From: Ben Crick (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Aug 20 1997 - 15:14:11 EDT
On Tue 19 Aug 97 (21:50:45 +0400), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Would you agree with Bishop Robinson's thesis about the authorship of
> II Peter? You seem a bit selective in your citation of witnesses and
For reasons of space and bandwidth I did not want to multiply citations
from a work which will probably be familiar to most. Obviously I cite
witnesses and data which are favourable to my point. There is no shortage of
gainsayers who seem dedicated to the debunking of Scripture. I wish to affirm Scripture, including its own internal evidence re authorship and date.
Robinson's thesis on 2 Peter? There was a wave of persecution against
Christians between the burning of Rome (July 64) and the suicide of Nero
(June 68). During this time both Peter and Paul died. Robinson thinks that
this is the logical context for books that deal with persecution, such as
1 Peter and Revelation. "Five kings have fallen" (Revelation 17:10). The
"sixth" Roman Emperor, Galba, was the one that succeeded Nero. Many scholars
relate these books to the persecution under Domitian (81-96); Robinson
suggests that this later persecution has been much exaggerated.
Dating is intermingled with authorship. Robinson rejects views that many of
the NT books were later reconstructions. He thinks Peter and Paul, or aides
following their instructions, wrote *all 15* letters attributed to them;
moreover that John wrote /John/; James /James/ and Jude /Jude/.
"Otherwise", Robinson writes, "one must believe in the existence of totally
unrecorded and unremembered figures in early Christianity who have left
absolutely no mark except as the supposed authors of much of its greatest
literature". He finds it probable that the Apostles, "though Aramaic-speaking
peasants", would have been bilingual enough to have written in Greek.
The discovery of 7Q4=1 Tim 3:16-4:3; 7Q5=Mark 6:52-53; and 7Q8=James 1:23-24
sealed in Cave 7 in 68 AD certainly establishes early authorship of Mark, the
Pastorals, and James; see Wenham, op cit, pp 117ff and further notes on p 288.
But 2 Peter? No, I don't think it is proto-Jude or pseudo-Peter. Peter had
Mark to write his Gospel; Silvanus to write his 1st Epistle; maybe he just had
to cobble together 2 Peter by himself? I go along with the Revd Dr (now Canon
Professor) EMB Green's monograph /2 Peter Reconsidered/, Tyndale Press,
London, 1961. I recommend any who are interested to consult it. He addresses
in detail (1) the external attestation of the book; (2) *the relationship
between 2 Peter and Jude* /pace/ Robinson; (3) the constrast between its
diction and that of 1 Peter; (4) the contrast between its doctrine and that of
1 Peter; (5) various anachronisms and allied problems; (6) the problem of
pseudepigraphy (/Acts of Paul and Thekla/; the so-called /Gospel of Peter/;
the so-called /Apocalypse of Peter/).
> I hope that most on the list can just let this go by without need of
> detailed refutation. It would carry us far a field and probably would
> not change any minds.
Dr Dick France ends his review of Wenham's /Redating.../ with this paragraph:
"I am delighted to see the standard post-70 dates so boldly called in
question. I would like to hope that Wenham's book will be given more serious
consideration than Robinson's was. But my experience of human, and especially
scholarly, nature suggests that that may be too much to hope."
The Fogleman Professor of Religion's above quoted response just underlines
this last sentence from the Revd Canon Dr RT France, Principal of Wycliffe
Hall Theological College, Oxford, England.
-- Revd Ben Crick, BA Bristol, 1963 (hons in Theology) <email@example.com> 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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