Pseudepigraphy as a Non-Deceptive Fiction

Pseudepigraphy as a Non-Deceptive Fiction December 14, 2016

I am currently reading up on the Pastorals and Pseudepigraphy, I find Armin Baum’s works very helpful here, in particular, Baum notes one interesting story that involves a transparent and non-deceptive fiction when it comes to authorship:

In the fifth century, the presbyter Salvian of Marseille published one of his works under the title The Four Books of Timothy to the Church (Timothei ad ecclesiam libri IV). When Salonius, the bishop of geneva, took him to task for this, Salvian argued in a long letter that the ascription of his work to Timothy was a completely transparent and therefore non-deceptive fiction. Salvian claimed that his innocent intention had been to humbly conceal his own name and that he had chosen the distinguished name “timothy” because of its meaning “(for the) honor of God.” although Salvian’s defense of the innocence of his literary device may not have been fully convincing it contains a number of very interesting statements on the concept of authorship in antiquity.

Baum, Armin D. 2013. ‘Authorship and Pseudepigraphy in Early Christian Literature: A Translation of the Most Important Source Texts and an Annotated Bibliography.’ In Paul and Pseudepigraphy. Edited by S.E. Porter and G.P. Fewster. Leiden: Brill., pages 47-48 (11-64).

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