Challenges in Interpreting the Pastoral Epistles

“Hermeneutical and Exegetical Challenges in Interpreting the Pastoral Epistles,” in Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles (ed. Andreas Köstenberger and Terry Wilder; NAC Monograph Series; Nashville: B&H, 2010), 1-27.

Recent years have seen the publication of several major commentaries and monographs on Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. This is a sign of the reinvigorated study of this body of writings that is of great practical significance for the church today. Interpreters of Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus are faced with several important hermeneutical and exegetical challenges.

Hermeneutical challenges include the Pastorals’ authorship, genre, and matters related to their historical background. Relevant exegetical issues pertain to the question of proper church leadership and other matters related to the two major ecclesiastical offices of elder or overseer and deacon, respectively. The following treatment is intended as a survey of recent scholarship on these significant issues.

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