείς σου περιφρονείτω with I 4:12 μηδείς σου τῆς νεότητος καταφρονείτω, and the absence of ἔλεος in the salutation, perhaps imply an older and stronger man; and this corresponds with the impression conveyed in 1 and 2 Co. (For a careful examination of these personal references, cf. Parry, c. 2.)
The doctrinal background is essentially Pauline. The “goodness” of all creation (I 4:4, Titus 1:15), the universalism of salvation (I 2:1-7), the Divine initiative in it (II 1:9, Titus 3:5), the Divine overruling of the world and its history (I 1:17, 6:15, Titus 1:3), the conception of Christ’s nature and work as the Risen Lord (I 3:16, II 2:8), the thought of the Church as a family (I 3:1-15, 5:1) and as the inheritor of the promises made to the Jewish nation (Titus 2:14), are no longer discussed, but are all implied as the basis of Christian life. There is the same stress as in Col. and Eph. on the importance of a regulated family life: in one respect, indeed, there is a difference; here younger widows are advised to remarry, in 1 Corinthians 7:39, 1 Corinthians 7:40 all widows were advised to remain unmarried, but that passage recognized the widow’s freedom, and that advice was given under the expectation of a speedy Parousia of Christ. As we have seen (p. xv), there has been an advance, a change towards a more regulated life, a closer intercourse with the heathen world; but this would be quite natural in one who was a Roman citizen and brought up in Tarsus, a centre of Stoic Teaching.
Equally Pauline is the stress upon organization and discipline. He had impressed this upon his churches from the first (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-14): he had called upon the Corinthian Church to join in the severe exercise of discipline (1 Corinthians 5:3-5): in his estimate of spiritual gifts he had ranked those that were organized, regular, that made for edification and for peace, above the more showy and emotional (1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 14:1-33): the ministers were regarded as gifts of the Ascended Lord to the Church (Ephesians 4:11). He is the Apostle of Subordination no less than the Apostle of Christian freedom:1 these Epistles are (as Sir Wm. Ramsay has said) only an expansion of the message sent to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it” (Colossians 4:17): and such stress would naturally increase with the prospect of his own death (cf. Mark 3:6, Mark 3:14). The details of the organized ministry correspond with those of Romans 16:1 (deaconess): Philippians 1:1 ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις: cf. 1 Corinthians 16:15, Colossians 4:17, Acts 14:23, Acts 14:20:17, Acts 14:28, unless (which is unlikely, cf. p. xx) the single bishop constitutes a separate grade. The position of widows is more defined than in 1Co_7; but it is apparently being regulated in a very early stage, and Acts 6:1, Acts 9:39 bear witness to the eleemosynary care for widows, and to their charitable activities, in the earliest days of the Church.
The style raises a more difficult problem. There are slight differences between II and I and Tit., II being more intricate in structure and often less clear in expression; but this is not more than is due to a difference of mood, and is very parallel to the difference between 1 and 2 Th. The style of the three may therefore be treated together, and clearly it is more like that of St. Paul than that of any other N.T. writer, if it is compared, as it ought to be compared, not with either the argumentative parts of previous letters (e.g. Ro 1-9, Gal.) or the parts written under strong personal provocation (2 Co 1-7, 2 Corinthians 1:10-13), but with the more quiet and practical sections (e.g. Ro 10-15, 2 Corinthians 8:9). There is the same basing of practice upon doctrine, the same personal touches with references to his own past life, the same sense of his own responsibility, a similar fondness for adapting O.T. language, a similar use of Rabbinical Haggada and of quotations from classical writers (I 4:4, Titus 1:12), the same love of oxymoron (ζῶσα τέθνηκεν, I 5:6:�Rom_1 and 2 Co. from 11 to 12, Phil. 13, these Epistles show from 19 to 21. St. Paul shows, indeed, always a great choice of vocabulary and fondness for different groups of words at different times: thus of the words that he uses (about 2500), 1257 occur only in some one Epistle;1 and whereas the proportion of ἅπαξ λεγόμενα Isa_1 for 1:55 verses in these Epistles, in 2 Co. it Isa_1 for every 3:66, in 1Co_1 for 5:532 Much is due to a difference of subjects treated, and a somewhat similar but scarcely an equal variety has been shown to exist in Shakespeare (Expository Times, June 1896, p. 418) and in the different parts of Dante’s Divina Commedia (Butler’s Paradise, p. xc). But the difference extends beyond mere words, it includes many stereotyped and technical phrases; cf. p. xvi, and add Ἰησοῦ ἡ ἐλπὶς ἡμῶν(I 1:1), τὴν καλὴν στρατείαν (I 1:19), καιροῖς ἰδίοις (I 2:6), ἡ τεκνογονία (? 2:15), τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον (3:16), ν̔ εὐεργεσία (? 6:2), ἡ παραθήκη (6:20), ἡ τοῦ διαβόλου παγίς (I 3:7, II 2:26), ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος (II 3:17, cf. I 6:11), καλὰ ἔργα (passim), and formulas of quotation (πιστὸς ὁ λόγος). Further, the same thought is expressed differently, παραθήκη takes the place of παράδοσις, ὑποτύπωσις of τύπος, τυφοῦσθαι of φυσιοῦσθαι, ὁ νῦν αἰών of ὁ αἰὼν οὗτος, χάριν ἔξειν of εὐχαριστεῖν, δεσπότης of κύριος, διʼ ἣν αἰτίαν of ὥστε, διό and ἄρα: there is no use of ἄν,�
This linguistic argument against the Pauline authorship has been greatly strengthened by the proof that the vocabulary shows a much greater approximation to the vocabulary of Christian and other writers of the 2nd century than to that of the earlier letters. Thus of 175 ἅπαξ λεγόμενα in these Epp., 61 occur in the Apostolic Fathers, 61 in the Apologists, 32 of which are not in the Apostolic Fathers, making 93 in all (Harrison, pp. 68 ff., 150, 151); and 82 words which are not found either in the N.T. or in these Christian writers are found in Pagan writers of the 2nd century (ib. p. 161). This though very striking is not quite convincing, as these Epistles may have influenced the Christian writers, and as there is no evidence that the words are not earlier than the 2nd century.
