By B. B. Edwards, Professor at Andover
It is a gratifying fact, that amidst the prevalent scepticism in Germany, the Scriptures have found able defenders. If the authenticity and integrity of the sacred books have been assailed with great pertinacity and acuteness, they have also been vindicated with signal ability and success. Talent has been matched with equal talent; learning has been confronted with still ampler knowledge. In the benignant providence of God, the country which has supplied the poison has furnished the antidote.
But however important the defence of the Bible may be in Germany itself, it is thought by some to be a superfluous task in Great Britain and in this country. Why should English and American scholars trouble themselves with the Teutonic scepticism? Why should our periodical publications lay before their readers the results of inquiries which would never else be entered upon, the solution of doubts which would never else be started? A sufficient answer is, that the scepticism is not confined, and cannot be, to the continent of Europe any more than English or French infidelity in the last century, could be confined to London and Paris. Error flies on the wings of every wind. It is impossible to lay an embargo upon it in any country of Christendom. It will meet and battle with truth on every field. Papal and neological dogmas cannot be imprisoned in the countries of their birth. Our candidates and ministers would do well to resort to the great Protestant armories of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and be prepared on all points to meet the Bellarmins and Bossuets of the present day. Alike necessary will it be to encounter the sophistries of the “higher criticism,” which has had its Congenial soil in Germany. The emigration to this country from the German States is very large, and will occasion, no doubt, the influx of no inconsiderable amount of learned rationalism. The new States will be particularly obnoxious to this evil. To encounter it successfully, truth must have her numerous and well-trained champions. Besides, the mischief is widely propagated through the written page. It is stated, on high authority, that well prepared translations of Strauss’s “cunningly devised” work on the Gospels. is largely circulated and read in England, in the form of tracts. It may soon be found that the elaborate work of Dr. Davidson on the New Testament, in which he has refuted (as some suggest unnecessarily) so many errors of the Strauss and Tübingen schools was published none too early.
Another answer would be that in discussing and overthrowing an error, valuable truths are elicited. The collision casts new light on some important doctrine. Fresh and interesting aspects of a subject are presented, which might have remained, in the ordinary and peaceful study, forever unknown. The strength of a beam is not known till it is tested by a heavy weight. Truth is not seen to be invincible till it has come out of a sharp encounter. Amid the storms of the last thirty years, it has struck its roots deeper than ever. Till it felt the tempest, it was not known how sound its heart was. The impregnable position in which the Gospels stand was not apprehended, till Strauss and his followers had exhausted their quivers. For these reasons, and others that might be named, we think that no apology is needed for the frequent discussions in our pages of topics in biblical criticism, and for meeting, so far as we are able, the attacks which are made on the volume of inspiration, whatever form they may assume. In so doing, we are consulting the best interests of the church and of the country, by providing weapons by which the truth may be successfully defended.
It is for the reasons above stated, in part, that we have translated and condensed the article which follows. It is the substance of the Introduction to the Commentary on the Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus, published in Göttingen in 1850, by Dr. J. E. Huther of Schwerin. It is well known that the genuineness of these epistles has been doubted or strenuously denied by De Wette and others, on several grounds, which will be specified. Dr. Huther has, as we think, satisfactorily refuted these objections, and vindicated the Pauline authorship. Great value has been given to the discussion, also by the manner in which the author has discussed the question of a second imprisonment of Paul at Rome. It is well known, that this has long been a subject of great interest, and involved in no little difficulty. It appears to us that Dr. Huther, if he has not completely established the theory of a second imprisonment, has at least rendered it much more probable than that of a single imprisonment, on which Wieseler has lately expended so much pains and so many acute remarks. Dr. Huther’s commentary is the latest which has appeared on the Pastoral Epistles, and is a continuation of that of Dr. Meyer.
Biographical Notices Of Timothy And Titus
Timothy was the son of a Christian Jewess, whose name was Eunice; his father was a Greek. His birth-place cannot be definitely determined, for that Δερβαῖος, Acts 20:4, is to be connected with καὶ Τιμόθεος, is at least very improbable, since the position of the καὶ is rather against this connection than in favor of it. That ἐχεῖ, Acts 16:1, refers to “Lystra,” is in the highest degree probable, but it does not follow that Timothy was born in Lystra. Timothy had received a pious education from his mother and grandmother, whose name was Lois; he was also conversant from a child with the sacred Scriptures of the Jews, 2 Tim. 1:5. 3:14, 15. Paul became acquainted with him first at Lystra, on his missionary journey. He was already a disciple, μαθητής, and was well reported of among the believers in Lystra and Iconium. That Paul calls him his “son,” 1 Tim. 1:1. 2 Tim. 1:1. 1 Cor. 4:17, arises from the fact that he had received his first knowledge of the Gospel through the Apostle, either immediately, or through his mother and his grandmother, 2 Tim. 3:14. Paul took him as a helper in his work; yet he previously circumcised him, as his father was known in that region to be a heathen. As an assistant Timothy accompanied the Apostle on his journey to Philippi. When Paul and Silas left this city, Acts 16:40, Timothy, with some others of Paul’s companions, seems to have remained there some time. In Berea, they were again together. When Paul journeyed to Athens, Timothy and Silas continued in Berea; still, Paul left word for him to come to him immediately, Acts 17:14, 15; this probably he did. Not long after, Paul sent him to Thessalonica, to ascertain the condition of the church there and to strengthen it, 1 Thess. 3:1–5. When Timothy had performed this duty, he again met Paul at Corinth. Timothy’s name is inscribed in the two epistles to the Thessalonians, which Paul wrote from this place, 1 Thess. 1:1. 2 Thess. 1:1. When Paul, on his third missionary tour, tarried a long time at Ephesus, Timothy was with him; where he had been in the intermediate time is not known. Still, before the uproar caused by Demetrius, Paul sent him from Ephesus to Macedonia, Acts 19:22. Immediately Paul wrote the so-called first Epistle to the Corinthians, from which it appears that Timothy had been directed to go to Corinth, but that Paul did not suppose that he would reach the city, till after the reception of the epistle, 1 Cor. 4:17. 16:10, 11. When Paul wrote from Macedonia the second epistle to the? Corinthians, Timothy was again with him, for his name appears , in the superscription; this would be inserted the more readily, as Timothy had just left Corinth. Then he went with Paul to Corinth, for that he was with him there is shown by the salutation which Paul conveys from him to the church in Rome, Rom. 16:21. When Paul, after three months’ abode, left Greece, Timothy, with other helpers, accompanied him. He journeyed with him ἄχρι τῆς ᾿Ασίας, i.e. to Philippi, whence was the route over to Asia Minor. Thence Timothy and some others preceded Paul to Troas, where they remained till the Apostle arrived, Acts 20:3–6. Here there is a large gap in Timothy’s history, as he is not again named till Paul’s imprisonment at Rome. That he was with the Apostle, is clear from the fact that his name is in the inscription to Paul’s epistles to the Colossians, Philemon and the Philippians; another reason for the supposition is, that none of Paul’s companions stood in so close relations to him as Timothy. When Paul wrote to the Philippians he designed to send Timothy as soon as possible to them, so as to learn more exactly the circumstances of the church, Phil. 2:19, seq. From the two epistles to Timothy, we learn the following facts in regard to his life. On a journey to Macedonia, Paul sent him back to Ephesus, that he might there oppose the false doctrines that were constantly extending, 1 Tim. 1:3. Probably, when entering on this service, if not earlier, Timothy was solemnly consecrated to his office by the laying on of hands by the Apostle and the “presbytery,” where the fairest hopes were expressed concerning him, by prophetic words, comp. 1 Tim. 1:18. 4:14, 2 Tim. 1:6; he had already witnessed a good confession, 1 Tim. 6:12. Still, Paul then hoped immediately to come to him. At a later time, Paul found himself a prisoner at Rome. When he anticipated his death as drawing near, he wrote to Timothy that he should come to him immediately, before winter, that he should bring Mark with him, and also certain articles which he had left at Troas, 2 Tim. 4:9, 13, 21.
