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Proper 21

Amos 6.1a, 4–7
1 Timothy 6.6–19
Luke 16.19–31

The people who know about these things generally seem to agree that the Pastoral Letters (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) were not written by the apostle Paul, at least as they now stand. They have all kinds of good reasons for saying this; for example, the language and theological ideas are subtly different, and it is hard to find a time in Paul’s known career that would fit with the references in the letters.

Certainly, the Christian community that is addressed in 1 Timothy sounds like a settled, second-generation church, with a developed set of ministerial functions and a clear sense of church order. Church officials are not just the people in whose houses the community gathers, but bishops and deacons, who have their own households, which are to reflect proper family life (cf. 3.4, 12). None of this is conclusive, of course, and it is very interesting to read two or three commentaries, and see what you think yourself, or read Romans and Timothy side by side and see the differences and overlaps...

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