Bock says, for example:
Ehrman also does nicely in treating the supposed Epistle of Peter to Titus, as well as The Apocalypse of Peter and The Acts of Peter (as well as the Pseudo-Clementines). These works are forgeries and Ehrman is right to point to them as examples of the phenomena when Peter (or Clement) is named.These, of course, were works that prompted historians like Eamon Duffy to say that “These stories were to be accepted as sober history by some of the greatest minds of the early Church -- Origen, Ambrose, Augustine. But they are pious romance, not history, and the fact is that we have no reliable accounts either of Peter’s later life or the manner or place of his death.”
My hope is now to provide more specifics about these works, the stories they told, and the impact that they had on these later writers.
And Witherington notes:
On pp. 246-47 quite rightly takes on the Jesus Seminar (go Bart go) and shows they were often wrong, frequently made mistakes, and surprisingly ignorant about ancient writings. For example, Bart points to their statement that plagiarism was unknown in antiquity. Bart is able to show in a mere paragraph that this is absolutely false. Plagiarism was known and complained about bitterly in antiquity (see Vitruivius Book 7; Polybius Hist. 9.2.12; Martial Epigram 1.66; Diogenes Laertius 2.60; 5.93; 8.54). This discussion is all quite helpful, and correct. Equally helpful but unsettling is the evidence from the second century and later of Christians prepared to created forgeries, fabrications, and falsifications supposedly in the name of truth. Yes, this did happen, and not just by heretics either, and Bart has every right to bring it to light, as it can’t stand the light of day. His case for this going on in any of the books of the NT is another matter— it is weak, and more often than not, quite readily refuted and rebutted by those who have studied this material in depth and have written commentaries on all of this. I am one such person.I’ve not finished all of this yet, but it promises to be fascinating.
For anyone who is interested in conservative responses to other Ehrman works, I’ve found that the videos at The Ehrman Project provide an excellent introduction to these works.
Finally, in looking up some other things, I came across this fascinating picture of “letter composition” in the ancient world. When Paul wrote a letter, he rarely, if ever, would sit down with pen in hand to write. Rather, ancient letter writing was more of an art form, as is outlined here by Robert Jewett in his Commentary on Romans:
Secretaries also routinely refined the rough drafts of dictation or composed letters themselves on the basis of brief instructions. In some instances the secretary acted as coauthor or wrote in behalf of more than one person. Secretaries frequently became the trusted administrative assistants of their owners or employers. But in every case, “the sender was held completely responsible for the content and the form of the letter.”
In the case of Romans, as the rhetorical analysis in the next chapter and the subsequent commentary will demonstrate, there is evidence of careful planning of the structure of the letter and attention devoted to making a varied and often elegant impression on hearers. It would have required weeks of intensive work during which Tertius must have been made available on a full-time basis. This expense is most easily explained by the detail Paul reveals in 16:2, that Phoebe “became a patroness to many and to myself as well.” This is the only time in Paul's letters that he acknowledges having received funding from a patron, and it is likely that this patronage was directly involved with the missionary project [to Spain] promoted by the letter....
Most commentators assume that Phoebe had agreed to be the letter bearer, but a person of her social class would have her scribe read the letter aloud in her behalf. Phoebe and Tertius would then be in the position to negotiate the complex issue advanced by the letter in a manner typical for the ancient world. For example, a papyrus refers to a letter bearer as qualified to expand on the letter: “The rest please learn from the man who brings you this letter. He is no stranger to us.” (“Romans, A Commentary”, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press ©2007, 22-23).