Posted by: chuckbumgardner | August 2, 2012

Reading Report, July 2012

This was the first month that I really hit my Ph.D. reading hard.  I have something over 7300 pages of assigned reading this semester (not including, of course, any reading I do for papers), and I’m glad I have a bit of time to get a jump on it before classes start!  Most of July’s reading consisted of working through Philip Towner’s commentary on 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, and reading that I did on the side to supplement Towner.

Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace (10th Edition)

7/28/12  Joseph M. Williams and Gregory G. Colomb. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. 10th ed. Boston: Longman, 2010.   I and every teacher who has read my academic writing wish that I had read this book much earlier than I did.  Williams and Colomb are absolutely outstanding.   Highly recommended.  This book was both nourishing and delicious.  I needed the lessons in clarity and grace that it skillfully provided.

The Craft of Research, Third Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)7/23/12  Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. 3d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.  Kindle edition.  Booth, Colomb, and Williams have produced an excellent general-purpose guide to help researchers in any field produce clear and logically coherent research reports.  I repeatedly experienced “aha!” moments as the authors explained (among many other things) why the way I write never seemed as lucid as I desired.  The Craft of Research is not a grammatical handbook nor a style manual; matters of grammar, spelling, punctuation, formal style and the like are mentioned only incidentally.  The book does, however, expertly teach the researcher how to plan a research project (chapters 3-6), assemble a research argument (chapters 7-11), and write and revise a research paper (chapters 12-17).  The authors close the body of the work with some comments on research ethics, a few suggestions for teachers, and a thorough discipline-specific bibliography on various aspects of the research process.

The Letters to Timothy and Titus (New International Commentary on the New Testament)7/21/12  Philip Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus, NICNT (Eerdmans, 2006).  I read this massive (over 800 pages excluding back matter) commentary in preparation for a class on the Pastoral Epistles.  The assigned reading was actually George Knight’s NIGTC commentary, but I wanted something newer and one that interacted more with backgrounds than Knight’s did.  Towner played a major role in Marshall’s 1999 ICC commentary on the Pastorals (which I’ve found to be the best go-to volume for grammatical matters in the Greek text of the Pastorals), and his NICNT volume provides the fruit of an 7 additional years of thought on top of that earlier effort.  Towner is an egalitarian, and it was instructive to read his arguments in that regard as he commented on pertinent passages.  This commentary was worth reading.

Let Wives Be Submissive: The Domestic Code in I Peter (Society of Biblical Literature, Monograph Series, No. 26)7/20/12  David L. Balch, Let Wives Be Submissive: The Domestic Code in 1 Peter, SBLMS 26 (Scholar’s Press, 1981).  I read this treatment because it is a seminal work in dealing with the notion of household codes, and because Verner seems to ground some of his work in Balch’s dissertation.  Balch writes clearly and concisely, showing parallels to the NT “household codes” in Greco-Roman writings from Aristotle on, addressing previous theories of origin of these portions of Scripture.  He argues that 1 Peter is responding not to any formal government persecution of Christians, but to a more informal objection to what would be seen as a particularly subversive practice of Christians — the disturbance of harmony in household and society in general by Christian women/slaves not adhering to the religion of their pagan husbands/masters.

7/17/12  Andreas J. Kostenberger, “‘What Is Truth?’ Pilate’s Question in Its Johannine and Larger Biblical Context,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 48 (2005): 33-62.

7/17/12   J. D. Dvorak, “John H. Elliot’s Social-Scientific Criticism,” Trinity Journal 28 (2007): 251-278.

7/17/12  Bruce Malina, “The Received View and What It Cannot Do: III John and Hospitality,” Semeia 35 (1986): 171-194.

7/17/12  David M. May, “Introduction to Social Scientific Criticism,” in Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament: A Bibliography (Mercer University Press, 1991), 1-11.

