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Re: [GTh] Authorship and Dating

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  • 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 1 of 22 , Jan 19, 2013
      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
    • Mark M. Mattison
      Mike, that s one reason I tend not to use the NIV Study Bible! :-) -Mark Mattison
      Message 2 of 22 , Jan 19, 2013
        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 3 of 22 , Jan 19, 2013
          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 4 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013

             

            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 5 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
              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 6 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
                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 7 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
                  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 8 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
                    [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 9 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
                      
                       
                      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 10 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013

                        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 11 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013
                          
                          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 12 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013

                            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 13 of 22 , Jan 20, 2013

                               

                              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 14 of 22 , Jan 21, 2013
                                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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