Andy Miller III
Cover Image for Was Paul a Bigot? with Isaiah Allen

Was Paul a Bigot? with Isaiah Allen

March 7, 2024

Titus 1:12 has confused me for years. In that verse, Paul says, “One of Crete's own prophets has said it: 'Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.'” Was Paul being a bigot toward the people of Crete? How does this fit into his bigger argument? On today’s podcast, I talk to Dr. Isaiah Allen about his research on this book which helps us inductively understand the relevance of Paul’s words.

Youtube -

Audio -

Apple -

Click here to check out my Contender Course and Heaven Course! Find out more here -

And don’t forget about my book that came out last summer, Contender, which is available on Amazon!

Five Steps to Deeper Teaching and Preaching - Recently, I updated this PDF document and added a 45-minute teaching video with slides, explaining this tool. It's like a mini-course. If you sign up for my list, I will send this free resource to you. Sign up here - or Five Steps to Deeper Teaching and Preaching.

Today’s episode is brought to you by these two sponsors:

Keith Waters and his team at WPO Development do an amazing job helping non-profits and churches through mission planning studies, strategic plans, feasibility studies, and capital campaigns. We are honored to have Keith and WPO on the More to the Story team. You can find out more about them at or touch base directly with Keith at


Wesley Biblical Seminary - Interested in going deeper in your faith? Check out our certificate programs, B.A., M.A.s, M.Div., and D.Min degrees. You will study with world-class faculty and the most racially diverse student body in the country.

Thanks too to Phil Laeger for my podcast music. You can find out about Phil's music at


Welcome to the more to the story. Podcast. I'm so glad that you have come along. Look, today, we are going to be looking at one of these very interesting verses that many people, I think many people through the years have just said I I'm just gonna skip that one. I quite. I don't quite know what is. I'm gonna read it to you right now, Titus. 1, 12, one of Crete's own profits has said it.

00:01:30.780 --> 00:01:52.789
Andy Miller III: Cretins are always liars, evil brutes, and lazy gluttons. This saying is true, boy. This has been a stumbling block for some people like me for a while. But we're gonna come to a fuller discussion of this in just a minute. But first, I want, you know, this podcast comes to you from Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches. And we do that through a host of programs.

00:01:52.790 --> 00:02:19.769
Andy Miller III: bachelor's master's doctoral degrees, in addition to lay initiatives like the Wesley Institute, which walks people through every book of the Bible across a 9 month period. And then that there's another phase, Wes Institute. That's a theological emphasis that talks about most of the feel, most of the major theological topics. And we'd love for you to think about that program or studying with us at Wbs. You can find out more about us at Wbs. Edu.

00:02:19.770 --> 00:02:29.999
Andy Miller III: Also, my friend Bill Roberts is a financial planner who's particularly gifted at helping pastors think about their retirement. He does a great job of coming at this discipline and this gift

00:02:30.000 --> 00:02:54.990
Andy Miller III: by being able to bring Christian principles to helping people think about their retirement, so you can find out more about him at William H., or find a link in my show notes. Also, I'd love for folks to sign up for my email list, where you'll get regular content from me at Andy Miller, the That is, if you can sign up at Andy Miller, the where I send regular updates on podcast articles and other things that are

00:02:54.990 --> 00:03:18.769
Andy Miller III: coming out from more to the story ministries, and if you sign up for that list I'll send you a free tool. It's called 5 steps to deeper teaching and preaching. And at my website, Andy Miller. Third com, you can find courses that I've developed for small groups and Sunday school class one that's on the book of Jude, another one that's that talks about the afterlife called Heaven and other destinations a Biblical journey beyond this world.

00:03:18.770 --> 00:03:23.119
Check it out. I'd love for you to find out more about what we're offering there.

00:03:23.500 --> 00:03:49.529
Andy Miller III: Okay, I am so glad to welcome to podcast my friend, Dr. Isaiah Allen, who serves as assistant professor of religion at Booth University College and Winnipeg, Canada. Okay, when? What what province is it? In? Sorry Manitoba? Manitoba? Oh, good. I was like as though as a word, Winnipeg was coming out my mouth I was doubting myself. Isaiah, you know, Winnie, the pooh is named after Winnipeg. Just you can remember that.

00:03:49.530 --> 00:04:05.409
Andy Miller III: Oh, yeah, Winnipeg comes from. Yeah. Winnipeg. I did not know that. So not a native Canadian here. But we have Isaiah come in. II did tell us a little bit about yourself like how did you get? How'd you get to Winnipeg?

00:04:05.820 --> 00:04:16.559
Isaiah Allen: Well, I was born and raised mostly in upstate New York Schenectady area. My dad worked for the general Electric factory there for 42 years and

00:04:16.839 --> 00:04:17.839
Isaiah Allen: I

00:04:18.430 --> 00:04:32.379
Isaiah Allen: did grow up going to the Salvation Army as a church became an officer, and years ago Booth University College had a program with officers in the U.S.A. East, where they could finish their degree, which is what I did.

00:04:32.390 --> 00:04:40.130
Isaiah Allen: So I met a lot of yeah instructors and personalities at Booth University College, and

00:04:40.160 --> 00:04:46.630
Isaiah Allen: it was an important part of my formation. It was a great environment for learning. I spent 4 to 6 weeks each year

00:04:46.650 --> 00:04:51.349
Isaiah Allen: during that program from 2,004 to 2,008 in

00:04:51.490 --> 00:05:02.789
Isaiah Allen: Booth University college campuses and taking intensive courses, things like that. And when the opportunity came for me to come back and basically

00:05:03.070 --> 00:05:16.889
Isaiah Allen: take on the mantle of one of my mentors, Roy Geel. When he retired, I applied, and by the grace of God, was accepted. And now have this role, and I'm very excited about it.

00:05:17.230 --> 00:05:42.189
Andy Miller III: Yeah. And and you and I both have something in common that we serve the savage army officers and then have entered, you know. No ha had to. There isn't exactly a category or a way to continue to serve as the savage army officer and be a full time academic and you and I both have that unique part, but yet we part of our history. But yet we still have connections to this officer. I mean, you work

00:05:42.190 --> 00:05:48.690
Andy Miller III: for you get a check from the Salvation Army still at this point in some ways. But tell me what happened for you.

00:05:48.900 --> 00:06:05.140
Isaiah Allen: It well, II still worship about a Salvation Army so I'm still an an active soldier, a. And so forth. Always have been an active soldier. But I yeah, did not find a way to pursue what I felt to be God's calling upon my life in

00:06:05.230 --> 00:06:09.179
Isaiah Allen: full-time academia and officership at the same time.

00:06:09.320 --> 00:06:29.910
Isaiah Allen: But I did, you know, feel an affinity to the Salvation Army. I felt that I owed the Salvation Army a debt of gratitude for my own formation. The Salvation Army and individual soldiers and officers had taken a major role in my discipleship and formation. And so II feel at home

00:06:29.910 --> 00:06:39.340
Isaiah Allen: and sometimes I say, I love the Salvation Army with its flaws, because you know, we know that every human institution has its flaws. But but yeah, I

00:06:39.410 --> 00:06:59.929
Isaiah Allen: I've chosen that route. And I'm I'm glad, actually a part of my student body or the student body that I teach are Salvationists of different stripes, whether they're soldiers, who are, you know, undergrads in their teens and twenties, or whether they're cadets and officers officers on the field cadets at the training school in Toronto. Things like that.

00:07:00.020 --> 00:07:09.359
Isaiah Allen: Or there's a number of Salvationists from across across the globe from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria,

00:07:09.470 --> 00:07:13.689
Isaiah Allen: Sri Lanka elsewhere. Yeah, yeah.

00:07:13.830 --> 00:07:17.500
Isaiah Allen: who are part of the student body. So it's really, it's really exciting place to be.

00:07:17.940 --> 00:07:31.550
Andy Miller III: It's it's a unique opportunity to be able to serve and just, you know. Trust that God has like led you, you know, and you also have a unique background, too, because before you even became establishment officer here. Were you a professional ballet? Answer.

00:07:31.550 --> 00:07:49.169
Isaiah Allen: I was a starving artist, so semi II every once in a while I was able to make my bills, you know, make ends meet. But no, I did. I did dance professionally and and when I was going through graduate school I was teaching dance and dancing on the side, and things like that

00:07:49.170 --> 00:08:07.950
Isaiah Allen: to pay the bills, and I was grateful. There's actually a pretty vibrant dance community in Lexington, Kentucky, and you might not, you know, guess that that would happen. But there are a number of principal dancers from major

00:08:07.990 --> 00:08:19.560
Isaiah Allen: international renowned dance companies, Cuban National Ballet, Mexican National Ballet, and even American ballet Theater. Things like that.

00:08:19.620 --> 00:08:22.439
Isaiah Allen: So it's really an exciting place to be for dance.

