2 Timothy 1:1–8 or Titus 1:1–5
Preface of Pentecost
[Common of a Pastor]
[Common of a Missionary]
[For the Ministry II]
[For the Mission of the Church]
PRAYER (traditional wording)
Almighty God, who didst call Timothy and Titus to do the work of evangelists and teachers, and didst make them strong to endure hardship: Strengthen us to stand fast in adversity, and to live godly and righteous lives in this present time, that with sure confidence we may look for our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary wording)
Almighty God, who called Timothy and Titus to be evangelists and teachers, and made them strong to endure hardship: Strengthen us to stand fast in adversity, and to live godly and righteous lives in this present time, that with sure confidence we may look for our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This commemoration appears in Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2018 with revised readings and collects.
Return to Lectionary
Last updated: 24 Nov. 2018
TIMOTHY AND TITUS
COMPANIONS OF PAUL (26 JAN NT)
Timothy and Titus appear in the New Testament writings as missionary companions
of, and co-workers with, the Apostle Paul.
Titus is mentioned as a companion of Paul in some of his epistles (2 Co 2:13;
7:6,13,14; 8:6,16,23; 12:18; Gal 2:1-3; 2 Tim 4:10).
Timothy is mentioned in Acts 16-20, and appears in 9 epistles either as joining in
Paul's greetings or as a messenger.
In addition, Timothy has two New Testament letters addressed to him,
and Titus one. From these three letters (called the Pastoral Epistles),
it appears that Paul had commissioned Timothy to oversee the Christian
community in Ephesus and vicinity, and Titus to oversee that in Crete.
The Pauline authorship of these three letters has been disputed by many
scholars who accept as genuine most or all of the other New Testament letters attributed
to Paul. In this connection, we may note:
It would be difficult to forge a letter from Paul to an early Christian
community. If you did it during Paul's lifetime, the congregation would be likely to
reply, thanking Paul for his letter, and he would write back, saying, "What
letter?" If you forged a letter from Paul to (say) the Corinthians after his death,
sooner or later the Corinthians would hear of the letter, and say, "If Paul wrote
that letter to us in his lifetime, why has no one here ever heard of it?" These
difficulties are less when one forges, say, a letter from Paul to Timothy, waiting until
after the death of both to do so.
There are significant differences in manner between the Pastorals and
the other letters. In his letters to churches, Paul routinely presents arguments for the
positions he takes. In the Pastorals, he simply states his position and expects that to
end the matter. However, it is a matter of common observation that a man may have one
style when lecturing to a classroom and another when explaining something to a member of
his family. (Hence the saying: Never teach a family member--or let a family member teach
you--how to drive a car. The lesson is bound to lead to a shouting match.)
The subjects Paul deals with in the Pastorals are different from those
in the other letters, and imply a much more formal church organization. However, it may be
noted that Paul normally writes letters dealing with the questions that the recipient has
asked, or needs to have answered. He writes to the Thessalonians about the Second Coming
because some of them have gotten the idea that it is just around the corner, and so there
is no reason to plant the crops. He writes to the Corinthians about the Lord's Supper,
because of reports that some of them are behaving irreverently at celebrations thereof.
(If the Corinthians had observed proper decorum at the Lord's Table, there would now be
scholars who argued that Paul had never heard of the Eucharist, since he never mentions
it.) It is not surprising that, having set Timothy and Titus to organize the church in
certain areas, he writes to them about church organization.
The preceding remarks are not intended to settle the question of
Pauline authorship, or even to present all the arguments on either side. They are merely
there to get the reader started.
by James Kiefer