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THE EPISTLES TO TIMOTHEUS AND TITUSI
The terminus ad quem for these writings is fixed by their probable use in the epistles of Ignatius and Polykarp.2 The literary affinities between them and Hebrews-Luke-Acts (Simcox, Ecp.3 viii. pp. 182, 183; ZellerOverbeck, ii. pp. 286, 287), Clem. Rom., and Barnabas, imply not so much the dependence of the one upon the other, as a common spirit and atmosphere, so that no serviceable terminus a quo can be fixed upon the side of literary relationships. The internal evidence, however, leaves little doubt that in their final and extant form this group of writings belongs to the first quarter of the second century. This is especially clear in view of the heresies and errors denounced. These, the spawn of a Jewish and Gnostic syncretism (Holtzmann, Die Pastoralbriefe, 1880, pp. 126-158), are at once cognate to and more advanced than those of 1 John (cp. von Soden, HC, III. 1, pp. 166, 167, 179), while they are less acute and developed than those of Jud-2 Peter. It is unfortunate in a sense that for insight into the situation of the pastoral epistles as well as of the following NT writings, we have more and more to go outside the NT itself. The problem of their origin is solved, not only upon the ground of the earlier Pauline letters, but also by a study of sub-apostolic writings like the Didache, Clem. Rom., Polykarp, and Ignatius. Place these side by side with the pastorals, and it is difficult to resist the idea, which returns upon one with almost every sentence, that their world is practically the same, and that the pastorals are astonishingly superior. Their common historical presupposition is incipient Gnosticism, not in a special form but rather in its general climate (Clem. Strom, vii. 17), theoretical, practical, mythological, ethical. This is corroborated by the official and ecclesiastical spirit which dominates the three epistles. Christianity is becoming a system of piety (eủo éßela) and sound teaching (didag kalia) as opposed to moral and intellectual error. Its citadel is the church, whose organisation is a matter of great moment, and whose regulations form the background of the epistles. By the author, Timotheus and Titus are not merely taken as patterns of Pauline scholars, but also as representatives and types of
i The inaulequate and misleading title “pastorals,” under which these writings have suffered for about 90 years, can only be retained (and used as seldom as possible) on the score of convenience.
2 Cp. Harnack, Chron. pp. 480-485. He dates the epistles in their present form substantially between 90 and 100: “Dass die Pastoralbriefe, so wie sie vorliegen, nicht vom Apostel Paulus geschrieben, dass sie aber auf paulinischen Briefen aufgebaut sind, ist ein Ergebniss der Kritik, welches nicht aufs neue bewiesen zu werden braucht." The remarkable parallels between the pastorals and the Apost. Constit. in regard to ecclesiastical organisations point, in Harnack's judgment (ibid. pp. 483, 481 ; TU, 11. 5, p. 49 f.), possibly to the use of a common source.
3 The striking coincidences between the pastorals and Jud-Peter prove either a similarity of situation or literary dependence, possibly both (von Soden, pp. 166, 167, 179). In Tit and 1 Tim especially, 1 Peter seems to be used (Holtzmann, Past. pp. 267-270 ; Brückner, Chron. pp. 57-59, 277--286), and in the latter of the two, Luke's gospel.
the monarchical episcopate which—as 3 John indicates—was now coming to supersede the earlier officials, and had by this time displaced the “spiritual gifts” in ordinary church management.
The criteria of tone and spirit, then, combine to favour and even to demand a date not earlier than the last decade of the first century and probably somewhat later. Formerly, indeed, a period towards the middle of the second century was considered necessary: so Baur, Pfleiderer (Urc. p. 862 ff.), and even Ritschl—to whom the Gnosticism of the apostolic age was still a mere hypothesis (Entstehung, p. 242). The recent researches into Gnosticism, together with investigations into the develop. ment of church organisation (Holtzmann, Past. pp. 190-252, an exhaustive discussion), have allowed scholars to come down nearer the opening of the second century, and here criticism is practically unanimous. Within these decades (95–135) lies the only period known to us when the pastorals actually possess a career and object of their own. They represent a transition from the earlier Paulinism to “catholicism," the original ideas of the apostle being modified and stereotyped under the pressure of ecclesiastical requirements. More definitely, according to Beyschlag (NTTh, ii. pp. 3, 4, 501-504), they also help to present the common Christianity as it developed in regions that were dominated by the influence of Paul during the opening of the second century (so Bourquin, Étude critique sur Past. Epitres, 1890, pp. 51-64). Some general verdict of this kind would probably unite the majority of reasonable critics. As it is, the arguments are so detailed and weighty that in a brief note it is fortunately unnecessary, as it is hardly possible, to do more than mention their bearing and refer to their various expositions. The most adequate statement is furnished by Holtzmann's classical monograph, whose positions are recapitulated in his Einl. pp. 272–292, and NTTh, ii. pp. 259–281. His standpoint is practically shared and reproduced by Hilgenfeld, Weizsäcker, S. Davidson, Mangold, Sabatier, Hatch 1 (EĎ, articles “ Paul” and “ Pastorals”), Cone (Gospel and its Interpret. p. 327 f.), Réville (Les origines de l'Episcop. pp. 262-286), and McGiffert (AA, pp. 398-420), etc. The only question which at the present day is seriously in dispute is the precise date. Renan? and Mangold go back to the end of the first century, while von Soden (HC, III. 1, pp. 155–254) places 2 Tim not earlier than Domitian's reign and the other two after 110. It is better, however, to remain by the first quarter 3 of the second century (so Jülicher and Réville). No other position is upon the whole so selfconsistent and helpful in solving the contradictory facts presented by a set of writings which otherwise form one of those religious and literary enigmas whose keys have been in the meantime-perhaps for all time lost.
