4165RE: [Synoptic-L] Re: Laodicenas (was Borg on Chronology)
- May 23, 2012The question I posed doesn't (I think) require that we specify whether Ephesians is either genuine or pseudopigraphical.
All I was asking is whether Marcion's assertion that Ephesians is the letter from Laodicea is likely to be true or not.
I believe that what we know as Ephesians is in fact that letter, or at least one of a number of copies of the same
letter that were sent to various different places, of which Ephesus and Laodicea were two. However, for the record, I
believe that a substantial part of the reason that Ephesians is considered by some to be pseudopigraphical is invalid if
Ephesians was NOT sent only to Ephesus, and so my opinion is that it is genuine.
David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Matson, Mark (Academic)
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:22 AM
Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Re: Laodicenas (was Borg on Chronology)
Although this is way off-topic for Synoptic-L, I need to protest two statements below.
1. "Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M Barth) finds Ephesians to be pseudepigraphical." Well, perhaps if by
"critical opinion" you mean people who agree with you. BUT, Markus Barth's volume in AB is a brilliant critical
commentary. And many if not most current commentators tend on the side of Pauline authorship. (so note, for instance,
O'Brien (1999), Hoehner (2002), Heil 2007 -- none of whom can be called uncritical). Granted there is a split of opinion
(in NT scholarship, what isn't disputed), but there is by not means a consensus here. My own read of scholarship is that
it actually tends towards inclusion of Ephesians.
2. "James, which directly opposes Paul's faith/works dichotomy in Romans." This posits two things, erroneously in my
opinion: a). that James was written with Paul in mind. My sense is that James is mostly traditional (Jewish) ethical
hortatory material, and certainly is not a response; and b). that Paul actually writes with a Lutheran faith/works
problem. I think the current literature on Paul (Sanders, Dunn, Wright, etc) would frankly call that into question.
Mark A. Matson
Bruce Brooks wrote:
Critical opinion (by which I do not mean M Barth) seems to find Ephesians pseudepigraphical. Can David's proposal be
restated in those terms? If Pauline authorship of Ephesians is required, then I think the suggestion itself needs to be
My own attempt at reworking might be along something like the following lines.
That Ephesians was meant as a general letter (one for general circulation, not "circular" in the sense of being passed
along a predetermined route, though that is one possible mechanism) seems obvious to me. General letters were early in
existence; the earliest preserved one seems to be James, which directly opposes Paul's faith/works dichotomy in Romans.
That is, general letters were out there, and generally visible, at the end of Paul's working life. Romans itself,
perhaps taking a cue from James, seems to have been intended as a general letter, as can be seen from its comprehensive
theological content (far beyond what was required by the stated purpose of the letter), and perhaps from the textual
confusion about its ending and final personalia. The pseudepigraphic Colossians follows on this, with its specific
reference, not to circular letters, but to laterally shared letters. Ephesians, with its lack of pretense to be a church
letter, seems to me to take the next step, formally speaking. But they are steps beyond Paul's own demonstrable
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