Sources: I. Howard Marshall et al., Exploring the New Testament: A Guide to the Letters and Revelation (IVP, 2002); Bart Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, 3d ed. (Oxford, 2004).
Disrespected Letters 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus are treated as marginal in the NT because
their authorship is disputed,
they are said to emphasize structure and order ("early Catholicism"), and
they seem preoccupied with 'ethics' rather than 'theology'.
Yet they reflect the widespread priorities of second century Christians (cf. 1 Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, the Didache, and the so-called '2 Clement').
Lives and structures like those they commend brought us the Bible we have.
Are they neglected because they challenge Protestants, primitivists, and modernists?
Does excluding everything that doesn't match the style and content of Paul's undisputed letters artifically constrict 'Paul'?
Leaders Training Leaders Training Leaders: The Pastorals In these letters Paul offers directions for Timothy or Titus concerning the politics of churches under their care, that "you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God" (1 Tim. 3:14-16).
Their theological setting is still apocalyptic eschatology (cf. 2 Tim. 3:1, 4:1-4).
Teachers and leaders are to hold to right doctrine (1 Tim. 1:14-16, 2 Tim. 3:14-4:5, Tit. 2:1, 3:8) and correct other "myths and endless genealogies" (1 Tim. 1:3-11, 3:14-4:10, 2 Tim. 2:23-26, Tit. 1:9-14) without engaging in pointless controversy (1 Tim. 6:2b-10, 2 Tim. 2:14-19, 3:24-26, Tit. 3:9-11).
Leaders' authority is both pneumatic and formal (1 Tim. 1:18-19, 4:11-16, 6:11-16, 2 Tim. 1:7-8, Tit. 1:1-5).
Their ministries continue as Paul's own ministry is ending (2 Tim. 4:6-18).
Community life is to be orderly both internally (1 Tim. 2:8-15, Tit. 2:2-15) and externally (1 Tim. 2:1-7, 6:1-2, Tit. 3:1-7).
Leaders are accountable for their moral health (1 Tim. 3:1-13, 2 Tim. 2:20-22, Tit. 1:5-9), and deserve respect and deference (1 Tim. 5:17-21).
Leaders suffer in faithfulness to Christ at the hands of the gospel's opponents (2 Tim. 1:8-2:13, 3:10-13).
Opponents' motives are corrupt (2 Tim. 3:1-9, Tit. 1:10-16).
The Church's mercy is 'workfare', not 'welfare' (1 Tim. 5:1-16).