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int-ch-10-new-testament-letters

int-ch-10-new-testament-letters - forgery • E.g Paul and...

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Ancient snail mail New Testament Letters
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On clay tablets, pottery shards, papyrus pages n By amanuensis , or professional secretary Direct dictation Delegate a portion of the letter n With co-senders n Through letter carriers Represent author to receivers Read letter aloud Interpret author’s wishes and instructions Writing Letters
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Salutation or Greeting Thanksgiving Body Closing n Ancient letters averaged 90 words n Philosophers’ letters averaged 295 words n Paul averaged about 1,300 words n Letter to the Romans, over 7,000 words Letter Structure
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Various levels of authorship Direct, literal, pen in hand and dictated (1 & 2) Delegated to authorized disciple (3) Posthumous and apprentice disciple (4 & 5) Written to honor the original leader (6) Forgery (7) n Early church rejected intentional
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Unformatted text preview: forgery • E.g., Paul and Thecla Authenticity and Pseudepigrapha Is letter intrinsically possible? n Is church tradition reliable? n Are language and style consistent? n Is theology consistent? n Are there historical anachronisms? n Any biographical discrepancies? n Some scholars argue on the basis of individual criteria, others argue on sum of criteria Pseudepigraphic Criteria Authorship is inevitably linked to date of composition and local situations • Changing authenticity level of authorship requires adjusting time and place of writing n Scholars seek to construct a history of early Christianity and a biography of Paul • When level of authenticity changes, the available evidence for biographical reconstruction changes So What?...
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