The pastoral epistles are the letters that Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus in the New Testament. These books include 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. The title “Pastoral” comes from the instructional nature of the letters themselves.
Timothy was an assistant to Paul during his ministry. He was taught the scriptures as a child by his mother who was named Eunice. Both Timothy and his mother were probably converted during Paul’s first missionary Journey. There is also evidence supporting that Paul led Timothy to the Lord because he calls Timothy his “son in the faith.” Timothy was highly recommended by the Christians in Lystra and Iconium at a young age.
Titus was also a minister who accompanied Paul on at least one of his missionary trips. During Paul’s ministry in Crete, he raised new churches that Titus would have direct influence over.
These letters are primarily instructions for the general functions within the church. Collectively they provide guidelines for all forms of leadership within the local church body. Paul touches on the subjects of women, elders, deacons, and overseers in relationship to authority and function. Before discussing the restrictions and responsibilities of each of these, I’ll briefly provide the historical setting for the pastoral epistles as well as the different views of Paul’s Authorship.
These three letters were written after Paul was first imprisoned in Rome at the conclusion of Acts. The order and dates of Paul’s ministry between the release of his first imprisonment and his second imprisonment are not known. It is commonly accepted that he wrote the bulk of the pastoral epistles between A.D 60 and his death around A.D 67 to 68. Most believe that he began writing his first letter to Timothy within a year of being released from prison in Rome around A.D. 63. Paul informs Timothy that he left him in Ephesus so that he could go into Macedonia. There’s no evidence that he went anywhere else so he probably began writing the pastoral epistles there. Pauline Authorship
Paul’s authorship of the pastoral epistles has been challenged by critics on four grounds. The first is the Historical Argument. This argues that the letters do not fit into the history of the book of Acts. The Second is the Ecclesiastical Argument. This claims that the organization of the local church as taught in these letters is to advanced for Paul’s lifetime. The the third argument is the Doctrinal Argument. This claims that the false teaching attacked in the letters is Gnostic heresy that took place during the second century. This argument also contends that the authors theological outlook is different than the outlook expressed by Paul in his other writings. The last argument is the Linguistic/stylistic Argument. This argues that the authors style, linguistics, and vocabulary differs from the writing in Paul’s other letters.
Each of these arguments have recognizable flaws. Apart from those, the external evidence for Paul’s authorship is significant. Early church fathers such as Inatius, Polycarp, and Irenaeus concerned them as written by Paul. The evidence both internally and externally appears to supports the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles. NATURE OF LEADERSHIP IN SCRIPTURE
Jesus completely turned the table when there was no servant to wash feet as was custom. Under normal circumstances, a servant was expected to wash the dirty road-worn feet of guests. In John 13:1-17 Jesus provides his disciples with an excellent example of leadership. Jesus humbled himself to a position of servitude and washed his disciples feet. He says in 14-15, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” The most effective leaders are those people who are servants to others. Servant leadership is a leadership style that has gained a large amount of popularity in recent years. Jesus...
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