7/17/12  Kenneth Berding, “The Hermeneutical Framework of Social-Scientific Criticism: How Much Can Evangelicals Get Involved?” Evangelical Quarterly 75:1 (2003): 3-22.

7/16/12  Beryl Rawson, “‘The Roman Family’ in Recent Research: State of the Question,” Biblical Interpretation 11 (2003): 119-38.  Abstract: “This discussion of developments in the study of the ‘Roman family’ over the past two decades treats familial relationships, domestic space, household/family structure and dynamics, regional differentiation, and other aspects (e.g. Roman law, public life). It observes that the growing dialogue between Romanists and scholars of early Christianity is promising, and that the sparse evidence for early Christianity in Rome in the first two centuries a.d. can be supplemented by archaeological and anthropological analysis of public space and domestic architecture in that city. ”

7/16/12  The Gospel of Luke

7/14/12  David M. Scholer, “Introduction” (xiii-xx), and

E. A. Judge, “The Social Pattern of the Christian Groups in the First Century,” in Social Distinctives of the Christians in the First Century: Pivotal Essays by E. A. Judge, ed. David M. Scholer (Hendrickson, 2008), 1-56.

Judge is a pioneer in the field of social-scientific criticism, and though as Scholer notes, he was eclipsed in some regards by later developments in the field, his essays are well worth reading.  In reading Judge, one feels instinctively that he is reading someone who has mastered his field (and this essay was first published when he was only 32!) and is able to lucidly explain matters to the interested non-specialist.  I read Judge, as his work on the social context, internal social stratification, and external social relations of early Christians seems to underlie certain theories about the social context of the Pastorals.  This early and pivotal essay of Judge’s has a major section on “The Household Community: Oikonomia” (he also addresses “Republican Institutions: Politeia,” and “Unofficial Associations: Koinonia”).  He proposes three stages in the relationship between Christians and the Roman government as reflected in the NT, corresponding with how the Roman government was treating Christians at a given point in time: (1) “a duty of complete obedience to authority on the grounds that it is the instrument of God’s will . . . The government is assumed to be not inimical to the faith, and may even be counted on for protection” (Rom 13:1-7), corresponding to the “Gallio period, when Roman courts would only accept suits against Christians on criminal charges” (53-54); (2) “the authorities are still to be respected, but there is little hope held out of just treatment . . . Efforts are to be concentrated on avoiding any criminal act that would warrant prosecution anyway” (1 Peter, Pastorals), corresponding to the “Nero period, the stage when the Roman authorities had allowed convictions for criminal offences to serve as a precedent for prosecutions on the ground of membership [in the Christian community] alone” (54-55); (3) “the complete exclusion of any responsibility towards the government . . . an apocalyptic denunciation of the temporal power” (Revelation), corresponding to the “Pliny period, the stage when the Romans themselves, in an endeavour to stop an embarrassing spate of prosecutions, tried to prevail upon Christians to make a formal renunciation of their membership in the incriminating society” (55).

7/11/12  John Chrysostom, “Homily VIII” and “Homily IX” on 1 Tim 2:8-10 and 1 Tim 2:11-15 respectively, in A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church (Oxford, 1843), 62-75.

Martin Luther on 1 Timothy 2:9-15 in Luther’s Works, vol. 28, ed. Hilton C. Oswald (Concordia, 1973), 273-280.

John Calvin on 1 Timothy 2:8-15:

7/11/12  Ralph Martin, “Haustafeln,” in NIDNTT, 3:928-32.  Helpful both in tracing research on the matter, as well as providing this definition: “By this term . . . NT scholarship means a body of formalized ethical teaching by which members of the early communities were expected to conform to the standards of their contemporary society, but with a Christian motivation.”

7/11/12  Philip Towner, “Households and Household Codes,” in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (InterVarsity, 1993), 417-19.

