Deeper Waters Podcast 8/24/2013: Andrew Pitts

Was that NT book really authored by the person whose name is on it? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Last year, Bart Ehrman delivered another work to shock the popular audience out there that the church has not been equipping with a book called “Forged.” In it, Ehrman sought to show that a number of NT books are not by the person’s whose name is on them. The arguments he made were arguments already familiar to NT scholarship and he hardly interacted with the secretary hypothesis, but still, the splash was made and while many people read the side that makes the news, they don’t bother going out to hear what the other side is.

My guest on the Deeper Waters Podcast is not like that.

My guest is Andrew Pitts who has done extensive research on this topic. He is an up and coming scholar in the field and expect to hear much more from him later. While he has a number of areas of expertise to speak on, the one that we have chosen to do is to address the charge that the biblical accounts are forgeries.

Of course, there is something at stake here. To say the Bible contains forgeries would be to say that the early church fell prey to lying and deceivers and did not do their fact checking very well. While a case for the resurrection could be made on the books of the NT that are not disputed, it still is important to quell doubt in the minds of those who might think that Ehrman has a case.

We will be discussing how we can know who wrote what in the NT and for that matter, how can we know who wrote what in the ancient world. After all, while we are usually told that the gospels are anonymous, what is not mentioned is so were many other works in the ancient world just as anonymous. How is it that we know, for instance, that Plutarch was the one who wrote the books that are attributed to him?

What about secretaries? Those do make a difference and this gets problematic for the presentation of Ehrman since books that are undisputed to be Pauline are in fact written by a secretary, such as Romans. If a secretary wrote a book for an author, what does that do to authorship? We could even discuss how this would work with the inerrancy and infallibility questions risen by such a situation.

In the end, I hope that the show will leave people assured that they have yet another reason that they can trust the NT and that it is accurate even on the question of authorship.

Do you want to be a part of the discussion? I certainly hope that you will be! The show is on at the same time as always, Saturday from 3-5 PM EST. If you want to call in and ask a question about NT authorship, the call in number is 714-242-5180. I hope I will see you there. The link can be found here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters