Re: [GTh] Authorship and Dating
- To: Mike and allFrom: 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 pastoralsThe 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.JamesThe internal argument of James is anti-Pauline and typical of that period. It is often seen as a very early letter, not late.2 PeterI have not analyzed this letter in detail so I won’t comment on it.�Tom ReynoldsPS: Leaving Bali for Southeast Salawesi tomorrow
- Mike, that's one reason I tend not to use the "NIV Study Bible!" :-)
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.
- To: Mike and allFrom: 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.
- to: JudyRaymond Brown would not be my choice of an unbiased survey taker. However, more importent is the various scholars basis for their view.
tom reynoldsFrom: Judy Redman
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 ThessaloniansAnd 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.
- 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?
Springfield, Tenn 37172
- 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
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
> — 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.
- [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".
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. "
- Hi JudyThis may be relevant to current views of which Pauline letters were actually written by PaulAndrew Criddle----- Original Message -----From: Judy RedmanSent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 9:43 AMSubject: 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.
- Hi Rick,You're far more charitable than I would have been with Tom's absurdadvice. To repeat it here (leaving out the severely inapt hammer simile):"My advice is to not accept the analysis of those using their chosen specialtyto analyze NT or any works ... [but rather] to do one’s own analysis trying toascertain 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 acertain way is, as I say, absurd. One needs a lot more knowledge than canpossibly be gained in that way. Broad knowledge about the history of earlyChristianity, among other things. But this is the kind of knowledge thatspecialists have, and Tom advises not accepting their analyses. (Bewareof gaining that kind of knowledge yourself, cuz then you can't accept yourown analyses :-)Another weird aspect of this is that Tom says elsewhere that one shouldn'tconsult a "dynamic equivalence" translation. As I understand it, this is justabout every translation there is, with the sole exception perhaps of a fewword-for-word translations occurring in interlinears. So one has to eitherfind 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
- 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 atanswering those questions, hoping that, although I'm speaking of my ownunderstanding, it also reflects those of others.The most easily answered question is whether the identity of the actual inscriberof an original is relevant. Briefly put, it isn't. If X dictated T to scribe S, thenwe 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 (orpoorly known) to X, with the result that S was translating X's words fromanother language into L. Even in that case, though, I think it would still be trueto 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'sdeath). 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 somesense - depending on how closely the ideas in T resemble those of X. Theproblem, of course, is that there's often no way of judging that. If the ghostauthor can be determined to be someone very close to X, the presumptionmight be that T is a reflection of X's thinking. On the other hand, one mightargue that the ghost author was illegitimately using X's name to lend credenceto 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 tobe equivalent to the question of authorship, the answer is clear, otherwise not.What about redaction? Since redactors never identified themselves, if we findthat a text has been redacted, we can only question whether the original of Twas 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 whenit was first written. If one dates it 1st century, it could have been authored byThomas (with L13 presumably being redaction), while later dating quicklyreduces the chance of that to zero, since the apostle would probably havebeen about 85 years old in 100 CE, if he was still alive.Mike Grondin