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Kirchengeschichte: Alte Kirche, Christliche Archäologie


Looks, Carsten


Das Anvertraute bewahren. Die Rezeption der Pastoralbriefe im 2. Jahrhundert.


München: Utz 1999. XII, 514 S. 8 = Münchner Theologische Beiträge. Kart. DM 95,84. ISBN 3-89675-655-9.


Henry Chadwick

This dissertation from Kiel asks good questions and discusses difficult problems with care and patience. An introductory section considers the weight of the various reasons which persuade a large number of learned judges that in the three Pastoral Epistles we hear not Paul himself but a post-Pauline disciple who wanted to tell the contemporary Gentile churches what the apostle might well have said in the dangerous situation then prevailing. Estimating the probable time of production is among the delicate issues, and the study of texts from 1 Clement onwards is necessary and relevant to any objective answer. Paul himself had been anxious about the divisiveness of some teachers (Rom 1.17; Phil 3.2), especially those who rejected any break between church and synagogue. Can the emergence of the problems under review in the Pastoral Epistles be assessed independently of the letters themselves? Looks' dissertation sees a preliminry necessity to inquire which second century texts show knowledge of the letters. He begins from the letter of Clement to the Corinthian community. His method is to catalogue parallel passages, classified by the degree of similarity in content of idea and language. For example Clement 1.3 is akin to Titus 2.4f. both in theme and in wording. However, if dependence is judged probable, there remains an open question which way the dependence lies. The author of the Pastoral Epistles may have been much impressed by 1Clement and borrowed the language. Prayer for governments as in 1Timothy 2.1-3 could echo Clement 60-61, itself suggesting contact with synagogue usage (Pirke Aboth 3.2).

L. is confident that a late dating of the Pastoral Epistles (e. g. Polykarp as with Campenhausen) should be abandoned, but that one cannot exclude a very possible dependence of Clement on them. A related question is whether the Chester Beatty papyrus codex once included, or was intended to leave room for, the Pastoral Epistles. Here the judgement is very cautious. The author of the letters certainly wrote before Marcion. The issue of 'antitheses' was latent as early as the letter to the Galatians even if that term was not then used.