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Title: New%20Testament%20Letters

New Testament Letters
Greco-Roman Background
  • Typical Greco-Roman Letter
  • Address
  • Greeting
  • Body
  • Conclusion

Greco-Roman Background
  • Typical Greco-Roman Letter
  • Not all NT letters have addressees and greetings
  • NT letters typically also include a doxology or
  • NT letters resemble their Greco-Roman counter
    parts only in a general manner

The Use of Amanuenses
  • Amanuenses were trained scribes that help dictate
    ancient letters
  • Rom 1622 specifically states that Paul used an
  • The final greetings in 2 Thessalonians and
    Galatians indicates amanuenses for these letters
    as well
  • Amanuenses would have been given a certain amount
    of freedom in writing based on their skill and
    relationship to the stated author

Collection of Pauls Letters
  • Sudden collection
  • Perhaps Marcion was the first to collect Pauls
  • Collected near the end of the first century after
    the publication of Acts (Goodspeed)
  • Evidence suggests this is not the casesee Col
    416 and 2 Peter 316

Collection of Pauls Letters
  • Gradual growth
  • Collection completed by the end of the first
    century (Zahn)
  • Assumes a simple process of collecting and
  • Leaves little room for extensive rearrangement of
    Pauline material

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • Definitions
  • Pseudonymity author is falsely named
  • Pseudepigraphy work is falsely ascribed to a
    particular author
  • Neither of these are anything like the anonymity
    we find with the Gospels

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • NT Letters charged with being pseudonymous
  • Ephesians
  • Pastoral Epistles
  • Colossians
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • 12 Peter

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • All literary forgeries are pseudonymous, but not
    all pseudepigrapha are literary forgeries
  • Some works simply come to be attributed to
    certain authors without their knowledge or
    consent (e.g. Pelagius commentaries that were
    attributed to Jerome)

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • The motives of Pseudepigraphers
  • A desire to get published and widely read
  • Genre incentive students taught to compose
    speeches based on models left by ancient orators
  • Ascribing to a philosophical-religious-mythical
    figure (like an Oracle)

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • Jewish examples of pseudepigraphy
  • Psalms of Solomon, 1 Enoch, 2 Enoch, 3 Enoch, 4
    Ezra, Treatise of Shem, Apocalypse of Zephaniah,
    Apocalypse of Abraham, Apocalypse of Adam, etc.
  • Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Testament of
    Job, Testament of Moses, etc.
  • Wisdom of Solomon, Sibylline Oracles, Prayer of
    Manasseh, Odes of Solomon, Letter of Aristeas,
    Epistle of Jeremy
  • Very rare for letters to be pseudepigraphical

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • Christian examples of pseudepigraphy
  • Apocalypse of Peter, Apocalypse of Paul, Gospel
    of Peter, Gospel of Paul, etc.
  • Letters 3 Corinthians, Epistles to the
    Alexandrians, Epistle to the Laodiceans,
    correspondence between Paul and Seneca

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • Stance of the Church Fathers on Pseudepigraphy
  • There are few examples in which a document was
    known to be pseudepigrapha and was still accepted
    as religiously or philosophically binding
    (possibly 2 Peter, Pastorals)
  • Tertullian tells of an Asian elder that was
    deposed from ministry after admitting to writing
    the Acts of Paul, even though it was out of
    great love for Paul and largely orthodox

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • Evidence internal to the New Testament
  • There are no indications that the NT church
    accepted pseudepigraphical works as authoritative
  • Most of the internal evidence marshaled for
    pseudepigraphy can be used to argue against it
  • E.g. hapax legemena in Ephesians several
    examples, but no more than in other Pauline books
    (said once)

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • Evidence internal to the New Testament
  • 2 Thessalonians 212, 317 indicate that there
    was already an awareness of the threat of
  • It is clear that Paul and perhaps others used
  • Early Christians did not seem to have a great
    urge to attach apostolic names to highly valued

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • Contemporary Theories
  • Unambiguously forgeries some argue this for 2
  • If the Ephesians is pseudepigraphic, then
    references to Pauls ministry, chains, references
    to his friends, and exhortations to pray for him
    and to put off falsehood would make the letter
    morally reprehensible

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • Contemporary Theories
  • Holy Spirit inspired it, so what does it matter?
  • Something happened like the posthumous
    publication and editing of a work by another
  • School theory the apostle had a group of
    followers that felt free to write in the apostles

Pseudonymity and Pseudepigraphy
  • All theories that assert pseudepigraphy without
    any notion of deception fail due to the attitude
    of the early church and the internal evidence of
    the letters. The letters are either authentic or
    morally reprehensible deceptions.
  • except 2 Peter, Jude, and especially the
    Pastorals, which reflect a 2nd century attitude
  • A problem with this type of thinking is that it
    doesnt consider the early churchs doubts.

