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Timothy, First Epistle to.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
This is the first of the so-called Pastoral Epistles of Paul, and therefore in treating it we shall adduce many points, especially those relating to its authenticity, etc., which are applicable to two, and indeed to all three, of them. (See PAUL).
I. Authorship. — The question whether these epistles were written by Paul was one to which, till within the last half-century, hardly any answer but an affirmative one was thought possible. They are found ascribed to Paul in the Peshito version (2nd century), in the Muratorian fragment, and in the catalogue of Eusebius, who places them among the ὁμολογούμενα. The catalogues of Athanasius, of the Laodicean Council (364), of Cyril, of Epiphanius, and of Jerome contain them, and ascribe them to the apostle. Reminiscences of 1 Timothy occur in Clem. Romans (Epist. 1 Corinthians 29): "Let us draw nigh to him; lifting up pure and undefiled hands" (comp. 1 Timothy 2:8); in Polycarp (Ad Philippen. c. 4) "The root of all evils is covetousness. Knowing that we brought nothing into this world, and can carry nothing out let us put on the armor of righteousness" (comp. 1 Timothy 6:7; 1 Timothy 6:10); and in the letter: of the Church at Vienna and Lyons: "But the fury of the enemy chiefly fell on Attalus, a pillar and ground of our Church" (Eusebius, Hist. Ecclesiastes 5, 1; comp. 1 Timothy 3, 15). To 2 Timothy Ignatius seems to allude when he writes to Polycarp (c. 6), "Please him whose soldiers ye are, and from whom you receive pay" (comp. 2 Timothy 2:4); and Polycarp (Ad Philippen. c. 5) "He has promised us that if we walk worthily of him, we shall reign with him" (comp. 2 Timothy 2:11-12). To the epistle to Titus Ignatius-alludes (Ad Trall. c. 3): "Whose behavior is itself a great lesson of instruction." (The word for "behavior," κατάστημα, occurs in the New Test. only in Titus 2:3). Likewise Clem. Romans (Ephesians 1:2): "Ye were ready for every good work" (comp. Titus 3:1). To, 1 Timothy we have direct testimony in Irenueus (Adv. Hier. 1, 1, 1): "They introduce vain genealogies, which, as the apostle says, ‘ minister' questions, rather than godly edifying, which is ill faith" (comp. 1 Timothy 1:4); in Clem. Alex. (Strom. 2, 383): "Concerning which the apostle writing says, ‘ O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thee' (comp. 1 Timothy 6:20-21); and in Tertull. (De Prcescrip. ficeret. c. 25): "And this word Paul has used to Timothy, O Timothy, keep the deposit'" (comp. ibid.). To 2 Timothy in Irenaeus (Adv. Hcer. 3, 3,3): "The apostles delivered the episcopate to Linus; of which Linus Paul makes mention in those epistles which he wrote to Timothy" (comp. 2 Timothy 4:21); and in Tertull. (Scop. c. 13): "Exulting (i.e. Paul) in the prospect of it, he writes to Timothy, ‘ I am poured out as a drinkoffering; and the time of my departure is at hand'" (comp. 2 Timothy 4:6). To the epistle to Titus in Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. 3, 3, 4): "The apostles would not even in word communicate with those who adulterated the truth, as Paul says, ‘ A heretic after the first admonition reject, knowing that such a one is perverse'" etc. (comp. Titus 3:10-11); in Clem. Alex. (Admon. ad Gent. p. 6) "For as that divine apostle of the Lord says, ‘ The saving grace of God hath appeared unto all men,'" etc. (comp. Titus 2, 11- 13); and in Tertulk (De Prces. c. 6): "Paul, who suggests that a heretic after the first admonition is to be rejected as perverse'" (comp. Titus 3, 10). See also Tertull. (Ad Uxorem, 1, 7), Irenseus (Adv. Haer. 4:16, 3; 2, 14, 8). Parallelisms, implying quotation, in some cases with close verbal agreement, are found likewise in Ignatius, Ad Mgtn. c. 8 (1 Timothy 1:4); Polycarp, c. 4 (comp. 1 Timothy 6:7-8); Theophilus of Antioch, Ad Autol. 3, 126 (comp. 1 Timothy 2:1-2). Later testimony is so abundant that it is needless to adduce it. Thus the external testimony, indirect and direct, to the three epistles is, so far as the Church is concerned; as strong as to any portion of Scripture. It must not be concealed that they were rejected by some of the Gnostic heretics, as Marcion and Basilides (see Tertull. Adv. Mar. 5, 21; Jerome, Prolog. ad Titus). Tatian accepted the Epistle to Titus, but rejected those to Timothy. The contents of the epistles sufficiently account for the repugnance of the Gnostic teachers to admit their genuineness. Origen mentions (Comment. in Matthew p. 117) some who rejected 2 Timothy on account of the allusion to the apocryphal story of Jannes and Jambres (3, 8), which they considered unworthy of an apostle.
