Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:20 pm


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Who wrote the “Pauline Letters”?

For nearly two millennia, no one questioned the authorship of the epistles attributed to Paul. Thirteen of them in the official New Testament canon bear his name, not to mention a number of other letters outside the canon ...

... Ferdinand Christian Baur (1792-1860), the founder of the Tübingen School of New Testament criticism, whittled down the Pauline canon...finding himself left with only the four Hauptbriefe (“principal epistles”), 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans, as authentic and unassailable, minus a few questionable passages here and there. Beyond the Hauptbriefe, Baur dismissed the letters as disjointed, colorless, impersonal, and lacking specific occasion. Colossians, for instance, is awash in the terminology of later Gnosticism, with Christ as the pleroma, or embodied divine fullness, as well as the final goal of cosmic evolution, precisely as in Valentinianism, one of the most influential of the 'Gnostic' movements, with everything finally imploding into oneness.

Gnostic influence is also evident in the notion of the cross as the defeat of the principalities and powers, the archons and authorities, which are angelic entities. And like the heretics condemned in the Pastorals, the author of Colossians says the resurrection has already happened at baptism (Col. 3:1; cf. Rom. 6, which stops on a dime, just short of this). Conservatives like to pretend that the author is the historical Paul and that he was merely using the terminology of Gnostic opponents ironically to refute them—a strange and obscuring tactic if ever there was one! No, the language and conceptuality are the author’s all right, just not from the author we know as Paul.

For Baur, Ephesians seems to be the work of the same author as Colossians, just a different version of it. Later scholars would point out that although the vocabulary is Pauline, the sentence structure is not. The sentences are long chains of genitives with no end in sight. The first chapter comprises only two sentences in the original Greek! Edgar J. Goodspeed would demonstrate by use of a table chart, much like a gospel synopsis, that every single verse of Ephesians comes straight out of, or at least closely parallels, material from Colossians, most of the other Pauline epistles, and the Septuagint, with nothing left over. No wonder it sounds like Paul—though without being by him.

Philippians presents Paul with fond hopes of one day being raised from the dead (3:10-11), whereas in his authentic epistles, his theology gives him absolute confidence in Christ. We are witnessing a shading off to Catholic “works piety,” especially when believers are told to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (2:12). What is the “perfection” Paul says he has yet to attain (3:12)? The real Paul would never have spoken this way, since in his view, one either lays hold on Christ or does not. In fact, readers receive the impression that the perfection the author aims at is actually martyrdom, which he plainly “anticipates” in nearly the same masochistic spirit as the author of the Ignatian Corpus [6: Ignatius, To the Romans, chaps. 5-8]. Furthermore, Philippians is connected not by any sustained argument but rather by catchwords (“rejoice”). There is also uncharacteristic vocabulary. The author uses the adversative plan (πλην) three times, for example, whereas in all other Pauline letters it appears but once.

... Philippians...is filled with heavy irony, presupposing that the reader knows what finally happened to Paul. He didn’t escape death as anticipated, but continued to edify his beloved Philippians nonetheless with posthumous letters like this one! This, plus the mention at the beginning of “bishops and deacons,” makes Philippians almost a fourth Pastoral Epistle. And why does “Paul” promise to send Timothy with all the latest news when he is sending this present letter back to them via Epaphroditus? Couldn’t Epaphroditus have filled them in? It is all artificial.

Nor is Philippians without a distinct Gnostic flavor. Specifically, the Kenosis Hymn in 2:6-11 bears the marks of Valentinian theology. Just as Colossians had the pleroma embodied in Christ, Philippians has him exit the godhead (the pleroma) to sojourn in the extra-pleromatic sphere, the kenoma (“emptiness”). In thus disdaining an undeserved equality with God, he succeeds where Sophia failed, having trespassed from her perch on “the Limit” (what Jack Kirby called “the Source Wall”) to seize the deep things of the Father. These are not mere seeds of Gnostic ideas that might one day grow into real Gnosticism; it is the real thing, met in passing allusions that will mean something to those familiar with the second-century system.

Both Thessalonian epistles are false, written perhaps by the same hand. The writer of 2 Thessalonians might have been embarrassed into correcting his own initial apocalyptic enthusiasm by dismissing his earlier work as that of some crank and not his own. The referent of 1 Thessalonians 2:16 must be the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The writer must therefore have lived after this event. Once one stops insisting the text is the work of a man who died in 62 CE (Paul), it begins to make more sense. Most scholars today nervously attempt to pry this verse out of its context as a later interpolation, leaving the rest as genuinely Pauline. But this stratagem reminds one of fundamentalists’ suggestions that Moses wrote the whole Pentateuch except for the account of his own death and burial (Deut. 34:5-8), which they suppose Joshua to have added. But in fact, it is just one more clue among many.

As with Galatians (6:11) and others (1 Cor. 16:21; Col. 4:18), the Thessalonian letters imply a contemporary cottage industry of spurious Pauline documents, against which one must learn to carefully guard (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:17). These are surely markers of a time, long after Paul, when collections of his letters were considered authoritative ...

... there came to be emphasis on apostolic writings, the church at length grew understandably suspicious of the living voice of prophecy ...

Baur’s observations should have settled the matter, but just as the majority of Martin Luther’s followers lacked the daring to go with their master’s relegation of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation to a canonical appendix, so most critical scholars quailed in the face of Baur’s challenge. Even the supposed arch-skeptic Rudolf Bultmann quietly assumed the authenticity of seven Pauline epistles, restoring the haloes to 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon. One hates to think that the magic number seven had anything to do with it. However, there were a few scholars who studied Baur’s results and took off in the opposite direction, believing that he had not gone far enough.


The Dutch Radical Critics

Willem C. van Manen (1842-1905), Professor of Old Christian Literature and New Testament Exegesis at the University of Leiden, was identified with the school of Dutch Radicals who sought to go beyond F. C. Baur and carry his investigations into the Pauline epistles to their logical conclusions. In a series of articles and books,[10] he pressed his case that Paul had not written even the four Hauptbriefe (Romans, Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians) that Baur had left him. Though Van Manen confessed his debt to the pioneering work of Baur and saw his own work as the natural continuation of it, he reproached Baur for not having gone far enough. Baur had simply assumed that some of the “Pauline” epistles must be the work of the historical Paul. Closer examination of the Hauptbriefe, however, led Van Manen and his immediate predecessors to the conclusion that these, too, were pseudepigraphical.

