Preach the Word

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    "Preach the word...."

    This is what the Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to do in 2 Tim. 4:2.

    My question is this: How much of "The Word" did Timothy have at hand when he received this letter from Paul?

    He did, of course, have the OT; but, did he have any of the NT from which to preach at the time he received this exhortation from the Apostle Paul?
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    By that point much of the NT had been written. Paul even asks Tim to bring some of this material with him (II Tim 4:13) "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments", so assume he probably had most/all of what Paul had written.

    Matthew, Mark (Peter's sermon) and Luke were also written by this time, so 90% of the NT available and being rapidly disseminated throughout the churches.
     
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    One provoking question is, does Paul mean a Scriptural text or the Logos, that is Jesus Christ?

    A survey of translations notes this:
    The HCSB, NET use the phrase: "Proclaim the message..."

    The ESV, NIV84/11, NKJV, KJV, ASV, NASU use the phrase: "Preach the word..."

    Paul's use of the Greek term (logon) there is varied. Perhaps, given the context and force, the larger idea is the Gospel, not just a set of Scriptures. Or it could be both.

    I'm comfortable with either rendering.

    Here the challenge is the dating of the Pastoral Epistles. If we set Paul's execution to the end of Nero's reign, probably late AD 60s, we see the Pastorals as being written in the early 60s. The most generous critical scholars set them between 61-64. That should be okay.

    The challenge is that only about half the NT had been written by that point.

    We still have the Gospels that needed to be written, though Mark and Luke can be said to have been finished by AD 60 (Harnack gives us 60 for Mark and that's pretty generous for Harnack.) Matthew and John were in process, along with the Catholic epistles and Revelation.

    So...that leaves about half the NT unwritten by the time writes this to Timothy.

    That means, that Paul is likely referring to both the Old Testament (specifically the Pentateuch, poetry and some prophets) and the growing source of early apostolic teaching (the kerygma if you will.) Though Paul cites some texts that have correlation with data in the Gospels, it is likely that each citation is part of the oral tradition that was circulating in early Christianity.

    Paul likely means the books of the OT and this apostolic teaching that was running around.

    Given the closeness of the other datings of the NT books, and the challenge of providing for widespread circulation of these books within five years (we have little evidence of that happening) it is probable that these two sources are what Paul means.

    That's a good question. :)
     
  4. go2church

    go2church
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    90%? Seems high
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    I think we can be fairly confident Paul was not referring to the OT scriptures. Rather, he was referring to the good news, the gospel of Christ.

    Take a look at these and decide for yourself:

    Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess 1:8, 4:15; 2 Thess 3:1.

    Hebrews 4:2: 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

    Timothy was a disciple of Paul and had had the pure gospel of Christ taught to him. This is the word in view. If you read the whole passage, 2 Timothy 4:1-8, we see Paul teaching folks will turn from the truth. So while the opportunity exists, Timothy is to ...do the work of an evangelist.
     
  6. Herald

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    How much of the Bible that was complete during Timothy's ministry is irrelevant. Th Bible is authoritative to us, today. "Preach the word" to us applies to the whole counsel of God - the whole Bible; but especially the Gospel.
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    There is no need to dispute that "preaching the word" includes the whole Bible. But this refers to the intended message of a modern metaphor.

    However, if we back up to what Paul's intended message to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:2) it was Christ crucified.
     

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