00:08:22.940 --> 00:08:42.129
Andy Miller III: Wow! That's providential. How that worked. So you you went through your your time at Asbury Seminary. You, you definitely felt called to, you know, pursue Master's degree, and but then you had a sense, though, of wanting to move on towards graduate work studying particularly New Testament. Tell me about that, and, like W. What led you to, or or why did you choose

00:08:42.470 --> 00:08:44.770
Andy Miller III: Biblical studies and New Testament in general?

00:08:45.180 --> 00:08:54.380
Isaiah Allen: Well, I could say this pretty quickly. When I was about 8 years old. My mother showed me her Bible.

00:08:54.890 --> 00:08:56.790
Isaiah Allen: said that she had read it through.

00:08:56.870 --> 00:09:12.389
Isaiah Allen: and somehow I felt inspired to read the Bible through. And so I said, I'm going to do what my mother did. She really turned me onto the Bible, had me memorizing Scriptures cause I was home schooled, and she, you know. Ha! You know that was part of our curriculum.

00:09:12.560 --> 00:09:32.700
Isaiah Allen: and I fell in love with the Bible through the time that I was a child and a teenager. It took me actually 5 years to finish reading the Bible from age 8 to age 13. I finished reading the Bible at age 13, and then started again. Where where do I go from now? Well, I guess I'll read it again and again, and the more I learned how to study the Bible.

00:09:32.700 --> 00:09:52.680
Isaiah Allen: the more I just soaked it in. And so I started doing inductive Bible study when I was 16 years old, when someone gave me a book by the name inductive Bible study K. Arthur, which is pretty interesting figure. Who, you know, a a woman who came from a tradition that didn't believe in women, in ministry.

00:09:52.680 --> 00:09:58.050
Isaiah Allen: And yet it has so much influence upon, you know a number of men.

00:09:58.270 --> 00:10:01.950
Isaiah Allen: and so II you know, soaked that in.

00:10:02.030 --> 00:10:11.610
Isaiah Allen: and I always felt the impulse to study the Bible at the highest level that I possibly could. And so the Ph. D. Was really

00:10:11.610 --> 00:10:34.580
Isaiah Allen: virtually inevitable. It was almost like a calling that the Lord had put on my life. From from the beginning. My my mother and some others in my life were concerned, that if I went to study the Bible critically scholarly, if I went to seminary and all these sorts of things I would lose my faith, I would, you know I would. You know, start questioning things that ought not to be questioned, and so forth.

00:10:34.860 --> 00:10:51.310
Isaiah Allen: I did. I did find something of the opposite to be true. Ii found my faith growing deeper. I found myself having stronger reasons for the things that I believed

00:10:51.370 --> 00:11:17.239
Isaiah Allen: I found myself shedding some of the unnecessary beliefs that had come along that were just really part of Christian radio orthodoxy and pop Christian culture, and not actually biblically sound, and I think I became a stronger and more resilient believer. A more faithful Christian in the process, and and certainly the way that I approached, life

00:11:17.580 --> 00:11:35.989
Isaiah Allen: became richer, deeper, and more informed by Scripture, and so I certainly felt. I feel closer to God now than I've ever felt before. And I think it's not because if you pursue a Ph. D. That will happen, but rather because

00:11:36.150 --> 00:11:49.209
Isaiah Allen: this is the path that God set out before me, and I walked in it, and anyone who walks in the path that God sets out before them, whether it includes a master's or Ph. D. Or not is going to, I think, find that kind of satisfaction.

00:11:49.250 --> 00:11:54.550
Andy Miller III: Yeah, beautiful. Well, give me 1 one of the things from the Pop Christian

00:11:54.640 --> 00:12:03.699
Andy Miller III: that you might want to remove things

00:12:03.760 --> 00:12:12.530
Isaiah Allen: to take. There was a point in my life where I thought that the gospel was basically encapsulated in the 4 spiritual laws.

00:12:12.880 --> 00:12:20.090
Isaiah Allen: You know now, none of the 4 spiritual laws are necessarily incorrect or wrong. But to think that the gospel is

00:12:20.150 --> 00:12:34.490
Isaiah Allen: is encapsulated in, you know God has a wonderful plan for your life. You know, sin separates you from God. Yeah. God has made a provision for sin, for sin through Christ, and and so forth. None of those are individually wrong, but

00:12:34.490 --> 00:12:58.279
Isaiah Allen: a a. A, as as you like to say, every every podcast, cause. II do listen to your podcast. There's more to the story, you know, to realize that, like penal substitutionary tonement is one helpful illuminating way to think about the work of Christ. But it's not the only way that Christians have for centuries thought about the work of Christ, and that there, that

00:12:58.280 --> 00:13:17.520
Isaiah Allen: focusing just on one with blinders on and and ignoring the other ways of understanding that Christ's work is fulsome. And and you know there, there's a surplus of grace. You know that that comes through the work of Christ. And you know those sorts of things that my my thinking became less simplistic, I think.

00:13:17.840 --> 00:13:43.660
Andy Miller III: Yeah, beautiful. Well, that's a great encouragement for folks to study theology. Come to Wesley Biblical Seminary, or you know also Isaiah teaches adjunct as adjunct professor here with us. And I teach adjunct professor at Booth University College. So there's great opportunities to go deeper in your faith, and sometimes that means we have to push you a little bit, and one of the ways you push me, Isaiah, is to help me understand a book that bears the name of my

00:13:43.660 --> 00:14:19.239
Andy Miller III: son Titus. I named my son after this little book 3 chapters, and I just love. I've loved Titus. Nevertheless, I preach. I preached to it multiple times my last time I preached through. It was about 3 years ago, and I got your dissertation, which is not just dealing with one book, not with one chapter, but with one very particular verse. Now, of course, you talk about more than just one verse as you work through this challenging verse that I read at the top of this program. So I encourage people to go ahead and open your Bibles up because it at all. Okay, if you're in a place. You're not listening while you're driving your car

00:14:19.240 --> 00:14:30.369
Andy Miller III: the the open. Your Bibles up to Titus, so we can look at this book with a little bit more clarity, and I've I've re- you've challenged me, Elijah. Oh, Elijah! Oh, my goodness, I say, Eli

00:14:30.670 --> 00:14:34.439
Andy Miller III: Isaiah, a wrong Old Testament prophet forgive me

00:14:34.780 --> 00:14:59.349
Andy Miller III: if I've said that if I said that twice again, I'm sorry. One of things that happens is that as we get into this this passage, this is one of these verses that many times people look at and say, Well, I'm not sure Paul was a bit of a bigot, and you decided to direct your doctoral dissertation around this. First, because I do you think.

00:14:59.370 --> 00:15:15.139
Andy Miller III: Isaiah, it it had to do with the fact that you saw the way this verse is typically understood as being disconnected from Paul's argument. I mean, there's a you're going after a really challenging, challenging verse.

00:15:15.680 --> 00:15:35.429
Isaiah Allen: Yeah, if you look at Titus 1 12 you you might get, especially if you read it in the new international version, which is otherwise a good translation. But yeah, it makes some mistakes in in this little patch of Scripture. If you look at Titus 1, 12,

00:15:35.560 --> 00:15:37.129
Isaiah Allen: and take it

00:15:37.350 --> 00:15:44.590
Isaiah Allen: on the surface, the way that it has often been taken. Paul looks like a bigot.

00:15:44.620 --> 00:15:47.880
Isaiah Allen: Paul looks like a pretty you know.

00:15:48.160 --> 00:16:18.160
Isaiah Allen: Pretty bigoted person, you know, so certainly he looks quite different from the Apostle to the Gentiles, who, you know, would do all things, you know, become all things for all you know, people in order to save some, and and so forth. The one who refers to himself as an apostle to the Gentiles feels a special calling in order to reach out and tell the Gentiles the good news. And if you look at that that verse, and and if I might let me just read it

00:16:18.320 --> 00:16:33.539
Isaiah Allen: in the new Revised Standard Version, just to give a little contrast. So in in the new Revised Standard version, it says, it was one of them, their very own prophet, who said, cretins are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.

00:16:33.770 --> 00:16:40.399
Isaiah Allen: Now, the question that always comes up for me when I hear someone.

00:16:40.590 --> 00:16:48.179
Isaiah Allen: Saying something is, is, you know, who's saying it. Why are they saying it? You know what? What's their motivation? And so forth?

00:16:48.390 --> 00:16:49.360
Isaiah Allen: And

00:16:49.480 --> 00:16:51.900
Isaiah Allen: it appeared to me

00:16:52.070 --> 00:16:53.170
Isaiah Allen: that

00:16:53.230 --> 00:17:03.450
Isaiah Allen: Titus was preserving the Book of Titus was preserving 2 ancient opinions about the Cretan people, about Cretans in the church in particular, not one.

00:17:03.650 --> 00:17:10.850
Isaiah Allen: And within the book of Titus. You've got these 2 opinions about the Creation people. One of them is Paul's opinion.

00:17:10.920 --> 00:17:27.369
Isaiah Allen: and Paul has shared his opinion on a couple of occasions throughout the Book of Titus, because, like an inductive Bible study, you interpret the part on the basis of the whole, you interpret the whole on the basis of the part. So even though there's a big focus on

00:17:27.490 --> 00:17:43.259
Isaiah Allen: Titus 1, 12. In my dissertation I'm actually trying to help people see the whole picture better. So when Paul describes the Cretans in chapter 3. He says, they were, as he himself was one time foolish.

