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Pastoral Epistles
(2,710 words)

1. Origins

The term “Pastoral Epistles” is applied to three letters within the Pauline corpus, namely, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. The term is regarded as fitting, since these three offer instructions for pastoral oversight of congregations and specify the qualities and duties expected of church leaders. Paul Anton (1661–1730) is given credit for coining the term for the three letters, although Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225–74) had referred to 1 Timothy as “a pastoral rule” much earlier.

Each letter identifies its…

Cite this page
Hultgren, Arland J., “Pastoral Epistles”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_P.42>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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