The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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Where was First Timothy written?

Canisius | 24 January, 2006 15:53

In vol. 3, p. 398, Gueranger gives the Roman breviary's short life of Timothy. The little biography mentions that Pauls first letter to Timothy was written from Laodicea.

Interested in this statement, I looked up First Timothy in Fr. Haydock's commentary, and he reports that the place where First Timothy was written is unknown, but that the common opinion places it in Macedonia.

This is pretty easy to understand. In First Timothy 1:3 Paul says, "As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus...", so we can say that when Paul wrote First Timothy he had left Ephesus in the direction of Macedonia. Hence the common opinion.

In fact, this trajectory means that Paul was probably in his third missionary journey, when he did in fact leave Ephesus and head for Macedonia. Problem is, if you Luke's account of it, it's pretty hard to find a spot where Paul could have jaunted up to Laodicea, even if Luke forgot to mention it. And if Luke did forget to mention it, what ground is there for the tradition mentioned in the Roman breviary?

None of this is meant to dismiss the Roman breviary's remark. One might argue, in fact, that Fr. Haydock's "common opinion" is obviously just a guess based on Acts, whereas the fact that the Laodicea hypothesis seems CONTRARY to Acts makes it all the more likely that it is real information and not just a guess. But anyway, I'm intrigued.


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