TIMOTHY, EPISTLES TO.
The common authorship of these two epistles has seldom been denied; nor, if denied, could the denial be successfully maintained, so marked and so numerous are the points of resemblance be tween the two, except upon the assumption that the one has been made up from the other. When, however, we proceed to inquire, By whom were they written? the question is one which has oc casioned in more recent times no small contro versy.
If we defer to the testimony of the early ec clesiastical writers, no doubt will remain upon the point. For the high antiquity of these epistles, the allusions to passages in them by Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, and Ignatius, suffi ciently vouch (Lardner, ii. 20, 38, 79, 96). That they are also to be regarded as genuine produc tions of the Apostle whose name they bear, is at tested by Irenmus (Adz.. Jhcr. lib. i., sub init. iii. 3. 3) ; by Theophilus of Antioch, who quotes I Tim. ii:t, 2, along with Rom. xiii:7, 8, as part of 'the divine word' (Ad Autol. iii. 14): by Clem ent of Alexandria (Strom. ii. 383; ibid. p. 448); by Tertullian (De Pra'scr. Haref. c. 25) ; by Caius (ap. Euseb. Hist. Eccles. vi. 2o) : by Ori gen, etc. (comp. Lardner, vol. ii). To this weighty mass of external evidence, there is nothing to op pose of the same kind, for the omission of these epistles by Marcion from his Apostolicon, is a fact, to which, from the well-known caprice and prejudice of that heretic, no weight can be at tached. Unless, therefore, difficulties of an in surmountable nature are presented by the epistles themselves to our regarding them as the produc tions of Paul, we must hold their claim to rank as his to be unimpeachable.
1. Objections to Paul's Authorship of First Epistle. That such difficulties are presented by these epistles has been confidently maintained by Eichhorn (Einleit. iii. sq. 317), and De \Vette (Einleit. s. 283, sq.), as well as by some other scholars of less note. The learned and acute Schlciermacher has also assailed the genuineness of the first epistle in his Kritisehes Sendschreiben an J. C. Gass (Berlin, 1807) ; but that of the second he admitted, and not only so, but was wont to censure the attempts of those who re jected it and that to Titus, as 'removing the occasion and the means for the criticism of the first' (Lacke, Theol. Stud. tend Krit., 1834, s. 766). To examine all the cavils which these eminent men, in the exercise of that micrologistic criti cism, in which it seems characteristic of their nation to delight, would be a task altogether in compatible with the limits within which we are confined. A succinct survey of the more weighty of their objections we shall, however, attempt to supply; beginning with those which are common to both epistles, and proceeding to such as are peculiar to each.
(1) Style Not Pauline. It is objected that the general style of these epistles is not Pauline. 'Has Paul's language in general,' asks Eichhorn, 'the clearness and ease of expression which we find in these pastoral epistles? Is it not much more unpolished, careless, and allied to a prose which has been thrown together, rather than care fully elaborated?' etc. 'The force of such an
objection,' Eichhorn adds. 'it is very difficult to make apparent to those who have not the natural gift of discerning modes of writing.' A most convenient difficulty! enabling the critic to retort the charge of incapacity upon all who do not see the characteristics of Paul's style in exactly the same light as they are viewed by hint. NN'e shelter ourselves behind the ample authority of Hug, who says of the latter part of the objection, that it 'is absolutely false,' and who replies to the former by asserting for a letter, written by the Apostle to a friend so intimate as Timothy, the right to exhibit a more free and flowing style than would be proper in a letter addressed to a church (Introd. Fosdick's transl. p. 56g).
(2) Unusual Expressions. Much stress is laid by all who have impugned the Pauline origin of these epistles on the occurrence in them of arct. ?try6,4eva, and forms of expression not else where usual with Paul. But to this it may be replied that the same objection might be offered against many of the unquestioned writings of the Apostle, such, for example, as the epistle to the Galatians, in which fifty-seven .174 NeybpAva oc cur, and the epistle to the Philippians, in which we find fifty-four, etc.; from which it appears but fair to infer that the occurrence of such is, so far as it can prove anything, an evidence for, rather than against, the Pauline origin of these epistles. All such reasonings, however, appear to rest upon too precarious a basis to be allowed much weight. When it is remembered how much the style of a writer is affected by his subject. by his design, by the state of his mind at the time of writing, by the circumstances of the parties for whom his composition is intended, as well as how much in the course of a few years the style of even a very careful writer alters, we shall cease to be much moved by the occurrence in the epistles of such a writer as Paul, of unexpected varieties and peculiarities of expression. The only valid argument that can be urged against the genu ineness of a writing from such facts is when it can be shown that the writer has used phrases or words which it is historically impossible that the party to whom the writing is ascribed could have employed; as has been done so successfully in several instances by Bentley. in his work on the Epistles, ascribed to Phalaris. No attempt of this sort, however, is made by those who have im pugned the authenticity of the Epistles to Tim othy; 'not one word has been adduced which can be shown to be foreign to the age of Paul; not a single phrase has been pointed out,of which either the outward form or the conception on which it is based belongs to a later age' (Planck. Berner kungen, etc., s. 17). So far from this, Eichhorn himself admits 'that they have in their language much that is Pauline,' and that the allusion to the Apostle's persecuting zeal before his conversion (I Tim. i :13), the principles asserted respecting both the substance and the form of Christianity, and the proofs adduced, are highly Pauline (p. 318).