Van Manen acknowledged his predecessors Edward Evanson (who wrote in 1792), Bruno Bauer, Allard Pierson, Samuel A. Naber, and Abraham D. Loman. These men wrote in the nineteenth century, and Van Manen considered Loman to have begun a new period of strictly scientific study of the question. Loman had attracted colleagues such as Rudolf Steck, Daniel E. J. Völter, and Van Manen himself. Van Manen first met Loman’s theories with vigorous opposition, but his objections soon evaporated, the more closely he scrutinized his opponent’s case. At length, Van Manen assumed the mantle of leadership of the new school of criticism because of the volume of work he devoted to the subject. No doubt, he was quite correct. The work of only one of these scholars has appeared in English, but thankfully, that one is Van Manen. Even then, however, we must be content with his articles in the Encyclopaedia Biblica.

Van Manen pointed out that external, or patristic, attestation of any epistle is worthless for establishing authorship ... it provides nothing more than the opinion of some in the early church and proves nothing as to whether any ascriptions of the writings were actually justified ... On the one hand, tradition does not support the authenticity of the Hauptbriefe any more than that of the Prison Epistles (Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon) or the Pastorals. Van Manen pointed out the inconsistency of those critics who supported the authenticity of Romans or Galatians by appealing to early patristic citation but who also counted such citations as irrelevant when they felt there were adequate internal grounds for rejecting the authenticity of epistles such as Ephesians. If it means nothing in one case, it can mean nothing in the other. An overarching unity among the Pauline epistles means only that there is the general conformity of a school of thought, not that of a single authorship.

Internal indications can demonstrate the fact of different authors but not, of course, whether Paul was ultimately the author of any one of them. To show that 1 Timothy is not the product of the same author as Romans implies nothing as to whether Romans was the work of Paul. All we can say is that they are not by the same Paulinist. Even within the Hauptbriefe, we find similar differences between the Corinthian epistles and Romans as exist between Romans and Philippians. The differences are linguistic, stylistic, ethical, and theological. The grounds for maintaining the pseudepigraphical character of all the epistles are as follows.


1. The question of their form

a. They are treatises, not letters, whether to an individual or a group.

The matter of the epistle is destined for publicity. If the letter is always more or less private and confidential, the epistle is meant for the market-place ... All that is in the letter—address and so forth—[and] is of primary importance, becomes in the epistle ornamental detail, merely added to maintain the illusion of this literary form. A real letter is seldom wholly intelligible to us until we know to whom it is addressed and the special circumstances for which it was written. To the understanding of most epistles this is by no means essential.[11]

b. They cannot have been written to the ancient churches whose names they bear since they have left no trace [of] the history of those churches.

c. The imaginary nature of the letters is evident from catholicizing phrases like “to all that are in Rome, called to be saints,” “to the church of God which is at Corinth, them that are sanctified in Jesus Christ, called to be saints, with all who invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in all places, etc.,” “to the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints in the whole of Achaia,” “to all the churches of Galatia.” Admittedly, one can reply that these phrases represent later, post-Pauline additions to make it easier to circulate the letter far beyond its originally intended readership. But again, how is this different from the desperate fundamentalist attempt to ascribe the Deuteronomic account of Moses’s death to a later writer in order to attribute the rest of the Pentateuch to Moses himself?

d. They have been redacted. They teem with discontinuities and internal contradictions indicating, for example, that the epistles to the Corinthians and Romans are patchwork quilts in the style of a Synoptic Gospel, while Galatians seems to have been a Marcionite document overlaid with a corrective series of orthodox interpolations. As Darrell J. Doughty points out, when we see such anomalies and anacoluthas in the Gospels, we readily recognize them as redactional seams, but when they arise in the epistles we dust [them] off [as] rusty 'harmonizations' and go to work! It is just the sort of “blindness and insight” (Paul de Man) evident in the earliest days of the Higher Criticism when it simply did not occur to scalpel-wielding Old Testament critics to subject the New Testament to the same surgery.


2. Their contents

a. There is confusion over the nature of the churches and Paul’s implied relations with them. In Romans, “Paul” writes to a church ostensibly unknown to him, yet he does so with great presumption. In Galatians and Corinthians he is portrayed as writing to old friends and having to cajole, then threaten, after first boasting and flattering—none of which must be necessary if he is the authoritative oracle Romans makes him out to be. Which is the real Paul? Perhaps neither!

b. We can draw no coherent picture of the opponents Paul faces in his epistles. It seems rather that a pseudepigraphist or redactor is aiming scattershot at various heretical options current in his day, much like the later works of Irenaeus and Epiphanius who wrote “against all heresies.” This is why scholars assuming Pauline authorship have repeatedly come up with implausible chimeras combining elements of Gnostics, Judaizers, apocalyptic enthusiasts, and charismatic triumphalists as candidates for Paul’s opponents. This is like a police artist’s conception of a crook created by combining features from this and that page of the standard sketchbooks.

c. The complexity and depth of the theology and ethics betoken a time long after the days of the historical Paul, who must have lived only a few years subsequent to the crucifixion. Apologists argue that we can trace a process of development between earlier and later epistles, reflecting a deepening of Paul’s thought. Paul himself, as he is presented in these very same epistles, would hardly countenance such a view since he represents himself everywhere simply as the recipient of a prepackaged revelation from heaven, a “gospel not from man.”

d. The kind of virulent advocacy, opposition, and reinterpretation of Pauline doctrine evidenced in these writings really is more appropriate if their subject is an authority of the past. We seem to be witnessing a debate over Paulinism by the Christians of a subsequent generation, much as we see in James 2:14-26 and 2 Peter 3:15-16, only here the writers are all posing as Paul in order to correct things authoritatively from within the Paulinist ranks. Paul’s “previous” teaching to these churches (“Do you not remember that when I was with you I told you?”) smacks of intrascholastic controversy, like Lutherans arguing over Luther. Imagine the peasants and proletarians of Corinth or Iconium scratching their heads over Paul’s ratiocinations on the subtleties of justification and the Law. “How could the unphilosophic Galatians understand this letter? Loman compares it with Hegel lecturing to the aborigines of the East Indies,” says Gustaaf van den Bergh. What we actually seem to have are rebuttals of one Paulinist’s interpretations by another, pulling rank by assuming the pose of Paul himself: “And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just” (Rom. 3:8; cf. Gal. 5:11).

