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Re: [GTh] L65 - Meier's Gnostic Speculation

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  • Tom Reynolds
    To: Mike Grondin Reading GT 65-66 together and comparing with the texts of the Synoptics I have a problem seeing anything Gnostic. The intent of the parable is
    Message 1 of 22 , Jan 11, 2013
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      To: Mike Grondin
      Reading GT 65-66 together and comparing with the texts of the Synoptics I have a problem seeing anything Gnostic. The intent of the parable is clear once one reads the three Synoptic accounts[Mk 12:1-10, Mt 21:33-42, Lk 20:9-17] all of which reference PS 118 which is about Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Saving Goodness. Reading LT66 in conjunction with LT65 seems to complete the same point in all four texts. Certainly PS:118 is not Gnostic and the Psalmist’s view of God (the vineyard-owner) cannot�be the gnostic view of an inferior (and ignorant) creator-god of the world.
      My view is that this is yet another example of an academic reading things into the text that are simply not there.
      Tom Reynolds
    • Mike Grondin
      Tom - Your argument won t work, because it fails to address the specifics. There are in fact differences between L65 and the synoptic versions - especially (as
      Message 2 of 22 , Jan 12, 2013
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        Tom -
        Your argument won't work, because it fails to address the specifics. There
        are in fact differences between L65 and the synoptic versions - especially
        (as I mentioned) the knowing/not-knowing pair of statements. The question
        is whether that's significant or not. Here's what Meier says:
         
        > From the first modern publication of Thomas to the present day, commentators
        > have found the owner's deliberation as he prepares to send the second slave
        > unintelligible. In the Coptic text as it stands, the owner thinks, 'Perhaps he did
        > not know [= recognize] them' - the 'he' referring to the first slave and the 'them'
        > referring to the farmers. Does the owner think that the servant mistakenly went
        > to the wrong farmers, who vented their annoyance at what seemed an unjust
        > demand for a share of their crops? This seems so contrived that other commentators
        > suggest emending what they judge a corrupted text by writing, 'Perhaps they [the
        > farmers] did not recognize him [as my duly sent slave].' Alternately, one might
        > hypothesize that Thomas is introducing in a clumsy way the gnostic theme of
        > the ignorance of the Creator God and/or his minions (but then shouldn't the
        > ignorance of the owner be stressed?) [fn to Quarles] In the end, one must admit
        > that none of these solutions is completely satisfying. In any event, what is clear
        > is that Thomas takes Luke's deliberating soliloquy ('perhaps') and moves it
        > forward, apparently in an attempt to make the owner's action more plausible.
         
        [fn to Quarles: "For the suggestion that the 'slaves of the vineyard owner are
        either sinners or archons who keep the free men in subjection,' see Quarles,
        'Gospel of Thomas,' 530-31. He points to a possibly parallel idea in the
        Coptic Gospel of Philip (see, e.g., 52:5-15)."]
         
        It might seem from the above that Meier is dismissing Quarles' point, but
        in discussing the killing of the son in L65, he (Meier) writes:
         
        > Pointedly, only Thomas uses the verb "know" of the farmers, purposely
        > contrasting the "knowing" (gnostic?) farmers with the "non-knowing"
        > slave who was sent first. Thus it may be that Thomas has intentionally
        > redacted the Synoptic parable to turn it into an allegory of the ignorant
        > slaves of the owner (= the demiurge, the blind and tyrannical Creator
        > God?) versus the rebellious free agents who have knowledge. None of
        > the three Synoptics has the theme of not-knowing/knowing at the two
        > points where Thomas enunciates the theme. [emphasis mine]
         
        ... and in conclusion:
         
        > Thomas's overall redactional intent is seen (1) in his abbreviations and
        > complete omissions, thus rendering the parable's meaning completely
        > "hidden" (cf. Thomas's prologue), and (2) in his insertion of the (gnostic?)
        > theme of not-knowing/knowing - all to the end of inviting the (gnostic?)
        > reader to divine the meaning behind the story, now rendered allegorical
        > in an esoteric (gnostic?) rather than a Synoptic sense.
         
