“Preach the Word”: Homiletics or Evangelism?

Updated: Sep 23

by David Paul


The term “preach” has been hijacked in modern ministry. In the New Testament, “preach” held an evangelistic meaning.[1] Today, “preach” generally refers to pastors homilizing Christians.[2]

There are at least two detrimental effects of the term “preach” being hijacked. First, evangelism is devalued when dozens of biblical examples and commands regarding evangelism are subsumed into homiletics. Second, misunderstanding evangelistic verses as homiletical affects our understanding of Christian instruction and disciple-making. For example, the very meaning of the term "preach" implies a one-directional proclamation of a message from a speaker to listeners. Reading biblical preaching as homiletics contributes to church practices regarding Sunday morning sermons as the primary mode of discipleship. However, if pastors understand their primary role as teachers rather than preachers, it is possible that different, and potentially more effective, methods of Christian instruction have the potential to flourish.


In this regard, "Preach the word" from 2 Timothy 4:2 is a key misinterpreted phrase. Here are some examples of misinterpreting that verse as homiletics in modern literature:


No text of Scripture is as powerful in affirming this calling to use all our skills to exposit the Word as the potent mandate of 2 Timothy 4:1-4.[3]


Paul told Timothy, straight and clear, to “preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:2). This is the great imperative... The preaching of the Word must be absolutely central. Sound, expositional preaching is often the fountainhead of growth in a church.[4]


I think the best approach for applying verse 2, ‘Preach the Word!’ (NKJV) is expositional preaching.[5]


These three quotes teach that 2 Timothy 4:2 is a key text for interpreting biblical preaching as homiletics. However, it is doubtful that Paul had homiletics in view when he gave this command to Timothy. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to challenge this misinterpretation of 2 Timothy 4:2 that has contributed to misunderstanding biblical preaching.

Instead, "Evangelize the gospel" is a better interpretation of Paul's command to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2. This interpretation of "Preach the word" is based on three factors. First, Timothy was not a pastor. Instead, he functioned in a role more like a missionary.[6] Since he was not a pastor, he did not regularly homilize a particular congregation. Second, a primary purpose of 2 Timothy was for Paul to call Timothy to take up his mission to the Gentiles after his impending death. Therefore, the context of Paul’s charge to Timothy is evangelistic rather than pastoral. Third, semantically, “Preach the word” means evangelize the gospel. If “preach” in this phrase is homiletical, then it is perhaps the only homiletical use of “preach” in the New Testament.


Timothy was Not a Pastor


Near the end of his life, the apostle Paul gave a final charge to Timothy, his most faithful disciple. The first imperative of that charge was “Preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:1-5). One contributing factor to the modern misinterpretation of this command is the moniker "Pastoral Epistles." According to Gordon Fee, “When Paul Anton of Halle (1726)[7] first called Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus the Pastoral Epistles (PE), and it stuck, they have been forever thereafter read and understood as consisting ‘mostly of advice to younger ministers.’” [8] Timothy and Titus have been misinterpreted as pastors because these books were inappropriately called "Pastoral Epistles." Since they have been misinterpreted as pastors, many read the Letters to Timothy and Titus (LTT) through a pastoral lens.[9] Therefore, misunderstanding the genre of the LTT has contributed to a homiletical reading of 2 Timothy 4:2 in modern popular literature.


In contrast, understanding the LTT as ad-hoc instructions from Paul to his key leaders Timothy and Titus is vital for correctly interpreting 2 Timothy 4:2.[10] The consensus view of those holding to the Pauline authorship of the LTT is that these letters do not fit within the timeline of Acts but rather describe a later period in Paul's work after his first release from Rome in 62 AD.[11] Paul had a "fourth journey" from about 62-68 AD, where he ministered in Crete, Ephesus, Macedonia, Troas, Corinth, Miletus, and Nicopolis (Titus 1:5; 3:12; 1 Tim. 1:3; 2 Tim. 4:13, 20). [12]