7/11/12  Philip Towner, “Household Codes,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments (InterVarsity, 1997), 513-19.  Interesting look at not only the non-Pauline “household codes” but alerted me to look up the ones in 1 Clement, Ignatius, and Didache.  Towner’s perspective summarized: “NT usage of the device demonstrates sensitivity to secular values and in critically adjusting certain features (emphasizing justice and fairness and providing a theological rationale) aimed to direct Christians to a constructive middle ground, avoiding either the simple return to patriarchy or emancipation.” (519)

Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith7/10/12  Peter E. Gillquist, Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith, revised (Conciliar Press, 1992).  A very interesting read about a group of men who became disillusioned with the church scene in the 60’s and early 70’s, and wrestled with their evangelical heritage.  As they studied church history (especially), they became convinced that the Orthodox were on the right track — but weren’t aware of the present-day Orthodox church, and formed their own denomination, the Evangelical Orthodox Church.  Eventually, the Orthodox Church received their denomination into formal fellowship.  In three sections, the book details Gillquist’s journey to embracing Orthodoxy, briefly discusses points of objection that Protestants have to Orthodoxy (e.g., icons, veneration of Mary, using “Father” of priests, the sign of the cross), and describes the EOC’s process of acceptance into formal fellowship with the larger Orthodox Church.

7/10/12  Jennifer Wright Knust, “Paul and the Politics of Virtue and Vice,” in Paul and the Roman Imperial Order, ed. Richard A. Horsley (Trinity Press, 2004), 155-74.  Knust presents Paul as partaking in the then-current “blame” strategy of vilifying his opponents in terms of sexual vice.  Knust reads this as “a critique of both emperor and the Empire,” seeing Paul as implicitly asserting the moral superiority of Christians over (especially) the emperor, who was presented as embodying all that was virtuous: “By the second century, the association of the emperor with the virtues had become a cliché.” (161)  Contrary to this common conception, Knust asserts, according to Paul, “Outsiders, incapable of virtue, can only be wicked, licentious, and avaricious tyrants, incapable of ruling themselves, let alone others.” (164)  While Knust applauds Paul’s opposition to empire, she bemoans the fact that evidently “[t]hough Paul may have rejected Rome and the prevailing imperial order, at the same time he adopted the hierarchical sex-gender-status cultural presuppositions that had previously served to uphold imperial, not Christian, claims to legitimacy.  His critique of Roman imperial pretensions, framed, in part, in terms of sexual virtue and vice, depended upon and reinscribed hierarchical theories of sex and gender that, historically, had been used by Romans and Greeks to claim their own privileged status while undermining the claims of their rivals. . . . By utilizing sexual virtue and vice to delineate the brothers and sisters in Christ from everyone else, Paul participated in this well-worn strategy.” (173)

7/10/12  Lars Hartman, “Some Unorthodox Thoughts on the ‘Household-Code Form’,” in The Social World of Formative Christianity and Judaism, ed. Jacob Neusner, et al. (Fortress, 1988), 219-230.  Provides a brief but helpful historical overview of scholarly treatment of the “household code” form as a literary form.  Raises serious questions as to whether there ever actually was a specific literary form that is today called the “household code.”  Suggests “that we cease confusing a socially given thought pattern with conventionally established literary forms, and furthermore, that we cease drawing hasty conclusions in terms of implied content and situation from literary form or literary shape.” (229)

