This paper addresses the question of gender scripts in the Pastoral Epistles from the point of view of masculinities studies. Two of the Pastoral Epistles will be studied in particular, Titus and 1 Timothy, given their high degree of comparability when it comes to the questions of (a) Pauline self-presentation and (b) the outline of various roles in the communities addressed through these epistles. By analyzing key aspects of the gender (and more specifically, masculinity) scripts in play, it will be shown that the Pastoral Epistles espouse a view of masculinity that suited the (dominant) contemporary ideals of what a “real man” looked like. This, it will be suggested, is in fact an expression of what may well be called “precarious” masculinity: masculinity that feels threatened and therefore establishes control over others, attempting to safeguard its own position and standing. This may shed light on the provenance of the Pastoral Epistles: out of a marginal milieu. Also, it will be argued that the agreement in gender scripts among these two pastorals would suggest that they stem from the same social milieu and may well have been considered as a corpus from a very early stage onward. Finally, a hermeneutical observation will be made concerning the reception of the views on masculinity in these two pastorals (and the Pastorals at large).

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