Sorting by


2 Thessalonians as a Forgery: The Theological Argument

I have decided, you may be glad to learn, that this will be my last post giving the reasons that scholars widely consider 2 Thessalonians not to be written by Paul, even though it claims to be written by Paul.   In order to make this the last post, I have had to make it unusually long.   Again, the point is both to show why scholars think what they do and to show the level at which they have to make their arguments, as opposed to the simple summary that I provide in my trade book Forged.   This is the same argument that I make there (the only one I make!) only it is given in the length and depth that I have directed it to scholars.  This is, once more, taken from my monograph Forgery and Counterforgery.  In it, by the way, I answer many of the objections readers have been raising to my view that 2 Thessalonians is forged. ******************************************************************* The Theology of 2 Thessalonians As recognized already by J. E. Chr. Schmidt over [...]

2020-04-11T16:02:40-04:00December 23rd, 2014|Forgery in Antiquity, Paul and His Letters|

The Writing Style of 2 Thessalonians

In my previous two posts I started giving the scholarly argument against the authenticity of 2 Thessalonians – that is the argument that even though the letter claims to be written by Paul, it was in fact written by someone else who wanted you, the reader, to think it was written by Paul.   In this post I continue that discussion, turning now to the question of the writing style of the letter.   Once again, this is taken from my scholarly study, Forgery and Counterforgery.   (After this there will be only one more post on the thread!) I ended my previous post by pointing out that 2 Thessalonians has taken words and phrases from 1 Thessalonians in order to make it sound authentic, and even borrowed the structure of that earlier letter.  I concluded with these words: This is not how Paul wrote any of his other letters, by replicating the structure (to this degree) and taking over the vocabulary and even sentences of an earlier letter he wrote. But it is no stretch to imagine [...]

2020-04-12T13:16:42-04:00December 22nd, 2014|Forgery in Antiquity, Paul and His Letters|

Is 2 Thessalonians Based on 1 Thessalonians?

In my 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.   This discussion is taken from my book Forgery and Counterforgery.   Now that I have given a (very) brief sketch of the history of the scholarship on this problem (the previous post) I can begin to discuss the actual evidence.  This is where the discussion gets a bit harder to follow, both because of the level of the assumptions and because I have to use a lot of Greek.  I’ve translated most of the Greek words/phrases here so you can follow easily. ******************************************************* 2 Thessalonians as a Forgery One reason the case for the inauthenticity of 2 Thessalonians has occasionally seemed wanting, even to some very fine scholars, is that critics have often resorted to a shotgun approach, citing every possible argument, good or bad, in support of their position. [...]

2020-04-11T17:24:16-04:00December 20th, 2014|Forgery in Antiquity, Paul and His Letters|

2 Thessalonians: The History of the Discussion

In the previous two posts I began to answer why scholars think that some of the letters that go under Paul’s name were not actually written by him.  I have focused on 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.  In those two posts I recounted what I said about the matter in my trade book, written for a lay audience, Forged: Writing in the Name of God – Why The Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. In the next several posts I will show how I address the same question for scholars, in my scholarly monograph, Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics.   I thought this would be worth doing for two reasons.  First, I’d like you to know – if you’re interested – what the full reasoning behind the common critical view of 2 Thessalonians is, that is, what the really [...]

2020-04-11T17:14:20-04:00December 19th, 2014|Forgery in Antiquity, Paul and His Letters|

The Inauthenticity of 2 Thessalonians: The Simple Reason

In my previous post I started to talk about why scholars recognize that 2 Thessalonians is (or appears to be) by a different author than 1 Thessalonians.   There are actually lots of reasons, as I will show in subsequent posts, but for now I’m simply giving my discussion as found in my trade book Forged, written for a non-scholarly audience.   Here is my full discussion in that context of the authorship of 2 Thessalonians.   As you’ll see, it’s short and to the point.  The scholarly discussion is much longer and involved, and I’ll be giving that in subsequent posts. *********************************************************** Paul himself thought the end was coming in his lifetime.  Nowhere is this more clear than in one of the letters we are sure he wrote, 1 Thessalonians.   Paul wrote the Christians in Thessalonica because some of them had become disturbed over the death of a number of their fellow believers.  When he converted these people, Paul had taught them that the end of the age was imminent, that they were soon to enter the [...]

2020-04-03T14:16:15-04:00December 17th, 2014|Paul and His Letters|

Pauline Forgeries: 2 Thessalonians as a Test Case

In my previous post I started answering the question of how the letters not by Paul differ from the letters that are by Paul.  In that post I pointed out that we know that there were Pauline forgeries in the early church (that is, letters written by authors who were claiming to be Paul when they were in fact someone else).   No one doubts that.  We have letters from outside the NT that claim to be by Paul but were absolutely not:  3 Corinthians, the Letter to the Laodiceans, and the 12 letters exchanged between Paul and the Roman philosopher Seneca.   These are all forged. But are there letters that falsely claim to be written by Paul that are also *in* the New Testament?   Critical scholars (as opposed to fundamentalists and very conservative evangelical Christians) agree that there are.   Scholars normally place the thirteen Pauline letters of the New Testament into three categories:  The Pastoral Epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, which are very widely recognized as having been written by someone other [...]

2020-04-11T15:54:37-04:00December 16th, 2014|Forgery in Antiquity, Paul and His Letters|
Go to Top