The Pastoral Epistles have, however, been subjected to a more elaborate scrutiny by the criticism of Germany. The first doubts were uttered by J. C. Schmidt. These were followed by the Sendschreiben of Schleiermacher, who, assuming the genuineness of 2 Timothy and Titus, undertook, on that hypothesis, to prove the spuriousness of 1 Timothy Bolder critics saw that the position thus taken was untenable, that the three epistles must stand or fall together. Eichhorn (Eileitf. 3) and De Wette (Einleit.) denied the Pauline authorship of all three. There: was still, however, an attempt to maintain their authority as embodying the substance of the apostle's teaching, or of letters written by him, on the hypothesis that they had been sent forth after his death by some over-zealous disciple, who wished, under the shadow of his name, to attack the prevailing errors of the time (Eichhorn, ibid.). One writer (Schott, isagoge Hist. — crit. p. 324) ventures on the hypothesis that Luke was the writer. Baur (Die sogenannten Pastoral-Bsriefe), here as elsewhere more daring than others, assigns them to no earlier period than the latter half of the 2nd century, after the death of Polycarp in A.D. 167 (p. 138). On this hypothesis 2 Timothy was the earliest, 1 Timothy the latest of the three, each probably by a different writer (p. 72-76)., They grew out of the state of parties in the Church of Rome, and, like the Gospel of Luke and the Acts were intended to mediate between the extreme Pauline and the extreme Petrine sections of the Church (p. 58). Starting from the data supplied by the Epistle to the Philippians, the writers, first of 2 Timothy, then of Titus, and lastly of 1 Timothy, aimed, by the insertion of personal incidents, messages, and the like, at giving to their compilations an air of verisimilitude (p. 70). It will be seen from the above statement that the question of authorship is here more than usually important. There can be no solution as regards these epistles like that of an obviously dramatic and therefore legitimate personation of character, such as is possible in relation to the authorship of Ecclesiastes. If the Pastoral Epistles are not Pauline, the writer clearly meant them to pass as such, and the animus decipiendi would be there in its most flagrant form. They would have to take their place with the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, or the Pseudo-Ignatian Epistles. Where we now see the traces, full of life and interest, of the character of "Paul the aged," firm, tender, zealous, loving, we should have to recognize only the tricks, sometimes skilful, sometimes clumsy, of some unknown and dishonest controversialist. Consequences such as these ought not, it is true, to lead us to suppress or distort one iota of evidence. They may well make us cautious, however, in examining the evidence, not to admit conclusions that are wider than the premises, nor to take the premises themselves for granted. The task of examining is rendered in some measure easier by the fact that, in the judgment of most critics, hostile as well as friendly, the three Pastoral Epistles stand on the same ground. The intermediate hypotheses of Schleiermacher (supra) and Credser (Einleit. ins N.T.), who looks on Titus as genuine, 2 Timothy as made up out of two genuine letters, and 1 Timothy as altogether spurious, may be dismissed as individual eccentricities, hardly requiring a separate notice. In dealing with objections which take a wider range we are meeting those also which are confined to one or two out of the three epistles.
(I.) Objections to these Epistles in General. — The chief elements of the alleged evidence of spuriousness in the three Pastoral Epistles may be arranged as follows:
1. Language. — The style, it is urged, is different from that of the acknowledged Pauline Epistles. There is less logical continuity, a want of order and plan, subjects brought up, one after the other, abruptly (Schleiermacher). Not less than fifty words, most of them striking and characteristic, are found in these epistles which are not found in Paul's writings (see the list in Conybeare and Howson, App. I, and Huther, Einleit.). The formula of salutation (χάρις ἔλεος, εἰρήνη ), half-technical words and phrases like εὐσέβεια and its cognates (1 Timothy 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 6:6 et al.), παρακαταθήκη (1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 2:2), the frequently recurring πιστὸς ὁ λόγος (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11), the use of ὑγιαίνουσα as the distinctive epithet of a true teaching-these and others like them appear here for the first time (Schleiermacher and Baur). Some of these words, it is urged, φανεροῦν, ἐπιφάνεια, σωτήρ, φῶς ἀπρόσιτον, belong to the Gnostic terminology of the 2nd century.
On the other side it may be said
(1.) that there is no test so uncertain as that of language and style thus applied; how uncertain we may judge from the fact that Schleiermacher and Neander find no stumbling-blocks in 2 Timothy and Titus, while they detect an un-Pauline character in 1 Timothy A difference like that which marks the speech of men divided from each other by a century may be conclusive against the identity of authorship; but, short of that, there is hardly any conceivable divergency which may not coexist with it. The style of one man is stereotyped, formed early, and enduring long. The sentences move after an unvarying rhythm; the same words recur. That of -another changes, more or less, from year to year. As liis thoughts expand, they call for a new vocabulary. The last works of such a writer, as those of Bacon and of Burke, may be florid, redundant, figurative, while the earlier were almost meager in their simplicity. In proportion as the man is a solitary thinker, or a strong assertor of his own will, will he tend to the former state. In proportion to his power of receiving impressions from without, of sympathizing with others, will be his tendency to the latter. Apart from all knowledge of Paul's character, the alleged peculiarities are but of little weight in the adverse scale. With that knowledge we may see in them the natural result of the intercourse with men in many lands, of that readiness to become all things to all men, which could hardly fail to show itself in speech as well as in action. Each group of his epistles has, in like manner, its characteristic words and phrases.