7/10/12  Stanley K. Stowers, “Social Typification and Classification of Ancient Letters,” in The Social World of Formative Christianity and Judaism, ed. Jacob Neusner, et al. (Fortress, 1988), 78-90.  Stowers argues that it is reductionistic to view Hellenistic and Roman letters through categories based only on form and structure or topoi or phraseology; such classification leads to seeing significant disconnect between the forms in ancient handbooks of letter writing and the forms that are actually found from antiquity.  At one level, Stowers proposes that the classifications in the handbooks were ideals, and that more poorly educated people wrote in similar ways, just down a few levels, and that on the other hand, the various classifications were often or usually “mixed” so that “pure” handbook examples are rarely found for certain classifications.
But going further, Stowers builds on the notion that the letter was “a substitute for personal presence” or “fictionalized personal presence” and were written in the form of direct address, and avers that the handbooks are “chiefly occupied with depicting social situations,” not detailing literary features. (80)  “The handbooks provide samples of such reasons and motivations as are appropriate to the social situation that is typified in each kind of letter.” (81)  In using a handbook, “both the educated and the less educated letter writer would be reminded of the logic of the social code involved in performing some action–for example, praising, thanking, commending, rebuking, requesting–by means of a letter.” (83-84)
So in classifying ancient letters, many have classified them on “the formulaic elements of the prescript and conclusion of letters.”  But the handbooks focus on the body, which “is not mere information to be communicated but rather a medium through which a person performs an action or a social transaction with someone from whom he or she is physically separated.” (85)

7/10/12  N. T. Wright, “Paul’s Gospel and Caesar’s Empire,” in Paul and Politics: Ekklesia, Israel, Imperium, Interpretation, ed. Richard A. Horsley (Trinity Press, 2000), 160-83.  Wright is concerned in this article to show that in Philippians 3, Paul argues “as I, Paul, have rethought my Jewish allegiance in the light of the crucified and risen Jesus, so you should rethink your Roman allegiance in the same light.” (178)  “The evidence now available, including that from epigraphy and archaeology, appears to show that the cult of Caesar, so far from being one new religion among many in the Roman world, had already by the time of Paul’s missionary activity become not only the dominant cult in a large part of the empire, certainly in the parts where Paul was active, but was actually the means (as opposed to overt large-scale military presence) whereby the Romans managed to control and govern such huge areas as came under their sway.  The emperor’s far-off presence was made ubiquitous by the standard means of statues and coins (the latter being the principal mass medium of the ancient world), reflecting his image throughout his domains; he was the great benefactor, through whom the great blessings of justice and peace, and a host of lesser ones besides, were showered outwards upon the grateful populace–who in turn worshipped him, honored him, and paid him taxes.” (161)  Philippians 3:20: “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, the Messiah.”  “These are Caesar-titles.  The whole verse says: Jesus is Lord, and Caesar isn’t.  Caesar’s empire, of which Philippi is a colonial outpost, is the parody; Jesus’ empire, of which the Philippian church is a colonial outpost, is the reality.” (173)  Here is a point which is perhaps applicable to the origin of Scriptural “household codes” or vice/virtue lists which have commonality with those in the broader culture: “just because all things are new in Christ, that does not mean that Christians do not share with their non-Christian pagan neighbors a broad perception of things that are good and things that are evil (Romans 12).  Just as it is wrong to suppose that either Paul was anti-Jewish or he had no critique of any other Jews, so it would be wrong to suppose that either he was opposed entirely to everything to do with the Roman Empire or he was a quisling, a compromiser, going with the flow of the new regime.  Once again, things are not so straightforward.” (178-79).

7/10/12 Joseph Heinemann, “Profile of a Midrash: The Art of Composition in Leviticus Rabba,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 39:2 (1971): 141-50.  A helpful discussion which I read in order to get a better grasp on what Midrash is and how it works.

7/9/12  Barry W. Holtz, “Midrash,” in Back to the Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts (Summit, 1984), 177-211.  I read this in order to try to understand better what Midrash is.  I believe Luke Timothy Johnson recommended this work in his commentary on the Pastorals.