The conclusion is difficult. There is no word impossible to St. Paul, no word not natural to him. There are indeed three words which soon acquired a technical ecclesiastical meaning, βαθμός, νεόφυτος, αἱρετικός, but it is doubtful whether any of these has that meaning here; they are on the way to it, but have scarcely arrived. Much change of vocabulary, including even particles, is due to the kind of letter, not argumentative or impassioned but full of practical warning and guidance, not written to churches or to private friends but to close intimate fellow-workers (this would explain the use of stereotyped phrases); much may be due to lapse of a few years tending to introduce fixity of phrase and formula; something, perhaps, to the freedom used by the amanuensis,—it is a natural suggestion from II 4:10 (if that is a part of the whole letter) that St. Luke was the amanuensis of 2 Ti, and there is a considerable quantity of Lucan non-Pauline words in all these Epistles (cf. Holtzmann, p. 96, who quotes 34, including διʼ ἣν αἰτίαν, ὃν τρόπον, ἐπὶ πλεῖον, ζωογονεῖν, ἐπιφαίνεσθαι, σωφροσύνη, φιλανθρωπία); but I doubt whether St. Paul would have allowed much freedom to an amanuensis. Some of the ἅπαξ λεγόμενα are also semi-quotations from faithful sayings, from liturgical doxologies and hymns, very possibly from existing manuals on the qualifications for various offices. The argument from style is in favour of the Pauline authorship, that from vocabulary strongly, though not quite conclusively, against it.
[For the arguments against, cf. Holtzmann, P.B. i. § 7; Nägeli, der Wortschatz des Apostels Paulus, pp. 85-88, Göttingen, 1905; Moffatt, Introd. to N. T., 1911; Harrison, The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles, 1922 (far the most thorough, making previous discussions out of date): for the arguments for, cf. G. G. Findlay in Sabatier, The Apostle Paul, 1891; James, The Genuineness and Authorship of the Pauline Epistles, 1906; P. Torm, “Ueber die Sprache in den Pastoral-Briefen,” Ztschr. für NT Wissenschaft, 1918, p. 225.]
The vocabulary in all the letters, and the impression, especially in 1 Ti, of a comparatively late stage in Church life, favour a late date; on the other hand, the lapse of years since the earlier letters and since the foundation of the Church at Ephesus, combined with the quickness of development which marks the early growth of a religious community, especially when face to face with other organized religious communities, as the Christian Church was face to face with the Jewish synagogue and the Pagan mysteries, make it possible to place these letters within St. Paul’s lifetime, at any rate on the assumption that he was released from the first Roman imprisonment;1 and the personal notes embodied in the substance of the letters, the doctrinal assumptions, the stress on character and ordered life, the incorporation of the best elements of Stoic morality, are all in favour of St. Paul. In this Commentary the whole of the Epistles are treated as coming direct from St. Paul’s hand; that is what their author intended, whoever he was. But the strength of the case against them, especially as presented by Mr. Harrison, is doubtless very great, and every student should carefully examine his reconstruction of them as represented in his Appendix IV. He will see at once the extent of the non-Pauline vocabulary, the dependence of the author on Pauline phrases, and the possibility of separating genuine fragments from the rest. Yet he will feel also the artificiality of the way in which Pauline phrases are borrowed and often slightly altered, the great improbability of the invention of such a detail as I 5:23 (μηκέτι ὑδροπότει . . .�Rom_16 was added to 1-15. The most probable suggestion is that of Mr. Harrison (P. Epp.), who distinguishes three separate notes written at separate times, which can be fitted into the structure of the Acts:
(i) 13, 14, 15, 20, 21a, written by St. Paul, while in Macedonia (Acts 19:22), after visiting Troas (2 Corinthians 2:12) on the third missionary journey, to Timothy after he had returned from Corinth to Ephesus. This is possible, but it is hard to account for the separation of the two parts of one short note 13-15, 20, 21a when reproduced. (For a very similar reconstruction, cf. McGiffert, Christianity in the Apostolic Age, p. 409.)
(ii) 16, 17, 18a, written from Cæsarea (Acts 23:25), the first defence referring to Acts 22:1, the Lord’s standing by him to the appearance in Acts 23:11. This is the least happy suggestion. The verses include what is called elsewhere (p. 28) the non-Pauline meaning of πληροφορηθῇ, and St. Paul could scarcely have expected any one to stand by him on the occasion of Acts 22:1.
(iii) 9, 10, 11, 12, 21, written early in the imprisonment at Rome to Timothy at Lystra, pressing him to come quickly. This leaves the apparent inconsistency between 10 and 21 still existing.
Without feeling entirely satisfied with all these details, I am inclined to think that 9-22a consists of earlier notes, and to regard the whole Epistle as Pauline, 1-4:8 written from Rome, during a second imprisonment, 4:9-22 at some earlier times.
Those who treat the present form of the letter as due to a later editor still think that it retains some earlier Pauline fragments besides those in 4:9-22. Various suggestions will be found in Moffatt (L.N.T., p. 400); but Mr. Harrison’s is again the most probable. He treats the following as a farewell letter to Timothy, from St. Paul at the end of the first Roman imprisonment, after his final trial and condemnation: 1:1a, 2, 16-18, 3:10, 11, 4:1-8. But the allusions to Timothy’s childhood and parentage (1:5, 3:14, 15) seem at least to carry their own credentials, and these to outweigh linguistic differences.
Titus —On the theory of Pauline authorship there is no reason to suggest editorial redaction or dislocation by scribes.
