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Re: [GTh] Authorship and Dating

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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