The Pastoral Epistles (TNTC) by Osvaldo Padilla

Here we get a brand new entry in the Tyndale New Testament Commentary (TNTC) series, in this case covering all three Epistles that make up the Pastoral Epistles. The new author in this replacement volume is Osvaldo Padilla. His writing matches what I saw in an introductory work on Acts of his that I encountered a few years ago. He writes clearly and yet his academic background is ever evident.

He begins his Introduction by discussing authorship. He surveys from the early church to the eighteenth century. Since very few doubted Pauline authorship for centuries, he quickly shares that he agrees, along with a clear affirmation in the veracity of Scripture at large. From there, he suggests textual reasons for agreeing with that premise of Pauline authorship. He works his way to the Enlightenment and the forces at work of those days that derailed belief in Paul’s authorship. It was an interesting overview. His conclusions are solid.

Genre comes next and again he explains the scholarly options well. Sometimes genre is an overdeveloped idea by scholars where it’s unimaginable that authors thought through so many categories before they wrote. Even more troublesome is how scholars often draw bold conclusions for the whole epistle on what is really hairs split three or four times. In any event, it’s clearly laid out here.

He addresses the recent debate about the Pastorals even being linked as a unit. His argument that the linkage is more theological than a historical uniformity is well played. He also makes good observations on the occasion of the Pastoral Epistles.

My only criticism of the Introduction is how he, after helpfully pointing out the use of “good works” and “godliness”, too strongly ties their usage to addressing Greek ideas rather than their straightforward Christian meaning. He then carries that reasoning to the commentary proper and uses it, in my view, to get around some of what the “household code” is stating . In those places, if you’re keeping score at home, he closely aligns with Towner and Marshall. To be sure, I’m in more of a minority position than him, but in any event you have your own opinion.

Please don’t think I’m downgrading the commentary overall because I disagree there. That’s just one little portion of the Pastorals and I love his theology, particularly on the Trinity, Christ, the Spirit, and salvation. He commentates exactly as this series is designed and it’s truly helpful. You can make good use of this book.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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