đź“š Hat Paulus die Briefe an Epheser und Kolosser verfasst?

Auf der Seite exegeticaltools.com hat Todd Scacewater die Dissertation: „Portrait of an Apostle: A Case for Paul’s Authorship of Colossians and Ephesians“ rezensiert.

Der Autor der Dissertation verfolgt einen interessanten Ansatz. Er vergleicht Epheser und Kolosser mit dem Laodizäerbrief und dem 3. Brief an die Korinther – die von allen Wissenschaftler als unechte (pseudepigraphische) Paulusbriefe angesehen werden.

Er beobachtet dabei vor allem, wie diese Briefe Paulus sich selbst beschreiben lassen und vergleicht das zunächst mit den Darstellungen von Paulus in den von allen als tatsächlich paulinisch angesehenen Schriften:

  1. Paul’s revelation from Christ on the Damascus Road
  2. Paul’s sense of God’s grace in choosing and empowering him
  3. The revelation of the mystery of the gospel to Paul
  4. The OT foundations of Paul’s ministry perspective
  5. Paul’s standing as an apostle in relation to the other apostles
  6. Paul’s ministry through suffering and imprisonment.

He then compares Ep. Lao. and 3 Cor. to Paul’s self-portrait in the undisputed Paulines. He finds that both letters imitate language from the undisputed Paulines quite slavishly, and references to Paul’s persona and apostleship are rather forced, with no relevance to the literary context or the supposed historical context inferred from the letters (63-79).

Die beiden unechten Paulusbriefe halten sich zu sklavisch an der Vorlage. Im Gegensatz dazu findet sich bei Epheser und Kolosser ein anderes Bild:

In Colossians, MaGee demonstrates that three of the six themes of Paul’s self-portrayal are present (numbers 2, 3, and 6 above), and the three that are missing are not required by the historical context of the letter as they were in other letters, such as the polemical Galatians and 1-2 Corinthians (122-126). While many similar words and phrases are used in Colossians and the undisputed Paulines, the language of Colossians is freely composed rather than slavishly copied, and the theology is in line with the undisputed Paulines as well. Moreover, the references to Paul’s persona in Colossians are well integrated into the letter and do not seem to have been inserted haphazardly to feign authenticity, as in Ep. Lao. and 3 Cor. 

Ephesians is much the same way.

Der Rezensent ist sich nicht sicher, ob diese Beobachtungen tatsächlich substantiell etwas zu der Frage nach der Verfasserschaft der beiden Schriften beitragen können. Er formuliert am Schluss einige offene Fragen zu diesem Ansatz.

Freundlicherweise hat der Autor der Dissertation die Gelegenheit genutzt, seinerseits zu den offenen Fragen Stellung zu beziehen. In seiner Antwort betont er, dass er mit seiner Dissertation vor allem einem beliebten Argument gegen die Verfasserschaft von Epheser und Kolosser durch Paulus den Wind aus den Segeln nehmen wollte:

My approach was more narrowly focused, as a response to what I saw as a weak line of argument against Pauline authorship that has gained momentum in the last century or so. The first chapter in the book tracks the history of this type of objection to Pauline authorship, and I call it the “Exalted Apostle Theory.” The theory alleges that there is evidence in Colossians and Ephesians that later writers were incorporating an idealized image of Paul into their pseudepigraphal writings in order to give their writings more of an authentic flavor. This idealized image drew upon commonly known features of Paul’s apostleship and ministry. …  I wanted my work to show that there was very little convincing evidence for this argument against Paul’s authorship of Colossians and Ephesians (and yet, the argument continues to be accepted by many commentators and scholars as part of the case against Pauline authorship).

In seiner Rezension hat Scacewater einige interessante Ausblicke auf den aktuellen Stand der Kanonforschung geworfen, die Mut machen, dass mehr Forscher in Zukunft den Status Quo in der Verfasserfrage von Epheser, Kolosser etc. hinterfragen könnten:

So far, several studies have demonstrated that, based on the study of other corpora with writings known to be by the same other, the Pauline epistles, with the exception of the Pastorals, do not diverge widely, and where the Pastorals do diverge, they do so together. This divergence of the Pastorals means either that Paul wrote them with quite a different “register,” a part of which is the fact that he wrote to individuals rather than churches, or it means that the same pseudepigrapher wrote all three epistles, a theory which I do not believe any scholar holds. It seems to me, then that modern linguistics is one of the most helpful means to salvaging Paul’s epistles for the church and restore to the academy half of the Pauline corpus, which the church has been sorely deprived of since Baur.

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