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Re: [GTh] Authorship and Dating

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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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