Saturday, November 04, 2006

Authorship of Colossians

I spent part of my Friday evening reading through R. McL. Wilson's ICC commentary on Colossians and Philemon with a glass of Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon. Unsurprisingly Wilson goes for pseudonymity rather than Pauline authenticity. But there was a good quote from A.J.M. Wedderburn towards Pauline authenticity:

"The idea of a later pseudonymous letter written to a city that was in ruins and to a church there that perhaps no longer existed and which Paul had never visited (Col. 2.1) seems too macabre to be likely, especially since the letter makes no mention of this disaster that had overtaken the city." (Baptism and Resurrection, 70).
That would prove only that it was written during Paul's lifetime and not necessarily by Paul, but it is a good point.

My review of this book is in good timing as I'm about to start a series on Colossians at Chapel at HTC. Of course my favourite commentaries on Colossians remain O'Brien, Wright, Lightfoot, and Dunn.


Mark Traphagen said...

How about Colossians Remixed just for fun?

Anonymous said...

Of course, Moule's little gem of a commentary is quite useful too.

J. B. Hood said...

ditto comment one.

antti mustakallio said...

Michael, if you are interested in authenticity of Colossians, I recommend you to check out Outi Leppä's study "Making of the Colossians: A Study in the Formation and Purpose of a Deutero-Pauline Letter" (Göttingen/Helsinki: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht/The Finnish Exegetical Society, 2003). Leppä examines the relationship between Col and the seven authentic Pauline epistles and concludes that Col is literary dependent on several of them. I think that advocates of the authenticity should somehow comment on her thesis. E.P. Sanders has written a review on the work: