A band of Brothers- Wednesday, 24th week in ordinary time- 1 Timothy 3:14-16

Reading the text and its context will help you understand these reflections whose principle purpose is to teach

Most scholars agree that the letters of St Paul to Timothy are a creation of a pseudonymous (unknown), and later follower of Paul. There are a number of scholarly reasons to support this thought. However, even though it is written by someone else under Paul’s name, the Pastoral letters are not “forgeries”. The Jerome Biblical commentary explains this well.

“Within the Greco- Roman philosophical tradition, the writing of pseudonymous epistles was a long standing tradition. In such a case the writer sought to extend the thought of his or her intellectual master to the problems of a later day. What the writer was saying in effect was, ‘my master would surely have said this if faced with this set of problems or issues’. It is quite likely that the original readers of this letter knew very well that the letters represented an effort to extend his heritage to later generation” (JBC).

The writer and the readers of this letter knew that Paul’s death had caused a long delay. Yet he had been providing the Church with proper instructions for its conduct in God’s household (oikos).  We need to understand what this ‘household’ is and what we mean by the word ‘behave’.

The understanding of God’s house or household went through various stages in the Early Church. In its Biblical context, this word referred to Israel and pastorally it referred to the temple in Jerusalem. For the community that received this letter, written in Paul’s name, the household of God was a clear reference to the early Christian community. Paul uses it to reflect the character of the Christian communities that met in homes; they must be a band of brothers.

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