These three letters, which form a distinct group in the Pauline corpus, claim to be dispatches of the great Apostle to two of his most trusted lieutenants. The Pastorals have a special interest an importance. As letters they differ from the majority of Pauline letters, being written for individuals rather than churches. They lift the curtain revealingly from aspects of the Apostle’s activities which are largely ignored in the rest of his correspondence. They show us something of his relations with his more intimate, responsible colleagues, and illustrate his concern for administrative arrangements, his approach to practical problems, and the new emphases in his later theology. They also supply fascinating glimpses of the Church’s life and organization, and of the doctrinal distortions with which it had to wrestle. As J. N. D. Kelly shows, their evidence for Paul’s movements and attitude is immeasurably precious.
Dr. Kelly's contribution to Black's New Testament Commentaries is of the first order: an excellent book in every way. The exposition in particular is sheer pleasure to study, and the reader cannot fail to admire the author's skill in combining a large amount of information, and detailed discussion of the various interpretations that can be put upon Greek constructions, with an easy but dignified style.
—Journal of Theological Studies
The judgment on this important volume must be that it is a learned, judicious, and well-written treatment, with some fresh insights. It deserves careful study, perhaps especially from those students who too easily dismiss the conservative position [on Pauline authorship].
J. N. D. Kelly was principal of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, from 1951 to 1979. He was the author of many books, including Early Christian Creeds, Early Christian Doctrines, Jerome, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, and Golden Mouth.