In this twenty-second volume of the Believers Church Bible Commentary series, author Paul M. Zehr explores Paul’s instructions to Timothy and Titus in light of recent scholarship, applying Christian theology and ethics to the political, philosophical, religious, and cultural issues that early Christians faced as the church reached out in mission in Ephesus and on the island of Crete.
Additionally, Zehr also shows how the themes in 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus have been interpreted and applied in the history of the church, especially the believers church. His interpretive process includes both a vertical reading of each book separately and a horizontal reading of the themes found in all three letters.
“This is a remarkably readable commentary on the pastoral epistles. It successfully and perhaps uniquely provides sound exegesis at a level that is adequate for the preacher; sets the theological themes in their wider biblical contexts; and surveys the history of the interpretation and influence of the letters, particularly in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. I warmly commend this attractive presentation, which should greatly encourage and assist exposition of these fascinating letters.” —I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
“This commentary by Paul Zehr provides helpful guidance to interpret important but difficult passages in a contemporary Anabaptist manner. Zehr is alert to current ecumenical and evangelical scholarship on the pastorals, to the historical and cultural contexts reflected in these books, to the difficult issues of authorship, and to the energy of these letters for the well-being of healthy church leadership.” —John A. Esau, former Mennonite pastor and denominational administrator
“With careful scholarship and a Christ-centered hermeneutic, Paul Zehr has given to the church an insightful guide in understanding the pastoral epistles. He seeks to work carefully with the cultural background of these scriptures, their context in the larger Scripture, and in applications to our setting. He does not back away from engaging the difficult issues that have divided groups but calls us to follow Paul’s example of contextualizing applications.” —Myron S. Augsburger, President & Professor Emeritus of Eastern Mennonite University
“Dr. Zehr’s commentary brings the most accessible scholarship, knowledge of the first-century cultural/historical settings and a keen interest in the meaning of the text for today’s church into a most engaging combination for pastors and church leaders alike. Their task in making the biblical text relevant in the twenty-first century is greatly helped by this volume in the Believers Church Bible Commentary Series.” —Philip H. Towner, Dean, The Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship, American Bible Society
Paul M. Zehr was born in Croghan, NY where he grew up on a farm and attended local public schools. He later graduated from Eastern Mennonite College in 1962 and from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in 1965. After seminary, Paul pastored the First Mennonite Church of St. Petersburg, Florida from 1965 to 1973. Follwing this eight-year experience of pastoring an urban church, he attended Princeton Theological Seminary where he earned a Th.M. degree in Biblical Studies in 1975. He then pastored a small church and began teaching biblical and theological courses in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area. His teaching ministry reached several in-service pastors which led to his appointment as director of External Programs for Eastern Mennonite Seminary. It also created within him a greater awareness of the person, role, and function of the pastor. In 1980 he was ordained bishop and supervised pastors in five congregations for 25 years. In 1987 he graduated from The Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry degree. A major part of this doctoral study was the preparation of a philosophy of Mennonite pastoral education and a curriculum guide for Mennonite conference-based Pastoral Education. For more than 20 years he worked in Supervised Pastoral Education. His interest in biblical studies continued in teaching classes and in chairing the Editorial Council for the Believers Church Bible Commentary series.