'Who Wrote 2 Thessalonians: A Fresh Look at an Old Problem'

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In light of the New Perspective on Paul, recognition of apocalyptic as a central category in Pauline theology, and the crumbling consensus concerning seven authentic epistles of Paul, it is time to reconsider the arguments for the authenticity of his letters. Here the specific question of the authorship of 2 Thessalonians is re-examined. It is noted that many of the standard arguments for or against the authenticity of 2 Thessalonians are either irrelevant or inconclusive. This discussion seeks to reveal the slender evidential basis of certain ‘classic’ arguments against the authenticity of the letter, and also to present some fresh reasons why the epistle should be regarded as written by Paul. The implications of including 2 Thessalonians among the authentic Pauline writings are then examined. In particular, it is suggested that the development in Paul’s thinking as reflected in 2 Thessalonians reveals that his theological formulations developed in response to situations in his fledgling communities. In this regard, Paul’s theological positions emerged through a negotiated response to pressing pastoral situations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-175
Number of pages26
JournalJournal for the Study of the New Testament
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • 2 Thessalonians
  • authenticity
  • authorship
  • epistolary signature
  • eschatology
  • stylometry
  • theological development
  • Pauline authorship survey


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