Mark Yarbrough assesses the question of whether traditional ‘preformed’ material contributes to the message and understanding of Paul’s first letter to Timothy. The issue is addressed in three sections. Part one evaluates previous works interacting with ‘traditional’ material in the New Testament. Through a critique of historically proposed criteria, Yarbrough identifies eight criteria as the primary tools by which to discern units of preformed material.
In the second part of the book Yarbrough evaluates 19 passages in 1 Timothy according to the criteria previously determined. From this base he embraces 12 of the 19 passages as preformed material. These passages are subsequently examined in depth according to the author’s distinct methodology. Part three demonstrates four functions of the preformed traditions in 1 Timothy. First, they strengthen the literary cohesion of the letter. Second, that the traditional units afford the author rhetorical leverage which may be best identified as the provision of authority, the establishment of an instant rapport with the primary audience, and the assistance conferred in addressing this implied audience. Thirdly, they present theological directives that confront the character and belief of the false teachers.
Finally, Yarbrough asserts that the preformed traditions exist as a combatant against counter-mission doctrine. This study concludes that the traditional material which may be discerned within the letter contributes significantly to the overall message and understanding of 1 Timothy.
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Yarbrough’s work enhances the impression that the author of 1 Timothy is a writer of some skill: he has judiciously combined material from early Christian worship, creeds, and stories along with a wide array of (Pauline) sayings, letters, and biographical accounts in order to increase the authoritative force of the letter.
—Journal of Religion
Dr. Mark M. Yarbrough serves as DTS’s sixth president and Professor of Bible Exposition. He assumed the Seminary’s presidency in July 2020 after 19 years of service at DTS. His past DTS roles include Vice President of Communications and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Dr. Yarbrough received his undergraduate degree from Dallas Christian College, where he was named Valedictorian and received the Delta Epsilon Chi Award. He received his ThM from DTS in 1996 and his PhD in 2008. At DTS he was named Who’s Who and was an SCEC scholarship recipient.
Dr. Yarbrough’s twin passions for the local church and theological education have worked in tandem for over thirty years. At Centerpoint Church in Mesquite, TX, he serves on the Executive Committee of the elder board. He has also coauthored and recorded multiple songs/albums and enjoys leading worship. Regarding theological education, he loves the classroom and interacting with students preparing for various ministry endeavors. Dr. Yarbrough also enjoys writing; he has been published in various magazines and has written Paul’s Utilization of Preformed Traditions, How to Read the Bible Like a Seminary Professor, Jonah: Beyond the Tale of a Whale, and Tidings of Comfort and Joy.
Dr. Yarbrough is married to his high school sweetheart, Jennifer. The Yarbrough’s enjoy meeting fellow Christ-followers and have many opportunities to do so, as Mark frequently presents at conferences such as Horn Creek, Mount Hermon, Word of Life, and the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. They are the parents of four adult children and have one son-inlaw. They enjoy following the Cowboys, Mavericks, and Rangers and keeping things full, fun, and festive while serving the Lord.