Talk:Pauline epistles

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Theological harmony?[edit]

Any basic study of supposedly parallel texts from disputed and undisputed letters yield theological differences - hence why the authorship is disputed. I think the article is innaccurate in that respect. Can we have some discussion on this? --Shanneranner 04:50, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Forged" Letters?[edit]

I am concerned about the use of the word "forgery" in this article. I think it is an inaccurate word to use. The letters whose authorship is unclear are referred to in scholarly circles as the disputed letters. In the ancient world it was common practice to write under another name in order to have credibility for the writing. Calling them "forgeries" is projecting back our current cultural values and understandings onto a time when the same values weren't held. Discussion? --Shanneranner 04:50, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The word means what it means. We aren't going to use euphemisms or sugar coat our terminology because we happen to be describing a thing that is generally viewed negatively in order to make it sound more wholesome. And, it could not have been that acceptable in those days if what you say is correct - that it was done to "give it credibility". that means if the readers knew that it wasn't actually written by that person it would not be given the same degree of credibility. Even if that WAS commonly done, rest assured it wasnt something that had wide approval. Firejuggler86 (talk) 03:56, 2 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Infallibility of the Epistles[edit]

I am not a Christian, but I am attempting to approach a better understanding of the beliefs of my Christian family and friends and Christianity in general. Please take this comment in that context. It's not meant as an attack, merely a request for clarification.

Should the Pauline Epistles be considered Biblically infallible? If they are--why? They were written by an apostle of Jesus, and the apostles were neither divine nor infallible. As far as I understand, they are not considered to be "revealed" writings in any way, merely Paul's own interpretation of early Christianity. If this perception is incorrect, can anyone correct it?

If they are not considered Biblically infallible--why are they so often cited in Biblically-based arguments, against such things as homosexuality and premarital sex? -- 16:45, 20 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not sure "infallible" is the right word here. Some Christian groups (Fundamentalists and Evangelicals, particularly) hold that the Bible is "inerrant" and that every word of it is literally true. I would say, though, that this is a majority. Many groups hold that the Bible is infallible only on matters of faith. In terms, of for instance, matters of science or history, the Bible can fall into error, but in terms of how Christianity works, it is infallible. With either of these beliefs, though, the letters of Paul are considered to be authoritative on matters of faith. I do think there are some groups who treat the words of Jesus as primary, and all other Biblical text as secondary (this used to be, at least, the Southern Baptist tradition, iirc). Paul very clearly lays out his position that his writings are based on revelation - his revelation of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, specifically. In any event, I don't think there's any reason to treat the Epistles as any less authoritative than any other part of the Bible, unless you take that "Jesus first/rest of Bible second" position. john k 16:58, 20 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The immediately preceding commentator speculates that claiming every word of the Bible to be "inerrant" is a majority position among Christians. However, I think it is clear that he meant "minority position." Christianity encompasses a huge and diverse universe of different sects and doctrines. Word-for-word inerrancy is an extreme view, held by relatively few. "Infallible only on matters of faith" is much more popular. Among academic Biblical scholars, however, both types of infallibility/inerrancy are fairly unpopular. Most scholars will reject some passages entirely, for a variety of reasons. And even those in the "inerrant" camp will disagree with each other on interpretations.
Of course, many Christians say that those who disagree with them are not "really" Christian. Those who maintain this position can claim unanimity, among Christians, for their own views, even though this claim is silly.
In any case, I believe it is universally agreed that Jesus of Nazareth, personally, wrote nothing -- or at least nothing that survives to the present day. That being the case, no human author of any part of the Bible is divine or infallible (not the apostle Paul, not the Gospel writers, not Moses to whom the Pentateuch is traditionally credited, not the Old Testament prophets, etc.) and no one even claims that those human authors are infallible. The claim is that the process of composition was divinely inspired. The claim of "inerrancy" (or, in the more moderate view, Biblical authority) applies to the text itself (as composed, edited, canonized, translated, etc.) and not to the human authors. Paul is neither more nor less authoritative than the human authors of other parts of the Bible. Paul (talk) 18:55, 29 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One thing I find interesting about Paul specifically when it comes to this topic, is there are several instances where he addresses this specifically; that is, for example, he'll make some proclamation about something, and he'll say that on that matter he is writing with full divine authority, as a mouthpiece of God, basically. In other cases, regarding certain things he's writing about, he'll say that he's writing this just "as Paul", meaning it is just him, not divinely inspired, not the "word of God." I always wonder, also, how exactly the extreme Bible fundamentalists that believe every word in the Bible is the word of God can reconcile that when there's passages that specifically say that they are not.. :D Firejuggler86 (talk) 04:10, 2 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Academic classification of the Epistles[edit]

I've read a lot on Paul and I've never seen the epistles classified in the way that section does. It looks like pure WP:OR and I propose deleting the entire section. Rocksong 07:02, 29 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, I've deleted it. (p.s. I'm the same person as User:Rocksong). Peter Ballard 00:49, 7 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More information[edit]

This article seems to have insufficient detail for those who are not already familiar with the letters. A brief summary of what is actually contained in the letters without having to go to the page for each individual letter would be helpful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ff11 (talkcontribs) 21:14, 18 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Prison epistles[edit]

There is a group of epistles known as the prison epistles. It would be interesting if we could have sourced material on that. ADM (talk) 23:12, 8 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Concur: Shouldn't be hard to find Duke Ganote (talk) 10:47, 10 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Inconsistency in dating of epistles[edit]