Some who ascribe the letter to a later editor think that genuine Pauline fragments are embodied. Von Soden finds Pauline materials in 1:1-4, 3:12, 13; McGiffert, in 1:1-6, 3:1-7, 12, 13; Harrison only in the short address Παῦλος Τίτῳ and 3:12-15, which he regards as written by Paul from Western Macedonia (Acts 20:2), perhaps having already preached in Illyricum (Romans 15:19), to Titus who is still at Corinth on the mission of 2 Corinthians 2:13, and who on the receipt of this letter joins him at Nicopolis with the good news of 2 Corinthians 7:7, which led to the writing of 2 Co 1-9. But this ignores the implication of 2 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 8:1, 2 Corinthians 9:2, that the whole of 2 Co. was written from Macedonia, and it is difficult, though possible, to reconcile it with Paul’s intention to spend this winter at Corinth, 1 Corinthians 16:6. It is also noticeable that these four verses contain six words or meanings which are non-Pauline, νομικόν, λείπω, οἱ ἡμέτεροι, καλὰ ἔργα, προΐστασθαι (meaning), ἄκαρποι (meaning). If the linguistic criterion were conclusive these verses would have to be condemned.
Order of composition —On the theory of Pauline authorship 1 Ti. and Tit., in both of which St. Paul is free to move about, clearly precede 2 Ti. when he is a prisoner in expectation of death. Tit. perhaps preceded 1 Ti. as simpler and dealing less with organization, but they may well have been written about the same time, the differences being adequately explained as due to the different circumstances of Crete and Ephesus.
Those who accept the theory of a later editor generally prefer the order 2 Ti., Tit., 1 Ti. (cf. von Soden, pp. 154 ff.; Moffatt, Lit. N.T., pp. 559-60). The chief reasons urged are (i) the greater number of personal allusions in II, and the fact that the earlier notes in 4:9-22 have been annexed to it point to its being nearer to the lifetime of St. Paul; but the whole circumstances are more personal as between Paul and Timothy, and the position of the notes may be purely accidental, the work of a scribe.
(ii) The greater definiteness in describing the false teachers in Tit. and I, and the greater severity in the way they are treated, e.g. contrast II 2:24, 4:2 with Titus 3:11, I 1:20: but the passages in II are not dealing directly with teachers but with tendencies, those in Tit. and I with definite persons. The references to Hymenæus I 1:20, II 2:18 do imply greater severity, but these may be notes added later (cf. p. XXXI).
(iii) Possible literary dependence of Tit. and I upon II and upon 1 P, e.g. I 1:4, 4:7, Titus 3:9 upon II 2:23, I 2:7 upon II 1:11, I 4:1 upon II 3:1 (von Soden, p. 155), and again Titus 2:3-5 upon 1 P 2:13-16, 5-9 upon 1 P 5:1-4, I 2:9-11 upon 1 P 3:1-6, I 3:16 upon 1 P 3:18-22 (von Soden, p. 174): but in no case is there proof of literary dependence, they may all be independent treatment of similar subjects; nor is there any clear proof of the priority of 1 Peter.
The authorities for the text are the same as for the other Pauline Epistles, except that these Epistles are lost from B and that we have a commentary by Jerome on Titus. It will be sufficient to refer for the main problems to Sanday-Headlam, Romans, Introd. § 7, and to the articles by C. H. Turner in Murray’s Ill. Bibl. Dictionary, and by J. O. F. Murray in H.D.B. Suppl., who has a careful examination of the Syrian readings in 1 Timothy, and to B. Weiss, Textkritik der Paul. Briefe, T. und U. xiv. 3.
An examination of the variants quoted in Tischendorf or in Souter shows that by far the greater number are unimportant and almost accidental. Even these are interesting as illustrating the habits and aims of scribes. Some are purely accidental, e.g. omissions through ὁμοιοτέλευτον, I 3:7, the whole verse, I 4:12 ἐν πίστει, ἐν ἁγνείᾳ: changes in the order of words, I 2:12 διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικί, 3:14 πρός σε ἐλθεῖν: mistakes in the division of words, I 3:16 ὁμολογοῦμεν|ὡς, II 2:17 γάγγρα|ἵνα, Titus 2:7 πάντας ἑαυτόν: mistakes through similarity of sound, I 5:21 προσκλῆσιν for πρόσκλισιν, I 6:20, II 2:16 καινοφωνίας, κενοφωνίας, II 1:3 σὺ οὖν κακοπάθησον, συγκακοπάθησον, II 4:13, 16, Titus 1:5, Titus 3:13 λείπω, λίπω: mistaken reading of letters, so perhaps I 3:16 θεός for ὅς. Others are semi-conscious reminiscences of cognate passages, I 1:1 ἐπαγγελίαν from II 1:1: I 1:12 ἐνδυναμοῦντι from Philippians 4:13: I 1:17 add σόφῳ from Romans 16:27: I 2:7 πνεύματι from John 4:23: I 5:18 κημώσεις from 1 Corinthians 9:9: τῆς τροφῆς from Matthew 10:10: II 1:7 δουλείας from Romans 8:15: Titus 1:4 add ἔλεος from I 1:2, II 1:2. Others are more conscious attempts to improve the text: sometimes to make the construction clearer, I 1:3 om. καθώς: I 3:15 add σε: 1 3:16 ὅ and perhaps θεός for ὅς: I 6:7 insert δῆλον or�Titus 2:5 οἰκουρούς for οἰκουργούς, or a more usual form ἵνα σωφρονίζωσιν, Titus 2:4 A desire to enforce a moral duty may possibly underlie I 5:5 speret, instet, for sperat, instat., to avoid a harsh prayer, II 4:14�Titus 3:10 om. καὶ δευτέραν; and to emphasize a doctrinal truth I 3:16 θεός for ὅς: but see above for this. Some later scribes of the minuscules add facts apparently from apocryphal sources, e.g. II 3:11 ἃ διὰ τὴν Θέκλαν ἔπαθεν: II 4:19 Λέκτραν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ καὶ Σιμαίαν, or later ecclesiastical rules, Titus 1:9 μὴ χειροτονεῖν διγάμους μηδὲ διακόνους αὐτοὺς ποιεῖν μηδὲ γυναῖκας ἔξειν ἐκ διγαμίας· μηδὲ προσερχέσθωσαν ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ λειτουργεῖν τὸ θεῖον· τοὺς ἄρχοντας τοὺς�Titus 1:11 τὰ τέκνα οἱ τοὺς ἰδίους γονεῖς ὑβρίζοντες ἢ τύπτοντες ἐπιστόμιζε καὶ νουθέτει ὡς πατὴρ τέκνα. In several places interesting questions of punctuation arise, vid. note on I 2:5, 3:1, 4:9, II 2:2, 11, 4:1, Titus 2:7, Titus 2:9. On I 2:4, 4:10, 6:4, II 2:15 G has the marginal note “goddiskalkon” or “cont goddiskolkon”; a hint that these texts refute the predestinarian views of Godeschalk (cf. Scrivener, p. 122).
