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pseudonymity


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It became a convention in the period between OT and NT that works should be published under the authorship of a fictitious name, such as Moses or Enoch, or the sons of Jacob. Such a name imparted a certain authority to the writing. In the OT the book of Daniel is pseudonymous, and in the NT it is widely held that 2 Peter and Jude are pseudonymous, and also the Pastoral Epistles. Literary standards of the time did not necessarily condemn pseudonymity as deceitful. (Nevertheless Tertullian (c.220 ce) reports that a presbyter found to have falsely attributed a work to Paul was forced to resign.) Disciples of Paul who remembered his teaching would have collected and developed the oral tradition. As representatives of Paul it was natural to use his name for the published works.

Subjects: Biblical Studies.


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