e. Is it really conceivable that the pronounced post-Jewish Christianity of Paulinism, which had utterly abandoned the authority of the twelve apostles, the Jewish Torah, and the nationalistic conception of the messiah for a spiritualized and internationalized religion, could have arisen only a matter of a few short years after the death of Jesus? Why do the Synoptic Gospels seem to attest a more primitive Christology than Paul? If Van Manen is right, it is because they are earlier than the Pauline epistles.

f. Insofar as the epistles address issues of concern to their intended readers (even if these are not the imagined readers in the Corinthian churches of 50 CE but the implied or actual readers of the next [second] century), the concerns addressed are anachronistic for the mid-first century; they are really later concerns over celibacy (encratism) and the criteria of true apostleship.

g. There is a historical retrospective tone to the epistles. They look back on the work of the apostles as something now in the past. Note, for instance, 1 Corinthians 3:6ff, where Paul is the revered founder of the Corinthian Church and Apollos is his successor; the whole thing is now in the hands of the post-apostolic generation, which is addressed with the warning: “Let each take care how he builds!” Paul’s work is over. The writer can already assess that Saint Paul did more than the other apostles (15:8-10).

h. An advanced, post-apostolic gnosis is in view in 1 Corinthians 1:17-31; 2:6, 16 (cf. Baur on Colossians and Ephesians), though again, apologists desperately posit that Paul liked to turn his opponents’ terminology and conceptuality against them. This would surely be the strangest and most muddying of polemical techniques, distorting the clear notes of the bugle into a confusing din: if Paul sounds so much like Corinthian Gnostics, does he agree or disagree with them?

i. Romans 9-11 speaks of the rejection of Israel in a manner impossible before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Baur made the same point in the case of 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16, though, as we have seen, apologists claim these verses are a later interpolation in an otherwise genuine epistle. What event can have decisively signalled that God had written off the Jewish people? What, besides the disaster of 70 C.E. (or even that of 132 C.E.), could be the event to which Romans refers? Why has their “table” (temple altar) become their downfall and a “retribution” (Rom. 11:9)? Why is a parallel drawn with Elijah lamenting, “Lord ... they have demolished thy altars” (Rom. 11:3)?

j. There were apparently no persecutions in the early period in which Paul would have lived; these were phenomena of a later period. Yet they are mentioned as a matter of present experience in the writer’s day (Rom. 5:3-5; 8:17-39; 12:12, 14; 2 Cor. 1:3-7).

k. The epistles come from a time when “traditions” can be said (by Paul!) to derive from Paul (2 Thess. 2:15). Would he have spoken in this way of his own teachings, with the palpable air of venerable antiquity? Not likely. Again, what we have here is like 2 Peter 3:2, where the writer, passing himself off as “Simeon Peter,” momentarily lets the mask slip and mentions how “your apostles” prophesied in the past of events that have now come present. Where is Peter writing this from? Heaven? Likewise, how old would Paul have to be for his teachings to be known as traditions? In 2 Thessalonians 2:5, Paul recalls the days of long ago: “when I was with you, I told you.” What makes this any different from Luke 24:44, “These are my words which I spoke to you when I was still with you”? In each case, do we not have a writer clumsily putting his own words into the mouth of an authority of the past, having him speak as if from the Great Beyond in the present, forgetting to have him speak as from his own time? He is still with them in “story time,” though someone seems to have forgotten it. “In a word,” writes Van Manen, “the church has existed for not a few years merely. The historical background of the epistles, even of the principle epistles, is a later age ... Everything points to later days ...”


The historical Paul

With the so-called Pauline epistles removed from consideration as sources for Paul’s life, what evidence is left? Van Manen believed that Luke, in writing Acts, had made use of an earlier book of the Acts of Paul (not our apocryphal Acts of Paul), which was the source of Luke’s Pauline episodes. Of this material, Van Manen judged that only some of the travel notes were authentic, as well as some details of the supposed “we source,” the sections of the Acts written in the first person plural, as if by a companion of Paul. These data yield the minimal picture of a Paul somehow converted to a Christian faith of a still-Judaic type (no other type had yet made an appearance). Paul was a Hellenistic Jew and may have been one of those who first preached to gentiles after the martyrdom of Stephen. However, he remained within the bounds of Judaic Christianity, as witnessed by the various notes in Acts 18:18; 20:16; 21:23-26 about his undertaking vows and attending Jerusalem festivals. He differed in no essential respect from the twelve apostles and there is no reason to doubt that he preached among the gentiles.


Somewhere between 100 and 150 CE, Paulinism as a theological system arose out of a mystical and speculative circle. Van Manen speaks of the Paulinist movement and Gnosticism arising from the same circles. As already noted, Van Manen read the original of Galatians as Marcionite. Tertullian called Paul “the apostle of Marcion and the apostle of the heretics,” and both Irenaeus and Tertullian noted how much the heretics cherished Paul’s writings. The first commentators on the epistles were the Gnostics Valentinus, Heracleon, and Basilides.


It is likely, according to Van Manen, that some very early pseudo-Pauline epistles did not survive except perhaps in the form of fragments incorporated in our own Paulines. Second Corinthians 10:9ff, with its reference to a known set of “his letters,” may refer to this earliest group of epistles, but at least it betrays the writer of 2 Corinthians as a later Paulinist referring back to the corpus as in the equally spurious 2 Peter 3:15-16. The epistles we possess have passed through the hands of Catholic redactors who attempted to domesticate and sanitize the writings for the use of the orthodox, just as Bultmann later demonstrated a subsequent Catholic padding out and bowdlerizing of an originally Gnostic Gospel of John.

Luke was writing in the second quarter of the second century and saw himself as the heir of this catholicized Paul, contra Baur who argued that Luke was creating [a] Catholicized Paul in order to heal (or paper over) long-standing divisions between Jewish and gentile Christians, factions loyal to the memories of Peter and Paul respectively. Van Manen judged that Luke was by no means initiating the catholicizing; it was already an accomplished fact for him. The resulting picture is that of a great Pauline innovator of a new era in the development of Christian thought but hardly in a Gnostic direction.