W.-H allow possibilities of variation of reading in 46 places. The majority of these affect the order of words, ʼιησοῦς Χριστός or Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς, I 1:16, 6:13, Titus 1:1, Titus 1:2:13; the insertion or omission of the article, I 6:11, II 2:18; a variation of tense, I 1:12, 18, 4:6, II 3:10, 4:1, 13, 16, Titus 1:5, Titus 1:3:13; of voice, I 5:8, 16; of number, I 2:8, 6:8; of punctuation, I 3:1, 6:2, all making some slight difference in meaning, but none that requires discussion.
The following are the more important. [The authorities quoted are from Souter except where otherwise stated.]
I 1:4 οἰκονομίαν, א A G H ω S (hl) E (boh) A, Chr. Theod.-Mops. lat, but οἰκοδομίαν, D* L S (vg hlmg) G Iren. Hil. Ambst. οἰκοδοήαν, Dc 625. The evidence for οἰκοδομήν is strong, but οἰκονομίαν is perhaps the more likely to have been altered; it suits both παρέχουσι and τὴν ἐν πίστει better, and is strongly protected by ὡς θεοῦ οἰκονόμον in Titus 1:7
I 1:15�Titus 3:8, where there is no variant, is very probable. It is therefore possibly right, and the meaning will be “true to human needs” (cf. Ambst. “ut hominem peccatis ablueret … ut plus esset adhuc in beneficiis humanis … præsidium tulit homini … conversationi humanæ se miscuit”), and so akin to ἡ φιλανθρωπία τοῦ σωτῆρος θεοῦ, Titus 3:4. So in 3:1, if the words are there to be joined with the preceding verses.
I 2:1 παρακαλῶ, almost certainly right, cf. 8, and the direct commands to Timothy begin later; but παρακάλει, D*G L (Vtnon r) E (sah) Hil. Ambst. is possible; cf. 6:17.
I 3:1. Vid. note on 1:15.
I 3:16. ὅς is accepted in all critical editions. It was probably altered to ὅ in order to agree with μυστήριον, and to θεός possibly by accidental misreading, or to supply a nominative, or. less likely, for dogmatic definiteness. For a full examination of the evidence, cf. Tischdf. ad loc.; W.-H., Select Readings, p. 134.
II 1:13 ὧν all MSS. Hort conj. ὅν “hold as a pattern of sound doctrine that doctrine which …” (W.-H., Select Readings); but the attraction, though unusual, is possible; cf. v.l. on Titus 3:5; Blass, § 50. 2.
II 3:1 γινώσκετε, A G 33 al pauc. L (vtg), Eth. Aug. Perhaps accidental change, perhaps due to the feeling that vv. 1-9 are so much more general than 2:22-25, 3:10ff.
II 3:14 τίνων, א A C* G P 33. 1912 L (vt) S pal Ambst., but τίνος Cc D ω L (vg) S (vg hl) Arm. Goth. Eth. Chr. Hil. Aug. Theod.-Mops.lat, probably an alteration under the impression that the reference is to the Apostle; cf. 10, 11.
II 4:10 Γαλατίαν, A D G ω L (vt vgcodd) S (vg hl) E (boh), Goth. Eth. Iren. Theod.-Mops., but Γαλλίαν א C al pauc. L vgcodd, Eus. Epiph., probably a later change to avoid the ambiguity of Γαλατίαν: and if so, a witness at that time to the belief that St. Paul had been in Gaul; cf. W.-H., Select Readings, ad loc.
II 4:14�Proverbs 24:12�Psalms 62:12�Romans 2:6, and the spirit of Romans 12:19, and cf. 16 infra.
II 4:22: cf. note on I 6:21.
Titus 2:10 πᾶσαν πίστιν ἐνδεικνυμένους�
Titus 3:1 ἄρχαις ἐξουσίαις. There is fair MSS support for inserting καί: it may have been a conscious addition to avoid the asyndeton, but may it not have accidentally dropped out after ἄρχαις?
Titus 3:9. For the MSS variation between ἔρεις and ἔριν, cf. W.-H., Notes on Orthography, p. 157.
Titus 3:10 καὶ δευτέραν. The MSS authority is almost unanimous for the insertion of these words, but with differences of form and order (καὶ δύο, ἢ δευτέραν, καὶ δευτέραν after νουθεσίαν), and they were omitted in one MS of the Vetus Latina, by other MSS known to Jerome, as well as by Irenæus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambr., Ambrst., and Augustine 3/3. Their omission, if genuine, was probably accidental, due to ὁμοιοτέλευτον: but they might have been inserted later to relax the severity of μίαν.
Later Influence of the Epistles
These Epistles had great influence from the first, affecting the Liturgical services of the Church at once, and giving a model on which were framed later the Church Orders and treatises on Ministerial Character.
(i) Liturgical.—The most direct, immediate, and permanent effect is to be seen in the introduction of prayer for all men and for kings and rulers into the Eucharistic Liturgy. This is already found in Clem. Rom. 1:61, and Polycarp, Ep. 12, and remained permanently in the Eastern Liturgies (vid. note on I 2:2), and the exact words are often borrowed from 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and the same reason given for the prayer; cf. Brightman, L.E. W. i. pp. 55, 92, 114, 128, 168, 288, “make wars to cease in all the world and scatter the divided people that delight in war, that we may lead a quiet and pleasant life in all sobriety and godliness” (from the Persian rite), 333.