00:17:43.300 --> 00:17:44.400
Isaiah Allen: hateful.

00:17:44.420 --> 00:17:52.970
Isaiah Allen: but now reborn, renewed heirs by grace. So that's a summary of Titus, 3, 3, through 7.

00:17:53.020 --> 00:17:56.739
Isaiah Allen: So, in other words, he views the

00:17:56.770 --> 00:17:57.880
Isaiah Allen: Crete in

00:17:58.490 --> 00:18:05.060
Isaiah Allen: people in the church as redeemed as sons and daughters of God, and so forth.

00:18:05.200 --> 00:18:09.320
Isaiah Allen: But there's another group of people that view that Cretans in the church.

00:18:09.330 --> 00:18:18.899
Isaiah Allen: otherwise troublemakers in the community describe the Koreans as existential reprobates. In other words, there was something

00:18:19.060 --> 00:18:26.350
Isaiah Allen: inherently, intrinsically wrong with them that would even preclude them from being fully saved

00:18:26.410 --> 00:18:27.640
Isaiah Allen: unless

00:18:28.080 --> 00:18:34.650
Isaiah Allen: they convert to Judaism and become a first class citizen in the kingdom of God by those means.

00:18:34.790 --> 00:18:41.459
Isaiah Allen: And and you know, in short, that's what I am seeing when I read the Book of Titus.

00:18:41.470 --> 00:19:05.420
Andy Miller III: This is really interesting, because what you have it would just a reminder. If if you're new to looking at the Book of Titus, this is this letter. It's addressed to Titus, presumably a younger disciple of Paul, who, as we learn in other places like Galatians 2 was Greek, and it'd be a was somebody who is not circumcised, that he was an example

00:19:05.420 --> 00:19:18.080
Andy Miller III: at whatever whatever's happening in Galatians, to whether it is the Jerusalem Council or not. It's a whole other story, but something's going on there that demonstrates that that Titus in himself

00:19:18.140 --> 00:19:37.660
Andy Miller III: is an example of Paul's ministry. And so he comes up as that example. So the Book of Titus starts off with a purpose statement in verse 5, that Titus is left in Crete. I'm quoting verse 5 now was that he might so that he might put in order that

00:19:37.660 --> 00:19:58.499
Andy Miller III: which was left unfinished, and appoint elders in every town, as I direct him. He's charged later to teach pure doctrine that he's to help this group in light. Of this opposition which you just described, this group of people in verse 10, it says, for the there are many rebellious people for sorry. It's chapter 2

00:19:58.500 --> 00:20:14.409
Andy Miller III: verse Wa. Chapter one, verse 10, for there are many rebellious people full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of this circumcision group. And he goes on to say, these people need to be silenced. So those are the principal. That's like kind of the

00:20:14.470 --> 00:20:17.329
Andy Miller III: broad context of what's happening.

00:20:17.460 --> 00:20:31.760
Andy Miller III: So so if if he sees the people a Crete as people that that tied us to leave is to lead, to help set them in the right way, so that they can have good works that reflect what they're doing, their their faith that they have.

00:20:32.430 --> 00:20:35.690
Andy Miller III: They're in this interesting place. If Paul was saying

00:20:35.850 --> 00:20:37.160
Andy Miller III: bigotedly.

00:20:37.460 --> 00:20:45.330
Andy Miller III: well, you're just you're just a bunch of gluttons intrinsically like that's basically who you are by your very identity. So so

00:20:45.460 --> 00:21:00.120
Andy Miller III: you bring in a hermeneutical or a reading theory called relevance theory to help us understand what's happening? Can you tell us why relevance theory helps us with this with understanding this chapter in this verse, particularly.

00:21:00.180 --> 00:21:11.590
Isaiah Allen: yeah, yeah, relevance theory. Basically reverse engineers language and helps us understand how hearers infer meaning from the things that they hear.

00:21:11.610 --> 00:21:18.159
Isaiah Allen: And the reason I studied relevance theory in in order to

00:21:18.270 --> 00:21:23.159
Isaiah Allen: dig deeper into understand what this book and what this passage was about.

00:21:23.220 --> 00:21:47.519
Isaiah Allen: Is because I understood that the problem that we have with reading it is a problem of of reading. We don't know how to infer what the original audience might have inferred, and so to to study. How do readers, how do hearers infer meaning from what they hear? One of the big things that is necessary is context. So

00:21:47.520 --> 00:22:09.329
Isaiah Allen: you you mentioned how there are troublemakers in the Creation Church, and there, Paul says you're supposed to silence them. He tells why they are troublemakers. They're rebellious. They upset people, they upset entire families and so forth, and and they need to be silenced, and they are teaching what they ought not teach. So a lot of the problem is speech.

00:22:09.370 --> 00:22:12.460
Isaiah Allen: And when he gives this description

00:22:12.790 --> 00:22:14.060
Isaiah Allen: a question that

00:22:14.230 --> 00:22:34.270
Isaiah Allen: raises in my mind is, what are they saying? That's so problematic. What are these troublemakers saying? What are they teaching that they ought not to teach? What are they saying? That's upsetting entire households within the church. Yeah, now, there are a number of scholars who

00:22:34.290 --> 00:22:54.750
Isaiah Allen: think that Paul doesn't answer any of those questions, because they think that when Paul says Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons, or creens are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons that Paul is speaking on his own behalf, and that the this is Paul's own opinion of the Cretans.

00:22:54.840 --> 00:23:05.130
Isaiah Allen: But if you look at the way that he frames the quotation, he says it was one of them, and you have to answer that question. Who is them or the people he's just been speaking about?

00:23:05.200 --> 00:23:14.520
Isaiah Allen: Are the troublemakers? Rebellious people, idle talkers, deceivers. And here's what's key, especially those of the circumcision.

00:23:14.630 --> 00:23:25.459
Isaiah Allen: which suggests very strongly that he's not talking about ethnic Cretans, and he's not talking about Titus. He's talking about people that

00:23:25.690 --> 00:23:29.989
Isaiah Allen: as in as was the case in Galatians.

00:23:30.070 --> 00:23:38.029
Isaiah Allen: People who were trying to get the Gentile Christians to convert to Judaism in order to become

00:23:38.040 --> 00:23:39.270
Isaiah Allen: full-fledged

00:23:39.760 --> 00:23:49.369
Isaiah Allen: Christians and followers of Christ. In in full full members of the, you know, community citizens in the kingdom, etc.

00:23:49.500 --> 00:23:56.680
Isaiah Allen: And and so, when he says it was one of them, their very own prophet. he's actually attributing these words

00:23:56.690 --> 00:24:14.110
Isaiah Allen: to the troublemakers. Crete are always liars, vicious brutes. Lazy gluttons is something that the troublemakers would say, we know. Because, yeah, it's really helpful in verse 12 in the NIV. It says one of Crete's own profits.

00:24:14.110 --> 00:24:41.830
Andy Miller III: but the pronoun there is probably the antecedent to it is something different like that's that's an interpret reading your dissertation. Help me see this. That's an interpretive mood move that happens there right? Cause you keep saying one of their help help us there. Well, in the Niv, because it's a dynamic equivalent translation. It tries to sort of spell things out for you that aren't obvious, but sometimes they make mistakes. And this is a case where I would argue that they do make a mistake

00:24:41.830 --> 00:24:56.920
Isaiah Allen: the they, whereas the underlying Greek simply says it was one of their own profits, and one of their very own profits to emphasize the ownership aspect of it.

00:24:56.970 --> 00:25:00.600
Isaiah Allen: I. The the Greek.

00:25:00.810 --> 00:25:07.749
Isaiah Allen: raises the question, What's the antecedent? Now? The NIV. Answers that question for readers

00:25:07.800 --> 00:25:08.890
Isaiah Allen: that

00:25:08.950 --> 00:25:34.129
Isaiah Allen: is not answered for original readers. Original readers, according to according to cognitive linguistics, which says, you don't hold these antecedents in your mind for sentence after sentence. The antecedent is something that's going to be very recently noted. The most recently noted antecedent would be the troublemakers. And so I think the proper proper translation would be one of these troublemakers

00:25:34.130 --> 00:25:39.319
Isaiah Allen: has said not one of these Cretans, because, the the word Crete.

00:25:39.380 --> 00:25:53.609
Isaiah Allen: not Crete, and even. But the word Crete is 7 verses above, and you know, is likely not what they were thinking. What what original hearers would have thought when they heard one of their own prophets said, and and

00:25:53.810 --> 00:25:59.439
Isaiah Allen: the idea of profit, like the word prophet, you know. Why would Paul call this person a prophet.

00:25:59.640 --> 00:26:03.889
Isaiah Allen: Well, profit has currency within?

