Luke Volume 3

Jonathan Bernier raised some interesting problems with suggestions that are often made regarding why Luke ended Acts where he did. The open ending doesn’t really work well as a defense of Paul’s innocence, if the work was written after Paul’s death. That does not, however, mean that we must embrace as the only alternative dating Acts to soon after [Read More...]

What Could a Fisherman Compose?

I shared a link to a blog post by Jonathan Bernier a while back, which questioned the relevance of the purported employment of the traditionally-proposed author of the Fourth Gospel. Here’s a list which someone put together of occupations of tannaitic rabbis: The sages of the Talmud worked at many diverse occupations. For instance, Hillel was [Read More...]

Identification of Authors in Ancient Literature

A discussion here on this blog brought up the question of whether other ancient works may, like the Gospels, have initially circulated without an author being indicated, with the attribution to the author being added only subsequently to the manuscript tradition. This led to a blog post by Matthew Ferguson, which made comparisons to the works of [Read More...]

Authorship of 2 Thessalonians

Towards the end of the semester in my Paul class, we’ve focused on the disputed and inauthentic epistles attributed to Paul. One detail that never struck me quite as forcefully before about 2 Thessalonians is its ending: “ I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; [Read More...]

Thanks, Google

A student pointed out to me that, if you ask Google “Who wrote the Pentateuch?” you get the answer, in big, bold letters, “Moses.” I decided to click the “feedback” button and indicate that this is incorrect. Here’s what I wrote as explanation for why I thought so: There has been extensive research on this [Read More...]

Were the Gospels Originally Anonymous?

Like many New Testament scholars, the work that I do builds on the work of those specifically engaged in the field of New Testament textual criticism. An article by Simon Gathercole in ZNW, “The Titles of the Gospels in the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts,” makes me wonder about the impression that I and most others [Read More...]

Pauline Authorship: Visualizing the BNTC Survey Numbers

Dan Wilkinson was not entirely happy with just the numbers provided in Paul Foster's article, from which I shared some statistics in a previous post. So he made this:   There are exceptions and unusual viewpoints. I know someone who doubts Paul wrote Galatians. If he had been there, the chart would have an outlier. [Read More...]

BNTC Survey on Pauline Authorship

Rick Sumner shared this delightful image (from a Koine Greek subreddit that I had no idea existed!): Click through to see the image full size. I really appreciate Rick’s comments on the results. And I think that seeing numbers like these can be more helpful than references to “what scholars think” or “the consensus view.” [Read More...]

Is Claiming the Holy Spirit as Author of the Bible an Unforgivable Sin?

I have been having a Facebook interaction with someone who claims that the Holy Spirit is author of the writings in the Bible. On the one hand, this claims does not seem to make sense, since the same person also claims to accept that there were human authors as well. But what does it mean [Read More...]

Authorship of Isaiah

My course on the Bible focuses a lot of attention on the identification and use of reliable sources. When students try to tackle an assignment on the authorship of the Book of Isaiah, they consistently find LaMar Adams’ online article, produced at Brigham Young University, which uses computer-generated statistics for the occurrence of certain prefixes [Read More...]

Shebrews

Today in my Sunday school class, we started a new topic, beginning a study of the Epistle to the Hebrews. We spent a significant amount of the time on authorship, and the uncertainties about it (I explained the reasons why I was persuaded it was not Paul, including the very different style of Greek). I [Read More...]


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