There is no mention of Timothy elsewhere in the New Testament, except in Heb. 13:23; that the Timothy here named might be another Timothy, is certainly possible, but it is not probable. From this passage, it appears that Timothy, when the Epistle to the Hebrews was written, was a second time set at liberty, and that the author of the epistle intended, in company with Timothy, if he came soon, to see those to whom the epistle was sent. According to church tradition, Timothy was the first bishop of Ephesus.1 From the First Epistle to Timothy, we merely learn that the oversight of the church at Ephesus was committed to Timothy by the Apostle, a similar office to that exercised by the apostles over the Christian churches; it was a station in which the later special episcopal office might have taken root, yet it is by no means to be regarded as identical with it.
We have still less knowledge of the life of Titus than of that of Timothy. He also was a helper of Paul, and as such is first named, Gal. 2:1, Paul mentioning, that on a journey to Jerusalem, undertaken fourteen years after his conversion, he took Titus with him. Though he was of heathen descent, Paul did not permit him to be circumcised, as he would not “give place “to his adversaries. When Paul had written the First Epistle to the Corinthians, he sent Titus to Corinth, so as to obtain information of the state of the church. After Paul had hoped in vain to find him at Troas, 2 Cor. 2:12, he met him in Macedonia, 2 Cor. 7:6. The notices which Titus brought, occasioned the writing of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. With this epistle he sent Titus the second time to Corinth, where he was to complete the collections for the poor saints at Jerusalem, which had been before commenced, 2 Cor. 8:6. 6:23. When Paul was imprisoned at Rome, Titus had gone to Dalmatia, 2 Tim. 4:10.
From the epistle itself, we learn, that Titus had aided the apostle in his missionary labors in Crete, and was left there by him, in order to finish what was further needed for the church, Tit. 1:5. In ch. 3:12, Paul directs him to come to him at Nicopolis, where he expected “to winter.” As the apostle calls him his “genuine son, according to the common faith,” it would appear that he was converted by Paul.
Ecclesiastical tradition makes Titus the first bishop of Crete. Eusebius, after stating in regard to Timothy, what we have already quoted, goes on to say, “As Titus, who was over the churches in Crete.”2 Titus is said to have died in Crete, in his 94th year, and to have been buried there.
Time Of Writing The Pastoral Epistles
First Epistle to Timothy. In respect to the time of the authorship of this epistle, different views have prevailed from an early period, as it is difficult to bring it, in accordance with the internal indications, within the sphere of Paul’s life known to us. According to the notices in the epistle, Paul and Timothy were together for a long time in Ephesus; then Paul journeyed to Macedonia, and left Timothy in Ephesus, to oppose the false doctrines taught there. Probably Paul wrote to him this epistle from Macedonia, in which he reminds him of his service in Ephesus, and gives him the instructions already mentioned; for if he hoped immediately to return to Ephesus, still he might think that delay was possible. According to the Acts, Paul was twice in Ephesus, the first time on his second missionary tour from Antioch, as he returned from Corinth to Antioch, Acts 18:19. In the first instance, he stopped there but a short time, as he wished to be at Jerusalem at the approaching feast. During this period, we cannot at all place the authorship. Paul was at Ephesus the second time, on his third missionary tour. He remained there between two and three years, and, after the commotion caused by Demetrius, travelled to Macedonia and Greece. Theodoret, and many other interpreters after him, suppose that Paul wrote the First Epistle to Timothy, on this journey to Macedonia, or in Macedonia, Acts 20:1,
2. Still, the following circumstances are adverse to this view: 1. According to Acts 19:20, Paul had already sent Timothy to Macedonia, before his own departure from Ephesus. That Timothy, who had a commission to go to Corinth, 1 Cor. 4:17, returned to Ephesus before the apostle left that city, as the latter certainly may have expected, 1 Cor. 16:11, is not stated. 2. When Paul undertook the journey to Macedonia, he seems by no means to have designed to return immediately to Ephesus, as he decidedly hoped to do, when he wrote the epistle, 1 Tim. 3:14, for, on his return from Greece, he passed from Troas without stopping at Ephesus, Acts 20:16. We must, therefore, if this theory is correct, conclude that Paul afterwards altered the determination which he still cherished in Macedonia; yet, of such alteration there is not the smallest trace, but, according to 1 Cor. 16:3, 4 and Rom. 15:23–25, he had already designed, on his travels through Macedonia to Corinth, and then in Corinth itself, to travel thence as rapidly as possible to Jerusalem.
3. According to 2 Cor. 1:1, Timothy was with Paul when the latter wrote his second epistle to the Corinthians, from Macedonia, and according to Acts 20:4, he accompanied the apostle in his journey from Corinth to Philippi. Consequently Timothy, after Paul’s departure from Ephesus, must likewise have left that city, though the apostle had directed him to remain there till his return, which still can with difficulty be supposed. All these reasons show that the journey of the apostle from Ephesus to Macedonia, mentioned Acts 20:1, cannot be the same of which he speaks 1 Tim. 1:3.
In order to reconcile the authorship of the epistle with the relations-known to us from the Acts, some interpreters, particularly Bertholdt and Matthies, have recourse to Acts 20:3–5. They suppose that Timothy left Corinth before the apostle, and then went to Ephesus, (which Luke indeed does not mention,) where he received the epistle from Paul. Matthies seeks to fortify this opinion, by inferring from 1 Tim. 1:3, that Paul had directed Timothy to go to Macedonia, thence to proceed and to stop in Ephesus. But this explanation cannot in any manner be justified; the passage rather makes decidedly against it. But leaving this out of the account, the theory can be maintained only by charging on Luke, as Bertholdt does, an historical inaccuracy. “I believe,” he says, “that Acts 20:4, 5, puts us on the right track, only I think, at the same time, that Luke has not given the account with entire accuracy. His notice that Timothy preceded Paul to Asia Minor, is indeed perfectly correct, but there is an inaccuracy in the account that Timothy journeyed in company with Sopater, Aristarchns, etc., and with them awaited Paul at Troas. It is in the highest degree probable that Timothy started from Corinth with these helpers of Paul, but that he took the direct course to Ephesus.” Since Luke states definitely that Timothy accompanied the apostle to Asia, together with other friends, (συνείπετο αὐτῷ ἄχριτῆς Ασίας,) that Timothy went first to Troas, and that Paul met them3 in Troas, then has Luke, if Bertholdt is correct, not only given an inaccurate, but an entirely false account. Should his notice not be considered as a falsification of the fact, then we must suppose that Paul had instructed Timothy to go to Ephesus, etc. But this is contradicted by 1 Tim. 3:14, since Paul then had no intention to go to Ephesus; besides, it is not conceivable why Paul in this case did not give his instructions to Timothy verbally, rather than communicate them in writing immediately after his departure, which would seem the more strange, as he himself would go to Ephesus forthwith. Still more untenable are the hypotheses of Paulus, that the epistle was written during the Apostle’s imprisonment at Caesarea; of Schneckenburger, that it was written in Jerusalem at the time mentioned Acts 21:26; of Böttger, at Patara, Acts 21:1, or in Miletus, Acts 20:17.’ Against all these hypotheses is the fact, that they alike render necessary an arbitrary handling of 1 Tim. 1:3.