But apart from this passage the language of these Epistles is often borrowed in the Liturgical prayers: the titles of God, “King of the ages” (pp. 32, 51, 162, 299), “King of kings” (pp. 41, 128), dwelling in light unapproachable (pp. 5, 26, 263, 369, 412, 436), who cannot lie (p. 170), the Saviour of all men, especially of them that believe (p. 263): the titles of Christ, as “Our Saviour” (p. 24), “our (great) God and Saviour” (pp. 9, 33, 97, 103, 113, 114, 132, 322, 337, 444), “our Hope” (pp. 5, 21, 322): His work as saving sinners (p. 394), giving His life as a ransom (p. 347), as abolishing death (p. 232), as preparing a peculiar people, zealous of good works (pp. 264, 326): the Christian life as the real life, τῆς ὄντως ζωῆς (p. 4), the good fight (pp. 94, 352), as requiring a pure heart (pp. 116, 123, 135, 293, 295), a pure conscience (p. 34), as begun in the laver of regeneration (pp. 4, 157, 315): the work of the Episcopate as “rightly dividing the word of truth” (passim). These are the most frequent: Dr. Brightman would add the doxology δόξα καὶ τιμή, the combination “with faith and love,” the prayer, “The Lord be with thy Spirit,” as borrowed from I 1:17, 1:14, II 4:22; but these seem more doubtful.
In the Roman Mass it is the practice that when the Epistle is read: “si desumpta est ex Actibus Apostolorum incipit, In diebus illis; si ex epistolis, Fratres; si ex epistolis Pauli pastoralibus, Carissime.” This has perpetuated the note of personal affection struck in II 1:2.
In the English Ordinal, 1 Timothy 3:8-13 is an alternative Epistle in the Ordering of Deacons; 1 Timothy 3:1-7 in the Consecration of Bishops; and the language of Titus 1:9, Titus 1:2:8, Titus 1:12 underlies the questions addressed to the Bishop before Consecration; 2 Timothy 1:6, 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Timothy 4:13-16 the exhortation after Consecration; 2 Timothy 4:2, 1 Timothy 4:12, 2 Timothy 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:8, the final prayer.
The prayer in the General Confession at morning and evening prayer “that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous and sober life,” is taken directly from Titus 2:12.
(ii) Ecclesiastical.—(a) The Didache.—This resembles the Pastoral Epistles in laying down rules for the character of the Christian Life in general and of the ministry in particular: but it deals more fully in details about the Ministers, their testing, their election, their maintenance, and their relation to the Apostles and prophets and with the Sacraments. It offers some interesting points of illustration (cf. notes on I 2:8, 5:17, 6:17, 20), but neither quotes these Epistles, though quoting some other Epistles of St. Paul, nor shows any verbal correspondence with their language even when dealing with similar subjects (cf. Did. 2, the summary of the Commandments, with I 1:8-10; Did. 5, the list of heathen vices, with II 3:2-5; Did. 4, § 3, judicial action, with I 5:21; Did. 4, § 10, masters and slaves, with I 6:1, 2, Titus 2:9). The tone of the Didache is more akin to 1 Thessalonians than to the Pastoral Epistles; on the other hand, there is no trace of our author having used the Didache. They are two entirely independent documents, one dealing with a Church in a mainly Jewish environment, the other with Churches face to face with Gentile life.
(b) The Egyptian Church Order is now recognized as the earliest of the extant Church Orders, and as being the�
St. Chrysostom, De Sacerdotio, deals with the dignity and responsibility of the Priest’s office, dwelling even more than the Pastoral Epistles on the spiritual peril to which the holder is exposed; he emphasizes the difficulty of dealing with individual souls, and the importance of intellectual ability for the needs of teaching. But St. Paul is his ideal throughout; to his teaching he most frequently appeals: he quotes his requirements for the ἐπίσκοπος as the standard of the ideal priest (διʼ ὧν ὁ μακάριος Παῦλος τὴν τοῦ�Titus 2:14 (§ 88). His rules for the treatment of widows (§§ 299 ff.), and his warning of the danger to a priest of sharing the sins of others, help to explain the meaning of I 5:5ff. and 22.
St. Gregory the Great, Regulœ pastoralis liber. This book is even more closely akin to the Pastoral Epistles, as its main themes are the character of the Pastor and the different ways in which he must deal with different classes of men both in preaching and in private intercourse. St. Paul is for him “prædicator egregius” the “magnus regendi artifex”: his subjects follow the lines of I 3:1-7, 5:1-6:2, Titus 2:1-9: he also quotes I 4:12, 5:1, 8, 23, 6:1, 10, 17, II 4:1, 2, 3, Titus 1:9, Titus 1:15, Titus 1:2:15; but he uses as often other Epistles of St. Paul and the Old Testament, especially the Prophets and the Wisdom Literature, at times even the minute prescriptions of the Levitical Law. These are allegorized in a way that is always ingenious, often very apt, sometimes grotesque. But apart from this the whole tone is wise, spiritual, with a keen insight into human nature and the characters of men—in a word, worthy of St. Paul.
Commentaries on these Epistles
[This list does not aim at being exhaustive; it represents those books which have been used for this edition; those asterisked represent those which are still of great value to the student. Fuller information on the Patristic Commentaries will be found in Hastings, D.B., Extra Volume, “Greek Patristic Commentaries”; Lightfoot, Galatians, Add. Note; Swete, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Introd. V.; a complete bibliography of all that has been published on these Epistles since 1880 in Harrison, The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles, App. III.; and a list covering the whole ground in Wohlenberg in Zahn’s Kommentar.]
Cent. II. Clement of Alexandria. A few notes preserved in Œcumenius.
Cent. III. Origen. A few notes on Titus only, mainly embodied in Jerome.
