Talk:First Epistle to Timothy

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Hi Hatsoff. I'm very conscious that we could accidentally start an 'edit war', which I am sure we are both keen to avoid. Unfortunately I've lost about 3 refs on computer studies and what's there is actually rather odd, so I'll complete that part. When that's done please feel free to comment here as you feel appropriate and I'm sure we'll be able to reach a consensus. Mercury543210 (talk) 21:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I am of exactly the same feeling. I think your computer studies citation (the one I saw) was quite relevant, and I encourage you to find others. It's a new field of inquiry in Biblical studies, and deserves comment in every NT book article. I particularly thank you for giving me the citations about Polycarp; I'm a little bit embarrassed that I didn't realize the literary relationship was so widely accepted. I really think we should hold off on sub-parting the authorship section for now, though. It's not too long, thankfully, to read through from beginning to end, and parting it out seems to give rise to problems with the flow of the article.--Hatsoff (talk) 22:04, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your very positive response. I've added the other computer related refs that I've read. I think that the section is now getting quite long and, personally, I feel that partitioning it highlights the pros and cons and makes it easier for skim readers. Let me know what you think. Mercury543210 (talk) 22:09, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

In the summary paragraph about authorship, there was a recent attempt to revert to a version of the article which stated wrongly that 'most scholars' believe in Pauline authorship. I have corrected this (as very few mainstream scholars do), and provided an extra reference with the hope it will deter another revert. Idmillington (talk) 23:37, 7 June 2012 (UTC)


Hi Hatsoff again. Again I do not know anything that suggests either of these are relevant to Pauline authorship, though if you have relevant references I will gladly learn and stand aside but until then I suggest we remove them. We do need a credible source to a) support their inclusion and b) to explain what their significance is. Hope this proposal is acceptable to you. Mercury543210 (talk) 21:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Tatian and Basilides have the same sort of relevance that Marcion does, only to a lesser degree. Both rejected 1 Tim as Scriptural. Why? I agree that we need more information on both witnesses, but for now it serves a legitimate purpose in establishing that the ancient testimony was by no means unanimous.--Hatsoff (talk) 22:07, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Where does it say they rejected 1 Tim? I've never read that anywhere, can you add the relevant ref(s)? thanks. Mercury543210 (talk) 22:11, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
It comes from Jerome's preface to Titus, which is not online, to my knowledge. You can do a Google search, though, to verify the info. It's mentioned by--if memory serves--Richard Heard ( At some point I'm going to get a Roman Catholic priest I know to dig up the actual primary source and translate it for me.--Hatsoff (talk) 22:21, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Basilides (but not Tatian) may also be mentioned by Epiphanius.--Hatsoff (talk) 22:21, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks - I'll do some digging.Mercury543210 (talk) 22:54, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

<Reset indent>I've now found two refs that suggest Tatian actually supports the existence of 1 Timothy. I'll add both, with suitable qualifications. Please let me know if you find anything more recent which contradicts these older refs. Mercury543210 (talk) 23:28, 12 February 2008 (UTC) As the 2 ref's are now removed I thought it might be helpful to include them here for ref:

"The following, then, constitute Tatian's Bible as illustrated from the Discourse: Genesis, Psalms, Matthew, John, Acts (??),
Romans, I & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, I Thessalonians,I Timothy (??),Hebrews (?),and I Peter." Hawthorne, Gerald F.,
(1964), Tatian and His Discourse to the Greeks, The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 57, No. 3. (Jul., 1964), pp. 161-188.
"...[our first witnesses might be] Tatian and the author of the Muratorian Fragment ...", Carroll, Kenneth L., (1953),The
Expansion of the Pauline Corpus, Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 72, No. 4. (Dec., 1953), pp. 230-237

Mercury543210 (talk) 21:58, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Tatian, unlike Marcion, definitely knew of the Pastorals. The thing is, though, he rejected 1-2 Timothy, which makes his witness quite relevant.--Hatsoff (talk) 07:15, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


Basilides - only a few fragments from his extensive works survive. He is known to have quoted Romans, 1 Peter and possibly Mark. There are no other known fragments to witness to which books he knew. I'll add the full ref to Layton's paper on Basilides site, and remove the ref to Basilides here. I hope you agree with these edits. Mercury543210 (talk) 00:07, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

