The Authorship Of 2 Thessalonians Is Pseudonymity A Better Alternative?(帖撒羅尼迦後書的作者身分──冒名作者的理論是否能提供較好的解讀?) /謝品彰






Since the late eighteenth century, scholars have questioned the adequacy of the historical situation reconstructed for understanding the relationship between 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians if both were written by Paul. Hypotheses that purportedly prove the pseudonymity of 2 Thessalonians have been proposed and can be grouped into: (1) un-Pauline characteristics; (2) literary dependency; (3) theological discrepancy; and (4) stylistic differences. Un-Pauline characteristics are subjective and fail to convince. Literary dependency argues certain passages show that 2 Thessalonians had 1 Thessalonians as their sources. However, similar phrases are also found in other undisputed Pauline letters such as 1Corinthians 1:4. Furthermore, if both letters were written within very short interval, then it is possible that Paul still remembered what he had written in the first letter. Although it is true that a possible reconstruction of historical situation is still requesting apparent theological differences, the tension between the certainty of the pending Parousia and the uncertainty of timing is not something unusual, as can be seen in the little apocalypse in Mark 13. Stylistic differences can be explained adequately by Paul’s use of different amanuenses (cf. Rom. 16:22). When one examines further the hypothetical situations as reconstructed based on pseudonymity of 2 Thessalonians, one finds that the hypotheses have to assume certain naivety on the part of the recipients. Therefore, until a more plausible historical situation can be suggested, the arguments for the pseudonymity of 2 Thessalonians are not better than those that assume genuine Pauline authorship of 2 Thessalonians.