Pauline Epistles Authenticity

Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#1
Scholars have known for some time that many of the Pauline epistles are forgeries. Many christian apologists continue to insist on the complete authenticity of the epistles

The latest I've ben able to discover is quoted in part, below.

It seems to me that the entire canon of Paul's writing are now suspect.

Does anyone know of any more recent studies which verify authenticity of the remaining letters, or show them to be forgeries?



The Pauline Epistles: Known and Suspected Forgeries.

Posted on June 22, 2017 by Patrick Lowinger


By Pat Lowinger
Within modern Christianity there remains pervasive misunderstandings regarding the date(s), authorship and transmission of various portions of the New Testament. One of the most prolific New Testament authors was the Apostle Paul. Of the fourteen Epistles credited to Paul, the current mainstream consensus among scholars is that no more than nine are authentic. The remaining five, some would argue seven, are known forgeries- falsely attributed to the Apostle Paul.

Origin and Acceptance of Paul’s Letters:


Modern Orthodox Icon depicting the Apostle Paul

Current scholarship dates the earliest of Paul’s Epistles (First Thessalonians) to around 50 CE and the latest (Romans) at some point prior to 60 CE. This isn’t to imply that there isn’t some room for debate. For example, some scholars would argue that First Thessalonians wasn’t authored until 52 CE, but generally it’s excepted that the authentic letters of Paul were authored during the sixth decade of the 1st century CE. As such, Paul’s Epistles are generally accepted as the earliest known Christian writings.

The Pauline Epistles: Known and Suspected Forgeries.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#2
All the scholars I have seen who reject all of Paul's lettets as forgeries also reject a historical Jesus as well. Since it is impossible to maintain the position of non historical Jesus, they must reject all of Paul's letters as forgeries.

Note, you could reject all of Paul's letters as forgeries and still maintain the existence of a historical Jesus. But the reverse is not true. It is not credible to insist on a non historical Jesus if you accept Paul's letters are genuine .

There is a general consensus of the letters that are accepted as genuine and it is based on a variety of objective factors, not wishful thinking, the same objective factors that led them to reject the other letters as forgeries.

However, even some of the rejection of the other Paul.letterd could be wrong, since it fails to consider another possibility. We know Paul used professional scribes to write some of his letters. These scribes could do more than write down verbatim what was said to them. No doubt some people told a scribe the contents of what they wanted the letter to say, but the actual language and words of the letter would be the scribes, not the person dictating the letter. The letter would still be from that person, but it would have different language, and words than a letter written by that person's own hand. So while the analysis they used would indicate these letters were not from the same person based on language, wording and grammar, that analysis would be wrong.

That could have happened with these other letters of Paul. Paul may have merely dictated the content of the letter to.a trusted scribe, and the scribe used his own language and wording. They would not match the letters written by Paul's own hand, but they would still be a genuine letter from Paul.

There is a dying tradition in India of professional letter writers, who wrote letters for people who are illiterate. When writing a letter on behalf of a person, the writer would sometimes make suggestions and change the wording and language, he didn't just write down all the words that came out of his clients mouth. While the letter would reflect the language of the client, it also no doubt reflected the language of the writer as well. And it a person had a trusted scribe, they might have just given the gist and content of what they wanted to say, trusting the scribe to use their own wording.

So the fact the language of some of Paul's letters don't is not the proof they are not genuine letters of Paul some have assumed.


(These days, the professional writer mostly addresses packages instead of writing letters. For those still illiterate, they can still use and talk on the phone.)
 
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