The Authorship of Epistles traditionally attributed to Paul

The Epistle was a literary form which emerged in the 4th Century BC; it was a work intended for publication and reading by the general public; NT Epistles are therefore a modification of this. Pauline and other NT Epistles were intended for individuals and individual churches but they were copied and later collected. In the First Century it was common for writers to outline an Epistle to a professional secretary but Paul seems to have dictated verbatim.

Marcion (later a notorious heretic) was the first to collect the Epistles c140 as follows:

c200 Rome added:

c400 the church universally settled on the 13 canonical Epistles of Paul included in all Bibles.

Most conservatives accept Paul's authorship of all 13, c65, because he asserts authorship and they believe in Biblical Inerrancy. Some scholars believe some material as late as c 150 was interpolated.

Most liberal theologians hold in respect of Paul's authorship:

Father Raymond Brown, the foremost Roman Catholic New Testament scholar sums up the situation among scholars as follows:

The Muratorian Fragment lists the 13 Epistles in the following order:

  1. Corinthians
  2. Ephesians
  3. Philippians
  4. Colossians
  5. Galatians
  6. Thessalonians
  7. Romans
  8. Philemon
  9. Titus
  10. Timothy.

Partly taken from

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