After looking it up, I found that it was Tertullian (not Epiphanius, as I speculated above) who also discusses Basilides. Robert Grant wrote the following: "The Pastorals have certainly been regarded as Paul’s since the latter half of the second century, for they were so used by Theophilus of Antioch and Irenaeus of Lyons and are to be found in the Muratorian list. Before that time they were open to criticism. From Tertullian we hear that the Gnostics Basilides (c. 130) and Marcion (c. 140) rejected them, though his statement may mean no more than that both did not know them. According to Jerome, Tatian (c. 170) accepted only the letter to Titus." (web link: ). You can find similar remarks all over Google.--Hatsoff (talk) 07:15, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
As I mentioned before, I'm working on getting a translation of the original Latin works. I just need a couple of weeks.--Hatsoff (talk) 07:15, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Grant ref[edit]

Given the current view that Polycarp quotes Timothy should we remove/qualify this speculation? Mercury543210 (talk) 22:57, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Polycarp does *not* quote 1 Tim, nor any other NT work. The problem is that a few lines from the Pastorals are also found, garbled, in Polycarp to the Philippians. So, which came first? Did Polycarp draw from the Pastorals, or did the Pastorals draw from Polycarp? Or are the allusions purely coincidental? *That* is the speculation, here.--Hatsoff (talk) 07:19, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually both Berding(1999) and Holmes(2005) explicitly state that Polycarp used Timothy. In fact Berding goes further ' can be plausibly argued that Polycarp (rightly or wrongly) understood Paul to be the author of these two epistles [1+2 Timothy].' Hence I think it fair to edit the reference, and associated parts. Mercury543210 (talk) 20:54, 13 February 2008 (UTC) PS Apologies for some unintentionally anon edits, before I realised I wasn't logged in!
First of all, as mentioned before, Grant is a modern source insofar as he is not ancient. That he wrote 45 years ago and not 5 years ago makes no difference; he is still a part of the modern era. Second, a quotation is only a quotation if the author makes it clear that he is quoting another source. Polycarp does not do that. Rather, we only find similar passages in both Polycarp and 1 Tim. Who is quoting who is therefore a matter of speculation. Now, that speculation can be narrowed down quite a bit, as apparently most evangelical scholars claim to have done, but it is still speculation, and therefore more prone to error than conclusions based more directly on hard data. It is not POV to note this.--Hatsoff (talk) 23:14, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

<reset indent>It's not a matter of opinion it is a scholarly judgement. Both Holmes and Barding, among others, now state that the dependence is Polycarp on Timothy. If you read Berding you will find that Polycarp IS 'quoting' Paul, that's the whole thrust of the paper. Similarly Holmes points out that Polycarp introduces the quote (sic) with the phrase 'knowing that'. As you point out Grant wrote 45 years ago and it seems perfectly reasonable to point out that his views held then, now are generally believed to be wrong. I think Wikipedia is about providing interested non-specialists a view of current knowledge, not what was believed to be true 45 years ago. Holmes covers the options in his 2005 article - see p.216.

On a separate pint I also think using the word 'garbled' as a rather pejorative - Holmes uses 'virtually identical'. One of the differences is using 'alla' in Polycarp, instead of the more difficult and therefore more probably original, 'hoti'. Mercury543210 (talk) 19:48, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. I've got access to most of the journal citations, but the books you've mentioned I cannot read online. Any chance you could scan some of the relevant pages and shoot them to me in an email (or via If I could read what you're reading, it might help us come to a compromise.--Hatsoff (talk) 20:30, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Polycarp's alleged use of 1 Timothy[edit]

To User:Mercury543210- You have strongly objected that we allow for the suggestion that Polycarp may not have known 1 Tim, or that 1 Tim may have drawn from Polycarp instead of vice versa. Yet I think it would be POV to treat this as a settled fact, rather than an open question. Berding wrote in 1999 that "Polycarp...almost certainly quoted from 1 and 2 Timothy" (Vigiliae Christianae; Nov99, Vol. 53 Issue 4, p350). For those who argue 1-2 Timothy instead quoted from Polycarp, he writes that "scholarly opinion is now against them," continuing, "That Polycarp is literally dependent upon 1 and 2 Timothy is now generally accepted" (p351). However, I see two problems with this. First of all, Berding trained at overtly evangelical institutions, and thus may have a skewed view of the state of scholarly opinion outside of his religious niche. Second, his statement is vague as to the confidence of the alleged scholarly consensus. For example, the great majority of Biblical scholars hold to Markan priority, but few would go so far as to call it a foregone conclusion. So, whether or not there is a consensus that Polycarp quoted 1-2 Tim, it's still a matter of speculation with a significant degree of uncertainty. One of your own sources, Michael Holmes, alludes to this in a recent article: " quite familiar with I Peter and I Clement, and also uses I Corinthians and Ephesians. He probably made use of 1-2 Timothy and I John, and perhaps Romans, Galatians, and Philippians" (Expository Times; Nov2006, Vol. 118 Issue 2, p55). Notice that he is careful to qualify his statement with "probably," and differentiates between the probable use of 1-2 Tim and 1 Jn, and the more certain use of 1 Pet, 1 Cle, 1 Cor and Eph. That is exactly the sort of language I think should be used in this wikipedia article: We can stress the probable use of 1 Tim by Polycarp, but not so far that we mislead readers into thinking the matter is settled absolutely.--Hatsoff (talk) 21:13, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