Paul Apostle and Theologian
Pauls Background
  • Born in Tarsus of Cilicia
  • Tarsus is a major city in Cilicia
  • Cilicia is in the extreme southeast of Asia Minor
  • Roman citizen by birth
  • A tent maker by trade

Pauls Background
  • Brought up in this city
  • Paul likely spent a great deal of his childhood
    in Jerusalem
  • Paul and his family were likely linguistically
    and culturally Jewish and Palestinian
  • One should not make too strong a distinction
    between Jewish and Hellenistic when trying to
    understand Paul

Pauls Background
  • Thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors
  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee
  • Received rabbinical training under Gamaliel I
  • Persecuted the early Christian movement out of
    his zeal for the Law

Pauls Background
  • As I came near Damascus
  • Encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus was
    no mere psychological experience
  • There was no hint up to this point that Paul was
    at all dissatisfied with Judaism
  • It is appropriate to call this experience Pauls

Pauls Missionary Career
  • The Problem of Sources
  • Differences between letters of Paul and Acts
  • The apostolic council
  • The number of visits to Jerusalem
  • There is, by and large, a great deal of
    correspondence between Acts and the Pauline

Pauls Missionary Career
  • Outline conversion to First Missionary Journey
  • First visited Jerusalem three years after
    conversion (Gal 118) to get acquainted with
  • Visited again after fourteen years to set before
    the Jerusalem apostles the gospel he was
    preaching to the Gentiles (Gal 21)
  • Probably refers to Acts 112730
  • Three years and fourteen years both likely refer
    to time since his conversion

Pauls Missionary Career
  • Outline conversion to First Missionary Journey
  • After his conversion, Paul retreated into Arabia
  • Refers to the kingdom of the Nabataeans, not the
    Arabian Peninsula
  • Not simply a retreat, but likely engaged in
    active ministry during this time

Pauls Missionary Career
  • Outline conversion to First Missionary Journey
  • Spent 15 days getting to know Peter and other
  • Had to leave Jerusalem because Hellenistic Jews
    sought to kill him
  • Fled to Tarsus
  • Was invited to leave Tarsus and join the work at
    Antioch by Barnabas

Pauls Missionary Career
  • Outline First Missionary Journey to Pauls death
  • We are mostly dependent on Acts for this
    information, but chronology is ambiguous
  • With Barnabas, Paul travelled to Cyprus, Pisidian
    Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe
  • Took between 1 and 5 years

Pauls Missionary Career
  • Outline First Missionary Journey to Pauls death
  • Spent a long time in Antioch before travelling to
    Jerusalem for the apostolic council
  • With Barnabas, Paul travelled through southern
    Galatia, Asia Minor, Philippi, Thessalonica,
    Berea, Acaia (including Athens and Corinth)
  • Spent eighteen months in Corinth, so total time
    on journey was likely 2 years

Pauls Missionary Career
  • Outline First Missionary Journey to Pauls death
  • Returned to Jerusalem again, and then went back
    to Antioch
  • Travelled from place to place throughout Galatia
    and Phrygia, then went to Ephesus (3 years),
    Macedonia, then back through Caesarea to
  • Probably took 4 to 5 years

Pauls Missionary Career
  • Outline First Missionary Journey to Pauls death
  • Arrested in Jerusalem, sent to Caesarea, and
    eventually to Rome
  • There are good reasons to think he did not die
    during the two years in Rome
  • Church tradition has him dying during Neros
    persecution several years later
  • Pastoral epistles (?) indicate further ministry

Pauls Authority
  • Outline First Missionary Journey to Pauls death
  • Authority as an apostle comes directly from
    Jesus post-resurrection appearance on the
    Damascus road
  • Equal in authority to Peter, James, and John

Sources of Pauls Teaching
  • Revelation vs. Tradition
  • Makes clear in Galatians that his gospel came
    directly from the Lord
  • Makes clear in 1 Corinthians 15 that the elements
    of Jesus life, death, and burial were handed
    down to him from other apostles
  • The essence of gospel was revealed on the
    Damascus road
  • The specifics of the gospel (historical details)
    were handed on to him by others

Sources of Pauls Teaching
  • Early Christian Traditions
  • Paul makes use of creedal formulations, hymns,
    and traditional catechetical material
  • Phil 2611
  • One must be careful not to overemphasize our
    ability to identify such formulations, and we
    should be wary of using speculative data as to
    the origin of such formulations to draw
    exegetical and theological conclusions

Sources of Pauls Teaching
  • Earthly Jesus
  • Paul likely made use of Jesus teaching
  • 1 Thess 45
  • 2 Thess 2
  • Romans 12

Sources of Pauls Teaching
  • The Old Testament
  • Paul used many quotations and allusions to the OT
    throughout his letters
  • Reads the OT through the lens of Jesus
    fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets

Sources of Pauls Teaching
  • The Greek World
  • References Greek philosophy and religion
  • The Greek world sometimes acts as the clothing,
    but rarely the substance of Pauls teaching

Sources of Pauls Teaching
  • Judaism
  • Pauls thought world was decisively formed by his
    Jewish upbringing
  • Paul claims that he was Hebrew of the Hebrews
  • Use of OT
  • Much of his teaching is in direct conversation
    with his Jewish upbringing

Paul and Judaism
  • The New Perspective
  • Protestants have often emphasized the legalism of
    Judaism, by which one received salvation by their
    own meritorious obedience to the Law
  • Against this, Paul proclaimed that justification
    could only be attained by grace through faith
  • This (over-simplified) view became embedded in
    nearly all NT scholarship

Paul and Judaism
  • The New Perspective
  • In 1977 E. P. Sanders published Paul and
    Palestinian Judaism
  • Argued that the understanding of Judaism as a
    legalistic religion is wrong
  • Argues that Jewish sources nearly unanimously
    portray a view he called covenantal nomism

Paul and Judaism
  • The New Perspective
  • Covenantal Nomism
  • Gods gracious election of Israel placed them in
    a saving relationship their obedience to the
    Torah was a way of maintaining the relationship
  • Obedience is not a way of getting in, but a way
    of staying in.

