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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Forgeries in the Name of Paul

QUESTION:  Something I would love to see you talk about is how the letters we think were written by Paul differ from the letters we think were not written by him.

RESPONSE: Yes, this is an all-important question, and one I’ve been interested in for a very long time.   As many readers of the blog know, I’ve recently published two books on the broad question of “forgeries” in early Christianity, one of them written for scholars at ...

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Why Would Christian Authors Write Forgeries?

In my previous post I cited the box in the new edition of my textbook that explained how Christian authors may have justified themselves in writing “literary deceits,” that is, books that claimed to be written by someone else, for example, a famous apostle such as Peter and Paul (as is almost certainly true of Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and 1 and 2 Peter, e.g.).   Several readers have asked me, though, why a Christian author ...

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A New Box on Why A (Christian) Author Would Lie About Who He Was

This will be the last of my posts giving new “boxes” from the recently finished (and now sent to the publisher) edition of my textbook, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.   This box tries to explain how there could be “forgeries” in the NT, that is, books whose authors claimed to be a famous person, knowing full well they were someone else.  In the ancient world, these books were called “lies” (pseudoi) or “books inscribed ...

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New Boxes Related to Literary Forgery and the NT

Here are two more new boxes in my new edition of The New Testatment: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.    Both of these deal with issues that I cover in my book Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics and, to a lesser extent, in my trade book, Forged.

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Box 25.2  Another Glimpse Into the Past

The Secretary Hypothesis

For a very long time there have ...

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My Scholarly and Trade Books on Forgery

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the books that I anticipate writing in the future.  I like to plan my life in advance.  I like to plan my week in advance.  I like to plan my day in advance.  I like to plan.   For my current ten-year publishing plan, the two immediate goals are not so immediate, as they will take three or four years, I should think.   The next book, I hope, will be the trade book for ...

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