The problems of II Timothy cannot be separated from those of the other Pastoral Epistles, I Timothy and Titus. Critics of all schools of thought agree that the three are closely related. II Timothy is sometimes set a little apart from the others, as being a little more Pauline and a little less “pastoral” (being more personal) than the other two. But such differences as exist are minor and the three must be studied together.
Each of the three claims to have been written by St. Paul. They all read naturally as letters of the aged apostle to his younger assistants as he gives them advice in the discharge of the functions that he has committed to them. Second Timothy in particular contains undoubted Pauline turns of phrase, so that most of those who deny the authenticity of these Epistles as a whole are constrained to admit that some genuine Pauline fragments have been preserved in this Epistle. While the great doctrines of the earlier controversies are not expounded in the same way as in the Epistles of that time, there is nothing inconsistent with them. These letters were undoubtedly written by someone who accepted the Pauline teaching. For such reasons as these the letters have been accepted as genuine from the earliest times until the last century. But in modern times, and especially since the publication of P. N. Harrison’s The Problem of the Pastoral Epistles in 1921, many critics have strongly contested the Pauline authorship, and that from a number of points of view.
1. The Historical Allusions. E. F. Scott regards the historical allusions in these Epistles (especially in II Timothy) as being such that they virtually exclude Pauline authorship. The Pastorals, he says, “cannot be inserted at any point in the known life ...1
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