Paul and Judaism
  • The New Perspective
  • E. P. Sanders on Paul
  • Paul objected to Judaisms exclusivist
  • Paul had no problem with the Law per se it just
    wasnt Christ

Paul and Judaism
  • New Perspective adherents that disagree with
    Sanders treatment of Paul
  • J. D. G. Dunn
  • Paul was not converted to Christianity, but
    remained a Jew
  • Pauls problem was the ethnic exclusivism by
    which Jews used the Law to keep Gentiles out
  • Works of Law is not the same thing as works
    in general

Paul and Judaism
  • Tendencies of the New Perspective
  • Pauls theology is read against the background of
    the story of salvation history
  • Reformation contrast between faith and works is
  • Pauls teaching on justification is shifted from
    a vertical focus to a horizontal one

Paul and Judaism
  • Response to the New Perspective
  • The claim that covenantal nomism was the only
    soteriological paradigm is false
  • Sanders ignored apocalyptic literature
  • Sanders bypasses legalistic texts by reference to
    the larger structure of covenantal nomism or
    simply referring to their homiletical nature.

Paul and Judaism
  • Response to the New Perspective
  • Inadequately takes the NT into account as first
    century witnesses to Jewish thought
  • First century Judaism placed great emphasis on
    obedience to the Law, and thus was likely to
    produce some adherents that saw their obedience
    as meritorious

Paul and Judaism
  • Response to the New Perspective
  • The notion of who was in the covenant was hotly
    debated in the first century amongst Jews
  • First century Judaism was synergistic
  • The quality of ones obedience separated Jew from
    Jew on the day of judgment
  • Participation in the covenant community was very
    much a matter of personal decision

Paul and Judaism
  • Faith vs. works of Law
  • Dunn has not sufficiently demonstrated that Paul
    means works of Law every time he speaks of
  • It is better to understand works of Law (used 8
    times in Paul) as a subset of his use of works

Paul and Judaism
  • Justification
  • NP understanding is well-taken, but does not take
    sufficient account of Pauls move to universalize
    the human condition
  • Paul certainly speaks of humans standing before
    God in general
  • Paul places Jews and Gentiles on the outside
    looking in when it comes to salvation

  • The gospel as the righteousness of God by faith
  • The gospel as the power of God for salvation
  • The gospel and Israel (911136)
  • The gospel and the transformation of life

  • The author was Paul
  • Paul probably used Tertius as an amanuensis

Provenance and Date
  • Probably near the end of his third missionary
  • Corinth is the most likely place
  • Probably written around A.D. 57

  • to all in Rome who are loved by God and called
    to be saints
  • Jews had, by this time, returned to Rome after
    Claudius expulsion of the Jews in A.D. 49
  • Paul greets fellow Jews, addresses himself to a
    Jew in chapter 2, discusses the Mosaic Law and
    the relation of believers to Abraham

  • to all in Rome who are loved by God and called
    to be saints
  • The church was likely predominantly Gentile
  • Paul includes Gentiles in his address, directly
    addresses Gentiles in 1113, and especially
    exhorts Gentiles to accept one another (157)

Nature and Genre
  • A letter and more
  • Seems to be intended to reach a wide audience
  • Contains elements of
  • Tractate letters
  • Diatribe
  • Epideictic, ambassadorial, or protreptic letter
  • Memorandum

  • Paul does not specify his reason for writing, but
    it seems to include
  • Gaining support for his upcoming missionary
    journey to Spain
  • To set forth his mature views on Jews, Gentiles,
    the law, and circumcision
  • To write a letter that embodies what he wants to
    say when he reaches Jerusalem
  • To address known divisions in the church in Rome

Theme and Contribution
  • Certain scholars have questioned the centrality
    of the doctrine of justification for Paul in
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • E. P. Sanders

Theme and Contribution
  • Many other proposals have been offered as to
    Romans main theme
  • The role of Israel in salvation history
  • God
  • Hope
  • Salvation
  • Many others

Theme and Contribution
  • There is likely that Romans does not have a
    single theme, but Pauls emphasis on the gospel
    throughout the letter is a good starting point.
  • Prominent in the introduction and conclusion,
    where one would expect to encounter an
    overarching topic
  • Provides a summary of the gospel in a
    tractate-like form

Theme and Contribution
  • Romans seems less tied to specific first-century
    circumstances than other letters, but there are
    still important elements of the background worth
  • The nature of the continuity between the old and
    new covenants and the people of the old and new

1 and 2 Corinthians
  • Paul is identified as the author of both letters
    and few question this identification
  • Some question whether or not parts of 2
    Corinthians are authenticparticularly 2 Cor

  • Corinth
  • Old city well-known for sexual promiscuity
  • Destroyed by Romans in 146 B.C.
  • Rebuilt by Julius Caesar in 29 B.C.
  • Major trade center, Roman capital of Achaia, very

  • Paul and Corinth
  • Paul first visited during his second missionary
  • Paul left a well-established church in the Spring
    of A.D. 51
  • He wrote 1 Corinthians during his stay in Ephesus
    between A.D. 52 and 55

  • Paul and Corinth
  • Apollos and Peter ministered in Corinth after
    Paul left
  • Corinthians began forming factions
  • The church became marred by factions, lawsuits,
    immorality, abuses at the Lords table, eating
    food sacrificed to idols, an aberrant view of
    resurrection, and an infatuation with spectacular
    charismatic gifts

  • Paul and Corinth
  • Paul wrote to Corinth
  • Corinthians A the previous letter we do not
    have a copy of this letter
  • Corinthians B 1 Corinthians
  • Corinthians C lost written out of great
    distress and anguish of heart
  • Corinthians D 2 Corinthians

Social Setting
  • Corinth
  • Substantially Gentile
  • Primarily a Roman city
  • Second Sophistic movement
  • Roman Patronage system
  • Great admiration for gifted rhetoricians

Social Setting
  • Corinth
  • Spiritually immature believers in the Corinthian
  • Factionalism and immature expectations are
    addressed in both letters
  • The Corinthians held an over-realized eschatology
    that gave them an over-confidence in the
    blessings they already enjoy as believers