If one will not allow himself in these arbitrary interpretations, there then remains (supposing that the Epistle was written in that portion of Paul’s life recorded by Luke in the Acts), only the supposition that the journey of the apostle from Ephesus to Macedonia, mentioned 1 Tim. 1:3, when Timothy was left behind at Ephesus, occurred during the two or three years’ abode of Paul in Ephesus, without being mentioned by Luke. This supposition, which Mosheim and Schrader favored, Wieseler (Chronologie des Apostolischen Zeitalters), setting aside the manifest errors with which they connected it, has endeavored to prove as the only one which is correct. The possibility is allowed, that Luke may have omitted to mention not merely one journey of the apostle; several passages in the Epistles to the Corinthians, (1 Cor. 16:17. 2 Cor. 2:1. 12:14. 13:1, 2. 12:21, ) place it beyond doubt, that Paul, before he wrote the Epistles to the Corinthians, had been in Corinth not once but twice, though in the second instance he stayed but a short time. For this journey, of which Luke says nothing, there is no other place in the history of the Apostle, except during his abode in Ephesus (Wies. pp. 233 seq.), so that it is necessary to regard the journey to Macedonia mentioned 1 Tim. 1:3, as identical with the one to Corinth, and to conclude that the first Epistle to Timothy was written on this journey from Macedonia. But there are several objections to this theory. Against the suggestion that the organization of the church presupposed in the epistle, as well as the requisition that the ἐπίσκοπος should not be a νεόφυτος, imply a longer existence of the church, Wieseler indeed remarks that that journey was undertaken by the apostle just before the close of his residence in Ephesus, so that the church there had been in existence long enough to justify the presupposed organization and the requisition in regard to the “elders;” but this supposition again has its difficulty from the fact that according to it, the apostle himself was in Corinth shortly before he wrote the first epistle to the Corinthians, and that consequently there could have been no sufficient occasion for writing to the church there. Besides, Acts 20:29, 30 is against Wieseler’s view. According to the epistle, false doctrines had already penetrated into the Ephesian church, but, according to the passage in Acts, Paul describes the introduction of false doctrines as to be expected in the future. If we allow that the words ἐξ ὑμῶν αὐτῶν refer not to the church, but only to the elder’s assembled at Miletus, still εἰς ὑμᾶς, v. 29, is to be understood of the Ephesian Christians generally; and assuredly Paul, in his address to the elders, would not omit to mention the presence of false teachers if he knew that the church were so seriously threatened by them, that he had thought it necessary at an earlier day to warn Timothy against them, as he has done in his Epistle to him. Besides, according to Wieseler’s view, Paul had been separated from Timothy only a short time, and after his return to Ephesus, must have sent him forthwith from that city. But how does this agree with the entire character of the Epistle? The instructions which Paul gives to Timothy manifestly show that the latter was to labor long in the church, and the more threatening to the church the false doctrines were, the more unlikely it appears that Paul, so soon after the communication of those instruction*, should have withdrawn Timothy from his labors in the church.
The Epistle to Titus, The historical relations to which the epistle points are these: After Paul had labored in Crete, he left Titus there; then he wrote to him the epistle, which he probably sent by Zenas and Apollos, Tit. 3:13, in which he directs him as soon as he had sent Artemas and Tychicus to him, to hasten himself to come to the Apostle at Nicopolis, where he had concluded to pass the winter.— The Epistle contains nothing definite on the first planting of Christianity in Crete, nothing on the duration and extent of the Apostle’s labors there, nothing on the length of time between the departure of the Apostle from Crete and the writing of the epistle; but it is probable that the Gospel was not first preached in Crete by any other apostle, as it was Paul’s maxim, not to enter into another’s labors. Paul had probably labored in Crete some time, for 1:5 presupposes that when Paul wrote the epistle, there were Christians in the principal cities, at least in a number of cities; it is probable that the epistle was written by Paul not long after his departure, for it could not be supposed that he would leave his substitute long without written instructions; finally, it is probable that Paul had given Titus these instructions a long time before winter, for only on the supposition that Paul had allotted a considerable time to Titus for labor on the island, would he have given these instructions.
If we suppose that the epistle was written during that part of Paul’s life recorded in the Acts, then we may inquire whether his visit in Crete and the writing of the epistle took place before or after or during his two or three years’ abode in Ephesus. Each supposition has had its supporters.
Those who place both the visit and the writing previously to Paul’s residence in Ephesus, fix. either on the time during which Paul was first in Corinth, Acts 18:1—8, or while he was going from Corinth to Ephesus, Acts 18:19, or after he had passed through Galatia and Phrygia at the commencement of his third missionary journey, before he went thence to Ephesus, Acts 18:23. But in opposition to all these views alike, is the circumstance that Apollos could not have been Paul’s helper before Paul’s second visit at Ephesus, Acts 18:24–19:1, but as he is named as such in our epistle, then we must suppose that another Apollos is here meant — a supposition which is wholly arbitrary. Besides, against the first view, according to which Paul journeyed from Corinth to Crete, thence to Nicopolis in Epirus, Tit. 3:12, and thence back to Corinth, is the fact that the second abode of Paul in Corinth, mentioned 1 Cor. 16:7. 2 Cor. 2:1, etc., could not have occurred then, but must be placed afterwards. Against the second opinion is not only the fact that the journey from Corinth to Jerusalem was undertaken with a certain haste, so that there was hardly time for any labor in Crete, but also the circumstance that, according to this view, by Nicopolis, a city in Cilicia is meant, when it is not obvious why Paul would winter there and not in Antioch. Against the third view is the fact, that Paul, in his third missionary tour, had chosen Ephesus as the goal of his labors, Acts 18:21; his labors up to the time of reaching that city were confined to “strengthening the disciples,” Acts 18:23. How would it accord with this, if Paul, instead of going at once to Ephesus, had gone from Phrygia to Crete and Corinth, and had there determined to winter in Nicopolis in Cilicia, and then go to Ephesus?
Less probable is the opinion that Paul went to Crete at the time mentioned Acts 15:41, and that later, during his two or three years’ abode in Ephesus, wrote the epistle. Against the former supposition is the circumstance that the definite route is given in Acts 15:41 and \16:1; against the latter, that almost the whole of the second and a part of the third missionary journey of Paul would lie between the beginning of the independent labors of Titus in Crete and the sending of the epistle to him.
Some, who place the visit and the writing of the epistle after the residence in Ephesus, think that Paul on the journey from Ephesus to Greece went from Macedonia, vs. 1, 2, to Crete; in that case Titus, after finishing his second mission to Corinth returned again to the apostle in Macedonia; Paul with him then made a journey to Crete; then Paul returned alone to Macedonia, then wrote the epistle from Macedonia, and then first betook himself to Corinth. Thus Paul, after he had written the second Epistle to the Corinthians, must have twice passed Corinth without stopping, yet from the last notices which he had received from Corinth, he must have felt constrained not to delay his journey there. Others think that he visited Crete during his three months’ abode in Greece, Acts 20:3. But these were winter months, in which a journey to Crete and back was not to be thought of.
The third supposition, that Paul undertook the journey to Crete from Ephesus, before his departure to Macedonia, and from thence wrote the epistle to Titus, has been defended by Wieseler with great acuteness. According to this view, Paul, having remained something over two years in Ephesus, journeyed, through Macedonia, 1 Tim. 1:3, (namely the second journey, not mentioned in Acts) to Corinth; on this journey, which was short, Titus accompanied him; with Titus he went to Crete; on his departure he left Titus there; he returned to Ephesus, and there wrote the epistle to Titus; then he sent Timothy to Macedonia, directing him to go to Corinth, and thereupon wrote our first Epistle to the Corinthians. Then he sent Tychicus and Artemas to Crete, and directed Titus to come to him; he thereupon sent Titus to Corinth. With the hope of meeting him in Troas, he commenced his journey to Macedonia; he first met with Titus, not in Troas, but in Macedonia; he now sent him the second time to Corinth; after he had written our second Epistle to the Corinthians, he went through Macedonia to Nicopolis in Epirus, where he spent the first winter months, and then went to Corinth.