00:26:03.910 --> 00:26:14.800
Isaiah Allen: Jewish, you know, circles like the you know, prophets. Words are you know, true and and so forth. And yeah, I think that Paul is using this word.

00:26:15.110 --> 00:26:24.000
Isaiah Allen: Ironically. He, you know he's he's almost the way. And II, this is a risky sort of this is a risky sort of

00:26:24.000 --> 00:26:51.660
Andy Miller III: Association, but almost the way that Donald trump used to word use the word Pocahontas with for Elizabeth Warren. And of course that's a problematic. You know. We're not endorsing anybody here. We're not saying Dorsey, but your point like when he says that about Elizabeth Warren. He's not speaking positively about Pocahontas, the way that history books have done so across you know, Poke.

00:26:51.660 --> 00:27:13.489
Isaiah Allen: So Pocahontas is a is a you know, an example you know the highest, you know. Example of of, you know virtue and nobility, and and so forth in in the mind. So when he uses that term he's actually using ironically and derogatory about in a specific jab. And I think that that's what Paul's doing. He's actually jabbing at these people. Oh, one of their prophets.

00:27:13.530 --> 00:27:41.929
Isaiah Allen: because one of the other problems that I know you would wind up asking me about is the issue that it. It's been attributed that this quotation has been attributed to. To an epim. Yeah, to Epimenides, to accreton epamenities. There are a number of problems with this attribution? One. We have no extant literature that has this quotation. At the mouth of epamenities. We do have part of this quotation.

00:27:41.930 --> 00:27:49.209
Isaiah Allen: Cretans are always liars at the pen of Colimicus, who was not cretin.

00:27:49.560 --> 00:28:14.299
Isaiah Allen: and the attribution to Epimenides was the the best explanation I can think of for the attribution, Epimenides, and I forget the scholar who actually made this attribution before me. But is that it was an an attribution of convenience that the first Christian commentator who said that

00:28:14.500 --> 00:28:17.109
Isaiah Allen: this quotation comes from Epimenides

00:28:17.140 --> 00:28:23.279
Isaiah Allen: Epimenides are, are are the first 1. One was Clement of Rome.

00:28:23.340 --> 00:28:24.620
Isaiah Allen: a Clement of

00:28:25.180 --> 00:28:34.839
Isaiah Allen: believe it was Clement of Rome. It was yeah, earlier than Alexa Clement Alexandria. I could be wrong on that. But in any event, the first person to make this attribution.

00:28:34.840 --> 00:28:58.910
Isaiah Allen: Was probably just drawing on the only Cretan poet that he knew the name. Okay, that Canadian Jordan? Peterson said, Yeah, yeah, sure. So so I, in any event, there's there's a number of problems that I outlined. And and I do have a forthcoming book that, that, you know, is on this topic, coming out of society Biblical Literature press

00:28:58.910 --> 00:29:09.649
Isaiah Allen: in the Emory studies in early Christianity series, and it. It lays out all of the problems, page after page with this attribution.

00:29:09.880 --> 00:29:29.899
Andy Miller III: And it it made its way. I mean, this is this is what happens. And this is why Biblical scholarship needs to continue. It's why it's exciting. Because I think what it I'll say, Isaiah, it's been exciting to me. It's really helpful to me to be able to understand how this verse can fit, and we haven't gotten there all the way yet. How this fits into the argument as a whole. But what happens is.

00:29:29.970 --> 00:29:32.240
Andy Miller III: even in translations.

00:29:32.330 --> 00:30:02.000
Andy Miller III: We end up taking things that come from the history of interpretation that might not be connected to the original. So, for instance, like even the niv has a little footnote here connecting this to Epimenides. So like I say, Oh, that that's where this is from, but you nobody could find like there is no source. There is no source of that like original documents. Oh, that's where that's from, and literature. All we have is this, and a footnote. So

00:30:02.060 --> 00:30:14.000
Isaiah Allen: yeah, also, Epimenides is a pretty ambiguous figure. His name is mentioned a couple of times by. By Plato and Aristotle.

00:30:14.000 --> 00:30:32.920
Isaiah Allen: and they they don't agree as to when he lived or what he did. He is never called a prophet, a prophet in the Greek literature, and his activities don't represent what most Jews and early Christians would have considered prophecy.

00:30:32.940 --> 00:30:57.729
Isaiah Allen: although he did, you know, presumably one of the things that he did was to predict the victory in a battle. But in any event he just doesn't fit the the bill. Why, why, he would be called a prophet as opposed to a poet, because Paul knows how to quote poets, and he knows how to reference them like in Acts chapter 17. So there's a number of problems. And now I'm conscious of the fact that

00:30:57.730 --> 00:31:06.560
Isaiah Allen: on in an audio format, textual analysis is very difficult. I would. I would say, there's there's one other thing that I stopped reading it.

00:31:06.560 --> 00:31:14.449
Isaiah Allen: Verse 12. One other choice that any translation makes is so after after it says,

00:31:14.560 --> 00:31:26.220
Isaiah Allen: you know the quotation. Greens are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons. In. In verse 13, it says in in my NRSV. Version, it says that testimony is true.

00:31:26.360 --> 00:31:50.130
Isaiah Allen: And I think that in in the N. Iv. It says, this saying is true. Well, there there are. There are problems with both of those translations. Testimony is, is accurate. It's the the word is Martu. Marturia, and it it means, you know, testimony like in a court of law. The thing is, they translate the the close, demonstrative

00:31:50.280 --> 00:32:15.510
Isaiah Allen: it to a far demonstrative. Instead of saying this testimony, which is what they should say, the the Nrs. V. Says that testimony, and what they're implying is they're pointing way back, far away from the time in which it's being spoken as opposed to time in which it is being spoken. So they're they're they're implicitly pointing back to ancient Crete instead of the current conversation. This testimony.

00:32:15.510 --> 00:32:25.550
Isaiah Allen: and one of the things that I do in in this book is I outline. How Paul is creating a scene!

00:32:25.830 --> 00:32:45.750
Isaiah Allen: In this book of a courtroom, at least in this in Chapter one of Titus. He's creating a courtroom scene, and he's bringing witnesses, and he's explaining accusations and and and all these sorts of things. And that word testimony fits into that. And what I'm arguing is that

00:32:45.980 --> 00:32:52.019
Isaiah Allen: when Paul says this testimony is true, he is referring to his own testimony, he is

00:32:52.210 --> 00:33:19.910
Isaiah Allen: he is representing? He! We know that he's able to hear what is happening in his churches when he's at a distance, right like we know that from the book of First Corinthians, second Corinthians. We know that from you know, first Thessalonians. We know that you know from other books. He know it Galatians. He! He knows what's happening in these congregations, and when he says this testimony is true, I think that it is his report

00:33:20.000 --> 00:33:25.460
Isaiah Allen: of how trouble makers in the church are upsetting his

00:33:25.740 --> 00:33:28.390
Isaiah Allen: Gentile missionary congregation.

00:33:28.440 --> 00:33:35.010
Isaiah Allen: and if I if I might separate a little bit from the textual analysis, and just speak a little bit theologically.

00:33:35.030 --> 00:33:40.230
Isaiah Allen: one of the this isn't just an esoteric sort of exercise, and

00:33:40.370 --> 00:33:45.859
Isaiah Allen: you know, linguistic analysis, or whatever I think that there are high theological stakes, and

00:33:46.150 --> 00:33:57.050
Isaiah Allen: one of those is the fact that no one is beyond redemption, that there is no human being, and that it is contrary to Paul's gospel

00:33:57.250 --> 00:34:07.830
Isaiah Allen: to to refer to people as though they are irredeemable, as though, you know, by dint of birth they're they have a characteristic that, you know, makes them beyond

00:34:07.980 --> 00:34:14.049
Isaiah Allen: redemption, because what he says over and over again at the end of chapter 2, in the middle of chapter 3, is

00:34:14.639 --> 00:34:16.840
Isaiah Allen: Christ transforming work

00:34:17.440 --> 00:34:20.870
Isaiah Allen: totally changes us from what we were to

00:34:20.940 --> 00:34:37.490
Isaiah Allen: the the new person. That's what salvation is to salvation is transformational. It's not simply it's not simply a transaction. It's not transactional, it's transformational. It's not simply a a movement in our relation to God.

00:34:38.080 --> 00:35:07.630
Isaiah Allen: in terms of like a Jewish. Yeah. A judgment call, or something like that, but but it's actually a transformation of the person from hateful hating one another, deceitful being deceived. And so forth, into but now you know the the love and kindness of God. Our Savior has appeared, and we are, you know, new people. We've been transformed, washed by the water of the spirit and so forth.

00:35:07.720 --> 00:35:13.319
Andy Miller III: So he's saying like this, you're you're saying. This statement

00:35:13.590 --> 00:35:20.700
Andy Miller III: flies completely in the face of Paul's theology and the theology. That is a part of his message

00:35:20.820 --> 00:35:29.410
Andy Miller III: to Titus, and by by nature of that, by extension of that to the people of Crete, I mean, just just hear what he says. You know

00:35:29.410 --> 00:35:51.899
Andy Miller III: they are always liars, always evil brutes, always lazy gluttons. We want to speak about people he's seeking to serve in that way. Not a very good missionary strategy. That's right. Let me tell you how bad I mean how terrible you are. And we're not just talking about like kind of like pre evangelism. Sort of things. He's like saying intrinsically.

