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Re: [GTh] Authorship and Dating

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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