How did 'the historical Paul' come to be the figurehead of the second-century Paulinist school? We cannot say, but then neither can we say how the anonymous fourth Gospel and the three epistles were ascribed to the Galilean fisherman John bar-Zebedee. Similarly, how outlandish is it to call all Pauline epistles pseudepigraphical when we already think the same thing about all the Petrine epistles, gospels, apocalypses, and apocryphal acts? We already dismiss the authenticity of the Acts of Paul, the Nag Hammadi text The Prayer of the Apostle Paul, the two or three Apocalypses of Paul, and the apocryphal Epistles to the Laodiceans, Alexandrians, etc., as well as a good half of the canonical epistles anyway. It should occasion no great surprise if the name of an ancient apostle should have attracted to itself a larger or smaller number of pseudonymous epistles.


The structure of exegetical revolutions

No doubt, many readers of the present summary of Van Manen’s approach have had no trouble in finding alternative, orthodox ways to account for many or all of the anomalies cited, hoping to preserve Pauline authorship. Harmonization is as popular today as it was anciently, and it is an apologetical strategy. It is not a tool of historical criticism. To the apologist’s mind, if there is a way to believe the traditional view might possibly still be true, then it is true [19: James Barr, Fundamentalism, 1976; 85, 98, 126, 127.]. Thus any contrivance that seems to salvage the familiar, consensus position will seem to be ipso facto true since consonance with tradition is such a convincing piece of apologetics.

...< . . snip . . >

... guardians of the reigning paradigm are like the protagonist of The Testament of Abraham who simply will not pack it in even when God sends the death angel to fetch him ...

...< . . snip . . >

I am, of course, suggesting that the revolutionary hypotheses of Van Manen were never given a chance, and at second glance, they look appealing to me. To paraphrase Chesterton, it is not that the Dutch Radical critical paradigm was tried and found wanting; it was found distasteful and not tried. But the rationalizations of our vested interests lose some of their hold on us if we come to recognize them for what they are. If this book can help produce such recognition, it will be because the time is finally ripe for Van Manen, once dismissed with scorn like Nietzsche’s mad prophet, to receive his due and a sympathetic hearing. Like light from the farthest stars, his shocking tidings have taken a long time to reach us, but perhaps now we are ready to see and comprehend.

Price, Robert M.. The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul. Signature Books.
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MrMacSon
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Re: Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:52 pm


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3. The Evolution of the Pauline Canon

Introduction

When considering the letters ascribed to the Apostle Paul, we are accustomed to speaking of justification. When we seek to tunnel beneath the theological ground we stand on, to deconstruct the notion of Pauline theological authority (that is, to take it apart and find out better how it works), we might better speak of reification, that process whereby a thing contrived by human beings like ourselves comes to assume an aura of inviolable sacredness, an autonomous reality, a wholeness greater than the sum of its parts ... The biblical canon is a classic case of reification.

Most students and laypersons are both surprised and dismayed to discover that [history or even the sources of] the Bible’s contents are not self-evident, that a choice between accepting or rejecting certain writings was made at all, and this by mere mortals like themselves at a particular time in history ...


Four approaches

I believe we can distinguish four clear lines of thought in approaching the question before us, and it will be useful to list our theories according to the distance they posit between Paul’s career and his epistolary collection. Admittedly, this taxonomy violates the chronology of the history of scholarship in favor of a different sort of chronology. I believe little will be lost, however, as each major group of theories seems to have evolved autonomously ...


[1] "Pauline Testament" theories

The first type of collection theory to consider may be called the “Pauline Testament” approach. Here there is virtually no interval at all between the apostle and the collection of his writings; as these scholars posit it, Paul himself collected them. The earliest exponent of this theory appears to be R. L. Archer,[4] who reasoned that Paul had kept copies of his epistles and that sometime after his death the Christians who inherited them hit upon the scheme of publishing them. They derived this notion from reading Seneca, a great publisher of collected letters. While Seneca frowned upon publication of strictly personal letters, Cicero, as is well known, found value in publishing even personal correspondence. Paul’s posthumous admirers agreed with Cicero, and thus the Pauline writings, both literary epistles and personal letters, were published ...

David Trobisch, like Archer, deserves praise for exploring the contemporary practices of collecting and publishing letters, having studied many hundreds of epistles and letter collections from several centuries adjacent to the Pauline period on either side (300 BCE to 400 CE). He notes that in many cases the initial collection of an author’s letters was made by the author himself with a view to publishing “selected” rather than “collected” letters. These might have been arranged in chronological order, but as Trobisch observes, when others undertook to publish more correspondence after the author’s death, the additional letters were simply appended to the original set, not placed among them according to the original chronological sequence principle. The new letters would observe the same order among themselves, but they would follow the original corpus as a new block of correspondence.

Trobisch calls an author’s own selection of letters the “authorized recension.” Posthumous additional collections might be published as separate volumes or, if thematically related to the authorized recension, they might be appended to the original volume and published together as what Trobisch calls an “expanded edition.” Finally, scribes may try to unearth and publish all known letters together in a single manuscript in what Trobisch calls a “comprehensive edition.” And in all expanded and comprehensive editions, Trobisch says, the added material starts over, recapitulating the sequential order of the originals but not intermingling with the letters of the author’s own collection, leaving the integrity of the original collection intact. It would be comparable to a current-day author merely adding a new preface, an introduction to a new edition, or some appendices to the original text of a reprinted early work, rather than revising and updating it: “What I have written, I have written.” Trobisch calls attention to the fact that, with very few exceptions, the mass of ancient manuscripts arranges Paul’s letters the same way, in an almost perfect order flowing from the longest to the shortest except that Ephesians is longer than Galatians and yet follows it. The descending length principle starts over once we reach the Pastorals ...


[2] Paper-apostle theories

Our second group of theories calls to mind Rudolf Bultmann’s dictum that Jesus “rose into the kerygma,” the gospel preaching of the early church. These theories, to some of which Guthrie[16] applied the rubric “theories of immediate value,” in effect have Paul die and immediately rise in the form of a collection of his writings which replaced the irreplaceable apostle. I dub this the paper-apostle approach, the person who emerges in the writings becoming more important than any biographical realities. The scenario envisioned here is much like that described in Islamic tradition following the death of the Prophet Muhammad when the voice of prophecy fell forever silent ...