In 1 Timothy, Paul gave Timothy the short-term task of “instructing certain men not to teach strange doctrines (1 Tim 1:3)” in Ephesus as well as instruct in church practices (1 Tim. 1:18; 2:1-3:15). Timothy's work in Ephesus was not a permanent post.[13] Paul instructed Timothy to continue this task until his arrival (1 Tim 3:14; 4:13). At that point, Timothy would rejoin Paul in itinerant missionary work. As evidence to this point, Paul often sent Timothy on short-term tasks. Paul left Timothy and Silas in Berea (Acts 16:14). Paul sent Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia (Acts 19:22). Timothy delivered 1 Corinthians (1 Cor 4:17; 16:10). Paul sent Timothy to Philippi (Phil 2:19ff). Paul sent Timothy to Thessalonica from Athens (1 Thes 3:1-6).[14] The point is that Paul regularly commissioned Timothy for short-term tasks as a member of his team. There is no textual reason to believe that Paul’s commission to Timothy in 1 Timothy was long-term. Instead, 1 Timothy was written primarily for the occasional purpose of correcting false teachers in Asia Minor.


Additionally, by the time Paul wrote 2 Timothy, Timothy was no longer in Ephesus. Paul told him that Tychicus had been sent there (2 Tim 4:12). If Timothy was still in Ephesus, it would have been unnecessary for Paul to share that information in his letter. 2 Timothy 4:12, therefore, also indicates that Timothy’s task in Ephesus was temporary.

The short-term nature of Paul’s instructions to Timothy in Ephesus surfaces questions regarding Timothy’s role. Since the LTT are commonly called “Pastoral Epistles,” a misunderstanding has persisted that Timothy was a pastor. However, based on Paul’s relationship with Timothy, most modern commentators say Timothy was not a pastor.[15]Instead, scholars now prefer the term “apostolic delegate” as a more appropriate term for Timothy.[16] In modern parlance, Timothy functioned like a missionary under the leadership of the senior missionary, Paul.


Timothy served for over ten years as an itinerant missionary under Paul. Timothy assisted Paul in planting churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, and Ephesus (Acts 16-19). Timothy co-authored six New Testament epistles with Paul.[17] The New Testament records at least five times that Paul commissioned Timothy for short-term assignments.[18] As a Pauline coworker, Timothy was never called a pastor nor described in pastoral terms in the New Testament. Instead, Timothy established churches with local elders rather than pastoring those churches themselves.


Paul’s final charge to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 must be read considering his role as a missionary under Paul’s leadership. Paul was charging Timothy to take up the pioneer task of proclaiming the gospel where Christ had not been named. Paul's death was imminent (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Before his impending death, he wanted to ensure that the ministry of taking the gospel to the unreached would continue. Therefore, he charged Timothy to "Preach the word." Paul desired Timothy to continue heralding the gospel in new places among unreached peoples as Paul had modeled (see 2 Tim 3:10-11).


Paul Charged Timothy to be His Successor

Paul’s purpose in writing Second Timothy strengthens the argument that Paul’s purpose for Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2 was evangelistic rather than pastoral. In Second Timothy, Paul was preparing for his martyrdom. “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come” (2 Tim. 4:6). Paul, the prototype missionary, was entrusting his mission to his most faithful disciple. This theme of Paul entrusting his task to Timothy is strong throughout the letter.


Paul’s desire to entrust his task to Timothy is apparent in two passages: (1) 2 Timothy 1:12-14 and (2) 2 Timothy 3:10-14. In 2 Timothy 1:12, Paul referred to his trust, meaning something God had entrusted to him. Then in the following two verses, he shared Timothy's responsibility towards that trust. “Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me… Guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (2 Tim. 1:13-14). Paul commanded Timothy to guard the trust. Timothy was likewise to guard that trust by giving it to others as Paul commanded (2 Tim. 2:2).


In 2 Timothy 1:12-14, Paul's "standard of sound words" was part of the trust. 2 Timothy 3:10-14 expresses Paul's task more broadly. “Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions and sufferings.” (2 Tim. 3:10-11a). In this second passage, Paul commended Timothy for adhering to his model. Paul's model included his teaching and extended to areas like his conduct, purpose, and character. Paul's purpose was to proclaim the gospel where Christ had not been named (Rom 15:20). Paul's conduct was the lifestyle of suffering and purpose that he lived, as evidenced in the book of Acts. Timothy walked in the same purpose and conduct. Additionally, a few verses later, Paul commanded Timothy to "continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of” (2 Tim 3:14). Paul entrusting his teaching, conduct, purpose, and faith to Timothy is the context in which Paul’s final charge to Timothy was given in 2 Timothy 4:1-5.