00:35:51.900 --> 00:35:55.180
Andy Miller III: they are disordered. But who would be saying that

00:35:55.220 --> 00:36:20.869
Andy Miller III: they would? The the circumcision group, the the same group. Another place talks about how they are connecting genealogies, list and genealogies as a way to find their identity, and even maybe even their salvation to a certain degree is based upon their connection through their own genealogical stream. And well, what that sounds like, that kind of intrinsic

00:36:21.120 --> 00:36:40.249
Andy Miller III: piece like you, we are. We are even in somebody's connection to that genealogical record, or to that sort of teaching like, there's something about the person's very identity that is wrong, and that sounds like more of something. Paul's opponents would say.

00:36:40.260 --> 00:36:45.850
Andy Miller III: So let me see if I can summarize not some a little bit like what you're saying, basically, like in verse 12,

00:36:46.290 --> 00:37:13.799
Andy Miller III: it's not it's one of their prophets. He's speaking of his opponents. And then he says, they even say, can you believe it like I'm gonna tell you what they said. They say that you folks are nothing but liars, brutes, gluttons. And I'm telling you that's true. They said that. Okay, that's my Andy Miller version of of what you're saying like that. He's putting that on display

00:37:13.920 --> 00:37:17.979
Andy Miller III: as an example of their wrong theology.

00:37:18.090 --> 00:37:31.489
Isaiah Allen: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And it's it's completely contrary to him. And remember, the context is, Paul is writing to Titus as the leader of that church. So he's not writing directly to the Creans or to the troublemakers, but he's writing to them indirectly.

00:37:31.490 --> 00:37:52.399
Isaiah Allen: The the final greeting of the book tells us that he expects a plural hearing. So when he says, You know grace and peace to you all. At, you know, Grace be with all of you. He is. He's acknowledging that people are intentionally supposed to overhear this letter to Paul to Titus.

00:37:52.400 --> 00:38:22.069
Isaiah Allen: and so he's telling Titus what to do with the implication that everyone is overhearing, and that no one can deny that Titus has the authority to rebuke the people who are disparaging this missionary congregation. Because they've just heard Paul say it himself. That's the effect of a letter, you know, being sent in the ancient world, that it's actually it's a surrogate, you know, as as Ben Witherington says, it's a surrogate for the presence of the person who wrote the letter.

00:38:22.590 --> 00:38:23.480
Andy Miller III: Yeah.

00:38:23.670 --> 00:38:34.729
Andy Miller III: So could you imagine like, is this a scenario, where maybe they, the audience and and Titus would have been familiar with one person.

00:38:35.110 --> 00:38:49.970
Andy Miller III: a leader amongst the Circumcision group who could have been saying is, I know I'm kind of like I'm drawing up a scenario here in my mind. But is is that the ideas like they? They would recognize that that quote is something that the Circumcision group. Somebody in Circumcision Group could have said.

00:38:50.090 --> 00:39:02.130
Isaiah Allen: Yeah, or or Si, or something that you know, had currency amongst several people within the group. You know, and another another illustration that I use is when you know

00:39:02.130 --> 00:39:20.860
Isaiah Allen: W. You know. If if I say Oh, I'm polish. Therefore I can say a Polish joke, or I'm you know, from New Jersey. Therefore I can, you know, insult people from New Jersey, or something which I'm neither Polish nor from New Jersey. But so maybe those are bad examples. But what what they're saying,

00:39:20.870 --> 00:39:25.749
Isaiah Allen: you know Paul is doing is taking that kind of

00:39:25.790 --> 00:39:43.939
Isaiah Allen: tack where he says one of one, you know it's a cretin even calls Cretans evil brute. So Cretin even calls Cretans liars. Therefore it's okay. If I say it's not, you know. I it's it's not, you know, out of school for me to say it.

00:39:44.640 --> 00:40:12.609
Isaiah Allen: a. And there are a lot of examples of this. I mean, 1. One of the funniest examples, I guess, is like in episode one or 2 of the office where Mike Scott, the inept manager, does a Chris rock routine where he's talking about, you know the yeah. A. A. And obviously this is a it's a huge it's a huge mistake. It's a huge, you know, just wrong thing for him to do

00:40:12.760 --> 00:40:33.630
Isaiah Allen: And and yet they're saying that that's exactly what Paul's doing. He's saying. Oh, Cretans called themselves this. One of the embarrassing parts of Biblical scholarship over the past many years, and Anthony Thistleton pointed this out in 1,994, scathing 1994 article where?

00:40:33.870 --> 00:40:42.119
Isaiah Allen: he was. The habit of Biblical scholarship had been to justify Paul's

00:40:42.150 --> 00:41:07.090
Isaiah Allen: statement as though it were coming from Paul. All Cretans are always liars. Oh, well, vicious brutes! Lazy gluttons! Let's find a bunch of evidence from the ancient world that will corroborate this picture of the Cretans, and therefore we can say that Paul is justified in saying such things, which is exactly the tack that the troublemakers in Crete were trying to do. The troublemakers in Crete were saying, look at all the you know preponderance of evidence in the in the ancient world

00:41:07.090 --> 00:41:12.500
that Cretans you know, this can be said about Cretans, and you know, I point out that

00:41:12.530 --> 00:41:16.759
Isaiah Allen: when scholars do this, they're usually looking at

00:41:16.980 --> 00:41:28.370
Isaiah Allen: events in the history of Crete that are far removed historically from the time of Paul's writing they're far removed from the type of things that

00:41:28.580 --> 00:41:41.329
Isaiah Allen: that this quotation talks about. For instance, you know they bring up oh, piracy in Crete, and and you know, and piracy isn't even, you know, related to the things that he's mentioning, or

00:41:41.530 --> 00:42:08.819
Isaiah Allen: that they're using a mention of Crete that appears within a Geo ethnic list where the attributes of different, the negative attributes of different nations are being listed, and they only take the excerpt from Crete as though Cretans are worse than others. Yeah. And so you know, II take all that ancient literature. I show what's happening in there and and show that that's not a really legitimate way to interpret this passage.

00:42:09.370 --> 00:42:12.930
Yeah. So the idea, even the word cretin

00:42:12.960 --> 00:42:42.360
Andy Miller III: has a negative connotation in our from that history of interpretation. What? How have Biblical scholars throughout the ages understood this? I mean, is it something people have ignored? Or or you just mentioned, that some people have come in and said, Well, Paul was, you know, right after all, you know, like somebody from Las Vegas, you know, is gonna be like this, or whatever it is, I mean, ha! Help us understand like, what? How, how do we get here, or what was some of the interpretations that others have had?

00:42:42.940 --> 00:43:11.060
Isaiah Allen: Well, for one thing, people read past it, and and they have no problem whatsoever. Understanding Paul to be a bigot and saying, You know queens are always liars, and and so forth. A. And there's, you know, nothing wrong with that, because it fits within their worldview of acceptable Christian behavior, or because it's in the Canada Scripture, they say. Oh, paul's a bigot well, they deserved it, you know. That. That's kind of a simplistic use. There are some people who say, Well, this was problematic.

00:43:11.060 --> 00:43:33.590
Isaiah Allen: Now it's problematic to us now, but they weren't as sensitive back then, and there were good reasons for him to have said this. So this is sort of the justification. The justification mode of of saying well, Paul had good reasons for thinking that the Cretans were evil people, and and let me list the piracy that they were doing, and let me list the treachery they were doing, and and all this sort of thing

00:43:33.760 --> 00:43:57.039
Isaiah Allen: more. Some more sophisticated approaches have been taken like Anthony Thistleton talks about a liar paradox, and and this is this is an important contribution to literature, although I don't wholly I don't wholly adopt this. When Paul says it was one of themselves that said that they're always liars. This invokes a liar paradox right?

00:43:57.060 --> 00:44:07.490
Isaiah Allen: A Cretan says that all Creans are liars. Well? Is the cretin telling the truth? Or is the Crete in, you know, making a contradiction. So he he points out that this is actually a self contradiction. If a cretin said it

00:44:07.510 --> 00:44:15.869
Isaiah Allen: which which he says it's pointing out the the inability of third person.

00:44:16.150 --> 00:44:20.980
Isaiah Allen: People in the third person to speak

00:44:21.010 --> 00:44:24.640
Isaiah Allen: with first person validity! I'm

00:44:24.820 --> 00:44:30.389
Isaiah Allen: I'm jumbling up my words here, but but the inability of people to speak

00:44:30.420 --> 00:44:40.290
Isaiah Allen: intrinsically true sayings or valid sayings of people in the third person, or to even define themselves.

00:44:40.470 --> 00:44:58.380
Isaiah Allen: in the first person, you know, without without contradiction. So the the liar paradox becomes an important part of the of the literature. The the problem is, it depends on the attribution to Epimenides, which I think is very problematic for a number of reasons.

