In this addition to the NTC series, Luke Timothy Johnson calls attention to the fact that the three letters of Paul to his delegates Timothy and Titus do not make easy reading. Why? Because they are written in a context completely different from our own, forcing us to struggle with foreign words, symbols, and concepts. Nevertheless “the biggest gift these ancient writings make to present-day readers is their otherness, their refusal to say what we might like them to say.” Those who are willing to struggle with these writings “will find themselves richly rewarded, for beneath what is repelling in them is also something deeply appealing and profoundly pertinent to our won age.”
As in all of the NTC commentaries, a new translation of the texts is provided. The translation is divided into specific units for discussion, each consisting of (1) “Notes on Translation” –an analysis of technical matters such as the state of the Greek text, diction, and style (2) “literary Observations”- an examination of a variety of issues pertinent to the literary context of the writing; and (3) “Comment” – a consideration of the historical realities and religious ideas revealed by the passage.
Luke Timothy Johnson is Woodruff Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Emory University and author of The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels and The Epistle of James in the Anchor Bible Series.