But in opposition to this theory, the following reasons may be adduced: 1. If Paul made his second journey to Corinth at the time here fixed upon, he could have spent upon it only a short time; how then is it conceivable, that he could at the same time have performed a missionary labor in Crete? 2. Paul wrote to Titus, that he should stay in Crete till he had sent to him Tychicus and Artemas, that then he should himself come to Paul at Nicopolis. According to Wieseler, Paul must have altered this plan, for he caused Titus to come to him at Ephesus; still it is hardly conceivable, that the apostle, when he had just committed to Titus an important service in Crete, should have so soon withdrawn him from it. 3. It is not probable that Paul would have fixed on a city as a winter residence, in which he had not been before, and where he could not know what reception he should find; his determination seems rather to presuppose, that he had already labored in Nicopolis. 4. In 1 Cor. 16:6, Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “With you, perchance, I shall remain, yea even tarry through the winter;” according to Wieseler, the words πρὸς ὐμᾶς are to be referred not to the Corinthians only, but in general to the Christians in Achaia, to whom, 1:2, the epistle was directed; since now, according to Tacitus, Ann. 2, 53, Nicopolis in Epirus was reckoned to Achaia, Wieseler supposes that the hope expressed by the apostle in that passage was fulfilled; but though the epistle was not directed solely to the church in Corinth, still it especially referred to that, so that the readers would assuredly interpret those words only of an intended residence of Paul in Corinth, and not of a place so far removed from this city. That Paul could not possibly have thought of Nicopolis, is obvious from the fact that when he wrote these words, as Wieseler himself holds, he had not been in Nicopolis, but made known the gospel there at a later time. Paul conceived of Christians only as the readers of his epistle, but not those who might be afterwards converted to Christianity. Finally, if Augustus extended the name Achaia even to Epirus, it does not follow that in common usage, Nicopolis was considered as lying in Achaia. Besides, Paul, according to Wieseler, did not carry out the plan mentioned Tit. 3:13, since he remained in Nicopolis only two winter months; and thus must have travelled to Corinth in the midst of winter. Though some subordinate circumstances may favor Wie-seler’s view, and give an air of probability to it, as that Apollos was with Paul in Ephesus, 1 Cor. 16:12. Tit. 3:13, still the correctness of the view can, thereby, by no means be shown.
Second Epistle to Timothy. From the epistle we learn that it was written by the Apostle, when he was imprisoned, and written in Home, 1:8, 12, 16, 17, etc. The New Testament mentions only one imprisonment of the Apostle in Rome. We are then to inquire, whether it was during this period, that the epistle was written. Since Timothy was with Paul when he wrote the epistles to the Colossians, Philippians, and to Philemon, then our epistle must have been written to Timothy either before or after those epistles. According to the more common opinion, it was written before; but this is contradicted not only by the entire tone of it, but by the following particular dates: 1. In Acts 27:2, Luke expressly names Aristarchus, besides himself, as the companion of Paul to Rome; when the epistles to the Colossians and Philemon were written, Aristarchus was still with him; but when our epistle was composed, he was not with Paul. 2. At the time the two epistles were written, Demas was with Paul, but when he wrote to Timothy, he had forsaken him, “having loved the present world;” one might indeed say that at the time of the writing of the two epistles, he had penitently returned to Paul, but this would be a very improbable hypothesis. 3. According to 2 Tim. 4:6, Paul apprehended the end of his life to be very near; on this account dearly he desired Timothy to come to him immediately; in the other epistles written during the imprisonment recorded in Acts, he nowhere represents his situation as having been earlier more afflictive and later more favorable as he does in the second Epistle to Timothy; now if the imprisonment closed with the death of the Apostle, then it is manifestly more probable that the martyrdom took place immediately after this epistle was written, than immediately after the authorship of the others.
The second theory, that our epistle was written later than the three referred to [during the imprisonment mentioned in Acts], has been particularly advocated by Wieseler. But several objections lie against this. First, the passage, 2 Tim. 4:13, is adverse. Paul could have left the cloak, together with the books and parchments at Troas only during his third missionary tour. Now it would be singular that he should first wish to obtain these articles after the lapse of something like five years, for that he had left them with Carpus for his special use, is an hypothesis which has nothing in its favor, but rather the word anihnov against it. Still more decidedly adverse is the passage, 2 Tim. 4:20. An unbiassed reader would gather nothing else from it, than that Paul journeyed from Corinth, Erastus stayed behind in Corinth, and Paul, on his departure from Miletus, left Trophimus there sick. Since now Paul on his journey from Caesarea to Rome, was neither in Corinth, nor in Miletus, so the journey here spoken of could be only the journey which the apostle made before his imprisonment in Jerusalem. But how can it be supposed that Paul should have made mention for the first time of these circumstances to Timothy, in a written form five years afterwards, though Timothy, within this interval, had been with Paul? In order to deprive this passage of its weight, Wieseler supposes that it is to be understood of Paul’s experience as a prisoner. Trophimus, says Wieseler, was not left at Miletus by Paul on his missionary journey, for according to Acts 21:29, he was with Paul in Jerusalem. Paul embarked in a ship sailing to Adramyttium near Troas. In this he sailed to Myra in Lycia, and there went aboard another, sailing direct to Italy. Trophimus accompanied him to Myra; there, on account of his sickness, he left him and went in the Adramyttium ship to Miletus, where he would remain as his conjectured home. But aside from the artificial character of this hypothesis, and the inexactness at least in which it involves the language of the apostle, all this, if it actually so occurred, must have been necessarily known a long time to Timothy, who had been With Paul in Rome, and so much the more, if, with Wieseler, we suppose, that Paul wished to take Trophimus to Rome that he might be a witness for him against his Jewish accusers. The idea that the emphasis is to be laid on the words Trophimus and sick, and that Paul by that would remind Timothy only of the sickness of Trophimus, which might still hinder him from coming to Rome, is an unsatisfactory artifice, since the whole sentence involves nothing less than a wish to remind Timothy of the facts. Wieseler thinks that Erastus was an important witness for Paul, whom he had sent for to come to Rome, summoned either through Timothy, or Onesiphorus, but that, notwithstanding, he remained in Corinth, and that it was this, which Paul now communicated to Timothy; but of such a summons there is not the smallest trace. Besides, v. 20 has not at all the position which it would probably have if it were written in relation to the judicial proceedings. These are referred to in vs. 16, 17. If the notices in v. 20, refer to the same things, they must have been placed in connection with vs. 16, 17; but they are wholly separated by the salutation in v. 19. On the other hand, they stand in immediate connection with the direction to Timothy to hasten to him before winter. It is more than probable that vs. 20, 21, stand in a like relation to each other as vs. 9, 10. Timothy supposed that Demas, Crescens and Titus were with Paul in Rome; Paul now informs him that they had left him; he conjectured that Erastus and Trophimus had accompanied Paul to Rome; Paul now tells him that they had not. So the whole stands in a simple, natural connection. Thus the epistle cannot have been written by the Apostle after the writing of the Epistles to the Colossians, etc. during that imprisonment in Rome, of which the Acts makes mention.
From the above considerations, it is evident, that these three epistles could not have been written in the part of Paul’s life described in the Acts; and in spite of the opposing difficulties, should it be thought not absolutely impossible, that one or another of them might have been written in the period in question, still, the fact is of peculiar weight, that the placing of the authorship in that period is alike difficult in respect to all the three epistles, and to accomplish the same, more or less improbable and artificial combinations are necessary. Besides, the events and circumstances in the life of the Apostle, which are presupposed in these epistles, are certainly omitted in the Acts, which is not the case, in general, of any other of Paul’s epistles. Still, if one wholly dissents from the above, there are other weighty reasons, arising from the nature of the epistles themselves, adverse to the theory in question. If we look at the contents of the three epistles, we find that in all alike, an attack is made on certain false teachers. These are of an entirely different kind from those with whom Paul had to do in the epistles to the Romans and Galatians; they are like those who are opposed in the Epistle to the Colossians — such false teachers as could have originated only at a later period. Paul, also, in his address to the Ephesian elders at Miletus, speaks of the appearance of such teachers in the church as something future. Christianity must have already become a powerful principle before such a mixing of the Christian element with the oriental-Jewish speculation, as is shown in those false teachers, could have taken place. If we look at the form of the three epistles and their peculiar diction, we find that the coloring is manifestly different from that of the other Pauline epistles.
