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Subject:  Re: Dis-united Methodist Church Date:  1/8/2020  11:01 AM
Author:  bdhinton Number:  199550 of 199640

There is a very strong consensus among New Testament scholars that Paul could not have written 2 Timothy.

Phillip Towner, NT scholar, wrote a commentary on Paul's letters. While he acknowledges your claim that the majority view of NT scholarship is that Paul didn't write them, it all comes down to assumptions:

"As I view the scholarly situation, there are gains and losses. While the majority view’s more recent conclusion that the [letters] present a coherent theology and a real setting in history might be an improvement over the older view that regarded the letters as simply a haphazard collection of traditions and Pauline memorabilia (as well as rather lame forgeries), it has evolved into a monolithic, rigid interpretive framework that rests on assumptions and creative reconstructions. These assumptions shape the interpretive methodology of the consensus; and this determines and in some ways restricts the understanding of the theology of these letters that results. What needs to be shown here is that the key assumptions and the methodology are neither airtight nor particularly compelling when objectively considered." --Towner, P. H. (2006). The Letters to Timothy and Titus (p. 20). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

He then proceeds to dismantle the majority view in subsequent discussion. I highly recommend it.

Speaking of consensus, have you ever read Gary Habermas' "minimal facts" argument for the historicity of the Resurrection? These 6 or so "facts" are accepted by a wide majority of NT scholars:

1) that Jesus died by crucifixion; 2) that very soon afterwards, his followers had real experiences that they thought were actual appearances of the risen Jesus; 3) that their lives were transformed as a result, even to the point of being willing to die specifically for their faith in the resurrection message; 4) that these things were taught very early, soon after the crucifixion; 5) that James, Jesus’ unbelieving brother, became a Christian due to his own experience that he thought was the resurrected Christ; and 6) that the Christian persecutor Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus) also became a believer after a similar experience. (https://ses.edu/minimal-facts-on-the-resurrection-that-even-...)

-Bryan
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