Unlike some of the other letters of the Pauline corpus, there has been no significant demand for a detailed, Messianic examination of the Pastoral Epistles of 1&2 Timothy and Titus. Many of today’s Messianic teachers and leaders think that they already know what these letters mean, and so putting out the effort of analyzing them beyond a cursory reading or survey is thought to probably not be needed. Sadly, today’s broad Messianic movement is largely unaware and under-informed of a literal factory of academic proposals and perspectives, from over the past fifty years, regarding 1&2 Timothy and Titus. Much of this scholarship has affected various trends present in evangelical Christianity, the ordination of females as clergy within the contemporary church, and the debate over complementarianism and egalitarianism. It is time for our faith community to join into these discussions.
What purpose do these three letters serve within the Apostolic Scriptures? Are 1&2 Timothy and Titus to actually be read as a kind of “church manual”? What was the false teaching in Ephesus that caused Paul to issue some restrictive instruction? What is a proper usage of the Torah, versus an improper usage of the Torah as employed by the false teachers? What were the troublemakers on Crete doing? Why is the Apostle Paul so positive toward women in positions of high service in other letters, but perhaps not as much so in the Pastoral Epistles? Is abstinence from eating certain things, like keeping kosher, truly a sign of end-time apostasy? What do the Pastoral Epistles teach us about Yeshua the Messiah, and the Father’s plan for the ages? How do we defend genuine Pauline authorship of 1&2 Timothy and Titus? These, and many more critical issues, are examined.
This study takes into consideration much of what has been offered by various scholars, not only in terms of the ancient setting of 1&2 Timothy and Titus, but also with how these epistles should be accurately applied in a modern setting. Messianic Apologetics editor J.K. McKee helps to probe these letters for the future development of the Messianic movement, weighing our strengths and weaknesses of them, in an effort to be an assembly that is no longer lacking an adequate understanding. What are the things that we have actually interpreted correctly from the Pastoral Epistles, and what needs to be improved upon? How might some Messianic congregations and fellowships change if we took a good, hard look at 1&2 Timothy and Titus, and implemented some necessary reform? How can we truly be all of the things that we can be in the Lord?