According to Wieseler’s theory, which, aside from this, has the most probability in its favor, the first Epistle to Timothy was written between the first and the second Epistles to the Corinthians, after that to the Galatians and before that to the Romans. But it cannot be denied from an unprejudiced examination, that the entire mode of exhibition in the epistles is adverse to such a view. Whoever estimates, not simply the external relations, but the nature, the internal evidence, must consider it impossible, that Paul could have written the first Epistle to Timothy at the same time in which he wrote the other epistles alluded to. Besides, the character peculiar to thi3 epistle is entirely like that of the other two pastoral epistles. The inward connection between them is at least as great, if it is not greater, than that between the Epistle to the Colossians and the Ephesians. If one is compelled, on account of this relationship, to place the authorship of these two at the same time, then we must certainly come to the same conclusion in regard to the pastoral epistles. According to Wieseler, indeed, there was no long interval between the first Epistle to Timothy and the Epistle to Titus, though the first to the Corinthians is to be placed between them, which still is attended with much difficulty; but the second to Timothy which has entirely the same character with the first, is put more than five years later, during which time not only the second Epistle to the Corinthians and that to the Romans, but also those to the Ephesians, Colossians, etc. were written! To rend from one another things so related, cannot possibly be justified.
As a result, it stands sure, 1. that all three epistles belong to one and the same period in the life of the Apostle, and 2. that this period cannot fall in that section of the Apostle’s life, which is known to us by the Acts, and by the rest of Paul’s epistles. The writing of them must, accordingly, belong to a later portion of his life. But this is possible only on the ground that Paul was liberated from the Roman imprisonment related by Luke, and was subsequently imprisoned in Rome.
The notice in the Acts cannot be made to hold good against the historical probability of a liberation and subsequent imprisonment, since the martyr-death of the Apostle at the close of the imprisonment mentioned by Luke is’ not less an hypothesis than the liberation. We must resort to the statements of the ancient church fathers. Still, it is not to be overlooked, that they give only a few notices respecting the apostles. Not so much an historical, as a parenetical or doctrinal interest lies at the basis of their writings. They looked at existing needs, and only occasionally at past facts. Hence we cannot wonder if they communicate only a few facts in regard to Paul, and those few only in the form of hints.
The first clear and definite notice that Paul was liberated from the imprisonment mentioned by Luke, is found in Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 22, 22, and is as follows: “Then (namely, after the lapse of the two years, mentioned Acts 28:30) after pleading his cause, the Apostle is reported to have gone again on the ministry of preaching, and that having come a second time to the same city, he finished his course by martyrdom under him [Nero]. While he was in bonds, he wrote his second Epistle to Timothy, signifying at the same time his first defence, and his impending death.”4 Still, the testimony of Eusebius has not remained unassailed. The attempt has been made to invalidate it, 1st, because Eusebius himself does not rely on competent vouchers, but only on the report, λόγος, and 2nd, because his conviction of the correctness of this report rests only on the second Epistle to Timothy itself, and particularly on his interpretation of 2 Tim. 4:16, 17. But, on the other hand, it is to be remarked, that Eusebius, by the phrase, λόγος ἔχει, never denotes an uncertain and doubtful report or myth, appearing only occasionally, but rather, the general, prevalent conviction, as such, so that it appears from his testimony, if nothing more, that at his time, the view generally prevailed that Paul was set at liberty from that imprisonment. Since now Eusebius met with this account, so the condition of the second epistle was a proof to him, that it was written in the second imprisonment in Rome, indicated by the tradition. On the other hand, the assertion, that Eusebius inferred the liberation and subsequent imprisonment only from the second Epistle to Timothy, is without foundation and is in opposition to the words of Eusebius. The circumstance that Eusebius adduces no testimony from an older church writer for the truth of that tradition, may be taken as a proof that there was no witness; so, on the other hand, it cannot be denied that no opposing testimony was known to him. In favor of the truth of that tradition, there appear, if not direct, yet indirect proofs, and that too of an earlier time.
First, the passage in the first epistle of Clemens Romanus to the Corinthians, c. v. The text of the Cod. Alex., the only remaining text, as amended by the editor, Junius, is: “Through zeal Paul received the reward of patience— —. Having been a preacher in the east and in the west, he obtained the excellent reward of his faith. Having taught righteousness through the whole world, and even to the boundary of the west, having come and testified before governors, so he was released from the world.”5 Wieseler remarks, that on the supposition that the text so restored is the actual original of Clement, only the extreme west may be understood by τέρμασ τῆς δύσεως, since, he thinks, that Clement could have so written, even if he knew only of the Apostle’s residence in Rome — and not in Spain. In proof he relies on Rom. 10:18. But it is not to be overlooked that these words are cited from the Old Testament; at the same time they answer Paul’s object, since to him Rome was the city representing the west. Entirely analogous is the passage, Acts 2:5, where Luke says that Jews were present at the Pentecost “from every nation under heaven,” and afterwards he names the Romans as the representatives of all the western nations, (not indeed, as “Wieseler thinks, “as the farthest people of the west.”) These passages show, indeed, that Clement’s phrases, “in the east and in the west,” and the “whole world,” do not necessarily point to countries beyond Rome. But it is otherwise with the expression, κ[αὶ ἐπὶ] τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως. It would be difficult to show that Rome, in the view of the orientals, lay at the utmost boundary of the west; how much less would this be the case in the view of the occidentals? But it is wholly impossible that a man who lived in Rome itself, and thence wrote these words, could have thought of Rome by that expression. Besides, the position of these words gives them a special emphasis; if Clement had not intended to refer to countries beyond Rome, he would assuredly have been content with the expressions first used, as these would have perfectly indicated the labors of the Apostle in the west, and consequently in Rome. Accordingly, if this passage is rightly restored by Junius, it bears decided testimony in favor of a journey of the apostle to Spain; yet, certainly not for a course of labor there; this rather seems to be excluded by the use of the simple ἐλθών. But Wieseler doubts the correctness of this restoration of the text, since he believes that the original text was not καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ τέρμα, etc., but καὶ ὑπὸ τέρμα, etc., and the translation would be, “after he had taught righteousness through the whole world, and had appeared before the supreme power of the West, and had testified before the rulers,” etc. That τὸ τέρμα may mean the sovereignty and even the highest imperial authority, is certainly granted; but with this meaning, the words ὑπὸ — ἔρχεσθαι do not well accord; besides, in opposition to this conjecture and its explanation, is the fact, that thereby the highest imperial authority would be designated only as that of the West, while its power likewise extended over the East. Certainly Clement, who, according to Wieseler’s own expression, “sounded a panegyric on Paul,” could have by no means described that highest authority in so limited a manner; he would certainly, if he had understood τὸ τέρμα in that sense, have not merely added τῆς δύσεως, but, in conformity to fact, τῆς ἀνατολ καὶ τῆς δύσεως. So the restitution of the text by Junius, must stand, and it must be granted that Clement in this passage actually refers to a journey of the Apostle to Spain.
The second passage is found in the Canon of Muratori, formed about A. D. 170, “Acta autem omnium apostolorum sub uno libro scribta sunt. Lucas obtime Theophile comprindit, quia sub praesentia ejus singula gerebantur, sicuti et semote passionem Petri evidenter declarat, sed profectionem Pauli ab urbe ad Spaniam proficiscentis.” That these words contain a contradiction of the position that Paul made a journey to Spain, is by no means the fact; for if it is probable, as Wieseler correctly supposes, that after proficiscentis the word omittit has fallen out, then the fragmentist would only say, that Luke did not mention that journey, but he does not say that it did not occur, or that it was doubtful, or was controverted. But however these words may be explained, so much stands irrefutable, that that journey was a matter of tradition at the time the fragmentist wrote.