7/9/12  David L. Balch, “Hellenization/Acculturation in 1 Peter,” in Perspectives on First Peter, ed. Charles H. Talbert (Mercer University Press, 1986), 79-101.  Three cautions on sociological theory: (1) it should be suggestive rather than generative. (2) it should be employed piecemeal, as needed, where it fits. (3) it will help us be more objective but not “disinterested.” (79-80)  Balch interacts with Elliott’s Home for the Homeless as he (Balch) seeks to “contribute to the social description of early Petrine Christianity”; where Elliott (according to Balch) uses conflict analysis as a lens to view 1 Peter, Balch is more sanguine about the use of theories of acculturation.  “Every household code found in early Christian texts occurs in documents which reflect high tension with Roman society.  Several of these texts are explicitly ‘apologetic,’ for example Col. 4:6, 1 Pet. 3:15, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Tim 5:14, that, they appeal to Greco-Roman cultural values and they belong to a limited period of church history, to the post-Pauline, late first-century and early second-century church.  A focus on the house and on domestic ethics did not provide identity and continuity for early Christians.” (99-100)  “The key identity symbol [for Christians] was a mythos not an ethos, a sacred story, not a domestic political institution, Christology not codified ethics. . . .As Israel learned to live without priests and kings, the church has learned to live without emperors and slaves (1 Pet. 2:13, 18) and can learn to live without the Roman form of marriage, wives subordinate to husbands (1 Pet. 3:1), while still maintaining its identity through retelling the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.” (100-101)

7/8/12 Margaret M. Mitchell, “New Testament Envoys in the Context of Greco-Roman Diplomatic and Epistolary Conventions: The Example of Timothy and Titus,” Journal of Biblical Literature 111/4 (1992): 641-662.  An excellent article.  Summary: “In 1 Thessalonians 3 and 2 Corinthians 7 we find Paul working within some established conventions about envoys and their role in maintaining and reaffirming relationships between separated partners. The two social and diplomatic principles governing the events Paul recounts are (1) that the envoy should have a reception proper to the one who sent him, and (2) that the envoy represents the one who sent him. The relationships between Paul and the two churches here are thus affirmed (1 Thessalonians) and reconfirmed (2 Corinthians) through the actions of the envoys and the retrospective narrative Paul composes as his response. This epistolary retrospective narrative, which mirrors formulas for responding to envoys in Hellenistic diplomatic correspondence, establishes the reciprocity of feeling of the two separated parties as attested by their treatment of the envoys on both ends of the transaction. The role of the envoy in the Pauline mission in these two instances clearly entails an important diplomatic service which helps to affirm and maintain Paul’s relationships with his churches from a distance. Hardly mere substitutes for the universally preferable Pauline presence, these envoys were consciously sent by Paul to play a complex and crucial intermediary role that he could not play, even if present himself.”  The article is at least partly in response to Robert Funk’s article on the apostolic parousia, in which he ranks hierarchically three forms of the apostolic parousia: personal presence, envoy, letter.  Mitchell argues instead that the various forms may be more or less preferable depending on the particular circumstances.  She also notes that conventions of ancient diplomacy are more likely in the background of the Christian apostolos than the rabbinic institution of the shaliach.

7/7/12  Luke Timothy Johnson, The First and Second Letters to Timothy, Anchor (Yale University Press, 2001), 13-99, 205-11.  In a tour de force (which is a delight to read), Johnson provides an outstanding defense of Pauline authorship of the Pastorals, demonstrating the unproven assumptions that underlie the contrary scholarly consensus.  “…the conventional wisdom concerning authenticity moves farther and farther from any grounding in evidence and argument, farther and farther from the best and most recent scholarship on Paul himself, and perpetuates itself mainly by force of inertia based on an unexamined majority vote by an increasingly uninformed electorate.” (90)  A chapter on the history of interpretation of the Pastorals reflects Johnson’s familiar ease with the fathers (most early commentary he summarizes are from Migne and Johnson seems to be working through the original-language versions), and reflects a 18-century monolithic opinion of Pauline authorship, although Johnson points out shifting interpretations of various cruces in the letters.  He is disappointingly egalitarian in discussing 1 Tim 2:9-15, but forthright: instead of trying to make the text mean something it doesn’t, he (incorrectly but straightforwardly) admits that “precisely where the gifts of the Lord in the ekklesia came up against the culturally defined gender roles of the oikos, Paul grew nervous,” displaying a “bias” which was bolstered by “his own cultural conservatism and that of his overall social context” and exacerbated by his Pharisaic background. (206-207)  Instead of recommending that the church ignore the passage, Johnson calls instead for its continued presentation and discussion, both academic and liturgical, while noting “the peculiar features of the text that make it problematic as normative: that it is gratuitous in context, going beyond what is required for the situation; that it based solely on Paul’s individual authority (ouk epitrepo, “I do not allow”), rather than on a principle intrinsic to the good news; and that the warrant for the injunction is, in fact, a faulty reading of Torah.” (211)