(2.) If this is true generally, it is so yet more emphatically when the circumstances of authorship are different. The language of a bishop's charge is not that of his letters to his private friends. The epistles which Paul wrote to the churches as societies might well differ from those which he wrote, in the full freedom of open speech, to a familiar friend, to his own "true son." It is not strange that we should find in the latter a Luther- like vehemence of expression (e.g. κεκαυστηριασμένων , 1 Timothy 4:2; διαπαρατριβαὶ διεφθαρμένων ἀνθρώπων τὸν νοῦν, 1 Timothy 6:5; σεσωρευμένα ἁμαρτίαις, 2 Timothy 3:6), mixed sometimes with words that imply that which few great men have been without, a keen sense of humor, and the capacity, at least, for. satire (e.g. γραώδεις μύθους , 1 Timothy 4:7; φλύαροι καὶ περίεργοι, 1 Timothy 5:13; τετύφωται , 1 Timothy 6:4; γαστέρες ἀργαί, Titus 1:12).
(3.) Other letters, again, were dictated to an amanuensis. These have every appearance of having been written with his own hand, and this call hardly have been without its influence on their style, rendering it less diffuse, the transitions more abrupt, the treatment of each subject more concise. In this respect it may be compared with the other two autograph epistles, those to the Galatians and Philemon. A list of words given by Alford (vol. 3, Prole. ch. 7) shows a considerable resemblance between the first of these two and the Pastoral Epistles.
(4.) It may be added that to whatever extent a forger of spurious epistles would be likely to form his style after the pattern of the recognized ones, so that men might not be able to distinguish the counterfeit from the true, to that extent the diversity which has been dwelt on is, within the limits that have been above stated, not against, but for, the genuineness of these epistles.
(5.) Lastly, there is the positive argument that there is a large. common element, both of thoughts and words, shared by these epistles and the others. The grounds of faith, the law of life, the tendency to digress and go off at a word, the personal, individualizing affection, the free reference to his own sufferings for the truth, all these are in both, and by them we recognize the identity of the writer. The evidence can hardly be given within the limits of this article, but its weight will be felt by any careful student. The coincidences are precisely those in most instances, which the forger of a document would have been unlikely to think of, and give but scanty support to the perverse ingenuity which sees in these resemblances a proof of compilation, and therefore of spuriousness.
2. Anachronism. — It has been urged (chiefly by Eichhorn, Einleit. p. 315) against the reception of the Pastoral Epistles that they cannot be fitted into the records of Paul's life in the Acts: — This there is a threefold answer.
(1.) The difficulty has been enormously exaggerated. If the dates assigned to them must, to some extent, be conjectural, there are; at least, two hypotheses in each case (infira) which rest on reasonably good grounds.
(2.) If the difficulty were as great as it is said to be, the mere fact that we cannot fix the precise date of three letters in the life of one of whose ceaseless labors and journeyings we have, after all, but fragmentary records; ought not to be a stumbling-block. The hypothesis of a release from the imprisonment with which the history of the Acts ends removes all difficulties; and if this be rejected (Baur, p. 67), as itself not resting on sufficient evidence, there is, in any case, a wide gap of which we know nothing. It may at least claim to be a theory, which explains phenomena.
(3.) Here, as before, the reply is obvious, that a man composing counterfeit epistles would have been likely to make them square with the acknowledged records of the life.
3. Ecclesiasticism. — The three epistles present, it is said, a more developed state of Church organization and doctrine than that belonging to the lifetime of Paul.
(1.) The rule that the bishop is to be "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6) indicates the strong Opposition to second marriages which characterized the 2nd century (Baur, p. 113-120).
(2.) The "younger widows" of 1 Timothy 5:11 cannot possibly be literally widows. If they were, Paul, in advising them to marry, would be excluding them, according to the rule of 1 Timothy 5:9, from all chance of sharing in the Church's bounty. It follows, therefore, that the word χῆραι is used, as it was in the 2nd century, in a wider sense, as denoting a consecrated life (Baur, p. 42-49).
(3.) The rules affecting the relation of the bishops and elders indicate a hierarchic development characteristic of the Petrine element, which became dominant in the Church of Rome in the postapostolic period, but foreign altogether to the genuine epistles of Paul (Baur, p. 80-89).
(4.) The term αἱρετικός is used in. its later sense, and a formal procedure against the heretic is recognized, which belongs to the 2nd century rather than the first.
(5.) The upward progress from the office of deacon to that of presbyter, implied in 1 Timothy 3, 13, belongs to a-later period (Baur, loc. cit.).
(6.) On 2 Timothy 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:2, see below.
It is not difficult to meet objections which contain so large an element of mere arbitrary assumption.
(1.) Admitting Baur's interpretation of 1 Timothy 3:2 to be the right one, the rule which makes monogamy a condition of the episcopal office is very far removed from the harsh, sweeping censures of all second marriages which we find in Athenagoras and Tertullian.
(2.) There is not a shadow of proof that the younger widows" were not literally such. The χῆραι of the Pastoral Epistles are, like those of Acts 6:1; Acts 9:39, women dependent on the alms of the Church, not necessarily deaconesses, or engaged in active labors. The rule fixing the age of sixty for admission is all but conclusive against Baur's hypothesis.
(3.) The use of ἐπίσκοποι and πρεσβύτεροι in the Pastoral Epistles as equivalent (Titus 1:5; Titus 1:7), and the absence of any intermediate order between the bishops and deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-8), are quite unlike what we find in the Ignatian Epistles and other writings of the 2nd century. They are in entire agreement with the language of Paul (Acts 20:17; Acts 20:28; Philippians 1, 1). Few features of these epistles are more striking than the absence of any high hierarchic system.