        Mike G.
        p.s.: Any errors in the above are due to my transcription.
      • Tom Reynolds
        Mike-   I think my point is that the sayings as reported in the Synoptics are not Gnostic and it is easy to read the redactions in Thomas without adding any
        Message 3 of 22 , Jan 12, 2013
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          Mike-
          I think my point is that the sayings as reported in the Synoptics are not Gnostic and it is easy to read the redactions in Thomas without adding any Gnostic intent. I do not see the redacted text as unusual. I see it as the vinyard-owner making a second attempt without assigning malice to the vinyard-renters.
          There is much in this parable that doesn't make sense including the vinyard-renters killing the slaves, then the heir, and expecting to gain from these actions. The entire parable seems contrived, not just the GT redaction. My understanding is that a parable is designed to make a point, not reflect reality. Parables are contrived to make their point. In the Synoptics the message is clear to the hearers and adding the lines from GT to the Synoptic text would not change the theme or cloud the hearers understanding�at all. Further, I don't see the theme in Thomas as knowing/not knowing. The theme appears identical to the Synoptics theme.
          I see this as Meier, having decided that Gt is Gnostic, is trying to find hidden Gnostic meaning in the text. This, to me, is the theory driving the facts.� I find this tendency common and disturbing. (We have a 2nd century of a Commentary on Jn and a 21st century of Jn intrepreting Jn as Gnostic when many other scholars see Jn as a refutation of Gnosticism and most orthodox scholars not seeing Gnosticism as significent in intrepreting Jn.)
          If I am to accept that this is a later redaction of the Synoptic story or, alternatively, a redaction of an earlier Thomas, then I need to assign the last redactor of GT as someone other than Thomas. However, as the GT text says Thomas is the author, I am unwilling to do this based on the flimsy evidence Meier presents here.
          Tom Reynolds
        • Mike Grondin
          ... Well, I think there are two errors of reasoning here. The first is to place too great a reliance on the authorship claim within the text, and the other is
          Message 4 of 22 , Jan 13, 2013
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            [Tom Reynolds]:
            > If I am to accept that this is a later redaction of the Synoptic
            story or,
            > alternatively, a redaction of an earlier Thomas, then I
            need to assign
            > the last redactor of GT as someone other than Thomas.
            However, as
            > the GT text says Thomas is the author, I am unwilling to do
            this based
            > on the flimsy evidence Meier presents here.
             
            Well, I think there are two errors of reasoning here. The first is to place too great
            a reliance on the authorship claim within the text, and the other is to infer that if
            the text had been redacted by anyone other than the original author, it would have
            said so. As to the first, note that there are NT texts which claim to have been
            written by someone, when in fact they probably weren't. This is basic stuff, but
            the following is from Harper's Bible Dictionary, the article on Paul:
             
            > Thirteen Letters in the NT are ascribed to Paul, but modern scholarship
            > believes some of these were written by later followers of the apostle
            > (especially Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus).
             
            Now I myself very much doubt whether the apostle Thomas wrote the original
            GThom, but let's suppose he did. It doesn't follow that it couldn't have been
            redacted later by someone else, especially when it was translated into another
            language. And the redactor(s) certainly wouldn't have said so - they never did.
            So that is the second error that I see in the reasoning quoted at top. That wasn't
            the whole of your note, of course, nor, I hope, what you considered an essential
            part. Which is not to say that I agree with Meier's hypothetical Gnostic inter-
            pretation, but there are valid ways of objecting to it, and others not so good.
             
            Cheers,
            Mike G.
          • Tom Reynolds
            Mike-   My reliance on an internal authorship of a 1st century work is more based on my analysis of the evidence behind other scholarly refutations of
            Message 5 of 22 , Jan 16, 2013
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              Mike-
              My reliance on an internal authorship of a 1st century work is more based on my analysis of the evidence behind other scholarly refutations of internal authorship claims such as the one you referenced.
              Some scholars believe that Ephesians and the Pastoral letters were not written by Paul because the office of Bishop is mentioned. These scholars believe that this office did not develop in Christianity until after Pauls death. However, upon investigation, one finds that their "evidence" is that none of the other letters of Paul are addressed to a Bishop. Notice here an argument from silence overriding the obvious evidence that the office of Bishop DID develop during Paul's life precisely because of the evidence contained in these letters.
              Another example that may be more relevant to GT is the dating of the book of JN. In the mid-20th century Jn was dated about AD 120 because it was a refutation of Gnosticism which did not develop until that time. /span>
              A third is the J, D, E and P theory about the construction of Genesis. Some modern scholars argue quite convincingly that there is an internal consistancy in Genesis and a parallel relationship between sections of Genesis that are attributed to different authorship groups that negate this theory.
              Obviously reasonable��men disagree on the weighting of various pieces of evidence. My experience is that this "basic stuff" which one finds in a Bible Dictonary (or even a Bible Commentary) is, unfortunately,�not something to take at face value. When we move to the 2nd century yes, we have false internal claims of authorship. However, the evidence is�thin�that this existed in the 1st century.
              Why do I think the dating of GT is so importent? If GT is a 1st century Palestinian Jew's work, then the overall intent and original intrepretation of the first hearers of the text is likely to be very different than if it is an early 2nd century work to a Greek audiance.
              Regards,
              Tom Reynolds
              PS: I am in Indonesia scuba diving until February you get the last word on this subject.