7/7/12  Ben Witherington III, Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, vol. 1 (InterVarsity, 2006), 49-85, 113-15, 146-51, 217-32.  I read the section which introduces the PE, the discussion of 1 Tim 2:9-15, and several excurses: “The Household of God” (critiques Verner to some extent), “Paul, Imperial Rhetoric and Christian Ethics,” and “Women of High Status and Their Religious Roles in Ephesus.”  Witherington (leaning too heavily on the present tense of epitrepw in 2:12) suggests the restrictions of 1 Tim 2:9-15 were not universal, but were based in large part on the lack of education of the Ephesian women.

7/6/12  James W. Aageson, “Paul, the Pastoral Epistles, and the Pauline Legacy,” in Paul, the Pastoral Epistles, and the Early Church (Hendrickson, 2008), 1-17.  I read the introductory chapter, which sets forth Aageson’s agenda.  His argument: “A comparative analysis of theological patterns illustrates that even as the Pastoral Epistles represent Paul and his theology in new contexts, they also reflect and foreshadow the significant issues confronting the church in the first two centuries.  Among these issues are the nature of the true faith, the relationship of the church to Judaism, Christian asceticism, the prospect of church unity and the threat of disunity, the formation of the canon, the balance between Scripture and tradition, the place of women, and the role of authorized leaders in preserving the true faith and practice of the church.” (16)

7/6/12  Clarice J. Martin, “The Eyes Have It: Slaves in the Communities of Christ-Believers,” in Christian Origins, A People’s History of Christianity, vol. 1 (Augsburg Fortress, 2005), 221-239.  Brings up some interesting points about slavery in the Greco-Roman era, arguing that treatments of the practice have often sugar-coated it.

7/6/12  Benjamin L. Merkle, “Paul’s Arguments from Creation in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 and 1 Timothy 2:13-14: An Apparent Inconsistency Answered,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 49 (2006): 527-48.  In brief, argues that creation arguments support headcoverings indirectly (they directly supports gender/role distinctions in 1 Cor 11), while they support a non-teaching/authority role for women directly.

7/6/12  1 Timothy in NA27

7/6/12  Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” The Atlantic (July/Aug 2012).  Online:

7/6/12  Karl Barth, “The Strange New World within the Bible” (somewhat abridged), in A Map of Twentieth-Century Theology: Readings from Karl Barth to Radical Pluralism (Augsburg, 1995), 21-31.  “…within the Bible there is a strange new world, the world of God.”

7/5/12  J. Andrew Kirk, “Did ‘Officials’ in the New Testament Church Receive a Salary?” Expository Times 84:4 (1973): 105-108.  An interesting approach, arguing that most references to receiving what is due as a minister of the gospel are in reference to an itinerant ministry, and that elders in churches might well receive “a handsome token of gratitude” for hard work, but such would be “on a person-to-person and day-to-day basis, according to the circumstances,” and not “a regular stipend.” (107)

7/5/12  R. Alastair Campbell, “KAI MALISTA OIKEION–A New Look at 1 Timothy 5:8,” New Testament Studies 41:1 (1995): 157-60.  Argues that oikeion in 1 Tim 5:8 is best understood not as blood relatives, but as the broader family of God, Christians.

