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Title: The formation, publication, and circulation of the Corpus Paulinum in early Christianity
Author: Laird, Benjamin Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 1467
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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Several theories have been presented over the last century regarding the canonical history of the letters traditionally associated with the apostle Paul. For some, the letters of Paul most likely did not begin to circulate as a literary collection until the late-first or early-second century, while for others the collection began to take shape closer to the time of Paul's death and was further developed in subsequent decades. Variations of these two basic viewpoints have been presented along with a number of alternative theories. The objective of this thesis is to provide a fresh examination of the formation, publication, and circulation of the Corpus Paulinum in early Christianity by examining a wide range of internal and external evidence. The initial portion of the thesis examines several relevant passages from the Pauline letters and concludes that several of Paul's associates played an important role in the composition and delivery of his letters. With regard to the external evidence, the thesis analyzes several Greek manuscripts, the titles of the Pauline epistles, the earliest translations of the epistles, the reference to the letters in 2 Pet 3:15-16, the testimony of the early church fathers andancient secular writers, and the earliest canonical lists of New Testament writings. Following a discussion of how these subjects inform our understanding of the early development of the corpus as a whole, what may be known of the early canonical history of the Pastoral Epistles and Hebrews is treated. On the basis of the internal and external evidence discussed throughout the thesis, several conclusions are offered, perhaps most notably that at least three major editions of the corpus (i.e., corpora containing 10, 13, and 14 letters) emerged fairly early, each of which circulated simultaneously for several centuries until editions containing 14 volumes became nearly universally recognized.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Christian literature ; Early