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How to treat old women and old men: The use of philosophical traditions and scripture in 1 Timothy 5

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Chapter Summary

An awareness of ancient Greek and Latin comments on old age makes us more sensitive to the interest of the Pastoral Epistles in the relationship between different generations in the church. The basic thrust of the author?s moral instruction is derived from Hellenistic moral tradition and demands that some old women and old men be honored, which means that they are to receive financial assistance from the church because of their need or for their ongoing service. He uses them with ease, with conviction that they are pleasing to God, and holds up pagan moral practice to provide incentive for Christian behavior. This chapter discusses the Hellenistic moral traditions about old age and examines whether they illuminate the quotation of Scripture in 1 Timothy 5:18?19 in its literary context. Author?s examination of the two traditions, moral philosophical and Scriptural, will be illustrative rather than exhaustive.

Keywords: financial assistance; Hellenistic moral tradition; moral philosophical traditions; old men; old women; scripture; Timothy

10.1163/ej.9789004167476.i-504.91
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004167476.i-504.91
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