00:44:58.680 --> 00:45:12.440
Isaiah Allen: and so yeah, there, there are different ways that people have been taking. And then, of course, there are people there. There are scholars that simply look at it. They read it at the face value. And they say, Yeah, Paul's a bigot, or the one. The person who wrote to

00:45:12.570 --> 00:45:14.410
Isaiah Allen: to Titus was a bigot.

00:45:14.420 --> 00:45:39.010
Andy Miller III: and because Paul's not a bigot. The historical Paul's not a bigot. Therefore the historical Paul didn't write Titus right? Right? Right? Right? Right? Well, that that's a really interesting little okay. There are a couple of other other issues. I wanna get to that. Come from this idea. Let me do. I just did a quick Google search and says, this. What does it mean to call someone a Cretan? So here's what Google told me from The English language has no storage, no cruel names for people.

00:45:39.150 --> 00:45:41.259
Andy Miller III: and one of them is cretin.

00:45:41.450 --> 00:45:45.440
Andy Miller III: which is what you'd call some one who is very, very dumb in the head

00:45:45.640 --> 00:46:02.540
Andy Miller III: back before Cretin met a stupid person. It was a medical term for a physical deformity that came from a specific disease. So like it, it has developed as an I mean this negative negative term, like II think if somebody can't, you say, well, you're nothing but a cretin.

00:46:02.550 --> 00:46:30.099
Isaiah Allen: II think we may might not know all the origins. But no, that's not a good thing, and there and there also is some there. Cretin is a homonym with with so Cretan is a homonym with cretin, and so there is some confusion. AR around that, and the etymology of cretin. It is, is shrouded a a little bit, but people use them interchangeably because they're they're basing them on the way that they sound cretin and cretin

00:46:30.100 --> 00:46:58.590
Isaiah Allen: so so they're kind of interchangeable. Usually Cretan. If there's any knowledge of the Biblical reference, it means, you know, someone who's a a liar untrustworthy evil, vicious whatever. Whereas the cretin is, is etymologically related to the disease, a person who's pathetic and afflicted, and and so forth. So you know, the one is related to ethnic bigotry, the other is related to Ableism.

00:46:58.650 --> 00:47:03.710
Isaiah Allen: So either either way, they're you know, it's it's insulting. And yeah.

00:47:03.970 --> 00:47:18.649
Andy Miller III: So so this, there's 2 issues that I think that are the how this is relevant to not relevance theory, but relevant to our time and things we hear just in basic interpretation.

00:47:18.910 --> 00:47:27.650
Andy Miller III: w. The first is the Polyne authorship. Secondly, I'm interested in the idea, and I let's get to. I'll come back to poly authorship.

00:47:28.100 --> 00:47:35.590
Andy Miller III: I says, regular for people to say now, well, I don't. I just don't like Paul the Jesus

00:47:35.590 --> 00:47:58.589
Andy Miller III: Jesus. I'm into Jesus. He gets us right. I'll take Him. I like Jesus and the Gospels that I'm a red letter. Christian. I don't know about exeges. I'm into Jesus. Yeah, yeah, that's right. So like, th, these are, these are some of the problems that that people have is like, they'll think, well, yeah.

00:47:58.610 --> 00:48:05.440
Andy Miller III: I see this. And this is Paul. Paul's a bigot. He certainly is. He's it. And we just need to

00:48:05.440 --> 00:48:29.490
Andy Miller III: not take the letters of Paul that that seriously. It's not as much a part of Scripture. What's most important are the red letters. And let's just let's Paul corrupted Christianity. Some people will even say, you know, like that Paul was a founder of Christianity, and that's their problem with it. So that that's a huge, that's a line that's coming at us, not just from liberal centers these days. But instead, it's it's a

00:48:29.520 --> 00:48:44.169
Andy Miller III: and I think a lot of times it has to do with sexuality. People are trying to grapple with this passage on sexuality, and they want their theology to match their experience, and so they'll they'll just throw out Paul. We gotta talk just about that. Should we get rid of Paul?

00:48:44.200 --> 00:48:57.449
Isaiah Allen: Of course not II I II guess the the underlying issue, I think, or maybe maybe one of the underlying issues is that

00:48:58.910 --> 00:49:05.080
Isaiah Allen: critics of different stripes. And there are, you know, more and more of them out out there.

00:49:05.430 --> 00:49:30.420
Isaiah Allen: Critics will assault a text, or they will raise questions about a text. And what's that's what a critic should do. II don't think that we should take criticism as an as a bad word, you know, in in in when you're doing. You know, academic studies, you, you have to critique things. You have to, you know, criticize it, and which basically means ask questions of it. We have to

00:49:30.670 --> 00:49:35.820
Isaiah Allen: decide. What do we do when questions are asked of a text for me?

00:49:36.440 --> 00:49:57.440
Isaiah Allen: I the way it's put in my tradition. Salvation Army. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the divine rule of Christian faith and practice. I bind myself to that, and I think I have An extremely high esteem for Scripture, and and and so forth, and so for me.

00:49:57.530 --> 00:50:18.829
Isaiah Allen: I am obligated to get to the bottom of things, so if a question comes up, my answer cannot be, oh, just excise this part, my answer cannot be. Oh, find, find a surface level explanation, or dismiss the question itself. I can't dismiss any questions, because if a question is important to someone, and perhaps.

00:50:18.850 --> 00:50:28.229
Isaiah Allen: at least in their mind. They think that their faith is, you know, hinges on an answer to the question, then I do.

00:50:28.250 --> 00:50:30.499
Isaiah Allen: I do owe it to

00:50:30.820 --> 00:50:36.169
Isaiah Allen: to find a reasonable answer to those questions. II like what?

00:50:36.260 --> 00:50:37.410
Isaiah Allen: I remember

00:50:37.540 --> 00:50:46.099
Isaiah Allen: Roger Green saying many years ago, many years ago. There's there's good doubt and bad doubt

00:50:46.180 --> 00:50:47.720
Isaiah Allen: good doubt

00:50:47.940 --> 00:51:08.290
Isaiah Allen: gets you thinking and looking for answers. Bad doubt makes you stop looking for answers, cause you think there are none right, I think, thinking that there are no answers, is giving up, and and that that's the that's the problem. So for me, critical inquiry is an act of faith and getting to the bottom of things. Now I

00:51:08.390 --> 00:51:12.150
Isaiah Allen: I don't want to reconceive

00:51:12.160 --> 00:51:20.089
Isaiah Allen: or predetermine what my answers to those questions are going to be, because if I find out that Paul is a bigot, then that's a

00:51:20.260 --> 00:51:22.370
Isaiah Allen: hey, you know.

00:51:22.580 --> 00:51:48.330
Isaiah Allen: Then I have to reconcile with that not every character in Scripture is a hero, or comes across, you know, perfectly clean, I mean even I mean Peter. There's this episode, you know, before he meets Cornelius where he's like. Oh, no, no, that's unclean, and and God says no, don't call it unclean, you know, so there's even a reckon reckoning with him. And certainly Paul was just that sort of a person who, you know, was ready to persecute and kill Christians.

00:51:48.400 --> 00:51:51.209
Isaiah Allen: Do we see Paul

00:51:51.300 --> 00:52:10.929
Isaiah Allen: in Scripture, even in his own writings. Being formed in the image of Christ and maturing. Are we allowed to see that? You know? Maybe I don't think that's what's happening in Titus. I actually think that Paul is a mature thinker. His gospel is well developed, and that the entire book of Titus is fully Co.

00:52:10.930 --> 00:52:37.630
Andy Miller III: Coherent with the rest of Paul's writings. If it's read carefully, closely, and and plausibly, yes, yeah, no, that's that's a great understand? I would think with you. This doesn't destroy my faith. If Paul even says, if he had said in this passage, this is my statement. I fully affirm this belief that Paul was a big. I mean that that a Cretans are always liars, gluttons, and the like. Okay,

00:52:37.770 --> 00:52:48.510
Andy Miller III: I think we come to a place where we could say, yeah, he was off there like that doesn't mean that the entirety of Scripture it it it you would want to weigh that like we do.

00:52:48.510 --> 00:53:12.879
Andy Miller III: And you and I both share this perspective that Paul was speaking to different groups in different ways, with in different contexts. So some of his statements about women and ministry likely have to do with very particular context. But you look at the totality of his message, and certainly in this case like would Paul. Is it a part of Paul's theology that people are intrinsically

00:53:12.880 --> 00:53:14.939
Andy Miller III: lazy, evil

00:53:14.940 --> 00:53:25.909
Andy Miller III: and gluttons? No, that's not consistent with what he said across the board. So I feel like that's one way to to think through this, that there is a difference

00:53:26.000 --> 00:53:34.049
Andy Miller III: in the context of what he's saying. At the same time, like W. If we don't, just look at it in terms of

00:53:34.100 --> 00:53:49.929
Andy Miller III: what is happening for Paul as he's making these statements, there is a way that we have to embrace his overall message. And I think that's that's the big, the big, big, big, big picture that I would love to keep in mind is that this, this

00:53:50.090 --> 00:53:53.939
Andy Miller III: and and and it happens to be that your interpretation of this

00:53:54.220 --> 00:54:01.600
Andy Miller III: fits it like fits that that bigger picture. And that's what's been so helpful to me. So anything else you want to say about that before I get to my other point?

