Mike Aquilina

By George

Monday January 26th 2009, 9:05 am

Happy Timothy and Titus Day! I’ll take the opportunity to recommend a new book, Father George Montague’s First and Second Timothy, Titus in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series. Father Montague wrote my favorite study of St. Paul’s life and work, The Living Thought of Saint Paul: An Introduction to Pauline Theology, but it’s long out of print. This book has all the virtues of the old one, but concentrated on intensive study of the pastorals — the most sacramental and hierarchical instances of the Pauline letters, the letters so concerned with doctrinal orthodoxy and vehement rejection of heresy.

It’s for that very reason, says Protestant scholar Michael J. Gorman, that many scholars have denied St. Paul’s authorship of these letters. Low-church exegetes couldn’t believe that their Paul could say such things. I loved the argument for Paul’s authorship outlined in The Living Thought of Saint Paul, but over the decades Father Montague has refined it even further. His discussion in the recent volume culminates with the sentence: “There are some serious weaknesses in the argument for pseudonymity.” From there he has some real fun.

Celebrate the feast in a big way that hardly costs you anything. Buy Father George Montague’s new commentary, First and Second Timothy, Titus.