Cent. IV. **Ambrosiaster (ap. Ambrosii Opera, vii., ed. Benedict, Venice, 1781; cf. A. Souter, Cambridge Texts and Studies, vii. 4), c. 375, written at Rome by an anonymous layman, probably to be identified as a converted Jew named Isaac. Independent, practical and dogmatic, with special interest in questions of Church organization, and with illustrations from Jewish teaching and practice.
***St. Chrysostom (ed. Field, Oxford, 1861; Eng. tr., Tweed., Oxford, 1843), Homilies, probably delivered at Antioch c. 385-95. Sound sensible exegesis, invaluable as interpreting the sequence of thought, the personal bearing and the spiritual application.
St. Jerome (ed. Vallarsi, vii. pp. 685-740), c. 388, on Titus only. Generally sensible exegesis, with some strange mystical interpretations; pressing home with a satirist’s outspokenness the moral and spiritual bearings; interesting in the account of his own studies and those of Origen.
Cent. V. Pelagius (ap. Hieronymi Op., ed. Benedict, xi.), c. 400-409. Short pointed notes, partly exegetical, partly moral and doctrinal; always shrewd and practical. (For a careful account, cf. Cambridge Texts and Studies, vol. ix., Cambridge, 1922.)
**Theodore of Mopsuestia (ed. H. B. Swete, Cambridge, 1880, with most valuable notes; Migne, Patrol. Gr. 66), c. 415. Fragments only of the Greek extant in Catenæ; Latin tr. (c. 550) complete. Good literal and historical exegesis, with keen practical and theological interest, but tending to rationalize doctrine.
Theodoret (ed. C. Marriott, Oxford, vol. i., 1852; vol. ii., C. M. and P. E. Pusey, 1870), c. 450. Clear, sensible, doctrinal, but mainly compiled from Chrysostom and Theodore.
?Cent. VI. Catena Anonyma (ed. J. A. Cramer, Oxford, 1841-44). Valuable, as containing extracts from lost earlier commentators, down to the 5th century.
Cent. VIII. John of Damascus (ed. Le Quien, Paris, 1712). Notes on a few passages; fairly full on 1 Ti.; very slight on 2 Ti. and Tit.; mainly extracts from Chrysostom.
Cent. IX. Œcumenius: Catena (Migne, Patrol. Gr. 119). Mainly abbreviated from Chrysostom, with extracts from others, especially Photius and Theodoret, and notes of his own, exegetical and doctrinal.
Cent. XI. Theophylact: Catena (Migne, Patrol. Gr. 125). Extracts, mainly from Chrysostom, but from a greater variety of previous commentators than in Œcumenius.
Cent. XIII. St. Thomas Aquinas (ed. J. Nicolai, Lugduni, 1689). On the Vulgate, not on the Greek text: a careful examination of the meaning of each Latin word, of the reason why it is used, and of the structure of each sentence and paragraph. He shows a shrewd knowledge of human nature (vid. notes on Titus 1:7-9, Titus 2:1-10), and illustrates from Aristotle and Cicero. His quotations also show the kinship of practical advice between the Epistles and the Wisdom Literature (Proverbs, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus).
Cent. XVI. J. Calvin, Commentarii in NT, Berlin, 1833-1834. Strong clear-headed exegesis, but dominated at times by controversial aims.
Cent. XVIII. **J. A. Bengel, Gnomon Novi Testamenti (Tübingen, 1734, Exo_5, J. C. F. Steudel, 1835). Spiritual, epigrammatic, rich in beauty and suggestiveness.
**J. J. Wetstein, Novum Testamentum Grœcum, Amsterdam, 1751-1752. A repertory of classical illustrations, especially valuable for these Epistles.
Cent. XIX. H. Alford, The New Testament, ed. 5, 1863. Always thoughtful and well balanced.
C. J. Ellicott, The Pastoral Epistles, ed. 4, 1864. Most thorough lexically and grammatically.
**H. J. Holtzmann, Die Pastoral-Briefe, Kritisch und Exegetisch behandelt, Leipzig, 1880. A masterly treatment of the problem, with verdict against the Pauline authorship.
B. Weiss in Meyer’s Kommentar über das NT, Exo_5, Göttingen, 1886. Careful introduction and exegesis.
A. Plummer, The Expositor’s Bible, 1888. Interesting analysis of the subject-matter.
***H. von Soden, Hand-Commentar zum NT, Freiburg, 1891. Quite excellent in scholarly exegesis; the strongest statement of the case against the Pauline authorship.
J. B. Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, London, 1893, Essay xi. “The date of the Pastoral Epistles.”
***Th. Zahn, Einleitung in das NT, vol. i. c. vii., Leipzig, 1897. The most thorough and learned defence of the Pauline authorship.
H. P. Liddon, London, 1897. 1 Timothy only. Careful analysis and good patristic illustrations.
E. Riggenbach, Kurzgef. Komm. z. d. bibl. Schriften, München, 1898. Terse exegesis, with suggestive analysis of the sequence of thought.
**J. H. Bernard, Cambridge Gk. Test., 1899. Thoughtful, interesting, with good knowledge.
F. Field, Otium Norvicense, Pars Tertia, Cambridge, 1899. Excellent examination of a few select passages.
**G. Wohlenberg in Zahn’s Kommentar zum NT, Leipzig, 1906. Very careful work; independent, with subtle analysis of the thought, and interesting classical illustrations.
N. J. D. White in Expositor’s Greek Testament, London, 1910. Thoughtful.
***M. Dibelius in Lietzmann’s Handbuch zum NT, Tübingen, 1913. Terse, pointed notes, with most valuable illustrations from pagan, especially religious sources.
**E. F. Brown, Westminster Commentaries, London, 1917. Useful illustrations from work as a missionary in India.
A. E. Hillard, London, 1919. Excellent on the pastoral spirit.
**R. S. J. Parry, Cambridge, 1920. Most scholarly.
**P. N. Harrison, The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles, Oxford, 1921. Indispensable on the linguistic arguments against the Pauline authorship.