              [ed note: I've changed the title of this note, as it's going off in a different direction from the original thread. - MWG]
            • Mike Grondin
              Since Tom Reynolds isn t immediately available, I won t engage him directly at this time, but I don t think that his assertions should be left uncountered. I
              Message 6 of 22 , Jan 19, 2013
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                Since Tom Reynolds isn't immediately available, I won't engage him directly at
                this time, but I don't think that his assertions should be left uncountered. I don't
                recall that we ever discussed this before, but it doesn't seem off-topic to discuss
                whether there are questions about the authorship of some NT texts analogous
                to questions about the authorship of GThom. After all, some readers may believe
                (along with Tom) that the titular authorship of 1st century NT texts is unquestioned,
                so that if one does question the authorship of GThom, one is virtually denying that
                it's a 1st century text. But Tom's assertion that "the evidence is thin that [false internal
                claims of authorship] existed in the 1st century" is simply not true, IMO - or at least
                the evidence is no thinner than that for a lot of conclusions on which NTscholars
                agree. I'm not expert in this area, so the best I can do is to quote material from
                reputable sources - in this case, the New Oxford Annotated Bible (RSV Edition)
                - that indicate what evidence has led NT scholars to question the authorship of
                half a dozen NT letters (all of which say in their titles that they're from so-and-so):
                 
                1. The Pastorals:
                > The two letters to Timothy and the one to Titus, commonly called the
                > Pastorals, are similar in character and in the problems they raise concerning
                > authorship. It is difficult to ascribe them in their present form to the apostle
                > Paul. The vocabulary and style of the letters differ widely from the acknow-
                > ledged letters of Paul; some of his leading theological ideas are entirely absent
                > ... and some expressions bear a different meaning from that in his customary
                > usage ...
                 
                [note that there is no mention of the word 'bishop', which Tom represents as
                being the sole basis for questioning Pauline authorship of these letters]
                 
                > A few scholars, attempting to maintain Pauline authorship, account for the
                > differences by assuming changes in his environment as well as modifications
                > in his vocabulary, style, and thought. But in view of the widespread custom
                > of pseudonymous authorship in antiquity it is easier to assume that a loyal
                > disciple of Paul used several previously unpublished messages of the apostle
                > and expanded them to deal with conditions confronting the church a generation
                > after Paul's death. [emphasis mine; both quotes from p.1440, intro to 1 Tim]
                 
                Assuming a generation = 20 years, "a generation after Paul's death" would be
                about mid-80's, comfortably 1st century. Since the author of the above refers
                to his intro to 2 Peter on pseudonymous authorship, we'll go there next:
                 
                2. 2 Peter
                > The tradition that this letter is the work of the apostle Peter was questioned
                > in early times, and internal indications are almost decisive against it. ... Most
                > scholars therefore regard the letter as the work of one who was deeply
                > indebted to Peter and who published it under his master's name early in the
                > second century. ... In antiquity pseudonymous authorship was a widely
                > accepted literary convention. Therefore the use of an apostle's name in
                > reasserting his teaching was not regarded as dishonest but merely a way of
                > reminding the church of what it had received from ... that apostle.
                 
                comment: Although 2 Peter is dated here to early 2nd century, there's no
                indication that the comment about pseudonymous authorship relates to that
                date. To confirm that, we turn to the same author's comments on James:
                 
                3. Letter of James
                > Of authorship and date not much is known. The tradition that it was
                > written by James the brother of the Lord has little support from ancient
                > times. The indications of the letter itself - its excellent Greek with vivid
                > metaphor and facile use of idiom, its apparent knowledge of 1 Peter ...
                > and of certain letters of Paul - suggest a Hellenistic Christian as its
                > author and a date toward the end of the first century. [emphasis mine]
                 
                Here again (as in item #2), I've stressed that it's not just modern-day
                scholars who doubt the authorship of these NT items. Nor is there any
                sharp dividing line between 1st and 2nd centuries with respect to authorial
                conventions. So if one argues, e.g., that the third-person references to
                Thomas in L13 indicate that he didn't write it, one is not necessarily
                implying anything about the date of the original work or its redaction(s).
                 