1 Chiefly owing to the “difficulty of believing that so elaborate a debasement of Christianity had grown up in the brief interval between Paul's first contact with Hellenism and his death.” On the keen prominence given to moral reform and theory by the early part of the second century, cp. Addis, Christianity and the Roman Empire, pp. 130-141.
2 S. Paul, p. I. In L'Eglise Chrétienne (chap. vi.) the composition of the pastorals is made synchronous with the publication of Paul's collected epistles at Rome, They are “un premier essai de fausses décrétales.”
3 Clem. Alex. Strom. VII. 17 : záTW od tipi tous 'Adpocevoll sou Beoiníws xpósous oi täs cipícius erironourtis yigórcol. The lack of exactness in defining the heresies combated is natural. “L'auteur parlait de quelque chose de courant et, pour être compris par les lecteurs de son temps, il lui suffisait de désigner simplement ses adversaires sans les peindre" (Bourquin).
The natural desire to take these writings for what they literally pur. port to be, i.e. letters written by Paul himself, is rendered impossible not merely by the positive evidence of their contents which has been alreair outlined, but also by two negative arguments of crucial importance, (a) The style, which is somewhat stiff and unelastic, is incompatible with the Pauline authorship. Even when allowance has been made for the difference between public and private letters, for the possible effect of age on Paul, and for the use of phrases caught up from fresh interests and controversies, the only fair verdict upon the anomalous grammar and diction of the pastoral epistles is unfavourable to their Pauline originality. Pauline elements of course occur, but the groundwork is radically different. Fresh groups of words are introduced (e.g. the compounds in a-privative, Qiao-, owopo-, didáo ks, oiko-), familiar Pauline expressions (“violecia, God our Father”) are either dropped or (Tiotis, Oikaliota) modified, and out of almost nine hundred words one hundred and seventyone (one hundred and seventy-six) are ärať leyóueva. The peculiarities of vocabulary and style point almost unmistakably to a writer who used Pauline phrases to help his own looser and less vigorous methods of expression. "Es fehlt durchweg die ernste, würdige und gedankenschwere Plerophorie der paul. Rede; es fehlen jene charakteristischen Dammbrüche, welche in Folge der schwellenden Gedankenfülle die Construction erleidet" (Holtzmann). Nor is it very probable that Paul would have met false teaching either by repeated and vague denunciation or by falling back upon a traditional crystallised faith, which forms the “sound” teaching of the organised church. Besides, the characteristically Pauline interests are obliterated. The question of the law, the rule of the Jews, adoption, redemption, life in the Spirit, these are no longer central. As even Weiss admits, strange prominence is given to such ideas as those of reward, a good conscience, the individual and social value of Christian morality rather than its religious character. Nor is it easy to satisfactorily explain, on the traditional hypothesis (Zahn, GK, i. p. 634 f.), the absence of these epistles from Marcion's canon. He may have rejected them on account of their teaching (e.g. on asceticism, doketism, and the OT), which in some points controverts his own principles; but at any rate it tells heavily against them as genuine reproductions of the Pauline spirit, that a Pauline enthusiast ignored them in drawing up his list of epistles. That he omitted them because they were private letters, is refuted by the fact that they are private letters only in a most superficial sense,
1 “Nirgends eine Spur von dem Schwung des Paulus und seiner Energie, kaum je eine Anakoluthie, eine Inconcinnität, eine Dunkelheit infolge des Vorwärtsdrängens der Ideen; Alles ist in Past regelmässig, leicht, aber auch ohne Wucht und Farbe. Viele Worte und wenige Gedanken ; von P. dürfte genau das Umgekehrte gelten" (Jülicher).