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 1013
  • Strong shift in tone from positive to negative
    between 19 and 1013
  • Could this be the severe and painful letter?
  • This section is easier to account for if it was
    written before Titus brought a good report to
  • Certain arguments from 19 seem to presuppose
    comments in 1013

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 1013
  • However
  • No Greek manuscript would suggest that these two
    sections were ever separate
  • Pauls comment the regions beyond you (1016)
    makes sense if Paul is in Macedonia
  • There is no demand for an offender to be punished

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 1013
  • However
  • Chapters 1013 promise an immediate visit, while
    the painful letter was sent instead of a visit
  • 1218 assumes that Titus had paid at least one
    previous visit to Corinth to assist in the
    collection for the Jerusalem church

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 1013
  • The entire book was written at one time
  • Coheres well with the textual evidence
  • Perhaps Paul had a bad nights sleep between
    writing the two sections
  • The difference in tone between the two sections
    is exaggerated

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 1013
  • However
  • The differences in tone are severe enough that
    some account must be given
  • The psychological explanation (Paul was given to
    fits of rage) is inadequate

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 1013
  • Chapters 1013 were written sometime after 19
  • Paul immediately wrote 19 after hearing from
    Titus, but then received a second report shortly
    thereafter that was less than pleasingat which
    time he wrote a fifth letter
  • Has the advantage of explaining the profound
    difference between the two

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 1013
  • However
  • Presupposes that the conclusion to the original
    letter was cut out and lost

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 1013
  • The two sections do correspond to two different
    reports that Paul received in close connection,
    but before completing the first section, Paul
    received the bad report

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 214714
  • Pauls digression causes some to think that this
    is a later insertion
  • Paul is given to digression in his letters

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 61471
  • Passage constitutes a self-contained unit
  • Contains 6 hapax legomena
  • body and spirit in 71 is said to be un-Pauline
  • Interrupts the flow between 613 and 72
  • Betrays an un-Paulined exclusivism
  • Apocalyptic dualism

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians 61471
  • It is not uncommon for Paul to use hapax legomena
    is sudden outbursts
  • The section has parallels in Romans, 1
    Corinthians, and Galatians
  • body and spirit is simply a reference to the
    whole person
  • 72 sounds like a resumption rather than
    continuation of the argument of 613

Integrity of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • Other proposed interpolations (which are not very
  • 2 Corinthians 89
  • 1 Corinthians 1433b35

Character of Pauls Opponents
  • Pitfalls
  • One should be careful not to assume that the
    situation of 2 Cor 1013, where the church
    appears to be taken over by leaders from the
    outside, is true in 1 Corinthians
  • No evidence of Judaizers in Corinth
  • No evidence that Gnosticism was the dominant

Character of Pauls Opponents
  • Pauls opponents
  • They are divided against one another and against
  • They are convinced that they are spiritual (in
    status) they treat baptism and the Lords supper
    as somewhat magical rites they are arrogant
    they do not deny the resurrection of Jesus, but
    believe that they themselves have already been
    raised they have an over-realized eschatology

Character of Pauls Opponents
  • Pauls opponents
  • By the time 2 Corinthians was completed, the
    church was invaded by outsidersHellenistic Jews
    who were concerned with power and prestige

  • 1 Corinthians
  • Around A.D. 55
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Within about a year of 1 Corinthians

Contribution of 1 and 2 Corinthians
  • Absolute necessity of the bodily resurrection of
  • Illuminates Paul as a man, pastor, and Christian
  • Addresses any notion of integrating generally
    orthodox confession with pagan values of
  • Contributes to the doctrine of the church

  • Paul is identified as the author
  • One of the undisputed letters of Paul

  • South Galatian theory
  • We only have information of people and places
    Paul visited in the south, but none in the north
  • the region of Phrygia and Galatia (Acts 166)
    is best understood as a single territory
  • Paul normally uses Roman imperial names for

  • South Galatian theory
  • Galatians was the only word available that
    embraced all of the cities of the first
    missionary journey
  • The Galatians contributed to his collection for
    the believers in Jerusalem
  • The Northern part of the territory was not opened
    up for commerce like the southern part

  • South Galatian theory
  • It could be less likely that Pauls opponents
    would have made the difficult journey to the
    northern part of the region
  • Gal 414 may be an allusion to Acts 1412
  • The great lines of communication ran through the
    southern cities
  • Barnabas is mentioned three times in the letter,
    but he only travelled with Paul to the southern

  • North Galatian theory
  • Galatia typically referred to the region
    occupied by Gauls in the north
  • Luke referred to places according to their
    geographical locations (Acts 166)
  • It would have been offensive for Phrygians to be
    called Galatians (this is doubtful)
  • It is unlikely that Paul would have referred to
    the Lycaonians or Pisidians as foolish Galatians

  • North Galatian theory
  • The fickle and superstitious character of the
    Galatians is more fitting the Gallic peoples of
    the North (doubtful)
  • The region of Phrygia and Galatia refers to two
    distinct regions in Acts 166
  • Paul does not refer to Galatia when he speaks of
    going to Syria and Cilicia in Gal 121
  • No hint of opposition in the southern cities

  • Conclusion
  • It is impossible to know for certain, but the
    south Galatian theory is more substantial that
    the north

  • Significant factors in favor of early date
  • Paul recounts his visits to Jerusalem in Acts
    926 and 112830
  • Does not mention the decree of the apostolic
  • Peters withdrawal from table fellowship is more
    likely to have happened before the council

