The New Testament

A Historical and Theological Introduction

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34. The Pastoral Epistles

Questions for Research and Discussion

  1. Explain the significance of the Pastoral Epistles, regardless of the authorship question.
  2. Imagine that you have a colleague who cannot accept the Pastorals as Scripture if they were not actually written by Paul himself. How might you approach a conversation with her about the authorship of these documents?
  3. What are the distinctive theological features of the Pastorals over against the undisputed Pauline epistles? How might these be explained if Paul was indeed the author of the Pastorals?
  4. Evaluate the other options for authorship of the Pastorals, that is, other than pseudonymous or by Paul himself. If you had to choose one of these other options, which seems most probable and why?
  5. What are the various requirements for the different church offices in the Pastorals? Is there some overlap between the offices? How do these requirements seem to differ from the way that church offices are presented in the earlier documents of the NT?