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Title: 2 Tim 1,7, Cowardice, and the Specter of Betrayal
Subtitle: The Intersection of Intertextuality and Paronomasia
Author(s): TOWNER, Philip H.
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 101    Issue: 4   Date: 2020   
Pages: 577-601
DOI: 10.2143/BIB.101.4.3289121

Abstract :
This article explores the opening exhortation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1, with a particular focus on 1,7 as an admonition whose gravity has been missed. Close examination of 2 Tim 1,7 reveals it to be an intertextual rewriting of Rom 8,15 intentionally complicated by an instance of wordplay (paronomasia). The subtle wordplay produces a second stage of intertextuality that leads to the tradition of Joshua’s succession of Moses (Deuteronomy 31) and the formulaic language of commissioning. But the resonance reaches beyond this tradition to another web of texts that, especially when translated into Greek (LXX), form a dark topos taken up with the relation between cowardice and unbelief (the cowardice topos). Once the intertextual ground has been covered and the cowardice topos observed, the admonitory nature of 2 Tim 1,7 can be seen: the intertextual remembrance, which of course includes the heroic figure of Joshua and his faithfulness, nonetheless issues a dire warning, calling to mind the consequences of unbelief and cowardice as it raises the specter of betrayal.

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