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SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY

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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 993 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY. In this book of the New Testament, after a brief thanksgiving for the faith of Timothy (i. 1–5), Paul is represented as warning him against false shame (6 seq.), adducing his own example and that of Onesiphorus. The need and the reward of endurance are then urged (ii. 1–13), and Timothy is bidden to adhere in his work to the Pauline gospel against the seductions of controversial and immoral heretics (ii. 14 seq.).' The practices of the latter are pungently depicted2 (iii. 1–9); Paul reiterates his opening counsels (lo seq.) and then closes with a solemn charge to personal faithfulness. A note of personal matters concludes the epistle '(iv. 6–22). The last verse, with its two-fold greeting (6 KiJpLOS Meta TOO trve6par6s emu, it xapis µE8' bpLv), shows unconsciously but plainly that, while the epistle professes to be a private letter to Timothy, it is in reality addressed to a wider circle, like r Tim. and Titus. But its composite origin is also clear.3 Thus iv. 6–22a, which is certainly authentic, is not homogeneous in itself, the situation of verses 6–8 hardly agreeing with that of q seq., while verse r i (" Luke alone is with me ") cannot have been written at the same time as verse 21. Various schemes of analysis have been proposed to account for this and other passages of the same nature in the epistle, e.g. i. 15–18, iii. io seq. But the general result of such reconstructions is tentative. All that criticism has succeeded in establishing is the fact that the author had some reliquiae Paulinae at his disposal, notes written either before or during his last imprisonment in Rome,4 and that these have been worked up into the present letter by one who rightly believed that his master would stoutly oppose the current errors of the age. 2 Timothy, like r Timothy, reveals with fair precision the period and aim of the writer of the pastorals. Evidently (cf. Acts xx. -29–30) the Pauline Christianity of Ephesus was imperilled seriously during the last quarter of the 1st century. Its very growth invited attempts to weave ascetic, theosophic, semi-Jewish fancies round the faith, not unlike the attempts often made in modern India to assimilate Christian and local philosophies of religion. Against such the writer argues in Paul's name, as Luke had already done. From the compositionof a speech in Paul's name (for, though the farewell in Acts goes back to first-hand tradition, it represents the author's standpoint as well as Paul's), it was but a step to compose letters in his name, especially on the basis of some of his extant notes. A genuine concern for local Christianity is the writer's justification for his work, and any idea of fraudulent aims must be dismissed at once.6 " To a writer of this period, it would seem as legitimate an artifice to compose a letter as to compose a speech in the ' Bahnsen gives an ingenious analysis of this section in the epistle. In ii. 8–13, ii. 6 is developed; in ii. 14–26, ii. 4; and in iii. 1–4 (8), ii. 5. But this is as artificial as Otto's attempt to classify the con-tents of the epistle under the three notes of the rvevµa in i. 7. 2 On iii. 6 see the fragment from Philo quoted in Euseb. Praep. Evang. viii. II. " If the epistle was an integral as we have it, its genuineness could scarcely be maintained " (Laughlin, p. 26). ' Bacon (Story of St Paul, p. 198) and Clemen both assign part of the epistle to the Caesarean imprisonment, the former disentangling iv. 9, I1-18, 20-21a, 22b, the latter iv. 9–18. Hitzig had already found a Caesarean letter In t. 15, iv. 13–16, 20-22a. One great point in favour of such theories is that they give a natural sense to iv. 16, Paul's first defence being that before the Jews or before Felix. 6 Cf. the present writer's Historical New Testament (2nd ed., 1901, pp. 619 seq.), where the relevant literature is cited. An adequate monograph on ancient pseudonymous literature remains to be written; meantime, further reference may be made to the older essays of Mosheim (Dissertatio de caussis suppositoh'um librorum inter Christianos saeculi primi et secundi, 1733) ; Bentley's Dissertation on Phalaris, pp. 8o seq. ; K. R. Kistlin's article in Theol. Jahrbucher (1851), pp. 149–221, on " Der pseud. Litteratur der altesten Kirche "; and A. Gudemann, in Classical Studies in Honour of H. Drissler, pp. 52–74 (New York, 1894).
End of Article: SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY
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