Βλέπε τὴν διακονίαν ἣν παρέλαβες ἐν κυρίῳ, ἵνα αὐτὴν πληροῖς.—Colossians 4:17.
Historical situation. —There is no certain indication of the place at which the letter was written. St. Paul had been with Timothy at Ephesus, or possibly Timothy had come from Ephesus to meet him at some point on a journey that he was making to Macedonia (cf. the situation of Acts 20:17 with 1:3): St. Paul was bound to go forward, but was so much impressed with the dangerous tendency of some false teachers at Ephesus that he pressed Timothy to stay on in order to counteract them. St. Paul has continued his journey to Macedonia, and is perhaps now there: perhaps he has heard that all is not prospering in Ephesus: more probably his natural anxiety prompts him to write, for Timothy is still young (4:12), naturally timid, liable to frequent illnesses (5:23): his hands need strengthening. Paul hopes to be able to return himself soon (3:14), but he may be delayed (3:15, 4:13), so he writes at once (cf. the similar circumstances that led to the writing of 1 Th (2:17-3:5), and also 1 Corinthians 4:17-19, Philemon 1:22), to reinforce his charge about the false teachers, to lay down rules on certain points of public worship and the character of the officers in the Church, and to give Timothy guidance as to his own life and teaching.
General character. —In large parts of the letter the personal and local element is strongly marked—either in allusion to St. Paul’s own life (1:1, 3, 11, 12-16, 2:7, 3:14) or to Timothy’s character and circumstances (1:1, 3, 18, 3:15, 4:6-16, 5:23, 6:11-13, 20) or to local conditions at Ephesus (1:6, 19, 5:15, 6:3-10, 17-19, 21). On the other hand, some sections are quite general and might have been sent to any Church (e.g. 2:1-6, 8-15, 3:1-13, 5:1-16, 6:1, 2), and the greeting is not to Timothy but to the Church. It is probable, therefore, that these parts at least were intended for public reading. It is further possible that the writer was thinking of a wider audience, and intending the more general parts to be circulated among other Churches (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:1, Colossians 4:16): the phrase ἐν πάντι τόπῳ (2:8) lends itself to this theory, and St. Paul was always anxious to secure uniformity of practice and order in his Churches (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:16, 1 Corinthians 14:33). Or the explanation may be slightly different; the general problems discussed in these sections are problems that would arise in every congregation: St. Paul must have had to deal with them again and again: and his teaching would have become stereotyped in some form which could be embodied without change when sent to a particular Church.
Date. —There is no reference to external events to throw any light on the date of writing. On the other hand, the many similarities with the subject and language of Titus prove that it was written about the same time as that Epistle, probably a little after, as the thoughts are fuller here. The similarities between both these Epistles and 1 P (cf. Introd. p. xxiv) point the same way, though the priority of 1 P is doubtful. The use of the Pauline Epistles, especially Ro. and Co., may imply adaptation by a later writer, but is consistent with repetition of the same thoughts by the same writer. The quotation of three “faithful sayings” (1:15, 2:15, 4:9), of a Christian hymn (3:16), of liturgical doxologies (1:17, 6:15, 16), of a Christian prophecy (4:1), the possible allusion to some early form of creed (6:13), and the possible, though not probable, reference to “Scripture” for a saying of the Lord (5:18), all favour a comparatively late date, though not necessarily one later than St. Paul’s life. Hence most editors who favour a non-Pauline authorship place this Epistle as the latest of the three (so von Soden, H. K., p. 154; Moffatt, L.N.T., p. 560; McGiffert., A.A., p. 413).
For the evidence from Church organisation, the false teaching attacked, and the style, cf. pp. xvii ff.
Spiritual value. —(i) The chief contribution which the Epistle makes is the picture of the true Teacher and the true Teaching. The teacher eagerly pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness (6:11), keeping a good conscience (1:19), disciplining himself (4:8), self-controlled in all respects (3:1-3), free from the love of money (3:3, 6:10), a pattern for his people (4:12), controlling his own family well (3:4), treating his church as his own family (5:1-3), growing in courage and boldness of speech (3:13), free from favouritism and impartial in judgment (5:17-25), keeping the commandment without spot, as he remembers God as the source of life and Christ Jesus as the example of courage, and looks forward to His reappearance to judge (5:21, 6:14). There is not the unveiling of the deepest motives of the minister of Christ, such as is found in 2 Co., but there is the practical outcome of such motives.
So, too, with the nature of the teaching: it is healthy and sane (1:10), free from feverish excitement (6:4), its standard and aim is godliness (6:3): it aims always at the central verities, love, faith, truth, a pure heart, a good conscience (1:5, 2:7): it is impatient of aimless speculations, of old wives’ fables, of all that hinders the work of God’s steward (1:4, 4:7): it is loyal to the Apostolic teaching and based on the words of the Lord Jesus and the Gospel of the glory of the blessed God (1:11, 6:3), and falls back quickly on great doctrinal truths (1:15, 2:4, 5, 3:16, 4:10).
(ii) This high spiritual level is consistent with a regulated worship and an organized ministry. In the regulations, worship is first dealt with as giving the keynote for life: in all the churches prayer is to be offered for all mankind and for the rulers, regulations which have influenced all liturgies and have done much to promote a missionary spirit based upon a belief in human nature, and also helped to favourable relations between the Church and the State. This carries the duty of obedience to government as given in Rom_13 to a higher level (2:1-7). The following regulation about the relation of men and women at service does not add to that in 1 Co.
Some organization of the ministry is assumed as already existing, but there is a clearer picture than elsewhere of the relation of the deacon to the “bishop,” of the possibility of passing from one grade to another, a fuller reference to the work of deaconesses and to the order of widows.
