The author of 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus argues in favor of a "traditional" Greco-Roman gender ideology: that because men and women are biologically different, they ought to behave differently in the family and society. His gender-specific beliefs carry over into his teachings for the house churches, where only free married men are eligible to serve as leaders, teachers, and preachers, while women are expected to take up the subordinate female domestic roles of wife, mother, and household manager. This volume encourages a deeper engagement with the difficult issues--gender, race, and power--raised by these letters. By studying the Pastoral Letters with our minds sharpened and our hearts turned toward a generous freedom, we can struggle most productively with the influences of their teachings, past and present, and we can create a future church and a future world that are more just, truly inclusive, and indelibly marked by God's grace.
From the Wisdom Commentary series
Feminist biblical interpretation has reached a level of maturity that now makes possible a commentary series on every book of the Bible. It is our hope that Wisdom Commentary, by making the best of current feminist biblical scholarship available in an accessible format to ministers, preachers, teachers, scholars, and students, will aid all readers in their advancement toward God's vision of dignity, equality, and justice for all.
The aim of this commentary is to provide feminist interpretation of Scripture in serious, scholarly engagement with the whole text, not only those texts that explicitly mention women. A central concern is the world in front of the text, that is, how the text is heard and appropriated by women. At the same time, this commentary aims to be faithful to the ancient text, to explicate the world behind the text, where appropriate, and not impose contemporary questions onto the ancient texts. The commentary addresses not only issues of gender (which are primary in this project) but also those of power, authority, ethnicity, racism, and classism, which all intersect.
Each volume incorporates diverse voices and differing interpretations from different parts of the world, showing the importance of social location in the process of interpretation and that there is no single definitive feminist interpretation of a text.