If it appears from these passages, that tradition preserved the knowledge of a journey of the Apostle to Spain, (not of labors there,) then the liberation from the imprisonment in Rome mentioned by Luke, would fall in with this tradition (confirmed by the λόγος ἔχει of Eusebius,) since that journey could take place only on the supposition that Paul was liberated. As no decisive argument can be urged against the truth of this tradition, by which its impossibility, or even improbability can be shown, then the result may be rightfully used in settling the time in which our Epistles were written. For, if in the life of Paul up to his first imprisonment in Rome, no fit time can be found in which to place their authorship, and if, at the same time, the authorship of the three must necessarily belong to one and the same time in the life of the Apostle, (while the contents of the epistles point to a late period,) then the supposition is authorized that the epistles were written after the imprisonment mentioned in Acts; the first to Timothy and that to Titus in the interval between the two imprisonments, and the second to Timothy during this second imprisonment. This view, which presupposes the genuineness of the epistles, is the only tenable one, according to the foregoing investigation, and hence it has been received in the most recent times by the defenders of the authenticity, except Matthies and Wieseler.
If now we suppose, as can hardly be doubted after Wieseler’s inquiries, that Paul first came to Rome in the spring of A. D. 61, then the epistles were not written — as the imprisonment lasted somewhere. about two years — till after the spring of 63. The time, however, may probably be determined more exactly. In the summer of 64, Rome was burnt at the instigation of Nero; a general persecution of the Christians was connected with it. Since in the epistles there is not the slightest allusion to these events, it is very probable that they were written before these events, and that the martyrdom of the Apostle, which is sufficiently vouched for by tradition,6 took place either before, or at the latest, during that persecution. Since it cannot be supposed that the Apostle’s first defence would have terminated so favorably for him, as is mentioned 2 Tim. 4:17, if it had been made after the burning of the city, then this defence is probably to be placed before the burning, somewhere about July, 64. If these conjectures are correct, then it is the interval between the spring of 63 and the summer of 64, in which the pastoral epistles were written, and in which the events took place, which are mentioned in the epistles as belonging to the same time. This interval was indeed short, but not too short. They may have happened in the following order. In the spring of 63, Paul departed from Rome, landed in Crete, where he staid some time, and then left Titus there; he then went to Ephesus, where he met Timothy. After he had stayed here a short time, he travelled to Macedonia. From hence he wrote the first Epistle to Timothy, and somewhat later, after he had come to the conclusion to “winter” at Nicopolis in Epirus, he wrote the Epistle to Titus, to whom he communicated that conclusion. After he had passed the winter in that city, he returned, near the end of it, to Ephesus. Without stopping here, he went through Miletus, where he left Trophimus sick, to Corinth. Without taking Erastus with him from this place, as he hoped, he sailed to Spain. Unknown circumstances induced him to leave Spain immediately for Rome. Perhaps he was apprehended in Spain, and taken as a prisoner to Rome. Thus he might have reached Rome in May or June; at the beginning of July, his first defence might have been made. Immediately, he wrote the second Epistle to Timothy, and then suffered martyrdom, either before or shortly after the conflagration.
The external evidence in favor of the genuineness of the three pastoral epistles, is very decisive. Eusebius reckons them among the Homologoumena, since not the smallest doubt of their genuineness prevailed in the Catholic church. They are found as Pauline epistles not only in the Canon of Muratori and in the Pesheto, but are repeatedly cited as such by Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria. If they are not expressly quoted by the earlier church fathers, yet by allusions, hints, or at least reminiscences, they seem not to have been less known to them than the other Pauline epistles. Clement of Rome uses the word εὐσέβεια, so common in the pastoral epistles, to denote “godliness.” In his first Epistle to Corinthians, ch. 2, he writes, “ready to every good work,” see Tit. 3:1. Ignatius, in the Epistle to the Magnesians, ch. 8: “Be not led away with strange doctrines, neither with old fables, which are unprofitable,” 1 Tim. 1:4, Tit. 3:9. Some places in Polycarp’s epistles, have a very striking correspondence, e. g., “The beginning of all evils is the love of money; knowing, then, that we brought nothing into the world, and have nothing to carry out, let us be armed with the armor of righteousness,” 1 Tim. 6:7, 10. Justin, in his Dial. C. Tryph. 47, copies the words, Tit. 3:4, “the kindness and philanthropy of God.” There are, also, allusions or quotations more or less direct in Hegesippus, Theophilus of Antioch, and Anthenagoras.
But, with the Gnostic heretics, these epistles shared a different fate. That they are not found in Marcion’s Canon, does not prove that he was ignorant of their existence. Jerome, in the Introduction to his Commentary on Titus, charges him and the other heretics with having arbitrarily rejected them. It is well known how capriciously Marcion treated some of the New Testament writings admitted by him as genuine. It is in entire harmony with this, when he excludes from the Canon, epistles that so decidedly war against the Gnostic errors. The reason why Tatian receives the Epistle to Titus, as genuine, while he rejects those to Timothy, may be owing to the fact that the heretical teachers are more definitely named as Jewish in Titus than in Timothy.
Since the time of Tatian, the genuineness of these epistles was not doubted till the beginning of this century. J. E. C. Schmidt suggested doubts in regard to the first Epistle to Timothy; Sehleiermacher, 1807, decidedly rejected it, but received the other two. The first epistle was defended by Planck, Wegscheider and Beckhaus. Eichhorn then attacked the genuineness of all three, in which he was followed, though with some wavering, by DeWette, in his Introduction to the New Testament, 1826. While De Wette’s criticism was rather of a negative kind, Eichhorn sought to prove that the epistles were written by a disciple of Paul. Schott, 1830, very arbitrarily describes Luke as the author. The epistles have been defended with more or less ability, partly in special treatises, partly in works of a more general kind, by Hug, Bertholdt, Feilmoser, Guerike, Bohl, Curtius, Kling, Heidenreich, Mack, and others. Baur, Tübingen, 1835, supposes that they originated at the time of the Marcion heretics, from an author, who, without being able to rid himself of Gnostic notions, was in the interest of the Pauline party, and put his attacks on the Gnostic errors into the mouth of Paul. Baumgarten, Böttger, Matthies, and others, have refuted Baur. Even De Wette does not accord with him, but, in his Commentary, 1844, thinks that the epistles were written near the end of the first century.
The genuineness of the Epistles has been assailed mainly on three grounds:
I. The historical difficulty of fixing on any time in Paul’s life when they could have been written. But this difficulty presupposes that a liberation of the Apostle from his imprisonment at Borne, mentioned in Acts, did not take place. But since it has been shown that this presupposition is not well founded, the difficulty falls to the ground.
II. The introduction of some points, which indicate a later age than the apostolic These are three in number.
1. The heretics attacked in all three of the epistles.
The passages in the first Epistle to Timothy, which refer directly to the heretics, are 1:3, 4, 6, 7, 19. 4:1–7. 6:3 seq., 20. The heretics are characterized in these passages as follows: They favored the emanation theory; they put believers under the yoke of laws, particularly in respect to certain kinds of food, and also marriage; they were given to a tiresome love of disputing, and thereby boasted of a special knowledge; they made use of their supposed godliness as a cloak to gain earthly possessions. Besides, the passages 1:17. 2:4, 5, 15. 3:16. 4:10. 6:15, 16, seem to stand in opposition to the heretics. If this be the case, then their theology did not embrace the absolute idea of the Divine Being, which well agrees with the emanation theory; they denied the universality of the Divine grace in regard to salvation, as, perhaps, they referred it only to a class of mankind, the “spiritual,” πνευμάτικοι; they favored Docetism, since they rejected the truth of the human nature of Christ, and viewed the τεκνογνια of women as something in itself to be rejected, which would accord specially with their prohibition of marriage, and in general with their view of the nature of matter. Less definite is the second epistle to Timothy in regard to the heretics. The passages are 2:16–23. 4:6–9, 13. 4:4, and perhaps 2:8. Only one peculiarity is brought out, namely, that they maintained that the resurrection was already past, which was in manifest opposition to the Christian doctrine of the resurrection. In the epistle to Titus, the heretics are referred to in 1:10, 11, 14, 16. 8:9, 10. The characteristics perfectly agree with those in 1 Timothy, except that here the Judaizing element is particularly prominent, since the μῦθοι are described as Jewish, and the μάχαι as of the law.
