8213RE: [XTalk] Dating of Hebrews
- Sep 1, 2001Bob Schacht vents:
>>Aaaaarrgh! How can you-- or he--- claim that Hebrews was added laterwhen it is present in the ***EARLIEST*** known manuscript of Paul's
letters (P46), and is placed there in the MIDDLE, not at the end!!!<<
200 CE, early as it is, is pretty darn *late*, well after any of these
books were written. p46 was badly planned (no matter how small he
ended up writing, he wasn't going to fit 23 pages worth of text into
14 pages!), so why not badly organized? Amateur scribe, personal
To suppose that Hebrews was 1) (accidentally) accepted early but 2)
later (rightly) rejected, only to 3) later (erroneously) win the
battle of acceptance, is more akin to the plot of a tragic novel than
an explanation based on the evidence. Step 2 also assumes a certain
amount of critical ability that was not really exercised in the early
church until the latter quarter of the 2nd century CE (by Origen, and
then only selectively, and Africanus, who few listened to anywise when
it came to higher criticism, certainly not Origen).
That still does not explain why, in virtually every single manuscript,
all 13 of the other books of the corpus are in the same relative order
(with exception of 06 and miniscule 5, which reverses the order of 2
books, placing Colossians next to its closely related sister
Ephesians), EXCEPT Hebrews, and Hebrews shows up all over the place.
And that means nothing to you? Do you have a similar scenario worked
out for the wandering pericope of the Adulterous Woman?
So, no, Trobisch does not prove that Hebrews is late (that was my
interpretation), only that it was attached to a "canonical edition"
(using Trobisch's term) after the introduction of that edition. That
edition was apparently in circulation before p46 was written, so prior
to ca. 175-225 CE (assuming a 25 year margin of error about the
estimated date of 200 CE). That the edition which p46 copied from did
not contain Hebrews after Romans (and for gosh sakes, that is not in
the "middle" of the corpus) is shown by the fact that here Hebrews was
placed in a position shared by no other later manuscript at all, ever.
If Hebrews was circulating earlier than the canonical edition of
Paul's letters, why was it never associated with one of the three
groupings that the canonical edition drew upon? Maybe it wasn't
considered Paul's? Then why did it not get associated with the mss
grouping known as the (Prax)apostolos (Acts + General Epistles)?
Because the author of Hebrews wasn't an Apostle? Hasn't modern
criticism largely agreed that this was an argument that intended to
justify the selection of the books of the NT, and not explain them?
This all means that Hebrews was probably written *after* the writing
of all the other books of the Pauline corpus (including any spurious
books), AND the Praxapostolos (almost all of the epistles contained in
it are considered late fabrications). It is LATE (at least mid 2nd
century), and that means not written by an associate of Paul, and thus
I am a skeptic by nature, so I literally poured over this book and
worked out the data (I even caught an error in a table from Trobisch's
later book on a canonical edition of the entire NT), and by and large
I think he is onto something (i.e., editions of subsets of NT books).
When it happens that I am confronted with facts that are in
disagreement with my previously held opinions (as was the case here,
as was also the case with Kloppenborg's _Formation of Q_), I tend to
try to figure out (and ultimately adopt) historical scenarios that
accommodate these findings rather than explain them away.
Sorry if we disagree.
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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