The Pastoral Epistles and James

First Timothy

1. Warning against false teachers who "occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies"

2. Everyone should pray to one God and one mediator, Christ Jesus, who was himself human

a. The men should pray and the women should keep silent and dress modestly

3. Qualifications for bishops: married, respectable, a householder, established Christian -- and male

a. What kinds of leaders?

presbyteros ("elder") -- pattern from the synagogue of respected elders who are leaders

episkopos ("overseer", "bishop"): new role of one in charge over all the others: teachers of doctrine; fathers of the family church

4. Some false teachers forbid marriage and demand abstinence from food

5. Care for widows if they comport themselves well, although younger women should remarry

6. Slaves, obey your masters

Second Timothy

1. This grace was given to us before the ages, but only revealed through Jesus's suffering and death

a. Guard the treasure entrusted to you

b. The resurrection is a future hope

2. Watch out for those who claim the resurrection has already happened (a present reality)

a. We will have a crown of glory and the heavenly kingdom one day


1. Bishops should be established (see qualifications in Timothy, above)

a. "Those of the circumcision" are the problem here

b. The Jewish myths and commandments should be rejected

2. Follow the social order: get married when you should, behave in socially correct ways

a. We wait for the glory that is to come

3. Be subject to rulers and authorities

a. God saved us through his mercy, and through baptism, not through "works of righteousness"


"To the twelve tribes in dispersion" -- probably Christians who regard themselves as the true Israel

1. Blessed is anyone who is enduring temptation

a. Be doers of the word, and not hearers only

b. Religion = care for the downtrodden and behavior "unstained by the world"

2. A gospel for the poor

a. Keep the whole law, not just part of it

b. Faith without works is useless

3. Guard your speech

4. The friend of God is an enemy of the world

--Little mention of Christ or the myth of death, resurrection and redemption

--No reference to gospels

--Sayings of Christ sprinkled with general wisdom sayings and unattributed

--Takes issue with Pauline doctrine of justification by faith