Popular skeptic and agnostic Bart Ehrman (professor at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC) and Darrell Bock, NT professor at Dallas Theological Seminary discuss Ehrman's book Forged on the August 6, 2011, Unbelievable Radio Program with Justin Brierley.
I was absolutely amazed that neither one of these men even mentioned I Peter 5:12, which gives evidence that Peter wrote 1 Peter through Silvanus (or Silas) as his secretary or amanuensis. I was especially surprised that Darrell Bock did not at least mention this, as evidence for Peter writing I Peter. 2nd Peter's style is different and not as polished, and so fits with the evidence of Peter as a Galilean fisherman, not as educated as Paul or Silas or Luke or the writer of Hebrews (Barnabas ?), but able to write in rough Greek. Since Peter used Silas for I Peter and it is a higher literary style than 2 Peter, there is no good reason for doubting that Peter himself wrote 2 Peter.
"By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it." I Peter 5:12, ESV
"Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God." I Peter 5:12, NASB
"By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand." I Peter 5:12, NKJV
διὰ Σιλουανοῦ ὑμῖν τοῦ πιστοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, ὡς λογίζομαι, δι’ ὀλίγων ἔγραψα, παρακαλῶν καὶ ἐπιμαρτυρῶν ταύτην εἶναι ἀληθῆ χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ· εἰς ἣν στῆτε
Bock has written several blog articles on Ehrman's book, Forged. One of them is here, focusing on I and 2 Peter. Ehrman, on the radio show and in his book, tries to make it seem impossible for Peter to have known any Greek at all. In the article by Darrell Bock, linked above, these two paragraphs stand out:
“Now again we seem to ignore certain things we know about the culture and Peter. Apparently Peter was literate enough to lead and help launch a religious movement that spanned continents by his death. This means he must have been a solid oral communicator at the least, making him potentially capable of expressing himself in letters. Some of this communication took place outside the land in a diaspora context where Greek would have been important. In an oral culture, he need only be able to dictate in order to compose his letters. Ehrman's argument seems trapped in a literary model of communication, not the predominantly oral world of the first century. I make this point to observe, even if Ehrman is right about literacy and Peter, a point I am about to challenge, his conclusion about what Peter is capable of does not follow in an oral context.So was Peter illiterate and can we know he did not know Greek? These claims can also be challenged in light of Peter's role as a merchant tradesman and what may be happening with education in the first century among Jews. Evidence does exist of extensive commerce and knowledge of Greek in Tiberias and Sepphoris, both of which are located close to Capernaum and Nazareth respectively. In fact, these larger Sea of Galilee communities are seen as so important that John Dominic Crossan, hardly a conservative interpreter of Scripture, argues that Jesus would have almost certainly practiced carpentry in Sepphoris and engaged in a kind of international trade and exchange of ideas. All of this assumes some level of linguistic and cultural engagement.”see http://blogs.bible.org/bock/darrell_l._bock/ehrman_chapter_2-_forgeries_and_the_name_of_peter_apples_oranges_and_scriptureFor more on 2 Peter and evidence for Peter as the author of both 2 Peter (writing it himself) and I Peter (dictating to Silvanus).http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/06/good-evidence-for-2-peter-as-written-by.htmlAddendum:Thank you Dr. Bock, for commenting here and for standing up to Bart Ehrman. I should have stated that except for that one complaint I have; I should have noted that otherwise Dr. Bock did an excellent job of standing up to Dr. Ehrman.
I wrote in comment box "Wow - that's really cool, and an honor, that you came here to comment - I greatly appreciate your work and books and scholarship. (I have some of them and have benefitted from them greatly.)
Yes, you talked about how secretaries were used in interacting with Ehrman, but, still, with all due respect, I still don't understand why you say "I could not mention Silvanus" - skeptics and agnostics should not be allowed to tie our hands in apologetic debate. (in my opinion) It seems to me you could have at least mentioned that issue and verse, no matter what the debate is on how secretaries were used.
It would have been nice to have more discussion of that and how an Evangelical believing student (like myself) and scholar like yourself deals with the issue of connecting the issue of "how the secretaries are used" with the actual verse there in I Peter 5:12.
Thanks for your comment!
Given that we believe that "all Scripture is God-breathed", and Peter used Silvanus as a secretary/ amanuensis, and that God used people to write Scripture and that 2 Peter is also written by Peter himself, can you write a believing article (from an Inerrancy perspective) on the issue of "how secretaries are used" and connect it to I Peter 5:12? Maybe you already have done this, but I confess I haven't read it or seen it; and I am limited in my overall understanding of all the issues.
Ken said... Rhology posted 2 comments while I was typing.
I hope Dr. Bock will see my comment to him.
Thank you Dr. Bock for coming here and commenting.
i agree with Rhology on all else - you did a good job of standing up to Bart Ehrman.