It is manifest that these heretics are wholly different from the Judaizers, whom Paul attacks in the Epistles to the Gaiatians and Romans, for if both were characterized by a “legal” spirit at war with the evangelical life, yet the one class were entirely different from the other. The “legal” spirit of the heretics of the pastoral epistles, not only went beyond the Mosaic law, but had a different ground from that of the Judaizers. Its quality is indeed not formally stated in the pastoral epistles, but it cannot be denied that it lay in its fantastic, speculative theories on the being of God and his relation to the world. These heretics more resemble those attacked in the Epistle to the Colossians, than they do the Judaizers. There is no sufficient ground for the supposition that our epistles attack different heretics from those referred to in the Colossians. All the traits much more perfectly agree in one likeness, and this likeness corresponds to that which later meets us in Gnosticism. Still, an essential difference is not to be overlooked. Gnosticism was found in a stronger or weaker opposition to Judaism, while the heresy here described has a Jewish character. We have not then sufficient grounds to find in this heresy the first germ of Gnosticism. The same fantastic, speculative tendency is certainly common to both, but here we see this tendency in connection with Jewish-Christianity, there, on the contrary, with Gentile-Christianity. That Judeæ-Christian speculation was not so fully developed as Gnosticism, is naturally accounted for from the fact that the Jewish type of Christianity was wholly absorbed in the Gentile type; only in Ebionitism and in the Clementine system did a tendency, at least similar, continue. The more we look at this heresy and that of the later Gnosticism, the more will the semblance of an argument disappear in favor of the position that the former could not have belonged to the apostolic age, especially as then the existing Judaism likewise showed tendencies to the same speculations.
Baur thinks that the heresy referred to in the pastoral epistles is the Marcionite Gnosticism; but his position is not tenable. According to him, in 1 Tim. 1:8, the heretics would express the sentiment “that the law was not good,” but a sound interpretation would draw exactly the opposite from the passage, as the word νομοδιδάσκαλοι shows. From Tit. 3:9, Baur infers the Antinomian character of the false teachers; but if this were correct, it would not prove the Marcionite character of it, for Antinomianism, as is known, was found with other Gnostics. The passages 1 Tim. 4:3 connected with Tit. 1:14, certainly show that the prohibitions by the heretics here stated, e. g. forbidding to marry, had their ground in a dualistic conception of the world; but it is manifestly too much to say, that this dualism is to be found only, or in its most definite form in Marcion, for the same, though with modifications, is an essential element in Gnosticism in general. Baur also thinks, that the author of the epistles was infected with Gnosticism; but it is hardly worth while to refute him. We may exclaim with De Wette, “how artificial!” How blind must Irenaeus and Tertullian have been, that they—the most decided opponents of Marcion — did not discover the manifest traces of the Marcionite system in these epistles? This discovery Was reserved for a Tübingen professor 1600 years later! De Wette is compelled to place the authorship of the epistles not later than the end of the first century; but it may just as well be placed in the apostolic times, for proper Gnosticism, in its developed form, was as foreign to the close of the first century, as it was to apostolic times
2. The church organization. Those, who have attacked the genuineness of the epistles, especially Baur and De Wette, object that the strengthening and development of the hierarchy which are indicated in the epistles, could not have been the work of the apostle Paul. Baur, in his earlier work on the Pastoral Epistles, remarks, that in the genuine Pauline epistles, there is no trace of particular officers for” the guidance of the churches, while, according to the past6ral epistles, these officers are so organized, that ἐπίσκοποι, πρεσβύτεροι and διάκονοι, come out prominently; in connection with which he supposes that the plural, πρεσβύτεροι, in the collective sense designates the single overseers, one of whom, under the name ἐπίσκορος, had the oversight of single churches. In his later work on Paul, Baur maintains, that the Gnostics, as they were properly the earliest heretics, first gave occasion for the establishing of the episcopal organization. It is granted, that they were thus actually organized, yet in this we may certainly find a proof for the earlier authorship of our epistles than the period of Gnosticism, for in the epistles there is not a trace of the peculiar episcopal organization; yea, even if Baur’s view on the relation of the expressions πρεσβύτεροι and ἐπίσκοι, were correct, still the meaning of ἐπίσκοπος here would be essentially different from what it was later in the proper episcopal organization. In our epistles, we meet with the simplest form of church order. The institute of deacons originated in the earliest apostolic period; and if the time when the “presbytery” had its origin and the manner in which it was introduced, are not handed down by tradition, still, it must, apart from all the testimonies of the Acts, have originated very early, since no church could be conceived of without a government. Now in all the precepts which are given in our epistles on the presbyters and deacons, the writer has obviously in view nothing else than that such men only should be taken for this work, who by their previous conduct were worthy of the confidence of the church, and were fitted for successful labor. Where is there aught hierarchical in this? How different in this respect are the Ignatian epistles? If one thinks it strange, that, while, in the eight epistles of Paul acknowledged as genuine, such references are not found, they should be met with in our epistles, he is to consider that these epistles, if genuine, belong to the last period of Paul’s life, when he was near the end of his labors. It must have been natural for him, especially when he saw a heresy, destructive to the churches, beginning to extend, to turn attention to church institutions and also to men, that, to a certain extent, would take his place in care for the churches. That Paul had not the smallest interest in ecclesiastical institutions, and that this want had its deep foundation in the spirit and character of the Pauline Christianity, is an absolutely groundless idea, as it stands in the most decided contrast with what we know in the Acts, of the Apostle’s labors.
3. Institute of widows. Schleiermacher takes χῆραι. 1 Tim. 5:9 seq., in the sense of deaconesses, and adduces it as a testimony of the later origin of this epistle. Baur supposes, that by this expression, according to its usage in the church in the second century, those females were denoted, who adopted an ascetic mode of life, and, in this character, gradually formed a peculiar ecclesiastical order, closely connected with that of the bishops, presbyters and deacons, on account of which the name deaconesses was given them. Baur adds, that they were not so much actual widows, as nominally such. But he allows, however, that widows only were first received; later, the unmarried were admitted, while the name remained unchanged. But, if χῆραι indicates a peculiar kind of ecclesiastical persons, it would prove nothing against the apostolical origin of the epistle. It would well accord with apostolic times, and with the spirit of Paul. That virgins were admitted into the number of widows, or that the widows were devoted to an ascetic life, cannot be proved from 1 Tim. 5:11, as Baur thinks. But it is still a question whether the word χῆραι here means deaconesses. Mosheim and De Wette contend that it does not. According to the former, the “deaconesses “waited on the women, without performing spiritual duties, while the “widows “had an honorable place in the assemblies, exercised a kind of superintendence over other women, and attended to the education of the orphan children that were supported by the church. If this view be correct, such an arrangement in regard to widows might have properly been made in the apostolic church. Be Wette objects to the regular and formal choice of these widows, as something foreign to that period, but there is nothing said in the entire passage of a formal choice; καταλεγέσθω does not imply it. That the widow must have been the “wife of one husband,” i.e. married only once, by no means indicates that a second marriage was not regarded as Christian. The ground of the precept may have been, that the widows might have a “good report” among “those without,” the heathen considering it as air honor not to marry the second time.
The manner in which Paul speaks of Timothy, in his epistles to him$ is regarded by some as an objection to the genuineness. According to De Wette, Timothy must have been at least thirty-five years of age, having labored ten years with Paul. He is represented as a timid youth, needing, in his inexperience, many instructions. But we should infer from the first account of him, Acts 16:1 seq., that he was much below twenty-five years. Then, the difference between his age and position, and those of Paul, would render it proper for the latter to speak of him as his son, as a young man, and to address him as one needing exhortation and encouragement, especially as he was to take the oversight of an important church, in which there were many “elders.”
III. The last objection to the genuineness of the epistles, relates to the peculiarities of expression and modes of thought. We are to inquire, whether these are of such a kind as to preclude the apostolic origin of the epistles. That they contain a multitude of peculiar words, ἅπαξ λεγομένα, manifestly decides nothing, for each of Paul’s epistles contains a greater or less number of such expressions. These phrases would be a proof of the spuriousness of the epistles, only as it should be shown that they belonged to a later period, or were borrowed from other writings.
