What do you make of the author’s reference to a Silvanus in 1 Peter 5:12? Could it be that this really is Peter saying he used a secretary to write this letter? I know you said there is little to no evidence that people used secretaries, but what do you make of this reference to a Silvanus?
Yes, this is a question that I deal with in my book Forged, and that I deal with at yet greater length in the book coming out in the fall, Forgery and Counterforgery. Several points are important to make about the question, but first a bit of background.
Background. Scholars have long noted that the book of 1 Peter is written in elegant Greek, and that it seems highly unlikely that an Aramaic-speaking fisherman of the lower classes (which Peter must have been), who is called “unlettered” (literally, “illiterate”) in Acts 4:13, would have been able to produce it. And so, scholars have had recourse to the theory that it was Silvanus, mentioned in 5:12, who was the actual author of the letter….
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