Ray Van Neste seeks to further the scholarly discussion of the coherence of the Pastoral Epistles by providing the most thorough analysis to date of the cohesion of each letter. The need for such a study arises from two sources. First, the previous works on coherence of the Pastorals, which have turned the tide of scholarship, focused on thematic coherence of the corpus. Second, a renewed and even more extreme argument for incoherence has recently been published (James D. Miller, The Pastoral Letters as Composite Documents) which begs response along the lines just suggested since it analyzes connections and lack thereof within and between the discourse units. Van Neste examines 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus to determine the boundaries of each discourse unit using cohesion shift analysis. The cohesion of each unit is then analyzed, noting common devices from the ancient epistolary genre, rhetorical devices, lexical and semantic repetition and symmetrical patterns. He also focuses on connections between the units in the letter - connections between contiguous units, semantic chains, and the grouping of units into larger sections.
Thus the variety of connections across and throughout the letter are highlighted. This is volume 280 in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement series.
Table of Contents
Ch. 1 Introduction; Asking New Questions; Why bother? The Rise and Fall of the Treaty in Scholarship; Overview of the Data; Problems of Silence; Preview of Results; Ch. 2 Mesopotamia; Defining the Area and the Culture; Outline of the History; The Lagash Treaties; The "Treaty" of Naram-Sin with Elam; Interpreting Silence; Hammurabi; The Old Assyrian Evidence; Summary of Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian Evidence; The Middle Babylonian Period and the Kudurru; A Middle Babylonian Divine-Human Covenant? The Middle Assyrian Evidence; Mesopotamia in the First Millennium; Summary; Ch 3 The Hittites; Overview; Outline of the History; The Early Evidence; The Early Hittite Treaties; The Treaties of the Empire Period; Instructions and Service Oaths; Land Grants; A Ritual Text with an Oath; Accidents of Discovery and Archives; Summary of the Evidence; Treaty Concepts and Hittite Society; The Relationship to Mesopotamia; Reconsidering the Old Kingdom; Ch. 4 Egypt; Overview; Outline of the History; The Evidence for Parity Treaties; Vassal Treaties; Lessons from History; The Place of Egypt; Ch. 5 Syria; Historical Context; Ebla; Alalakh; Mari; The Treaty between Ugarit and Amurru; Covenants with Gods at Ugarit; The Sefire Treaties; Arslan Tash; Tentative Conclusion; Ch. 6 Israel; The Methodological Problems; A Historical Framework; The Phenomena in General; The Problem of Development; Covenant and Treaty: a Relationship? The Time and Nature of the Connection; Baal/El Berith at Shechem; The "Objectivity" of Extra-biblical Analogy; Israelite Covenant: an Internal; Development? The Place of Israel in Treaty History; Ch. 7 The Significance Of It All; The Problem of Definition; The Origin Problem; The Problem of Development; Political Structure and Historiography; A Basic Thesis; Parallel Developments and Convergences; The Special Case of Israel; The Special Case of Egypt; Divine-Human Covenants; The Resultant Model
Ray Van Neste is Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at Union University and is Director of the Ryan Center for Biblical Studies. He completed his Ph.D at Aberdeen University and has served in pastoral ministry in the US and UK.