Re: 3rd-person imperatives in the Lord's Prayer (etc)

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Wed Aug 20 1997 - 15:14:11 EDT

On Tue 19 Aug 97 (21:50:45 +0400), 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
> data.

 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)
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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