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Hypothetical Problems with Copies of Philippians

In trying to figure out what it even means to talk about the “original” text of Philippians (was it what Paul meant to dictate?  Was it what he did dictate, if it was different from what he intended? Was it what the scribe wrote even if it was different from what Paul dictated?  Was it what Paul corrected after he saw what the scribe incorrectly wrote?  Was it the fresh copy that the scribe made even if it was different from the corrected version Paul gave him?  What happens if in fact Philippians is two letters that have been spliced together by a later editor, as many scholars believe, rather than just one letter – is the “original” the two different letters originally sent or the spliced together version that Paul did not create but someone else did?  Etc. etc.), in trying to figure all this out, several readers have suggested that the easiest way to look at it is that the “original” of Philippians is the letter Paul sent to Philippi, whatever happened, prior [...]

Dictation of Letters: More Complications for Knowing an “Original” Text

I have been talking about the problems in knowing what the “original” text of Philippians is.   Even with the following brief review, the comments I will be making in this post will, frankly, probably not make much sense if you do not refresh your memory from my previous two posts.   Here I will be picking up where I left off there. We have seen that knowing what the original of Philippians is complicated by the facts that: 1) The letter appears originally to have been two letters, so that it’s hard to know whether the original of each separate letter is to be the original or if the final edited version which Paul himself did not produce is the original; 2) Paul dictated his letters, and the scribe who wrote down his dictation would typically have made a fresh copy of the letter after Paul had made a few corrections – so which is the original: what the scribe originally wrote or the fresh copy he made after the corrections?   3) And if Paul made [...]

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