(4.) The word αἱρετικός; has its counterpart in the αἱρέσεις of 1 Corinthians 11:19. The sentence upon Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:20) has a precedent in that of 1 Corinthians 5:5.
(5.) The best interpreters ‘ do not see in 1 Timothy 3:13 the transition from one office to another (comp. Ellicott, adloc., and (See DEACON) ). If it is there, the assumption that such a change is foreign to the apostolic age is entirely an arbitrary one.
4. Heresiology. — Still greater stress is laid on the indications of a later date in the descriptions of the false teachers noticed in the Pastoral Epistles. These point, it is said, unmistakably to Marcion and his followers. In the ἀντιθέσεις τῆς ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως (1 Timothy 6:20) there is a direct reference to the treatise which he wrote under the title of'Ἀντιθέσεις setting forth the contradiction between the Old and New Test. (Baur, p. 26). The "genealogies" of 1 Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9 in like manner point to the eons of the Valentinians and Ophites (ibid. p. 12). The "forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats," fits in to-Varcion's system, not to that of the Judaizing teachers of Paul's time (ibid. p. 24). The assertion that "the law is good" (1 Timothy 1:8) implies a denial, like that of Marcion, of its divine authority. The doctrine that the "resurrection was past already" (2 Timothy 2, 18) was thoroughly Gnostic in its character. In his eagerness to find tokens of a later date everywhere, Baur sees in the writer of these epistles not merely an opponent of Gnosticism, but one ill part infected with their teaching, and appeals to the doxologies of 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:15, and their Christology throughout, as having a Gnostic stamp on them (p. 28-33).
Carefully elaborated as this part of Baur's attack has been, it is, perhaps, the weakest and most capricious of all. The false teachers of the Pastoral Epistles are predominantly Jewish, νομοδιδάσκαλοι (1 Timothy 1:7), belonging altogether to a different school from that of Marcion, giving heed to "Jewish fables" (Titus 1:4) and" disputes connected with the law" (Titus 3:9). Of all monstrosities of exegesis few are more willful and fantastic than that which finds in νομοδιδάσκαλοι Antinomian teachers, and in μαχαὶ νομικαί Antinomian doctrine (Baur, p. 17). The natural suggestion that in Acts 20:30-31 Paul contemplates the rise and progress of a like perverse teaching; that in Colossians 2, 8-23 we have the same combination of Judaism and a self-styled γνῶσις (1 Timothy 6:20) or φιλοσοφία (Colossians 2:8), leading to a like false asceticism, is set aside summarily by the rejection both of the speech and the epistle as spurious. Even the denial of the resurrection, we may remark, belongs as naturally to the mingling of a Sadducaean element with an Eastern mysticism as to the teaching of Marcion. The self-contradictory hypothesis that the writer of 1 Timothy is at once the strongest opponent of the Gnostics, and that he adopts their language, need hardly be refuted. The whole line of argument, indeed; first misrepresents the language of Paul in these epistles and elsewhere, and then assumes the entire absence from the 1st century of even the germs of the teaching which characterized the 2nd (comp. Neander, P. flaz. und Leit. 1, 401; Heydenreich, p. 64).
(II.) Special Objections to the First Epistle. — The most prominent of these are the following:
1. That it presents Timothy in alight in which it is inconsistent with other notices of him in Paul's epistles to regard him. Here he appears as little better than a novice, needing instruction as to the simplest affairs of ecclesiastical order; whereas in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, written earlier than this, we find him (1 Corinthians 4:17) described by Paul as "My beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every Church;" and in 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 we are told that the apostle had sent him to Thessalonica to establish the believers there, and to comfort them concerning their faith. If Timothy was so well able to regulate the churches at Corinth and Thessalonica, how, it is asked, can it be supposed that a short while afterwards he should require such minute instructions for his conduct as this epistle contains? To this it may be replied,
(1) that in visiting Corinth and Thessalonica Timothy acted as the apostle's delegate, and had, doubtless, received from him minute instructions as to how he should proceed among those to whom he was sent; so that the alleged difference in the circumstances of Timothy when sent to Corinth and when left in Ephesus disappears;
(2) that it does not necessarily follow from the injunctions given to Timothy in this epistle that the writer regarded him as a novice, for they rather respect the application of general principles to peculiar local circumstances than set forth instructions such as a novice would require; and
(3) it is not to be forgotten that the apostle designed through Timothy to present to the Church at large a body of instruction which should be useful to it in all ages of its existence.
2. It is objected that after the Church at Ephesus had enjoyed the apostle's instructions and presidency for three years it could not have been, at the time this epistle is supposed to have been written by Paul, in such ignorance of ecclesiastical arrangements as the injunctions here given would lead us to suppose. — But what is there in the epistle that necessitates such a supposition ? It contains many directions to Timothy how lie should conduct himself in a church, some of which are certainly of an elementary character, but there is nothing that leads to the conclusion that they were all intended for the benefit of the Church at Ephesus, or that the state of that Church was such as to require that injunctions of this kind should be given for its sake alone. Timothy's sphere of evangelistic effort extended greatly beyond Ephesus; and this epistle was designed at once to guide him as to what he was to do in the churches which he might be called to regulate, and to supply his authority for so doing. Besides, does it not naturally occur that such minute injunctions are just such as a person forging this epistle at a later period in Paul's name would be most likely to avoid?
