Post by Andrew M Post by Dr. WTF Post by solar penguin Post by Stephen Wilson Post by TB
Happy Saints Peter and Paul Day on June 29.
Was it? I tend not to pay much attention to the saints days as allocated by
the church. Actually, I pay no attention to them at all. I had more
important things to do yesterday than acknowledge the existence of a couple
of guys deemed important by the church, who probably did none of the things
attributed to them in real life...
To be fair, Saint Paul probably did really write most of those
epistles. After all, someone must've done it and there are no
Actually Biblical scholars have determined that less then half of the
Paul's writings were written by him. It is suspected that the rest
were group efforts but his name was used as the author.
So someone did do it, but preferred to use Paul as their pseudonym.
Actually Biblical scholarship has retreated from this position in
recent years. It's really only the pastoral epistles that are widely
held to be non-Pauline. Ephesians is still in the "questionable"
category, but the language is Pauline so many scholars now regard it as
a 'round-robin' letter that was copied to a number of churches.
Hebrews, which was titled as a letter of Paul in early bibles, makes no
intrinsic claim to Pauline authorship and has not been held to be
Pauline for about 1000 years.
Your point, though, is insubstantial. Paul did write to a lot of
churches - that's not the main point. He was held to be an authority by
those churches - that's why the letters were preserved. That's the main
Yep. That's a pretty fair summary. Personally, I take the view that
the core of Ephesians is a "pious fraud", compiled by an honest
follower of Paul who was familiar with authentic Pauline teaching and
style, and who introduced nothing new except by mistake.
IMO, the "pastoral epistles" go beyond "pious fraud" to impious fraud:
they were written by a partisan of one school of thought in order to
defeat the opposing school of thought by fraudulently claiming
apostolic authority. (This is not to say that bits of them, such as
the salutations, weren't copied from authentic writings, now lost, in
order to make the lie more plausible.)
All the Pauline epistles are fascinating documents, whoever wrote
them. Problems only arise when people treat them as divine truth.
τὸν οἰόμενον νόον ἔχειν ὁ νουθετέων ματαιοπονεῖ.