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Re: [GTh] Authorship and Dating

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  • 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 1 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 2 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.
      • 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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