On the current Wikipedia page, Romans is given a later date of composition than Philippians. On the two Wikipedia pages dedicated individually to Romans and Philippians, however, Romans is given an earlier date of composition than Philippians. I recommend that this inconsistency be resolved, perhaps by increasing the accuracy of dating across Wikipedia pages or by including wider dating intervals across pages in order to highlight the level of uncertainty in dating. (talk) 03:58, 16 September 2010 (UTC)PaulineDatingObserverReply[reply]

"Pauline Epistles" is a proper noun, both words should be capitalized[edit]

I.e., Pauline Epistles, not Pauline epistles. (talk) 16:53, 20 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Neutrality issue?[edit]

Why this WP:POV markup? Any specific reason that we can observe to improve the article? The article is as far as I can estimate as neutral and objective as a dusty desert, since it is essentially a list of academic opinions and references to those academic opinions. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 08:15, 29 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with the above. I think most of the Christian related Wikipedia articles have some POV issues, but I didn't see any in this article particularly in the section where the tag was placed (Authenticity of the epistles). Without specific information about what the person that posted the POV tag was concerned with, I think the template should be removed.--Davefoc (talk) 00:30, 4 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No Presentation of the Original Manuscripts Transmitting the Text of the Epistles[edit]

There's no discussion at all of the original manuscripts in which the texts of the Epistles have been preserved and used by the first Codices of the NT. When and where were the Epistles first discovered by historians? Serious overlook for a scholarly article. --ROO BOOKAROO (talk) 08:05, 8 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

scholarly article at wikipedia? You are joking Wikipedia exists to attack Christian, the Bible and Jesus. Odd that the liberal cowards won't do the same thing to the Koran - Hummm are they afraid or do they just hate the Bible - You decide.

Authorship of Hebrews[edit]

There is still no consensus among contemporary NT scholars. One notable scholar who makes a strong case for Pauline authorship is Robert L. Reymond in his Systematic Theology. DFH (talk) 17:49, 23 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maybe you should read some REAL CHRISTIAN books and not the ones by Anti-Bible bigots. Oh I forget, if the author doesn't hate the Bible then according to the Christaphobic bigots at Wikipedia, they are not REAL Scholars.

PS I see my other post was removed because I had the nerve to criticize Liberalpedia-- (talk) 23:25, 2 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

possibly editorial, otherwise incomplete:[edit]

"This ordering is remarkably consistent in the manuscript tradition, with very few deviations." If there are deviations, what is remarkable about the consistency? If the remarkableness of just how few deviations there are is of academic/encyclopedic interest then some part of the sentence deserves further explanation and/or citation of a standard by which "remarkably" is reached (such as a treatment/comparison of the contemporary manuscript tradition[s]). Otherwise, "remarkably" smacks of editorializing. TheNuszAbides (talk) 04:17, 17 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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WikiProject Bible[edit]

In listing the WikiProject groups that this article is of interest to, this list should include Wikipedia: WikiProject Bible. Vorbee (talk) 07:44, 22 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Done. Thank you for your suggestion. Dimadick (talk) 08:10, 22 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Has anyone any idea why the "Min." ("minimal"?) abbreviations are in the table? I am a biblical scholar and I've never seen them before. In any case, it seems totally unnecessary and doesn't add anything to the article. The only reason I'm not removing them right away is that they have been there since 2008. StAnselm (talk) 03:45, 12 October 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dates: undue weight, false precision, inaccurate claim of consensus[edit]

The article gives an estimated date for each epistle, and also shows these in a colored chart labeled "Consensus dates of Pauline epistles." This is just wildly inaccurate. Careful scholars mostly do not claim to be able to put accurate absolute dates on the epistles. They don't even generally claim to be able to place them all in order with any certainty. Some references: Knox, 1939, The Pauline Chronology Campbell, 2014, Framing Paul: An Epistolary Biography Tatum, 2006, New Chapters in the Life of Paul: The Relative Chronology of His Career There are fundamental and unresolved problems in the methodology, examples being: (1) people don't agree on how to treat the reliability of Acts compared to the epistles; (2) people don't agree on criteria for placing the epistles in order (in cases where ambiguities can't be resolved based on events and intertextual references), with some using a track of theological development and others trying to construct a sequence based on textual characteristics such as rhetorical techniques. Just as a random example, Campbell places 1 Thess in 42/43 CE, while the WP article gives 49–51. What the WP article presents as "consensus dates" are cited as being from Robert Wall, New Interpreter's Bible Vol. X (Abingdon Press, 2002), pp. 373. It seems like the article is giving undue weight to this one author, and incorrectly representing the state of knowledge. My suggestion would be to tear out the table, remove all the absolute dates, and rewrite the text to state more accurately what we know and how much we don't know.--2603:8000:8900:6E00:C1B:76D:F486:E43D (talk) 03:00, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. Many of the bits and pieces of articles involving paleography and historicity of the Bible seem very astroturfed to me, lots of claims of "consensus" that link to one review or a couple of concurring sources, see the Testimonium Taciteum. The fact that this citation links directly to amazon where the 12 volume set can only be had as a physical copy for the low low price of 550 bucks, I personally suspect the ol rascal who cited it is trying to move some unsold merchandise.
I'd love to check the source so I could comment further on whether it actually makes the effort to review a large body of scholarly work for its "consensus" (I'm guessing not), but Zlib fails me and the nearest library with a copy is a private university 5 hours away. Hope you get the books out of your garage, Bobby! Quadrinius (talk) 21:47, 5 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]