I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, after wrapping up #30daysofPaul, that I really enjoyed that study and wanted to head into the rest of the Bible. Well, here is the beginning of that.
Now, I‘m not gonna set my sights too high. The Bible as a whole is a big book. So, for now, I’ll just commit to the New Testament. That’s quite an undertaking, and it will probably take me the better part of the remainder of the year to get through, so let’s call that good for now.
I’ve split the NT into 5 sub-sections that will make this more manageable. They are as follows:
Pseudo-Paul: Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy
Epistles: Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude, 1 2 & 3 John
Gospels: Mark, Matthew, Luke, John
That’s the order we will go in. I’ll lay out the exact reading plan at the beginning of each section, so you can plan ahead with me. I’ve arbitraily made these divisions and subsections myself, so don’t read too much into them, but let me know as we go if you have a problem.
Now, I by no means am commiting to blogging every day, or solely in this series. They will come as I have the time, and I will still be interspersing other things, like cultural commentary, book reviews, and such. But I will try to be fairly steady with these.
So, to start: Pseudo-Paul.
We did authentic Paul first, so I thought it only fitting that we jump next into the six letters that have Paul’s name on them, but probably weren’t written by him. The consensus supports this conclusion, and also posits that these were likely written by contemporaries of Paul, likely his students or members of churches he planted.
The belief in authership other than Paul comes primarily from the fact that they differ in grammer, structure, theology, phrasing, and emphasis from the authentic letters of Paul. Experts in linguistics and theology and Biblical scholarship have studied this for many, many, many years, and frankly, I trust their judgment. They are the experts. The view isn’t undisputed, but it’s the general consensus among these experts.
In terms of what we discovered about Paul in #30daysofPaul, I think it’s pretty clear these letters are Paul’s. Although similar to his, the theology is different, and certainly less accepting, universalist, and egalitarian. Views on women and marriage are more conservative. The emphasis has shifted from an imminent coming of Jesus, to a distant, amorphous Second Coming.
Additionally, I can definitely see a difference just in tone and writing style. You knew when you were reading Paul; his personality and tone definitely shone through in his writings. That isn’t present here; you can just tell from reading it after being immersed in authentic Paul: it’s just not him.
So, our first stop will be Ephesians. Stick along with me, comment, share, criticize, engage. It should be enlightening, challenging and fun.
Pseduo-Paul reading plan
Day 1: Ephesians 1-3
Day 2: Ephesians 4-6
Day 3: Colossians 1-2
Day 4: Colossians 3-4
Day 5: 2 Thessalonians
Day 6: 1 Timothy 1-3
Day 7: 1 Timothy 4-6
Day 8: Titus
Day 9: 2 Timothy