The historical and literary context of Paul’s final charge to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 suggests that the missionary work of Paul was in view. Paul gave nine imperatives, “preach the word,” “be ready,” “rebuke,” “correct,” “encourage,” “exercise self-control,” “endure hardship,” “do the work of an evangelist,” and “fulfill your ministry.” Chiao Ek Ho asked a relevant question about these imperatives:


Paul charged Timothy to “preach the Word” … The question that arises is this: did Paul direct Timothy merely to instruct a congregation who needed the Word of God preached to them, perhaps with the false teachings in view? If so, the contents of Timothy’s preaching were strictly intended for the believers and would be void of any evangelistic word. But Paul’s call for Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” suggests otherwise (4:5).[19]


Ho's point is that these nine imperatives appear more missionary than pastoral, especially "do the work of an evangelist."

Therefore, considering the context, it is absurd to think that the charge, “Preach the word,” in 2 Timothy 4:2 was pastoral. Why would Paul, the great missionary, at the brink of death, call his closest disciple and instruct him to abandon the missionary task and give himself primarily to homiletics? Adding to this absurdity is that we know of no “pulpit” that Timothy had for preaching.[20] Like Paul, Timothy was itinerant. While Timothy was with Paul, he traveled extensively across the Roman world. In the New Testament, Timothy never pastored a single congregation. The context of 2 Timothy indicates that “Preach the word” was an evangelistic charge.


Semantically, “Preach the Word” Means Evangelize the Gospel

The phrase “Preach the word” consists of three Greek words. The verb “preach” is the Greek word kerusso, while “the word” is the articular ton logon. An analysis of these terms bolsters the argument that “Preach the word” in 2 Timothy 4:2 is evangelistic.

Kerusso is almost universally used in an evangelistic sense throughout the New Testament and is coherent with the charge “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 4:5). Kerusso occurs 61 times in the New Testament[21] and carries a general meaning “to make an official announcement” or “to make public declaration.”[22] In the gospels, kerusso occurs sixteen times for Jesus and his disciples’ itinerant preaching ministry,[23] four times to describe John the Baptist’s proclamation,[24] six times in Jesus’ teachings and exhortations on world evangelization,[25] and another three times to describe individuals broadly proclaiming Jesus after an encounter with him.[26] The last two uses of kerusso in the gospels are in Luke 4:18-19 when Jesus read the Messianic prophesy from Isaiah 61. These two verses declare the Messiah’s anointment to broadly proclaim the gospel.


A helpful passage to understand kerusso in the gospels is Mark 1:36-38:


Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach (kerusso)[27] there also; for that is what I came for.”


In this narrative, Jesus was in the wilderness, praying. Simon came to him to tell him that a crowd had formed and wanted Jesus to come minister to them. In other words, Jesus had an opportunity to homilize a group who had chosen to follow him but decided to preach to unreached towns instead. Jesus said preaching was his purpose for coming. In this context, preaching was the initial proclamation of the good news to those who had never heard.

The evangelistic thrust of kerusso continues in Acts, where Philip proclaimed the gospel in Samaria (8:5). Paul immediately preached in the synagogues of Damascus after conversion (9:20). The book of Acts ends with Paul in house arrest in Rome, “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered” (Acts 28:31).[28]


In the epistles, kerusso is also evangelistic. For example, Romans 10:14-15 says,


How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher (kerusso)? How will they preach (kerusso) unless they are sent? Romans 10:14-15


Paul understood that the lost world that had never heard needed preachers to bring the gospel to them. William Carey used this on as the epigraph on An Enquiry. Carey’s whole point in that booklet was the need to develop means to send missionaries to proclaim the gospel among peoples who did not know about Jesus.


Also, 1 Corinthians 1:23 says,


We preach (kerusso) Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness.


The hearers of this preaching are Jews and Gentiles, meaning lost peoples. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 1:23 verse describes preaching as evangelism. Finally, 1 Timothy 3:16 states,


By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed (kerusso) among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.


In this verse, “the nations” are the hearers of preaching. Therefore, 1 Timothy 3:16 also describes preaching as evangelism.


Moreover, there is no explicit homiletical use of kerusso in the New Testament.[29] If “Preach the word” in 2 Timothy 4:2 is a command to homilize, it is the only homiletical usage of kerusso in the New Testament. Therefore, from a semantic perspective, "Preach the word" should be considered evangelistic rather than homiletical.


Additionally, “the word” (ton logon) is a common term for the gospel, especially when articular.[30] Two articular uses of logos in 2 Timothy demonstrate the usage of this term in 2 Timothy 4:2:[31]


Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God (ho logos tou Theo) is not imprisoned. 2 Tim. 2:8-9


Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth (ton logon tes altheias). 2 Tim. 2:15


These two uses of logos refer to the gospel message. In 2 Timothy 2:9, Paul “wants to make clear that his suffering and imprisonment does not hinder the gospel’s progress.”[32] The antecedent of “the word of God” in 2 Timothy 2:9 is clearly “my gospel” from the preceding verse. Likewise, the antecedent of 2 Timothy 2:15 is the description of the gospel in 2 Timothy 2:11-13 that contrasts with the false teachers. Therefore, “the word” (ton logon) as gospel in 2 Timothy 4:2 conforms to a common Pauline usage.[33]

To summarize, the LTT describe Timothy as a missionary functioning under Paul’s leadership. As Paul pioneered the gospel in new places, so did Timothy. Paul’s final charge to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 was in line with Timothy’s missionary role. Paul charged Timothy to “Preach the word” by evangelizing the gospel where Christ has not been named. Finally, "preach" is universally an evangelistic term in the New Testament, and "the word" is commonly used about the gospel. Therefore, "Preach the word" is an evangelistic reference. Despite this clear evidence, some objections remain to an evangelistic interpretation of 2 Timothy 4:2.


Responding to Three Potential Rebuttals

There are three potential arguments for a homiletical interpretation of “Preach the word.” These arguments are ultimately unconvincing. The first argument is that the three imperatives following "preach the word" are homiletical rather than evangelistic. The second argument is that those who "will turn away their ears from the truth" in 2 Tim. 4:3-4 are Christians. Since Paul references Christians, this is a pastoral rather than a missionary charge. The third argument is that “Preach the word” in 2 Timothy 4:2 points to “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching” in 2 Timothy 3:16. Therefore, "Preach the word" means to exposit "All Scripture carefully." Each of these three arguments requires consideration and response.

Regarding the first argument, “Preach the word” is followed by three imperatives, “rebuke, correct, and encourage.” Word studies of these three terms in the New Testament demonstrate that these terms occur commonly in evangelistic contexts. Therefore, these three terms do not demonstrate that "preach the word" is homiletical. They are consistent with an evangelistic interpretation of Paul’s charge. “Rebuke” is commonly used for bringing to light the sins of another, whether a Christian or non-Christian.[34] Here are a few biblical examples of non-Christians being rebuked. All use the same Greek term that occurs in 2 Timothy 4:2. John the Baptist rebuked Herod the Tetrarch (Luke 3:19). Jesus said that the evildoer “does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be rebuked” (John 3:20). The Holy Spirit “will rebuke the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). Similarly, “correct” and “encourage” are used about both believers and unbelievers in the New Testament.[35] One clear evangelistic use of “encourage” (parakaleo) is Luke 3:18, “So with many other exhortations (parakaleo) he preached good news to the people.” Therefore, the imperatives “rebuke, correct, and encourage" coallesce with an evangelistic interpretation of "preach the word" in 2 Timothy 4:2.


The second argument is about Paul’s break from his charge to discuss the end times.[36] Paul stopped the staccato of imperatives to explain his charge,


For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths (2 Tim 4:3-4).


