The Pastoral Epistles
The Pastoral Epistles

The Pastoral Epistles

in Hermeneia

by Hans Conzelmann and Martin Dibelius

Rank Score: 4.1 from 0 reviews, 0 featured collections, and 5 user libraries
Pages 175
Publisher Fortress Press
Published 1972
ISBN-13 9780800660024


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Fred Sanders Fred Sanders May 15, 2015
I can’t help thinking of these as the bad guys, but that doesn’t make the commentary worthless. For one thing, how clarifyingly forthright Dibelius was! (Conzelmann updated and revised the work after Dibelius’ death; I think of Dibelius (1883-1947) as the main author but am not sure how to apportion the credit). Here is the classic statement of the view that whoever wrote these documents and put Paul’s name on them was not only bad at imitating his writing style, but even worse at reproducing his theology. Instead of the revolutionary and apocalyptic theology of Paul, the pastorals represent bürgerlichen Christentum, bourgeois Christianity. The dead giveaway is the moralizing Hellenistic vocabulary, the dreaded household codes with their hierarchical order, the Frühkatholizismus (early or incipient Catholicism) that sets in after “eschatological expectation has diminished” and apostolic ministry is reduced to giving advice about how to fit in to Roman society and culture without making waves. Sigh. It is good to have it all laid out here in cold print. Anybody at risk of catching a mild case of the anti-pastorals virus can see a full-blown case of it here and guess at the prognosis. But Dibelius/Conzelmann has another, more straightforward virtue: the copious parallels from Greco-Roman literature are well chosen and conveniently displayed. Ganz wissenschaftlich, y’all! Very high quality work, well worth consulting. [Full Review]