3. The absence of allusions to events in Timothy's history has been allege against the Pauline origin of this epistle. A strange objection and as untenable as strange! This may be seen by a reference to the following passages: 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Timothy 5:23; 1 Timothy 6:12.
4. It is alleged that the writer of this epistle has made such a mistake as Paul could not have made when he classes Alexander with Hymenueus (1 Timothy 1:20) as a false Christian, whereas we know from 2 Timothy 4:14 that he was not a Christian at all. But where is the shadow of evidence that the Alexander mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20 is the same person with the Alexander mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:14? Was this name so uncommon in Ephesus that we must needs suppose a blunder where a writer speaks of one so called as a heretic simply because, in other passages, mention is made of one so called who was not a heretic? Nothing can be more obvious than that there were two Alexanders, just as there might have been twenty, known to the apostle and Timothy; and that of these two one was a heretic and troubler of the Church at Ephesus, and the other probably a heathen and an enemy of the apostle.
5. In 1 Timothy 1:20 mention is made of Hymenaeus as a heretic whom the writer makes Paul say he had excommunicated; but this is a mistake, for in 2 Timothy 2:17 we find Hymenaeus still a member of the Church at Ephesus, and such a mistake could not have been made by Paul. Here, however, it is assumed without proof (1) that the Hymenaeus of the one epistle is the same as the Hymenaeus of the other; (2) that, being the same, he was still a member of the same Church; and (3) that it was impossible for him, though excommunicated, to have returned as a penitent to the Church and again to have become a plague to it. Here are three hypotheses on which we may account for the fact referred to, and, until they be all excluded, it will not follow that any blunder is chargeable upon the writer of this epistle.
6. In 1 Timothy 6:13 the writer refers to our Lord's good confession before Pontius Pilate. Now of this we have a record in John's Gospel; but, as this was not written in Paul's time, it is urged that this epistle must be ascribed to a later writer. It is easy to obviate any force that may appear to be in this remark by the consideration that all the prominent facts of our Lord's life, and especially the circumstances of his death, were familiarly known by oral communication to all the Christians before the gospels were written. Though, then, John's gospel was not extant in Paul's time, the facts recorded by John Were well known, and might therefore be very naturally referred to in an epistle from one Christian to another. Of our Lord's confession before Pilate we may readily suppose that Paul, the great advocate of the spirituality of the Messiah's kingdom, was especially fond of making use.
7. The writer of this epistle, it is affirmed, utters sentiments in favor of the law, which are not Pauline, and teaches the efficacy of good works in such a way as to be incompatible with Paul's doctrine of salvation by grace. This assertion we may safely meet with a pointed denial. The doctrine of this epistle concerning the law is that it is good if it be used νομίμως , as a law, for the purposes which a moral law is designed to serve; and what is this but the doctrine of the epistles to the Romans and Galatians, where the apostle maintains that in itself and for its own ends the divine law is holy, just, and good, and becomes evil only when put out of its proper place and used for purposes it was never designed to serve (Romans 7:7-12; Galatians 3:21. etc.). What the writer here teaches concerning good works is also in full harmony with the apostle Paul's teaching in his acknowledged epistles (comp. Romans 12; Ephesians, 6 etc.); and if in this epistle there is no formal exposition of the Gospel scheme, but rather a dwelling upon practical duties, the reason may easily be found in the peculiar character of this as a pastoral epistle an epistle of official councils and exhortations to a minister of Christianity.
8. De Wette asserts that 1 Timothy 3, 16 bears marks of being a quotation from a confession or symbol of the Church, of which there were none in Paul's day. But what marks of this does the passage present? The answer is, the use of the word ὁμολογουμένως, a technical word, and the word used by the ecclesiastical writers to designate something in accordance with orthodox doctrine. This is true; but, as technical words are first used in their proper sense, and as the proper sense of ὁμολογουμένως perfectly suits the passage in question, there is no reason for supposing any such later usage as De. Wette suggests. Besides, his argument tells both ways, for one may as well assert that the ecclesiastical usage arose from the terms of this passage as affirm that the terms of this passage were borrowed from ecclesiastical usage.
9. The writer of this epistle quotes as a part of Scripture a passage which occurs only in Luke 10:7; but as Luke had not written his gospel at the time Paul is supposed to have written this epistle, and as it is not the habit of the New-Test. writers to quote from each other in the way they quote from the Old Test., we are bound to suppose that this epistle is the production of a later writer. But does this writer quote Luke 10:7 in the manner alleged? The passage referred to is in Luke 5:18, where we have first a citation from Deuteronomy 25:4, introduced by the usual formula, "The Scripture saith;" and then the writer adds, as further confirmatory of his position, the saying of our Lord which is supposed to be quoted from Luke's gospel. Now we are not bound to conclude that this latter-was adduced by the writer as a part of Scripture. It may be regarded as a, remark of his own, or as some proverbial expression, or as a well-known. saying of Christ's, by which he confirms the doctrine he is establishing. We are under no necessity to extend the formula with which the verse is commenced so as to include in it all that the verse contains. The καί by itself will not justify this; indeed, we may go further, and affirm that the use of καί alone rather leads to an opposite conclusion, for had the writer intended the latter clause to be regarded as a quotation from Scripture as well as the former, he would probably have used some such formula as καὶ πάλιν. (comp. Hebrews 2:13).
