The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 108 of 181
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to the good deposit of truth made known through the Apostle of the Gentiles. Are we to
assume that Paul had given up the thought of redemption and also `that blessed hope'
when he wrote this epistle?
Let it be said quite clearly that no one with any wisdom bases doctrine on negative
arguments alone. This is a foundation of sand. Negative statements are of value only
when they are accompanied by strong positive ones. If it had been incumbent on Paul to
mention every item of doctrine that was of importance when he wrote to the churches or
to individuals, he would have had to write books instead of epistles. Furthermore they
had the great benefit of his oral teaching, making such writing unnecessary. (For this,
compare II Thess. 2: 5 and note the context.) There is no doubt whatsoever that the
second epistle to Timothy is Paul's last divinely inspired writing.
As regards human authorship, the unbroken tradition of the professing church up to
the nineteenth century was to regard the Pastoral Epistles (I & II Timothy and Titus) as
the work of Paul and therefore authentic. The first determined attack upon the apostolic
authorship was made in 1807 by Schleiermacher, followed by Eichorn, Baur, deWette
and others. Some have denied Pauline authorship, but have sought to keep a few genuine
fragments, such as Harrison in his book The Problem of the Pastorals (1921), despite the
fact that this argument has not shred a documentary evidence on which to rest. However,
this viewpoint has been ably answered by scholars such as D. Guthrie and E. K. Simpson.
As to the supposed author of such a concoction, Simpson writes:
"If the solemn avowal of these epistles that they are the apostle's authoritative
missives be not instinct with the most sterling honour and integrity, but an equivocation,
or if they are a patchwork of truth and falsehood, they form no part of the Church's
treasures, but sink to the level of pious frauds . . . . .
Dr. Harrison . . . . . tries to varnish the matter by asserting his factotum's "loyal
devotion to Paul's name", but how a fraudulent abuse of that name breathes the spirit of
loyalty is hard to perceive . . . . .
He was a sorry specimen of a Paulinist, this pseudo-Paul conjured up from a nameless
grave by the magic hand of criticism to vend smuggled wares under sacred auspices with
such cool effrontery." The Pastoral Epistles, pp. 6 & 7.
If any reader wishes to pursue this any further, he is referred to the works of these
two scholars. For ourselves, we unhesitatingly believe that Paul was the human author of
this great epistle and this attitude is maintained throughout this study.
The structure (by 100: H. Welch) of the epistle is now given and those who find such
structures helpful should note the balancing sections carefully which will act as a guide to
interpretation. The opening verses give the salutation and stress the Apostle's ministry
which, as he frequently stated, accorded with the will of God. This is an essential
ingredient for all Christian service and witness. The believer who wishes to be accounted
faithful by the Lord dare not run unsent. He has to be certain that he is in the centre of
God's will, for without this, it is valueless. Paul was a divine messenger with a divine
message for the outcast Gentile world, and in this he was unique in his lifetime. He goes
on to add `according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus'. He was at the end of