Adolf Harnack reasoned that Paul’s letters were treasured by enthusiastic readers who could not wait for further installments. “Did not our hearts burn within us as he opened the scriptures unto us?” Not content to wait for the apostle to post another missive to their own church, Pauline Christians would check through a network of scribes in other locations and copy each other’s epistles till each church had a complete set, much like avid fans of an author today ...

After developing suggestions from Hans Conzelmann[26] and Eduard Lohse,[27] Hans-Martin Schenke[28] allowed the pendulum to settle down in the middle of the paper-apostle options. Eschewing both Harnack’s faceless “creative Volk community” approach, and Moule’s and Guthrie’s nomination of a single Pauline disciple, Schenke ascribed both the collection of the corpus and the writing of some deutero-Pauline epistles to a Pauline School, disciples of Paul who, like the anonymous sons of the prophets who passed on the traditions of Elijah, Elisha, and Isaiah, took on both the task of continuing Paul’s work and the mantle of his authority as they made his voice sound forth again to meet new challenges and answer new questions. Harry Gamble[29] approves this notion since it avoids “the dubious idea of one particular collector.” Yet we may ask, what is so dubious about the notion of a single collector? ..

The image of Paul resurrected in his letters is especially apt for Schenke’s theory ...
... though Schenke himself does not invoke the analogy of the schools of the Old Testament prophets, I believe the comparison is a helpful one. It invites us to understand the Pauline corpus, as Marcion did, as the private canon, the sectarian scripture, of a particular Christian body, the Pauline School in this case. This is much like the composite book of Isaiah, which contains not only the oracles of the original Isaiah of Jerusalem but also the deutero- and trito-Isaianic supplements of his latter-day heirs. As in the case of the Isaiah canon where (a la Paul D. Hanson) we find intra-canonical collisions (cf. Ernst Käsemann), so we find Pauline versus deutero-Pauline clashes here and there.

....< . . snip . . >

Van Manen locates the home of Paulinism at Antioch or perhaps Asia Minor beginning at the end of the first century or the start of the second and thriving by 150 CE. Fragments from this Gnostic Pauline circle were later compiled into the familiar epistles, each and all of which are in their present form redactional compositions, finally receiving a catholicizing overlay ..


[3] "Snowball theories"

“theories of partial collections.” I, however, prefer Moule’s nomenclature of
the slow, anonymous process of accretion, the snowball theory. We have to suppose...that the intercourse between one Pauline centre and another gradually led to the exchange of copies of letters, until, at any given centre, there came to be not only the letter or letters originally sent to it, but also copies of certain others collected from other Pauline churches. Thus in each centre there would come to be little nests of letters, and gradually these would move into wider circulation and would be augmented, until the full number, as we know it, was reached. Then all that remained to be done was the making of a careful “edition” of the whole corpus.

Kirsopp Lake had said the same in 1911:
“Small and partial collections came into existence in various centers, before the Corpus in its completed form fully replaced them.”

Similarly Günther Zuntz suggests that
“smaller collections may have been made in and around Ephesus.”

P. N. Harrison thought the Corinthian correspondence was something of a collection of fragments, to which was then added Romans and later a Macedonian collection of Philippians and Thessalonians. Together these formed a European corpus, while an Asia Minor collection of Galatians, Colossians, the Letter for Phoebe (Romans 16), and Philemon developed. Once the latter had been added to the European corpus, some Asian Christian penned Ephesians on the basis of all the others.

Lucetta Mowry saw it the same way:
“We can distinguish three such regions each with its own body of material, the Asian hinterland, with Galatians, Colossians and Philemon; Macedonia, with 1 Thessalonians and Philippians; and Achaia with I Corinthians and Romans.”

... Walter Schmithals...underst[ood] Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon to have constituted a separate Asian collection, joined subsequently with a seven-letter collection (1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, l and 2 Thessalonians, Romans).


What is the difference between a paper-apostle theory like Harnack’s and the snowball theory? It is simply a question of time intervals. Snowball theories cannot credit so early a collection as Harnack posits nor such a later one, ex nihilo, as does Goodspeed (see below). The collection came to fruition late, says the snowball theory, but we can supply the missing link by positing partial collections ...

Mowry, Nils Dahl and others have gathered evidence that various Pauline epistles must have circulated between the time of their initial appearance and that of the formation of local collections of encyclicals and hitherto uncirculated local letters. There are copies of Romans with no addressee and manuscripts lacking the last two chapters. Lightfoot, Dahl reports,[45] had already sought to account for this textual data by suggesting that Paul had sent out earlier copies, omitting personal and local concerns, to some of his churches. Lake put the shoe on the other foot and proposed that Paul had added the specifics to an earlier encyclical letter, making it into our Romans.

....< . . snip . . >

Walter Bauer had long ago contended that the only Pauline epistle we have definite allusions to among the Apostolic Fathers is 1 Corinthians: “Whenever we come from the marshy ground of ‘reminiscences’ and ‘allusions’ to firmer territory, again and again we confront I Corinthians.” Why? Because, as 1 Clement makes plain, the epistle was useful to combat heretics and schismatics, foes of emerging Roman orthodoxy. The encyclical use of 1 Corinthians for which Dahl and Mowry argue fits Walter Bauer’s thesis perfectly.

....< . . snip . . >

[4] Second-coming theories

Edgar J. Goodspeed and Walter Bauer (together with Hans von Campenhausen and others) have maintained that there is a reason for the crushing silence throughout the second century regarding the Pauline epistles. For instance, Justin Martyr never mentions Paul in his voluminous writings. When he is mentioned by other writers, Paul has nothing distinctive to say: he is a pale shadow and obedient lackey of the Twelve, as in Acts. When Ignatius, Polycarp, and 1 Clement (all too blithely taken for genuine as early second-century writings) make reference to Pauline letters, as Bauer noted, they sound like ill-prepared students faking their way through a discussion of a book they neglected to read. First Clement (47:1) appears to have thought there was but a single Pauline letter to Corinth. Ignatius, in his letter to the Ephesians (12:2), somehow imagined that Paul had eulogized the Ephesians in every one of his epistles. Polycarp thought there were several letters to the church at Philippi (Philippians 3:2) and that all Paul’s letters mentioned the Philippian congregation (11:3).