                Cheers,
                Mike Grondin
              • Tom Reynolds
                To: Mike and all From: Tom in Bali. It is certainly true that the authorship of NT works are questioned and are potential forgeries. I simply assert that the
                Message 7 of 22 , Jan 19, 2013
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                  To: Mike and all
                  From: Tom in Bali.
                  It is certainly true that the authorship of NT works are questioned and are potential forgeries. I simply assert that the evidence is thin. Observe the evidence presented by Mike and see the assumptions contained within.
                  The analysis assumes that a verbal author does not change his ideas or the words he uses over time. I suggest that this is simply untrue. You, I, everyone does this. If you have ever written a book, go back and reread it. You’ll see what I mean. If not read Plato and see how his ideas evolve. Or read Karl Bart.
                  In addition the letters were written by probably different scribes who had different linguistic styles and abilities. If one is old enough to have watched a secretary trained to�take dictation you know that the substance of the verbal author is captured, not the exact words. After the secretary typed the letter the verbal author proof read it. Typically, if the intent was captured he signed it. it was too a lot of work to retype a letter. Does anyone really think a scribe using 1st century writing instruments is more accurate that these mid-20th century scribes were?
                  In addition, scholars take the letters of Paul far too seriously in comparison to the author himself. Paul was writing letters, not Scripture. These letters were dictated and read orally, not poured over and over-analyzed by scholars looking for some fresh scholarly insight from them to impress their colleagues.
                  And the evidence of “But in view of the widespread custom of pseudonymous authorship in antiquity” is where? Why their own flawed analysis of course.
                  My advice is to not accept the analysis of those using their chosen specialty to analyze NT or any works. They are like a hammer seeing everything like a nail. My advice is to do one’s own analysis trying to ascertain the author’s purpose and the original hearers of the text in order to date it.
                  The pastorals
                  The internal evidence in the Pastorals indicates that Timothy and Titus have the office known as Bishop or Pastor. They appoint elders and are advised to not lay hands of ordination on quickly.
                  James
                  The internal argument of James is anti-Pauline and typical of that period. It is often seen as a very early letter, not late.
                  2 Peter
                  I have not analyzed this letter in detail so I won’t comment on it.
                  Tom Reynolds
                  PS: Leaving Bali for Southeast Salawesi tomorrow
                • Mike Grondin
                  I ve just perused the NIV Study Bible, and zowie, is their take different! Though acknowledging authorship questions, in each and every case (even those
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jan 19, 2013
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                    I've just perused the NIV Study Bible, and zowie, is their take different!
                    Though acknowledging authorship questions, in each and every case
                    (even those doubted in early Christian writings) they plunk for authenticity.
                    But when I look at the NIV pedigree, I think I know why. After all,
                    one of the two originating sponsors of the NIV translation was the National
                    Association of Evangelicals, and, although (as stated in the intro) " ... the NIV
                    Study Bible is the work of a transdenominational team of Biblical scholars,"
                    this is immediately followed by "All confess the authority of the Bible as God's
                    infallible word to humanity." (emphasis mine). There are no doubt different ways
                    to understand this statement, but if it's taken to mean 'infallible in every detail',
                    then it seems that no NT letter that says it was written by X can fail to have been
                    written by X.
                     
                    Mike G.
                  • Mark M. Mattison
                    Mike, that s one reason I tend not to use the NIV Study Bible! :-) -Mark Mattison
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jan 19, 2013
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                      Mike, that's one reason I tend not to use the "NIV Study Bible!" :-)

