The current scholarship on the pastoral epistles ( Timothy and Titus) is at best, clouded with various exegesis and false accusations against these Pauline letters. It is with this in mind that Andreas Kostenberger and Terry Wilder have edited, Entrusted With The Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles (B&H 2010). This collection of critical essays are brought forth as a light which seeks to illuminate these epistles to readers and to show the trends in modern scholarship in these particular letters. These discoveries and exegetical chapters are filled with a high degree of knowledge and rigorous study in the pastorals.
Of the many articles in this book, one has reached out to me the most. In part because of the author, and the other part due to the subject. Danny Akin has written a most helpful section on Christology in the Pastorals. I find this section to be of utmost importance among the other articles, though they are also extremely important and relevant. From the outset of the article Dr. Akin lays out his plan of attack when it comes to disassembling the letters in order to form a comprehensive and inductive study of the whole.[pullquote3 align=”right” variation=”blue” cite=”Page 138″]Our goal is to allow the Pastorals to speak unhindered by external constraints as much as possible[/pullquote3]
Dr. Akin begins very quickly in developing, from the text, an overt tone of Christology in the 1 Timothy by way of general observation and studied cross-referencing. He notes that immediately in the letter Paul affirms a high view of Christology in this first letter of Timothy. Dr. Akin notes that Paul is quick to affirm the “glorious gospel” of which Paul was appointed a preacher, apostle and teacher (1 Timothy 2:7). As I worked my way thought the general overview of these texts with Dr. Akin I was profoundly stumped at some points and built up at others.
What we discover in terms of Christology is the normal and natural air that Paul and the first-century church breathed.
Another very helpful section was written by Chiao Ek Ho on Mission in the Pastoral Epistles. In naming the letters as pastoral, some have taken that and applied it only to pastoral situations. This chapter was helpful in unfolding and explaining, in not so complex terms, the role of missions in the thought patter of Paul noting that, “The portrait of Paul as apostle, preacher, and teacher fully engaged in missionary endeavors is evident. The letters show that not only was Paul a missionary, but he was a missionary par excellence. In these letters he will certainly remain as a missionary paradigm worthy of emulation by all”.
Many of the articles in this volume were extremely helpful, not only the ones I pointed out. Portions of this text are written for those with a background in Greek and some who just happened to pick it up in the bookstore. The level of scholarship is intense but at the same time practical in its application. I would recommend this volume to anyone who wishes to study the Pastoral epistles more in-depth. It will surely remain on the forefront of my mind when it comes to these letters which Paul penned many years ago. I hope this book finds its way into the hands of pastors and lay persons all over the world. I am so thankful for B&H Publications for providing me with this review copy.