  • Significant factors in favor of later date
  • The north Galatian theory demands it
  • Style and thoughts show affinity with 1 and 2
    Corinthians and Romans
  • Galatians 2 could refer to the apostolic council
    of Acts 15
  • The most likely visits to Galatia are recounted
    in Acts 166 and 1823

  • Significant factors in favor of later date
  • Galatians fits the sequence between 2 Corinthians
    and Romans

  • Conclusion
  • It seems best to hold that Pauls two visits to
    Jerusalem are those of Acts 9 and 11
  • Thus, the letter was written slightly before the
    apostolic council, probably in A.D. 48

  • Opponents
  • The Jews did not teach that Christians had to
    embrace the Torahonly Jewish-Christians did
  • Undermined Pauls authority in comparison to
    other apostles
  • Insisted upon circumcision
  • They were persuading Christians to submit to the
    Torah instead of enjoying freedom in Christ

  • Opponents
  • Paul speaks against libertinism
  • Some regard this as a sign of a second group of
  • It is better to see this as a perversion of
    Pauls teaching Paul is pre-emptively arguing
    against a misunderstanding of his gospel

  • Opponents
  • Appeared to have criticized Paul for teaching
    circumcision when it suited him
  • The teaching of the opponents seriously
    compromised the gospel

Galatians in Recent Study
  • New Perspective
  • The Jews never thought of keeping the Law to gain
  • This does not take into account the Jewish
    teaching about rewards of righteousness and the
    seriousness of sin

Galatians in Recent Study
  • New Perspective
  • Paul was not concerned with justification per se,
    but with Christology Jews never expected the Law
    to save themthe problem was that they rejected
  • This corrective cannot overlook that
    justification by faith in Christ is by nature
    opposed to any justification by works

Galatians in Recent Study
  • New Perspective
  • Sanders argues that Paul works from solution to
    plight starts with Christ and then works
    backward to his view of sin
  • Thielman argues against this that Paul begins in
    Romans and Galatians with the plight and works
    toward the solution in Christ

Contribution of Galatians
  • Makes clear that the cross is the only way to
  • Paul emphasizes Christian freedom, the heritage
    of everyone that is in Christ

  • Pauline authorship
  • Letter claims to be authored by Paul in its
    opening and the body of the letter
  • Letter was in wide circulation early and its
    authenticity never in doubt
  • Many Pauline features
  • Similarities with Colossians suggest it was
    written by the same author

  • Pauline authorship
  • Paul is not mentioned in Revelation, which was
    addressed in part to Ephesus. There does not
    seem to be much of a reason why an author would
    use Pauls name pseudonymously if writing to
  • Themes in Ephesians have closest parallels in the
    undisputed Pauline letters

  • Pauline authorship
  • The letter fits the context of Paul being in
    prison it shows development from earlier
    letters, which would have been natural as he
    approached the end of his life

  • Against Pauline authorship
  • Theological features such as the cosmic function
    of the church and realized eschatology seem to be
  • There is no reason to suggest these developments
    could not have occurred in the mind of Paul
    himself realized eschatology is overstated by

  • Against Pauline authorship
  • Paul uses the term ekklesia in reference only to
    individual congregations while Ephesians speaks
    of a universal church
  • This makes sense if the letter was intended to be
    more widely circulated

  • Against Pauline authorship
  • No emphasis on parousia
  • This assumes a strange view of 114 430 56
  • Portrayal of Paul as commissioned to bring about
    unity between Jew and Gentile, though he was the
    apostle to the Gentiles
  • Paul is concerned about this in most of his
    letters (Romans, Galatians, etc.)

  • Against Pauline authorship
  • Ephesians contains language not found elsewhere
    in Pauls writings
  • Use of hapax legomena (words used only once) is
    actually at a lower rate than 2 Cor. or Phil.
  • Writing style is more pleonastic (repeating)
  • This is present, but highly exaggerated it is
    not present to the degree some suppose, and Paul
    uses this type of language elsewhere

  • Against Pauline authorship
  • Seems to be an example of early Catholic
  • There are no distinct indications that the
    apostles are off the scene

  • Against Pauline authorship
  • Colossians
  • Some assert the same writer could not have
    produced both due to their similarities
  • Some doubt Ephesians because it is too different
    from Colossians

  • Probably same as Colossians
  • Likely from Rome, but there are other

  • Likely in the early 60s
  • Speaks of Paul in prison, probably toward the end
    of his life
  • If Paul isnt the author, then it could be as
    late as the early 90s

  • To the Ephesians
  • in Ephesus is absent from 11 in some of the
    best manuscripts
  • Marcion thought it was the letter to the
  • Basil said that the letter circulated in his day
    to the saints who are faithful

  • To the Ephesians
  • Could have originally been meant to be a circular
  • Perhaps the best form of this theory holds that
    Paul sent the letter with Tychichus when he sent
    Colossians and the letter was copied and
    circulated from Ephesus with a blank instead of
    the name of the recipients, but was always
    associated with Ephesus

  • To the Ephesians
  • We do not know for certain to whom the letter was
    originally addressed, but most evidence points us
    to the church at Ephesus (though it was probably
    meant as a circular letter)

  • Paul seems to address
  • Tension between Jew and Gentile Christians
  • Instruction of Gentile converts in the new faith
  • Unity and a distinctively Christian ethic
  • Reconciliation in Christ

Contribution of Ephesians
  • Stress on Christs saving work
  • The importance of the Christians growth in
    knowledge of God and the gospel
  • Emphasis on being rooted and established in
  • Ecclesiology
  • Living in conformity with the salvation that God
    has given believers
  • The supreme place of God, who brings salvation to
    undeserving sinners

  • Pauline authorship
  • Undisputed letter of Paul

  • Phil 2511The Christ-hymn
  • Some of the vocabulary is unusual for Paul, and
    it has a rhythm different than other Pauline
  • Written by Paul or Pauline usage of a
    pre-existing hymn?

