Bevere Evaluation | Scot McKnight

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Allan Bevere, who did his PhD below James DG Dunn on Colossians (when Dunn was performing his personal function on Colossians), wrote a overview of my Colossians commentary, and this is an excerpt of his overview:

“Paul’s Christo-theological message of Colossians can be lowered to ‘God has conquered the powers, delivered all humans from sin and its powers, and reconciled the whole cosmos to himself in, by means of, and below Christ.’” So writes Scot McKnight in his commentary on Colossians in the NICNT series. In Colossians we see “a extensive vision of life below King Jesus” (p. two).

Authorship: McKnight’s conclusions about Pauline authorship of Colossians need to be viewed in the context of his bigger issues about the methodology of a lot modern day scholarship in figuring out authorial queries, what he refers to as “the logic of the recognized to the unknown” (p. five). Inquiries of authorship are complicated and not conveniently settled. It seems that Paul did not truly pen most of his letters, but trusted an amanuensis (an editor provided leeway to compose). What we do not know about the letters ascribed to Paul is how a lot freedom he gave to these who wrote down his issues to different churches and pastors. It has been assumed, for instance, that Romans is “a pure sample of Paul, the genuine voice of Paul,” but we have no notion how a lot freedom was provided Tertius, the a single who penned the letter. No a single doubts that Paul is the author, but the part the actual writer played is unknown to us. Hence, how can it be concluded that Romans is purely Paul? The very same is accurate for Colossians. At the starting of the letter it claims to be from Paul and Timothy. Was Timothy Paul’s amanuensis? Colossians was composed whilst Paul was in prison. Did that circumstance make it required for the apostle to give Timothy extended freedom in composing the letter following sharing his issues with the young pastor? Has modern day scholarship tended to judge particular letters as authentically Pauline since they show what some think is Reformational theology?


McKnight does not deny that there are tensions and distinction to be addressed in judging the authorship in the Pauline corpus, but he rightly states that we have taken what we have recognized and drawn also a lot of particular conclusions about the unknowns of the composition of Paul’s letters. Probably the situation ahead of us is not attempting to make a decision which letters of Paul are dictated word for word (if that certainly ever occurred) or epistles composed by co-workers who outlined the apostle’s issues in their personal words. The bigger point to be created is that regardless of how Colossians reached its final kind, it is Pauline since it carries Paul’s authority. Scot concludes,

I do not consider Paul wrote any of the letters since it is far a lot more probably that Paul was behind all of the letters. We have no pure Pauline letters, no “undisputed” or “genuine” Pauline letters, but only letters in which we hear the voice of Paul standing alongside co-workers and (most likely) qualified scribes. Colossians, then, is Pauline as a lot as but not a lot more than Galatians and Romans and the Corinthian letters (p. 18).

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