Onesimus and Onesiphorus

Jill and Dale Walker jilldale at rcnchicago.com
Sat Sep 7 03:03:02 EDT 2002



RE: pseudepigraphy


>I don't want to sound 'picky', but just how do we know this?  In other
>words, do we have a large number of people admitting that they did this,
>or people stating that they knew someone who did, or is there some other
>actual evidence?  Alternatively, are we in the position that many genuine
>documents are declared pseudepigrahic just because they are 'different' in
>some way?

When I studied the Letters of Plato and the Cynic Epistles, I thought that
arguments scholars put forward against the authenticity of many were 
persuasive.
Anachronistic material appeared in the narrative constructed by various
letters. Stylistic matters were raised that suggested that various letters
within a particular corpus had an author different than other clusters of 
letters.
One of the Socratic letters even appears to quote Plutarch. I find these
observations adequate to label a number of Platonic and Cynic letters
inauthentic. Turning to the two volumes of OT Pseudepigrapha that Charlesworth
made so handy for us, I think that the history of ideas, language, and literary
forms are important tests for authenticity.

My point is that I think the kinds of questions raised in the previous email
excerpted above to be nice in theory, but in the end irrelevant. The 
confessions
of forgers are not needed to uncover forgery. I do find the anachronisms and
stylistic incongruities adequate as evidence for practices of pseudonymity that
appear in Greek and Jewish writings.

Dale Walker
Chicago







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