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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. ************************************************************************************************************************ Given this confession of motivation, what Salvian claims next may seem a bit surprising, if not down-right duplicitous. Why did he choose the name Timothy in particular? Readers naturally took the name to refer to Paul’s Pastoral companion, hence Salonius’s distraught reaction. But in clear tension with his earlier assertion that an unknown person would not be accepted as an authoritative source, Salvian claims that he chose the name purely for of its symbolic associations. Just as the evangelist Luke wrote to “Theophilus” because he wrote “for the love of God,” so too the author of this treatise wrote as “Timothy,” that is, “for the honor of God.” In other words, he chose the [...]

2020-04-11T17:20:51-04:00August 11th, 2012|Book Discussions, Forgery in Antiquity|

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 worked seriously on the problem since then. But now, because of this upcoming lecture, I'm having to think about it long and hard again, a decade later.  Lots of scholars simply don't (or can't?) believe that ancient people -- especially Christians, but others as well -- would lie about their identities.  It's not that these scholars doubt that there are lots and lots of pseudepigrapha out there, Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian.  There are.  But these scholars don't think that the authors were doing anything duplicitous. There are different ways scholars have made this argument, but the basic line [...]

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