The standard discussion is Holtzmann's (Past. pp. 86–118). Prof. G. G. Findlay, in his careful appendix to Sabatier's Paul, has been able, like Rainsay (CRE, pp. 248-251, to correct a few of Holtzmann's more extrenie statements on this and some other points. But while the latter's cumulative argument requires to be modilied in one or two details, it remains an irresistible and lucid piece of historical and literary criticism, whose main conclusions are to be accepted as almost axiomatic. Instances have been collected (cp. “ Pastoral Epistles," CGT', p. xxxix) which indicate, as in Hebrews, the use of 2 Maccabees, a book of which there is no trace in Paul's writings. Vogel indicates affinities also with Luke-Acts.
2“Un homme qui, malgré l'esprit d'a priori dogmatique qu'il porta souvent dans la correction des livres saints, eut souvent des éclairs de vrai o
an). A similar difficulty is occasioned by the fact that while Marcion's sheet-anchor was the third gospel, he omits Acts altogether from his canon.
and that Marcion had no hesitation in accepting Philemon, which is a genuinely private note.
(6) Even more fatal to the traditional hypothesis of the pastorals is the fact (Holtzmann, Past. pp. 15-37) that they cannot be fitted into any reasonable scheme of Paul's life. Had they been written by him, they must have dated from a period during which he travelled widely and extended his mission-tours in the Eastern Mediterranean, for the attempts to fix all or any of the epistles previous to his first captivity are not to be seriously mentioned. But this period in Paul's life is a terra incognita. It is bound up with the hypothesis of his release from prison and of his second captivity and martyrdom, for which the evidence is decidedly scanty. In recent years, it is true, apart altogether from the question of the pastorals, attempts have been made to rehabilitate this hypothesis.2 But even were these more successful than they are, the pastorals would still be un-Pauline. Such a hypothesis, if proved, would make the traditional 3 date of the pastorals possible, not by any means necessary. It would merely make room for them between 62 and 67, or, if the earlier chronology be accepted, between 59 and 64. But on other grounds the epistles refuse to meet this situation, and indeed the efforts to adapt them to it may be for the most part characterised as proofs of the ingenuity of exegetical despair rather than of historical investigation.
Substantially identical in texture and spirit as all three are, each has evidently its distinctive characteristics. These idiosyncrasies upon examination seem to give sufficient if not peremptory proof that 2 Tim was the earliest of the three, while 1 Tim was the latest, written to enforce or supplement its predecessors. The evidence for this position is led at length by von Soden and McGiffert, to whose works the reader is referred for a convincing statement of the case. The chief lines are (a) the preponderance of Pauline matter in 2 Tim. Most nearly of all the three it attaches to Paul's personality (particularly as that appears in Philippians and Romans), it is richest in references to his character and work, and includes direct reminiscences-perhaps even notes—of the apostle. One central feature of the writing is its steady adherence to the personality and teaching of Paul, e.g. 21. 2 310. A change upon this point can be noticed in Titus, and more so in 1 Tim. There the personality of Paul retires into the background, and church-organisation tends to become the supreme concern. The references to the apostle's individuality are neither so fresh nor so frequent, while at the same time the motives and appeals become more abstract. Correlative to this, however, and quite in the second-century manner of reliance upon the “apostolic” deposit, is the emphasis still laid on Paul's bare authority-in his person no less than in his teaching—with a view to preserve the traditional faith and safeguard the interests of conservative organisation. (b) In 2 Tim, again, the situation is less advanced. Titus and 1 Tim represent errors more sharply defined and vigorously combated; the ideas and circumstances are treated with much greater precision and detail. In 2 Tim, e.g., bishops are unmentioned, and Titus is silent upon deacons. In 1 Tim both are provided with official regulations, and other features of organisation abound. Evidently, when the writer came to compose Titus and 1 Tim, he had before him a more copious and advanced state of matters within the church (on which see some evidence from the inscriptions collected by Achelis, ZNW (1900), p. 93 f.). 1 Tim, in fact, of all the NT books, shows almost a preoccupation with ecclesiastical interests. (c) The supplementary argument from language urges, among other points, the fact that out of the ärať leyóueva,' while only forty-six occur in 2 Tim, twenty-eight are counted in Titus (a book half the size of the others), and no fewer than seventy-four in 1 Tim. In 2 Tim there is no clear instance of tiotis = fides quae creditur, while this use does occur in the others. In 2 Tim oátnp is used only of Christ, in Titus of Christ and God (as in Lk 147, Jud 25), in 1 Tim of God alone. Similar developments are noted in connection with the characteristic words, didao kalia and evoéßela. Consequently, though the argument is cumulative, 2 Tim is to be regarded as prior-possibly by some years—to the others, although there are no grounds for doubting that one author wrote ali three. The impression of its superiority to the others has been widely felt, and in this case superiority implies a closer proximity to the apostolic tradition (Hilgenfeld, ZwTh, 1897, pp. 1-86). Thus Reuss (Les Épitres Paulin. vol. ii.) rejects the other two, but retains 2 Tim às actually genuine ; while older critics like Usteri, Lücke, Bleek ($$ 183–187), Neander, and Ritschl found themselves quite unable to attribute at least 1 Tim to the apostle.
