The Pastorals

by Doug Mason 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    All will be very familiar with:

    "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16, NRSV)

    "We wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.: (Titus 2:13, NRSV)

    "Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent." (1 Timothy 2:11-12, NRSV}

    These come from the letters (epistles) known collectively as "The Pastoral Epistles".

    In my relentless investigation into the history of the revolutions in teachings about "salvation", I have now drafted a Chapter on the attitude of the Pastorals. While my Chapter does not examine these statements in great depth, it shows that The Pastorals were composed at the end of the first century or at the start of the second century.

    Paul died about 64 CE and the attitudes in The Pastorals, while similar is some way to Paul's, they are not identical with him The pastorals thus demonstrate changes taking place during the time after Paul, as well as highlighting problems that the author of The Pastorals was encountering, and wished to confront. He clearly needed to write these things because he did not agree with views that other Christians were holding to.

    My Draft chapter is available at:

    On the first page, you will see the reason I am providing this Chapter in its Draft stage.

    I have incorporated the Chapter into my ongoing Draft Study at:

    This is growing beyond my initial expectations, but in hindsight, I am not surprised. And I have other areas I still want to investigate.

    Given the size that the Study is growing to, ultimately I will provide an appropriate Introductory Chapter. There is a quasi-Index at the rear.

    Next I want to see if it is possible to extract a soteriology of the Book of Revelation, or at least the soteriology of its author. Ideas are most welcome, as well as letting me know of sources I should pursue. I am not looking for fulfillments of predictions. I want to focus on soteriology, while touching on any relevant Christology.

    For example, Jesus spews people out who are lukewarm -- but I am not concerned at canvassing alternative prophetic fulfillments. People have to "keep the Commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus" -- but I am not interested in speculative fulfilment(s).


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Since writing the above, I have located a book that appears to be helpful with my interest in the soteriology of the Book of Revelation:

    "Soteriology as Motivation in the Apocalypse of John" by Alexander Stewart.

    The description of the book is:

    John did not write the Apocalypse in order to provide a detailed time-table of events that would unfold thousands of years in the future. Instead, John wrote to affect and move his hearers at the end of the first century-to motivate them to reject idolatrous compromise with the surrounding cultural and political institutions and overcome through repentance, worship, witness, perseverance, and obedience. How does the Apocalypse of John accomplish this motivation and persuade its hearers to adopt a course of action that would put their present lives, income, and security in jeopardy? This monograph employs Stephen Toulmin's model of argumentation analysis to study John's explicit and implicit motivational argumentation and to argue that the two primary grounds for John's argumentation are soteriological. Hearers are motivated positively by the promise of future salvation and negatively by warnings of future judgment. In addition to this main claim, this monograph will (1) argue that the Apocalypse of John is a thoroughly rhetorical text; (2) highlight the centrality of logos, or logical argumentation, in John's argumentation; (3) demonstrate the general applicability of Toulmin's model of argumentation analysis to biblical texts; (4) argue that one's systematic theology of motivation or salvation must be grounded in a comprehensive analysis of the actual motivational argumentation within a text; and (5) explore some of the theological questions raised by the use of soteriology as motivation.


    Has anyone read the book?

    Is there a site where I might be able to find any other books that make reference to the book?

    Given that it has to come from USA, I do not expect it to arrive before Xmas.


  • Phizzy

    Thank you Doug for your input here, and your constant work on Papers such as this. I look forward to reading it when complete, and the installments along the way.

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Very impressive Doug, as always. I'm looking forward to giving the work a thorough look. Your abiding fascination with JWs is quite remarkable, given that you were never personally involved with them.

  • scratchme1010

    Thanks. Great information.

  • doubtfull1799

    I am fascinated by 2 Tim 3:16. Of course I used to apply it to the whole Bible, but when you stop and think about it it, evidently Paul did not mean that as the NT had not been written yet.

    When you take that a step further though and ask what exactly was Paul referring to when he says "all scripture" it gets complicated. You realise there is actually no way to know or define what Paul had in mind from this limited verse and therefore as a statement on what to believe it is practically useless.

    For instance some may argue, he was referring to the Hebrew Scriptures, the OT. But which one? The original Hebrew version? The Septuagint? Which canon? There were various ones and there were various versions of the individual books in those canons doing the rounds. We can't retroactively say Paul was referring to the Hebrew canon we have now in the 20th century (of which there are still three versions- the Catholic/Protestant/Orthodox)

    Then you have to consider does "all scripture" refer to any ands all religious texts including all the apocryphal books and other gospels/letters that did not make it into the modern Christian canon. And what about other "scripture" - Hindu, Moslem, Zoroastrian etc etc?

  • venus

    Great Post.

    Here is an interesting book you would enjoy on the same subject:


    written by Sandmel

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Also there was no agreed canon (agreed list of books) of Hebrew Scriptures by that time. The thought of creating a formal list was largely initiated by the action of the Christians because they used the codex format, in contrast to the Jews, who had kept their writings as individual scrolls. The maximum length of a Hebrew book was determined by the maximum possible length of a scroll - hence the need to divide the books of Kings and of Chronicles.

    All Christians have never completely agreed on which books should make up the Bible. Consider the Orthodox, Ethiopian and the Roman Catholic canons.

    And it is absolutely impossible to know what was initially written. There are decades, even centuries, of silence during which changes were being made. If you wanted to read a scholarly criticism of texts such as the Masoretic, read "Textual Criticism Of The Hebrew Bible" by the highly acclaimed scholar Emanuel Tov.

    And the NT writings make regular use of writings such as 1 Enoch. And the 4th century codices include writings such as Barnabas.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Thanks for the tip. It was easy to locate the book at the Archive site and after downloading it I naturally had my computer convert the file into Word format. Should be interesting.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Thanks so much for telling me about the book. Converting the freely available PDF to Word format makes it very accessible for useful searching.

    I expect you are aware that Venus is the Morning Star, aka Lucifer, and that Jesus says he is the Morning Star:

    "It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." (Rev 22:16, NRSV).

    So you are in good company.


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