Paul described a future coming time that would be less favorable for gospel ministry than when he wrote Second Timothy. People would not tolerate sound doctrine. False teachers would multiply. People would turn away from the truth. Paul's purpose here is to share the urgency of proclaiming the gospel and making disciples. Timothy was well acquainted with the need for missionaries to develop solid local leaders since he returned to Ephesus to deal with false teachers there (1 Tim 1:3-4). Throughout the New Testament, the imminence of the end times fueled evangelistic fervor in the early church. Therefore, this explanatory clause is also easily consistent with Paul’s charge to Timothy being missionary in nature.


Regarding the third argument, “the word” is likely about the gospel message rather than “All Scripture” in 2 Timothy 3:16.[37] Both of these options are possible syntactically. For the reasons provided in the previous section, it is preferable to see “the word” as the gospel rather than an anaphoric reference to 2 Timothy 3:16. However, even if "the word" in 2 Timothy 4:2 references "All Scripture," the argument of this paper stands. In context, “all Scripture" in 2 Timothy 3:16 is a reference to the Old Testament. Indeed, Paul desired for Timothy to proclaim Old Testament truths to his audiences. For example, Paul's evangelistic sermon at Pisidian Antioch was full of Old Testament references (Acts 13:16-41). Therefore, if “the word” is anaphoric to 2 Timothy 3:16, then it could merely reflect Paul’s practice of using the Old Testament evangelistically.


In summary, these three arguments against an evangelistic interpretation of “Preach the word” are unconvincing. First, the commands “rebuke, correct, and encourage” are consistent with evangelistic preaching. Second, the aside about the end times in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 magnifies the urgency of the task and the need for missionaries to develop sound leaders. Third, "the word" of 2 Timothy 4:2 is likely a reference to the gospel.


Conclusion


“Preach the word” in 2 Timothy 4:2 means "Evangelize the gospel." This interpretation of 2 Timothy 4:2 was demonstrated in three ways. First, Timothy was not a pastor. Instead, he was an apostolic delegate, or missionary, engaged in pioneer church planting along with Paul. As a pioneer missionary, no doubt Timothy taught Christian congregations. However, like Paul's, his task was to herald the gospel where Christ had not been named. Also, Second Timothy is not a “Pastoral Epistle.” Instead, it is Paul's final charge to his most faithful disciple to take up his missionary task after his impending death. As a letter of succession, Second Timothy was a clarion call to Timothy to advance the cause of Christ as Paul had modeled. Third, "preach" (kerusso) almost always carries an evangelistic meaning in the New Testament, and "the word" (ton logon) often means the gospel. Therefore, semantically, this phrase is best understood as “Evangelize the gospel.”

There are four practical implications of the evangelistic nature of 2 Timothy 4:2. First, “preach” should be used in an evangelistic sense rather than homiletically.[38] Second, pastors and missionaries should study each preaching passage of the New Testament in their evangelistic contexts. Re-evaluation of these texts will contribute to fruitful and biblical evangelistic and missionary practices. Third, the LTT are more missionary than pastoral and should be understood this way. As others have argued, it is time to stop using the term “Pastoral Epistles.”[39] Fourth, re-evaluating pastoral instruction as homiletical and didactic rather than proclamatory may be beneficial. Since “preaching” and “proclaiming” in the New Testament are evangelistic terms, exploring other speaking terms for New Testament pastor-teachers seems prudent. For example, "teaching" (didasko) and its cognates are commonly used throughout the New Testament to refer to the activity and role of the pastor.[40] Reconsidering pastoral instruction through the lens of teaching rather than preaching will likely lead to more fruitful and biblical pastoral practices.

A significant point of clarification is necessary at this point. Some pastors may feel threatened and attacked by this paper. The intention here is to reclaim the LTT for missions and the term “preach” for evangelism rather than attack another part of the body of Christ. The pastoral role of teaching and shepherding the flock is vital in leading local churches. At the end of his first missionary journey, Paul did not move on until he appointed elders in every church (Acts 14:23). Missionaries need pastors, and pastors need missionaries. Missionaries drive the edge of kingdom growth, taking the gospel to peoples and places that have never heard. They are often outwardly focused. Pastors continue the work locally, prompting depth in Christians, evangelizing locally, and partnering with missionaries to continue in the Great Commission globally. Both missionaries and pastors are essential. The purpose of this paper is not to devalue pastors but to continue the conversation between the roles of pastors and missionaries by digging into an often-misinterpreted verse of Scripture.