                      -Mark Mattison

                      On 1/19/13, Mike Grondin wrote:
                      > I've just perused the NIV Study Bible, and zowie, is their take
                      > different! Though acknowledging authorship questions, in each and
                      > every case (even those doubted in early Christian writings) they
                      > plunk for authenticity. But when I look at the NIV pedigree, I think
                      > I know why. After all, one of the two originating sponsors of the
                      > NIV translation was the National Association of Evangelicals, and,
                      > although (as stated in the intro) " ... the NIV Study Bible is the
                      > work of a transdenominational team of Biblical scholars," this is
                      > immediately followed by "All confess the authority of the Bible as
                      > God's infallible word to humanity." (emphasis mine). There are no
                      > doubt different ways to understand this statement, but if it's
                      > taken to mean 'infallible in every detail', then it seems that
                      > no NT letter that says it was written by X can fail to have been
                      > written by X.
                      >
                      > Mike G.
                    • Tom Reynolds
                      To: Mike and all From: Tom from Bali   A great deal of NT scholarship is based on the scholar s particular brand of faith.  Literally, absolutely true and
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jan 19, 2013
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                        To: Mike and all
                        From: Tom from Bali
                        A great deal of NT scholarship is based on the scholar's particular brand of faith.� "Literally, absolutely true and inerrant" is only one way to view the NT. There are others like Ehrdman who are agnostic and lean the other way, almost seeing the entire history as a fairy tale. Then those who are in between. One must understand the faith of the scholars to intrepret their conclusions. Understanding the value and limitations of hermeneutics and lingusitic study is critical to developing a personal perspective on what is true.
                        I personally do not view the NT as inerrant and many would call me a heretic.
                        In general, however, scholarship has shifted to an earlier dating of NT works based on solid evidence. Today the consensus is that the Pastorals are likely Pauline, Hebrews is NOT and James is old. 2 Peter is at least suspicious. It only seems reasonable to treat GT in the same way.
                        Mark, Mike- [this is a 2nd note combined with above by editor]
                        The NIV is a dynamic equivilent which lends itself to significent intrepretation by the translators/authors. However, when it comes to authorship/date there is massive disagreement about certain texts. The process that I learned (and sent the coursepack to Mike) argued that one should simply read the text repeatedly and get an overview of the authors purpose, then evaluate each paragraph in light of your overview adjusting your overview as necessary to develop an understanding of the authors purpose. It is a long process called text mapping and one should not use a dynamic equivilent for this execise.
                        Even having done this exercise, reasonable minds still differ but at least your view is your own, not somebody elses.

                        [Tom Reynolds]

                      • Judy Redman
                        Mike says: I ve just perused the NIV Study Bible, and zowie, is their take different! Though acknowledging authorship questions, in each and every case (even
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                          Mike says:

                          I've just perused the NIV Study Bible, and zowie, is their take different!

                          Though acknowledging authorship questions, in each and every case

                          (even those doubted in early Christian writings) they plunk for authenticity.

                           

                          FWIW, Raymond Brown did a survey of the literature and suggests that:

                          critical scholars have reached a near consensus that Paul wrote: 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon and Romans. 

                          About 90% agree that he did not write 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus

                          about 80% that he did not write Ephesians

                          about 60% that he did not write Colossians is

                          Slightly more than 50% that he did not write 2 Thessalonians

                          And I realise that  I need to go hunting for the source of this because it has become separated from the information that I use on a PowerPoint slide when I am teaching. J Obviously it was done a few years ago, so things may have changed.

                           

                          Judy

                           

                          --

                          Judy Redman
                          PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
                          University of New England
                          Armidale 2351 Australia
                          ph:  +61 2 6040 4571
                          mob: 0437 044 579
                          web:  http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
                          email:  jredman2@...
                           

                           

                           

                        • Tom Reynolds
                          to: Judy Raymond Brown would not be my choice of an unbiased survey taker. However, more importent is the various scholars basis for their view. tom reynolds
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                            to: Judy
                            Raymond Brown would not be my choice of an unbiased survey taker. However, more importent is the various scholars basis for their view.
                            tom reynolds
                            From: Judy Redman
                            To: "gthomas@yahoogroups.com"
                            Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 1:43 AM
                            Subject: RE: [GTh] Authorship and Dating
                            FWIW, Raymond Brown did a survey of the literature and suggests that:
                            critical scholars have reached a near consensus that Paul wrote: 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon and Romans.
                            About 90% agree that he did not write 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus
                            about 80% that he did not write Ephesians
                            about 60% that he did not write Colossians is
                            Slightly more than 50% that he did not write 2 Thessalonians
                            And I realise that� I need to go hunting for the source of this because it has become separated from the information that I use on a PowerPoint slide when I am teaching. J Obviously it was done a few years ago, so things may have changed.
                          • Moon John
                            I am frequently surprised by the claims of authorship during the lifetimes of the writers, It seems to me that these people insisted on being the Living
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                              I am frequently surprised by the claims of authorship during the lifetimes of the writers, It seems to me that these people insisted on being the Living witnesses Of the life and times of Jesus Christ,

                              Paul of course was an exception since he was not a actual witness,but wrote from his experience on the road to Damascus.

                              However,,,,I would say in that day and time , While the apostles yet lived.Including James who died in ad 62( or 69 (in another source).
                              What need did they have of written Manuscripts UNTIL the apostles themselves could no longer travel?

                              Was that not why, the Pauline letters were so treasured? Circular letters, Because they were the rare references
                              of the time.

