Study Guide

The Pastoral Epistles (1-2 Timothy, Titus) Allusions

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Literary and Philosophical References

Paradise Lost by John Milton
This epic Christian poem references 2 Timothy 4:7, when it proclaims, "Well hast thou fought the better fight." The story also follows the Pastor's thinking about an Eve deceived in 1 Timothy 2:14. Adam only goes down because he loves her so darn much.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
In "The Pardoner's Tale," the main character boasts that his motto is radix malorum est cupiditas. In case your Latin is rusty, we'll refresh you: this is straight from 1 Timothy 6:10—"Love of money is the root of all evil." Bottom line: he's not a nice guy.

The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
This 1975 work on the non-canonical gospels found in Egypt argued that Paul's authentic letters were an inspiration to early Gnostic Christianity. Pagels claimed that the epistles to Timothy and Titus had to be written so that people would think that Paul actually disagreed with the Gnostics. We guess the Pastor succeeded then.

An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture by Sir Isaac Newton
In 1690, this famous mathematician sent a very long letter to his friend, John Locke, detailing various arguments and evidence about how two Bible passages—1 John 5:7 and 1 Timothy 3:16—were mistranslated.

Pop Culture References

"For the Love of Money" by The O'Jays
The title of this 1973 soul classic performed by the O'Jays comes from 1 Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is the root of all evil." That's some lean, mean, mean green.

Keeping the Faith
This 2000 movie about best friends who happen to be a Jewish rabbi and a Catholic priest takes its title from a popular phrase that comes right from 2 Timothy 4:7: "I have kept the faith."

Root of All Evil
This TV series, whose name comes from 1 Timothy 6:10, featured comedian Lewis Black weighing in on issues of the day and deciding which one was destroying America the most. Hint: it's The Jersey Shore.

In this 2006 movie about WWI pilots, one of the characters paints a quote from 2 Timothy 4:7 on his fighter plane: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

"Keeping the Faith" by Billy Joel
Billy Joel "never felt the desire 'til their music set [him] on fire and then [he] was saved." Just like the Pastor in 2 Timothy 4:7, he's keeping the faith.

This 1978 album by Patti Smith Group quotes 2 Timothy 4:7 in the liner notes: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course…" We're guessing that means it's a really good album.

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