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Oct 18, 2007

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Mike Aubrey

I would definitely suggest picking up one of Towner's two commentaries on Timothy and Titus. His large NIC volume is more up to date.

Its excellent. I'm about 350 pages through it right now.

Michael W. Kruse

"..350 pages through it..."

But pictures? Does it have lots of pictures?

:)

Seriously, I've ordered a used copy but probably won't be able to get to it for awhile.

Thanks for endorsement!

samlcarr

Michael, a fascinating and stimulatingly creative summary of a vast amount of actually, confusing data!

One thought for me that has helped to make some sort of sense out of this passage comes out of studies on the precious nature of the oral traditions in which form the 'words of life' of Jesus were transmitted.

Starting with Gerhardsson's study way back when and working through Bailey and now Bauckham, one possibility that struck me is that the "didasko" (to teach) may have been referring here absolutely to the handling and passing on of this precious tradition, which did indeed involve specialised training ("Rabbinic"?) and an educational background, for otherwise the chances of casually and disastrously corrupting this precious Gospel, are just too great.

We know from Paul's own writings that there were a few women who actually had been entrusted with this exacting task, but they would have been in the minority as generally women were simply not given much in the way of formal education.

The 'authentein' then also makes some sense, for it is a strong word.

The possibility, as you point out, for women to take up this task too is certainly also present but predicated on their first being given the proper training.

i also think that 1Cor 11 does offer some helpful hints for what Paul is doing here in 1Tim. In 1Cor Paul puts out a powerful argument for comportment during worship and draws analogies from the creation account. He then goes on tho invite the readers to judge for themselves while also pointing out to them that if they go in a different direction it will be against the trends established in all other churches, i.e. the common practice.

So, while arguing from creation, and sounding quite emphatic, Paul is still leaving the choice to the individual fellowship to work out for themselves.

In 1 Tim, it seems that Paul has an additional problem as Timothy is the one in the hot seat and who needs to be given a strong supporting hand in order to prevail against some pretty powerful and dominating women. Paul's reading of the creation account here is pointed: Please keep quiet and listen., learn first, demonstrate that you are able to handle such onerous responsibilities, not only in a word perfect way, but also with the sort of humility that it requires.

Then, when young Tim is in a really tight spot and they have him over a barrel, he can whip out the letter, quote Paul and hopefully restore a semblance of order.

As to v15, i really am clueless here!

Michael W. Kruse

Sam, interesting stuff. I think the "Minister of the Word" that Bailey talks about had to have been someone who heard the words from Jesus. But you are right. This letter was very possibly written at a time after the number of churches had grown and during a time when the Minsters of the Word were dying off but before the gospel accounts had been assembled and circulated. There was almost certainly a significant element of oral instruction going on. How all this worked is fuzzy and largely lost to history from what I can tell.

Thanks for the insights! It is something to ponder.

samlcarr

Yes, i should have made that more obvious. Flights of fancy, pure speculation. There is no real evidence that I can point to except that 'didasko' and 'didaskein' do sometimes seem to take on a more technical meaning.

None of the scholars that I am leaning on have used this logic for these verses!

Michael W. Kruse

Well I wouldn't say pure speculation. I just keep turning this stuff over and over. It is very hard to get inside these first century minds.

Sam Carr

One thing that increasingly impresses upon me is that we are not only thousands of years away in time and in cultural change but that with epistles we are hearing only a small proportion of one side of the conversation and then trying to figure out what it all means.

Michael W. Kruse

Amen!

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