In fact, some pastors may be liberated by the fact that they are teachers, rather than preachers, biblically. Kevin Vanhoozer wrote about the challenge of becoming a good homilist,


Preaching, as a ministry of the word, is a form of verbal communication, one of the most challenging forms to master.[41]


Delivering sermons well is a difficult form of verbal communication to master. Knowing the Scriptures well is a different skill than delivering sermons well. It may be that some pastors would thrive if they focused on methods of getting God’s Word deeply into their flock as teachers rather than perfecting the art of the homily. As teachers, a wide range of instructional methods are available to pastors to accomplish their task of feeding the sheep. Liberating pastors from the sermon being their primary tool for discipleship could permit new teaching methods to flourish in Christian instruction.


David Paul (pseudonym) has served for 10 years with the International Mission Board among the Muslims of South Asia. He holds a DMin in Missiology from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


[1] In this article, evangelism is the act of Christians verbally proclaiming the gospel to non-Christians, generally outside of a Christian setting.

[2] In this article, homiletics is defined as Christian leaders instructing other Christians in the Christian faith, generally in corporate worship. The term homiletics takes its inspiration from Acts 20:11 where Paul “talked with (ὁμιλήσας) them a long while until daybreak" at Troas. Paul's teaching time in Troas is the only narrative description of a teaching time in a gathered church in the New Testament. Interestingly, the two teaching terms employed in Acts 20:7-13 were discussion terms, ὁμιλέω (homileo) and διαλέγομαι (dialegomai). Therefore, the only example of New Testament church-based instruction was conversational (i.e., homiletical) rather than proclamatory.

[3] John McArthur, Preaching: How to Preach Biblically. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005, preface.

[4] Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Third Edition. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013, 59-60.

[5] Tony Merida, “2 Timothy,” in Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. Christ-Centered Exposition. Edited by David Platt, Daniel L. Akin, and Tony Merida. Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2013, 202.

[6] Modern scholars prefer the term apostolic delegate.

[7] Contra Fee, D.N. Berdot used the term “Pastoral Epistles” in his 1703 Exercitatio theological-exegetica in epistulum Pauli ad Timumaccording to George W. Knight III, The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 3.

[8] Gordon D. Fee, “Reflections on Church Order in the Pastoral Epistles, with Further Reflection on the Hermeneutics of Ad Hoc Documents,” JETS 28/2 (June 1985): 141.

[9] This paper follows Andreas Köstenberger’s utilization of the Letters to Timothy and Titus for these letters rather than Pastoral Epistles.

[10] F. Alan Tomlinson says that “Most recent commentators line up with the ad hoc position” regarding the Pastoral Epistles. F. Alan Tomlinson, “The Purpose and Stewardship Theme within the Pastoral Epistles,” Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles.Edited by Andreas Köstenberger and Terry Wilder (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2010), 53. Köstenberger advocates a modified ad-hoc purpose for these letters that shows a broader purpose for them, while upholding their ad-hoc nature. Therefore, even in his view, the LTT were primarily ad-hoc in their original context.

[11] Mark Harding, What Are They Saying about the Pastoral Epistles? New York: Paulist Press, 2001, 9-27. For a detailed description of this period of Paul’s ministry, see Eckhard J. Schnabel, Paul the Missionary: Realities, Strategies, and Methods (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2008), 115-122.

[12] E.g., Andreas J. Köstenberger, Commentary on 1-2 Timothy & Titus (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2017), 24-32.

[13] Knight, 207.

[14] The phrasing of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, along with Acts 16:14 and Acts 18:5, implies that Paul sent Timothy multiple times during this period.

[15] The following commentators argue that Timothy and Titus were not pastors: Andreas J. Köstenberger, Commentary on 1-2 Timothy and Titus. Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation (Nashville, TN: Holman, 2017), 8; F. Alan Tomlinson, “The Purpose and Stewardship Theme within the Pastoral Epistles,” in Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles, ed. Andreas J. Köstenberger and Terry L. Wilder (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2010), 53; Thorvald B. Madsen II, “The Ethics of the Pastoral Epistles,” in Entrusted with the gospel, ed. Köstenberger and Wilder, 225; Thomas R. Schreiner, “Overseeing and Serving the Church in the Pastoral and General Epistles,” in Shepherding God’s Flock: Biblical Leadership in the New Testament and Beyond, ed. Benjamin L. Merkle and Thomas R. Schreiner (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2014), 99.

