A study of the Pastoral Epistles against their contemporary background and an examination of their relevance for today

Porter, L. Kim (1972) A study of the Pastoral Epistles against their contemporary background and an examination of their relevance for today. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The importance of the Pastoral Epistles lies in the fact that they express ideas current in their environment. These epistles can only have their full value when viewed against their background. They exhibit an advanced Christianity, one that has a controlled leadership as well as a developed content of belief. Therefore, it is my conviction that they were written to meet the needs of their day, and that they reflect that period in history. The historical tension and character of the Pastoral Epistles reflects the church's stand. The organization and ministry, the liturgy, the formulation of the ethics, and theology reflect the condition of the church at the time of the writing of these epistles. They were formed by their environment, and became a window for the development of the early church. My objective is to relate the historical situation in the Pastorals and try to validate the fact that this situation created what is found in these letters. The epistles mirror their time, and this is what X want to demonstrate in my thesis. My method is to show how the situation had a real impression on such things as the organization, worship, ethics and theology. Thus, I want to relate it to its time in history. The details of this are in lay outline, but a short summary is as follows SECTION ONE: a study of date, destination and authorship of these epistles, giving internal and external evidence. SECTION TWO: a study of the history of Christian organization, the different theories of church organization and the Pastoral account of church organization SECTION THREE: a study of the Jewish form of worships the early Christian worship character of worship in the Pastorals. SECTION FOUR: a survey of the Graeco-Roman World (political, social, thought, and religious background), and the ethics of the Pastorals in relation and reaction to it. SECTION FIVE: a study of Gnoticism, gnosis in the New Testament, the pattern of the Pastoral heresy and the theology of the Pastoral Epistles which developed from this background. SECTION SIX: some ideas on the value of the Pastorals for the twentieth century church. In other words, the need of the day changed the church and its ministry. The situation created the outcome. The author wrote to those instances. The epistles reflect a situational approach, not a formal approach, to this era of history. One can see the effects of the church's growing pains as well as its moulded organisation, its Jewish-Gnostic threats from the outside as well as its theological stance from the inside.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: William Barclay
Keywords: Biblical studies
Date of Award: 1972
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1972-73878
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/73878

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