My Forgery Seminar (Syllabus)

            The academic semester, alas, has begun, as of this past Wednesday.   As usual, I’ll be teaching two courses.   My undergraduate class, as is true every spring, is “Introduction to the New Testament.”   My PhD seminar, this term, is “Literary Forgery in the Early Christian Tradition.”   I’ve taught this class twice before, but now I have my book (Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literacy Deceit in Early Christian Polemics) to structure the course.  I’ve never had one ...

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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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Early Doubts about the Pastorals

In my discussion of the role of women in the early church, I discussed the fact that women are ordered to be silent in 1 Timothy, one of the Pastoral epistles, but that this view should not be attributed to Paul himself because, despite the fact that 1 Timothy *claims* to have been written by Paul, it almost certainly was not — that is, its author was lying about his identity. A lot (a *whole* lot) of modern-day scholars and ...

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A Third Forgery in the Name of Peter

As I mentioned in the two previous posts, in my talk at Unity Village the other night, I introduced my discussion of whether there could be forgeries in the New Testament by introducing three forgeries from *outside* the New Testament; the first was the Gospel of Peter with its giant Jesus and walking-talking cross at the resurrection and the second was the letter of Peter to James in which he attacks “the man who is my enemy,” a transparent reference ...

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Forgery and the Gospel of Peter

So in my talk on forgery last night, I introduced the question of whether there could be forgeries inside the New Testament by talking about forgeries that definitely exist *outside* the New Testament; and to do that I began by speaking of three books that Peter, the disciple of Jesus, allegedly wrote.   My definition of forgery is a fairly technical one.  When I speak about forgery I’m not talking about books whose contents have been made up or fabricated, ...

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