  • Phil 2511Pre-existing hymn
  • Language and rhythm is more fitting to Hebrew or
    Aramaic poetry
  • Refers to Christ as servant whereas elsewhere
    Paul doesnt reference Isaiahs servant songs

  • Phil 2511Paul wrote it
  • No reason Paul could not have written it
    previously and inserted it here
  • The phrase death on a cross (v.8) is very
  • Paul frequently interrupts his flow of thought in
    other letters

  • Phil 2511
  • Traditionally used as a solemn doctrinal
    pronouncement and as the basis for kenotic
    theories of the incarnation
  • Whether Paul originally wrote it or not makes
    little difference the fact that Paul uses it
    here suggests his intention to have it
    interpreted in the context of the letter itself

  • Rome
  • Mentions the Praetorium (113) and those who
    belong to Caesars household (422)
  • Paul was in a position to organize his co-workers
    when he was in Rome
  • Paul appears to be in a location where there is a
    well-established church
  • Marcionite prologue suggests a Roman provenance.
  • Paul is faced with death or release

  • Ephesus
  • Rome is nearly 1200 miles from Philippi the
    number of trips back and forth from Paul to the
    Philippians suggests he was closer
  • Paul says he intended to go to Philippi upon
    release, but this would mean a change of mind
    about going to Spain
  • Could be Caesarea, but this is not much closer
    than Rome

  • If written from Rome
  • Around 6162
  • If written in Ephesus
  • Mid- to late-50s
  • If written in Caesarea
  • 5960

  • Paul appears to have written for the following
  • To address the illness of Epaphroditus
  • To inform the church of Pauls situation
  • To thank the Philippians for their gift
  • To commend Timothy to prepare the way for Timothy
    to visit

  • Pastoral concerns
  • Church has faced challenges from outsiders
  • The church needed exhortation to unity
  • To exhort reconciliation between Euodia and
  • Warn against false teachers
  • Exhort to wholehearted service

Adoption into the Canon
  • Philippians is cited by
  • 1 Clement
  • Ignatius
  • Polycarp
  • Marcionite canon

Unity of the Letter
  • Suggestions of dis-unity in the letter
  • At 31 and 49 there is a distinct break in sense
  • No indication that Epaphroditus is still sick in
  • Pauls opponents are not the same throughout the
  • Possible fragments at 419, 2023
  • Polycarp speaks of more than one epistle to the
    Philippians from Paul

Unity of the Letter
  • However
  • Sudden breaks in sense are frequent in Pauls
  • There is no reason that the illness of
    Epaphroditus should be brought up every time he
    is mentioned
  • The statement of Polycarp does not suggest that
    the letters of Paul were combined, only that
    there was more than one

Pauls Opponents
  • It is likely that Paul envisages opponents of
    more than one kind
  • He is battling some who did not agree with his
  • He is battling some from the outside that were
    causing the church to suffer

Contribution of Philippians
  • A letter to a church with whom Paul is very
  • The Christ-hymn is a very early example of high
    Christology amongst believers
  • Firmly lays down the importance of the preaching
    of the gospel
  • Pauls view of partnership in the gospel (15)
  • Assurance amidst suffering

  • Pauline authorship
  • No serious question about Pauline authorship
    until 19th century
  • Few questioned authenticity before Bultmann and
    others between WWI and WWII

  • Arguments about authenticitylanguage
  • Hapax Legomena are present, but they are present
    to a great degree in all Pauline letters
  • The style may be different than the undisputed
    Paulines, but Colossians also exhibits several
    stylistic features only found elsewhere in Paul

  • Arguments about authenticitytheology
  • Absence of important Pauline concepts
  • Justification, Law, and salvation
  • This also occurs in other epistles, and there is
    no reason that Paul should write about the same
    things every time he writes

  • Arguments about authenticitytheology
  • Presence of un-Pauline concepts
  • Christs headship over the church
  • Church as Christs body
  • Cosmic portrayal of Christ
  • Development is real, but not in any way divorced
    from Pauls other writings

  • Arguments about authenticitytheology
  • Presence of un-Pauline concepts
  • Eschatology many see a realized eschatology
  • However, Colossians retains a deep sense of
    inaugurated eschatology e.g. believers lives
    are hid with Christ in order to be revealed on
    the last day

  • Arguments about authenticityEphesians
  • Too similar to Ephesians
  • Why shouldnt an author write similar things to
    two different churches?

  • Arguments about authenticity
  • Why address the town of Colosse if writing
  • There are a number of links with the letter to
    Philemon, which is undoubtedly Pauline

  • Ephesus
  • Paul asks for a room to be prepared for him,
    which doesnt make sense if he is so far away
  • Luke and Mark are with Paul, but they do not
    appear to be in the we sections of Acts, when
    Paul visited Ephesus
  • Onesimus may have found it easier to find Paul in
    Ephesus rather than Rome

  • Ephesus
  • Onesimus may have found it easier to find Paul in
    Ephesus rather than Rome
  • He may have preferred to get as far away as
    possible, and Ephesus may be too close
  • If Ephesians was written at the same time, then
    it is improbable that he wrote a letter to the
    city he was in

  • Caesarea
  • Unlikely that Onesimus would have fled here
  • Pauls request for lodging is unlikely to have
    come from Caesarea, since his only hope of
    release was an appeal to Caesar in Rome

