Oct 12, 2010

One Problem with Denying Pauline Authorship of the Pastorals

Many New Testament scholars have come to the conclusion that the apostle Paul did not write 1-2 Timothy and Titus (a.k.a. the Pastoral Epistles). Personally, I think that there are a number of problems with this conclusion textually, theologically, and pastorally. But there is also a problem related to the study of the Pastorals, or perhaps better, the lack of study on the Pastorals. As Aldred Genade notes in a recent article, "The link between the authorship debate and the evident neglect of the Pastoral Epistles generally and Titus specifically is beyond dispute" (p. 49). This is even more troubling since New Testament scholarship seems to have plenty to say these days about extra-biblical literature, and yet have neglected the Pastorals (Ibid). An informal search of the program for this years Society of Biblical Literature meeting seems to confirm this. Out of the hundreds (?) of papers scheduled for this years meeting there are two papers dealing with 1 Timothy, two papers on 2 Timothy, and one paper related to Titus.

Aldred Genade, "The Better to Titus in Recent Scholarship: A Critical Overview," Currents in Biblical Research (2010); 48-82. 


Richard Fellows said...

NT studies is important because it sheds light on the origins of Christianity. The PE, since they were written in the 2nd century or late first century, can tell us a lot less than the genuine letters of Paul about the origins of Christianity. So it makes sense that they should receive less attention. Date of composition IS important, otherwise we would give equal attention to Hermas and the letter to the Laodiceans, for example.

Charles said...

Even if one grants that you are correct, about non-Pauline authorship of the Pastorals, this still does not explain why they often receive less attention than the Apostolic Fathers for example as sources for early Christianity. This is noted in the the CBR that I reference in the post.