....< . . snip . . >

John Knox could not imagine the [Pauline] collection taking form as late as Marcion’s time, since Ephesians already presupposes the other nine letters. However, R. Joseph Hoffmann argues cogently that “Laodiceans” was not merely Marcion’s name for our familiar Ephesians, it was an earlier Marcionite version. Just as canonical Luke is a catholicized, anti-Marcionite version of Ur-Lukas, so, according to Hoffmann[61] (a latter-day admirer of Knox’s book on Marcion), canonical Ephesians is a catholicized reworking of an original Marcionite Laodiceans. This Laodiceans was the work of Marcion himself. As with Knox’s argument on these texts (Luke, Marcion’s Gospel, and the Ur-Lukas), one must engage Hoffmann’s extensive exegesis before reaching a judgment. It is impossible to present it adequately here.

Van Manen had made almost exactly the same diagnosis of Galatians, in which we read of an encounter between Paul and the Jerusalem pillars, strikingly reminiscent of Marcion’s clash with the Roman Church hierarchy: it was at first a Marcionite text, later catholicized by his opponents, who then covered their tracks by accusing Marcion of abbreviating it.

The identification of Marcion as possibly the first collector is now generally considered to be dead in the water, though, ironically, for almost the opposite reason to one of Knox’s arguments. arguments. Knox felt the difference between Marcion’s text and that of the Catholic edition of Paul implied Marcion had chosen one of perhaps several editions of the corpus already available. However, Nils Dahl, John J. Clabeaux,[63] and other scholars think they have found evidence of a widespread textual tradition to which Marcion’s text appears to have belonged. In other words, now it is Marcion’s textual similarity to other texts of Paul that eliminates him as the first collector ...

The new factor is the possibility that Marcion’s collection was an edited version of a collection already arranged in the same distinctive order, one that had always been considered Marcion’s innovation: Galatians first (no surprise if Marcion himself wrote it!), then 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Romans, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Laodiceans/Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon. This order, or something like it, is attested in two other places: in the so-called Marcionite Prologues and in the Old Syriac canon, as attested in Ephraim and in a canon list from the late third century. If these instances could be shown not to derive from Marcion’s Apostolicon, we would see them instead as evidence of a more widely current edition of the corpus with this arrangement ...


The archetype debate

Having reviewed several distinct theories of how the Pauline corpus first came to be, we must now give some attention to the disputed question whether all of our texts of the Pauline epistles descend and diverge from a particular, definitive edition of the Pauline corpus. This is not to ask whether there had ever been different Pauline collections or different ancient editions. Almost everyone agrees that there would have been, but did one of these supersede all the others to form the basis of all our extant manuscripts? Or do our manuscripts still reflect (because they descend from) several, albeit quite similar, Pauline corpus editions? ..

Walter Schmithals,[70] notorious for his division of most of the Pauline epistles into hypothetical earlier fragmentary letters, adopted the older theory of Johannes Weiss that the earliest collection of Paul’s letters must have begun with 1 Corinthians, with the catholicizing gloss in 1:2 introducing the whole corpus to a wider readership ...

Schmithals feels that Colossians, Ephesians, and Philemon do not show signs of the distinctive hand of the redactor and therefore cannot have belonged to the original collection ...

Winsome Munro argued with great ingenuity and attention both to general criteria and to specific detail that all our copies of Paul’s epistles descend from a particular archetype, which she, unlike Zuntz and Schmithals, did not identify with the original collection. She demonstrated the existence of a comprehensive and systematic set of textual interpolations across the whole Pauline corpus as well as in 1 Peter, long recognized as something of a Paulinist adjunct anyway. These interpolations stand out because of their great affinity with the socio-political stance and pious quietism of the Pastorals and for their clash with the many elements of apocalyptic egalitarianism and sectarian radicalism in the other Pauline letters.

Munro reviews a raft of previous critical treatments of these jarring “subjection texts” and notes that not infrequently scholars would peg this or that individual text (e.g., Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:21-33; 1 Cor. 11:1-16; 14:34-38) as a possible interpolation. Munro draws all these suggestions together, isolates criteria for identifying what she calls a “Pastoral stratum,” and uncovers several more passages of the same type ...

... Munro felt sure, the Pastoral reviser would have been much freer to excise remaining elements of Pauline radicalism distasteful to him. “The inescapable conclusion is that the ten-letter collection was in circulation at the time of the Pastoral revision. That means it must have been taken over from an opposition group and revised in order to counteract its influence.” Dennis R. MacDonald made much the same case, though in brief outline, in The Legend and the Apostle. He too saw the hand of the Pastor in the editing of what became our textual archetype, though in my opinion MacDonald’s profile of the opponents is more convincing than Munro’s. He makes them a motley collection of Encratite Christian radicals, whereas Munro has spoken more narrowly of Jewish-Christian ascetics.

Let us remind ourselves briefly of Trobisch, whose theory certainly entails an archetype corpus, since his method depends significantly on the study of the order of the Pauline letters in extant manuscripts. He notes that various canon lists have atypical orders but that virtually no extant manuscripts do. He ascribes the order, at least of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Galatians, to Paul. Trobisch concludes that Paul himself edited this collection and provided the archetype. He leaves unanswered (even unasked) whether there were other collections made after Paul’s death by people who were ignorant of the sheaf of copies he had sent to Ephesus. If so, they must have utilized copies of the unedited versions of Paul’s letters. Then which edition would have been considered more authoritative?

If Bruce, MacDonald, Munro, Schmithals, Trobisch, and Zuntz believe a single archetype edition lies behind all extant manuscripts, their agreement is impressive but by no means unanimous. Significant voices taking the opposite view include Kurt Aland and Harry Gamble. Aland pronounces thusly on the matter:
The opinion that a uniform “ur-Corpus” of seven Pauline Epistles had been collected by the close of the first century, from which all later witnesses have descended, is nothing but a “phantasy of wishful thinking” … By about AD 90 several “Ur-Corpora” of Pauline Epistles began to be made available at various places, and these collections, of differing extent, could have included some or all of the following: 1 and 2 Corinthians, Hebrews, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians. Eventually other traditional Pauline Epistles were added to the several collections and a more or less stabilized collection finally emerged.
---------------------------------------------------

Price, Robert M. (2012) The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul. Signature Books.
.


