Monday, July 26, 2010

Daniel Kirk on the Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles

Over at Storied Theology, Daniel Kirk posts some thoughts on authorship of the Pastoral Epistles. The best discussion on that topic around was the exchange between Stan Porter and Robert Wall in BBR back in 1997.


Terry Tiessen said...

On Kirk's post, I posted the following comment, but I welcome your own take on this Michael.

I would not have difficulty with pseudepigraphal letters in the canon, if the convention was known to be acceptable to the Christian community of the first century. Do we have evidence that such was the case?

How early in the tradition of the church do we get indication that church scholars/leaders considered the pastorals to be pseudepigraphal?

If these epistles were pseudepigraphal but the early church was not aware of it so that they had clearly been deceived by the pseudepigraphal authors of these epistles, would that not be hugely problematic for their canonical status? Letters that found there place in the canon because the church believed them to be Pauline, which were not so, seem highly doubtful.

Unfortunately, I’m a theologian rather than a biblical scholar so I apologize for serious ignorance on these matters but will welcome illumination relative to the questions that are uppermost in my mind on this topic as I read the arguments in this blog post.


Richard Blight said...

You might like to check out some of the more recent substantial commentaries that argue for Pauline authorship, such as Philip H. Towner (2006), Ben Witherington (2006), William Mounce (WBC: 2007), George W. Knight (1992) and especially Luke Timothy Johnson (The First and Second Letters to Timothy, Doubleday 2001) who has an outstanding section on re-assessing authorship leading to a challenge that “the grounds for declaring [the PE] inauthentic are so flawed as to seriously diminish the validity of the scholarly ‘majority opinion’ [that they are pseudepigraphal].”