This is part Two...first part is here.
Resuming your friend's discourse:
(9) 2Pet 3:4 states that the apostles (and Elders, the 1st generation
of Christians) ('fathers') were all dead. If they are all dead (and tradition
says that John lived the longest), how can this be from Cephas?
This is a similar case of eis-egesis (reading INTO the text)...
Here is the passage:
The relevant NT passages include:
"The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, (Acts 3.13)
whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. (Rom 9.5)
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (Heb 1.1)
And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers,
33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised
up Jesus, (Acts 13.32)
(10) 2Pet 2:1-18;3:1-3 are almost EXACT quotes from vss. 4-13,16-18 of Jude. So much so that denying dependence of 2Pet upon Jude ludicrous.(Which of course brings into question the meaning of 'canon' and 'prophecy', as Jude uses the UNcanonical book of 1Enoch as prophecy in Jude 14)
This argument is somewhat oblique to the subject of Petrine authorship,
actually, because possible use of Jude as a source has no bearing
on who is using it as a source! Unless it were conclusively demonstrated
that Jude (or his material) did not arise until AFTER the death of Peter,
this alleged borrowing has no relevance for the issue of authorship.
Indeed, Blum can point out [EBCOT, intro to 2 Peter]:
"The common material almost entirely relates to the description and denunciation of false teachers. The majority view is that 2 Peter is dependent on Jude (so Mayor, Feine, Behm). Some scholars use this apparent dependence on Jude to deny Petrine authorship. But the use of Jude by the author of 2 Peter would pose a problem for Petrine authorship of the letter only if (1) the dependence of 2 Peter on Jude were conclusively proved, (2) the composition of Jude were definitely dated later than A.D. 64, or (3) it could be shown that an apostle such as Peter would not have used so much material from another writer.
"Some students of 1 Peter find a large amount of catechetical material within it. If Peter in the composition of his first letter used material common within the church, there is no reason why he should not have done the same thing in writing his second letter. However, the dependence of 2 Peter on Jude is not a certainty. Mayor holds that 2 Peter uses Jude while Bigg finds that Jude borrows from 2 Peter. It is also quite possible that both letters used a common source.
"Since the date of Jude is not fixed by any firm internal or external
data, it might have been written by A.D. 60. In that case Peter could have
used Jude. But would an apostle of the stature of Peter make use of material
by one who was not an apostle? The utilization of material by ancient authors
cannot be judged by today's standards of citation in writing. Tradition
played a much larger role in the thoughts of writers and speakers then
than it does today. This is evident (to go back to an OT example) from
parallel accounts of Kings and Chronicles and also from the synoptic gospels.
To sum up, the special problem of the relation between Jude and 2 Peter
or their relation to some common source remains unsolved. The adoption
of a particular position--viz., Jude as prior, 2 Peter as prior, or both
Jude and 2 Peter used an earlier source--does not necessarily affect the
authenticity, authorship, or inspiration of these letters. Any of the three
views is compatible with an evangelical theology, and conservative scholars
generally leave the question open.
"Precise verbal correspondences between the two works is relatively
sparse (much more so than in the "Q" pericopes of Matthew and Luke,
e.g.)..." [Bauckham, Jude/2 Peter, WBC:140
In any event, this "Hey, Jude!" issue is too gelatinous to be used to
attack Petrine authorship, at any significant level.
(11) 2Pet 2:15-16 suggest that Pauls writings are already long in
existence. It assumes that his writings have all been distributed, and
put into a collection. Realistically, there is no way that all of Pauls
writings could have already been assembled, so that there would be such
common knowledge of them. If the author was indeed Cephas, Paul wouldn't
even be dead yet!
Your buddy here is really following the party line of HiCritz--without
even thinking critically about the assumptions teeming in their
Here is the passage (adjusting for the typo--it is 3.15-16):
There is no indication of a final, 'official' collection in the text--only a knowledge of Pauline letters;
"There is no suggestion that even these ['all his epistles'] were known to the readers...On the other hand, the epistles in question have had sufficient circulation for the false teachers to twist them from their true interpretation." [NTI:825]
"The reference in 2 Peter 3:15-16 to Paul's letters need not refer
to the complete corpus of his letters but only to those known to the writer
of these verses. The collecting of Paul's letters would have begun
as soon as a church or some influential person recognized their value.
Paul's instruction about exchanging letters (cf. Col 4:16) and
their public reading (1Thess 5:27) would have facilitated the collection
of his letters. That Luke or Timothy were traveling companions of Paul
makes them likely collectors of his writings. [Blum, EBCOT, Intro]
Again, this argument is a case of over-assumption...
