What are the pastoral epistles?

The pastoral epistles are those letters written by Paul to Timothy and Titus in the New Testament.  So, they are 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus.  They are called pastoral because they are letters with instructions for pastors, congregations, and general functions within the church.

First Timothy deals primarily with church worship and organization.  It deals with the issue of women in relationship to authority (1 Tim. 2:9-15) and dignity (1 Tim. 3:11), speaks of overseers (bishops, 1 Tim. 3:1-7), deacons (1 Tim. 3:8-10 12), and elders (1 Tim. 5:17-18).  There's a prophecy of a coming apostasy.

Second Timothy is where Paul asks Timothy to come to him and bring Mark.  He warns Timothy about the false teachers and urges him to be faithful in carrying out the office to which he has been called.  It is a prophecy about difficult times that will come.

Titus deals with the character and qualifications of church officials such as elders, declaring that they are to be men of dignity, respectful, honorable, etc.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.