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Title: The authenticity of II Thessalonians with special reference to its use of traditional material
Author: MacDougall, Daniel W.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1993
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Following a critical examination of the history of the disputation of the authenticity of II Thessalonians (Chapters 1 and 2), Chapter 3 examines the life and epistle of the earliest external witness, Polycarp, to show that the terminus ad quem of II Thessalonians is about A.D.90. Chapter 4 demonstrates that 'tradition' (II Thess. 2:15; 3:6) is not a post-Pauline development but a characteristic of the undisputed letters of Paul. By examining the terminology of tradition in the New Testament and Apostolic Fathers, and by a fresh identification the traditions in I Corinthians, I Thessalonians, and II Thessalonians, it is shown that II Thessalonians displays the same form, terminology, function and volume of tradition as are found in the undisputed letters of Paul. Chapter 5 shows that the doctrinal content of the traditions, eschatology and imitation, is Pauline. The eschatology does not present a theology of delay, but rather the Thessalonians can know that the day of the Lord has not arrived because the Lord Jesus has not yet returned to gather his people (the katechon) and defeat Satan ('the lawless one'). Nor does the letter show a post-Pauline exaltation of the apostle, for the exemplary behaviour of the missionaries is shown to be part of Paul's regular evangelistic practice. The christology and soteriology of the letter are seen to be entirely consistent with Paul's teaching. Chapter 6, a literary analysis with particular reference to the traditions in II Thessalonians, shows that II Thessalonians is an actual letter and not literarily dependent on I Thessalonians. The style of the non-tradition portions of the letter is shown to be characteristically Pauline. Thus the external attestation, the use of tradition, the theology and the literary style all show II Thessalonians to be an authentic letter from Paul.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available