Description: In the last 150 years 2 Timothy has been the object of much scholarly scrutiny, especially over the questions of its authorship and the historical situation it presupposes. Though a few scholars today accept Pauline authorship, most have supported the view that 2 Timothy is pseudonymous, written sometime after the death of Paul. In this commentary, Smith straddles the fine line between Pauline authorship and pseudonymity, proposing that Paul is the author but that Luke is a significant contributing amanuensis.
The most significant difference between this commentary and others is Smithís rejection of the common supposition that 2 Timothy is Paulís Farewell Speech or Last Testament. On the basis of his earlier work, Timothyís Task, Paulís Prospect, Smith understands 2 Timothy as a paraenetic letter written to Timothy encouraging him in his Ephesian ministry and asking him to join Paul in Rome. Paulís perspective in this letter is thus not one of resignation to death, nor does it express Paulís sense of passing on the baton to his younger colleague; rather it envisages his expectation of release from prison and his hope of new opportunities for ministry with Timothy, Luke and Mark.
Smith understands the problem of false teaching in Ephesus to be a real problem that Timothy is facing and not a fictional situation of a subsequent time. Smith carefully elucidates the difficult situation in the church at Ephesus and its effect on Timothy, together with Paulís kindly and thoughtful admonition given as a father to a son.
Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Deutero-Pauline Epistles, 2 Timothy, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches
Review by Robert W. Wall
Citation: Robert W. Wall, review of Craig A. Smith, 2 Timothy, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2017).
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