7/5/12  Philip H. Towner, “The Function of the Public Reading of Scripture in 1 Timothy 4:13 and in the Biblical Tradition,” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 7:3 (2003): 44-54.  (See “The Public Reading of Scripture”)  An enjoyable read.  After exploring the function of public reading of religious texts in Judaism and Greco-Roman contexts, he discusses the identity-forming nature of this exercise, answering for a community in crisis the foundational question “Who are we?”.  Some nuggets: “Reading [aloud in Greco-Roman contexts] was an act whose success was measured by the accuracy of communicating the content of a written discourse exactly.  Reverence for the biblical texts in the case of ancient Jewish culture assures the same level of concern within the Jewish context.” (47)  “Judaism and Christianity (even in the first century) were movements whose members linked their identities and worldviews to a written record, a story, the Scriptures.  For numerous reasons this story was written down . . . and surely one of the reasons was the sheer importance of the story for the community’s identity.  The Writings were intrinsic to Jewish and Christian identity, and they were read regularly in worship gatherings and at other important social occasions to reinforce this identity and underline the implications that existed within that identity” (50-51).

7/5/12  Gregory R. Perry, “Phoebe of Cenchreae and ‘Women’ of Ephesus: ‘Deacons’ in the Earliest Churches,” Presbyterion 36/1 (2010): 9-36.  Argues for women deacons in 1 Timothy 3.

7/4/12  Gregory S. Magee, “Uncovering the ‘Mystery’ in 1 Timothy 3,” Trinity Journal 29 (2008): 247-265.  “Taking 1 Tim 3:9 and 3:16 in concert, the picture of mystery emerging in this passage develops from earlier Pauline foundations while advancing Paul’s specific agenda to promote the inseparable bond between orthodoxy and piety in 1 Timothy.  The traditional connotations of an eternal mystery once hidden but now revealed through the preaching of the apostolic gospel forms the backdrop for Paul’s conception of mystery in these verses.” (264)

7/4/12  Paul Himes, “Peter and the Prophetic Word: The Theology of Prophecy Traced through Peter’s Sermons and Epistles,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 21:2 (2011): 227-43.  Himes is concerned to demonstrate that all of the materials which Scripture attributes to Peter can be used as a corpus which can be treated in a coherent biblical theological manner.  He focuses on prophecy in this essay, demonstrating that for Peter, themes of fulfillment, a dual source (divine/human), and a demand for personal action are prominent.

7/3/12  John J. Wainwright, “Eusebeia: Syncretism or Conservative Contextualization?” Evangelical Quarterly 65:3 (1993): 211-24.  A response against the use of eusebeia to support Dibelius/Conzelmann’s notion of christliche Bürgerlichkeit as descriptive of the ethic of the PE.  Wainwright shows that this use does not take into account all the occurrences of the word in the PE.  A good article.

7/3/12  Jouette M. Bassler, “A Plethora of Epiphanies: Christology in the Pastoral Letters,” Princeton Seminary Bulletin 17:3 (1996): 310-25.  Abstract: “The epiphany Christology of the Pastoral letters functions as the foundation of a pervasive epiphanic pattern that touches almost the whole of their contents. The primary components of epiphaneia as the author of the Pastorals understood it are (1) the revelation of God’s saving intent and grace through the Christ-event and through Christian proclamation and (2) the active intervention that takes place on one level through the soteriological consequences of Christ’s incarnation, death, and resurrection, and, on another level, through the teaching, exhortation, and example of faithful church leaders. Once that is established, the conclusion seems near at hand that these pseudonymous letters themselves are epiphanic vehicles.”

7/3/12  David deSilva, “The Letters to Timothy and Titus,” in An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation (InterVarsity, 2004), 733-75.  deSilva makes frequent use of L. T. Johnson.  While deSilva remains rather ambivalent regarding Pauline authorship, he makes a spirited defense of an egalitarian reading of 2 Tim 2:9-15, including a 13-page section discussing feminist criticism.  In connection with his work on social backgrounds, he also spends time discussing honor/shame and purity in connection with the PE.