The "baffling" quote[edit]

The quote just before the table of contents is out of place because this article does not discuss orthodoxy or heterodoxy. I tagged the quote with a "Fact" tag, because it would also be desirable (if this quote remains in the article) to know who authored the quote. If the quote remains in the article, it should be moved somewhere more appropriate. I do not, at first glance, see an appropriate place for it. Wideangle (talk) 01:50, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

           Yes, I agree, this doesn't seem to be very relevant at all. I suggest deletion.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:21, 20 January 2010 (UTC) 

Agreed. I have removed it from the intro. It certainly could fit into a section regarding critical analysis of the content of the letter. Soonercary (talk) 21:28, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

'"adequtely" or adequately? (talk) 01:48, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

About Key Themes and Words[edit]

I question the tone of this whole section. It seems to be filled with commentary that is not needed. The whole section that I quote following just isn't needed, and should be moved to the "authorship" section or removed entirely.

"It is a notably a hotly debated issue in the church as to what Paul meant in this book in regard to the women’s role in the church. What provoked this reversion from Paul’s revelation, in Galatians, that in Christ Jesus there is no male or female, to this banal legalism? Had the women, having been led to expect an imminent end of the world, begun to abandon their “wifely duties”? Some feel he clearly teaches that women are not to have authority over men in the church structure (1 Timothy 2:12) and that this is why he clearly excludes them from the roles of Elder/Bishop and Deacon in chapter three. People who hold to this stance point out that Paul’s use of the phrase “Husband of one wife” is gender specific and excludes women from that role. They would point out that in the Greek text it literally reads "Man of one woman".[citation needed] "μιασ γυναικοσ ανδρα"(1 Timothy 3:2)[27] However, more liberal scholars debate this, arguing that this is a product of the time in which Paul lived and it is a cultural reference not meant to be eternally binding on the church.[citation needed] Many churches have now embraced the ordination of women based on this modern outlook.[citation needed] The treatment of this issue has also been pointed to as evidence that I Timothy is not Pauline, noting "the freedom granted [women] in the aspostolic age to exercise the gifts of the Spirit, [and] Paul's insistence that in Christ there is neither male nor female, [which] had brought them into quick and widespread public activity." TIB 1955 XI p. 349. TNJBC also points out that the reasoning in I Timothy (the fall was Eve's fault) is non-Pauline: “Paul himself prefers to assign blame to Adam (as a counterpart to Christ – see Rom [Romans] 5:12-21; I Cor [Corinthians] 15: 45-49…)” TNJBC[28] 1990 p. 897"

Shadowmane (talk) 22:28, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Forbidding to marry[edit]

In light of the current debate regarding the rights of LDBT to marry (aka "Gay Marriage") isn't 1st Timothy 4:3[1] a very "Key Theme"? Here is a biblical verse specifically admonishing those who forbid others to marry! Other parts of the bible do appear to condemn homosexuality, but without any direction as to what a Christian should do about that other than to avoid being homosexual themselves. Yes, "they shall surely be put to death", but it does NOT say "put them to death". Yet here in Timothy, we see a specific direction that we should never forbid anyone to marry. Shouldn't this be highlighted in the entry especially in light of the current debate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:12, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

First of all I would not conflate the two issues. It is my understanding that the different teachings regarding marriage reflected the gradual realization that The End was not coming as soon as Paul had expected. A Georgian (talk) 01:54, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Many (most?) Christians believe the bible to be the perfect word of God and that God guided the writing of those authors who penned its books. The idea that Paul was "wrong" is very reasonable to me, but my world view isn't the only one out there, and to suggest that he is wrong about marriage while at the same time holding up the anti-gay quotes from Lev and Rom is inconsistant. They either all count or they all don't. Cherry picking to validate a specific world view is less reasonable than assuming human falibility of biblical authors. Of course, many Christians also cherry pick verses from Lev to justify a stand against marriage equality. Again, the point I'm trying to make is that this verse specifically admonishes Christians never to forbid people from marrying. You don't have to like that, but it is right there in black and white, and it really seems to me that it is a key point, given the current debate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 21 January 2013 (UTC)