But it is a striking fact that a church so organized is not left independent, to deal with its own difficulties: it is subordinate to the Apostle’s delegate, who has to control the teaching, to arrange for the services, to exercise discipline over the presbyters, and for these tasks stress is laid upon his ordination: he has received a definite gift: stress is laid upon its “given-ness” (χάρισμα, ἐδόθη, 4:14): given by prophecy and the laying on of hands of the presbytery: it is in the strength of such prophecies that he is able to war the good warfare (1:18 ἐν αὐταῖς).
Both as a handbook of Church Discipline and Worship, and as a treatise on ministerial character, the Epistle has had a great influence on the services, the organization, and the literature of the Church; cf. Introduction, p. xxxviii.
Analysis of the Epistle
A. 1:1-20. Introduction.
3-20 Appeal to Timothy to have courage to rebuke the false teachers:
1-11 (a) because their teaching does not promote the central spiritual purpose of the true Gospel committed to the writer himself.
12-17 (b) because he himself can tell of power for ministry given to himself though the chief of sinners.
18-20 (c) because of the prophecies about Timothy’s own ministry.
B. 2:1-6:2. General Regulations:
2:1-3:13 (a) for the Church.
2:1-7 (i) the scope of public prayers.
8-15 (ii) the conduct of men and women at public worship.
3:1-13 (iii) the character of ministers: the bishop (1-7); deacons (8-10); deaconesses (11); deacons as aspirants to higher office (12, 13).
3:14-16 Central doctrine. The Person of Christ the source of true religion.
4:1-5 Transition to the following regulations. Danger of the teaching of a false asceticism.
4:6-6:2 (b) for Timothy himself.
4:6-16 (i) his own life and teaching.
5:1-6:2 (ii) his treatment of others; the old and young (5:1, 2); widows (3-16); discipline over presbyters (17-25); slaves (6:1, 2).
C. 6:3-21. Conclusion. Contrast between the false and the true teacher.
3-10 The false teacher misled by the hope of gain.
11-16 Appeal to Timothy to be a true man of God and fight the good fight.
11-13 Based on Timothy’s past confession.
14-16 Based on the example of Christ Jesus and the thought of His return to judge.
17-19 The proper teaching to be given to the rich.
20, 21a Final appeal to Timothy.
1 Mr. E. F. Brown’s Commentary in the Westminster Commentaries is a great proof of the value attached to these Epistles by missionaries working in India.
2 Since the Introduction was in print a fresh test has been applied to the problem of the Pauline authorship. In the Journal of Theological Studies for Oct. 1923, Professor H. J. Rose has examined and classified carefully the clausulœ, the rhythms of the endings of the sentences, in the whole Pauline Corpus, and by comparing those in these Epistles with those predominant in the admittedly genuine Epistles, comes to the conclusion that 2 Timothy is in the main genuine, that Titus is doubtful, and that 1 Timothy is definitely non-Pauline. It is striking that this method of approach should lead to a result very similar to that which had been reached by other methods, and it certainly weakens the case for 1 Timothy. But it is very doubtful whether this rhythmical test, however applicable to set speeches, can be transferred with any confidence to informal letters: Mr. Rose has to admit exceptions to its rigid application; and for it to be conclusive these Epistles should only be compared with the practical sections of the earlier Epistles; the more argumentative or more poetical and rhetorical sections ought not to be thrown into the scales.
1 Clem. Romans 1:1; Justin, Apol. i. 10; Tert. ae Prœscr. Hœr. c. 43. Eusebius, H.E. iv. 7, quoted by Bright, Some Aspects of Primitive Church Life, pp. 140-152, an excellent account of the early Christian ideal.
2 Cf. Brown, The Pastoral Epistles, passim.
1 Hort, The Christian Ecclesia, p. 200.
2 For a full account of the treatment of the Greek cardinal virtues by Philo and by the earliest Christian teachers, cf. Strong, Christian Ethics, Note on Lectures III. and IV.
T. und U. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Altchristlichen Literatur, von Gebhart und Harnack, Leipzig, 1882-1895.
I.C.C. International Critical Commentary.
1 ἐλευθερία and its cognates occur twenty-eight times in the earlier Epistles, ὑποταγή and its cognates twenty-two.
1 Ueber die Sprache in den Pastoralbriefen, von Dr. F. Form, Ztsch. NT Wissenschaft, 1918, p. 229 sqq.
2 Kölling, ap. Weiss, p. 51.
P.B. Die Pastoral Briefe.
Nägeli Das Wortschatz des Apostel’s Paulus, von T. Nägeli, 1905.
The question of the release of St. Paul from the Roman imprisonment of Act_28 is not of primary importance with regard to the authorship of these letters. For (i) either on the supposition of the Pauline or of a non-Pauline authorship it is possible that 2 Timothy 4:9-21 (for which the release is mainly needed) consists of notes written at a different date and incorporated afterwards, whether intentionally or accidentally, by a later editor or scribe. (ii) The arguments from the state of the ecclesiastical organization and from the vocabulary would still remain.
Yet there seems no valid reason for doubting the tradition that St. Paul was released. It is a natural inference from Acts 28:30 (cf. Parry, p. 15); it is at least a possible, though perhaps not the most probable, inference from Clem. Romans 1:5, ἐπὶ τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως ἐλθών: it is the natural interpretation of the Muratorian Canon, “profectionem Pauli ab urbe ad Spaniam”; and if Dr. Gifford (Speakers Comm., Romans, pp. 24-29) is right, as seems very probable, in treating Rom_16 as a letter written by St. Paul to Rome after his release, with messages to the friends whom he had made during the two years’ imprisonment, this supplies first-hand evidence of contemporary date.
Moffatt, Introduction to the Literature of the N.T., by J. Moffatt, 1911.
Souter Novum Testamentum Grœce. Textui a Retractoribus Anglicis adhibito brevem adnotationem criticam subjecit, A. Souter, Oxford, 1910.
W.-H The New Testament in Greek, with Introduction and Appendix, by Westcott and Hort, Cambridge, 1881.
Tischdf. Novum Testamentum Grœce, ed. C. Tischendorf and C. R. Gregory, ed. octava, 1894.