The Language of Ethical Instruction in the Letter to Titus

Ethics-in-Titus-001So, probably around 18 months ago, the strangest thing happened.

I was invited to give a paper at a conference in Germany. Like, for real. The conference theme was “Ethics in Titus.” (Conference flyer) It seemed right in my wheelhouse.

I actually thought the invite was a phishing attempt, but after checking with my friend Ray Van Neste who was also on the invitation, I figured it was genuine.

Talk about imposter syndrome — the list of invitees read like a who’s who of people who have written on the Pastoral Epistles. And then me (with “Prof. Dr.” prepended to my name) right there with the rest of them. And my topic? “Ethics and Language in Titus.” Again, right in my wheelhouse, mostly.

So I said I’d write a paper (available here) and attend. I mean, who wouldn’t? Turns out they obtained funding, and my trip would be paid for (reimbursed).

I started writing the paper earlier this year. I did some research on the folks putting on the conference and found out that speech act theory was a tool used in other writings associated with these people, so started to dig in — especially since colleagues at Faithlife had recently completed a speech act analysis of the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament, and used that analysis to arrive at a specialized analysis of commands (which can be viewed as “ethical instructions”) as well.

Here’s the abstract:

This paper uses an application of speech act theory to identify ethical instruction (commands) in the letter to Titus. A further structural analysis of the letter according to the principles of Discourse Grammar segments the letter, grouping the ethical instruction into larger units. Each ethical instruction is examined individually to determine the nature and purpose of the instruction.

So I wrote the paper. But as the time of the conference approached, it became clear that it would not be best for my home life to be gone for 5–7 days (if you know me and my family, you know our schedules and needs of our kids are pretty crazy). So I had to back out attending, but they still wanted the paper, and since it was mostly done, I was able to provide a copy that they could hand out to attendees and it still has a chance to make the conference volume.

I’ve uploaded the paper to my “Papers” page, or you can directly download it:

If you happen to read it, please let me know what you think.

Lexical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles: Second Timothy — Now on @Logos Prepub!

This past winter, I published the second volume (of three planned volumes) of the Lexical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, this one being the volume on Second Timothy.

Now the good folks at Logos Bible Software (note: I work for Faithlife, the producer of Logos Bible Software) have decided to make Lexical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles: Second Timothy available on prepub, to go along with the volume on First Timothy that was released in Logos format in 2017.

I’m stoked about this! Preorder yours in Logos format now!

Here’s the description on Amazon:

To responsibly exegete the text of Second Timothy, one must become familiar with the vocabulary. But examination of word meanings involves more than simply looking up words in a lexicon and choosing a gloss that seems appropriate.

Rick Brannan evaluates the vocabulary of the Second Timothy in light of the New Testament, the Septuagint (LXX), the Apostolic Fathers, the works of Philo, the works of Josephus, the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, and other material. Many commentaries and other works of exegesis mention material from these sources to provide background information or examples of word usage, duly noting references to such works in footnotes or endnotes. Brannan’s work, however, provides full quotations (in translation) of the relevant references. Instead of relegating these citations to footnotes that are seldom if ever looked up, the cited text itself is reproduced for the reader to evaluate.

Please note: All proceeds from sale of books published by Appian Way Press, in print or Logos format, go directly to offset costs incurred in the adoption of our third child, Josiah. He’s now 2, and doing well! But domestic infant adoption is expensive, and we’ll be paying bills for a long time, so help us out with some book purchases!

An Adjustment to my Writing Schedule

JimCarreyTypingThere is good news and bad news. Either way, consider this an update to Rick’s 2018 Writing Schedule.

The good news is that I’m actually getting regular (small) chunks of time that I can use for writing. This has been almost impossible since Josiah was born (Feb. 2017) but for the past few weeks has actually been possible.

The bad news (well, for some, maybe): I’d earlier mentioned that I would spend a large chunk of my 2018 (and 2019) writing and research time working on a new introduction, translation, and commentary of the Acts of Pilate A, Acts of Pilate B, and  Descent of Christ to Hades. In the past weeks, I’ve decided that I really don’t want to do that. I’ve got the Greek text together for Acta Pilati A and Descent of Christ to Hades, and I do plan to put out a reader’s edition of it in the Appian Way Greek Readers series. I have not yet decided if I want to translate the text for inclusion, or review and modernize the translation from ANF 8, but am leaning toward modernization, primarily because I simply want to wrap up that chunk of research and work. A reader’s edition seems the best way to button it up and move on.

I want to wrap it up because I’ve also decided that I really need to get back into the Pastoral Epistles. I’ve got the Lexical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles: Second Timothy halfway written and would like to put some sustained effort in on finishing it and then starting in on the Titus volume.

In the midst of it all, I plan on continuing to blog (sporadically, likely) on Stuff Early Christians Read. I’ve really been enjoying looking at 1st–4th century manuscripts that are neither LXX nor NT, but ostensibly Christian. I hope to write short entries on many more manuscripts. I’m very eager to learn how interesting or useful y’all find that sort of stuff, so if you have any feedback on these posts, please let me know.

Two Parchments Witnessing First Timothy 1

In 2007, I put together a PDF that discussed two parchments classed as majuscules (0259 and 0262). The editio princeps of these was published in: Kurt Treu, “Neue neutestamentliche Fragmente der Berliner Papyrussammlung”, Archiv für Papyrusforschung 18, 1966. pp. 36–37. I realized it may have disappeared from PastoralEpistles.com, and also that it might be of value to some reading here. So here’s the short PDF:

I came across mention of these parchments while working through J.K. Elliott’s valuable (and hard to locate) work on the text of the Pastoral Epistles: Elliott, J.K. The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. (Studies and Documents 26). Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1968.

The text of the parchments themselves isn’t earth-shattering because they uphold the NA/UBS edition and they aren’t early (relatively). Still, 0262 does give some evidence on the λογος/ανθροπινος variation in 1Ti 1.15 (and consequently 3.1). Also, you might be able to use the orthography of 0262 in some arguments on the value of Koine pronunciation. Seriously. Check it out.