10. De Wette maintains that the injunction in 1 Timothy 5:23 is so much beneath the dignity of an apostle that we cannot suppose it to have proceeded from such a writer as Paul. But what is there in such an injunction less dignified than in many injunctions of an equally familiar nature scattered through Paul's epistles? And in what is it incompatible with the apostolic character that one sustaining it ‘ should enjoin upon a young, zealous, and active preacher, whom he esteemed as his own son, a careful regard to his health; the more especially when, by acting as is here enjoined, he would vindicate Christian liberty from those ascetic restraints by which the false teachers sought to bind it?
(III.) Special Objections to the Second Epistle. — Of these the most weighty are founded on the assumption that this epistle must be viewed as written during the apostle's first imprisonment at Rome; and as, for reasons to be subsequently stated, we do not regard this assumption as tenable, it will not be necessary to occupy space with any remarks upon them. We may leave unnoticed also those objections to this epistle which are mere repetitions of those urged against the first, and which admit of similar replies.
1. In 1 Timothy 3:11, the writer enumerates a series of persecutions and afflictions which befell 1lim at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, of which he says Timothy knew. Would Paul, it is asked, in making such an enumeration, have committed the mistake of referring to persecutions which he had endured before his connection with Timothy, and have said nothing of those which he endured subsequently, and. of which Timothy must have known, while of the former he might be ignorant? But there is no mistake in the matter. Paul has occasion to refer to the knowledge Timothy had of his sufferings for the Gospel. Of these some had occurred before Timothy's connection with him, while others had occurred while Timothy was his companion and fellow sufferer. Of the latter, therefore, Paul makes no specific mention, feeling that to be unnecessary; but of the former, of which Timothy could know only by hearsay, but of which he no doubt did know. for we cannot conceive that any interesting point in Paul's previous history would be unknown to his "dear son in the faith," he makes specific enumeration. This fully accounts for his stopping short at the point where Timothy's personal experience could amply supply the remainder.
2. The declaration in 1 Timothy 4:7, etc., is incompatible with what Paul says of himself in Philippians 3:12, etc. But respect must be had to the very different circumstances in which the apostle was when he wrote these two passages. In the one case he viewed himself as still engaged in active work, and having the prospect of service before him; in the other he regards himself as very near to death, and shortly about to enter into the presence of his master. Surely the same individual might in the former of these cases speak of work yet to do, and in the latter of his work as done, without any contradiction.
3. In 1:6 and 2:2 there are pointed allusions to ecclesiastical ceremonies which betray a later age than that of Paul. This is said without reason; the laying-on of hands in the conferring of a χάρισμα was altogether an apostolic usage; and the hearing of Paul's doctrines was what Timothy, as his companion in travel, could easily enjoy, without our needing to suppose that the apostle is here represented as acting the part of professor in a school of theology.
Full particulars on this discussion will be found in the introductions of Alford, Wordsworth, Huther, Davidson, Wiesinger, and Hug. Conybeare and Howson (App. I) give a good tabular summary both of the objections to the genuineness of the epistles and of the answers to them, and a clear statement in favor of the later date. The most elaborate argument in favor of the earlier is to be found in Lardner, History of Apost. and Evang. (Works, 6:315-375). See also the introductions of Hainlein, Michaelis, Eichhorn, De Wette, Bertholdt, Guericke, Schott, etc.; Schleiermacher, Ueber den sogenaunnten erstenz Brief des Paulus an den Timotheos, ein kritisches Sendschreiben an J. C. Gass (Berl. 1807, 12mo); Planck, Bemerkungen iiber d. ersten Paulin. Brief an d. Timothy (Gö tt. 1808, 8vo); Beckhaus, Specimen Obss. Crit. — exeget. de Vocabulis ἃπαχ λεγομένοις in Lad Timothy Ep. Paulina obviis, Authentia ejus nihil det- ahentibus (Lingae, 1810, 8vo); Curtius, De Tempore quo prior Pauli ad Timothy Epist. exarata sit (Berol. 1828, 8vo); Otto, Die geschichtl. Veroialtnisse der Past. — Briefe (Leips. 1860, 8vo).
II. Date. — The direct evidence on this point is very slight.
(a.) 1 Timothy 1:3 implies a journey of Paul from Ephesus to Macedonia, Timothy remaining behind.
(b.) The age of Timothy is described as νεότης (1 Timothy 4:12).
(c.) The general resemblance between the two epistles indicates that they were written at or about the same time. Three hypotheses have been maintained as fulfilling these conditions.
1. The journey in question has been looked-upon as an unrecorded episode in the two years work at Ephesus (Acts 19:10). This conjecture has the merit of bringing the epistle within the limit of the authentic records of Paul's life, but it has scarcely any other. Against it we may urge that a journey to Macedonia would hardly have been passed over in silence either by Luke in the Acts, or by Paul himself in writing to the Corinthians. Indeed, the theory of unrecorded travels of this kind is altogether gratuitous. There is no period after the formal appointment of Paul as a missionary during which it was possible, so fully have we the itinerary of the apostle; unless, indeed, it be the long residence in Ephesus, that favorite resort of theorists as to imaginary journeys; and so entirely was Paul occupied with local labors there that it is wholly excluded even at that time.