  • Rome
  • Pauls plan was to go west toward Spain after
    Rome, not east
  • He may have abandoned his plan
  • The Pastorals indicate that he did deviate from
    his plan to go to Spain
  • Rome is the most likely, but not by much

  • Early 60s
  • If Paul was in Rome
  • Late 50s
  • If not from Rome

  • False teaching
  • Detracted from a high Christology
  • One had to go beyond Christ to attain spiritual
  • Christ was a created being
  • Syncretistic Hellenistic/Jewish philosophy

Colossians in Recent Study
  • Identity of false teachers
  • Gnostics?
  • Jews?
  • The problem is that there are no known teachers
    who combined all of the features that Paul

Contribution of Colossians
  • Paul emphasizes the supremacy of Christ over all
    other powers, earthly and heavenly
  • Emphasizes Christ and the head of the church and
    the church as his body
  • Emphasizes reconciliation
  • Expresses love and tenderness toward believers he
    had never met

1 and 2 Thessalonians
  • Pauline authorship
  • No serious question about Pauline authorship of 1
  • 2 Thessalonians began to be seriously questioned
    in the early 1970s with the work of Wolfgang

  • Co-authorship
  • Both letters claim name Paul, Silas, and Timothy
    as authors
  • Paul is likely the primary author, but Silas and
    Timothy likely assisted

  • Interpolations in 1 Thessalonians
  • Scholars have singled out 2110 and 5111
  • No textual evidence that these were ever absent
    from the letter
  • These verses make good sense in their context

  • 2 Thessalonians
  • Only a few scholars (mostly following Baur) ever
    questioned the authenticity of 2 Thessalonians
  • C. Mason (1957) and Wolfgang Trilling (1972)
    turned the tide of scholarship away from Pauline
    authorship of the letter

  • 2 Thessalonians
  • Vocabulary and style
  • Focus on tradition, sound-teaching, and man
    of lawlessness are thought to betray a later
  • There is nothing in the eschatology of the letter
    that could not have come from the mid-first

  • 2 Thessalonians
  • Similarities to 1 Thessalonians (why would the
    same author write so many similar things to the
    same audience over such a short period of time?)
  • Verbal and structural parallels

  • 2 Thessalonians
  • Similarities to 1 Thessalonians
  • Verbal and structural parallels are mostly found
    in the opening a closing of the letter
  • Otherwise, there are significant differences
    between the two letters

  • 2 Thessalonians
  • Differences from 1 Thessalonians
  • Imminence vs. delay of the parousia
  • 1 Thessalonians assumes the imminence of the
    parousia and commands the people not to try to
    calculate times and dates
  • 2 Thessalonians warns against thinking the
    parousia is imminent and cites signs that will
    come about before the parousia

  • 2 Thessalonians
  • Differences from 1 Thessalonians
  • Many Jewish apocalypses have similar discussions
    about imminence and the warning signs that will
    come before an eschatological event
  • Matt 2433, 44b reflect the same tension

  • 2 Thessalonians
  • Differences from 1 Thessalonians
  • The argument that Paul could not have taught such
    an eschatology only works if one accepts a very
    narrow understanding of imminent expectation of
    the parousia

Provenance and Date
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • From Corinth
  • A.D. 50, early in Pauls stay in Corinth
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • From Corinth
  • Late in A.D. 50 or early 51

Opponents and Purpose
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • Paul addresses
  • His hasty departure from Thessalonica
  • To remind Thessalonians of key ethical
    implications of their new faith
  • Comfort the church over the deaths of some of
    their fellow Christians

Opponents and Purpose
  • 1 and 2 Thessalonians
  • Opponents
  • Probably no specific opponents
  • There was probably a general criticism of Paul
    that was circulating that Paul was like the
    immoral and unscrupulous sophists that travelled
    from city to city

Opponents and Purpose
  • 1 and 2 Thessalonians
  • Misunderstandings
  • Misunderstanding about what would happen at the
  • The notion that the day of the Lord had arrived
    (2 Thess 2111)
  • The tendency toward idleness (2 Thess 3615)

Contribution of 1 and 2 Thessalonians
  • Word of God
  • Strengthen the faith of new converts
  • Eschatology
  • Doctrine of the rapture
  • Preparation for the Lords coming
  • Future judgment for those who persecute the
  • Day of the Lord will come after preliminary events

The Pastoral Epistles
  • Typical way of referring to 1 and 2 Timothy and
  • Contemporary critical scholars insist these
    epistles were not written by Paul

Pauline Authorship
  • Vocabulary and Syntax
  • P. N. Harrison
  • Pastorals make use of 902 words
  • 54 are proper names
  • 306 words do not occur in the other ten Pauline
  • Of these 306, 175 occur nowhere else in the NT

Pauline Authorship
  • Vocabulary and Syntax
  • This leaves 542 words shared by the Paulines and
  • 50 are characteristic Pauline words
  • Many others are very common words, or very
    Christian words (love, faith, brothers, etc.)

