Richard Fellows commented on my last post, and I want to start a new thread to discuss it. I was attempting to create a press release shamelessly promoting my Committee. In doing so, I my have included certain inaccuracies so that the mainstream media could use it as their own. Unfortunately, according to Jim Leonard, I was not nearly inaccurate enough. However, here I will try to answer seriously Richard’s comment, which is as follows:
there is no strong evidence that Timothy was younger than Paul, though he may have been. People’s perception of Timothy is conditioned too much by the PE, unfortunately.
We should explore the possibility that the Presbyter claimed or implied that Titus (or Titus-Timothy) was his source of information. This would explain why Titus features so strongly in the extant portions (and probably in the non-extant portions, judging from the “Acts of Titus”). Am I correct in deducing from the “Acts of Titus” that Titus was present in the Panchares incident in the Acts of Paul and perhaps even earlier in the book? Also, Titus appears along with Luke in the last sentence, doesn’t he? The Presbyter has to bring Titus back from Dalmatia to place him in Rome. Therefore perhaps we should see the mentions of Titus in the Acts of Paul as a kind of inclusio, i.e. a device whereby Titus frames the whole text to indicate that he is the authoritative source of the information (See Bauckham’s “Jesus and the eyewitnesses”). By mentioning both Titus and Luke at the end the Presbyter may be implying that Titus was the authoritative eyewitness for his work, just as Luke was for the Acts of the Apostles. Intriguingly Titus plays the role of witness for Paul in the Thecla episode.
Let me know if this has all been explored before.
Thanks for your response.
Paul told Timothy Μηδείς σου τῆς νεότητος καταφρονείτω (1 Tim 4.12). Timothy was evidently a young man when Paul took him as a disciple, such that many years later, Paul would refer to his youth. I don’t know why it would be unfortunate that our view of Timothy would be conditioned by the PE; the image is consistent with Phil 2.22; 1 Cor 4.17.
Also there is insufficient evidence that Acts was known to the author of the Acts of Paul. I will be showing that in my forthcoming paper on the NT in the Acts of Paul, buttressing arguments I made in my dissertation (ch. 2). So I wouldn’t say that the appearance of Luke and Titus together would say anything about authorship. Finally, I am not certain that the Acts of Titus are evidence of a lost episode in Crete; that may be possible (argued by Rordorf, see dissertation, p. 24). I don’t recall Titus appearing in the episode II of the Coptic fragments. This is to say, that the information in Acts of Titus is not always a certain indicator of the contents of the Acts of Paul. I wonder if it counts as an inclusio in a strict sense if Titus appears somewhere in the middle of the Acts of Paul.
I don’t know that anyone has suggested a special relationship between Acts of Paul and Titus. It is interesting but of course speculative, being based partially upon the secondary witness of the Acts of Titus. But I don’t suppose you would propose Titus/Timothy as the actual author, would you?