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Jax
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Re: Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by Jax » Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:31 am

Thanks MrMacSon, an enjoyable read, what a mess.

A few things stand out for me.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:5, Paul recalls the days of long ago: “when I was with you, I told you.” What makes this any different from Luke 24:44, “These are my words which I spoke to you when I was still with you”? In each case, do we not have a writer clumsily putting his own words into the mouth of an authority of the past, having him speak as if from the Great Beyond in the present, forgetting to have him speak as from his own time? He is still with them in “story time,” though someone seems to have forgotten it. “In a word,” writes Van Manen, “the church has existed for not a few years merely. The historical background of the epistles, even of the principle epistles, is a later age ... Everything points to later days ...”

It is likely, according to Van Manen, that some very early pseudo-Pauline epistles did not survive except perhaps in the form of fragments incorporated in our own Paulines. Second Corinthians 10:9ff, with its reference to a known set of “his letters,” may refer to this earliest group of epistles, but at least it betrays the writer of 2 Corinthians as a later Paulinist referring back to the corpus as in the equally spurious 2 Peter 3:15-16. The epistles we possess have passed through the hands of Catholic redactors who attempted to domesticate and sanitize the writings for the use of the orthodox, just as Bultmann later demonstrated a subsequent Catholic padding out and bowdlerizing of an originally Gnostic Gospel of John.

The first type of collection theory to consider may be called the “Pauline Testament” approach. Here there is virtually no interval at all between the apostle and the collection of his writings; as these scholars posit it, Paul himself collected them. The earliest exponent of this theory appears to be R. L. Archer,[4] who reasoned that Paul had kept copies of his epistles and that sometime after his death the Christians who inherited them hit upon the scheme of publishing them. They derived this notion from reading Seneca, a great publisher of collected letters. While Seneca frowned upon publication of strictly personal letters, Cicero, as is well known, found value in publishing even personal correspondence. Paul’s posthumous admirers agreed with Cicero, and thus the Pauline writings, both literary epistles and personal letters, were published ...
If whoever collected and perhaps published copies of Paul’s letters agreed with Cicero over Seneca about publication of personal letters doesn’t it follow that Cicero was the model for publishing a letter collection instead of Seneca?

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Re: Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by Jax » Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:33 am

Letters older than the 1st century seem indicated here.

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Re: Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by hakeem » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:15 am

Jax wrote: A few things stand out for me.
It is likely, according to Van Manen, that some very early pseudo-Pauline epistles did not survive except perhaps in the form of fragments incorporated in our own Paulines. Second Corinthians 10:9ff, with its reference to a known set of “his letters,” may refer to this earliest group of epistles, but at least it betrays the writer of 2 Corinthians as a later Paulinist referring back to the corpus as in the equally spurious 2 Peter 3:15-16. The epistles we possess have passed through the hands of Catholic redactors who attempted to domesticate and sanitize the writings for the use of the orthodox, just as Bultmann later demonstrated a subsequent Catholic padding out and bowdlerizing of an originally Gnostic Gospel of John.

All NT writings, not only the Epistles, "we possess have passed through the hands of Catholic redactors".

After their domestication and sanitizing they still show that the so-called Epistles were unknown to the author of Acts and that the apostle called Paul did not qualify to be called an apostle and was not listed as an apostle of Jesus before or after the resurrection.

One would have expected the Catholic redactors would have made sure to install Paul as an apostle in Acts to replace Judas the betrayer instead of filling the vacancy by Matthias if Paul was really known as an apostle and wrote to Churches as an apostle.

Paul, the apostle, letter writer and evangelist of the uncircumcision appears to be a very late story that was installed by the redactors.

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Re: Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:39 pm

Jax wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:31 am
RM Price wrote:The first type of collection theory to consider may be called the “Pauline Testament” approach. Here there is virtually no interval at all between the apostle and the collection of his writings; as these scholars posit it, Paul himself collected them. The earliest exponent of this theory appears to be R. L. Archer,[4] who reasoned that Paul had kept copies of his epistles and that sometime after his death the Christians who inherited them hit upon the scheme of publishing them. They derived this notion from reading Seneca, a great publisher of collected letters. While Seneca frowned upon publication of strictly personal letters, Cicero, as is well known, found value in publishing even personal correspondence. Paul’s posthumous admirers agreed with Cicero, and thus the Pauline writings, both literary epistles and personal letters, were published ...
If whoever collected and perhaps published copies of Paul’s letters agreed with Cicero over Seneca about publication of personal letters doesn’t it follow that Cicero was the model for publishing a letter collection instead of Seneca?
I had to read what Price said there a few times. It seems Seneca was renowned for publication of collections of other's letters, Cicero also published his own.

Jörg Rüpke has said the availability of relatively new writings like those provided by Seneca, Cicero, Plutarch, Philo, Josephus, and others, of the first century created a demand for such then and into the 2nd century

.
"Seneca and Plutarch...in first-century Rome criticized a piety that was at odds with their philosophical conception of the gods [53: On their respective De superstitione and Peri deisidaimonias, see Rüpke 2016e, 45–48. On the concept, Eitrem 1955]. ...

... They were troubled by religious experiences that exceeded the bounds of social control."

Rüpke, Jörg (2018) Pantheon: a New History of Roman Religion Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition. (pp. 224, 227).

Furthermore, the roles of gods and attempts to deify people played out a few ways, eg. -

.
3. Augusti: Initiatives

New gods did not have to be imported from Egypt. It was a certain Gaius Amatius who provided the impetus for the posthumous worship of Caesar, assassinated on March 15, 44 BC, and then cremated to great tumult on the Forum. Along with some followers, Amatius had an altar erected on the site of the funeral pyre. This Amatius was no blank page. He had earlier appeared on the scene claiming to be the grandson of the popular military commander and multiple consul Gaius Marius ... he amassed many followers in his guise as a relative of Caesar, who had a fair share of trouble ridding himself of the fellow.

Cicero himself used the name Marius when speaking of him. In this role, he swore revenge against Caesar’s assassins, but was himself removed from the scene by Marcus Antonius before the altar could come into use. The people, having occupied the Forum after Amatius’s murder, accordingly demanded that the altar be dedicated and the first sacrifices made to Caesar. There was evidently a widespread desire to worship Caesar as a god, but such a step nevertheless involved a risk. A rival entering the contest for power, and summoning Caesar to his side as a god, was still quite inconvenient for Caesar’s successors. The tradition tells us that the murder of Amatius had to be backed up with character assassination.