00:54:01.800 --> 00:54:07.240
Isaiah Allen: Well, yeah, I would just. I would just, you know, say one more thing.

00:54:07.350 --> 00:54:25.749
Isaiah Allen: I believe that in Scripture there's a larger. You know the Scriptural theological thing. I believe in Scripture that we see the total human experience, as well as the complete divine revelation of of you know what is needed for people to understand what they need to understand about God

00:54:26.040 --> 00:54:30.269
Isaiah Allen: and II don't shy away from.

00:54:30.290 --> 00:54:31.720
Isaiah Allen: The

00:54:31.840 --> 00:54:40.410
Isaiah Allen: the idea that in the proper interpretation of Scripture we don't simply have dictates and propositions thrown at us that are

00:54:40.560 --> 00:54:54.500
Isaiah Allen: that are absolutely true, in other words, disconnected from all other realities, but that we have things that we we read, and we dialogue with Scripture.

00:54:54.560 --> 00:54:57.799
Isaiah Allen: and receive from Scripture the truth

00:54:57.950 --> 00:55:20.970
Isaiah Allen: that is connected to all other realities. So so to to say that an absolute truth is is a truth that's disconnected from all other realities. I think in Scripture we have a truth that's connected to all realities, and that we see the full range of human experience and human foibles, and and so forth in in Scripture, and that an important part of a Scriptural.

00:55:20.970 --> 00:55:43.959
Isaiah Allen: a a Biblical theology, is to read every text for what it is and what it's trying to say and try to get to the you know bottom of that as opposed to taking it. The way the illustration I often use is a as though Scripture is a box of fortune cookies that we just reach into pull one out, and everyone has the same. Every statement has the same value as the next one.

00:55:44.450 --> 00:55:51.900
Andy Miller III: Yeah, we have have to understand it in its context. And what the text is trying to do. You know.

00:55:52.250 --> 00:56:09.520
Andy Miller III: I finally came back to this thought. I was trying to describe this earlier. There could be things we disagree with. I remember Ben Withering, and our, you know, both us sat under his leadership, and and his scholarship is a teacher of ours, and talked about how he disagrees with Paul's approach to leadership.

00:56:09.770 --> 00:56:19.379
Andy Miller III: You know that you know this autocratic sort of you will go here and do this type of thing might not be the the best best perspective. There might be things. I'm not

00:56:19.700 --> 00:56:33.770
Andy Miller III: I. It's okay like this. It's okay for us. If that was to be the case. It just happens to be that in Titus this example, I don't think we have to go there. Yeah. The other side is appalling. Author ship.

00:56:34.090 --> 00:56:47.329
Andy Miller III: often. This verse, and the for the interpretation that comes before. What you've done has been used as an example to explain that Paul didn't

00:56:47.370 --> 00:57:06.829
Andy Miller III: wouldn't have written this type of thing, so he must not be the author, and people often look at other scholars will look at a different vocabulary. It feels like it's a little would be a little bit later. There's probably some other reasons, too, where they don't see poly authorship. But tell us about how this might help us. With that discussion.

00:57:06.890 --> 00:57:23.849
Isaiah Allen: Yeah. Well, every argument has its counter argument. And so II regard the the issue of authorship as as unsettled and most of the time like. If I am presenting a paper in in society Biblical literature, this

00:57:23.970 --> 00:57:49.000
Isaiah Allen: particular book, is in the disputed Pauline section. I don't have a problem with calling it disputed as long as they don't call this. You know the spurious or the do. Yeah, III rather like disputed than Doodero Pauline, because, Deutero Pauline makes it sound like they've already made the decision to say that it's disputed means that there's still a dialogue going on. So So

00:57:49.470 --> 00:57:55.270
Isaiah Allen: I think, of course, in in as much as the the total picture that I've drawn for the background of Titus

00:57:55.410 --> 00:58:09.929
Isaiah Allen: is is a picture that looks very much like what's happening across early Christianity in the Gentile world. In, in, you know, a major case would be in the case of Galatians. And in as much as it fits that

00:58:10.310 --> 00:58:13.480
Isaiah Allen: portrayal. Then Titus.

00:58:14.360 --> 00:58:29.420
Isaiah Allen: you know, has every reason to be taken as an authentic Pauline letter. As far as the stylistics, you know, word usage, and so forth. Those are all, you know, separate arguments that have their own counter arguments and

00:58:29.660 --> 00:58:44.319
Isaiah Allen: and there's a lot to get into. There's II mean, yeah, III can't get into every every piece of that. But I guess one of the one of the things II would say is that.

00:58:44.460 --> 00:59:03.370
Isaiah Allen: no single one of these arguments, such as argument from stylistics, the argument from the the internal testimony of, like the the level of structure within the church that, they say is too late to be early, you know Paul, and and so forth. All of these.

00:59:03.720 --> 00:59:10.569
Isaiah Allen: cannot independently win the day for or against Pauline authorship, that that it requires

00:59:10.730 --> 00:59:17.830
Isaiah Allen: kind of a combination of all the evidence. And you know a certain way of reading it.

00:59:18.000 --> 00:59:41.710
Isaiah Allen: My way of reading it is that Paul wrote it, and you know I have, you know, another. Another issue is like the the phenomenon of people writing letters and someone else's name when that is, when that is of course, when it was known, is rejected by the by the early Church, they would not tolerate that, or or if they, if they knew that existed. Further.

00:59:41.710 --> 01:00:02.139
Isaiah Allen: when fictional letters were written and accepted, they were known to be fictions because they were in hundreds or thousands of years after the purported writer, such as the Testaments of the 12 patriarchs and and examples like that. And so all these individual arguments just don't. For for me, persuade me

01:00:02.300 --> 01:00:04.020
Isaiah Allen: to to that.

01:00:04.330 --> 01:00:10.119
Isaiah Allen: The ascription to Paul is false. You know that it's a pseudonymous letter. So

01:00:10.240 --> 01:00:14.949
Andy Miller III: yeah, that's really good, that that's helpful. I was at intro you and I were at

01:00:15.210 --> 01:00:38.820
Andy Miller III: together this past November, and at the part of the S. Society, be able to Literature. In the Ivr Conference I saw your presented paper, and I wanted to come and support you. So I came into the Pastoral very grateful you did sometimes. This room has 4 or 5 people so well, I know how that goes, so it's like I wanna do. Well, to my surprise I enter into the room, and there's not a seat.

01:00:38.930 --> 01:01:00.499
Andy Miller III: There's not a seat in the in the past, our epistles section. So I thought, well, this is kinda interesting. But then somebody got up and I was able to grab a seat, and so I felt very fortunate that I could be there. Well, it happened to be that 2 of the most well known scholars of our time. Scott Mcknight and Mike Bird were presenting around Isaiah Allen

01:01:00.500 --> 01:01:10.010
Andy Miller III: so there! That might have been part of it, but also the room was filled. Maybe it's a bit of an exaggeration, but more so than me.

01:01:10.140 --> 01:01:32.279
Andy Miller III: Pastoral epistles, scholars, people, Scott Mcknight, for instance. You know great books on the pastoral pistols. Any number of people in the room, and I was sitting next to somebody. Somebody said they did their visitation on on first Timothy and somebody else was on this side, I mean, that was what they study. And so presenting a paper and just mentioned in passing

01:01:32.410 --> 01:01:52.940
Andy Miller III: this thesis, this idea, and oh, my goodness! The room just about everybody dropped their paper. Nobody believed what they had heard. And there's like I. It was exciting for me as your friend, to see how this idea that you have, can really help people see in in, even though your paper was on something completely different.

01:01:53.080 --> 01:02:21.289
Andy Miller III: All the questions were around. Well, what do you mean that that was how you interpret this as being something that Paul was saying. This is what the Creak, the the Circumcision group said, so I just that was a fun moment for me to be able to observe what you're doing. Tell me like, do you feel like as you've lived with this interpretation. What is this done for you like? What? What do you? What are you hopeful? Can come as a result of this contribution to pastoral pistols.

01:02:21.640 --> 01:02:30.440
Isaiah Allen: Yeah, well, that's that's gonna unfold. And especially it'll unfold when this book comes out this year it from Sbl press.

01:02:30.440 --> 01:02:51.680
Isaiah Allen: What what's I've been looking now beyond Chapter One, and I've gotten, and the paper that I was presenting in November was on Chapter 2, which is a household code. So I've been actually expanding and and using this as a as a way of you know, how can you interpret the entire book in light of this. You know, kind of viewpoint.

01:02:51.680 --> 01:02:56.959
Isaiah Allen: And one of the things that has really come up was the way that Paul.

