Our Savior and King: Theology proper in 1 Timothy
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SubjectBible. -- N.T. -- Timothy, 1st -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
God -- Worship and love -- Biblical teaching.
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In this dissertation the author seeks to present a holistic theology proper (hereafter, simply "theology") for the first epistle to Timothy, with special regard to the letter's doxologies (King) and divine title, Savior. Chapter 1 identifies the problem, includes a history of research, and describes the method and procedure of the dissertation. The method of inquiry consists of determining the meaning and function of the letter's theology. Thus, the author seeks to understand the background and character of 1 Timothy's theology, while also wishing to discern why the author of 1 Timothy chose to emphasize these peculiar theological themes. Chapter 2 explores the meaning and function of the theological descriptions found in the doxologies of 1 Timothy 1:17 and 6:15-16. By thorough comparison to Greco-Roman, early Jewish, and OT literature, the author suggests a basically OT-informed view of God. The doxologies depict God as the only Sovereign who rules over all. The writer then determines that the doxologies function as a support and encouragement for Timothy to heed Paul's charge. This conclusion is largely based on the positioning of the doxologies and the macrostructure of the letter. Chapter 3 examines the meaning and function of the divine epithet Savior. After comparing this term to its occurrences in Greco-Roman, early Jewish, and OT literature, the author again favors an OT background for Savior. This term depicts God as one who mercifully and indiscriminately reconciles sinners who trust in Christ. While also recognizing other functions, the author suggests that God as Savior may have been aimed at the primary implied reader, Timothy, as well. Accordingly, the idea of Savior informs and strengthens Timothy, so that he might continue to labor in presenting the life-giving gospel of God. Chapter 4 considers every remaining theological description in 1 Timothy, as well as themes that significantly relate to the letter's theology, such as Christology. The author suggests that the entire theology of 1 Timothy either coheres with or supports the predominant ideas of God as King and Savior. Chapter 5 summarizes the dissertation's findings and concludes with suggested implications for NT studies.