Re: predicate adjectives

From: Jim Oxford (
Date: Wed Feb 05 1997 - 08:17:29 EST

At 4:37 AM 2/5/97, Andrew Kulikovsky wrote:

> 2 Tim is different from other Pauline letters because it is written to an
>individual and personal friend of Paul's not a church group. This must be
>taken into account but rarely is.

>The stylistic arguement is quite invalid. Authors can use different styles
>for different purposes eg. If you read a letter I wrote to a friend and
>compared it with a spec I wrote at work, you would notice that the
>writing style, vocabulary, subject matter would all be completely
>different but you couldn't conclude they were written by different

Your analogy is well taken, though I wonder if that distinction, i. e.,
style, can be attributed to letter writers in the ancient world. The
letter to Philemon is also a personal letter, yet is regarded by most as
genuinely Pauline primarily because it coheres stylistically with other
letters regarded to be be genuinely Pauline.

>Therefore it seems premature to dismiss Pauline authorship on these
>2 Tim. 1:1, says Paul wrote it - why doubt it if there is no concrete
>evidence to the contrary?

One must define what one means by "Paul wrote it." Himself? An
amenuensis? Members of a Pauline school? This question is not an esy one
to answer conclusively.

Just because Paul is identified as the sender of 2 Timothy, that doesn't
necessarily prove that he actually authored it. Pseudonymous letter
writing was common in that time period.

>Actually, I think it's more a case of our HISTORICAL PRESUPPOSITIONS rather
than theological ones...

This point is also well taken, and I might add that the more we learn about
HISTORICAL PRACTICES of the ancient world, the better position we will be
in to decide these issues. If one operates from a confessional
perspective, however, one should be able to affirm both the authority of
Scripture and the pseudonymity of some of its letters. Because of my
confessional presuppositions, I refer to "Paul's" 13 letters as all
stemming from the Canonical Paul.


Jim Oxford
Ph D Candidate in religion
Baylor University

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