Hostility in the House of God

An Investigation of the Opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy

By (author) Dillon T. Thornton

Hardback - £43.95

Publication date:

30 July 2016

Length of book:

336 pages



ISBN-13: 9781575064468

Virtually all scholars acknowledge the presence of opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy, but there is considerable disagreement over the identity of these opponents and the author's way of handling them. In this volume, Thornton provides a critique of a number of extant theories, including "Gnostic," Jewish, and proto-Montanist identifications, and develops a rigorous methodology for unmasking the opponents who appear in these letters. He argues that the opponents came from within the Christian community in Ephesus and that their teaching is best described as an erroneous eschatological position that derived from the complexity of Paul's views. He also argues that the author of the books of Timothy engaged with the false teachers in significant ways throughout the letters, and draws attention to a number of literary and theological maneuvers that were intended to counteract the opponents' influence and/or to bolster the faithful community's confidence as it struggled against the opponents. Thornton's meticulous investigation sheds new light on the hostility that plays such a large part in 1 and 2 Timothy.

“A thoughtful contribution to the ongoing discussion about the historical context of Paul’s letters to Timothy that might help scholars think through the occasion of the letters afresh.”

—Wesley Thomas Davey, Bulletin for Biblical Research