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Again Ascripture

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Especially: Lance On: Ascripture From: Bruce LANCE: I am saying that to call 2 Peter ascripture would be interpreted to mean it is free or
    Message 1 of 2 , May 25, 2007
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      To: Synoptic
      Especially: Lance
      On: Ascripture
      From: Bruce

      LANCE: I am saying that to call 2 Peter 'ascripture' would be interpreted to
      mean it is "free or without" scripture = without ANY authority. Or is that
      what you are saying?

      BRUCE: It is indeed. An ascripture is a nonscripture; it does not have the
      authority of the person to whom it is ascribed, and by definition it claims
      no other. We can't call 2Pt noncanonical; it is in the canon. But we can
      call it ascriptural, which is to say, whatever its status with the Bible
      publishing industry, it lacks authority as scripture. It is not the Word of
      Peter. It is the word of, well, we don't know who. And it is *important*
      that we don't know who. In art, it would be labeled as "School of Peter."

      It may be inspiring; so is Barnabas, so is the Shepherd of Hermas. People
      are free to be inspired by it. I wouldn't trouble them for the world. I give
      them my blessing. But scholars should also be free of having to tussle
      endlessly with the Petrine ascription. In NT terms, 2Pt is more precisely
      "School of James," having in mind the evident sequence James > Jude > 2
      Peter. I think those few who care about such things should be able to
      proceed on that basis, if that is indeed where careful scholarship brings us
      out.

      And so far as I can see, it is. Updates always welcome.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • accrumpton
      ... I had the same question as Lance as to whether asripture was a composite noun from a + scripture or a derived noun along the lines of ascribe =
      Message 2 of 2 , May 25, 2007
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        --- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, "E Bruce Brooks" <brooks@...> wrote:
        >
        > To: Synoptic
        > On: Ascripture
        > From: Bruce
        >

        I had the same question as Lance as to whether asripture was a
        composite noun from a + scripture or a derived noun along the lines
        of ascribe => ascripture. It seems that Bruce's answer was that it is
        both. I am not certain that it can be both, rather I think it has to
        be one or the other - because they essentially mean two different
        things. Am I wrong?

        Another question, though, is why not name the category along the
        lines of authorship rather than manuscript? Etymologically, scripture
        means "something written." It is only within its semenatic range that
        ideas of authority are included. A "without authority" interpretation
        of ascriptural implies a universal acceptance of the nature of the
        authority implied by the word scripture, which certainly isn't the
        case.

        Authority (of scripture) really isn't tied to authorship that
        strongly anyway (Hebrews, for example). Clearly 2 Peter is scripture
        in the sense that it is written down and that it is in the cannon,
        but it is authoritative (I think, in a universal sense) only in so
        far as it is true to life and the nature of reality. How one decides
        to classify and organize those degrees of continuity with the truth
        as he or she sees it, is a worth while exercise - but the
        term "ascripture" seems to obfuscate its intended aim.

        Adam Crumpton
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