i The demonstration of this is the special merit of Renan's discussion (S. Paul, pp. xxviii-xlviii). Cp, also von Soden, op. cit. pp. 159-163. Zahn's laboured attempt to construct a world for the epistles in the seventh decade, fails to produce any coherent results, and on the whole the same must be said of Bartlet's scholarly discussion (AA, p. 199 f.). Similar attempts up to 1880 are sufliciently exposed by Holtzmann (Past. pp. 37–53).
2 Cp. Spitta, Urc. i. pp. 1-108, and R. Steinmetz's monograph, “Die zweite römische Gefangenschaft des Apostels Paulus" (1897). Renan, Harnack, Blass, and Belser (TQ, 1894, p. 40f.) accept the tradition: cp. also von Manen, Theol. Tijdschrift (1894), p. 214; J. Weiss, ThL2. (1893), 394 f.; and Hesse (Entstehung, p. 244 f.). At the same time it is even doubtful whether (i.) Paul died in the Neronian persecution, and (ii.) suffered martyrdoni contemporaneously with Peter. The tradition is late and not always self-consistent. Erbes (TU, neue Folge, vierter Band, Heft 1, 1899) strongly opposes both ideas, and indeed the whole hypothesis of the second imprisonment. See above, p. 133; also Bacon (INT, pp. 134-137).
3 Besides Weiss (-Meyer; AJT, i. pp. 393-403 and INT, i. pp. 374-120), Zahn (Einl. i. pp. 398-489), and Godet, a number of Anglican scholars are still able to accept the pastorals as totally Pauline, e.g. Salmon, Wace (Speaker's Comm.), Farrar, Plummer (Erpos. Bible, 1888), Hort (Jud. Christianity, p. 130; Ecclesia, p. 171), and J. H. Bernard (CGT'). The case for the authenticity has been also argued by Fr. Roos (Die Briefe des Apostels Paulus und die Reden des Herrn Jesu, pp. 156-202), G. H. Gilbert (Life of Paul, 1899, pp. 225–232), Ruegg (Aus Schrift und Geschichte (1898), “ Theol. Abhandlungen u. Skizzen," pp. 59–108), and Bertrand (Essai critique sur l'auth. d. Épitres Past. 1888). Macpherson (AJT, 1900, pp. 23-48) gives up the second imprisonment, but holds to the authenticity of the pastorals,
In writing 2 Tim, then, the author stood nearest to the Pauline tradition. Probably he had before him genuine notes or at least
1 They are variously enumerated, but the argument remains substantially unimpaired. Mr. W. P. Workman (Exp. Ti. vii. pp. 418, 419) gives 2 Timn=53, Tit=33, 1 Tim = 82. His parallel from Shakspere is rather vitiated by the obvious fact that an early Christian writer cannot be judged by the standards applicable to a literary artist, and particularly to a dramatist, to whom flexibility of expression is congenial.
Even Zahn, like Spitta (Urc, i. pp. 36-47) starts his discussion of their situation by analysing 2 Tim in preference to cither of the others. Similarly Dr. Salmon (INT, pp. 397-413) admits the supremacy of 2 Tim, and allows that if the other two letters had come by themselves, the way in which both begin would excite suspicion," As a detail, it may be noted that 2 Tim 217-20 has more point if it precedes, than if it follows, the remark of 1 Tim 120. Reminiscences of 2 s'im also recur (22=1 Tim 1: 47, Tit 39 ; 111=1. 27; 31=1. 41). The superiority of 2 Tim chiefly lies in (a) the naturalness and vivid colouring of the personal references, (b) the greater coherence and balance of the arguments, and (c) the directness of the religious feeling.