7/2/12  Alicia Batten, “Neither Gold nor Braided Hair (1 Timothy 2.9; 1 Peter 3:3),” New Testament Studies 55:4 (2009): 484-501.

7/2/12  Ignatius, “To the Ephesians,” in The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, ed. and rev. Michael W. Holmes (Baker, 1999), 137-151.  Read this to get a feel for the different church structure at this point of the church’s history, as critical scholars propose that the PE are a step along the way (or even very similar) in this regard.  “Now concerning my fellow servant Burrhus, who is by God’s will your deacon . . . I pray that he might remain with me both for your honor and the bishop’s. . . . It is proper, therefore, in every way to glorify Jesus Chirst, who has glorified you, so that you, joined together in a united obedience and subject to the bishop and the presbytery, may be sanctified in every respect.” (2.1-2)  “It is obvious, therefore, that we must regard the bishop as the Lord himself.” (6.1)

7/2/12  “The Acts of Paul and Thelca” in The Other Bible, ed. Willis Barnstone (HarperCollins, 1984), 447-53.

7/2/12  portions of Martin Dibelius and Hans Conzelmann, The Pastoral Epistles, Hermeneia (Fortress, 1972).  “Since the listing of virtues and vices in tabular form is a widespread form of presentation, one must not see the list as referring to actually contemporary events or as closely related to the historical or fictitious situation of the epistle” (23, on 1Ti 1:9,10).  I read the introduction (1-10), and excurses on “prayer for the pagan authority” (37-38), “the ideal of good Christian citizenship” (39-41), “instructions for women” (48-49; “The motivation and objectives of this extensive treatment of the questions relating to women are to be sought in the situation of the congregations which the author has in mind.”), “the position of the bishop” (54-57), “‘epiphany’ in the PE” (104), and the appendix with some relevant source material from Isocrates, Pseudo-Isocrates, Onosander, and Lucian (158-160).

7/1/12  Robert H. Gundry, “Form, Meaning and Background of the Hymn Quoted in 1 Timothy 3:16,” in Apostolic History and the Gospel, ed. W. W. Gasque and R. P. Martin (Eerdmans, 1970), 203-222.

7/1/12  Majorie Lightman and William Zeisel, “Univira: An Example of Continuity and Change in Roman Society,” Church History 46 (1977): 19-32.  “The Christian appropriation of univira completed a series of transformations which the epithet had be en undergoing since the early Republic. At first limited to the Roman elite, the term was applied at first to living women with living husbands. During the late Republic and Empire it became an epithet given by socially aspiring or elite husbands to their deceased wives. By the Christian period use of the word had spread to all social levels, and the epithet became a social commonplace. Christians adopted the word and  expanded its use to include celibate widowhood, a condition to which the newly Christianized society gave an ‘almost religious significance.’  The cumulative effect of each relatively modest innovation in usage produced by the fourth century A.D. a usage of univira radically different from what had obtained in the fourth century B.C.  The change in usage reflected various changes in Roman religion, mores, and social structure. But the basic meaning of univira remained constant, and in this immutability of meaning both pagans and Christians discovered an element  of commonality and continuity.” (32)

7/1/12  Richard Fellows, “Preference for praenomina in the New Testament,”  In recorded Greco-Roman sources, when a Roman was referred to by a single name, it was rarely the praenomen (only 6% of occurrences), but in the NT, the praenomen is used about 30% of the time with Latin names.  Fellows suggests this has to do with the fictive kinship relationships in the church, reflects a distinctly Christian social ethos, and seems to be particularly the case with gracious hosts (such as Gaius).  The common use of the more intimate praenomen argues against hosts flaunting their high social status in leadership positions (which seems to be the sort of thing that Verner, The Household of God, argues for).


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