Pauline Authorship
  • Vocabulary and Syntax
  • Of the 306 words in the Pastorals that are not in
    the Pauline epistels, 211 correspond to
    second-century Christian writings
  • Of the 214 Greek particles found in the Pauline
    letters, 112 do not occur in the Pastorals

Pauline Authorship
  • Vocabulary and Syntax
  • Most of the words shared by the Pastorals and
    second century authors are also found in other
    writings prior to A.D. 50
  • It would be absurd to think that Paul only knew
    the words he used in the other epistles

Pauline Authorship
  • Vocabulary and Syntax
  • It is misleading to say the Pastorals have 306
    words collectively that do not occur elsewhere in
    Paulvast majority are found in one letter
  • 127 are in 1 Timothy
  • 81 in 2 Timothy
  • 45 in Titus

Pauline Authorship
  • Vocabulary and Syntax
  • While many particles are not used in the
    Pastorals, particles, pronouns, and prepositions
    are used at a similar rate to the other Paulines
  • Harrison does not account for all of the evidence
    in his analysis there are another 93 particles,
    pronouns, and prepositions

Pauline Authorship
  • Vocabulary and Syntax
  • Statisticians point out that Pastorals are too
    brief and there is a lack of statistical controls
    in many studies
  • Even where differences are shown, it does not
    tell us why they exist

Pauline Authorship
  • Rhetorical Style
  • Relative lack of personal material
  • Particular patterns of argument in the Pastorals
  • No opening thanksgiving in 1 Timothy and Titus
  • There is one in 2 Timothy, and Galatians does not
    have an opening thanksgiving

Pauline Authorship
  • Rhetorical Style
  • Can the differences not be accounted for when it
    is noted that the writer is not writing to
    communities, but to trusted co-workers?
  • There is clearly the possibility of the use of an
    amanuensis as well, or maybe he wrote it himself
    while making heavy use of an amanuensis in the
    other letters

Pauline Authorship
  • Genre
  • 1 Timothy and Titus are likened to mandate
  • 2 Timothy is likened to a testament

Pauline Authorship
  • Historical issues
  • Paul spent a very brief time in Crete, and we
    have no record of his visiting Nicopolis
  • 1 Clement 57 reports that Paul did go to Spain,
    which could have only happened after the events
    of Acts 28 would he have had time to go back to
    the Eastern Mediterranean?

Pauline Authorship
  • Historical issues
  • Several have shown that the data in the Pastorals
    could have fit into Pauls known ministry there
    is no reason to suggest that Acts records all of
    Pauls comings and goings
  • He could have travelled to these cities in the
    East again before his execution, and patristic
    sources suggest that he did so

Pauline Authorship
  • False teachers
  • There is nothing in these letters in the way of
    false teaching that is not known elsewhere in the
    Pauline epistles

Pauline Authorship
  • Ecclesiastical Organization
  • Pastorals seem to reflect a strongly organized
    church with an ordained ministry
  • Paul had an interest in church organization in
    Acts and his letters
  • 2 Timothy contains nothing about church
  • There is nothing in 1 Timothy or Titus that
    demands anything more than overseers and
    deacons in the church

Pauline Authorship
  • Theology
  • Scholars argue both ways from the same texts
    (e.g. 1 Tim 189)
  • The demand for godliness and sound doctrine
    appears to be a later development
  • Is this really a change from Romans, 2
    Corinthians, or Galatians?

Pauline Authorship
  • Theology
  • Paul presents himself as a saint, the example to
    be followed and prototype of a Christian convert
  • Is this really a change from 1 Cor 111, Phil
    31, etc.?

1 Timothy
  • Provenance
  • Best suggestion appears to be that he wrote from
  • Date
  • Probably the early to mid-60s after being
    released from prison in Rome
  • If written in Pauls earlier ministry, then it
    could have been written in the mid-50s
  • Destination
  • Private letter to Timothy, but intended for
    Timothy to make public use of the teaching therein

1 Timothy
  • Adoption into the Canon
  • Quoted by Polycarp, Athenagoras, and later
  • Widely accepted as authentically from Paul and
    canonical, though it seems to have been rejected
    by Tatian and Marcion

1 Timothy
  • Contribution
  • The fellowship between Christians in the service
    to the Lord
  • Gives some of the fullest description of the
    qualification of a minister of the gospel
  • Emphasis on the character and conduct of elders
    and deacons
  • Emphasis on sound doctrine

2 Timothy
  • Provenance
  • Probably written from prison in Rome at the end
    of Pauls life
  • Paul seems to have expected a speedy execution
  • Date
  • Anywhere from A.D. 6467, but probably 6465
  • Destination
  • Written to Timothy and is extremely personal,
    though Paul also extends greetings to those who
    were with Timothy

2 Timothy
  • Adoption into the Canon
  • Echoes in 1 Clement
  • Polycarp
  • Ignatius
  • Irenaeus
  • Clement of Alexandria
  • Rejected by Tatian and Marcion

2 Timothy
  • Contribution
  • Final testament of Paul to Timothy
  • Christian martyrdom
  • Christians exhorted to live out the consequences
    of Gods saving act
  • There are things of the essence of Christian
    faith that are not open to negotiation
  • Cost of discipleship
  • Warning against wandering from the truth

  • Provenance
  • In or on the way to Nicopolis
  • Comes from a period of active missionary service
  • Date
  • If during Pauls earlier ministry, then probably
    in A.D. 57
  • If after his first Roman imprisonment, then
    probably in the early to mid-60s
  • Destination
  • To Titus

  • Adoption into the Canon
  • 1 Clement
  • Tertullian
  • Irenaeus
  • Tatian
  • Muratorian Canon
  • Rejected by Marcion

  • Contribution
  • Civilizing function of Christianity
  • Gospel must be taught despite opposition
  • Reliance on the grace of God
  • Expectation of the parousia

  • Paul
  • Undisputed Pauline
  • Only radical critics of the Tübingen school ever
    questioned its authenticity

Provenance and Date
  • This question is tied closely to Colossians
  • Both include Timothy as co-sender
  • Both refer to Epaphras and Archippus
  • Both include Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke
    as Pauls companions
  • Colossians refers to Onesimus

Provenance and Date
  • Ephesus, Caesarea, or Rome?
  • Caesarea is generally dismissednot much reason
    for Onesimus to have fled there
  • Ephesus
  • Onesimus more likely
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