                              So since all these apostles had followers,and the times suggest that the mode of writing of the times was to have others, educated write for you.( Scribes).
                              Why the surprise,That this or that letter was not actualy penned by the person 'dictating it.Is that really a disqualified for authenticity?

                              Why the surprise that The Gospel or letter is published after the death in better Greek that the education of the person attributed to actualy had.

                              Consider from all accounts James was a very busy man.Head of the church of Jerusalem . At prayer in the temple every day. Focused on The new Church , and the spiritual.
                              So , can you imagine a man like that sitting down,,,,,,and writing a letter, when he himself could actualy go here or there. from all accounts he was still very active when he was murdered.

                              IM simply making an observation, that in the end,Who wrote down the actual text due to the times and the way things were authored .( Either by scribes or by the schools of the founders of a particular group) .Should not be the way one determines authenticity.I know the great relevance some make on it actualy coming from the pen, of this author or that……..in the new testament….but is this realistic, for that day and time?

                              Regards
                              John Moon
                              Springfield, Tenn 37172
                            • Mark M. Mattison
                              Judy, that sounds about right to me. I personally would not agree with Tom s assessment that Today the consensus is that the Pastorals are likely Pauline.
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                                Judy, that sounds about right to me. I personally would not agree with
                                Tom's assessment that "Today the consensus is that the Pastorals are
                                likely Pauline." That may be true among evangelicals, but my sense is
                                that the consensus among biblical scholars as a whole runs the other
                                direction. And as I understand it, more scholars are even beginning to
                                explore the possibility that Luke-Acts is second-century. Of course,
                                as a late first-century or early second-century text, Thomas isn't
                                that far removed from the texts of the NT in terms of chronology at
                                least, right?

                                -Mark

                                On 1/20/13, Judy Redman wrote:
                                >
                                > FWIW, Raymond Brown did a survey of the literature and suggests that:
                                > — critical scholars have reached a near consensus that Paul wrote: 1
                                > Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon and
                                > Romans.
                                > — About 90% agree that he did not write 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus
                                > — about 80% that he did not write Ephesians
                                > — about 60% that he did not write Colossians is
                                > — Slightly more than 50% that he did not write 2 Thessalonians
                                > And I realise that I need to go hunting for the source of this because it
                                > has become separated from the information that I use on a PowerPoint slide
                                > when I am teaching. ☺ Obviously it was done a few years ago, so things may
                                > have changed.
                              • rickhubbardus
                                [Tom Wrote:] And the evidence of `But in view of the widespread custom of pseudonymous authorship in antiquity is where? Why their own flawed analysis of
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                                  [Tom Wrote:]

                                  "And the evidence of `But in view of the widespread custom of pseudonymous authorship in antiquity" is where? Why their own flawed analysis of course".

                                  [Rick Replies]

                                  Being more or less "bookless" for the time being, I can't drill down to the specific evidence in the primary sources that is used to argue that pseudonymous authorship was common in middle-late antiquity. I can however, just off the top of my head, point to an excellent study by Charles M. Stang (_Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite_ [Oxford Press, 2012]) in which the author examines how various scholars have identified the phenomenon of Pseudonymous writing in Jewish and Christian contexts. The evidence for pseudonymous writing is hardly "thin" as you assert. It might be helpful, Tom, for you consult Stang's work (at least as a point of departure toward the work of other scholars) before broadly condemning conclusions as you do here:

                                  "My advice is to not accept the analysis of those using their chosen specialty to analyze NT or any works. They are like a hammer seeing everything like a nail. My advice is to do one's own analysis trying to ascertain the author's purpose and the original hearers of the text in order to date it. "

                                  Rick Hubbard
                                • sarban
                                  Hi Judy This may be relevant to current views of which Pauline letters were actually written by Paul
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                                    Hi Judy
                                     
                                    This may be relevant to current views of which Pauline letters were actually written by Paul
                                     
                                    Andrew Criddle
                                     
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 9:43 AM
                                    Subject: RE: [GTh] Authorship and Dating

                                     
                                    <SNIP>

                                    FWIW, Raymond Brown did a survey of the literature and suggests that:

                                    critical scholars have reached a near consensus that Paul wrote: 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon and Romans. 

                                    About 90% agree that he did not write 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus

                                    about 80% that he did not write Ephesians

                                    about 60% that he did not write Colossians is

                                    Slightly more than 50% that he did not write 2 Thessalonians

                                    And I realise that  I need to go hunting for the source of this because it has become separated from the information that I use on a PowerPoint slide when I am teaching. J Obviously it was done a few years ago, so things may have changed.