2. This journey has been identified with the journey after the tumult at Ephesus (Acts 20:1). Against this conjecture is the palpable fact that Timothy, instead of remaining at Ephesus when the apostle left, had gone on into Macedonia before him (Acts 19:22). The hypothesis of a possible return is traversed by the fact that he was with Paul in Macedonia at the time when 2 Corinthians was written and sent off. To obviate this objection, it has been suggested that Paul might have written this epistle immediately after leaving Ephesus, and the second to the Corinthians not before the concluding period of his stay in Macedonia; so that Timothy might have visited him in the interval. This appears to remove the difficulty, but it does so by suggesting a new one; for how, on this supposition, are we to account for the apostle's delaying so long to write to the Corinthians after the arrival of Titus, by whose intelligence, concerning the state of the Corinthian Church, Paul was led to address them? It may be asked, also, if it be likely that Timothy, after receiving such a charge as Paul gives him in this epistle, would so soon have left Ephesus and followed the apostle.
An attempt has been made by Otto (Die geschichtl. Verhalt. p. 23 sq.) to avoid the difficulty in 1 Timothy 1 by translating it thus, "As I in Ephesus exhorted thee to stand fast, so do thou, as thou goest to Macedonia, enjoin on some not to adhere to strange doctrines," etc. The passage is thus made to refer to Timothy's going to Macedonia, not to the apostle's, and the occasion of his going is referred to the journey mentioned (Acts 19:21-22), with which the visit to Corinth mentioned (1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 16:10), is made to synchronize. The date of 1 Timothy is thus placed before that of 1 Corinthians. All this, however, rests on a rendering of 1 Timothy 1, 3 which, in spite of much learned disquisition, its author has failed to vindicate.
3. The journey in question has been placed in the interval between Paul's first and second imprisonments at Rome. In favor of this conjecture as compared with the preceding is the internal evidence of the contents of the epistle. The errors against which Timothy is warned are present, dangerous, and portentous. At the time of Paul's visit to Miletus in Acts 20:1.e., according to those hypotheses, subsequent to the epistle, they are still only looming in the distance (Acts 20:30). All the circumstances referred to, moreover, imply the prolonged absence of the apostle. Discipline had become lax, heresies rife, the economy of the Church disordered. It was necessary to check the chief offenders by the sharp sentence of excommunication (1 Timothy 1:20). Other churches called for his counsel and directions, or a sharp necessity took him away, and he hastens on, leaving behind him, with full delegated authority, the disciple in whom he most confided. The language of the epistle-also has a bearing on the date. According to the two preceding hypotheses, it belongs to the same periods as 1 and 2 Corinthians and the Epistle to the Romans, or, at the latest, to the same group as Philippians and Ephesians; and in this case the differences of style and language are somewhat difficult to explain. Assume a later date, and then there is room for the changes in thought and expression which, in a character like Paul's, were to be expected as the years went by.
The objections to the position thus assigned are the following:
(1.) The second imprisonment itself is not a matter of history. We have elsewhere, however, adduced the evidence as being entirely satisfactory. (See PAUL).
(2.) As the evidence that the apostle took such a journey between his first and second imprisonment is purely hypothetical and inferential, it must be admitted that the hypothesis built upon it as to the date of this epistle rests at the best on somewhat precarious grounds. On the other hand, we know that the apostle did purpose extended tours on his contemplated release from tile first imprisonment (Romans 15:23-24), and that these embraced Asia Minor (Philippians 2:2), as well as Crete (Titus 1:5).
(3.) This hypothesis is directly opposed to the solemn declaration of Paul to the elders of the Church at Ephesus when he met them at Miletum, "I know that ye all shall see my face no more" (Acts 20:25), for it assumes that he did see them again and preached to them. But Paul was not infallible in his anticipations, and we have positive evidence that he did revisit Ephesus (2 Timothy 4:12; comp. Acts 13:20).
(4.) It is opposed by what Paul says (2 Timothy 4:12), from which we learn that at the time this epistle was written Timothy was in danger of being despised as a youth; but this could hardly. be said of him after Paul's first imprisonment, when he must, on the lowest computation, have been thirty years of age. In reply to this, it is sufficient to say that this was young enough for one who was to exercise authority over a whole body of bishop-presbyters, many of them older than himself (1 Timothy 5:1).
(5.) This hypothesis seems, to assume the possibility of churches remaining in and around Ephesus in a state of defective arrangement and order for a greater length of time than we can believe to have been the case. But arguments of this kind are highly insecure, and cannot weigh against historical statements and inferences. On the whole, therefore, we decidedly incline to this position for the journey in question.
The precise date of the first epistle we have, nevertheless, no means of fixing. In Philippians 2:24 the apostle expresses a hope of visiting that Church shortly. Carrying out this intention, he would, after his liberation, proceed, to Macedonia, whence we -must suppose him passing into Asia, and visiting Ephesus (A.D. 60). Thence he may have taken his proposed journey to Spain (Romans 15:24; Romans 15:28), unless he took advantage of his proximity to the West to do so direct from Rome. After, this, and not long before his martyrdom (A.D. 64), this epistle seems to have been written.
