There is nearly universal consensus in modern New Testament scholarship on a core group of authentic Pauline epistles whose authorship is rarely contested: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Several additional letters bearing Paul’s name are disputed among scholars, namely Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus. Scholarly opinion is sharply divided on whether or not Colossians and 2 Thessalonians are genuine letters of Paul. The remaining four contested epistles – Ephesians, as well as the three known as the Pastoral epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus) – have been labeled pseudepigraphical works by most critical scholars.[4][5][6]

How do we reconcile this with our faith?

By paying no attention to so-called modern 'scholars"

Allow the Author - God’s Holy Spirit - to be one’s Guide.
FAITH is the Key… Which opens the DOOR to Him


I see no difficulty. It has long been recognized that Paul is not the author of Hebrews, and in fact the author is unknown. Some people suggest Apollos (mentioned in Acts and 1 Corinthians), but that is only a hypothesis. Does that mean we should regard Hebrews as in some way uncanonical?

1 & 2 Timothy and Titus were written while Paul was a prisoner in Rome. It has been suggested that he dictated these three epistles to one of his aides, possibly Luke, who went to visit him in jail. But when a letter is dictated to a secretary, it’s the one who dictated it that is regarded as the author, not the secretary who then put pen to paper.


Yes… and when the Author is seen as the One (God’s Spirit) inspiring,
one sees how and why Scriptures are Sacred - Of God…


One word - “Tradition”


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Me either. History is full of pseudoepigraphical works, the genre doesn’t change that.

Also, the Church is fully aware of, and endorses this line of scholarship. That should mean something.



Why do we need to? It doesn’t matter whether Paul wrote them, heavily influenced someone who used his name, or had no connection to them at all. The Church, in her wisdom and divine authority, has declared them scripture. Scholarly study about their authorship doesn’t impact that in any way.


Each generation of Bible scholars disproves part of the work of the previous generation, including some described as
"We now know…
" Modern scholarship has conclusively proved…

We don’t now know which of the current Final Findings will be retained and which displaced by new final findings.

But how does it matter? The only relevant factor isn’t authorship guesses, but what is inspired. There is no “authentic” canon, other than what the Magisterium determined to be inspired by God.

Even if it was proved a book was not written by Paul that would not affect the Faith, because the Holy Spirit is the Author.

The bottom line…

In 1546, the Council of Trent declared the Vulgate Bible as authentic, and declared that “No one (may) dare or presume under any pretext whatsoever to reject it” (4th Session, April 8, 1546).

In 1943, Pope Pius XII stated that the continuous use of the Vulgate Bible in the Church for many centuries showed that it was “free from any error whatsoever in matters of faith and morals” (Divino Afflante Spiritu (1943), paragraph 21).
…modern “scholarship” notwithstanding.

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Which demoes that they should not be given any credence.

The Holy Spirit IS the Interpreter… who gives the Meanings underlying the Vernaculae…

this special authority or as they say, authenticity of the Vulgate was not affirmed by the Council[Trent] particularly for critical reasons, but rather because of its legitimate use in the Churches throughout so many centuries; by which use indeed the same is shown, in the sense in which the Church has understood and understands it, to be free from any error whatsoever in matters of faith and morals; so that, as the Church herself testifies and affirms, it may be quoted safely and without fear of error in disputations, in lectures and in preaching; and so its authenticity is not specified primarily as critical, but rather as juridical.
Pius XII Divino Afflante Spiritu 21

This is an example of how we reconcile scholarship and faith. The authentic use of Scripture for our faith or morals is different from the study of it using critical techniques. Discrepancies of history, like St Paul’s authoring or not, do not take away from understanding the books as part of canonical tradition.


You disregard it. Why? The web has only exponentially increased the disbursement of nonsense. As well, God and belief in Him is attacked by sowing the seeds of doubt. Genesis 3 all over again. The Church spoke long ago after serious and at times intense disputation and scrutiny of the extant manuscripts - which were never originals, but copies of copies of copies of copies. Further, no one, no matter how many letters follow their name, knows the particulars of events almost 2,000 years ago.

There is a pattern of what I interpret as arrogance, in that today’s modern scholars claim to have more knowledge of scripture and its provenance than those in the first two or three centuries following the Apostolic age, indeed than the eyewitnesses! Thus, everything is subject to scrutiny and, wouldn’t you know it, the Church blundered time after time!

They claim more (and more accurate) knowledge even than Saint Jerome, who spent much of his life - years in solitude - poring over scripture and later learning languages so as to provide the best known translations; who was chosen by Pope Damasus I particularly to produce a universal translation.

Someone wants you to doubt the Church. Someone wants you to doubt the faith. Someone who cannot inspire, but who incites.



Was this a reply to my note? Are you rejecting the distinction made by Pius XII? Wouldn’t that encourage others to doubt the Church?

If you were not addressing me, never mind…

Yeah, because scholars now know more about a book than people who were a couple of centuries removed :roll_eyes:

I have no respect or care for or about modern biblical scholarship trying to figure out what was already defined.

“St. Paul didn’t write this.”

Show me proof. Not guesses, not speculation, actual proof. Good luck.

I have little doubt that there are numerous ultra-liberal denominations that would LOVE to discredit St. Paul and his writings. His positions on homosexuality and female ordination alone are enough to throw them into a fervor. Giving an inch of credence to such claims… a spec will be enough to invite an onslaught of attacks on scripture as a whole.

If St. Jerome made any big mistakes, I have waaaaay more faith in their fruit than that of a tiny mistake by any modern scholar.

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That never stops any who spend their entire lives futily attempting to disprove what is true…

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