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Thread: NT canon

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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    NT canon

    I stumbled upon this page in the middle of a discussion at another site.

    I'd like to hear opinions.

    Two things in particular caught my eye, and seem contrary to what I've read from various scholars:

    -- The part about the books of Romans and Hebrews being side-by-side in that codex or whatever; in the absence of further info (which the author does not provide), this suggests that the "old" view that Paul wrote Hebrews is correct.

    -- The part where all four Gospels were always bound together, and the related part downplaying the idea of different "communities." We often hear ideas along the lines that the various NT authors *primarily* wrote to their own communities (i.e. the churches they and their associates founded and oversaw).
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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    I stumbled upon this page in the middle of a discussion at another site.

    I'd like to hear opinions.

    Two things in particular caught my eye, and seem contrary to what I've read from various scholars:

    -- The part about the books of Romans and Hebrews being side-by-side in that codex or whatever; in the absence of further info (which the author does not provide), this suggests that the "old" view that Paul wrote Hebrews is correct.

    -- The part where all four Gospels were always bound together, and the related part downplaying the idea of different "communities." We often hear ideas along the lines that the various NT authors *primarily* wrote to their own communities (i.e. the churches they and their associates founded and oversaw).
    This source affirms the relevant contents of P46. I'm not sure how much that suggests that Paul wrote Hebrews, however; we don't know if it was part of the original collection or added to the beginning later. 2 Peter certainly suggests that Paul's letters were circulating very early, likely as a unit.

    He doesn't say that the four Gospels were always bound together, but that it had become the norm by the time of Irenaeus (late 2nd century). The "community" idea is a late modern one, AFAICT; we "often" hear of it because it became very popular in critical scholarship. I recall that at least some of the early papyrus gospels can be demonstrated to have included multiple gospels in the collection, and all of them IIRC were from codices (which means it's unlikely that the gospel in question was by itself).
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    tWebber
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    One thing that was unexpected in my studies was that Paul's writings seemed to be shared as a complete collection. It was as if Paul (or someone on his behalf) kept a copy of each letter and then the set was copied as a collection for other people.

    Hebrews is more of a mystery. I didn't see anything about Hebrews always appearing in the collection of Pauline letters.

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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    In this post a few months later, he affirms Hebrews as part of the Pauline corpus, but does not elaborate. I'm still looking to see if he ever did address that "subject for another time," or however he phrased it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    I stumbled upon this page in the middle of a discussion at another site.

    I'd like to hear opinions.

    Two things in particular caught my eye, and seem contrary to what I've read from various scholars:

    -- The part about the books of Romans and Hebrews being side-by-side in that codex or whatever; in the absence of further info (which the author does not provide), this suggests that the "old" view that Paul wrote Hebrews is correct.
    If a scholar as conservative as Daniel Wallace is willing to state that the arguments against Paul writing Hebrews "are conclusive" I'm inclined to accept him at his word.

    For that matter, depending on what you mean by old, the "old" view is not really that Paul wrote Hebrews. The early church was divided on the subject--especially when one considers the regular Pauline epistles (including Pastorals) seemed to be unanimously affirmed as written by Paul. But with Hebrews--and Hebrews alone--you have disputes, with even some of those who asserted Paul wrote Hebrews admitting that its authorship (though not necessarily its status as scripture) was disputed.

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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terraceth View Post
    If a scholar as conservative as Daniel Wallace is willing to state that the arguments against Paul writing Hebrews "are conclusive" I'm inclined to accept him at his word.

    For that matter, depending on what you mean by old, the "old" view is not really that Paul wrote Hebrews. The early church was divided on the subject--especially when one considers the regular Pauline epistles (including Pastorals) seemed to be unanimously affirmed as written by Paul. But with Hebrews--and Hebrews alone--you have disputes, with even some of those who asserted Paul wrote Hebrews admitting that its authorship (though not necessarily its status as scripture) was disputed.
    By "old" I was referring to those Bibles that title the book, "The Letter of Paul to the Hebrews," or something like that. I vaguely recall that some included his name as part of the title. But I haven't used one of those in ages.
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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    By "old" I was referring to those Bibles that title the book, "The Letter of Paul to the Hebrews," or something like that. I vaguely recall that some included his name as part of the title. But I haven't used one of those in ages.
    In the West, Hebrews was looked at skeptically because its author was unknown. In the East, it was generally attributed to Paul and accepted. Lectionary MSS tend to bear that out, since in early times Paul's letters tended to circulate as a unit (as did the gospels and the general epistles). The only book routinely excluded from Eastern lectionaries is Revelation, which was not generally accepted as canonical until the pattern of lections was already firmly fixed.
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    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    In the West, Hebrews was looked at skeptically because its author was unknown. In the East, it was generally attributed to Paul and accepted. Lectionary MSS tend to bear that out, since in early times Paul's letters tended to circulate as a unit (as did the gospels and the general epistles). The only book routinely excluded from Eastern lectionaries is Revelation, which was not generally accepted as canonical until the pattern of lections was already firmly fixed.
    My understanding is that:

    the West accepted the canonicity of Rev, but disputed that of Heb;
    and that the East accepted the canonicity of Heb, but had doubts about Rev;
    and that they swapped each other’s ideas on the canonical status of the books, so that East and West (except for the Syriac canon) both ended with the (now long traditional) 27-book NT canon.

    The ascription of Hebrews to Barnabas is attractive - maybe awareness of his collaboration with St Paul is the source of its ascription to the more prominent Apostle.

    Rev had to live down being ascribed to Cerinthus, as well as caginess about millennarianism.

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