Video: Forgery in the New Testament

On Monday, March 21, 2011, I gave a lecture at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club of California, underwritten by The Bernard Osher Foundation. The moderator was Alan Jones, Dean Emeritus, Grace Cathedral. Below is a link to the lecture.

I gave the lecture soon after my book Forged: Writing in the Name of God. Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are appeared. In that book I try to present, to a lay audience, the evidence ...

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Not for the Faint of Heart (Authorship of Colossians)

As I was writing up my post yesterday on the evidence that speaks against Paul having written Colossians, it occurred to me (as I indicated at the time) that it might be instructive to show the difference between how I might present that case to a lay audience and how I might present it to fellow scholars. The following is how I cover the same material in Forgery and Counterforgery . (All of this is related to the ...

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Problems with Luke as the Author of Luke

In my previous post I gave the logic that can be adduced for thinking that the Third Gospel was probably written by Luke, the gentile physician who was a companion of Paul for part of his missionary journeys. The short story, in sum: the author of Luke also wrote the book of Acts; the book of Acts in four places talks about what “we” (companions with Paul) were doing; both books were therefore written by one of Paul’s companions; Acts ...

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It Has Arrived! Forgery and Counterforgery in Early Christian Polemics.

I have rarely – ever? – been so pleased with the appearance of a publication in my life.   Last night when I got home from running some errands, a box was waiting for me, from Oxford University Press.   It had my ten author’s copies of Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics.  I’m very excited about it, like a kid who has just gotten a fantastic present.   In my opinion, this is ...

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A Forger Who Was Caught. The Case of Salvian, Part 2

THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF MY PREVIOUS POST ON SALVIAN, THE ONE CHRISTIAN FORGER THAT WE KNOW WAS CAUGHT IN THE ACT. I INCLUDE THE TAIL END OF THE PREVIOUS POST AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS ONE FOR CONTEXT, BUT YOU MAY WANT TO REREAD THE WHOLE THING ITSELF. THIS, AGAIN, IS DRAWN FROM MY FORTHCOMING BOOK FORGERY AND COUNTERFORGERY.

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Given this confession of motivation, what Salvian claims next may seem a bit surprising, if not down-right duplicitous. Why ...

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A Christian Forger Caught in the Acts

Next month I will be giving a keynote address at a conference dealing with ancient pseudepigrapha at the University of Laval, in Quebec City.  I have recently been discussing the topic (of ancient authors falsely claiming to be a famous person) on the blog in relation to the letter of James, and as you know, it was the subject of my monography Forgery and Counterforgery ten years ago, and my spin-off popular account Forged.   I haven’t ...

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Ancient Secretaries (Part 1)

I have received some comments and emails about my claims about Silvanus as a secretary (or rather, NOT as a secretary) for the book of 1 Peter, and realized it would help if I could give some more detail about what we know about secretaries in the ancient world. The following is from an excursus in my forthcoming Forgery and Counterforgery; it will come in two parts, the first today and the second, hopefully, tomorrow. If you’ve read ...

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Forgery. Another Deceived Deceiver (Part 2)

HERE’S THE SECOND HALF OF WHAT I STARTED TO POST YESTERDAY: THE IRONIES OF THE APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS (A FOURTH CENTURY BOOK CLAIMING TO BE WRITTEN BY THE APOSTLES THREE HUNDRED YEARS EARLIER ); DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE GREEK — IT MAKES SENSE WITHOUT READING IT. MY POINT IN THIS BIT IS THE IRONY OF IT ALL.

The alleged authors – the apostles of Christ, including Paul and James — claim that the books of the New Testament were theirs: ἡμέτερα δέ, ...

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Forgery. Another Deceived Deceiver (Part 1)

ANOTHER EXCERPT FROM MY FORTHCOMING SCHOLARLY DISCUSSION OF FORGERY AND COUNTERFORGERY, WHERE IN THE INTRODUCTION I CONTINUE MY ANECDOTES OF FORGERIES THAT CONDEMN FORGERIES AND DECEIVERS WHO GET DECEIVED, THIS TIME BY LOOKING AT A CHRISTIAN EXAMPLE (SEE MY EARLIER POST ON THE DUPED HERACLIDES)

This ironic phenomenon has its rough parallels in the later Christian tradition. To begin with, we might look at a work universally recognized as pseudepigraphic, the late fourth-century Apostolic Constitutions, a so-called ...

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