01:02:56.960 --> 01:03:03.970
Isaiah Allen: He's often looked at as stale and conservative.

01:03:04.010 --> 01:03:20.360
Isaiah Allen: and not very original or daring in the pastoral Epistles, and and Titus in particular, and I gave an interpretation of Titus, chapter 2, which is a household code that demonstrated

01:03:20.420 --> 01:03:38.059
Isaiah Allen: the way that he's really being original in his way of thinking about the Christian community. He's really being original in the way that he's thinking about the relationships between men and women, and and and so forth. And one of the things that kind of came out of that is a I went to

01:03:38.400 --> 01:03:44.310
Isaiah Allen: another conference and saw a scholar that was really kind of important to me. We've interacted a bit.

01:03:44.400 --> 01:04:04.510
Isaiah Allen: Now I'm forgetting now I'm forgetting yet Jens Herzer, and his research completely independent. We haven't been communicating with each other. His research quite independently coincided very much with mine. I was talking about the virtues, the

01:04:04.510 --> 01:04:23.340
Isaiah Allen: Cardinal Greek virtues that Paul was activating of prudence, justice, temperance, and how he was leaving one of these virtues out, which is the virtue of courage, and this virtue is, is actually in Greek. It's our our

01:04:23.700 --> 01:04:35.580
Isaiah Allen: Andrea. It's Andrea. So Andrea is etymologically related to the word for man. And sometimes it's translated as manliness. Sorry

01:04:35.580 --> 01:04:56.980
Andy Miller III: and drop like my name. Andrew means yeah. And and it means courage. You know it can be translated as courage or manliness. Paul never uses this term, and it's consistent in the, in, the, in the Pastorals, and throughout the Pauline writings.

01:04:56.980 --> 01:05:09.590
Isaiah Allen: a a. And so it's interesting that he emphasizes all of the Greek virtues except for this one that's derivative of a specific gender, especially when he could use it, which is when he says to Timothy.

01:05:09.670 --> 01:05:19.960
Isaiah Allen: God has not given us a a spirit of fear, but a spirit of you would expect him to say manliness, but he doesn't

01:05:19.990 --> 01:05:46.439
Isaiah Allen: right at that moment, and and that that's the the thing that Jen Cert pointed out, and it coincides with with my research, which really talks, talks about how these household codes that Paul is writing in Titus and in Ephesians, and and so forth, are not simply adopting the thoughts of the Greco-roman world. But they're they're they're using the form of the household code in order to give a new message about the

01:05:46.440 --> 01:05:57.140
Isaiah Allen: the quality of human beings, about the the role that women can play in in teaching and all sorts of things, and you can only see that when you, when you look at it within its context.

01:05:57.500 --> 01:06:22.790
Andy Miller III: Yeah, II often use the example I think about the household codes. Describe singing, take me out to the ballgame. I grew up in the Chicago area, and I would I had the privilege honor of going to Wrigley field many times when Harry Carri is there, and he led everybody in to take me out to the ballgame. Well, the the words are for it's route root for the home team. If they don't win. It's a shame, right? But

01:06:22.790 --> 01:06:28.639
Andy Miller III: everybody who heard Carrie Carrie hear always say, for it's root root for the cubbies.

01:06:28.740 --> 01:06:41.289
Andy Miller III: and I like to think that, like Harry Kerry is making a statement in that moment he's changing the meeting. Say, no, no, we're not about home team, the home team. Here we're specifically rooting for the cubbies.

01:06:41.290 --> 01:07:01.630
Andy Miller III: using the form, changing the content. Exactly. And so like, I like that with the household codes. I feel like that's part of what's going on is like, there's a there's a different slant. Why, he would want to enter into that discussion and do that is is really helpful. II say I love to. In this passage one of some of my favorite passages in all Scripture

01:07:01.840 --> 01:07:13.740
Andy Miller III: come through and tight us, and it connects with these ideas like, for instance, in chapter 3, you alluded to it. How he talked about how Paul's view of the Cretans was one that was positive about the change that has happened in our life.

01:07:13.740 --> 01:07:36.109
Andy Miller III: But II love verse 4, chapter 3. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared. He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. God poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ, so that, having been justified by His grace.

01:07:36.110 --> 01:07:40.189
Andy Miller III: we might become heirs, having the hope of eternal life.

01:07:40.500 --> 01:07:45.900
Andy Miller III: Oh, I love, I love this, and this is where he wants these people. He loves to go.

01:07:46.110 --> 01:07:50.460
Isaiah Allen: and what what's already been started in their life through regeneration.

01:07:50.480 --> 01:08:16.690
Isaiah Allen: Exactly. Yeah. But he's gotta straighten some things out first. Well, thanks for helping us. See this? Well, you know, since you listen to my podcast. I always ask there more. This story. I already gave away the fact that you're a ballet. Answer. But is there anything else going on? Isaiah? Is there more this story of Isaiah? Well, yeah, I I'm amazed at the way that God works, and sometimes it's only when I wake up to it. I realize that God's been working all along, and I have. I have many stories of that.

01:08:16.967 --> 01:08:21.959
Isaiah Allen: But I would share this this one story, which was kind of A wake-up call for me.

01:08:22.029 --> 01:08:35.840
Isaiah Allen: De discipleship has been important part of my life, you know. Small group especially, and I've in my home core, my my church that I attended with until I was a young adult

01:08:35.939 --> 01:08:44.920
Isaiah Allen: in my early twenties. I you know, there were vibrant small groups, Bible studies, and so forth. And I was part of a a small group Bible study for about 5 years.

01:08:44.970 --> 01:08:50.029
Isaiah Allen: and I had always looked for that, and in my churches tried to

01:08:50.029 --> 01:08:56.850
Isaiah Allen: tried to plant small group ministries that were integrated with the total life of the core.

01:08:56.850 --> 01:09:20.729
Isaiah Allen: and I always found it as I would move from place to place an uphill battle trying to find something that you know nurtured my soul helped me to grow, take new strides in holiness, and so forth. But I would I would make that battle that would become like the first thing that I would do in a new town is like, Okay, I gotta find some friends that I can be accountable with, and I gotta find you know a Bible study whatever congregation

01:09:21.060 --> 01:09:22.430
Isaiah Allen: and

01:09:22.439 --> 01:09:35.289
Isaiah Allen: and and I would sometimes pray for months. You know, before that I would would immaterialize. I would pray, Lord, let let this you know. Let this be. I really, you know, want to grow in my faith, and so forth.

01:09:35.330 --> 01:09:42.680
Isaiah Allen: Well, I took a course in 2020. I audited a course in 2020 on race.

01:09:42.760 --> 01:09:57.330
Isaiah Allen: and there was a it was. There was a group of Salvationists that were in this course, and the professor told us to form a small group for the sake of the course. So for the, for the whatever it was.

01:09:57.390 --> 01:10:07.830
Isaiah Allen: 8 weeks, 10 weeks of the course we met every Friday to to do this, and it was just a group of Salvationists, black, white, Asian, different, you know, sorts of people.

01:10:07.860 --> 01:10:25.359
Isaiah Allen: And we would talk about the things that we're learning and and talk about the context of our denomination and our churches, and so forth. And then, after the course is over, we said, Hey, you know we we didn't exhaust everything we would wanna talk about. So we went back to the readings, and we read more and

01:10:25.440 --> 01:10:53.719
Isaiah Allen: and we shared Scripture with each other, and so forth, and then and and so we reupped for another 10 weeks, and then we reupt for another 10 weeks. And now it's it's 3 and a half years later I'm still meeting with this group of people we've we've you know, we're meeting online. We some of us used to be just in the same building together. But we we've kind of spread out and and things like that. And we're still meeting online. And it was about maybe 6 months into it

01:10:53.780 --> 01:10:55.809
Isaiah Allen: when I realized that

01:10:56.380 --> 01:11:13.389
Isaiah Allen: the Lord was actually working in my heart and my life in terms of loving, in terms of understanding and listening to people's stories and and their background, and and and things like that, and having having new friends from from different ethnicities, and so forth.

01:11:13.420 --> 01:11:30.029
Isaiah Allen: that II realized the Lord was answering my prayer all this time, and I was actually becoming a better. You know, a more Christ like person. And and sometimes that's the way the Lord sneaks up on you, and he's like I've been answering your prayer, fella.

01:11:30.410 --> 01:11:35.610
Andy Miller III: I'll take that and run with it. Yeah, I'm trusting, you know. God's gonna will answer those prayers.

01:11:35.720 --> 01:11:55.679
Andy Miller III: Isaiah. Thanks so much for taking time with me today. It means a lot to me. Thanks for your work and for the way that you're allowing this formation that's happened to you with your love of Scripture from the time you're 8 years old on, and can you continue to be a part of what God's doing in the world, and I'm so so thankful for your witness in that way, particularly using the scholarly gifts that you have.

01:11:55.920 --> 01:11:59.429
Isaiah Allen: Well, thank you and thank you for your ministry. God bless you!

Copyright ©2024 Andrew S. Miller III