Pastoral Epistles and Early Church Polity

$149.00$299.00

This item will be charged on June 18, 2022.

Bible

This course invites students to take a fresh look at the New Testament texts addressing church offices, focusing especially on the pastoral epistles (1-2 Timothy and Titus), along with scholarship from the patristic era through to today. By the end of the course, students should have a firm grasp of the context in which the New Testament’s teaching on church polity was given, and been thoroughly exposed to its teaching on its own terms.

Taught by Dr. Matthew Colvin.

Runs 7/8-8/26/22.

Note: due to the start of term beginning on a holiday, classes that are scheduled to meet on Monday will not meet for the first time until the week of 7/11; professors will schedule a make-up class somewhere during the term to cover the missed class time.

Auditing: participate in readings and live class sessions, but no graded assignments and no course credit
Full course part-time: individual classes on a for-credit basis; you can later apply them toward a Certificate or Degree
Full course full-time: for-credit courses (at least four per term) toward our Certificate or M.Litt in Classical Protestantism

Clear

Description

This Bible course will be taught by Dr. Matthew Colvin and will run from from July 4th through August 26th 2022. The syllabus is available here.

Few topics elicit such simultaneous excitement and boredom as church polity. Debates over elders and bishops, congregationalism and episcopacy, deacons and deaconesses, and such like have long divided Protestants who are like-minded in other areas, and will probably continue to do so. These debates go round in circles often, with everyone able to offer scriptural proof-texts or primitivist church traditions for their respective positions, resulting in an exegetical stalemate. Yet often we are simply producing texts to uphold our prior positions, rather than letting the Bible speak to us on its own terms, and learning humbly from church history.

This course invites students to take a fresh look at the New Testament texts addressing church offices, focusing especially on the pastoral epistles (1-2 Timothy and Titus), along with scholarship from the patristic era through to today, stretching from Ignatius and Jerome in the Patristic era to the councils and church order literature, to the Reformers, to scholars like Kloppenborg and Alistair Stewart in modern times. Students will evaluate various polities, the origin of the laying on of hands, the apostolate, Paul’s entourage, jure divino prelacy, synagogal origins, Greco-Roman and Jewish contexts, and women’s ordination. By the end of the course, students should have a firm grasp of the context in which the New Testament’s teaching on church polity was given, and will have been thoroughly exposed to its teaching on its own terms.


Dr. Matthew Colvin is a presbyter in the Reformed Episcopal Church. From 2012-2017, he served as a missionary teaching ministerial students in the Philippines and Indonesia. He holds a PhD in ancient Greek literature from Cornell University (2004). His published works include articles on Heraclitus (Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 2005 and The Classical Quarterly 2006), a translation from Latin of the 1550 Magdeburg Confession (2011), and The Lost Supper, a study of the Passover and Eucharistic origins (Fortress Academic, 2019). He is currently working on a book on women’s ordination and the origins of ordained office in the early church. He lives on Vancouver Island.


Online only, runs 8 weeks, meeting 2.5 hr./wk. via Zoom. Students will also have the option to participate in class discussion in the Davenant Common Room Discord server. Register to reserve your spot and schedule will be set after a poll of participating students; if the class time does not fit your schedule, you will be eligible for a full refund.
This is a graduate-level course. Although a BA is not a necessary pre-requisite for this course, students should come prepared to do graduate-level work.