III. Place. — In this respect, as in regard to time, 1 Timothy leaves much to conjecture. The absence of any local reference but that in 1:3 suggests Macedonia or some neighboring district. In A and other MSS. in the Peshito, Ethiopic, and other versions, Laodicea is named in the inscription as the place whence it was sent; but this appears to have grown out of a traditional belief resting on very insufficient grounds (and incompatible with the conclusion which has been adopted above) that this is the epistle referred to in Colossians 4:16 as that from Laodicea (Theophyl. ad loc.). The Coptic version, with as little likelihood, states that it was written from Athens (Huther, Einleit.).
IV. Object and Contents. — The design of the first epistle is partly to instruct Timothy in the duties of that office with which he had been entrusted, partly to supply him with credentials to the churches which he might visit, and partly to furnish through him guidance to the churches themselves.
It may be divided into three parts, exclusive of the introduction (1 Timothy 1:1-2) and the conclusion (1 Timothy 6:20-21). In the first of these parts (1 Timothy 1:3-20) the apostle reminds Timothy generally of his functions, and especially of the duties he had to discharge in reference to certain false teachers, who were anxious to bring the believers un der the yoke of the law. In the second (2-4:2) he gives Timothy particular instructions concerning the orderly conducting of divine worship, the qualifications of bishops and deacons, and the proper mode of behaving himself in a church. In the third (1 Timothy 6:3-19) the apostle discourses against some vices to which the Christians at Ephesus seem to have been prone.
V. Structure and Characteristics. — The peculiarities of language, so far as they affect the question of authorship, have already been noticed. Assuming the genuineness of the epistles, some characteristic features common to them both remain to be noticed.
1. The ever-deepening sense in Paul's heart of the Divine Mercy, of which he was the object, as shown in the insertion of ἔλεος in the salutations of both epistles, and in the ἠλεήθην of 1 Timothy 1:13.
2. The greater abruptness of the second epistle. From first to last there is no plan, no treatment of subjects carefully thought out. All speaks of strong overflowing emotion, memories of the past, anxieties about the future.
3. The absence, as compared with Paul's other epistles, of Old-Test. references. This may connect itself with the fact just noticed, that these epistles are not argumentative, possibly also with the request for the "books and parchments" which had been left behind (2 Timothy 4:13). He may have been separated for a time from the ἱερὰ γράμματα , which were ‘ commonly his companions.
4. The conspicuous position of the "faithful sayings" as taking the place occupied in other epistles by the Old-Test. Scriptures. The way in which these are cited as authoritative, the variety of subjects which. they cover, suggest the thought that in them we have specimens of the prophecies of the Apostolic Church which had most impressed themselves on the mind of the apostle, and of the disciples generally. 1 Corinthians 14 shows how deep a reverence he was likely to feel for such spiritual utterances. In 1 Timothy 4:1 we have a distinct reference to them.
5. The tendency of the apostle's mind to dwell more on the universality of the redemptive work of Christ (1 Timothy 2:3-6; 1 Timothy 4:10); his strong desire that all the teaching of his disciples should be "sound" (ὑγιαίνουσα ), commending itself to minds in a healthy state; his feat of the corruption of that teaching by morbid subtleties.
6. The importance attached by him to the practical details of administration. The gathered experience of a long life had taught him that the life and well-being of the Church required these for its safeguards.
7. The recurrence of doxologies (1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:15-16; 2 Timothy 4:18), as from one living perpetually in the presence of God, to whom the language of adoration was as his natural speech.
VI. Commentaries. — The following are the exegetical helps on both epistles to Timothy exclusively; to a few of the most important of which we prefix an asterisk: Megander, Expositio [includ. Titus] (Basil. 1536, 8vo); Wittich, Expositio (Argent. 1542, 8vo); Artopoeus, Scholia (Stuttg. 1545; Basil. 1546, 8vo); Calvin, Commentarius (Genev. 1548, 4to; in French, ibid. 1563, fol.; in English by Tomson, Lond. 1579, 4to; by Pringle, Edinb. 1856, 8vo); Alesius, Disputatio (Lips. 1550-51, 2 vols. 8vo); D'Espence [Romans Cath.], Commentarii (1st Ep. Lutet. 1561, fol.; 1568, 8vo; 2nd Ep. Par. 1564, fol.); Major, Enarrationes (Vitemb. 1563- 64, 2 vols. 8vo); Hyper, Commentarius [includ. Titus and Philem.] (Tigur. 1582, fol.); Magalian [R. C.], Commentarii [includ. Titus] (Lugd. 1609, 4to); Sotto [R. C.], Commentarius (includ. Titus] (Par. 1610, fol.); Stewart [R. C.], Commentarius (Ingolst. 1610-11,2 vols. 4to); Weinrich, Commentarius (Lips. 1618, 4to); Scultetus, Observationes [includ. Titus and Philem.] (Francof. 1624; Vitemb. 1630, 4to); Gerhard, Adnotationes (Jen. 1643, 1666; Lips. 1712, 4to); Nethen, Disputatio (Ultraj. 1655, 4to); Habert ER. C.], Expositio [includ. Titus and Philem.] (Par. 1656, 8vo); Daille, Expositiona [French] (Genev. 1659-61, 3 vols. 8vo); Cocceius, Com
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Timothy, First Epistle to.'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​t/timothy-first-epistle-to.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.