                                    Judy

                                  • Judy Redman
                                    Thanks, Andrew. Very useful. Now if someone will do a survey of US and European scholars for me… ☺ Judy From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                                      Thanks, Andrew.

                                       

                                      Very useful. Now if someone will do a survey of US and European scholars for me… J

                                       

                                      Judy

                                       

                                      From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of sarban
                                      Sent: Monday, 21 January 2013 3:27 AM
                                      To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [GTh] Authorship and Dating

                                       

                                       

                                      

                                       

                                      Hi Judy

                                       

                                      This may be relevant to current views of which Pauline letters were actually written by Paul

                                       

                                      Andrew Criddle

                                       

                                      ----- Original Message -----

                                      Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 9:43 AM

                                      Subject: RE: [GTh] Authorship and Dating

                                       

                                       

                                      <SNIP>

                                      FWIW, Raymond Brown did a survey of the literature and suggests that:

                                      critical scholars have reached a near consensus that Paul wrote: 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon and Romans. 

                                      About 90% agree that he did not write 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus

                                      about 80% that he did not write Ephesians

                                      about 60% that he did not write Colossians is

                                      Slightly more than 50% that he did not write 2 Thessalonians

                                      And I realise that  I need to go hunting for the source of this because it has become separated from the information that I use on a PowerPoint slide when I am teaching. J Obviously it was done a few years ago, so things may have changed.

                                      Judy

                                    • Mike Grondin
                                      Hi Rick, You re far more charitable than I would have been with Tom s absurd advice. To repeat it here (leaving out the severely inapt hammer simile): My
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                                        Hi Rick,
                                         
                                        You're far more charitable than I would have been with Tom's absurd
                                        advice. To repeat it here (leaving out the severely inapt hammer simile):
                                         
                                        "My advice is to not accept the analysis of those using their chosen specialty
                                        to analyze NT or any works ...  [but rather] to do one’s own analysis trying to
                                        ascertain the author’s purpose and the original hearers of the text in order to date it."
                                         
                                        The idea that anyone at all can properly date a text just by reading it in a
                                        certain way is, as I say, absurd. One needs a lot more knowledge than can
                                        possibly be gained in that way. Broad knowledge about the history of early
                                        Christianity, among other things. But this is the kind of knowledge that
                                        specialists have, and Tom advises not accepting their analyses. (Beware
                                        of gaining that kind of knowledge yourself, cuz then you can't accept your
                                        own analyses :-)
                                         
                                        Another weird aspect of this is that Tom says elsewhere that one shouldn't
                                        consult a "dynamic equivalence" translation. As I understand it, this is just
                                        about every translation there is, with the sole exception perhaps of a few
                                        word-for-word translations occurring in interlinears. So one has to either 
                                        find one of those, or read the text in the original language, I suppose. Gosh,
                                        isn't the latter what specialists do? But pay no attention to them, saith Tom
                                        (except when he thinks that their opinions agree with his own.)
                                         
                                        Mike Grondin
                                      • Judy Redman
                                        Tom says: to: Judy Raymond Brown would not be my choice of an unbiased survey taker. However, more importent is the various scholars basis for their view. tom
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                                          Tom says:

                                          to: Judy

                                          Raymond Brown would not be my choice of an unbiased survey taker. However, more importent is the various scholars basis for their view.
                                          tom
                                          Reynolds

                                          [Judy:]

                                          And of course, people could have different reasons for their opinions. The link Andrew posted was to Stephen Carlson’s website where he reported on a survey that Paul Foster conducted at the British New Testament Conference in September 2011. Paul presented a paper on the authorship of 2 Thessalonians and then asked those who attended their opinion on the authorship of the various epistles attributed to Paul. He estimates that about 70% of those who attended responded. Obviously, these people do not provide their reasons and not everyone answered every question, but again the pastoral epistles do not score anywhere near consensus. The article is Paul Foster “Who Wrote 2 Thessalonians? A Fresh Look at an Old Problem,” JSNT 35 (2012): 150-175 – the table is on p 171 and I have reproduced it below for the benefit of those who don’t have easy access to JSNT.

                                           

                                          BNTC – Results of Pauline Authorship Survey

                                          Was Paul the author of the following epistles?