[16] The following call Timothy and Titus apostolic delegates: Köstenberger, 1-2 Timothy and Titus, 1; Tomlinson, “The Purpose and Stewardship Theme within the Pastoral Epistles,” 53; Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus, 85-86; William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles. WBC (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers), 2000, lviii; Walter L. Liefeld, 1 & 2 Timothy/Titus. The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), 19. [17] 2 Cor 1:1; Phil 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Thes 1:1; 2 Thes 1:1; Phlm 1:1.

[18] Acts 16:14; 19:22; 1 Cor 4:17; 16:10; Phil 2:19ff; 1 Thes 3:1-6.

[19] Chiao Ek Ho, Mission in the Pastoral Epistles,” Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles. Edited by Andreas Köstenberger and Terry Wilder. Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2010, 261.

[20] In the fourth century, Eusebius referred to Timothy as the first bishop of Ephesus (Eusebius, The History of the Church, 3.4.6). However, this tradition is too late to provide any certainty. Instead, it appears that Eusebius inferred this from his reading of First Timothy.

[21] Two occurrences from the longer ending of Mark are included in this number.

[22] BAGD, 543.

[23] Matt 4:17, 23; 9:35; 10:7, 27; 11:1; Mark 1:14, 38, 39; 3:14; 6:12; 16:20; Luke 4:44; 8:1; 9:2; 12:3.

[24] Matt 3:1; Mark 1:4, 7; Luke 3:3.

[25] Matt 24:14; 26:13; Mark 13:10; 14:9; 16:15; Luke 24:47.

[26] Mark 1:45; 5:20; 7:36.

[27] Greek terms are not inflected here to simplify the reading of this section for those less familiar with Greek. All are writing in the standard lexical form rather than the form they appear in the text.

[28] See also Acts 10:37, 42; 19:13; 20:25.

[29] The use of κηρύσσω most likely to have a homiletic meaning is Acts 15:21, “For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach (κηρύσσοντας) him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath." Here the Jews are "preaching" Moses by reading his Law in the synagogues. This verse could be understood as Jews giving homilies to Jews in their synagogues. However, the context of Acts 15 is the Jerusalem Council. The early church was determining how to act towards new Gentile believers who had a preunderstanding of Mosaic Law because Jews had been "proclaiming" Moses in their cities for generations. Therefore, in the context, this verse carries an evangelistic thrust of Jews proclaiming Moses to non-Jews.

[30] For example, see Acts 4:31; 6:2, 4, 7; 8:4, 14, 25; 11:1, 19; 13:5, 7, 46, 48, 49; 14:25; 15:7, 35, 36; 16:6; 17:13; 19:10, 20; 1 Cor 14:36; Eph 1:13; Phil 1:14; Col 1:5, 25; 4:3; 1 Thess 1:6, 8.

[31] The other four uses of λόγος in 2 Timothy are not helpful, since (1) 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:15 use λόγος in a plural sense to describe Paul’s teaching, (2) 2 Tim. 2:17 negatively talks about the λόγος of false teachers, and (3) 2 Tim 2:11 uses the πιστὸς ὁ λόγος construction that is common throughout the PEs, which deals with a trustworthy statement rather than the word of God.

[32] Knight, 398.

[33] Knight, 412.

[34] BAGD 315.

[35] Interestingly, “correct” (epitimao) is commonly used in the New Testament to demonstrate Jesus’ authority in rebuking demons, the wind, or illness. [36] Köstenberger, 271.

[37] See Köstenberger, 272; Towner, 600; Knight, 453.

[38] A similar study of the other preaching terms, such as εὐαγγελίζω, καταγγέλλω, ἀπαγγέλλω, and διαγγέλλω reveals that these terms are also evangelistic rather than homiletic in the New Testament.

[39] Towner, 88-89.

[40] Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:2; 5:17; Titus 1:9.

[41] Kevin J. Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan, The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2015), 156.