Authorship

This letter to Philemon is now generally regarded as one of the undisputed works of Paul.  Few people have disputed this attribution.  Along with six others, it is numbered among the so-called “undisputed letters” that are widely considered to be authentically Pauline.  The main challenge to this letter’s authenticity came from a group of German scholars in the nineteenth century known as the Tubingen School.  However, they only accepted four New Testament epistles as genuinely written by Paul: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians.  Their main objection to Philemon as an authentic Pauline letter was this subject matter about a runaway slave.  They considered it a Christian romance story about a genuine Christian idea.  How do you judge the authenticity of a document?

Authorship

The authorship of Second Timothy was traditionally attributed to the apostle Paul, since he was named as the author of this letter in the first verse of the first chapter.  However, nineteenth and twentieth-century scholarship has questioned the authenticity of this Pauline letter.  They have suggested that the author was not Paul, but rather an unknown unattributed Christian who was writing in the late first century.  Has anyone ever tried to use your name?

Authorship

The authorship of First Timothy was traditionally attributed to the apostle Paul, since he was named as the author of this letter in the first verse of the first chapter.  However, nineteenth and twentieth-century scholarship has questioned the authenticity of this Pauline letter.  They have suggested that the author was not Paul, but rather an unknown unattributed Christian who was writing in the late-first-to-mid-second centuries.  Who wrote this letter?

Pseudo epigrams or anonymous writings

The question of authorship or attribution is important.  Like many of the books of the Old Testament, some of the books attributed to some authors in the New Testament writings are not the persons mentioned.  Moses did not write all the Torah.  Paul did not write all the letters attributed to him.  The technical scholarly name for this is pseudo epigrams.  Sometimes, they are forgeries.  These false attributions exist for a number of biblical books.  Since we do not know the names of many of the writers of these books in the Bible, we can say that anonymous people wrote these works.  However, I have decided to use the traditional attributed names that have been associated with these pseudo epigram works to better identify them.

Wisdom and creation (Bar 3:32-3:34)

But the one who knows

All things

Knows her.

He found her

By his understanding.

The one who prepared

The earth

For all time

Filled it

With four-footed creatures.

The one who sends forth

The light,

Then it goes.

He called it.

It obeyed him

Trembling.

The stars shone

In their watches.

They were glad.

He called them.

They said.

‘Here we are!’

They shone

With gladness

For him

Who made them.”

Baruch connected wisdom with creation, a great theme of late wisdom literature. Once again, this puts into doubt the Baruch authorship. God, who knows everything, knew about wisdom. Somehow wisdom was separate from God. God was able to find this wisdom, because of his understanding. God prepared the earth for all time in this static view of the earth. He filled it with four-footed creatures, while other creatures were not mentioned. God sent the light and it happened. He merely had to call it, and it happened. This is much like the first creation story in Genesis, chapter 1. The stars in the sky gladly followed his commands. They were like the prophets with this personification of stars saying that they were ready to shine with gladness in obedience to the creative God who made them.