It is urged as an objection against the three epistles, that some passages have a coloring peculiar only from the fact, that they are borrowed from other New Testament epistles, and in fact can be explained only by means of these epistles. Instances are found 1 Tim. 1:12–14, “and I thank Christ Jesus our Lord,” etc., compared with I Cor. 15:9, 10; 1 Tim. 2:11, 12, “Let the women learn,” etc., with 1 Cor. 14:34, 35, “Let your women keep silence,” etc.; also 2 Tim. 1:3–5, with Rom. 1:8 seq.; 2 Tim. 2:5, with 1 Cor. 9:24, and others. The resemblance is undeniable, but it cannot constitute an objection. The agreement is not complete. There are some deviations. In that case, the objector must suppose that the author of the pastoral epistles either designedly deviated from the text lying before him, so as artfully to conceal his deception, or that he had almost unwillingly admitted these urgent reminiscences. Still, it may be supposed that the Apostle himself, while he was treating kindred subjects, might use similar expressions, when, on the whole, his diction had a coloring different from what was earlier peculiar to him. Besides, instances of agreement of the same kind are found in other epistles of Paul, without invalidating the genuineness of any of them. That these passages cannot be understood without reference to similar expressions in other epistles, is decidedly incorrect.
But how do we explain the often observed difference between the diction of these epistles and that of the other Pauline epistles? The opposers of the genuineness hold, that the author was an impostor of the post-Apostolic age, who had indeed imbibed not a little of the Pauline mode of conception and expression, but who could not conceal his own peculiar manner. Baur has pointed out some post-Apostolic phrases, which are used in attacking the heretics. But these prove nothing, since the position that the heresy here attacked originated after the apostolic age, has no sure support. The influence of these attacks on heresy, is not to be confined merely to the proper polemic passages, for not only did the Jews and heathen, but also the heretical Christians furnish material for the expression of Christian ideas; this “polemic “gave occasion to ideas and phrases which could not otherwise have been formed in this peculiar manner, out of the simple Christian consciousness. This holds not merely of the later church teachers, but of the apostles. As instances, we refer to John’s idea of the Logos, and Paul’s of δικαιοσύνη. Let it be granted, that at the time of the apostles, there was a heresy akin to Gnosticism, which our epistles presuppose, still there is nothing unapostolic in the fact that the mode of describing the heresy, revealed an effect of that heresy, as is the case in the words φανεροῖς, ἐπιφάνεια,φῶς ἀπρόσιτον, etc.
Besides these, there are expressions which, it is urged, belong to the church language of the second and third centuries,’ e. g. “man of God,” “husband of one wife,” εὐσέβεια, Βασιλεῖς (the last to be explained from a custom introduced by Hadrian.) But it may be replied, that the later writers may have borrowed them from the apostolic — especially as some are found in the writings of the so-called apostolic fathers.
These epistles differ from the other Pauline epistles, not only in single expressions, but in the mode in which the thoughts are developed, though there are points of agreement. Is this peculiarity unworthy of Paul? The answer will vary according to the subjective feelings. Schleiermacher finds no fault with the second Epistle to Timothy and the Epistle to Titus. De Wette denies to the second epistle all good grammatical and logical connection, as well as a true tact for what is befitting, while he thinks that Schleiermacher exaggerates what is objectionable in the first epistle, and did not penetrate sufficiently into the spirit of the author, and saw want of sense and connection where a fundamental interpreter must have judged otherwise. Baur even thinks that the first epistle is not wanting in unity and the carrying through of a definite idea. De Wette objects to the transition of the thoughts; “but prejudice was so strong in him,” “that where all is in the most perfect order, he would find some things unworthy of the Apostle.”
If these epistles bear a stamp different from that of the Galatians, Romans and Corinthians, it is to be considered that Paul would not resort to a dialectic development in pastoral letters,—private epistles to his assistants. Where this peculiarity does not prevail, the course of thought is not so different as some have maintained. Even the peculiarity in respect to general truths, urged by De Wette, is seen in the other Pauline epistles; comp. Rom. 13:10. 14:9, 17. 1 Cor. 4:20. 6:7. 7:19. The reason urged against the genuineness from the prevailing view of practical morality will not hold. The same view is by no means less prominent in the other Pauline epistles. A perfect agreement exists in all, in the fact that faith is the deepest ground of a moral life, and faith also in the atoning death of Christ. The morality taught in 1 Tim. 2:15. 3:13. 4:8. 6:18, 19, is not in opposition to Paul’s doctrine of grace. It is, also, urged that the contents of the epistles are not so rich and weighty as those of the other Pauline epistles; the thoughts are too general, are feeble, etc. But it is to be considered, that Timothy and Titus needed only general precepts; such discussions as those in the Galatians were not demanded.
As the result of a careful examination, we find: 1. That the external evidence furnishes no ground to doubt the genuineness of the epistles; 2. That the difficulty of bringing the authorship of the epistles within the period of Paul’s life, disappears on the theory of his second imprisonment in Rome; there is no adequate reason for not admitting this imprisonment; 3. That the internal peculiarities of the epistles, in regard to the subjects handled, the development of thought and mode of expression, show indeed some things of an unusual character, but still not of a kind to have any decided weight against the genuineness; and 4. That it would be far more difficult to show, both in general and in particulars, how an impostor could have prepared three such epistles as these are, both in contents and in form, and foisted in the name of the Apostle Paul, than it is to prove their genuineness. No evidences for their post-apostolic origin exist; they accordingly hold their place in the Canon as. Pauline epistles.
1) Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. III. 4, says: Τιμίθεος τῆς ᾿Εφέσω παροιχίας ἱοτορεῖται πρῶτος τὴν ἐπισχοπὴν εἰληφέναι. Comp. also Const. Apost. 1, 7, c. 46, Photii Bibl. 254, Chrysost. Homil. 15 in 1 Tim.
2) Hist. Eccl. III. 4. Comp. Hieron. Catal. Script. Eccl., Theodoret in 1 Tim, III. Theophylact, Prooem. ad Tit., Const, Apos. VII. 46.
3) Οὖτοι v. 5, refers obviously to all the persons before named, consequently also to Timothy.
4) Τὁτε μέν ὀ͂ν ἀπολογησὰμενον αν̓͂θις επὶ τὴν τοῦ κηρύγματος διακονίαν ἰ.ύγος ἒχει στείλασθαι τὸν ἀπόστολον, δεύτερον δ̓ ἐπιβάντα τῇ πόλει τῷ κατ̓ αὐτὸν τελειωθῆναι μαρτυρίῳ . ἐν ᾧ δεσμοῖς ἐχόμενος τὴν πρός Τιμόθεον δεύτεραν ἐπιοτολὴν συντάττει, ὁμοῦ σημαίνων αὐτῷ γενομένην ἀπσλογιαν.
5) Διὰ ζῆλον [ὁ] Παῦλος υπομενῆς βραβεῖον [ἔπεοσχ]εν— —, κῆρυξ γενό μενος ἐν τῆ ἀιατολῇ καὶ ἐν [τῇ]δύσει, τὸν γενναῖον τῆς πίστεως αὐτοῦ κλέος ἒλαβεν. δικαιοσύνην διδάξας ὅλον τον κ [αὶ ἐπὶ]τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως ἐλθὼνκαὶ μαρτυρήσας ἐπὶ τῶν ἡγουμένων, οὕτως ἀπηλλάγη τοῦ κόσμου.
6) The tradition which testifies to the manner of his death — beheading by a sword — conflicts, it is thought, with the view, that he was put to death in that persecution. But this is by no means the case, since we are not informed that this kind of capital infliction was not in use at that time. Allowing that it is improbable that the mode of his death by beheading was an indulgence to his rights as a Roman citizen, still there may have been other reasons which are unknown to us. That Paul was beheaded towards the end of Nero’s reign, A. D. 67 or 68, has no sure support in tradition. Had his labors, after his first imprisonment, lasted so long, tradition would have preserved some notice of it.