During the course of the time that I served as research assistant to my Doktorvater Andreas Köstenberger, part of my work involved assisting in the preparation of his commentary on 1-2 Timothy & Titus in the new Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series published by B&H. Tom Schreiner produced the inaugural volume on Hebrews in 2015, and this is the second volume to come out in the series. Amazon is not releasing the title until May 1, but I was privileged to get a physical copy a little early.
I recently published a literature review on 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, and made the following comments on this volume:
Forthcoming in 2017 is Köstenberger’s contribution to the new Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series (B&H). The volume consists of a thorough but concise introductory section (each letter also has its own introduction), an exegetical section, and a section on biblical-theological themes in the letters (about two thirds the length of the exegetical section); each section is thoroughly cross-referenced to the others. Köstenberger defends authenticity, dating the letters to c. AD 62–66. He self-consciously designates the letters as “the Letters to Timothy and Titus” over against “Pastoral Epistles” (à la Towner) and emphasizes the need to avoid undue corpus reading, treating the letters as a cluster: related, but distinct. Other important discussions in the introductory material cover Pauline chronology and the social setting of the letters. The introduction to Titus is particularly well-done (including a comparison between Paul’s approach in this epistle and his missionary strategy in Athens), given that the letter often receives short shrift in treatments of the LTT. Of note is the commentary’s very thorough engagement with secondary literature, especially given its size—it is what one would expect from a much larger technical commentary—and students of the letters will find significant help for further research in the footnotes and bibliography. As is common among conservative students of the LTT, Köstenberger rejects the “bourgeois Christianity” (bürgerliches Christentum) reading of the letters popularized by Dibelius and Conzelmann and instead finds an underlying mission motivation driving the paraenesis. The biblical-theological treatment is surprisingly thorough and is longer than Francis Young’s standalone Theology of the Pastoral Letters (which treats the letters pseudonymously), making it one of the lengthiest treatments of the theology of the LTT available and the most robust treatment of the LTT’s themes (as a collection) I have seen. Here, I simply give the themes and subthemes treated:
1. Mission (the Pauline mission, apostolic authority and suffering, apostolic delegates, Paul’s larger mission theology and strategy and the LTT)
2. Teaching (healthy teaching, the truth, the faith, the Word of God, the deposit, trustworthy sayings, Scripture)
3. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and salvation (God, Christ, God and Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit, salvation [need, provision, recipients, nature, reception, results, preservation of believers])
4. The church (church as household of God [order and authority, responsibilities: older and younger men, older and younger women, widows, slaves, the wealthy], church as pillar and foundation of the truth, church and its ministry [tasks: ministry of the word, ministry of caring, ministry of prayer; officers: elders/overseers, deacons; goals of ministry])
5. The Christian life (Christian virtues [love, faith/faithfulness, godliness, self-control], good works [witness, labor/striving, endurance/suffering], good citizenship)
6. The last days (Satan/demons/angels, false teachers and the tribulation of the last days, virtues/vices, need for perseverance, resurrection of believers, appearing of Christ in final judgment and salvation)
7. The LTT and the canon (OT [pattern of . . . apostolic mission, righteous apostolic suffering, apostolic succession, human relationships], Pauline writings [need for balance, congruence with the Pauline mission, similarities and differences], Acts, non-Pauline NT letters)
The value of this work is immediately evident. Each of these treatments is the sort of thing that would comprise an excursus in a typical commentary, or a brief essay in a journal. Here, however, they are an interrelated body of work which also connects with the previous exposition of the letters. The sections on mission and Scripture are particularly robust, but each section is valuable in its discussion of a particular theme in the LTT along with its larger biblical-theological connections.
Although Dr. Köstenberger is doubtless better known for his work as a Johannine scholar, his commentary is the culmination of a good bit of work that he has done on these letters over time, in addition to the focused research in hundreds of sources which fed directly into this tome. I give here (as I am wont to do!) his previous published work in these letters (listed chronologically):
“Gender Passages in the NT: Hermeneutical Fallacies Critiqued.” Westminster Theological Journal 56 (1994): 259–83. [engages 1 Tim 2:9-15 at a number of points]
“A Complex Sentence Structure in 1 Timothy 2:12.” Pages 81–103 in Women in the Church: An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9–15. Edited by Andreas J. Köstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995.
“Syntactical Background Studies to 1 Timothy 2:12 in the New Testament and Extrabiblical Greek Literature.” Pages 156–79 in Discourse Analysis and Other Topics in Biblical Greek. Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Donald A. Carson. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1995.
“Ascertaining Women’s God-Ordained Roles: An Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:15.” BBR 7 (1997): 107–44.
“The Crux of the Matter: Paul’s Pastoral Pronouncements Regarding Women’s Roles in 1 Timothy 2:9-15.” Faith and Mission 14.1 (1997): 24-48. Repr., pages 233-60 in Studies in John and Gender: A Decade of Scholarship. Studies in Biblical Literature 38. New York: Peter Lang, 2001.
Review of Jerome Quinn and William Wacker, The First and Second Letters to Timothy, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44 (2001): 549–50.
Review of I. Howard Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44 (2001): 550–53.
Review of J. M. Holmes, Text in a Whirlwind, Review of Biblical Literature (2001), http://www.bookreviews.org/Reviews/184127127.html.
“Women in the Church: A Response to Kevin Giles.” Evangelical Quarterly 73 (2001): 205–24.
Review of William Mounce, The Pastoral Epistles, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 45 (2002): 365–66.
“Hermeneutical and Exegetical Challenges in Interpreting the Pastoral Epistles.” The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 7.3 (2003): 4–17.
“A Complex Sentence: The Syntax of 1 Timothy 2:12.” Pages 53–84 in Women in the Church: An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:12. 2nd ed. Edited by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005.
“‘Teaching and Usurping Authority: I Timothy 2:11–15’ by Linda L. Belleville.” Journal of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood 10.1 (Spring 2005): 43–54.
“1 & 2 Timothy, Titus.” Pages 467–625 in vol. 12 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.
“The Use of Scripture in the Pastoral and General Epistles and the Book of Revelation.” Pages 230–54 in Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament. Edited by Stanley E. Porter. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006.
“The Syntax of 1 Timothy 2:12: A Rejoinder to Philip B. Payne.” Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 14 (2009): 37–40.
“Hermeneutical and Exegetical Challenges in Interpreting the Pastoral Epistles.” Pages 1-27 in Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles. Edited by Andreas J Köstenberger and Terry L. Wilder. Nashville: B&H: 2010.
“A Complex Sentence: The Syntax of 1 Timothy 2:12.” Pages 117–61 in Women in the Church: An Interpretation and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9–15. 3rd ed. Edited by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner. Wheaton: Crossway, 2016.