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31 Overseers as Household Managers in the Pastoral Epistles

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Chapter Summary

Forty years ago, David Balch, always the thorough researcher, examined ancient philosophical discussions of household management in his study of the domestic code in 1 Peter.1 He recently returned to that literature in a study on wealth. It is timely that the author offers David some brief remarks on two texts from the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim 3:2- 7; Titus 1:6-9) which betray traces of the same literary tradition. The author wishes to illustrate briefly that 1 Tim 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9 share much with widespread ancient descriptions of professional leaders, particularly of household managers. The qualities of an overseer are introduced in 1 Tim 3:2 with a stock phrase, δεῖ οὖν ἐπίσκοπον ἀνεπίλημπτον εἶναι. In Titus, his interest is in the appointment of overseers who would be able to exhort the faithful and confute gainsayers, so he emphasizes the other major function assigned to a good manager, namely teaching.

Keywords: household managers; overseers; pastoral epistles; Timothy



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