(12) The issues of false teachers (2Pet 2:1) obviously presuppose a problem that would only arise after all the apostles had been dead, and is an attempt to justify (apologia, in other words) that of the apostolic tradition of orthodoxy.
This is so patently false--at least as it is worded here--that I cannot imagine where this came from. The NT is FILLED with references to current false teachers (Tit 1.11; 1 Tim 1.3ff; Acts 15.1), false prophets (1 John 4.1; Acts 13.6), false witnesses (1 Cor 15:15), false brethren ( 2 Cor 11:26; Gal 2.4), and false apostles (2 Cor 11:13). Most of the apostles are alive while these events were happening.
[For a discussion of anti-orthodox systems and teachers, see the relevant section in the debate with James Still.]
Now, if I back up for a moment and try to do some "source criticism" on your friend's comment, I could perhaps make a guess that he has omitted the word "Gnostic" from his argument. Since HiCritz have argued that the problem described in 2 Peter must be Gnosticism, and with Gnosticism being 'late', this would make 2 Peter 'late' as well--certainly after the death of Peter. So, with a little imagination, I could reword his objection into something more reasonable:
The issues of false teachers (2Pet 2:1) obviously presuppose a problem [with Gnosticism] that would only arise after all the apostles had been dead,
There are numerous problems with this position, but the main one is that 2 Peter (and Jude, for that matter) do not give us enough detailed information to identify these teachers with later Gnosticism:
(13) Neither of the works are quoted in any Christian documents until
the early and mid second cent(c. 120ce). They should already have been
in existence for nearly 60 years.
There are just too many variables in the mix to turn this into an argument against Petrine authorship.
The historical situation is simply too complex for this objection to
have any real force to it.
I showed him your stuff on Pseudonymity, but he said that you completely left out the pseudepigriphal stuff, which was deemed "worthy".
Of course I did--my article was on pseudonymous
LETTERS...I did not get into the Pseudepix at all...and this issue
of First and Second Peter is a case of a LETTER--so it DOES apply to this
[The larger issue of Pseudepix is less relevant (if at all) to the questions
of epistolary lit--and that is my point of that article. Your friend would
still need to answer the arguments in that piece, before he could maintain
confidently his belief in the pseudonymity of the Petrine epistles.]
This guy knows alot about the DSS, and he's making ALL sorts of claims about Revelation and other parts of the NT being dependant upon them.
For example, 1QH 1:7 By Thy Wisdom all things exist from Eternity, and before creating them You knew their works forever and ever. Nothing is done without You.. // John 1:1,3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God...All things were made by Him, and nothing that was made was made. I *think* this can be resolved with OT verses like Proverbs 8:22, Psalm 33:9, and Job 28:12-27.
Then he doesn't know a lot about the DSS (smile)...
The issue of the relationship between the NT and the DSS is very complex, but you can be sure that we don't have many "dependent" situations at all! ALL the different "first-century Judaisms" shared massive amounts of worldview, language, theology, ethics, idioms, conventions, exegetical procedures--there are TONS of 'parallels' to be found between ANY of the various groups (e.g., Qumran, Pharisees, Zealots, Christians, "Hellenists", common folk, Herodians, Sadducees, and the many sub-groups reflected in the pseudepix and apocrypha). But the conclusions one derives from that are (1) notoriously difficult to substantiate; and (2) generally un-spectacular.
The scholars have a term for it: "parallelomania"!
This guy is so hasty. It seems like his Bible doesn't have footnotes...He sees something like an NT verse in the DSS, doesn't even BOTHER to check the OT...and goes into all the chat rooms convincing Christians that the NT is dependant upon the DSS.
Yeah, I know the type (used to be one 10-15 years ago...smile)...but once you get busted up a couple of times (sometimes by humans and more often by God), you tend to listen to the other side more carefully (Prov 18.13), to examine things more carefully (1 Thess 5.21), and to represent their side more fairly (it's an anti-slander ethic)...
And yeah, they do need to be more self-critical in their approach, especially if they are being evangelistic with hasty conclusions.
It is good that your friend reads and thinks--but he/she needs to read
and think more critically about the arguments in their sources and
the counter-arguments from other sources...
This apologetics stuff is sure hard. Without your site, we'd be lost. Thanks for everything you've done.
Thanks for kind and encouraging words, and I wish I could do more...
I hope this helps...
November 6, 1999
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