                                           

                                          Yes

                                          No

                                          Uncertain

                                          Total

                                          Romans

                                          109

                                          0

                                          0

                                          109

                                          1 Corinthians

                                          109

                                          0

                                          0

                                          109

                                          2 Corinthians

                                          109

                                          0

                                          0

                                          109

                                          Galatians

                                          109

                                          0

                                          0

                                          109

                                          Ephesians

                                          39

                                          42

                                          28

                                          109

                                          Philippians

                                          108

                                          1

                                          0

                                          109

                                          Colossians

                                          56

                                          17

                                          36

                                          109

                                          1 Thessalonians

                                          109

                                          0

                                          0

                                          109

                                          2 Thessalonians

                                          63

                                          13

                                          35

                                          111

                                          1 Timothy

                                          23

                                          59

                                          25

                                          107

                                          2 Timothy

                                          26

                                          58

                                          24

                                          108

                                          Titus

                                          25

                                          62

                                          21

                                          108

                                          Philemon

                                          108

                                          0

                                          1

                                          109

                                          Hebrews

                                          0

                                          100

                                          9

                                          109

                                           

                                        • Judy Redman
                                          Mark says: Judy, that sounds about right to me. I personally would not agree with Tom s assessment that Today the consensus is that the Pastorals are likely
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
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                                            Mark says:

                                            Judy, that sounds about right to me. I personally would not agree with
                                            Tom's assessment that "Today the consensus is that the Pastorals are
                                            likely Pauline." That may be true among evangelicals, but my sense is
                                            that the consensus among biblical scholars as a whole runs the other
                                            direction.

                                            [Judy:] I must admit that this is not an area where I’ve done a lot of work, but I am happy to believe the people who have, and it seems to me that there is no consensus on the pastorals.

                                            And as I understand it, more scholars are even beginning to
                                            explore the possibility that Luke-Acts is second-century. Of course,
                                            as a late first-century or early second-century text, Thomas isn't
                                            that far removed from the texts of the NT in terms of chronology at
                                            least, right?
                                            [Judy:] It depends on when you date it, of course. Mark Goodacre in his new book says it’s definitely post 70 CE and probably post 135 CE. It also depends on whether you buy the rolling corpus theory and if so what you’re dating – the earliest part (DeConick’s Kernel) or the text as we have it. I am still thinking about this. J

                                            Judy


                                            -

                                          • Mike Grondin
                                            John Moon raises several questions relating to what is meant by authenticity, and by what we mean when we ask whether X wrote T. I ll take a crack at answering
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Jan 21, 2013
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                                              John Moon raises several questions relating to what is meant by authenticity,
                                              and by what we mean when we ask whether X wrote T. I'll take a crack at
                                              answering those questions, hoping that, although I'm speaking of my own
                                              understanding, it also reflects those of others.
                                               
                                              The most easily answered question is whether the identity of the actual inscriber
                                              of an original is relevant. Briefly put, it isn't. If X dictated T to scribe S, then
                                              we should still say that X "wrote" T, meaning that X was the author of T.
                                              It gets a little stickier if T was written in a language (say, L) unknown (or
                                              poorly known) to X, with the result that S was translating X's words from
                                              another language into L. Even in that case, though, I think it would still be true
                                              to say that X was the author of T. (Hence, in both cases, that T was authentic.)
                                               
                                              What about the case where the original of a text T is explicitly attributed to X,
                                              but actually authored by a follower (or "the school") of X (presumably, after X's
                                              death). I think it's clear that in this case T wasn't "written" (meaning, as above, 
                                              'authored') by X, but I also think one might argue that it's "authentic" in some
                                              sense - depending on how closely the ideas in T resemble those of X. The
                                              problem, of course, is that there's often no way of judging that. If the ghost
                                              author can be determined to be someone very close to X, the presumption
                                              might be that T is a reflection of X's thinking. On the other hand, one might
                                              argue that the ghost author was illegitimately using X's name to lend credence
                                              to an of extension of X's thinking to a new situation that X never encountered.
                                              Questions about "authenticity" can thus be a can of worms in a case like this,
                                              unless we make clear what sense of 'authenticity' is involved. If it's taken to
                                              be equivalent to the question of authorship, the answer is clear, otherwise not.
                                               
                                              What about redaction? Since redactors never identified themselves, if we find
                                              that a text has been redacted, we can only question whether the original of T
                                              was authored by who T says it was (assuming that T specifies an author).
                                              Unfortunately for GThom, it isn't clear what the original looked like or when
                                              it was first written. If one dates it 1st century, it could have been authored by
                                              Thomas (with L13 presumably being redaction), while later dating quickly
                                              reduces the chance of that to zero, since the apostle would probably have
                                              been about 85 years old in 100 CE, if he was still alive.
                                               
                                              Mike Grondin
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