Is the Author of James Rejecting Paul Himself?

I have been talking about how the letter of James appears to refer to Paul’s letters in order to contradict them (as has long been thought by scholars — going back at least to Martin Luther).  But as it turns out, I don’t think it’s actually that simple.   I briefly mentioned this in an earlier post, but here is the fuller scoop.   This again is taken from my book Forgery and Counterforgery.   I should remind you what I mean by ...

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The Close Connections of James and Paul

I continue here my comparison of the wording of the book of James to the writing of Paul,  in order to establish the point that whoever wrote James, it was someone who was directly responding to the letters of Paul (because he imitates Paul’s wording while refuting his views.)  This will lead then to my argument – not yet made – that the author of James is in fact writing a “counter-forgery” – that is he is writing a forgery ...

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Is James Responding to Paul?

I now begin to explain why someone might have wanted to (falsely) claim to be James the brother of Jesus when writing the letter attributed to him in the NT.  My basic argument is that the letter is being written to oppose the writings of Paul (at least as they were being *interpreted*: whether Paul himself would have agreed with the interpretation of his views that they oppose is a completely different question), and the author needed someone of the ...

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Is the Book of James Attacking the Teachings of Paul?

Yesterday I began answering a question about the New Testament book of James.  The most interesting thing about the book, for most readers, is that it *seems* at least to be attacking a view vigorously espoused by the apostle Paul.  Are these authors at odds with each other?  Here is where I pick up on that discussion in my book Forged.  My sense is that a lot of readers of the blog will not anticipate where I stand on the ...

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Why Paul Did Not Write 2 Thessalonians: A Final Post

This will be my last post on the question of whether Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians.  If you’ve been following all this, you know that my view is that he did not.  My sense is that a lot of people have trouble accepting that view simply because it’s not what they’ve always heard and thought.  It’s hard to change your mind about something that just seems sensible and right, even if you haven’t really given it much thought or attention.  We’re ...

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Does Paul Think the End is Coming Soon? Does 2 Thessalonians?

I now come to the crux of the matter, the argument that for me seems the most convincing that Paul probably did not write 2 Thessalonians.  I already stated the argument in its simple form last week, here: https://ehrmanblog.org/did-paul-really-write-2-thessalonians/   Now I want to show how the argument gets grounded in a much deeper exploration of the text itself; in part this is to show that it’s not a particularly simple matter and in part it’s to illustrate, again, how ...

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2 Thessalonians as a Forgery? Does the Author “Write” Like Paul?

I have made the following post available to all readers, whether they belong to the blog or not.  Rarely on the blog do I show how scholars make arguments to other experts in the field of biblical studies (as opposed to scholars who simply summarize the results for non-scholars); even more rarely do I make such posts available to anyone who wants to see.  But here is an example — just in case you’re interested and ...

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Is 2 Thessalonians a Forgery Based on 1 Thessalonians?

In a previous post I began giving the scholarly version of why 2 Thessalonians is often considered to be non-Pauline – that is, to be forged in the name of Paul by someone wanting you to think he was Paul even though he was someone else.   That  discussion was taken from my book Forged, written for a broader audience   Now that I have given a (very) brief sketch of the history of the scholarship on this problem (the previous post) ...

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2 Thessalonians: When Scholars Began To Doubt It Was Authentic

Since I am in Greece (starting out in Thessaloniki) I have begun reposting some blogs from five years ago connected with the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, which claims to be written by Paul but appears to have been written instead by someone else who wanted his readers to *think* he was Paul.  My last post gave the heart of the matter from my trade book for a general audience, Forged: Writing in the Name of God – Why The ...

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Did Paul Really Write 2 Thessalonians?

I am out of the country must now, giving lectures for a tour of Greece and Turkey focused on “The Footsteps of Paul.”   For the past three days we’ve been in Thessaloniki, a terrific place; tomorrow we’re off to Samos, an island near the coast of Turkey, from which we’ll make expeditions to Ephesus and Patmos (not connected with Paul, but how can we pass it up?), etc.   Suffering for the cause.

In my talk to the group today, I was ...

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