A good thirty years before, events had taken an opposite course. The nephew of Gaius Marius, who, as Marcus Marius (Gratidianus), had twice been city praetor, had been revered in his lifetime by Roman citizens with offerings of candles and incense. Sulla in response had him seized by Catiline (Lucius Sergius Catilina). His legs were broken, his eyes put out, his tongue and arms severed, and then, still alive, he was cut limb from limb.

More than a century later, the whole grisly business was described by Seneca, with abhorrence, in his essay On Anger. Here again, the possibility of the involvement of a god in the everyday activities of Roman citizens constituted a risk that was punished after a change of regime. Such a thing could happen in the wink of an eye. Plautus in his comedy Asinaria has his characters argue about which traditional god’s name they should use to address their benefactor. They are in agreement that offerings before a statue and an altar will constitute him a god, and so spare him the risk of being killed.

Religious communication with a new addressee was thus easy to set in train. All it took was a few conventional signs or activities, either alone or in combination, to make it recognizable as such. Whether it would be judged appropriate by those attending or observing was far less simple to foresee. For the initiative did not have to lie with social or political elites. Quite the contrary: such initiatives could, as we have seen, alter existing power structures in various respects. The involvement of living or recently deceased individuals (in possession of relatives) as new addressees in religious communication was to that extent no less charged a project than the introduction of established deities who perhaps belonged to some enemy group or to another ethnic group. It is just such turns of events that feature in the texts that serve us as “sources”: not only in terms of their outcomes, the establishment of a new cult site, for example, but also as processes. Themes such as “ruler worship” or “imperial cult” are of less concern to us than the means by which new addressees become protagonists in religious communication.

Rüpke, Jörg. Pantheon (pp. 272-274)

What was history and what was infused with myth or even fiction was and still is sometimes hard to discern: even Josephus is not the reliable historian he is mostly made out to be (eg. he was often doing exegesis and using scripture to shape his writings).

Rüpke says texts such as Epistle to Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas became popular in such circumstances.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:41 pm

Jax wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:33 am
Letters older than the 1st century seem indicated here.
Perhaps; or perhaps Price is referring to 2nd-century writings referring or trying to refer to 1st century events.

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Re: Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by hakeem » Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:18 pm

Jax wrote:
If whoever collected and perhaps published copies of Paul’s letters agreed with Cicero over Seneca about publication of personal letters doesn’t it follow that Cicero was the model for publishing a letter collection instead of Seneca?
Most of the so-called Pauline Epistles to Churches are not really personal letters. They are addressed to the Churches and supposed to be publicly read to the congregants . The supposed personal letters to Timothy and Titus are regarded as forgeries.

What is most bizarre is who would forge a letter to Timothy asking him to deliver Paul's cloak and books to Paul himself when Paul would have known he did not write to Timothy and never made such a request?

2 Timothy 4:13
The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments

If 2nd Timothy was a forgery then the Christian forgers were complete idiots.

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Re: Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by hakeem » Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:09 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
What was history and what was infused with myth or even fiction was and still is sometimes hard to discern: even Josephus is not the reliable historian he is mostly made out to be (eg. he was often doing exegesis and using scripture to shape his writings).
In my opinion Josephus cannot be regarded as unreliable unless the events which he reported during his lifetime are not corroborated or are usually contradicted by other writers who wrote about events of that time. Most writers of antiquity who wrote about events in the time of Josephus appear to generally agree with his accounts.

Very few writers of antiquity would agree on everything which happened in the past unless they all used the very same source to assemble the past.
MrMacSon wrote:Rüpke says texts such as Epistle to Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas became popular in such circumstances.
Which Christian writers of antiquity made references to the "popular" writings of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas? Ignatius, Clement, Papias, Aristides, Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Municius Felix, Theophilus of Antioch, Athenagoras, Tatian?

Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles mention a character called Barnabas but completely forgot to mention that he wrote anything to anyone anywhere.

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Re: Who wrote the Pauline Letters? Who was Paul?

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:26 pm

to hakeem,
Which Christian writers of antiquity made references to the "popular" writings of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas? Ignatius, Clement, Papias, Aristides, Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Municius Felix, Theophilus of Antioch, Athenagoras, Tatian?
Clement of Alexandria 182-202 provided quotes, probably from memory & slightly paraphased) in Stromata book 2:
Ch. 7: the Apostle Barnabas says, "From the portion I have received I have done my diligence to send by little and little to you; that along with your faith you may also have perfect knowledge.
Compared with:
Epistle of Barnabas:
1:5 Considering also this, that if I take care to
communicate to you a part of that which I have
received
, it shall turn to my reward to have assisted
such spirits as ye are, I gave diligence to write unto
you in few words, in order that together with your
faith, ye might have your knowledge perfect also
.

And
Ch. 7:
Barnabas the apostle having said, "Woe to those who are wise in their own conceits, clever in their own eyes," added, "Let us become spiritual, a perfect temple to God; let us, as far as in us lies, practise the fear of God, and strive to keep His commands, that we may rejoice in His judgments."
Compared with:
Epistle of Barnabas:
4:11 Let us be spiritual: let us be a perfect temple
unto God. So far as in you lieth, let us practise the
fear of God, and strive to keep his commandments, that
we may be glad in his ordinances.

And
Ch. 11: Barnabas says mystically, "May God who rules the universe vouchsafe also to you wisdom, and understanding, and science, and knowledge of His statutes, and patience. Be therefore God-taught, seeking what the Lord seeks from you, that He may find you in the day of judgment lying in wait for these things."
Compared with:
Epistle of Barnabas:
21:5-6 and may God, who ruleth the whole world, give
you wisdom, understanding, science, knowledge of his
ordinances, and patience.
And be ye taught of God, inquiring what the
Lord seeketh of you, and so work that ye may be found
saved in the day of judgment

And
Ch. 10: the apostolic Barnabas ..., who speaks in these words: "Before we believed in God, the dwelling-place of our heart was unstable, truly a temple built with hands.
Compared with:
Epistle of Barnabas:
16:7 Before that we believed in God the habitation of
our heart was corrupt and feeble, as being of a truth
a temple built by hands.


Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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